Where did my newborn go?

 
I have found myself asking this question a lot over the past few weeks. Our tiny human is three months old & already I’m fighting the urge to hit rewind.

Sophie has now grown out of most of her 000 baby clothing. It’s problematic as although the 000 clothes are snug, her little legs are too short for 00.  I mistakenly bought a pair of 00 jeans for her this week online, they arrived & I kid you not, they are almost the length of her entire body.

Another change that we’ve noticed is that Sophie has started sleeping through the night. At first she extended her sleep by the odd half hour, & then sometime last week I awoke at 6:00am to find that she had slept through. I can’t help but think that the implementation of a routine & a 7:00pm bedtime has assisted us to get to this point.

Sophie has also began blowing rasberries & making noises in response to us. I have to admit, it’s flipping cute & I may now be “that mum”. You know, the one that pulls faces at their child & makes animal sounds in the supermarket. Yep. I don’t even care, as long as it means that I get to see my tiny human smile.

Speaking of smiles.. Here’s another one for good measure

Isn’t she adorable

Have a brilliant week people

Sasha Fierce Xx

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An Open Letter to Mum’s

I became a first time mother 10 weeks ago. It has only been a little over two months, but it feels like the lessons I’ve learnt in that time are enough to last till I’m 80. When I see another mum when I’m out and about, I realise how much we have in common. We have so many differences, I’m sure; but the struggles we face, the questions we ask ourselves and the tiredness we often feel are very much the same.

morning coffee

Dear Other Mums,

I saw you today in the supermarket, with your two little ones. One was screaming for the lollies at the checkout and the other was pulling your skirt demanding attention. I saw the look of embarrassment on your face that screamed “please God just let us get out of this store and in to the car”. I also saw the other mum in the aisle watching and rolling her eyes.

I saw you at the coffee shop with your newborn, you had the same glazed over look that I wear every couple of days. I also saw the working Mum, ready for her day at the office and the way she shook her head in assumption that you had no excuse to be tired.

I saw you in the clothing store. You walked up and down with your pram, trying to find something that would accommodate that “I just gave birth” figure. I also saw the stylish, well dressed mum with her designer pram look you up and down.

I read your post on Facebook, when you said you’re struggling in the hope that someone could relate and provide a hint of encouragement. I also saw some of the comments that followed from women who know exactly how that feels but were too scared to admit it.

Can I let you in on a secret? I have those days too.

I’ve had that moment where I’m at the shops with my screaming newborn and copped the looks from passers-by who have no idea that my child has just been fed, changed and there’s nothing else that I can physically do to meet their needs. They don’t know that my child suffers from reflux and this is the only thing that calms her down when she’s in pain.

I’ve had that moment when it’s 2:00am and I’m tired and emotional and I just need to hear encouragement from someone who “gets it”.

I’ve had that moment when I’m out and about and I see a mum looking oh so fine with her newborn and wonder what planet she came from, because in my world looking like that is not humanly possible.

Why are we so quick to tear each other down? The hardest job I’ve ever had is this one. It’s rewarding and beautiful and the best thing to ever happen to me; but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work.

I’ve never questioned myself as much as I do now as a parent. Google should cut me a cheque for the amount of hits I have given their site in the past 10 weeks.

We need to start pulling back the masks and being honest with each other. We need to stop being so concerned about what people might “think” and being willing to walk up to each other and give a word of encouragement.

Statements like:

  • “I’ve been there and you’ll get through it” 
  • “you’re doing a good job”
  • it’s okay to not have all the answers”

Never underestimate the power of one of these said outloud to another mum. It reminds us that we are human, that we are not alone, and that there is hope.

To the mums who have grown up children, sometimes the best wisdom that you can share, is the stories of the times that you didn’t get it right.

We need to do less of the comparison and more of the community.

So ladies, I’ve got a newsflash for you:
We’re on the same team. Let me spell that out more clearly..
W E   A R E   O N   T H E   S A M E   T E A M

Let’s build each other up and do less of the tearing down.

Tag, you’re it. Pass it on.

Sasha Fierce.

My dog ate my lactation cookies

We have a dog, and his name is Lattè. He is the definition of the word Special and to say that he has quirks is a vast understatement.

Lattè’s quirks became known to us soon after we brought him home. He developed a fascination with tissues which then progressed to an obsession where he sneaks into rooms and seeks out the tissue box and then eats said tissues whole. I always get the image of Buddy the Elf eating cotton balls when I think of Lattè and his tissue habit.


