The Baby Diaries Part 10

Is it normal for adults to giggle all the time?

The milk lady is often laughing around me.

She giggles when she changes my nappy after I’ve done a poop. She finds the multi-coloured poops entertaining since I started on solids.

The Milk lady giggled this morning when I puked all over her. She said I was like a little milk volcano. I guess it was funny because I don’t do it very often and never when we’re about to go out, I’m good like that.

I thought her head was going to fall off one day from laughing so much. I’d just had a bath and the milk lady had read that some babies like to do tummy time after a relaxing bath, before they get dressed. So, that’s what we did. That’s such a great position for pooping in, the milk lady said I looked like some gross Mr Whippy ice cream fountain. That was the first and last time we did tummy time like that.

I’m quite lucky she is such a good sport because I like to mix things up. Just when the milk lady is getting comfy with our routine I go and change everything. Two nights ago I slept for 9 hours. I woke up starving hungry. The milk lady didn’t even get grumpy with me for screaming the house down, she just smiled and giggled and said everything was ok, I just had a hole in my tummy and it would be fine just as soon as I had a bottle. Last night, I had the milk lady up 4 times and then did the milk volcano trick. Still, not grumpy, but she does look very tired. I must say I’m tired too, so maybe I’ll sleep nicely tonight for her.

I wonder what giggles we’ll have today.

 

 

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Worth the wait

This post was going to be about turning 40 and how I didn’t want to be 40. How 40 was a reminder of the things I wanted when I was 30 and can’t have. But, today that post seems ridiculous, so it’s not about that.

When I turned 30 I was so excited. My husband at the time (ex now) and I were about to start on IVF to start our family. It was an exciting time. Never did I think that the IVF would go so wrong (that’s a story for another day) and that I would never be able to have my own biological children. The future was full of dreams that I thought were soon to be realised. How wrong I was.

Instead my early 30’s provided me with failed IVF, depression, weight gain (still carrying that around), divorce, and a loss of my dreams. My later 30s saw a few changes. The ex and I parted ways and that bought it’s own challenges but seriously, it has been the best thing ever.

You don’t realise how much someone can weigh you down with their negativity until they are gone and you start to get out from under that weight and start getting your positivity back.

I went and got re-tested to see about the baby thing. Ok, that didn’t go well, but at least I knew what went wrong and exactly where I stood so I could move forward.

I became a foster carer.

I met the AMAZING MM and life has been moving (slowly) forward.

Now at 40, I can smile, that even though it’s taken a decade, I have a wonderful man who is so supportive of me in so many ways, I have a beautiful baby girl (for now anyway) and I am now a part time worker and part time stay at home mum.

My dreams are coming true.

Has it taken a bit longer than anticipated? Yes.

Has it happened differently from how I planned? Yes.

Has it been worth the wait? Absolutely yes.

The Baby Diaries Part 9

What can a little baby like me give someone for their birthday?

I gave milk lady an 8 hour sleep.

She seemed to like that.

She also seemed to like that I didn’t do a poop all day (I have done 2 this morning to catch up though).

I started off the day so well, had a big bottle and a nap like I should. Splashed around in the bath, I do love bath time, put on a pretty party dress and had a sleep in the car on the way out to lunch with Nana and Pa.

I was my normal little self all through lunch, right up to the end when I suddenly needed a nap. You know what that’s like right? I got a little cranky then. I wasn’t comfortable in my stroller, and the milk lady was trying to finish her lunch so I got a bit fidgety and cranky. Just as well Nana had made dessert at home because when we left I fell straight to sleep in the car.

We got to Nana and Pa’s house and the milk lady must have carried me inside because next thing I know, I woke up in the cot at Nana’s….Sweet.

I got to eat pumpkin for the first time today, it’s a bit strange, it’s bright orange but, I ate most of it, eventually.

At the farm I got cuddles with Nana and Pa gave me a horsey ride and I got to play in my ba-doink-a-doink. The milk lady calls it a bouncer, but when I bounce it goes ba-doink-a-doink-doink so that’s what me and the milk man call it.

We went home for a while then went out to the milk lady’s favourite Chinese restaurant. I like it there. The ladies that bring the food always smile at me, but tonight, after such a big day out I was a bit worn out and just wanted to sleep and I don’t like sleeping in the stroller very much, so milk lady was pretty good about holding me in one arm while she ate with her other hand.

