BABIES AND FRIENDSHIPS

Keeping friends once, you have had a baby, sounds simple right? It really is not. When they all find out you are pregnant, everyone is your best friend. Everyone is so eager to know the details and remind you how much they will be around once baby is born. It is very easy to say things and never go through with them. I know for some people, they may be lucky enough to actually have their friends stick to their word and actually hang around but I know a lot of the time this does not happen. I remember many people telling me, ‘you will find out who your real friends are when you have a baby’. Unfortunately, it is a very real thing.

For me, I was the first to get pregnant out of my friend group. As soon as I announced my pregnancy, they were all super happy for me and were fast to tell me how they would all make the best aunties. All of a sudden, they all wanted to be my best friend and know everything. As most people, I have a few friends who I class as my best friends and a couple of them offered to throw my baby shower – which was awesome and the baby shower was a hit! I had a massive turnout of people who all had to be there and I was very spoilt! However, do not be fooled by all these people who come to these and tell you how much they are going to visit… They probably will not. I can count on one hand who has been to visit regularly out of 20+ people who were at the baby shower!

I actually started to pick up that people were not really going to stick to their word and hang around once Harlee was born. However, I just sat back and waited it all out to see what the outcome would be.

You will eventually give birth to your perfect little bundle and then the messages will flow in of asking when they can come visit. Everyone wants to be your friend again! I have a big family and so does Ben so we decided to limit our visitors to close family and friends for the first few days. This did not go down well with some of my friends. Although they never told me to my face that they were not happy, it obviously got back to me. I had just had a baby, I was learning what I was doing as a first time mum and as soon as I found this out I knew they weren’t my real friends and I tried not to let it get to me because I clearly had bigger things on my plate.

I knew that life would be harder with a baby; I just did not quite understand how hard it would be. It is not all fun and games of having all the energy in the world and feeling like visitors all the time. A lot of the time, I just did not feel like any visitors. I just mostly wanted to sleep the day away whenever my baby would sleep. True friends – they get it, little things like these are what makes you appreciate them and have that lifetime bond grow. Fake friends – they will take it personally and think it is because you don’t want to see them. However, all of you with new babies will know it is really just because you are so bloody knackered!

So far, this post has been a bit of a Debbie downer, Hah. So let us finish up with the carryon of fake friends. I do not even know if fake friends is the right term to use. Its more so friends you lose touch with and friends that cannot adjust to your new life as a mum. Try not to let this upset you too much. People go their separate ways in life – it just happens. You may not fully disconnect with them as I still do see friends I would not say I am that close to anymore. Once every now and then something comes up that everyone attends and you do see each other. Do not hold grudges with them; just let it be a nice friendship you do not have to fully invest in as you do with your best friends. You have to remember, especially if they do not have kids, it will be really hard for some people to understand your new lifestyle. Do not stress about it and remember what your new priority in life is!

Making friends with babies – This I find extremely hard. I still would not really say I have many friends with kids since having Harlee. I mean, I am most definitely not shy but making mum friends is just awkward. How do you initiate it? Like ‘Hey, I see you have a little human. I have a little human too – let’s sit and watch them destroy our houses and complain about it at the same time’. I know many people who have had kids, it is just the how to start the friendship I struggle with. So, I’m not really going to offer any tips on this because I actually suck at this, hah! I know I could attend coffee groups and things similar but I am one of those people who prefer to know at least one person at these things so if it were to go pear shaped I would have someone! Stupid I know, but that is just me. I am sure Iots of people feel this way so do not let it stop you! I am sure that all the mums at these kind of things are actually really nice and welcoming.

I literally have three friends who I class as my real friends who are always there for me no matter what. We do not see each other often but when we do, it is just like the good old times. Social media is a massive help to these friendships that I cherish. We may not see each other every week but we keep in pretty good contact on a daily basis thanks to snapchat and Facebook chats. The thing I love about these friends is that if I needed them, they would be here in a heartbeat. They are the ones you need to look out for and keep close! The make or break with these friends all comes down to how understanding they are. Your friends will understand why you can’t go somewhere at a certain time because your baby is sleeping, they will be happy to work a day out around you and a routine and they will just understand why sometimes you have no energy to cart a baby out.

Are you still finding it hard to juggle your important friendships with your new lifestyle? Here are some of my tips-

  • Have a regular catch up

So, we haven’t been doing this for too long but we have started having a regular catch up dinner once a month. Once a month is good and realistic because we all have lives and we all get busy. It is an awesome way to have a catch up and just chill out with your girls.

  • Always try attend special occasions

If it is a special occasion, go! Birthdays for example happen once a year so it is important to make an effort for these. Even if they do not do anything for their birthday, call in for a visit!

