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Tag: baby

Why people need to stop asking me whether I have a ‘good baby’

Why people need to stop asking me whether I have a ‘good baby’

Guaranteed, at least once a day someone will come up to me and ask me, “So is he a good baby?” I cannot tell you how sick of that question I am – not just because I get asked it so often, but because when […]

Alaric Alexander John Powell

Alaric Alexander John Powell

Samantha Michelle Fishburn and I went to high school together. We were in the same Maths and PDHPE classes together. We crossed paths regularly, saw each other every day, but we were never close, we were never friends. We both sat with different groups of […]

Coffee, please.

Coffee, please.

If you were to ask me how my nigh was with Hunter last night, there is no way that I would be able to tell you. I don’t remember it. All I know is that at some point in the early hours of the morning, Hunter and I ended up wrapped in a blanket on the lounge. On Monday, we were awake from 2am onwards. Yesterday morning we were up from 3am onwards and today, like I said, we were just awake.

For the last week or so, Hunter has been going down easily from about 6pm and will sleep until just before midnight. He was in this (glorious) pattern for about ten days when all of a sudden it was as if he regressed. He has gone from waking up once in the middle of the night, having a big feed and then passing out again, to having lots of little, restless and fidgety feeds every hour and a half or so and then screaming at 2am.

Was it me? Was I doing something wrong? Why is he so unsettled all of a sudden?

Yesterday, Hunter and I met up with our friend Jess and her baby girl, Imani, who is the same age as Hunter. Imani had been pretty much sleeping through the night for about a week (lucky Jess), but when we sat down for coffee yesterday, she described the exact same situation that Hunter and I are in. Imani has been having shorter feeds, been waking up every hour or so during the night and has completely thrown her routine out the window. Jess and I both breathed a sigh of relief at the knowledge that we were going through the same thing. This is just a phase, this is just a phase, this is just a phase.

Yesterday afternoon, Hunter refused to be put down. He would be fast asleep in my rms, mouth hanging open, but as soon as I tried to tuck him into his pram he would wake up and scream. When Pete got home, I burst into tears. Even though I have had far more challenging times than that, for some reason (compounding exhaustion) I just needed to have a big cry. There was nothing specific that set it off other than the fact that I have been deprived of some serious sleep this week. What was amazing though is that Pete didn’t try and stop me from crying, he understood that I just needed to get it out. He put his hand on my leg and simply said, “It’s all okay, I’ve got you.” Ad then obviously, I cried some more.

I trust Hunter. I trust that he knows what he is doing in this life already. I tried to have him sleep in his room, but it lasted two nights before I realised that he isn’t ready for it yet. Pete said to me yesterday, “He will settle, he will let us know when he is ready to sleep in his cot.” I am still putting him down in there for naps when I can, but I have let go of the stress I was holding around the idea that he should be sleeping in there. Hunter is twelve weeks tomorrow and everyone that I have spoken to has said that once bugs hit that three-month mark, everything settles down. I trust my son and I am loving each and every stage that we are going through together.

I think that what I am finding most difficult is that I can only pursue my interests and hobbies and what I hope to be my business one day when Hunter allows it. I know that it won’t be like this forever, but it has been a challenge. I will bake a batch of cookies while he sleeps for ten minutes and then they sit not he bench, uniced for three days because I am tending to little man. The (Oblivious) New Mama as a business is going to be a slow process, but what I need to focus on is that I am making progress. With each word I type, each idea I have, each cookie I bake, it is progress. I know that one day I will look around the office for T(O)NM (yeah, I have big, big dreams for this humble site) and reminisce on its beginning.

I guess what I want to say to all you mamas (and papas) out there today is that everything you are feeling is normal, and perfect and wonderful. Sometimes it is as simple as that. Sometimes we all need a Pete in our lives to say, “It’s all going to be okay. I’ve got you.”

