Lunch

Pernilla & Jessica Pernilla & JessicaChevre toast


Went to town to see my niece Jessica and discuss website-making the other day. Aiden went bananas in the café though so we “had to” leave. As soon as we got moving Aiden fell asleep and we ran into Pernilla on our walk and decided to have another go at a coffee house for lunch. Aiden slept through it. And among two photographers, Jessica doing it as a profession, I was the one running around playing photographer. I pumped them for some quick tips as well.

 

Fingers in the mouth

Aiden-i-koket-009

Aiden-i-kket-015

Aiden was with me in the kitchen today when cooking. He was in a good mood. He hasn’t been sleeping great during the nights which is a drain on both him and me. I’m hoping this phase will pass soon. I was looking forward to this “sleeping through the night” behaviour that should happen between 4-6 months. For most babies…

He just woke up very upset now, for the second time. So angry and upset. Thinking it might be itchy gums making him miserable. We’ll see. We’re going away to friends tomorrow so hope he’ll behave his best. He he…

Four month crisis?

NB: this post contains complaints and general whining about babies/motherhood. Sensitive readers be aware!

Old man baby
Old man baby

I’m having a bit of a crisis. Mum-crisis. I guess it’s just dawn on me how hugely different life is going to be with someone so dependant on you. You can’t think about it too much though, I realise. And I know I’ve been lucky; Aiden sleeps “normally” for a baby and he’s quite content and happy in general and I’ve had the luxury of having Jon home most of the time (he’s part-time studying Swedish). So I’ve got some respite and there’s been 2 of us. But being the one breast-feeding and constantly listening to all noises during the nights does make the burden very uneven at this stage. I feel so tied down and that I only have one purpose with my life. I have to keep remind myself that it is only very temporary.

Almost 4 months of sleeping a maximum of four hours (once or twice that has happened) in a stretch in a night, is taking its toll. And breast-feeding (read; being sucked dry of all energy) can be really hard (although I’m liking the weight loss). Everything out of the ordinary adding to the stress and the feeling of being constantly on duty, just makes me want to cry right now. I know it will pass, I know some more sleep will sort me out and I know it’s because he’s been particularly hungry and sad because of a stuffy nose recently. But I just need to whine a little bit…

Another thing that is very strange and not logical with this whole motherhood thing, is this feeling of wanting to tell everyone how hard it is – because they must know you’re not flying through it all, but at the same time making a point out of your baby being a very good baby and that you’ve been lucky, he’s sleeping etc. Why is that?!

I hate other moms complaining over perfectly normal baby behaviour, but I still find myself doing the same thing sometimes. And also wanting credit for how awesome I’m dealing with it. Is it hormones? What is this strange behaviour? Does it pass at some point? Or is my baby trying to kill me very slowly..?

I feel cheated out of an awesome birth experience…

I’m experiencing a few quite new emotions. My friend has blogged previously about how sensitive it can be to discuss pregnancy/birth/children and that people can take offence so easily by everything. She said that some get provoked when she says she found giving birth easy. But also by the fact that she found breast-feeding difficult and not enjoyable. I was not provoked by her experience then or now. But I didn’t really know what she meant, until now… And I’m the one taking offense.

No one can put a price at the reward. I still wish I'd had a great birth experience too...
No one can put a price on the reward. I still wish I’d had a great birth experience too…

This Swedish blogger has just had a baby. Which is lovely! But straight away she’s started indicating what a fantastic experience it was, her 4 hour labour and birth, and that it was the best thing she’s ever done and she’s telling her expectant mothers-to-be readers not to worry because her experience was so great.

This really provokes me, I’ve noticed. I’m surprised by my own reaction, but I also want to dig a bit deeper into why it’s so provoking to me. I mean it’s not like I was hoping that she’d have a terrible experience. I’ve had plenty of friends telling me that they really enjoyed giving birth, and this has not made me upset in any way.

And I agree with her that there is NO NEED TO WORRY. Seriously. The baby will come out and the first few days, weeks after are just amazing. The emotions of having a child is great. And if it’s not because of complications, then worrying now, will not help you in any way.

So I guess it’s that addition of saying “don’t worry, it was the best thing I’ve ever done”, that is sooo provoking. The reason for not worrying should be that you can’t do anything about it, and that it is a lottery (women that have had several children can testify to this – the same woman can have as many different birth experiences as children). But that this woman had a great birth is no indication of what other people’s experience will be.

For me, giving birth was far from great. I still view it as a trauma. I have no positive thoughts connected with the actual birth or hospital stay after.

I think I’m provoked because there is this underlying idea or thought that if you’re tough enough, prepared enough you will get an easy birth. There’s all these tips out there – teas, exercises etc to tone your uterus and make birth giving easy peasy. I did it all. I prepared for it as thoroughly as I did the London marathon.

