Boozy Tuesday

I want to broach this topic because it’s been front of mind with me recently, and also, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Booze.

Namely, drinking it.

I started to wean Little Bun a few weeks back, and she began sleeping through the night a little after that. With her being bottle fed, and in bed 7 ’til 7 (!!), my intake of alcohol has increased. I’ve gone from zero glasses a week, to, well …

we’re not talking bottles a night. But two, maybe three glasses of wine every night (I’m being honest here)? It doesn’t seem right.

Prior to falling pregnant (and when I wasn’t on a sober/IVF kick) I’d have 3-4 alcohol free days (AFD’s) a week. I’d probably get squiffy once every couple of weeks. In-between nights were a couple of glasses on the couch with Mr Bun.

Now, my intake seems – ridiculously – higher than then. There have certainly been no ‘big nights’ – I have a feeling a hangover with a baby would be a new sort of hell. But my regular, run-of-the-mill weeknight booze intake is definitely on the up.

You see, I’m not working (yet). So, what used to be my AFD’s (Sun – Wed) now just sorta blur into the rest of the week. I don’t have a boring Monday, or a celebratory Friday, or a partytime Saturday. I just have nights, after days, of looking after a baby.

It also seems like Mr Bun and I are celebrating, quietly, every night. After nine months of hard slog (plus another nine of my pregnancy), things are starting to return to normal again. We have our evenings back, and we’re enjoying getting to know each other again. Hanging out over a meal, enjoying an amazing drop has become part of that.

Am I making excuses?

Mr Bun and I are both aware that we need to get back on the AFD train, and stat. Beyond anything else, I can’t handle the extra calorie intake now I’ve stopped breastfeeding and started eating a normal diet again.

I have a feeling that once this long, hot Summer finally turns into Autumn; and I begin work again, that normal operating procedure will start up. In the meantime, I’ll continue enjoying my glass of vino with a sprinkle of guilt on the side.

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20 Bunless Questions

So, life’s gotten in the way of blogging in a BIG way lately. I’m not going to go into it, but it’s been a crackingly busy, boring, delightful, frustrating, wondrous, tedious, brilliant, crazy Summer here in the Bunless household.

When I saw the 20 Questions post over at Pail I was so pleased: a nice way to get my blogging brain back into action, and indulge my rampant narcissism at the same time.

OK. Let’s do this thing.

1. What was the last thing you threw in the garbage/recycling?

Cardboard ‘stuffing’ from a newly-purchased vaporiser. Little Bun came down with a belter of a cold on Saturday morning. Fever, streaming nose, red eyes, barking cough – the works. My little trooper managed to continue to sleep through, albeit very noisily – which broke my heart! The worst of it seems to be gone, but we’re left with a nasty cough – hence, the vaporiser.

2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Well, ignoring the lullaby tracks that I played religiously during LB’s months 5 – 8 (Brahms will forever remind me of long, napless days), number one is Lippy Kids, by Elbow. A stunningly beautiful, hauntingly nostalgic track that makes me feel happy and sad all at the same time. Seriously, have a listen.

Sigh – I love that song.

3. What is your favorite quote?

I’m not sure I can pick a favourite, but one that’s close to my heart – ‘Things that were hard to bear are sweet to remember’ (Seneca) … pretty much sums up my response to a lot of things. I am a terrible nostalgist.

4. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Ah. Hands down this would be cleaning the high chair. This has easily surpassed every other tedious chore in my life. As LB feeds herself now, the mess ranges from mild to HOW DID TUNA GET INTO MY SHOES? Avocado and mango are the worst. Crevices YOU DESTROY ME.

5. What is your favorite form of exercise?

OK. Um. I am a bad exerciser. LB’s dairy and soy allergy meant that from three months post-partum I had to alter my diet pretty drastically. This, combined with breastfeeding, meant that I dropped under my pre-IVF weight really quickly. While great, it’s also been an excuse to ignore exercise in a big way. So I’m properly wobbly and unfit and gross. Having said that, we walk walk walk all day every day. So right now, walking with my girl is top of my list.

6. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

I’ve always been a sucker for balmy summer nights. So I’m loving evenings at the moment, out in our little courtyard. The smell of cooling, wet soil – freshly watered after a long, hot day. Mr Bun barbequing our dinner, the two of us catching up over a glass of something very cold, as the sky turns pink and purple overhead.

