Leaps, Jabs and Learning You Need to Reserve a Nursery Spot The Day You Conceive! Weeks 7-9 With Baby Grace and Maddie

Week 7-9

Woah! Time has flown by, Grace is now 9 weeks! She still looks new, so it is actually hard to believe she is ‘so old’!

Sooooo, it turns out I should have been looking at nurseries since I became pregnant or it feels like even before. I have contacted 6 nurseries - I have 2 visits organised and 4 of them have said there is no availability until September 2023. I ideally wanted Grace to start getting used to one when she’s 9 ish months old in January and then 3-4 days a week when I go back to work in March. I wasn’t prepared for this part of the process being told there is no space. So I am persevering with as many visits as possible that are local to us. Did everyone else know this was a thing?? I feel like this should be something told at your antenatal groups (panic is setting in….can you tell 👀) but we will have to go with it and see where we get to. But if you’re a new mum or becoming one, I’d get on the case now if you want your little one going to a nursery (Mum, if you’re reading this you need to move our way asap just in case). But we have 2 visits this week so let’s see how they go!!

I really feel self-confidence kicking in with Grace now. We went to town together for the first time, like proper town. I NEEDED my eyebrows done and I made sure Grace was fully fed, with a shusher in the carrycot and the rockit at the ready (a rockit is a prop to help the pram rock/jolt to continue moving when you’re not there to push it back and forth (if needed)). But it worked, she didn’t cry and then we went to John Lewis where I got a sandwich, coffee and an apple juice and sat in the cafe alone with Grace and had a lovely time. I mean I was totally on edge the whole time, but I was acting really cool about it 😎. She did start whaling halfway home though, which I definitely knew were hunger cries because she had been asleep for a good 2 hours. It’s hard to know what the cries are sometimes so it does feel, in a way, good when I know how to resolve them.

Side note: I have to remember that Grace is premature and actually has the stomach size of a 3 week old currently and therefore she still feeds every 2-3 hours. She does sometimes nap for over 3 hours, but then she is straight onto boob ready for her next meal 🥛.

I mentioned routine before and I got myself into such a tizz about it, thinking I need something dead on. When do people actually start doing it and what’s really effective? Which method do you follow? When you’re meant to put them down for a nap, do you literally put them down and hope for the best? I don’t know and I think all these questions will get answered but right now, I’m wondering how on earth people start with it. Do babies just fall into a routine with their naps and feeds? HOWEVER, we have got one thing that happens every day on the dot….witching hour! 8.30 pm until 10 pm….I actually felt reassured when I worked out what this little chaotic 1.5 hour was and I’m embracing it, knowing it will stop and knowing that I’m the one who calmed her and got her to sleep. She always settles after. I'm still yet to know what witching hour is but it’s an interesting part of the day.
All these new little things are coming up more often and I believe we are getting into the ‘leaps’, ‘wonder weeks’, I.e development phases. Leap 1, for example, will be Grace smiling, showing signs of her focusing on objects. We are yet to have the smile, regardless of how much I’m grinning at her but she is staring more at objects (black and white books and sensory videos on YouTube ‘Hey Bear’) but it lasts for a few minutes and then the tears come. I sometimes just whip a boob out to comfort her….like father like daughter.

Grace had her 8-week jabs last week and I thought ‘oh this is fine' and actually it was. She cried, naturally, and then we put her in the car and she fell asleep and when we got home, she stayed asleep. I casually said to Rob ‘should we wake her for her Calpol?’ which he said yes to….oh my goodness the tears and the screams, poor little Grace was in such a state and it’s HORRIBLE seeing your own child like this. She could not calm down and I felt like something was really hurting her so we topped her up with Calpol and I did everything I could to get her to go to sleep. She did eventually and it felt like such a relief and by the next day, she was absolutely fine!

But I really do believe that every day gets easier, some days have felt as though I have taken a few steps back but after a good nap or reality check I feel more confident again. It can be very up and down but having a supportive network and things in the diary are helping. Baby classes are a great way to get to know other mums and know you’re not the only one winging this mum gig.

New things conquered :

1. Coffee alone with Grace in the carrycot asleep
2. Getting through the 8 week jabs
3. Getting through witching hours (seeing the positive in that it’s part of her routine…I am easily pleased)
4. Joined my first baby class
5. Continued to join my breastfeeding class but this time, Grace was awake and I could peak to experts about her latch
6. I went back to the neonatal ward to donate some OLD clothes of Grace’s, which is ridiculous because she’s 2 seconds old but it was quite surreal going back and seeing all those wonderful Mums looking after their preemie newborns. It really brought back the 2 weeks I was there with our little girl.

Speak next week

Maddie x

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