Our experience with bedtime and crying

Notice how the title doesn’t say “controlled crying” or “cry it out”. Yeah, I did that on purpose. Mainly because the method we use doesn’t have a name, we just did what felt right and what worked for us. If you read this and think, hey that actually is a method written about feel free to let me know! I’d love to read it.

Now this is a touchy subject. I’ve seen MANY heated discussions on bedtime methods and what people think is right and wrong for children. And I won’t deny the science or the methods out there in books and in documentaries but we decided quite early on that we would take parenting as a day to day thing, do what feels right and if and when it stops feeling right for us or our baby, we’d stop.

Until our daughter was 6 months old we had a pretty easy run, she would fall asleep in our arms and then we would move her to her cot and she would stay asleep until the next feed, whenever that may be. She never slept through but this is something we were and are still ok with. She would wake up at night, have a feed and nod straight back off to sleep. I’d either shift her back into her cot or enjoy a bit of co-sleep cuddles for the night, whatever felt right at the time.

After 6 months we started noticing her “bedtime” was getting later and later, because no matter how hard we tried, if she was being held around a light or tv or conversation, we was too curious to fall asleep. This posed an issue for us, because it meant I either had to go off to a dark room in silence and hold her until she fell asleep OR switch up our method. I endured 4 months of the first option before I’d decided enough was enough. And that’s when we introduced a proper, scheduled night time routine.

Kids LOVE routine. And we’d always had a rough routine of what order things are done in but never really set times. So we decided, start cooking dinner at 5:30, she eats by six, bath time by 6:30-7, book and bed before 7:30. “Bed” was into the cot with me beside her but not touching or talking to her.

The first few nights were tough. She sat and cried and cried at me, every 10 minutes or so I would give her a short little pat on the back and a reassuring “I love you” but I wouldn’t pick her up… she was tired and me picking her up would only prolong sleep. The first few nights it took about 30-40 minutes of crying. Not terrified crying, not hurt crying, not hysterical crying, just whingey tired crying.

Slowly but surely, the amount of time she would spend crying got shorter and shorter. After about 4 nights of the new routine she was only crying for 10 or so minutes. And by a week and a half I could walk into her room with her in my arms, place her down in the cot, pat her quietly for about 10 seconds or so, say I love you and leave the room with absolutely NO fussing or crying.

I was astonished. This was a child that hardly ever self soothed, now going to sleep almost entirely on her own, no fuss, and almost HAPPY to be going to bed.

Now I’m not here to preach, every baby is different and every parent will do things differently so I’m definitely not going to tell anyone what to do or that it will work for them. And I didn’t walk into this new routine thinking we’d see that much of a difference but HOLY, it has changed our lives. Our night times are almost completely stress free, beautiful in fact. My partner and I can enjoy alone time without fear of having to listen to tears, or trying to be quiet so she would go to sleep in my arms.

She doesn’t sleep through. She never has, but she’s easy to get back to sleep, so that’s never been a problem with us. I am just so surprised at how well this has worked for us.

I’d love to hear stories of bedtime success! No judgement from me either as to how you got there! It’s a long and tough journey but such a feat when you finally reach it. So share away in the comments!

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Violet Rae 10-11 months

I feel like I say this every single time I write a post but it’s been a while so I’m going to say it again, where has the time gone?! The last few months have been so incredibly busy. As everyone would know we had Violets first Christmas just last month, but something that is new is SHE IS WALKING!

Her first steps happened on the day she turned 10 months, I mean, I’m not going to lie, they were a tad encouraged! However it only took her a month to figure out the whole balance thing and now nothing can stop her! Our house has become a madness of running and squealing and mess and just an entire bundle of fun really. I have to say it, we now officially have a toddler *sobs*.

Watching them learn and grow and take in the world around them is SUCH a gift. And I’m so incredibly thankful for it, but it’s gut wrenching how quickly the time passes without you even realising. I feel like it was just yesterday I was lying on an uncomfortable old hospital bed watching the most beautiful little baby I’d ever met sleeping right next to me for the first time.

I remember going to the shops with my mum without Violet for the first time since having her. I nearly bawled my eyes out. And now she’s an independent little miss, who’s quite happy to go to her grandparents without question for a few hours, or her Aunties or her uncles. Heck she’s even great with strangers if she sees me smile at them first. It’s crazy how much she has grown, and how they evolve from tiny, fragile little people who need you to hold their necks up to rampaging, enthusiastic little characters in only 12 months.