7. What is on your bedside table?

I’m embarrassed to say, no books. This is unusual, but since having LB my bookwormy ways have fallen by the wayside. Now she’s sleeping through, I’m going to pick this up again. But, I’m afraid that currently my bedside table holds my phone, a glass of water, the baby monitor and sometimes a bit of the weekend paper that I’m still catching up on come Thursday.

8. What is your favorite body part?

Probably my mouth – because of my enormous head (!) I managed to avoid braces as a kid. I think a big, happy smile can be the most attractive thing about a person. Unless you’re Daniel Craig as James Bond, and then it’s your sweet, sweet body.

(yes, I’ve recently seen Skyfall)

9. Would you use the power of invisibility for good or evil? Elaborate.

Oh, evil. I am a snoop – definitely. I used to love riding on the top of the double decker buses around London, only so I could peer into the window of first floor flats.

10. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

My twenties were a really fun decade, particularly years living overseas and working as hard as I played. Or was it the other way around? But how can you pick a year from the past, when you have a baby who is growing into the future? I’d love to be lucky enough to answer that question when I’m very, very old.

11. What is the first thing you would do if you won the lottery?

Oh wow, I could write a NOVEL about this stuff. Seriously, when I’m having my most anxious 4am moments, very detailed lottery-based fantasies can calm me down like nothing else. So, first thing? Open a seriously amazing bottle of Champagne and start looking for a beautiful home.

12. What is your biggest pet peeve?

I am an anally retentive, obsessive perfectionist. EVERYTHING is my pet peeve. No seriously. What you’re doing right now – stop it – it’s annoying me.

13. If you could know the answer to any question, what would it be?

That’s easy – what are those winning lottery numbers? Because money can’t buy happiness, but it can sure help along the way!

There are other questions – ones about life, and death, and all that’s in between. But I’m too superstitious to muck with that stuff. Even if I could find out, I don’t know if I’d want to.

14. At what age did you become an adult?

When I left home, and moved overseas to a foreign city with no friends, no job, and no clue. I was 21. It was the best thing I ever did.

15. Recommend a book, movie, or television show in three sentences or less.

Oh goddamn you. This is my favourite thing to do, and there’s no WAY I can stick to just one medium, let alone three sentences.

OK – a book – one of my favourites with my non-Aussie friends in mind. Dirt Music. A rolling, languid, sensual dip into my country. A truly magical read, with a corker of a love story holding it together. Let me know if you like it.

16. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

I’m not sure about trouble as such, but gee could I talk. Probably quite obnoxiously. Definitely precociously. All home movies have the unfortunate feature of having my face thrust into almost every frame. Not a shy little flower!

17. What was the first album you bought with your own money?

It was this. On cassette. I was entranced by her hat.

18. If someone wrote a book about you, what would be the title?

I think this is the hardest question here. I’ve come back to it a few times, but I’ve got nuthin’. How about ‘Anxious and Paranoid’ … ? I’m only half kidding. Those who love me, love my neuroses as well.

19. What story do you wish your family would stop telling about you?

Thankfully, I don’t get many stories told about me at family get togethers. We’re not big on reminiscing in my family – more about anecdotes of the day … But generally a joke or two about my large head makes its way into the patter.

20. True or false: The unicorn is the greatest mythical creature. State your case.

Oh, false false false. A unicorn’s got nothing against The Woman Who Can Be It All – Fantastic wife! Perfect mother! Stellar friend! Exemplary career woman! Spiritually aligned! Physically fit! Now THAT’S a creature worthy of myth and legend.

(can you tell I’m due back to work soon?)

– – –

Well, I hope that fit the bill – I can’t wait to read everyone else’s answers. And hopefully this has been the kickstart I need to pump a few more posts out into the ether. Thank you Pail for the great inspiration!

x

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.

On Anxiety

My daughter is four and a half months old. We are a third of the way through a year. Time is passing. She is growing – stretching and plumping and advancing before my eyes.

Since she was born, I have had the full might of the wonderful Australian health system behind me. Obstetricians, GPs, paediatricians, maternal health nurses and gynaecologists all working in unison to ensure my daughter and I have had the best start possible, into this brave new world.

My family have been there. Offering help when it wasn’t asked for. Allowing me to need support, to feel helpless; to be helped. At every instance, every milestone, I have been checked in on. How are things? How am I coping? How am I feeling?