My opinion now, after having given birth, is that it’s a lottery and you can be lucky or unlucky. You can’t really do much about it. If it’s straight forward then maybe your preparation can help you a little and make you feel better. But just because it goes pear-shaped does not mean that you could have done anything about it, before or during.

It’s true that I feel cheated out of an awesome experience myself, so it might just be viewed as bitterness. And it’s true that I feel let down by Swedish health care. And I also feel very unlucky.

It’s not really that I’m begrudging of others lovely experience of birth giving, not really. I just think that had I had a great labour/birth experience myself, I would have probably felt it was due to all my preparation, my mental attitude and my personal strength. Since that didn’t happen, I feel this urge to explain that if you had a great experience you were lucky – not better prepared, or mentally stronger, or physically in better shape than me – you were just lucky!

It’s stupid, I know. It doesn’t make a difference and it doesn’t change individual experiences. It shouldn’t make me feel less. Less of a woman or whatever type of primal emotions it has awaken in me.

That’s where I’m at. Not saying it’s right. I’m actually a bit surprised about it. But that’s my feelings. And probably a lot of other women’s feelings as well. So I’ve started thinking of my labour and birth and I might write it down & share as an exercise to try to come to terms with what happened and to remember how I experienced it.

All this also made me think of this woman I saw on TV who has been diagnosed with cancer recently. She talked about this blame culture when it comes to diseases and it did really make me think. I’ve caught myself passing silent blames. Especially when you see someone not taking care of their health and ending up being sick in different ways. She said that she never thought it would happen to someone like her; yoga person, health aware and thinking about her diet. But it is what they say Cancer doesn’t discriminate.

And with cancer you often hear what a positive attitude can do, and you have to fight cancer. But people who fight for their lives still die in cancer. Some people have made all the right choice pre-cancer and still end up with this killer disease. And others might have really played with fire and sure enough end up with cancer, but they survive.

It’s unfair and it’s mostly out of our control. Being a strong person can help deal with the consequences of a bad birth experience and to juggle all emotions afterwards. But the actual turn of events during labour is hard to control regardless of preparation made.

Sweet, sweet potato

An alternative to baked potato is baked sweet potato. Why? Well, just if you have a desire to stay away from the starch in the potato maybe. Or just want a change for the sake of a change. We had it the other night, no correction – I had it. Jon had baked potato. He is very suspicious of anything different.

Baked Sweet Potato
Baked Sweet Potato, looking very stylish but lonely on my plate
Baked, cut sweet potato
Baked, cut sweet potato
No more sweet potato...
No more sweet potato… I ate it with butter (of course), salt and a dip made of greek yogurt, feta cheese and red onion.

The awesomeness of breast milk!

Cold symptoms in a baby can be hard, especially a stuffy nose making it hard to eat & sleep properly
Cold symptoms in a baby can be hard, especially a stuffy nose making it hard to eat & sleep properly

So breast milk is awesome food for the baby obviously. The list of good it does for a newborn and for the mother is just endless. Everything from immune system boosting to sleep regulation to hormone regulation to recovery for the mother and so on, and so on…

But there are two external uses that was completely new to me and the one I only found out about the other day from a friend. So I’ll share them here with you, maybe someone will have as much use of them as we have.

Breast milk to treat infected tear ducts

Yes, that’s right. Eyes full of pus is quite common in newborns. It’s due to their tear ducts being too narrow still and it will resolve itself within time, as the baby grows. But it can be a pain, so besides gently massaging the inner corner of the eye and wipe off pus regularly as the nurse or doctor usually recommend – you can try a drop or two of breast milk in the eye where the tear canal opening is.

Breast milk to treat stuffy baby nose

In cold season it’s easy for babies to pick up one of the many cold viruses going around. The cold symptoms can be very annoying for a little one and especially a stuffy nose as it makes it difficult to breathe and eat. Clearing the snot is a pain as well, at least with our little one. He fights it with every muscle in his body. But we tried to squirt a few drops of breast milk up the nose (with a syringe, I’m not that good at aiming with my boob he he). After a little while it came back out along with dissolved snot that we could wipe off. He still wasn’t happy getting his nose wiped, but it was much more efficient and quicker this way.

Breast milk has anti inflammatory qualities, that’s why it can be used for these external purposes as well. And I read it can be used for zits as well, have not tried this though (not on baby, on adults).

In your face!

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We had such a lovely time with Aiden today. He wanted to be in Jon’s face and when he wasn’t he was studying him so intensely. The moment above was just so funny, glad I caught it on camera.

We’re much better from our cold! So happy it’s not turning into those dragged out things.