  • Make a Facebook chat

This is an awesome idea, if you see something somewhere and you just need to talk about it, just pop it in the good old facebook chat and then before you know it you will probably be messaging all night, hah.

  • SNAPCHAT!

Snapchat is awesome, you get to see what your mates are up too and you can show them what you are up too everyday through pictures! It is like seeing their face every day but you are not, hah!

  • Call in for a random visit

I am actually bad at this, I need to improve on it but call in for a visit! Even if it is for half an hour. Use your spare time on things that will make you feel good!

There is a few little things you can do to keep in touch with your fav gal pals. There is much more but that is just what I find helpful!

Here is a little tribute to my three very close friends. Rylee and Cheri, my friends with no kids but yet so understanding of my lifestyle and Kelly, my friend with a kid but still always there for me :P. If It wasn’t for you three I would go insane. I am lucky to have people super understanding and always willing to be there. Thanks for caring about my kid. She is so lucky that she has been blessed with three more awesome ladies to call aunty. Thanks for wanting to see my baby more than me, Hah. I am glad that she is not a burden to our friendships and you guys are all so welcoming of her. Thanks for sticking around, even when we do not catch up for a month, sometime even two – life never changes we are still the same. I am glad on days that suck; I know you are all just a message away. I imagine you all in my life forever and I am so happy to call you guys my best friends!

 

There is my little bit about friendships after babies. You will lose some, you make some and some will grow stronger. It is funny how so many things change in your life once you have kids that you would never expect. Hope you enjoyed the little read and I will catch you all next week!

Lace xxx

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SH*T PEOPLE SAY WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT…

If there were one thing I have learnt from being pregnant and a new mum, it would be that people love to tell you a whole lot of shit. This shit generally consists of unwanted parenting advice, subtle blows at what you are so called ‘doing’ wrong and what you have to expect through pregnancy and mum life. Some people love it and some people dislike it. I do not hate hearing other people’s experiences or advice because yes, sometimes what people say is totally helpful and nice to hear. However, do not expect me to take on board what you are saying and I dislike it when someone preaches their advice on me.

Let us start at the beginning. All those awesome phrases people love to tell you while you are pregnant. I can guarantee you have been told at least two of the things on the list-

  • WOW! You are huge!

Such a common one people love to spring on you! Well no shit Sherlock, I am pregnant and growing a baby over here, no need to be reminded!

  • Are you sure you are even pregnant? It doesn’t look like it yet.

I got this a lot at the start of both pregnancies, I don’t actually find this offensive, I more see it as just a really dumb question. Obviously I am pregnant, I’m not going around telling everyone that for shits and giggles.

  • You are not having twins are you?

You know what is funny about this one, I had someone tell me how little I was one day and then the next asked if I was having twins – Hah! But really, do I have to explain this one?

  • Your way bigger than the last time I saw you.

Really? I thought I would be smaller since the last time we caught up.

  • You are much bigger then you were last pregnancy.

Maybe because I got pregnant three months after having Harlee so my body had no chance to go back to itself. And just imagine if we replied with something like this -Oh and you are much bigger than when you were last year, what’s your excuse?

  • Live up your free time now.

What? Are you telling me I actually will have to give all my time to my baby and not put them in a corner by themselves? Dam how did I not know this…

  • You have no idea what you are in for.

Funny how people tend to say this no matter what pregnancy you are up to. First time around it was the first time mum card, second time round it’s the, two is way harder than one card. Seriously we can never win!

  • You must be due any day now.

Reality is you are only 32 weeks but thanks for reminding me how far away my due date is…

  • Must definitely be a girl/boy the way you are carrying.

Oh awesome, I didn’t know there was so many baby gender gurus out there!

  • Oh you are having a girl, well remember the sonographer could have it wrong!

Yes this is true, but when did you get your special gift of knowing better than a sonographer?

  • You are far too young to be having a baby!

Oh thanks Nancy, even though I’m still with the father, we own our own home, we have our own car, we a financially stable, mentally stable and the only difference between me and that pregnant lady is I’m 22 and she’s 30. Never mind the fact that we are actually probably in a better position than some 35 year olds having babies… but hey that’s okay – keep reminding me I’m too young to be a mum!

That is just a list of the things that came off the top of my head. Do not get me wrong some of these are not really offensive, they are just dumb questions people feel the need to ask every time they see you. There is a couple on this list that get to me but, a lot of them just make me think ‘seriously’ and I have a little giggle to myself. We all know how quickly those good old pregnancy hormones like to change and throw us off though so maybe add these to the ‘things not to say to pregnant women’.

So, pregnancy is over and you have a new bundle of joy! You would think since pregnancy has left, the dumb comments would have too. I hate to break it to you but they do not! I am 10 months into mum life and 7 months into my second pregnancy and still cop the dumb comments/questions/advice for both!