Fine, fine. She truly is a wonderful little baby. I have nothing to complain about. Everything is OK.

But, it’s not. I am not OK.

I think I have a problem with anxiety. It is getting worse. I am getting worse.

It’s crept up on me, because she is not a newborn and I am no longer so new at this myself. And she is – really is – a happy, settled, beautiful little girl.  So, how could I possibly be struggling?

It’s other mothers that make me feel this most acutely. If I’m having a particularly bad day, I venture a hesitant, ‘It’s hard’, out into the conversation. But unless I can back this up with tales of abject baby-based horror, I’m met with blank looks. I’ve even been second-guessing this post. Fretting that my anxiety isn’t seated in something with more substance.

You have nothing to complain about.

And I don’t. She’s perfect. I know, it’s me.

I don’t think I’m depressed. Every day begins with my heart hurrying at the chance to see her face again. I function well. I get dressed, put on make-up, eat, clean, visit friends, run errands, make sure I tick off the endless list of Things To Do. And I enjoy myself. I know I am lucky to have this life.

But what were a few road bumps a while ago, now send me into a tailspin of fear and worry. When she doesn’t nap. Or doesn’t stick to a routine. Or life intrudes into whatever carefully mapped-out schedule I have in my head … I don’t cope.

There’s a constant, endlessly repeating cycle that exists … like living in the twilight of happy and not. When she’s awake, I am ecstatic, hungry with love for her. When she’s crying in bed, not sleeping, I am exhausted with disappointment. The other times, I’m brittle and taut – watching the clock, eyeing the monitor, one ear and eye always out. ‘Is she awake?’ ‘Is she overtired?’ ‘Have I failed this time?’ ‘What will I do if things don’t go to plan?’

It’s affecting how I enjoy these precious days. When I leave the house, knowing she’ll miss a nap, I worry she’ll be ruined for the rest of the day. When Mr Bun and I settle down to dinner, I worry she’ll wake up ‘early’.  When I pop her down after her late feed, I worry about the night ahead. Worry worry worry.

When she doesn’t sleep, we both feel it. She is unhappy. Her smiles drift away. Her feeding and playing and sleeping all suffer. She has a worse day – and then, so do I. But I should be able to bear that. I should be able to take it in my stride, shrug with the understanding that she is just a baby, that these things happen – and that it will get better.

Instead I obsess and worry as to what it means. I fear for what’s to come, constantly. Every time I use the dummy, I picture a spiral of screaming addiction ahead of me. One bad night has me convinced months of bad nights are coming up. One tough morning and I’ve already written off the entire day.

It’s affecting my marriage. Poor Mr Bun now asks, hesitantly, ‘Has she had a … good day?’ He’s not asking because of her. It’s because of me. How will his wife be when he gets home? Will there be tears? Snapped whispers of ‘Don’t wake the baby’? Or just the silence of my concern filling the room?

I had a realisation last week that turned a corner for me. I’m not so sure fixing Little Bun’s sleep will mean I am fixed too. The rising panic in my chest will remain, and just find some other cause to focus on.

I have always been a huge proponent of therapy and getting help when you need it. I am the first to encourage loved ones to seek help. I am an avid believer in mental as well as physical health. But what’s unsettling is when it’s me, I feel helpless and – yes – embarrassed.

None of what I’m feeling is normal. I know that – but it’s still hard to face. On the good days, I forget all of the above exists; with relief I let it fade like a bad dream. Then I have a bad day, and I’m desperate for help again.

I am seeking help, I will get it, and things will improve. We are looking into sleep school, and support for me too. In the meantime, I’m writing this post. Because no matter how much you wished for this, how tough you are, how wonderful your baby may be, and how tight your support network is – you may still need a little help.

F&*%$ING Sleep Cycles

GAWD naptimes are doing MY HEAD IN.

I need advice! I need reassurance! Heeeelp!

It’s been nearly a month of this approach now, and we’ve had exactly one big win, and one *pttthhhhh* fail.

Win: a relatively calm bedtime at 7, dream feed at 10.30 and sleeping until anywhere between 3-5am. This overnight feed is getting later and later (or earlier?) Last night, she did 7 – 7 with the dream feed in between. I’m hoping this starts to become a more regular occurrence!

