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

10 things I’ve learned in my first month of motherhood

As we cross over the one month mark since Sophie’s birth, I find myself already passing on the pearls of wisdom that I have managed to acquire in this short time to other expeccting mothers. For kicks, I thought… why not share them with the internet world too.. Surely I am not the only one who has experienced some of these.

1. My heart is so full, I have been expecting it to explode or something

Not even exaggerating here. This tiny human is my world. I said to someone about three days in, I would jump in front of a bus for her. In one short month, she has managed to drastically shift my perspective on my life’s goals and how I approach my marriage. It is no longer just about me striving to further my career, shower my husband with love and enjoy our free time. I am already thinking 20 years ahead at the life that I am creating for her.

I’ve been really challenged through this shift, and I think this will be a lifelong marathon where I will  constantly be reflecting and evaluating how my choices will in turn impact on my child. In comparison to the lifestyle and perspective I once held, its not at all a bad change.

2. Note to self: Surround yourself with supportive & awesome people who get you & the journey you’re on!

If you want to make any friends at mothers’ group, don’t tell them if your baby is sleeping well at three weeks, whether you plan to return to work, that you’re not nearly as tired as you thought you would be, or whether you are pro/con co-sleeping. Just tread very carefully around the topic of sleep.. it’s a doozie.

Honestly though, find a good group of mums that you trust and enjoy spending time with. I checked out a few groups prior to giving birth and I am so glad that I did. One in particular, I arrived for coffee with a group of about 20 women who were pregnant and due around the same month as me. It all seemed to be going well until they asked whether I would be going back to work after materntiy leave.

Needless to say, they did not really care too much for my response and I left shortly after that due to an “urgent call from a friend who needed me”. I’ve been really blessed though to have an amazing group of friends who are becoming parents or are already. We meet up once a fortnight at a friend’s house and it is refreshingly great to be able to ask questions, chat about all things baby and just connect with people who I know aren’t judging me for my life choices.

I have the perspective that every person is different, as are their children. So I am not one to pass judgement or make assumptions based on a set of circumstances I know nothing about. Seriously people.. be kind to each other okay!

3. Browsing online shopping sites during night time feeds is dangerous game to play

It’s only been four weeks and I have already managed to make online purchases & wake the next morning with no recollection. It was only when I opened my inbox to find a bunch of “your receipt for …” emails, that I realised what had happened. Kudos to my midnight conscious self though because they were all necessary items that I had been meaning to look in to further.

4. More than once you will find yourself pushing an empty pram, rocking a shopping trolley or swaying from side to side when your baby is not with you.

Yep. Did this in the line to get some takeaway the other day. I had Sophie in the baby carrier and the pram was loaded up with the grocery basket filled with my purchases. I was getting some funny looks and then I realised. *excuse me while I go die now

5. You’ve never known fury until someone wakes your child after a 5 hour sleep refusal marathon.

Not even kidding. We had a particularly difficult week with Sophie last week due to congestion. After almost an entire day of her not sleeping, I finally managed to put her down and some door knockers came by.

The first time I was pretty gracious to the fact that they caused my dog to start barking the house down and almost woke my child; but when they returned a second time after I had told them very clearly that I was not interested in the book of Mormon to ask me if I was “sure” I did not want to hear their message…. lets just say they got a rather different response.. One I am not particularly proud of *Oops

6. The new and improved muffin top that once was your pregnant belly is here to stay. Accept it and think of it as a “token gift” from your pregnancy.

I’m not even worried. The plus side is that breastfeeding is like the best weight loss method I have ever come across, so the rest of me is looking rather good.

At the end of the day, I have this awesome little person and I know people who would have given their right arms or more to be able to have a child. So I choose to love myself and be stoked that I got to carry and birth my beautiful daughter and let the rest go.

7. Beware clucky over 50’s women in the shopping centre who think it’s okay to come up and touch the baby without permission

Countless times this has happened already. My new response is to ask them what brand of foundation they use and reach out to touch their faces. I can’t quite put my finger on why they run away at this point, but it does the trick!

