Transitioning out of the swaddle

Averie has a very strong startle reflex and can only sleep well when she is swaddled. We’ve been using the Halo sleep sack which has been pretty awesome. So what’s the issue you ask?

Let’s see…

1. The swaddle’s fleece material is too hot now that the weather is getting warmer. So we started swaddling her with a bigger receiving blanket.
2. Averie breaks out of the swaddle several times throughout the night, resulting in me getting even less sleep than I already am.
3. She just started to roll.

After a few google searches we decided to buy a zipadeezip. Despite the company’s recommendation to start with a small size first, we bought a medium instead so Averie can grow into it.

At first Averie was not impressed. Or maybe she was just a bit confused. There’s freedom for her to move around but at the same time, there isn’t. I wanted to start with naps first as the company suggested. So that night we just took a regular Carter’s sleep sack and knotted the arms of the sleep sack so that Averie’s arms stayed inside. It was a success.

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So we thought, this is great! Maybe we’ll just use this. Well, the plan to do that went out the door when the very next morning Averie decided to roll from back to tummy for the first time. And she kept rolling all day long.

That’s when I started praying to the gods – please please please let the zippy work for Averie. It’s either that or I’m staying up all night long. I started using the zippy throughout the day for her naps that day and it went quite well. So that night, we decided to try the zippy. The gods were listening to my prayers. She slept in her zippy just fine.

Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!

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Here’s to the zippy and successful transition out of her swaddle (knock on woods).

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Stop asking me if my baby is sleeping through the night

If I read another article or hear another mom say that Averie, at almost 5 months, should start sleeping through the night, I’m going to break something.

As a newborn, I considered her a good sleeper. Sure, she woke every 3 hours for feeding, but what newborn doesn’t? Yes I know, the odd ones here and there, whose moms are super lucky to not know what true sleep deprivation is. Well I’m not one of those lucky moms. But as I read once, embrace the sleep deprivation before it kills you. So I did and got used to the middle of the night feeds. Somewhat anyway. For the most part she was predictable and I appreciated that predictability.

Things started to change when she turned 3 months. Night time became unpredictable. Some nights she would sleep through, waking just to feed. Some nights she would stay up after nursing. Other nights she woke up just because and who knows why.

Now every time Averie has a stretch of “good” nights, meaning she slept 4-5 hours without waking, even for feeding, someone would ask me if she’s sleeping well or if she’s a good sleeper or of she’s a good baby, or if if if….

And every time someone asks me that, the very same night she will wake up at various times throughout the night and this will go on for the next several nights.

So unless you’re one of my mom friends with babies close to Averie’s age and asks only to share experience and advice, please don’t ask me if Averie is a good sleeper or if she’s a good baby. By the way, she is a good baby all the time and not sleeping well throughout the night does not make her a bad baby. I don’t want to talk about her sleep, unless I need help and require advice or just need to vent from sleep deprivation.

I also have decided I will not ask anyone that question. Don’t think I don’t care if I don’t ask. It’s just that, what’s the point? Babies, just like adults, will have good nights and bad nights.

So here’s to a good night’s sleep to all the moms out there! 🍸🍷🍺

Finding her hand and giraffe

A couple of days ago I left Averie buckled up on her change pad to wash my hands. When I came back, she had her right hand up in the air and she was staring at it. She found her hand! Ever since then I’ve found her staring at her right hand several times.

This morning, I left her to play in her crib with the mobile on while I ran to bathroom for a much needed bathroom break. I had been holding my pee in for hours now but that’s besides the point. I came back in and the music of her mobile had stopped playing. Typically this would trigger her to cry. Much to my surprise, she wasn’t crying. She had her hand wrapped around her pink giraffe’s neck, the one that sits on the side of her crib patiently waiting for Averie to notice her. Well this morning, she finally did and she leaned to grab. It wasn’t strong but it was something. I didn’t get a picture of it but I did manage to get a picture of her grabbing the giraffe’s ear.

I just love these milestones and love that I could be there to see them happen.

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Labour is the easy part compared to post-partum recovery

Even before we decided to have a baby I was scared of giving birth. I had heard both horror stories and wonderful stories about the experience and while I understood that the experience is different for everyone, I was scared anyway.

What if I fall into the horror story category? My most feared ones were stillbirth and my own death. I tried to think positively when I was pregnant. After all, the chances of either happening were slim (sorry I don’t have actual stats). But when every once in a while you come across a story of stillbirth, it’s hard not to worry about it. What if that happened? I would die inside, I think.

In the end, I worried for nothing, although I believe that every pregnant woman has had the same worry at least once. Baby’s heart rate dropped a couple of times due to the oxytocin (I was induced) and an ultrasound was ordered to make sure baby was still in the right position. I had a great medical team watching the baby very closely though and when it was time to push it wasn’t as scary nor was it as bad as I had imagined in my head. And baby Averie came out safely. She was and is absolutely perfect.