I feel like swimming. I never feel like swimming. I hate swimming,  it’s so boring. I probably feel like it because I was looking into baby sim this evening. Couldn’t find any info though. But emailed so will hopefully get some info soon.

Yawn I’m so tired now. Aiden has been feeding every other hour again now that he’s been sick and last night he decided that 2am was as good a time as any to call morning. He fell asleep and when I went to put him down he woke up so I had to take him up again, put him to sleep and try put him down just to have him wake up again. It went on like that for an hour and a half. And when you finally put him down successfully you know it won’t be long until he wakes up for the next feed… Wohoo!

3 stuffy noses

Coffee and mandarin - sickness remedies
Coffee and mandarin – sickness remedies

Poor little baby has got my cold now. He’s not terribly unhappy about it surprisingly, but when his little stuffy nose is keeping him from feeding properly he gets really upset and even more upset when we attempt to clear his little nose. And Jon is now showing signs of the cold. So all three of us are sneezing and coughing away. Hello virus feast!

Aiden & Jon
Aiden & Jon have both got a cold

He also feeds very frequently now that he’s sick. Which is good! It’s comforting for him but also rehydrating and the breast milk will help him fight the cold with all its’ super ingredients. Naaw little man, doesn’t understand what’s going on. Glad he doesn’t have a fever at least. It’s just the first of many colds though to help strengthen his immune system. Read there’s more than 200 cold viruses… So he’s just getting started in building his immune system for them all.

I’m getting better now, had a sleep-in this morning (well except waking up every other hour, at least, to feed A, but back to sleep after). Have not been able to work out or anything for a week which is annoying as I just got started on Period 2 of the schedule I’m following. But what can you do…? I’ve forced myself out for a few walks at least, it will help fight the cold virus as well and help us feel a bit better. I just want to be well now!

Loving Gteborg, loving "the Plutt"
Loving Gteborg, loving “the Plutt”

Paleo cookies & spicy soup for the sick

Paleo chocolate chip cookies

I finally got around to making this soup recipe I’ve been trying to make all week, but failed to do due to illness. I wish I would have done it sooner though, because I think it’s been good for my cold. It had quite the kick to it and ginger & chilli are both great for symptoms of cold.

I also put together a batch of Paleo cookies while I was at it. They are a bit softer than what you’d expect from a cookie – but oh so tasty. Here’s where I found the recipes:

Hot, Indian chicken soup (Google translate its’ ass should you not know Swedish)

Paleo chocolate chip cookies

Spicy Indian chicken soup
Spicy Indian chicken soup
Paleo chocolate chip cookies
Paleo chocolate chip cookies

“Cooking food and listening to a podcast is not multitasking, it’s just cooking food and listening to a podcast.”

When Jon read my post from the other dayhe said;“Cooking food and listening to a podcast is not multitasking, it’s just cooking food and listening to a podcast.” He meant that it’s not like listening to a podcast is necessarily something you have to do. Maybe not, but how fun is life if you fill your life with only “have-to’s” and multitasking them all the time. Boring x 2.

I find it difficult to put on headphones now with a baby as you need to hear if the baby wakes up or is unhappy in some other way. Doing it while cooking is kind of good as when I cook Jon usually has the baby so I can use my hearing for other purposes than listen for baby sounds. Although I tend to get interrupted anyway so it’s not like a bulletproof plan or anything.

But, I did think about the post from the other day a lot after posting it, as it might have sounded like I was giving the ultimate tips on how to multitask, I wasn’t. ALL mothers multitask, without thinking about it, all the time. All women probably do, as well. Our problem is probably that we multitask too much that our brains never really relax. So I wasn’t saying that I’d all of a sudden realised that hey, I can listen to radio when I’m cooking and do TWO things at the same time!

So I always find it good to ponder about how I spend my time, where to make adjustments and question what’s more important in a week, and what can get done if the time is there. If you live your life without any thoughts regarding this or fail to remind yourself of your priorities, chances are you end up doing a majority of things that aren’t really that important to you. I mean really important. Let’s face it; we don’t have enough time for everything that we need and want to do, so we have to make choices.

Multitasking can be quite the useless skill actually and is not always something to be striving towards. It’s been shown that we perform less efficient, when working for example, if we tend to multitask. We should really focus on one thing at a time, that makes us work faster task by task. But that’s a side point.

Plutten

It wasn’t my plan to get a cold this week however. So I’m not really getting anything done and the days just go by. The lack of sleep I’m naturally experiencing with a little baby is even worse as a runny nose and cough is making it harder to sleep when I get to sleep. Oh well, not to complain too much. Just need to get better and hope that Aiden doesn’t catch it. So far so good.