April, 2014

28 April
11

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Waiting for that first smile…

This week Buzz reached the six week mark and with that came the promise of his first smile. Hours have been spent cooing at him and pulling silly faces – trying to tease the corners of those cute little lips upwards, but all we’d received in return was a look of confusion and bewilderment. There were even times when those looks boarded on disgust – bemused at how weird his parents were behaving.

There had previously been hopeful moments when he’d looked as though he was the happiest baby in the world, however, they were usually when he was looking at my boobies (never fails to put a sparkle in his eye), had wind or was drifting off to sleep (the light sleep causing millions of expressions to comically cross his face) – so not in reaction to our efforts at all. Although, I’ll admit, even though they might’ve been the result of him being hungry or needing to burp or fart, the look never failed to melt my heart. It felt like a glimpse of what was to come.

We weren’t taking it too personally that he was failing to find us funny or pleasing… Perhaps we just weren’t entertaining enough and he wanted us to raise our standards. He was a tough nut to crack – but we eventually did it. The three of us were chilling in bed, on a lazy Sunday morning, when Buzz granted us with his first delightfully gummy expression – seemingly happy with whatever his daddy had been talking about. I didn’t manage to capture the smile, but this pirate impression came shortly afterwards. What a cutie!

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And what an exciting week it’s been for little Buzz! He got his first glimpse of tour life by joining Daddy at the O2. He slept for almost the entirety of his first day there, but the next visit he was fully alert and fascinated by everything and everyone. I could tell Tom was excited to have Buzz there with him and eager to show him off to friends and family backstage. It was lovely to witness.

Thanks to my in-laws looking after the little dude, I managed to watch the McBusted show… Wow, wow, wow. It’s so surreal to see the six of them up on stage together giving such an epic performance. As always, I was a very proud wife! Anyone going to this tour will not be disappointed – it’s full of fun, spunk and hilarity. Not that I’m biased. Hopefully I’ll be able to watch again at some point.

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Hope you all have a fab week!

Love,

Gi. Xx

21 April
88

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The First Month of Motherhood…

I was tempted to tell you my positive birth story and leave it there – allowing you to join me at Buzz’s one month celebrations when things had (finally) started to fall into place. But there’s a whole area in the middle of those two events that wasn’t particularly pleasant and I feel like I do need to touch on it because if I’d have known just how tough it was all going to be I’d have relaxed a little – knowing that, part of what I felt, was totally normal.

We concentrated a lot on the birth and preparing for labour, so we were both extremely grateful that our work paid off. As I told you last week – my birthing experience was as close to perfect as I could’ve hoped for, and I know, for many women, that’s not always the case. So, having had such a positive time in the delivery room, the dramatic contrast of the weeks that followed hit us both pretty hard.

I never realised how demanding life was about to become. I feel guilty even writing that because we wanted Buzz in our lives so much – I can’t help but reprimand myself for anything negative surrounding his presence being said, so I’ll start by clarifying that I love him with all my heart and already couldn’t imagine my life without him… but, like I said, the first month was tough. We were suddenly faced with the reality of having a little human being who was dependent on Tom and I for everything! And I mean, everything. I don’t think it’s too surprising that it all became a little overwhelming… having to deal with the topsy-turvy hormones and my own recovery didn’t make things easier. Which, if I’m honest, made me feel things that I knew I didn’t really feel. I cried a lot. More than I’ve ever cried in my life. One night I had my sister and brother over (they’ve been wonderful) and I just burst out crying and turned into a red blubbering mess, all the while insisting that I was the happiest I’ve ever been. Giorgie and Mario have both seen me at my highest and lowest over the years – but they just stared at me in shock before enveloping me with their love and hugs.

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Then at eight days old Buzz developed an eye and finger infection. Meaning we had to go back into hospital for five days so that he could be put on an IV drip for antibiotics. Seeing him in pain as they placed a cannula in his hand was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever witnessed. Although those five days were worrying, they forced me to stop and gave us time on our own to just bond with our newborn. Before that hospital trip I was aware that I was doing too much. I hadn’t stopped and as a result I was in constant pain. Because I wanted others to see me as ‘the perfect mum’ who could do it all, I hadn’t allow myself to rest, which, when you’re up every couple of hours during the night to feed and healing yourself, was stupid. I ended up getting an infection and prolonging my recovery (read misery). I was actually a little relieved to discover part of what I was feeling wasn’t the norm. I’d been feeling like the biggest wimp in the world – which upset me after having such an amazing time during his birth.

Hormones. Sleep deprivation. Physical discomfort. They broke me and, I’m ashamed to admit, that they made me doubt if I was up to my new role of ‘mummy’. All my life I’ve mothered others – nurtured, comforted and loved – my maternal instincts have always been a part of who I am. I’ve always known I was born to be a mummy. I’m pleased that, now that the cloud has lifted, I can get on with giving Buzz the love he deserves. The sunny days over the last couple of weeks have helped to lift my spirits immeasurably. I can’t tell you how lovely it’s been to get out of the house with Buzz. And, on top of everything, I’m overjoyed that the little dude has stopped peeing on us quite so much during the nappy changes. Ha!

