11 Amazing Months

Baby N had the last of his monthly birthdays last Sunday as he hit 11 months and it just blows my mind that in a few weeks we are going to be celebrating his first birthday.  I really feel truly emotional thinking about it.  I think back to all the struggles we had, the surgery to remove my giant fibroid, the IVF, the pregnancies and the losses, the insane amount of tests and specialists I visited and then our magic little embryo that grew into a baby.  I remember being too scared to imagine during my pregnancy that I would ever have my own, live baby to hold and to love so I didn’t really embrace my pregnancy as much as other people do.  I was not open about sharing my pregnancy, I thought I looked huge (now I can see I didn’t look especially gigantic) and actually I’m kind of a bit sad with myself for it all. But that’s the thing about hindsight; it is always so much clearer than in the moment you are living it.

I’ve got to say that the months have zoomed by once baby N got to about 4 months old, although before that the early weeks dragged on with an endless sense of dread at surviving another day on no sleep and being alone with a young baby.  I have no doubt that I had mental health issues during that phase which upsets me to the day, but it is what it is.  Then there were the issues with baby N’s wonky neck and flat head which sounded like a tragedy of immeasurable amounts at the time and nearly tipped me over the edge, but turned out to be entirely manageable.

Now baby N is a delight!  He’s a joyful, healthy, and really funny little guy who I couldn’t imagine not being around. Last Friday hubby and I went to a wedding and baby N stayed overnight with his grandparents and you know I couldn’t sleep because he wasn’t at home.  Isn’t it funny how things change with just a little time and patience?

Baby N is now FINALLY on the move!  He is rather slow in this regard and so I am pleased to see progress.  He doesn’t officially crawl but he scoots around a little one-way-or-another.  He has also discovered our robot vacuum cleaner and is obsessed with it.  He’s really funny as he worked out how to turn it on the other day and squealed with delight.  I managed to video it so I am also happy I will be able to keep that one as a memory.  Although he hasn’t worked out how to pull himself up yet, if we bring him to standing he is pretty good at staying upright while holding our hands.  His favourite toy apart from the robot is a bunch of wooden blocks I got from Early Learning Centre.  He mainly likes emptying the box and then putting them back in but also occasionally he likes banging on the box.  Meanwhile the adults around him have great fun building actual structures with the blocks, which he of course knocks down in less than 2 seconds.

My husband and I occasionally discuss the possibility of having another child.  I am aware that it is only a possibility because of the difficulties in having baby N, but there are 15 embryos on ice that are potential siblings for him and that weighs very heavily on me. I am warming up to the idea but at the same time I feel such terror at the early weeks.  I think I’m better equipped to handle the situation this time, but then again it won’t be that there is only one child to love and take care of.  I seriously wonder how people with many children handle it.  Like how do they leave the house?  Also, how do the fertile folks who don’t have to use IVF manage to have sex to conceive the multiple children in the first place.  I have many questions in this regard!  Haha!

I’ve always been very honest here about my relationship and I will say that my husband is a great dad who is always spending time with his son so they have their own special relationship.  He’s also very keen to support us as a family and does a lot around our home to provide for us and to make sure I don’t fully lose my mind. He makes sure to take baby N when I look especially exhausted or so that I can visit the gym.  That being said, he is sometimes a real jerk and I have been struggling with that. I am a bit of a sensitive creature and he is a little harsh at times.  During the past couple of weeks I’ve been finding it particularly hard to reconcile some of the mean things he has said to me, although I think you’d find if you asked him that he doesn’t think they are anything noteworthy. I’ve even brought it up with him but still they linger.  Ugh.

As for our romantic life I think it is officially dead. Or at least it is cryogenically frozen for now.  We have had several open, non-stressful conversations about this and my husband assures me he is keen to re-start this aspect of our relationship and gives various excuses (the ceasing of it has fallen entirely into his hands as I am very pro-getting it on) but I’m yet to see any of it convert into actions.  At the wedding last week I made a special effort to wear sexy underwear and glam up. He commented that my butt was “nice” which was progress but it never went any further.  He was really nice to me and held my hand but there was nothing beyond that, even in the morning when we were alone as the baby was with his grandparents.  This really upset me a great deal and has lingered on my heart this week. At once point the other day I even offered he should have a girlfriend – it was kind of a reverse psychology move but even that didn’t excite him.  Like, I literally told him he had permission to go sleep with someone else even though I really didn’t want him to!  Maybe he sensed that, but I’m at a loss now.  It bothers me a lot as I am very keen to get some action, with practically anyone at this point, but I don’t actually want to go outside of my relationship to do so. Anyone else had a similar issue?  I am very keen for some advice in this regard.

Onto more cheery matters… Baby N.  Here’s the last of the monthly updates for the small guy.

Age: 11 months + 2 days

Weight: I don’t know as he’s not been weighed recently but I’m guessing around 12kg.

Feeding: Baby N continues to eat really nicely and there’s not much he won’t eat.  A couple of weeks ago his top two teeth came through so he can now bite on things a bit better which is fun.  Once some of his molars come in I am sure he will be able to munch through a lot of stuff!

Sleeping routine: Baby N has two naps during the day usually and then sleeps from 9pm to 7am approximately.  His bedtime is a bit late but we are in the Mediterranean and it’s summer.  No one goes to bed early around here because it’s just so hot.  It works for him at the moment but I expect I’ll bring his bedtime earlier in the winter. He is content and well and so I am not bothered by this right now.

Hair: Identical to mine at the same age!  He has a kind of blondish colour, fine and wispy hair.  It’s starting to curl up at the back which is super-adorable.

