10 things I’ve learned in my first month of motherhood

As we cross over the one month mark since Sophie’s birth, I find myself already passing on the pearls of wisdom that I have managed to acquire in this short time to other expeccting mothers. For kicks, I thought… why not share them with the internet world too.. Surely I am not the only one who has experienced some of these.

1. My heart is so full, I have been expecting it to explode or something

Not even exaggerating here. This tiny human is my world. I said to someone about three days in, I would jump in front of a bus for her. In one short month, she has managed to drastically shift my perspective on my life’s goals and how I approach my marriage. It is no longer just about me striving to further my career, shower my husband with love and enjoy our free time. I am already thinking 20 years ahead at the life that I am creating for her.

I’ve been really challenged through this shift, and I think this will be a lifelong marathon where I will  constantly be reflecting and evaluating how my choices will in turn impact on my child. In comparison to the lifestyle and perspective I once held, its not at all a bad change.

2. Note to self: Surround yourself with supportive & awesome people who get you & the journey you’re on!

If you want to make any friends at mothers’ group, don’t tell them if your baby is sleeping well at three weeks, whether you plan to return to work, that you’re not nearly as tired as you thought you would be, or whether you are pro/con co-sleeping. Just tread very carefully around the topic of sleep.. it’s a doozie.

Honestly though, find a good group of mums that you trust and enjoy spending time with. I checked out a few groups prior to giving birth and I am so glad that I did. One in particular, I arrived for coffee with a group of about 20 women who were pregnant and due around the same month as me. It all seemed to be going well until they asked whether I would be going back to work after materntiy leave.

Needless to say, they did not really care too much for my response and I left shortly after that due to an “urgent call from a friend who needed me”. I’ve been really blessed though to have an amazing group of friends who are becoming parents or are already. We meet up once a fortnight at a friend’s house and it is refreshingly great to be able to ask questions, chat about all things baby and just connect with people who I know aren’t judging me for my life choices.

I have the perspective that every person is different, as are their children. So I am not one to pass judgement or make assumptions based on a set of circumstances I know nothing about. Seriously people.. be kind to each other okay!

3. Browsing online shopping sites during night time feeds is dangerous game to play

It’s only been four weeks and I have already managed to make online purchases & wake the next morning with no recollection. It was only when I opened my inbox to find a bunch of “your receipt for …” emails, that I realised what had happened. Kudos to my midnight conscious self though because they were all necessary items that I had been meaning to look in to further.

4. More than once you will find yourself pushing an empty pram, rocking a shopping trolley or swaying from side to side when your baby is not with you.

Yep. Did this in the line to get some takeaway the other day. I had Sophie in the baby carrier and the pram was loaded up with the grocery basket filled with my purchases. I was getting some funny looks and then I realised. *excuse me while I go die now

5. You’ve never known fury until someone wakes your child after a 5 hour sleep refusal marathon.

Not even kidding. We had a particularly difficult week with Sophie last week due to congestion. After almost an entire day of her not sleeping, I finally managed to put her down and some door knockers came by.

The first time I was pretty gracious to the fact that they caused my dog to start barking the house down and almost woke my child; but when they returned a second time after I had told them very clearly that I was not interested in the book of Mormon to ask me if I was “sure” I did not want to hear their message…. lets just say they got a rather different response.. One I am not particularly proud of *Oops

6. The new and improved muffin top that once was your pregnant belly is here to stay. Accept it and think of it as a “token gift” from your pregnancy.

I’m not even worried. The plus side is that breastfeeding is like the best weight loss method I have ever come across, so the rest of me is looking rather good.

At the end of the day, I have this awesome little person and I know people who would have given their right arms or more to be able to have a child. So I choose to love myself and be stoked that I got to carry and birth my beautiful daughter and let the rest go.

7. Beware clucky over 50’s women in the shopping centre who think it’s okay to come up and touch the baby without permission

Countless times this has happened already. My new response is to ask them what brand of foundation they use and reach out to touch their faces. I can’t quite put my finger on why they run away at this point, but it does the trick!

8. 10 minute drives away are no more!

The other day I had to ‘pop up the road’ for something. For real, I pulled that car over 4 times before I even parked because my beautiful little treasure decided to play the “lets spit the dummy out and crack it” game over and over again. The silver lining is that she is too young to need entertainment in the car so I am not yet being tortured by the frozen soundtrack.

9. It’s all about team work

In one month, I have eaten dinner at the same time as my husband only a handful of times. I’m learning that he is the love of my life and my husband.. but he is also my partner in crime and team-mate when it comes to raising my little bundle of joy. This means that sometimes we are going to have to forfeit those dinner time catch ups in order to ensure that all of her needs are met. I’m okay with this because I get to see my husband rock the dad gig and that just makes me love him even more.

