Zoe - Month Two

Zoe still sleeps a lot but definitely has times where she is more awake and alert than during her first month. She is generally a really good morning person, which she must get from me. We take things easy in general because this is such a short period of our lives and I want to enjoy her as much as I can. We tend to rise about 9.00am and it's during the hours that follow where she is most awake. She generally falls back to sleep around 11.30/noon. I still bathe her in the morning, every 2/3 days and afterwards she has a huge feed and sleeps for an hour or so if she is on my arms but only 20 or so minutes if she's in her crib. She always falls asleep in my arms during a feed. I cuddle her and put her down but she wakes shortly afterwards. 

When she is really in need of a sleep (if she has been awake for a few hours) or she keeps nodding off but waking, I will just hold her and to make sure she has a longer sleep. During her second month she has spent most of the day in my arms sleeping. I try not to put pressure on myself to get things done because this won't last forever. We get out most days but definitely not every day. During her first month she slept every time she was in the pram. However this month there have been a few times she has cried and I have cut our walk short or ended up feeling trapped in the park nursing her and unable to put her back into the pram without waking and crying. 

I had a moment when she was about 5 weeks old when she cried the whole way to the park (about 5 min), fell asleep suddenly and halfway around the park started screaming again. I took her out, fed her and put her back down. She slept another 5 minutes or so but woke again inconsolable. It was also after a very bad night's sleep so I knew she needed to sleep. I sat down on another seat under a tree and no word of a lie, I nursed her on and off for over an hour and a half and every time she was asleep I tried putting her back into the pram. She would wake and want to feed again. The weather was so hot that I didn't want to carry her home exposed to the sun. Eventually I had to bear the crying and managed the 10 minute walk back to the apartment feeling like an absolute failure of a mother. It was the first moment feelings of inadequacy simmered up into my heart. It was the first time too I thought "I can't do this. I want her to go back inside". I also felt really alone, like I had no support. I yearned for a mummy friend close-by here in Munich to talk to and hang out with, one that didn't exude perfection but who felt just as clueless as me. I was exhausted and emotional and so was Zoe. I remember thinking "let's just write off this day and go back to bed", which we did. That said it wasn't a complete waste. Zoe and I both slept for a couple of hours skin on skin and then just hung out in bed for another couple when Ian got home. The evening was so much better and I was grateful I had the chance to take it easy. What would I do if I had other children? 

During the afternoon, Zoe sleeps on and off. Sometimes we are out in the car (where she always sleeps), others we are out with the pram but mostly we are at home on the sofa. I must admit my bum has become very flat because of all this sitting. Little one sleeps on me from 7.00pm ish until 01.00am with a few feeds in between but straight back to sleep. 

At the beginning of the month, Zoe started waking for a feed around 2/3am but stayed awake for three to four hours after that so 5/6/7am. I think it's that long stretch during the night that has caused me to begin to feel quite tired these days and of course not having a full nights sleep in over ten weeks doesn't help either. For those 3 or 4 hours every night I tried everything to put her back to sleep. She also fed a lot during that time. Up until this, she slept in her own crib until dawn but after several nights of this carry on I gave in and just had her in the bed with us from 2/3am. At least I can rest a little in between fussiness. Her fussiness not mine. We went to Ireland towards the end of her 6th week and there I had her in the bed with us from the beginning of the night -- although we weren't in bed any earlier than 12.30 any night. I thought "this is it, she'll never sleep in her crib again". 

However, when we returned to Munich she slept the first three nights in her crib. Since then though she has been in our bed every single night and now refuses to nap in her crib. We have tried things such as a hot water bottle, clothes of ours with our scent, sitting by her crib rubbing her back, bum or head, singing to her, having her musical night light projector on but she just dislikes her crib so much. Sometimes I worry about this but then other times I remind myself she won't be in our bed when she is 20! I just know there has to come a time where there will be tears when we transition her to her own bed but that's future Ian and Gemma's problem. For now I am just going to enjoy waking up to a smiley face looking up at me.

 This little girl loves to feed and I love letting her. She has no schedule or routine, just whenever she wants which is very often. She nurses for short periods of time but very frequently. Sometimes it's twice or three times and hour, other times it's every hour or two hours but pretty much never goes longer then two hours except for one stretch of three hours at night. One night hopefully  I'll get at least a five hour gap from her and will be delighted with that. I still use my fake nipple thing but she has also been latching on my normal one from time to time. They are quite cracked and painful. During my 6 week check up, after I had read that those nipples are designed for short term use only, I asked my gynaecologist about it. He said if it's working okay for us why change it and it saves my nipples from being too damaged. And it does work fine for us, the only thing is it has to be sterilised every day and she makes a bit of a mess while nursing, other than that it's not inconvenient at all. 

