Life with a Newborn

Everyone tells you that it'll be hard, but it's one of those things that just doesn't hit home until you're in the middle of it. And in this instance, 'it' is you standing in the living room in your jammies, boobs hanging out, baby poop on your shirt, oily unwashed hair falling out of a bun & an inconsolable screaming, red-faced baby in your arms.

It's not always like this - we have great days, good days & average days as well as the so-ridiculously-hard days.

You see, I didn't have a lot to do with newborns before we started trying to fall pregnant. We don't have a big extended family with littl'uns, we don't have nieces or nephews, and I don't have many friends with children. When we were struggling to conceive, I distanced myself from anything related to babies, because it was too hard to deal with. I read a million books about pregnancy, but very few about what came afterwards.

Georgia is our little guinea pig. We learn as we go, and we're probably going to keep learning until she's 30. I'm beginning to notice the signs for when she's hungry, when she's fussy, and when she's getting tired or overtired.

It's the other moments that are stressful - the ones that leave you in the situation I described in the first paragraph of this blog entry. The times where she will cry, and cry, and cry, and you have absolutely NO idea why. It's the saddest crying, too. The kind where she'll work herself up into sobs. The part that gets me is when a tiny, lonely tear trickles down her face - that's when I feel the worst.

I think most new parents probably go through the same mental checklist that we do: is she fed? clean? cold? hot? in pain from something? cuddled? comfortable? tired? not tired? When you've ticked all the boxes, tried all the soothing techniques you know of, and spent hours googling things like 'Why is my almost 9-week old baby screaming uncontrollably?' ... yep, it's hard. I wish there was an answer for why she has these days or what to do to comfort her, but it's all just trial and error. What works on one day generally doesn't work on another, and we just try to keep our heads above water.

As cheesy as it sounds, I wouldn't trade the hard times for anything. Today was a glorious day. Georgia was happy, had lots of naps, spent some time on her tummy and her back, kept herself happy blabbering away in her bouncer, and fed well. She gave me the most adorable gummy grin after a feed, and barely cried at all. As I type this, she's having an evening snooze in her portacot & is making the most gorgeous sighing sounds in her sleep. When she wakes, we'll be having our bath, bottle, boob & bed routine, trying to lull her into a full night's sleep again.

I'm already seeing my newborn baby disappear, and I'm trying to treasure this stage before she outgrows it. I love to see her growing, but I'm also sad to see her growing. In the midst of the crazy crying fits and the hard, sleep-deprived times, I can honestly see why people do this all over again. I'm going to miss Georgia being this little.

Two Months

Somehow one month turned into two months and my little lady is 8 weeks old already. How is this happening?

It's been a sad month, but we've kept busy and tried to take lots of trips in the car & pram while the weather is nice.
This month Georgia has:
  • Said goodbye to her great-grandmother, and cheered up the hearts of many sad family members. I'll never forget the joy she brought to my nanna, making her smile the day before she passed away.
  • Been sleeping for longer stints at night - usually between 11-4am. Well done, baby girl!
  • Had her first park play-date/picnic lunch with her little friend, R. 
  • Started using her dummy more regularly, mostly to help her nod off to sleep.
  • Broken out in her first batch of milk spots/hormonal baby rash. It popped up on her neck, back & face!
  • Started to smile and laugh, though not regularly - I can't wait to see her happy face all the time.

  • Managed to get through her first batch of shots - the 6-week vaccinations. She was a trouper: screamed in the first one, sobbed through the second one, but felt better after mummy cuddles.
  • Discovered the witching hour(s) - she is an absolute terror in the late afternoons/evenings. Inconsolable crying, feeding all the time, struggling to sleep. It's been exhausting for all of us. :(
  • Continued to solely breastfeed, and is doing a really good job of it!
  • Gained more weight, and is up around 4.6kg. She's a petite little thing; though you wouldn't think so by looking at her chubby cheeks and edible arm and thigh folds. :)
  • Almost outgrown her 0000 clothing, but is still too small for most 000. Her arms/legs are too short for them, but we're putting her in them so that she's got room to move. (Singlets underneath help bulk her up too.)
  • Mastered rolling over. We can't really spend much tummy-time on the floor any more, because she uses her feet to flip herself onto her back. Clever girl!

    You can see all of Georgia's week by week pictures by clicking here.

Red Bums & Baby Blues

Poor Georgia - she's had it tough these last few weeks! What started out as a nappy rash turned into a BAD nappy rash, turned into a bacterial infection, turned into a contact reaction.

What does that mean? Lots of doctor visits, a bright red baby tush, some tears & a very stressed out and tired mama.

When it first came up, we treated it accordingly - barrier creams, fresh air and nappy free time. When it got worse, I visited the GP the first time. The rash had turned into dark red sores and small red spots along her bum - the first diagnosis was thrush or a fungal infection. That cream didn't solve anything, and things got more and more tender - let's just say things were bleeding. It was awful, and nappy changes were horrific. The next step was a bacterial cream in case it was an infection - and it looks like that was the problem.

We'd been using the cream for a week, and things were starting to heal over. Seeing her little butt looking more normal was refreshing.. until I opened a nappy the day before yesterday to find a new round of bright red patches greeting me. They were in different spots to the original rash, and they were awful! The doctor thinks that some of the strong, prescription anti-bacterial cream might have gotten on the nappy and smeared onto her sensitive lady-bits when it was closed and fastened, and she had a reaction to it.

