I always feel such a desperate need to apologise when I haven’t posted in a while. I have written three or four separate posts since my last one and have either deemed them unworthy, or haven’t had time to type them up and post them. […]
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 […]
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.”
Did you know that bus will sometimes cry because they want to be wrapped? No? Neither did I. Two days ago, Hunter had been fed and burped and cuddled and still wouldn’t settle. I walked around with him, pushed him in the pram – nothing. […]
Over the course of your pregnancy and well after your little human is born, people will tell you what you will need to buy, what you will need to have on hand and what you SIMPLY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT. I did a couple of google searches throughout the pregnancy: “baby shower gift registry ideas,” “things you need for baby,” “what should I buy before my baby arrives?”, “what to pack in hospital bag.”
I was a bit of a google slut.
But to tell you the truth, there were a lot of things that everyone says you should have, and even more things that no one tells you will most definitely need. Like gripe water. “What the fuck is gripe water?” I hear you all asking. Well, I still have no idea what it is, but what I do know is that every single mama should purchase a bottle of gripe water before bubba is born.
So yes, gripe water is definitely something that you should buy. You can get it from any pharmacy and it helps your little one with wind – and trust me, your baby will need all the help they can get when it comes to wind. Hunter absolutely hates the taste of it, even though we only give him a couple of drops with a syringe at a time (it’s kind of cute though because he squishes up his face and shakes his head). Hunter gets almost instant relief from it, so I would definitely recommend every mum and dad have a bottle of it in their arsenal because seeing your child with wind knowing that there is nothing you can really do to help is heartbreaking.
Children’s panadol might seem like an obvious one, but not only did I not even think to buy some, no one else suggested it either. Hunter had his six-week-old immunisations a week and a half ago and it was possibly one of the most awful, traumatic and horrible moments of my life. Your little one will get two needles, one in each leg administered simultaneously, as well a an oral medication that they drink. Hunter wasn’t too bad once I calmed him down after the initial pain of the needles, but what I wasn’t expecting was how uncomfortable, in pain and sick it was going to make him that night.
Pete and I tried everything to settle and calm him for about four hours that night and even still, Hunter screamed like neither of us had ever experienced before. Just after 8pm, Pete made an emergency run to a 24-hour pharmacy to get some children’s panadol. About twenty minutes after we gave Hunter the dose, he passed out and almost slept through the night.
Hunter also loves a dummy spit – not a tantrum, an actual dummy spit. From a bout two weeks onwards, Hunter figured out that he could launch his dummy out of his mouth with his hands. Pete and I have both been hit in the face with his dummy, and let me tell you, there is a bit of force behind it! More often than not, Hunter will only suck his dummy for a minute or two before he doesn’t want it and that meant that we kept losing his dummy, or having to pick it up off the floor and wash it before he would immediately do it again. Pete jumped onto ebay and discovered a really sweet brand of dummy chain. We ordered two dummy chains from The Dreamy Fox – one of them is a camo-print fabric chain (because Pete wants Hunter to dress exclusively in camo) and the other is a soft beaded chain with Hunter’s name on it. Once again, a dummy chain is something that no one mentioned to us, but ever since we bought them it has made life so much easier. I realise that that sounds dramatic, like how could a dummy chain possibly improve quality of life, but trust me, it does.
There is a post coming soon dedicated to breastfeeding (because trust me, it deserves its own post), but I will say here and now that every mum could benefit from having a hand or electric breast pump. Again, I will go into more detail in my breastfeeding post, but having the option of expressing and having a bottle on hand for emergencies will put your mind so at ease. I have a friend who is pretty much only breastfeeding her daughter, however she uses a breast pump express and freeze it. I haven’t frozen any yet because Hunter just drinks and drinks and drinks and drinks; my friend said that she expresses mainly to ensure her daughter has milk in case anything happens to her, or she gets sick. That kind of foresight is not something that I had encountered yet, but it is so true.
Socks are another thing that I didn’t buy, but definitely needed. Luckily, we were gifted some at our baby shower but I still needed to buy him more. There are some of you out there who will think that I am maybe a little bit stupid for not realising how many pairs of socks a baby needs, but I just assumed that the onesies would be enough. Nope, definitely invest in all of the socks. Bubbas can’t regulate their temperature and I have noticed that Hunter’s feet and hands are always cold. I try and dress him in tops and onesies that have hand covers stitched into them and always make sure that his feet are covered.
Cotton muslin wraps are a staple for any new mum, but something that Pete and I found was that most of the ones that we bought and that people bought us were too small. Sure, they fit around Hunter’s little body, but they aren’t big enough to stop him from kicking and stretching out of them. The ones that you buy from K-mart and Big W are the cheap, small variety and though we have about ten of those ones, I mainly use them to wipe breastmilk off my stomach (because I have learned that breastmilk just goes fucking everywhere). Where possible, I strongly suggest that you buy larger muslin wraps, about 1m x 1m, because you can wrap your little one up super tight and they won’t kick out of it!
A carrier is another thing that I couldn’t live without. I was lucky enough to be gifted an amazing carrier from Baby Bjorn and I use it at least once every day. I use it when I do the grocery shopping because how am I meant to push a pram and a trolley at the same time? The carrier is insanely comfortable and holds Hunter really close to my chest which means that 90% of the time, he sleeps through the entire grocery shop. Not only that, when Hunter won’t settle and I can’t get him to sleep, or if he simply isn’t tired and I have things to do around the house, I put the carrier on and am able to do whatever it is that needs doing. Most of the time, even if he isn’t due for a sleep, my movements will rock him into a deep sleep.
Other than that, I would strongly advise new mothers to purchase the following: instant coffee, a Netflix or Stan subscription, books, extra laundry detergent (because all I ever do is the washing), candles and whatever the hell else you want or nee to buy to get you through.
You got this, mama.
There is so much about motherhood that I have learned and discovered over these last (almost) eight weeks. Things I have learned about parenthood, about my son, my partner, our families and myself. I have also mastered doing absolutely everything with one hand, holding Hunter […]
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 […]
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.