9 Weeks Old

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Age: 9 weeks and he also passed the 2 month mark this week too.

Feeding: I am still mixed feeding, but my milk is getting less and less, which I knew would happen when I gave him formula. It’s a catch 22… he needs formula so he doesn’t starve, but the more formula he drinks, the less milk my body will produce.

Sleeping routine: No major change, he is still sleeping from 8.00 pm through to 4.00 am and then back to sleep after a bottle until about 7.00 am. A couple of times this week he slept through without waking for his 4.00 am feed. I feel so lucky that he is sleeping well. he’s such a good boy.

Firsts:

  • Using his hands: I left him in his bouncer while I went downstairs to get the washing. When I walked back up he was holding his dummy and trying to put it in his mouth (he was not successful). It’s so exciting to see him changing and developing.
  • Immunisations: we had his 8 week immunisations done this week. I was super worried leading up to it because I just can’t stand to see him sad, but I did surprisingly OK once we got in there. I don’t have a local doctor in the area we have moved to, so I went to a clinic just across the street and a nurse did them for us. The nurse and receptionist at the clinic were just so lovely and really put me at ease. Augie screamed for each of the two needles and his face went bright red (sob) but he stopped pretty much immediately when they gave him the oral vaccine which was nice and sugary (sweet tooth). He came home and had a big sleep, but then when he woke in the late afternoon he was clearly not well and just cried and cried. I held him all evening and he would wake every 15-30 minutes and start sobbing until I rocked him back to sleep. He didn’t even want any milk, so he must have felt sick. I gave him some children’s panadol and he eventually fell asleep for the night. Oh my poor heart. I just can’t take it when he’s sick.
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Poor sick boy

Achievements: This week we took the little boy to the Tigers v GWS preliminary final at the MCG… with over 95,000 other supporters. Wow, this was a big achievement! And of course it had to be stupidly hot on top of everything else. I can’t lie and say it wasn’t hard work. We decided to drive because we knew public transport would be beyond packed, so we booked a carpark early in the week and were only a 5 minute walk from car to seat, that made a huge difference. Yay for planning. Luckily we got aisle seats, which was just a fluke because AJ wasn’t able to select the seats when he bought them. I didn’t end up sitting for longer than about two minutes though because the little boy decided that he didn’t want to sit and he wanted me to pace up and down with him for 3 hours. I think it was because he wasn’t comfortable in the carrier when I sat down and was crushing his legs a little bit. Bad mum!

The smartest thing we did was buy special newborn baby earmuffs. Anyone who knows AFL footy knows that the Tiger army were very, very, very loud over the weekend. We couldn’t get normal baby earmuffs because they are all for 3+ months, so AJ went to some special eye and ear centre and got earmuffs for newborns and they worked a treat. He didn’t even flinch amongst all the craziness. My ears were killing me after the game, so I hate to think what the noise would have done to him if we didn’t have protection. Plus they were super cute.

We had a great day and I was so happy that AJ got to see his beloved Tigers make it into a grand final with his little boy. And it isn’t a stretch to say that Augie was more popular with Tigers supporters than Dusty Martin! I barely got to watch the game because I had literally dozens of supporters coming over to fawn over the little guy in his cute earmuffs. I was pacing up and down behind the seats (near the bars) so I had so many people yelling out to me “good work mum” or “you’re doing such a good job”. It was really sweet. Good god I was exhausted when we got home that night though and enjoyed a couple of well deserved beers to relax.

Things we have learned: Well I learned the hard way that he has gotten longer and his head now sticks out of my arms when I am holding him. I was rushing to answer the door and as I rounded the corner on the stairs I banged his little head on the bannister. I felt horrible, it actually pulled the skin up a little bit, but didn’t draw blood. He didn’t get upset though, he just gave me this filthy look, like ‘why did you do that to me, you idiot mum?’. Phew.

Appearance: He got weighed and measured by the maternal health nurse this week and is now 57 cm and 4.92 kg. So he’s getting nice and chubby now. He’s still only the 17th percentile, but that doesn’t matter, he’s clearly healthy and gaining weight well. His little thighs are getting nice and chubby. Love it.

