Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Fourth Trimester

This post is a little overdue; the weeks are passing me by at a galloping speed. My original plan was to update with a photo monthly of our little man; as it was I wrote the post (One Month) but neglected to add the photo!  So anyway, here it is. Isn't he handsome?!
Alexander - 1 Month 

Today Alexander is 7 weeks old but it already feels like he's been here for so much longer than that.  Our little boy, who in many respects is only here because his sister is not. So much of this life without her hurts but I cannot dare to imagine a life where Xander didn't exist now.  It is something that troubles me; if Anabelle had survived there would've been no planned pregnancy anytime within the months or indeed years afterwards. 

But she wasn't here and we decided to make 2011 our year for trying again.  Trying again didn't mean we replaced her; it just meant we were adding to our family quicker than we would've planned. Plans changed. 

Still it troubles me; now to wish Anabelle back would be to wish her brother away, and vice versa. 

Currently Alexander is curled up on me and I'm slowly typing one handed.   We are having another "only my Mummy will do" days.  I think there is much to be said for the so called "4th trimester" of a pregnancy; the first 12 weeks or so of baby's life, the adjustment period for us both as he gets used  to life on the outside.  

Alexander certainly likes to be close, some days, like today, he would let me hold him all day if it were possible to do so. And why wouldn't he like to be close? For 8 months he wasn't separated from me for even a moment. Of course he needs to still be close while he adjusts to life on the outside, for me that is absolutely ok. Today there is a reason he needs a lot of me, even if I can't always figure out what it is; he knows and it is my job to listen and respond. 

For a little while I stressed about all the things we should be doing. Until I realised there was no should be doing about it. 

I've quit listening to the 'rod for own back' brigade, and the 'you are spoiling him' chorus, I've put the parenting guru books away because my boy needs what HE needs, not what Gina and Tracey (among others) think and advise he should be doing.  These books of course have their place, some useful tips that we might try and might work for us along the way, but for now they are too rigid for my family. They may always be too rigid for my family, who knows. 

We are doing what is working for US for now and what is working for now is lots of cuddles, being rocked to sleep, a dummy, some co-sleeping, feeding with shields and one expressed bottle of milk a day.  Alexander has developed his own loose routine but neither of us are ready for a strict one. We are all ok with the flexibility for now. Alexander is pretty good at going with the flow. 

Yes I've broken many of the parenting rules I made myself before I had a baby at home. 

In my pre-parent days I naively decided my child was always going to sleep in their own bed, they were never going to have a dummy, they were going to have a routine very early on, they were not going to be 'spoilt'.  But now Alexander is here, we are finally the here on earth parents we dreamt of being all of that has gone out of the window. The reality is different and above all I now firmly believe it impossible to spoil a newborn. 

Everything we do with Xander and what he needs us to do for him, simply reassures him he is safe and loved, and most of all that he can trust and rely on us, always.  

Besides I've waited a long time for these precious newborn days; why would I not want to hold him close as much as I can. We are half way through our 4th trimester and we need to be close to eachother.  I'm going to enjoy everything about him, about being his Mummy as much as I can because it won't always be like this. One day he won't want to be cuddled all day. One day there will be a change. 

But things will only change as Alexander tells us he needs them to change and that he is ready for them to change. Our parenting rules are coming directly from him and not a book. 


LittleMe said...

Lovely post ! I only have one book, and a first aid book. We just muddle along, doing our best, and it seems to work just fine.

Glad it's all going well.

Anonymous said...

He is beautiful Caz. Just enjoy him you are a great Mum and Annabelle will be so proud of you xx

Lavandes x

MaidenDevon (August Lady MN) said...

Gorgeous picture, what a looker! Caz I'm so glad you've realised this early on what it took me about 9 months to work out. Cuddles with mummy are just the best thing ever (I still like a snuggle with my mum and I'm 36!)

You are so right - do what works for your family, it makes life a lot easier, if only I'd realised that sooner I would have enjoyed my early days with F so much more, but you live and learn.


Anonymous said...

I love this post, au natural all the way. Do what YOU think is best for HIM. My LO is now 20 weeks, we did the same as you - dummy, cuddles, breastfeed on demand, co slept etc and she's set her own little routine. I too thought I'd be all about routine/no dummies etc but I'm completely the opposite. I read her cues and so far, it's all plain sailing, I acknowledge her needs and wants and she is extremely content. Our baby is extra special due to ivf egg donation from my sister and we do not plan on having any more, so there are lots of cuddles for the next few months as they're so precious, my plan is to love and enjoy every moment and I am so far. She's in bed now (in my room having settled in to her own "pattern" going down at 7pm) and I physically miss her! The love is unconditional.

I wish u all the best
Love and light, Lynsey xx

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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