Where Would We Be Without Help

When we first fell pregnant I must admit I was pretty scared of all that meant to us, the fact that we were very new to this and that we will quite literally have someone’s life in our hands! But through our journey so far we have has so much help, advice and love that it has helped build our confidence and made what we are going through so much easier and the bad days so much better.

Keep calm

From the start of our pregnancy Sean’s and my family have been so wonderfully excited for us and been so great with checking how I was feeling and if everything was ok. But what we also appreciated was how much they helped out with the things I couldn’t do like assisting with moving house, helping me get ready for bubs arrival etc . Now that he is here they are even more fantastic, I know Sean’s mum and dad are only a phone call away if there is an emergency.

We signed up for midwife care at the local hospital where we had planned to give birth (Shoalhaven hospital) and that was when we were introduced to the amazing midwives. I didn’t even bother going back to my GP cause the care I was receiving was so wonderful, from their concern for me and my well being to being able to answer any questions I had. Not to mention how fantastic our antenatal classes were! It made the preparation for little Billy easier and more efficient.

Then when William decided it was his arrival date we were introduced to our birthing midwife, Katherine, she stayed with us from the moment we went into labour, when we needed help and she had to call the obstetrician and even up till he was on my chest and we were trying to get him to breast feed. She never left our side and was instrumental in keeping me calm and giving me really helpful tips about breathing, staying focused, changing positions to work him down etc. The day after William had arrived she came back on shift and even spent some time checking on us In recovery. Her care was amazing! The obstetrician she called was great too, he initially wanted to prepare me for a caesarean but as soon as we started to object he did everything in his power to try something else first, which is why we ended up using the Kiwi Cup and I am so happy he did that for us. He was encouraging and also a little mean to me, which was a good thing cause even though I was trying really hard to push William out naturally, it wasn’t hard enough for the problem we were having with him. In fact my whole care at Watson House was great. The midwives who were looking after my recovery couldn’t do enough to assist us and teach us how to swaddle him, bath him and settle him. The day after the birth we had a student midwife and they must be doing a great job teaching them at the Wollongong University because she was fantastic and for a student she really seemed to know what she was doing. I was really happy to have her as part of my recovery team.

When we got home I was lucky enough to have my sister stay with us for 2 weeks and I can’t rave enough about how phenomenal she was!

The midwives also offer follow-up care when you get home, they come to your house to weigh, measure and check baby is doing well and they check on how mum is going, if I was healing alright, any signs of depression, was I supported etc it was fantastic. I had all my questions answered, they checked we were still feeding well and even made sure William was getting to the hind milk in all his feeds.

After we saw the midwives (they came twice before discharging us) we were passed onto the community nurses. We had one home visit from them and our next one will be at their facilities. Again I cannot rave about their service enough or begin to tell you all how much they put me at ease with what I was doing and what I needed to still do.

They even have a breast feeding support group which I was grateful to be able to attend as by the 3rd week he was really struggling with how much milk I was producing and how fast the flow was. The midwives were so patient, encouraging, supportive and helpful. I really felt like they understood what I was going through and how much of a novice I was to this whole experience.

Of course my favourite support and helps comes from my darling husband. If I am having a tough time, even in the dead of night, he will take him from me just so I can have a few minutes extra sleep. He always does the first nappy change of the day and the bathing and settling ritual for the first big night sleep. But more importantly he listens to me, when I am frustrated, when I am happy even the odd sad moments he is there for me. I am SO lucky to have him in my life, as the father of our beautiful son, my partner and as my best friend!

Our next bit of excitement/help is coming in the form of a 3 week visit from my mom and stepfather… We are beyond excited for their arrival!

1 Month Already!

I cannot believe William is one month old already, my how time flies!

1 Month - Blog

So much has happened in one month and we have learnt a lot too.

Our little man has gone from being a super sleeper to a screaming banshee, back to a super content baby. I guess that’s all part of the learning curb though. The first 2 weeks was great (especially since I had my sister here to help) but the 3rd week it really seemed like he was hating every minute of the day. Thankfully the medical support system here in Australia is so wonderful. I ended up at a breastfeeding support group, cause I was getting desperate to try anything, it turned out my milk supply was flowing too fast and it was giving him really painful wind trying to gulp it down. The amazing midwives gave me some great advice and instructions on how to get rid of the wind before he goes to sleep and checked him over to make sure it wasn’t anything else and now we are back to a happy little munchkin. So week 4 has definitely seen us getting better, although as I am writing this Sean is in the nursery trying to get William to sleep and he is just not playing ball so we do still have our rough days.

He has also been growing at an alarming rate these last few weeks. He was born weighing 3.8kg and when they weighed him last Wednesday he was already 4.69kg. The midwife was also raving about his glowing colour,  how big his belly was and how content he is. So I walked away pretty proud of our son (even though all the instructions she gave me were pretty daunting).

