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


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!

8 Nov 2012

Getting to know you...

We're home.  We have a baby.  Now what?!

To be honest, I'm still a bit shocked about the birth and am only just realising that I have a baby.  You think you're prepared for any eventuality, but I never, in a million years, thought that I'd have to have a cesarean.  I was so adamant that it wasn't going to happen to me and here we are.  I think it'll take some time to get over it.

Those first few days at home are scary, and exciting at the same time.  Mushroom is still getting used to being out in the World, getting to know his parents and we are getting used to having him around.  It's hard to fathom that you're totally responsible for this little human being's every need. To say that I'm a little gun-shy is an understatement.

We start on a 3 hourly feed schedule.  Feeding was going really well at the hospital, then we got home.  Mushroom refuses to settle and has problems latching, particularly on the left side.  Juffin is great, trying to assist me as I juggle baby and boob, and getting them into a position that's mutually beneficial.  It's important for us to both be comfortable so we try a variety of different positions and locations.  We try the couch, the bed, a chair by the bed, a recliner.  Doesn't matter where I sit, or how comfortable I am, the Mushroom doesn't seem to like it and fusses like crazy.  He is constantly pulling his head off, having a wail, then trying to reattach but having no success.  It's a like fighting with a over-sized worm, he just won't stop wriggling!  To make matters worse, he then starts shoving his fists into his face because he's so hungry and I can't prise his little arms away to put his face back into the right position.  How did he get so strong so quickly?!

The more we struggle, the hungrier he gets and I end up getting so upset that tears are streaming down my face.  Am I a bad mother?  Is it because my milk is bad?  Did I do something wrong?  I just want to tie how hands and legs behind his back and create a funnel that will get the milk from my breast into his tiny starving mouth!  Obviously I don't do that but these are the crazy thoughts that go through your head!  My poor Juffin looks on, unable to help at all, but trying to be supportive nonetheless.  I have no idea what is going on as this was easy at the hospital.... and jump to the conclusion that there's something wrong with me.  In hindsight, obviously complete crap but try telling me that a week and half ago. Unfortunately the only thing for it is perseverance and in the end we get some good feeds in, though I'm sure that they take twice the amount of time that they normally would!

We have a midwife visit on Friday and Saturday.  She is wonderful (aren't they all?!) and advises that it is more than likely the new surroundings that could be making the Mushroom so anti-Jess booby at the moment.  She also advises that most baby's have a preferred side so that's also not unusual.  She weighs Mushroom and he's only lost 170gm since birth and is making plenty of wet/dirty nappies so he's definitely getting enough to eat.  Just being a fuss pot.  Unfortunately that doesn't make it any less frustrating for me.  I let her know that I've been crying a bit since we got home, frustrating feeds and the general anxiety that there's something wrong with me and my inability to calm him down when we feed and she assures me that there's NOTHING that I'm doing wrong and that the Mushroom is just fine!  He's just a baby and getting used to all the new things around him.  I keep thinking that I must be post-natal or something and she lets me know that I have a gazillion hormones rushing around in my body and that lots of women who've just had a baby go through the 'baby blues'.  Again, perfectly normal.  It's only if these feelings don't go away, that's when you need to speak with someone.  I feel better already.  Midwifey then checks my wound, removes some sutures of some kind and toddles off, advising that someone will be back to check on me and Mushy next week.

Mushroom meets his Poppy and Pakka (Grandad's) for the first time and we have some lovely visitors over that first weekend at home, bringing food and baby clothes and generally being fabulous.  Looking back, I was definitely a bit of a mess which may explain some of the concerned looks I got from our visiting relatives.  I think I was still a little too fragile to entertain and though everyone was great and only stayed a short time, it felt like a lot of pressure to smile and make chit chat whilst I felt like bursting into tears. I also thought that people were judging my ability as a parent, even though that's ridiculous and as if they would!

Our first morning at home :-)  

Next time:  We can do this!!

