On Going Private

The last couple of days have been a whirlwind of emotions. We've continued with the sleep training, and Georgia is trying so, so hard to sleep. I'm learning so much as I go along, and I'm a LOT calmer - so I'm thrilled that things are progressing. It's hard, and draining, but I'm finding the better she sleeps in the day, the calmer she sleeps at night.

Win win!

I realised a few days ago that I had quite a few new followers in the online world - I've been pretty open with sharing pictures of my wee girl, but after a few odd faces and comments, I decided to make a switch. The blog here will stay as it is, where I can monitor what I put up & how often. But I have removed my previous accounts on Twitter & Instagram and have started over privately on both of those mediums. I could have blocked and removed accounts on both, but I tried that out and it was far too tedious. Easier just to start over.

I know many people don't like to share photos of their little ones, or at least keep more control over their online presence. I've always been fairly open, although I'd like to think sensible, about what I share. The support I received through blogging and other social mediums while I was going through infertility, IVF & then pregnancy was nothing short of amazing, so sharing my ventures into parenthood seems only natural. Besides, I love the advice I get here & reading other people's stories makes me feel that little bit less lonely on the tough days.

If you haven't discovered my new Twitter & Instagram accounts, or want to be added since they're private, please do get in touch. I'd hate for friends and longtime blog readers to miss out, if you're so inclined. Drop me an email. :)

Sleep is for the Weak

Hubby has started his new job & I'm on my own with Georgia from Monday mornings to Friday nights.

Now she's a pretty good baby, and I am okay with the single parenting gig for the most part - I miss him like crazy and I would LOVE for some help every now & again, but I know it's for the right reasons. But Georgia has never been a good day sleeper - and I've relied on her sleeping well through the night to get my own rest. Throw in the four month sleep regression and what I THINK might be the start of a very long teething process {flushed red cheeks, dribble everywhere, hands and everything in sight shoved in her mouth and gnawed on} and her night sleeps have also gone to pot.
I've always been thrilled with her night sleeps, but envious of other babies & their ability to sleep anywhere during the day. Friends' babies will be playing on the floor, get sleepy, and crash into sleep right then and there. Or they'll start showing signs, be placed in their cot or carseat, and BAM. Sleep. Georgia, on the other hand, will grizzle, cry & eventually sob/scream - it takes a bloody lot of effort to get her to bed.
The last two nights were painful. She woke constantly, needed lots of resettling, woke up crying at 4am and I gave up and officially started the day at 5am. FIVE AM. Exhausted mama, right here. 
After a failed morning nap, I reached the end of my tether & decided to ring and talk to someone. I had a chat with one of the nurses from Tresillian to see what I could do to help Georgia with her day naps, and to get some self-settling advice. I love snuggle time with my baby, but rocking her to sleep every time I need her to nap is getting harder and harder as she gets older. I got lots of advice & it was common sense stuff, which is exactly what I needed to hear.
These were the best bits of info I took in from today:
*Watch for those tired cues - which can be difficult when you have a baby who is notoriously anti-sleep. I need to catch Georgia's very early on, otherwise she goes into meltdown mode VERY quickly.
*Start a conversational routine to get Georgia to sleep. She responds really well to people talking to her {and likes to talk back} so from now on, I'm going to narrate when it's bedtime. "Time to get ready for bed, Georgia!" "Let's change your nappy, Georgia!" "It's sleeping bag time!" "Let's put our white noise machine on!" and finally, "Time for bed!"

*Stick to a similar routine - upstairs, nappy change, sleeping bag, kiss and cuddle, quick rock, bed.
*Put her to sleep upstairs, away from the hustle and bustle of downstairs. Being around loud noises was great when she was smaller, but for trouble sleepers, dark and dim.

*Babies can take a while to get to sleep when they're learning to self-settle. Up to 30 minutes! So what I need to do is listen for the type of grizzles and cries she does. The nurse informed me that it's normal to have a tired cry/grizzle/pause routine for a while - as baby gets more tired, the grizzles and pauses will be longer than the crying sessions.
*If Georgia gets distressed (increased crying that is >1 minute in duration) try to pat and rock while she is still in the crib. Praise her when she calms down, and start again.

