21 Dec 2012

Seriously?

In the words of an infamous Australian, please explain.  If I get asked one more time whether my son is a 'good baby' I will have a hard time holding my tongue.  What the hell is a 'good' baby?  Define a 'good' baby for me please!

Let's look at the things that generally people are talking about when they say 'good baby':

Mushroom is a great night sleeper.  Now that we have settled into a good nighttime routine, he goes down without a peep 9 times out of 10.  Bedtime is generally around the 7pm mark so Mushroom will sleep from around 7.30pm to 2.30 - 4am, wake for a feed, then go STRAIGHT back to sleep until 5.30am.  In my book, this is frickin awesome.  I'm not kidding.  I don't care that he wakes up for a night feed, BECAUSE HE GOES STRAIGHT BACK TO SLEEP!  However, this does mean that he's not sleeping 'all the way through' hence I'm pretty sure that that disqualifies him from the 'good' baby moniker.

Day sleeping is another story.  Some days he will go down without any fuss, others he won't.  Sometimes he'll sleep for 3 hours, other times he'll only sleep for 20 mins and howl like a banshee.  Every day is different.  Now that he's a bit older, we're getting into more of a set routine but honestly, that could change in half an hour.  I guess that definitely puts him off that 'good' baby list as he's unpredictable and has been known to fuss about sleeping during the day.  

Mushroom cries sometimes.  Especially when he's cranky, wants to be picked up, is hungry or generally just feels like having a bit of a yell.  This is a baby's only way to communicate.  Late afternoon is the worst time as by the end of the day, he's generally had a gutful of the world and needs to go to sleep.  Most of us feel like crying at the end of the day too.  Because Mushroom cries, this obviously disqualifies him from the 'good' baby club.

Mushroom gets really fussy too.  He doesn't like being hungry, or having a wet nappy.  He will then shriek and whinge and grizzle until I attend to him.  Some days he's like that all day and I just put it down to him having his 'period'.  I guess this means he really can't be in that 'good' baby group.

Now that we've passed that magical 8 week mark, I feel much more confident about my parenting capabilities, I think that the Mushroom can sense that too, because despite a rough few weeks there, we're going great guns!  He smiles, he's 'talking' more, he's enjoying being on his tummy for longer periods.  We have great play time and good sleep time now too.  Mum can get the washing done and the cleaning done and even have a nap if she so inclines...

The next time someone asks me if my Mushroom is a 'good' baby I will politely say yes, of course he is, as what the hell else would I say?  But inside I'll be saying phooey to you and your 'good' baby.  I don't want a 'good' bloody baby.  A 'good' baby sounds boring as hell!  Sleeping all the time, not crying, coasting through...  My Mushroom is totally awesome and I love that every day presents a new challenge and that no two days are the same.  I love watching him shriek, and cluck and yell.  It's amazing watching him grow and seeing him become more aware of his surroundings.  I love that when I sneak in to check on him sometimes that he's already awake and greets me with a giant smile.  I like my 'bad' baby so much that I might even have another one in the future.... So there!

Trying to lift his 'bad' baby head off the ground! 
Next time:  Did the World end?

19 Dec 2012

Shopping

I'm a traitor to the female population as I hate shopping.  Like really hate it.  So Christmas is like a super fun time for me.  Now, let me make this clear, I don't hate Christmas, I hate SHOPPING.  Say it with me, SHOPPING!  Ok, glad we got that cleared up.

There's something about shopping centres that just make me want to curl up in a ball and wail.  They're horrid, soul sucking places and I feel like the last few weeks I have spent all my damn time in them.  I love online shopping, online shopping is fun, and easy, and not soul sucking.  Physically walking about shopping centres with hundreds of other people is soul sucking.  I'll just say soul sucking one more time then we'll move on, soul sucking.  There we go.

By this stage,you're probably thinking that I'm a horrible grinch who hates buying gifts for people.  I don't hate buying people presents, I like buying people things.  I even like giving them the things that I have bought.  I just hate when you HAVE to buy presents and you have no idea what to buy them.  You spend hours wandering aimlessly looking at a million things and racking your brain for the perfect gift for someone who usually buys themselves the things that they want, or every gift idea you have is unbelievably expensive and therefore not feasible.  At this point you've been looking at the same crap for over 4 hours and you end up buying a piece of shit that you wouldn't even buy yourself just because you can't give them nothing.  To top off your super fun experience, the shops are bloody awful at this time of year and people are 'expletive, expletive' rude.  I have a damn pram, get the f out of the way!!

Shopping with an infant makes shopping even more fun.  Not.  Getting bloody organised to go out is hard enough.  I literally start getting ready 2 hours before we have to get out the door.  Especially if the Mushroom is still awake.  If he's awake then I get cried at every time I'm not paying attention to him.  He'll be happily playing on his mat, or in his bouncer, I take my eyes off him for one second to check the nappy bag situation and then it starts.  Rockstar.  No shit.  So then we start the whole song and dance, whilst I try and cart him around and organise bags and nappies and prams and the kitchen sink (I was just kidding about the kitchen sink....)  If I haven't had a shower at this point then that can take even longer.  I've even put his bouncer in the bathroom and left the shower door open so he can see me.  It's a little weird but it works for now and much better than coming out and finding a screaming mess because I dared leave his sight for 5 minutes.  Little darling.

So getting organised, right.  I have to check the nappy bag, make sure there's at least one nappy for every hour of proposed expedition.  At least one change of clothes for Mushroom, in case he pees on himself or has an accident as he's prone to do.  Two wraps, one to wrap around him as it's cold in the shops, one to put over the pram so the fluoro lights don't make him crazy.  Wipes, bottom balm, baggies for used wipes, wet bag for dirty nappies.  Spew rag.  A toy.  His red book, in case we have medical dramas whilst we're out.  Mum's purse, keys, lip balm, paracetamol, water bottle and a spare shirt for Mum in case we have shoulder spewies.  Yes.  I have to carry around all that shit.

When we finally get all that crap together, we have to start the car and put the pram in.  In North Queensland it's always a gazillion degrees, so you have to cool the car down before you put your baby into it otherwise you will cook them.  I'm not kidding.  If the car's been out in the sun all morning, it's nigh on 45c inside that thing.  You could fry an egg on the bonnet.  I usually let the car run for at least 5 minutes whilst I pack it up and then put the Mushroom in there just before we go so it's not too bad by the time we depart.  You can see why it takes me 2 hours to get ready.....

Once we get to the shops, the Mushroom will decide whether he wants to be good or be like his mother  mother and start with the shopping anxiety.  Bonus is that he likes his peanut thing on the pram and 99% of the time he's happy in there looking about with big eyes and watching me whilst we wheel around and try to navigate ridiculously overstuffed shops full of crap.  I try to keep my happy face on so he doesn't get upset...  We usually only need to visit the parent room once or twice for feeding or changing, but generally he'll go to sleep better when we're out than if he's at home... no idea what that's about.  Obviously gets tired from checking everything out! It's amazing how he can sleep with all that bloody noise going on around him!

Our shopping ventures usually end with one of us in tears, any guesses who that is.  Give you a hint, it's not the Mushroom. I'm so over the whole shopping thing.  It's impossible to shop properly when you've got a pram as you can't carry everything and some items require a trolley.  I bought something for my Dad which had to be carried and I was trying navigate the pram, hold onto said gift and juggle the giant nappy bag and other bags of shopping also.  I've even ended up using the pram as a trolley and carrying the Mushroom but that always ends badly as the pram is even harder to steer whilst loaded up with crap... oh the joys!

The moral of this story is, I'm not going back to the shops with the Mushroom by myself.  Either the Juffin comes too or I leave the Mushroom at home with his Dad and venture out alone.  After several successful forays, I've only got 3 presents left to buy and I know exactly what I'm getting so whilst it should be an easy expedition, there is a certain maniacal edge to fellow shoppers as we get closer to Christmas and it's making me quite afraid.... The worst part of the whole sorry situation is that I can't drink a bottle of vodka on Christmas Day to make up for all the agonising shopping ventures.  Boo bloody hiss!

Mushroom - The Christmas Elf
Next time:  'Is he a good baby?'  Argghhhh!!!!

18 Dec 2012

4 hours

Have you ever used a breast pump?  Unless you're breastfeeding, or have breast fed, then I guess you haven't.  The thing about breast pumping is it's super weird.  Another thing about breast pumping is... it's super weird.

When you're pregnant everyone in the health industry will tell you that breastfeeding is a beautiful, wonderful, natural thing.... Breast is best, blah blah blah, whatever.  For some people, it's just not a reality.  Your milk might not come in, you may have inverted nipples which aren't conducive to breastfeeding, it might be extremely painful and you may decide it's not worth the agony.  Your baby could have a tongue tie, which means they won't be able to latch on properly, but good luck trying to figure out if your baby is tongue tied!    Professionals will tell you to persevere, even with cracked bleeding nipples but ultimately it's up to you, a personal choice that you make.  I was naive and just assumed that Mushroom and I could get the hang of it, just like the whole natural birth thing... ahem.  Turns out I'm super lucky and only had about two days of difficulty breastfeeding, the rest has been smooth sailing, hooray for me!

