Friday, August 29, 2014

Leap of Loveliness

Milla's loveliness has skyrocketed this week. She grins at strangers, giggles at me and rides a tiny invisible bike very fast when left on her back to squirm around. I can hear her chatting from the other end of the house.

Last night I gave her big feeds and put her to bed at 10:30pm without protest. We woke to Charlie's alarm at 5:30am, and Milla was still totally asleep and peaceful in her bed. The longest sleep I've had in maybe... six months?

Harem pants!

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I have a recurring dream. Milla is in bed with us. I'd fed her. But where is she? I wake up, searching the bedding and ask Charlie. Did I finish feeding? Where is she?
It's weeks since I fed her in bed, and since Milla has slept overnight outside our room, but my subconscious finds this dream gripping night after night.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Spring is here. Jasmine smells and warm days.

Walked up and around Newport Lakes yesterday. Maybe only the fifth time I've been there, and not for months. I'm always amazed at how good it is and want to make the most of it. It's an old quarry, where the bluestones our house is made of likely came from.

Newport Lakes walking path. 
Today we visited Werribee Park, toured the sculpture gardens and sat in the sun. Milla slept the whole trip, and had a long luxurious feed upon return home. The afternoon disappeared.

Brilliant day at Werribee Park. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


It's a mad business.

Breastfeeding. And the stakes are high. Not as simple as wanting Milla to thrive. It's about every aspect of daily life and family relationships and physicality.

Maybe there's nothing wrong. I have blisters and a scab. But not much pain when she feeds. It burns afterwards. So. Is that life? Or is there a problem?

One dear friend suggests not enough supply. Try to relax.

Another, thrush. Get medication and air boobs.

The maternal health nurse says attachment looks fine, treat for thrush anyway.

The chemist says breastfeeding hurts and to take Panadol and suck it up.

I'll breastfeed every four hours, both sides, for 20-30 minutes with minimal discomfort. Then a half serve of formula. And I'll take probiotics and air boobs and rinse with bicarb.

And Milla will continue to be cheerful and eat whatever I put in front of her.

After feeding today. Ha. Cutie. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best day

Yesterday was The Best Day. Milla was a sweetheart all day long and we were so happy. She napped, fed, smiled and soaked up the view in the sweetest way. And after all was done, she slept the whole night in her crib in the Ballroom, waking just before 5am with a cheerful face. Oh, sweetness.

Yesterday I rode for 30 minutes on the bike at home, with Milla looking and listening on. It felt amazing, the first time I've really exercised and got the buzz for months... Probably since my last run in May. I also played with my camera!

New camera joy. 

Week seven snapshot
Highlight: Riding while Milla looked on happily.
Sleeping: Milla sleeping on her tummy as I anxiously watch on.
Visit: To Tolmie!
Activity: Grunting in response to being kissed!

Monday, August 18, 2014

High Country

A long anticipated trip to the high country with Miss Milla. It was a 24-hour 'trip' which tested us greatly. Perhaps it's the legendary week 6 bout of crying, perhaps it was the flickering light of the fire and candles, but upon arrival at Mum's house at Tolmie, Milla cried for 3 hours. It was a dismal time, as I was pumping for most of this time, it was cold and not at all relaxing.

Afterwards, around 11pm, we all went to sleep and Milla woke at predictable, reasonable times for her next feeds (3am and 7am). In the morning we took a walk and looked at the creek. I was so curious to know what she was seeing, feeling, hearing. Was it the birds? The creek babbling? The tree tops and cool air? It certainly had a restorative feeling. It was great to be on the road together.

I started reading through the Canon EOS 70D manual, no shots yet, hoping this week I'll have some time.

Down by the creek in the morning sun. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Day

A day in my life: the life of a newborn, the life of me, trying to breastfeed, the life of us, with Charlie as co-parent. A day of Milla at six weeks old.

