Sunday, 30 November 2008

Smile - for the camera.

Maya has been smiling for a couple of weeks now after feeds (when she has a full, happy tummy). It's a gorgeous, wide-mouthed grin. I would love to capture it in a photo. However, as soon as I put a camera in front of her she stops and becomes totally memorized by the camera. So the other day I decided to try and sneak a picture of her smile by getting the camera ready out of her sight and quickly moving it across as soon as she smiled. This led to the following blurry photos:

Thursday, 27 November 2008

A dummy is the answer.. or so I thought.

I thought all babies LOVED dummies! I know some people are against giving their child a dummy, but I'm all for it if it helps settle a baby. So before Maya was born I went and bought some dummies and decided that I would try other settling techniques first, but the minute none of my settling strategies worked I would offer the dummy and it would be my instant saviour. So the first time I was struggling to calm Maya I offered her the dummy and what happened.. she screamed even more! That's not what's supposed to happen! So I thought that if I offered her a dummy when she's calm and happy then she'd learn to use a dummy. What happened? She did accept the dummy, sat there with it sitting in her mouth (not sucking on it) and then after a minute or so she pushed it back out with her tongue. So I shoved it back in and she did the same thing.. again and again.. until she ended up in tears. I guess I'd hate someone shoving something into my mouth over and over again too. I've tried a few times to offer her a dummy and bought different types of dummies to see if she prefers a different shape.. all with the same outcome. So I guess I won't have the problem of having to take a dummy off her later down the track and her teeth won't be affected. But it means I have to keep coming up with new settling techniques!

Thursday, 20 November 2008


If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands? - Milton Berle
Time for myself now exists in blocks of unknown quantities, dependent on if and for how long Maya will sleep. I never know if I'll have one minute, half an hour or maybe score a whole four hours to myself! As soon as I put her down I race through everything as quickly as possible. Sometimes I get to eat one bite of a meal, while other times I can finish a meal, have a shower, put washing on and write in my blog!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Andre Rieu concert.

While spending Christmas with my aunt and uncle in The Netherlands two years ago we watched Andre Rieu's Vienna concert and I wished that I could experience it live. So as soon as I saw that he was coming to Australia I booked tickets.

Then Maya came along and I wasn't sure if I would be able to attend. My plan was to express enough milk for a test feed and then if she drank from a bottle I'd express enough for another feed. But I struggled to find time to express and when I did have time I couldn't get much out! Eventually I did manage to express enough for one feed and I was able to leave Maya with my mother and go to the Andre Rieu concert! I thought I'd worry about Maya but the minute I left the house it felt good to be out and to be free of responsibility!

Greg and I had fantastic seats - on the floor, next to the aisle, across from the VIPS and about 32 rows from the front! The stage was amazing and the music was fantastic. As well as the classical music, I enjoyed the medley of Aussie music that was played (which included the Neighbours and Bananas in Pyjamas theme songs). We also joined in the well known song "Aussie Aussie Aussie.. Oi Oi Oi". And the finale included Australian marching bands. It was definitely a night I will cherish. :)

Though getting to sleep after 2am and being woken up by Maya at 4.30am wasn't exactly fun!

Below are some pictures taken with my phone camera (hence the bad quality!).

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Unexpected.

  • I didn't realise that it took so long to feed a baby. Each feed takes about an hour (with a feed, change nappy & feed again routine) and babies feed a minimum of 6 up to a maximum of 12 times a day. That's 6 to 12 hours spent feeding. Happily the most feeds I've had to do is 8 in a day.

  • I thought I would no longer be able to read books. But I find that I am souring through books with all the sitting down feeding time I have.

  • I thought babies slept most of the time. Maya 'woke up' while she was still under one week old and suddenly needed play time. And then it was a question of.. how on earth do you play with a new born?!? Plus it means I have less time for myself than I expected.

  • I expected to be able to saunter around shops and spend time sitting in cafes, with a happily sleeping baby in pram. But Maya hardly ever sleeps in the pram and will usually start crying if I stay still for too long. Also Maya doesn't sleep much in the car. So going out usually results in an unhappy, tired baby.