The sucky thing about breastfeeding is that you can't drink copious amounts of alcohol, which is all you want to do when your son is screaming down the house and won't go to sleep.  Enter the breast pump.  I've been blessed with amazing friends and one of my wonderful friends lent me her very expensive, top of the range, medela swing electric breast pump.  Apparently if breast pumps were celebrities, this one would be Ryan Gosling... so hot right now.  Basically you whack it on and away you go.  Except that it looks weird and because it's so weird looking, I can't stop watching it.  My nipple, getting sucked out like that, it's so bizarre....

I had my work Christmas party on Friday night, and despite having stored enough booby juice in the freezer to last several days, I decided to drive myself therefore limiting the amount of alcoholic beverages I could consume.  It was my first night away from my little Mushroom and the Juffin's first time alone with him.  If anything happened, I wanted to be able to drive home immediately.  Yes, yes, I'm well aware that nothing was going to happen, but you just never know.  I also couldn't bear the thought of being hungover and still having to get up and entertain my little man the next day.. This is how I know that I'm a Mum and a responsible adult now!

I spent just on 4 hours away from my son and guess what?!  Juffin was fine and the Mushroom was fine.  Apparently he carried on a little bit after I left (missing Mummy :-)) so Juffin wrapped him up in my nightie, heated up a bit of milk, nigh on 100mls and he nearly scoffed the whole thing down!  As a result of being extremely milk drunk he promptly passed out.  Hungry hole.  I spent most of the night looking at my phone and thinking about how the two of them were getting on... awww.

Juffin and the Mushroom 
  Next time:  Christmas Shopping....

12 Dec 2012

Bless

This morning I had my first, proper, heart melter.  Shit.  My maternal instinct's have obviously been on some sort of muscle relaxant or something.. it's only taken 7 bloody weeks to kick in!

Mushroom and I were playing on the bed in the air con after our stinker of a walk this morning.  We were both hot and sweaty, him from laying in the pram, me from striding it out.  He was being a fussy turd and I realised it was nap time (getting good at recognising those tired cues people!) so I decided to give him a feed so he could nod off like a happy little clam and I could have a damn shower.

Instead of settling down and eating like a civilised person, my boy kept kicking the bed head and punching my boob with his little clenched up fists, jumping off and on and yelling his displeasure at me to the tone of:

'Wah!'
Gulp
Gulp
Gulp
'WAH!'

All the while staring up at me with disapproval and Cranky McCrank eyes.  After the third time it happened,  I decided to get even.  The next time he pulled off before he could utter a sound, I 'WAH'ed at him first.  You should have seen the look on his face!  Talk about big eyes, absolutely hilarious!  I started to laugh at him, as I do quite often as he takes himself so bloody seriously, when the best thing happened.  My little man's stern face dissolved into the biggest smile and he actually cooed at me, it was almost a giggle!  He smiled at me for a whole minute, grinning and carrying on, then stuck himself back on the booby and drifted off to sleep. He was so happy in that moment that my little heart melted and I actually had tears spring to my eyes.

Moments like that seem to be what makes motherhood all worth it.  I thought there was something wrong with me as I was yet to experience one of those crazy tears springing to eyes bullshit, but it happened to me today.  Bless his little cotton socks if it wasn't too feckin hot to wear them!

Making it all worth it 
  Next time:  Pumping...

11 Dec 2012

Never

Before Mushroom the following sentences would never have passed my lips...  

"No, one drink's enough for me, thanks."

"It's ok darling, it's alright."  I mean who says darling?!

"Such a good boy, slept until 6 so we got a sleep in" 

"Does this shit look a little green to you?" 

"I'm just going to do some pumping" (not of the iron variety)

"I don't care if he wakes up for a night feed...."

"Do you think that the pineapple I ate is affecting my breast milk?"

"Who's a good boy, who's a good boy?!" After Mushroom does a giant turd.  

"I haven't had time to read anything lately." (Saddest one for sure!)

"I've got to go to the Willows Markets" 

"Thank you for making me porridge Juffin, yum."

"I can't have a coffee, I've already had one today."

"At least I got to have a shower this morning!"

"I got all the floors and the washing done today, so productive." 

"Go to Coles babe, the wipes are on special at Coles." 

"We managed to get a good walk in today, was awesome!" 

"No babe, please don't touch them, my nipples are too sore"

I think that last one may a have been a little TMI but it's true.  Who'd have thunk it?  

Grinny McGrinhole 

Next time:  Has sleep found us?  Will I ever get to do the Christmas shopping?  Could Christmas just be fucking cancelled this year?!  




7 Dec 2012

It's working... it's working... it's... OH SHIT!

We passed our 6 week milestone on Monday.  Hallelujah!  And to all those people who said it would get easier after 6 weeks, phooey to you.  Lies!

After our horror weeks of little sleep, my lil Mushroom was being such a trooper since we implemented the swaddle and the night time bath ritual.  He was even going into his hammock half asleep and settling himself.  I was stoked!  We were introducing a 'dream feed' at 10.30pm when I went to bed also to push his wake up time for a night feed to 2ish in an attempt to get him sleeping until 6 again, but that was a work in progress.  I was so confident, I was so happy, I was so rested... I was so STUPID!   

To recap: we hit the big 6 week mark on Monday, and we had our first vaccination on Tuesday.  Which could be why he's being such a grizzle guts.  Or a growth spurt.  Or both.  Whatever it is, snap out of it already!  You hit the big 6 weeks, you had a needle, it hurt, now suck it up Mushroom!  I thought I was going to bawl my eyes out when they stuck him too, but managed to keep it together and only shed one little tear.  I kept thinking if I lose it, then he'll be even worse.  They had a little room set aside so I whisked him away for a feed straight away and he settled right down immediately.  No reactions and he was calm and alert when we left.  We even visited the girls at work across the road!

All day Wednesday the Mushroom was smiling and happy, and I thought that we'd gotten away with zero grizzliness but alas, come Wednesday night my lil Mushroom turned into a monster again.  I have no clue what is going on.  For nearly a week there, we were doing fantastically.  Then boom, enter Mad Max, the maddest mushroom of them all.. honestly!  All this fussiness can't be from two little needles, 3 days later?!  Obviously I have no idea but he's only catnapping now, for an hour tops, and is grizzling or feeding the rest of the time....

We had our new parent class on Tuesday and they mentioned the importance of trying to get into a routine. Baby loves routine, get them into a regular feed, play, sleep pattern... try to do the same things around the same time every day.  Which is what Save our Sleep says, and all other damn baby books.  Yeah.  I get it.  Get into a fucking routine!  Unfortunately if you can't get your child to go down for a sleep when he's tired, standing there and sh sh patting for hours on end, then how the hell are you supposed to make a routine work?  I mean if it takes me 2 hours to get him down for his 1pm sleep, then am I supposed to then wake him at 4pm anyway?  Even though he's only been asleep for an hour?  I don't get it.  Me and another girl were the only one's who have terrible sleepers... unless the other 10 Mum's were lying.  Which, judging by their hair, skin and general alertness, is not likely.  I stupidly also advised that we were coming to the end of our sleeping issues.  What a moron.  

Last night I finally got him to sleep at quarter past 9.  2 hours after his bedtime.  He then slept until 2am.  Which was great, but then he wouldn't go back to sleep.  Finally fell asleep on top of me for about 45mins, went to move him into his hammock, bang.  Awake again.  That was at 4am.  No sleep again until well after 9.30 this morning... argh!  I even drove the Juffin to work in the hopes that Mushroom would pass out in the car like he normally does.  No such luck.  Juffin tentatively broached that maybe it's time the Mushroom moves into his own room but I think that's just a ploy by him to get more sleep as I'd be feeding the Mushroom in his room, not ours... so onto him.

So here we are.  He's been out to it for nearly 2 hours.  The longest stretch since his 5 hour sleep last night.  I was going to head out to the shops and get some Christmas shopping done but I don't want to take my chances on him as he's been so grumpy.  I can only hope he sleeps for another hour and wakes up cheerful, grizzle free and ready to conform!  I'm the damn boss and he's gotta do as I say dammit!

On a lighter note, we are getting many more smiles now.  So that definitely makes up for it!  Bit bizarre that he'll be mid grizzle and break out into a full-on gum smacking grin then scrunch up his face and continue grizzling.  Just makes me wanna call bullshit on the whole thing but that gets me nowhere... you can't call bullshit on a baby!  It has zero effect whatsoever!


