About A Mommy

A meme, about being a mommy, ripped from Mama Mia.

1. How long have you been a Mom? 2 days short of 11 months.

2. How many children call you Mommy? just the one.

3. Girl? Boy? or both?: 1 boy.

4. Did you know what you were having? We’ve had this discussion before.  I couldn’t wait to find out whether it was a boy or girl. The Boyfriend’s Parents were thrilled at the idea of a boy, and The Boyfriend’s Father kept saying ‘when my grandson arrives….’ even before we’d found out. None of the doctors could tell me conclusively it was a boy/girl. Eventually I went to a sangoma. She told me it was a boy. She also told me I would have to have an emergency c-section because there would be a problem with the umbilical cord. She was totally right.

5. How old were you when you became a Mom? 22, and turned 23 the following month.

6. How long were you in labor? 12 hours or so. But it was very mild. My labour never progressed past the 1st stage. I was induced twice, but labour failed both times, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s shoulders, preventing him from descending into the birth canal, so there was no way he was coming out naturally. Eventually had an emergency c-section. Read the story and see the pics here.

7. What’s your favorite thing about being a Mom?When the day is done, The Kid has been fed and bathed, and we’re both lying on the floor in his room, and I give him a massage while he drinks his bedtime bottle. He goes all sleepy while I rub his little limbs and his forehead and face. He loves being massaged, and the bonding time is great for us too. I also love bathing with him,  and having him lie on my chest while I rub his back.

8. What’s your least favorite thing? The shitty nappies, the crying when he’s tired and cranky. The teething. How early he wakes up.

9. Do you want more kids?I highly doubt it. Everyone keeps telling me I still have to have a girl, but I’m all like ‘this shit’s hard work, yo. One’s enough’.

10. Do you plan on having more soon? Hell no.

11. How many times have you been pee’d on? Once or twice, it’s not really a problem anymore. But I did learn one thing. Pee in the eye is better than pee in the mouth.

12. Barfed on? More than I can count. The occasional projectile as well.

13. Is your child named after anyone?  Not in particular. but there is a bit of a family tradition with the initials being ‘T.R’ – as are mine, as are my father’s and as are my son’s.

14. How did you come up with their name? I was pretty restricted by TR, and The Boyfriend really wanted The Kid to have his surname (we’re unmarried) so I cut a deal that I could choose the first two names, and he could have the last name. Which is just as well because he was coming up with some crazy-ass names like ‘Dutch’ and ‘Stone’. I know,  do you feel my pain?

15. When your child gets in trouble, who is the bad guy? I suspect it will be pretty evenly matched. I’m very strict, and it takes a lot to make me melt. But I guess we’ll find out soon enough. A tiny terror is definitely in the making.

16. What is the longest you have been away from your children? 2 days I think. I missed him occasionally, but it wasn’t unbearable, because I knew he was safe with The Boyfriend’s Parents, and I really needed the time to unwind. Although, I do remember the first time I was parted from him, The Boyfriend’s Parents came to take him off our hands for a few hours one day, so I could get some sleep. I was really excited about getting some shut-eye until I realised I couldn’t, because I was anxious at being separated from my kid.

17. Bedtime routine? Warm bath with bubbles and lavender oil, some splashing and playing with toys. Then a massage, while he has his night-time bottle, I dress him, swaddle him, and place him in his crib. And generally dont hear from him until 6 am the next day.

18. Are your toes painted? Not right now, no.

19. Last movie you saw in the theater? It was The House Bunny. Dont bother.

20. One thing you will not give up just because you’re a mom? My studying and/or career.

21. One thing you did give up now that you’re a mom: Partying every night of the week.

22. Best Mom perk: Seeing my son get so excited when he sees me after waking up from a nap. The fact that he shares his food and dummy with me – he insists I have some – even shoves it in my mouth, no matter how disgusting, I have to share. Sharing is a good quality to learn, and I’m amazed he’s learnt it so young.

23. Snack, you sneak bites from your child? See above.

24. When the kid is napping, you are: Studying/reading blogs/sleeping/having a smoke/showering/tidying up.

25. Where is your child(ren) now? Having a nap.

26. Favorite place to buy maternity clothes? Meteor Rose.

27. If I could do it over…I would have taken more pics of my belly, and The Boyfriend and I interacting with the bump. I would have kept a proper pregnancy journal. I probably wouldn’t have smoked. I would have enjoyed my pregnancy more, instead of trying to pretend it wasn’t happening.