She knows what she wants and she lets you know it too! She’s absolutely food obsessed and is doing such a great job transitioning to her solids through the day, but is always up for a booby and a snuggle at midnight (and you read right, she’s not sleeping through yet, but I really don’t mind).

I really feel like I’m just spewing information at you all, but I have so much to say that I just can’t put into words. The last few months have been such incredible, challenging and honestly life changing months. Not only am I learning the ropes of toddler parenthood but so much is happening in our social lives as well surrounding our friends and family. This month we made the rash decision to send dan to FIJI! with his best friend Jeremy in only three weeks time. And although unfortunate events lead to it all happening, we’ve just taken the baton and started running full speed with it.

Not only are we planning last minute holidays but we are beginning to organise violets FIRST BIRTHDAY. That’s right, she is one in less then a month. Someone hold me upright… among present brainstorming and party planning ideas I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and just over all losing it a bit. So I also chopped all my hair off 🤣 but don’t worry I’m not regretting it.

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Vi really has just become such a little girl in these last few months. I had felt so determined in the beginning to film everything and write everything down, but the truth is, enjoying the moment is so much more important. I’m still taking videos and photos, and when I get the time, like now, I love sitting down and reflecting on violets first few months. I’ve learnt over time not to promise anything on writing posts and whatnot, but what I do know is I have always enjoyed writing them. And although they may be inconsistent as hell at times, there will always be more to write and share with you all.

I can’t believe we’ve been on this journey for nearly two years. Blogging through my pregnancy, and about Violets birth and now we’re almost at the end of her first year! It never ceases to amaze me just how many of you beautiful people love hearing about our journey. We may have been young when we first found out we were expecting, but we have grown SO much, in ways almost impossible to explain, and parenthood has done nothing but make us stronger and happier people. So thank you all so much, for your constant words of engagement and endless love and patience. It means the world to me, I can’t wait to look back on this all one day and share it with Violet, to show her just how lucky we are to have a life full of so much love.

Xx Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com

Don’t tell me I’m too young to be a good mother

With a pink blanket under her head and her seatbelt nicely fastened I walked through our local supermarket collecting our groceries for the week with my daughter in the baby seat of my trolley. This particular week I decided to start purchasing foods for my daughter to try, now I’m not really about those premade baby foods (but if you are then you do you! nothing against it, just a personal choice) so I was putting things in my trolley like organic sweet potato, pumpkin and avocado. Unbeknownst to me the truth of societies still prehistoric views on parenthood was about to rear it’s ugly head.

As I turned the corner I very nearly bumped into a woman’s trolley which she had left in the middle of the refrigerated isle. I veered pretty sharply in order to miss the trolley,  which of course startled my daughter, no more then running into the other trolley would have anyway. She cried, like babies do, so I stopped momentarily to talk to her and comfort her out of her fright. Whilst I paused I unknowingly had blocked the woman from her stranded trolley, so she approached me with a louder than necessary “Excuse me!”. I pardoned myself and moved my trolley aside, my daughter still crying and myself completely in my own mum world deliberating whether to pick her up to stop her crying or to try and distract her with the dummy she had lost interest in five minutes ago. So it took me by surprise when the woman turned to me for a second time as said “she’s not yours is she?”

Now I’ve had my fair share of questions in public, mostly regarding my daughter being my sister and my own mother looking too young to be a grandmother which are all usually met with a bit of a laugh and then me explaining that she’s actually mine. This time I felt a sting of judgement coming through. I smiled at my daughter and looked at the lady and said “she sure is! isn’t she beautiful, she’s four months old”. She peered at me down her pointed nose and said “Well I don’t think children should be having children, but she is quite cute. Bit of a shame” A SHAME. If you know me you would know I hate confrontation, unless I know you well enough to pull you up on something I generally let it slide for the sake of saving an argument. This is my family though and I’ll be damned if I let someone tell me that it was a shame that my beautiful daughter existed as my daughter.

“Thanks for your opinion, although I didn’t ask for it. Not sure how many children you know but not many of them are in 5 year relationships with the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. Guess I’m just lucky hey? Have a nice day” my heart was pounding and I was out of there as quick as I could go, neglecting to pick up the butter I was in the refrigeration isle for! I pushed the conversation to the depths of my brain hoping never to think about it again but after seeing a few fellow “young parents” attacked on social media recently for their age and their apparent inability to care and love their own children I figured now would be a good time to think about it, and god forbid, talk about it because it is 100% not okay.