So what is some of those dumb comments you get once you have your baby? Here is my list-

  • You look extremely tired.

Really? I guess I should be looking like I am full of energy after having 3 hours sleep every night for the last week!

  • You are not breastfeeding.

No, I am not and I do not need a lecture on why I should be nor do I have to explain to you why I am not!

  • Did you have a natural birth?

Actually yes I did but if I needed pain relief or a c-section I would have done that too because my only concern was getting my baby here safely!

  • She should be sleeping through the night.

Every baby is different and we all have different ways of doing things so this does not concern you!

  • She does not look anything like you!

So what are you implying? Was I meant to have a clone of myself? Or, are you questioning if she’s mine? Pretty sure I just pushed her out of my vag so she is definitely mine!  

  • When are you going back to work?

When I’m ready, that’s when. My job now is being a mum!

  • You should do this, this way…

Oh yes, you know my baby far better than me. I’ll change what she’s use to just for you!

  • I had no problems losing my baby weight.

Cool story bro. Are you calling me fat?

  • How do you handle being stuck at home?

Maybe if you had a baby who did not believe in sleep, you would understand being home is amazing.

  • You are so lucky you just get to stay home with a baby all day instead of working.

Oh, yes it is such a holiday being home with a baby and maintaining other mum duties! I have so much free time on my hands… NOT!

  • Enjoy it now because they will be grown up before you know it.

Thanks for being the tenth person this week to remind me that.

  • Don’t you think they need a bottle before you leave?

You are probably right. We have not been on a strict feeding routine for the last 5 months or anything…

  • Back in my day, we would have never done that…

Wow, crazy how times change isn’t it!

  • Doesn’t your mum always have your baby?

No actually, my mum may be around a lot but shes there strictly as a Nanny! Mum duties are my job. Thanks for the interest in who is around and who isn’t though!

These might seem like nothing to some but I am sure most mums agree they get these a lot. It is more the fact of hearing them all a thousand times over. Yes, I am a new mum but I am not dumb. I do have common sense and I will figure mum life out on my own.

It is not just these types of comments that I find annoying. It is also the ones when other people feel the need to burst your bubble of happiness about something. Like one of the following- (Me them)

  • YAY – First night sleeping through the night!

Do not get to excited, it will all change again soon.

  • She is crawling!

You will never be able to leave her alone, she will be into everything and it will only get worse once she is walking.

  • She said her first word!

It may be cute now, wait until she will not shut up though.

  • She had solids for the first time.

Wait until she refuses everything you feed her.

All of these comments leave me thinking – okay shut up and let me enjoy my happy moment and her milestones! Do people not have anything nice to say anymore? On the other hand, have we forgotten the number one rule of if you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say it at all. Everyone is entitled to opinions but you don’t have to be rude. Spread some love and kindness guys! It is not hard!

So the real point behind this post was to make all you mummas out there not feel alone when thinking, did she just really say that to me? Like I said earlier, sometimes those hormones over rule everything else and you cannot help but take what someone has said to heart. Try to laugh it off and remember people are just uneducated. There is always going to be someone who cannot help themselves and has to make that one dumb comment. There will always be dumb shit people say when you are pregnant, so the best thing to do is take it on the chin and be a little bit of a smart ass back. I can guarantee they will get a bit of a fright and be lost for words if you come back with something funny. Chances are it will give yourself a little giggle too and we all love to have a giggle!

So if you are or have been a fellow pregnant mumma, I hope this has been something you can relate to and if you are not pregnant or know someone who is maybe this has been a little bit funny and maybe a bit of insight of what not to say. I would love to have a laugh with you about dumb shit people have said to you while pregnant – go on and flick me a facebook message or Instagram DM! Catch you all next week team!

Lace xxx

MATERNITY LIFE TO HOME LIFE

You have done it! You have made it through the long nine months of pregnancy. You have got through labour, which you can read about here. You have got through the first 24 hours of mum life which you can also read about here and now it might be finally sinking in that your life has officially changed forever!

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Some people love staying in maternity wards – others hate it. I wasn’t really either, I didn’t mind the first couple of days but I was definitely ready to go home by the end. I still class myself as lucky because I am not sure all maternity’s are like what we had. Our town is small so sometimes you are the only one in the ward, which means the midwives are more than helpful! They do not make you feel like you are a pain and always happy to come and assist you.

I was in the maternity ward for four nights, five days. This came down to the fact that breastfeeding was not happening for me and it was better I stayed until I had got feeding locked down because they did not want me to go home and struggle. However, we did turn to bottle feeding by the end but I will talk more about my experience in the future on the blog!

