A++ would do again (a birth story)

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Ah Sundays. A day of rest – unless you’re the mother of a second born arriving to turn everyone’s lives upside down!

3am. Sunday. 17th of April. 2016.

There I was, fast asleep on the couch upstairs (because The Man was downstairs snoring like a chainsaw) and then.. I woke up to a contraction.

Shit. That was an actual contraction, not one of those fake “I think I had a contraction” contractions I’d been having for the past few weeks. Oh my god, what have I done, I remember this. This was NOT a good idea.

I was partly excited at going into labour on my own, partly terrified and partly horrified that my midwife was out of town and I had, as predicted gone into labour when she wasn’t here.

I waited to see if another one happened, holy crap it did. Holy crap I AM in labour. Waited another 6 or 7 minutes and it happened again, and then again..and then I went and woke up The Man. He got up and had a shower as you do at 4am..and then they started coming every 5 minutes instead of every 6 or 7. We decided to call Shell and have her come and join the 4am party. For funsies.

We rang the hospital too and they were happy for us to keep on keeping on at home. The contractions were still coming every 5 or 6 minutes so I got up and had a shower, then blow dried my hair, then got Shell to straighten it for me (all in between contractions).

Shell was meant to be coming over to look after Angus in case we had to go to hospital – or that was what I told her, really I just wanted someone to do my hair for me.

Hey I wanted to know my hair looked good in labour even if the rest of me didn’t!

After that I went upstairs and they fizzled out back to 7 or 8 minutes, even 10 minutes apart for the rest of the morning, and the pain was not too bad really – especially if its only painful once every 10 minutes! The midwife was still confident I wouldn’t have the baby before she got back. I just had to hold on until 2am Monday. Easy peasy.

I can’t remember when but at some point that morning Mum came and picked up Angus and took him back to her place so I could rest.

When I realised that Seachange was on Netflix, that was my day set. So Second Born, reminiscing about my childhood Sunday nights watching Seachange will forever remind me of being in labour with you.

Be thankful we didn’t call you Diver Dan.

The day went pretty quickly, or it seemed like it did. About 3pm things started to ramp up, and all of a sudden it wasn’t as fun anymore! I decided now was a really good time to re-read the ‘birth skills’ book I’d used last time with Angus. It helped! I also realised it was unlikely my midwife was going to make it to the birth. I just hoped the midwife we got at the hospital was nice.

Around 6pm things were getting quite intense and the contractions were about 4 minutes apart, with some more frequent and we debated about calling the hospital again..what if we went in and it fizzled out and we got sent home, or we went in and I was only like 2cms dilated, I would have been devastated!
We decided to call and while The Man was on the phone to the hospital I was pacing up and down the hallway and I heard him say “okay so maybe we should stay home a bit longer” when I had a bad enough contraction that I interrupted him and told him no we needed to go to the hospital – right NOW.

The trip over to Wodonga was awful, it seemed like The Man was taking the scenic route which is also the bumpiest. Why maximise time on the smooth 110kmh freeway when you can take the back streets. I expressed my displeasure. Repeatedly.

Then, instead of dropping me off at the front door of the hospital he parked the car and made me walk the interminable distance to the front door; I took many breaks in the couple of hundred metres it took to get there. It honestly felt like it took forever to get to the front door!

When we finally got inside they sent us down to a waiting room. There was this older man in there and I went to walk in and sit down but felt a bit self conscious what with being in agony and all, so turned around and hobbled out. Thankfully he must have felt sorry for me and cleared out very quickly.

Not long after our amazing midwife Megan arrived and took us down to the birth suite. Megan was the hospital midwife on duty. I knew she was going to be great right away, and I pretty well relaxed then. Even though our private midwife couldn’t make it I feel like I got super lucky to get Megan, she was terrific!

We debated about finding out how far along I was, did I want to know?? The contractions were every 3 minutes now. Nah, of course I did, my control freak mind could not cope not knowing if I was actually in active labour or not. So Megan had a gander and I was  already 6cms dilated! The man and I high fived, I’d done most of the work at home. Well, sort of!

If you been in a birthing suite before, either as a participant or spectator you know the rest of the story, and if you haven’t then trust me you don’t want to know.