Mummy update: I had a consult with a physio this week prior to starting pilates with them next week. I got the all-clear, but one thing to note was that she was completely shocked that apparently I had no abdominal separation from pregnancy. I wonder if this is why my tummy didn’t ever pop out, sounds like my abs were holding it in tight. They must have been stitched up well after my body lift (not from exercise obviously LOL).

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8 Weeks Old

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Age: 8 weeks.

This is when Augie goes through his second “Leap” in development where he will be able to recognise patterns, discover his hands and feets and be fascinated with light. Tick, tick, tick. He just loves staring at our shutter blinds and also the wood banister feature in our stairs. He has also started to try and move his hands and legs with intent. Previously he was just flapping about, but now he is reaching out to tap me or his toys with his hands, pushing away his bottle when he is full, trying to keep the dummy in his mouth with his hand and kicking his little legs around.

I’ve also noticed he is more sensitive to noise now. He used to sleep through anything, but now loud noises will startle him awake. I’m still trying to make as much noise as possible to get him used to it, but some days you just need him to stay asleep and you tip toe around him, until his clumsy dad inevitably drops something or bangs the door…

He is also really communicating with us by making all sorts of noises. We have great conversations! I am such a tragic, but it is so much fun to watch these little developments.

This leap was supposed to cause him to be clingy, cranky and cry more. Lucky for us, I can’t say I noticed nay major difference in his behaviour. I think he was a little fussy some days, but probably just normal stuff for a newborn. So far, so good.

Feeding: No big changes with feeding routine, we are just ticking along nicely with mixed feeding. I did take him off Infants Friend for a day to see if it was actually making any difference and he vomited a fair bit that day, so it must be doing more than I thought for his reflux.

Sleeping routine: He is still sleeping from 8.00 pm – 7.00 am, waking up about 4.00 am for a feed. I could not be happier with this situation! I feel so grateful that he is sleeping well and it makes him such a happier little boy. One night this week he actually slept all the way through. I woke about 6.00 am in full panic when I realised he hadn’t woken for a bottle. I felt terrible that he must be starving, but he was fine.

Firsts:

  • Forgetting the baby: I went in to pay for petrol at the service station and completely forgot I had a baby left in the back of my car. AJ was in the queue in the connecting coffee shop and was looking at me like I was crazy. I thought it was because he is overly paranoid about leaving the car when someone might want the petrol bay. Then he raced back to the car before he even ordered a coffee. Turns out it was because I probably shouldn’t leave a screaming baby alone in an unlocked  care at a busy service station. Shit.
  • Visit to dad’s farm: We drove the 4 hours to AJ’s mum’s in the country and took the little guy to visit the farm.

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Achievements: Getting some healthy cooking done and starting walking. I made a couple of easy breakfast/snack meals that I can grab while I have my hands full with the little guy. Some days I don’t get a chance to eat until 3.00 pm, which isn’t good for my breast milk supply. We also started doing evening walks when AJ gets home from work, it’s still a bit bloody cold, but hopefully spring weather will kick in eventually.

Banana Muffins (I added toasted pecans and flaxseed)
Muesli bars (I swapped blueberries for cranberries and left out the chocolate)

Things we have learned: The dummy fixes everything. I have one of those suckers on every floor of my house, in the car, in the pram and in my handbag. The only problem is when it falls out of his mouth while he is sleeping and I have to constantly go upstairs to put it back in. Come on August, get those hands working and put it back in your mouth yourself!

Appearance: He is looking less like a little newborn and more like a baby… if that makes sense? He is also so much stronger and can hold himself up in my arms instead of crumpling up. Unfortunately he can also launch himself out of my arms if I don’t hold on tight.

Mummy update: Every week I seem to get myself and bubs into a better routine. It has been slow going, and there is still a way to go, but we are getting there. Routine really helps me feel like I have got my shit together and improves my mental health. It’s a double edged sword though because my days can feel very repetitive when it’s just me and bubs all day and it is just feed, change, sleep (and cry) all day long. I would say that it is this repetitiveness that I find the hardest right now. I go through one feed, change, sleep (and cry) cycle and just do it all over again… and again… Lucky he is cute.