For me the second night was more of a realisation of what I was in for because my midwife took her for the first night to let me get some rest. This was the first night of the four hourly wake ups but I think I handled it okay. I learnt what the drill was going to be and made a plan of what I would do, so when we got home we had a better idea. I was super lucky that my midwife was on the night shift while I was in the ward! She would happily come and help me, stay, and just have a chat while Harlee would wake up. I think it definitely made me feel not so alone in there. I personally think that your partner has just as much right as you to stay with you. You are both new parents and it is a daunting feeling winging the whole mum gig by yourself for the first time. I think it would just be nice to have them there for support and reassurance but unfortunately, they are not allowed to stay.

If you do not personally like staying in the maternity ward I highly recommend allowing as many people as you like to visit! Visitors make you feel less lonely and make the days fly by a lot faster. Although, I was pretty cautious and overwhelmed as a new mum so I actually limited my visitors. Not to annoy anyone but because I was learning about the new person I had become as a mum and also learning about my new little baby. I had only family and my best friends visit – I was just more comfortable with this but everyone is different! Even though I limited who came to visit until we got home, I still felt like I always had people around.

Food, food, food. Pack yourself some snacks! I think a lot of us forget about ourselves and what to pack, I highly recommend that food is on your list. For one I hated the hospital food and I am sure that most people do. I don’t think I ate one dinner… Never fear though, it was not wasted because Ben will eat anything and always polished it off for me! I lived on takeaways and some home cooked meals on wheels from good old Mumsy! Snacks were

super helpful though, I’m not sure if I was just bored or actually hungry – hah, but it was good to have some back up snacks there!

Third day blues – it may hit you or it may not. I am not even sure it is a real thing, Hah! However, I have talked to a few people including my mum who have experienced this! Your hormones have taken a real hit over the whole being pregnant gig so I think it’s completely normal to have these days. On the third day, I got the so called blues. I think a lot of it came down to the fact that I couldn’t produce enough of my milk which was distressing my little baby and I was starting to feel like I was never going to be able to go home! This particular morning felt like forever before the visitors started to roll in and Harlee would not settle – most probably because she was still hungry! Finally Ben arrived and we decided to top her up with some formula and boom! Sleeping baby! Crazy how fed seems best right? I didn’t spend the day alone which meant I didn’t feel too bad. However, night time rolled around and the thought of Ben leaving was making me feel upset and uneasy so I pushed it out as long as possible. Obviously the time had to come eventually where he would have to go home. I remember getting pretty upset but not even having a real reason apart from me wanting to go with him. He left, I had a little cry but I got over it and fell asleep! Don’t feel like you have to hide your feelings once bubs is here. Have your go to person and talk to them. It will make you feel a lot better knowing you have someone to turn too.

Finally the day had come! We were allowed to go home and start our lives as a family and our fur-st(first) born fur baby was about to meet our baby girl! For me it was a mixture of emotions when leaving the maternity ward. I was so happy to be going home but being in the maternity ward with well-trained midwives gives you some sense of security that you don’t have at home.

As soon as Ben arrived, I was super ready to go! We started packing all the gifts and things we had accumulated over the last few days, so many gifts! I sorted myself out and got some make up on to take the token going home photo! My mum also came to help us with anything we had to take and to help us settle in at home. Around lunchtime, we were off. We were starting our new chapter and I was super excited but super nervous at the same time.

My mum had sorted us some lunch so we came home and sat down to eat but I had this weird feeling of what do I do with my baby when I want to do something – like eat? I guess it is just little things you over think because you have only ever had to worry about yourself and now there is a little human who solely relies on you taking care of them. It was definitely different coming home with her but she fit in just perfectly! All that long awaited baby stuff I had ready months was finally in use and it was a matter of just figure out where, what and when we would use it all. My advice for going home would be to not overthink it too much. It is not as bad as you can work yourself up to think it is and you will get through – even if it is hard. Do not hesitate to accept help. If someone’s offering, let them help! I know this is a lot easier said than done as I am not big on accepting help but have people you can trust and allow them in! I was very lucky to have my mum that I would always feel safe to leave Harlee with. It’s definitely easier having that trusted person!

The first night at home may sound scary but it is really not! You have done this for a few nights now and you know what you are doing. Pretty quickly we had a little middle of the night routine sorted. Once I would hear Harlee waking I would get up and flick the jug on, go back and grab her and do a quick bum change, go and quickly make the bottle then sit down and give her a bottle and bring up her wind. As soon as we done this it was straight back to bed and with minimal lighting as possible to try keep her nice and sleepy. Eventually I got faster and better and we could smash out night feeds pretty quickly!

Before you know it, you will learn the ropes of how you and your baby work. There will always be hard nights and hard days but there is always light at the end of the tunnel! I know all of these first days can be a rather daunting thought and it all seems really scary but you’ll be surprised how your body can adjust and will pull through. I hope this has been some helpful information and that it may ease some of those burning questions you have! Again, don’t hesitate to message me either by email, facebook or Instagram! I am always happy to listen and hopefully help with whatever you are wondering! Catch you all next week!!!

