…..Continued from part one
So the day arrived for Little Bean to make her entrance into the world. We got to the hospital around 4pm on Saturday afternoon and Little Bean arrived safe and sound at 3.04am. We asked my parents, my sister and her daughter to visit us on the Sunday morning. When they came they brought everything we needed but wouldn’t have thought to ask for including lovely homemade food! They were delighted to meet Little Bean for the first time obviously, but primarily were concerned with how it had all gone, how I was feeling, how me and Hubchin were doing etc. As always with a new baby, hundreds of photos were taken of Bean and her Mummy and Daddy together for the first time!
They went into the city centre before HM (Hubchins mother), his father and brother arrived, to get us the things we needed (some things, the kind you could only ask your mam or sister to buy for you lol) and mainly to give Hubchin’s family time to meet Little Bean without them there. It went like this.
Hubchin’s family walk into hospital room, Hubchin is holding Little Bean. Within 10 seconds (no exaggeration) of being in the room, before speaking to me or Hubchin….
HM: (To Hubchin) Give her to me, Give her to me.
Hubchin: Calm down, you can have her in a minute
HM: In a minute> Come on, give her to me.
Hubchin: Chill out man mother
Me: Just give her to her, its exciting when you see a new baby (Hubchin passes Little Bean to HM)
HM: (To her husband) Come on, Get the camera out, Get a picture of me with her now.
Hubchin: Don’t you want to know what she’s called?
HM: I know what she’s called (We had a list of names with a front runner before Little Bean was born, but said we wanted to wait until she came to decide and we decided on one that wasn’t even on the list in the first place)
Hubchin: No you don’t (Tells them what her full name is)
HM: Great I’ve already told everyone something else. (Sits in a mood)
The only conversation I had with HM that day relating to Little Bean was:
HM: Are you breastfeeding her then?
Me: Well, I have managed to so far but we’ll have to see how it goes, hopefully though, Id like to try.
The rest of the conversation was general talk about the traffic, parking and weather. No reference to the birth, no enquiries as to how me or Hubchin were doing, nothing.
On Monday, we were discharged at lunchtime and we went back to HM’s house. She wasn’t in, which I was grateful for as it least we could get in and sorted before having to deal with anything else. When HM arrived home she was mad that we hadn’t let her know we were coming (we’d told her it would be Monday but we genuinely didn’t know the time as we were waiting on hospital stuff getting sorted, final checks etc). She walked into our room and said ‘Well, can I have her then?’
Hubchin had to go later that day and ask them all to knock before coming in as I might be breastfeeding and none of them were comfortable with me doing it in front of them, so they adopted a knock then enter routine, with no time between the ‘knock’ and ‘enter’ parts which led to many ‘woah I’m feeding her’ person attempting to enter embarrassedly covers their eyes and shuts the door moments.
On declining HM’s earlier request for the baby as she was about to get a feed, I felt obliged to take Little Bean downstairs straight after so HM could see her. I gave bean to HM and went to make a cup of tea, taking hubchin with me so HM could have her on her own for 5 minutes. When we went back into the room, we did small talk and sat for a while when the phone rang. HM answered the phone:
HM: Hello……The update is babe is in arms….she’s with her Nana and she’s very happy. Ok, see you soon, bye.
She told Hubchin and I it was her friend ( friend x, who I’ve never met before). We continued with the small talk. Hubchin went to the toilet. Hubchin’s mother said to me ‘ Oh, by the way, that was friend x, she’s popping round to see the baby soon’. I could kick myself now for my pathetic reaction (I blame the hormone, tired induced state I was in less than 36 hours after giving birth after a 19 hour labour) but I don’t think I even said a word. At this point HM had been holding Little bean for around half an hour so I felt I was ok to take her back, saying ‘Am I ok to just take her back upstairs, I’m quite tired’ Pathetic also. I told Hubchin about friend x’s impending visit, to quote him he was ‘furious’. He went and told HM that it really wasn’t the best time, we were all tired and we would let her know when we felt up to her friends visiting to see the baby. (Obviously it was her house, they could come to see her anytime but just not on the promise of meeting Bean) She didn’t take it well. I spent the whole night worried a) that friend x would turn up b) that someone would knock while I was feeding and c) that we’d upset HM. That was our first night at home with our new baby, ruined.
The next day Hubchin had some work to do before he could start his paternity leave properly and was doing it in the kitchen while Little bean and I slept. I took Little Bean down to the Living Room mid morning for us to spend some time with HM. We’d been in the room about 10 mins when this happened:
HM: I checked with Hubchin and he said it was ok for friend x to come round later on
Me: Really? When cos the midwife is coming?
HM: Erm, he must have forgotten, well she can come after the midwife comes, what time will that be?
