3 Weeks Old

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This week I had to pack up the premie outfits that August was wearing as he has grown too big for them. Sob! He was so small when he was born that AJ and my dad had to run out and buy some premie outfits for him because the newborn clothes were too big. It was seriously heartbreaking to pack up the little outfits that are too small for him now. I didn’t realise how much I would love an itty bitty newborn baby. I thought newborns would be a bit boring, but they are quite intoxicating. I am excited to watch him grow up, but I can’t bear it at the same time. Oh god, this part of parenting is so hard.

AJ had to go back to work this week. He only had two weeks off and the first week we were in the hospital, so it felt like it went by so quickly. Unfortunately he started a new job earlier this year so it wasn’t good timing for him to take off any extra time. If I was ever to do this again, I would definitely want him to take more time off, you really need an extra pair of hands at home for a month if possible. Plus it is killing him that he is missing out on so much while he is at work.

Speaking of doing this again, I have to admit that I finally understand why people have more than one baby. I surprised myself by thinking that I could handle having another one of these cute little bubs… I always thought people that had more than one baby were crazy because it would just be too much work. But, I could see maybe see myself wanting to do this again one day. That is a very big maybe (or maybe I am just sleep deprived and not thinking clearly).

Age: 3 Weeks

Feeding: I saw the child and maternal health nurse again this week and we weighed bubs and he is measuring below the 10th percentile for weight. He is only weighing 3.17 kilos, which is less than the nurse had hoped. I was pretty devastated because we had been working so hard on his feeding. Some days he will be feeding from me from 5.00 pm until 2.00 am pretty much non-stop. He will fall asleep for 20 or 30 minutes occasionally, but wake up and start sucking again. In between we give him formula because it seems clear that breast milk is not satisfying him.Β I’d probably look to switch to formula exclusively so that I could be sure he was getting enough food, but he tends to vomit a lot after formula, so that won’t help either.

It is a pretty exhausting feeding schedule and I’m sad that it obviously isn’t working and worried that the poor boy is hungry. I honestly don’t know what else I can do except keep trying.

Sleeping routine: Not much has changed this week, he still doesn’t have any sort of sleep routine. I am trying to put together a good night time routine for him, but he just doesn’t want to sleep at night yet. I hear about babies that sleep for 3 or 4 hours at night and it just sounds like a dream. He will sleep for a maximum of about 45 minutes at night and that is while he is feeding from me, so it’s hard for me to get any sleep. At the moment I actually feel a bit apprehensive as the evening arrives because I am dreading the night time craziness. I just have to remember that this won’t be forever!

Firsts:

 

  • Leaving him- AJ worked from home one day and so I took the opportunity to go and get my nails done. I ended up being gone for a few hours and they didn’t even miss me!
  • Taking him out on my own- after another sleepless night I decided to try a product called Infants Friend that I had heard was good, so I nervously put bubs in the pram and walked two blocks to the pharmacy. I was honestly more scared than the first time I drove a car! Side note- Infants Friend is not working! 😦
  • Funeral- sadly bubs had to attend a funeral this week. My mum’s younger brother passed away unexpectedly at the age of 49 and the funeral was this week. August was very well behaved and all his aunts and uncles and cousins on my mum’s side were delighted to meet him, despite the horrible circumstances. It was a long and hard day and I was impressed with how well the little guy did.
  • Football game- we took bubs to a football game in Geelong. My team (Cats) were playing AJ’s team (Tigers) and I had free tickets through my work, so it was too good an opportunity to pass up. He was good as gold for the whole game, until the last 10 minutes when he suddenly started to lose his temper… but so was AJ because his team was losing, so we took off and got out of there before bubs (and AJ) had a meltdown.

Achievements: I survived the first week at home on my own with a baby. We also had a couple of day trips, which I was pretty nervous about and would have preferred to stay inside in my safe bubble, but we all coped pretty well.

Things we have learned:Β I’ve learned why parents are always running late. Just as we are about to leave the house the little boy will need to be changed or decide he desperately needs a feed or I need to run up and down the stairs 20 times getting all the last minute things we need for him. Not to mention that it takes me twice as long to get ready while I am juggling him. I absolutely hate running late so I just need to be more organised!

The other day I had to put him on the floor next to my ensuite while I did my make up. He was perfectly happy watching me get ready. AJ got a sneaky snap of my questionable parenting!

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Appearance: Despite the fact that he is still small in size for his age, I think he looks a bit less like a tiny newborn and more like a baby this week. If that makes sense?Β The last bit of his umbilical cord came off this week too. That was good because, let’s face it, it was a little bit gross.