Fail: naps. They’re getting worse. She just will. not. sleep. past one 30-40 minute cycle. Here’s the drill:

  1. Wakes at the end of a cycle, doing anything from chatting and smiling, to grizzling, to crying
  2. I then spend an hour or more of going in and out, shushing, patting, sometimes picking up and cuddling, and often – *sigh* – the dummy. Why do I persevere? Because sometimes she’ll go back to sleep for another hour or more.
  3. This can mean she’s in bed for 2.5 or 3 hours, but only gets 30mins to 1.5 hours of sleep under her belt
  4. I’m pretty sure she’s not hungry, as she’ll settle immediately and start smiling whenever I enter the room, and does go back to sleep (eventually) if I stick with it

It’s this ‘going back to sleep’ that’s really mucking with my mind. If I knew she was awake for good, I’d suck it up, get her out of bed, feed her and start the whole Eat/Play/Sleep cycle again. But I know she can (and will) go back to sleep. It’s just the hour – or more – it takes to get her there. It’s exhausting and disruptive for me, and I dread to think how it must be for Little Bun.

We’re on a four hourly feed cycle, and (again) my gut tells me this is OK, as when she’s in the car / pram she’ll resettle from one cycle to another quickly and calmly, and certainly won’t grizzle for a feed until the four-hour mark.

And yes, I’ve tried getting her up regardless. She’s exhausted: doesn’t feed well, is yawning and rubbing her eyes after half an hour. I feel awful, like it’s my responsibility to get her to sleep because she really does need it.

Am I doing something wrong? Would a hungry baby go back to sleep like she does? Have you experienced anything like this? Should I stop worrying and accept what I can’t control*?

*BAH HA HA HA HAAAA HA

Dairy Queen

Well, two weeks, three separate poo samples and a lot of advice later – I think we have a solution.

First off, Little Bun doesn’t seem to be sick. Woot! They can’t find any sign of a bug or virus that could have been causing her explosive bum. That, and she’s gaining good amounts of weight and is generally happy and well.

So, I went off wheat and dairy for a week. Just for shits and giggles. And it was hard, people. Because, of course, I did it with no prep or notice – so had nothing sensible in the house to eat. I basically survived on bananas and rice for a few days, before getting my act together. I was HUNGRY. My jeans loosened a little. More importantly, Little Bun’s nappies improved OVER. NIGHT. Yay! Mother-in-doing-something-right-SHOCK!

I had a feeling it was dairy and not wheat, and so slowly reintroduced the latter back into my diet. No effect on the nappies. And then with dairy, carefully trialled some low-dairy foods. I am continuing to steer clear of milk, cheese and yoghurt etc, and so far so good.

Look, I don’t know if it’s a complete coincidence. I haven’t exactly gone about this scientifically, and I’m by no means following a strict no dairy-diet (ahem-chocolate cake-ahem). It may be that she was sick, and now she’s better. Or her gut is maturing. Or it’s a totally separate food intolerance that I haven’t discovered. Who knows. All I do know is that there’s been no blood and very little mucus for nearly a fortnight. She’s gone from 4-6 pooey nappies a day to 1 or 2. Her tummy is more settled, and she’s feeding a lot more calmly.

These are all good things.

Now if we can just work on the napping …

The First Six Weeks (part two)

As I said earlier, I have a bunch of random thoughts rattling around my brainbox on the first six weeks of being a parent. Here are some more:

Your Body Is Cool

My particular body played ball, give or take. The give bits? After nine months of being smugly stretch mark free, by boobs are now streaked like a maroon tiger. And they’re pointing south much more than I’d like (ALSO: I don’t know what the fuss is around big boobs? I’m not a fan – they get in the way and make all of my tops sit funny). The linea nigra is still there, a bold line across a much flatter (but still very soft – ahem) tum.  And, I still can’t get my wedding ring on … makes me wonder if my hands have permanently grown in size!? Knuckles like a boxer. Sheesh.

But hey – your body grows a person (I mean, yes – wow). Then it gets it out into the world safely. Then – THEN –  IT. KEEPS. GOING. Even though you’re knackered beyond belief and so hopped up on hormones you don’t know whether to cackle maniacally or sob hysterically, your body keeps doing what it needs to do to keep you and your little human alive. That’s rad.

(New)Newborns Don’t Do Much

This might seem a little wrong for what is still (sorta) an infertility blog, but honesty’s the name of the game here.

I really struggled with bonding with Little Bun. For the first couple of weeks – I didn’t feel … much. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her: but in a very primal, protective, I’m-here-to-keep-you-alive way. I didn’t feel much joyous, happy, soaring emotion.