"I am Mad Max!  The Maddest Mushroom of them all!"
I feel like I've talked this whole no sleep thing to death and I apologise.  It's hard to write about anything else as it's all consuming! I can only hope that week 7 will bring us some rest, some fun (I'm going to attempt to take the Mushroom swimming!) and FFS, let's pray to Ganesha that we finally get into that damn routine!


On a side note, I know there's a lot of media coverage re whether to vaccinate your kids or not and there seems to be so many reasons for and against.  Either way, there's no guarantee.  In the end I made the decision to vaccinate because I have been, my siblings, my partner, my friends, my parents, so on and so on, and we never had any adverse reactions.  I have also visited south east Asia where some of these diseases that we're vaccinating against are still a reality.  This, amongst other reasons, are why I chose to vaccinate.  It's a personal decision, one that I respect, and I made mine.  


4 Dec 2012

Poo, Poop, Crap and Turds.

Babies poo.  A lot.  Like unbelievable amounts for such a tiny person.  You'd think with the stomach the size of a large marble, that that much poo would not be possible.  Believe me, it is.

In the beginning a newborn's poo looks like black tar, or molasses with greeny tinge.  Yes.  Green.  It's thick, it's sticky and it's pain in the arse to get off.  Literally.  They do let you know in the hospital that it's all normal etc but nothing can prepare you for the sight of all that black, sticky shit pasted on the backside of your tiny little baby.  Where did it all come from?  What the hell is it made out of it?  Why doesn't it stink to high heaven, because it looks like it should?  And how the hell do you get it off?  You learn pretty quickly that you'll be going through at least 240 baby wipes in the period of a week.  Minimum.  But more on that later...

The black sticky ass poo, or Meconium, only lasts for a day or two.  If you're breastfeeding, which we are, then we're onto the good stuff as your milk comes in.  Poo's turn more green and less black and start looking grainy and weird.  It's equally disgusting but still fascinating.  It's true, your baby's poo is fascinating.  Over the course of a few days the poo will turn into a disgusting yellow colour (baby shit yellow anyone?) and will have the consistency of god know's what. I would like to reiterate that the fascination with poo comes from it being one of the first signs if your baby is unwell.  If you're baby's poo is different from normal, bloody or extremely runny, then they might be a sick little one!

So there you are, at least 4 times a day, with your head stuck in your baby's shitty nappy, checking their crap so you can rule out illness.  Most of the time I just marvel at the sheer amount of shit that comes out.  It's hilarious.  I've even on occasion called out to the Juffin and asked him to bear witness.

When there's a particularly large offering, it can take at least 10 wipes to get the Mushroom all clean again.  Baby's have folds of skin.  Just when you think you've got it all, there's a big smear of it hiding under his ball sack.  Sneaky bugger.  There's also the surprise urination, or the 'haven't quite finished' scenario to factor in also.  On numerous occasions we have been sprayed with urine and shit simultaneously.  Mushroom thinks this is hilarious.  Typical male.  As if pissing on your own face would be fun for anyone other than a member of the male sex?      

Mushroom poo's on average 4 or 5 times a day.  The rest are wee's.  So there's a constant stream of poo, and wee's, all day long.  Last night I changed his nappy 3 times before he went to bed.  You'd think I'd have learnt to wait half an hour from hearing the explosion to changing but by the size of the ejection, I thought he was well and truly finished.  It was also past his bedtime and he will not go to sleep if there is the slightest amount of soilage in his pants.  What a superstar, I was thinking at the time, but ruminated some more and had to agree with him, because frankly, there's no way I'd be able to sleep with shit in my pants either!

When I do the night feed, I try not to change him as this will well and truly wake him up but sometimes it's inevitable. He can wet through to his clothes and then we have to do a whole outfit change as well.  It then takes even longer to get him back down.  Poor little man.  I've been experimenting with a variety of different liners to try to rule this out but it's not happening.  I've even tried disposables at night but it just leaks out the side!

With all this shitting and peeing, the Mushroom is going through at least 10 nappies in a 24 hr period.  We're using cloth nappies.  Which isn't that hard.  During the day we use a biodegradable liner, so we can flush that straight in the loo, rinse off the nappy in the laundry sink and pop it in the soaker bucket which has been set up.  Every morning, whilst the Mushroom gurgles happily on the ground, I dump all the soaked nappies from the full bucket into the washing machine, add half a capful of baby friendly detergent and away we go.

You're probably thinking that cloth nappies take up too much time and time is precious when you have a newborn.  I'll be honest. I was a bit worried myself, but seriously, it's not bad at all.  The rinsing off of the nappy after each change takes so little time, as does the washing and hanging out, that I can't even fathom not doing cloth.  They take 20 minutes to dry on the line and when I fold them up I just pre-fold so most of the hard work is done.  I think out of my day this would probably take about half hour, tops.  With the cost of baby wipes and all the other stuff you need, there's no way we could afford to do disposables anyway.  Yes, the initial outlay to buy the nappies is expensive but mine are good quality, organic cotton and they're standing up to the test.  I would like to add that I didn't buy the nappies I'm using, my mother in law did, but I had my own ready to go.

To end, I would like to share the following story:  The other morning Mushroom and Juffin were having a cuddle in bed, and Juffin was trying to encourage our super serious son to smile by sitting him on his tummy and talking nonsense to him whilst grinning like an idiot.  In retaliation for trying to coax things out of our when he's not in the mood, the Juffin was pooped on.  Good and proper.  The force in which the turd evacuated Mushroom's body meant it not only leaked out the side but sprayed.  It was like a tide that wouldn't turn.  So there's Juffin covered in poo, holding our son aloft as he coo's happily whilst shit dribbles down his leg onto our nice clean, white sheets.  Places where our son hasn't shit, not outnumbers the places that he has.  We've now had shit on the change table, the carpet, the laundry wall , washing machine and floor (I nearly forgot about that one!), pee on his face, pee on his mother, pee and shit on Juffin, and shit all over our bed.  I'm the only one who hasn't been shat on.  After writing that short passage, I realise it's only a matter of time....

My cloth nappies, hanging on the line 
Next time:  Immunisation, will Mummy cry more than the Mushroom?!

3 Dec 2012

Success!

Well we did it.  We got some fucking sleep. Hallelujah!  I haven't been game to blog about it for fear of jinxing myself, but what the hell?  Can't be any worse than the last couple of weeks that we had.  This morning I even put the Mushroom down and he was semi awake and he just drifted off by himself.  Bloody brilliant!

Here's the part where I admit that I was stupid and should have listened to my mother. And my sister.  And numerous other people.  Swaddling was the key.  I had tried it previously but to no avail.  The screaming, grunting tantrum when I tried to swaddle him was enough to put anyone off.  In desperation, and exhaustion, on Thursday night I thought I'd try again.  Ok that's not exactly true.  I was bouncing a screaming Mushroom up and down, around and around, shhing and carrying on for over an hour and I decided to google how to calm an overtired baby... and what do you know?  Swaddling came up.  I thought there's no way, until I saw this you tube video and this one both using that miracle blanket thing and they stopped crying almost instantly.  Instantly people!  

Now I don't have a miracle blanket.  I do, however, have muslin, and I'm creative, and more importantly, I'm desperate, so I'll try to I do a homemade version of that.  I mean if it's that easy to make him stop crying then I'm in.  After some pretty ridiculous attempts, a screaming protestation and  20 minutes later, Mushroom admitted defeat.  Swaddled, he was a different Mushroom.  He was calm, warm and cuddly, and more importantly, not screaming.  I fed him all wrapped up tight then put him down to sleep, no hysterics, nothing.  Just quiet, deep sleep.  No shit.  I almost cried with relief.  I had a lovely, long, hot shower and got into bed and enjoyed over 5 wonderful hours of unbroken sleep. Little bloody champion.

Friday afternoon things went downhill but I also came to the realisation that my little man gets overtired very quickly and needs to be sleeping much, much more.  He was still catching up on all the hours he missed and was being decidedly unco-operative all afternoon.  I guess I just thought that if he was tired, he would go to sleep.. douche.  Baby's need to be settled to get to sleep and because he was so overtired, he wasn't settling, therefore he wasn't sleeping.  I just had to get him to calm down enough to get some good slepep and then be a better Mummy at making him go to sleep more often!

Unfortunately we had Juffin's work Christmas BBQ on Friday night so not great timing but you have to do these things.  We ventured out hoping that someone would fall asleep in the car... denied.  We then tried rocking, wrapping, and pushing in the pram.  Again denied.  I mean he wasn't a holy terror, just grizzly crying and general discontentedness, not screaming the house down unhappiness.  The Mushroom just didn't want to be put down in his pram, he just wanted heaps of cuddles, whilst nearly yawning his face off and continuing to fight sleep.  In the end I sat in the car breastfeeding for most of the evening which was tremendous fun.

