Monday, 29 February 2016

Mind games

Reasons no longer being pregnant can sometimes be a mind-fuck (and still is 9 months later):
  1. I look more pregnant now that I did when I was pregnant.  My tum is rather gravity defying too (but definitely more slouch-y than when I was preggers).
  2. My sense of smell is still insane.  Someone lit a cigarette on the other side of town?  I can smell it.  Hold bubs, I can smell you on her clothes for hours.  I can smell Bubs' solid foods long after she has eaten them (I suspect on my nips from her post-solid breast feed).
  3. Gag.  Gaggy gag gag gag.  Foods I used to like I can no longer eat.  Goodbye Jimmy's pies. 
  4. What the hell was that?  Is this gas?  Are we sure there isn't something in here?  What the hell did they do to my insides to make them feel all fluttery and kick-like?  Seriously two or three days after Bubs was evicted there were ghost kicks going on down there.  And from time to time, I still feel them.  My uterus is haunted.
  5. I waddle.  Ok, that has to do with weight gain and time spent on the floor playing with Bubs.  I can fix this.
  6. I leak pee.  Yup, still working on those kegels.  Also, this is totally not fair because I delivered at 32 weeks the size of a baby at 28 weeks via the sunroof.  This means my ute has not really experienced a third trimester!!  Ergo what the fuck pelvic floor.  
  7. Where is my mind?  Serious baby brain is not so different from pregnancy brain.  The other day I got all confused when we got a note from the vet saying Toffs was due for her annual check up.  Because she gets those early in the year, not at the end of the year.  Because clearly February is the end of the year.  Ugh.  There have been others.  Oh so many others.  
As hilarious as it would be to go from infertile to sub-fertile to "I didn't know I was pregnant", I have peed on sticks (snowy white), I get my period regularly and have since 7 weeks postpartum.  I can count on two hands the number of post-bubs bonks, of which protection was used and timing was likely off.  Maybe I am a weirdo, but there have been many times when I have thought to myself, "Am I?". 

*I am not.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Sleeping like a baby

I have a huge problem with the expression "sleep like a baby".  It is supposed to mean sleeping soundly, oblivious to the world, all peaceful expressions and loveliness. 

(Just after typing the above, Bubs woke up.  Half an hour after she had been put to bed.)

Bubs sleeps a total of 11 hours in any 24 hour period, on average.  If she naps for 1 hour, there will be 10 hours of sleep overnight.  If she naps for 3 hours, there will be 8 hours of sleep.  We are up anytime between 6 and 8 am, often nap for half an hour in the morning, and then have an afternoon nap of 1-3 hours after lunch.  No napping is allowed after 4:30pm, except 10 minute cat naps at the boob if she is really really grumpy (doesn't happen often and I don't count it as part of her daily total).  Then we have a bath at 8:30, then a feed to sleep and she is in her cot by 9:30.  Almost every night she wakes up 30 minutes to an hour after going to sleep.  Sometimes I can resettle her by touch, but most of the time it is a quick feed back to sleep.  She wakes at least once overnight, anytime from 1am to 5am.  I change her, feed her, and try to resettle her into her cot.  When that doesn't work (and it usually doesn't), she comes into bed with me and punches me in the face for a good half an hour before she finally goes back to sleep.  Waking up in the morning takes I think about an hour of being awake a few minutes and falling back asleep for maybe 5 minutes and repeating that over and over.  I do count that as a part of her 11 hours of sleep.

I started writing all this stuff down awhile back because I was concerned about how much sleep she wasn't doing.  I mean, babies her age should be sleeping something like 14-16 hours?  Something like that.  I don't remember and I am not willing to look it up. 

My goals for her are to go to sleep without being fed to sleep, and to sleep full time (or nearly full time) in her cot.  And take her naps in the cot.  And for me to go back to sleeping with the Moose instead of on a bed in Bubs' room.  I have done very little to get to those goals as of yet.  I don't have much of a plan, and kind of want her to take the lead.  We both nap on the couch, and even though I have things to do, I would prefer to nap in all my drool-ly glory than actually accomplish something.  And with harvest coming up, it will be less disruptive to the Moose if I am in the same room as Bubs.  And I could maybe resettle her in the cot every time but it would involve a lot of back and forth with feeding and standing over the cot trying to resettle her.  Mostly I would rather get punched in the face for half an hour in my warm bed.

I tried a little bit of sleep training, but I honestly don't think it will work for us.  She cried for so long she could hardly breathe and sobbed for ages after that, even when sleeping.  I don't want to do that to her, and I don't want to do that to myself.  I was really upset about it, I think because I sort of thought sleep training would be like the holy grail of getting her to sleep the way I want her to.  That it would answer all my wishes/goals.  It stressed me out to no end.