All parents, regardless of their age, love their children, they want the best for their children and they will do anything they can to help them grow into wonderful, compassionate and loving adults. Regardless of the house they live in, the clothes they wear, whether they are married, how much they spent on their car, if they’re homosexual OR if they’re still what you would consider teenagers. If they were mature enough to make the decision to bring a child into the world then they should be admired for doing so, and for doing the best they can for that child.

The love you have for your child can’t be measured by how many toys you’re able to buy them, whether you could afford to send them to an expensive school or buy them all of the latest gadgets. Love is measured by the smiles, the hugs, the kisses and most importantly the empowering conversations you can have with them about becoming the greatest person they can possibly be. To care for the people around them, to love unconditionally and be accepting of everyone regardless of their differences.

I might not be 25 with a mountain of savings in the bank reserved specifically for having in children, my partner and I might not be married but we sure love each other like we are and we’ll give our daughter every ounce of love we have to give before we will ever let her feel unwanted or unloved. Young parents, don’t let anyone ever discourage you, your baby thinks you’re the greatest mummies and daddies in the world, and without you, they wouldn’t exist. You’re doing an amazing job, and if anyone thinks any less then maybe they should take a look at what’s missing in their lives before they make any negative comments about how beautifully full of love your life is.

 

xx Emily

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Newborn Madness: 10 things I wish someone had told me about parenthood

If you’re a parent, by the time your baby turned ten weeks old you most likely, at some point, sat and thought to yourself “well why the heck didn’t anyone say anything about this BEFORE the baby got here?!” at least once, right? And you come to realise at some point, that no matter how prepared you thought you were, no matter how many books you read, how many classes you attended, nothing really prepared you for the mammoth task that was and is parenthood.

 

So, for all you newbies out there; here’s my top 10 things I didn’t know before I became a mum, that in a few months time you’ll be thankful you now know . And for everyone else, here’s a bit of a giggle, because honestly, I really should have guessed.

 

  1. It’s okay to get poop on things

No matter how great you think you’ll be, there will be at least one sh*tty nappy change (pun intended). Whether it’s that first tarry black post apocalyptic looking poop, or the runny after-immunisations sludgy yellow slop. It’ll happen. It’ll get on your carpet, it’ll get in your hair, it’ll get on bubs face too! And it’s TOTALLY OKAY. Because unlike those embarrassing posts you made on facebook when you were 13 that are now stuck on the internet forever to haunt your present self, it’ll come off with the quick swipe of a nappy wipe.

 

2. Getting poop on yourself without realising until you’re in public is also okay

It’s honestly inevitable. If the poop can get on the carpet and the walls then yep, it’ll get on you too. And at least once you won’t see it until it’s too late, and everyone in k-mart will know you spend your hours wiping someone else’s bum. And it’s fine because you don’t know those people and they don’t know you. And if you do know them then just pretend its mustard, trust me, same colour, they won’t even know. And if they do know they won’t say anything because they feel sorry for you, you’re a sleep deprived mess.

 

3. You will forget your new child’s name

Let’s be real, unless you’ve been set on one name your entire pregnancy, you probably spent many hours deciding which name would be best for your unborn little cutie. You’ll see and contemplate a LOT of names. And in the midst of being sleep deprived and a little all over the place you may have to think once or twice in those early hours of the morning if Violet really was the name you picked or if you dreamed it up and literally have forgotten their real name entirely. Trust me, it’ll only be momentary but it’ll happen. Don’t beat yourself up about it, just don’t do it when you’re registering them for their birth certificate yeah?

 

4. Keeping track of nighttime feeds is never a good idea

Remember the days when child-less you would wake up before your alarm, look at the clock at 2am and smile because you still had another 4-5 hours left to stay in your pillow kingdom of warmth. Well looking at the clock at 2am when you’re feeding, changing nappies and sometimes also sheets (because accidents happen) will not make you relieved nor anywhere near somewhat happy. You’ll be sad. Tired and sad because god only knows when this child will let you rest again, and for how long. Don’t look at the clock, stay blissfully unaware. In fact, pretend it’s 5pm, put a movie on, have a cup of tea. Time is utterly irrelevant. Trust me, you’ll be happier for it.

 

5. Babies smell fear

You finally put bub down for a sleep after a few solid minutes (maybe even hours) of screaming. You’re relieved, but also scared they’ll wake up again as soon as you walk away. THEY WILL. THEY KNOW. THE MINUTE YOU THINK IT THEY WILL WAKE UP. confidence is seriously everything. Believe in your bub, she’ll stay asleep, she’s awesome at this, just look at her. Same goes for non parents who are scared to hold baby because he’ll cry. He knows, even you just thinking it gives him the advantage. fake it till you make it I say, even false confidence is better than none at all.