After that, I decided that I was going to try to get into some sort of a routine and make sure that he was getting lots of good sleep, because at that time, he obviously wasn't!  Unfortunately that meant that rest of our social plans for the weekend went out the window but for our sanity, and Mushroom's wellbeing, it had to done!  We have now established a bedtime routine, play, bath, songs and cuddles, feed, sleep.  And it's working!  The Mushroom is drifting off to sleep alone and settling himself and, the best part, is going straight back to sleep after his 1.30am feed!!!  I'm so happy I could die.  Seriously.

All of you cross your fingers and toes for us that the good sleeping continues!

Mushroom Burrito anyone?!  

Next time:  Poo, poo, and more bloody poo!

29 Nov 2012

Dark Day

Yesterday was a dark day. Actually, the whole 24 hour period was pretty dark. Juffin and I had a stupid argument, the Mushroom wouldn't sleep, the house looks like a bomb hit it and we can't seem to get into any kind of routine at all.

Tuesday evening commenced with the Mushroom being overtired.  He's starting to rebel re having sleeps during the day.  He was fine in the morning and then we tried that stupid Baby Bjorn and it went downhill from there.  Mushroom just won't settle and when he finally does, only sleeps for half an hour or so, not good enough.  This makes for an unmanageable little Mushroom.  So Juffin gets home and we have an evening of struggle.  I start tea whilst he has cuddles, he finishes tea whilst I feed the Mushroom.  We then take turns eating our dinner.  Which sucks.  As dinner is pretty much the only time of the day where we can connect as adults. Up until now we have managed to get Mushroom into bed by 8-9pm and we wait so we can eat dinner together.  This isn't happening anymore.  And it's shite.

I'm already upset because I can't get the Mushroom down to sleep and I feel pretty stupid re the Baby Bjorn thing.  When we're finally both in bed, exhausted and drained, I stupidly bring up something that shouldn't be discussed just before bed and we get into it.  I'm in tears, and whilst we don't go to sleep angry and all is forgiven, I feel absolutely crap.

1.30am rolls around, only 2 hours after Juffin and I have had our disagreement, and the Mushroom wakes up.  I have the light very dim, no talking, little eye contact and we do our feed quietly.  He drifts back to sleep and I try to put him back into his hammock.  He's not having a bar of it.  2 hours of 'it's ok, Mummy's here' (read 'I'm going to throw you at the wall if you don't go to f-ing sleep soon!') sh shush SHHHH'ing and a very grizzy Mushroom finally passes out.  I then cry myself to sleep as I'm so exhausted, my boobs are dry, my eyes may as well be too.

Less than 2 hours later, the Mushroom is awake again and I actually throw my fist in the sky and say for fuck's sake, quite loudly.  I thought that shit was an exaggeration, that people really didn't do stuff like that only said they did to make their point.  But I did it.  That shit is real.  I'm totally spent.  I must be the worst mother in the world!  My eyes are practically glued together, my wrists hurt from holding the Mushroom's head up to my boob, I have a sore back from carrying him and rocking him back to sleep and I just want at least 2 hours more of sleep.  Of course, this doesn't happen.  It's like mad mushroom sense and he can tell that I'm mad/frustrated at him and he refuses to co-operate in spite.  I mean, I know this isn't true but far out dude!  What's that book that everyone was laughing about last year?  I love you but go the fuck to sleep?!

Juffin gets up and goes to work in a bit of a daze, having not gotten much more sleep than I have.  We're not fighting any more, and it's all resolved but I'm still emotional and teary when he leaves for work.  I'm sitting on the couch, feeding (as per usual!) and the tears are rolling down my face.  In my infinite wisdom (read moronic stupidity) I get on Google and check out some sites re getting baby to sleep and unmanageable 5 week old's.  As I sit there, crying and feeding my son, I am horrified to learn that according to the internet, I really could be the worst fucking mother on the planet.  I may not be doing anything correctly at all!!  I had my suspicions that I was a bit crap, but to see it there, on the internet, far out!

Insert the following disclaimer here: I would like to add that today, as I'm writing this, I'm aware that I was totally over-reacting and once again, showing inherent stupidity by taking the words of strangers and not professional people which are probably utter bullshit to heart.  Google, once again, is not my friend.  Will I ever learn?!    

We are doing demand feeding, ie when the Mushroom indicates signs of hunger, I feed him.  This is generally every 2.5 to 4 hours.  Except in the evening when he wants to feed on and off for a couple of hours until bedtime.  According to numerous websites and baby books, we should have a well established routine which goes something like this: feed, play then sleep.  However, my Mushroom wants to feed, play for only 5 or 10 minutes, feed, then sleep, if I can get him to sleep at all.  I mean he's hungry, I'm not going to deny him food because he's hungry! I'm also not going to let my 5 week old son, cry himself to sleep.  He's 5 weeks old.  He doesn't know anything and crying is his only way of communicating with me.

In tears I send an SOS text to my girlfriend and contact the child health clinic and book in for some new parent sessions.  With help on the way, I go to make myself a giant coffee, only to find that the Juffin has consumed all the f-ing milk again.  Pissed is an understatement.  My girlfriend will be around to rescue me soon, but in the meantime I put on my sneakers, put the crying mushroom in the pram and we hit the road.  When in doubt, walk it out.  Or walk to the shops so you can buy some fricking milk so you can make yourself a giant coffee and think about ways of dismembering your wonderful boyfriend who leaves you with no fricking milk in the morning....

After 5 minutes in the pram the Mushroom is out to it, and I'm feeling a little better.  We motor up to the shops and back, milk in hand, and I have a lovely shower and start to feel a little better.  My girlfriend comes out with smiles and a sympathetic ear and it becomes clear, once again, that I may be an irrational moron.  There is no right or wrong way to parent, you just have to do what works for you and your bubba.  Of course, it's always someone else who is the voice of reason.  Looking back, I just feel stupid, but that's what being a new Mummy is all about.  Sleep deprivation and jumping to ridiculous conclusions.  Oh and raising a kid and all that shiz... Yes that is my tongue firmly lodged in my cheek.

Fighting sleep in the pram
The Mushroom still fought sleep yesterday, all damn day the boy refused to sleep more than 20 mins at a time, but I felt that little bit better about myself.  I tried to remain calm, stayed away from Google and when 4pm rolled around I just put him in the pram again and off we went. I mean at least he's getting a little bit of sleep in there, and coincidentally, the bottle shop is only 500 metres away!  After the day I'd had, I deserved a red wine!  We managed to get him into bed by 8.30pm and he slept much better. He had his usual 1.30am feed but, holy cow, straight back to sleep!  And don't fall off your chair people, but he then slept through to 6.30am!!  Woohoo!  I'm trying not to jinx myself but I even managed to get him down for a sleep this morning and he's been out to it for 2 hours now.  Super awesome!!

Next time: We're attempting to attend some parties over the weekend and I'm hopefully purchasing a second hand jogger pram so we can start revving up the exercise - will keep you all posted!

27 Nov 2012

Baby Carriers

So I'm a noob when it comes to all things baby. I had the basics down pat, I'm now realising that I need all this other crap as well.  Like a carrier, a sling, a jogger pram, saddle bags to strap onto said jogger pram, a better behaved baby... just kidding, but you get my drift.

In an attempt to get some housework done, I thought I'd get a baby carrier.  A front/back pack thing so I could move around the house, and free up the hands to hang out washing, vacuum, cook tea etc.  I did some basic googling, and the Baby Bjorn kept coming up, so I thought shit, I'll do that.  I read so many bad reviews about slings in general that I thought I won't bother.  I don't remember reading any bad reviews about the Baby Bjorn.   At all. And I seriously looked at this shit for days.

So got onto good old eBay and Gumtree and went to it.  Found a lady selling an Active Baby Bjorn for $20.  Perfect.  Organising to go have a look and pick it up proved challenging.  I'm still unable to drive, not long now.  Juffin works 8 to 5 and the lady has 3 small children so evenings are no good.  Weekends are always full up and over too quickly and we can never seem to get it to work.  Finally I ask my lovely parents if they could take me during the day.  Success!  This morning I met lovely woman at Lollipops and we did our wheeling and dealing.  Carrier in clean, working order, looks great, happily part with my $20 and we're on our way.

I didn't think for a second that Mushroom wouldn't like the carrier.  He is a cuddle monster.  I thought he'd love to be up on my chest all day long.  I didn't think about the pressure on his little crotch or that his legs would be dangling all day like that.  I didn't think about anything really.  So no surprise when we get home and Mushroom hates the Bjorn.  Screams blue murder.  There's no support for his legs, his little frank and beans must be getting squished, and he looks lost inside it!  I take it off immediately. I mean what am I supposed to do?  Make him wear it whilst he's screaming the house down!  

