Please don’t touch my baby.

So I have been asked to write a blog about strangers touching babies. Strangers touching Amaya has been a massive issue for me. Amaya is preemie, so she is more vulnerable than full term babies BUT all babies are vulnerable and as much as people mean well, we don’t want you to touch our baby. Since having Amaya, I have become  a little more outspoken (among other things), because I have had to be. I am so shocked at the amount of strangers who stick their head in the pram and are pretty much face to face with Amaya. Not only does this scare the crap out of babies, but you are breathing all of your germs (and on some occasions, smokers breath) ALL over her face. I also have had problems with people allowing their children to touch Amaya…seriously? I don’t know if it’s because I have worked in early childhood for so long, but do you know how germ infested little people are? I have allowed my friends children to hold Amaya but that is because they are clean people and I trust them to not allow their children to hold Amaya if they are sick or have not washed their hands.

As much as I sound like a raging psycho, I also believe that babies need to be exposed to some germs to build their immune system. But those germs that they are exposed to, should be the choice of the parents, not strangers. Plus, you don’t know who is immunised these days. When people ask me how old Amaya is, I am always honest and tell them that she is premature, this intrigues people more and they tend to get a little closer. I considered just telling people her corrected age, but I feel like I am selling her short by not sharing just how strong she is. So here is how I cope with people touching/getting close to Amaya…

Baby wearing.

Yep, I wear her. This is where the Chekoh Baby Carrier  comes in handy. I avoided the shops as much as I could but when I did go there, I wore her and I covered her with a wrap (I recommend Children Of The Tribe for wraps as they are a very decent size, are beautiful and are great quality). People would ask me “is there a baby in there?”, I replied yes and did not feel obligated to show her to them. But if I did choose to allow them to see her, I had complete control over how close they got to us. Now that she is a little older I tend to use the pram more, but I am always watching people when they get close to Amaya and I am not afraid to be rude or to offend people, if need be. Our paediatrician told us to avoid crowded places when it is flu season or when there is an epidemic around. So with that advice, my baby wearing and me being a Mumma Bear, so far we have had it covered. Amaya did catch a small cold but I used essential oils to help clear her nose as well as the breathe balm from Basik Organics.

As a Mum, there are a lot of unknowns and you learn so much through trial and error and from other Mum’s. It is scary when your job is to ensure that this little person is safe at all times. I am always questioning my decisions and always reflect on how I could have done things better or differently. At the end of the day, you don’t want to have any regrets, so don’t be afraid to offend people, because they clearly aren’t afraid to offend you.

Advertisements

My essentials

My second post for the night. Lucky you! It’s like a shiny new toy, the novelty will wear off quickly! Ha!

So I recently learnt that one of my dear friends is going to be a mummy! How exciting! So I thought I would share some of the items that I have found have helped me along my journey. I absolutely love when people SHARE things with me (not shove them down my throat). I share things because I feel like we are all in this together and why not help each other? I do not share to force my opinion on to others or to be judgemental.

My first essential is a baby carrier. Preferably a chekoh baby carrier. I have the chekoh baby carrier and I LOVE it! I love that it has NO clips and all that other messy stuff, so I can just scrunch it up (or fold, but those who know me, know that I am a scruncher) and it takes up next to no room in my nappy bag. This carrier is quick and easy to put on and it has saved me on days where Amaya just wanted to be held. This is something I definitely recommend!!

Second essential is a good nappy bag! I have a Mimco nappy bag and find that it is a very generous sized bag and I can fit absolutely everything that we need in it (including the chekoh baby carrier!). I keep my nappy bag packed at all times, every night I go through the nappy bag and take out any bibs etc. that need washing and replace the bag with what it needs, so it is one less thing for me to do in the morning, I know the bag is packed and good to go. I am usually an extremely unorganised person haha actually I am – Amaya is out of clean bibs and her nappy bag, for the first time, is not packed for tomorrow. But it really does help to have a decent sized nappy bag and to have it packed, ready to go.

Third essential is a good comforter. We have a River Kippins and Bunny. Both of these comforters help Amaya go to sleep and seem to calm her down (she even smiles now when she sees River!). I put lavender on both comforters as well as carry them around in my shirt (babies loooove their mother’s smell), so at night time my smell and the lavender keep things under control and help us to have a night of solid snoozing.