7 Nov 2012

There and back again

I don't know who's more nervous.  Me or the Juffin.  He races off to get the car and I start the long and lonely trek from Mount Doom back to the Shire.  Just kidding, I'm not lonely, my Mum is with me, but it feels like I have to walk about a gazillion kilometres from the maternity ward to the carpark carrying the Mushroom and I'm totally channeling Frodo right now.  In fact, I feel like I'm going to perish, walking is hard!  Please bear in mind that the biggest distance I've walked in the last 4 days is from the bed to the toilet.  A round trip of about 2 metres.  This is bordering on cruel and unusual punishment as the maternity ward is at least 600 or 700 metres from the hospital entrance.  How fucking ridiculous!  No-one offers to get me a wheelchair or anything so I guess that's out of the question so foot falcon it is.  Luckily Juffin and my wonderful Mother have loaded themselves up with all the bags, flowers etc so all I have to do is concentrate on carrying the Mushroom and putting one foot in front of the other.

We finally make it to the front entrance and let me tell you, we're not breaking any land speed records.  I gratefully collapse onto a seat and then remember too late that it hurts to stand up and sit down unaided so that was a stupid move.  I grimace away as people look at me fondly.  Yes, people are staring at me and smiling.  I thought people were just being encouraging inside as I limped my way through the hospital but now I've noticed that it's this weird baby thing.  If you're carrying a little bebbeh around, random people smile at you.  Like a lot.  It's really bizarre and unsettling at first and I'm trying not to be weirded out by everyone's attention.  Is this what it's like to be a celebrity?!  The Mushroom seems to be coping just fine, despite all the unwanted attention, and I just ignore everyone and enjoy being outside, even if it is a little on the warm side.  

Juffin soon arrives and it's time to wrangle the tiny man into the giant car seat.  I have no idea what to do and can provide zero assistance whatsoever.  I'm bossily told to get into the car and sit down so, for once, decide to do what I'm told.  My Mother informs me that the Juffin is shaking as he tries to maneuver the Mushroom into the seat securely and I just close my eyes and vow not to interfere.  I'm in too much discomfort to be a bossy britches anyway.  He's finally in, seatbelt engaged, and we can push off, hooray!  Double hooray, as there are several cars lined up behind us all giving us the equivalent of a Voldemort death stare.  Arsehats.  Where's your stupid smiley faces at the baby now?!  Some people have no patience, geez!

On the way home Juffin informs me that he will be cooking me a medium-rare steak tonight for tea.  I nearly swoon.  Yummy!  I haven't had a bloody piece of steak since finding out I was pregnant, I love this man.  We make it home incident free and we manage to extricate the Mushroom without dismembering him and   he's still sleeping soundly, bonus.  Actually I could do with a rest myself.  I just walked 700 metres.  It was a long way.  I enter our home to find that Juffin has cleaned from top to bottom.  The floors are vacuumed and mopped, dishes are all done, the washing is folded, he's washed and changed the sheets, and moved our bedroom around so the baby hammock is next to me and I can get to our Mushroom easily.  I nearly cry.  What an amazing man!  I'm so grateful as he urges me into the bedroom and promptly tucks me up into bed for a rest with Mushroom laying in the day bed beside me.  We promptly pass out.

Mushroom in his baby hammock

I don't remember much from that first night, just overwhelmed to be back at home and on our own.  I do know that I enjoyed a delicious medium-rare steak and cuddles with my man for the first time in a few days and after we enjoyed our 2 minutes of adult time, we then embarked on a 3 hourly feeding schedule for Mushroom... oh how our lives have changed!!

Next time:  Breastfeeding = challenge, and the baby blues :-(

5 Nov 2012

Hospital Stay

The rest of my hospital stay goes by so quickly.  I alternate between moments of extreme panic and serene calm.  I try and get rest when I can and listen to my instincts re looking after the Mushroom.  Thankfully there's no horrid nurses or Doctor's telling me that I'm doing this wrong or that wrong and the consensus seems to be go with your gut.  If Mushroom is crying and trying to shove his fist in his mouth, he's probably hungry (go figure) so try and feed him.  Still upset, wet nappy?  Still upset, cuddles and try feeding him again. It doesn't seem like rocket science to me.  It's not until late Wednesday afternoon that a midwife makes mention of waking him up to feed...  and I'm like what?  Apparently you should be waking your newborn every 3 to 4 hours to feed.  No-one  has told me this before so I start taking note of the time that he feeds and try to do that.  Reality is quickly sinking in.  Getting myself up so regularly is freakin hard.  My lower abdomen is really sore.  Like really.   I think about what my vjj would be hurting like if I'd managed to deliver naturally and this is a minor consolation.