I'm happy to say that after a few hours of nappy-free time each day, a change to organic disposable nappies and wipes, and a good slathering of barrier cream, things are starting to heal. We are back at the doctor next week, and she is confident that it'll be looking good by then. Poor baby and her poor butt.

Otherwise, Georgia is being her usual beautiful self - aside from the few hours of complete and utter crankiness each evening. Some say it's the witching hour; I'm changing that to the witching HOURS, plural. She is hard work! Refuses sleep, comfort feeds constantly, and will cry and cry with seemingly no cause. We do a lot of snuggling, rocking, bouncing, and nursing each evening, leaving all of us {hubby included} more than a little frazzled. A friend hooked me up to the PURPLE crying website, and it sums us up to a tee.

All in all though? She's a beautiful baby. I still can't believe she's mine! When she looks up at me with those huge blue eyes, it doesn't matter how many hours I've slept, how many hours it's been since I showered, how many jobs I haven't got around to, or how many times I've left the house in the past week - she's mine. :)

Sleep? Nah... how's about some more food?

Week by Week

I had Georgia weighed at the chemist today, and she's growing!

At last Monday's doctor appointment, she weighed 4.3kg. Today, one week later, she weighed 4.6kg. It's a relief to know that all the feeding we've been doing is finally starting to take off. :)

We have been solely breastfeeding for the past few weeks, with the occasional expressed breast-milk feed if we're out and about & feeding is an issue. Georgia has been getting super fussy and I feel like I whack her on the boob quite a bit - but she is definitely wanting it. So far my milk supply is adequate; I just hope it keeps up.
I've been taking dozens of photographs of this gorgeous little girl each day, and she is changing in front of my eyes.

This week in review

This has been one heck of a week.

We said goodbye to my Nanna at a beautiful funeral service, where we celebrated her happy, smiling face & released doves into a picture perfect blue sky. It was so very hard, but I know she would have been happy.

Our life this week: remembering Nanna & lots of nekkid bebe snuggles.
Poor Georgia girl has had a tough run though - she had her six week immunisations {big fat tears from mummy AND baby} and lots of doctor visits, as she has developed a shocking nappy rash. It's lasted a week now, and we've tried all sorts of things, natural and medical, to help clear it up. We swapped from disposables to cloth, lots of nappy free, bum-in-air time, and a very mild cortisone/thrush cream - here we are at the end of the week and it's still sore. 
After yet another doctor visit today, we're on a bacterial cream twice a day. We go back in a week, and if it's not cleared up by then, I'll cry. Poor bugger. I can't think of anything worse than a sore, inflamed bum.
We're also in the middle of a growth spurt - Georgia now weighs 4.3kg {or 9lb4oz} and is 52.5cm long. She's still little, but she's growing! :) She has been very fussy the past few days, not wanting to lie down and sleep during the day, and grumbling for food all the time. Thankfully my supply is still keeping up with her; I'm down to pumping twice a day too, to just keep things moving. I spoke to a midwife today, who said I was doing the right thing: which is 'If in doubt, whack her on the boob'. Done and dusted. 
It's so hard to believe she'll be 7 weeks old tomorrow. Time really does fly - it's terrifying how fast it's going by.

Our First Mother's Day

This time last year, my period arrived. That usually wouldn't be a momentous or blogworthy event, but it signalled the failure of our first IVF cycle - and brought about a whole stack of emotions. There's no great time for a BFN {big fat negative} but on Mother's Day? It was pretty darned painful.

If you'd told me then that in twelve months, I'd be somebody's mother, I wouldn't have believed you. It was too raw, too unthinkable. What a difference this past twelve months has made to our lives. It's amazing how quickly my heart just exploded with love - it grew from the positive pregnancy test, to the scans, to the heartbeat, and when she made her early arrival into the world. I'm learning new things about her, and about myself, every day.

Today was bittersweet. My first as a mother; my mother's first as a grandmother; and our first without our Nanna. I know she'd be happy that Georgia is here with us today; helping us to grieve & to keep on living. It was a tough day.

And yes, I'm crazy - attempting artwork with a 6-week old was possibly not the smartest idea.. but what can I say? We wanted a sweet gift for the grandma's, and I'm not afraid of a little art and craft - it's the teacher in me! {This was an epic Pinterest fail; Georgia threw an epic tantrum after the first few handprints, so we had to improvise!}

Big love and hugs to all of my mama & soon-to-be-mama friends, but also to those still on their journeys to motherhood. I know first hand just how hard this day can be, and I'm thinking of you and sending hope your way.

Thank you for making me a mother, Georgia. I promise I'll do my best to bring you up right. xx


Yesterday, the world lost one of the good ones.

My beautiful nanna, who has been battling breast cancer for the last few years, left us peacefully.

I'm sad for us. I'm sad for my Mum - I can't even imagine how hard this must be for her. I'm sad for Georgia, who won't get the honour of growing up with her great-nanna. I'm sad for me, because she's gone.

But mostly, I'm happy. I'm happy that she can rest and relax. I'm happy that she got to see her grand-kids grow up and be happily married. I'm happy she held on to meet Georgia, who she was so thrilled and excited to see. I'm happy that in her final days, she was able hold Georgia's hands, kiss Georgia's forehead, and smile. This makes me happier than I can explain - and the picture below is one I'll show my daughter when she's older: I truly believe that she was early for a reason, and that reason was for her. I'll have special memories of the two of them together.

I know she's happier where she is right now, and I know she'll be smiling. We love you, Nanna. So, so very much.

Nanna Mary & Georgia ~ May 2013

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