The end of maternity leave

Today is technically my last day of maternity leave. And here I am writing on this blog! I should be out enjoying the freedom before work! Except I have to pump breast milk for little Miss A. So I think I will be doing this more frequently! Pump n blog. It’s a thing now.

I’m ready to go back to work. Although sometimes I feel like I never left because I have been studying and working on my team project for the executive development programme – which BTW ends next week! I get to graduate! Whoop whoop! Assuming I don’t screw up the final presentation. The report is written, printed and the presentation almost finalised. I am not sure how I managed to do it whilst on maternity leave, but I did. Some weeks were hard when I had to play catch up with my team project because I was busy trying to figure out toys, breastfeeding, naps, crying, doctors, daycares…well motherhood in general! I’m so almost at the end! I can’t wait to not have the burden of study or project work over my shoulder! Kind of like finishing my Masters in someways!!

I’m not looking forward to pumping and figuring that all out. And I’m not looking forward to figuring out a routine. Chris and I tried it today and I managed to get out the house 10 minutes later than I hoped. So we will probably need to wake up at 5.45am to get out he door on time!!! Practice makes perfect. Tomorrow will be the real deal. And a friend colleague has moved nearby us so we could car share but need to figure out logistics of dropping/picking Aviana up for the future.

I tried on all my work clothes yesterday- none of my shirts fit me because of my milk filled boobs! But my trousers and skirts still fit. So I guess it’s time to adjust my work clothing style, especially as I was in maternity work clothes before.  I hate shopping so I’m relying on Le tote to help me out a bit. I’ve ordered my first work clothes style box and it should arrive today just in time! No more casual, comfy, slouchy clothes for me!! I’m already missing my hoodie ūüė≠

But don’t cry for me…I’ve still got a lot of leave to take when I get back from my trip to Belgium next week. Whoop whoop! I think rhis gradual integration back to work is going to be good. I hope! 

I’m going to miss this little one!

Daycare aka nursery aka school

Aviana started daycare 2 weeks ago today. We thought it best to get her settled in a few weeks before I go back to work and fly to Brussels for a week leaving Chris to pick up the pieces. Well, there haven’t been any pieces to pick up so far! 

We thought she would go off schedule. Nurse all night. Not go to sleep. Catch unknown diseases. Cry when we drop her off. Cry when we pick her up. 

But nope…none of that happened. (So far anyway!)

She smiles at the teachers when we drop her off and when we pick her up she reaches out for me and smiles! Oh my heart melted first time she did that! 

That is except for the day she got her vaccinations-but I think we can all be forgiven for being grumpy on the day we get our shots! Speaking of which I experienced mild panic when the school phoned me to say Aviana had a rash the day she got her vaccinations. I was in the middle of a shop when I got the call. I was only a 10 min drive away. I had two thoughts – 1- finish the shop…she’s fine the school didn’t sound so concerned…then…-2- what if she goes into anaphylactic shock? I should drop everything and run to my car!!! After what seemed forever in deliberations (prob actually 30 seconds) I put everything back on the shelves and dashed to my car. 

When I got there she was screaming blue murder. The poor teachers had about 5 other crying kids at the same time, it must be contagious, but Aviana’s was the loudest! When I went over to her she immediately stopped crying when she saw me! Then the teacher showed me her rash…

Earlier she had a bit of eczema on her tummy and the doctor saw it, but what the teacher was showing me was a whole lot worse. That however is another story…for another day.

It then got me thinking about how far away Chris and I are from her daycare when we are at work. It would take me 20 minutes on a clear run at 2am to drive. But then there is whatever I am doing. I’d have to drop it. Pack up, get to my car etc. I reckon it would be 30 minutes the quickest. And it would be the same for Chris too. That actually seems like a long time if she is actually ill or something happens! But we decided to have the daycare closer to home rather than one of ours work seeing as we both would be picking her up/dropping her off depending on our work schedules.  I guess this is just a taster of the future – because she will get ill whilst she is at daycare. It will happen. But it made us think how we will cope in the future and how we decide who has to drop everything and go pick her up. It’s going to be tricky!