Aside from the waking to feed thing, our Mushroom is doing really well.  Apparently.  I have no idea but everyone keeps telling me that he is.  I'm really worried about his skin as he was born with baby acne, and it looks worse and worse.  I'm thinking that there's no possible way a 2 day old baby can have acne but apparently it's the real deal!  A midwife sees my concern and gets the Doc to come check him out and make sure it's nothing more serious.  On advice from the Ped and a lovely midwife, I just have to squirt some boobie juice onto his face and rub it in, and that'll clear it right up.  Juffin has already googled and told me this information but it's always good to hear from the professionals as something about squirting milk from my breast directly onto my newborn son's face sounded akin to Juffin's idea of amusement.  "Look at Jess the human milk hose!"  Chump.  It already looks better by Wednesday evening.

As my time in hospital goes on, I start to feel much more confident.  Perhaps I can actually do this motherhood thing after all.  Mushroom seems to be relatively easy going for a baby.  Though have nothing to compare it to so who knows?  Basically he doesn't do too much crying or carrying on so that has to be a good thing!  We have the first bath time in hospital with Juffin at the helm.  Mushroom gets his ears tested, a big fat pass, he has some injections and barely crys, tough nut, and because things are going so well, I tentatively put forward to the staff that I might be ready to go home the next day.

Reasons for this include:  It's getting easier to get around... yes, it's true that the bed is electronically able to push me from laying to sitting, which is kind of cheating I guess, but you know what I mean.  I can stand up by myself and even go to the toilet... huzzah!  Mushroom and I seem to be getting the hang of the breastfeeding thing, though my milk is not in yet and, although mega awesomeness, I'm still all alone in my room, who know's how long that will last?!

To make matters worse, Juffin has been busy at home washing all the Mushroom's new outfits, moving our bedroom around to accommodate me and putting the car seat in the car.  I feel so helpless as every time he visits the hospital he has more to do and I wish that I could help.  The hardest part about this whole thing, aside from being cut open and all that jazz,  is not having Juffin there all the time and being away from him.  I just want to get home, get into a routine, have Juffin included.

On Thursday morning the Midwife on duty advises that they'll try and have me out of there that afternoon but there's a mass exodus so have to be patient.  I'm so ready and sure enough, by 5pm we're going home!!

Hearing test - passed with flying colours!  

Next time:  We're home, we're all alone... now what?!

4 Nov 2012

The second best shower in the World

Our first night in hospital is relatively uneventful.  I'm so tired and out of it after the last 12 hours that I'm not sure I know what the hell is going on!  Someone wakes me every half hour to check my blood pressure, temperature and my wound and drain until about midnight then the checks become hourly.  This means that I don't get any uninterrupted sleep until.. hang on, oh shit.  That's right, I have a baby now so I will never get a night of uninterrupted sleep forever more (ok possibly a slight exaggeration but you get my drift!)

The mushroom is obviously as exhausted as I am because he hardly makes a move or a sound.  At one point he does wake up and gives something akin to a mewl and the nurse whacks him on my chest so he can have a little suckle and he promptly falls back to sleep!  My wound is now hurting like a bitch and I press my little pain relief button and wait for the good stuff to do it's job.  A midwife sees my discomfort and offers to take mushroom down to the desk for a few hours whilst I get some rest but I don't really want her to.  I point out to her that it's pointless because I'm being woken every bloody hour anyway and she advises that it's perfectly fine and that I really do need to get some rest.  I protest again but obviously I fall asleep or something because I don't remember anything after that!

The next morning I awake to a very sore abdomen.  The best way I can describe it is like hitting the sit-ups/crunches way too hard the day before and feeling the after effects.  It's not painful like a searing pain but more a very persistent ache.  It sucks.  I still resemble a bit of an octopus with tubes sticking out all over and am wondering when they'll be removed when my favourite midwife Helen enters (she was at my birth) and promptly advises that they've come to release me and put me in the shower, hooray!!  Release me from the tubes that is, not the hospital... so not ready for that!!

Firstly, with the assistance of another wonderful midwife, (they're all wonderful at this point because they give me pain relief and help me have a shower!) they remove my epidural which looks like a weird piece of fishing line, bizarro! Then they remove the catheter... sting, and finally the cannula which has been annoying me since the night before.

