It’s lunchtime … no no no

There’s no such a time anymore.

When he goes to sleep, I do a pump.  Hands-free bustier is the best thing ever if you’re doing a double pump.   I didn’t have one for a very long time and had to hold both parts as I pump.  I now have some kind of RSI or tendinitis on my right hand.

After I’ve done a session, I’d hang out the washing if I’d put a wash on in the morning.  Or I’d wash and sterilise the bottles.

As he usually sleeps in the living room where it’s warm (we only have one heater), I can’t turn the vacuum cleaner on.  BUT I bought of of those nifty damp and dry mops.  It has an electrostatic pad for picking up dirt, dust and hair.  Great for a quick QUIET clean while he’s sleeping.  The other is a microfibre pad is for mopping. I’d either use it or I have disposable floor wipes for a quick clean.

When we’re all home on the weekend, one of us can look after him in one room, while the other do the vacuuming in the other room.  It’s a coordinated mission.  Haha

So, I’ve been missing lunches.  But I’ve come up with a way so I still eat my lunch and get most things done.  I make a sandwich the night before and pack away in the fridge.  When I sit down to do a pump, I have my lunch at the same time.  Good huh! 🙂

So no more gorging myself with food when my partner gets home from work.

Immunisation time … say goodbye to sleep

As if the baby is not unsettled enough, he had his jabs today.

Oh jeez … say goodbye to sleep now ok?

My heart broke when he screamed in pain from the two jabs.

He’s been unsettled and incredibly upset all day.  We spent almost the whole day in the car where he dozed in and out of sleep.  Ok shut up if you don’t think this is the ‘right thing to do’.  We do the best we can for the best of the baby.  If he’s happy and able to rest in his car seat, he rests in his car seat.  We drove around town, my partner stayed in the car to look after him, while I ran into the shops to get the essentials.

He hasn’t stopped fussing and at most times screaming in discomfort.  He’d doze off then woke up every now and then and screamed.

He’s generally a happy lil chappy.  Today, not so much.  He’s still smiling and playing at times but it was really trying for him today.

I had to be careful cuddling him so as not to touch the spots where the nurse jabbed him.  I accidentally touched it when I tried to cuddle him in the clinic and boy did he scream!

My poor lil boy.

 

 

“I’ll go back to sleep … but only in your arms!”

Yes, baby decided a bottle and sleep are rather appealing.

The bottle was finished but he fussed for a very long time.

What helped him to sleep?  When I picked him up and put him on me.

I know there is much opposition amongst veteran moms and new moms alike that letting baby sleep on you is a no no.

Well I say the bubba is happy.  And we do what we can to keep baby safe and happy.

Happy bubba, happy mama.

Right now, mama is exhausted but mama is happy coz bubba is happy.

“I’m ready to get up mommy!”

It’s 4.30am, my lil boy decided his usual 6.30am get up time is for the weak so he’d like to be entertained from 4.30am instead.

We thought he was maybe hungry, maybe gassy/windy, maybe bad dreams?  No, he just wanted to get up.

After much coaxing, rocking, swaying, cuddling, cycling his legs, rubbing his belly, trying to feed him, the ONLY thing that stops him from being upset is taking him out of the bedroom and into the living room.

While I look at him helplessly, he looks up at me with his big smiley eyes.

I put him in his play gym while I pump, watching him happily play with all the play parts.

Oh, what can I do?  I think I’m gonna try to coax him back to bed once he’s bored with his play gym.

Too early to get up bubba, too early.

Wind? Gas? Tummy pains?

I have run out of ideas on what I could do.

My baby has woken up again in pain.

We’ve tried the legs cycling, rubbing his lil belly in the I Love U method, gave him Infant’s Friend before a feed, changed his formula, eliminate known common gassy foods from my diet.  He was fine for one night when he slept for 5 hours straight and not waking up every 1-3 hours in pain.  Then last few nights he was able to go back to sleep.  Now he’s back to waking up in pain.

It’s horrible watching him in so much pain.  I said to my partner the other day.  One doesn’t know what real pain is until you see your own child in pain.

Quiet of the night … I gather my thoughts

I love the quiet of the night when I sit in the living room all by myself.  Well, not quite quiet and not really by myself.  There’s the sound of the electric pump and the company of my beautiful cat.

