Road to Becoming a Mummy

I have always wanted children. My husband not so much, not that he was against it and not that he would have it any other way now (Nick certainly convinced him that being a dad was awesome). After being married for a few years we started talking about having children. We knew that I might have problems so we thought it would be better to start earlier rather than later.

Unfortunately, it was a 21 year old friend receiving a terminal illness diagnosis that spurred us into action. Life was short and we wanted to do this. After nearly a year of trying with no success it was time to go to the doctors and get a medical opinion.

Diagnosis

After a couple of test, it was declared that I had Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and I was referred to a specialist. That night at home was spent researching the condition and everything about it. After reading up about it, things started to make so much sense. There was so many symptoms that I had and put up with, that all came down to one condition. The one symptom I had playing around my head, however, was infertility.

This is when the hard questions hit. What if I can’t have children? What do we do? Do we explore other avenues of having children? Do we, or even, can we adopt? Can I love an adopted child as much as a biological child? I hope I can but what if I can’t? Do we just not have children and save our money and live a lavish lifestyle somewhere amazing? The magnitude of what was happening really hit home when I saw this video:

What if I can’t do this? The thing that hurt the most was seeing the mothers, that I was friends with on Facebook, complaining when they had a bad day with their children. It’s easy to get caught up in a bad day and need a vent, but not having your own children is a worse fate to endure.

We wanted to have a child as natural as possible and after reading a lot of forums, I had heard of a lot of women got pregnant after changing their diet and losing 5% of their body weight. The next 6 months were dedicated to a low GI, no gluten, no dairy diet with 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. 5% of my body weight was lost, all of the PCOS symptoms faded, except one – infertility. I have what is known as Thin PCOS so what works for regular PCOS doesn’t really make a difference for me.

After getting a heap of tests, our next step was to try some medication to help kick my body into gear. We read up about the drugs and I was so nervous to start. There is no guarantees that it will work first go and apparently every try you have with the medication is less likely to succeed. Have you ever had someone tell you not to be stressed because it might hinder the process. Not easy to do, when it’s the process you are stressing about.

We were so fortunate to have success on our first go with the medication. I was so happy and elated but at the same time not wanting to get my hopes up. When you use medication, the percentage of miscarriage or something going wrong is increased. It was such an easy pregnancy, every scan and test came up with the right results. Not that it stopped me worrying before every appointment.

After 41 weeks, we finally had our little boy. I always tell Nick that we loved him and fought for him years before we got him and as a rule, I never complain about mum difficulties on Facebook, ever.

Best of August 2014

What can I say about August? Sickness. Glen has had stomach issues and we are now trying to find what he is allergic to or has an intolerance to, which seems to be a painfully long process. Nick had a small cold and then struggled with his allergies/sinuses so that was some more sleepless nights, some of which I was “sleeping” on his bedroom floor.

Our poor puppy Ricky had an allergic reaction to something and scratched himself so bad he had to be taken to the vet. The cone wasn’t even off for a day before we realised he had a severe ear infection and he was off to the vet again. At the moment he is stuck with the cone and ear drops and tablets, all in the hopes of getting better. As for me, I am just tired. I have had quite a few sleepless nights, while playing nurse to all my boys.

Ricky

Our poor puppy dog at the vet…the first time.

We also spent a good portion of August signing our lives away. We officially have bought a block of land to build on and will hopefully have a new house some time next year.

From the Web

I haven’t spent that much time on the internet this month, as life has just been hectic. However, I did read Privacy Please and the Privacy Conversation from Parents.com. I laughed so hard at this.

Also fell in love with the story of a mum who wanted her child to realise how beautiful she is by featuring her in a whimsical photo series. The pictures are breathtaking and the little girl is so beautiful.

Videos

One video this month of this cute little girl who just realised exactly what deleting means

 

 

Things I Found Invaluable

When I was first pregnant, I was so overwhelmed by all the items we needed to buy. Not only are there so many brands claiming to be better than the others, but there seem to be 101 newfangled gadgets that apparently I wouldn’t be able to live without.