The recovery after, however, is an entirely different story. It was absolutely horrible. When people tell you that you forget the pain of labour, they’re not joking. You really do forget and in my head I think, sure, I can do that again. Neither the pregnancy nor labour would deter me from considering a second baby.

But the recovery pain…now, that’s something that’s still fresh in my mind even 9 weeks later. It is the one thing that makes me not want to have another baby. I just don’t want to go through it again. I’m not even fully recovered yet. I know, my case is a little different, I get that. Most women recover within 6 weeks if they gave birth vaginally. Not me, oh not me.

My point is. Post-partum recovery is the hardest part of the whole process and nobody ever really talks about it. At least not the way they talk about labour. Yes, every experience is different and some may not have felt the same pain I did. But I met a new mother the other day who said exactly what I said: that the recovery process is worse than labour itself and that nobody ever talks about it. She even said that it makes her think twice about having a second baby. So that made me feel, or at least confirm, that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

I’m not going to go into gory details but lets just say I spent a good chunk of the first day after labour in the bathroom crying. No, I didn’t have post-partum depression. I had post-partum recovery. It sucked. I feel like crying just thinking about it again.

Maybe I’ll get over it. And maybe once I’m over it I can consider a second baby. I don’t know. All I know is right now, the thought of going through that again gives me major anxiety.

My labour? Already forgotten. Recovery? Anxiety.

Hands-free with the Ergo baby carrier

Baby A is attached to me so I’ve had to learn to do many things with one hands, which I’m sure all you parents out there can agree with. There are certain tasks that are a little hard to do with one hand though, so I needed a solution. I got the ergo carrier before baby A was born, but I didn’t have the infant insert yet so I couldn’t use it.

So finally, I got the infant insert and am now hands-free!

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I love, love, love the ergo carrier. I was pleasantly surprised that carrying baby A in the ergo isn’t as heavy as I expected. Actually, it’s not heavy at all. But then again, baby A is still just over 8lbs. The thick straps are easy on my shoulders, and baby A sits in the ergo instead of having her legs hang out of it, so it eliminates the concern of hip displacement.

The ergo also makes running light errands easier. Today, for example, I had to go to the bank, get soy milk cream from Metro and a treat from Starbucks. Before having baby A, I was used to just running out when I needed to. Of course having a baby changes that. But, the ergo makes it easier than having to put her in the car seat and push a stroller around, especially in snowy conditions. So today, I strapped her in the ergo and off I went.

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Another feature of the ergo that I love is the hood. It’s useful for helping baby A fall asleep and keeping the cold out when walking out in the cold. It’s just plain awesome. The only downside of the ergo is that they do not recommend using it sideways with the infant insert, which would make doing some household chores like washing dishes a lot easier. But….I’m hands-free and that’s good enough for me!

Next on the list for the ergo? Treadmill and squats. Yep, great for working out too. Idea courtesy of my friend G.

Truly ready for motherhood?

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone

When I was pregnant, people constantly asked me if I was ready for a baby. Of course I was. But was I truly ready? Probably not. For a first time mom, I don’t think you can truly envision what being a parent is like. Sure, I have 3 nephews and a niece, but having your own isn’t quite the same, is it?

All throughout my pregnancy, everyone told me the same thing. Enjoy your sleep now. Enjoy your time alone with your husband. Enjoy going to the movies. Enjoy eating out. At times I wished they would stop telling me that. I got it, I understood. What they don’t know or perhaps didn’t realize is that I have enjoyed all of those things, having been married for 7 years with no kids. I know they meant well and they were trying to paint reality for me. But it was time for a change, one that I looked forward too.

Yes, I miss my sleep. I miss being able to go out anywhere – store, movies, restaurant, or for a simple walk – without taking an extra hour trying to get the baby ready. But those are all sacrifices I was already willing to make when we decided to have a baby. I enjoyed alone time with hubby. I enjoyed going to the movies on a whim. I enjoyed eating out without planning ahead. But you know what? I enjoy having Averie in my life more than any of those combined, even if it means I’ll never get another full 8 hours of sleep (and believe me, I love my sleep).

I think mentally what made it easier is the fact that we waited until we felt truly ready for our world to be turned upside down. We’ve always known how crazy life would be with a child. So was I truly ready for motherhood?

Today, Averie is 5 weeks old and already, being a mom is the most challenging task I’ve ever had to face, but also the most rewarding. And I look forward to life everyday. Finally, my life has a real purpose. I think that’s what being ready for motherhood means: making sacrifices, having a sense of purpose and giving Averie unconditional love.

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Averie’s 1 month today

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You’re the moon, the star, the sun
All bundled into one
Lighting up my heart and soul
Morning, day and night
A precious gift from God,
A little miracle
That’s what you are,
My little Averie