Parenting

A week of firsts

Some good, some not so good. 

A couple of days ago Jackson went to stay with my mother in law for what was supposed to be a couple of hours. It ended up being about four as the restaurant we went to for my mothers birthday had shockingly long wait times (it was pretty bad guys, about half the restuarant goers left and the other half weren’t too happy either). She enjoyed babysitting immensely and I’ll admit it was nice to have a small break.

Then last night I went to hospital to get a lump that had become quite painful on my abdomen checked out. I thought it was just a bite of some sort but it turns out it’s a boil and it had become infected. They drained it, dressed it and fed me some antibiotics through a drip. My bloods came back fine so I was allowed to go home in between doses. They’ve kept the lure in and I have to go back tonight for another dose. Unfortunately though the lure makes using my arm too much a bit painful and the position of the boil affects my ability to sit or move around too much without pain so my mother came and collected Jackson last night and is looking after him for a couple of days while I rest. I’ve just done my first night without him and I miss him so much. Here’s hoping everything goes well and it doesn’t get worse so he can come home sooner rather than me having to go to hospital if it gets worse.

On the bright side, Jackson has started to smile this week and my heart could just melt every time he does. He certainly doesn’t seem to mind staying with nana!

Parenting

No, I’m not breastfeeding

And that’s okay.

I wanted to. That was the plan. The funny thing about kids though… they don’t care about plans. We had all the gears – pump (electric and manual), bags to store milk in the freezer in, nipple cream, maternity bras, you name it. 

At the end of the day though, I decided my mental health was more important. The birth really took it out of me. I’d been managing just fine all throughout the day during my latent labour but I was progressing slowly and then, all of a sudden, it was time. Baby didn’t care that I technically wasn’t in established labour (even when I got to the hospital I was only having two contractions in ten minutes), he wanted out and he wanted out now. Just two hours prior to my contractions soaring to 100 on the intensity scale I had only been 3cm dilated. I don’t even know how dilated I was in the end, there wasn’t time for that. All I know is the contractions really stepped it up and I was fighting the urge to push the entire ride over to the hospital. 

We got to the hospital at about 11pm and he arrived at 12.55am. I sustained a second degree tear, fainted in the shower and we were on our way to the birth centre at 4am. 

Over the next week we tried to breastfeed him. We had issues with the latch – he wouldn’t open his mouth wide enough to get on the breast properly – and even when he was on he would suck for about 30 seconds then stop (which is apparently an issue mum also had with me and she ended up having to bottle feed me, too). I would express and give him what little colostrum I could and we supplemented with formula. He was much happier drinking the formula and I was much happier giving it to him knowing he was getting enough and it was satisfying him. 

All the trouble breastfeeding, paired with the exhaustion, the pain while recovering from my tear, the hormones/baby blues and my feelings regarding the birth felt like too much. I was overwhelmed, I was crying all the time and my baby blues lasted longer than a few days. My mum was concerned about me and so was my midwife. So we decided to stop breastfeeding. My husband was happy with whatever decision I made as all he cared about was Jackson getting fed. 

Sure, I could have tried for longer. I could have tried for six weeks like my mum did with me, or a few months like others I know, but I know my limits and I could feel myself heading into a direction I did not want to go emotionally. I was struggling to bond with Jackson and I was spending most of my time crying or just feeling… blah. I wanted to enjoy these early days with my baby. So I stopped.

It’s been a week and a half since making the decision and we’re both better off for it. I’m much happier and coping much better than I was. I’m bonding my son. He’s fed, healthy and doing really well. And that’s all that matter isn’t it? That he’s healthy and well fed/cared for? That’s what I think anyway.

So no, I’m not breastfeeding. And that’s okay. 

P.S. If you’re breastfeeding, that’s fantastic! I mean no disrespect to anyone with this post. In all honesty it’s main purpose is that it feels good to write it all down. 

Parenting, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

And a baby was born…

I was 41 weeks and 1 day with an appointment scheduled at the hospital the next day to assss me and set a date for induction when I awoke at 5.30am to my first contraction. I wasn’t surprised as I had been feeling quite a bit of pressure the night before and figured something would happen soon. The first few hours were painful and at 10.30am after five hours we headed to the birth centre to meet with the midwife. Contractions were three minutes apart but bearable as I’d had time to adjust to the pain, I was 3cm dilated and advised to wait until dinner time and give the contractions time to become stronger and longer before coming back in.

