Category Archives: Baby Stuff

Change

This was my morning, 7am to 9am:

MJ wakes. He is soaked in wee. Change his clothes.

Get Will out of our bed. He is also soaked in wee, as are our sheets. Change him.

Feed Will porridge, much of which  ends up on his clothes.

Pick up MJ from his swing to discover that he is dripping a combination of wee, poo, and vomit.

Change them both.

Get poo on self. Change self.

Decide MJ needs bath. Undress him. Running bath water encourages MJ to wee all over me. Change self.

Bathe MJ. Change him.

A change is as good as a holiday right? No wonder I feel so well rested.

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My Newest Man

I’m not going to write a post about MJ’s birth because there isn’t much to say. I made it to full term without any signs of labour and at 40 weeks 2 days we arrived at the hospital for our back-up plan c-section. The operation went smoothly and at 9:41 am Matthew James was born.

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I do, however, want to record some of my thoughts about the early days of MJ’s presence in my life before it all recedes into a haze.

There’s no denying that for many reasons I found this pregnancy more difficult than my first. Every pregnancy is different and with a toddler and a very demanding job life was already pretty challenging; the addition of an unexpected pregnancy really amplified those difficulties. I was physically uncomfortable, and didn’t really feel that healthy ‘pregnancy glow’ I experienced with Will.

Although the pregnancy was welcome and cherished, I wonder whether it’s unexpected nature contributed to my less positive experience. The first time around I worked for the pregnancy; I spent months planning for pregnancy and imaging how it would feel. The second time around the opposite was true – the pregnancy required me to change my view of what my life would be like. If I’m honest, I’m sure that coloured how I experienced the pregnancy.

All that aside, however, this pregnancy was physically more difficult. Surprisingly my pelvic instability, although starting earlier, was actually less problematic than last time. However I experienced 20 weeks of significant morning sickness, followed closely by significant abdominal pain and discomfort which I endured for many, many weeks. My first pregnancy felt natural – I felt like it was something I was good at. This pregnancy, despite occurring ‘naturally’ (that term makes me cringe) felt somewhat unnatural. Like many women by the end of the pregnancy I was ready for it to be over.

A tiny part of me was concerned though; I admit that I wondered if my comparatively negative experiences would continue once the baby was born.

Interestingly, during the pregnancy I never worried that I wouldn’t love this baby as much as I love Will. I was sure that I would love my second son just as I did my first. When MJ was born however, I admit it felt a little anti-climactic. Yes, I loved MJ, but it didn’t feel like the powerful, all-encompassing in love that I feel for Will. I was scared that I would never feel as much love for this new, unplanned baby. I spent a day feeling oh-so-happy but also slightly anxious; and then I realised something. I was comparing apples with oranges. I was comparing the love I felt for MJ, this new, somewhat unformed and unfocused being, with the love I feel for Will, the rambunctious, hilarious toddler of today. The toddler that I know, and that knowing is the difference. I didn’t love MJ less, the quality of love was just different. I love Will for being Will; I loved MJ solely because he was my baby. I’m sure, in retrospect, that it was the same with Will – I simply didn’t have anything to compare my love to.

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I still haven’t discussed any of these initial feelings with anyone – with the exception of a couple of conversations with my mother in which we talked about the differences between first and second births, the fact that the second time around it is no less wonderous but doesn’t have the same life-changing quality. I haven’t kept quiet out of guilt, rather it just doesn’t seem important now that I understand my feelings.

Once I reached that understanding I relaxed and just allowed myself to enjoy MJ. I still compare the two boys, but now it’s done out of curiosity rather than fear. Already, at 7 weeks of age, I can feel my love for MJ changing; I can feel myself starting to love him for who he is. And I know that my love will only grow with each and every day, each new trait he reveals to me will deepen my love for him. The well from which that love springs is infinite, for both of my sons.

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With all that said, it feels like the comparative difficulties of pregnancy have continued into the neonatal period. Like his older brother, MJ is a champion feeder, but in the early days his latch wasn’t as easy and I suffered with painful grazed nipples and a mild case of mastitis. Although I felt almost back to normal by two weeks following the caesarean, the recovery period (although quick compared to most) didn’t feel quite as painless. And MJ hasn’t been an easy baby. In retrospect, Will wasn’t the easiest baby either (although I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time), but caring for MJ has felt more difficult. I’m sure that balancing the needs of two children contributes to the difficulty but both my husband and I have agreed that MJ can be a challenge. He is unsettled and suffers from some reflux. It can be very difficult to settle him to sleep and during the day he tends to only catnap for periods of 10 to 20 minutes. He hates being put down and tends to fuss if I’m not holding him – something that I simply can’t do all day while also caring for Will.