We didn’t want to go crazy with what we bought so here are my top five things that I loved (that aren’t a necessary purchase):

Breast pumps – I had a seriously major oversupply of milk, and that is with Nick acting like the hungriest child on the planet. One feed that was a bit smaller than normal and I ended up with a blocked milk duct. I went down the road and got the cheapest manual pump that we could find and it was horrible. Worse than trying to express without a pump. After my third blocked duct, I told Glen I didn’t care how much it would cost, we were going to buy an electric pump. We bought the Spectra Dew 350 and it was a life saver. It also meant that I could pump some extra milk for when I had any events away from Nick.

Portable Change Mat – We were given this as a gift and I love it. The one I was given folds up and fits in the nappy bag. When it unfolds it has a pouch for nappies, nappy bin bags or wipes, and for nappy rash cream, baby powder etc. I can be a little germ phobic at times so I like that Nick isn’t going straight on to public change tables. As an added bonus, everything you need for the nappy change is right beside your baby.

Bumbo – So this one doesn’t have to be a Bumbo, any type of seat that is portable will do. We just had a bumbo in particular. Some times you need to put your baby down or just need a break from holding them, and the bumbo worked wonders. Also one of the baby carriers would be great, but we had a really cheap one that wasn’t great so I don’t have any advice on that one.

Rusk Sticks – Nick started teething really early. He hated teething rings and refused to have anything to do with them. He did love rusk sticks though. We also occasionally used bonjela.

Baby Bullet – Now, to me, a baby bullet is a glorified food processor. And we found it to not be that great when the food amounts we were making started to get larger. That being said, I loved it for two reasons. Firstly, I was struggling to know when to give what food and at what volume. When researching it, most articles just said start at a teaspoon of food and then gradually increase. What it didn’t say is how quickly to increase and over what period of time this should be happening. The baby bullet came with a month by month recipe book that told you what to do for each of the stages, plainly and simply. Also the storage containers (with a date slide) are so handy when storing food (especially in the early days when they don’t eat much). They are also super cute, check them out:

imagesWhat did you have/wish you had do make your life easier?

Emotionally Retreating

While I’m not anti social, I am a bit of a homebody. I am quite shy so I’m always more comfortable having a night in with Glen and Nick. I have never had a large amount of friends either. But what I do have is a handful of really good close friends who I can trust with anything.

After having Nick, I have become so much closer with my bestie (who is also a mum). We now just have one more thing in common and she has been a great sounding board and source of advice (as well as her awesomeness in general).

file561270689520My other close friends, however, are not mothers. It seems like when we meet up there is a slight gap between us and conversation is not as easy and free flowing as it once was. I talk about Nick and they don’t really have a lot to add to that conversation. They will talk about the recent major changes at work which is one of their pressing concerns and I don’t have a lot to add to that conversation.

I used to talk to these ladies every day, and after all the important issues are discussed, you do generally end up talking about so not so important stuff. We knew all the details of each others lives down to when hair appointments were scheduled. Now I only catch up with them so often, I miss all these details and just get the general overview. :(

After a few rain checks (one of my friends had a lot on her plate at the moment), some slightly awkward conversations, and it always being me to organise get togethers, I started to worry. Were we growing apart? Were these close friendships doomed to fizzle down to a sporadic get togethers for old times’ sake? My shyness kicked in and I started contemplating not trying to organise so much stuff with them. I think in my head, I saw myself as an obligation for them when I was suggesting catch ups.

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After some thinking and a pep talk from Glen, I realised that I was emotionally retreating and I was going to isolate myself. The friendship that I have with these ladies is special. We have seen each other through some hard times (loss of a friend, not being able to conceive) and we have celebrated the great times (conceiving, marriages and building houses), and it’s worth any effort expended.

So I have made a decision to try harder. To make sure I know what is going on in their lives, through catch ups, messages and social media. To let go of the worry about the little things that probably don’t signal a friendship in danger of ending. To not retreat emotionally. And to enjoy all the time that we have.

Did having a child change any of your friendships?

 

Learning at the Speed of Light

Do you know how sometimes you can know something, but still be shocked when it sinks in? OK, stay with me.

The other night I was helping Nick get dressed for bed while he was playing with his toy telephone. He passed the phone to me and without thinking I put the phone to my ear, cradling it on my shoulder and “talked on the phone” while finishing getting Nick into his pyjamas.