10. Self-doubt happens and when it does.. approach google with caution

There have been many times this month where I have found myself wondering whether I am doing this parenting gig right, whether I am using the right brand of nappy cream, whether I am wrong to be sleeping my child on her side because she simply hates being on her back. Many times I have taken to google to try and find some magic answer to some of these questions.

I am learning that everyone has an opinion on how to do things, and all of these opinions are going to be different. So take what works for you and run with it (within reason of course). But again, reach out to other mums that you trust, mums that have gone before you (they have some pearls of wisdom to offer too) and be kind to yourself.

I hope you get something out of the above list. I’m still learning so I’m sure there will be a follow up to this one down the track.

Have an epic week 🙂

Sasha

The day I became a mum.

She is here!! Apologies that it has taken me almost month to write a post regarding my newly arrived offspring, but the last month has seriously felt as though I stepped on to the Gravatron (spinning ride at Dreamworld) and my head only just stopped spinning (in a good way of course!). Sophie Rose Tranter arrived on May 29th at 6:43pm via c-section. I thought I would be disappointed that I didn’t get to have her naturally, but to be honest, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I know a lot of women look back on their birth experience with rose-coloured glasses, but I truly feel it was the best outcome.

Leading up to my due date, I kept getting the feeling that there was something not quite right happening in the birth department. I would feel her engage and think “this is it!!”, only to feel her move back up near my rib cage. This happened a few times each day & I started to wonder what was wrong.

On the day of her birth, we had an appointment with my obstetrician. She did a scan and things appeared to be okay, but once we started talking about her decreased movements and her engaging only to move back up. Initially the OB wanted to have the baby’s movements monitored, and after some discussion we concluded that it was likely that she would need to go in and get her.

Due to my usual coffee in hand; we couldn’t deliver immediately as there’s a risk with eating and surgery or something of that nature.. so we allowed for 6 hours in order for my body to digest the liquid gold coffee and booked in Sophie’s birth. Steve and I walked out of the office a little bit shocked, I remember looking at him and saying “we are going to be parents.. tonight!!”. After we left the obstetrician’s office it all became a bit of a whirlwind. We did a dash to the shops to grab some comfy pants, I watched Steve eat some lunch, we drove home to pack, delivered the hound to my in-laws, collected my mum (she wasn’t going to miss this event, even if it were her last day on earth) and headed for the hospital.

We “checked in” and then after that people appeared and we got ready to do this thing. I have to admit that it was kind of weird saying to the receptionist “um.. hello.. I’m here to have a baby”. For those who have had c-section births, I apologise if my experience was extra awesome and that you however do not feel the same way about being cut open, but seriously.. for me.. it was fine. My biggest fear was the idea of facing the operating theatre still awake; I guess because every other surgery I have had has involved me going to sleep and then waking up dosed with high levels of pain meds. I had no reason to be afraid though; the staff are so great at what they do and it all happened without me not really being too aware of the fact that I was being cut open. What surprised me the most was how fast it all went, or more so how fast I felt that it went.

It turned out when we got to the whole “and now I am going to pull out your baby” moment, the cord was around her neck twice over. My OB handled it with complete ease and within seconds I could hear the cries of my beautiful tiny human. She came out perfect, 7 pounds exactly and measuring 45 cms. After that it became a bit of a teary, amazing, beautiful blur.

As for my love, he was amazing. He always has had this way of being the calm in any storm that we face together, but he remained super chilled throughout the entire experience. I said this the other day on Instragram, I did not think it were possible for me to love him any more than I did prior to giving birth.. but watching him become a father and how he interacts with our daughter has expanded my little heart.

The only complaint I have is that it took 12 hours for my epidural to wear off, so I had to stay in bed and request for my dear husband to fetch me my baby every time she stirred. Once I had feeling back in my legs, I was pretty chuffed with how good I felt. The next morning I showered myself and was up walking around. Of course I was a little tender, but not nearly as much as I expected to be. It’s now four weeks on and I have been painkiller free for two weeks. My biggest hurdle has been refraining from getting behind the wheel (or at least trying to).

If there’s one thing I could change from this experience, I think it would be having more faith. Throughout my pregnancy, I would say to my colleagues and friends.. “what birth plan? the plan is to have the baby!”. My friends made comment about how super chilled I was and how it was a little shocking for me (I’ll admit, I was shocked myself). Upon reflection, the days leading up to my due date I became a little stressed out about the what-if’s and I hope for my next birth I can look back on this experience and know fully that my family were completely taken care of. Knowing that the cord was around my sweet daughter’s neck, there are so many things that could have gone wrong.. but they didn’t. She is here safe and I am thankful that I have people on my team who covered us in prayer leading up to her arrival.

As for the steep learning curve that I call being a parent; I plan to write another post about all that I have learned in this short four weeks.

For any Mum’s reading, I would love to hear your thoughts, comments or experiences.