Eyes: Massive and inquisitive.  He’s got great eyes!

Mummy update: I am starting to get my figure back thanks to more consistent working out. I can wear most of my old clothes but not all of them as there is a little too much flab around my belly still.  I don’t think I’m going to bust out a bikini this year.  I mean I could, but I don’t really love myself enough right now to do so. I went on a work trip to Copenhagen for three nights two weeks ago and baby N slept at his grandparents for those nights with daddy coming to visit each evening.  He was totally fine and loved it so this is a good sign to me that we are entering the phase where I can do a little more occasionally and baby N will be ok. I’m enjoying my work generally and it was nice to go somewhere and feel like my old self for a few days.  I might have enjoyed it at times a little too much, but then I was really happy to be reunited with my baby when I came back.

Emotionally I’ve not been at my best.  When baby N was teething there was a week of not much sleep for me and I was really under pressure with work and my Mum’s situation too.  At one point he was crying late into the evening and just as I calmed him down his daddy came and woke him up.  I was furious.  Beyond furious.  I got so upset about it and then my husband mocked me for being upset.  I am not going to lie, that I lost it at him big time.  I actually thought he might divorce me that night it was so bad.  Thankfully he calmed down after my outburst and was able to see that I was pushed beyond my limits and this was out of character for me.  I hope he saw that he was making the situation worse, not better, but I don’t know.  I’ve felt very vulnerable ever since and am trying to be more mindful to take care of myself.  I am definitely having issues with loving myself on all the levels but I try and occasionally look in the mirror and appreciate what I’m seeing.

Today at work I made a silly mistake and it just brought everything out of me, tears etc.  My colleagues must have thought I lost my mind because normally I am a calm, sensible character and my mistake did not deserve a reaction to this level. Despite all of this – and I realise I sound loopy – I’m mainly ok and managing most of the days to keep all the balls in the air.  Today baby N has been invited to another baby’s first birthday paddling pool party so that’s something nice to look forward to.  I think there is wine for the mummies (no daddies invited). Everything is always better after wine I find.

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:

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!

April 2: When all that floats in the bath is not a ducky

Oh yes, it finally happened to me.

Poo. In. The. Bath.

I have heard numerous tales of other parents (always mothers) about their child going number two in the bath and I had blindly shut it from my mind in the hope that it wouldn’t happen to me. Ha!  Well that was silly! And of course it happened on April 2, the date firmly etched in my memory forever, when I was home alone so there was no hubby back-up (who am I kidding, he would run for the hills in such a situation).

So anyway, here we were with Baby N having a wonderful time delighting in his bath.  At one point, as he often does, he had a little bath-based wee of which I am not at all bothered.  But then it all took a turn for the worse when it wasn’t just wee coming out.  It was a giant, full-size poop-a-doop.  Arrrrgggghhh!  I paused/froze for a brief moment before realising I should get this kid out of his crappy (literally) water, before plonking him down on his towel.  Then I had another issue… the kid was still needing some kind of rinsing to get the poo-based water off him.  There was a giant turd in the bath and the water is going murky.  So I did what any good girl does… I fished the poo out of the bath and into the loo WITH MY BARE HANDS!  Even writing this makes me feel gross.

But still the water was no good and so I realised Baby N would be getting his first shower of his life.  I was fully dressed at this stage, but no matter I held him and gave him a gentle shower with the bath shower head (on very low pressure).  I think my overall vibe at this stage was NOT ZEN and Baby N cottoned on and started crying.  I figured at this point that he was clean enough and so bundled him up in his towel and tried not to think about the details of the whole situation.

Thankfully Baby N went to sleep easily that night so I was able to then thoroughly scrub the bath, the non-slip bath mat and the bath toys.  Also the towel went in the wash. It was about then that hubby came home from the gym and I told him the whole sorry story and he made various gagging sounds and faces.  He basically couldn’t look at me when I told him I had scooped the poo with my bare hands.  His response, why didn’t you put on gloves? Errrr… if there were gloves nearby OF COURSE I WOULD HAVE USED THEM!! Who has gloves in their bathroom (maybe I need some actually)?

But you know, this isn’t even the most exciting story of late. Baby N also had a brief incident last week where he choked on a piece of plum. Yes, I know babies aren’t meant to eat uncooked plum, but Daddy is a bit over-excited about such things and likes to share his food with his son.  I mean, it’s cute and all and usually fine, but on this day it was not. He gave him a small piece of plum, without the skin while he was having dinner and I could see Baby N having some difficulty dealing with it so I went to fish it out of his mouth.  But just as I went to he tipped his head back and I could see instantaneously that he was choking.

He went silent.

His face went red.

He was not breathing.

Many, many years ago I trained to be a lifeguard so I could work on the lake at summer camp in the US (I had two magnificent summers doing so – brilliant times!) and part of my training was how to help someone choking.  Straight away I had Baby N out of his high chair and I turned him over with my left hand under his chest holding him face down and my right hand giving firm slaps on the back.  It worked THANK GOD because the plum was quickly dislodged and Baby N started laughing.  I sat down but could not continue to feed him dinner as my hands were shaking so hard that I couldn’t get the spoon in his mouth.  I had a little cry then.  Baby N just looked at me like I was an idiot.  Bless him.

In lighter news though, I have noticed some incremental changes in Baby N that make my heart warm.  He has worked out that he can “post” one of his bath toys, a starfish, down in between the side of the bath and a handle that sits on the inside (presumably to help you get out of the bath – I didn’t choose the bath).  One night he spent quite a bit of time just repeatedly posting the starfish there and it was so cute I just sat back and watched.