The following include but are not limited to the other quirks that Lattè displays:

  • he is territorial about a dirt mound in our backyard, he will often go out and sit on the mound of dirt and stare at us
  • he is afraid of anything new that comes into the house including our gym ball, the baby rocker and Sophie if she is crying
  • he has doggie dwarfism, yes you heard me correct, my dog suffers from achondroplasia. His front legs are shorter than his back ones and he stands on a permanent lean
  • growling at us for no apparent reason
  • Licking the carpet
  • Trying to swallow objects whole

It’s been 10 weeks & still he doesn’t understand that Sophie can’t throw him the ball

perplexed by the tiny human

sprung.. he’d been poking around in Sophie’s room

The newest quirk we have noticed is his stealth approach to stealing food. A few months ago he figured out how to get on to the dining room table. There have only been two dinner disasters to date, but I’m quite concerned about the future when Sophie is eating solids.

This week I had some concerns regarding my milk supply, so I purchased some lactation cookies. I have to admit they have a rather strong taste due to the magic ingredient: Brewers yeast, so I made myself a cup of coffee to wash them down with. Just as I sat down to eat I heard Sophie stir on the baby monitor so I went to the other end of the house to settle her. I returned to find that my darling dog had demolished my cookie collection.

It was a fun little phone call to the vet when I called to find out if there would be any adverse effects to Lattè following his binge. I have been assured that it’s a real fluke that he’s not a female dog because otherwise we might have had an issue. My vet found the whole thing quite amusing and asked if I would mind him telling his colleagues because in his 20 years of practicing, that was a new one.

I’m not quite sure why we were chosen to be Lattè’s owners, sometimes I think it’s because no one else could love him like we do. He also brings us a great deal of joy and entertainment.

Have you got a quirky dog? What amusing traits do they display?

Sasha Fierce

Tales of a sleep deprived mum Episode 1

So blogging is all about being honest and getting it out there right? Well, with that in mind I have a confession to make.

I tend to become a little odd when I’m tired. It’s not that I go into nervous breakdown mode or anything; but more that I sometimes can be awkward, clumsy and just a tad like Phoebe from Friends when I’m low on the zzz’s.

Earlier this week I had to make a phone call regarding a service that I have. It had been a rough night with Sophie but I was determined to kick over a few things on my ‘to do’ list before I caught up on sleep. So I made the call, went through the automated system and got connected to a customer service representative. For the purpose of this post lets call her Maggie.

Maggie was very understanding regarding my issue. She spent some time initially checking my details but then allowed me to fully explain the situation. I went on to tell Maggie that I hadn’t been receiving my bank statements each month and how this was causing a lot of confusion when it came to paying my credit card bill because I never knew the minimum amount required for payment. I also politely reminded Maggie that I had purchased a product and how I was disappointed in the bank and their ability to deliver said product.

I didnt get angry, but I did make clear my frustration in regards to the situation and strongly requested that the matter be looked in to and resolved as soon as possible.

I still think that Maggie deserves an award for her patience and willingness to listen to my concerns, because  after I had finished my toned down rant, she calmly explained that whilst she understood my frustration; was I aware that I had called RACQ insurance and not my bank?

Insert awkward silence here. In that moment I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I had no idea what to respond with other than “I’m sorry, I’m a new mum and I’m sleep deprived”. Maggie responded with giggles and some encouragement from one mum to another. I’m sure though that there may have been an office wide email telling the tale of that phone call, or even a meeting to discuss what to do if that girl calls about her bank again.

So what have I learnt from this experience?

  1. Don’t zone out when going through an automated phone system. Usually they provide helpful information such as identifying where it is you are calling
  2. Be kind to yourself, this new season comes with many new experiences, including making a huge fool of oneself

I have deliberately included Episode 1 in the title because I have no doubt that there will be many more of these to come in the future.

Has anybody else had similar experiences? I’m keen to hear about them.

Sasha Fierce

… and that’s what it’s all about

At the moment I’m feeling like my blog resembles a little bit of a mish-mash of the old and the new, so I thought I would write a post to highlight what my plans are for it and why it started in the first place.

So why the title, you ask? Sasha Fierce has been a self proclaimed nickname that I gave myself a few years ago when I was going through a bit of a rough patch. I’ve always been known as an extrovert who beams confidence; but for a season that all changed. I remember feeling as though I was no longer confident and I struggled to speak my mind. I was blessed with a few friends and family who recognised this change and encouraged me to make some changes. After that, I decided that I wanted to reclaim my confidence and find the Sasha that I once was. It was then that Sasha Fierce became my alter ego. Every now and then, when I need a boost of confidence or just a metaphorical kick up the butt; someone dear to me will remind me that I am Sasha Fierce and I remember where I’ve come from.

