The spirit of Christmas is in the air

December is only one day away and there’s a whole lot of excitement brewing in our house. Christmas is almost here! While Candice and I have always enjoyed the festive season, this year is different. This year, Oscar exists and we can’t wait to start Christmas traditions with him.

We don’t care that Oscar will only be 11 weeks old and won’t actually remember a thing about his first Christmas. It will still be fun for us! When I was a kid I loved the magic, the stories, the fat guy in the red suit. I loved it all. My younger sister and I would wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning and beg our mother to let us eat chocolate and candy canes for breakfast. To her credit, she never once gave in to our pleas. The day was always filled with gifts, food and with christmas cartoons playing in the background. When Oscar is all grown up, we want him to be able to look back with nothing but cheerful, happy memories of this time of year. We have been floating around ideas and below are a few of the traditions that we have decided to start with our boy.

• December/Christmas box: This is a box of items given on the 1st of December. Items include a Christmas themed book, pyjamas and a personalised Christmas tree decoration. As he gets older we will also add other things such as a Christmas DVD, popcorn and hot chocolate. These are all things to enjoy throughout the month of December, leading up to Christmas day.

• Driving around our neighbourhood to see all the pretty Christmas lights.

• Leaving out milk (or a glass of red wine) and cookies on Christmas eve for Santa and carrots for the reindeers.

• Get a photo taken with Santa

• Baking and decorating Christmas cookies

• Advent calendar

Most of these will have to wait until Oscar is a bit older but this year we still plan on doing the Santa photo, the Christmas lights and the December/Christmas box.

Tomorrow is the 1st of December so we have put together a few items for Oscar’s xmas box – A book, PJs and a bauble to hang on the tree. The bauble has a photo of him and Santa inside it!

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December box

 

 

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Christmas tree bauble

 

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This is just a phone pic I snapped while he was getting his Santa photo.

 

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Our Christmas tree!

 

The worst sound a parent can hear

Today Oscar had his first lot of vaccinations. I went in with the decision made that I would request to breastfeed him while the nurse administered the needles. This is because when Oscar was born, a midwife told me that breastfeeding is a natural pain relief for babies. It was news to me but I was won over when she had me try it while she did the heel prick test. Oscar didn’t flinch or cry or even seem to notice at all. I was amazed. Therefore, I was shocked to recently hear stories of mothers being told that they were not allowed to nurse during the vaccinations. To me, this makes no sense and actually made me angry. Today, with all these thoughts going through my mind, I was quite worked up and ready for an argument with the nurse if need be. I needn’t have worried. As soon as I told her she actually looked relieved and then threw the tissue she was holding in the bin and said “Well, we won’t be needing tissues then”. I put Oscar on to feed while she got the first needle ready and I was feeling pretty confident that he would hardly notice with all the boob distraction.

I was WRONG.

As soon as that needle went in I felt his whole body jolt and his face went dark red. His eyes, that were still staring straight into mine, went really wide and then he let out the most heartbreaking cry I’ve ever heard. I thought I had already experienced his serious cry but I was wrong. This was his real one and it’s the worst sound ever.

It was horrible enough that it almost made me cry.

As soon as I heard his screams my let-down reflex went into overdrive and my boobs starting leaking everywhere. I could feel the milk starting to soak through my bra. I was able to get him back on to feed again within about 30 seconds though and the crying stopped immediately so that was a relief. The nurse then had to give him the other needle. It was the same reaction as the first – that cry! Again though, the cry only lasted 30 seconds or so.

We’re home now and at the moment he is currently asleep. I keep checking on him and have taken his temperature twice but he seems okay. I’m sitting here at the dining table, with the baby monitor next to me and every now and again I hear him let out a sad little whimper in his sleep. Call me crazy but I am convinced that he is having vaccination nightmares. It makes me want to go in there, pick him up and cuddle him but the rational side of me knows I should just let him sleep.

Poor little dude.

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Sleep. Sleep? Sleep!!

First up, this is probably going to be a short post. Right this minute Oscar is asleep… Finally. Some days he really puts up a fight and it leaves us both so drained and exhausted.

There has been a lot of crying today, mostly from him but a little from me. I hate not being able to comfort and settle him! Candice has been doing overtime at work most days lately as it’s really busy. On one hand this is good as it means a bit more money each week but on the other it’s really hard for me. By the time she gets home I feel so ruined and honestly a little down. Not every day, just the hard ones. And boy, oh boy, today is a hard one.

Oscar just woke up and after feeding, changing, rocking him back to sleep, putting him down, then picking him up, repeat, he is passed out on my chest and I’m now typing this post from my phone as I can’t reach the laptop anymore. I don’t want to risk waking him again by even moving. I’m been trying to figure out what is wrong with him and why he is so unsettled and gassy. It has to be from my breast milk since that’s all he eats but I can’t pin point the cause. I’ve already started eliminating dairy from my diet but now I’m suss on onion/garlic. Who knows.