Lace xxx

SICK BABIES, HOSPITAL STAYS AND FEELING LIKE A BAD MUM…

Getting sick, it is horrible but it happens. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent it sometimes. What is worse than ourselves getting sick though? Our babies/children getting sick. Especially if they are little babies who are still so helpless. This is my experience with a sick newborn baby!

After having Harlee-Jae, I got the flu and ended up with a chest infection. We put it down too my body being so run down after haemorrhaging and having a pretty fast labour. Harlee was around a week and a half old when she was starting to show signs of getting a cold too – this was my worst fear. My brand new tiny, helpless baby was getting sick and it was my entire fault. She had obviously caught this off me so I was feeling so guilty but how else was I meant to prevent her from getting sick? I did everything I could from washing my hands a thousand times a day, I wouldn’t breath or cough on her, I wouldn’t even kiss her but no matter how hard I tried to keep some sort of ‘distance’, she was a new baby and she needed her mum. As a first time mum, this was my worst nightmare. All I wanted was my baby to be healthy.

As soon as we started noticing signs of the flu we took her to the doctors asap. However, it was not that simple (We have since changed doctors because of this experience). I rang and explained my situation but was told ‘sorry all of our doctors are too busy, the best we can do is to send you to see one of our well trained nurses’ – which we did. While there, she looked and observed Harlee and pretty much told me, I was over exaggerating being a first time mum and that newborns very rarely get sick. Of course being a new mum and knowing no different, you believe what they say because they know best right? Well no, that was not the case. I distinctively remember her testing Harlee’s oxygen levels, which were floating around the 96 out of 100 mark, she told me this was fine and it was not until later on I found out it was not.

The next day I could tell she was getting worse and no better. However, Ben and I thought that this well trained ‘nurse’ knew best so believed her. That night, Harlee was breathing funny and was definitely sick. Being the worried first time parents, Ben and I stayed awake all night, taking shifts, just to make sure she was okay. We got through the night and the next day she seemed slightly better. Things were looking up, so I told Ben to get out of the house and go to the rugby with his mate and I’d go stay at my mum’s with Harlee. Off he went that afternoon and by about 7pm that night, Harlee had gone downhill again. She was worse than the night before so we took her to a&e.

I let Ben know, but still wanted him to enjoy his night out and told him not to worry and I’d keep him in the loop. They were amazing at a&e, we were taken straight in by a nurse to observe us and check Harlee over. She also checked Harlee’s oxygen levels, which were sitting around the 88 out of 100 mark – she immediately let us know it should be at least 98. It wasn’t until now when I told her my experience with our previous ‘doctors’ and the lady that checked Harlee over, when she told me she was no way qualified to be checking over a new baby and should have referred us to a&e if an actual doctor couldn’t see us. My heart dropped because I knew in my gut she wasn’t okay but yet felt as though I couldn’t speak up after being told I was over exaggerating as a new mum. Never will I EVER, do that again. We are their mothers and we do know best. If you ever feel uneasy about something please do not feel the way I did and not speak up! It is your right to keep your baby safe and healthy, do not leave the doctors until you are 100% satisfied with their care!

A&E were super-efficient and we were seen by a doctor within half an hour of being there. I do not know what your A&E in your area are like but ours is usually ridiculous! You usually wait for hours on end! I think Harlee being so new; they were not willing to take any risks. She had no temperatures just a bit of a raspy cough and her oxygen levels were not good. This was enough for the doctor to not be happy with Harlee so he sent us to Taranaki Base Hospital where we would spend the night. Off we went home to quickly pack some bags and head up to New Plymouth – an hour drive away. Luckily the rugby was in New Plymouth so I rang and filled Ben in and he was ready to meet us as soon as we got there.

Everything happened pretty quickly, I still hadn’t really had a chance to think about it. On our trip up to New Plymouth, Harlee was getting worse and I was getting scared she wasn’t breathing. I ended up getting my mum in the back of the car with me so we could both monitor her. We finally made it and straight into a&e we went – which was not quite as efficient as Hawera. However, we were put into a room to wait, where we waited for a good four or five hours before going to the children’s ward!

In this time, Harlee was due for a bottle. I went and asked a male nurse for some boiling hot water to heat it up – he took this opportunity to remind me I should breastfeed and this would have probably prevented her getting sick. Well big fat middle finger to you I thought. He did not know my reasoning for not breastfeeding and as if I was not feeling like a shitty enough mum as it was! I will not talk too much of this because bottle vs breast is a blog post to come! Luckily I didn’t have to deal with him ever again after this!