He is also doing a LOT of baby talk and most of it sounds like “Dada” so I guess “Daddy” will be his first word.  I have a sense that it is not far off too. Baby N is aware of many words and I regularly ask him where daddy is or where Lucy (the cat) is and he turns looking for them.  You can ask him if he wants water and he will make a sound if he does, or he will pick up his sippy cup and drink it himself if it’s in arm’s reach. Likewise, he knows how to clap his hands so if you say “clapping hands” to him and clap at the same time sometimes he joins in.  He has also started to hold his hands up when he wants to be picked up which is ADORABLE!

We also have an Amazon Alexa at home which we use for all sorts of things such as turning our lights on and off, playing music and checking the weather.  Baby N is fascinated by Alexa so all you have to do is say “Alexa” (the command for activating the robot) and his head turns towards it to see what she will say.  He is OBSESSED with our mobile phones and if you take one away from him, such as if he tries to suck it, he will complain.  However if you ask Alexa something, he immediately turns towards it and stops his complaining.  We sometimes mess with him just to see how rapidly he shuts up.  Once he learns to talk we are stuffed though as he will just spend all day asking her to do things.  I fear the future…

This weekend we celebrated Easter as it is the Orthodox Easter which is celebrated where I am. We joined the extended family at a lovely hotel restaurant which is almost becoming a family tradition and one that I have felt a little bit of an outsider for in previous years.  This year I had a great time though with Baby N the star of the show seeming to love all of the excitement.  He had his lunch and then munched through assorted other things that were semi-baby appropriate on my plate (no choking hazards, see above).  So he was high on life and food!  After lunch there was some traditional dancing by some “professional dancers” and Baby N went mad for all the traditional music and the dancing.  I was sitting right at the front with him on my knee so he could see it properly and he was waving his hands and even clapping.  The dancers LOVED him and picked him up at one stage to dance him around.  Then there was a portion where the audience joined in so I quickly found myself dancing with him in one of my arms.  Keep in mind Baby N is nearly 11kg and there was a lot of jigging about in this dancing… it was quite a workout for me! 🙂

I remember in previous years that Easter was always a nice break with a few consecutive days off work.  It has been a lovely time this year too, but oh my goodness I am tired.  I am almost looking forward to going back to work so I can have a quiet sit at my desk and enjoy my cup of tea in peace.

Even at work though it’s all baby talk with another colleague announcing last week she is pregnant.  Since I became pregnant with Baby N there has been a succession of pregnancies, so much so that I think my employer would be almost sensible in starting a creche! I was quite surprised by the news of my latest colleague and so when she told me I had an unguarded, unprepared reaction which quite surprised me in one way, but didn’t in another.  Despite having Baby N, despite having overcome infertility, this colleague let it be known that she had fallen pregnant very quickly after starting trying and I couldn’t help but feel irritated by this information. The rational me thinks congratulations, that’s wonderful news. The infertility-affected me thinks how is it fair that she got pregnant by barely trying?! 

These are not new feelings for me but it surprised me that I still had that rawness to me even with the wonder that is Baby N in my life.  It just goes to show that no matter what joys come your way, infertility never fully leaves you.

But I can’t end this post on that sad note, so here is a photo of one of my cats who is being a bit naughty, but so cute at the same time. Ball pit from Early Learning Centre.  Soft toy dog from Ikea.  Both brilliant buys, just ask my cat!

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The small guy is six months old

It’s hard to believe but six months and a day have passed since baby N entered this world.  Six. Whole.  Months.  It’s been a ride, that’s for sure! From those heady newborn days where I literally didn’t think I could make it through another day, to the heartbreaking inability to breastfeed, but then to all the fun times, the smiles, the laughs, his two new teeth, the Aqua Babies classes, all of the firsts, to his little face when he wakes up in the morning so happy to see me and the fits of laughter he has when Lucy cat does something stupid.

I’ve never felt so many emotions.

I’ve never been so tired. Constantly.

I’ve never felt so useless and incompetent, but then the next day I may feel like a super mamma.

I still cannot believe we flew to Australia and back.  Holy shit! (I wouldn’t do it again)

But he’s beautiful and ever-changing and he’s the product of my husband and I.  Perhaps he wasn’t created in a moment of passion (and I do try not to think about what my husband was thinking of when he made his “contribution”) but he was created with so much hope and persistence and determination.  Perhaps that counts equally or even more so.

Now baby N has a little personality, a sunny disposition, a preference for some toys over others.  He’s not keen on avocado but seems to like everything else I feed him and makes “Mmmmm” noises of gratitude and satisfaction when I feed him. He has had his first time on a swing (loved it).

Most recently I’ve been worried that he’s not rolling over, especially with all the dramas of his wonky neck and flat head, but the baby physio has said that his delay in this stage is most likely down to his large size.  He’s now the height and weight of perhaps an average 8 month old baby and it’s hard to shift that much body when you’re only 6 months old.  Despite this, he is strong and loves to sit upright, albeit supported as he cannot yet sit up unaided.

I’ve also been suffering majorly with his inability to self-soothe at night.  This means that every time he comes out of a sleep cycle – roughly 8-10 times a night – he wakes up and needs comforting in the form of his dummy/pacifier replaced and sometimes some reassurance from me.  This means that I wake up roughly every hour.  Every night.  To say it is killing me is an understatement.  It’s like the newborn days all over.  One of my baby apps helpfully said not to worry as babies usually start sleeping better at one year old.  THAT IS SIX MONTHS AWAY, PEOPLE!!  I did not think kind thoughts towards the person that wrote that for the app!