Candice won’t be home from work until late tonight. It’s 7.30pm right now and she doesn’t expect to be leaving for a few more hours yet. I keep going back and forth in my head about whether or not to call my mum and ask if she could come over just to give me a little break. I know she wouldn’t mind but I feel bad asking as I know she would have her own things she needs to take care of after work.

I’m also realising that have a problem with letting other people settle Oscar when he is upset. I can’t stand hearing him cry and having to listen to someone attempting to settle him, unsuccessfully, kills me. I try and wait as long as I can but eventually I can’t help but take him off them and try to do it myself. I know it’s not fair to that person but I swear it literally hurts me when he cries like that. My headache intensifies and my left shoulder nerves ping. Candice is actually pretty good at getting him to sleep and my own mum is known as the ‘baby whisperer’ but I still think in both cases I would still try to take him off them to settle him myself. I need to stop this.

I feel like I am completely rambling right now. My phone is on 9% battery charge so I had better wrap this up. Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day. Here are a few photos of Oscar in dreamland. How sweet and peaceful does he look when he isn’t fighting sleep…

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We made it to 4 weeks!

Oscar is now 4 weeks old and over the last few days it seems that he is really starting to become less of a newborn and more of a baby. He is spending more time awake in the mornings and evenings, eyeballing everything in his sight. He likes to stare at our faces, with serious confusion in his eyes, as we pull faces at him. Makes me feel a little silly. We both think his first smile must be just around the corner and we’re desperate to see it. From what we have read, babies tend to start grinning around 6-8 weeks but they can start earlier so hopefully we don’t have long to wait!

Yesterday was a good day, great in fact. Oscar was settling very easily, sleeping for decent periods of time and in a very undemanding mood. Usually I’m holding and feeding him constantly in the afternoons so it was a nice change from what had become the norm. I was confused for a lot of the day, wondering what was going on. Asking myself, why is he being so good today? He continued to be a perfect baby well into the night and I started to get excited that maybe the past few weeks have just been a growth spurt and now it’s over. I am pleased to report that so far today, he is continuing to be an angel. This could be the start of something great!

A confession. I have started feeling quite lonely lately. Being hulled up at home all day long, unable to drive yet or walk far, is starting to take it’s toll on me. I’m not really the type of person that enjoys feeling confined and I can’t wait to get out and about again. I miss the company of adults and the ease of making plans to see them. I know it’s only a few more weeks until I can drive again but in the meantime there is a little cloud following me around the house.

I really enjoy Fridays and get pretty excited when they finally roll around. It is the same excitement I would feel when I was still working. The, “yay, it’s almost the weekend!”, excited feeling. I have been surprised at how physically and mentally exhausted I feel by the end of the week. Surprised, because for a large majority of my day I am sitting. Just sitting and watching movies, while holding and feeding a baby. It’s shockingly draining and not something I expected at all. Lucky today just happens to be Friday!

As slow as some days seem to be, this last month has zoomed by. We are excited to see Oscar’s personality grow and encourage him to reach new milestones but at the same time, we’re going to miss this tiny baby stage. I was looking through an album on my phone and started crying at the photos that were taken in those first few days in the hospital. Just his smallness, his sweetness and his helplessness. I’m getting teary right now just thinking about it. Hormone danger alert, I repeat, hormone danger alert.

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Great expectations

Lately I’ve asked myself if parenthood is everything I expected it to be. In a lot of ways it’s actually easier. Extremely time consuming, but easier. There are a few things that have however, come as a surprise.

In the past when I would observe a parent interact with their baby, I would feel a mix of unease and confusion. This was then followed by a genuine embarrassment for them. The baby talk, funny face pulling, their excitement over the most mundane of ‘milestones’. I was so positive that I would never be like that and Candice thought the same about herself too.

Well, guess who have suddenly found themselves fluent in baby talk? That’s right, us. You have to remember, we’re home alone with Oscar A LOT. Lately I find myself engrossed in one way conversations with him, ones that involve me repeating the words “helllllo, heeelllo, hellooo Oscar, helllllo”. We also congratulate him on every burp and fart he does, like it’s some big achievement. We can’t help it! Heck, I’ve even started singing nursery rhymes to him, poor kid. The other day he sat through an awful rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider, half of which had made up words. I blow raspberries on his cheeks and Candice kisses his toes. These are all things that we’ve seen other parents do but not things that we expected to be doing ourselves. I think the thing that has most surprised me about our new behaviour is that I don’t particularly care what other people think of it. How else are we going to earn his first smile, his first giggle? By making fools of ourselves of course.

In other news, last week we had a call from the hospital asking if we would like to have a home visit from a midwife. Even though everything has been going pretty smoothly, we decided that it can’t hurt. Maybe Melissa the midwife will have some tips that will help to settle him during that fussy time in the afternoon. She’ll also be able to weigh him for us which saves us a trip to the chemist. His last weigh in was at 3 weeks and he was 3820g. The midwife visit is happening tomorrow so I’m hoping to get a decent sleep tonight.  

A little win I had today was that I figured out a way that I can hold Oscar and still have free hands to get things done – Ergobaby!

In 2 days Oscar will be a whole month old already!

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