Finally, the doctor came to see us. He informed us that our precious little baby had Bronchiolitis – The condition starts like a common cold. It progresses to coughing, wheezing and sometimes difficulty breathing. Symptoms may last for a week to a month. He also let us know that the worst was yet to come, he believed she was still in the early stages, so would get worse before she would get better. I was so tired and overwhelmed and then was told that only one of us could stay with her. Obviously, I was not leaving my newborn baby but I really wanted Ben there for support.

Off we went, transferred to the children’s ward early hours of the morning on the 24th of September. The day Harlee was also two weeks old – two weeks old and back in hospital! It was not a nice feeling at all. Little did we know we would be spending the next six nights here with Harlee on oxygen for five of those because she was struggling to breathe so much on her own.

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It was some crazy hour of the morning and it was a pretty scary sight watching the nurse hook all of these different tubes to Harlee. She had like a butterfly shaped sticker oxygen mask on her cheeks and little prongs up her nose; this also had another tube connected to it so it would send warm air rather than cold air, as babies hate cold oxygen being blown into their nose. She had an oxygen monitor attached to one of her little toes and a sleep apnea monitor attached to her tummy. This made holding her extremely difficult – although I was a pro after a day! She lived in sleep gowns as it was just a lot easier with all these cords and tubes running off her.

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The first night was not as bad because I was so tired. I went straight to sleep. However, it was only going to get worse. It was so easy to fall into an emotional state, especially being there alone at night! I would make Ben stay as long as he possibly could but the odd nurse would kick him out after a while. I hated that, it is such a vulnerable time and you should be allowed your support person to stay too. I was still a new mum who was still learning the ropes of motherhood. I was now doing it alone, in a hospital, with a sick baby. This was not how I pictured life in the first few weeks of being a new mum!

We were lucky to have many visitors during our time there. It really kept me sane. You start going a bit crazy looking at the same four walls every single day. It was the longest week of my life. I felt like we were in hospital for a month and every day they would try to take her off the oxygen was another day of being let down and told she still needed it. It is scary; you just want your baby to be okay and breathing on her own.

Nights were extremely hard; I was getting a max of four hours sleep most nights. Between Harlee waking and not sleeping, to the amazing nurses coming in and checking Harlee every couple of hours – sleep was unheard of. I am sure all you mums will agree that lack of sleep is no good for your emotional state! Now I think about it, I do not know how I pulled through. Most nights would end with me getting very upset every time Ben would leave but we had to do, what we had to do.

We were not allowed to leave until Harlee had been off oxygen for a full 24 hours. Finally on the 29th of September she was off the oxygen and my baby was getting back to her normal self – well for the normal from what I had gathered from her first two weeks of life! Minus the big red marks on her cheeks from having the oxygen mask sticking to them for a week.

There was a massive light of hope that we were okay to go home the next day, I was starting to feel happy again – not 100% because I knew there would still be a slight chance of staying. On my hoped to be last night I thought a lot about my experience and this is what I’ve learnt-

  • Sometimes babies get sick and it is beyond your control – Despite your efforts of keeping them 100% healthy, sometimes they just get sick. It is life and we just have to deal with it the best we can. It may not be pleasant but you can get through! If I can, anyone can!
  • Trust your gut – You are the mum and you know best. If you feel like something is not right, your motherly instinct is always right! That is one regret of mine, not following my gut the first time round with Harlee. I would never have forgiven myself if something happened. Don’t feel bad, you want the best for your child so push until your happy!
  • You are not a bad mum – I know how guilty I felt and I know I wouldn’t be the only one! Its easy for me to sit here and say don’t blame yourself, don’t feel guilty. The truth is we will always do it, I know if there was a next time, I would too. However, try not to focus on that too much because you are a good mum and you do only want the best for your child and would have never purposefully made them sick! Try not to beat yourself up.
  • Hospitals suck, but it is the best place for you – I know how much I hated it and most people do but the main thing is to remember it is the best place for you and your baby! If anything bad was to happen, it is 100 times better to happen in hospital rather than at home. It feels like a lifetime in there but I promise you will go home soon!

That is just a few of the things I took away from being in hospital for a week. Do not get me wrong a week is nothing compared to some families with very sick children and I truly admire them after watching my parents in starship with my sister for three months. I have a newfound respect for families whose whole lives revolve around hospitals. You guys are your own kind of superheroes! I have written a blog post To the mum’s who are hurting on Mother’s Day… If you you would like to read this.

Finally, on the 30th of September, we were allowed to go home! I was super happy! Finally, we could be back together as our little family. I was also scared because I was told she still had chances to stop breathing while sleeping. The only thing that seemed logical to me was to get an angelcare sound and movement monitor! Best decision ever – I still have it on Harlee’s cot and it has been such great peace of mind every night. I definitely sleep a whole lot easier!

