My Postpartum Reality: Baby #2

This is my postpartum reality. 6am. After a night of tossing and turning while my babies slept. Up several times through the night, once even to find that I’ve wet myself. Yep 21, and I’ve wet myself. So 6am, I’m in a bath of Epsom salt with my 2 year old.

Recurring bouts of vaginal thrush has my head in a mess. A constant burn. A constant itch. I say vaginal because nipple thrush can also be really common postpartum, though I don’t have that type. I can fix it for a day or so with creams and tablets only it comes right back again. I’ve had ten weeks with only the occasional day of relief. And a fantastic doctor truly searching for solutions.

I haven’t brought myself to write about this yet because it’s “taboo” and talking about my nether regions apparently makes people uncomfortable, but I’m a sharer. And I suppose if this kind of discussion makes you uncomfortable then you can always leave the page.

It’s a silent struggle. Because physically I look very well for someone who had a baby 10 weeks ago. But this is the reality of postpartum for a lot of mums, you might not see the change or the the pain they’re in. Yet, they persevere.

This is in no way a comparison, or to say I have it worse. Some women definitely have it worse, and I am so incredibly thankful to have had largely beautiful experiences birthing my children. Though that doesn’t change the fact that I find intimacy incredibly difficult now, and that my patience is almost constantly thin because of the burning feeling I’m dealing with in the background. At the moment, my life is different because of childbirth although it may not look it, and I’m still learning ways to manage these new challenges my body presents. I can’t even begin to imagine how much more difficult this journey is for women who didn’t get the birth they wanted, or the body they anticipated to have afterward.

So please remember be patient and to be understanding. Not all battles are visible, especially on this postpartum road. We’re all walking our own lanes but to have one another to fall back on, even if it’s just to cry to, makes an incredible difference, no matter how we brought our babies into the world, or how we feel about our bodies afterward.

Physically, otherwise, I feel stronger. Stronger than I did 10 weeks ago, though still lacking the strength I once had to enjoy sport and exercise the way I used to, but I’ll get there.

I can’t help but think about the women who have longer harder journeys of recovery, and send them all the love I can muster. I see you, I get it, I know you’ll make it to the other side of this. Pregnancy, labour, birth and motherhood, it’s hard. But you’re stronger than you realise and that little baby you have in your arms… YOU are what love is to them. You are all they know and they love you like nothing else in this entire world exists (because they don’t know that anything else exists haha) but still, it is a deep, gravity defying love all the same. You’ll make it through this

And if you ever need someone to talk to, my inbox will always be open.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

The Hazy Days: Getting through the first month with a newborn

There is no doubt about it, bringing a child into the world will be one of the most incredible and most exhausting things you will ever experience in your life. I’d consider myself a bit of an old hand at it now, having done it twice, but that would mean I know what I’m doing. And let’s be honest, none of us do!

There are a few little things I’ve come across in my experiences that have at least made things a little easier. Hopefully this can help at one or two people out in their journey to parenthood, I know I wish I had read something like this before I had my girls!

Be Lenient

This is a skill you’ll soon learn very quickly. But knowing you’ll have to be before the time comes does make the pill a little easier to swallow. In childbirth, the early days, into toddlerhood and no doubt beyond. There will be times when things don’t go to plan, you’ll need to be prepared not let go of your expectations and go with the flow.

Sleep when your baby sleeps

I can’t stress this enough. Guests present or not, you need to rest. Take every moment you can to get that rest, you’ll be all the better parent for it

One word, SWADDLE

Your baby is used to being all tucked up inside your very comfy uterus. Once out, their natural startle reflex can be confusing and more often than not will startle your baby out of their sleep. In my circumstances at least anyway, I found swaddling an unsettled baby really helped calm them down and keep them asleep for longer. I highly suggest the ergo swaddles or the Love to Dream, zippers are your friend. Traditional swaddles are fine of course, but when you have a Houdini on our hands, a zip could mean all the difference in the amount of sleep you get.

Don’t be afraid to do the (safe) things you said you wouldn’t

So what, you SAID you’d never use a dummy, or you’d not co-sleep, or you wouldn’t pick your baby up too much? Whatever feels right once your baby is here, so long as it is safe, is okay to do. Don’t beat yourself up over promises your non-parent self made… you were exactly that, NOT a parent. Sometimes doing those things you’d said you’d never do, helps more than you could imagine.

Be okay with saying “no”

If you’re anything like me, “no” is hardly in your vocabulary. But for sanity sake, if you need to refuse visitors, or refuse unsolicited advice, DO IT. Your baby, your time, your body… You just had a baby! Do not feel bad for putting your needs before others. And don’t feel bad about refusing advice that doesn’t suit the way you want to parent.

