Friday, 23 October 2009

Princess Update

Ooh, where did the week go? All is great here, we've just been busy...

I've decided that as Princess is 7 weeks old it is time to get more structure in my life, and to get out and exercise several times a week to get my body back in shape. My metabolism had flatlined - I wasn't eating all that much but I was beginning to gain weight on top of the 2kg of baby weight I still have. Unacceptable!

There is a huge stunning park about half an hour from home called Centennial Park. It's enormous and has playing fields, lakes, ponds, horse and cycle tracks, and a 40min pedestrian/pram circuit. I have set myself the goal of doing the circuit with Princess in her pram 3 times a week.

So that takes up most of 3 of my weekdays - I try to get out of the door by 10, finish the circuit at midday, and then relax under a tree with my book. Lovely, and it feels great to be out of the house! Princess doesn't mind where she sleeps, eats or has her nappy changed so that's easy provided I have enough gear with me.

...damn, lost the rest of this post and now I don't have time to rewrite it. Oh well.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Princess Update

Princess is 6 weeks old! This is supposed to be a major milestone, after which this motherhood thing gets easier, less tiring and more fun.

...I'm still waiting.

Oh, parenthood is awesome, it just can't be called "fun" yet. I can't wait until Princess recognises me and smiles, or the random arm swinging becomes deliberate reaching for things. She is doing the odd long sleep at night, and on Wednesday she slept from 11pm to 6am which I reckon counts as "sleeping through". Of course since then she's back to a maximum of 4 hours sleep, or 3 hours like last night. Oh well. It will come.

I'm finding the boob/formula routine I've worked out to be a good thing. I breastfeed at dawn and dusk, when there is no rush to get out or go back to sleep. Because we have to drain both boobs and then follow with half a bottle it takes ages! The rest of the time she drinks a bottle in about 20min, which I can do anywhere at the drop of a hat.

I hear folk say bottle feeding is a pain because of sterilising and heating and mixing... I haven't found it a problem though. I have 4 bottles so there is always at least one ready for use, pre-filled with boiled water. My microwave sterilises in 3 minutes and heats the water in 30 sec. If I go out I take boiling hot water in a bottle inside a beer cooler (!) and when Princess needs it it is usually still warm and I throw in a sachet of formula and shake. Not that she's fussy about such things - I got caught out and fed her a cold bottle the other day and she didn't mind at all!

I have the best husband in the world!

Last weekend he volunteered to do the night feeds on Friday and Saturday nights. We still get up together and I change Princess while Milord readies himself and the formula, I deliver her to him and I go. back. to. sleep! This gives me an extra hour's sleep per feeding cycle and it is the best present a girl could wish for. A friend asked why we get up together at all - the person feeding should do the lot. I disagree. We both wake up when Princess cries anyway, and it means a lot to the feeder to have Princess changed and comforted while they have a chance to have a wee, pour a glass of water, heat the formula, find the TV remote and the burp cloth, and settle into the armchair.

Plus doing it all in the middle of the night is very lonely. I've done it a couple of times when Milord was exhausted and needed a solid night's sleep, and it's a bit miserable - especially when you forget the remote out of reach!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Post Preggy Body Update

It's been 6 weeks since I pushed Princess into the world. Gee, is that all? It feels like months!

My weight hasn't changed in the past 3 weeks. Seeing as I am only breastfeeding a couple of times a day I can no longer use that as an excuse to eat everything in sight, and Milord and I are trying to get back into healthy low-cal eating for the first time since I got pregnant. It's a hard habit to break!

Exercise doesn't really happen yet - I still clamber into bed for a nap rather than go for a walk if Princess sleeps in the afternoon. Or I catch up on housework. It will come... Princess is starting to sleep for longer periods at night so I will need the afternoon nap less and less (hopefully!).

I can however fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes now - woohoo! Tops are tight over the bigger boobs, and I can only get into my "fat" trousers, but it is so nice to get out of the maternity clothes I have been restricted to for the last 7 months.