Then a week ago (maybe two?) I stopped worrying about it.  I figure the important part is that she gets the sleep she seems to need, and I think she does.  I think 11 hours are all she needs.  She is not a cranky overtired bubby.  A lot of what I deem her being grumpy is actually her getting bored or frustrated with a toy (or her getting annoyed that I haven't noticed the sneak poo she did half an hour ago and is now plastered to bum and nappy).  I am getting enough sleep at the moment, and I know that teething and the inevitable colds/flu/bugs going around will shake that up and put me back at sleep deprivation.  And it is ok.  It won't last. 

It seems like most the blogs I follow with babies close to bubs age have had sleep problems as well.  It does make me feel better knowing others are suffering too <evil grin>.  And hey, we were lucky.  Bubs slept like a champ for her first 4 or 5 months or so.  I used to have set my alarm to make sure she was up for her feeds.  And we still are lucky in that when she wakes up in the middle of the night she is happy and she doesn't cry.  Many times she resettles quickly and we are usually up only half an hour, maybe an hour, in the middle of the night. 

But I think I will still want to punch the person who says that someone "sleeps like a baby" in the face.  Unless of course, they use it to mean sleep like a real baby.  You know, not at all. 

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Quick pics because Bubs is awake again

Just a few quick pics.  And for the record, Cleo doesn't go into the crib when Bubs is in there.  I allow her to sleep there during the day, with a blanket down, but she has no interest in even going into Bub's room at night.  The photo above was staged. 

Saturday, 20 February 2016


It has been awhile.

Things were a bit rough here, but I think they are getting better.  I will get into that later.  First the good stuff.

So a (not so) quick update on the Bubs.
  • She will be 9 months next week and is up to 13 1/2 lbs!  She is in percentiles.  Like for her actual age.  Just touching the bottom, but still.  Actually, she was there last well child appointment, which must have been in December or late November, but I don't think I mentioned that.
  • She can sit on her own but not for too long without crashing.  This is usually followed by crying.  She still hates tummy time.  I am doing everything I can think of to make it more enjoyable for her, but she just gets fed up and rolls over onto her back and cries, or gets stuck on her tummy and cries.  She gets visits from a physiotherapist to check on her development, and at the moment there are no concerns.  She isn't hitting milestones early, but she isn't expected to.
  • She is eating solid food now.  She frequently makes a face indicating it is the most awful thing to ever get put in her mouth, but she eventually relaxes and even enjoys it.  Or makes these feral noises at me indicating she is bored.  Then I have to sing to her.  Dinner theatre. 
  • She is very serious around 99% of all people on the planet (excepting myself and the Moose of course), but yesterday she smiled at a stranger going to the neighbor's house, and without the lady even talking to her or looking at her for that matter.  She has a hilarious set of laughs.  One is like a squack-y bird, another is a Beavis and Butthead sort of he-he he-he he-he and another is a cute little Muttley laugh.  Things that make her laugh- shadow puppets, her daddy making a monkey sound, the washing the dishes song, any sneeze or hiccup done by someone other than her and games of peek (like peekaboo but without the aboo and done in a very high pitch voice).
  • She loves her jolly jumper, being upright, playing with her spoons, my water bottle (the cap is too tight for her to get off- I can't even do it half the time so no fear of choking on it), the cats, and kicking and splashing in the bath.
  • Sleep.  She hates it.  HATES IT.  I have been very reluctantly co-sleeping for awhile now because it is the only way I can get more than 2 hours in a row.  Our routines are all over the show and my attempts to stick to them get completely overturned by this little sleep-hating demon child.  We do bath, breast feed to sleep, put in cot, wake up instantly, feed again to sleep, put in cot, sleep one hour, wake up, cuddle or feed to sleep, put in cot, sleep 2-3 hours (until 2 am give or take 30 minutes), feed to sleep, put in cot, wake up instantly, throw hands in air and co-sleep and hope I don't smother her or lose her in the pillows.  Every night.  Basically she sleeps 7-8 hours and that time includes being up for any feeds over night.  Naps aren't much better.  They range from one hour to three hours and are generally taken after a feed on the couch.  I then pass out next to her until she wakes up (lately she has had unsettled naps where she is up every 10-20 minutes).  I have tried sleep training- she screamed until she could hardly breathe and sobbed for over an hour after I caved and fed her to sleep.  Sleep training does not work for us.  In fact, I don't think anything will work for us.  We are doomed to this sleep routine.  I need a time machine so I can go back in time and kick my past self in the ass for always feeding her to sleep.  On the bright side, I am not alone.  Every blogger I follow with a baby around Bub's age is having the same sort of problems.  Therefore I conclude it has nothing to do with me or our bedtime routine and has everything to do with the fact that babies do not want us to sleep.  When Bubs is a teenager and wants to sleep in all the time, guess who is going to be getting sweet revenge??  That's right.  This girl.
  • As revenge is a dish best served upon teenagers, when Bubs reaches that age and her friends come around and they decide to go somewhere, I am going to throw myself at her and start screaming.  In fact, I think I will do it every time she goes to the loo or otherwise moves out of my line of sight.  Or maybe just moves more than a foot away.  
 Other things:
  • The cats are doing fine.  They are getting used to Bubs although they are not overly drawn to her.  Every time she starts to cry or fuss loudly Toffs leaves the house.  Cleo doesn't care and will tolerate Bubs "petting" her but she doesn't approach her.  Cleo sleeps in her cot but only during the day when Bubs isn't in there, and Toffs hasn't ventured into it yet.  
  • Work is frustrating, but I am still just working part time from home and even then I tend to shirk my duties a bit more than I should.  I am just over it I guess.  Ugh.  The plan is still for me to go back to work when Bubs turns 2, but money is getting tight.  We pay off the mortgage in July and that should ease things up for us a bit.  However we are thinking about moving though to a house with a bigger section which would most likely mean taking out a new albeit small mortgage.  It would be nice to have space for Bubs to run around and play outside.  