I need to do something about his nails soon too. He loves touching his face and sucking on his hands and he keeps scratching himself. He is making me look like a negligent mother!

Mummy update: I am surprised by how well I am coping (if I do say so myself ha ha). AJ keeps saying that we need to ask someone to come and stay and help me out because he’s worried about me. I think he just feels bad that he has had to go back to work, but I really don’t feel like I need the help. If my mum was around, of course I would have her stay with me to help with bubs and the housework, but I wouldn’t want to ask anyone else really. Plus, I think I am doing just fine.

I am still besotted by the little guy. He loves to grab my hair while he is feeding this week. I am guessing I will find this less cute pretty soon because he is a strong little boy, but right now I find it adorable.

2 Weeks Old

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This has been our first week at home with our little August. AJ has had this week off work so it has been lovely for us to hang out as a family. He is going back to work next week and I am already dreading it. I especially feel bad that he has to miss out on time with the little guy.

AJ keeps telling people that he can’t believe how maternal and motherly I am. He must have thought I was going to be a horrible mother because he seems to be shocked that I am caring for the baby LOL! I guess I understand it because I was never the type to go gaga over babies or talk about being a mum. I can be rather sarcastic and my own dad told me the other day that I can come across as stand-offish… thanks dad!

One thing I learnt after my mum was sick and I cared for her at home until she died in my arms is that I enjoy looking after people. I find a lot of real value in looking after someone who needs you. Much, much, much more than I did doing 9-5 office work (no surprise there). In fact, I almost considered changing careers after my mum died so that I could do something more hands that helps people. Ultimately I didn’t think I had the constitution to do it all day, every day. It’s hard work and can break your heart a million times a day.

But, I absolutely love caring for little Augie. Despite the fact he won’t sleep at night and that he vomits or pees on me every day… he is just a delight and I am having a ball with him.

Age: 2 Weeks

Feeding:Β I am cluster feeding at the moment, which means I am basically feeding on demand. Apparently newborns can’t have too much breastmilk, so I am just feeding him whenever he wants it and trying to fatten him up. I don’t think my milk supply is very plentiful so it feels like I am feeding all of the time and he is still hungry. I am topping up with formula, but he tends to vomit up the formula and then he is still hungry. I don’t know if it’s because he has wind or if I am feeding him too fast or if it’s the type of formula I am buying or is he just a spewy baby?

The child and maternal health nurse came to visit this week at home to check up on us. She weighed August and he had gained 200 grams so we are getting somewhere. I felt so relieved that he had gained a good amount of weight. All of the hard work feeding him is hopefully paying off.

Sleeping routine:Β There is absolutely no routine. He will sleep for a maximum of about 90 minutes if we are lucky, except for in the afternoons when he’ll normally have a decent 3-4 hour sleep. This is the time I can run around and do washing, sterilise bottles, clean the house and try and write this blog. I know I should try and sleep then, but it’s the only time I can get shit done!

Firsts:

  • Bath at home- we don’t have a bath, so we bought a baby bath and successfully bathed him in the kitchen. He feels so tiny and slippery in my hands. Scary!
  • Outing in the carrier- my dad came for a visit and we took bubs for a walk around our new neighbourhood in his Baby Bjorn carrier. It was a bit scary at first putting him in the carrier, it felt like he was just going to drop out. We secured him in and he was very happy to be tucked up next to AJ’s chest while we walked around.
  • Trip to Ikea- it is never too soon to start shopping at Ikea! AJ had him strapped to his chest while we walked around and bubs (and AJ) got plenty of attention from fellow shoppers. AJ loved it!
  • Outing in the pram- the pram finally arrived this week and my dad and step mum were visiting again and so we tucked bubs in and tested it out. The pram is great and bubs just slept the whole time while we walked him.
  • Cafe visit- when we went for a walk with dad and my step mum we stopped at a local cafe for brunch. He snoozed the whole time in his pram and let his mum enjoy her eggs benedict. Good boy.
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My dad and step mum taking Augie for a walk in the pram

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Augie’s first time in the carrier with his dad

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First bath at home

Achievements: We survived our first week at home with bubs. It’s kind of weird to return home from the hospital with a tiny baby and realise you are expected to look after it all by yourself. I have no idea what I am doing, but we are working it out together. Lucky he’s a patient little bub.

Things we have learned: You need to cover his little doodle when you change him or you will get caught in the line of fire. Boys…

Appearance: I added this in so I could comment on how Augie is changing physically. I didn’t expect him to change so quickly. Sob!