William is also interacting with us in some of the cutest ways, I sing to him (poor kid) whenever I change his nappy or he is trying to fall asleep and he gives me some of the cutest smiles and even a giggle every now and then. He also gives me kisses when I ask for them and he isn’t upset of course. When I pick him up n the morning he immediately stops fussing and spends a few minutes just staring up at me with his beautiful big eyes. It makes me so grateful and happy to be such a huge part of his little life and know that I am his everything right now, I know this won’t last forever so I am going to hang onto this amazing feeling for as long as I can.

It has also been great watching Sean grow as a father and learning his own method for handling his cute little son. Every morning William and him pretty much wake up at the same time so Sean takes him and changes his nappy and has a few minutes with him before he brings him back to me for his morning feed. He also helps me out so much on the weekends which give me a chance to actually get some things done. Its been really hard for me to stand back and not correct him just because he isn’t doing a something my way but he is managing so well and has such a knack with him that I really love watching them together. It’s also probably not such a bad idea to let him and William have their own way of doing things that’s different to what I do with him so they can have a little bond that is just theirs. I must admit I never knew how much I could love Sean until I saw how much he loves William, it’s going to be great watching them grow together.

Of course there is still lots of great times ahead of us and lots of learning to do but for now we are taking each day as it comes and loving it all, the good with the bad.

William sucking a dummy1 month - blog 21 month - blog 3

 

 

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Dunstan Method

Since my last post, The S-word, a friend of mine told me about this amazing lady:

http://youtu.be/PgkZf6jVdVg - sorry I don't know how to embed video yet so you have to click on the link.

When I started watching it I thought she was crazy but as she was describing each word and I was listening to William moan I couldn’t help but hear exactly what she was saying… Can’t wait to show Sean tonight, this may just have changed our lives!

The S-word

When we brought William home he was such a content little angel. In fact we really thought this whole parenthood thing was going to be a breeze, he was just such a good little baby. But as the midwife warned us when we left the hospital, babies can lull you into a false sense of security and oh boy was she right!

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Little William after he fell asleep on my chest!

At the beginning of week 3 our little darling found his voice and my what a voice he has! Now don’t get me wrong we know we are still very lucky compared to what some other parents have to go through with a newborn but when it hit us for the first time I was ready to take William up to the hospital cause I thought something serious must be going on.
But thankfully that was not the case, after some research we realised that when babies hit week 3 they start to fight sleep more and more or it can be when colic starts to flare up in most babies and if you have checked the main reasons for a crying baby, is he hungry; have we changed his nappy etc sometimes the best thing to do is just let them have a cry (to a degree of course). Once we figured all this out handling the crying was so much easier.

If the crying starts straight after a feed, chances are its a big burp that’s bothering him and we just give him a pat on the back or lie him against our shoulder till something comes up.
If he has been awake for a while and he is fed and nappy is changed, chances are he is just over-tired already. One of the bits of advice we got off google (how on earth did my parents ever raise children before google?) is the shush method and we LOVE IT! (Please note this works for us and if you have a crying baby that you are worried about you may want to consider seeking professional help).

Basically as soon as you notice they are fighting sleep you walk around the house sounding like a broken record, repeating shhhhhh, shhhhhh over and over until they fall asleep. If we start as soon as we notice he is tired William never gets a chance to work himself up to much and generally drops off pretty easily. But if we don’t catch it in time and he gets louder we just get louder too and that seems to do the trick. I have also taken to letting him fall asleep on me which he loves, as I have read that they can’t learn any bad habits yet and at this young age it’s more important for them to get some sleep than it is for us to establish a routine.
The only problem with walking around the house at 3am repeatedly shushing your child is you tend to run out of breath very easily and even get a little dizzy (it’s like blowing up giant balloon), not to mention your mouth and lips feel like the kalahari desert. So I have taken to alternating between bum patting and shushing, sitting and walking and even leaving a bottle of water in our lounge.
Cause of course none of this can be done in the bedroom in the early hours of the morning as my dear husband has work in the morning so I try and let him get as much sleep as possible.

But when all is said and done, I will take a happy, content, loving, smiley baby any day so if you ever come round our house at nap time and I am walking around sounding and looking like a weirdo just remember this works for us and hopefully it can work for u too!

2 weeks down, 17 years & 50 weeks to go!

Wow, can’t believe we made it through the first 2 weeks and all is still going good!

What’s it like to be a new mom? It’s amazing, nerve-wracking, peaceful, emotional, phenomenal, stressful, beautiful, ….It’s everything you hear about and more!

New mom

I know I am the luckiest new mom around. To start my lovely sister came to visit us for 2 weeks to help me out, oh and how helpful she was! She did the stuff I just couldn’t get round to like laundry, dishes, making tea, answering the door etc. We also have the joy of Sean’s family living close by and the many different ways they have helped us out, from cooking us meals to just popping in for a cuppa and seeing how we are doing and of course the advice…oh the wonderful advice that is so helpful. I think the best thing people can do for you in the first weeks is clean and cook. It’s hard to let this beautiful new treasure leave your arms just so you can go and wash some dishes and even harder finding the time to do anything else but look after him.  I feel like I am spending at least half the day just trying to figure things out, like feeding and sleeping and what each cry means so having support from all our lovely family and friends have made week 1 &2 so much easier than I thought it was going to be. .