Fourth essential. For us anyway…the dummy! Please do not be afraid to use a dummy because you will one day have to take it away. The amount of comfort it provides your babe and the peace it provides for you is definitely worth the anticipated hell down the track! I made the mistake of feeding Amaya more because she wanted to suck…which always ended in vomiting and me scratching my head. Then my friend and fellow Mum told me that babies want to suck because they might have a pain. HA! So after feeds I would give her the dummy because she was not still hungry, she just wanted to suck…and we would head off to dream land. They’re little and they might need some extra help with heading to dreamland, and if a dummy can help…then let it. After all, it makes your life easier too and some days we do what we can to cope. And that is ok. I recommend jelly pops for a good dummy. They are moulded from one piece of plastic which reduces choking hazards, as the dummy is all one.

A good feeding chair. OH MY GOSH! This is essential! It should have been my number one. Amaya used to feed twice throughout the night, 2am and 4am. By the 4am feed I was struggling to keep my eyes open. The amount of times I slept in her room because she was having a rough night or because I fell asleep is insane. We have a recliner and I would recline it back and we would both sleep here. Probably not the best for SIDS but hey what co-sleeping way is and once again, we do what we can to cope. I also have a lamp in the corner of Amaya’s room and some fairies that hang above her cot (they light up and change colour) and this provides the perfect amount of light for us to change her nappy and feed her in throughout the night, because you do not want to turn the light on. Your babe will think it is party time and will fully wake up and no one wants that at 2am.

A monitor. Now you can cope without this, but because Amaya was premature I couldn’t not get one. We have a super fancy medical one, the brand is Oricom. It monitors her breathing and her movements and the alarm goes off if your babe takes less than ten breaths per minute. The Angelcare one is not medical and it goes off if your babe is taking NO breaths per minute, which is still handy but the medical one we have at least gives you some reaction time. The breathing monitor helps me sleep at night and the normal monitor comes in handy for when I go down stairs as it has a video camera and I can press a button and talk to her. It also has the option to play lullabies which is handy at times too. Now I am in no way putting the Angelcare monitor down – just explaining the differences. Also I am not judging if you don’t have a monitor, it simply gives me peace of mind especially because our babe was  premature and was on and off the high flow for 17 days.

That is all I can think of for now. But I did learn a tip the other day, that I thought I would share, because I think we need to share this kind of stuff (the tip was from our Doctor). So Amaya was in the NICU and the SCN – therefore she was trained to drink her full feeds AT feed time. During the day Amaya feeds every three hours and she drinks her full bottle or almost a full bottle. The doctor told me that this is the secret to getting a baby to sleep! So basically, try to train your baby to drink their full feeds instead of snacking, cos if your baby snacks (drinks only like 20mls of their bottle) they will wake more regularly for feeds. There really are positives to your baby being in the NICU and the SCN.

Oh and one more essential. Patience…with yourself! This motherhood gig is hard, some days are harder than others and some fellow Mum’s are bitchier than others. Don’t let the bitchy ones get to you and don’t let the hard days fool you into believing that you are a shit Mum. Cos you’re not. You are trying and you are love. We need to remember that none of us are perfect and we are all trying really hard, we need to support and embrace each other. So let’s practice patience and love, not only with ourselves and our children…but with each other.

 

 

Blogging?

Hmm…blogging. I started blogging when I was pregnant, you know, to document the journey that I was sure was going to be an easy one, or at least a ‘normal’ one. When I had complications throughout my pregnancy, preeclampsia causing an early delivery at 29 weeks and 4 days, that blog became a place where I could let my emotions out. I was angry, I was scared…petrified actually and I cried all the time. So I decided to keep that one private, for me to read if I want to reflect or just take a trip down memory lane to help me remember how blessed I am.

So here I am, a mother. A mother of a 5 month old but 10 weeks corrected, baby. I was not sure what I thought motherhood was, but I know that I was petrified of the lack of sleep. I simply cannot deal with little to no sleep. When Amaya came home it was a little rocky but we quickly established our own routine of two feeds a night then straight back to sleep. Now I am pleased to say that we have no feeds throughout the night and Amaya sleeps for at least 10 hours a night. Thank god. I pity anyone who would have to deal with a sleep deprived, emotionally unstable me. Motherhood, so far, has had its challenges but a million lessons. I am happy and my heart is full. Ask me how I feel when we begin teething though…