Newborn World

I know every parent says it, but time is flying. My little Teddy is already 7 weeks old. Where has the time gone? I certainly wasn’t sleeping that is for damn sure… LOL.

I hear a lot of second time mums say that they can relax more and enjoy their second babies as they were too stressed to enjoy their first babies. I feel the opposite and that time is slipping through my fingers and I don’t have the chance to soak him in. Augie takes up so much of my attention that I don’t get a chance to just sit and cuddle and stare at him as much as I wish I could.

Augie went back to childcare after a couple of months break during carona virus, but promptly caught about 3 different colds and viruses, so he’s been home infecting the rest of us (including poor Teddy). He’s gone back now part time, but it’s been a rough reintroduction. He tells me he waits by the doors at school because he misses mummy. Oh bloody hell, break my heart a little bit more. We’ll keep trying, but if it’s still tough after a few months I will need to re-evaluate. 😥

Teddy is an absolute delight. The sweetest baby in the world. I am so lucky. He just drinks his milk, cuddles and sleeps. He is a dreamboat. I’m so grateful because I couldn’t handle much else right now. I know it’s early days and that’s what newborns do, but I’m still thankful. He’s the sweet brown haired, brown eyed baby I always pictured having. He’s fit into our family so well, I don’t know what we’d do without him.

Life has been particularly crazy here because AJ sold his business right when Teddy was born. Great timing! He’s been working 18 hour days trying to get it ready for handover soon. He’s barely had a chance to hold Teddy and Augie is missing him desperately. It’s been really hard for everyone, hopefully things will get easier soon. We are all a bit sleep deprived and cranky in our house right now.

The big question, how has Augie adjusted to being a big brother? So far, so good. He has taken it in his stride and not been too fussed. He does sometimes ask me to put Teddy on his mat and pick him up instead, but that seems fair enough as he was used to getting 100% of my attention. When Teddy wakes from a sleep he always comes over, strokes his face and says “It’s Teddy! He’s a baby. He’s so soft”. Augie seems to genuinely like him and will sometimes read him books or try to share his food or comfort him if he’s upset. I wouldn’t say he’s obsessed with him or anything though, let’s face it, babies are a bit boring for toddlers. I do anticipate it might get harder as Teddy sleeps less and needs more from me during the day. We’ll see how it goes.

Welcome Baby 🧸

On Saturday 2nd May we welcomed our beautiful little boy into the world. Meet Teddy Juniper Juergens. It was love at first sight. He is the dark haired, dark eyed baby I always thought I would have. 💓

For those that like to know the stats, he was 50 cm (19.6 inches) long and weighed 2.955 kilos (6.6 lbs) at birth.

We are all happy and healthy and the birth went really well. It’s been a great experience. I think being a second time parent is just so much easier as you know what to expect.

Augie has been a wonderful big brother and gives Teddy gentle kisses and cuddles all day. He likes to stroke his face and say “it’s a baby” and “he’s so soft”. He’s not hugely interested though, which is a blessing because he doesn’t get himself too involved and in the way. Teddy sleeps most of the time so it’s really not that exciting for Augie. Me on the other hand, I could stare at that sweet sleeping face 24/7.

We took a while to name him because I was not kidding when I said boy names are hard! Teddy was the only name I liked and Juniper was a name I loved but I wanted a middle name that meant something to us. So in the hospital, after I’d had him, I googled Juniper and found out that the name Jennifer is thought to be derived from Juniper. Jennifer was my mums name so it felt serendipitous because I really wanted a way to name him after her. I named August because my mum was born in August, so it’s lovely I could connect both boys to my mum who sadly they will never meet.

I’ll be back with all the details soon.

If you want more baby spam, feel free to follow my Instagram. The link is on my blog sidebar. 🥰

New Baby Essentials

A soon to be first time mum left a comment asking what I packed in my hospital bag after my last post. I thought it would be easier to post the answer here with some pictures. Let me know if you think that I’ve forgotten anything!

I used the baby bag I had with August, so it’s 3 years old now. It’s from Mimco and they normally have a couple of nice baby bags. It’s a bit expensive, I probably wouldn’t spend that much on myself, but I was lucky enough to get it as a gift. This style of bag works well when you just have one kid and it fits in the pram or car, it’s maybe harder if you are juggling multiple kids. I may change this up in future depending on how I transport the baby (not sure if I’ll have the baby in the pram or on my chest when we are out and about). I have a backpack that I currently use for Augie, but it’s actually difficult having to put him down (and hope he doesn’t run away) to get the bag off my back every time I need my phone or wallet.

So this is what I have packed so far for the hospital…

  • 6 x muslin wraps
  • 1 x Terry towel cloth (cloth nappy for spills and spit ups)
  • 6 x singlets
  • 1 x 00000 onesie (premie size)
  • 6 x 0000 onesies (newborn size)
  • 3 x hats
  • 3 x mittens
  • 3 x socks
  • 2 x newborn dummies (pacifiers)

When Augie was born I was really unprepared. He wasn’t regulating his temperature well and the midwife asked me to put a beanie, mittens and socks on him and I didn’t have any. My sister in law raced home and brought some back to the hospital for me that she had bought because I didn’t even know to buy any!

Another big thing I didn’t know to bring was a dummy (pacifier). I know some people are against this, but I have now learned that some babies just need a dummy. Every midwife and nurse suggested that I give him one as he really needed to suck. He was so much more settled once he had a dummy. Augie is almost 3 now and still uses a dummy for sleep, I have no problem with this, he’ll get rid of it when he is ready.

