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There was only one problem. Why did I get the duff version?
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All the babies in the books fed less regularly and slept much longer. I remember looking like absolute shit but feeling like a celebrity. The milk coma thing stopped working.
I remember greeting midwifes, crying on moca online dating shoulders and people bringing food. So I did what many a new mum does. The baby was only a couple of weeks old and he had already malfunctioned.
Was no one going to come and ask us if we knew what the hell we were doing with this kid? I remember the most beautiful little boy I had ever seen feeding until he was full and then sleeping curled up as a little ball on my chest.
I remember looking at all the cute clothes that people bought and laughing at the size of them. I remember snuggling on the sofa, greeting visitors, eating cake, admiring the flowers, passing the baby around and constantly disappearing to the bedroom to get half naked to feed him.
We needed a routine and a feeding and nap schedule; instead of sleeping in our arms whilst we ate our lasagne one handed, he should have a proper bedtime. But despite feeling like total amateurs we were also incredibly excited to get home and start life as a proper little family of three.
I remember feeling so tired and so happy all at once.
What does Ethelyn mean?
I remember the precious milky smell of my sons head and the sweet buttery popcorn aroma of his filled nappy. I remember the ridiculously inflated boobs, hot baths, cracked nipples and the hour I sat on the toilet carefully birthing my first poo. The advice all sounded so sensible.
Do you remember your very first days at home with your newborn? I remember the careful arrangement of cushions on the sofa that made it just about possible to sit down and I remember it all being made ok because I was surrounded by love.
I scoured the internet and devoured baby book after baby book looking for the answers.
I remember getting through the door and feeling a funny shift in the atmosphere, like everything had changed. I fed him and he remained awake, and not only that — he was unhappy awake.
He refused to get on board with the goddam book.