30th Sep 2016

Hospitals suck, being sick sucks and watching your helpless newborn sick is the absolute worst. This was one of the worst weeks of my life but we got through and she got better! She is now a super healthy 10 month old who has only ever had a minor cold since this! Part of me thinks being sick so young has given her such a strong immune system, especially because there was nothing we could do or give her to help, we just had to wait it out and let her little body fight it!

I hope that this has given all of you insight of what can happen and that you will get through if your little baby gets sick but I also hope that it will be a reminder that you are not alone if you are in hospital! Please feel free to message me if you have any questions or just to tell me your story! I would love to hear them. Until next week mates!

Lace xxx

MUM LIFE WITH A ROUTINE

Routines. You either hate it or love it and no matter which you decide, you are doing a great job! However, I am a routine queen. I believe that routine is the key to life! I am a pretty organised person and I always like to know what I am doing and when I am doing it, so it only made sense that I would get my baby into a routine.

I am hoping to give a bit of insight of how I got Harlee into a routine because it is definitely not the easiest of jobs! Please remember that every baby is different – so if you did your routine differently or tried my routine and it did not work for you, do not be disheartened, you just have to find what works for you!

Harlee was an extremely unsettled baby. She was hard work. She had acid reflux and colic and refused sleep in the first few months of her life – I won’t go into too much detail as I plan to write a blog post on this topic. In the first three months, Harlee was feed four hourly. This didn’t help her sleeping but I truly believe that this is just a hard period of time for most mums and we have to push through because let me tell you, there is light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!! One thing I did find helpful in this time was to have a notebook and write everything down and I mean everything! I wrote down when she had a bottle and how much she had, when she woke and when she went to sleep and even how long she was awake for! Not only does it become a helpful tool but to look back and read it now, I see how far we have come and it is an amazing feeling knowing I’ve done it all by myself.

Harlee started improving with sleeps (still not great though) around the three-month mark and was only waking one or two times during the night so I made the decision to try figure out a routine. After hours of research on good old Uncle Google, I didn’t seem to find one particular routine that was going to work for us. So I tied together a few different routines to make it work good for us.

I took the ‘EASY’ approach, which is the following-

E    AT

A   CTIVITY

S    LEEP 

Y    OUR TIME!

I started this and I never looked back. Sleeping was not a highlight for us so the most logical thing to do was to sort out feeding, I still tried to sort sleeping at the same time but it wasn’t my main focus. We began a strict feeding routine on the 8th of November. This consisted of having a 120ml bottle at the following times everyday – 9am, 12pm, 4pm and 7pm. She would then have a top up bottle at 8.30pm of 60mls just to get her through most of the night. She was still waking once or twice in the night at 2am-ish and 6am-ish so I would give her a top up of 120ml and then she would sleep again till 9am. Sounds easy right? Don’t be fooled the first week or so is hard work but then it really is that easy! Harlee’s sleeping during the day was still all over the show so I never really knew when she would be awake etc. So we would make her wait it out for her bottles even if she woke up an hour before it was due. I wanted her to get familiar with the fact that she wasn’t getting a bottle until the certain time and that she was only to get bottles when she first woke up.

Tips for waiting it out-

  • If you are bottle-feeding – you know how much your baby is getting therefore you know they are not hungry everytime they cry, they are most likely being greedy!
  • Do something with them to take their mind off the fact they think they are hungry. Harlee would be happy to go for a walk and look around her room, for you to sit and talk to her or to have you lay with her on her play mat and show her the toys.
  • Be persistent. Don’t give in, as hard as it can be you need to stick to your guns because you want to introduce routine and by giving in, you aren’t having any consistency.
  • Believe in yourself! Don’t let anyone doubt you but be sure to have your partner on side and aware what the routine is!

So after a few weeks of having the strict feeding routine on lock, Harlee decided to sleep 12 hours straight one night!!! I decided that sleeping through the night was my next mum mission to tackle. It was around the 10th of December and the testing times began. To me, because Harlee had gone 12 hours without a bottle overnight, I decided to use other tools in the night to get her back to sleep rather than a feed. I did change our times up a bit to cater for this though. We were now starting with an 8.30am bottle while still having 12pm and 4pm but then pushed out our last bottles to 8pm and a top up bottle at 9.30pm just before she went down. I know some of you are probably thinking, 9.30pm? Isn’t that late? Maybe for some but my theory is I am a night owl and definitely not a morning person. I would rather my baby be up while I am, this way I still get a decent sleep. You may be the opposite and early bedtimes and mornings are for you – that is cool too! You just have to figure out your times according to you and your baby. Like I was saying though I decided to ween Harlee off her night feeds!

