Friday, May 31, 2013

Your heart just gets bigger

Isn't this a lovely phrase? This is what my Swiss colleague (also father of two) said to me the other day to describe the feeling when baby number two comes along. Your heart is so full of love, it's unimaginable that more love can be accommodated for another child. And then magically it happens. This thing amazes me to be honest.

Anyway, let's update you all a bit on Martina and Oliver and family matters in general.
Martina had yesterday her 6 weeks check with the paedy (at about 5w2d, but still) and she is doing great. She is putting on about 100-120 grams per week which is good, she is smiling occasionally already which is early and definitely earlier than Oliver did it, and she is tracking you or anyone since about she was one week old which is a record! She never had the wandering eye like Oliver had, she can focus very well and moves her head both sides with no preference really. She is also very long having to wear 3 month size clothing already, but she is skinny! Any time I change her nappy, I have this impression that she looks like one of those baby dolls, so perfect.
She feeds from me (yesterday I had a very bad episode of a bleeding nipple and got quite lightheaded when I saw it...) but I definitely have to take better care of my breasts as the use of nipple shields STILL require a proper latching or you'll suffer! She also takes a little bit of formula as her last meal around 11.30pm and then she .... sleeps... (sssshhhh don't say it out loud) till about 5.30 or 6 am. I am blessed.
Funny story. On sunday it was Mike's niece first communion. When she saw me breastfeeding Martina, she had no idea what I was doing! Meaning that she didn't know babies can be fed directly from mothers...I was very much shocked to be honest, alright her mom never bf, nor did her grandmother but it's biology people! Surely she studied it in school? Anyway, I'm glad I enlightened her.

Oliver is still extremely sweet, loves his "baby nister" (he can't seem to be able to pronounce "sister", so after starting off with baby brother, then baby mister, we are now at baby nister) but we are not sure what is going on with him, we think possibly teething as he has his classic teething cough and occasionally he's in very bad form. My little chicken...hopefully he'll get better soon. When he comes home from the creche, the first thing he tells me is "No accidents mamma!" referring to his ability to use the toilet! He said to a stranger also in a shopping centre yesterday, he doesn't know what not to share yet...

Everything else is going well, I am loosing my pregnancy weight (not that fast mind you!) and I'm out and about with Martina. I bought myself an Ergo baby carrier yesterday in organic cotton which is fab! Here's a pic of Oliver trying it out

And I also brought Martina to meet the Favourite Doctor at the clinic last monday! She loved meeting her and of course asked me when I was going to be back for another round...ah well, that's another day discussion I suppose.

I think that's about it for now, I'm off to the clinic again to donate some left over meds (I have a full bag which I am sure someone can use) and then to buy some apparently miraculous breast compresses for cracked nipples...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

One month

One month old, growing up is tiring!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Time is flying

Martina  is 3 weeks and 2 days old but it feels like yesterday she was just born...yet it's as if I've known her forever, I can tell when she is crying why she is crying (no more the gazillion hypotheses  of the random kind) I'm so much more relaxed I can hardly recognise myself. I don't wish the time away and in fact I'm cherishing every moment of this new-born stage. I remember when people were telling me with Oliver the usual "Ohhhh enjoy it, this time goes by so quickly!", I was thinking 'Really? Do you swear it goes by quickly? It feels like an age already'...I was in such different place then and I'm trying not to feel guilty about how I felt at the time (it's not like I had a choice of course). I remember looking forward to going back to work about a month into motherhood, days were dragging on, a lot of time in my hands but couldn't plan a full day, I couldn't really understand other moms dreading the thought of going back to work, how could they cope all day with a baby who does very little? And Oliver was very easy, not demanding at all, once he was fed. I suppose it was also a different time of the year, January, freezing cold, with snow like Ireland never saw before, short and dark days. Now it's spring, albeit still an Irish spring, but it seems to contribute to my positivity. Martina is still very easy, in fact she is great, even though I feed her on demand and my nipples are sore and cracked despite the shields, I would't want anyone else to take it from me. I still bleed on and off (apparently normal when breasfeeding) but it means I never know if not having bled for a couple of days is indicative of dryness or not. I feel I'm in full mommy-mode which was not the case with Oliver were I was more like...a basket case to tell you the truth, but I can only see it now that I know it can be different and wonderful.

