31 Dec 2011

New Year's Eve

So in a few hours we will be entering another new year. How quickly the last year flew. I can recall what I did last new year's eve ... which was nothing by the way because I was pregnant therefore could not drink and going through the "always tired" phase of my pregnancy. Oh how I miss that phase ... I would be so tired at the end of the day that I would come home from work, which was about 6.30pm (cause we were living at Crows Nest), change into my pyjamas and crawl into bed.

So I wanted to do something I haven't done for a couple of year's now ... make new year's resolutions. In the past I've usually opt for tangible items or goals you can physically see you have achieved but this time I'm going to add resolutions that don't fall into those categories.

[ ] Be fitter and healthier than I was 14 months ago. Lose the rest of the baby fat, complete my exercise program and make life long changes to my eating habits. Make the time to work out and commit to it while you're don't it!
[ ] Be available to family more whether its through being physically getting together, random words of encouragement and or providing support.
[ ] Find a place my husband, Eli and I can call "our home".
[ ] Go on a family holiday overseas. I want to put Europe, I know its doable, I do want Eli to join us but I think Ian needs convincing at this point.
[ ] Strengthen my relationship with my husband. We were at a cross point just before we conceived Eli at times I wonder what's going on in his head and whether he's head and heart is still at that moment. I want our relationship to be like how we felt when we were 16 - I want us both to be happy.
[ ] Clarity in my career path. Do I made a career move soon or continue to progress in my current field.
[ ] Blog as much as possible. I add this as I fear I will slowly stop due to the limited time I have.
[ ] Learn something new.
[ ] Pursue my business.
[ ] Find a charity I want to support and regularly contribute to which gives back to Australia(ns).

I think that's it ....
Ok now to get ready as there is more celebrating and eating to take place tonight.

Happy New Year everyone

29 Dec 2011

Post Christmas

It's been awhile since I posted, the silly season takes up so much of my little me time. This past week comprised of last minute Christmas shopping, cooking as I offered to cook our annual Christmas eve dinner and eating, whether its left overs or being at someone's home celebrating Christmas some more.

Our first Christmas with Eli and boy was he spoilt ... again. He was showered with gifts from family and friends. You really are spoilt when you're the first - I guess my parents were right when I use to complain about being treated unfairly compared to my younger sisters and they would respond with I was treated the best. 

The more stuff he's accumulating the more it reenforces how much we need our own place .... soon. He's growing so fast and he needs the space to move. Plus he's is a boy and he'll have all this energy he'll need to release.

It's been non stop eating this past week. Christmas Eve at my parents, Christmas Day at the J's, Boxing Day P&Y post Christmas party, the 27th mum's birthday, yesterday Eli's 5 months, today Jugg's get together and tomorrow New Year's Eve somewhere where I'm sure there will be food ... it really is the Fe(a)stive Season.

Merry Christmas to you and your family

21 Dec 2011

Refusing The Bottle

We've noticed something strange happening today, Eli won't take to the bottle - he's actually refusing it. This morning hubby mentioned he was doing this gagging reflex when he was trying to feed him and this afternoon when I tried to feed him the bottle he was doing the same thing. I knew he was hungry and when he first saw the bottle full of breast milk he quickly brought it to his mouth (I love it when he does that) but a few minutes later he started playing with the teat and was not swallowing the milk. So I stopped, wiped the excess milk which has spilled on his chin and proceeded to put the bottle back in his mouth. He would suck for a second but once he realised it was the bottle he would again stop drinking, arch his back and cry. He was getting really frustrated so I put him to the breast. 

I have been putting him to the breast more often only because I'm getting tired / lazy to express. Plus it's not like I don't need to be away from him at the moment. However I am worried he wont take to the bottle when he needs to take it, like when I'm away from him. Such as tomorrow morning when I need to pick up my parents from the airport.

I've been googling online to see if anyone else has had the same issue and it seems like its a common issue. Suggestions of other mothers who have tackled this problem include changing the bottle and nipples and to continue to be persistent in giving the bottle. I'm a bit confused in the change in behaviour, he'll usually take to the bottle just fine. Some friends with babies look at me with envy when I'm out with them and I can give my little man a bottle as their baby refuses it.