Take a moment for you as often as you can

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the world of a new baby. Don’t forget to take those moments to have a shower and just breathe. Wash your hair, shave your legs, clean your face… or whatever you like to do that makes you feel human. If someone is around get them to watch the baby for that time, or even if someone isn’t, I used to drag the tummy time mat into the bathroom and put Violet on it so I could have a couple of “mummy moments” to myself. They really are so imperative. You need to look after yourself just as much as you need to look after your baby

Talk when you’re not okay

There will be tough days, plenty of them. The hormones that surge your body after having a baby are beyond crazy, and they can leave you feeling anything but yourself for a while. Remember that it’s ok to feel the negative feelings sometimes, and it doesn’t make you a bad parent. Reach out as often as you can, you’ll find that a LOT of other people have gone through what you’re going through, you’re not alone. And if you do feel as though your feelings are beyond “just hormones” PLEASE seek help, you’re entirely worthy of receiving it, and you will always be worthy of happiness.

Walk away for a minute

Babies can cry for long periods of time, at times it can make you feel a little insane. If you’re having trouble coping or feeling frustrated, pop them down somewhere safe, like their cot, and walk away for a moment to somewhere you can’t hear them, only for a few moments. Just enough to breathe and remind yourself that this won’t be forever, they won’t cry forever. There will be peace and quiet again, just breathe mama, it’ll be okay.

Take all the photos, and spam all of your socials as much as you like. Your baby is beautiful and they’re all yours! Enjoy every moment, soak in that newborn smell and take comfort in knowing that that little baby is and always will be yours.

Xo Emily @ Loving Little One

Bittersweet Babyhood

These are the days, where we long for sleep and the simplest of tasks seem to take us half the week.

Where our patience tests us (our toddlers too), we wonder if we’re ever doing enough, and surely we do?

To keep them busy,

To keep them happy,

To fill their day with fun.

Whilst we feed, and we burp and we rock to sleep the newest little person, so little, like they were once.

With so much to do, and so little time, it’s a constant fear of missing the little things that often fills our minds.

So, I sit, a little longer than I should. One on my knee and one right beside.

I read three or four books more, even when she’s sleepy eyed.

We play outside a little bit passed dinner, and bath time is often a little bit late.

But our bellies are always full and there are always more games to play.

They’re only little for such a short time. And my heart grows a little heavy when I think about how they won’t always be little and by my side.

Though, that’s the bitter sweetness of it all, some day they’ll have their own little hands to hold.

So, for now I treasure every moment, cuddles and tantrums alike. And when I’m stuck on the couch for the fiftieth time with a baby that won’t settle and a toddler with an attitude as large as mine…

I’ll remember that these moments only last a very short while and no matter how big they get, they’ll forever be my babies- just like I am to those parents of mine.

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

30 Weeks Already?!

(I’m a little late in posting, as I wrote this a week ago and forgot to post it, but I’m 31 weeks and 3days today and in this photo)

I’m lying on my side whilst typing this on my laptop, not out of laziness but simply because it is the only position I currently feel even somewhat comfortable in.

Some how, out of the blue, I received a notification on my phone today from my baby centre app telling me that I’m now 30 weeks pregnant… excuse me!? I’m dumbfounded, if I’m being totally honest. But at the same time not surprised as I’ve been feeling increasingly less stoked about being a giant pregnant whale as the days pass, so its really no wonder we’ve reached the 30th week of our journey.

I don’t know if it’s my lack of memory from my pregnancy with Vi, or what but I genuinely feel so much more uncomfortable so much sooner this time around. My hips seem to have taken it upon themselves to age by 60 years or so within the space of about a week, so the pregnant lady waddle is now in full swing, as well as the midnight leg cramps and rather regular Braxton Hicks Contractions. Have any of you mummies felt the same way in your second/third/so on pregnancies?

I’m still craving sweet things, along with everything else that probably isn’t the healthiest for your body, but I do try to combat it with the consumption of fruit instead of muffins and cream buns (although both of those are still more regularly consumed then I’d like to admit). I take comfort in the fact that soon I will no longer be home to a tiny human and I’ll be capable of exercising regularly again. Weight has never been a major focal point for me, and as long as I’m within the expected weight gain range I don’t stress myself over it too much. After all, I am growing a human baby, it would be absurd to expect my weight not to fluctuate, regardless of what I’m eating. But I’m sitting at roughly 11kg gained at the moment so we’ll see where I end up by the end!

As one of my recent posts stated, we’ve just made a massive move from Brisbane to Central Queensland. So another source of exhaustion beyond this baby does exist, and I can’t blame it all on her. It’s been just over a full week since we made the move, and although we aren’t yet in our own place again (we’re staying with my parents for the minute) it has been a welcome change. As well as a chance to relax for a couple of weeks while we regather our bearings. The fresh air and open spaces really have been missed, so it is wonderful to be able to surround ourselves in the countryside once more.