Weight: 3.07 kilos

He has dark blue eyes and a light splattering of medium brown hair, yet he looks really fair in some light. I really expected him to come out with dark eyes and a heap of dark hair and olive skin like both AJ and I had when we were born. It was such a surprise to meet this fair little guy. He looks nothing like me at all! I think he looks a bit like AJ, particularly when he pulls his little frowny face (which is all the time). A lot of people say that he doesn’t look like either of us, which I can understand too, it’s really only when he pulls faces that I can see AJ in him.

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Frowny face!

Mummy update: I am still recovering pretty well, but I really don’t have much time to think about it. I am doing my pelvic floor exercises like crazy to try and fix those particular issues. I hope it isn’t too little, too late! The fact that I have to sit on my arse all day and night feeding bubs is not the most comfortable position on my stitches. The doctor told me I should be laying down more to take the pressure off, but that is a bit hard with this demanding little bubba.

I find it so strange that straight after you give birth, which is so hard on your body, you are then responsible for this tiny person who just demands so much of you. It is a lot to take on all at once. Normally after enduring so much physically you would be required to rest and recuperate, not have the life sucked out of you by this little creature. Lucky he is cute and I wouldn’t have it any other way. πŸ™‚

1 Week Old

I stole this weekly update from AKL’s blog, I hope you don’t mind! πŸ™‚

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Age: 1 week

Feeding:Β Well this has been a disaster. The poor little guy is just not getting enough milk and he’s crying all the time because he is so hungry. It is breaking my heart.

The hospital has a breast feeding room open 14 hours a day with lactation consultants to assist you feed your baby. The lactation consultants are really helpful, butΒ it seems I just don’t have enough milk for him. The midwives put me on a grueling feeding schedule that is 30 minutes breast feeding on each side, then feeding him the milk I had previously expressed with a syringe, then topping him up with formula. After this, I have to express milk in readiness for the next feed. The whole thing takes over 2 hours and it has to be done at least every 4 hours. So this leaves me about 90 minutes to sleep, eat, drink, go to the toilet, see visitors and rest in between. Doing this 24/7 and still not getting enough milk for him is quite devastating. I really don’t give a shit about breast feeding, I just want him to have food, I don’t care where it comes from!

The midwife weighs him on Thursday morning (day 5) before we are supposed to be discharged to go home. The poor little boy has lost more than 10% of his birth weight, so they ask us to stay in another night and try and get on top of things before we leave.

This is the first time I start to feel genuinely upset. I can see the midwives and pediatrician are concerned about bubs and also me and I feel close to tears. Also because I haven’t slept in 5 days because the poor baby is crying all night from hunger. They almost send me over the edge when they look at me all worried and ask if my mum is around to help me when I get home.

I spend the next 24 hours feeding bubs and the good news is that he gains weight overnight and we are allowed to go home. Phew. As soon as I get home I feel Β much more relaxed and a lot of the stress disappears. I keep breastfeeding bubs, but I increase his formula to take the pressure off me and make sure he gets enough food. There is no doubt about it, midwives and nurses are very judgey about using formula. One doctor even referred to it as “the F word”. Being home and not having to worry about their judgement is a big relief.

Sleeping routine: Well given all the feeding issues, it’s fair to say there is not much sleep happening, let alone a routine!

Firsts: Everything is a first this week. What an amazing week!

  • First bath- AJ gave bubs his first bath at the hospital, which the poor little boy didn’t enjoy too much.
  • First time peeing on us- first of many unfortunately!
  • Meeting his family for the first time- his cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents were very excited to meet him.
  • First car trip- home from the hospital which he seemed to enjoy. I sat in the back with him and he just slept the whole time.
  • First outing- on the way home from the hospital we stopped at Baby Bunting to buy a bassinet for the bedroom. We had originally planned for bubs to be in a cot in the nursery (next to our room), but the poor little guy has been coughing up mucous a lot and I was worried about him choking, so I want him next to me in my bedroom. Paranoid mum already!
  • First night at home- sleepless, as expected!
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First car ride

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Peeing on AJ

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Meeting his cousin

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AJ bathing bubs

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First morning at home

Achievements: Pushing a baby out of my body felt like a pretty big achievement.

Things we have learned: Too much to even list!!!!! I had no idea how to hold a baby, breastfeed, change a nappy, swaddle, soothe, burp, express milk. I don’t want to pretend that I am some mother earth type (because I am not!) but it really felt quite natural and wasn’t hard. Except for breastfeeding of course… my body was not cooperating at all.

Mummy update: I have recovered really well from the birth. I had to have an episiotomy during labour (ouch), but I am finding the pain quite manageable with panadol, neurofen and ice packs. My only issue is that my bladder and brain are not communicating well anymore… Why didn’t I do my pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy? Shit.