This is the life.

Mid-life crisis

What is a mid-life crisis?

Is it when everything you thought you wanted in life comes into question and you start to think about other possibilities? And because you have always been a certain way, that people think you’ve gone crazy because you want to tip your life upside down and shake it up?

If that’s it, I think I’m having a mid-life crisis.

I’ve always loved my work. I am one of those fortunate people that love my job, and I have been in the same job, well, argh…20 years.

Now little miss “Jade” has come along and I either have to put her in child care or do something about my work.

I’m torn.

I love my work and what will I do if/when she’s reunified with TM?
But I love bubs and I don’t want other people raising “my baby” while I’m at work.

If this is how hard it is for me to contemplate being separated from bubs all day, how hard is it on TM? Does the fact that another woman is raising her baby drive her as nuts as it’s driving me thinking about having to go back to work?

I know I don’t want to stop work altogether but I don’t know that I want to do 5 days a week.

I wish I knew how the case was progressing, but honestly I think it’s not. “Jade” has been with us 16 weeks and they haven’t even progressed to unsupervised visits in the office yet.

I am supposed to go back to work in 3 weeks.
I have to decide now.
I have to sort out child care and work.

What am I going to do?

MM to the rescue

Just when I thought I was going slightly batty…ok, I may be, but aren’t we all a little bit batty? And I thought I was doing something seriously wrong with the baby MM jumps in with his two cents worth.

Last week baby was sleeping so beautifully. 7 hours solid. She was the most perfect little floss we could ask for and then this week I’ve been going a bit around the twist. It’s just the last few days really. “Jade” hasn’t been sleeping well I’m up multiple times a night rather than once, she’s not been her usual little piggy self, we’ve had crying and fussing and a bit of a cranky baby. Not all the time, just enough to make me wonder what I’m doing wrong.

MM in his usual awesomeness reminds me I’m doing fine, babies are like that.

Still I wonder, until tonight….the amazing MM asks how old she is. Seems simple right. She is exactly 4 months today. But in weeks, she’s 17. That’s the perfect age to have a “wonder week”. So off we go to our wonder week information and guess what?! Miss J ticks a lot of boxes. She’s trying and almost succeeding in putting things in her mouth, she’s better able to grasp her rattle and shake it around, stops during a feed when she’s done and push away, and is starting to respond more to her name. All things she should be doing at her age. There’s more and I guess we’ll look forward to seeing them soon.

Yah!! I’m not going mad.
I’m not doing something wrong.
Bubs is just having a big mental growth week. So much must be going on in her little head, no wonder she’s a bit cranky.

I can go to sleep knowing that when she wakes me up for the 5th or 6th time during the night, it’s going to pass and hopefully within the week we should have our beautiful sleeper back again.

MM, thank you so much for having the mental clarity to work this out. I must be so tired to not have seen that one for myself. What would I do without you? Thank you for supporting me and helping me in my tired delirium to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

 

Story time with “Kylie”

It’s almost a week since “Kylie” left us to go to her (hopefully) forever home so I thought I’d reminisce a bit about the little lady with the crazy, infectious laugh….I do miss that laugh of hers.

We’ve had a couple of text messages earlier in the week, a general hello, and a ‘what is the special toothpaste she uses?’ Made me giggle. Missy is starting with her mystery illnesses telling M she has sensitive teeth. Sure she does…not, she eats ice cream and frozen drinks and even chews on ice cubes. Early in her stay with us “Kylie” claimed to have about 5 different medical issues that she didn’t have.

“Kylie” did have a tendency to expand on the truth, A LOT.

Pa took “Kylie” for an adventure walk on the farm, looking for gold. They came back and when”Kylie” was telling us about her adventure she mentioned that there was a treasure box in the cave. Really? We were up there not long ago and there was no treasure chest. “Kylie” was given a few chances to change her story and remove the non-existent treasure chest but she stayed firm with this story until we said we would call Pa and ask him. We had a chat about telling tales and talked about the story “The boy who cried wolf” and explained that her adventure with Pa was exciting and awesome without adding the treasure chest.

