Ahhhh poor little bub was just getting over the chucking up on a regular basis – but mainly at night for the greatest inconvenience when suddenly its back, except this time its worse. Its the other end.
Had we known much better we probably would have picked up on the warning signs. Childcare had told us her dirty nappies had been a bit ‘looser’ than normal but we naively thought this was just a hangover from the gastro. If we’d been more experienced in these matters (or indeed doctors!) then we might have gone uh oh. As it happened, that evening she went a bit off her food but still took some so we just thought she wasn’t too peckish. Then at about 3.oo am (always in middle of the night obviously) there was an almightly squirty-type-farting ‘you know thats not good’ kind of sound. I got up and smelt it first. Then within about 5 seconds of waking hubby to help, the little munchkin was seeping it through the sleeping bag. I whipped her out and into the bathroom to strip her. Poor little thing – its was everywhere and she was hardly awake.. I am fumbling for the disposable gloves (a good buy them) while hubby fumbles around looking for a new sleeping bag and suit. We clean her up with disgust all over our noses and sympathy in our eyes. Poor little munchkin.
By now she’s awake and not wanting to go back to sleep so I feed her and soothe her and her belly is making a right funny noise. Ahhhh. I try rubbing her pack and patting for about 20 mins, then hubby has a go and manages to get her off to sleep after a full change of cot sheets and whathaveyou. Of course we then can’t sleep very well and I’m waiting for the next bout. I don’t have to wait too long as it comes along within an hour and we repeat our clean up ops. We are now almost getting good at this middle of the night mop up.
The next day, bub seems fine and is eating a bit more normally but I decide to go to the docs anyway just to get it all checked out. I take a massive supply of nappies and wipes and sleepsuits with me. The doc informs us that actually its quite normal to have a bout of loose movements (the squits!) after the vomitting as its actually the bacteria or virus moving from the upper gut to the lower gut. Ah ha that makes sense. She checks bub over completely again to be sure and gives us a dietary information to encourage firmer stools and tells me to keep breastfeeding and lots of fluids. Golly sounds familiar. We can also give her panadol which will help soothe her.
So at least she’s all OK and we have to feed her, bread, pasta, rice and water and avoid dairy and fruits for the moment. So thats what we do. Annabel Karmel has something callsed the American BRAT diet – bread, rice, apples and toast. We do a combo and after about 4 hours poos are already stiffer. I stick the dietary sheet on the cupboard for future reference. Could be handy for all of us.
Thank god we only have one night of the phantom poos and the next night she wakes to feed but is all clean. Poor little thing. At least we’ll know for next time. Another set of experiences logged and noted for the future.
Number of times cleaning up bubs puke = 3
Number of times cleaning up puke from myself=2
Number of times cleaning up puke from places you never thought it could get = 2
Jeeezzz louise what a time we’ve been having. It feels like we’re brand new parents again – completely out of our depth and sleep deprived zombies.
The day before bub had been rather grumpy and fussier about her food. She was quite a lot more unsettled than usual and we had ended up taking her temperature which was higher than normal and so we’d given her a shot of panadol to settle her. This seemed to work and she slept OK with a lot of cuddles in the evening and a little blip for a cuddle in the middle of the night. The next day bub was still fussy about her food and even more fussy about her naps but her temperature was back to normal. In the evening, getting her to sleep was very difficult and involved stroking her back in our bed which I understand is a big no no! Eventually she did sleep however about an hour after we went to bed, she woke with a cry which sounded different to her usual ‘where’s my dummy’ middle of the night. I got up and picked her up to soothe her and realised that she’d been sick. Yuk yuk yuk and it no longer smells as clean as breastmilk sick. So I called (read yelled) out to hubby and picked her up and transported her to the bathroom. I didn”t really know what to do apart from cuddling and cleaning her up. So thats what I did as she sat on the cold bathroom floor whilst hubby stripped her bed. We talked about what we should do and what could have caused it – teething? something she’d eaten? bug from daycare? should we call the doctor? We decide to see how we go the rest of the night and go to the docs in the morning.