I’m lucky that as far as toddlers go Will is generally easy-going. Yes, he throws some epic tantrums, and he’s a bossy, opinionated kid, but he is supremely good at entertaining himself and is pretty understanding that I can’t always play with him when he wants. He also loves MJ and has never shown the slightest resentment towards him. (I make a point to say thing like “Mum is busy” rather than using MJ as the reason Will can’t have what he wants, but I’m still quite aware that there will be periods of resentment or rivalry in the future.)

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In the last week or two MJ seems to have settled down somewhat. We have made some changes to help with his reflux and either those measures or his age seem to be improving the situation. He has, on occasion, actually settled himself to sleep, something that makes me irrationally proud and was something Will was never able to do until we sleep trained him at, I think, seven months.

Although we still have some very difficult days, lately they have been fewer and further between. One thing I learnt from Will’s babyhood is that these changes often occur with no clear explanation and are unpredictable in nature. With that in mind, I want to neither court disappointment nor allow myself to worry about what may not come to be, but simply enjoy those times that MJ is easy and not allow myself to feel hopeless during the difficult times.

That would be a valuable lesson to remember throughout their childhoods.

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Baby Stuff, Labour/Delivery

Interior Designing

I’m supposed to be studying, which of course means I’ve been hanging out on Pinterest and Polyvore far too much.

We’ve started working on ideas for Will’s room once we transition some of the baby items out for his sibling, and of course I’ve been thinking about the baby’s room too!

I have come up with a few hastily thrown together mood boards which I thought I’d share, with the aim that eventually I’ll post before and after pics.

Will's Big Boy Room

Will has a couple of beautiful, colourful handmade quilts that I really want to show off on his new bed. I’ve also been searching high and low for navy and white striped bed sheets but to no avail.

A few items have already been decided on or purchased (like the bed and the posters) and some others are still a work in progress. I’m not sure about the bunting – I need to something on the wall or ceiling above his bed to replace the baby mobile which has already come down, but I’m just not sure if bunting feels right. I plan to recover the chair in his room (which has been yellow since I recovered it for his nursery) in either navy blue or kelly green, or a combination.

The quilts contain lots of colours so really any colour will go in the room, but I want to focus on the slightly more grown up navy and dark green that you can see in this board.

 

Baby girl nurseryBaby boy nursery

The new babe will be inheriting Will’s cot and changing table, and the Ikea chair which is the partner to the chair in Will’s room and is currently packed away in storage. There really aren’t any furniture decision to be made, so these boards focus on the colour schemes I’m currently contemplating. Nothing will get purchased until we find out the baby’s sex in a week or so – but then I might go online shopping crazy!

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Filed under Baby Making, Round 2, Baby Stuff, Non-IF Stuff

The Shortest Video in the World

I can feel a blog post bubbling under the surface; I need to vent about the stress I’m feeling at the moment, how hard it is to juggle conflicting roles. But taking the time to write will only increase my stress.

Instead, I am posting the world’s shortest video. It’s short, but manages to accurately illustrate what raising my son is currently like.

He’s a cheeky monkey, and I love him for it.

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July 9, 2012 · 9:57 pm

New

New

I found this photo on my husband’s computer tonight; I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.

It made me feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I hope I get to do this again one day.

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April 7, 2012 · 10:04 pm

Photo Post

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Here are the long-overdue photos from Will’s birthday party which we held in a local park. Luckily for us the weather was brilliant!

Be warned, there are more than 30 photos in the slideshow, so get comfortable!

A few details:

  • The bunting was made by a friend when Will was born. The colours don’t work in his bedroom but I knew straight away that I wanted to use the bunting as the basis for his first birthday party decorations.
  • My talented friend Emma made the cake and cupcakes. She also made our wedding cake and based Will’s cake on the same recipe because it’s our favourite – banana and white chocolate.
  • I bought the blue polka dot lanterns and made the blue and white poms. I hung a ‘chandelier’ over each of the four picnic tables in the picnic shelter we reserved for the party.
  • Will, the child who hates hat, loved the party hat I made him and wore it for the entire cake cutting and eating. And not surprisingly, he loved his cupcake!

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November 28, 2011 · 1:57 pm

Wordless Wednesday

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Filed under Baby Stuff, Photos, Wordless Wednesdays