Aaaand, it’s mid January

How did THAT happen!?

We’re back from holidays. The flight was … OK. Little Bun was a little legend and was fabulous, under the circumstances. Bloody exhausting, though. I looked on the red-wine-drinking, movie-watching fellow passengers with envy. I’ll write a separate post for some tips and tricks. If there’s anything you want to know specifically, just shout!

Little Bun is going through some sort of growth spurt / developmental change / oh who the fuck knows … upshot is sleep is down the drain and she’s very needy when awake. If I ignore any desire for sleep myself, and keep her entertained when she’s awake, it’s not so bad*.

We have an INSANE fortnight coming up, where we need to effectively move the entire contents out of our house in one weekend. With a baby. And no babysitter. So, Mr Bun has his work cut out for him … I’ve just written a list of everything we need to do by Sunday. I feel sick. Seriously, I can’t see it happening.

In happier news, Little Bun is nearly eight months and is sitting up like a champ. Clapping hands on command and ‘talking’ like a boss. Lots of Ma-Ma and Da-Da … she’s got no idea what she’s saying, but it’s a start! She’s now throwing herself around a fair bit, so I think the tetchiness is coming from wanting to crawl and not getting there.

I’ve been giving Little Bun tastes of the yucky formula most days, and she’s been taking it pretty well. I need to be out next week during a feed, so Mr Bun is going to try her on a bottle of the stuff. So interested to see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

OK – this post has been all over the place, forgive the randomness! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful break and your bubs are giving you lots of love and happy times. Normal service to resume shortly!!

x

 

*it’s kinda bad.

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We’re Going LONG HAUL

All I want for Christmas is … 24 hours on a plane with a baby!?

Yup. We’re doing it. Leaving on a jet plane and zooming over the oceans and through the timezones to spend Christmas in its ‘proper’ home, the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a cool 28 hours (give or take) door-to-door. I won’t lie when I tell you, I’m NOT looking forward to the journey.

The airline has helpfully declined to guarantee a bassinet. This is particularly excellent, as from what I’ve read, a bassinet is crucial. In light of Little Bun’s recent ‘restlessness’, I am praying we get one … how times change! A few years ago I was dedicating the same energy to wishing for an upgrade. Now, I don’t give a hoot where we’re sitting, as long as my daughter has somewhere to sleep.

Having said that, some babies hate the bassinet and it just becomes another storage unit for toys / nappies / empty vodka bottles (ahem).

Anyone have any first-hand experience of this particular type of travel hell experience? I’ve found a bunch of blogs with helpful tips, so we’ll stock up on changes of clothes and ‘quiet’ toys.

I think the best thing to do is expect the worst, hope for the best.

And hey, it’s only 24 hours, right? Just don’t get me started on dealing with baby jet lag and how that affects sleep patterns … !!!!!

Sour Milk

As some of you know, LB has a dairy and soy allergy. As she is exclusively breastfed, we’re currently managing this via my diet. It’s been a little tough (eating out is pretty much a thing of the past), but there are upsides too (eating more healthily, saving $$ and of course, a much healthier tummy for LB). As she’s now on solids as well, we’re sticking to fruit and veg and will be introducing protein in the coming month/s.

This also means LB can’t have normal or soy-based formula. There is a formula currently available in Australia, on prescription only, that is dairy and soy free. A.ptamil P.epti Junior Gold. This will be what LB will have to have when I go back to work.

The thing about the A.ptamil is it tastes repulsive. I mean, according Dr Hob, it’s almost undrinkable. Way to go formula company! You think parents of kids with allergies need more shit to deal with!? I tried a teaspoon on LB last week and she dry retched. Dr Hob recommended giving LB 4-6 WEEKS to get used to it. I was planning to begin this slow wean in January. How I’ll do this, I have no idea.