So I give her a breastfeed (when in doubt breastfeed it seems), offer a drink of water too, and then cleaned myself up. We then do a heck of a lot of cuddling and soothing but bub does not want to go back to sleep so we end up playing for about an hour in bed, then another 30 minutes of soothing and rocking trying to get her to sleep and some attempting to put her in bed quietly when we think she’d dropped off but hadn’t. Eventually hubby manages to get her to sleep and creeps back to bed. About 15 minutes later we hear her cry and she’s been sick again, so we basically do a repeat performance of earlier on and decide we’ll definitely go to the docs in the morning. This time we manage to get her to sleep quicker (we have been up 2 hours or so by now) and we crash out.
Unfortunately at 4.30am she’s sick again, and we repeat our earlier clean up operation except we’re now starting to run dangerously low on clean sleepsuits and more than beginning to get a bit tetchy with one another. On the upside we are getting much better at ’sick clean up operations’. Poor little mite is now beginning to retch a bit so I breastfeed as much as I can and give her more water. I ring the Maternal Health Line for advice as basically we don’t have much experience nor evidence to base our decisions on and have some dangerous flashing worries about the worst sicknesses in the world that she could have. As I hang on the line at 05.00 in the queue (!) the thrice cleaned up bubba is playing with her toys as if its the start of the day. She looks back at me and giggles so I figure it cant be too bad. I wait and wait on the line re-consulting the Babylove book on ‘vomiting and diarhoea’ and after 20 mins a lovely lady asks some great questions about what she might have eaten or been in contact with, usual behaviours and things like that and suggests that in the morning we go to the doctors to get her checked out for sure but in the meantime to keep her as hydrated as possible with lots of breastfeeds. I feel a sense of relief so we toddle back to bed once more and soothe and cuddle her to sleep as best we can. Looooooooooonnnnnggg night. Argh
Surprisingly she wakes up at normal time, has a normal breastfeed and she crawls around the bed as if nothing is wrong and I think cool, no need to go to the docs but then……she chucks up and we go back to our normal clean up ops and we are now officially out of clean sleepsuits. We breastfeed again 20 mins later and this stays down and we risk some brekkie. She’s not very interested really and I can’t blame her.
At the medical practice, (again!), the doc takes bubs temperature, checks her belly and her ears and asks lots of questions. She tells us we have Gastro and that its been more than 12 hours since the last vomit so we can assume that her little body is working it out for itself. We should give her lots of fluids, breastfeeds every couple of hours (see told you) and water too. No dairy and no fruit, but to offer white bread, rice and pasta. So we head home with the re-assurance that bub is OK but has her first bug. Ahhh poor little mite. We are quite relieved that it isn’t anything else and that its something we’ll just have to work through. Mmm nice. Feel like more experienced parents now.
Bub seems more than happy with the docs suggestions, happy to breastfeed, have water, eat bread and rice and pasta and potter around and play. She also seems to be enjoying having the extra cuddles and soothing to sleep which worries me a bit for the future but for now just happy she’s gonna be OK. I guess the only thing is, hubby and I are petrified of getting a bout of gastro ourselves and promise each other we wont be expecting help to clean up.
Thank god – bub has a party trick.
Its just soooooo cute too. She has grasped how to clap her hands after about a week of encouragements and repetition. It seems like a long time since we had something new and it was beginning to feel like everyone else’s bub had a little something to show off in the last few weeks and we were ‘lagging behind’. Not that I want to get competitive or anything but at Mothers group, some bubs are walking, some bubs are crawling, some are pulling themselves up, some eating whole foods (no mush) and some saying mum mum mum mum mum mum mum or dancing around. Not that we were jealous just that I’m well pleased that we have a little something of our own…. and its looks darn intelligent. Its just beautitful to watch and whats more she can respond in both languages. Ahhhhh bless her cotton socks.
She can also perform on demand which is very cool too and particularly in response to the skype calls with the grandparents overseas who were then in awe and getting teary. We will obviously be working on the crawling, dancing, mum mum mum mum mum and growing more hair at some later stage.
Lightbulb moments = 1 big one!
We’ve finally worked it out. A tag team. Sounds funny but all of a sudden it just so obvious and its the best way to get through. I’ve heard whisperings of people doing it before and have had them explain why and how but its taken us nearly 6 months to work it out. You get to take turns to do things – thats it but it kind of takes a bit more manouvering and negotiating than that, as well as a bunch of communication and mediation skills.