MJC feeds her daughter using the syringe approach as she refuses the bottle. I've seen her and her husband in action feeding their little girl and it really does take two of them to feed her. One to inject the syringe with the milk and feed it to their baby and the other to distract and encourage her to continue feeding. DT's baby girl also refuses the bottle so she doesn't go anywhere without her meaning she declines a lot of invitations if she is uncomfortable to breastfeed at the event. Knowing these mother's experiences I've come to realise that if the baby wants the bottle they will take it and if they wont then you need to come up with alternative ways for them to feed without you. They both attempted the bottle several times and it failed so they just seemed to have given up.

This recent behaviour isn't good, a bit over a month shy of me returning back to work. Plus I want to introduce him to rice cereal. I want to be the one to feed him his first "meal". I want to be present to see if he has any allergic reactions to the new food.

I don't really want to go out there and get new bottle and nipples. I don't know if I could force the bottle on Eli if he doesn't want it but I guess I have no choice at this point. I'm interested to know why this happens?

Uncle D bottle feeding Eli at 4 months

20 Dec 2011

Chronicals of Cam

I was planning to blog an entry last night. I started writing about a topic then I saved that post and created another one cause it I wanted to talk about a different topic. Then I thought about these two draft posts and the topics I was going to cover and thought 'is it really blog worthy? is it something I want to reflect on in a few years time?' The answer to both questions was no so I deleted both. 

Then I realised I had an old blog - 'The Chronicles of Cam'. A blog I started in 2003 and stopped writing in in 2010 (that can't be right I feel like I haven't blogged in .. years).  So I spent a good hour down memory lane and re read some of my posts. I noticed a reoccurring theme:
  • I write when I bored therefore most of the content is mindless yap about what I did on the weekend, the weather and random thoughts. And because I only wrote at times of bored ness my entries were usually very short.
  • I was obsessed with my weight. Admittedly I still do fuss over a number but reading on how regularly the thought of 'I need to lose or watch my weight' crosses my mind was a surprise to me. I don't know if it is healthy to be so consumed by those thoughts so much or because I do belong to a society where a certain look is glamorised I always felt my body was inadequate?
  • I write in such cryptic code that I don't know what I'm on about half the time. I guess its because my old blog was read by many friends I didn't want to expose too much detail out in the world wide web. Also an ex (not mine) had previously stalked my blog so again I didn't want to bare all.
  • How insecure I was early on with my relationship with my now husband.     
So this new blog I want it to have some substance, I'm taking a risk and allowing my entries to be a little more personal and I do want to look back in a few years time and recall the memories and feelings I had at this point in time. Especially my feelings and emotions of being a first time mom. 

14 Dec 2011

Eating My Words

It's December and we all know this month just flies. Then it'll be January and then 1st February 2012 meaning I go back to work. Where did my 6 months of maternity leave go? 

Firstly some background. I started working for my current employer in 7 September 2010. I found out I was pregnant in November and my expected due date was August 7 2011. A month shy of my 12 month continuous employment therefore short of any maternity leave entitlements. My employer offered to hold my title while I go on "extended leave" but for only 6 months. So I must return in 6 months if I want my job back. 

Before going on leave I already felt this was a tough decision. There is the financial benefits to returning back to work but the guilt knowing my baby will only be 6 months when I go back. 

Before having a baby I never cared to understand reasons why mothers stayed at home to look after their children. I consider myself a logical thinker so yes it make sense if you have multiple children, you earn below a certain salary and from a tax perspective it make sense not to work. But the whole staying home cause you want to "be the one to care for your children," you don't really understand that concept until you've had a child. 

For me now I would love to be the one to look after Elijah, especially at this stage of his life. I feel there is no one else who will love him and watch him with as much attention as I would. I want to be there to witness all his first's, teach him how to do things and spend all day with him. I fear although he'll be looked after by family he'll be put in a corner some where and only efforts to keep him quiet will be made instead of enhancing his development. 