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

I will admit that before I had Hunter I did hold some judgment around parents who fed their babies formula. Further still, I did nothing to help the stigma of bottle-feeding babies, even if the bottle was filled with breast milk. I don’t know where […]

14 days until due date

14 days until due date

Thirty-eight weeks today. It doesn’t seem real, while at the same time it definitely feels like the pregnancy should be over and done with. This last month has been the most challenging and the most incredible period of time for so many different (and completely […]

2019, indeed

2019, indeed

It is almost unbelievable to me that we are all now in the year that my son is to be born. I know that that is making the new year all about me, but for the moment, the imminent arrival of our little man is my world, my everything, my every waking moment.

On the nights of both the 29th and the 30th of December, out of nowhere and at the same time each of the nights, I was experiencing insanely powerful and almost unbearable stabs of pain in my left ovary. The pain shot down into my pelvis and all the way down my left leg until it reached my toes. The pain was akin to what I felt last year when I had a cyst on my right ovary that then haemorrhaged (when I went to emergency when that happened, the nurse said that the pain I was experiencing was the closest comparison to childbirth that they have been able to make). The first night it happened, I didn’t think too much of it – I knew that it meant that I had reached some new phase in the pregnancy (even though I had no idea what was causing the pain), and with the pain so similar to what I had felt the year before I found myself wondering, “Am I in labour?”

I breathed through the pain and about four hours of Bub moving really intensely, everything started to calm down. The following night at around the same time, the very same pains and rapid movements came flooding back – but this time, it was even more full on. My pain threshold has always been good, really good actually, but the pain was so severe that I yelled out in pain with each wave of it and then burst into tears. I managed to remain calm and breathe, but it was absolutely excruciating. I called mum and described the pain to her and she said that it wasn’t anything that she had ever experienced which, you know, made me feel just SO confident and fine and not at all concerned..

Once again, after about four hours and fifty-six different positions, Bub finally settled down and I was able to get to sleep. The next morning was New Years Eve and as soon as I woke up, the discomfort woke with me. Before Pete and I made the trek down to Clarke’s Point to settle in for the long wait for the fireworks, I called the birth unit at RNSH and told them about the pain I had been experiencing and described Bub’s change of movements. We got called into hospital.

Long story short, everything is fine – actually, better than fine. His movements were measured against his heart rate for about an hour and then the doctor came to give me an all-over check. The pain that I had experienced and the two nights of extreme movement was Bub getting into position to be born. His head is now fully engaged in my cervix, he is ready to be born. The movements are feeling more powerful and painful simply because of how strong he is and because of the different position he is in now they felt extremely foreign. The pain that I was feeling my ovary were his little fists and elbows ferociously punching my ligaments, muscles and nerves which is why I felt it all the way down my leg and in my groin. All very normal we were told. On top of that, to help him get into position I was experiencing waves of Braxton Hicks contractions and breathing into the pain actually allowed him to move. It was my first foray into what labour is going to be like and I tell you what – I am so fucking excited for it.

The new kinds of movements have been so exciting, the pain has been exhilarating in its own way and this whole new stage, the final stage, is the most fun, educational and magical time of my life so far. I also need to mention how amazing Pete has been throughout all of this. I may be the oblivious new mama, but he is just as oblivious. He is the oblivious new papa. Considering that he has never been through this before, absolutely everything that he has done over the past week has been absolutely perfect. He has allowed me to deal with my pain however I need to, helping me when I require it. He has reassured me that he is right there with me. When the discomfort has become too much he has lay next to me and rubbed my belly lightly, whispering to our son (more like pleading with him to let me relax). He sat with me patiently at hospital and always has the aircon on at home. Pete has been the most supportive, loving and understanding partner throughout this whole process and I could not be more grateful, nor more excited to see him as the beautiful father he was always going to be.