With the grossness of the formula front of mind, I had been pumping a little milk here and there. I wasn’t planning on giving LB EBM on heading back to work, so this little stockpile was just my ‘freedom milk’. Just enough for a bottle once in a while, to allow me a night out or an afternoon away – or even an evening at home with a few glasses of wine. I can’t tell you how much I need this.

Last week I defrosted some of the precious liquid to give Mr Bun a chance to reintroduce LB to the bottle, while I was around in case it didn’t work.

The milk was off. It smelt, and tasted disgusting.

Right – so. We tried again. Another batch, same thing. Completely sour. This had never happened previously. A little Googling found the probable reason – lipase. It’s an enzyme that’s excessive in some women’s milk, and causes the souring. A way to get rid of it is to scald the milk before freezing.

I express such small amounts at a time (20ml) that I don’t think I can even scald it and not burn/boil it, and I can’t express larger quantities.

So I can’t store my EBM and I can’t currently give formula either (I need to get her onto that formula, or I’m not going back to work, so I’m already pretty stressed about that).

I can’t catch a break here. I mean, it’s fine. I’ll remain stuck to LB’s side until next year sometime and that’s OK. I love hanging out with her. It’s just – psychologically – the idea that I can’t get away if I want or need to, is a tough one to get my head around.

Has anyone got any experience with either sour defrosted milk or yucky-tasting formula?

The Un-Asked Question

I find, when your bub gets to about six months old, people stop asking;

‘Is she sleeping through the night?’

It’s like it becomes taboo … because, y’know, she should be*. And if she isn’t, well – that’s just awkward for all concerned.

LB is very much NOT sleeping through the night. She is doing the very opposite of that, unlike when she was four, or five months old. I know this, because back then I was optimistically (and, yes, a little smugly) noting it down in my calendar. Scribbly little exclamations in biro ‘Until 7am!’ … ‘Through ’til 7.30!’ popped up three or four times a week for a few months. I was excited – thinking, this is surely IT. She’ll start doing this more and more often, until the nights when she does wake up become the exception. WOooHooo!

But, no – she has slept through only once in over a month. Not only that, a few weeks ago she started waking at 1am and 2am again. I still give her a Dream Feed at 10.30/11pm, so this is clearly not a hunger thing.

When she’s up before 3am, I settle and re-settle until it’s 3:00 and she gets a feed (if I feed her before then, she’ll wake again at 4/5am). If she wakes after 3am, I leave her grizzling for 20 minutes (in the vain hope she’ll go back to sleep – hardey har har), then feed her.

So. Waking at night. Sometime it’s 1am, sometimes it’s 3am, sometimes it’s 4.30am. Either way, when I feed her, she goes right back to sleep until I wake her in the morning.

Why do I feed her at all? Well, she still hasn’t doubled her birthweight so I feel like I should be giving her that overnight feed if she needs (wants?) it. The other reason is we’re heading overseas for Christmas and I really don’t think I’ll be able to handle the stress of sleep training her out of her overnight feeds, while staying in someone else’s home.

People suggest I go to bed at 9pm (or earlier), to get a few hours in before the Dream Feed. But you know what? Those few hours in the evening are the only time when I am ME. I get to sit, enjoy a glass of wine, watch TV, talk to my husband (wow – another ADULT) and generally remind myself who I am. I can’t give that up.

After six months of broken sleep you’d think I’d be OK with it. I mean, she’s a baby right? And a pretty young one at that. Suck it up!

But I actually feel more tired, and less able to cope with the hours – particularly the 1am nights when I have to do two hours of settling and THEN a 45 minute feed. I just feel so drained, and empty – running on zero sleep for so many months. I am really ready to get my nights back.
Zzzzzz …

*Fuck off.

Somebody Swapped My Baby

It happened over the weekend. It’s funny, because she looks exactly the same – but she is really, a completely different baby.

