Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm so excited...

There is going to be another baby in my family, my sister is pregnant! I'm going to be an Aunt again! As the title of this post suggests, I am so excited! I haven't told a lot about my family so here is a bit of history...

· I have a younger sister and brother (which means I am the eldest, therefore the best!)
· My sister has always been ahead of me in life, even though she meet her husband after I met BJ, she married before me and had a baby before me
· My sister and brother are my best friends. Friends come and go but these guys will be with me until the end!

Which brings me to why I'm so excited! Of course it has something to do with my sister being pregnant but again there is some history:

· My sister and BIL didn't plan my niece. She was a happy "accident" when they were living overseas and when they returned to Australia my niece was born five years ago
· My sister and BIL were devastated when BJ and I couldn't have a baby by ourselves and my sister even offered to be our surrogate
· Over a year ago my sister and BIL decided they would try for another baby (around the same time we found out I was pregnant with Frostie, aka James!)
· A year later my sister wasn't pregnant (my worst nightmare, I couldn't imagine this happening to a good friend let alone my own sister)
· So my sister and BIL decided to get some fertility testing. My BIL tested fine and on the initial tests my sister was fine too but since they had been trying for so long, my sister would have to undergo a dye test to check her tubes. They decided that they would wait six months and live healthy and see what happens.

So last night I got a surprise call from my sister to tell me about her pregnancy! I couldn't be happier! I'm so excited for her, my BIL and my niece. Another baby for our family, another life for us to celebrate and another friend that will be with me until the end!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


After my last post was a bit of a downer, (still an important issue I think needs to be looked at) I thought I would highlight some of the awesome things about being a mother. Like any downside there are upsides and with motherhood the upsides are pretty terrific. In no particular order:

· Smiles, the first reward for any parent. There is nothing better than seeing your little one smile.
· Looking around for me when he's being held by someone else
· Recognising my voice and turning in my direction. Usually comes with a smile too!
· Cuddles, James is just starting to throw his arms out when I hold him. It's the closest thing to a hug so far!
· The way he looks at his Dad. He just lights up when BJ is talking to him, it's really lovely to see their relationship develop.
· Knowing I can calm him down when he gets upset. All it takes is a cuddle from Mum.
· Getting compliments about him and how much he looks like me
· The face he gives me when he's trying a new food, hilarious!
· Knowing he trusts me completely
· Watching him grown from a newborn into a real little boy with his own personality
· Knowing he is my son and nothing will ever change that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Post Natal Pressure...

When James was around three months old, we were deep in his Party Animal phase when he wouldn't go to sleep at night. I was Skypeing with a good friend who was weeks away from delivering her little girl. We had been through a lot together and have always had honest conversations about life. She was a great listener when I was worried about having fertility problems and she was one of the first people who celebrated with us when we found out we were pregnant.
So when she asked how motherhood was going, the first thing I said was "I don't want to scare you but it's really hard. A lot harder than I always thought". I think I shocked her. She was expecting a rainbows and butterflies answer on how great it was and how perfect James was. And even though the second thing I told her was "But during the day he's been smiling and when he does go to sleep he sleeps until the morning", I didn't want to make it seem like it was all great because it is hard and nobody really tells you this.

We talked about the focus, while you were pregnant (especially for your first) was really about the birth. BJ and I spent four weeks going to anti natal classes that went through all different aspects of labour, drugs that you could request, creating a birth plan, what happens in a c-section and had a tour of the birth suites and spent only one hour on baby care. For most people the birth is a one day event but has the majority of the focus. While I think a lot more of the classes and support, while pregnant and once your baby arrives, should be about baby care. We really had no idea of what to do with this little person we so desperately wanted.

Unfortunately my friend found out how difficult the newborn phase is. We were speaking again, about a month into her daughter’s life and she was really struggling. Her little girl was crying non stop and nothing seemed to settle her. My friend confessed she also spent a lot of the time crying about the feeling of uselessness that all first time parents feel. Like me, she thought it would come naturally but when posed with a problem (e.g. crying baby or problems breastfeeding) she had no idea. Then she was playing catch up, researching the net, reading books and even hiring a lactation consultant/baby care nurse to help with swaddling and settling her baby.

Another month on she is coping better, coming out of the "newborn fog" and learning more about her beautiful little girl. Like me, she wishes she had focused more on learning about breastfeeding and baby care before, so we could have spent more time enjoying the newborn time instead of researching what we were doing wrong.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parenting is like...

Doing a jigsaw puzzle beside an open window. Just when you're starting to get somewhere, the wind blows your puzzle apart and you have to start from scratch. Only the pieces don't seem to go together like they used to and so you have to think of another way to put the jigsaw together.

Well that's how parenting is like for me at the moment. Just when I think I have Master James worked out, he changes the rules and I have to find plan B or C or Q.

But when you look at this puzzle everyday it's not so bad!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Parenting 101 PAIL Monthly Post

I have always been the type of person who relies on a routine. When I get up in the morning I do the exactly the same thing every day. When I shower I do exactly the same thing every time. So parenting (for me) was going to be always based on mine and the baby's routine. I've never consulted books but tried to use my own gut feeling about what we are doing with James. Sometimes I was tempted to turn to a 'book routine' to help James sleep through the night but thought the pressure of following it would outweigh the benefits. I always thought he would get there on his own time.

Initially it was difficult to work out what James wanted and we started doing the feed, sleep and play routine but I soon realised he wasn't very happy when he woke up and it was because he was hungry. So at around six weeks we changed his routine to feed, play and sleep which has kept James happy. I always fed on a schedule of three hours which again worked for James. I figured the more he feed during the day the less he would want during the night. At around ten weeks he didn't need any more night feeds and by fourteen weeks he was sleeping for around ten hours through the night. I think the more I relaxed I was, the happier we were.

The next challenge we face is naps and feeds during the day as James gets older. He still has three naps, four (sometimes five) milk feeds and two solid feeds a day. I'm not really sure when I should try to cut out one of his naps as he gets older. And I'm assuming once he starts on three solid meals a day that he will eventually drop a milk feed. This is where having a 'book routine' has an advantage since they would guide you into what your baby should need. Where I've again got to go on my gut and try to figure out what he needs.

I think families just need to work out what is best for them. Not one routine or non-routine is going to work for everyone. You are going to be the one that has to live with whatever you put into place. If you are rocking your baby to sleep or letting them cry for a while, you have to live with it so do what works for you. My advice for anyone TTC or pregnant is try to be flexible. You initially might want to try Attachment Parenting or one of the multiple 'book routines' but find in the first few weeks you are stressing out and find it's not working. Don't be afraid to follow your gut and listen to your baby.