The week that was

It has been quite a tough time in our family for the past week or so and I am now able to reflect on it from a place of somewhat calm.

Friday a week and a bit ago my Mum fell ill with an infection and was admitted to hospital. As I have mentioned before, she has incurable leukaemia and is probably in the final phase of it so an infection is serious business.

At first everyone was very positive that it was no big deal and would be dealt with swiftly. However, Mum didn’t respond to the antibiotics and was progressively getting worse as last week continued.

Simultaneously to this, baby N fell sick on the same Friday night with some kind of virus that gave him a high fever, snotty nose and coughing. The poor thing had a terrible night Friday and was pretty awful Saturday and Sunday too. He has been steadily getting better since but as my Mum got sicker, it started to seem that we needed to fly home to Australia.

I was freaking out on multiple levels, but also because by then I had also caught the virus so neither baby N or me were in physical shape to fly 27+ hours to the other side of the world. Also, sick people are not allowed anywhere near sick cancer patients!!

I took Baby N to the paediatrician to see what we could do and the poor love has baby asthma! Bless him, he now has a little puffer which is enormous fun to give him, as you can imagine!!

Just as we were preparing to buy flights and somehow manage the long flight, Mum made some good improvement. She’s even better now and might go home by the end of this week, which would be amazing.

I think we will still go for a visit sometime soon, but just knowing I can plan it properly makes me somewhat calmer. I am still having some kind of PTSD from the last trip I made alone with Baby N, and would you believe it looks unlikely that hubby can come with me AGAIN so I’ll have to go alone again. If that happens, I’m going to write some kind of book about flying long haul with babies!!

But in great news, baby N is a super star baby. He is at the cutest stage yet and I actually love him so much it hurts these days. I cannot begin to tell you how sweet a person he is. He’s calm and clever and so funny. Much nicer than my husband or me. Hahaha!

Now he seems to be on his way to talking. There’s a lot of “dadadada” and “mamamamama” but not properly with intent yet. I SWEAR he said “No” the other day when I was trying to feed him and he was full. He clearly understands a lot now which is fun!

Yesterday we took him for his first sea swim and he loved it so much. He’s been to the beach many times but it had not been hot enough to swim previously. I think he’s going to be a proper beach bum like his mummy.

This photo says it all:

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Ten months old today

Baby N is ten months old today. TEN MONTHS!  Seriously, where did that time go? I mean the first few weeks it seems like the seconds ticked slower, except when I was trying to sleep, but now I scratch my head and can’t believe that my baby is approaching his first birthday.  Whaaaat?!

I haven’t written an update recently because there’s been so much going on and I’ve been quite overwhelmed, but at the same time I have had so many thoughts that I should share here that I’ve not managed to get down.

I keep thinking back to this time last year or even the year before that when I was either pregnant or in the throes of having lost my second baby and I look at how much has changed.  Some of it good (baby, obviously) and some of it really freaking hard (bye bye freedom). I cannot tell you how immeasurably I’ve changed and grown in the past 10 months, both as a mother, as a wife, as professional in the workplace and as a person.  I have a new level of awareness and sensitivity that I never even knew could exist.  I also have an exceptionally low tolerance level for anything that wastes my time. In fact, it’s a pretty good filter system for running my life and I think I should have applied it earlier!

Other times I fantasise about my old life and how much time I wasted doing nothing in particular.  Sometimes I dream about the days when all I had to worry about was work and getting to the gym on time.  Just sleeping in to 8.30am sounds like some kind of incredible luxury these days! I often think that if I could do my time over I would just go to the gym 7 days a week to get the most amazing body and watch all the movies at the cinema – but of course I wouldn’t because that’s not how it would really go. And I guess this young baby phase is so brief that in no time I will be sentimental about this time too.

I’ve got to say though that 10 months of motherhood is not good for the face!  I have always prided myself on looking a little younger than my actual age.  Hahahahaha!  Now I look AT LEAST my age and maybe even older.  Damn you sleep deprivation and super-stressing!  Sometimes when we are out with mothers of older children I study them to try and work out how they run their lives and manage to look so put together (I think nannies/housekeepers are the only way to be fully well-put together all the time which is not very practical really).

Age: 10 months today!

Weight: I don’t actually know for sure but about 3 weeks ago Baby N weighed in at 11.25kg (25lbs) so I think he’s probably a bit more than that now.  He is definitely a big guy as he’s also super tall and he has a cute belly but he’s not overweight.  Like my paediatrician said, “He’s not fat, he’s just huge”. Bless him and his giant feet!

Feeding: Not much has changed in regards to baby N’s feeding – 3 meals a day, 1-2 snacks, bottle first thing in the morning and last thing at night – as he’s not grown any more teeth since Christmas, although he seems to have a mouth full of white buds so perhaps there are a bunch more teeth on their way very soon.

I still mainly spoon feed baby N for the bulk of his meals but I give him his own food to self-feed with too and he’s pretty great at it. This guy is a total natural at eating and he is so incredibly funny when he gets a piece of food, say half a strawberry, and rather than nibbling off a bit to chew he instead shoves the whole thing in his mouth.  I’ve got to say I think that’s a winning strategy and it makes me laugh so much.  Also, for the foods he really likes (cheese, watermelon, ice-cream) he makes VERY loud “mmmmm mmmmmm” sounds which never stop being funny. He loves his food.