We’d arrived at hospital at 6:30pm and at 8:49pm our amazing Eleanor Grace was born. And yes, that is a labour PB for me.

So here you go second born:

I am still on a massive high from your birth. It was an amazing, natural experience and exactly what I wanted. As I kept saying to The Man afterwards “I DID IT!, I DID IT”. I feel super lucky to have got the pregnancy and labour that I did. If I had to describe the experience as eBay feedback then this one was A++ would do again!!

I’ve been trying really hard to be more relaxed this time around. Of course life has to throw challenges at us, like a surprise staph infection for you and a nasty bout of mastitis for me. We both ended up back in Albury hospital on IV antibiotics when you were 9 days old.

Being positive though it was a good opportunity to compare hospital food, Wodonga has much better food than Albury. Just so you know.

Since getting home things have just got better and better. We cannot imagine life without you, really we can’t – it feels like you’ve been here forever instead of just 6 weeks. Your brother absolutely adores you, constantly asks to hold you (well just for a minute and then he tries to shove you off his lap), and if you’re unsettled he’s always going in to give you a pat and say “its orright Ollie”.

Your first bath was a total disaster, you did not like the inflatable duck bath at ALL! The midwife commented in 20 years she’d never seen a baby scream so much. But just quietly I think the water might have been a tad cold.. sorry.

Since then you’ve had baths with your Dad and your brother and you love it, and they do too.

So to there you go, my wonderful second born. You have a lovely, gentle and happy personality – I can tell already! So please don’t turn out to be a serial killer and have my words bite me in the arse.

- Mum

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The Second Born

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Yes hi, hello. I know, its been ages. Sorry (not sorry!).

I’ve been pretty busy with life, returning to work, wrangling a toddler, growing a baby and having a baby.
But here we are. I felt like I should blog about poor baby #2. The poor second child.

The baby who doesn’t get professional baby photos done, or a cute photo every week with those little cards with how many weeks old they are.

The.Poor.Much-Maligned.Second.Child.

Little do people realise that the second child has it the best. I can say that as a fact for I am a first born and I know this to be true. Second borns get to enjoy being parented by people with actual parenting experience, instead of being the subject of an experiment gone horribly wrong. It’s like getting a haircut from the fully trained hair dresser instead of the apprentice, like having heart surgery from a cardiothoracic surgeon instead of the work experience kid. You get my drift.

Experience matters.

Second borns (and probably all other children after the first borns) are far more resilient, patient and generally just less ..type A. They still get loved the same, everyone’s just more relaxed.

Anyway. We had a textbook pregnancy this time and used a private midwife so I could get measured by the same person all the time. And what do you know – no issues. Bub measured perfectly from start to finish. See, experience matters!

I had morning sickness a lot worse this time, a highlight was puking one morning in front of The man and Angus – but it thankfully went away around about 16 weeks.  We nicknamed this baby “Duckling” just like Angus was “Grape”.

Being pregnant through an Albury summer was great, despite those ridiculously hot days where people would comment “geez you must be feeling the heat today, you poor thing”, I would wave them off bravely with a “better than trying to breastfeed a newborn when its 43 degrees and you’re renovating a house and its shit so you’ve moved out and are living with your parents and their swampie chucked it in at 38 degrees and …” What were we talking about again?

Ahem. I might be holding onto some issues. See, second borns have it better.

Anyway – yes, back to this baby. I started showing earlier this time and carried differently and copped months of “oh you must be due soon”, or “whoa you’re huge” and my two absolute favourites, “when are the twins due” and “you must be having a girl because you look big from behind”.

No I did not make that last one up. And yes, it is more offensive to me now that I did in fact, have a girl. Sorry, #spoileralert.

So my huge arse and I made it up to 35 and a bit weeks and finished up work and then “rested and nested”. Just made that term up. Really I sat around, went out for coffee everyday and then in the last two weeks pulled my finger out and went nuts around the house and yard.

I pressure washed the balcony which is about to get renovated. A truly pointless exercise. And it doesn’t even look that clean. It took me two hours.

I kept up doing parkrun every weekend, because I am stubborn like that, right up to 39 weeks. And I still didn’t come last. I would have made 40 weeks but I had a six day old baby by then and y’know – #priorities.