My hospital supplies all the nappies and wipes so I haven’t packed those. Also, if formula is needed, the hospital will supply that too.

And this is what I have packed for me. I’ll be using a small bag with wheels because I may struggle to lift anything heavy, it’s not certain if AJ can be at the hospital and nursing staff are often not able to assist.

  • Pack of breast pads (for milk leaking)
  • Hydrogel breast discs for sore nipples
  • Lansinoh (for sore cracked nipples)
  • Vaseline lip gloss (for dry lips)
  • 2 x packs of maternity pads

The lansinoh and hydrogel were two things I didn’t know I’d need last time. I can’t remember who suggested them, but AJ bought me some to the hospital and they were a godsend. Even after 24 hours of trying to breast feed my nipples were literally bleeding (sorry to scare anyone).

Not pictured (because I haven’t packed them yet) are button down pyjamas, nursing bras, nursing tops, leggings, slippers, comfy black underwear, toiletries (including dry shampoo) and a phone charger. I didn’t pack normal clothes last time as I thought I’d just wear pyjamas, but then I ended up feeling silly because all the other mums at the hospital were wearing normal clothes.

Snacks!!!! I didn’t actually eat for the 24 hours I was labouring with Augie, but then I was all about the late night sugar hit for the rest of the time that I was in hospital. I’m also optimistically packing a face mask and my kindle. I’ll be at the hospital on my own most of the time (and the baby of course) so maybe I’ll get a chance to relax a little?

Some of the other big things I’ve purchased for this baby are below in case anyone is interested. There are so many options on the market, it’s quite overwhelming, I end up just picking something that seems ok-ish because I don’t have the time to do a lot of research.

We still use white noise for Augie’s room. I just have an app on an old iPhone, but this time I thought I’d try a proper machine so I’ve purchased the Oricom Soothing Sound Machine. My criteria was that it needed a plug (not battery operated because that would get expensive), a night light and also that is would stay on all night (and not switch off after 45 mins). So this fit the bill.

I bought the Vtech video and audio bear monitor and the additional camera so I can have one on each kid. I bought the earlier version of this for Augie 3 years ago and assumed I could buy the additional camera for the new baby, so I did that and tried to set it up and turned out they changed the model and I couldn’t pair the new camera. I’d already thrown out the packaging so I couldn’t return the new camera, so I had to go and buy the new parent monitor and camera. 😩 Obviously most people probably don’t have a monitor on a toddler who is almost 3 and can get out of bed on his own, but I feel much better knowing I can hear him if he needs me.

I also bought the baby a Boori white bassinet. I had a different bassinet for Augie that I bought on the way home from the hospital after having him. I’d thought I’d put him straight into a cot, but after having him, realised I wanted him in a bassinet next to my bed. So I had limited options and the one I bought was a co-sleeper (attaches to the bed with the side down) but I never used it to co-sleep. It was a pain because it didn’t have wheels and I found that I really needed wheels.

While I’m talking about purchases, I bought AJ a little “dad present”. I bought these matching pyjamas from Peter Alexander for AJ, Augie and the baby. The joke is that AJ finds the term “papa bear” embarrassing so he’ll find these funny. Plus they are super cute!

I also got him his favourite biscuits (those hazelnut ones are so amazing) and a Peppa Pig book called “I Love You Daddy Pig”. Once again, the book is a bit of a joke because Augie loves Peppa Pig and we can’t stand that show. It really is the worst show for kids and we are trying to get him to watch Bluey instead but he just loves it. 😑

So I’m feeling somewhat organised, but a heap of my online shopping hasn’t arrived yet and I really want it to get here this week so I can be all set up before baby comes.

38 Weeks

I’m now officially full term and baby could arrive at any time. I really wasn’t organised at all, but since the Easter long weekend I’ve gone crazy getting everything set up and washed and ready. Over the past two weeks I’ve done an extraordinary amount of online shopping because I obviously can’t go to the shops. I’ve had to buy every small thing online: bibs, dummies, nappy bags, nappy cream, maternity pads, nipple cream, clothes for the baby, sound machine for white noise, presents for Augie, bassinet sheets etc etc etc. The amount of money I’ve spent on postage is extreme. Let’s hope it gets here on time now because I know there are a lot of delays with the mail right now. It’s not looking good though.

I’m lucky that literally two days before isolation started I went to Baby Bunting and bought a bassinet, car seat and a baby monitor. I had a bassinet from Augie, but I didn’t like it and wanted one with wheels this time. I am re-using most things from Augie for this baby, but I’m a little sad I can’t go to the shops and browse for some special new things for this baby. Hopefully we can soon.

I’ve been seeing my Obstetrician weekly now and it’s all going smoothly. Baby is measuring perfectly well, which is a relief for a gestational diabetes baby. He did say today to be careful to stay vigilant in these final weeks/days with my sugars to lower the risk of baby needing the special care nursery after birth. He must have sensed I was ready to drop the ball a little. ☺️ I’ve noticed my sugars are getting harder and harder to keep down (I was told this would happen), which means I’m needing to really cut carbs to ensure I don’t go over the limit they have set me for my blood sugar readings. I don’t feel like eating vegetables at all and cannot be fucked cooking them either. But, it’s only a couple more weeks.