There have been many days this month where we have sat on the sofa pretty much all day and just nursed. The pump we rented from the chemist was returned so I have no more expressed milk to give her, so I am feeding solely myself. I think once this month I left a little sob out of me but not a cry, more a moan, when she woke up for her 8th feed one night in as little as five hours. Generally it doesn't bother me in the slightest getting up to feed her. I wonder how Ian would deal with it if he had to. He doesn't even hear her. I think two maybe three nights she had disturbed him. But it was literally him putting his hand on her chest, saying "There, there Zoe" and falling straight back to sleep and another when he covered his ears with a stuffed toy. He has no idea what our nights are like really and to be honest I wouldn't swap places with him for all the money in the world, I love waking up to see her. 

Sleeveless Summer Vests, Short sleeved and legged sleep suits, strawberry playsuit and pink bolero for the dress she was going to wear during the meal part of her Baptism. Lots of batteries for her night light she received from her Aunt and Uncle and her swing, which she is sitting in from time to time. Passport and Emergency Passport. Swimsuit for 3-6 months in the sale, mid-month she finally went from Size 1 nappies to 2 so lots of nappies. The Gruffalo and Who makes that sound? books, a pretzel teether and shaker thing because she is reacting more to sounds and the teether will come in handy in the coming months and it's German!!

Milestones and General Information: 
Zoe certainly cries a lot more than she did in her first month. 

Zoe was almost 8 weeks when she smiled for the first time. She is still an absolute star when it comes to falling asleep and sleep smiles, don't even get me started on her sleep belly laughs. However, I thought the smiles would never come. They are very subtle and not very frequent which has me worrying that maybe she is not a happy baby. Ian saw her smile a couple of days before I did. Ons day, July 15th to be exact, I was photographing Zoe in bed beside me when I was treated to her delicate smile. Her first one that I witnessed and I caught it on camera. Anyone who saw the photo (below) had to be told but I know it was a genuine smile. 

Her head is also getting that bit stronger. We are awful at doing tummy time because she cries every time. When she is lying on my chest she lifts it up a lot when I talk to her. I notice when i carry her up straight too she can hold it up better than before.

During her first month she only turned her head to the right so we have been encouraging her to turn it to the left too. Towards the end of the month she started really reacting to our voices and turning in both directions. 

While we were home in Ireland, the night before she turned 7 weeks, I had her lying on the bed and I heard her voice for the first time. Up until now it was all grunts and zombie like noises but suddenly I heard her coo. It was adorable. 

Speaking of noises, she has definitely lost her newborn cry and has developed this new one that has a nice little tantrum within it. The first time we heard it we got a terrible fright because we thought she was in pain. Now we know she just has a fine little temper on her, no patience. Both Ian and I are pretty patient people but I know my mother's and grandmother's side have some fiery family members. I reckon she's going to be a feisty young lady. 

Zoe will also spend a little bit of time playing on her play mat, perhaps 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes I play with her but other times I leave her explore by herself. She is also sitting a lot longer in her baby swing. Sometimes I get a whole meal before she looks to come out. 

I noticed that Zoe started getting baby acne especially on the right side of her face. With a little bit of detective work I realised it was actually from the body moisturiser so obviously I have stopped using it. Ill sacrifice smooth arms for a spot free baby.

Zoe still loves baths thank goodness. I gave her her first bath on my own this month. Ian always wants to be there because well what can I say, her baths are adorable. He was so disappointed when I did one without him but she really needed one. She peed in it once this month and pooped once too. She cried briefly when I take her out. Afterwards she has a massive feed and always a long nap. 

Zoe does not really enjoy baby wearing. Twice she enjoyed her time in the Boba wrap but since then she has screamed everytime. Ian tried her in a normal baby carrier which we borrowed from a friend. She went to the bin room in it recently with Ian and seemed to be happy enough. However it is missing the back support so I think we will invest in a new one. Baby wearing will certainly make my day to day life a lot easier in terms of getting housework done, food eaten and will save me having to drag the pram down a small staircase.

Zoe loves the car and always falls asleep as soon as the engine starts. She puts her little hands on the big seat belt every time and it’s super cute.I always sit in the back with her, except when we were in Ireland. That was only because we had a front facing baby seat from the car rental company.
I put a few of her newborn baby grows away during week 6 and to be honest it hurt my heart a little. 

She also wore a dress for the first time (well her christening gown). We tried a dress on her too which we planned to put her in during the day of her baptism (but didn’t because the weather was so miserable). She was not impressed with it or us. She much prefers her babygrows.

Our entire trip to Ireland. I was a little apprehensive about our first flight but it was so perfect. Ian wasn't home from work until 04.00am and our flight was 11.20am. the trip to airport takes an hour by bus, underground and suburban train. We had to be there two hours before the flight and had to allow for disruptions such as feeds and nappy changes. We left the house at 08.00am and the journey went according to plan. We delivered our bags to the bag drop where unfortunately we were told we had to leave the pram there too. We weren't expecting that. Luckily Munich is not a big airport and the gate is close to the security section. We ate breakfast and took turns holding Zoe. 