Right now I'm happy to play with him all day, I don't make many plans and I get to things when I can - complete 180 to how I was four and a half months ago. I choose to pick him up every time he cries, I choose to hold him while he sleeps so he can feel close to me and I choose a method of nurturing some people might not have the patience for. Everyone is so busy with what they got going in their lives I worry looking after Eli will be a task instead of a commitment.  

8 Dec 2011

Worst Mum Ever!

Today was my son's first injury ... well technically the nail cutting incident where I accidently pinched his finger with the nail cutter was his first. 

After Eli's bath and a feed I attempted to put the little guy to sleep. He was somewhat asleep and decided to put him in our bed to nap cause I figured he would get up later on that night for another feed plus he seems to sleep longer when he is in our bed. I faced him forward on the bed, tapped him into his 'nearly there' asleep state, placed the blanket over him and walked away. Ten minutes later I could hear him whinging in our room. It was still the soft spasmodic cries so I didn't attend to him straight away. Soon it got louder and constant so decided to go up and check him out. 

As I was at the bottom of the stairs I hear a loud thump on the ground ... I knew it was Eli. I knew he had fallen off the bed. Both Ian and I ran upstairs to the bedroom. Ian was just yelling "WHY?!" as I ran into the bedroom and found Eli lying on his back on the floor, crying hysterically. Ian punched the bed, again asking "Why did you leave him on the bed?" with such judgement. I just held Eli close, comforted him and kept saying "I'm sorry".

I felt around his body and head to see if there are any bumps and lumps worried he fell head first. I slowly moved his limbs checking to see he didn't break anything and I prayed nothing serious internally has happened either. 

Worst feeling ever! I felt so responsible for his fall. He's so tiny and precious and perfect and I feel like I failed to watch over him even though I've been watching over him the past four and a half months. I don't care if people say I'm spoiling him by always holding him  I don't ever want something like that to happen again.

New rules:
  1. Bub's must always sleep in his cot if left alone
  2. Must stay with bubs if left sleeping on a bed
Besides the incident he managed to get a photo with this guy today ...

 Eli .. the ultimate wing man  

Look at that smile. It took one shot to get that photo.

Mummy's so sorry.

7 Dec 2011

Self Sleeping ... Finally

A month and a half later our four and a half month old baby has learnt (or gave in) to self sleep. What is 'self sleeping' you ask? Its the term I've given for when a baby is put into their cot or crib (place of sleep) still awake and the child falls asleep without crying. I can now put my baby in his cot / crib wide awake and when he's ready he will go to sleep. Yes it has taken awhile for us to get there but we're here.

I have never been a fan of the 'self soothing' technique. Don't get me wrong I gave it a go a few times but I always gave in cause I just didn't like the sound or the look of my baby crying. I actually don't mind holding my baby to sleep, I don't mind holding my baby at all. He's only going to be this small for a short period of time so while I can hold and be close to him I'm not complaining.  But I know I need to start allowing him teach himself how to fall asleep on his own. Especially since I'll be back to work in less than 2 months. This technique in my opinion is kinda the opposite, a dragged out, less intrusive form of the 'self soothing' method.