Toy Phone

I thought nothing more of this until the next day when Nick grabbed his toy phone placed it to his neck and put his head down to keep it in position. He then walked around for the next ten minutes talking on his hands free phone. That’s when it hit me – how quick children learn. One small action done once was remembered and copied the next day.

I was told 101 times that they grow up fast and that they are always watching, but somehow it was still so surprising. And now, I can’t help but to notice all the times he is watching and learning. Whether it be something I’m showing him or something he just happened to witness. I just can’t believe how fast he is growing up. Also, I am now being super careful with what I do in front of him to hopefully avoid any hilarious but embarrassing at the time style mishaps.

Best of July 2014

How was everybody’s July? Ours was pretty stressful, however we had some really great moments too. We took Nick to see his favourite entertainer, Sam from Play along with Sam and he loved it! Unlike the zoo trip, we went to something specifically that Nick enjoys and it turned out to be an amazing day. Nick even got a hello from Sam later on in the day. We also had a couple of birthdays so I did spent a while making cakes.

Lastly I had the pleasure of being Busy Mom Monologues‘s Blog of the Month. Thanks for that Remy :)

Around the Web

I saw some great posts this month but loved That’s When…Little Moments That Make The Hard Ones Worth It by Attached 2 Parenting. Also from Attached 2 Parenting was the post Unplugging from Social Media- Daily Change That Makes a Difference!. While social media isn’t really my problem, it was a great reminder of all the things that can take our attention away from the important things in life.

An amazing recipe from Window on the World with a Spanakopita Greek Spinach Pie. I haven’t had a chance to make this one yet, but really want to.

I also had a long laugh at Kidspot with Well, that was awkward: When kids make us cringe. Nick’s a bit young to do this to me yet, but I’d love to hear your stories. :)

Videos

Do you feel like you are living ground-hog day?

A really sweet video of a little girl who wants her brother to stay just as he is

And a puppy that is so happy to see a family member after two years

Favourite Children’s books

Along with baking, one of the things I love to do the most is to read. So you can imagine my excitement when Nick started to share my love of books. Sometimes, when he seems like a mini version of his father, he will pick up a book, start reading while he is walking only to run into a wall and I finally see a little of me in him.

We have read to Nick from the day we brought him home from the hospital and he loves every minute of it. We have plenty of cheap little books for him to play with and it doesn’t matter if they get damaged, plus he is getting quite a nice collection of bedtime stories that we will read to him before he goes to sleep. Here is a list of our favourite books at the moment:

 

snail and the whale

The Snail and the Whale – We love the message of how anyone, no matter how small, can achieve great things. Beautifully written and some of the pictures are breathtaking.

 

 

 

Possum_Magic

Possum Magic – I feel like this is a must have book in Australia. It is the most well-known book by Australia’s most well-known children’s author. There are plenty of other great Mem Fox titles as well but this is a favourite.

 

 

 

giraffes cant dance

Giraffes Can’t Dance – I love the lyrical quality of this book and Nick and I have a great time finding the little cricket that is on every page. I love the line ‘Sometimes when your different, all you need is a different song’.

 

 

 

Oh-The-Places-Youll-Go-Front-Cover

Oh, the Places You Will Go – Of course, there had to be a Dr Suess in here somewhere. This is my favourite Dr Suess book. It’s all about going through life’s ups and downs.

 

 

 

Little fish

Little Fin The Singing Fish – Nick loves the books that he can press buttons to make noise. It didn’t take him very long to work out the target looking circles are what you need to press and he immediately looks for them when each page is turned. Thanks to this book, he now presses every little circle he sees to find out what will happen, even if it’s a velcro dot on the wall.

 

dear zoo

Dear Zoo – Nick is also loving anything interactive that requires him to do something more than turn the page. He loves opening and closing all the flaps in the book.

 

 

humpty

Humpty’s Visit – We got this book from my mum instead of easter eggs this Easter. Honestly the story isn’t the best  (It’s a rip-off of Three Little Pigs) and Nick has never seen a episode of Play School, but we have a lot of fun going crazy with the sneezes in this book so Nick spends a lot of time laughing through this one.

 

We love reading so much, what were your kids favourite stories?

