When three became two

Last night Teina went on his family holiday to Samoa. Amaya & I were going to go, until I gave my gut feeling a little more attention and thought. Something inside of me told me that it was not wise to take a baby (especially a Preemie) to Samoa. I did a little reading and decided that, as much as I wanted to go on this holiday with Teina and his lovely family, to an amazing destination – it just was not worth the risk. Teina was extremely understanding and kind about me withdrawing from the trip two weeks before we flew out. He said that he was surprised that I had been ok with it from the beginning, that he does not think it is a good idea for us to take Amaya and that whether I chose for Amaya & I to go, or if I chose that we would stay behind, he would support my decision entirely. Phew.

As the holiday approached, I began to get anxious about being away from Teina for two weeks (wahhh I know I am a sook, but we have never been apart for that long before PLUS I had to do this parenting gig solo? Oh helllll no), and also, if you follow me on Snapchat (breeanashae), then you would see how utterly in love Amaya & Teina are with each other. It is so beautiful. There is something super sweet about a Daddy & his little girl. So, this made me nervous too. I  mean, she does ask for him often throughout the day. I dropped Teina at the airport, drove home and felt so disappointed that I was not going on a big jet plane to beautiful Samoa. But a Mumma’s got to do, what a Mumma’s got to do…

FAMILY
Pre-Airport Family selfie

 

So here I am. Day one. Amaya has swollen gums and appears to be cutting a tooth and she is off her food. SO glad that we did not go to Samoa. Can you imagine? Also, I think this is going to be a long two weeks. BUT we will get through it. When they say that it takes a village to raise a child, they aren’t lying! My parents are so helpful (and so in love with Amaya). So thanks to them, I do not have to do this two weeks alone. Honestly, I was so scared to be entirely responsible for our child. Teina appears to have more trust in me, than I have in myself! HA! But we will just take it one day at a time, which is how we do life whether Daddy is here or not. In all honesty, not a lot has changed…except that we both miss Daddy and the first thing Amaya asked for this morning when she hopped into our bed, was Daddy, as she stared at his pillow.

Hat off to single Mum’s and FIFO Mumma’s – you guys are legends!

TEINASAMO
Teina being the Island Girl that he is, in Samoa.

 

B Xo

 

 

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You know you’re a Mum when…

Prior to having Amaya, I loved hearing birth stories but they never really meant that much to me. Like I could hear someone’s birth story and think that is was amazing and then continue on with my day. You know, a bit like once you have traveled you are all of a sudden so much interested in everyone’s adventures…

Now.

Now is a very different story. I not only LOVE hearing birth stories, but they almost always make me cry. The moment that your baby comes into the world is so precious. It can be the most amazing, liberating, yet terrifying experience of your life. I unfortunately missed out on the moment Amaya entered the world, as I was under general anaesthetic. For a while I felt robbed of a lot of things, especially that moment, but then I realised that in the big picture, it did not really matter. I have my baby girl to cuddle and in this moment, that is all that matters.

When I hear a birth story of a preemie tho. I sympathise with the parents almost instantly, as I remember that journey all too well. Even talking about it makes me shaky and brings a tear to my eye. You see, God blessed me with this really cool thing where I feel things probably ten times stronger than most people…and not just for me – but for everyone. I can dwell on someone’s heartbreaking story all day. I like to call it ’emotionally intelligent’ – not ‘super sensitive’ or ‘sooky’. I am ok with being like this, it helps me connect to others easily and it certainly helps when working with children. It also means that I  practice compassion daily and naturally.

Becoming a Mumma, no matter how you became a Mumma or how your babe entered the world – is an extremely overwhelming experience. The love teamed with the responsibility is enough to send you into a frenzy. But add worry to that and wanting to cuddle your baby so much more than most Mumma’s, because you had to wait so long for your first cuddle (and being able to actually physically see your babe in front of you and being able to touch them is the biggest tease ever).