Sasha

I’m still spinning

What a week, month, year it has been. I’m sitting here scratching my head trying to figure out what on earth I could have done for this week to turn out the way it did. I’ll admit, I’m still not too good with this opening up thing, but I am trying to process my thoughts more openly rather than just isolating myself from everyone and posting cryptic quotes on instagram and Facebook as if that helps me even in the slightest.

I lost a friend this week. He wasn’t a “bestie” type of friend that has been in my life recently. He was a ‘from the past’ type of friend. One that I connected with on a deep level a fair few years ago when we were both going through a really rough time. I paid for his bike to be fixed once so he could get to work, and he had this way of looking into me and knowing when I was not okay. He would turn up at my uni library with Slurpee’s on bad days. It made me very sad to hear that he has passed; from what I had seen on Facebook and heard through the grapevine, he had started to do really well for himself. It’s a message I guess that life is short, only a glimpse and we need to treasure the time we have here.

To add to it, we had some disappointing news about my dad and his health. He desperately needs a hip replacement and currently he’s relying on a walker. To be honest, this has been incredibly difficult for me to see my dad struggle like this and lose his independence. So he met with the surgeon and was told that they will not operate because he is too high risk with his other health issues. Now we are faced with the reality that he will most likely end up in a wheelchair. I know a lot of people have it worse, but for a moment I just need to say that its not bloody fair. None of this has been fair for dad. Three lots of cancer, diabetes, a heart condition, cirrhosis of the liver, and now he can’t walk. It just sucks.

And to top off a bad week, my birth mum’s puppy got hit by a car this afternoon. It’s heartbreaking. My little brother has been away for some time now and was due to return home tomorrow. He didn’t even get to say goodbye.

I know that there’s a reason for all of this, and one day it will make sense.. but right now; right here, it hurts. And instead of reaching out and asking for support, I find myself shutting down and closing into myself; because if I can’t make sense of this mess.. how will anyone else?

I often feel as though if this stuff didn’t happen to me; I wouldn’t believe it. The truth is, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. I don’t know what the purpose of this post was.. maybe I just needed to be real. This is hard. I trust that thing’s will improve. I have hope that a new season is coming.

So tell me, internet world… Did I break a mirror or something?

S

I dreamed a dream…

Sleep.

It’s such a simple concept right? Wrong. For as long as I can remember I have had some funny sleep issues. I’ve never really had a problem though because it’s just me, and the next morning I’m not usually aware of what’s occurred and I just get on with my day. But since I’ve been with Steve, I’m a bit more aware of my sleep habits and I guess a little more sensitive to the issue. We’ve been married a little while and I’m kind of waiting for an “episode” to occur just so we can clear the air and move on.

The last big episode started as usual with me in my bed, sleeping. The next morning I woke up as normal, went to work and then I got a phone call. It was a random guy calling and he said “I’m just calling to check you’re ok after last night”, at that moment I had all sorts of scenarios going through my head. Was I drugged? What happened? I asked him what he was talking about and he said “you called me last night very late and you said you were lost and you sounded really upset. I just wanted to check that you were safe and ok”.

ponder

I was so confused at this point. I looked at my phone and sure enough, it turned out that I had called this poor guy at 2:00am and slept talked my way through a 15 minute conversation with him. I apologized to the guy and mentioned that I have a bit of a sleep “thing” and that most of the time its funny. He assured me that he was ready to call the police and that perhaps I should have it looked at.  I still haven’t made up my mind whether to explore it any further, I am aware of the safety risks associated with sleep walking but for the moment, it’s really just another part of the colorful life of Sasha.

I know that when it happens again Steve will no doubt have a laugh and be so great about it, like he always is with all my other bits and pieces. But I wonder.. am I alone here? Does this happen to other people… Tell me about your sleep moments. I’d love to hear.

P.S. I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a few views of late so “hello” again. Thanks for reading and I am more than keen to hear any feedback of which way you would like this blog to go.

Happy Monday!

Things look different from up here

Steve and I put the roof on our pergola this morning. Well to be honest, Steve put the roof on and I watched and handed him tools. Steve and I have been married for 3 months and since we became engaged we have been putting work into our two bedroom townhouse to make it more comfortable. The pergola has been a work in progress but today we got he roof on, so I am very happy to have an undercover area out the back that we can use to entertain, in the near future.

It was also my Mum’s birthday today. I guess I should clarify given there are two of them on the scene as it is often a topic of confusion.

This.. is Mum. Aka. Lorraine. Aka Mumsy. She is the lovely woman who put up with countless years of non-stop screaming (I was a reflux baby) and embraced the colourfulness that is me! I am very grateful to have her.

IMG_3371So there you have it. May seem mundane. I hope that I can learn to go a bit deeper on here but for a while I think I will play it safe until I get the hang of this blogging thing.
Peace

Sasha