The advice from the experts is that the baby needs to be put down to bed awake so that he puts himself to sleep and when he wakes up again he will know how to put himself back to sleep.  So I’ve got half of that right as baby N can now go to sleep by himself, but ONLY with a dummy in his mouth.  Of course he spits that out while he’s sleeping so when he wakes up he freaks out about it and I have to put it back in.  So the next thing to teach him is how to sleep without a dummy.

I am now cursing myself for giving him a dummy in the first place. Mummies with new babies take note!!

It looks like I will be heading back to work on 1 February, although I’ve managed to agree part time work with my employer which is nice. I have mixed feelings about this.  I would prefer to be in a country with longer maternity leave, here it is only 4 months long but I took some unpaid leave to extend my time.  I know that it’s even worse in the US so I have full respect to the mammas there that have to go back to work when baby is 6 weeks old or younger (I don’t know how you do it).

The good part about going back to work is that I know that my baby will be staying with someone who loves him.  He will be looked after by my husband’s parents’ maid in a kind of nanny situation (maids are very common here and she is very well looked after and doesn’t want to leave), who absolutely adores him like he’s her own and his little face lights up whenever he sees her.  He will be thoroughly spoiled when he is with her. As he will be at his grandparents’ house he will be comfortable and not in a group situation which often leads to more frequent illnesses.  Not that this is a bad option either, but I am fortunate enough to have an alternative.

Already I’ve been taking him to her three days a week for a few hours at a time. I have loved my baby-free time as it has allowed me to go to the gym and yoga and do odd jobs like visit the grocery store without a baby in tow (a real treat). That will soon be replaced by work and so bye bye mummy’s personal time I guess, but hello using my brain again.  I hope that the balance of work and baby will work out although I’m sure it will take some getting used to as well. Expect some kind of post mid-February where I’m freaking out.

Until then, here’s the small guy enjoying all the pleasures life has to offer.

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Life with my little giraffe

Mummy life has really started to settle down now and I’ve begun to enjoy myself a bit more recently.  Baby N is a wonderful baby, so chilled and easy to take around, and that has a lot to do with it, but also I have made a new best friend in a fellow mum who has a daughter 2 weeks younger than baby N.  We see each other about three times a week for coffee or lunch and the rest of the time we message each other all day long.  It’s really nice to have someone to share the small things throughout the day and who really understands where you’re coming from.  As we are both first-time-mums and we both have IVF babies we have a lot in common. We joke (although it is true) that we see each other more than we see our husbands.

I’ve also joined an informal mothers’ group made up of other mums who participated in the baby massage class.  It’s an interesting group of six mums – all hugely different people and probably most of them I would never have come across if it hadn’t been for meeting on the baby massage class.  There are huge extremes in our personalities too – there’s folks like me who enjoy being out of the house and having adventures during the day with the baby, and others who are terrified of leaving the house but are tremendous cooks and earth mothers. I am feeling somewhat insecure about my earth mother skills when I hear these girls talk! What unites us is our babies and our concerns about them.  It’s nice to hear what other people are going through and the ways they are choosing to parent their babies.

We have some mums who are very strict with routines and others who are more go-with-the-flow types.  I think I’m somewhere in the middle, but closer to the go-with-the-flow end.  My baby is the only boy baby of the group so he already has five potential future girlfriends (unless of course he prefers boys…)!

Age: 14 weeks + 4 days

Weight: A week ago he weighed 6.88kg and was 65cm tall so I expect he’s a bit more than that now.  He is in the 97th percentile for height which is really obvious when you put him next to other babies his age – he looks like a giraffe next to them.  I had someone last Sunday ask me if he was 6 months old and their face was priceless when I clarified that he’s only 3 months old.  He’s not a chunky monkey at all, just all long and lithe.

Feeding: We have increased the evening and the morning feed to be 180ml as he seems to be getting more hungry at these times.  I have been trying to keep him to 5 feeds a day, rather than the old 6 feeds, so sometimes one of the afternoon feeds is also 180ml if he looks particularly hungry.  I also changed the feeding teats in the bottles to be the medium flow teats (I use Tommee Tippee bottles) as I found he was getting frustrated by the flow.  I was also getting bored with him taking 30 minutes to drink a bottle so we’re all happier with the faster flow of milk!

Sleeping routine: Baby N has been a wonderful sleeper the past week, sleeping through the night consistently. He usually hits the hay around 7.30pm-8.00pm and wakes at around 6.30am-7.00am.  This makes me very happy!  The clocks go back one hour this Saturday night for the end of daylight savings summer time so this will no doubt knock us off course.  Also, taking him to the other side of the world in two weeks and giving him class A jetlag will probably destroy his wonderful sleeping patterns.  😦

Firsts: I’ve noticed in the past week that baby N now makes a new sound.  It’s kind of a high pitch shriek/squeal when he’s either frustrated or very excited.  It was a bit of a surprise when I heard it the first time but now I’m used to it.

The past couple of weeks have also been all about his hands.  He is CONSTANTLY shoving them – his whole fist – in his mouth and putting drool everywhere.  It is as delightful as it sounds.  I’m trying to convince him to use teething toys instead, but he has maybe 2 seconds of interest in toys until he shoves his hands back in his mouth.  I guess his immune system is strengthening at least! Perhaps once he’s got better motor control of his hands he will be more keen to shove some toys in his mouth.

Hair: Light brownish.

Eyes: Light brownish too.