 

6. Breastfeeding is just as full time as pregnancy when it comes to what you can eat

Oblivious little me “I can’t wait to have this baby so I can have a glass of wine/soft cheese/salami”. REMEMBER, if bub will be affected by it, and they’re drinking the milk that you make. You can’t have it. It’s obvious, but I really wish someone had reminded me of this before I got all excited about the fact that the end of pregnancy was near and that my freedom of eating and drinking whatever I wanted was near. It wasn’t and still isn’t. I’m not complaining, breastfeeding is incredible. Wine though…

 

7. People aren’t joking about parenthood being isolating

Seriously. You’ll think we’re over exaggerating about the isolation of parenthood, but it’s real. And it’s there. And it’s probably one of the biggest contributing factors to the baby blues other than the feeling of being overwhelmed by the sudden and new duty of caring for a tiny human being. But it’s totally normal to feel that way, for younger parents and older ones. You’re transitioning into a new lifestyle, especially with your first child. Your friends want to give you space to settle, you may not know many other people with babies, or you may know hundreds. But those first few weeks can feel lonely and asking for help, or even just some company is 100% okay, and in no way a sign of weakness.

 

8. Realising that no parent is an expert, and every baby is different is a must

This includes realising that not all advice is good advice, and not all good advice is advice you have to take. Every baby adjusts to the world differently, reaches milestones at different times, and reacts to different parenting methods totally differently. If Belinda Opinionista from down the road says you have to rock your baby to sleep every sleep time until 4 months because she did and now her kids sleep perfectly, but that doesn’t suit you or your baby, don’t do it. Just because it worked for someone else, or studies say it should work doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. And you should NEVER feel guilty for not doing something if it doesn’t work for you and your baby.

 

9. It’s okay to walk away for 5 minutes

When the screaming has been non stop and you can’t seem to solve or soothe them it is 100% okay to put baby in a safe place, like their cot, close the door and walk somewhere where you can’t hear them for five minutes. In fact, I honestly think you’ll go mad if you don’t. I thought you couldn’t, I would rock her and bounce her and hold her while my ears would ring from the endless screaming until I felt like I could break down crying because I didn’t know what I could do to help her. I eventually worked out that walking away, just for those five minutes and recollecting myself was the very best thing I could do for her. You come back with a fresh head and a calm demeanour that your baby will be able to pick up on and in turn will help calm them down.

10. Getting to know your baby takes time

The biggest thing of all. You’re new to being a parent. Your baby is new to being a baby. Everything is a little all over the place for the first few weeks. In the beginning it’s all extremely instinctive, feed, sleep, feed, sleep. You might feel a little overwhelmed, maybe even a little used considering you pour all your hours into feeding and tending to this little humans every need to get nothing much back for a while. But when those smiles start coming, and the personality starts to show that’s when it will all feel worth it. as time goes on you never think you can love your baby more than you do right at that very moment. But every single day that child will prove you wrong by filling your heart with even more love than you ever thought possible.

 

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Above all else, take a deep breath and remember that this gorgeous little human is entirely your own, and you get to love them for the rest of your life and beyond.

 

 

 

Violet Rae Cook: 2 Month Update

I’m pretty certain that the moment your newborn baby looks you dead in the eye and smiles has to be the most beautiful, exciting, eye watering moment of your life. And right now we’re getting more smiles than ever.
Week 7 was a bit of a rough week for little Vi, the side effects of her immunisations kicked in and for 4 or 5 days of the week she was unsettled, grumpy, croaky and tired. She simply wasn’t herself. On Tuesday night we rang 13 health just to check her symptoms and to see if we should take more serious action. Her symptoms weren’t bad but after hearing her somewhat weak and coughy cry through the phone the registered nurse recommended taking her to the Emergency Department. Just to be sure. You never know with little babies as things can get serious very quickly.
It was super busy in the ED when we got there, literally patients from the ambulance waiting in a line on their beds which was pretty crazy to see… who would have thought on a Tuesday night at 8pm right? So we waited at the counter for about 10 minutes, which seemed like a lifetime when you’ve got a sick baby in your arms wailing and the thought in the back of your mind that something could be seriously wrong. Once we were seen though and asked for Violets age we were taken straight through to see a doctor and 3 nurses. A doctor and THREE nurses. At this point I was freaking out a little bit, we were in a Resuss room with lots of big scary looking machines in it. They’d put a few different monitors on her and took her blood pressure which made her scream even more.
Then I tried feeding her, which as always, always calmed her. And it didn’t. She wouldn’t latch and wouldn’t stop screaming. The nurses looked concerned, and I figured she was uncomfortable having her blood pressure taken (and making her arm purple) so I asked them to take it off. After which she latched and started feeding. They let us sit there until she had fed and then moved us into another room to keep an eye on her. They initially thought it may have been whooping cough (holy shit right?) but they tested for it and it wasn’t that. Then they thought she might have something stuck in her throat or chest so we had an X-ray, and nothing showed up on that. By this time it was around 10pm and Vi was sound asleep on my chest. They’d ruled out all the bad possibilities and pinned it down to being a little unwell from her vaccinations, which would eventually pass without seriously harming her. Now we just had to wait for the Pead to come and give her a final once over before we could go home… 3 hours later after an emergency with a newborn up in the maternity ward we were finally seen and sent home at 1:30am.