Aviana’s first full week was ‘Teacher’s week’ and they gave us a guide to the events ongoing that week – which included theme gift days. We decided we should participate so not to be rude and bought the teachers some spa stuff on the ‘SPA-T-ON’ day. It was hard because we didn’t yet know all the teachers properly or even what was the done thing! 

The great thing about this daycare is that they use an App to update us on her activities including diaper changes, feeds, naps and when she needs more diapers, wet wipes etc. and they also send pictures!!! I got instant relief to see that she was napping and eating well ‚ėļÔłŹ

So far I am really pleased with our choice in daycare. The teachers are lovely. I just couldn’t have asked for it to have gone any better than it has so far. I’m feeling confident for going back to work. Of course I’m feeling sad about that, but I know she is in good hands.

Strides for hope 5K

Did you know that last week was National Infertility Awareness Week?  To raise money and awareness a local Fertility clinic organized a Resolve DIY walk of hope.

Some of our support group members manned the Resolve information table at the race!

Chris and I entered the 5k ‘race’ and walked with Aviana in the buggy.  Some of my local infertility support group members were there too with their little miracles and others who are in their wait. Honestly, it was a bit strange walking around with our little baby knowing we were amongst friends and many others who longed for a baby still.

Chris and I were near the back of the race pack and so we ended up alone having a deep conversation about child number two, sibling relationships, which country we want to live in, what to do with the our savings, our one frozen embryo, how to get pregnant again, our long infertility journey, risk of a future growth restricted baby, adoption and fostering to adopt. Phew. That was a lot. I won’t go into detail now about all of this, but let’s just say it was all deep given the purpose of the event we were participating in and I crossed the finish line with a few years in my eyes. Chris and I need to work through these conversations some more before we come up with a mutually agreed ‘plan’ for our family’s future. To sum up INFERTILITY SUCKS!

Overall, it was a great event, I caught up with some friends from the support group which was lovely. They managed to raise over $8000 for Resolve. 

And I wore my pineapple top and f*ck infertility socks. 

But as we left the race and headed home I turned to chris and said

 “I wish infertility would just do one”

Although it was a great event, I wish infertility awareness didn’t have to happen and I wouldn’t ever wish infertility upon even my worst enemy.

Chris and I starting the race – Baby’s gotta eat!!!

The baby sleep solution week 2 & 3

THIS girl….she is really quite amazing. I didn’t want to bore you with too much detail as we work towards step 1 of baby sleep solution so I’ve saved it all up for one post. 

We are almost at four feeds during the day of 6oz. Her first few days at daycare we were thinking she would be on 3-3.5hr feeds of 4oz, but she easily transitioned to 4hr feeds of 5oz and the last feed of the night 6oz. As a result of this change she has started to skip her night time feed. BUT this means she is up early!!! Like 5am. So it’s been tough trying to keep her to a schedule of first feed at 6.30am-is 5am her night feed? No, she isn’t interested in food at that time, but 4am she was. 

OK so let’s talk a bit about the 4 month sleep regression!!!! Umm so we think she is currently in it. But we are not certain, though this is why: She started to have 25-30 minute naps…and as I’ve written about before she was like clockwork with her 40-45 min naps! She has also on occasion been waking up at 9pm/10pm after we put her down at 7pm. First time that happened we were so surprised because this girl had never done that before. The couple of times that this has happened over past few weeks we have gone into the room, gave a few reassuring pats in the crib with a couple of shushes, and she has fallen straight back to sleep. Other times we have also noticed on the monitor that she can wake up, kick around, make a few odd noises and fall back to sleep again. We think she knows how to soothe herself which is helping us through this ‘regression’ or ‘progression’. Last night at 4.15am she cried out a bit, so I got up to go to the toilet to prepare myself to go get her from her room and feed her, but by the time I’d come back she put herself back to sleep! 

Whatever is happening with her sleep, she’s doing great!!!

The next stages of the baby are : step 2, eliminate all night feedings for 12 hours and step 3 sleep or resting in crib for 12 hours. 

We have almost completed steps 2 and 3. Last night she did 11 hours in her crib, she slept for 10.5 then kicked around the last 30 mins on her own in her crib. Most of this has been all her.