As for the transfer with the pregnancy and everything, I still haven’t toured the hospital here yet! So the fact that I could be giving birth in the next 7 weeks or so definitely feels a little surreal at the moment. I have been transferred though so I’m now just waiting to hear from the hospital for my first scheduled appointment, which will hopefully be soon!

Overall things seem to be travelling smoothly, considering the circumstances. I doubt anyone would actively WANT to make a big move this late in a pregnancy, but it happened, and we survived! My morning sickness still hasn’t reappeared, so I’m taking that as a solid win. And despite being ridiculously HOT 24/7 (CQ for you!) and morbidly tired, I feel content for the most part, and count my lucky stars that Vi sleeps relatively well and still graces us with two naps a day (touch wood).

I’m so interested to see how Violet will respond to the arrival of our little Bean. We’ve been actively trying to engage her with the idea of a baby for the entire pregnancy, and she now has the word “bubby” down pact, and will gladly give my tummy kisses quite often. She’s been familiar with “gentle” for a long while now, considering we have always had pets in the house so I’m confident she’ll handle that aspect fairly well. But for the most part our journey to becoming a family of four is a wonderful mystery! I can’t wait to see it unfold.

So the countdown begins! And as little bean would say if she could speak,  “Ready or not, here I come!”

It’s a GIRL – 27 weeks

Lots has been happening in our life the past couple of weeks, hence the lack of update.

But if you’re on my socials you probably would have seen our gender announcement! And if you’re not, as the title suggests we’ll be meeting our second little girl in November! Which is absolutely crazy. Clearly I was outbid in the “wait until birth or have a gender reveal” debate. Though I will admit we had an absolute blast at the reveal, and we are really stoked to welcome another little girl to our family. See the pictures below for the awesome results of the reveal thanks to Nan-ma Dee and Aunty Em!

The last couple of weeks I have become increasingly uncomfortable. After all, we are just about to bid the second trimester goodbye and fly into our third and final! Ridiculousness if you ask me… I honestly don’t know where the last few months have gone. But of course, all of the toilet trips, cramped legs and sleepless nights will only increase from here on out! And as inconvenient as they are, I’m still feeling incredibly blessed that I’m able to carry our second baby girl.

I thought I should address the question that I’ve been asked a million times since the Sunday of our gender reveal; “Are you disappointed at all that you’re having another girl?”, and the answer is absolutely not. The image of the “perfect family” seems to be very engrained into peoples minds; a boy and a girl. But we’re not in anyway disappointed, Vi is the light of our lives and we’re certain that this little girl will bring us just as much happiness and joy, in equal amounts as what a little boy would bring.

It can also be quite frustrating just how many people who ask “so how does Dan feel about having two girls?”, because of course he is excited and happy. He is a fantastic dad to one little girl, and he’ll be just as fantastic with two daughters. We may welcome more children into our family some time down the road, but for now we’ll have our two girls and life will be just the way it’s always meant to have been for us.

To be frank with you all, I think we’re both feeling a little relieved. We have an entire storage cupboard of girls clothes all ready for when this little one arrives, and we don’t have to stress about learning the ropes all over again with a tiny newborn with a ballsack that requires adequate wiping. Win-win right?

Obviously I’d love for Dan to get to experience having a son. And I honestly have no doubt in my mind that it will happen for us one day. But for now at least, baby days will be on hold until the girls are a little older and we have a little bit more of our lives in order.

So many changes are happening, and if you’ve read my latest post you’ll know that we’re making the move to Central Queensland from Brisbane in just a couple of weeks time. This means I’ll be birthing at a different hospital, and we’ll be bringing our little girl home to a completely different house. The prospect of these things has been stressful of course, but we’re looking forward to the future with optimism.

For now life consists of being kicked in the ribs, trying to get Vi to take her naps properly and packing boxes. But also the delightful things like toddler kisses, new words and Vis wonder at my tummy and her little sister that is growing safely inside.

In my pregnancy with Vi, at 27 weeks I was exactly 10 weeks and 5 days away from meeting our little honey! And now the countdown is on to meet our second. We can’t wait to smother you with love little one.

Xo Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

20 Weeks Deep

I really thought I would have posted before now, publicly anyway. But I’m sure if you’re a parent you’ll get me when I say “we’ve been so BUSY”. And not necessarily busy doing anything in particular, just busy with life. Life with a toddler, and life preparing for a new baby.

It astounds me to say that this week, I’m 20 weeks deep into my second pregnancy. In fact, it astounds me so much so that I can barely comprehend it. Half way through the journey to meeting our second bundle of love. A tiny little human who is just as much a little person as Vi is.

My brain honestly struggles to fathom it, it’s so hard to explain. But I’m sure if you’re a parent you’ll understand. You hold so much love for your first born that you question how you’ll be able to love any little babe just as much. But somehow you just know you will.