7 Weeks Old

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This has been a really tough week for me, not as a mum, but just in general. Sadly, my gran passed away this week. She was my mum’s mum and Augie’s last remaining great grandparent. She had been in a nursing home for a long time and due to all the flu deaths in nursing homes this winter, I wasn’t able to take Augie to visit her until he had his vaccinations. He was due to have his vaccinations on Wednesday and she passed away Wednesday morning. I was just devastated.

I woke Wednesday morning, before I knew she passed away, and felt really stressed about Augie’s vaccinations that evening. I considered cancelling and putting them off a week, but the only thing that stopped me was that I really wanted to take him to visit my gran that weekend. We were really close my entire life and it was really important to me that she got to meet my son. Especially because my mum is no longer with us and my gran is the closest connection to my mum.

I feel so guilty that I didn’t take August to meet my gran now. Maybe I was being overly cautious, would it really have mattered? I guess I’ll never know. With my uncle passing away last month, it’s been a difficult time. It feels like all the pieces of my mum are gone now.

So after receiving this sad news I didn’t end up taking August to have his vaccinations that evening. I was already nervous about taking him anyway (because I can’t bear to see him in pain, not because I am anti-vax!) and so I was just too upset to handle it that night. I was getting them done through the council in a group session and so now I missed that opportunity I need to find a doctor to get them done privately. I don’t have a doctor in the new suburb I moved to recently, but one of the girls at my mothers group gave me a recommendation so I’ll get them done next week.

Age: 7 weeks old. He certainly seems to have a lot of character for such a little boy. He keeps me entertained all day with his funny faces.

Feeding: I’m still mixed feeding and the little boy is taking 150ml bottles after breastfeeding. I’ll breastfeed for about an hour per session and he is still starving, so he clearly isn’t getting much milk. During the nights I am exclusively bottle feeding so that I can get some sleep, otherwise his feeds take hours. It seems to be working for us.

Sleeping routine: This week Augie naturally dropped his 11.00 pm and 1.30 am feeds, which meant he was sleeping from approximately 8.00 pm – 4.00 am straight. OMG this is amazing! I am a bit scared to get too excited about this great sleeping pattern because I have heard horror stories about regression, but I am enjoying it while I can.

His day sleeping is a bit all over the place though. He was consistently sleeping in the afternoon, but some days he’ll have a big morning sleep instead. Some days he will only have mini sleeps throughout the day and get cranky and over-tired. This makes it really hard to plan out my day and leave the house. I still won’t complain because the most important thing is that we are both getting sleep at night!

Firsts:

  • Recognising us- On Thursday night AJ told me that it seemed like Augie recognised him when I passed him over, but I doubted it… Then on Friday morning I put Augie in bed with AJ while I had a shower and when I got out and saw them in bed, I decided they looked so cosy that I was going to get back in for a cuddle. When he saw me his whole face lit up and he was smiling uncontrollably. It was very cute.
  • Tram ride- I braved Melbourne’s public transport system and took Augie on his first tram ride. We live in an inner city suburb and I am a nervous city driver, so I rely heavily on public transport. I was pretty bloody nervous about taking him on the tram, but it wasn’t too hard in the end. AJ helped me on the first leg of the journey, but I was on my own for the trip back. Everyone told me that people would offer to help me with the pram… nope, no one offered to help me at all LOL! I managed though and Augie behaved himself so it was fine.
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First tram trip!

Achievements: Making it to my 6 week check up. I have found getting out and about on my own with bubs a little bit stressful, so I was dreading this appointment. I hate having to be somewhere at set times because Augie’s routine is so unreliable. Even trying to get to the supermarket can take me two hours because he will decide he needs a feed as I am walking out the door, then he needs a nappy change and then a sleep… And what if he projectile vomits or I need to change a dirty nappy? These things freak me out a bit. Hence why I am becoming a bit of a shut in. Lucky for me I have had plenty of visitors and I can walk around my neighbourhood with Augie until I get more confident with taking him out on my own.

Things we have learned: That our social life is dead for now. We can’t go to the restaurants and shows and events that we used to. We really wanted to go to the footy on Friday night to watch the Richmond v Geelong final, but of course we have nowhere to leave the little guy and he can’t be out in the freezing night with 95,000 other people at a stadium. This is probably the hardest adjustment for us because we really like to do things together. Of course we can come up with new things to do as a family, but we are missing our old lifestyle quite a bit.