28. Did it turn out the way you expected? Totally not. Being a mother is hard. People always tell me ‘oh, but it’s rewarding, doesn’t that make up for it?‘ Only someone with no children can say that. The fact that mothering is rewarding, doesn’t make it any less difficult, any less hard work, any less emotional and life-changing.

I tag: Angel, Briget, Can’t Hardly Wait, Jodi, Kicking You From The Inside, Neener,JentyCamiKaos, Zoeyjane, Stephanie, Katrina, Pia, Sweets, Cath, Jackson’s Mommy, Lisa, The Mad Momma, Wenchy.

and any other mommy/daddy who wants to do this.

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It Is Possible…

Many people have commented on the fact that I’m lucky that my ten month old son sleeps through the night, and that he has done so since he was about 5 months old. And when I say ‘sleeps through the night’ I mean he sleeps from 6:30pm until 6:30am. 12 hours, solid.

Lucky? Really? I dont think it’s luck. It took me a lot of hard work, patience and persitence to get there. A lot of tears and sleepless nights. Believe it or not. Sleep for babies is one of the things that most mothers know so little about. And one of the things there is so much controversy and conflicting advice.

So I thought I’d share what worked for me. Repeat: what worked for me. You and your baby might be different, but then again, maybe not.

It’s a common mistake to think that if your baby sleeps too much during the day, he will not sleep well at night. In fact, I’ve discovered that the better he sleeps during the day, the better he sleeps at night. In other words, sleep begets sleep. It’s also important not to keep your baby awake for too long, because then he becomes overstimulated and is grumpy and miserable. He’ll hit a second wave of energy, and just become overtired, making it harder to get him to sleep.

A baby of eight months has an awake capacity of two hours*. Staying awake longer than that means they go into the ovrstimulation zone. Try putting your baby down for a nap every two hours, and you will notice the difference. He wont sleep for too long – 45 minutes is the longest mine sleeps, with one of his day time naps being about 1-2 hours.

Watch his behaviour for signs of tiredness –
* rubbing eyes,
*arching back,
*crying,
*irritability

when these are present – it’s naptime. Try swaddling securely, after a feed and placing him in the crib with the mobile to look at. This will make him drowsy and he will soon fall asleep. In the beginning, there might be crying and wriggling out of the swaddling. Just go back in, and re-swaddle and leave him in the crib. It takes some patience and getting used to – but now my son takes about 5 minutes to fall asleep.

A good bedtime routine is important. Make sure there is no boisterous play at least an hour before bed. Dinner, and then a hot bath. Followed by a feed, and then swaddle and place into crib. I cannot stress how important the bedtime/wind-down routine is. I do the dinner-bath-bottlefeed-swaddle-crib routine everyday, no matter where baby and I are. Babies of 8 months should be going to bed between 6-7pm. Keeping them awake longer doesn’t mean they’ll sleep later. It only makes both of you more cranky.

Ensuring your baby is getting sufficient nutrition is another good thing to do, if you want him to sleep through the night. Switch to the follow-on formula (ie: Step 2) after 6 months. Dont introduce solids until your baby has at least 1 tooth. Allow him to drink as many bottles as he wants during the day – dont worry about over-feeding – it’s impossible to feed a child that isn’t hungry!

Eventually your baby will drop night feeds, if he is getting sufficient milk and solids during the day. Most wakings at night are hunger-related, so ensure that he gets plenty during the day!

These are articles that I read that changed my view of babies and sleep:
How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need?
Getting your baby back to sleep at night

The Best Sleep Advice You Never Heard.
Swaddling Your Baby.

What I Wish I’d Known About Establishing Good Sleep Habits.
What I Wish I’d Known About Getting A Baby To Sleep.

Baby Sleep Basics: Birth – 3 months.
Baby Sleep Basics: 3-6 months.
Baby Sleep Basics: 6-9 months.
Baby Sleep Basics: 9-12 months.

So, as you see, I’m not ‘lucky’ as such. Just practical.

Let me know if any of the tips I provided have helped you.

*It obviously differs with babies of various ages. Find out how much sleep your baby needs, here.