Here are my tricks and tips to help your baby learn how to self sleep:
  • Get them familiar with the place of sleep you want your baby to learn to self sleep in, this will take time. We co-slept with our baby for the first 2-3 months and during the day I would also let him sleep on our bed. After 3 months I started putting him in his cot for his day naps and also started leaving him there for short periods of time while he was awake especially when I need the use of both my hands. I read that the sleep environment plays a factor on how they associate sleep  so getting them to be familiar with their sleep environment is key.
  • When they first cry comfort as soon as possible but avoid picking them up straight away. Attempt to calm them down while in their cot / crib. Provide comfort and assist in getting baby back to sleep if still sleepy.  Again this is to set them familiar with the environment. 
  • Put baby into cot / crib asleep at first then slowly over time put baby into crib a little more alert than the last time. You want to get into a state where you place baby into their cot after a feed knowing they're due for a nap. In time they will be familiar with their sleeping environment and just follow their body's desire to sleep - just like us adults. 
  • Go with your gut instincts. If you can only bare to let your baby sleep in their crib / cot during the day but not comfortable at night then that's ok, go with what works for both of you.
  • Be patient and persistent. There were nights he would still sleep in our bed for legitimate reasons (i.e sick) and it was so nice to have him close. You need to fight the temptation to revert back to old ways.      
There are exceptions to the rule of course and these are:
  • A baby wont fall asleep if they are not sleepy. Provide toys or distractions such as a moving mobile to assist them in 'playing out' that energy.
  • I suggested not to pick up baby when they cry from waking however assess whether baby needs more than gentle comfort. They may need a cuddle or are experiencing discomfort from something and need to be picked up straight away.
I think that's it. I'd like to get feedback from mom's who have read and tried this technique. I'd be interested to hear about their journey in trying out this method.

3 Dec 2011

Exercising With A Baby

Everything I enjoyed prior to being pregnant I still am able to enjoy but a cut down version of it. Exercising was a daily routine for me. I exercise 5-6 days a week, played team sport and took up any opportunity I could to do some physical activity. Now I work out when I can, usually late at night which isn't ideal and most times I end up deferring it to tomorrow, which 50% of the time doesn't happen. My one hour work outs are usually cut down to 40 minutes, I skim through warms up and cool downs and I don't stick to my schedule. 

I understand its part of the sacrifice of being a mother but I feel so robbed. I never had a body of an elite athlete however I pride in looking after myself. My main reason for working out is to maintain a healthy and strong body as long as I possibly can. Exercising is my "me" time, working out is my only selfish indulgence I want. So its quiet annoying when I can't enjoy it to its fullest cause Eli is yelling up stairs half way through or I'm rushing through my DVD's in fear he'll wake up soon. 

I love food and admittedly I don't particularly watch what I eat because I work out regularly but now I can feel this behaviour taking its tool. We all know exercising is hard and at times you really need to dig deep to find the motivation to do it but oddly enough its the lack of time that prevents me from working out. 

How does one balance it all? Please enlighten me on how you can maintain a regular exercise regime without interference from your commitment to your family.    

1 Dec 2011

Falling in Love

Yesterday Eli wanted to play most of the day and when he was sleepy he wanted to be held. So we spent most of the day ogling and looking at each other. We're bonding so much and I'm falling so much in love with him. I say this because I was not one of those mothers who cried when they first saw their baby or felt an instant flow of love for this person who just miraculously appeared. 

Let me explain .. Firstly I'm a direct and thick skinned person. I let a selected few people close to me and always have my guard up. With people I don't trust I tent to take a pessimistic approach to the relationship until they have proven themselves to me. I view relationships as a choice, as in you choose who you want to associate your time with therefore, if you are surrounded by malicious people then that's your choice and it's your choice to get yourself away from those people too.  

So if those are my views on relationships how can you expect someone like me to meet someone I don't know and just love this person without first getting to know them a little more. 

I recall a conversation about motherhood with another mother who asked me "didn't you just fall in love?" I didn't respond cause my answer would have been "No ... we don't know each other that well just yet." 

I know regardless a mother will love their child but I can admit for me it didn't come instantly. I always thought the "bonding" they speak of between a mother and baby was for the baby's sake but I believe its for the mother as well. 

30 Nov 2011

Got Milk

During the last week I've been tossing up whether I should give Eli other means of nutrition / food besides breast milk only because he's getting older and I worry that he's not getting enough for his growing body. A formula feed baby starts with 80mls of milk per feed and slowly increases to 150ml by four months so should my breast fed baby be drinking 150mls per feed?

Options at his age now could be rice cereal on top of breast milk and or as suggested by my mother in law (who is a retired midwife) topping up my breast milk with formula.