I have found out that they are strongly discouraging partners from leaving the hospital and then returning. So basically if AJ leaves to go home, they’d prefer he doesn’t come back. This is to limit the possibility of him bringing in carona virus germs and putting their staff and patients at risk. So we’ve decided that AJ will come for the birth (with my dad and step mum watching August) and then he’ll go home and stay home until he picks me and the baby up. It’s not an ideal situation but we think it’s more important that Augie has him around as he’ll definitely be a bit distressed if we both disappear for days. Plus Augie is a handful and will be a lot for my dad and step mum to manage to be honest. They live far away and really don’t see him enough to know anything about his routines or how to put him to bed or deal with his constant whining LOL. 😩

This means that I better actually pack my hospital bag properly because I won’t be able to ask anyone to bring me anything. Shit! I better pack enough chocolate.

I’m actually quite ready to have this baby. I’ve found the last few weeks of pregnancy very uncomfortable. It’s been hard to say the least to keep up with a toddler 24/7 with minimal breaks. Especially a toddler who still doesn’t want to sleep. I still sit up with him for hours every night and wonder how in the world I’ll cope with this while I have a newborn. I guess we will find our way as we don’t have any other choice.

AJ joked that he’ll feel the impact of the baby most of all because I quite literally couldn’t do anymore as I’m on the go about 20 hours out of every day so he’ll be the one doing the extra work. Hopefully! This is just because AJ’s work is very busy and he really hasn’t been able to do much to help, as much as I know he’d like to. My dad has been asking to come down and help, but obviously with carona virus and a baby on the way we are all taking isolation seriously.

I think AJ is feeling a bit down about the impending change in our lives with the arrival of this baby. I understand how he feels too. Having a baby is hard work and it feels like life will be put on pause for the next couple of years. Plus I know that I dive head first into being a mum and haven’t managed to be the chilled out or balanced mum I thought I’d be, so he probably feels like he’ll lose me again as well. And he’s right. Hopefully this time I’ll be more relaxed? I don’t want to lose myself either.

One thing I’m looking forward to is wearing jeans again after this baby is born (well hopefully anyway). I’ve had the worst maternity wardrobe as it just didn’t seem worthwhile spending money on, especially once isolation hit.

I don’t love harping one about weight as I’ve done a lot of work to remove this as a focus in my life, but I have occasionally been weighing myself this pregnancy just out of curiosity. I started this pregnancy higher in weight than I usually am. I actually haven’t weighed myself in years, but I could feel it. Then I gained a heap of weight at the start of pregnancy because I could only stomach bread and potatoes for months. After Christmas I started feeling better and was able to eat much healthier and then in February I got my gestational diabetes diagnosis and this really pushed me to eat super well.

  • 6 weeks: 86.6 kilos (190.5 lbs)
  • 26 weeks: 96 kilos (211.2 lbs)
  • 38 weeks: 96.2 kilos (211.6 lbs)

Yep, that shows no gain in the last 12 weeks, but that’s not unusual with gestational diabetes when you are already overweight. So I’m sitting at about a 10 kilo gain (so far) this pregnancy, which is what my Obstetrician suggested would be healthy for me. I’m really pleased I was able to adhere to this as I didn’t want to gain a stack of weight and risk complications in pregnancy or birth. Especially at my age!

I looked back on my blog from my pregnancy with August and see that I gained 13.3 kilos (29.2 lbs) with him and finished pregnancy at 93.3 kilos (205.2 lbs). So it’s been pretty similar, which is funny because I feel sooo much bigger this time!

36 Weeks Pregnant

This was taken a couple of weeks ago now, about 34 weeks pregnant I guess.

What a strange world to be 36 weeks pregnant in right now.

I’m not going to lie or pretend to be positive because honestly, I’ve found it incredibly difficult. We’ve been quarantining for 4 weeks now and it’s super hard to entertain a 2.5 year old all day at home when I’m exhausted and in pain. I do ok until lunch time and then the pain sets in and it’s hard to be bending, crouching, playing with and lifting a toddler. At lunch time I put the TV on so I can do my work and catch up on household things and then the afternoons drag… By then Augie really needs a big outdoor play, but I just don’t have it in me. I try to take him for a walk, but inevitably he asks to be carried (and his bloody bike and helmet too) and it’s just too hard for me. AJ’s work is busier than ever so unfortunately he can’t help anymore than he already does. We are considering buying a trampoline, but our yard is super skinny so we’d need to get a small crappy one that wouldn’t even have a weight limit for me or AJ to get in with him. Plus we are looking at moving house in the near future so the timing of getting a big piece like that would be annoying to have to move.

I’ve been so frustrated at the situation because I thought I’d done everything to make this transition easy, I’d settled August in childcare and hired a cleaner to come fortnightly. My dad has just retired and was going to help out with Augie before and after the baby arrives. I had grand plans to shop for the new baby and set everything up and even try and go see a movie and get a pedicure and rest up a bit. The best laid plans…

Of course the process around having a baby has also been stressful. My hospital will only allow one visitor while I’m in there, which will be AJ (kids are not allowed), so I won’t be able to see Augie for my entire stay in hospital (which is meant to be four nights). I’ve only ever had one night away from Augie and this will be super hard on us both. I actually can’t even think about it because I find it too upsetting. I’m hoping for an easy birth so that I can get home ASAP.

A run in with the door. Thank god for icy poles!

At this stage, my dad and stepmum will be coming down to look after Augie while I’m having the baby. That could change if they or we get sick or if I’m not sure they’ve quarantined properly. I spoke to them a few days ago about it and they said they’ve quarantined, but then during the conversation mentioned two different people they’d visited. 🤦🏻‍♀️ They are from a regional area and probably don’t feel the severity of the situation. So AJ and I are fully prepared to do this on our own if we need to and I’ll give birth by myself and AJ won’t be able to see the baby until we leave the hospital. This is sad, but safety is the priority.