8. 10 minute drives away are no more!

The other day I had to ‘pop up the road’ for something. For real, I pulled that car over 4 times before I even parked because my beautiful little treasure decided to play the “lets spit the dummy out and crack it” game over and over again. The silver lining is that she is too young to need entertainment in the car so I am not yet being tortured by the frozen soundtrack.

9. It’s all about team work

In one month, I have eaten dinner at the same time as my husband only a handful of times. I’m learning that he is the love of my life and my husband.. but he is also my partner in crime and team-mate when it comes to raising my little bundle of joy. This means that sometimes we are going to have to forfeit those dinner time catch ups in order to ensure that all of her needs are met. I’m okay with this because I get to see my husband rock the dad gig and that just makes me love him even more.

10. Self-doubt happens and when it does.. approach google with caution

There have been many times this month where I have found myself wondering whether I am doing this parenting gig right, whether I am using the right brand of nappy cream, whether I am wrong to be sleeping my child on her side because she simply hates being on her back. Many times I have taken to google to try and find some magic answer to some of these questions.

I am learning that everyone has an opinion on how to do things, and all of these opinions are going to be different. So take what works for you and run with it (within reason of course). But again, reach out to other mums that you trust, mums that have gone before you (they have some pearls of wisdom to offer too) and be kind to yourself.

I hope you get something out of the above list. I’m still learning so I’m sure there will be a follow up to this one down the track.

Have an epic week 🙂

Sasha

The day I became a mum.

She is here!! Apologies that it has taken me almost month to write a post regarding my newly arrived offspring, but the last month has seriously felt as though I stepped on to the Gravatron (spinning ride at Dreamworld) and my head only just stopped spinning (in a good way of course!). Sophie Rose Tranter arrived on May 29th at 6:43pm via c-section. I thought I would be disappointed that I didn’t get to have her naturally, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I know a lot of women look back on their birth experience with rose-coloured glasses, but I truly feel it was the best outcome.

Leading up to my due date, I kept getting the feeling that there was something not quite right happening in the birth department. I would feel her engage and think “this is it!!”, only to feel her move back up near my rib cage. This happened a few times each day & I started to wonder what was wrong.

On the day of her birth, we had an appointment with my obstetrician. She did a scan and things appeared to be okay, but once we started talking about her decreased movements and her engaging only to move back up. Initially the OB wanted to have the baby’s movements monitored, and after some discussion we concluded that it was likely that she would need to go in and get her.

Due to my usual coffee in hand; we couldn’t deliver immediately as there’s a risk with eating and surgery or something of that nature.. so we allowed for 6 hours in order for my body to digest the liquid gold coffee and booked in Sophie’s birth. Steve and I walked out of the office a little bit shocked, I remember looking at him and saying “we are going to be parents.. tonight!!”. After we left the obstetrician’s office it all became a bit of a whirlwind. We did a dash to the shops to grab some comfy pants, I watched Steve eat some lunch, we drove home to pack, delivered the hound to my in-laws, collected my mum (she wasn’t going to miss this event, even if it were her last day on earth) and headed for the hospital.

We “checked in” and then after that people appeared and we got ready to do this thing. I have to admit that it was kind of weird saying to the receptionist “um.. hello.. I’m here to have a baby”. For those who have had c-section births, I apologise if my experience was extra awesome and that you however do not feel the same way about being cut open, but seriously.. for me.. it was fine. My biggest fear was the idea of facing the operating theatre still awake; I guess because every other surgery I have had has involved me going to sleep and then waking up dosed with high levels of pain meds. I had no reason to be afraid though; the staff are so great at what they do and it all happened without me not really being too aware of the fact that I was being cut open. What surprised me the most was how fast it all went, or more so how fast I felt that it went.