*If Georgia gets MORE distressed and inconsolable, pick her up, soothe & eventually start again.
That's a really broad summary, but basically, it's listening closely to the type of noises she makes & making a judgement call. I tried these things at our midday nap, and it took her about 30 minutes to fall asleep - she had a 40 minute nap afterwards. She's currently still asleep from her second nap, where she woke after half an hour, needed a quick resettle, and then went back to sleep. I haven't rocked her to sleep all day! :)
She also gave me some good advice about weaning away from swaddling and into sleeping bags, which I've started trying already - I'm happy to say that she's had her TWO naps today swaddle-free! It's early days yet, but I'm ready to work on it!

Days

It's been 20 weeks since Georgia was born, and I'm still learning about motherhood as I go along.

We have days where everything is great & she is her normal, chattery self. And we have days where I have NO idea what's going on inside her head, and nothing I do can make her happy or content.
We have days where little things worry me - is she eating enough, is she sleeping enough, are those dry patches on her legs normal, why do her feet look red, is she supposed to be rolling from back to front yet.. the list goes on and on. And we have days where I'm 100% ok with just going with the flow and letting her be herself.
We have days where I panic and wonder whether I've missed reading something in the motherhood manual: what am I supposed to do if THIS happens, or THAT happens? And we have days where I feel really confident about my decisions.
We have days where walking in the pram is a dream & she's all smiles and snoozes. And we have days where walking in the pram is the worst thing in the world and she will screech and sob the entire time.
We have days where I think how amazing it would be to throw all my energy into this one little person & focus on her as an only child. And we have days where all I want is to be able to give her a sibling one day, so that I can watch her grow alongside another little person. 
All I know is that she's awesome. She is her own little person, very different to lots of other babies I've met in the last few months, and I like that. She's a sweetheart & we love her to bits.

Life

Here on the blog, it's been all Georgia, all the time. Not that there's anything wrong with that; she's been the centre of everything since her arrival - but there are other things that have been happening, too.

Hubby has been working overseas in New Zealand quite a bit - what was supposed to be a six week project turned into an ongoing one with no end date in sight. He fought them {using G as his reasoning} and got out of going there consecutively, but those Sunday-Wednesday night weeks were exhausting, for him and for us. He gave his notice in a few weeks ago, and starts his new job next week.

Yep, new job! My clever husband found a new job quite quickly. Sad news is there's a little travelling involved in this one too, but it's interstate in Melbourne, and they're quite happy to fly him back and forth on Monday-Fridays. They've also offered to put him up in a serviced apartment, so that Georgia & I can fly down every now and then to be there with him! This one's for three months, and then he'll be based in Sydney for a change.

I've been trying to get out and about now that Georgia is bigger and has had her second batch of vaccinations. We've visited my old workplace, friends and a few family members, and I've been making an effort to catch up with other local mums that I've met through due-in-groups. There are a few lovely local mums that are very sweet, with babies close to her age. It's so fun seeing them all hanging out together, even though they don't do much other than tummy time & coo-ing at one another. It'll be even better when they're on the move!

Sometimes this motherhood thing can be lonely, though. Apparently having a baby can make you a social leper.

I've been putting my energy into planning Georgia's christening, which is coming up in a couple of weeks. The church is booked, the invitations have been sent out - outfit sort of planned, candle planned. Next up is getting things ready for afterwards at our place. I think Mum & I are going to attempt the cake again, and we'll just grab some sandwich platters & snacks. The biggest question is going to be whether Georgia will fit into my old christening gown, which I'd really love for her to wear - my late Nanna hand-sewed little bows on the dress, and it would mean a lot for her to wear it. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Speaking of snacks.. I've rekindled my love for my slow cooker. Having a baby that sleeps well at night but hardly naps during the day means that my hands are full nearly all the time - so cooking can be tricky. The slow cooker means that I can throw something into it in the morning and leave it all day... easy peasy. My favourites are apricot chicken & roast meats, but I'm starting to get a bit adventurous. If you have any favourite slow cooker recipes, feel free to point them out to me. There's a roast lamb in mine at the moment & it smells amazeballs.

Since my life has changed so much in the last year, I can't NOT end this post with my beautiful daughter. This exact day last year I was blown away when my second IVF flashed up as PREGNANT on a digital test.

We've come a long way, baby. Georgia is 19 weeks old now, say what?

Good morning!

This morning, Jase got to witness a magical event.
I'd just fed Georgia and had propped her upright to let her burp - but instead of burping, she opened her mouth & covered me in milk. It was the perfect shaped rainbow arch of projectile bodily fluids, and it amazingly managed to miss her clothing & the bedsheets - hitting my jammies instead. 
I don't think I've heard hubby laugh that much in a LONG time!
On the bright side, at least she got me up and ready for the day by 8am, right? :)





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