For example, for sleep ins at the weekend. If you negotiate early enough then you can take turns on who gets a lie in and thats just bliss. On my days, as I’m still breastfeeding it means I still have to wake up and feed bub, but then get to hand her over for a bit whilst I get a couple of hours more sleep – pure indulgence and luxury. On the days when its hubbys turn, we get up and feed and have our little morning together of one-on-one time. More often than not this is brekkie followed by a walk around the tan and a coffee. By the time we’ve done that its mid-morning and we can even have our own nap.
Then, once you get good at the negotiating bit, you can use the tag team for all kind of things such as going for runs, going to the shops, going to visit friends, and as we’re beginning to do, going out and socialising of an evening, although albeit not together of course. This usually takes a bit more negotiating than the lie ins but is really nice when you get into a bit of a routine about it.
Level of Excitement – Off the scale!
I don’t wanna sound like a wacko British mum but on a rather urgent and traumatic trip to Chadstone (via what has become known as the ‘chaddy wagon’ that has silver lurex seat covers) I stumbled across the new Mothercare shop. It would be a fib to say I didn’t scream or hyperventilate! I was soooooooo excited – heaven and prayers all answered but about 9 months too late alas.
Ahhh Mothercare. Just fab. Not that I frequented Mothercare much when I lived in the UK as didn’t have any kiddywinks, but there is such a comfortable feeling about a brand you know and trust from the UK high street and it is probably the one place I would have been in to get all the stuff we needed had we been living in the UK! Seeing as we aren’t it felt ever so nice to enter the shop and browse revelling in the reasonably priced and good quality items. Oh how I would have been such a great customer avout 12 months ago. Joy and rapture. But too late for the most part.
I do find a couple of things that I have been looking for – baby emery boards and a shakers toys that a friends bub had. But I just kept looking at all the stuff we could have had. The time I would have saved looking up stuff on the internet, looking at forums, trying to work out shipping prices and which shop has what I want.
Anyway, now I know its there, I’ve told everyone I can think of and other British mums or those who have lived in the UK with kiddywinks are sharing the love. Yee har! If only Boots could come to Australia, and Tesco and Marks and Spencer……….
Maintenance….. and I don’t mean in terms of the Child Support Agency or building repairs or IT support type – I mean the kind of personal maintenance that is part of a girls (or should I say woman’s now) usual routine. Well up to a point maybe.
I would have to say that since the bub this type of maintenance has been on a gradually increasing scale, starting from a low point in the first instance immediately after the birth.
Before bubs arrival, I was the kind of girl who had fairly regular leg, bikini and eyebrow waxes, frequent hair cuts and colour and even multi-season pedicures. Yep definately liked having that kind of stuff done to me rather than trying to do it myself which has ended up in all kinds of disasters in the past. Then during the last stages of pregnancy the incidence of maintenance that I needed to pay for rose quite drastically – I could no longer actually reach my toes to cut my nails so ‘express pedicures’ in between normal pedicures became the norm, I could not reach to shave anything other than my armpits and couldn’t stand the thought of having remotely hairy legs so visits became even more regular and I could rarely be bothered to wash my own hair so trips to the haridresser were upped and dry shampoo invested in. At least I could still slap the slap on. I was even thinking that at the birth I needed to have smooth legs, neat bikini and pretty pink toenails, and I did. Even one of the midwives commented on it – result.
Then post baby, everything was let loose. It was luxury to have a shower of more than 5 minutes and just to complete the basics of hair wash and condition (maybe every other day), facewash and body wash. Oh and getting dry and slapping on some moisturiser took another 1 minute, plus a bit of deoderant and teethbrushing at the same time. That saved a bit of time. Then getting dry and dressed asap. That was the start and basically as time went on, the time available for personal hygiene eventually grew to shaving armpits, managing to put some make up on and drying my hair. Eventually this grew to being able to combine the above with a more co-ordinated outfit and maybe some jewellry. Then after about 4 months, I made my first waxing appointment and it felt good to be more back to normal and then my first haircut and colour and eventually I had to buy a new mascara. I began to feel more like my old self and its wonderful to have smooth legs again for more than a couple of days. Even better now I can have a shower and take a bit more time as I put the bub in her bouncy chair in front of the shower cubicle. Its a sheer luxury to be able to have a shower – next step will be able to have a long soak in the bath.