Anyway, the firstborn is “politely” requesting that I come and assist them as soon as I can so I’d best go and attend to their needs (likely this is that the toast is cut up wrong).

EDIT: despite requesting jam, and me reminding him he doesn’t like jam, I followed instructions for delivery of toast with jam and have now just been advised that “I don’t like it”.

Until next time,

- Jen

 

#34 Who people think you are, compared to who you really are

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// Over 50 days (or so) I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge - in no particular order.

Today’s post is #34 – who people think you are compared to who you really are

I’m really pushing the ‘over 50 days or so’ part of this challenge but its my challenge so I’ll take as long as I want. You’d think if I was making you wait for it, I’d be giving you something good to read – not so! Lets just get it over with

34Anyway, who people think you are compared to who you really are. Another narcissistic post I reckon. Another opportunity to talk about ME woo hoo.

I honestly don’t know what the answer to this question is, I think I’m very much what you see is what you get!

I had a friend tell me the other night she thought I was very relaxed and had the whole Mum thing under control. Which made me laugh a lot. A LOT. But comments like that make me remember that i need to have some self confidence and remember just because you think or feel like you are a huge goose, not everyone sees you that way. Act the way you want to feel! Or as Anna on the OC says “confidence Cohen”.

There you go – an inspirational post for you all. Act the way you want to feel. You heard it here first.

 

 

Now go and be confident! And lets hope my next post is more interesting…

- Jen

 

We done got (sleep) schooled!

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Its been three weeks since we graduated from sleep school down in Melbourne and I’ve been procrastinating about blogging about it.

I had grand plans to do daily blogs and fill you all in on our progress but the first thing they made me do was sign a non disclosure agreement NOT to blog about it.

Way to crush a bloggers soul sleep school.

Especially since I would have had TIME to blog what with a A+ sleeping baby. Oh the irony.

So without going into TOO much detail and keeping in mind this only applies to MY baby, not your baby or your friends baby or if perhaps you don’t have a baby and are going to give a friend who does have a baby advice on raising them – then take note – this will not help you. Also – don’t do that to your friend. Just shut up and make her a cup of tea and do a load of washing.

Little man went into sleep school not sleeping well during the day and ‘just okay’ at night, that is I was still feeding him once to twice a night and he was 9 months old. I didn’t mind feeding him at night as he always went straight back to sleep afterwards and well – who doesn’t love snoozy cuddles! He was also waking about 5:30-6:00am ready to start the day. Not horrific but not great either. And yes I know – your kids, your friends kid and that kid down the street was heaps worse. Good on ya.

The days were a nightmare. He was just grizzly ALL FREAKING DAY. I’ve blogged about it heaps. He was just a grizzle guts with these brief flashes of lovely shining through. Generally in front of other people – he was a happy cute baby. But at home with Mum (and Dad) – grizzle city. It was tiring. Because I was tired. And he was grizzly and I couldn’t do anything. If I got up to make brekky or lunch he’d grizzle.  Most days I missed breakfast or lunch and sometimes on a really bad day both. It was NOT GOOD. He was also not feeding well, having half a bottle here, 3/4 of a bottle there, refusing bottles sometimes.

But because the nights weren’t too bad I kind of just thought oh well, it’ll get better. And plus I read way too many Facebook parenting pages about gentle parenting and nurturing your little monster and babies are people and not robots and you shouldn’t program them just love them and it’ll all work out in the end.

Pinky McKay put out a LOVELY post about how sleep schools are for torturing babies a week before we were due to go to sleep school. I didn’t read the article because I didn’t need to feel worse about going. So maybe the article didn’t say that. But I reckon it probably did!

I think the thing is that I always thought it would be fine if he was happy. If he just did 45 minute catnaps but was happy – that would be fine but he wasn’t happy. Mum’s know these things, he wasn’t happy.

Anyway. I knew as soon as I got there that we were going.to.be.okay. And we were. Little man did fabulously and hardly played up at all much to my consternation as I wanted him to do his typical ‘day’ sleep nightmare so I could learn how to settle him! But he didn’t really. Because once we got the feeds on track – the rest fell into place. Sure he still does the odd 45 minuter here and there – (today was NOT a good day), but for the most part his day sleeps are around 1hr20 – 1hr30 and thats a short sleep. A MASSIVE improvement.

