The Munchkin

I can’t believe Emma is six weeks old already! It feels like she was only born yesterday, but at the same time, i can’t remember what it was like not having her around 🙂

She’s had a bit of a cold over the last week and I don’t know if it’s coincided with a growth spurt or if she’s just felt REALLY grotty, or if she’s just done with the new born sleeping for hours phase, but my little angel baby disappeared overnight and was replaced by a snotty screaming monster! Thankfully it only lasted a couple of days and the homeopathic remedies we got from the health shop worked really quickly. I have also rediscovered my loathing of snot. I can do vomit, poop and most other things, but snot? no thanks. Thankfully Richard’s had a couple of days off, so when it’s come to suctioning the revolting stuff out her nose or if she blows a booger, I could hand her over and flee the room!!

She’s also not been sleeping very well and last night I was in such a mess from a sleepless night before and, because of Richard and my frayed nerves we were starting to snap at each other, in the end I put her in her car seat and drove around the neighbourhood until she was fast asleep. It worked like a charm and she only woke up once last night! Sadly, I don’t think we’ll be doing that every night, what with the new petrol price!!

On a way happier note, Emma has started smiling!! It’s so damn cute! She first started at bathtime (but only for Daddy mind you) and then yesterday when I was singing to her she broke into the cutest toothless grin! She also makes really cute OOO noises like she’s trying to talk. Probably to try to get me to stop singing… I’ve been trying to get a photo of her smile, but have been completely unsuccessful.  Mandi managed to get some really gorgeous photos of her smiling in her sleep yesterday, which just makes me all the more determined to buy a decent camera as soon as possible!

A couple of weeks ago I asked the other twitter moms for advice on expressing and bottle feeding and since then have been expressing the odd feed for Emma,mostly so that I don’t have to breastfeed in public, which i hate and have hated since Shae was a baby. She’s been pretty good about taking a bottle from the very first one, especially when richard gives it to her. She sometimes just decides she’s not interested though, so we’re not quite at a point where I can lock myself in the spare room and leave Richard on night duty yet! It’s Richard’s birthday in a couple of weeks time and Timor has offered to babysit for us, so I hope she’ll be totally happy with bottles by then, because I’d love to have a bit of a night out!

Otherwise, life carries on. We’re settling into the new normal and getting used to the redefined household.  Both cats are now used to having Emma around and PuffPuff has even started sleeping right next to me while i’m cuddling Emma, something she refused to do at first. Mimi is still playing second mommy. I’m sure she’s trying to hand out parenting advice at times, because she often sits and the back of the couch and miaows at me while I’m holding Emma,like she thinks i’m doing it wrong!

And now I’m going to try sneak a quick shower before Emma wakes up!

 

There are so many people that need to be thanked for everything that they did for us while I was pregnant.  The people of twitter really did become like my family and without their support I would have been a complete mess…

Cath: Thank you, Emma’s Fairy Godmother, for unwavering support and advice given like only you can give, like the e-mail that said “WTF, it’s your vagina, do what you want!”

Sally: My nurse-in-the-phone and belly buddy. Thank you for everything, especially the pain relief and coping tips you gave me. they were some of the few things i could remember while in labour!

MeeA: For the advice, baby shower and general always-being-there-ness. And the jungle juice recipe. I’m drinking some right now!

Lyndsay: For clothing my child, doing my hair & makeup for my bump shoot and being a wonderful friend that appeared out of nowhere.

Timor: For so much. For being a friend, for being nuts, for an awesome bump shoot. For tea and biscuits 🙂

Cassey: For g-chat sanity

Anja: For clothing my child, for the car boot full of goodies and for making me laugh so hard at her tweets that tea came out my nose.

Gina: For visits, for clothes, for advice and friendship.

Heather & LauraKim: For reminding me that just because you don’t do everything people say you have to do, you can still be a good mom

Tamiya; Mandi; Renee; Olivia; Romy; Marieks; Sharon & what feels like a million other tweeps: Thank you for everything. For tea, visits, sms’s, DM’s, support, love, friendship, advice and so much more than I can ever really express.