Next step is to get me up and into the shower.  I'm freaking out.  Juffin helps get my toiletries out for the girls to wash me and we take some very wobbly steps to the bathroom where they strip me off and sit me in a chair.  My drain is still in as they want the Doctor to review me before it comes out and I catch a regrettable look in the mirror on the way in and nearly recoil in horror!  Good God!  I'm hideous!  I thank goodness that I packed my wonderful strawberry body wash and body lotion as there's nothing better than smelling like a strawberry.  I feebly try to wash myself with the assistance of wonderful nursey and then ask her desperately to wash my hair as I can't reach the shampoo.  She obliges willingly.  The experience is amazeballs.  I feel 5000 times better than I did 5 minutes ago.  I'm a human being again, despite smelling like a giant strawberry,  and whilst I feel like I've been thumped in the guts a gazillion times with a sledgehammer that shower was a very close second to the best shower I've ever had*.

Getting dressed is pretty funny.  Helen is trying to dry me and put my knickers on which is pretty hard when you can barely stand up.  We manage to find a maternity singlet, a skirt and a cardi to put on that all matches and get back into bed.  I'm exhausted by the whole experience and it's taken 10 whole minutes.  Helen and other wonderful midwife point out that I now have to take myself off to the toilet again which could prove challenging, so don't wait until you're busting!  Noted.  I can also now pick up the Mushroom and cuddle him whenever I want.  Hooray!

Me & the Mushroom :-)  
Next time:  Breast is best and getting to know each other!

*I have to disclose that the best shower I've ever had did not involve kinky sexpo business.  The Juffin and I  were camping in NZ for a week during summer one year and we were at Spirit's Bay for four days with no hot water. We had cold showers of course but cold showers in NZ are different to cold showers in Australia.  The cold water coming out of the tap in NZ is actually frigid ice cold, like refrigerated water cold.  So rather than become stinky beasts, we would wait until the middle of the day, then run around screaming and goose pimply in that needly freezing water for as long as it took to pass over your body with the soap once then rinse off... so like 2 seconds.  Yes, I'm well aware that there are camping showers that you can hang from a tree and have a hot shower but we were travelling el cheapo povo style and did not have the equipment.  Hell, our gas stove even packed it in on the second day.  We were ROUGHING it! As we were staying in National Parks etc all the showers were like this so on day 4 or 5 we spied a caravan park in the middle of this awesome forest.  We decided to check on their campsite prices and made the decision to pull in.  That night I had the best shower of my life.  Blissfully hot water, billowing clouds of steam, my hair finally got washed and didn't look like a hedgehog had died atop my skull.  I was in there for close to 20 minutes.  It was the best.  The worst part of the whole experience was that we only had one toiletry bag so one of us had to wait whilst the other one had their shower... actually I think we just cracked the soap bar in half as we were both too mean to wait for each other!

2 Nov 2012


Juffin, Mushroom and I are wheeled onto the ward at around 7pm.  Well the Mushroom and I are wheeled.  Juffin is quite capable of walking.  There is another woman in my room but she is on the way out.  Not like actually on the way out, as in dying, but on the way out as in exiting the hospital.  I digress.  We are wheeled into the room and the midwife draws the curtains for us.  It's then that I notice I have various tubes coming out of my body at different points.

I have all the routine stuff going on; my epidural is still in, the catheter that you have to have when you have an epidural, a cannula feeding me God knows what and, as an added bonus, a lovely drain as I was bleeding quite a lot so they've left that in my 'wound' as it shall henceforth be known as.  I have bags of undisclosed liquids hanging all around me.  At the risk of sounding like a teen, it's pretty gross.  To make matters worse, shit is starting to hurt.  Like a lot.  I have a button that I can push that will release more drugs but I don't wanna dose myself up, pass out and miss cuddles with Max.

I think it's around 6.30pm or so as it's dark outside but we're still allowed visitors on the ward.  Enter my Mum, sister, niece and bff.  I realise then that I must look like a damn horror show.  I have been up for over 24 hrs, hair sticking out all over the place, eyes glued together, puffy skin and general disgustingness.  Poor Max is probably thinking 'what the hell did I do to receive a mother who looks like that?' My family and friends are so excited though and if they're horrified by my appearance, it's not mentioned out loud!  My niece is pointing at things and asking what's this, what's that, whilst my sister tries not to freak out if she touches anything.  Max is given lots of cuddles by his new Auntie and Grandmother and Juffin gets to dress him for the first time.  Thank God my friend gave me some 0000 grosuits because I only bought 000 ones!  They kept telling me that I was having a big baby, I think I said that already, but obviously they confused belly fat with actual baby cos this little guy is not 10 pounds!!!  As Juffin is trying to dress our tiny son, my lovely little niece, Miss R, is on hand to advise him on how to do it.  Cute alert!  My visitors don't stay long, only half hour or so, which I'm grateful for, and further concretes the fact that I look like hell and they're all thinking holy shit Jess, get some sleep gf! What a bunch of stars!