OMG got my period again today and reminded me that this is now my third one since the baby arrived – how time flies. I don’t want to sound dumb but I’d got so used to not having them for the 9 months and then they don’t necessarily come back straightaway after the birth (something else is going on at that time, did I mention that already?) and if you’re breastfeeding it can even take a few months more and I’d sort of forgotten about it. Then, surprise, my first one came just in time for Christmas – thanks Santa.
We were at away at friends for the festive season and it was turning out to be a horrible day. Not cos of the friends mind you but the routine thang just didn’t seem to be working, bub was really fussy milk feeding, we’d been to one persons house then back to another so sleeps had been disrupted and we were then trying to do a bath and feed solids at someone elses as we were supposed to be having a wine and take-away curry evening as bub would normally be asleep from 7pm. It just wasn’t happening and she was still yelling as we put the food order in. In the end we put her in the study in the pram and left her to yell a bit. She then went to sleep – ah ha just tired. All this had meant by this time I had it and needed a bit of a cry on the sofa, even though I was trying to be a good parent advert for my friends boyfriend so that didn’t work too well and probably hasn’t furthered her baby plans to boot. Nevertheless, the curry was brilliant and bub slept like a babe. We got back to where we were staying late evening and my friends then helped me down a half bottle of wine – they’re really great friends. I then slept like a babe.
Anyway, the next day was our final day and bub seemed a lot happier and back to normal – hoorah! We (me actually) spent most of the morning packing. I find it VERY difficult to talk to anyone whilst I am getting all of our baby stuff and our stuff together so was VERY focussed and in my own world. We (I) finished packing and so were pretty much all ready to go the airport. We had our lovely final lunch and barbie (we ate like horses up there) and were getting the stuff in the car when I went to the loo and DA DAAAAAAAAAAAAa there it was – bloody hell. I felt like I was 13 again and it was the first one. AH HA that explains why I was getting moody and stressed and I also wondered if it explained why bub was not too happy. I think I’d heard things about milk being affected by hormones and the like. mmmm interesting I thought. Well, of course I had more pressing matters at hand as obviously I’d been completely ignorant and oblivious to when the darned things might re-make an appearance so I had nothing in terms of ‘equipment’ on me. Seeing as I was amongst friends that number 3 sisters, I thought I’d be sorted but no, not one of them had anything on them either. This meant a mercy dash up to the supermarket so me mate and I jumped in the car making a few quick excuses and I went and got a load of sanitary pads, as I thought you’re not supposed to use tampons on the first one. (you can after 7 months I found out!). So all very stressful and a bit messy all in all. Since then, am back to normal in terms of constantly carrying around that little extra make up bag of supplies at all times.
So, back this to this months period, bub seems unaffected this time but when I saw the MHN for her 8 month check she did make mention as to whether bub had been a bit funny for the first one, so maybe there is something in it. Well there sure seemed to be. Whatever the case is, I am back to not liking them even though their very prescence has created our beautiful bub so its been worth it. Also another terrible excuse for eating more chocolate which is always welcome.
Nerves – highly strung
Hours preparing – 3
Finding Clothes to wear – nightmare
When we make our trip back to Europe I will be ‘going back to work’ in the main office. This is to kinda ease myself into it and am using two of my keeping in touch days to be back in the office and catching up with people. I’ve arranged my meetings for the 2 days and am kind of looking forward to it but nervous.
A few days before I am beginnning to feel quite nervous about going back – I try to understand what it is. It feels like a mixture of things that range from what the hell am I going to wear, how much fatter do I look than last time I saw them, will I remember certain things, will I be expected to know everything thats gone on in the last few months, to what time do I need to get up in order to feed the baby, give her breakfast, get myself ready to how will it be when we take her to ‘real childcare’ when we get back to Oz and is it the right thing to do etc etc etc By the night before, we’ve left the parents (more repacking) and checked into a hotel which isn’t the most baby friendly but thats another whole posting and I’m feeling mega nervous. Its more how the hell is it going to work tomorrow and will hubby remember to give her some water mid-morning and give her lunch on time and things like that. Nerves nerves nerves – as I’m lying in bed I almost want the morning to be here already so I can get started.