The afternoon wasn’t too bad. I was mostly able to breathe through the pain. Late afternoon they became stronger and longer and we headed back to the birth centre to see the midwife again at about 7pm. My waters had been leaking since about midday but my contractions were seven minutes apart and I was still 3cm. We went back home at 8pm to have dinner and try and get some sleep in between contractions. If nothing changed overnight then we were to go to the hospital in the morning. 

Two hours later at 10pm the contractions really stepped up. They were strong and they were long. I couldn’t breathe through it, I was screaming and crying from the pain and so we called the midwife (who could very clearly hear me haha) and were instructed to go to the hospital. As soon as I stood up I started feeling the need to push and the car ride over felt like half an hour of hell. As soon as we got there they hooked me up to monitor baby and my contractions and I finally got some relief with the gas, though not a whole lot. I was still only getting about two contractions in ten minutes but I was transferred to a delivery suite and after about an hour, Jackson was born at 12.55am weighing in at 8lb 12oz.

Mum cried. My husband cried. I was just so thankful it was over and I had my boy in my arms. Then it was back on the gas as I’d sustained a second degree tear and needed suturing. After what felt like forever I was stitched up and after skin to skin and the first feed I was able to go and shower, although I accidentally spent too long in there because it felt so good and ended up fainting. Thankfully I didn’t rip open my stitches and after some food and drink I felt much better. Once the midwife finished her notes we were given the all clear to head back to the birth centre with our little man. 

Parenting

The Bad Mum Brigade

It frustrates me to no end to see so many mothers that feel like they need to point out their ‘bad mum’ moments and justify themselves before the bad mum brigade get in there first. I see it with friends, I see it with mum blogs, I see it all over social media… and it’s just so sad that all these ‘perfect parents’ make others feel like they need to do this to avoid criticism. 

The pressure to do what’s considered ‘right’, the expectation to be perfect parents 24/7, 365… it’s just so unnecessary. No one is perfect. Everyone has moments as parents where they wonder if they did the right thing, where they think ‘maybe I could have handled that better’, where they make mistakes. It’s normal. So why do we stress so much over what other people think? We’re all just trying our best and what works for one may not work for another. 

Your baby is breast fed? Awesome! Your baby is on formula? That’s great! Your babies are fed and well nourished. You stay at home with the kids? Fabulous! Your kids go to daycare while you work? Amazing! You’re doing what works best for your family. 

Never let anyone make you feel like you are anything less than an amazing parent. Never make anyone else feel like they aren’t as good a parent because they made different choices. We’re all human. We all try our best for our kids and that’s what they’re going to remember; that we tried, that we did our best to provide for them, nurture them, teach them and keep them safe… and that’s all that matters. 

Parenting, Uncategorized

Time Flies

My pregnancy has flown by. Seriously, where did all the time go? One minute it’s July and we’ve only just found out about the life growing inside me and then boom, I blink and it’s suddenly February. What.

I’m now 36 weeks and time doesn’t seem to be slowing down like everyone says it does. Sure, the day feels like it drags a bit (especially now that I’m off work) but the weeks are still passing by with a decent amount of speed. Our baby will be here in no time and that is both exciting and terrifying.

Seriously though, it’s terrifying.

In roughly 4 weeks, we will be responsible for a tiny human that depends on us entirely. We’re both completely new at this and no matter how prepared we think we are, no matter how ready we feel, I don’t think anyone is ever truly ready to be a parent. No amount of reading can prepare you for what actually lies ahead. There’ll be things we end up doing as parents that we swore we never would back in our days of blissful ignorance. There will be times where we questions ourselves and our abilities. Are we doing the right thing? Are we being good parents? There will be tears, there will be tantrums. We’ll make mistakes. I’m no idiot – I know parenting is hard, but I also realise that I really cannot comprehend exactly how  hard it is until I experience it for myself.

But it’s also seriously exciting.

We tried for this baby for 14 months. As I write this, he is kicking around in there. There’s a baby inside me. Holy shit. For the past eight months he has been growing in there, developing all that he will need for when he enters this world and oh my god, am I excited to meet him. What will he look like? What will he smell like? What will he sound like? He knows my voice, he knows Charles’ voice, he knows my heartbeat. He knows me pretty well by now, soon it will be our turn to get to know him. Soon, we will hold him. Soon, the baby’s room will not be empty. Soon, our family of two will be three.

Really fucking soon.