Our other tall tale was worse. Somehow “Kylie and Kelly” got to talking about spiders in the car on the way home from the farm and the girls got to trying to out-do each other. “Kelly” mentioned she had been bitten by a spider once and her leg went purple (not the first time she’s mentioned this so it must be true as she can’t like to save herself as her long term memory isn’t that good) so, “Kylie” not to be outdone told us about her sister and that she’d been bitten by a red-back spider and died. Really? That’s unusual, No one has died in Australia for about 60 years from a red back spider bite. “Kylie” was given multiple opportunities to say that she made up the story but she stuck with it and it got more and more elaborate. We had to check it with the department. All of “Kylie’s” sisters are alive and well. The social worker even giggled about her vivid imagination. The problem, “Kelly’s” mother and sister are both deceased so we didn’t think it so funny. When “Kelly” wasn’t around I had a quiet chat with “Kylie” about her story telling. Normally we wouldn’t share “Kelly’s” info with another child, but I thought it was important for “Kylie” to know that she’s just made up something not very nice and a) how would her sister feel about her making up a story where she featured but died in it and b) how does she think “Kelly” feels thinking that they both have lost a sister. How does she think “Kelly” will feel knowing that she made it up.

As a ‘consequence’ we talked to “Kylie” about her amazing imagination and how that is a good thing to have but there’s good and bad ways to use that creativity. To give her an outlet for her creativeness we gave her a blank book and asked her to write a story where she could make up anything she liked. I sat down with her, she dictated her story to me and I typed it out for her so she would have the correct spelling and page breaks. She then wrote out the whole story, complete with title page and illustrations. She was so proud of her story. She took it to show Pa and explained to him the true parts and the made up parts and in true Pa style he oohed and aaahed and praised her for her work.

I don’t know if “Kylie” ever said sorry to “Kelly” but hopefully we’ve pointed her in the right direction. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a book in the stores with a dedication to us.

The Baby Diaries Part 8

Mmmmmmm Food glorious food.

The milk lady has started giving me some other stuff as well as my bottles, it’s white and mushy and really yummy. I love it.

I love it so much when she feeds me while I sit in the bouncer I bounce away and wave my arms and legs around. Apparently this is not helping. Neither is when I get so excited in between spoonfuls that I put my hands in my mouth. I’m just trying to make room for more.

The milk lady doesn’t like it when I sneeze with a mouthful either. And as for giving me the spoon to play with after she finished feeding me, well who’s to blame for the bits of food I got all over the place then!

Nanna milk lady made me some baby apple sauce on the weekend which has been added to the cereal. Boy do I love that. She sure can make baby food. Nanna milk lady is going to make me more on the weekend. I heard something about potato and pumpkin. I don’t know what that is, but if it’s as good as the mushy cereal stuff I’ll love that too.

Mmmmmmm. I can’t wait to my next feed. I wonder what it will be??

Who’s side am I on?

As I usually do on a Monday morning, I dropped little miss “Jade” off to access to see her TM (tummy mummy). We were a bit early and TM was already there so we had a bit of a chat while we waited for the access worker to arrive.

TM asked where the other girls were, so I let her know that “Kelly” is with us every other weekend for respite and “Kylie” had just moved to her new long term carer. We chatted about this for a while, about how I get upset when ‘our babies’ move on as they are part of our family for a while.

I was touched when TM said that if she gets “Jade” back she would like us to still be involved in her life as she knows how much we love her and thinks that that is important for “Jade”. Such a lovely thing for a birth parent to say.

What hit me was that in our conversation TM kept saying IF she gets “Jade” back, not when. Now, I wont lie and say MM and I haven’t had the conversation about ‘the worst case scenraio’ for Jade and what would happen if the case changed from a 12 month order to an GOM 18 order. Of course we’ll aim to ‘keep’ bubs if that happens, but, shouldn’t TM be thinking she can get her daughter back? Are her demons so bad that she herself can’t see that happening?

So, I did the right thing. I told TM that she should say WHEN she gets “Jade” back not “IF”.
I told her the best possible outcome for “Jade” is to be with her real mum, that there is nothing like your real mum and children have a very special bond with their tummy mummy.
I told her that we believe in her, that she can do it, that she just needs to keep working hard and doing what she’s doing and it will happen.

Part of me wants her to fail then maybe I can keep “Jade” but I also want her to succeed because then they can be together and not only will we have made a difference in the life of “Jade” but also her mum.