It actually goes OK but has meant I needed to get up at 06.30 to get in the shower, to get my make-up on and dry my hair, to half- get into my pre-ironed clothes (never ironed the night before, before) and pack my bag before I get the bub up and start to feed her. I try to remain as relaxed as poss in feeding but its hard. Luckily, she feeds well and we’re on track for a good brekkie. We head downstairs and have full brekkie and bub is just gorgeous and its gonna make things very hard to leave her. She’s being extra cute. I then get fully dressed and accessorized and pack myself up and as much as poss for my hubby so bub gets what she needs. We head for the office and head inside together as my work are keen to meet new bubs (although I did check before just in case things had changed). The first person I see if one of my favourite colleagues which is just lovely. She coos over the bub and takes my stuff from me and puts it at her desk so we can do the rounds easily. Such a star. Bub also behaves impeccably as we say hello to everyone who’s already in. Then hubby takes bub away and I get on with things.
It actually goes well and I feel quite excited about being back to myself in some ways. I manage to follow whats going on and spend quite a lot of time chinwagging to people and catching up on their personal and professional developments. It begins to feel really nice to be back. We go for lunch and I call hubby to see how its going – its going good and they’ve already done lunch. I feel re-assured and enjoy mine too – although am sure the scampi was much bigger last time around. My meetings continue to go well and it feels more and more comfortable and even to the point of enjoyable. Yep am enjoying it and getting on with it. Suddenly its 15.00 and I’ve been meaning to express some milk but kept getting diverted, so I head off to the annexe to pump and I also call hubby to see how its going. All good so far – nap followed by milk feed. Ok cool. Mmm feel a bit of a spare part suddenly. Not sure I’ll feel this way when she’s at the nusery in Oz.
However, by the end of the day, I’ve really actually enjoyed myself, learnt a lot about our new financial and project system, spent some time with old and new bosses, favourite colleagues, had a good pub lunch, caught up on the gossip and kept out of the politics which all in all is not such a bad day for a first day back. I feel a bit weird that I actually didn’t miss the bub in the way that I thought I would – I thought about her a few times obviously but I didn’t pine or constantly call or worry about her. In fact I quite enjoyed the freedom and also realised that I could have gone for a run too. Mmm maybe tomorrow.
I head to our friends for the evening feeling quite satisfied, where hubby and bubby have already arrived and I am soooooooooooooo excited to see her – I have missed her and she looks pleased to see me which is more than wonderful. We have a big cuddle and the working day is totally forgotten. We have a messy and playful dinner but 4 adults and 3 children under 3 years old get fed and watered so that counts as success in my book – this feels like life and I like it. We decide to head off a bit early so we can get the bub down at the hotel at a reasonable time although this means leaving mid sleep process, however as our firends said ‘its all about the kids now’. We get bub to bed and
have our first evening on ‘our own’ for a long time – its nice and quiet and appreciated. Life feels good. I like it. I’m happy.
Panics – 2
Emotional Moment – too many
Sweats – 1
Golly, did I mention the trauma over childcare. On all levels its just soooooooooo emotional. Believe me, I’ve had feedback that I’m not too sensitive or tuned into emotions - an ENTJ on the Myers Briggs scale or basically ‘hard bitch’ in laymans terms and I’m still feeling emotional about it. At least I’m rational to at least KNOW that I’m feeling emotional about it. Does this mean I’m an ‘emo’ then? Anyway, today was an ‘orientation’ day at childcare- I believe an American term borrowed by Aussies to mean ‘introduction to’ rather than the actual need for hiking boots, a compass and mini weather tracking system (although those might have been useful).
I had slept badly overnight as couldn’t stop thinking about the orientation. The bub woke up a bit later than normal so we were chasing our tail to get ready and out the door with everything we needed. I also originally woke up fretful and now it was bloody raining which then adds another dimension as the centre is a good half an hour walk. The walk would be fine and darn good exercise most of the time, but in Melbourne’s somewhat changeable climate there are always days when you are going to end up either wet to the bone, or sunburnt to a crisp. At it was pissing it down, I needed to see if I could get a tram.