Wonky neck update: We have been almost fully dismissed from our baby physio lady as baby N’s progress has been so good.  She will see us once before we go to Australia just to make sure he’s okay and then we will meet for coffee when we get back so she can advise me on how to continue. I’m so, so, SO relieved that we caught the torticollis and flat head early and that we’ve had such a positive experience with the physio.  Baby N has such excellent neck control now and it means he’s able to really look around a room and take everything in.  I’ve also seen him arching his back at times so I think he’s on his way to learning how to roll over.

Mummy update: I’ve been generally good, although I’ve had a couple of off days this week where I have had some waves of anxiety.  I think these are related primarily to thinking about the flight to Australia.  I will confess I’m feeling worried about doing this alone.  I have 3 flights each way (2 connections) and about a 24 hour overall journey time.  All this with a 3.5 month old and I’ve no experience of taking him on a plane before so I don’t know if he will be okay. I hope that his generally cheerful and carefree demeanour will continue on the plane/s but he’s a baby so who knows!

My diet is going quite well. I lost a lot of weight in the first week and felt very weak.  I modified it a bit to include a little more food and so I only ended up losing 1.4kg in the first two weeks of my diet.  I’m hoping to drop the same again in the next 2 weeks so that I look pretty good for my trip home.  I still have around 4kg to drop in total but I am happy to see some progress at least.

Week 13 – Bye fourth trimester!

Yesterday our little guy had his 3 month birthday so this officially signals the end of the fourth trimester!  Yay! I remember my sister told me that babies really should still be in the womb for another 3 months to finish their development, but if that happened we would never be able to deliver them as their heads would be too big.  Looking at baby N’s big head now and this makes total sense.

But if they did hang about inside until then I am sure it would be so much easier to be a parent.  They sleep longer, their digestive system is better developed and they would come out smiling!  Seriously nature, I think you need to rethink the 40-week gestation period!

Every day baby N continues to be more sweet and adorable.  He is so friendly to all the many people that come up to him on a daily basis – often strangers – and make baby goo-goo sounds at him. My mum said when I was a baby I would scream if anyone apart from the immediate family would so much as look at me, so clearly he doesn’t take after me in this regard.  I can already see that he’s a kind and giving personality and I can only wonder how this will develop as he gets older.

Age: 13 weeks + 2 days (three months old yesterday)

Weight: No idea, but he gets weighed tomorrow when we visit the paediatrician for the next vaccinations.  I really hate giving him the vaccinations but I truly believe in them being better for him in the long run.  But his little face when they jab him is AWFUL!

Feeding: Nothing much has changed in this regard, but I have noticed that if he has a very long sleep at night that he is more hungry during the day.  It makes sense because he misses a feed when he sleeps through the night.  With this in mind I tend to make his daytime feeds a bit closer together and I have continued to give him 180ml at his night time feed to fill him up.

Sleeping routine: We have seen a few through-the-night sleeps this week, with the longest being 10.5 hours (woo hoo!) but it’s not uncommon to have one night time feed still, usually between 3.30am and 5.00am.  I am also starting to see some patterns in his daytime napping which is good.  He usually naps every 1.5 to 2 hours throughout the day and most naps go for around 30-45 minutes. We took him to his first Aqua Babies class on Saturday and it was absolutely brilliant fun.  We did mess up his sleep schedule a bit though and it meant he fell asleep in my arms as we arrived. We had to wait a few minutes to rouse him from his nap and then put him in the pool when he was not entirely awake.  This is not good parenting so I don’t encourage it!  Anyway, he was pretty good once he was in there and was super-cute!  He even put his little head under the water (briefly).  I’m sure he will only grow to love swimming as the course continues.  Anyway, after the class we fed him and took him home and he slept for 3 hours straight!  He woke up only to have a bath and dinner before he went to bed again and slept through the night.  Clearly swimming is exhausting work!

Firsts: The swimming was a big first and was mainly motivated by me very keen to take him along.  He was the youngest in his class but he seemed to be bigger than many of the babies that were one or two months older than him!

I’m starting to wonder if he might be teething soon as the past week his drooling has increased a lot and he just loves to put his whole fist in his mouth. I do try and stop him and distract him but it’s next to impossible. He is getting better at using his hands to grasp toys, but picking them up and putting them in his mouth seems to be a bit of a way off still.

Hair: Light brownish.

Eyes: Light brownish too.

Wonky neck update: We go for our next appointment with the baby physio on Friday but I’m feeling pretty good about his neck strength and head control.  He seems to have similar neck control to the other babies in the swimming class and they are all older so I figure he’s doing okay these days. We continue with our exercises and tummy time wherever possible.  I think he’s actually starting to enjoy tummy time now as it means he can look around independently. He really likes to be able to see things so I think his curiosity may drive him to keep developing his strength.  While he sleeps beautifully in the stroller bassinet, he is not so keen on it when he’s awake and prefers that I carry him. I don’t think we are going to be using the bassinet for much longer!

Mummy update: Well guess what turned up last week for me? My period!!  Now I haven’t had a period for almost a year so that was a bit of a novelty. I had heard your first one after birth can be quite heavy and painful, but mine was neither.  It’s pretty much finished now so that’s nice too. As a PCOS suffering I found one of the very few advantages of IVF was that my skin improved remarkably and now that I’m free of the meds my skin is starting to have the odd spot again. Ugh.

In the quest to get back my pre-baby body (Operation MILF) I visited a dietician last week and she put me on a diet plan.  It’s not too bad, but I have been a bit hungry yesterday and today.  According to my home scales though, I’ve lost about 1.5kg (3.3 pounds) in a week so if I keep up the weight loss at this rate I won’t have to stay on the diet much longer!  Yay!