When Emma first came home, the cats wavered somewhere between terror, disgust and disinterest.  In the last few days though, Mimi seems to think that Emma is her kitten.

The above picture has become the norm.  Wherever Emma is, Mimi is.  When Emma wakes up from a nap and starts crying, Mimi races to wherever I am and starts miaowing at me loudly until Emma has stopped crying.  She hangs around after that to make sure everything is ok.

Thankfully, she hasn’t decided to sleep in the pram or cot with Emma yet, but as I say, she’s always very close by, which is awesome. Not many people have a baby monitor as cute and cuddly as we do 🙂

So this breastfeeding thing? It’s getting a little old. I know it’s only been a month and some (crazy) women do it for years, but I’m starting to think it’s time for a bottle or two here and there. Let me just give a couple of reasons why:

  • I need a whole night of unbroken sleep every now and then so I can be a nice person to be around.  Right now I am a bitch.
  • “Sleep when baby sleeps” doesn’t work for me.  She’s fast asleep right now and I’ve tried to doze off with her, but nothing.  I’ve always battled to sleep.
  • I watch Richard sleeping through all the night feeds and I feel just a little homicidal. Like I want to punch him in the stupid face for sleeping while I’m awake every couple of hours.
  • I’m not a whip a boob out in public kinda girl. Even feeding Emma at friend’s places makes me cringe.  If a shop doesn’t have a decent feeding room (Here’s a quick fact, most of them don’t!!) then I end up feeding her in the car, which is less than ideal and I usually end up with an audience of car guards trying to catch a peek while I’m trying to juggle boob/baby/bra/blanket without being exposed to the planet.
  • Being able to have a couple of glasses of wine without worrying about poisoning Emma would make me a calmer person.
  • This may sound daft, but I think my milk may be flowing too quickly for Emma to cope with.  She often stops during feeds to gasp for breath or because she’s choking a little.

So while formula is not an option right now, for financial reasons and just because it seems silly to put Emma on formula for no good reason, I would like to express a bottle or two every now and then. So here’s the question I’d like to put to the moms who have expressed and bottle fed:

Is it too soon?  Most things I’ve read say wait between 4-6 weeks for supply to establish.  Emma’s 4 weeks old tomorrow, so can I give it a go now or should I be patient and wait for a couple more weeks?  I won’t exclusively bottle feed, jusy, as I said, a bottle or two here or there…

i’ve made no secret of the fact that i battled depression after Shae was born. It ranged from feeling kinda more tearful than usual to days where i’d be sitting in the middle of the bedroom, throwing things around because i couldn’t find my hairbrush.

this time around i feel fine. sure, there have been moments where i get a little more weepy than usual, but considering what a mess, hormone wise i am right now, that’s to be expected.

the crap thing is that i feel like it’s a matter of time… like i should be thankful for every day that i feel normal and in control because it’s not going to last much longer. I feel that i have no right to all of a sudden feel so stable and ok…

you know when you watch buildings being imploded. there’s always that split second between the button being pushed and the building actually crashing down. I feel like i’m living in that split second and that this is all too good to be true.

maybe the fact that i’m feeling like that is a sign that i’m not as ok as i think.

or maybe i should just not be so damn paranoid and loopy and accept that i am capable of good mental health once in a while?