Fierce is defined in a few ways, but my favourite is To show a heartfelt and powerful intensity. The idea of this really resonates with me. Not to sound morbid, but if that were written on my gravestone, I would be very happy with the life that I have lived. I like the idea to love people fiercely.

So now that I’ve got that out of the way, why am I writing and what am I writing about? Life. I know that my writing will change from time to time, depending on what season I am in. At the moment I am on maternity leave and soaking up every moment with my newborn; so I anticipate that the next while will include a lot about Mum life and all the experiences that come with that.

I also wear some other ‘hats’ which I am sure will pop up on here. So for now, I guess that sums things up.

I’d love to know, does anyone else out there have an alter-ego or nickname? Where did you get it and why?

Have a great week.

Sasha Fierce

If it aint’ broke..

I made a silly mistake last week. I tried to implement a new sleeping routine for Sophie in an attempt to get her to sleep through the night. But as the title says.. if it ain’t broke…

And it ain’t. Sophie is doing well in terms of sleeping. On average, she feeds every four hours during the day; and then we are usually blessed with a five or six hour stint of sleep at night with a night feed somewhere between midnight & 2:00am.

I met up with an old friend last weekend and she told me how her son was “sleeping through the night” at Sophie’s age and suggested that I read this book that changed her life. I guess the lure of an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep was the reason behind my choice to give it a go, but honestly, it wasn’t necessary and we paid for it with a baby who didn’t get the sudden change in routine.

I’m not saying its a bad book or that it didn’t have a few valid points around establishing a routine; but I felt as though this plan that was meant to elleviate stress and help my child sleep more did nothing but make me feel inadequate and as though I was failing at baby sleep 101. It also made me believe that in order to implement said routine, leaving the house with a baby.. Ever.. Would be dictated by the many nap times of the day.

What worked?

Not a lot, to be honest. Perhaps what worked is that I gained some perspective through the process and was able to find a clear stance on a few perspectives on  infant sleep.

What didn’t work?

The whole concept of cry it out. I refuse to implement controlled crying. I just can’t do it. Maybe when she’s older I will change my mind on the topic; but for now it’s a no from me.

I’ll admit, I’m a softy when it comes to my little girl, but is that such a bad thing? To simply refuse to respond to her at this early stage in her development does not sit well with me.

The other thing that didn’t work for me was this strict regime of feeding & sleeping. The book wanted me to feed Sophie every three hours and only allow her to be awake for 45 minutes max. It also suggested that naps in the pram or in the car were an absolute no no and that I should simply plan my life better.

In the 24 hours that I attempted this routine, we barely got to spend time with our daughter. I felt as though the day to day interactions that we have with her where she is smiling, cooing, having tummy time, chilling in her baby swing and enjoying cuddles went out the window.

I’ve deliberately left out the name of the book because I don’t want to come across as critical of those who have implemented its methods. If it works for you and your child; I’m truly happy for you. My point is that it was silly of me to try and change Sophie’s routine when there really isn’t anything wrong with the way she sleeps.

I’ve said this before in a previous post, I’m learning that one of the golden tickets of raising a child is that there is conflicting advice on all aspects all around & it’s about having wisdom to find what works for you and your family.

I just wish I had recognised this last week during my coffee catch up. Next time I will be stoked that the other person has found something that works for them and continue on my merry way.

Baby appreciation post

It’s now been just over two months since our Sophie entered the world. I’m still finding myself forgetting that life existed before we had a baby. This little person has managed to turn my life upside down, in the best way possible.

I had some pretty serious anxiety about what parenting a newborn would look like. I had this idea that if I read every parenting book in existence, I would be less likely to infinitely suck at caring for a baby. I’ve learnt that it is so different when it’s your own child. Most things come naturally, & I’ve learnt that reading mass amounts of parenting books can be pretty flipping confusing (another post on that to come).

In two months, it appears that we have mastered the art of telling the difference between Sophie’s cries. The tired cry sounds completely different to the hungry cry. But to be completely honest, Sophie doesn’t cry much since we’ve got a handle on her reflux. She’s one chubby, happy, contented little girl.

Sophie (8 weeks old)

In two months I have seen this little person transform from a sleepy newborn, to a kicking, smiling, giggling & cooing little human. She lights up my world; and she makes things that were once “important”, not so important anymore.

S