Who’s side am I on?

 

I almost made it

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

It was a long week. It was a short week.

It was a happy week. It was a sad week.

It was a week for new beginnings and a week for goodbyes.

What a roller coaster week.

Tuesday we went and met with M at a take-away outlet with a playground. M brought one of her nieces with her to meet “Kylie” and the girls hit it off straight away. It was a great first meeting although you could see “Kylie” wasn’t entirely sure what it all meant. We’d talked about it the night before but it was a little overwhelming. M wanted to take her home for an afternoon together but I thought it was better to take “Kylie” home for some quiet time (she was all hyped up on sugar and from playing with the other little girl) so she could start to process what was going on.

I may have had leaky eyes at dinner that night as it was becoming a reality for us as well that it was getting closer for “Kylie” to leave.

Wednesday was a nice quiet day at home. We spent a little bit of time talking about her move and started packing a few of her things up. Over dinner we talked as a family a bit more about her move. Asking if she  had any questions and asking if she understood that this isn’t a holiday, but her new ‘forever’ home.

Thursday we packed a few more things and chatted about what we were going to take to M’s house the next day.

Friday arrived and once baby “Jade” was collected to go to access we set off with my little boot packed. We weren’t at M’s for long before I could tell “Kylie” was fine for me to go, so I left to have a couple of quiet hours for myself.

“Kylie” had a great time with M. It was great to hear about all the activities they did together. M commented to me that “Kylie” sometimes said she was going to visit and sometimes forever, that you could see she was struggling to get her head around the upcoming events. On the way home from her visit she was all bubbles, right up until she asked “How long am I going to stay with M?” A valid question. The poor little girl (from what I can pick up from her) had been in a group home, reunified with mum and dad, back into a group home, then with and Aunt and Uncle and then to us. All within the last 8 months. No wonder she wanted to know how long the next one was for. I reminded her that we had talked about it at dinner and she gets to live with M for as long as she wants. Until she’s finished at University, gets her own home, however long she wants. We then had something not before seen from “Kylie”….silence.

Friday night was her favourite dinner, Spaghetti Bolognese with Lemon Pudding for dessert with a chat about the next 2 days to come.

Saturday was a day at the farm to say good bye to Nanna and Pa and then out to dinner at a restaurant.

Sunday, moving day.

“Kylie” slept in Sunday morning, and got dressed but didn’t seem to realise it was the big day. She asked me to buy her more orange juice as we ran out and if she could watch a movie on TV in the evening. We had a nice slow morning getting packed and going out for lunch at her favourite take away place before heading down to M’s.

It was a lovely last morning, and she quickly settled into her new home while we had a coffee and chat with M. I had made a start on a life story book for her which we had gift wrapped and presented to her before we left. She was so happy with all the photos and little messages I had written in there, she quickly ran off with it to her new room. We got the biggest hugs as we were leaving and that was my undoing, the tears started as we were walking out the front door. I almost made it.

I know “Kylie” will be fine. More than fine. We couldn’t be happier with the placement, it’s so perfect for her. We’ve had a couple of text messages this evening.  A photo of her this afternoon and a little video as well. She’s had a great first day and it’s nice to be not quite forgotten yet.

It’s so quiet in the house without the girl with the infectious laugh. No story time tonight. No kids movie….imagine that, watching an M rated movie for the first time in over a month.

All I can say is thank you to MM who has held my hand and reminded me that this is the perfect place for “Kylie” and that when we are ready there will be another little person waiting for us to share our home with them for a while, and in the meantime, the gorgeous little “Jade” can have all the snuggles I need to give.

The Snooze Button

“I hate the snooze button on my alarm clock” –  said no person ever.

I don’t know about you but I love that little button. Those extra 10 minutes of sleep. As a teenager I would purposefully set my alarm earlier than needed just so I could press the snooze button a couple of times and then somehow feel like I had been given a sleep in.

Well, I have discovered baby “Jade” has a snooze button. And no, I don’t roll over and tap her on the head. If she’s a bit unsettled it’s normally because she has spat her dummy out, so, out of bed, pop dummy in her mouth and I can normally get another 10 minutes sleep.

The other night I ‘hit snooze’ and popped her dummy in her mouth and 3 hours later she woke up for a feed.

3 hours!

Now that’s a snooze!!!