This post has been shared on the following sites: The Modest Mom Blog

All Things Sweet

I have a confession. I have a very, very large sweet tooth. No matter how much I try and eat healthy, I have a tendency to lean towards the sweet and delicious food choices. I have been trying really hard to not eat too much unhealthy food in-front of Nick in order to promote good food choices (nap time all bets are off). In fact as I’m writing this, Nick is having his midday nap and I’m eating cake. When Nick was younger I used to have chocolate in the pantry and if we were having a bad day I would sneak in there and eat some while he couldn’t see me.

Along with that sweet tooth, comes a love of baking. I love getting in the kitchen and trying something new and leaning new skills (especially when I happen pull it off). But to save time and money, I’ve been trying to limit how much effort I devote to baking delicious treats. So when the family birthdays start happening I start to get excited. What would be a better time to loosen the reigns and try something amazing and delicious?

This month I had two birthdays to make cakes for; my mother in law and my niece and nephew.

For my mother in law I went with a somewhat Japanese theme.

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And my niece asked for a fairy cake and my nephew a spider-man cake (because those things go together easily, right?). I was considering giving spider-man wings but ended up deciding to split the cake.

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I had so much fun doing those cakes, however it might be good to have some time to do something else for a while.

Best of June 2014

June started with Nick getting sick and passing it along, so not the best start. However it ended well as Nick learnt how to use his fork. He has demanded a fork at meal times for the past three months, just because everyone else has one. So proud of him for persevering until he learnt.

Treasured Moments

The two things this month that I have really loved is watching Nick learn, try new things and solve problems on his own. He is growing up so fast. He has become a really chatterbox and has big long gabble conversations, complete with looking straight into your eyes and laughing at his own jokes (whatever they are).

Pages

I got hooked on going through the websites in College Fashion’s 12 Websites That will Make You Smarter. I love teaching myself new things so it was right up my alley.

I’m reading a lot of articles such as The Value of Unstructured Play Time for Kids, How to Kill Your Child’s Creativity and Kids are Watching Less TV and Doing More Homework. All recommend pulling back and letting your children relax and work things out for themselves. It makes sense to me. I already try and hold back and let Nick work things out for himself but I will definitely keep in mind to not overschedule when Nick starts reaching that age.

Videos

This super cute puppy learning to howl.

A young girl gets a puppy after asking for one for years. Her reaction is priceless, that dog is seriously going to be loved.

I found this to be hilarious and I got stuck on Malinda’s Youtube page for quite a while, but here is Malinda singing Let it Go from Frozen after the lyrics have been run through Google translate a few times.

Potty Time Tips and Tricks

This week I have been googling like crazy. Nick is nearing one and a half and showing some signs that he is close to being ready start potty training. I’m thinking about buying a potty to start giving him a quick sit on it when he is having his nappy changed just to start getting him used to it.

So far, according to the internet, I have found out some toilet training signs are;

  • Regular/predictable bowel movements.
  • Pees a fair amount at one time and has dry periods.
  • Can sit quietly for 2-5 minutes.
  • Dislikes the feeling of a dirty or wet nappy.
  • Can tell you or gives signs of bowel movements like squatting or grunting.
  • Doesn’t resist training.
  • Is in a good mood.
  • Can understand the physical feelings of needing to go to the toilet.
  • Likes their independence.
  • Are able to do basic dressing and undressing.
  • Is interested in the toilet.

potty_baby

With that in mind, I think Nick still has a little way to go, but it won’t be too far off. So I started googling about what to do when the time comes and the following ideas have been suggested:

  • Don’t force potty training, be guided by your child.
  • Use rewards. Choose something that your child can receive after each successful potty training whether it a sticker chart, small amount of money, sweets or an inexpensive treats to go in a treat bag (it will help if it is something they are interested in).
  • Block out an amount of time while training so your child doesn’t have to go out.
  • For boys, have some fun and do some target practice.
  • Praise, Praise and Praise.
  • Don’t make a fuss about misses and accidents. Just clean up and continue.
  • Frequent and regular trips help.
  • Change from nappies to underpants or training pants.
  • Read books and watch DVDs that feature toilet usage.

Have you got any hints or suggestions for me?