Week 12 – Planning our trip Down Under

We are booked! Yes, the small guy and I are headed Down Under in a month’s time and I’m so excited and also TERRIFIED of the plane journey. Hubby has booked me in business class for the first time EVER as I think he feels guilty he can’t join and worried I will have a lot to handle. I mean, he wouldn’t even agree to business class for our honeymoon!

I am ever so slightly worried about annoying actual business people in business class but this is balanced out by how happy I am to be getting a flat bed for the longest part of my journey. The stupid airline (Etihad) cannot guarantee a bassinet for baby so worse case scenario is that we can sleep together on the flat bed. If this happens though I will be fuming! We also successfully managed to get baby Na passport today so that’s another thing checked off my to-do list! It was much easier to do now he’s more alert and awake. Heads up to anyone else who needs to travel with baby from an early age to leave the passport photo as late as you can. It will make your life way easier!

We leave here on Thursday 9 November and arrive back on Thursday 30 November so it’s almost three weeks with my mum. I am worried I’m not going to want to leave in the end! My mum is super excited and I’ve been sending her on errands this week, such as to buy baby N a sun hat (we never took him in the sun until now because it was dangerously hot so didn’t need a hat) and to collect a steriliser I bought on eBay at a tenth of the price you pay for it new. I honestly don’t know why I bought so many new things in general. There are so many bargains out there and they’ve usually hardly been used.

The past week has been fairly calm and consistent. We are definitely finding a kind of flow even if it’s not a tight schedule yet. Baby N is a joy now too. He sleeps and eats well and he’s got a lovely outgoing and smiley personality. He’s a little ball of sunshine!

Age: 12 weeks + 3 days

Weight: Not weighed this week but he’s too long for most 0-3 clothes now and is wearing mainly 3-6 months.

Feeding: Still having 150ml per feeding session but on a couple of days he’s seemed more hungry so I’ve given him 180ml at bedtime.

Sleeping routine: Baby N has been sleeping wonderfully, going down around 7.30-8.30 and then sleeping for around 8-9 hours!! This means mummy and daddy actually get to spend some time together in the evenings and feel kind of civilised. After waking around 3-4am for a feed, he then pops back to sleep for around 3 hours. Last night he slept at 8pm and didn’t wake up until 5.45am. I fed him and put him back to bed where he stayed until 8am. Who knew that 8am would be considered a luxurious lie in!

I try to keep those night feeds silent so he knows they are not the time do be playing or giving me his big smiles. It seems to work usually so that’s nice.

Firsts: I’m pretty sure baby N knows what “Show us your BIG SMILE!”means as he makes the most huge open-mouth smiles when you say this to him. He also uses his hands to grab and hold things now such as toys.

We got him his first passport and ID card too. Tomorrow he goes for his first (chaperoned) date – a lunch with a little girl from baby massage class. The babies don’t even notice each other actually but the mummies are sure to have a good time! Then on Saturday we will be attending our first Aqua Babies class (spot the bored mummy who signs her kid up to anything!). We bought some special nappies/diapers for swimming and we have the cutest swimsuit to wear. I think I’m more excited about it than he is…

Hair: Getting a tiny bit thicker but still short and sparse and fair in colour.

Eyes: They’re kind of a hazel-green colour at the moment. Bye-bye blue eyes!

Mummy update: I’ve had a good few days with decent sleep but I’m still sooooo exhausted! I finally got my thyroid checked again today and my numbers are very low which means it’s now over-active (it’s usually under active). I’m waiting to hear from the doctor how to change my meds to balance it out. I’m hoping when we get this right I’ll feel less tired.

I visited a specialist last Friday who confirmed my pelvic floor is a bit weak currently so I’ve got a bunch of exercises to do. Of course I’ve done them about once since then so there is work to do!! There’s no point doing weight work at the gym until I get my pelvic floor stronger as I will risk compensating and hurting my back or something. So it’s just cardio and yoga for me for now. And pelvic floor exercises…

I also visited a dietician to try and get rid of the last few pounds I’m dragging around currently. She’s made me a diet plan which is quite restrictive but she says I can lose 1 kg a week if I stick to it. I think that’s overly optimistic but I’m happy to be proven wrong! I’m hoping to have dropped all baby weight by Christmas!

Week 11 – Rediscovering the joys of sleep!

To all those people who said things would get better with baby once they complete the fourth trimester – you were right it seems. This past week or so has seen a marked improvement in baby N’s sleeping, so much so that Wednesday last week saw him sleep through the night for the first time!  He slept from 10pm until 6am and I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I was.  This also meant I managed to get some decent unbroken sleep for the first time since he was born.  I cannot begin to tell you how incredible that was.  I am certain that people begin to like their babies more once their older if only for the fact that they are then getting more sleep!

I did wonder if this sleeping achievement was a one-off, but baby N has been consistently sleeping for 7-8 hours in the first part of his sleep at night.  So if he drifts off around 8pm I can expect to have to get up for a feed at around 3am-4am.  Last night he was exhausted when I put him to bed and thus it took ages for him to fall asleep, finally having success at around 8.30pm.  He then slept all the way through to 6am which was INCREDIBLE!  Just being able to have dinner and some quiet time with hubby – even if that’s only for 30 minutes – just makes me feel almost like a human again.  I’m sure he will have some kind of return to poor sleeping habits in the future, but for now we celebrate our small victories.

Age: 11 weeks + 3 days (I was busy this week, forgive me)

Weight: Baby N went for his second lot of vaccinations on Tuesday and he weighed in then at 6.3kg and he is 61.5cm tall.  He was super brave again with his vaccinations and was a bit cranky and restless for the rest of Tuesday but by Wednesday he was his usual cheerful self again. Baby N is pretty much out of clothes sized 0-3 months and heading on in to 3-6 months sized clothes.  I bought him a bunch of new outfits in the past week or so also because it gets colder at nights so he needs to have long sleeves on for the first time since we left the clinic in July.  I’m really noticing how much more complicated it is to change his clothes when he has more layers on!

