In the dead of the night

It’s 4.30am. The aircon is whirring, the fan is swiveling. We are all enveloped in darkness, save for the bright intrusive light emitting from my phone.

The bubs is wrapped snugly in his swaddle and sleeping soundly between the boy and I. His exhausted father is snoring ever so softly and Moon is passed out cold in her bed at the foot of ours.

My little family, together in one breathing space.

Superpowers

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And just like that, the littlest human turned one month old. And what a month it has been! I have since discovered superpowers that I never knew I had, like:

Superpower #1 – Surviving on very little sleep

Pre-Elliott days, I function very badly on little sleep. I turn into a snap dragon and pretty much cannot function. These days, I amaze myself at the ability to tend to the needs of a newborn while on very little sleep. I have to add to that I am very grateful to my mum who helps out with Elliott on some nights, allowing us at least 3-4 hours of uninterrupted sleep at a go. I now fully understand why my friends have told me that the phrase “sleeping-in” will cease to exist once we birth a child.

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Superpower #2 – Ability to sleep instantly

On the related topic of sleep, I have also discovered the new superpower of being able to sleep at the snap of a finger. I used to be the sort of person that needed at least 20 minutes to an hour before I drift off to sleep (unlike the boy who falls asleep the moment his head touches the pillow). Not these days. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, any place.

This brings me to my next superpower:

Superpower #3 – Going from asleep to awake in 30 seconds

I was never a heavy sleeper but still, being able to go from asleep to fully awake almost immediately is a pretty mean feat. At least to me.

Superpower #4 – Doing stuff at breakneck speed

I used to wonder why new mothers would say that they have “no time” to do this, or that. I NOW KNOW. TOTALLY. Days and nights merge into one. My life is now dictated by when the little one awakes from his nap and needs to feed. NOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW. Those pockets of time when he naps are when I finally find time to do basic stuff like brushing my teeth, taking a (quick) shower, gobbling down my meal, and if I’m lucky, brush my hair and look vaguely decent. Just yesterday, I managed to apply a face mask (woohoo!) and moisturise my extremely neglected face and it felt like such an achievement. Can I also add that taking a much-needed shower and washing my hair makes me oh-so-happy. Ahhhh….

Superpower #5 - Ability to detect crying baby in another room instantly.

Sometimes, my mum helps to care for Elliott so that I can take a much-needed nap. For that, I am immensely thankful because some shuteye does wonders for my emotional well-being. I could be asleep but the moment I hear him cry (usually really loudly), my eyes fly open and I’d lie very still in bed wondering if I should attend to him. Depending on my state of sleep deprivation, I sometimes go back to sleep (bad mother!) or head to my mum’s room – bleary-eyed – to see if he needs me.

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There you have it. My newly-acquired superpowers since Elliott came into our lives. We are still on a learning curve but as the days go by, we are getting to know our little one a little bit better. We now know when he needs to feed, or simply need a cuddle. Of course, we still get it wrong sometimes and some evenings, we end up spending 3 hours trying to rock/sing/cuddle/soothe him to sleep but to no avail.

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We also took him out on his first car ride shortly after he turned one month old. I was slightly nervous to be taking him out (what if he bawls and can’t be comforted?!) but thankfully, he was generally well-behaved save for the time when he woke up and demanded to be fed NOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOWNOW.

He is also more aware of his surroundings and his eyes would follow toys that we jiggle in front of his face in a bid to distract him from screaming the house down. This little human is also capable of projectile poop (I’ve been a victim TWICE) and pee (too many times to count) which amazes us till today. How can something so small produce such forceful output is slightly beyond my comprehension.

Because I see him everyday, it is a little hard to tell if he has grown but I guess looking at how his newborn onesies are filling up very quickly, we can safely say that we are doing something right in our parenthoood journey and that he is indeed growing. Phew.

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Happy 1 month, my little munchkin. I think that you’re absolutely adorable but that’s just the supremely biased mother in me speaking. Keep growing well and as much as I love you to bits, let’s just save the projectile poop for your diapers, shall we?

An Open Letter to My Dog After the Birth of my First Child

miss ene:

This post almost made me tear because the writer has aptly put into words many of the feelings I have towards Moon. Sniff.