  • I thought I'd be able to express enough milk for Greg to try feeding Maya. But finding the time to express milk is not at all easy and when I try to express I can barely get anything out! Maya is a very efficient feeder!

  • Yesterday I attended a mother's group and on hearing other babies cries, I realised that Maya's cry isn't that bad. Not sure if that's because I am used to her cry?! But I didn't realise how horrible other babies cries sound!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Don't wake the baby.

While in hospital the mid-wives kept commenting on the fact that Maya was jaundiced. I couldn't see what they were talking about, but every single nurse would tell me that Maya had jaundice and I had to feed her more often to get rid of it. Then Maya started losing weight, which all babies do, but she lost just over 10% of her body weight, which is more than they are supposed to lose. So again the mid-wives told me I needed to feed her more often and wake her regularly for feeds. The problem with waking her for feeds was that she wanted to stay asleep and wouldn't feed properly.

Our paediatrician on the other hand told us that she was a big, healthy baby to begin with and that she could stand to lose a few more grams than other babies. He also told us that she was barely jaundiced and it wasn't really a problem. But the mid-wives continued to tell me that she was losing too much weight and was too jaundiced and I had to feed her more! So I guess a paediatrician is more qualified but when you have one doctor versus every nurse, it felt like the majority was right. I left hospital feeling like a failure and continued to regularly wake and feed Maya.

Finally after many frustrating feeds of waking Maya up and then struggling to keep her awake I decided to drop the schedule and feed on demand. This felt risky but I had to try it. And what happened? Maya would wake for a feed when she was hungry, so she stayed awake and actually ate more, which has resulted in a very good weight gain. Today she was weighed and she has finally passed her birth weight! :) 4.2 kgs!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Today I learnt..

..not to stick your hand in between two cats that are fighting (the hard way!). My 'instinct' was to help my cat Cleo.. but I think I came out the sorest loser.
And that's just SOME of the cuts on ONE hand.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Maya loves the camera.

Maya Loves The Camera

Maya Settling After Crying

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Maya - the first two days.

When I returned to the ward after my c-section Maya was desperately wanting food. A mid-wife helped set me up for a breast feed, with Maya resting on my stomach and almost straight away I started feeling sick. I got worse and worse and soon afterwards I began vomiting and continued vomiting for around seven hours until they finally found some medication to stop it. During that time and afterwards I was so tired, my head was muddled from all the drugs they had given me and I felt so ill , weak and dizzy. I couldn't sit up, I couldn't hold Maya and I couldn't even see her properly.

I watched from my sick bed as Greg regularly changed and dressed Maya and put her down to sleep. (Without Greg I assume Maya would have been taken away from me to a nursery.) Mid-wives had to help me breast feed because I couldn't sit up and later Greg also took over this role.

The next day I still felt so ill, dizzy, tired and muddled. In the afternoon a nurse got me out of bed and I couldn't stand at all. That night Greg put Maya down to sleep and left to get some things from home. As soon as he left Maya woke up. I could reach her crib and tried rocking her but her crying got louder. I felt so helpless. I couldn't get out of bed to hold her! I had to buzz for a mid-wife who took ages to come. While I lie there listening to Maya crying, I felt so utterly helpless. The mid-wife finally arrived and she basically told me that she couldn't stay with me and that I would have to feed Maya on my own. Then she said that I looked EXHAUSTED and told me that I needed to put Maya in the nursery for the night so that I could get some sleep. I was shocked at the suggestion at first, but while I sat there alone in the room feeding Maya, desperately trying to stay awake (so that I didn't drop off to sleep and drop Maya), I realised she was right - I needed to get a good nights sleep. I also realised that the extremely strong pain killers they were giving me were making me feel worse so I made the decision then and there to stop taking them.

After a good nights sleep and without the strong pain killers in me I was able to get out of bed the next day! :) From then on I just got better and better.. :) And I was finally able to take a good, long look at my gorgeous baby girl. :)