The struggles.
   First of all sleep.  For awhile I was lucky to be getting four hours a night.  We went through a phase where Bubs was up every 2 hours for anywhere from half an hour to just over an hour.  That was rough.  She can't seem to resettle herself very often, and is suddenly wide awake with a really cheeky smile ready to play.  Not fun at 2 am and again at 4 am and again at 6 am when I finally give up on the thought of getting any sleep.  Oh yeah, and this is after fighting bedtime and staying up until 11 or even sometimes midnight.  Anyway, she seems to be doing a little better now but the lack of sleep has been taking a toll on me.  And a month ago I hit a patch of insomnia and that made everything hideous.
   I've been so tired I can't concentrate, I can barely function, and I have little to no patience.  There have been nights when I have wanted to put my head through the wall.  Nights when I just cry because she won't sleep.  I was concerned for awhile that I might be developing some depression issues, but then things got better.  It is something I still watch out for and if things get bad I will go see my doc.  Sometimes it is hard to tell between what is normal day to day stuff and what is more serious.  Right now I am mostly good, and the bad days I have are fewer.  I think things are getting better.
   Which brings me to the Moose.  I know he is working hard to support us, but there have been days when I just want to smack him one or give him a good yell.  Days when he comes home and falls asleep on the sofa, leaving me to cook and entertain an inevitably grumpy bubby.  Days when it seems he would rather spend hours on his kindle than any time with his daughter.  I get that he needs to unwind and relax after a hard day at work, and it is a hard day's work in the vineyards, but I always feel like I owe him one when I ask for help, and I have started to resent that, and to resent him.  There have been days when I wonder if our marriage will survive this.  I think it will, but during those times, I really do wonder.  And...
   By the time we came back from the NICU (6 weeks after Bubs was born) I was ready to resume sexy times (I was on the pill).  For whatever reason, the Moose wasn't.  I took that rejection a bit hard I think, and in turn all sexy times have pretty much come to an end except an obligatory once a month bonk (once every 6 weeks??).  It sucks.  So...
   Because I am sleep deprived and stressed, I have been binge eating again.  My exercises and daily walks have dwindled away.  I have put on more weight, none of my clothes fit right, and I am tired and sore all the time.  I hate it.  Which makes me feel like a whale.  Which puts me out of the mood for sexy times and makes me more resentful towards the Moose, which makes me want to bake a cake and eat half of it.  Arg.
   But things are getting better.  The Moose is getting better at helping out, I am getting better at not bitching at him, Bubs is...well...not getting better with sleep and teething must be just around the corner so that will be fun, but it won't last forever.  That has become my new mantra really.  It is just a phase.  All babies do this sort of stuff.  It won't last forever.  One day you will get to sleep again.
   I went off the pill.  I had to.  I couldn't remember to take the damned thing and since it was the mini-pill every time I forgot to take it I got my damned period.  And I am still bitter about getting it 7 weeks postpartum while exclusively breast feeding.  Anyway, with the lack of much physical intimacy and a few ancient but not yet expired condoms, we have so far been avoiding any possible baby making sex.  The Moose doesn't want a second child.  He hasn't said it, but I am pretty sure that is the case.  I (mostly) want a second child.  And if we are going to have a second child, I want to start trying when Bubs turns one year old.  There are some issues there and I was going to write about it, but I have now wasted about 2 hours when I could have been sleeping or having a shower and I know I will regret it tomorrow.  So I will save that one for another day.

I just want to say that while this has been the hardest thing I have ever done, it has been completely worth it and I do not regret it nor would I change a thing.  The above ranting and rambling was to de-clutter my muddled brain.  Things may have been rough the past few months, but we are coping and we will get through this phase.