Feeding: He consistently takes 150ml of formula for each feed and usually eats it all.  Daytime feeds are approximately 3 hours apart, but then at night time he obviously sleeps his big sleep (the first one of the night) for anywhere around 6-8 hours and then the second sleep is usually around 3-4 hours so he is longer between feeds during those times.  If he’s had a long sleep he is usually STARVING and practically swallows the whole bottle and the formula in one.  Hahaha!  Sometimes he gets hiccups after this as he’s taken the milk so quickly.

Sleeping routine: I’ve mainly covered this above, but generally his nighttime routine has been kicking off around 7pm with a bath, a massage and sometimes a book or a dance to a song.  This means he can sometimes be in bed and asleep by around 8pm although there is some fluctuation to this.  The earlier he goes to bed, the earlier the next feed is generally.  On Monday though he crashed out unexpectedly at about 5pm and didn’t wake up until 1am.  I’ve no idea why he was suddenly so exhausted this early, other than the fact he had a busy day on Sunday and perhaps he needed to regroup on Monday.  In any case, he missed his bath on Monday night and we just fed him at 1am before he headed off to sleep again until 6.30am.  By Tuesday he was more-or-less back on schedule.

The funny thing about Monday night was that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves when he slept through the whole evening.  For a while we expected him to wake up so we were just pottering around at home, but then when it became apparent he was in a deep sleep we kind of felt lost for things to do.  I have wondered many times what I used to do with all this time before the baby.  I remember thinking I never had enough time to do anything… I guess time is elastic and it fits whatever you need it to fit.

Firsts: I’ve seen a lot of development this week in baby N.  He is really alert and moves his head around like a meerkat whenever we go somewhere new.  He’s definitely worked out his hands belong to him now and loves to shove them in his mouth at every opportunity.  I even managed to capture on video the first time he used his hands to grab one of his toys.  He continues to delight in toys that make sounds and mirrors.  The boy love to look at himself (as do his parents so no big surprises there that that trait has been passed on). He’s really enjoying his baby massage classes too – although I think he’s in the minority there as many of the babies don’t seem to love it so much. We have signed up to baby swim lessons which begin next week so that’s the next adventure.

Hair: He’s still a baldy but from what we can see he is going to be fair haired.  He also has a little bit of cradle cap which is annoying and I’m going to have to make some efforts to get rid of it.

Eyes: Getting darker.  They’re now somewhere between dark blue and brown.

Wonky neck update: Our baby physio had to cancel this week’s session so we don’t go until next Monday but he seems to be getting stronger and more straight so I am at least happy about that.  He still enjoys sleeping on his special pillow but if he’s restless at night – usually during his second sleep – he sometimes kicks his legs so hard his whole body moves and he comes off his pillow.  This usually disturbs him and he cries so sometimes I have to get up in the night multiple times to put him back on the pillow.  It’s annoying, but it also shows he’s strong so I’m trying to look on the bright side with that.

Mummy update: I’m doing pretty good these days, but I did overdo it a bit last week with my personal trainer so I’ve decided to stop with that for now.  Instead I am going for an assessment on Friday to see how my abdominals are after the pregnancy so might do some rehab work before doing any more weights work. I am continuing with yoga and I’m thinking of trying a spinning class tonight, but I might change my mind when it becomes closer to the time.

I have lost no weight recently so I am thinking of going to a dietician to kickstart some more weight loss. I currently can’t fit into any of my old jeans so if I don’t lose weight soon then I will have to go shopping for clothes to wear.  So far it’s stayed warm enough here that I haven’t needed anything on my legs but I’m not sure that will last much longer! Anyway, I’m sick of looking at my flabby belly so something needs to be done!

Psychologically I am doing so, so much better.  I really do enjoying getting out and about with baby N though and go a bit bananas if I spend a day at home.  I was like this before having him so it’s not really a surprise I feel like I do.  I think he enjoys some adventures outside the four walls of home too so everyone’s a winner.

We have become great friends with a couple of the mums from baby massage class so now we sometimes go for coffee with mums and bubs and it is great!  I love chatting not only about baby stuff but just general life stuff with other people.  It makes me feel more like me.

We have also booked tickets to head Down Under to see my family and I am SO EXCITED about this, albeit less excited about taking a 3.5 month old baby on a plane for a 24 hour journey BY MYSELF. Yep, hubby can’t get the time off from work so I am travelling with him solo.  If anyone has ANY TIPS on airline travel with an infant which will make our lives easier and better then I am all ears to this.

Now the big challenge is getting a passport for Mr Wonky Head in time.  They take 2 weeks to process here and we are leaving in 5 weeks!  Eeeeek!

Week 10 – A little human emerges

I don’t want to jinx myself, but I’ve got to say the past few days have been pretty good with baby N. Each day he seems to take leaps and bounds in his development and he is such a smiler!  His huge toothless smile and funny laughs greet me each morning when he wakes up which almost makes up for the fact that he’s making me get up sometime around 6am! If I wasn’t keeping this blog anonymous, I’d post 100 photos of his gorgeous smile here as it’s impossible not to be cheered up by it.