We have also been blessed with a wonderful son, a content and happy little boy who only cries when something is bothering him. We haven’t quite gotten a routine down (obviously) but I am definitely noticing some signs of one forming. He has only been waking up once through the night, somewhere between 12am & 2am depending on when he went to sleep. Then he wakes up again between 4:30 & 6am, when my amazing husband steps up and does the nappy change and clothing change. We then have another snooze (roughly 2 hours long) and start to wake up properly between 8 & 10am. The rest of our day just depends on what we have on the agenda but for such a little fella he sleeps pretty well, eats pretty well and poops pretty well too!  So yes we have an AMAZING son who we are so proud of.

What these 2 weeks have taught me?

*Nothing goes to plan and that just has to be ok. Here I was thinking I could get up while he was having a snooze and get so much done but it hasn’t quite wred out like that yet. Or even just the idea of making a plan… I had organised to buy a 2nd hand pram off someone this weekend and it was a pretty basic plan to meet at 10am in the Officeworks carpark. So we gave ourselves extra time to get ready, have some breakfast and head out, of course everything was going so well until about 9:30. We needed to change Williams diaper quickly before we popped him in the car, half way through the change our darling son decided that he wasn’t quite done filling his nappy but there was no longer a nappy on him! And oh was there some projectile pooing, which no one was expecting, thankfully Sean and I have cat like reflexes but it did manage to get all over carpet and the change mat. Grabbing a clean nappy we tried to catch some of it but then our sweetheart decided he also needed to pee, which if you have a son you will know this means a fountain of pee! Again not being something we were expecting, we tried to catch some of that with another clean nappy. After all this “catching” it was now 9:50 and we were running very late so Sean had to hop in the car by himself to meet with the lady, leaving me to do a cleanup. As I was cleaning him and the room I noticed I had leaned onto the dirty change mat and now also had to change my clothes… and it was such a great plan!

* You can lose yourself for hours. Time just disappears when you have a newborn, from feeding (which takes at least 30 minutes each time and happens about 10 times a day) to just sitting and staring at your new little cutie for ages while they sleep! You really can lose time, I get out of bed around 9/10am and by the time I have our little man changed and ready for the day, taken a shower and had breakfast it’s time to start thinking about having lunch! How does my day vanish so quickly?

* Patience is a virtue. We are lucky enough to have a little angel that is so very content and only wakes up once at night (maybe twice on a bad night). However sometimes in the middle of the night when we are both over-tired and I have been up for at least an hour or two trying to get him back to sleep my patience starts to slowly dissapear and I find myself getting rather frustrated and struggle quite a bit to keep from having a tired and frustrated tear-up or 2.

* Emotions, Oh the emotions. From staring at William and feeling an overwhelming sense of love like I have never felt before, to having a cry for absolutey no reason. I have never in my life felt such a variety and strong sense of emotions and mostly within an hour or 2 of each other! However the main feeling in this house at the moment is love, I never quite knew I could feel this much love for our growing little family. I see Sean giving William a bath, or taking him from me in the dead of night so I can get just a bit more sleep and even just seeing him get home from work all excited to hold our son and I fall more in love with him by the second. I stare down at my sleeping baby or even when he is feeding and I see him pulling a cute little face or just peacefully sleeping and I could never imagine my life before him or without him… it’s like I am now complete and my life before had all been leading up to that moment!

* (something only other moms will know) There is a lot your body goes through and no one really can explain what it will be like when afterwards, so I will just tell you what I went through and maybe that will help you… To start you lose a lot of fluid, I know I lost a bit more blood than most cause we had a bit of a traumatic birth but I didn’t realise just how much I would lose and how often I would have to change pads (p.s. Aldi’s night pads where amazing and so much better than the normal maternity pads) or have a shower. Thanks to the type of birth we had I had stitches and a graze and oh my does it burn to pee! I filled a little spray bottle with water to help the stinging and that made such a difference everytime I had to go to the loo. Oh and no one mentions how weird it is making a poo for the first time after you give birth or the 2nd or 3rd time. It brings back all these memories of what happened in the delivery room and it feels so strange to use those same muscles again after what they did last time! One of the things that has taken a bit of getting used to is the changes to your breasts, I am exclusively breast-feeding our son and it’s such a strange sensation (strange but amazing). But what I wasn’t expecting was the leakage, at first it wasn’t so bad because you only produce colostrum but once my milk came in boy did it come in! Now if I just look at William or hear him cry cause he is hungry my boobs sprout a leak and not just a bit of a leak we are talking shooting fountains of milk. Which was kind of funny at first but now it just means lots of washing for me to do. Oh yes the other thing I wasn’t told about (probably because not everyone gets them) is the after-birth pains. They feeling like period cramps but can be alot worse, I felt like I was living off pain killers in the 1st week.

But despite all the ups and downs, sleepless nights and any pain I went through it is worth it! Every second spent with William is amazing and I am so grateful for our super sweet, loving, content, smiley little boy. I can’t even begin to imagine life without him!