The final stage, step 4 is getting her to nap/rest quietly twice a day one hour in morning and two in afternoon. We won’t get to do this step because her daycare does on demand napping- for a good reason- they have newborn babies up to 12 mth olds in the ‘class’ so they can’t schedule nap times and it is noisy as a result. so Aviana sleeps when she decides to sleep while at daycare, considering she had quite a routine for naps we wondered how the teachers put her down to sleep. Turns out what they do is let her play on the floor or in bouncer seat and when she falls asleep they put her in the crib. Not exactly how we thought they would do it, but Aviana seems happy and that’s all that matters. She is still good at going down to nap in her own crib at home.

Weeks 2 & 4 summary: Baby sleep solution seems to be working well for both us and Aviana! She is sleeping though the night if you consider 10-11 hours as the criteria. So think We will stick at it and see if we can get her to sleep/and or stay in her crib for 12 hours!

Preparing for daycare

EEEEEEEK Aviana starts daycare next tuesday.  How are we here already?  The past few weeks Aviana has really been starting to enjoy playtime, and I have been enjoying playtime with her too.  She is really quite mellow and happy being independent playing on her own, but I have been having too much fun playing with her. This has meant that the past few weeks I have had little time to myself, but that is what maternity leave is all about?  Spending time nurturing your little one??!

A month ago if you asked me about whether I would miss maternity leave, I’d have said no, I was actually quite looking forward to going back to work. Now if you ask me, I’d probably be a bit hesitant. ¬†I’m actually having a lot of fun with Aviana now and I love seeing her develop. ¬†Just the other day she sat up on her ownfor the first time…it was fascinating to watch her figure it out! And just by coincidence I managed to video record it! I know there are many other firsts to come that I will miss now, but I am glad I have been lucky enough to have at least a few with her.

Having said all of this I’m looking forward to work. ¬†Luckily I am easing myself back into it gently. ¬†Here is the daycare transition plan:

  • Next week, the first week, Tuesday is her first day. ¬†We will head there after her first nap of the day at home. ¬†Arrive at daycare at about 9.30AM, I’ll breastfeed her there, play with her a bit, then I will go on the advice of the daycare staff what is the best way to do this transition! ¬†But the plan is for her to spend just mornings there for the rest of the week.
  • Second week, plan is to arrive 9.30AM and pick her up¬†3PM-ish. ¬†So shorter days.
  • Third week, plan is to put her in full time 7.30AM/8AM to 5PM-ish.
  • Fourth week I start work and travel to¬†Brussels so Chris is on his own with Aviana!

Aviana has been good at taking the bottle and doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, and she still likes the boob, so no fear of a nursing strike just yet. ¬†But it is a genuine fear I have. ¬†I am also nervous about her overeating. ¬†We still have yet to figure out how we are going to do a routine once I am properly back at work, but hopefully we will get a feel for it in the third week.

Right…now all I have to do now is go and label all her clothes!!!

Do you have any tips for transitioning an infant to daycare?  What was your experience? How did you feel?

The baby sleep solution days 8, 9 & 10

Day 8: So I left you all on tenterhooks after day 7’s schedule all went out of the window. ¬†I just knew it was going to be a bad night when Aviana woke up at 9.30 PM, just 2.5hrs after we put her down for the night. ¬†At first we were confused where the crying was coming from because she has never woken up this early since she was 6 weeks old! ¬†I panicked, not knowing how to handle this, especially as I had literally just finished pumping – the boob soothing option was pretty much out of the window. ¬†Could she really be hungry? ¬†Well she hadn’t eaten much that day, so it was possible. ¬†Or was this the start of the 4 month sleep regression? ¬† For some reason¬†I crazily decided to try and soothe her back to sleep by shushing her and putting my hand on her tummy. ¬†Unbelievably – it worked!! ¬†Phew! ¬†However, knowing that she wasn’t in a deep sleep we decided not to do our usual thing of what we do just before we go to bed: pick her up out of her crib in her room and transfer her to the pack and play in our room.

We decided that we would leave her in her crib for the night for the very first time. YIKES I was nervous about doing this. Why? ¬†Because I was afraid I wouldn’t hear her cry or the monitor would break – her bedroom is upstairs and ours is downstairs so¬†we wouldn’t hear her cry through the walls. ¬†Of course this is also prime time for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) , so I worry about that all the time.

