Busy Day, Sleep At Last

I hit the wall today. I decided I needed to get some things done. So baby must sleep.
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According to my resolution, I have put baby in either the car seat or push chair when he needs sleep, about 9am, and left the house.

This morning he gave up the fight against sleep almost immediately. Unfortunately he didn’t stay asleep long. When we returned home I decided that today would be the day he sleeps, not in my arms. Today I needed to get stuff done.

So I left him in the car seat to watch while I vacuumed. I then fed him and put him in the front pack. He snoozed while I got more things done. I then transfered him to sleep on his tummy, which he has done for 1.5 hours!!

I have finally managed to barge through a to-do list that has been haunting me for weeks. Phew!

Sometimes one just needs to enforce a day at home in order to have the space to make baby sleep. I can almost guarantee he’ll be in a great mood when he wakes. He needs the sleep and is so happy when he looses the fight and falls.

Now I need a rest!

Jobs

Being a mother is a job. A challenging, exhausting, 24/7 job that pays only in smiles.

My baby is 9.5 weeks old and I have been asked many times already if I am back at work yet! It’s also been assumed many times that, because I work from home, I don’t need childcare.
I’d like to set two things straight. First, work at home is still work. Second, the baby needs so much care there is no way I could get any work done.

My baby sleeps very little during the day. If he does sleep it is in my arms or in the pushchair – continually being pushed. In the night I am still being woken every three hours for a minimum of 45 minutes at a time, if I’m lucky. If not, like last night, we barely slept from 1am.

I’d like to encourage mums to stand up for themselves. As the amount of pressure I’ve already begun facing is huge. And I already have chronic pain and fatigue to deal with.

It will get worse. No wonder there is a vast (and growing) number of women dealing with chronic fatigue and other lifestyle related illnesses.

I will be trying to fight for balance. But gosh it is hard! In a world simultaneously dealing with increasing lifestyle related illness and increasing expectations – how have we not learnt? And how do we expect mums with tiny babies to be doing double shift? Even if the child is at daycare during work hours, the woman is still working two jobs!

So, mums, please fight for yourselves. Dads, please care for the mother of your children and help them to balance the responsibilities wisely. Families, support your mums and help them fight for balance. Let’s fight for new norms!

Sick Baby

The best thing to do when one has not slept much for two nights and their baby has a snuffly nose and chesty cough is to prop themselves up on the couch with baby on their chest.
My boy has been struggling with a small cold and has been preferring to sleep on his stomach, but this is vehemently warned against by all of the health professionals, so I’ve been allowing him to sleep on his tummy during the day – while I can supervise.
Snuggling on the couch when we’re both tired and I’m rather sore from the lack of sleep is delicious. Getting to look at and smell my precious boy is a rather large bonus!

Delivered

We were blessed with our beautiful baby boy on 19 April, born after 37 weeks and 3 days.
I awoke with a shock at midnight on Good Friday with severe back pain and contractions. To cut a 19 hour story short, the extreme back pain lasted the entire labour, the epidural failed, he was the wrong way round and had his head in an awkward position. He was born weighing a healthy 7 pd 7oz.

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Unfortunately he had a problem with wind from the beginning, which degenerated into severe vomiting by his 18th day. On his third week anniversary he was admitted into hospital for tests that eventually revealed he had pyloric stenosis. An operation to trim the muscle in his stomach that had gotten too thick (a problem for about 3 in 1000 babies, predominantly in first born boys) enabled food to pass from the stomach to the intestines again.

At last, just before his fourth week begins, we can take him home and effectively meet him and learn all about him again. He’s like a new baby.

I am so in love with this little being!

My pain and fatigue levels were doing rather well up until our second hospital stay. With the stress of my precious baby being sick and sleepless nights ensuring he didn’t choke on his vomit, a flare up has ensued. But, thank God for my husband! He has done most of the night shifts at the hospital so I can sleep and express breast milk for baby. I never could have survived if not for him. He has been AMAZING!

The combination of my husband’s help, choosing to express and then feed via the bottle and my mother-in-law cooking our meals has enabled me to survive and enjoy my baby. I am so thankful, so blessed, so happy.

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Week 37

One of the struggles of Fibromyalgia that tends to stick with me, are the times when my brain is willing but my body is not. Patience is not easy to cultivate. Especially when you know that the fog caused by the pain and fatigue can be waiting to take you out next.

I have so much I want to achieve and so little means!

As I near the end of my pregnancy, I have had to reduce my activities and increase my resting. Not so much by choice, my back has made it near impossible to keep going.

For now we are in a waiting game. I have been plagued by period-like pains in my lower back and have had some spotting in the past couple of days. I don’t feel like doing anything, but resting is frustrating.

I have finished washing the tiny baby clothes for him to wear immediately, made his bed and bought the last of the essential items.

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Now baby is welcome any time!

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

Week 35

Well, I made it! I am at week 35 and have dramatically reduced my work hours. I now have to find the balance between resting and finishing the things I want to get done.

Between the Braxton Hicks contractions, pain in my back, neck and glutes and constant need to pee, I am not sleeping very well. So I am not very energetic in the day time. Though, yesterday morning and this morning, I managed to take the dog for a 20 minute walk first thing. This was useful in getting my stiff muscles working.

The most prominent symptom for me at the moment is the whiplash between being starving hungry or far too achingly full!

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What I really want to do is wash and arrange my baby stuff. But most of it is sitting at my mother-in-law’s house, since my awesome baby shower on the weekend, while we finish the wardrobes. A contractor is currently widening the wardrobe doors and then my husband and I will choose the shelving/drawer system that we want in baby’s room. Once this is finished, I will be able to wash and tidy and organise to my heart’s content!