The nights are only ours, Mike has moved to Oliver's room during the week and I just have her. For a few nights she only anted to sleep cuddled beside me. After fighting this for a while (I'm not much for co-sleeping, but just because I worry I'll roll over her etc, so I'm actually not sleeping at all!) I gave in and snuggled her beside me. Her smell is wonderful and my heart melts away. Oliver comes in to the bedroom in the morning with Mike to use our bathroom and he is such a big boy, he's very quiet if he thinks we are still sleeping and doesn't jump on the bed or anything, but if I call him, his eyes lit up and comes into the bed, wants to hold Martina and he's so gentle and sweet, you should see him.

If I'm not feeding Martina I always spend time with Oliver when he goes to bed. I love our time together, he loves it too. Story time, cuddling time, resting time (for me). It's as if I rediscovered him in the new vest of big brother who says "Mamma, Martina is crying, she's hungry".

I'm sure it's normal but my sex-drive is below zero at the moment, and while I miss Mike that way, I'm just in a different dimension, a deep sense of contentment which seems to last forever and I am sure I never felt this way before.

My mom left today after almost 4 weeks. My dad came up on tuesday to meet the new grandchild and returned home with mom. They have been great, nothing like the last time they were over, I deeply miss them now and I wish we were closer, though I don't want to move back to Italy and they'll never move here, so this is our reality...

As of the last couple of days Martina has a sore tummy in the evening, I think it may be that I've eaten chocolate, though I don't know, hopefully it'll pass soon as it's heartbreaking seeing her in pain.

Love to all.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

How it is going at home

Certainly having a toddler also makes a significant difference....Mike is great and is definitely in charge of Oliver, and my mom keeps us fed and allows us that bit more rest, but I am tired. More than I remember being with Oliver. I suppose the major news is that I manage to breastfeed Martina almost all the time, which means we have absolutely no did I manage? Well, I found these nipple shields that totally do the trick even though they should be used as a temporary the moment Martina doesn't latch on at all without them, no matter what I try, so it'll have to do for now. Still I don't know if she's feeding enough as she is waking up very often and at night she takes a couple of bottles too (we need to survive too!). I'm delighted that our milk of choice (Hipp organic) is also doing a new-born version which wasn't available when Oliver was born. Mind you, I'm not obsessing about breastfeeding this time, I actually don't find it particularly rewarding, I don't have all those marvellous sensations people talk about, but I don believe whatever I can give her will do her good.

Martina is a very sweet baby, she requires quite a lot of physical contact which I don't remember being the cas with Oliver, she needs to be held tight to fall asleep, and she loves being beside me in the bed. We don't co-sleep though, I put her in the crib once she's asleep, though at night the temptation of just staying under the duvet with her is huge.
Oliver seems to have adjusted very well, his toilet training is perfect, we have no accidents and we have seen no regression. He is a bit more whining but he is also a two year old!

I'm posting here avery cute pic of Martina taken the other day when we were about to go out the other day, she is adorable in our eyes!

Emotionally I'm doing much better also, no major crying (of mine!) and settling into the new routine is getting easier, though not perfect just yet. I also don't have this time the claustrophobic feeling of being at home with a newborn and no interaction with the adult/working world, in fact I'm quite content to be at home with Martina and I'm loving our time together.

We have also booked our first trip to Italy for June, after my 6 week check with Dr. W (scheduled for the 7th of June) and ouch it's expensive to fly a family of four!! First reality check and serious evaluation when thinking of baby number three...

Better go now as the little one is hungry (again!)