Gone is the quiet, shy, placid little thing that would play forever on her own. In her place, a very noisy, frustrated bundle of movement who will grizzle and SQUEAL REALLY RATHER LOUDLY IF SHE WANTS SOMETHING:

Things Little Bun would like:

  • To be put down
  • To be picked up
  • To be on her tummy
  • To be OFF HER TUMMY NOW OH GOD THIS IS AWFUL
  • To put all the things (ALL THE THINGS) in her mouth
  • … except for baby food, get that stuff away from me
  • But give me the spoon. I want the spoon
  • To be held held held all the time
  • Except now, don’t hold me now
  • BUT HOLD ME NOW
  • And don’t. Under any circumstances. LEAVE MY SIGHT, MAMA

Sigh. It’s rather exhausting.

I knew I was spoilt, but I didn’t realise how much. For months I’ve been used to running mini-errands around the house while LB is awake and playing happily. Now I have windows of three minutes to do things in. Like go to the loo. Or shower.

The only place she’s happy is the pram, pounding the pavement. Luckily the weather is gorgeous here, because we are going out walking A LOT.

What do you think is going on? Her bottom two teeth are completely through, so I think it’s more developmental. Separation anxiety? Sudden realisation that the World Out There exists? Just, y’know, being a baby?

She’s still smiley and wonderful and gorgeous – but oh lordy she’s putting me through my paces!

Happy Halfway!

We’re at Six Months. Six Months. SIX MONTHS.

Little Bun hasn’t mucked around, she’s decided to ramp up the milestones over the past few weeks – hurling achievements at me so fast, like some sort of baby ninja.

Rolling over? Check! (Just a few days after Mr Bun and I were speculating that she’d literally never roll … as in, she’d be lying around on her back at four) she rolled! Of course, Mother of the Century here was out of the room attending to one of the 395 loads of laundry I do on a daily basis. She was chattering away on her mat and when I walked back in she was on her tummy. Woo!

So began ten days of obsessive rolling. Unfortunately she can only go from back-to-tum, so there’s been a fair bit of frustration on her part (she kicks like a reverse beetle-on-its-back, angry and stuck) and lots of help on mine. Now, she seems less interested in the rolling thing. Been there, done that, rolling’s so over man.

First cold? Check! This one was less fun. She had a blocked nose and scratchy throat and a bit of a temp. The hardest bit was I was sick too. Never are you more acutely aware of your new role as Mother as when you are sick. There’s no rest, no stopping, no days on the couch under a blanket mainlining S.trepsils and watching junk teeve. She was on the mend within a few days and back to normal after 10.

First food? Check! We’ve gone from pulling faces of abject disgust to opening wide and leaning forward to meet the spoon. It’s so cute. I started her on purees about a month ago, and we’re just beginning (as in, this morning) some finger foods too. It’s more work than whipping out the boob, but it’s a lot of fun.

First teeth? Check! She has TWO bottom teeth. This one was super exciting for me. Her body is changing and growing and doing what it’s meant to do. I really find it quite miraculous!

One’s completely through and the other is just peeking out. I’ve decided to use this as an excuse for a very unsettled time over the past week or so. Even though everyone swears blue that teething doesn’t cause half of the symptoms we attribute to it … work with me here. I need something to get me through the night(s).

Life with a baby is a life surrounded by cliches. She’s growing so fast, I’m starting to lose sight of the newborn she was, and glimpse the girl she will become.

I’m drinking it in, every minute.

Happy Half Birthday my darling girl.

She knows.

I don’t know how, but she just does.

A week or so of less and less sleep … Long days, longer nights. Teething? Immunisations? Growth spurt? All I knew was I was getting more and more exhausted and more and more desperate. Last night I broke down, told Mr Bun just how very tired I was … ‘It’s like those first few weeks*’
But then, last night, she slept through. Ohh, when she woke at 6am, I rolled over – saw the time – bliss.

And this morning? She’s been napping for 1.5 hours. Again, amazing.

 

So, yes. She knows. Her Mumma was at breaking point and she decided to give her a little rest.

 

Thank you darling.

 

 

*It’s not. Nothing could every be that exhausting. See? I’ve forgotten already.