His night feeds are nixed, the dummy is gone and he.is.HAPPY.

He is just so HAPPY now. His development has skyrocketed since we’ve been back he’s chattering away, being a lot more affectionate, crawling and pulling himself up on things. Just amazing.

And that has made ME so happy. I can make myself some brekky, a cup of coffee and wander into the lounge room and eat breakast and play with him all while he’s occupying himself  happily (read: getting up to mischief).

I don’t really wish we’d gone sooner. I think we went at a really good age. And I gave it a good shot at home for a long time. 9 months is a long time. I also wouldn’t want to go much later than that either.

But if you’re struggling and you need help – DO IT.

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- Jen

9 months old.

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I really feel like we don’t have a ‘baby’ anymore! Little man is 9 months old today.

He is really on the move. Not officially ‘crawling’ but rolling and wriggling and doing 360s!

Constantly trying to pull himself up on things, especially in the bath and is continually frustrated with life not being able to get where he wants to go.

So 8 months was hard! I would say after the newborn stage, 8 months was the hardest yet! The 8 month sleep regression is definitely a thing! But at the same time, I have that growing confidence where you know ‘it’ will pass and it has. I’m also lucky to have a great mothers group to whinge to and its nice to know I’m not alone, its normal and it gets better!!

I think the much talked about ‘separation anxiety’ has hit, but its still new enough that I find the fact he actually likes me and doesn’t want me to go anywhere endearing…I will report back in a week on that..I can see it getting old. Right now though, after 8 months I was starting to think maybe he just really didn’t like me…and now I know… HE LOVES ME!!! 

Having said that he does love lots of things. His Dad (his eyes light up when he sees The Man now), baths, baths, baths, arrowroot biscuits, wafer crackers and cruskits …he is crackers for crackers! He is on a pear ban currently as he is an addict and I am sick of cleaning up number 3s (poo explosions). He also loves chewing on my iPhone and getting his mitts on the iPad, turns out its an excellent surface for dribbling.

Next week we are off to Masada mother & baby unit to get this sleep thing sorted. Of course we’ve had a brilliant week this week, with only 1-2 night wakings but he’s been feral enough during the day to make me feel like the visit is justified. I will blog about our time there for sure.

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Thats all for now, have a great weekend.

- Jen

Mess is Mine – SOTM August 2014

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Sadly last year was a bit busy for me and I totally missed out on Vance Joy taking over the world…or the airwaves anyway! First I heard of him was when I looked to see which song got #1 in Triple J’s hottest 100. I know, so sad. Had other things on my mind!

Since I have been listening to Triple J regularly this year I was on the ball for his next album and heard this the first time it got played!

I really like it, and I’m betting everyone else will too! Another #1? Maybe not, but I reckon it will be up there! The song is Mess is Mine by Vance Joy.

I love this video, its quirky for sure but of course I love it because, well – Melbourne. Melbourne folk where do you think that bit under the bridges with the trains is at the start? It kind of looks like its around Macaulay Station in Kensington? What do you think? I’ve screenshotted it here:

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- Jen

 

Argh…

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I can’t even think of a good title for this post. Argh will have to do.

I am so tired and disappointed I haven’t been keeping up to date with my blogging. But sleep will always be a priority over blogging. 

Anyway, a little update.

Obviously little man hasn’t been sleeping well. We went from 1-2 wake ups a night to… a lot. I think its his teeth, but honestly I have no idea. Its been going on for almost six weeks with no more teeth to be seen so maybe he’s just torturing me.

We are off to ‘sleep school’ down in Melbourne next week after I rang them and begged them to get us in earlier (we were in for late August). I initially think the begging didn’t work because I went with the calm/polite approach not the sobbing/wailing they probably usually get.. but last week I got a call and immediately felt relief wash over me. 

Even now, after a not so good day today with 2 x 45 minute naps and much of the ‘errrrrrrr’ noise that Crangus makes when he’s hungry/tired, I’m not too fazed, only one week til I get rescued.