While everyone says the virus isn’t particularly bad for babies or pregnant women, any virus is bloody hard for babies and pregnant women so it would be a nightmare if we got sick. Not to mention if anyone in our family got sick, we’d need to quarantine from each other, which is not ideal to keep a father away from his new baby or toddler away from his mum for weeks.

Before quarantine times

A small silver lining to this situation has been toilet training Augie. I’d been slack with it because we normally go out so much during the day that it seemed like hard work to be near toilets all the time. I knew he was ready before Christmas, but then we had a big road trip over two weeks which would have been messy to say the least. Then he started daycare and I didn’t want to add to his stress because I felt he’d be too shy to ask the teachers for help to use the toilet. So now we have all the time in the world! He understood the potty right away and has had no trouble (we kept him mostly naked to start with). Once I started dressing him, he had a few days of forgetting he didn’t have a nappy on, but then he got used to it. He still wears a nappy to bed, but will often wake and ask me to take him to the potty (which is super annoying to be honest!). The one thing we haven’t done much of is use the actual toilet, he doesn’t love that so far, so I need to get him used to using the big toilet next.

Throughout all this, Augie has been amazing. Aren’t kids funny how much they surprise you with their resilience! He definitely gets bored and frustrated and I can see that in his behaviour (and he will tell me “mummy I’m so frustrated”), but nothing that I think is unreasonable. This age has probably been my favourite so far because I can see his personality come out in his language. We can have proper conversations and he’s saying hilarious things that I have no idea where he could have even learned this stuff from (probably TV lol). He loves to make up songs about whatever he is doing and also being cheeky and playing games where he tells you the wrong answers and laughs at himself hysterically. He talks to himself all the time: “Do you hear that noise? Yes! That’s an aeroplane”. His ability to play properly now is so much more developed and we can play in-depth games of doctors or shops and build proper things with blocks. It’s definitely a fun age. Not without it’s challenges of course, he says “I don’t want to” about 200 times a day. He loves to throw his toys around the room for fun and he’s still waking every single night for between 1-3 hours. I’m so tired. 😴

Easter! 🐰

Up until recently, the baby in my tummy has given me no trouble. But over the past couple of weeks the aches and pains have settled in. I keep thinking it might come early because I feel so big and it hurts so much, but of course it’s all normal. I’ve been managing my gestational diabetes fine, I’m quite used to it now. I still test my blood sugars four times a day and my endocrinologist has been really happy with my results. She did question if I’m eating enough and I honestly said that I’m probably not sometimes, but it’s too hard because after each meal I can’t eat for two hours until I test my blood sugars and then I just often don’t have the time to make more food. Like right now, I had lunch an hour ago, I’m a bit peckish, but can’t eat for another hour and then I’ll probably be in the middle of something and it’s hard to prepare a gestational diabetes friendly snack on the go. Almonds are my usual choice, but I’m so bored of almonds.

My obstetrician measures the baby every week at my appointments and so far it’s measuring about 30th percentile, which is great for a gestational diabetes baby. They’d warned me I may need to be induced two weeks early if baby grew too big, so I’m really happy that won’t have to happen. Augie weighed 3.1 kilos at birth and they predict this baby will be about the same.

Rise and shine daddy!

Our biggest issue is what to name this baby. We have a girls name we have loved since I was pregnant with August, but absolutely no boys names. If this baby is a boy it will seriously be nameless. We like unique names, but not too wacky. We like the more soft feminine names, rather than a strong traditional boys name. Anything nice is a little too popular for my liking. Suggestions??? I’ve asked Augie and he says we can call it “baby girl” because he wants a girl. You and me both buddy!

Ok, enough complaining. Augie wants to go jump in muddy puddles, his favourite activity right now. 🥰

31 Weeks Pregnant

A bump photo taken at about 28 weeks I think

I’m sitting here at a complete loss because AJ has taken August to the shops to give me a break and I literally don’t know what to do with myself. I’m slightly panicked trying to frantically think of things I need to do and also trying to enjoy down time because I do need a break. There is so much I need to do to prepare for the new baby and I have literally done nothing and bought nothing. The only thing we’ve bought was a new car because our little hatchback couldn’t fit two car seats and prams etc.

Here is our new car: Mazda CX-5

I probably don’t need to buy a heap of things because we can re-use a lot of the stuff we had for Augie, but we do need a new car seat and I am strongly thinking about a double pram and also a capsule. I think AJ thinks they will be a waste of money, but I’m going to feel trapped without a double pram because I just can’t trust Augie not to do a runner near roads and shops if I need to do anything. But of course then he’ll whinge to get out of the pram (or refuse to even get in). I also want a capsule to transfer baby from car and pram without having to wake it. I didn’t need this with Augie because I just didn’t leave the house if he was asleep. I’m not going to have that luxury now and if the baby falls asleep on the way to playgroup or daycare or whatever we are doing, I don’t want to have to wake it to transfer it. Hmmm, these are big expenses and I feel guilty for wasting money as a lot of people do without these things.

The only thing I have for the new baby: a onesie from my sister in law for Christmas

The biggest thing going on for me over the past few weeks is that I got the dreaded diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Fark. I really, really, really didn’t want GD. As someone who is 39 years old and overweight (obese even!), I took it as a real blow to my little old ego as these are big risk factors. I was pretty embarrassed. What business do I have trying to have a baby? Then when I learned more about it, I just felt really sad for my baby. I was quite upset to put it at any risk during birth and it’s life going forward. I feel like I haven’t given baby the best start to life.