Often times in those 15 minutes of expressing time, I sort out the thoughts in my head.  Now I’ve taken to writing them down as I pump.  So you are all witnessing my inner thoughts.  Haha.

I love my beautiful cat.  My furry child.  We spent a lot of time together before the arrival of her lil human brother.  So it must be very strange for her now that her human mommy doesn’t play with her so often anymore.  I don’t really know what it must be like for her.  But I feel sad.

I am one of those hygiene crazy mothers.  I call it part of the First Time Mom Syndrome.  I am forever washing my hands and sanitising my hands.  We have antibacterial hand wash and also hand sanitiser bottles on the bench, in the car, in the pram, in my bag.  Yes I am that crazy.  I am so paranoid about handling my baby when my hands are dirty.  Overkill right?  Yes indeed.

So I can no longer pat and cuddle my cat whenever I want.  Especially during the daytime when I have to look after the baby.  Or when I’m expressing milk.  Or in the middle of the night when I may have to comfort the baby when he wakes up in the middle of the night crying.  Oh my gosh …

I am sure I am being overly cautious.

The thing is, the baby and I have already been through a lot together.  I am just an overly protective mom and I know it.

I cried when I came home and saw my cat after so many days in the hospital.  I missed her and I dropped to the floor and sobbed.

She still, every now and then, jumps on the bed and sleeps at my feet as she always has.  When  I get up in the middle of the night to pump, sometimes she’d come into the living room with me and just sit next to me.  As she did when I used to stay up from insomnia during my pregnancy.

She is, after all, our first child.  It will be rather strange having to tell our lil boy his big sister is a cat 😉

4 am wake up

My gorgeous lil boy has decided in the past few days that 4-4.30am is get up time!

I open my eyes and there they are, those big smiley eyes looking at me like they’re saying “Hi Mommy! Get up! It’s get up time!”.

No bubba, back to sleep please for another couple of hours.

No amount of coaxing, rocking, swaying, feeding, cuddling, patting shooting, you name it, could get him back to sleep.  We both took turns in trying to coax in back to sleep.  I handed him to his daddy and went to the living room to express milk.  When I went back into the bedroom, bubba was still wide awake! It being the weekend, this means daddy’s time with bubba.  It was past 5.30am and nearing 6am so daddy got up with bubba and mama went back to bed to catch a few more zzZZ.

When he first started doing this, I took him out into the living room with me so his daddy could keep on sleeping as he has to work.  Weekend means I get to get the extra sleep which I am thankful for.  As much of an annoyance the sleep deprivation is, waking up to that smiley boy is simply beautiful.  So mama will just need more concealer to cover up her panda eyes.

Oh heck, who needs sleep?

Breastfeeding from a bottle

Well, yes.  Breastfeeding my baby from a bottle.  What the … ?

When silly people say stupid things like “Why don’t you breastfeed?”, I wanna smack them around with my baby bottles containing milk, yes, from my breasts.  But I won’t.  Don’t wanna accidentally spill any of the precious milk I have spent hours expressing.  So I will have to smack them around with my words.  Sometimes stupidity from these ignorant people do not deserve a response.  At other times, they need to be told to shut the hell up.

Many women are, what’s known as, exclusive pumpers.  For various reasons, we are not able to feed our babies directly from the boobs.  We have to reconcile with this heartbreak. Not them.  S0 if you are one of these people or know of anyone who is, shut the hell up before asking such a stupid question.

So the next best thing?  Express milk and feed our baby from a bottle.  That’s right.

I express approximately every 3 hours.  However, to be honest I express whenever, however much I can.  Sometimes it’s an hour between pumps, sometimes more than 3 hours if the baby is clingy, sometimes 2 hours, sometimes whatever.

It is recommended that you should pump for at least 15 minutes each season.  With a baby to look after, it can be tricky to most times.  So 5 minutes it is.

I have had at times pump for 5 minutes while the baby is in his bouncer but when he fusses I had to stop.

In the middle of the night, after I fed him, I would go into the living room and pump for 15 minutes then back to bed.  So if he gets up a few times a night, I pump a few times a night.  So there is enough for him in the morning.

Sometimes I get 40mls, sometimes 60ml, other times 100mls. If I leave it for too long because the baby is too clingy, I get about 200mls.

