Pre-Christmas excitement… or not?

christmas with baby

Before Christmas, someone asked me if I was excited… and I had to admit… I wasn’t really. I mean, it’s not like I was big into Christmas before we had a child – with a relatively small family it’s really just another day… with presents. But with Sam too young to understand the concept, combined with my stay at home role, it just didn’t hold a lot of focus.

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Winter woes

winter walking

Look, winter isn’t all bad, but I’m a summer girl at heart. And growing up in Australia, I got used to the hot summers. Sure, Melbourne winters do get cold, especially on a freezing day, with Arctic winds spiralling in, but it’s short-lived, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. So the move to Austrian winter was a shock, and though I’ve somewhat gotten used to it, I’m not going to grow to like it.

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We’re all doing great, but it’s still been a long four months

baby Sam

The first weeks with a newborn are brutal – exactly like they say. Brutal in ways not even thought possible. It’s just everything rolled up together – emotion, hormones, recovery from birth, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, learning to keep a small creature alive, him learning how to be alive, and just coming to terms with the fact that you’re now stuck with this guy forever.

When Sam was between 2-3 months, it got a little easier. There was a noticeable shift. And again it was a combination of a lot of stuff; both of us were better and faster at feeding, so despite the 2 hour nightly wakings, there was more time between to sleep; we were both learning how to survive so could just cope better; he was still sleeping a lot during the day, so I had more time and flexibility to myself.

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My favourite baby products – 0-3 months

Baby bouncer

I did a lot of research before Sam was born on what babies needed. In particular I researched what was not necessary. You always hear about how half the stuff recommended is just marketing and I figured a minimalist approach would be the way to go. But of course, some of these things that you don’t really need can be gold… and the key to saving your sanity. So read on for my top 10 products that I’ve used in the first 3 months.

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When Larry met Sammy

Going to the pool with baby

Going into pregnancy I already knew about the (allegedly) hellish fourth trimester and had made the decision that for the first three months after birth I would be making no fixed plans and having no expectations on myself or my child. So when my parents cancelled their September trip due to Covid I was half glad. Sure, it would have been great to see them and for them to meet the baby, but I wasn’t sure I wanted guests in the house in the first three months, even my parents!

No one was more surprised than me, when, five weeks after birth, I resumed my almost daily swimming regime at the pool. It was an important step for me, mentally, and physically, and although I wasn’t pushing myself to go every day, it just happened that I could, so I did.

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Great feeding expectations

breast pumping and sanitising

I tried not to have too many expectations about what would happen when baby came home. The one thing I knew was that every child is different, and every parent’s experience is different. In fact, I was expecting the worst, and so far, apart from the first difficult weeks, things have not lived up to my dire expectations.

But when it came to pumping, it turns out I had very unrealistic expectations.

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It may not be fair… but it is what it is

hospital pregnant

The decision to have a child is not a simple one for everyone. And as you may already know, I could come up with many more reasons not to have children, than to have them. And one of the big ones, for me, was simply the unfairness of being the woman. Because in the story of procreation, a man can be the most supportive being on the planet, but he still can’t do what a woman can.

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Fed is best

I want to give a shout out to all those ladies out there who breastfed their children, including myself since I’m currently in the midst of it. I also want to give a shout out to all those who tried, only to find, that for whatever reason, it did not work out. And while I’m here, I also want to give a shout out to anyone who decided to bottle feed their babe, because after all, fed is best, and in many ways it feels like that would be the smart route.

I thought breastfeeding was an all or nothing thing. I knew it wasn’t easy, and did not work for everyone, and I held myself to no expectations. If it works, I said, I’ll do it, and if not, whatever. I thought there would be a black and white reason why it would work, or not, but what I’ve dug up is a whole lot of shades of grey.

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Huh? What does einleiten mean?

They say you forget the pain of childbirth. Ha! Who are they kidding? Sure, time passes, and like everything that passes, it feels less traumatic. But I’m not going to forget the pain of childbirth any more than I forget the chronic back pain I had to navigate through to get to that point.

But I can reflect back on the experience and choose to put away the worst parts. That I don’t think I can do this feeling, knowing it was all on me. And the expressions on the doctor and nurses faces toward the end when I could well see they were concerned but didn’t want to show how much. I can remember how from all this experience, I got something out of it (apart from a healthy child) – I learnt a new German word.

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