"No Mum!!  I hate that Baby Bjorn!  Get it away from me!" 
After a feed and lots of cuddles Mushroom calms down and drifts off and I text my gal pal and ask her what carrier she uses.  It's an Ergo, which I looked at and dismissed because of the price.  And because everyone kept saying bloody Bjorn!  I got online and actually did some research and came up with the following information:  I'm an idiot who buys things without thinking, and I'm an idiot.  Thanks be to Ganesha that I bought the bloody thing for $20 and didn't pay full price for it!  Madness!

The offending item.. Baby Bjorn anyone?!  
I'm now tossing up whether to get an Ergo or a Mei Tai.  I have tentatively bid on an Ergo on eBay but have my doubts that I'll get it.  And I kinda wanted it like yesterday.  Any advice on slings and baby wearing are welcome!  I want to get my house back in order and can't expect the Juffin to do every bloody thing!

Will keep an eye on eBay and cross my fingers that I win and that the Shroom likes it!  I have had a bad week thus far with my stupid baby brain so hopefully things will improve and not get worse!

Also, moral dilemma, is it bad karma if I re-sell the offending item on eBay?!

Next time:  Who knows?!  It's a mixed bag over here!

26 Nov 2012

Five weeks

Mushroom is five weeks old today.  I have managed to keep a human being alive for five whole weeks.  Bazinga to all you haters out there who doubted I could do it!  I have survived but more importantly, so has the Mushroom... so we're not doing too badly.  The little bastard won't sleep, but we're not doing too badly at all.

Let's recap some of the highlights from this week alone:

  • Mushroom decides that any kind of sleep is overrated and chooses to exercise his right to scream/grizzle/cry for elongated periods of time reducing Mummy to a shell of her former self (mentally, not physically, unfortunately!) 
  • Master the art of breastfeeding whilst lying down.  Awesome.  
  • Urinating all over the place whilst nappy changing is going on has become a daily occurrence.  Despite attempts to stem the flow of urine by strategically placed nappies/towels, urine still manages to penetrate and wet Mushroom's clothes.  Unadulterated grunting, fist pumping and leg kicking ensues to show Mummy how pleased with himself he is.  We go through a record of 5 onesies on one day.  
  • Successful outing to Stockland so Mummy and Juffin can stuff their faces with sushi and Mummy can get out of the house.  Minor meltdown whilst exploring the new Myer but have successful feed and nappy change in delightfully modern baby room.  Hooray for shops! 
  • Juffin is struck down by migraine.  Probably due to lack of sleep.  The Mushroom rewards his father by screaming till the cows come home then projectile pooing all over the carpet. Again.  As Mummy is not versed in the use of the Vax and has a screaming child to attend to, Juffin must shampoo the carpet whilst his skull is about to crack open. 
  • Mushroom shows a distinct predilection to the Presets and does some pretty decent headbanging to the new Parkway Drive track.  All hope is not lost!  
  • Attempts by Mummy to exercise are thwarted by the Mushroom who doesn't want to leave the comfort of the air conditioned bedroom and screams blue murder every time he is placed in the pram or hits the road outside the house.  Whilst I should just power on, it's a bit hard to look at his purple screaming face whilst I'm trying to get in a walk.  Also exercising after 3 hours sleep is not high on my priorities.  
  • Further on the air conditioning issue, Mummy thinks that she may have created a monster as someone refuses to behave unless in 25c comfort, she is currently rationing refrigerated cold air unless absolutely neccessary!  Mushroom will comply!!  
  • Mushroom smiles for the first time, but will not do it again.  He will, however, scowl at me at every opportunity.  Attitude x 1000.  I wonder where he get's that from?!  
  • We hear a new sound, which is a high pitched 'la lah LAAAHHHHOOOWWWW'.  This makes a nice change from the grunting and nanny goat crying.  I'm proud of his expanding vocabulary.    
  • Every morning the Juffin makes us breakfast and we all have cuddles together. For 5 minutes we forget that we've only had 4 hrs sleep and we laugh at our bobble headed son.  It's the highlight of my day.
Oh how my life has changed!  I know that people tell you every damn day when you're pregnant that your life will change in every single way, but it's like moving out of home, nothing can prepare you for the reality.

The above experiences are not all trying, but most of them are, and they're just part and parcel of my day now.  And despite starting the day around 4am my day flies by and I don't remember doing much at all!  Feed, nappy change, feed, soothe, put down to sleep, feed, nappy change, nappy change, washing nappies, shove food in my face and repeat process all over again.  Big ups to all you stay at home Mum's who have a clean house because right now, my house is fucking filthy!

I'm not going to say that being a parent is hard, because clearly it is, but everybody says that.  I'm going to say that it's different, a new perspective.  Every day is a challenge, but not outside the realms of possibility. It's not like climbing Everest.  You don't think about it, you just do it. My priorities have changed so much and it's funny because I still don't think of myself as a Mother yet.  I'm not even sure that I'm particularly maternal, but I think I'm doing an okay job so far...


"What are you looking at punk?!"

22 Nov 2012

Rockstar

Mushroom has turned into a rock star.

Aside from his little growth spurt at 3 weeks, my son was sleeping like a trooper.  We were getting him to bed by 9pm, awake at 1.30am for a feed then straight back to sleep until 6am.  It was awesome.  Juffin and I were revelling.  This is great, we thought, we can do this.... I was even managing to get some exercise in when he went back to sleep after his morning feed.  Happy Mum, happy Mushroom.  Then it got really fucking hot and he's not coping at all.  Whinging, and unsettled, my little mushroom is a decidedly unhappy little boy.  I've had the a/c flat chat for days now but I don't know if it's working.

Obviously because of the heat, the Mushroom needs to feed more to keep hydrated, but, catch 22, the wet nappies have also increased, and he seems to be wetting right through them...  We are changing way more frequently, around 10 nappies a day, and he then manages to pee all over himself on the change table as well!  I have a spare nappy on hand to cover him whilst we're changing as this has happened before but those doodles are so unpredictable!  Yesterday he just kicked it off and peed with abundant joy all over his own face.  I mean what the hell?!  I then have to start the whole wipe down and re clothe process again.  I would have him in nothing but a nappy but as he won't sleep unless the air conditioning is on, he needs to have a singlet on at least.  Thank god that we have a gazillion onesies as we are going through 4 outfits a day, minimum, coupled with the constant crying, the no sleeping and the general unhappiness, I'm not a happy Mummy.  What gives?!  You think you're doing well and everything is going along swimmingly then... blam!    I dread to see what our electricity bill is going to look like with all the damn clothes/nappy washing and the air conditioning pumping out that sweet, frigid air 24/7.  

Last night I finally got the Mushroom down at 8.30pm after fighting it out with him since his last hour nap at 4 in the afternoon.  Clearly exhausted, he slept until half midnight, which was great!  4 hours, I thought, woohoo!  When he woke, I proceeded to feed him as usual, kept the light really dim, minimal chatter for a night feed.  We did a nappy change, had some cuddles and I then fed him a little more as he was still showing signs of hunger.  He drifted off with a minimal amount of fuss and I left him on my chest for 10 mins then tried to put him in his hammock.  Instantly his eyes fly open and look at me accusingly like 'How dare you Mum?!' and he's awake and crying all over again.  We repeated this process twice.  Finally at quarter to 3 I got him down.  Only to be woken again at 4.30, repeat ad nauseum.

Arrrrggghhhhh!!!!  It's like my son is some kind of drug addict who's detoxing or something.  Remember that scene from Trainspotting?  He's like Renton was when he was coming down, screaming and crying, and carrying on.  Except obviously not a heroin addict. Or a grown man.  Actually that was a stupid reference but whatever, you get my drift.  The damn Mushroom is crazy right now!  The eye rubbing, constant feeding, wet nappies, grizzly crying, fist pumping and leg kicking diva-like behaviour non-stop goes on for hours and hours.  When he woke up at 4.30 this morning I was ready to walk out the door except I was too tired and wearing a really ugly nightie.  Yes.  I wear nighties because when you're breastfeeding it's the easiest thing to wear.  Don't judge me.  

The lowest point of yesterday was when I yelled at Juffin because he took too long in the toilet.  In my defence, the Mushroom had stopped mid feed, screamed, spewed all over me, then resumed screaming.   We were entering our fourth hour of non-stop 'rockstar' in the day that just wouldn't end.  I needed a break but the poor man was just trying to take a shit.  Deep breaths.

I know that this is all normal behaviour for a 4 week old baby. I know that there's nothing wrong with him, my milk, or my parenting skills.  This is just what babies do.  It doesn't make it any less frustrating or hard though.  I don't want to jinx myself but he's been out for nearly an hour and half now.  I managed to shower, shove some toast in my face and get some of the mountain of washing done.  It's now my turn to get a snooze in before he wakes again.