My concern about whether my baby is getting enough has been playing on my mind and making me doubt my ability to provide all he needs for the first 6 months. I've been emailing friends asking them what they did when their baby was Eli's age or their thoughts on my fears.

I googled to see whether my question has been circulated in other forums and found many different sources. Obviously your supply will adjust according to your baby's needs and there is an amount a certain aged baby should be consuming a day.

A really good source that I usually go to is Kelly Mom. The web site is dedicated to information just on breast feeding. I was able to find information as well as a calculator to determine how much my baby should be drinking per day. According to Kelly Mom my four month old baby who is nursing an average max 6 times a day, needs an average 125mls per feed which is how much I'm expressing, if I get a solid 3-4 hours time difference between last express.

So I guess I'm doing okay, he's doing okay for now. I do want to introduce rice cereal before I go back to work in February so I know whether he has any allergies to particular brands of rice cereal. Also I need to stop listening to "well meaning" mothers who last looked after a baby 20 plus years ago. Their old school and some times non proven approach to nurturing babies is how they did it at their time and I should just trust my decisions, my body and my baby on how I will nurture my baby today.

Did you ever worry about whether your older baby is getting enough on breast milk alone? What did you do to settle your concerns?

29 Nov 2011

Four Months Ago

I gave birth to this little cheeky monkey ...

Mummy and Daddy love you so much. You have filled our lives with so much love, happiness and fulfilment - you complete our world.

27 Nov 2011

Holiday Withdrawals

I'm dying to go on a holiday. Prior to falling pregnant my husband and I travelled as much as we possibly could. No we haven't seen the whole world but lucky to have traveled to several countries and was hoping to tick a few more off before babies came into the picture.

We didn't really "plan" a holiday way in advance either, there was usually a trigger. Either the realisation it has been a while since we've ridden on a plane, or cheap / discounted air fares we couldn't pass on and or tax refund time. We were spontaneous and open to traveling to any part of the world - I miss that.

Twelve months ago Ian and I agreed a big Europe would be on the cards August 2011, instead we had a baby.

I know, I know you can still travel with children, but c'mon it's not the same. You can't experience certain things with babies or children. You can't go check out a local hot spot that doesn't open until 10pm, you can't ride mopeds through the dirt roads of Santorini, your child won't have the stamina or interest to walk around museums and sights all day. Then there's the safety factor that you need to consider, you are completely responsible for the safety and well being of your child in a foreign country. How do you enjoy yourself as well as be 100% on the look out for any potential danger that poses your family? I struggle now to watch over my personal belongs when on holidays what more with a human being.

Also now money plays a big factor. Before I wouldn't really care about much I spent while on holiday's because to me it was all part of the memory / experience of the holiday. Don't get me wrong we never flew business or first class, we used the cheapest mode of transport to get from point A to B and we stayed in comfortable clean hotels. But the experiences and adventures completed while on holidays ... well I never put a budget on it. If it can't be done, seen or purchased in Australia then it's well worth it.

Am I just being a sook? Am I selfish? Should I just get over it. It bugs me considerably I guess cause as long as I can remember all I ever wanted to do is travel, travel, travel. See as the whole world before I was committed to something that would prevent me from being able to travel ... freely and spontaneously.

We're thinking of going to Europe next year though. I'm in two minds as to whether we should or just wait until Eli is a little older. I would hate to travel so far and do so little because an attraction don't allow toddlers or he becomes really sick and we're stuck inside a hotel the whole time. I guess we just got to wait and see what his personality / temperament is like before we make a decision about travelling with him.

23 Nov 2011

Four Months

Eli had his 4 months immunisation shots on Monday and he has not been himself since.  

Firstly he had a fever on Monday night. The doctor did warn us this was a common reaction however he was still feverish up until today. Secondly, he hasn’t slept well since Monday. He has been cat napping during the day and night, sleeping an average 30-60 minutes at a time, meaning he's been restless. Even now I’ve just spent the last hour and half getting him to sleep so hopefully he sleeps well tonight. He's also has a runny nose since Monday. It’s not blocked or has mucus but when he has been fussy or crying for a period of time I've noticed a thin clear liquid expels from his nose. 