More photos from Augie’s first week…

Having Baby: Part 1

I really want to write down my birth story so I remember how it all happened because it is already becomingΒ a blur. Skip over if this stuff bores the hell out of you, I don’t blame you! It’ll be in a few parts because the little guy is not cooperating with giving me any time in front of my computer right now. Who knew babies were so bloody needy…


The Wednesday before I gave birth I saw my obstetrician for a check up. I was just two days off my due date so she did a stretch and sweepΒ which is a simple procedure that can help initiate labour. She said she only sort of did one because my cervix was still pretty closed up but that I was 1 cm dilated, which is a bit of a start.

Next we discussed plans to get bubs out of me. She didn’t want me to go too far over my due date as it carries an increased risk of stillbirth so she looked in her diary and found when she was next in the labour ward and booked me in for an induction. This way I would guarantee that she would be there for my full delivery. So I was scheduled for an induction on Thursday 27th July… if bubs didn’t arrive before that time.

I left my appointment feeling pretty normal and like bubs wasn’t anywhere near arriving. Now I had an induction date, I kind of just assumed that would be when I would meet bubs. Over the next few days life continued as normal. I was busy running around unpacking the house, doing copious trips to Kmart and setting up for baby. I didn’t tell anyone (except AJ of course) about the planned induction because it was still a week away and a lot can happen in a week!

On Saturday 22nd we had a lazy morning at home with my brother, sister in law and niece, Penelope, who had arrived from Sydney to stay with us for the weekend. We spent the day chasing around after Penelope who is 9 months old and a crazy little bundle of energy. By that evening I was seriously wondering what I had got myself into, no matter how cute Penelope is, this baby stuff was starting to look way too exhausting. I guess it was too late to turn back now…

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AJ with Penelope and my sister in law

My house guests went out for dinner with friends and so AJ and I enjoyed a quiet night in with Uber Eats and Netflix. Then, at 9.15 pm, half way through the final episode of Master of None and after eating a mac and cheese burger and a Halal snack pack (big mistake!) I felt a weird pop between my legs. My sister in law had told me that when her waters broke she felt a pop, so I suspected what had happened right away. I froze and just held my legs together tightly while I quietly panicked. I seriously wondered if I could hold it in if I stayed really still. Then I decided I better make a dash for the bathroom upstairs before I ruined the couch.

I really wasn’t expecting my waters to break because in all my classes and research it seemed that most women had contractions as their first symptom of labour and the big waters breaking moment you see in movies is less likely. I had also been told that when your waters break it is normally a slow trickle. Well mine was more like a waterfall. A massive waterfall! We called the hospital and they asked me to come in for assessment. I asked if I could have a shower first to clean up, but it was pointless because my waters just kept flowing… it was messy to say the least. Even as I was walking from the hospital carpark to the admissions desk I was trying to mop up with paper towel as I leaked everywhere. I was so glad this was happening late on Saturday night and no one was around to witness me wetting myself in public.

We got to the hospital and they set me up in a birth suite for monitoring. I felt fairly certain that I wouldn’t be having a baby that night as I had no contractions yet. The hospital monitored me and bubs for about 90 minutes and they confirmed that I was not in labour. But, because my waters had broken, the hospital decided to induce me the next morning. We made a plan for me to come back at 7.30 am on Sunday to have a god damn baby!

When we got home my sister in law was waiting up for us because she had heard us go out earlier. I knew she would have heard us leave, so I had text her to say we were just getting a check up. I was trying to downplay things, but obviously she knew something was happening. I didn’t tell her that my waters had broken or that I was being induced, I just wanted to keep things to myself to lessen the pressure that I was already feeling. I am surprised she didn’t cotton on when AJ went knocking on her door for extra towels (as we keep our spare towels in the guest room) after I had soaked through every towel in our bathroom!

We didn’t get home until around midnight and I was starting to have pretty regular and painful cramps. My main concern was having another shower to wash and dry my hair in readiness for the next day. My hair was super greasy and I was terrified that I wouldn’t have time to get myself together before baby arrived. So I showered, but by the time I finished washing my hair my cramps had escalated and I was in quite a bit of pain. I had to get AJ to blow dry my hair because I really wasn’t up to it. I thought this was the start of contractions, but little did I know that these cramps were just niggles in comparison to real contractions!

The hospital had sent me home with sleeping tablets and Panadeine Forte so that I could try and get some sleep before the big day. Between the cramps, the leaking waters and the fact I was about to have a baby, I didn’t get much sleep that night.

To be continued…

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Being monitored at the hospital

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The view from the hospital room