Sleeping routine: I hate telling anyone about his sleep as the second I do he has a crappy night’s sleep thereafter.  Let’s just say that if the stars and moon align he is a good boy at night.  And as soon as I tell anyone he sleeps nicely I then feel cursed. But his routine before bed is pretty consistent.  He has a long bath where he plays with a bunch of bath toys and kicks all the water out (thanks baby swimming lessons for that), then he gets a towel cuddle, some moisturiser/massage, pjs on, a little milk (he often rejects it and has only a mouthful), a couple of stories, perhaps some silly games with daddy and then a cuddle.  When he seems tired I put him in bed in his sleeping bag and – on a good night – he will cuddle his bunny snuggly and will put himself to sleep.  On a bad night I will go in and out of his room 20 times putting his dummy back in, cuddling him, singing, rocking and generally praying to the sleep gods for the child to rest so I can have dinner.

For the last two nights he has gone to sleep at about 930pm so it has been very late dinners for us! Hello teething!

Hair:  He has some now! Yay! Basically he’s got my hair as a baby which I love.  The funny thing is it’s more thick down the middle and at the front so it looks like I have given him a Mohawk hair cut.  People actually ask me this and I’m like nooooooooo!

Eyes: Big, brown eyes like his daddy. He’s looking more and more like daddy each day now.

Mummy update: I’ve lost a little weight over the past few weeks thanks to some light dieting and a proper return to the gym.  If you had told me before giving birth that it would take 10 months to get my act together on the fitness front I would have wanted to punch you.  But really it has taken me this long to get everything in order.  Most recently, hubby and I changed gyms and that has helped to refresh my attitude.  They also have some workout classes in the evening that are scheduled in such a way that we can each do one class consecutively with a baby swap in the carpark in between.  So this week I have already been to the gym twice with a third workout planned for Friday. This will be the first time in forever that I have done three workouts in a week and it really does help me feel more like myself again.

By going to a class or working out with my PT it means that the time I devote to exercise is quality.  So I am there for 45-60 minutes and I am sweating like a beast for the entire duration.  An hour is not so long to be away from the baby and when my husband and I do the consecutive classes it usually means one of us gets to feed the baby and the other gets to bathe him. And I always get to put him to bed (albeit I was a bit smelly last night when I did so, maybe that’s why he took a bit longer to nod off because my BO was keeping him awake).

Work wise I have a trip to Copenhagen coming up in early June which I am beside myself excited about.  Firstly, Copenhagen is a wonderful place to visit and my client has asked me to do a huge project for them so it’s a massive compliment, secondly it will mean 3 nights sleep in a hotel without the baby (OMG such a luxury), and thirdly I just need a break from the daily grind of parenthood.  It is tough sometimes! Baby N will be looked after the lady who takes care of him when I’m at work – who he adores – and daddy so he will be more than fine. Anyway, he’s a big guy now so it’s not so stressful.  I will still cry when I leave, of course.

Emotionally I have been a bit all over the place recently.  As I have mentioned here before, my mum is very sick with a type of incurable leukaemia.  She was diagnosed 6 years ago, and at the time, she was told she had about 6 months to live.  So the fact that she’s still going strong now is remarkable and testament to her strength and determination.  However, she is now showing signs of deterioration and her doctor has told me that 2018 will be tough for her.  I think that was his nice way of suggesting she probably won’t see much of 2019. The past couple of weeks she has been especially poorly so I’ve been on edge near-constantly worrying about whether now is the time to go and help her.  The reality is that if she gets a bad infection – and it’s coming into winter in Australia so this is all very possible – that she could actually make a very bad turn very rapidly.  So rapidly that I might not be able to make it in time.  So I feel like I am almost constantly waiting for a phone call that says pack everything, you have to come home right now.  Even without a baby that would be super-stressful, but with a baby… well… yeah.  Enough said.  And not bringing him with me is not an option. The only way I can deal with this is to compartmentalise it into the folder of “Will deal with this when I have to”.

Also, I have at the back of my mind that when she does go, because realistically she will lose her battle at some point, I will then have to pack up her entire life which is the most depressing thing imaginable.  My dad passed away when I was 16 so she holds both his and her beloved possessions, as well as all of my childhood ones as I never really took those things because I moved overseas rather than into my own home locally. This means that not only will I be dealing with all the emotions of her belongings, but also my dad’s and effectively my entire childhood’s.  That is a lot to process.  I have my sister to help of course but she’s not so great at this stuff.  Anyway, not much I can do about this now, but hence why I have been all over the place in recent weeks.

It’s very hard to keep a steady head for baby N in such circumstances but I do try my best.  He seems very cheerful most of the time so I think it’s all ok for now.

I refuse to finish this on a down note, so just to say our new house is progressing nicely now with the basement dug out and the frame going in this week.  Just think that this time next year I will be looking forward to having my own private pool.  I can already picture a nice wine spritzer of an evening poolside.  Perfection!