It turned out when we got to the whole “and now I am going to pull out your baby” moment, the cord was around her neck twice over. My OB handled it with complete ease and within seconds I could hear the cries of my beautiful tiny human. She came out perfect, 7 pounds exactly and measuring 45 cms. After that it became a bit of a teary, amazing, beautiful blur.

As for my love, he was amazing. He always has had this way of being the calm in any storm that we face together, but he remained super chilled throughout the entire experience. I said this the other day on Instragram, I did not think it were possible for me to love him any more than I did prior to giving birth.. but watching him become a father and how he interacts with our daughter has expanded my little heart.

The only complaint I have is that it took 12 hours for my epidural to wear off, so I had to stay in bed and request for my dear husband to fetch me my baby every time she stirred. Once I had feeling back in my legs, I was pretty chuffed with how good I felt. The next morning I showered myself and was up walking around. Of course I was a little tender, but not nearly as much as I expected to be. It’s now four weeks on and I have been painkiller free for two weeks. My biggest hurdle has been refraining from getting behind the wheel (or at least trying to).

If there’s one thing I could change from this experience, I think it would be having more faith. Throughout my pregnancy, I would say to my colleagues and friends.. “what birth plan? the plan is to have the baby!”. My friends made comment about how super chilled I was and how it was a little shocking for me (I’ll admit, I was shocked myself). Upon reflection, the days leading up to my due date I became a little stressed out about the what-if’s and I hope for my next birth I can look back on this experience and know fully that my family were completely taken care of. Knowing that the cord was around my sweet daughter’s neck, there are so many things that could have gone wrong.. but they didn’t. She is here safe and I am thankful that I have people on my team who covered us in prayer leading up to her arrival.

As for the steep learning curve that I call being a parent; I plan to write another post about all that I have learned in this short four weeks.

For any Mum’s reading, I would love to hear your thoughts, comments or experiences.

Sasha

I’m still spinning

What a week, month, year it has been. I’m sitting here scratching my head trying to figure out what on earth I could have done for this week to turn out the way it did. I’ll admit, I’m still not too good with this opening up thing, but I am trying to process my thoughts more openly rather than just isolating myself from everyone and posting cryptic quotes on instagram and Facebook as if that helps me even in the slightest.

I lost a friend this week. He wasn’t a “bestie” type of friend that has been in my life recently. He was a ‘from the past’ type of friend. One that I connected with on a deep level a fair few years ago when we were both going through a really rough time. I paid for his bike to be fixed once so he could get to work, and he had this way of looking into me and knowing when I was not okay. He would turn up at my uni library with Slurpee’s on bad days. It made me very sad to hear that he has passed; from what I had seen on Facebook and heard through the grapevine, he had started to do really well for himself. It’s a message I guess that life is short, only a glimpse and we need to treasure the time we have here.

To add to it, we had some disappointing news about my dad and his health. He desperately needs a hip replacement and currently he’s relying on a walker. To be honest, this has been incredibly difficult for me to see my dad struggle like this and lose his independence. So he met with the surgeon and was told that they will not operate because he is too high risk with his other health issues. Now we are faced with the reality that he will most likely end up in a wheelchair. I know a lot of people have it worse, but for a moment I just need to say that its not bloody fair. None of this has been fair for dad. Three lots of cancer, diabetes, a heart condition, cirrhosis of the liver, and now he can’t walk. It just sucks.

And to top off a bad week, my birth mum’s puppy got hit by a car this afternoon. It’s heartbreaking. My little brother has been away for some time now and was due to return home tomorrow. He didn’t even get to say goodbye.

I know that there’s a reason for all of this, and one day it will make sense.. but right now; right here, it hurts. And instead of reaching out and asking for support, I find myself shutting down and closing into myself; because if I can’t make sense of this mess.. how will anyone else?

I often feel as though if this stuff didn’t happen to me; I wouldn’t believe it. The truth is, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I don’t know what the purpose of this post was.. maybe I just needed to be real. This is hard. I trust that thing’s will improve. I have hope that a new season is coming.

So tell me, internet world… Did I break a mirror or something?

S