I haven’t written much since my update on being pregnant. I’m glad to say that the birth went well and baby Mia will now feature on this blog.
It’s a steep learning curve, becoming a parent of a newborn. We’re fortunate that some of our friends have gone up this curve recently and their advice has helped pull us up with them. The first three weeks were like spinning plates. It wasn’t till week four that I felt like I could go outside with Mia without the plates coming crashing down.
Once we had mastered one thing, the next challenge came upon us. Here are the things that worried me in the order they came:
This was stressful and often painful. I got a lot of help from our Council’s breastfeeding clinic and the Australian Breastfeeding Association. I am now a member of the ABA. I highly recommend calling their hotline whenever you need help.
Babies often sound like they are choking, gasping and burping. They cry. If things are particularly bad, it may be due to reflux (their food coming up from their stomach and hurting them). I worried that Mia had reflux and that she was in pain. Her wind stopped her from sleeping. We are lucky, though. Her digestive system seems to have matured quickly and she now has no problems with wind. Many three month old babies continue to suffer.
3. Using our pram
I was anxious about going outdoors by myself because I couldn’t attach our pram bassinet to the wheels, and I couldn’t get the pram up the steps of a tram. Now I know how to assemble the pram and I know which tram stops to use so that I can wheel the pram straight on. However, the real breakthrough has been ditching the pram for a baby carrier, which straps Mia to my chest. I use the Baby Bjorn for short trips and the Ergo Baby carrier for long walks.
4. Sleep and settling
I am obsessed with making sure Mia gets enough sleep. It used to take us up to 45 minutes to settle her to sleep. I felt like an incompetent parent, as I read about other babies that could be put in their cots and fell asleep without constant patting. Since week 12, we have made great progress and Mia can now put herself to sleep most of the time.
5. Loss of milk
I got a blocked duct and mastitis (an infection) in one of my breasts. Although the duct is now clear, my milk supply in that breast has plunged. For the past month, I’ve been trying to increase my milk. I’ve had an ultrasound to try to work out what’s wrong. But there is no explanation and no cure. It’s just one of the many mysteries of breastfeeding. I’ve now mostly made my peace with this. Mia is getting enough milk from my other breast and that’s the most important thing.
We’ve overcome the five challenges above. There’s nothing worrying me at the moment. It’s taken more than three months but I now feel like I know what’s going on.
To end on a positive, here is how Mia has evolved from newborn to what I now think of as a rather large baby.
- Week 6 — Mia learns to smile to show that she is happy.
- Week 8 — Mia figures out that she has hands and is constantly shoving them in her mouth.
- Week 10 — Mia starts vocalising. It’s so entertaining, watching her frown, take a deep breath, then make a tiny ‘coo’ sound. So much effort for so little noise.
- Week 12 — Mia learns to swat toys. Before this, she wouldn’t pay attention to any toys. Now as soon as we dangle something above her, she excitedly starts hitting it.
- Week 14 — Mia starts laughing. She can now settle herself to sleep much of the time.