So what does this all mean? I’m no expert, but here is what I understand so far. Basically it makes it likely that baby will grow larger (or fat as one blunt medical professional said to me) due to the extra sugars it’s receiving and they said they may need to induce me 1-2 weeks early. Then when baby is born they need to test it’s blood sugars and possibly spend time in special care to be monitored. I had a growth scan a couple of weeks ago and baby is measuring bang on the 50th per centile, which is perfect so far. I also saw a diabetes educator who gave me a lot of information on managing diabetes and a kit to test my blood sugars four times a day.

I actually almost had a panic attack when I found out I had to do the finger prick blood test four times a day. I have a weird fear of those tests. I can handle any needle, but finger prick tests scare the shit out of me and I feel like I’m going to pass out when I have them. The good news is, it really hasn’t been as bad as I expected. It’s no fun and trying to remember and do the tests when I’m out and about with Augie is challenging, but it’s not the end of the world.

I had to record my results for a week and keep a food diary and then go and see an endocrinologist to discuss my results. She was happy with the food I was eating and my blood test results so far. She did warn me that it is likely my results will get worse, despite keeping to the best diet, and I may need to go on insulin. I’ll send her my results every week and she said if I even get a few high results she wants me on insulin to ensure baby doesn’t get too big. I actually had two high results on the day I saw her because I had the worst morning with Augie and the stress apparently spiked my results, but she believed me that this was unusual and understands that toddlers can do that to you!

One thing about GD that has been an issue for me is that it’s quite triggering if you have a history of disordered eating. I was already eating well before this diagnosis, but as soon as I HAVE to eat super carefully, all I can think of is pizza and ice cream. It’s meant that I have started obsessing over foods and being frustrated that I can’t eat when I want to eat (I can’t eat for two hours after a main meal until I test my blood sugars). It’s only another nine weeks now until baby will be here, but the thought of having to eat like this for another nine weeks is a little depressing. Whoa is me.

OK, if you’re up for more whinging… I have had a tough couple of weeks with August. I thought I had a defiant toddler on my hands before, but the last two weeks have been next level. He flat out refuses to go anywhere (even places he loves like the park, playgroup etc) and if I manage to wrestle him in the car, he won’t get out and screams to go home. I can’t get him dressed. This week I stooped to a new low and bribed him with smarties to get him dressed because I had to go out. No matter what I ask him he says “No I don’t want to do that”. He even sings an annoying song “no, no, no I don’t want to go to the park”. Then to top it off, AJ had to go to Sydney for work for four days this week. My lord, it was a tough week. I actually ended up raising my voice at Augie just to see if that would help. It didn’t.

I can see from looking at Facebook groups with kids the same age that this is an issue for lots of people and there is a developmental milestone happening right now. I have noticed he has had a mental growth spurt lately so I think this is all impacting. He talks so much now and sings songs all day long. He just seems more switched on, he tells me in the car if I have gone the wrong way (because I go a different way than normal) “you missed the turn mummy”, he reminds me to pack my blood test needles before we leave the house, he loves to pretend to give me the wrong answers to questions and thinks it’s hilarious. The other day we were sitting and playing and he suddenly looks up and says “I’ve got an idea! Let’s get some chocolate”. This morning AJ was talking loudly and he said “don’t yell daddy!”. He basically just runs our little house.

The good news is that we have had finally had a few good nights of sleep. After three full months of being awake between 2-4 hours a night, he has slept through a couple of times now. Sometimes he wakes, but it hasn’t been as difficult and he just wants a cuddle or milk and will go back to sleep instead of running around the house demanding food, books and TV at 3.00 am. It’s only been about five good nights so far, so I am not getting ahead of myself, but it has been so fantastic. I had been sleeping in his bed with him since he moved to a big bed and I decided I needed to break that habit before the baby comes as I obviously won’t be able to do that ongoing. Plus, that kids mattress is just not supportive for a woman who is 31 weeks pregnant! He has coped really well and just calls out for me sometimes, he says “where is mummy?” and I give him a cuddle and he’s fine again. I wish he’d come into our bed when he wakes and have a cuddle, but he seems scared. No matter what I do, I can’t coax him out of his bed, even when it’s morning, he waits for me. We did recently move him into a new bedroom, so maybe that is a bit scary for him.

Falling out of his big bed!

Daycare is also going really well. I am incredibly proud of how he has handled this transition. I’ve spoken to lots of parents and their little ones who are much more confident and outgoing than Augie say that their kids had a much harder time adjusting and many continue to struggle months and months on. My dad told me that Augie reminds him of me in that sense, as both my brothers were very confident (show offs!) and always begged to go to kinder or school and then when they got there they would come apart and want to go home, whereas I was very quiet and just went and did what I had to do without getting upset. I hope this continues as I know there are lots of ups and downs, I just want him to be happy there. In fact, a few times when I’ve picked him up lately he has told me to go back to work and he doesn’t want to go home. I couldn’t be happier with that response!

Sports morning at daycare (they send me photos every time he attends)

And finally, AJ and I had a little night out a couple of weeks ago to see Elton John. I bought the tickets before I was pregnant, so it was a little strange to not be able to have a few wines, but still a lovely night out. Unfortunately Augie was struck with a pretty bad virus and it was touch and go if we could leave him with my dad and step mum, but he was fine. We got home at 2.00 am and as I walked in the door, he had just woken up and then I was up with him till 4.30 am. Sick babies are just so heartbreaking. I’m glad he’s feeling better now.