Appearance: The little guy seems to be gaining weight well. I weighed him at mother’s group and he weighed 4.3 kilos. This still puts him at only the 11th percentile, but he is gaining the right amount of weight each week and he is definitely looking nice and healthy. Everyone is noticing how much his face and little tummy have filled out now. Funnily enough, the chubbier he gets, the more people say he is starting to look like me. Should I take offence? Ha ha!

Mummy update: This is the week I put a stop to my out of control eating. I was obviously using the whole baby thing as an excuse to eat as much as I wanted and I was starting to feel pretty crappy. I ate so well in my pregnancy for the health of bubs and then I just stopped right away as soon as I had the baby. I don’t want to put my health on the back burner just because I had a baby, if anything, it’s more important than ever.

I was eating blocks of chocolate, cakes and packs of biscuits every day because I was so tired that I needed a sugar hit. It’s hard to make good choices when I have my hands full with the little one, but I am feeling better already. I am certainly not being perfect with my eating and I don’t want to be either. I am still breastfeeding so it’s important I eat enough to keep up my supply and my energy. I just want to eat foods that make my body feel good and will hopefully help me lose some weight eventually too. I want to lose about 10-15 kilos, so it’s going to take a long time and I don’t want to sacrifice my entire lifestyle, so it’ll be slow and steady.

6 Weeks Old

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I go through days when I really think I have a good handle on this whole motherhood thing. Other days not so much. It’s funny how quickly a newborn baby can bring you down to earth. The good days do seem to outnumber the bad now. Even on the bad days I know that it’s just a bad day and it will pass.

Age: 6 weeks. This week he started to move into 000 size clothing. On Sunday night I packed up most of his newborn clothes and put them aside. Why is this so heartbreaking?

Feeding: This week I tried changing Augie’s formula because I heard that can help with vomiting and he has always been a bit of a spewy baby. He was on S26 (which is what they gave him at the hospital) and I changed to Nan Comfort. Over the next 24 hours he had some, well let’s just say tummy troubles… I had a friend visiting and he projectile vomited twice and made quite a mess of his nappy (in a very loud and embarrassing way). I don’t think my friend will be in a hurry to have kids after witnessing his performance. That day I had what I call my first trifecta. I got spewed on, peed on and pooed on all in one day… and more than once. In saying that, I do think the new formula helped eventually as he has been much less spewy this week. Or maybe it was just a coincidence and he is growing out of that stage.

I have been continuing my mixed feeding, but I am finding that I am slowly doing more bottles to keep him full because my breast milk supply must be diminishing. I really hope I can get this tongue tie sorted and that I can keep breastfeeding because I enjoy it much more than I thought I would. It is such a special time with Augie and my heart bursts with love when he nuzzles into me and reaches up with his little fist while he is feeding. In the beginning I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to breastfeed. It sounded painful and awkward and just a bit strange, which I know seems immature, but now I’ll be sad if I need to stop so soon.

Sleeping routine: This is an ever-evolving process. The good news is that every week we seem to get a bit better. I’m managing to get him down to bed earlier in the evening now. When he first got home we weren’t getting him to bed until about 2.00 am (and he didn’t stay there long!). Now we are getting him to bed about 8.00 pm. When he starts fussing I take him upstairs, put his sleep suit on him and then rock in the rocking chair until he calms down. We read and sing until he calms down and then I put him in his bassinet. This doesn’t always go smoothly, but for the most part we are getting him to sleep. It does still feel like every sleep I get him down for is like winning a battle. Then only a few hours later I have to repeat the process. It is relentless!

I learned an awesome new sleep trick this week. I was watching YouTube videos on getting babies to sleep and got a lot of ideas. None of them actually worked on Augie unfortunately. But I took inspiration from one of them and stroked down his nose gently. His eyes follow my finger down his nose and forces his eyes to close. This only works when he is already really tired and he is fighting sleep, but it does work!