All discharge stopped "down there" in week 4 and my stitches went away about then too. Finally! For anyone who is pregnant and panicking because their libido has disappeared - have no fear, it comes back as soon as the pregnancy is over. Everything seems to be working well in that department and I'm getting no complaints!

Sneezing with a full bladder is still a disaster waiting to happen, but I do my pelvic floor exercises when I remember and it's getting better.

I still have really thick hair - the extra should begin falling out in clumps in about 4 weeks time. I should be dreading it but actually I am looking forward to getting my normal hair back because I can't figure out how to manage this stuff without changing my haircut!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Princess Update

Sheesh, how do other mommy bloggers do it? I've been writing this post for 3 days!

Princess is just over 5 weeks old.

Average Feeding Cycle: 3 to 4-hourly
Average Feeding Time: Bottle - 20 min. Boob and bottle - 50 min.
Approximate Weight: 4kg
Average Saffa Chick sleep: 2 or 3 hours per night feed cycle, one 1 hour nap during the day. Total: 6 to 8 hours. (This past week I had a few late nights and missed the first sleep period each time, plus I missed a few afternoon naps. I was running on 4 hours sleep a night, and ready to kill!)

Most babies hit a growth spurt during weeks 5 and 6, need more food, and will feed almost constantly for up to 4 hours every night. Princess is following this model like clockwork!

Sadly, my boobs are just not performing to requirement any more. We had a few truly miserable days where I never seemed to have enough to satisfy her. Feedings moved from 4-hourly to 3-hourly again, sometimes 2-hourly. My nipples ached and we were both getting very frustrated. The formula feed I tested for my babysitters made us realise that there was another option, and after several hours of angry baby-munching on my boobs last Friday evening we mixed up a bottle and she drained it. And was happy.

I am now supplementing my breastmilk with formula, and I believe that Princess is getting the best of both worlds - the antibodies from me and her hunger satisfied by the formula. I've decided to breastfeed dawn and dusk (plus bottle top-up), and formula feed the rest of the time, mainly to get my boobs into a routine so that they don't engorge and leak at awkward moments! I thought I'd struggle with this, but after just one day of discomfort (and waking up drenched in milk) I'm now only full at morning and evening. Isn't the body amazing?

I've very conflicted. On the one hand I am disappointed that I can't be supermom and meet all my baby's needs myself, and I'm scared of what the breastfeeding Nazis are going to say to me when they see me give Princess a bottle. On the other it is wonderful to have a contented baby, and for others to be able to feed Princess while I do something else. I was rather teary for a day or two about it, but Milord and his sister were very supportive, as were the couple of friends I have told so far. At the end of the day - if baby and mum are happy and healthy, does it really matter all that much?

At least I managed a full month of exclusive breastfeeding... *sigh*

Hey Kat - recognise the blanket you knitted? We call it "The Kat-blanket"!

Princess is as adorable as ever. I can't get over how fast she is growing. She is just out of her 0000 sized clothes and the 000 items are fitting. She spends time staring intently at our faces, and her grasp is amazing - I have to gently unclench her hands from my top when I put her down. My days of wearing necklaces are nearly over, and I'm glad I have short hair! She also has jolly sharp fingernails - I gently file them down while she sleeps after a feed every week or two. She had her first manicure at 5 days old!

Princess seems to have fuzz growing over her bald head-top, so now my baby has a bad mullet rather than male-pattern baldness. Not sure which is worse! She has had a peeling forehead and head-top for a couple of weeks (normal - "cradle cap"), and pimples (normal - "milk rash"). This is all caused by my hormones slowly leaving her system... they say that at 3 months she'll have perfect skin again.

A typical "good" day:
  • we all sleep from 10pm-ish the night before...