Tips for weening off night feeds-

  • Dummy! I know some people hate them but seriously it was such a lifesaver and just gave her that bit of comfort she needed.
  • Baby shusher – We used this until she was around five months old. It was a good indicator for her that it was still sleep time.
  • Something with lullabies – We have a leap frog teddy – violet, who plays bedtime music and Harlee still has her to this day!
  • I found it was easier to go in as soon as she woke up and use the sleeping aids and she would go straight back to sleep and then eventually she would sleep right through from 9.30pm till 8.30am

So now we had feeding and sleeping through the night on lock the last of my mission was day sleeps and self settling. She kind of just figured out self settling on her own at night time but during the day was a different story. I would hold her and rock her to sleep until she was around three months old and then popped her down in bed but even then, there was no guarantees she would stay asleep for longer than 20 minutes, so as you can imagine this was about to be the toughest challenge.

Harlee was a wrapped baby and we only stopped wrapping her a couple of months ago. You are all probably sitting there saying ‘why would you’ but that was how she felt safe and it worked for us. Currently, she is in a sleep sack with one arm in and one arm out as she sleeps better that way. However, I plan to start sleeping her both arms out over this next week as I want to have her fully sorted before her brother arrives!

The first rule for the day sleeps in my book was to have them at the same time every day, in fact we still do this! When we first started, we were home bound.  We made bedtime a similar routine no matter what time of the day. She would be wrapped and put down and all the sleep aids I mentioned above were used. It was not as simple as night time though! She would scream and scream and I know how bloody hard it is to leave your screaming baby but you have to do it! It’s better to do it now when they are only a few months old, rather than when they are five! So how did we get past this stage you ask? Persistence and not giving up! We would leave her to cry it out and go in every 10 minutes to reset the sleeping aides and pop her dummy back in. Some days this could go on for an hour even two but we had to stick to our guns. The only time I would get her up is if she had really distressed herself – you as their mother will know what cry this is. I would give her a cuddle and a bit of reassurance that I was still there and popped her back into bed when she calmed down and started again. There was really no other trick to this, it was just a matter of continuing this until she got what we were doing. Sometimes she would only go to sleep half an hour before she was due up again but I would still wake her and give her a bottle if she was due because I wanted her to learn that this was how and when she needed to be awake or asleep.

Believe it or not within three days of beginning this, we had made some massive progress! It was only one sleep out of the three day sleeps she was having, that she would play up and then after a week she knew exactly what we were doing! Don’t get me wrong we still had bad days but every baby does because that’s what they do but 90 percent of the time, everything was good!

We now had the same feeding times, wake times, bedtimes and playtimes. Harlee also knows this and starts giving me her signs of tiredness at the same time everyday. Over time as she has started solids and needing less sleep, we have just adjusted her routine. Her routine now as a 10 month old for anyone interested is-

8.30am – Wake up and 120ml bottle

9am – Cereal for breakfast

10.30am – Morning nap

11.30am-12pm – Wake up

12pm – 120ml bottle and lunch

1.30pm – Afternoon nap

3.30-4pm- Wake up

4pm – 180ml bottle and snack

6.30-7pm – Dinner

8.30pm – 180ml bottle and bedtime!

Don’t look at this and compare it to your routine and think you are doing something wrong or I am doing something wrong because once again, every baby is different! What works for me, may not work for you!

Now remember I am a full on routine preacher! I’ll preach my routine to anyone that asks because I truly swear by it. It has been the best thing for us and I always know where I am at. I know when I need to arrive somewhere or leave somewhere because she is ready for bed. I know when she needs to be fed and I can literally plan my day around her. These little people really do rule your life! However, be aware of this one factor! You will piss people off. It still happens to me now. I am so strict on my routine that if going somewhere or doing something that doesn’t fit in with my routine, I don’t do it. People who don’t have kids and even people that do have kids may not parent this way so they don’t understand why your being so weird about when your child goes down. I’ve pissed off many people including friends and family members but I really don’t care because my main priority is my child and the people that are okay with that, are totally understanding! So don’t be shocked if you offend people – just remember that people who matter (well most of them) will understand if you can’t stay for five hours when visiting for lunch or can’t go somewhere because your baby is due for a nap. They will get over it and will hopefully understand one day!

Harlee’s routine is slightly flexible now which is awesome and may I add I haven’t missed out on much because of my routine! We still go shopping at the mall – she sleeps in her pram, I still can go for a morning walk when she’s due for a nap and as long as dinners are only five minutes from home, we can generally join them and leave by the time shes ready for bed. Routine is my one thing that’s a must as a parent!

I won’t pressure you into having a routine because I know that’s not how some people work but if you have any questions or need some advice about routines, don’t be afraid to ask me! I am an open book and will happily do all I can to help because I know how hard this mum gig is whether you are a first time mum or not! I will add a box below where you can email me or do not be afraid to message me on facebook or Instagram! I hope this has been some kind of helpful to other mums out there! Come back next week for some more of my yarns guys!

Lace xxx