This is when he is trolling me and pretending to be asleep:

Firsts:

  • Father’s Day- I put Augie in bed with AJ for a cuddle and bought him coffee in bed and gave him some cute books from Augie. Then I made us pancakes for breakfast. I don’t think we’ll make a big deal about mother’s or fathers day, just family breakfast and that’s about it. It’s not something that is really important to either of us.
  • Visit to Poppy’s- we took the little guy up to visit my dad and step mum in the country. It’s fair to say they were pretty excited to show Augie around home. He slept for the entire 7 and a half hours return car trip and was an absolute angel. I think he likes the car. I must confess that I am being crazy mum and sitting in the back with him so I can settle him if he cries, but also because I have more leg room back there. The bloody car seat is taking up all the leg room of the front passenger seat. Who knew having a baby would be such a sacrifice?!
  • Book- we read Augie his first bedtime book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. I don’t think he has any interest in books yet, but he did seem to find it calming when we read to him. I absolutely loved reading to him and I can’t wait until he is bigger and is actually interested in books.
  • Tantrum- he threw a little shit fit in the supermarket and I had to get myself out of there before I even had a chance to buy my Tim Tams. Thanks Augie!

Achievements: The best thing I have done is get myself into a good routine. This week I started getting up half an hour before AJ so that I can have a shower and get dressed. AJ will cuddle with Augie in bed and then change his nappy before he has to get ready for work. Then I sit in my rocking chair and breastfeed for about an hour or so. I do another nappy change and play with bubs. Mornings are his happiest time and he laughs and plays while I change him. I take way too long to change his nappy because we are normally having way too much fun. Then we come downstairs, I make myself a cup of tea and make a bottle for him and listen to podcasts or music while we feed. It’s a simple routine, but it sets us up for a good day. Next step is adding a morning walk into the routine, but maybe when the weather warms up a little bit, it’s been horrible this week.

Speaking of podcasts, I’ve been listening to this one on the first year with a baby, it’s been really helpful so far.

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Play time on the change mat!

Things we have learned: I now fully understand the term witching hour. Every single night around 5.00 pm, my sweet little baby turns into a grizzly little monster. Is this why it’s considered acceptable to start drinking wine at 5.00 pm?

Appearance: He hair is getting darker and thickening up now. It’s still a fair way off a full head of hair, but he’s getting there. Everyone keeps commenting that he is filling out more and looking much healthier. I haven’t had him weighed this week, but I’ll do it at mother’s group next week. Who would have thought it was so exciting to gain weight!

Mummy update: OK, I think it’s officially time I start focussing on eating healthy again. I’ve given myself a 6 week pass after bubs was born to eat whatever I want and I am now feeling the effects. I did so well with my healthy eating during pregnancy and now it’s gone to shit and my clothes don’t fit. I haven’t got on the scales, but I have probably gained more in that 6 weeks than I did during 9 months of pregnancy. Unlike Augie, I am good at gaining weight. I better get this under control before summer hits.

56

Dear mum,

I know that you would forgive me for writing this letter a week late. Now that I have a newborn baby I seem to be late for everything. I am sure that you would find it hilarious to see me turning into you!

Just one month and one day before your 56th birthday I gave birth to a little boy. Your second grandchild, both bubs born in the past year. I named my little boy August to honour you. Your birthday is in August and the entire month reminds me of you. Even though he will now have to answer the same question for the rest of his life:

Were you born in August?
“No”
Then why are you called August?

Sorry Augie!

Having a baby has made me discover entire new ways to grieve you.

Every day I look at August and all I can think about is how hard it must have been for you to be sick and know that you were leaving us kids. I love him so much and my biggest fear is not being here for him. Then I burst into tears because I feel so bad that you had to go through that. It’s only now that I can understand the torment you must have gone through.

Most of all I am just heart broken that you have missed out on being in your grandkids lives. They are the sweetest little people and you would love them more than anything in the entire world. Being a grandmother to them would have been the best time of your life.

Oh and I could really do with your help mum! I don’t know anything about being a parent and I just really wish you were here to help me through it. Even though, let’s face it, I am sure some days you would annoy the hell out of me with your advice.

I made you a birthday cake this year. I like to think August helped me, and he kind of did because he had a long sleep and let me bake. I am looking forward to baking a cake for you every year with Augie, it’ll be a lovely tradition for us to remember you. Plus, you know me… any excuse for cake!

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Happy Birthday mum. Please know that you are missed in so many ways, every single day. Never more so than this past year.

Love ya mum.

xxoo

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