What else? OH! I got a coffee machine. This may or may not be related to the above sook about lack of sleep. Who needs sleep when you have coffee on tap! It is AMAZING and has been so much fun tinkering with. So far my coffee is a step above the old JenLax™ I used to make at The LAN MIne but probably not quite braggable yet. I’ll get there – the machine can do it but the problem is with the user!

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I am all out of things to blog about…need to go to bed. But I do have a ‘song of the month’ post to do too. Stay tuned for that. Hopefully I will get back to blogging more (and finishing that pesky 50 things to blog about challenge too).

- Jen

#36 A thank you note to a ‘thing’

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// Over 50 days (or so) I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge - in no particular order.

Today’s post is #36 a thank you note to a ‘thing’ like coffee or trashy tv.

I could say thank you to coffee but thats a bit of a cop out. I say that every morning!

So my thank you is to Foxtel. Best thing ever getting it put on while I’m home all the time. There is so much great trashy TV to watch. When I’m so tired and just want to sit down and chill out without having to think there so many options!

My favourite by far at the moment is Million Dollar Listing (New York). Its so bitchy and trashy!! I think Frederik is maybe my favourite agent! But probably because he reminds me of Mugatu from Zoolander.

Check out this video of the three agents..

I also like the Real Housewives of Melbourne (I’m waiting for season 2), Seinfeld, Super Nanny, One Born Every Minute..too many to list really.

Of course then there are lots of educational shows too…like er well like Deadliest Catch.

What about you? What crazy thing are you thankful for?

- Jen

 

#9 Your most excruciatingly embarrassing moment

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// Over 50 days (or so) I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge - in no particular order.

Today’s post is a cracker #9 Your most excruciatingly embarrassing moment. We’ve all got one.

The hard thing about this post was not thinking up something to blog about but deciding WHICH embarrassing thing to blog about. So I picked just a few.

When I look back on most of my life so far I cringe. You know that real stomach tensing, squinty face feeling you get. “Ahhhhh I’m SUCH a dork”.

Thankfully I know that my family and friends just know that being a huge dork is a part of who I am. And if anything I’m good for a laugh..(at).

So. Is my most embarrassing moment the time I was riding my brand new road bike home from the bike shop and fell off? After spending 45 minutes practicing clipping in and out, in and out in and out in the shop with no trouble I proceeded to topple in slow motion onto on a quiet street about 500 metres from home. I got stuck, like a turtle, with both feet still clipped in and was just lying on the road unable to move. I heard a pedestrian say “oh my god” and run over to me and all I could say was “I’m stuck! I’m stuck”.

So embarrassing. But not ‘that’ embarrassing.

What about the time when I was, actually I can’t remember how old I was. Maybe 13 or 14 and I went to the movies with a bunch of friends and it was the start of SHARK WEEK  only I didn’t know. You see where this is going. Only it gets better. So I think the pants I was wearing were a bone kind of colour. So it was pretty obvious that the…sharks were circling. I remember being in the bathroom at the movies thinking “DON’T PANIC…come up with a plan”.

Maybe you could ask that stranger if you could borrow her kids jumper to tie around your waist to slink home in. Oh god Jen that’s so stupid. That’s not going to work!!

And of course we weren’t all just going straight home after the movie, we were supposed to be going out for dinner or something.

In those days no one had mobile phones and probably shark week was a relatively new concept to me, certainly not something I was carrying the required equipment for.

I can’t remember exactly how I got out of the bathroom but I think I got out and said to one of my friends urgently “IhavetogohomeNOW”.

But of course to go home I had to call Mum from a PAYPHONE and try and explain in hushed tones while my friends loitered outside the payphone wondering what on earth was wrong with me. I was FAR too much of a dork to explain what was going on.

Just the thought of it makes me do this face (see photo).

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But that’s still not the most embarrassing thing that has happened to me.

In fact, if it weren’t for the man the most embarrassing thing could have been kept a secret but he has told EVERYONE he knows this story, so I might as well share it with you.

This story also involves the movies. I can’t remember what movie it was, but I remember about halfway through the movie I felt cold….down there.

Oh god. I’m making the face again. This is so embarrassing.

I wriggled around a bit and tried to figure out what that sensation was. It was almost like my pants felt wet.

I ignored it. Every now and then I’d think, geez it kind of feels like my pants are wet. But the logic part of my brain (which does not operate effectively) said, well that simply cannot be. Continue to ignore this feeling! Ignore your body!