I was completely overwhelmed physically and emotionally, so I did sorta feel I was going through the motions. And I believe this had something to do with the fact that very new babies are pretty inactive. When they’re so young, they are very passive. No eye contact, no noises beyond crying, no smiling … they sleep and feed and fill their nappy and that’s it.

As they get a tiny bit older, and start responding, smiling, laughing, cooing and generally being a little more human (all things Little Bun started to do at or after four weeks) it’s suddenly a lot easier to connect with them. At least, that’s how I found it anyway. It’s probably no coincidence that around four weeks is also when you start to get used to the sleep deprivation, begin to heal physically, and also level out hormones-wise.

When It Hits You, It Really Hits You

For some mothers, it’s in the hospital bed when the babe is a few hours old.

For me, it was sitting on my couch with Little Bun in my arms. It was mid-morning, the house was quiet, and we’d just finished a feed. She was looking at me, and I was telling her who I was, how I was always going to be there for her, and how very much I loved her. I cried a little.

True love has a habit of creeping up on you.

 

(part 1 here)

Routine Shmoutine

I commented over on Lulu’s blog, when she asked about getting a newborn into a routine.

A routine you say? HA! But she’s right, when you have a little one it is tantalising to imagine a day when you know what’s coming up. So you can plan a market shop, a visit from a tradie, a nap or just some guaranteed headspace to be s.t.i.l.l.

A friend of ours gave us the Contented Little Baby book early on. Again, I’ll remind you that my ‘parenting’ (ha) approach is Whatever Works – so I have no strict rules for or against enforcing a routine, or conversely, feeding on demand. But the book freaked me out with its strict approach. Over the past six weeks I’ve found feeding on demand a lot more comfortable – but again – I’ve been developing my own version of feeding on demand. Which, from two weeks old basically meant feeding her when she’s hungry, but also trying to keep her to a loose three hour schedule.

This is all we were doing, but it has meant that we fell into a routine around 4.5/5 weeks. And by routine, I mean every day has similarly-timed feeding and sleeping periods. It’s not the same every day, but it’s close enough that it works. For now.

Another friend lent us The Baby Whisperer. I didn’t even open this until a few weeks ago – but in skimming it I saw that the EASY method was one that I was loosely doing already. And I liked the more relaxed approach. Again, I didn’t immediately start following the book to the letter. But I found my own routine was supported by the EASY method – and I picked up a few extra tips to boot.

So – for day feeds, I wake her every three or so hours to keep her fed (as recommended by our maternal health nurse), and on schedule. Overnight, I let her go as long as she wants. We basically follow the routine of Eat, Play, Sleep. Importantly, I’ve found she has to be back down in bed within an hour of waking, or she gets totally overtired and doesn’t sleep at all.

While I am still happy to feed on demand, this one hour turnaround time was the single biggest change I made that assisted with a schedule. Before I list it out, there are some things I didn’t realise (this is all probably DUH stuff to you, but I had no idea):

– When ‘they’ talk about three hours between a feed, it’s counted from the beginning of the feed. So, a ‘three hourly feed’  that takes from 9-10am means the next one would be due at midday. This isn’t long at all if bubba doesn’t settle quickly (or at all)  …

– The terms ‘Play’ or ‘Activity’ time are pretty laughable. They should be termed, ‘Staring’ and ‘Gurgling’ time. Little Bun’s activity time can include staring out the window, having me chat to her with crazy-lady-baby voice, or lying on the mat staring at … something. We’ve already invested in a play mat with toys that hang down, but she’s just as likely to become transfixed by a windowframe or lampshade

The day may roll like:

  • 7am Feed, change, back to sleep (I don’t wake her for this feed, and it’s often been four hours after the previous feed)
  • 10am Feed, change, play, back to sleep
  • 1pm Feed, change, play, back to sleep
  • 4.30pm Feed, change, play, back to sleep (she often wants to sleep longer here, but by trial/error I’ve discovered a longer nap here means Arsenic Hour is extended to Arsenic Five Hours, later on)
  • 7.30/8pm Feed, change, ‘sleep’ … cue Arsenic Hours! (still really struggling to get her to sleep after this feed. On good nights, its grizzling and crying until we pick her up and settle her in our arms on the couch. On bad nights, it’s blood-curdling screaming until the next feed)
  • 11pm Feed, change, back to sleep
  • 3am Feed, change, back to sleep (As with the 7am feed, I don’t wake her for this. Sometimes, it’s earlier (yuk), the other night, she went five hours until 4am).