Over the past week the only evenings I had significant challenges with him were Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but this is because the poor guy had his immunisations on Tuesday and he wasn’t feeling his best.  He was incredibly brave during the jabs – much more brave than I was.  We went there and he was all smiles and laughs so I was feeling like a terrible person for subjecting him to the suffering. He was looking in my eyes and smiling when they made the first injection and his little face showed first the shock and then he stuck his bottom lip out and did a whimper.  For the second injection a minute or so later he did a bit of a cry but then I picked him up and cuddled him and he stopped crying within a minute. So brave!!

The immunisations clearly had an impact on him though as he spent the rest of the afternoon asleep. When I picked him up to feed him in the evening he was all limp and kind of whiny.  Not crying really but making some little squeaking noises.  I checked and he didn’t have a temperature, but he also looked like he was feeling pretty awful so I gave him a dose of Calpol (paracetamol).  The super-sweet flavour of it took him by surprise, but within 15 minutes of administering the dose he was back to smiling and laughing. Although I had no problem getting him down for his evening sleep, he had a restless night waking up many times and needing re-settling so I was exhausted! I still managed to go to my yoga class but I was definitely not very good at it and had to cancel the rest of the day’s activities as I was in pieces. When hubby came home in the evening I had to get him to take over the baby duties so I could have a nap as I was wiped out and very teary.

But then by Thursday, baby N was feeling much better and so we had a nicer day.  We went for coffee with a friend of mine who had recently gotten engaged and he was an angel baby sleeping through all of our gossipy chats.  I had to tell my friend MULTIPLE times that it’s not always this easy, but I don’t think she believed me.

Age: 10 weeks

Weight: There was no weigh-in this week, but I’m confident he’s now over 6kg. As I carry him around for most of the day I have noticed that my arms are getting much more strong and my biceps are pretty impressive.  Who needs the gym when you have a baby!

Feeding: I’ve noticed for the past week that baby N has generally been more tired and more hungry so I think he may also be going through some kind of growth spurt.  Whereas we were feeding him 120ml each time, we then started to give him a couple of 150ml feeds towards the end of last week.  Now I am giving him 150ml more often than not.  Clearly he’s a growing boy!  We joke that if we only give him 120ml these days he will eat all of that and then start to munch the bottle!

 

Sleeping routine: I have noticed that the baby has become easier to put down in the evenings to sleep.  A couple of times last week I realised he was not tired in the early evening, after some decent late afternoon sleeps so I delayed his bathtime/bedtime until he started to show some signs of being tired.  There is a fine balance between showing signs of tiredness and a full-on overtired breakdown so you have to keep a close eye on this.  However, by waiting until he’s properly tired to put him to bed, he’s a lot easier to convince to sleep.  Yesterday we had a busy day out for lunch and strolling about in the afternoon and so he didn’t nap very solidly.  I was conscious of this so put him down for a power nap at around 6pm last night before we had given him a bath… but he had other ideas and woke up at midnight. So we skipped the bath!

Tonight he was looking pretty exhausted at 7pm so I popped him in the bath, gave him a nice feed, did some singing to him (tonight’s choice “A Beautiful Mess” by Jason Mraz) and he was asleep by 8pm.  Given what an appalling singer I am perhaps he just went to sleep as it was better than listening to me wail on. Whatever the case, he looks pretty cosy in there now so I’m pleased.

Generally when he goes down to bed at around that time at night he goes right through to about 2am or 3am and has a feed.  The sleep that follows this is usually much more disturbed though so I find that I might get up a couple more times during this period to re-settle him.  This is also because of the magical head pillow he uses – he kicks his legs about so much during his lighter sleeps that he bounces himself off the pillow.  Interestingly he cries when he’s off the pillow so he must prefer to be on it.

The disturbed sleep that I get from around 3am until 6am really does suck and means that even though I might log 6-7 hours in bed, only about 3-4 of those hours are consistent, decent sleep.  I’m sure that baby N will continue to improve his sleeping and get even better at self-soothing – I’ve seen good progress in this area already – so I am staying calm about this for now.

Firsts: Vaccinations – arrrrrrrgggghh!  He was so stoic though and I was very proud of him. I’ve also noticed he now realises his hand belongs to him and I caught him staring at his fist as he moved it across his line of sight.  That was pretty funny.

He’s also quite obsessed with patterns, colours and shadows so I’ll often find him staring, open-mouthed at something like a picture or a light-fitting.  It does make you look at the world around you a lot more differently.

Hair: Still growing! He’s still about 10 years off having a ponytail though (this is a good thing).

Eyes: Getting darker!  My baby is going to have brown eyes for sure.

Wonky neck update: I have really noticed a big improvement in baby N’s neck strength this past week and feel pleased that all the carrying about and special exercises are having an impact. At today’s baby physio session she was also delighted with his improvement.  He was doing so many new exercises with her and all holding his head up unaided.  I can see he gets more alert now he has a strong neck and that means he can see more stuff around him which feeds his curiosity.  I am now more convinced than ever that leaving your baby passively somewhere like a playmate or a bouncer/swing is not helpful to their development.

Mummy update: I’ve had a pretty good time of late.  With the exception of Wednesday when the exhaustion was immense, I have been functional, cheerful and maybe even… happy!  I know right?!  How crazy is that?!

I’ve been able to get out and about and do some things that make me feel semi-normal.  Sometimes this is with the baby and sometimes I have been letting some others babysit him briefly.  I do miss him after an hour or so, but it’s good for us both to spend a little time away from each other.

I have continued to keep up with the regular exercise with two yoga sessions and a gym session last week.  I also took the baby to the park a couple of times so some brisk walking around there has also been good for getting my heart pumping.  I’ve still not lost any more weight than previously, but I think I need to crack down on my diet to really make an impact there.