  • Firstly, everything seems easier this time round. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m older or just less willing to put up with shit and more determined to do things my way, but I feel like I’m coping better this time round.  It may sound stupid, but small things, like being able to breastfeed wherever in the house I choose, rather than being banished to my bedroom makes life far easier.
  • That said, I am getting cabin fever. there’s only so much TV I can watch and the poor xbox is gathering dust because Emma has some sort of automatic sensor that wakes her up as soon as I load a game (note, she doesn’t do this when Daddy plays!!)
  • On the subject of Daddy, Richard is absolutely fantastic with Emma! He happily baths, burps etc etc and does everything barring feeding, which obviously he can’t help with at the moment. I do wish he’d do the dishes more often though 😉
  • Emma is such a serious little thing. She seems to spend all her waking time contemplating life, the universe and everything.
  • She hardly cries, apart from the occasional “hurry up with that bloody boob mom!!” wail or a “CUDDLE ME!!” shriek 🙂
  • The cats are less than amused. Mimi has started climbing onto my lap for a cuddle while i’m holding Emma, but PuffPuff refuses to be involved with this noisy hairless kitten that’s usurped her position as most spoiled member of the household.
  • Emma sleeps A LOT! i suppose i should be thankful for that and enjoy it while it lasts! She has a bath between 7 & 8pm, will be fast asleep by 9 and only wakes up for a feed  at round 2am. Admittedly, she’ll be awake until 4 and want 3 feeds in that time, but it’s no where near as bad as it was with Shae, who woke up every 2 hours for feeding, day and night!
  • As well as breastfeeding has been going with Emma, i’m rather looking forward to being able to express a bottle here and there so that i can have a couple of drinks… or sleep through the night and let Daddy do feeding duty.
  • Jordan’s mom gave us a carry cot, and while I was a little skeptical about needing one, now I don’t think we could live without it! Emma sleeps so much better when she’s in it and it’s so nice to be able to pick her up and move her without disturbing her sleep.
  • She’s picked up two nicknames already! We both call her Squishy and at times Richard calls her Squeaky Toy 🙂
  • A final note that always makes me laugh. Pooping. It seems to be a very serious business for babies and Emma is no different. She goes all red faced and puts a lot of effort into this very important endeavor.

I loathe hospitals. There are two reasons for this. The first is the experience that I had when Shae was born with the awful nurses.  The other is that hospitals will always remind me of Garyth’s death.  The smell of the disinfectant handwash instantly takes me back to his bed side.

Add to this that I am TERRIFIED of needles (yes, I know I have tattoos and piercings so it makes no sense, but that’s just the way it is ok?) and I make a pretty damn terrible patient.

Also, after being bullied and terrorised by nurses at Shae’s birth I was determined not to be pushed around, even if I had to be a complete bitch.

Luckily none of this was really necessary. Carstenhof was fantastic!

Here’s some a little round up of my impressions of the place:

  • Almost everyone on day shift was fantastic.  The nurses were super friendly and often just popped in as they were walking past to see how we were doing.  The maternity ward was insanely busy. When we arrived there were 4 babies.  When we left there were 19 so the nurses were working extra shifts to keep everything running smoothly.  Despite this they always had smiles on their faces and were more than happy to answer questions, have a chat and help out with whatever they could
  • I say almost because there was one nurse that *really* grated my carrot.  the lady that was in the ward with me was battling to breastfeed  and I felt that this nurse was quite rude to her when she was trying to get baby to feed.  The last thing a new mom needs, on top  of a screaming baby is a nurse telling her to “stop her nonsense.” That said, by the time we left the hospital, the baby was starting to feed properly so the nurse clearly knew her stuff, even if her attitude was a little off.
  • The night staff were sadly much less awesome.  They really gave the impression that they didn’t want to be there,which I guess is understandable.  While the day staff would bring your baby to you when she woke up and then hang around to make sure you didn’t need anything, the night staff would just park the cot next to the bed, wake you up and bugger off, not even making sure that you were properly awake.
  • The food was pretty damn good, apart from the eggs with breakfast and the mystery flavour yoghurt.  The catering staff were also really friendly, even when they were doing the 5am tea and coffee rounds.
  • Carstenhof is the squeakiest hospital I’ve ever come across. The beds squeak, the doors squeak, the cleaner’s mops squeak, the trolleys squeak.  It got to a point where, at 2am, I nearly called Richard to ask him to bring a can of Q20 around so I could de-squeak the entire ward!