Swaddled with her sweet baby face on. 
  • 5:17 - Milla cries out from her bassinet, one last snuggle with Charlie then I get up, go to toilet, drink water and get myself set up to feed 
  • 5:30 - start feeding
  • 5:40 - Charlie gets up and makes me breakfast and coffee
  • 6:00 - finished feed, snuggle on chair 
  • 6:30 - Charlie leaves for work, put Milla on floor and do some housework (washing on, dishes away, bench clear), drink more water. 
  • 6:45 - Milla grizzles, rides a tiny invisible bike on floor, I change her nappy 
  • 7:00 - start writing blog post with Milla in my left arm, trying to keep her out of way of my sore boobs, she falls asleep (and is super cute)
  • 7:25 - try to put her down, asleep, and put on washing, creep around
  • 7:30 - head to bed. Milla starts crying 
  • 7:31 - get up and swaddle, back to computer
  • 7:52 - try going to bed again
  • 8:55 - alarm goes off, yay, one hour sleep! Milla asleep. Hang washing out, pay some bills, eat sandwich, get dressed for exercise, organise car capsule and nappy bag 
  • 9:20 - wake Milla from swaddle to feed before going to exercise class
  • 9:25 - feeding too painful, panic, and heat formula that Charlie prepared this morning
  • 9:50 - finish feeding formula, race to car 
  • 10:05 - arrive exercise class late, Milla grizzly, eventually falls asleep
  • 11:10 - back to car after class
  • 12:30 - home after running errands (dropping blankets to Asylum Seeker Resource Centre) and getting some groceries (buying pinots from Seddon Wine Store). Snack, toilet, start pumping
  • 12:55 - pumping and on computer, Milla in car capsule (guilty mum), asleep and cute
  • 1:10 - Milla awake and grizzly, I pick her up, still trying to pump, not easy!
  • 1:15 - have pumped 100ml, hope it's enough, head outside to feed in sunshine and talk on phone 
  • 1:50 - sitting in sun after feed, do some gardening then ready to pump again, less successful. Milla in bassinet, happy, and I took to singing 'You are my Sunshine', which she liked. Then irate, and I discovered she was wet through, scrubbed mattress, new nappy (first poo since Monday!), rinse on, Milla still grumpy, put her down and found 'You are my Sunshine' duet from the Dylan-Cash sessions, and turned it up. Walked away and cut up vegies for dinner, did dishes, boiled bottles, load of washing on. Crept up hallway to see Milla asleep. 
  • 3:25 - sitting to pump, listening to Dylan-Cash on repeat, sweet potatoes roasting
  • 3:40 - Milla starts to howl. I turn off potatoes, eat a chia pudding
  • 3:50 - Milla still howling, get her into Ergo for (5km round trip) walk to shops to buy formula :( 
  • 4:55 - Home and warming up expressed milk for hungry Milla
  • 5:15 - finished feed, notice leaking and put Milla down and set up to pump, sterilise teats and turn off potatoes
  • 5:25 - Milla grizzling so start to swaddle
  • 5:35 - Charlie home, just as Milla starts screaming, pours a beer for us
  • 5:40 - I make salad, put Dylan & Cash on, Charlie gets Milla and brings her to kitchen, then cooks steaks
  • 6:00 - dinner dished up, sigh
  • 6:15 - pump
  • 6:40 - shower and dressed to head out, friend comes to join us
  • 7:00 - nappy change and into Ergo, head to Substation for art prize
  • 9:00 - home from exhibition, cups of tea with friends
  • 9:30 - Milla still asleep in Ergo with Charlie, woke to feed expressed milk. I watch them as I pump
  • 9:45 - finished feed. Both so tired.
  • 10:00 - pumping, Charlie changes nappy and chats with Milla
  • 10:30 - settle Milla, head to bed
  • 2:15 - alarm goes off, five hours since last feed, I can't hear Milla so snuggle and procrastinate
  • 2:45 - get up and warm formula Charlie prepared before bed, Milla starts to grizzle
  • 3:00 - finish feeding and reswaddle
  • 3:45 - second try at putting Milla down to sleep, start to pump
  • 4:25 - after reading lots of 'day in the life of a newborn' blog posts, I am so bored and sick of pumping, I creep towards bed. Pumped 60 ml, not enough for a feed, but enough to stop boobs hurting. 
  • 4:30 - asleep! Until we woke just before 7am. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

6 Weeks

Rediscovering Tumblr, finding photographic inspiration. Camera should arrive from Hong Kong any moment. Will be going to an exhibition opening tomorrow and the Substation Contemporary Art Prize on Friday, so will be freshly inspired, I expect.