Originally posted on The Ugly Volvo:

Dear Tig,

Here’s a list of things for which I want to apologize:

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1.  I’m sorry for every time I loop your leash around the doorknob and hurriedly say, “Two minutes!  I’m going to take you outside in two minutes!”  Because I am not going to do that.  You know, as you watch me struggling to get the baby into the carrier, realizing that he’s not wearing socks and also that he’s just wet himself, that it is going to be closer to fifteen minutes.  Possibly 20 minutes.  Once in a while, forty minutes goes by and you sit, patiently waiting, attached to the door.  And I walk back into the living room to see you sitting there and yell, “Oh my god Tig, I completely forgot about you!”  And you very politely turn yourself so you’re facing the door, which is the dog way of saying, “I know you…

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The (furry) baby-sitter

This picture marks the moment when Elliott and Moon met for the very first time.

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She was extremely curious about this new tiny human and kept trying to sniff him.

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The first night was challenging for all of us, Moon included. Whenever Elliott bawled, Moon would look worried and let out a high-pitched bark. Naturally, all of us slept badly, the furry one included. She would also constantly try and sniff him through his crib and at times, would also get in our way when we were trying to pacify a screaming newborn. Imagine 2 frazzled humans, one screaming baby and one nervous dog getting into everyone’s way. I am a little embarrassed to say that I yelled at Moon a few times to “move away” because it was just too much to handle!

After a couple of days, things settled down for a bit and Moon was also starting to get used to the night feeds and the crying. She would still stir whenever she heard Elliott cry but after a couple of days, she got the idea that this little human screamed all the time so she continued to snooze. In fact, when I got up for the various night feeds, she’d be flat out in her bed, oblivious to whatever that was going on in the room.

I spend most of the day in the room, as you would with a newborn. I was either trying to soothe or nurse him, or passed out on the bed out of exhaustion for a quick nap. The 2 dogs can usually be found close to the crib, snoozing as well.

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I have to add that Domo is less affected by Elliott’s arrival. He still goes about doing his own stuff. As the sister rightly said, he behaves just like a boy! Hehe.

Did I also mention that Moon is extremely interested in Elliott’s dirty diaper and milk-soaked clothes? She’d always be the first one to stick her nose into his laundry basket to take a whiff before we notice and shoo her off. Once, she even stealthily took off with one of his hand mittens and was all ready to examine it. Too bad for her, I noticed it and said mitten was promptly removed from wayward paws.

Sometimes, Elliott would take naps in my mum’s room while I catch a breather. Moon can also be found staying close to him while he snoozes. It’s pretty cute to watch.

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Naturally, the amount of time I am able to spend with Moon is a lot lesser now that Elliott is here but it hasn’t stopped the sweet furball from lying at my feet when I’m nursing him, or sitting close to me when I’m having my dinner. She is probably wondering why I no longer take her for walks (boo!) but hey, soon enough, we can do it again but this time, with baby in tow.

Thankfully, the boy has been very good at trying to keep to our routine with Moon by taking her on walks, doing the therapy dog visits as well as giving her her weekly showers. Like now, as I write, they have both gone for a run at the park.

It is definitely challenging with a newborn and a pet dog but I am sure that over time and with practise, we will grow together as a family unit. I can’t wait for the day when Elliott is old enough to realise that he has a furry sister who is ever ready to sniff at his smelly diapers :)

 

 

 

Bubsicles

Hello!

Yes, I’m still alive. Barely but yes, definitely still alive. Elliott turned 3 weeks old and we are slowly but surely settling into a routine. Well, burp -nurse – sleep – poop – pee – bathe. Repeat x 24 hours. That pretty much sums up my day and night. I have no idea what day or date it is anymore. My schedule is decided by the new tiny being who is now my alarm clock with no snooze button.

Anyway, I wanted to share that other than this personal blog, I will also be contributing entries to this site, Bubsicles. It is a community blog site made up of new (me!) and not so new mothers. It is not a site where motherhood is all AWESOME!! and LIFE IS GREAT BEING A MOTHER ALL THE TIME!! type entries. Instead, you will find personal stories from different contributors detailing the nice and not so nice bits about motherhood.

Sometimes, it is easy to be sucked into the idea that you are a terrible mother because every other mother out there is a perfect Mummy Do-It-All who makes pretty cupcakes, has perfect hair (omg have you seen the state of MY hair?!), wears pretty dresses and still finds time to do craft work along with feeding their child organic and clean food.

Hopefully, Bubsicles throws an alternative light to motherhood. A not so rosy, even imperfect light.

To start off, here’s my very first entry about the first few days of having Elliott.

Thanks for reading.

PS. You can also find Bubsicles on Facebook!