 

Even though there was lots of waiting and nothing really wrong I’m still glad we took her. As you Just never really know with babies under a certain age, and their condition can deteriorate super quickly. So I’m incredibly thankful with how prompt the hospital was with getting her seen and ensuring her safety, despite a room full, and hallway full of people waiting to be seen.
The rest of the week we had more sleepless night, and a snotty nose developed. I kissed goodbye any thought of decent sleep for myself for the week and focused purely on making little Vi feel safe and loved while she was experiencing illness for the first time. And I’m sure people are wondering, do you feel bad for vaccinating if it’s made her sick? Absolutely not, because if a little illness means she won’t end up with a life threatening sickness then I’d do it 1000 times over to make sure Vi is protected and healthy.
Now she’s getting better we’re seeing more smiles than ever. Her Nanny Bec and uncles have come down to visit and are giving lots and lots of snuggles to help her get over her little cold. More and more personality is shining through as she is seeing and experiencing more and more of the world every day. She’s loving morning play time on her play mat. Is enjoying her bath time more than ever. And is genuinely a super super happy, loveable little girl.
I still can’t believe it’s been two months already! Some of the toughest, yet most rewarding months of my life. Happy Two Months Little Vi!!

Newborn Must Haves; 5 things that made our first 5 weeks a breeze

Now that Violet is about 7 weeks I’ve had a decent amount of time to figure out which newborn items I’ve been absolutely saved by. And there are a few! I’m not going to say you need these things, because cave people had babies and survived without all of this stuff, but hey, they’re nice to have.
1) Manduca Baby Carrier

So this item I can safely say has been a godsend for us. Having a Bub that is a little fussy recently with not wanting to be put down, this gives us the freedom of having not one, but TWO hands again!! It’s adjustable, comfortable and best of all, it’s made so that you’re able to, as Bub grows, wear it to suit the way your baby would prefer to be carried. On your back? You got it. On your side? Yep. Way up front near boob smell? Hell yeah!

The actual carrier I was given as a gift from my wonderful Gran, and the cute little zippy colourful accessory you see on the front is actually a new born accessory. You’ll see that it makes the carrier curvier, meaning it fits a newborns spine better than if it was straight without it. I find that when I’m using it with the accessory I feel less need to put my hand on her back to support her.

A massive thanks to the peeps at Fertile Mind Australia for sending us the newborn accessories to try out! I can say with all honesty, they really do make the carrier safer for a littler baby and make it so much more comfortable to wear. If you’re looking for the Manduca carrier for your own Bub you’ll find it at their website! https://www.fertilemind.com.au/category-manduca-baby-carriers-slings-and-accessories-159.aspx
2) Strider Compact, Duluxe Edition 

We hunted around for ages to find a stroller that we really truly liked, and here it is. We splurged a little and got the deluxe edition because it was just that little bit more, and we honestly couldn’t have made a better choice. The pram itself is extremely diverse as you can purchase the capsule that can fit to it, the bassinet and even a second seat (yay for when Bub #2 comes along, eventually!). It’s super smooth to drive, has an awesome warranty, a huge space underneath for all the sh*t you need to carry around as a parent, and, my favourite, the brake, it’s not one that you have to flick back up with your foot, you simply push the pedal down to put the brake on and push it again to take it off (EASY TO USE WEARING THONGS! lol if you’re a parent that used older strollers you’ll get it).

It’s also super airy, I found that the other pram (using the capsule with) got really quite hot, and poor Violet always seemed to be covered in sweat on her back when we took her out. It also came with a range of accessories like a rain cover, bug and wind cover and an awesome pocket insert to keep all your stuff organised.