Beautiful quilt made for Milla with fabrics from Maningrida. 

Trying to move to four-hourly feeding, and have taken to pumping and occasional formula while my damaged nipples get a break. Milla is still sleeping very well overnight but has had some 'velcro baby' sessions where she grizzles and howls and just wants to be held. 
  • Highlight: weighing in at 3950 on her 6 week anniversary
  • Learning: the physical challenges of breastfeeding
  • Sleeping: in the Ballroom for the first time - crib finally out of our room (only during day, though, so far)
  • Visit: first house party and visit to a Brunswick bar
  • Activity: pumping, wah. 

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Smiling at each other. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Push Camera

Wish me luck on this next journey. I'd like to think of it as a comeback as it infers I'll be able to access talent and skill that are simply latent, not gone.

Shocked as I was to learn of 'push presents', I was even more surprised (pleased too!) when Charlie gave me one, in the form of cash to buy a digital SLR set up.

I haven't gone too crazy so there's still room in the budget. Maybe I'll take some kind of course if I need some direction.

Somehow I decided on Canon, maybe it seems all those around me with serious DSLRs have EOS cameras. So of course I found a set up that was double the budget. I spent a lot of time reading online reviews, reacquainting myself with the terminology mostly. I feel very much like a beginner.

Then I cut back a little and decided on the Canon EOS 70D. Upon advice, included a nifty fifty (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II) for portraits as I'm sure Miss Milla will be a prime subject, as well as a walkaround (Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di Canon-ef).

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Five weeks

A wonderful day followed by a grizzly day. Perhaps she's hungry. Back to supplementing. And using the morning to pump. Amazing what difference small bits of information can make - pumping in the morning yields the most, it's a fact. So I can stop wasting time and emotional energy pumping in the evening. Great.
Demonstrating the swaddle + Icelandic blanket, a popular combo. 

From my yellow chair, watching iview, researching the camera purchase, listening to Milla's noises, booking MIFF ticket.

Week five snapshot:
  • Highlight: the view of Milla's eyelashes when in the Ergo
  • Learning: the settling power of swaddle
  • Sleeping: Milla sleeps well and we need to wake her to feed
  • Visit: family dinner at Wattle Glen on Sunday, lovely to have the village meet Milla.
  • Activity: trying to sell Milla on the bouncer.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Four weeks

We're still on a three-hour feeding cycle, where lil miss kindly will skip a nighttime feed, and wake up right on the dot for daytime feeds. Fingers crossed. Nipples and boobs sore, supply consistent. No formula since Wednesday.
Arms up!
One month of her life. We feel we know you quite well. Eyelashes that reach to the eyebrows, fat lips, funny hair. You don't mind loud music or wind on your face. Today you reached out to touch Charlie's face. Lots of smiles.

After bath, glistening with coconut oil. Trying to teach  her about kisses.
I'm in the market for a DSLR, my first! And have been researching when I can this week. It's a long while since I really took pride in my photos and this acquisition will hopefully herald a new era. Currently thinking a Canon 70D, not sure what lens. Taking recommendations.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Alert Baby 1

Milla is gorgeous when she sleeps and especially gorgeous during her alert periods. Her expressions and the way she tracks action and responds to us make us smile. Often it starts when her nappy is off and she has a kick and starts happily gazing around.

Alert Baby 1 on the lookout.
We are slowly learning that after a short period of this gorgeousness, she gets weary and then rapidly overtired, bringing down the house. Time, swaddling, more patience and love that we think we have - these are the answers to overtired Milla.

Yesterday she and I took a long walk to pick up crappy quality photos from Officeworks then on to Yarraville. There was gale force winds, lots of sun, and we walked for 4kms. She held onto the brim of her hat the whole way, and snoozed until the last minutes when big trains blasted their horns.

She's bundled somewhere in there. 
I feel I'm coping well with the sleep I get, catching naps here and there. Charlie less so, and being back at work is a challenge for us. Still feeding roughly every 3 hours (3 - 6 - 9 - 12) and as of this week, no more formula as Milla weighed in at 3.56 when we saw the nurse on Tuesday. She possetted in the clinic as we undressed her, pooed on my hand as I carried her nude to the scales, then weed on the scales as she lay there. So I'm sure she would have weighed more as we entered the clinic!