What 3 hours sleep looks like... eek!  
Next time:  Hopefully we'll both be alive to post about a next time...  lols!  

20 Nov 2012

Is this an over-share?

Afternoon fans.  And family.  And total strangers.  Lovely to share my life with you.

It's become clear to me today, when I want to vent about something or someone, that I can't.  Because I share this blog with so many people, and inevitably, whatever I write here, will eventually come back and bite me in the sizable arse.  This means that I just have to suck it up and shut up.  At the end of the day, it's just bitching anyway so I'm actually being a grown up and not saying anything at all because I can't say anything nice.  Those who know me well will know what I'm referring to... and in the words forever immortalised by Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.

Juffin does not read my blog.  As he shares my life, and the experiences we have with Mushroom, I don't think he needs to read it.  In his words, he gets to hear my hilarious take on life all day everyday, a constant stream of jibber jabber.  I'm sure he'll read it someday but he's using his computer time to read the atomic  website (tech website for supernerds) and look for car parts on ebay... that's my man.

According to trusty blogger stats, my blog has had over a 1000 page views.  Wow!  Upon seeing that my thought process went something like this....

"Can I get in trouble with the powers that be if I describe a particularly shitty day with the Mushroom and mention fleeting moments of violent hatred towards my child?  Is that allowed?  Can I talk about intimate moments with my little family or does that make them less intimate?  Should I be posting photo's of my son on a website that can be viewed by anyone, any time, anywhere?  Is this any different to facebook, because I'm pretty sure the only people reading my blog are people that I actually know?  Isn't a blog supposed to be about sharing your life and experiences?  And if that's true, which parts of your life do you keep private and which parts are a free for all?  Is that a lot of page views for a blog?  Am I over thinking things again... I'm pretty sure that nobody gives a shit about any of this crap Jessica!  Snap out of it!" 

Did that little insight into my brain freak you out just a little bit?  It freaked me out!  I'm a nutter and the majority of those page views were probably made by me every time I log in to do a post!  As per usual, letting my imagination run wild.  I'm just going to post about whatever and hope that I don't upset, hurt, embarrass or horrify too many people... famous last words!  

This morning my Dad and my brother came to visit.  They took me out for a coffee date, which we enjoyed and then we had a tiki tour around as they're closing the level crossing near my house and allegedly there is a back road out of my estate but it doesn't actually exist yet.  In all our driving around, we somehow ended up at the pub.  Before 12pm.  Because we could and that's what semi bored Coleman's do.  I justified it by pointing out that it was well after 2pm in New Zealand.

Mushroom was a very good boy until we got to the pub then he chucked a nany.  So far he loves the car which is a bonus.  I'd probably have an accident if I had to drive with a screaming child in the backseat!  Obviously hungry and having only attempted to breastfeed in public once before, I had to try and feed the Mushroom somewhere.  Thank god I am breastfeeding, how much bloody stuff do you have to carry around with formula feeding?  Damn!

The only option I could see was the toilet as thought better of sitting in the garden bar trying to do it.  Luckily there was a little bench in there so I didn't have to sit on the actual toilet.  I think if I was smaller chested then I'd just breastfeed in public and to hell with what other people think, but because of the ginormous boulders on my chest, I'm a bit embarrassed and scared of confronting people.  I feel like everyone's looking at me to see how I'm coping with a baby (see previous post re this here) and I'm not sure the two older gentlemen and the elderly couple having an early lunch would have enjoyed seeing my engorged melons and my son's tiny head sucking on them.  To make matters worse it was at least 35c in the loo and we were sweating it up big time, Mushroom grunting and sucking and carrying on, and me with a snake of sweat trailing down my neck... delightful.

When we returned sweaty but semi-victorious, my Dad asked the poignant question of why there are no air conditioned toilets and we had to have a ponder on this as I couldn't think of one place where I've been in air conditioned comfort whilst doing my business, aside from the big shopping centres, and only recently has this been the case.  My brother advised that you should plan your day around your bowel movements and I pointed out that sometimes it was an emergency.  You can't possibly plan your entire day around your shit schedule.  Literally.  You can see why beer was definitely in order.  Mushroom only tolerated the consumption of one beverage each so it was back in the car and homeward bound for us.  And for all you Judgey McJudgeholes out there, I only intended to have one and I had a light beer after had I fed my son, so there!  

That was our morning.  We got home in time to make Juffin some bruschetta for lunch, have some tear free tummy time (I made sure that he was well fed before attempting and it seemed to be a success, hooray!) and get the nappies all washed and on the line.  A day in the life.  I will now attempt to get a nap in whilst the Mushroom is snoozing... fat chance!

"See Mum!  I can totally do it without crying!" 
Next time:  Trying to get out of the house on time is impossible!


19 Nov 2012

Congratulations. You suck.

The title says it all really. This post is going to demonstrate all the ridiculous bullshit that's out there regarding the raising of children.  And that I'm crap at it.  Already. 4 weeks in.

Today I received my weekly email from the trusty babycentre that lets me know what developments/milestones/problems the Mushroom may be facing at this particular time.  Mushroom is 4 weeks old today. And due to my lack of parenting skills, he may as well be 4 hours old.

Here's what I'm doing right: breastfeeding, changing his nappy, keeping him alive.

Here's what I'm doing wrong:

No tummy time
Mushroom hates tummy time.  He screams blue murder and I think he hates me because I try and make him do it.  Like you're supposed to. And he cries.  A lot.  And I keep persisting with it, even though leaving a newborn to cry is cruel. That's ridiculous conflicting information number one.  I have tried and tried and TRIED to get Mushroom to like tummy time.  I lay on the floor with him, sing songs, poke faces, stick toys/rattles etc near his face so he can be 'stimulated'.  Nothing words.  He cries and cries and cries.  Persist obviously but I just feel like a huge bitch.

Watching TV whilst breastfeeding
Yes.  I'm breastfeeding.  That's fantastic.  But.... I'm supposed to be 'bonding' with my child whilst breastfeeding.  Not watching Modern Family or Parks and Recreation.  Bonding through breastfeeding involves staring lovingly into your child's eyes whilst feeding, stroking and touching your child, talking to him and generally being a bit intense and hippyfied.  I mean I get it.  Sometimes we have really touching moments but from about 5 to 8pm the Mushroom feeds non-stop.  So I have to sit there and stare into my child's eyes for three consecutive hours.  Really?!

Having the TV on in general
So too much TV is bad.  We get it.  As much as I'd love to say that my kid is never going to watch TV that's obviously bullshit.  I read somewhere recently that your child should have zero 'screen time' before they're 3.  3!!!  That's because TV is the devil and it can shorten your child's attention span, amongst other things.  I can't see myself doing that at all.  I mean, yes, limited TV watching, but not no TV until they're 3, how the hell would you get tea on the table?

Singing, nursery rhymes, game playing
I don't know many nursery rhymes, or age appropriate songs or age appropriate games for that matter, for a 4 week old baby.  I'm pretty sure the Mushroom can't handle texas hold em poker as yet.  The other night when Mushroom was crying at 2am I sang him 'Under the Bridge' by the chili peppers.  It's one of the only songs that I know all the words too without having the actual song on.  I'm not sure that he liked it, but that was probably because my singing voice ain't exactly awesome.

Rocking/feeding/cuddling baby to sleep
All of these are bad.  And I do all of them.  Because otherwise, the Mushroom would never go to sleep.  And I would die.  Apparently I'm getting him used to these things and when he's older, he'll be used to all this stuff, and it will make it harder to break him out of that cycle.  I feed him, he gets drowsy, I put him in the hammock, he cries.  I take him out of the hammock, I cuddle him.  He falls asleep, I put him in the hammock, he cries. I take him out of the hammock, I check his nappy. I cuddle him, he falls asleep, I put him in the hammock.  He stirs and grunts and carry's on, I rock the hammock until he goes to sleep. Do you see my  problem here?!  Besides, you're not supposed to leave a newborn to cry...

There's more stuff that I'm not doing either but I just can't be bothered listing all of my failings as a parent for all to see.  It's just depressing.  Where does one find the time to spend all this quality fun time with their baby?  There's so many things your supposed to do, that I just lose track.  How can you be an awesome, attentive mother, a great partner and lover to your other half and take time for yourself as well? It seems impossible!  I have so much respect for those women who have toddlers and other children and look after a newborn too.  I don't think I could cope with that at all!!

I guess I'm over thinking everything.  I just got really jacked off whilst reading that stupid email because it made me feel like a failure.  And I've only been doing this for 4 fucking weeks.  Mushroom is not smiling or laughing, or 'gurgling with pleasure', he's not holding his head up during tummy time, because it's such a chore that I don't make him do it everyday, and I don't see any recognition when he looks at my face or hears my voice. He does like my smell, and my cuddles, but I'm pretty sure it's just the milk he can smell on me that he likes!  