After all it is not like anything like this has ever happened to you before! (FACEPALM!)

As the movie is finishing I am slowly acknowledging that something IS.NOT.RIGHT.

It was then that I snuck a feel of the back of my pants.

They are indeed wet.

Oh god. Why is this happening to me.

Alright calm down. There must have been a bit of water or something on the seat. Worst case, coke.

WORST. CASE. COKE.

Then the smell hit me. I couldn’t quite place the smell.

At first.

Then I realised.

It was pee. There was pee on the seat and I had sat on the seat for the whole movie and now there was pee on me and OH MY GOD!!! Some kid had PEED on the seat. I’m just assuming it was a kid…

WHY!! WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY!

Then I had to tell the man. “We need to go home now”.

The Man: What? I thought we were going to go to Nando’s!

Me: My pants are wet, we need to go home, lets go
The man: What? Why are your pants wet what do you mean?
Me: We need to go. We need to go right now.
The man: You’re being funny, let me look, oh they are wet!
Me: *Eyes downcast* I think I sat in wee.
The man: *Eyes wide*….BAH HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 

He then proceeded to tell everyone he knew. Everyone we saw after that.

Even to this day “tell them about the time you sat in the chair with piss on it”.

Some people I haven’t even met before say to me “oh yeah The Man was telling us about the time you went to the movies and sat in wee”.

To this day when I go to the movies and sit down I still run my hand over the seat.

Just in case.

You can never be too careful.

Please tell me your embarrassing stories and put me out of my misery..

- Jen

#31 Brain dump – whats on your mind right now

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// Over 50 days (or so) I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge - in no particular order.

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Today’s post is #31 – Brain dump, what’s on your mind right now.

You might have noticed I’ve missed a few ’50 things’ posts. Well tough titties, we’ve had a rough fortnight with gastro and some big sleep regression going on. But back to today’s post…

Oh what isn’t on my mind!!

Today its parenting. Sorry to bore my bike/running friends. While up with a screaming teething baby about 6 times a night for the past fortnight, last night I got thinking..

What kind of parent would I be without the Internet?

I’m not talking so much about not being able to google things, more about what I’m exposed to on ‘the socials’ (blogs, Facebook, twitter and instagram). There is so much ‘advice’ out there and I find it’s some of the gentle parenting pages especially who give me unrealistic expectations of myself!

Which leads me back to my question. Without the internet and the knowledge that things like ‘gentle parenting’ even existed what kind of parent would I be?

I thought about it and came to this stunning conclusion!

Wait for it…

I would be exactly the same only I wouldn’t feel guilty about it!

For example, although I know that stopping breastfeeding when I did was best for my health (both mental and nipple), the guilt still plagues me! A gentle parent would have perservered, and would never have stopped for ‘themselves’. So if I didn’t know all of this uber breastfeeding stuff existed then the guilt just wouldn’t be there!

Having said that I did make it to 6.5 months which I can’t really fathom after how terrible the first 6 weeks were.

But, as I reason with myself – you need to look after yourself to look after your baby.

I’ve unfollowed some of the pages and accounts because I just don’t need to read about ridiculous things like how holding your child upside down stops them having tantrums.

THIS WAS A REAL THING I READ. You know what I think happens when you hold your child upside down when they’re having a tantrum?

You get kicked in the face.

Having said that, before I lose any readers that support upside down parenting there is holding your child upside down, and then there’s lots of good advice I might not have otherwise known that is realistic! And if you are one of those people who hold your child upside down when they have a tantrum please send me a video!!

But seriously, I get so confused.

I’m hoping the whole 8 month sleep regression IS a real thing and its just that, and that in a couple of weeks it too will have passed and things will return to normal-ish.

I don’t mind getting up to feed him once a night (although I don’t honestly think he’s hungry even then) but 2-3 times a night + multiple resettling attempts is getting old fast!

In any case in 5 weeks or so we are booked into Masada in Melbourne for some help. Very much looking forward to some support. And, getting back to the point of this post I wouldn’t have known they existed if it weren’t for the internet!

Would love to hear your thoughts though! Has the internet and all the advice out there changed the way you parent?

- Jen