So, why am I sharing this? Am I just sharing a negative story and spreading fear in the way others have done with their birth stories? I hope not. Instead I hope it helps other new mums or mums-to-be prepare a little better for what might be an overwhelming experience. No-one really mentioned what those first few weeks could potentially be like and because of that I spent time feeling guilty of my feelings, rather than just accepting them and knowing that they’d pass. If I were to give advice it would be to not plan too much in the first few weeks – take it easy (like, really easy – stay in bed and enjoy your newborn), don’t have too many visitors and accept your family’s offers of taking care of things around the house in exchange for baby cuddles.

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Also this week…

I’ve received the German translation for my debut novel Billy and Me and they look amazing. The title in Germany is Sternenküsse (Star Kisses) and the publishers changed Billy Buskin’s surname to Sinclair – but I think those are the only changes that were made. Funny to think that people are going to be reading something I devised in a language I can’t even read!

The Easter bunny came! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter weekend. I had my family over on Good Friday for a walk in the fresh air and fish and chips – followed by some serious chocolate indulgence. Well, why not? Whilst writing this I’m actually tucking into a Ferrero Rocher egg. In my opinion it’s the best thing ever created!

 

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Tom’s been away with the McBusted boys on tour for most of this week (which kicked off in Glasgow on Wednesday), but managed to sneak home on his off day for some family time with me and Buzz on Easter Sunday. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for him to be away from our little dude. He’s changing so much every day and growing fast.

Talking of the McBusted tour – me and Buzz are off to The 02 this week to support his daddy who’s playing three nights there. Buzz won’t be watching the show (obviously), but it’ll be his first taste of tour life. Let’s hope he likes it!

Have a good one!

Love, Gi. Xx

14 April
41

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My labour was the most amazingly powerful experience I’ve ever had

Hellooooo! I’m baaaaaaaaaack!

Some of you may have been wondering where my riveting weekly updates had gone to… Well, they’d got lost in a world of sleepless nights, breastmilk and baby poop. Yes, in case you didn’t know – our son Buzz Michelangelo Fletcher arrived on Thursday 13th March – bang on 7pm. I still had two and a half weeks left until my due date and had all sorts of plans for my last bit of ‘freedom’, but it seems Buzz wanted to come out and join us – eager to say hello to the world. In fact, we were out for dinner with all the McBusted family (celebrating Danny’s birthday) when my waters broke – so I’m pretty certain Buzz just wanted to be part of the fun. I can’t tell you how giddy we all were when we left our friends in the restaurant knowing that the next time we’d see them we’d have a child.

So on to the labour… As regular readers know, we’d planned to use hypnobirthing techniques and go drug free as much as possible. Well, thanks to Hollie from London Hypnobirthing and a lot of homework from us (if you can call spending time to relax with one another each day work), that’s exactly what we achieved. I can honestly say that my labour was far from the horror stories people love sharing – it was the most amazingly powerful experience I’ve ever had. I never realised my body was so clever! During the final stages I felt like I’d taken every drug known to man – I clearly hadn’t, but I was calm enough to allow my body to produce a whole heap of oxytocin and endorphins with the help of some Michael McIntyre standup, singing along to Coldplay albums and my wonderful husband Tom. He was as encouraging as I knew he would be – stuffing jelly babies into our mouths, rubbing my back and reminding me to breathe anytime a frown appeared on my brow. He anchored me and made sure the day was as we’d hoped it would be. I’m so pleased we chose to go down the hypnobirthing route and that I ignored the few negative comments directed at me (since when has telling someone they’ll be ‘demanding drugs when the time comes’ helpful or encouraging?!), although I obviously understand hypnobirthing isn’t for everyone. I’m not about to start judging anyone for taking the drugs offered or opting for a c-section if necessary (we all just want our little babies healthily kicking in our arms), but I’d definitely recommend looking into hypnobirthing when the time comes if I’ve stirred an ounce of curiosity.

And so we grew from a duo to a trio – Tom, Gi and Buzz. Ready to explore the world in a brand new way – all jumping into the unknown with just each other to cling to. Going to sleep that night (after we’d treated ourselves to a delicious burger – it tasted so good), I couldn’t stop looking at Buzz’s little face and smiling euphorically at Tom. We’d done it. We made that little man. He is already, without doubt, my greatest achievement in life.

 

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Now that we’ve officially entered family life my blogs might read slightly differently – they’ll be less time for cake with friends (possibly), less news from evenings out (it’s not like I was overly sociable before), but, instead, you’ll get an insight into the world of a mummy who is learning to find her feet in a brand new world… and doubting her every move. It’s surprising how much time one person can spend on Google!

Right, Buzz is waking up and demanding his mummy’s attention. See you next week (hopefully).

Have a great one!

Love,

Giovanna Xx

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