Getting no sleep with a sick baby 😴
Date night
My beautiful baby 💗

Ranting & Raving

Another day, another daycare drop off… I’ve been taking Augie 2-3 times a week for a couple of hours for a few weeks now. It’s still really, really, really hard. He cries at drop off and says “mummy come too” and “mummy give me cuddles”. We talk a lot at home about going to school and he says: “Augie go to school and mummy do work and Augie be sad”. Ahhhh literally heartbroken. 💔

Despite that, he actually does seem to have fun. He’s happy to get ready and go to school, happy to walk in the door and find his room. He’s only sad that I can’t stay with him. I tell him a story every night about an “Augie adventure” normally he asks me to tell him about going to the zoo or museum or Nanoo and Poppy’s, but last night he asked me to tell him about school, so that seemed like a good sign.

It’s been a bumpier start too because he had to change rooms last week as apparently they had combined two age groups during the quiet summer holiday period. Then his room leader, that he was slowly forming an attachment to, tragically had a stroke last week (she’s healthy and in her early twenties). I believe she is going to be ok, but will be off work for a long time while she rehabilitates. So he’s got two new room teachers now too. So I think he’s doing an amazing job to adjust so well. I just had no idea how sickening this mum guilt could be. It is the worst. 😭

On another note, I have a big rant coming up. A comment was made to AJ by a close family member of his when he told them we were having another baby and I can’t stop stewing on it. I wasn’t there when it was said so I wasn’t able to respond and AJ was too stunned to say anything at the time. The comment was “does this mean if you have a girl you’ll stop dressing Augie like a girl”. Hmmmmm. 😤

I have soooo much to say about this comment. Firstly, we don’t dress August like a girl, we dress him in clothes that we both like and that he likes. We don’t believe that because he is a boy that he can’t enjoy pink, florals, rainbows, unicorns, frills and pastels. In fact, we strongly believe that allowing him to be in touch with things that are considered “feminine” will serve him well in his future to be a well rounded human who is in touch with his emotions.

I don’t want to be dramatic, but I am aware of the terribly high numbers of male suicide and also the culture we have of toxic masculinity. I want to raise my son to be a happy, resilient, respectful and kind human and I feel it starts here.

It’s not just clothes, we encourage him to enjoy everything the world has to offer and not just the 50% of things that are socially acceptable for a boy to do. I’ve been shocked by comments from my ‘mum friends’ when they say their husbands wouldn’t allow their sons to have dolls or even a toy kitchen. I honestly lived in a bubble and didn’t know people still felt that way.

I guess I’m extra mad because I’ve seen the looks and heard the little comments from many people about how August is dressed and the fact he has long hair. Unfortunately, I was open in my last pregnancy when people asked if I wanted a boy or girl and told people I wanted a girl. I now know that I shouldn’t have been so honest because people use this against you. It hurts my heart that anyone would think I’m disappointed in August’s gender at all and that I would try and change him. In fact, it’s the opposite, I just want him to have the world.

Case in point: playing dress ups with his friends at playgroup and was thrilled to find a skirt to twirl in. Why would anyone deny such joy? 🥰

26 Weeks Pregnant

I’m now 26 weeks pregnant and baby will apparently be measuring about 36 cm. I guess that’s why I feel so full and tight! Because I don’t look pregnant, I’m often surprised that I feel so pregnant.

I’m currently having monthly obstetrician appointments. They are a bit of a pain to be honest because I often have to wait a fair while with Augie, which is hard work, especially since he discovered the water filter machine there. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Then when I get in there I have no questions or problems to report, so it feels like a waste of time. We exchange pleasantries and they do a quick scan of bub to make sure all is ok (and Augie tries to push all the buttons on the machine). I guess I should be grateful to have such good care and no issues with the pregnancy, but keeping a toddler occupied for a couple of hours is hard work!

I did ask my obstetrician if the baby’s gender was noted on my file, just in case we decide to find out. She had a look on her computer and said, yep, it’s there and they can write it on a piece of paper for me to take home if I want. I declined for now. Then she did the scan and made a big deal about avoiding the genitals so I didn’t accidentally find out. The machine in their rooms is not that clear and I honestly can’t tell what is a head and what is a foot most of the time. So I said, don’t stress, I can’t see anything anyway (plus I’m mostly watching Augie try to get into mischief while I’m stuck on the table and can’t stop him). Then she says something like, well there is a certain thing you can’t miss on the screen! They way she said it, it very much sounded like she was speaking about a penis. Surely she wouldn’t have been so obvious if that is what she meant? She had just done a night shift and was still in her scrubs and exhausted from delivering bubs all night so maybe she didn’t mean to say that? Maybe I misinterpreted it? I walked away feeling very much like she just told me it was a boy. Ahhhh now I kind of want to find out just to know for sure.

I also met with the midwife for the first time and she gave me a tour of the hospital. It’s a different hospital to where I had Augie because we since moved 90 minutes away. It’s really nice, new and a bit hotel-like so that is great. I can stay 4 nights if I have a vaginal delivery and 5 nights if I have a c-section. I’m hoping to be home earlier than that because I feel like I’ll miss August too much. 😥

Speaking of missing August, I’m currently sitting in the parents room of a childcare centre. I bit the bullet and decided to put Augie in childcare for 2-3 mornings a week. It seemed like the right time for both of us because he’s getting more independent and social and needs more than me to keep him stimulated. Plus, once the baby comes, the poor kid is going to be left to his own devices while I’m feeding and getting new bub to sleep and I think he’ll go insane with boredom. This will give him an outlet… if it works out of course.