Anyway…needless to say I was right. ¬†She woke up at 2.15AM. ¬†DOH. ¬†Then she woke up for the day at 5AM. Double DOH.

Despite the early start, Aviana nursed to schedule, still every three hours, and napped well, with me putting her down in her crib with little to no crying. WINNER!

Day 9: Aviana woke up again at 2.30AM  for  night feed and then woke up for the day at 4.45AM. UGHHHHH.  OK so there goes the theory that a schedule with few feeds with more milk helps her to sleep through the night!  But remember we are only on step 1 of the baby sleep solution.  Today was nanny day!  I got to take a break and Aviana was on schedule with the nanny.  She even drunk 5oz of milk at bed time!  She is taking the bottle much better now.

Day 10: This time Aviana woke up at 3.15AM, a little better, but not like the few days she slept through.   The schedule went completely out of the window because I went to a baby wearing meeting in the morning and Aviana decided to fall asleep in the car in both directions.  Then I got a call from friends who needed some help with something which meant I had to leave the house, so Aviana missed her afternoon nap completely.  Today was a day that made me realise that Aviana likes a schedule because she got a little grumpy with it all, which made me a little grumpy too.

Days 8, 9 & 10 summary:  No more sleeping through the night, those two days seemed to be a one off.  But Aviana seems to be a much happier baby with a schedule and goes down for naps easily.  I think we may be able to stretch out her feeds a little more next week now that I know she can drink 5oz in one feed.


The baby sleep solution day 7

She slept from 6.45PM to 5.30AM again. Whoop whoop!!!! But…..the rest of the day didn’t go quite as planned.

Well she went down to her first nap of the day with just a little whimper and then slept for 1hr 20….yey she made it through two sleep cycles! ¬†She nursed well when she woke up and then it all went to pots after that. ¬†I went out to a little play gym with a friend and her two children, I thought I had timed it well for Aviana to fall asleep in the car on the way there, then I would feed her when we got there and then she would play! Ummm No. She fell asleep 2 minutes before we arrived. Ughhhh. ¬†She woke up after 10 minutes. ¬†So we played. ¬†She had lots of fun and so did I! (Except for when she had a melt down because she couldn’t put a big whirly ball in her mouth – this is becoming a thing that she gets frustrated over, it’s kind of funny!)

But then it was food time and she would not nurse in the play gym. She was too distracted. ¬†I should have just fed her in the car. My bad. ¬†Instead I thought I’d wait until we headed out for lunch. ¬†She then fell asleep in the car again and had a proper 40 minute nap whilst I ate lunch (Yey eating with both hands!). ¬†So this meant she was completely off schedule for feeding and napping. Oh well, let’s go with the flow. ¬†When she woke up she just snacked again. ¬†We drove home and she fell asleep AGAIN just before we arrived home. ¬†The cleaners were still in the house making a lot of noise (I know….first world problems) so I took Aviana for a walk and she had her afternoon nap in her buggy.

But hey – I don’t want to live my life or hers by a strict schedule…so we just deal with it and be flexible. ¬†She was happy, I was happy. ¬†What were the consequences of crappy napping and snacking through the day? ¬†Ha….you will find out tomorrow!

They say that the first nap of the day is the most important for baby, so we nailed that one at least.  And after Chris gave her a bottle of breast milk (high fives all around for her taking the bottle still!), as usual she went to sleep at 7pm in her crib with no fuss.

Day 7 Summary. ¬†Aviana goes down for one nap in crib with little fuss, no crying. ¬†But because we went out in the car all other naps and feeding schedules go out the window. ¬†She definitely didn’t eat enough throughout the day as the baby sleep solution requires.

The baby sleep solution day 6

I had the best day EVER with Aviana!  I was nervous because Chris went back to work and I wondered if she would miss the bottle and how she would be at nursing.  But I had nothing to worry about.  She nursed beautifully.  We kept to the rough schedule of feeding every 3 hours.

Oh I forgot the most important thing! ¬†She slept all the way through to 5.30 AM…YES! ¬†She stirred at 1.30AM and when Chris got up to go to the toilet at some point around 3.30AM, but didn’t wake up completely.