It’s been a quite a few outings with us, and I haven’t found a fault yet! Best of all, it’s easy to fold and lightweight (weak little me can easily get it in and out of the car within about 30 seconds. We purchased ours online at Baby Bounce (and it’s currently on sale!)
3) Serina Joie rocker

Totally something from the space age right? This thing was our saviour in the first few weeks. When Bub is still super sleepy and super small. It rocks, gently or super quickly if you want, and keeps Bub happy when you’re not holding them. It’s also adjustable so when baby is bigger they can sit up and see more.

This was a gift from Nan-ma (Dans mum) and though it would be pretty costly to buy yourself if you can suggest it to a few people to put in to get you one for your baby shower or something of the like you definitely won’t regret it. Violet loves hers and spends a lot of the day time in it while I am getting housework done. Not to mention, how beautiful is it? Made very well and very good quality. You can purchase this at Baby Bounce!
4) Collette by Collette Hayman Nappy Bag

After that Mimco bag look without the $300 price tag? Look no further than Collette. Stylish, affordable and best of all, practical. Super happy with the quality and the size. Can’t go wrong really. This one was a gift from my mum!
5) Natural Rubber Soother


I honestly think that anyone who chooses not to give their child a dummy is a damn hero! How?! Violet is the kind of baby that sucks for comfort, so naturally a dummy was our only solution (unless I wanted her on my boob 24/7, which I did not)

The natural rubber soother is exactly what it says it is. It’s got a super long nub, which Vi loves because it’s more like a nipple than most dummies. And we can rest easy that there are not as many nasties in it as there could be in other brands, because it’s all natural! We for hers from our local organic store

Violet Rae Cook: 6 Week Update

Don’t ask me how we are already at 6, nearly 7 weeks… I simply can’t answer it, and it makes me quite anxious to think just how damn quickly time is passing. 

Every day that passes we see more and more of Violet’s personality shine through, and god, it only makes us love her more. She’s curious, happy, and bloody strong! I didn’t think it was possible but for such a small baby she can pack a kick, and a head butt, that’s for sure. 

At 4 and a half weeks she ROLLED! Which initiated the transition from her cradle to her cot, like a big girl in her very own room. Of course, she’s not slept through yet, but is adjusting impressively well to self settling and waking up in her own room by herself. 

At 6 weeks we got our first real social smile. And let me tell you, that brings tears of happiness to any new parents eyes. After weeks on end of changing nappies, feeding all hours of the day and soothing a screaming baby, to finally see their little smile, it wells your heart. Somehow making everything you’ve been through so much more worth it. And I’m probably a bit biased but that smile is absolutely gorgeous. I’m living for the cute little gurgling baby sounds she makes as she watches our faces intently, taking all of the world in.
And great news! She’s absolutely loving her baths now, if you’ll remember in my last post I said she hated them and would scream bloody murder every time we tried to get her in there. But I can happily say she had about a half hr bath with me tonight and loved every minute of it.

It’s safe to say that we’re adjusting a lot better to this whole parenting gig. You don’t believe it in the beginning when they tell you that you’ll get used to not having enough sleep, but you really truly do. I feel fully functional on 6 hrs of broken sleep a night, and I’m damn proud of myself for it. Nappy changes happen in under 2 minutes these days, and we haven’t had a poo-splosion in weeks, which I nail down to the fact that we can actually put a nappy on properly! 

On Monday we had her 6 week immunisations, and if you’re a parent you’ll share my pain, I honestly think it hurts more to watch than it actually is painful for Bub. But it’s comforting to know that she’s more better equipped to deal with all different types of bugs the world could throw at her. And that she can now socialise with other babies! Which I’m hoping to get happening in the next few weeks by attending lactation groups and mothers groups.

I feel like she’s very easy on us, I mean obviously she has her moments but every baby does. She’s settling in so well to being a little human. And god, I never knew how much love you could hold in your heart until now, and I tell you what, it just keeps growing and growing. 

Here’s to the new dads

Here’s to the new dads 

To the men who had to listen to the complaining, hungry, tired and sore pregnant ladies for 9 months, only to get to the end and have the circulation squeezed out of their hand while watching the equivalent of their favourite pub burning down.

Here’s to the amount of times he held your hair back through morning sickness, and funded your many late night cravings of the oddest, and often hardest to purchase food at 1am.

To the guys who lovingly reassured their partners time and time again that “no, you’re not fat honey, you’re pregnant”, and took one for the team at social events by drinking for two.