I’m still VERY nervous about leaving him. This is our fourth orientation session, the first and third went great, but the second one went quite badly. I just left him now and he said “mummy come too” and followed me to the door. 💔 I hid behind the door for a minute and one of the educators gave me a thumbs up to indicate he was fine.

My heart can barely cope with the thought of him being scared or sad. To be honest, I’ve noticed a few of the kids are not settled and quite sad all of the time, but no one seems that worried about it, they seem to think that’s normal??? It doesn’t seem ok to me. I don’t know if the parents know and just don’t have any other options. It makes me feel sick to think about.

I’ve never ever left August to cry and always pick him up whenever he asks, give constant cuddles and kisses and never ignore his needs. I try to practice “gentle parenting”, so I always speak respectfully, explain why I’ve asked him to stop doing something, take onboard his concerns even if it seems irrational or like a toddler tantrum. The childcare centre I have chosen have a gentle philosophy, but of course they can not be as hands on and attentive as I am to him one-on-one. This is just so hard.

I hope it works out though because I’ve reached a point that I need a break for my own mental health. Parenting 24/7 is relentless and harder than I thought it would be. Throw in a toddler that won’t sleep and is in a very defiant and challenging phase and being pregnant and working from home and I’m at the end of my rope. I can admit that I am burned out and I need a break before this baby arrives.

Trying to get a sleep in, but Augie decided he would interrupt

Case in point for my cheeky monkey, we had a little trip to the emergency room because he put a pea in his nose. WTAF?! I never thought he’d be the kind of kid who does that stuff. I called the emergency room and they said I had to bring him in that night, so away we went, unfortunately it was a public holiday and they were very busy and it was way past his bedtime. Eventually we got seen by a triage nurse who said he’d basically get it out with a special pair of tweezers, but he’d need help from other medical staff to hold him down and it could be hours before anyone was available. Luckily he let us go home and said we could come back in the morning when it would be quiet. When we got home August fell into a deep sleep and AJ and I spent 45 minutes with a torch and some tweezers trying to get it out. We finally got it out and I was so relieved to not have to take him back to the hospital and be traumatised by being held down by strangers to get it out. I felt like I’d performed brain surgery after the stress of that whole event!

In very exciting news for me, August finally started saying “I love you”. The cheeky little monkey has refused to say it, even though he’s been capable for over a year. He’d repeat everything I say, but wouldn’t say that. Now suddenly he’s started saying it and it’s even better than I thought. He said it to AJ first, because he’s the favourite parent, then a few days ago I was in the pool with him and he was so happy and turned to me and said “I love you mum”. ❤️

I’m fully dressed because it was an unplanned trip to the pool… as in Augie decided to just jump in when we were at a nearby playground.

A 2.5 Year Old & a 24 Week Old

So I’m 24 weeks pregnant and I must say that I’ve had a rough week. Augie has been having major sleep issues since the end of November and it’s killing me. He wakes up around 1.00 am and won’t go back to sleep until between 3.00 – 5.00 am. He’s perfectly happy, he just wants to cuddle and play. I’m grateful that he’s not upset, but the sleep deprivation is very hard right now. It’s not every night, but it’s probably around 4-5 nights out of 7. I just keep repeating to myself, it is just a phase. 🥺

Speaking of phases (well I hope it’s a phase) ever since we got back from 2 weeks away over Christmas, Augie has been a handful. He was so great while we were away and driving thousands of kms and sleeping on couches of family, so when we got back I expected a bit of an outburst, but it’s been over 2 weeks of mischievous behaviour now. He is just into everything! He gets in the bathroom cupboards and squeezes out all our creams, he pulls everything out of every cupboard and bangs shit on the walls and he throws food on the floor. I took him to the library and he escaped through the fire escape door, pushed books off the shelves, tried to use all the computers and kept spinning all the DVD racks. If I ask him to stop doing something (like jumping on plants), he laughs and does it over and over and thinks it’s hilarious. It’s testing my patience big time (especially while sleep deprived) and making me question why I’m about to have another child. 😳

When he’s like this (not sleeping and being cheeky) it normally means he’s in a developmental stage. I can already see changes in the way he plays and thinks that are all new. He uses his imagination now in play, the other day he put balls on the floor in a circle and pretended it was a fan and turned the fan on and off. He’s building actual things with blocks, instead of just building towers and knocking them down and he’s suddenly loving playing with other kids. He approaches kids in the playground and tries to join in with them or follows them around. It’s been such a shock to see the way he’s craving interaction with kids and he asks every day if it’s dance or playgroup, but unfortunately it’s still school holidays here and almost every program is on break. He seems to particularly like to follow around older girls. My friend has a 4 year old daughter and he adores her and she manages to tolerate him getting in her way. Yesterday at the park some older teenage girls were laying on the ground sunning their tummies so he lay next to them and pulled up his top too.

Oh and I finally told him about the baby and I had no faith he’d understand it at all and this is what he said:

“Augie have a friend?” And then a moment later, “Augie give baby cuddles”.

Then a few days later we were at my friend’s house for a play date and she is also pregnant so I told him that Amanda was also having a baby and he says “Augie have another friend”. 💗

Now there has been some confusion this week because he saw the Easter eggs at the supermarket and I told him about Easter Bunny. Now he’s obsessed. Every day he says:

“Easter bunny bring the eggs,

First we find them,

Mummy help find them and daddy help find them,

Then we open them,

Then we eat them,

Mummy get an egg, daddy get an egg, Augie get an egg, baby get an egg,

We have to wait, long time away”

But he’s confused the baby and Easter bunny slightly and now when I mention the baby he says “baby come out and bring an egg”. So I’m thinking this baby might need to bring August a kinder surprise egg. ☺️

My pregnancy continues to be uneventful, which is fantastic, it’s the best way for it to be! I have an appointment with my obstetrician tomorrow and I plan to ask if there is anything I can take to help with energy levels. I’m guessing there isn’t much I can do to help, it’s just life being pregnant with a busy toddler who isn’t sleeping. 😩

I’m finding that being pregnant makes me miss my mum so much more again. I felt like this last time and it’s even worse this time because I wish mum was here to help with August while I’m so tired. I know it’s not the case for every woman, but there is just no one like your mum who can sweep in and know just how to support you (and perhaps annoy you 🤪).