Naps…first nap of the day – NO CRYING, just a few whimpers when I put her down in the crib. ¬†Second nap of the day, 1 round of 3 minutes of crying, same for her third nap. ¬†She stayed awake from 3PM to 6.45PM. ¬†No crying at bed time when she went down in her crib!

The best part of the day was how fun and happy she was playing. ¬†My favourite part of the day was when she got super excited at the musical cow and wanted to put it in her mouth, she tried but it was too big so she got upset. ¬†She also has started to lean forward and try to bounce herself in the ExerSaucer bouncer and grip onto the toys. ¬†She is getting really strong at standing up too, her balance is getting better and can now stand just holding onto my fingers. ¬†I basically had the perfect day with her on my own! ¬†(Apart from the poo explosion in the shops but that’s just OK, I’m getting used to handling these!)

Day 6 summary.  Aviana nursed calmly, went down easily for all her naps, kept to the 3 hour feed schedule.  Slept for 10.5 hrs through the night.  This is really starting to work.

The baby sleep solution day 5

Aviana slept from 7pm til 4.10am again!!! She went back to sleep after her ‘night time’ feed for just 20 minutes. ¬†Doh. ¬†Oh well. Perhaps this is part of the process! Then she snacked at 6.30AM because she had fed at 4AM she wasn’t hugely interested in eating.

She was on schedule perfectly for the rest of the day. ¬†She went down at 8.15AM after one round of 3 minutes of crying, again at 11.45AM, similar. ¬†This time she actually took¬†an afternoon nap at 2PM! ¬†Little fuss. It was tough to keep her awake between her 3.30PM feed and her 6.30PM feed, but she stayed awake, Chris did a great job. ¬†We had friends over so we had lots of ways to distract her! ¬†She fussed a little after bath time, but Chris coped well and she took the bottle after about 5 minutes (I’m sure it felt longer than that for Chris!). ¬†She fell asleep at 7PM after just one round of crying…although she cried for 2 minutes, stopped, almost fell asleep by herself, then a few minutes later cried for 3 minutes, then Chris went into reassure her and she was fast asleep. ¬†So she is almost at the brink of soothing herself within a few minutes. ¬†But not quite there yet!

She is taking the bottle well from Chris!!!! She took between 3oz to 4.5oz at each feed.  I was pumping just before so she had fresh milk in the bottle, and at one feed I had to use milk left over from the first pump of the day (I pumped 6oz she took 4oz), so I hope my supply can keep up.  I do have a cold so may be my supply has dipped a little.  Just got to keep nursing and pumping!!!

Day 5 Summary: Aviana is on schedule with her feeds, with little fuss at nap times, extending her night time sleep already, perhaps Day 4 wasn’t a coincidence¬†after all?

The Baby Sleep Solution Day 4

It’s the weekend!!!! Whoop whoop! ¬†So Chris can help out ūüôā

Aviana slept to 4.30AM….I woke up thinking it was 3.30 and was pleasantly surprised that it was actually an hour later. ¬†wooohooo! Unfortunately, she did not go back to sleep after this feed. Boooooo. ¬†But her sleeping 7PM to 4.30AM is not bad at all and have nothing to complain about. ¬†Chris took her from 5.15 to 6.30¬†so I could get a little bit of sleep in, but I only managed to fall asleep at 6.20, and then…..

I fed her at 6.30AM as per the planned schedule.  The plan for the weekend was for Chris to bottle feed her my expressed milk in preparation for her going to day care in 1.5 weeks time because she was hating the bottle!  And so she completely skipped her next feed that was due at 9.30AM.  I was starting to get worried that she would never take the bottle.  But she finally took it at 12.30PM without any fuss.  That was a huge relief!  And she took the next bottle at 4PM and then again before bed at 6.30PM.  LIKE A CHAMP!

Naps…I put her down for her early morning nap and she cried for 3 minutes 2 times. Progress! ¬†She napped in the car and in her buggy whilst we were out at an easter event on a farm. ¬†We got home and she would not go down for a nap in the afternoon at all. ¬†Nope. ¬†Somehow she managed to stay awake all afternoon. ¬†We were thoroughly confused! Then she went to bed with zero fuss, no crying…unsurprisingly she was zonked!

Day 4 Summary…may be there is something in this baby sleep solution? ¬†Something is changing. ¬†Is it a one off or a coincidence?