I feel that I have spoken about 2018 enough. Most of you can gather that it was a tough one – and it was so for a lot of people. It was a big year that was full of unexpected happenings and transformation. For me, this year has taught me more than I ever envisioned. I have been taught patience and trust, surrender and understanding. Last year I grieved the loss of a child and the loss of my sister-in-law. Last year I met my soul sister and watched her walk down the aisle. Last year I made two of the best friends I have ever made after landing the job I have been working towards my entire life. Last year I met my soul mate and he gave me the greatest gifts of all – love, understanding, laughter, some amazing bottles of whiskey and the gift of our beautiful, healthy, charismatic, adorable son.

Although we are only three days into this new year, for Pete and I they have already been three of the most wonderful days. Each and every day is different in our home and I have come to love that about our little family – him, me, our one-eyed cat, our goof of a dog and our over-active child who it seems cannot wait to escape my womb. This year has already brought its challenges too. Today is the first official day of my maternity leave and I feel way out of my depth and lost. I have had no motivation to write and what has taken its place is the pressure to write. When I was still working full-time, creating this website and filling it with content was such a pleasure, it was and remains my absolute world.. but now that I am without an income, it is so much more than that. I so desperately want The (Oblivious) New Mama to be everything that I have been envisioning over the past few months, and that in itself has been dangerous thinking because all of a sudden I’m not writing for pleasure or for my love of it, I am writing it with expectation. No, no, no. I have been working all day to come to terms with the fact that it is okay that I feel this pressure – I have never done the whole maternity leave thing before so it isn’t that surprising that it feels weird, right? Also the holiday period threw me, as it does everyone, and I have been rather preoccupied with the whole about to give birth thing. I know that I need to take the pressure off and write for the absolute love and joy that it brings me. I have loved writing to you, my audience, and I don’t plan on ever stopping.

I promise you that there are things in the works, there are draft posts sitting in the backend of my website and ideas scrawled all throughout my notebook. This year is going to be a big one, and though I cannot expect anything from my writing (it doesn’t deserve that kind of pressure), I am expecting big, great, wondrous, inconceivable things to happen this year.

So, from my lounge where I sit right now with both a fan and a portable air conditioner pointed at me while I continue to exist about seven degrees hotter than anyone else I want to thank you all for making my 2018 so healing and humbling and I look forward to connecting with each and every one of you in 2019. And even more so, I cannot wait to introduce you to our beautiful baby boy.


Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave

Tomorrow is my last day of work before I not only finish up for the year, but also before I head off on maternity leave. It is a weird feeling. I mean, I think that finishing work for the end of the year always feels […]

63 days until due date

63 days until due date

Sixty-three days?! That’s nothing. I have all the feelings.

I am thirty-one weeks today and oh boy, do I feel it.

Generally speaking I am doing well! I feel healthy, I have enough energy each day to get me through until about 1.30pm and although I don’t sleep through the night, when I am asleep it is a deep sleep (before my bladder or my son wakes me up).

We had our baby shower last weekend and it was such a beautiful day. We were surrounded by friends and family and there was enough food to feed our entire suburb for three weeks and alcohol was drank and our little man, Pete and I received some beautiful gifts. Since moving into our house, a lot of what we have been doing around the place was not only in preparation for the arrival of bub, but it was also in preparation for hosting our baby BUB-beque. It was the first time Pete’s and my family were meeting, and the first time that we were introducing ourselves to everyone as a little family of three in our home that we created together. We couldn’t have wished for the day to go any better; all of our family and friends introduced themselves to one another if they hadn’t met before, every room of our house was filled with conversation and laughter and the backyard smelt of delicious meat cooking on a coal barbeque.

At thirty-one weeks I only have two more hospital appointments before my due date. I only have two weeks of work left. It really does feel that the next two months are going to absolutely fly by and before we know it, we will be holding our son in our arms and weeping over how perfect he is.