I mean he seems fine..... for a baby, I guess. Who am I kidding, I have no fucking idea?!  I've never done this before! And the internet sucks.  I think that I may have to go on a self imposed Google ban because it's not helping my sanity at all.  Nor is this damn heat.  For the first time in a long time, I feel like a cigarette.  Heaven help me.

"Damn you woman!  I hate the tummy time!"
Next time:  I promise I won't smoke, I won't be negative and I won't disparage Google, because Google is everything.



15 Nov 2012

Boulder holders

I was a naive pregnant person.  There were lots of things that I didn't know.  Like having to wear a maternity bra whilst you were pregnant.  Something about the wires in your normal bras interfering with your breast tissue and causing blockages which may lead to mastitis.  A lady from work told me.  Shout out!

For those that don't know me I'm a chesty gal.  I have the big boobs.  I hate them most of the time but the Juffin does like them, and Max seems to think they're ok too since he hangs out wasting time on them for ages after he's finished feeding, chomping sporadically on my nipples, I digress.  As a large breasted lady, shopping for bras is right up there with pap smears and ironing.  Horrid but necessary, and only required once every 2 years....  I usually buy cheap t-shirt bras from the big department stores for about $20 each.  I'm lucky enough that my cup size was hard to buy for, but not impossible.  I could get nice bras, pretty cheaply and they were comfortable and supportive.  When I got pregnant, it became impossible.  

I thought my breasts hadn't grown that much since conception.  I was already a DD but it was pushing the limits towards the end of my pregnancy.  The way that my friends had talked about mastitis I was pretty worried.    Time to take some action.   I was still working and I went into the bra shop on my lunch break and was greeted by a girl, I say girl because she looked like she was still in high school, and asked if I could be fitted for a maternity bra.  She looked at me frankly and asked what size I was wearing, I told her.  I think she wanted to see if they could even assist me or not.  Turns out they could, so far.  She marched me off to the change room wielding her measuring tape.  I'm very proud to say that I was wearing the correct size and fit for my bazookas.  I am awesome.  Apparently the majority of women are walking around wearing the wrong size bra for their chesticles.  Get it sorted girls!  Serio!    

So there we are, me, shirt off, her touching me in places that few people have touched before... COUGH...  and BraGirl advises me that I need to allow for at least a jump in one cup size and I should be able to get my hand inside the cup.  Lucky my hand is pretty small.  She toddles off and finds me a few different bras to try on, all their own brand of course, and leaves me to it.  

I hate trying on clothes.  If you're a bit on porky side, being in a changing room is like being inside a cone of truth.  You can't escape your reflection, and let me tell you, at 30 something weeks pregnant, it doesn't look good.  I pick up what can only be described as the ugliest bra in the world.  I mean, my self confidence is already on the floor and I have to wear the ugliest bra in the world.  Why do they do this to pregnant people?  We're sensitive you know?  I try on the beige, shiny E cup.  It's ugly.  It's beige. And it's too small.   Damn.  Deep breaths.  We move onto to another offering, this time in a lovely shade of off white.  Ok, who am I kidding?  It's beige also.  It's an F cup.  F for fucking huge.  And it fits, just, so this means it doesn't fit my hand in as well which can only mean that it's too small.  OMG.  I don't fit into an F cup!!!  I cannot be needing a G cup.  I need a freaking G cup?!  Seriously.  A G cup.  I have porn star boobs, I'm a freaking porn star.  And they're gross. And I look gross and where the fuck is the bra girl?!  I've been in this changing room for over 10 minutes hyperventilating over my giant gross, veiny, brown nippled boobs and she has not come back to assist me!

It's too much.  They don't even stock G cups so I'm screwed anyway.  I leave the store a sweaty, pregnant mess. Not only were the bras in that store fucking ugly, the service was crap.  At least I know now what size I have to buy.  I get home and pour my little heart out to my lovely boyfriend who points out that he loves my boobs, giant or no, and to just get online and order whatever I need.  I do advise him that because of my size I'll be paying upwards of $70 a bra which does warrant a raised eyebrow from him but it's a necessary evil so no point in worrying about it.  

I find some great websites but zodee.com.au has to be my favourite.  They stock beautiful maternity bras, in a range of colours, brands and sizes, and they offer free delivery for purchases over $50.  I buy 3 bras and some nursing singlets.  There's even online chat support if you need to ask questions about sizing etc.  Amazeballs.  Today, I bought a sleeping bra because no-one told me about the leakage factor and I'm sick of waking up with big wet patches all over the place or alternatively wearing a bra to bed!  

After my experience at the Bra shop that shall remain nameless, I'm pretty stoked with my online shopping experience!   My wonderful Mother (shout out!) also visited the Bendon factory outlet in Auckland when she was there on holidays and purchased me a lovely Bendon maternity bra, which though only an F cup, fits perfectly as well.  So I'm set.  Bras with cup holders bigger than my head are a go go.  Fuck me.  I can only imagine what they're going to look like after I finish breastfeeding... mega sadface!

One of my giant bras!
Next time:  Who knows?!  Everyday presents a new challenge!      

13 Nov 2012

Mary Poppins

I'm posting about leaving the house with a newborn because writing about the last 4 days in my house would just be too sad to bear.  I don't want to live through it again by writing about it.  Basically I'm now a dairy cow, and the Mushroom is a calf.  I was up until 2.45 this morning, and then back up again at 4.49.  I know because I looked at the clock and couldn't believe that 2 hours had passed.  It felt like 2 minutes.  My nipples are desperately looking for an exit out of this hell...

Needless to say, it has been SHITE!  To top things off the Mushroom decided to poo all over the carpet this morning.  In our rented house.  I had to get down on my hands and knees and scrub carpet whilst he lay next to me on the floor and screamed his little nut off until he was purple with rage.  I just kept scrubbing.  So are the days of our lives....

It is totes scary to go out with a teeny tiny baby that first few times.  Who am I kidding?  Mushroom is only 3 weeks old and I've only been out 3 times.  I'm scared as.  People stare at you, at the baby.  It's like they're judging what kind of parent you are.  And holy moley, if your baby crys, forget about it. Everyone is all sunshine and roses, and then your baby has a cry, and they hate you.  They look at you with their judging eyes. Judgey McJudge holes.  I think that that is the worst part about it.  The judging eyes when your baby starts crying and you can't get him to stop.  I feel like yelling 'It's not that easy a-holes!  Try coming to my house at 3am and see what screaming sounds like!  Damn!' Of course I don't do that at all.  I just grimace and hold the Mushroom tight and do the sh, shh, shhhh mantra over and over again....

I had to take Mushroom to the GP when he was 10 days old.  I felt like kicking the midwife's teeth in when she told me that I had to venture out that early in the game.  I was like what the hell?  Can't you check him over?  How the f am I supposed to get to the GP? I can't drive a damn car for six weeks, Juffin is back at work and I'm SCARED!  Go out in public, with the Mushroom, and be all organised and what not?!  Far out, huge ask!  Apparently there are heart defects that may not show themselves at birth though, so you have to get to your Doc to have the little bubba checked out.  Easier said than done.

I made the appointment and arranged for my Mum to take us.  I pretty much worried about it all week.  I googled what to pack into a nappy bag and packed and repacked it a million times.  At present the bag has the following items in it: child health record, (the stupid red book that YOU MUST TAKE TO EVERY APPOINTMENT), disposable nappies (yuck!), wipes, a muslin wrap, a change of clothes, nappy balm, disposable nappy bags, lip balm for me, panadol, my purse, plastic bag for dirty clothes, dribble rag... the list goes on!  The items that are in that bag, amazeballs.  I'm like frickin Mary Poppins over here.

The Juffin took the carseat over to Mum's the night before so it was all installed and ready to go for the next day.  I had nothing to worry about frankly.  He was fine.  I fed him, stuck him in the car and away we went.  The Doc visit went off without a hitch, we did a feed in the car, then decided to visit the work girls.  Mum even took me to get some lunch afterwards.  I was like a real adult again!  Yay!

We have since been to the supermarket to do grocery shopping, which went ok, until we reached the 3rd last aisle and he'd had enough and had a bit of a meltdown, and we've been to Willows.  Which also went ok, but again, mini meltdown.  For our Willows outing I had to practice putting the pram up and down so I didn't stuff it up and have to hang out in the car park screaming at the sky for an hour.  Yes.  It took me that long to figure it out and, and it was passed down to me, I had to download the product information brochure so I could finally figure it out.

I think Mushroom may be a typical male and hate the shops.  The key seems to be feed, change, feed, feed, feed and then he falls asleep and you're home free.  You may have between 2 and 4 hours to get your shit together or you may not.  After the last few days, I don't want to go making any kind of assumptions!