Me: You don’t get a time it’s just whenever they come
After a while, Little Bean started to twist for a feed. On the way upstairs to feed her I checked with Hubchin about the friend x situation, mad at him for agreeing without checking with me. Needless to say, HM hadn’t asked Hubchin. So again he had to go and tell her that we didn’t want any visitors yet.
This was the beginning of HM’s manipulative behaviour which continues to this day, telling one of us one thing and the other something else, waiting till were apart to say things so she can twist how it happened etc. Thankfully she’s tripped herself up so many times that Hubchin and I are wise to it now. But in the first few months, it caused us problems. Not the obvious us having problems with her kind of problems but the behind the scenes problems it caused between Hubchin and I. Many, many arguments have been had about HM in the last year. This stands out to us as Hubchin and I don’t argue, we bicker, we wind each other up (mainly after a night of no sleep thanks to Little Bean) but we don’t argue. We both think on reflection, that 95% of proper arguments we’ve ever had have been about HM. Many occasions during Little Beans first year, ruined.
Later that day, my milk started to come in. I had a total meltdown to Hubchin. I felt terrible for ‘telling’ on HM to Hubchin. I felt terrible because Hubchin wanted to tell her off, strongly and I just didn’t feel like that was right so I stopped him, persuading him to be kind to her and I knew he disagreed. I felt terrible that our precious first hours with Little Bean were getting ruined one by one. Hubchin told me to pack up, we were going to my mams. I don’t think I’ve ever felt greater relief than that moment.
We went to my mams, who looked after us, so we could look after Little Bean. The difference was unbelievable. It came at a cost as Hubchin had to go to work for a few hours the next day and we were apart longer than we would have been if we’d have been at HM’s because of the journey. But we both felt it was worth it.
Little Bean was 5 days. We had to go back to HM’s for a midwife visit. I felt ill. We planned to go and spend the afternoon there, to give HM some time with Little Bean, then go back to my mams. We got there, she wasn’t in, we waited, she didn’t come, we left.
Little Bean was 10 days. We had to go back for another midwife visit. We planned an overnight stay at HM’s. HM behaved awfully. She snatched Little Bean from me (When hubchin was out of the room obviously) saying ‘she wants a snuggle with her nana’, she downtalked breastfeeding, she was rude, she told us if we wanted a cup of tea we’d have to get it ourselves as she wanted to see Little Bean, she told me she wasn’t making us tea (I wasn’t expecting it, it didn’t need to be said) as she wanted to have Little Bean the whole time we were there and didn’t want to waste time ‘cooking’, she continually alluded to how disappointed her friends were to have not met Little Bean. It was horrendous and neither Hubchin or I could wait to get out.
We spent a few blissful weeks at my mams where my parents knew exactly what to do/what not to do to give us the space and time we needed to learn how to be our own little family. The contrast was glaring. I dreaded going back. Towards the end of Hubchin’s time off work we went to have a frank conversation with HM and Hubchin’s father. We were really conscious not to be nasty or harsh and instead went for an understanding ‘you’ve just got carried away’ theme. Looking back, we should have been firmer. We told them we had to have some boundries if we were to stay there for the next 5 weeks, but it was no problem at all for us to stay on at my mams until the house was ready (this would have been easier for us but I really wanted to build bridges with them and not leave things bitterly plus give them a chance to get to know Little Bean). HM said she could see now that she’d got over excited and promised to try harder to be a bit more normal. We started again, with a clean slate.
That is if the definition of clean slate is for HM to be in a bad mood, ignore me, complain to Hubchin behind my back and barely acknowledge Little Beans existence for the first few weeks, then revert to full on babyzilla for the last few. I’d left baby sleeping in her basket in our room, to run to the bathroom to brush my teeth taking the monitor with me and not having heard a peep from baby, returned to the room to find baby gone, downstairs with HM insisting she’d heard her crying. I could go on listing but I won’t.
My desire to end our stay there on a high saw me leave Little Bean with HM on two occasions (for no more than 10 mins each time while I popped out). Each time I returned to a screaming Little Bean (not usually a cry-y baby but to be fair clingy for her Mummy, or rather her Mummy’s boobies lol) and to HM either in tears herself or almost in tears at not being able to settle baby. Hubchin’s brother commented a few times on how Little Bean cried each time HM had hold of her. I felt bad for HM but this was true, Bean really did and I just didn’t feel happy leaving my tiny little bundle when I knew she wasn’t comfortable.
Finally our house was ready and we could get out of what sadly I now thought of as my own personal hell. (During our 5 weeks there, we stayed Monday-Thursday, fleeing to my parents at the weekend for some much needed respite for all 3 of us) I’d love to say that since leaving there, with us all having our own space now and not such a pressurised environment, things had improved. But unfortunately, although I wouldn’t have believed it at the time, things were to get much, much worse.