I am getting bigger with each and every day that passes – and this is confirmed over and over again by my family and work colleagues – and so is Bub. He is so big now that by just resting our hands on my belly, Pete and I are able to feel his head, his feet and his legs; we are able to feel our son’s body and it is positively surreal. Not only is he big, but my god is he strong. I was sitting at my desk yesterday and he was kicking the hell out of me and it hurt – it really, really hurt. I had to press my hand quite firmly into the right side of my stomach to keep him away from what I sure are some of my vital organs. I tried getting up and walking around in hopes that he would shift his position or go to sleep, but no. Up until last week, I could only really feel him kicking or moving when I was sitting or lying down, but now it doesn’t matter where I am or whether I am standing or sitting, I can feel him constantly. He is my active little companion and he makes sure that I know it.

Pete and I were sitting on the lounge last night watching Vikings – and, holy shit, if you haven’t watched it, WATCH IT. I didn’t think I would like it, but I am obsessed. And Travis Fimmel is a bloody dreamboat – literally bloody. I never thought that I would find someone whose face is spattered with blood so damn attractive but I DO. Now I sit on the lounge and demand more battles scenes just so I can see this:

Good lord.

Anyway..

So we were sitting on the lounge and once again I got an overwhelming surge of love and adoration for our son. He has so much personality already and I love that he and I know each other already – because we do. I can’t describe the connection that I feel with him because it is so intimate. I love that he and I have to work together to get through the day. I love that everything I do is with him in mind – what I eat, how I sit, all the visits to the bathroom (which, by the way have increased once again). He is the biggest part of my days and my nights, my little companion and I truly cannot wait to meet him.

Pete also picked up the last piece of furniture for Bub’s room which was a Boori chest of drawers to match the cot and the change table that we got a few weeks ago. Pete is away this weekend and I am going to get our son’s room all set up for when he gets back. I am going to wash and fold and put away all of his clothes, and buy nappies to stack on the shelves beneath the change table and get out all of the picture books and set them up. Bub already feels like a part of the family and, once again, I am finding it difficult to describe what it feels like getting all of this ready for him. Pete is so proud of the room that we have created for our son and he said last night, “Our little man is going to love his room, and he deserves it all”. And he does.

I realised the other day that I have almost forgotten what it is like to NOT be pregnant. It’s weird. A colleague and friend of mine said to me, “I have never not known you pregnant” – and she hasn’t because I found out I was pregnant the day before I started this job. She then went on to say that she actually doesn’t know much of my back story either which got me thinking. I went through some old photos and almost didn’t recognise myself. Women are pregnant for ten months all up, almost a whole year, so I guess that it’s pretty normal to forget how you used to look, how you used to feel and even what you used to wear before growing a human. But even more than that, I realised that I will never be that person again. Ever. My body will forever bear the marks of having been pregnant and having a child, and I am in no way saying that as a bad thing, not at all. I just found myself really stopping and thinking about how I used to look and who I used to be, and wondering who I am about to become.

I have to say, I am excited to find out.

I am also excited, I will admit, to wear my normal clothes once again and not be restricted to a handful of comfortable items of clothing that I wear in steady circulation. I didn’t realise how trendy I was before everything stopped fitting me. Though I may not feel comfortable wearing the crop tops and short skirts that I used to wear (I am a mother now, after all), I am looking forward to having options, having the energy to accessorise and pretty myself up and to just feeling like myself again but in a new way. I am looking forward to feeling sexy again!

Overall, I can’t remember being happier than I am now. I can’t remember ever being more in love in my relationship, more settled and grateful for my home, more inspired to create or more ready to face whatever the future holds. My son and Pete are the catalysts for those feelings and every morning I wake up grateful for Pete’s arm around me and my son’s kicks against my belly.

I’ll leave you with this:

And this:

You’re welcome.

Day Six: Best Christmas Reads for Kids and Adults

Day Six: Best Christmas Reads for Kids and Adults

Christmas and books and books about Christmas – THIS POST HAS IT ALL. I have always wanted to have a tradition where I read Christmas books throughout December. Until now, this has remained but a thought and a wish.. this year however, I plan on […]