I have two brothers and my dad, one brother is estranged from our family and the other brother lives 10 hours away. My dad lives 4 hours away, but he’s really busy with work and looking after his property in the country. We all get along well and share photos and messages about the kids, but it’s not the same as a phone call or visit from your mum. I don’t want to be sexist, but men are often not great communicators or strongly focussed on family connection. If I didn’t go visit then, I would barely see them. Anyway, this is not to attack them, just to say I miss my mum.

This is why I really wanted a daughter. It’s nothing to do with the first 18 years of the child’s life, it’s more about wanting to maintain a strong connection when they grow up and leave home. I want that classic, “my mum/daughter is my best friend” type relationship. It’s not to say you can’t have that with boys, and I will certainly try (I tell Augie all the time that he’s my best friend), but it can be a bit harder.

Anyway, we don’t know the gender of this baby yet and we probably won’t find out. I can’t deny that I really would like a little girl, but I wouldn’t have tried to have another baby if I wasn’t going to be happy with another boy too. If he’s anything like Augie, I’d be a happy mum.

Pregnancy So Far: 23 Weeks

So I wanted to give a quick recap of my pregnancy so far. As of today, I am 23 weeks pregnant and I feel every week/day/minute of it! But first, back to the start of this whole thing.

We started trying for baby number two pretty much as soon as August was born in July 2017. I was already 37 years old and didn’t want to leave it too long. As scary as it would have been to get pregnant so soon after August was born, I was open to the idea and we were technically trying. Given that August was born with the assistance of fertility drugs and took about 2.5 years, I assumed it would take a while, which is why I wanted to get moving.

Unbelievably, we fell pregnant naturally in 2018, but lost the baby at 10 weeks at the end of November. It was then I decided to finally consult a local fertility specialist and we went through all the tests etc again. Things looked positive for us, my only issue being that I don’t naturally ovulate, which can be fixed with fertility meds. Last time I was put on clomid and that worked in about 6 months. This time the new doctor put me on femara and said he was positive it would work in 3 months (he had me on a high dose)!

This actually freaked me out and I realised I needed to take some time out to physically recover from my recent pregnancy and miscarriage and my body wasn’t ready to be pregnant right away again. Maybe my mind wasn’t ready either.

By the middle of 2019 I was feeling ready to give it another try. And what do you know, that doctor was right and on my second round of using femara I was pregnant again. Holy shit!

I knew I was pregnant before I even took the test from the crippling insomnia I had again. I was literally awake from about 2 or 3 in the morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Perfect for laying awake and panicking about managing a new baby and a toddler!

The morning sickness hit at about 6 weeks and lasted till 18 weeks. It was the worst. I didn’t actually throw up, I just felt nauseous 24/7. I had to eat carbs every couple of hours to help the nausea. I was making crumpets and sandwiches at 2 am, drinking so much sugary soft drink and juice and living off potatoes in its various forms (scallop potatoes being my favourite).

Morning sickness, with a cold and a baby with a virus. A hell week!

As you can imagine I’ve gained a lot of weight from eating that way and I really feel like shit about it. I feel terrible in my body and I feel terrible for not doing better by this baby inside me. I was so careful during my pregnancy with August and I really dropped the ball this time. I’m doing better now and I hope it makes a difference for me and bub!

This pregnancy has felt way harder than my last pregnancy, but maybe that’s because I have a toddler now and I’ve also just turned 39 years old. I think my job probably distracted me from how I felt in my last pregnancy, but the days at home are long with a toddler and much more physically challenging.

I’ve also noticed that my hair, skin and nails are all terrible and with Augie they were strong and healthy. But this may be from my terrible diet and lack of sleep.

Case in point: tired and feeling like shit

In terms of cravings, this pregnancy has felt incredibly similar to my pregnancy with Augie. The same food aversions (eggs, mints, coffee, diet soft drinks, veggies), the same cravings (crumpets, mandarins, green apples, sugar, potatoes). Does this mean it’s another boy???

I didn’t tell August I was pregnant because I didn’t want him saying anything to anyone and because I knew he wouldn’t really understand it. He did become great at mimicking me dry retching and he knows that mum has a sore tummy. We’d go to the park and he’d say “mum no swing, mum sore tummy”. The funniest thing was how quickly he picked up on my bladder issues. Whenever we go anywhere he says “first mummy toilet”.

And here I am, 23 weeks pregnant. The nausea is pretty much gone, but food aversions remain. The heartburn has replaced the nausea, but I can live with that. My exhaustion is next level, but August has been sleeping very badly and I’m completely wiped out. I am so grateful that he goes to bed at 6.30 pm now and I get a precious few hours to myself to relax (until he wakes between 1-4 am to play 🤪). It means the world to me!

But really, the most important thing to say is that I’ve had no issues with this pregnancy and bubs is healthy and thriving. I feel very lucky and I intend to make every effort to look after myself and make sure this bub has a great start to life.

Not impressed with my mocktail