Night is marching on and visiting hours are nearly over, when the woman in the bed next to me vacates.  I'm now flying solo in room 9/10 Maternity Ward.  I can't help but cross my fingers that it'll stay like that, at least for tonight anyway.  This is the part of the hospital stay that I've been dreading, as I've heard through quite a few people that it's shit, quite frankly.  I haven't seen any evidence of crapness yet, aside from the being sent home for the second time at Birth Suite but let's just try and put that behind us.  Everyone so far has been extremely lovely. The ward staff are on hand to check me every half hour, they take my blood pressure, temperature, check all my various tubes and coo over the mushroom.  Apparently he's gorgeous and I advise them that I'm really not that stupid to think that they don't say that to all the new Mum's!

It's past 8 o'clock and my Juffin has to go home.  I'm getting really nervous as I can't even move properly to attend to Max if he needs me and I'm a bit lonely and scared.  I've never been in hospital before, let alone had an operation, so the hormones start going wild.  I'm a little teary as he cuddles me goodbye and I don't think he wants to go either.  We toss up hiding him under the other bed but as my obs are being done every half hour we're not sure that we'll get away with it... a midwife comes and checks on me again and says gently to Juffin that visiting hours are over.... it's time to go.  My poor man also looks like death warmed up and could do with a shower and a good night's sleep, though, because he's wonderful and perfect, he assures me that this will be impossible without me by his side.  What a lovely, lovely man.  I watch him go and then I stare at my son in the tiny crib next to me and think holy fuck, I'm now a mother.  This is actually happening!

Mushroom looking at me from his hospital crib!  
Next time:  Tube removal and the best shower in the world!

1 Nov 2012


So there we are.  A litre of blood and one 3.37kg baby lighter... and they told me I was having a giant baby!  Lies!! Juffin is trying to send out a gazillion text messages to our family and friends, whilst I lay there, zombiefied by the past 12 hours, trying to make sense of what just happened.

A midwife appears and pulls my gown down to reveal my ginormous cans.  Yes.  Ginormous.  I'll tell you about the joys I had shopping for maternity bras in another post...   she whacks my son on my chest and I just gaze down at his tiny little head which is slightly cone shaped due to being stuck in my damn pelvis for nigh on 6 hours.   He's so small!!  I can't figure out who he looks like cos to me he's like a tiny old man.  All red and wrinkly with perfect little hands and perfect little feet.  Juffin and I are smitten immediately.  I stare and stare, too scared to touch the little man.  I then notice that we are surrounded by people.

In recovery we are only protected by hanging curtains and nurses, Doctor's, midwives, are coming and going.  I can't be that out of it because after the 16th person pops their head into our little alcove I'm getting a bit embarrassed as that's another stranger who's seen my boobs today.  I know that they're all medical people and they don't give a shit but honestly...  To make matters worse, a midwife is pumping away at the breastaculars with one hand, and trying to move Max's little mouth over to them so he can get some good stuff.

At this point a normal person would be thinking: What happened to your dignity?  Where has that gone?  Oh, that's right, you have none, it left the building nigh on 8 hours ago.  Not only have you been wheeled through the hospital at 8.30am on a Monday morning screaming blue bloody murder in the throes of labour, shown your vagina to who know's how many people, and then been exposed, literally, from the waist down to a room full of strangers you now have a strange lady pumping on your boobs... wow.  That shit certainly wouldn't fly in the Mad Cow.

Having a baby is probably the most vulnerable state I will find myself in.  Ever.  In all honesty, after what I've been through I'm not sure that I care all that much.... and obviously that whole gushy tripe about it all being worth it is totally frickin true... sigh! I have no idea what I'm doing, if I'm doing it correctly or what to do with that tiny little person laying on my chest.  I'm going to give it my best shot though.

Mushroom aka Maximillian - One hour old

Next time:  You've had a major operation, sitting up is hard, and breastfeeding is also damn hard!