  • 1:00am - 2:00am feed

  • sleep (me: sleep)

  • 5:00am - 6:00am feed

  • sleep (me: sleep)

  • 7:30 Milord gets up and goes to work

  • 9:00am - 10:00am feed

  • sleep (me: shower, dress, laundry, dishes, tidying, cleaning, breakfast)

  • 1pm - 2pm feed

  • sleep (me: lunch and nap OR lunch, shopping, bills, budget, email, blog)

  • 4:30pm bath

  • 5pm - 9:30pm cluster feed (Milord plays tag with me as we get dinner ready and eat)

  • 10pm Princess is in bed and Milord and I will follow shortly.

Notice there is nothing there about exercise - I haven't quite managed to fit that into my day yet! Or socialising... I assume I'll get the hang of it sometime!

On a "bad" day Princess does not sleep, or not for very long, and I am lucky to manage the shower and meal items of my to-do list! I've been lucky so far this week though - she's sleeping well.

We had Milord's sister and 12-year-old niece for a week recently. I'm lucky with my in-laws. Milord's sister was happy to help with anything I asked, from cooking to cleaning to minding Princess while I showered or napped. The niece is a very nice child who is itching to play with her new cousin. However, I find that having them gone is an enormous relief... I can read my book, watch what I want to on TV, go to bed early without feeling like a bad hostess, and I don't have to hear them using baby-talk - to Princess and to each other! Ugh, hearing a 12-year-old talk to her mum in squeaky lisping baby-speak is nauseating. Milord and I haven't used baby-talk with Princess so far, and after hearing it for a week we've agreed to never do so!

They did give Milord and me a night out "alone" last Friday though, which was wonderful. We went to a pub for a couple of drinks, and then for dinner at a little restaurant. After an hour and a half we agreed to try to talk about something other than the baby, and after 2 hours we were both itching to call home to check on her, but resisted! We got home to find that Princess had been an angel. A perfect date night!

Mom is arriving in about a month's time to spend a few weeks with us, and I'm sure she'll give us a date night too... I'm already looking forward to it! What's more, she has foolishly volunteered to have Princess in her room, and to get up and change and feed her in the night to let Milord and me rest. Wow. I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to that!!! We haven't slept for longer than a couple of 4-hour stretches in nearly 6 weeks. While we're coping, the thought of an uninterrupted 8 hours gives me the shivers.

I hear other new parents out there are saying "No one told us it was going to be this hard!". Well, when I was pregnant I was told by everyone I know with kids, and by complete strangers in the street, that it was going to be hard. And it is. I try not to moan about it here, but I've had a few meltdowns over the past 5 weeks. I have sat literally weeping with frustration holding Princess in the pre-dawn hours while she feeds for the umpteenth time, or simply will not settle and LET ME SLEEP.

All I can say is the best advice I was given: Take it one day at a time.

Oh, and TELL your partner what you need - Milord didn't realise that getting dinner on the table was my biggest problem until I went to pieces about it after 3 weeks!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Hospital Bag Revisited

Before Princess' arrival I listed what I was planning to take to hospital for labour and 4 night's stay (the norm in Oz). Here is how I went with what we took.

Oh and... if you are anywhere near 37 weeks - pack your bag! If mine hadn't been 95% packed I'd have been useless at organising it at 1am when my waters broke at 38 weeks!

I didn't eat any sweets or snacks during labour, but I had an epidural and they served us proper meals so I didn't need them. All my mommy friends who laboured without drugs said they only felt like sweets because they were nauseous. Me? I was hungry and totally enjoyed my food!


  • Birth Plan. no - we deviated from plan from word go so there was no point!

  • Ante Natal Card. yes

  • Medicare Card. yes

  • Lip Balm. yes

  • Water bottle. yes

  • Juice. yes

  • Sweets. no (see above)

  • Snack bars. no (see above)

  • Chocolate. no (see above)

  • Big t-shirt. no - I used a hospital gown - I had to for the epidural and it didn't bother me to be "dressed like a patient"

  • Milord's snacks. no (see above)

  • Milord's swim trunks so he can join me in the shower/bath. no - we skipped that part!