So yes, anytime, any amount.  I just feed my baby, as best as I can.

The thing with mother and newborn bonding …

What do you usually do to help when a friend or family member just had a baby?

Help her hold her baby?  Well, yes and mostly NO.

This is not supposed to be mean but well heck it’s gonna come across as is.  Most people think they are ‘helping’ when they hold the newborn for the mother.  This is mainly for their benefit … oh look I’m cuddling this cute baby!  One of the worst things you could do for her is this.

You really wanna help her?  Help her around the house, give her a hand with the shopping, cooking, cleaning etc occasionally look after the baby while she has a shower or have a break or go to the toilet … Now, that’s helping.  The initial days and weeks of bonding between the mother and her newborn is very important.  If you wanna help, give her all the time in the world to cuddle her newborn and bond with him/her.  Once this time is gone, it’s gone forever.  You don’t have to deal with the repercussions of the lack of bonding between her and her newborn – SHE does.  And it can have devastating effects.

So next time you feel like wanting to help a new mother or a mother who’s just given birth.  Let her bond with her newborn.  Her, not you.

 

Lessons learnt from my personal experience at maternity hospital

(1)  If possible, go to a hospital that allows your partner to stay overnight with you.  You don’t want to chance it that you will get good midwives to look after you.  Especially if you have had a long labour, a rough or traumatic birth, a C-section, you are so knackered but you also want to be able to close to your baby with the help of your partner.   You’d want your partner there to help you through the night when the newborn needs to be fed every 2 or so hours.  If it is not possible for your partner to be there, have someone else who is close to you stay overnight or hire a doula who would do so.

(2)  Do not let the midwives take your newborn away with you no matter what.  Even if  they have to take the newborn away for their daily observations (taking temperature etc …), go with them or have your partner go with them.  DO NOT let them take your newborn away on their own.  Be firm and say you want to be or have your partner or a family member with your newborn at all times.

(3)  Should it be necessary for the hospital to take your newborn away to the nursery, make sure they tell you exactly why it is necessary.  DO NOT simply let them do so.

(4)  If you choose to breastfeed, be prepared that you may have difficulties.  Not all women breastfeed easily as they would like you to believe.  If you can afford it, look for a qualified lactation consultant prior to your due date to see if they would attend to you while you’re in the hospital.  Not all hospitals provide you with a lactation consultant or help you with breastfeeding.  REMEMBER, NOT ALL MIDWIVES HAVE ANY TRAINING IN THIS AREA!

(5) Have as much skin to skin as you can with your newborn!

(6)  Take as many photos as you can!

(7)  If you end up having a C-section,  be prepared that you may not be able to hold your newborn immediately after they cut it out of you.  And be prepared to shake involuntarily A LOT!  If you want skin to skin with your newborn, make sure they know this is what you want.  Remember, these moments are lost forever if you don’t seize them!

I missed out on holding my newborn and have skin to skin with him when he was born as the hospital had administered too much anaesthetic to me and I was shaking a lot and drifting in and out of consciousness.  The midwife wrote on his medical record that I refused skin to skin when in fact I was passed out and was not able to respond.  I did not even know when it was asked.

(8)  Do not let the hospital and midwives bully you into feeding your newborn formula if this isn’t your plan.  Read up on how much newborns need to be be fed and have your partner there to stand firm with your decision.

The nursery midwives not only fed my newborn with formula, they also refused to let me feed him colostrum that I’d expressed.  Newborns don’t need to be fed a lot as they only have tiny stomach when they are born.  50 ml of formula (about 1.6 oz) is way too much for a 1 day old baby.  The midwives pretty much force-fed him 50ml of formula and wouldn’t allow me to take him home.  Rather than helping me with breastfeeding and expressing milk for him, they made me feed him 50ml of formula.

Most newborns lose weight in the first few days of their life.  As long as it’s not more than 10% of their birthweight, don’t let the hospital bully you into force-feeding your newborn to make it put on weight.

This is what happened to me.  My new born lost less than 5% within the first 4 days.  Bear in mind, they took him away from me while I was sleeping and fasted him, so he didn’t get fed for 24 hours so they could ‘observe him’.  His weight loss was normal as a newborn and yet they felt they need to make me responsible for it and refused to let him go home.  It was frightening how they could hold you and your newborn prisoners.