As with everything with a baby, I’m learning that EVERYTHING CHANGES ALL THE TIME ALWAYS. I actually wrote the majority of this post a few days ago, when all of the above was true. Little Bun clearly read through my Drafts when I wasn’t looking, as the past 24 hours has been a rollercoaster of fuckups wildly flailing from a refusal to wake up at all (Oh god my baby is limp and sleepy what’s wrong) to a refusal to sleep at all (Oh god my baby will never sleep again, I’m so tired). I think it’s a six week growth spurt?

Either way, it’s clearly nature’s way of telling me off for being a smug cow who wangs on about routines with a six week old baby.

Good luck! x

The First Six Weeks (part one)

Little Bun was six weeks last Friday. I won’t say I can’t believe where the time has gone – I can account for every minute (!) – but the immediacy of giving birth and being in the hospital is fading fast.

Here are some random, completely disorganised thoughts on the First Six Weeks.

Breastfeeding is Hard

I knew this. I was acutely aware of how hard it could be. Equally, it was the one ‘thing’ I was adamant I wanted to do. Everything else fell under my parenting ‘strategy’ (ha ha) of Whatever Works*. Yet breastfeeding was different. I attended classes and read books and once Little Bun was born, I shelved any pride and made sure I buzzed a midwife before literally every feed – just to make sure I was getting my latch right.

But it still didn’t work.

If anyone’s interested I may dedicate a separate post to what happened and how I dealt with it. However I found that if you are struggling the following is true: unless you have amazing support (I had a brilliant lactation consultant that we hired privately), a fair kick of tenacity (we hired said Consultant after three weeks, as many separate clinics and hospital consultations, and it took five weeks for me to start b’feeding exclusively) and time (at the beginning I was expressing 6-8 times a day so we could feed Little Bun EBM via the bottle for every feed) then you’re in for a challenge.

(Update: booby post here)

‘Sleep When They Sleep’ Is Really Good Advice

When I was pregnant I heard this over and over and thought it was a bit of a cop-out, not to mention a waste of precious time.

Nuh-uh. It makes SUCH a difference. Bar a (very grumpy) day here and there, for six weeks I have grabbed a nap every day. In the crazy, routineless early weeks, I took it when I could which sometimes meant dinnertime, or really just after I’d showered and dressed.

Now, she’s in some semblance of a routine and I know I can get some shuteye somewhere between 3pm and 6pm. Yes, napping is boring. It’s time consuming. It means you can’t do other stuff (be those chores, errands, or even something nice like reading a mag with a cuppa) – but you’ll thank yourself as you swing your legs out of bed, into the 3am cold.

I absolutely, hands-down owe my relatively relaxed, happy brain to these daily naps. Hey, Whatever Works, right?

See The Planet There? Let’s Just Stomp In Its Face A Few Times!

While I’m no hemp-wearing hippy chick drinking recycled wee, I’d like to think Mr Bun and I are pretty environmentally friendly people. We sort our rubbish properly and shit. WELL DOUSE ME IN OIL AND CALL ME LADY EXXON. Having a baby is the most environmentally unfriendly thing I’ve ever done.

The laundry is what gets me the most. The incessant, neverending cycles of washing. And drying**. And loads of dishes. And cranking the heating up over 19 degrees**. Living at home, existing in these walls all day is also bumping up the general house filth, not to mention the bills. For all of my life I’ve had a nice warm school/uni/office to take care of me five days a week – tea, coffee, heating, dishes, loo paper … now it’s happening on my own turf I realise just how messy and expensive us humans actually are. I’m shocked at the absolute blatant consumption of it all.

Summer will be better. Line-dried clothes, no heating, and Little Bun and I will crack out our hemp bikinis …

OK. Naptime! More to come …

(Update: part 2 here)

* ie. don’t set yourself up for failure by declaring ‘I’ll never’ or ‘We will always’ … you just don’t know how you’ll go.

** before you go Greenpeace on me, it’s the middle of the coldest Winter in 20 years here, and if you think I’m going to be air-drying clothes you’re sorely mistaken. I don’t have the climate, let alone the time. Also, we live in the coldest house north of Antarctica.