  • Games. no - forgot

  • Books. yes

  • Camera. yes

Post Labour:
  • Champagne (yeah baby!). hadn't organised this yet... *sigh* would have been nice actually

  • Chocolate. no - didn't fancy it

  • Bras. no - couldn't be arsed

  • PJs. no - I went with yoga pants and comfy breastfeeding tops instead

  • Slippers. no - I took flipflips instead

  • Dressing Gown. yes

  • Cheap chuckable panties. YES! I'm still in these as my usual panties don't take pads very well. I never messed, so buy a decent selection of pad-friendly panties as you'll be in them for a while.

  • Maternity Pads. yes

  • Breast Pads. yes, but only once my milk came in

  • Nipple cream. yes

  • Nipple shields (just in case). didn't need

  • Toiletries. yes

  • Hair Dryer. yes

  • Squeezy water bottle to wash down there. didn't need

  • Own pillows. YES

  • Glasses. yes

  • Vitamins. forgot

  • Panadol. forgot, but could ask for it

  • Baby nail scissors. NO! Their nails are microscopic - I use an emery board instead

  • Laptop. yes

  • Speakers. yes

  • Internet USB stick. YES

  • Headphones. no

  • Camera. yes (duh)

  • Phones. yes

  • Phone/camera/laptop chargers. yes

  • Books. yes

  • Earplugs (for when Milord takes baby for a long walk). yes *shrugs*

  • Vaseline. no

  • Dummy (just in case). YES - this saved our sanity on night 3

  • Clothes SaffaChick and Milord. yes, although I didn't change from my yoga pants and top much

  • Coming home outfit and wrap - baby (2 just in case). yes

Anything missed?

Breastfeeding pillow (I have the "My Brest Friend" pillow which straps around your body so it doesn't slide away, and is a brilliant support for the baby and your arms)

Champagne! No matter what time your baby arrives, once you've done the first feed you DESERVE that glass of champers!!!

Princess Update

Princess is one month old today! Happy montheversary darling girl ;-)

Average Feeding Cycle: 3 to 4-hourly
Average Feeding Time: 35 min.
Approximate Weight: 3.5kg
Average Saffa Chick sleep: 2 or 3 hours per night feed cycle, one 1 hour nap during the day. Total: 6 to 8 hours.

Princess is starting to sleep for longer periods and she rarely has a feeding cycle shorter than 3 hours (except for cluster feeding in the evenings). Milord and I moved her into her own room a week ago because she is just too noisy in the night, and we really enjoyed the 2 and 3 hour sleeps we were getting! Yesterday Milord's sister and niece arrived to give us a hand for a week and we took Princess back into our room as the baby's room is also the guest room... tonight Princess will be sleeping in the lounge! Snuffle, grunt, mutter, whimper - it is just too much!

Milord's sister has taken over kitchen duties to give us both a break, and it is great to have another pair of hands to pass Princess to when she is unsettled. Friday night she will be babysitting and Milord and I are going out to dinner - we are quite excited!

I have expressed 125ml for Friday night (over 2 weeks - expressing doesn't really work for me). Being a breastfed baby I actually have no idea how much Princess usually needs for a feed and I am worried that it won't be enough. Today I decided to try Princess on a bottle of fomula to see if she will take it if required... some babies won't abide a teat or formula. Well, she doesn't mind either! She took 100ml when I didn't think she was even that hungry... good to know we have that as a backup.

My poor baby is going bald. She's lost all the hair from the top of her head, while the rest has grown to about an inch long. A very bad bald-man mullet... I can't wait for the rest of her hair to fall out! Bald all over would be much better.

Princess is growing like crazy, and is 1kg (2lb) over her birth weight. At 3.5kg she is now an average normal birth weight! People still tell us how small she is and assume she's a few days old. To us she's so much bigger than she was and is filling out nicely. She now has dimply knees instead of extra folds of skin.

This week she started to focus on us and it is so cool to have her eyes follow me!