To the men that attended all the little pre-baby gatherings and smiled over the tiny little outfits and shoes while pretending that they don’t think any of it is that cute, when really they really do think it’s all that cute.

Here’s to the hours he spent worrying for you, about how smooth the pregnancy will be, and how brave you’ll have to be through the birth… all while being the rock that you need to keep sane through your own worries.

To the pain he must have gone through watching you through your pain and felt helpless to stop it.

To the tears he shed the moment he laid eyes on the tiny little human you created together and felt more love than he could ever possibly imagine.

To the hours he spends burping and changing nappies while you sleep for ‘just five more minutes’ after a feed.
To the man who, despite being just as sleep deprived, just as emotional having brought a new little human into the world, and who longs, just as much as anyone else, to spend time with you and your little baby… still goes to work in the early hours of the morning until late at night to give you the life you live and love together.

Here’s to the new dads, who are just as important, and deserve just as much recognition as the new mums. The men who without, we wouldn’t be blessed with the beautiful gift that is motherhood in the first place.

For Daniel, my rock. You’re one of the greatest fathers I know and I’ll thank you every single day for the rest of my life for everything you do, everything you are, and for this gorgeous little girl we get to call our own. 

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. 

Violet Rae Cook: A Natural Birth story by a young mum

“In the end, the only thing you truly feel is infinite, incredible love”

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I’ve debated with myself all week on whether or not I would write (and post) Violet’s birth story. But today, a week after her birth, it just feels right. If birth stories aren’t really your thing you can stop reading now, I promise I won’t be offended, and nor will Violet.

I guess with these things you should start with the beginning, but to be totally honest, if you’ve been keeping up with my Bump Updates, you’d know I really can’t pinpoint exactly when it began. Violet joined us at 37+5 weeks gestation, but I’d had ‘pre-labour’ symptoms from about 34-35 weeks, things like losing my mucus plug, lightning crotch, more intense Braxton Hicks contractions, you know… all the things I had been complaining about.

The whole week before labour I definitely felt like something was building up, I was sleeping ALL THE TIME, I was having nights of constant Braxton Hicks (confusing me as to whether it was real labour or not) and to be honest with you, I was losing my mind. I had no way of knowing if the things I had been experiencing were actually a sign labour was near, or if I’d be experiencing these things for the next 2-4 weeks.

I guess if I could choose myself a point to say “thats when I knew” I’d probably say about 8pm on Saturday the 4th of February. Cooking chicken Parmy (classic aussie) with Dan in the kitchen, I had the biggest contraction I’d ever felt, not just a slight pain, a breath taking, eye watering contraction. I had to grab Dan to stay upright. Afterward though I definitely played it down, both in my head and to Dan. As we were eating dinner I remember saying, “yeah it really hurt, but like, I still don’t really know… you know?”. We finished dinner and went to bed, only for me to wake up to awful back pain at around 2am. I rang my mum at around 3:30, crying. Crying because I was in pain, crying because I wasn’t sure if it was actually labour, and crying because if it wasn’t labour I couldn’t deal with it for the next few weeks. She calmed me, told me to take some panadol, try to sleep and to ring her when I woke up- from there we’d figure out if it was labour and whether or not she needed to fly down.

“And when I say my waters broke… I can tell you they really damn broke. Like a bloody waterfall”

Well I didn’t need to wait long to know if she really needed to come down and if it really was labour, because the next morning about half an hour after I had woken up my waters broke. And when I say my waters broke… I can tell you they really damn broke. Like a bloody waterfall, all over the brand new mattress (lucky we’d thought ahead and made sure to have a mattress protector on the bed). One second I was lying there laughing at a dumb video on Facebook with Dan and the next second I was a human fire hose. When I told him my waters broke he asked me if I was sure, and I laughed at him as I whipped the sheets down and showed him the pool of fluid I was practically swimming in. Right. Ring mum. She needs to get here. Ring the midwife. We’re having a damn baby.

The next couple of hours were super nerve wracking, contractions hadn’t really kicked in but I was having regular tightenings, and I was also pretty worried about whether my mum would make it in time. We went into hospital at around 9:30am for a quick foetal monitoring and to check if it was my waters that had gone. Laughs, especially considering I needed two towels to get to the damn hospital. It was my waters, and everything was completely normal with baby. Ring mum. She’s got a flight for 12noon. Go home. Rest. Come back when contractions are painful and less than 5 minutes apart.