Sleeping in the pram


Next time:  Will I go crazy?!  Answer is:  More than likely!

11 Nov 2012

Thank you, thank you, thank you! And what happens when you get cocky!

This post is for you.  The reader.  You guys have shown such support, such encouragement, such wisdom, that I'm literally blown away.  When people talk about how there's no goodness left in the World, I will forever be reminded of the advice, the words of encouragement, the offers of help by you lovely ladies.  Some of you I haven't seen or spoken to directly in years, but you have reached out and offered me assistance.  This means so much to me.

I had hoped that by starting this blog, I would be able to share my ups and downs with friends and family.  I had no idea that so many of you would be interested in reading, or sharing your own experiences, which so many of you have done.  It makes what I'm going through seem less of 'hurdle' and more of a 'hiccup'.  Cementing the fact that you truly are never alone.

I would like to advise that the previous post was in reference to a night we experienced 2 weeks ago.  My blog is a little behind as I was trying to catch up on all that has happened since his birth.  We've had two wonderful weeks since.  Not even lying.  Mushroom got into a distinct routine, hell knows how we managed that, and our day went something like this:

Awake at 5.45am.  Feeding, bonding time with Mummy and Daddy, cuddles, watching Mummy and Daddy have breakfast, kissing Daddy good bye as he goes to work, more feeding.  Asleep again by 8am.  In the last few days we have then gone for a walk but initially the following would happen: Jess sits around and wonders what to do.  Does laundry despite being told not to by nurses, doctors and the Juffin. Facebook, shower, watch some tv, read the news online, stare at son and take stupid photo's of sleeping child, blog.  Decide what to have for lunch, take out meat for dinner....  Mushroom awakes around midday. Nappy change, feeding, cuddles, more feeding.  He falls asleep.  Back in the hammock by 1, 1.30pm and Jess is alone again....  Juffin comes home for lunch.  Yay!  Adult conversation!  He's only here for a half hour or so.  Get in trouble for doing washing.  He gazes at son adoringly, Jess' heart melts.  Off he goes back to work.  I then hang out/bring in washing, play games on my phone until it dies, take more photo's of son, more facebook....  decide to have a nap.  We both wake around 4.30 5pm.  This is the alert period of the day.  You know, the time when you actually need to get stuff done, like cook dinner, show your other half that you appreciate him, talk to your friends who have been at work all day!  Mushroom will stay up for approximately 4 hours.  We feed constantly, cuddle, have bathtime/shower time with Dad, sing songs and change about 4 nappies.  Back to bed by 8-9pm and then he's out to about 1.30am when he wakes up for night feed.  Which lasts about half hour and then he promptly goes back to sleep and we start it all over again at quarter to 6 the next morning.

I know. It's awesome.  Feeding going famously well.  Mum and Dad getting sleep, we're able to eat food, shower, you know, all that stuff that makes you feel like a human being.  And I was so fucking pleased with us, like we did something right and we had this fantastically advanced newborn who was adhering to a dream schedule and we were totally not going to have that horror new baby experience that so many people have had.  What a douche.

On Friday just gone, the Mushroom basically said 'fuck you Mum, I do what I want' and threw that routine out the window.  I honestly thought I was home free.  Idiot.  I mean he's only 3 weeks old.  What the hell was I thinking?!  We have just had a crazy 2.5  days of constant feeding, very little sleep, crying, crying crying, and some pretty nasty looking nappy rash.  And we're doing cloth nappies.  I thought I'd heard all varieties of crying but not like this... wowsers!  I feel that we've sufficiently paid back our neighbours for their constant dog barking that kept me awake when I was pregnant.  I've now been in the same nightie since Friday night.  I honestly couldn't see the sense in getting changed as it's a breast feeding nightie and my boobs have been out for two days anyway so what's the point?

This morning, at around 5am, I finally got him to go down and stay down for longer than 20 minutes without crying.  The poor little bastard looks so tired.  I feel so bad for him and then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and feel bad for both of us.  I'm hoping that this is just a 3 week old growth spurt, as the intermenet keeps telling me, as I'm not sure that my boobs (or my sanity) can take much more of this.  Fingers crossed that it's all over now and I can get the fuck out of this nightie. It stinks and has breast milk stains all over it.  In fact, I'm off to take a shower whilst I can!

Success!  Sleeping like Superman!  

Next time: Our first outing in a nutshell and hopefully sanity has returned...

10 Nov 2012

This is hard

Juffin only took a week off from work. I know what you're all thinking, that's not enough. And you know what, you're probably right but that's what we did.  Our reasons for this are as follows:  new job, financially nonviable and I'm going to have to be by myself with Mushroom eventually.  Juffin comes home from work for lunch every day and is only a phone call away if we need him.  Neither of us foresaw that I'd be having a cesarean, and we did talk about him taking another week but honestly, there was just no point.  I was getting around fine, Mushroom seemed to be settling in... despite our teething problems re breastfeeding so Juffin was off to bring home the bacon.

Sunday dawns, the day before Juffin goes back to work, and Mushroom has several visitors.  He seems to handle the attention ok, and we get to bed around 9pm.  All of us.  I'm a little nervous as Juffin will not be here to help tomorrow and I'm hoping that he gets enough sleep tonight.  Ok, so I'm peaking out.  I have no idea that I'll be able to do this by myself and I'm worried that I'm going to kill our son.  I do the wrong thing all the time.  Like not watch him at the change table.  I forgot to get him a singlet and I turned around went to the drawers and got him one.  And I JUST LEFT HIM THERE!  BY HIMSELF!  This is a giant no no.  There's really no hope for me.

Maybe because I'm peaking out, or maybe because we had too many visitors and he's overstimulated, or maybe because he's a bloody baby, but when I wake up to feed the Mushroom at 1am, or thereabouts, he has a shit fit.  And I mean serious shit fit.  There is screaming, which we haven't yet heard before, and it's like a mix between a dying bird and a nanny goat.  Thinking of poor Juffin, having to get up to work tomorrow, I rush the Mushroom out of our bedroom to the safety of his room.  And so begins the endless cycle..  I change his nappy.  I feed him.  I cuddle him.  I rock him.  I change him.  I feed him. I cuddle him.  I rock him.  I try a combination of feeding, and rocking.  I walk around the house, mainies of our kitchen, with the Mushroom attached to my breast and my arms jiggling him at the same time. This goes on and on and on for hours.  My boobs are leaking all over the place, my eyes feel like sandpaper and I desperately need to go to the toilet.... this is the shite that everyone was talking about.  I can't deal with 6 weeks of this fucking crap.  I'll die.

Obviously I won't die.  But you know what I mean.  So many horrible, awful thoughts went through my head during those hours to dawn.  Not only did I want to tie Mushroom's hands behind his back and mash his face into my boobs, but you doubt your ability to be a parent.  The self blaming starts again.. the "is there something wrong with me because I can't settle my baby", "is it my milk" "do I have enough milk" rears it's ugly head again. The tears were never ending, mine and the Mushrooms.  I was so overwhelmed and scared of doing something wrong or thinking about doing something wrong that I worked myself into a right old state.  It was like Mushroom was punishing me.  Like he knew that I had wished, just for a split second, that he wasn't here so I could get some sleep...  Horrifying.  I mean how could a baby read my mind, oh wait, that's not the horrifying thing.  The horrifying thing is HOW COULD I THINK SUCH A THING?!  You're probably disgusted to read that, as I'm disgusted in myself whilst writing it, but it did happen.  I told you I was going to be honest about these things.  It's only a split second, like when you're halfway through a block of top deck and you think you should stop, but you don't.   It's only a second.  And sometimes in the throes of panic and exhaustion, with this tiny person relying on you body and soul, it feels like too much and you can't help but think these awful things.

Somewhere close to dawn, my beautiful Mushroom nods off.  Exhausted from the endless roundabout of crying, walking, pooing, jiggling and feeding.  I breathe a sigh of relief and put him down, crossing fingers and toes that he stays asleep for at least 3 hours so I can get some shut eye.  Juffin has managed to miss the brunt of the storm so is getting up for work relatively refreshed, whilst I feel like I've been run down with a tractor.

I stand over his hammock, making sure that he's definitely asleep this time and look at my tiny son as he sleeps.  And it breaks my heart.  I'm totally spent, exhausted.  My legs are aching from walking around and around my house 5000 times, my abdomen is sore because only a week ago I was sliced open, and my boobs are in agony from having a tiny person's mouth attached to them for the better part of the last 5 hours and I'm standing over this hammock, grinning at my son because of course it's all worth it.  I can endure a million hours of this and it still be ok because I love him.  When you have that gorgeous newborn cuddle time with that beautiful soft skin, that baby smell, those big eyes staring into your soul and his little heart fluttering against you as you hold him close... all that other stuff goes away!

Making it all worth it!  
Next time:  First outing!