Regardless of whether you had a preemie or a full term baby – we are ALL Mother’s. We all know the struggles that we face every day, as well as the beautiful moments and the moments that make motherhood just truly magical. You know you’re a Mother when birth stories bring a smile and a tear to your eye, because it automatically reminds you of the magical moment you met your little babe for the first time.

 

B Xo

 

S L E E P

Amaya used to sleep well, then I cuddled her too much and that resulted in her wanting to sleep on me and ONLY on me. I didn’t get much sleep because of this. I would cuddle her to sleep then put her in her cot and she would wake up…and we started again from square one. There were nights where I was going to sleep for the first time at 3am. I wasn’t coping and I was so emotional. I knew we couldn’t go on like this, so I reached out to mother’s on social media. I gathered information from an array of woman and implemented what I thought would work best for us. Honestly, these women saved me. They saved my sleep, which meant they saved my sanity. Anyone that has ever had trouble sleeping or a baby will know how much sleep deprivation affects ever aspect of your life. I was miserable – the most miserable I had ever been in my life. I am writing this in hope that it will help another sleepless Mother who is at their wits end…

Amaya used to go to bed at 9:30pm, she would not go to sleep before that. This meant that I had to do her bottles etc. after 9:30pm. I wanted to get her into a better sleep routine not only for myself, but for her. Growing brains and bodies need their rest.When I found out how many hours a baby of her age was meant to be sleeping, it broke my heart. I felt like a failure. We decided that we would do ‘control crying’. I got many comments like “Oh I could never do that, that is so mean” or people would just give me a look. I wasn’t bothered, especially when Amaya started sleeping 12 hours straight a night. I knew that I was doing what was best for our family. Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind. I wanted Amaya to be able to self settle for when she attends daycare or is being looked after by someone other than myself or Teina.

Teina asked me to pick a bedtime for Amaya, I went with 6:30pm. So, that night, we put Amaya in her cot at 6:30pm and I had to go outside (because I couldn’t listen to her cry). She cried for 1.5 hours before falling asleep. Amaya had a dummy, but never had it in her cot as she would spit it out and I wasn’t playing that game. So we broke two habits, at once – without even realising it. Each night she would cry for less time, it was very difficult for me to keep going – but I persevered. I found that she would get tired from crying and would sleep right through the night. I would go into her room every 10 minutes to pat her, but never picked her up. Sometimes she would get more upset when I would go in there, so I eventually stopped. One week exactly, it took before Amaya didn’t cry when we put her in her cot. I attended a sleep seminar that was held at my work, a few weeks later, just because I wanted to learn more and to find out if I was doing the right thing. The pediatrician who specialises in sleep, told us that all sleep training is control crying, just sometimes called different things. He told us that your child will not suffer any psychological damage from control crying, if they come from a loving home. I felt even more confident in our decision. Now Amaya sleeps from 6:15pm – 6:15am. She does not wake at all through the night. If she does, she goes back to sleep on her own.

When we were doing the sleep training in the beginning, if she did wake through the night, I would go in and pat her for a while, as I didn’t expect her to self settle all the time. As the weeks went by, I stopped going into her room when she woke through the night and allowed her time to self settle. One night, she wasn’t self settling so I did go in and I ended up feeding her, as she was wide awake and that is not like her at all (as soon as I would pick her up she would usually go back to sleep. I have never sat up for hours with Amaya through the night). Lucky I did, as she drank her bottle in under three minutes. I put it down to having a growth spurt and it hasn’t happened since.

Obviously control crying is not for everyone, but I do urge you to at least give it a go. It does take time and equips your child with essential skills. When you are sleep deprived, you can’t be the best Mum you can be, for your child. So don’t ever feel guilty about doing it. Amaya is so much happier now that she gets lots of sleep and it has also resulted in her increasing her day sleeps, not by a lot, but they have definitely increased.

I am so grateful for the advice given to me by other Mother’s! Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, none of us have our shit together all of the time, so we can definitely learn from each other and help each other. Oh and make sure your babe is warm, often they wake through the night simply because they are cold.

I wish you lots of sleep!

 

B Xo

P.S. I was recommended to only do this when babes are 6+ months old!