His skin condition on his body has not cleared up either, if anything I think its gotten worst. He’s got this rash like condition on most of the front side of his body, on area’s that are covered, so his chest, stomach and groin area. I thought it may have been a heat rash as it appeared a few weeks ago during the heat wave but it still around. The rash also appears around his upper neck near his chin area too. I think I will go to the doctor’s tomorrow and get his skin checked out.

I’m surprised he had a reaction to his shots as he was fine last time. Maybe it’s a higher dose of the drugs this time around. He was pretty out of it on Monday. 

This time we went to a medical centre that specialises in children – what a difference in care and attention when you see people who service a target audience.

I thought we had a sleep technique down pact but seems like our methods do not work on him anymore. We use to hold him to sleep and then put him in his cot, usually faced down and he would sleep for hours. I know some people are against facing babies down and I still hear it from family that I should not do it but it works for us and I wouldn’t risk it if I didn’t think he could support his head / neck. 

15 Nov 2011

Happy 30th

It was my 30th birthday yesterday. It wasn't as memorable as I'd like it to be ... however I bet I'll remember how unmemorable it was. The outcome was totally my fault though.

I had organised a joint birthday party for Ian and I for some of our friends. We were even paying for their meals at one of my favourite restaurants. I had too much to drink in a short period of time ended up throwing up all over the restaurant, on myself, in a friend's car and left the party early in an embarrassing state. Ian ended up paying for a room at a hotel near by but we only stayed for 3 hours - so that was another waste of money. The following morning I had the worst hang over and could not stomach food so Ian's plans to take me to a japanese restaurant in town no longer proceeded.

The one day in a year that I'm suppose to feel special, I felt embarrassed and seedy. I ruined my day and I hate myself for it. I was really excited about spending the night with friends over a nice dinner yet I couldn't even last the night.

While at the hotel when I did finally manage to wake up Ian reminded me how much our son needed me. He later lectured me on how I should be thinking of our son at all cost. I think he was alluding to the fact that I shouldn't be behaving a certain way now that I'm a mother. Yes, I know this and it wasn't my intention to be that intoxicated.

I'm disappointed in myself. It was the worst birthday and I regret everything. I wish I could turn back the clock and do it all over again.     

11 Nov 2011

Hello Blogger .... Again

I should've started this 3 months ago ... maybe even while I was pregnant. Some place to jot down my random thoughts and emotions of being a mum. Obviously being a first time mother is very exiting, scarey and challenging but I think why I feel the need to start this blog is because I am the epitome of the "gen-y" generation. I loved my life prior to being a mum and I'm still coming to terms with the changes in my life since giving birth .. since finding out I was pregnant.   

So a little background about me ... Presently I'm 29 years old, asian woman living in Sydney Australia. I got married in January 2009 to my high school sweet heart. We enjoyed a lifestyle of traveling frequently, living 10 minutes away from our jobs in town, purchasing whatever toys and possessions we thought we needed and filled our nights with socialising with friends. Although it seemed we lived for the moment we try and be savvy with our money by owning two investment properties and we maintained high profile job titles earning above average for our age and work caliber.

In November 2010 we found out I was pregnant ... from that point onwards our world would change. I was not entitled to paid maternity leave through my employer therefore could not afford to pay two mortgages and rent, so we decided to move back out west with my family. Our 10 minutes bus ride has been exchanged for 1.5 hours commute one way. We needed to sell one place so to lighten the load financially and potentially use the profit to purchase a home for our growing family. My desire to travel to Europe in 2011 has now been postponed. 

In July 2011 I gave birth to our first son, Eli. My labor lasted only 25 minutes, with no drugs or stitches however my baby weighed only 3.005kg and 48cm long. Although my pregnancy and delivery was easy the post arrival of the baby is the most difficult part.

I guess that's a quick over view detailing information about me and the background which set the scene for this blog. Hopefully I write in it frequently as I tend to neglect blogs I start.
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