This pregnancy has been so incredibly different to my pregnancy with Violet, but also so similar. The sickness hit hard in the first few months, just like it did with Vi. And I can’t quite put my finger on whether it was more difficult in general, or just more difficult because I have a toddler. Maybe both? I was certainly more sick more often, and lost about the same amount of weight as I did with Violet in the beginning.

At about 12 weeks it fully subsided, which was certainly sooner than what it did with vi. And since then it has been mostly smooth sailing. Low blood pressure and iron plague me a little, but they do for most pregnant people and they’re easily managed so I am certainly not going to complain.

Violet has been nothing but her beautiful little self throughout this journey so far. She knows where “mummy’s baby” is, and loves to give the bump a little kiss and stroke every now and then. And whilst I was sick she would toddle along behind me to the bathroom and pat my back for me as I’d loose my lunch (and anything else I’d attempted to consume in the hours prior).

It’s definitely her journey I am interested in seeing! How she handles seeing such a little baby around the house, one that won’t leave and will become a part of our family. But I have endless amount of faith in her ability to adjust, and love this little one as much as she loves anyone dear to her (which anyone who knows her, knows her love comes in buckets full of cuddles and kisses).

It’s so strange, but some days I forget about the little baby growing inside of me. I’m so busy with life on the outside, teaching Violet about the world and watching her grow and play. It’s only when I feel a kick, or sit on the couch to relax that I remember there’s another little one joining us soon.

I have high hopes of continuing to share this journey with everyone, because I have been told by so many people that they’ve missed my little updates and stories. Which warms my heart because I really have missed sharing with you all.

So here’s to 20 weeks, and 17 months! 20 weeks of tiny babe, and 17 months of our gorgeous Vi.

xo Emily @ http://www.lovinglittleone.com

Bump Update: 2 Weeks Postpartum 

Tomorrow, Violet is 2 weeks old! Which means tomorrow marks 2 weeks since I gave birth, yep… two weeks since the big ouchie. 
 I know what you’re thinking, postpartum… squishy belly, fluctuating hormones, bleeding… you’d be right in thinking those things. But I’m going to be honest here, it’s not that bad. Everyone certainly prepares you for the worst but hey, this will be a positive post, promise. 

The day of: sure it was kind of sucky, after pains, kind of struggling to walk without feeling like your insides will fall out… but you’ve got a baby in your arms! And you can bask in the glory of adrenaline and how awesome you are for bringing a human into the world! (No matter how you did it). I will admit I was pretty damn smitten. And no matter how many nurses/midwives/other mums told me how important it is to sleep and not stay up all night gawking at our awesome little creation of a human, I stayed up… all night. You guessed it, gawking. 

Day 2-3: they say these days are the hardest but to be honest, with the support of my lovely mum, Dan and his mum, they weren’t as hard as people said they’d be. Vi slept, and ate, and pooped, and slept… and didn’t really give us any grief at all. Belly was still squishy! But I’d mostly regained my ability to use my abdominal muscles to sit up. Holy though… my milk came in night of day two and shook me to the core. They tell you they get big, but I severely underestimated just how big. Like bigger than my effing head big. Once again the hot shower was my friend

Day 4-14: from my milk coming in until now is all pretty much the same. My bump slowly fades back into me with every day. And we’re gradually getting used to the whole sleeping thing. And by sleeping thing, I mean not sleeping. Vi got herself into a routine fairly quickly. From night 4 onward she was up around 10pm, 1am, 4am and 7ish and bless her little heart, most nights she slept soundly in between feeds. 

I’m learning pretty quickly what I can and can’t eat. Onion and garlic are no go’s obviously, even a little and she has trouble getting her burps up, which of course means a fussy Bub and therefore less sleep for everyone in general. But I think everything so far has been really very cruisy. We’re not having any trouble breast feeding (yay) and Vi is putting on the right amount of weight according to our midwife, who visited every day for 4 days and now will be visiting once a week for 6 weeks on a Wednesday. 

I can honestly say there is no way things could have been this easy without the help of my mum. She’s up every morning with Vi from about 7am until 9-10 ensuring Dan and I get just that little extra bit of sleep we might need. She’s cooked me dinner, taken me for a pedi, gone on afternoon walks with Vi, Mo and I. Just been that extra little bit of help we really didn’t know we needed but totally do need. She leaves on Tuesday and I’m really going to miss her, but so so thankful to have such support and love in my life, and to know her and all of our family, on both sides will always be around to help out.

I’m really just so thankful with how beautiful our journey has been. A wonderfully smooth pregnancy, an incredible birth and cruisy first two weeks. We’re slowly getting the hang of things. And so far this whole parenting gig has been full of nothing but endless love. 

I’m planning of continuing posts as often as possible. Of course this will be my last bump update though! As the bump is pretty much gone, but replaced by a cute little baby, who has totally stolen our hearts.