We boarded the plane at around 11.00am and took our seats near the back. Almost immediately the nicest Air Steward called Eoin came to us to show how to use the seatbelt and told us he was there for anything we needed. He kept his fingers crossed too that we had the row to ourselves, which thankfully we did. 

I put Zoe on the breast a few minutes after we took off, as it's really once the plane has ascended that ears start popping. Almost immediately she fell asleep, as did Ian. I bought a bottle of water when the trolley came round and settled in for my first flight with my little family. Eoin came over to check on me a few times throughout the flight and even offered me free tea and biscuits. He really was extremely helpful. Zoe woke once and I changed her nappy in the toilet which was a strange experience but fine. She didn't cry at all and I fed her again as we descended. Along the way everyone we met was so friendly and helpful. 

We travelled back to Waterford in our hired car, stopping twice to feed Zoe. It was brilliant being reunited with family. My sister was home from France with her two children, my brother was on holidays with his two and my other brother had recently moved home from Australia. Everyone got to meet Zoe for the first time, except Mum who had already. We had friends who came to visit us and Zoe on the first evening (Thursday) and more on Friday afternoon and night. 

Zoe’s baptism was held on Saturday where she met the majority of her family on Ian’s side. It was such an enjoyable day. One part that felt most poignant for me, was bringing her to my father’s grave to introduce her. Ian, Mum, my sister and her two children, Zoe and I stood in the wind and rain yet everything seemed so warm and peaceful. He would have made the most wonderful of grandfathers. My aim is to keep his spirit alive in Zoe’s life and continue to tell her about him and play all the fun games he played with us as children. 
After the baptism all of the guests came back to my mother’s house where we had a really enjoyable night. 

The following day we lunched again with Ian’s family and spent the evening with mine. On Monday all of my aunts and uncles came for morning tea and scones and to meet the latest addition to the Hearne family. Later we visited Ian’s ex-colleauges and called out to his parents to say goodbye. That evening we went to the beach and had fish and chips with my siblings, mum and niece and nephew and later went to the amusement park. After packing up that night, our little family hit the road to Dublin at 02.30am and headed back to Munich. The visit to Ireland was way too short but we enjoyed every second of it, well maybe not the weather. Next time I’ll get to see more people. 

I think the low point of the month was that day when she was 5 weeks old and she cried during the walk, which I discussed in the sleeping section. It was the first time I felt like I wasn’t cut out for motherhood. I was overwhelmed and felt like only this happens to me, that everyone else’s baby didn’t cry and if they did mother knew exactly why and what to do. 

The day in the park where I was camped out nursing her and trying to get her back into her pram without crying. Then back to bed where she roared, fed and finally fell asleep and the day improved 100%. 

How I'm doing:
My post-partum bleeding stopped completely during week 5 and seriously wasnt as horrible as I thought it would be. I visioned it being heavyish like the first few days of a period. However it was really quite light. 
My scar is healing nicely especially after getting the stitches removed exactly 4 weeks after the section. 
Breastfeeding is going really well. My right nipple is sore but not unbearable. My milk supply has regulated itself and I don’t leak or get engorged. If anything, I feel like my breasts are always empty, yet Zoe is gaining weight and has wet and dirty nappies so I certainly do have milk. 

I am tired but seriously thought I would feel exhausted and that it would be unbearable. I still average 4/5 hours a night but sometimes as little as 2/3. I definitely felt tireder during my first trimester. 

I guess because I don’t have any commitments or other responsibilities it’s easier to cope with. I don’t see people often so I probably don’t notice the tiredness. The only time I struggle a bit is when Zoe doesn’t go back to sleep during her night feeds. I have started napping sometimes with her in the evening on the sofa. 

Food-wise I am doing so badly. I am having a terrible diet of mainly bread. It doesn’t get cold, I can eat it one handed and there is no preparation to it. I also reach for sugary foods such as chocolate and icecream in between my meals of rolls and slices of bread. I feel like I never get time to eat properly. I have gone to bed many nights without dinner because Zoe cries if I put her down. I do want to eat more vegetables and it’s my aim for next month. I do however eat porridge and fruit for breakfast so at least I have some nutrition. 

Emotionally, I am still on cloud 9 and full of love for our little girl. Sometimes I feel like I am going to burst with love when I look at or think about her. I think my hormones have balanced out and I haven’t cried once this month. I am generally happy and believe I am okay to be around. Besides a couple of bad days of feeling like a mummy failure this month I am doing great mood wise.

Sterilising gone wrong

So guys, that’s it for my second month as a new mummy. Let’s see what the next month has in store for us.

Thanks for stopping by.

With Love,

gem xx


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