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Life Before Motherhood

The other night I was on the couch with my husband, and I asked him “What do you think we would be doing if we didn’t have a baby?”. His response was “Probably what we are doing now”. 

Sometimes you have moments where you feel like you have no life, and missing out on all the fun stuff because you have a child. But the more I think about it, I realise that the things I used to do for fun, really are a thing of the past and I’m over it. Years ago a fun weekend would have involved cocktails, heels, night clubs, dinners, friends, late nights, and sleep ins. I have spent a good decade of my adult life partying, shopping, and spending way too much time nursing blisters from a night of heels.

My weekends these days are very different, and usually involve a quiet night in, and a bedtime of as early as 8pm. If I am completely honest with myself, I am happy, and I would not want to be anywhere else than with my husband and baby at home. As my husband said, even if we didn’t have a child we would probably still be at home, having a night in. I have outgrown my partying days, and I am not that girl anymore. You get over it, and you come to appreciate your sleep, and money too much to waste it.

Don’t get me wrong there are some things I do miss. I miss being spontaneous, and being able to say yes to an invitation last minute. I miss not being as social, and not being able to put myself first at times. But the way I see it is that my son will only be little for a short period. This time I have with him is short and valuable. In years to come he will be able to stay at his grandparents, and put himself to bed, and fix himself a feed. In years to come my husband and I will be able to be more spontaneous, and have weekends away, and have that cocktail.

I am a mother, and I made that choice. I want to be with my son, and put him first, and give him everything I possibly can to set him up for the best life he can possibly have. That is my focus, and this is the time in my life to be a mummy to a baby that needs me. My son is only 10 months, and already I am starting to see life getting a little easier. He has started sleeping through the night, but I am so programmed to waking up so often that every 2-3 hours I am up and checking him to see if he is okay. That is all part of being a mother. Your job is never done. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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My Baby Won’t Sleep

The last week I was on prac for my course. I spent a week at an Early Childhood & Family Centre. I loved it, and learnt so much. The Centre provides all sorts of services to the community with children under the age of 4. They run mothers groups, support groups, sleep and settling classes, newborn home visits, and your regular developmental checks such as 6 month/12 month checks. It is a place where families can take their child really for anything, and the nurse can provide the right education/ support/ referrals.

One thing that struck me during the week was the amount of parents that are struggling with babies that cry, and are not sleeping well. It is something happening so often, and puts a massive strain on a family. The mothers that came to the sleep and settling class looked exhausted, and obviously desperate for help. As the nurse running the class said “sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture!”. It is no joke what these families are going through, and needs to be taken very serious.

It became apparent that a lot of these women used this class as a place to vent, and a form of therapy. Many just wanted to voice their pain, and feel safe enough to do so. It was heart breaking to see these women share their stories, and how desperate they were.

After the class I had a chance to chat with the nurse running the class and she made some interesting points. She said that it’s all good and well teaching a mother to settle her baby, but the home dynamics and situation is really what makes it work. An example is a women at the class who had a husband that worked double shifts, and needed to sleep. He was the bread winner, and financially supported the family. The mother was so scared to wake the husband, that she literally had her baby on her breast 24/7 to keep the baby quiet. So now she has a 3 month old baby that won’t sleep unless she is holding it. To simply give her some instructions and send her home seems rather pointless. It is a complex problem, and not something that is fixed in a day.

Another point the nurse made is that the way we interpret crying will depend how we react to it. She explained that depending what our history and memories are with crying will depend how well we handle it when our own baby cries. An example is if a woman was abused as a child, her memories of crying will be a lot more traumatic. So when that womans baby cries, that crying could possibly bring back awful memories and feelings from her past that will dictate then how she handles her baby crying.

So a baby crying can mean different things to different people. It is easy to judge others, or brag about how great your baby is. But if there is one thing I have learnt this week is that we all have a past, and all have our vulnerabilities. We all want the best for our babies, and strive to be the best parent we can be. Some people just have better coping skills than others. Some people are better equipped with the tools for handling a challenging baby. With that being said, from now on I will be more supportive of my fellow mothers and fathers out there. It is a huge job being a parent!!


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Pregnant and Breastfeeding

So I have had a lot of people ask if I am still breastfeeding now that I am pregnant. The answer is yes, I am still breastfeeding my 10 month old son. I would love to continue to feed him till he is 12 months.

My son is down to 2 feeds a day- morning and evening. He eats so much food these days, I have noticed a significant drop in his demand and my supply. So I am sure in the coming weeks he will be more than ready to be completely weaned.

I have to say there has been no real difference with breastfeeding while pregnant. There are all sorts of opinions, and theories on the subject. But I feel, if you can handle it, then do it. It should be a personal choice. I am in the first trimester of pregnancy, so of course feel exhausted, but to be honest I have been so used to waking up for night feeds for so long that I am used to this feeling. Plus my morning sickness is horrendous this time, so the fatigue is really a minor issue for me. My nausea has taken over my life, and I am literally spending my days trying to come up with ideas and ways to help distract me from the feeling.

I feel very lucky to have been able to successfully breastfeed my son this long, and I hope the next baby is the same. I have moments where I imagine a time when my body will be my own again. When I won’t have a child depending on it to grow and be nourished. It will be a long time till then, and I feel lucky that my body is doing what it was designed to do. Not everyone is that lucky, and I always count my blessings.

 

 


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Pregnant with Baby #2

Yes I am pregnant with baby #2!!!!

We have known for about a month. And I have been pondering over when the right time is to post this news. And I thought being mother’s day what the heck!!! What better time to announce I am going to be a mummy again!!

We couldn’t be happier. And as exciting as it is we are also very nervous about having two babies 17 months apart. People ask if it was planned and I say yes. We knew there was a possibility I could fall pregnant, and it did. I feel very lucky, and there are many worse things in the world to be dealing with than two children close in age. It will be fine!

I am heading into my 9th week. We had a dating scan 2 weeks ago to confirm the dates, because due to breastfeeding and only 2 irregular periods, we couldn’t be sure on dates. There was a strong little heartbeat on the screen, and everything looked great. We have nicknamed it coconut. (Our son’s nickname while pregnant was mango).

Life can take you in all sorts of directions, and I can’t believe I am about to embark on parenthood for a second time.

 

 


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Happy Mother’s Day

10 months ago I gave birth to our son. You came into our lives, and have been nothing but a joy, and blessing to be around. From the minute I found out I was pregnant I did everything I could to make sure you arrived healthy and strong. And in the blink of an eye you were here. I never knew how much love I could have for someone till I met you.

You have taught me to be a better version of myself. Because of you I am always striving to be a better person. There has not a day that has gone by where your father and I don’t pinch ourselves, and just stare at your in amazement. I still can’t believe you really are mine! You are just perfect my son. And I want to thank you. Thankyou for giving me the opportunity to be a mother. To be your mother. I honestly feel like the lucky one.

Today is Mother’s Day. A day to show appreciation to your mother. My mother is truly a special woman. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without you, and I love you dearly mum!!

As a parent you want nothing but the best for your child. Your father and I often talk about our hopes and dreams for you. Mostly we want you to be healthy, happy, and doing something in life you truly love. I want you to be true to yourself, an honest, loving, caring man. A man who is not afraid to take risks, to love, and to live.

I love you my little baby boy. You make me the proudest mother on earth xxx