“They were getting more intense for sure, the kind of intense that makes you contemplate strangling small animals”

The next 10 hours were pretty uneventful, tightenings were becoming more regular but they were still just that- tightenings, not real contractions. Mum arrived around 2, Relief. Only at around 6pm did we really start to measure things and much to our frustrations they were all over the place. 5 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart… They were getting more intense for sure, the kind of intense that makes you contemplate strangling small animals. But they weren’t close enough together. So we waited and waited and waited until I decided they were painful enough to warrant going into hospital at 11:30pm. Arrive at hospital. Foetal monitoring for half an hour. All normal. Zero centimetres Dilated. ZERO CENTIMETRES DILATED. Tears. Home. Sleep.

We got home at around 2am, said our goodnights and went to bed. The midwife had given me some sleeping pills to get some sleep, that lasted all of about an hour before I was woken up by definitely stronger, more painful contractions. I couldn’t stay lying down through them, for a few contractions I stayed in bed, sitting up for each contraction and then lying back down and trying to fall back to sleep. Impossible. By 3:30am I was up, I decided to use this time to labour on my own, I needed the time to focus on letting my body do what it needed to do. I hopped in the shower for about 10 minutes. the hot water helped, but then I felt like I needed to walk through the contractions, so I got out and paced the kitchen for what felt like hours, stopping to breathe through every contraction like I’d ran a marathon, this woke my mum up. By this time it was around 4:15am. Mum helped me through the contractions, encouraged me to sit when I could to save energy, but the problem was, when I sat and a contraction came on I felt pressure in my bottom (If you’ve had a baby you know pressure in your bottom gives you the urge to push, and being still at home I DID NOT WANT THIS). 4:45am Back in the shower. Breathe through contractions. Getting stronger. 5am Dan wakes up helps me through contractions. 5:30am still in the shower. Getting a LOT stronger. Call the midwife. 6:30am leave for hospital.

I can still pinpoint the two exact places I had contractions in the car on the way to the hospital on the 7 minute drive, it felt like 7 hours. Our hospital has it’s birth centre on the second story and an awfully slow elevator so the stairs were our best option. I cried at the bottom of the stairs mid contraction, because it hurt, because I really didn’t want to walk up the stairs but mostly because I knew that the next time I’d be walking these stairs I would have a baby in my arms. Dan held my hand, mum rubbed my back and we got up them.

Once we got up into a birthing suite I was sat on the bed for more monitoring, all was normal and contractions were strong and regular, yes. But sitting on that bed for contractions was not where I wanted to be, advice: move through contractions! I couldn’t at this time as I needed antibiotics, just because my water had been broken for more than 18 hrs (normal standard procedure for such occasions), and they gave me them via drip. After the drip was finished I was given an internal: 5cm dilated. I wasn’t disappointed nor optimistic. I was focused. Move me to the shower. Knees on the ground. Leaning on exercise ball. Hot water on back. Perfect. Exactly where I felt I needed to be.

By the time I was in the shower it was nearing 8am, mum had called the rest of the birth team and told them I was 5cm, so we could expect a baby by lunch time, but maybe later. So they went and got some breakfast and made their way over. Contractions were intense, very intense, but I didn’t want to move from where I was. Not for gas and air, not for any other form of pain relief. The hot water was doing everything it needed to do for me. Dan kept the water on my back the whole hour, and slowly but surely contractions got closer and closer together. Around 8:45 I started to panic a little, I felt a very very intense need to push, and I was panicking because not even 2 hours before I was only 5cm, so I can’t be ready to push, can I? The midwife reassured me that if I felt like I needed to push then I could. So I did. Contractions weren’t contractions anymore, it was one long single contraction and it wasn’t ending. Dan, let go of her hand you need to help catch your daughter. Mum, hold my hand. I can’t do this. Yes you can. We can see her head, Emily. Touch it. You can do this. Yes, I can. I’m doing this.

“I’m told I pushed for around 15 minutes, but I can tell you now, it felt like eternity and at the same time it felt like seconds”

I’m told I pushed for around 15 minutes, but I can tell you now, it felt like eternity and at the same time it felt like seconds. Absolutely nothing compares to those last few pushes. The last few seconds of being just me, Em, before I became a mother. The amount of love you feel through every second of the pain is indescribable. And the massive feeling of release when your child enters the world and is brought up into your arms is utterly incredible. At 9:12am on February 6th 2017, Daniel caught his daughter and helped scoop her down through my legs and onto my chest. And we all cried. She was here. She was healthy. She was all ours. And about a minute later my mum held my face and said to me “Can you just tell us one thing? What is her name?” and Dan and I replied together, with the most love either of us have ever felt

“Violet Rae”

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