In the meantime I have been cooking up a frenzy! Today I am doing a corned beef, roast vegetables and brocolli with a mustard sauce. The other day it was savoury muffins. On Saturday I have a full menu planned for having my parents’-in-law over. Cooking/baking is the best thing for me to do, as I break the tasks down over the day and it doesn’t bother my neck too much.

Tonight is our third antenatal class and they will present the medical interventions available for labour. So we will get to make the call about the drugs we do or don’t plan to use. For us, it dictates whether we go to a hospital or a birthing centre. So we get to finish our birth plan after that.

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

Week 34 Update

I seem to be existing in an odd space where time is simultaneously going fast and slow! The night goes so slowly, waking to turn over every hour or so and go to the bathroom. The day seems to go slowly when I am trying to work and find it too painful…but it all seems to speed past at a shocking rate.

We have added more to baby’s room. I now have a (second-hand) nursing chair, change table and cot in there. We have the wardrobe scheduled to be updated next week so that we can utilise this space in his small room. We also managed to find a great baby monitor second-hand online.

This weekend is my baby shower! I am looking forward to that! We are doing an animal theme with only a few ice breaker games, nothing too cheesy (as that is NOT my style!). I am looking forward to having a party where I can chat with the guests I have invited.

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Monday is also my last day of trying to struggle through work. Already! And finally! There is still so much to do, my to-do list is rather long. I’ll be free to buy my baby clothes (everyone says to wait and see what you are given) and continue getting the bits and pieces we need. But I do hope to rest some more.

I can’t believe our little boy will be joining us sometime in the next six or so weeks! I am torn between wanting him out so my back can find some relief and I can lie down more comfortably (and have space for my bladder back) and wanting to keep him safe and secure in there!

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

33 Weeks and the Toughness Just Keeps Getting Tougher

So far, I have been feeling justified when I have had pain or fatigue that is considered “normal” in pregnancy. When my husband (inevitably) does not understand the effect of the pain, the fatigue and the ongoing nights of no more than one or two hours of sleep at a time, I feel ok to say it is a pregnancy thing.

But I imagine, the fact that, at 33 weeks I am struggling so much has to be a combination of my chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and my pregnancy. My back is so sore that I can’t sit for long periods of time (read: more than 10 minutes). I am so fatigued and frazzled that I am finding it hard to regulate my emotions. My feet, legs, glutes, back, shoulders and neck are so sore that I burst into tears at times – something I have managed to keep mostly hidden from the people around me.

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Even things that are “normal” for pregnant people or “normal” for my previous life and preferences are hard for my husband, in particular, to understand. Why don’t I love having several people over for dinner (when I am spending the whole preparation time trying to stand from side to side to give my feet or glutes a break and when I am spending the whole time they are there trying not to cry from having to sit up and desperately wishing for bed)? Why don’t I love going out after 7pm at night (with the same conditions as above)?

That’s been a real culture shock in adjusting to marriage. Previously, I would go out once or twice a week in the evenings. As a pregnant woman I would prefer never to be out after 5pm! I would prefer to work, rest, walk the dog, cook dinner, have a bath and then lie on the couch with a book or the TV. Whereas my husband loves to go out and have people over (and his family and friends tend to eat dinner between 8 and 9pm!).

Despite the consistent pain and fatigue, I am managing to find joy in my baby and his movements. We have put up the cot and change table and his room is starting to take shape! I am shifting from reading about pregnancy to reading about having a baby, but I actually think I might switch to non-baby related books altogether – my brain needs a break! 

You would be forgiven if you think this sounds a little negative, but to write this down actually goes a little way towards helping me cope. 

Seven weeks to go! 

Week 31

Giant…I feel like a giant! I don’t know how I have nine more weeks in which to grow!

Baby likes to keep to the right, which is putting considerable strain on my right, mid-back. He is also moving a lot, which can hurt, especially when he gets my ribs with those tiny feet!

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I am feeling a real urge to get his room ready and his things prepared. I am very uncomfortable with the fact that we are not ready…even though I know we have some time.

I am getting very tired and sore. The pain is making it hard to sleep. My husband has been excellent with firm massages to free up my lower back, but I am experiencing pain in my back almost constantly. When I can manage a few hours in a row of sleep, I feel so much better for it the next day. So there’s my survival goal when baby comes – do everything I can to maximize my chances of three hour blocks!

In amongst all of the pain and fatigue and angst, there is also this pervading sense of joy. This is my tiny baby. My son. When he kicks at me, with one foot at a time, and I can distinguish it is one little limb, I experience such a surge of peace and happiness. I imagine what it will be like to see his baby feet. I imagine what it will be like to get to hold him on the outside, where it will be far more comfortable!

It’s getting scary and it’s getting exciting. It’s a pretty profound, life-changing experience.

This is a pregnancy diary from my first pregnancy in 2013/14. For my most recent pregnancy diaries and my pregnancy resources see here.

Last Adventures

We embarked upon our last adventure before baby this weekend. We joined 10 friends in a beautiful beach front location, about two hours drive from our place, for one of their four night holiday. 

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From: www.dreamstime.com

It was the last time we would be able to join them for that sort of holiday as those holidays are not the type for a baby. As a pregnant woman I struggled! But it was fun. 

We also ventured over to visit some of my family, about 50 minutes further away from where we were. This will be the last time I see most of them until after baby. It was so lovely to have a family BBQ and spend time with my nana. My husband enjoyed the more in-depth meeting than the usual wedding catch ups that have previously passed. 

Baby is due in about nine weeks! It’s crazy how fast this time is going. We have prepared nowhere near as much as I’d like! I am counting down the last four weeks of work before my leave kicks in, as I am exhausted and have so much to do! 

After such a full on weekend, I am struggling today. But it was worth it! I do think that I am on the wind down now, though, no more late nights and long drives for me!