I get on the tramtracker system and fill in all the details and select a ’low floor’ tram. Bugger the next one is in 3 minutes which we definately wont make and the one after that is at 17.42 this evening. How does that make sense? It only 09.30 in the morning and now I have to try to get on a tram with the most humongous steps up and poles in the middle. Forget it, I’ll take my rainjacket and brolly and get on with it British style. By the time I’m ready and the pram loaded with kit for the orientation there’s a break in the rain and so I feel lucky and decide to walk.
We’ve checked the list and I’ve go the following on board the buggy as well as the usual nappy bag stuff:
sippy cup (baby drinking cup)
food (chicken casserole – guaranteed winner just in case)
bottle of expressed breastmilk (as we’re meeting for lunch and is sometimes just easier)
dummies and spoons
spare outfit, sunhat and cream
sunshade and raincover (as aforementioned)
We hotfoot it to the childcare centre and although its that miserable drizzly kind of rain, its warm and so I wrap my jacket around my waist and push on. We make it in 25 mins – no bad although am sweaty as when I arrive- nice, class even. I buzz to get let in and the manager take us through to the room. There aren’t many nippers so I put bub down and she starts rolling around, and before I can ask a question, one of the boys is clambering on top of her (oooo!!!) so I get to learn his name pretty quick (Angus!). Anyway, she sort of combat rolled out of it anyway – thats my girl. I guess she’ll have to get used to that kind of thing. So I get to ask a few questions whilst the bubs are playing and get to meet the girl who’s in charge of the room and ask her to take me through stuff. She’s good and although the manager is OK, this girl is much friendlier and also she’s the one that’ll be looking after bub. She takes me through where to put bubs stuff, label everything, label breastmilk on the bottle and fill out the routines… so I feel a bit better.
I also ask how the orientation works as I’d quite like to try leaving bub to see how she goes (and myself too) but I’m informed by the manager that I can’t leave her unless I want to pay for a day. Mmmm bollox had planned that bub gets to try some of the food at the centre and also to try a nap in an unfamiliar place, not to mention that I’d sort of planned to run a few errands and meet someone for lunch so plans scuppered. Nevermind. Anyway, lunch arrives and its made on site and Tamara explains how she mixes it to suit the bubs stage of development so am quite happy about this. Bub gets fed by the area manager and does pretty good although I’d have wanted her to have more, and she gives her loads of water to drink and I’m wanting to say ‘nooooooooooo she won’t drink her milk at 14.30 if you give her too much water now’. I hold it in and will save it for when she starts properly. I then want to try a nap so we put her in the cot room. She’s not too interested as its a bit early and she was up later so is not all that tired. She plays with her dummy for about 10 minutes then we give up and call it a day in terms of orientation. I’d really wanted her to nap but we talk about coming in another time and Tamara says absolutely no problem whatsoever, as many times as you need to come so I like her even more now.
So thats it – we pack up and go and I leg it to the hairdressers and then onto lunch. Bubs days is completely thrown out timewise and she wolfs her bottle at 14.30 or so and then has a little kip. But we survived – well I survived. For bub, its just another new place, for me I just hope its a safe and fun place for her to be. And we’ll teach you a few moves Angus. It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine.
Ohmigod bub has started sleeping on her front! She kept rolling over to her front and whimpering this lunchtime nap and so I went back in and put her back, on her back. Then she quietened all down and I went back in after 5 mins or so and there she was on her front, near the railings, contentedly sucking on her dummy half asleep. I’m a bit shocked as I really wasn’t expecting that.
Ever since she did roll over I guess it could have happened. One of the mothers mentioned that her son had started moving onto his front to sleep and she said there was nothing she could do about it. I know bub has been rolling over the last few weeks and that we have definately seen an improvement in technical merit points AND artistic impression this week as well as speed of movement but I hadn’t thought she’d do it in her cot. She didn’t start doing it when she started rolling over when I sort of expected it and now that she is I’m surprised. I don’t think theres too much risk now as she can lift her head and roll back over – golly I hope there isn’t. Shit we’re travelling to Europe next week so I hope she doesn’t try that in the bassinnette.
Its funny but we are beginning to see some mannerisms that make her fit right in as Mom and Pa like to sleep on on tums too. Its one of the biggest things I disliked about being pregnant and was so glad when I could finally sleep back on my belly. Welcome to the family bub.