April 9, 2018

Update: 4 Months of Roey Gold

‘It goes so fast.’ The mantra of every parent and it’s true. How is it 4 months since you all hung up your Christmas stockings, and I pushed out a little (big) baby?! It. Goes. So. Fast.
But we’ve loved every second. Parts of it have been challenging but it’s all been wonderful. I thought as we find our rhythm and begin to settle into life with 2 I’d give a little update on life in the Neusch home!
If you didn’t read about her birth and you’re the kind of person that likes those, you can read it all HERE. I had every induction method under the sun then a short fast, labour!

COLIC

 

The question I’ve been asked the most is about colic so i’ll talk about that first. If you’ve expereinced or are experiencing a colicky child, I feel for you like I could not have done 4 months ago. Honestly, colic is horrific and it was really hard on our family. I’m incredible grateful that we managed to sort it out as fast as we did.
For the first month Roey just slept, she was very peaceful, a good sleeper, only woke up once in the night even at 2 and 3 weeks old. We thought we’d struck lucky. I felt amazing, rested and we were loving life. Then our parents left, and suddenly everything changed.
I decided that I should stop making myself a different high protein breakfast (THESE delicious chocolate protein pancakes!) from the boys every morning and just eat bowls of oatmeal with them too. We couldn’t have known what this would do, after all aren’t oats the golden food of breastfeeding?!
Slowly a bad day of crying turned into 2 days, a week, 2 weeks, a month… and just kept going. The stroller/pushchair lived indoors so I could rock her in it constantly. The only way she’d go to sleep or stop crying at all was strapped to me in the baby wrap and dancing around the room for hours. Day in, day out. I didn’t think anything was ‘wrong’ I just thought ‘wow Clayton was easy and now we have a cryer. She was still eating well, growing, not getting sick so we knew there was nothing we were doing wrong we just thought this was her.
2 months into it my sister asked me,’Is she crying more than three hours a day, three days a week?’ I laughed, ‘it’s 3 hours EVERY day’ I told her, ‘with no exception’.  Apparently that is the threshold for colic. I didn’t know anything about colic so I got reading.  There are lots of different thoughts about it and what causes it. You can read more HERE. But there’s no specific way to treat it.

REMEDIES

There are so many things people suggested, you guys included. Top of the list was: cutting out foods, chiropractic treatment, essential oils, hylands colic tablets, and colic/gripe water. We’d been using gripe water daily and it helped a little some of the time but the other remedy that felt right in m gut was to try an elimination diet. Babies can be very affected by what we eat as it transfers into the breastmilk.  I NEEDED relief, physically, emotionally, and for our family so I decided to cut out cold turkey every potential problem food. I’m hesitant to say what I cut out because I don’t believe in unnecessarily restricting a diet and actually having a wide ranging diet is so much better for breastfed babies so only do any elimination diet in combination with your pediatrician, please. I started by cutting out dairy (the most common problem food in breast milk), gluten, soy, cruciferous veggies, nuts, peanuts, caffeine (cocoa, chocolate and all coffee, even decaf.) I had a lot of people tell me that eggs and oats were also potential problem foods which I fought but then eliminated them too knowing I just wanted this solved. THIS became my go to breakfast smoothie (without cauliflower and with carob instead of cocoa, and my diet is still very simple with lots os salads, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, and seed butter!

THE RESULT

Within 48 hours of making those changes, Roey stopped crying. It was a night and day difference in our child. A few days in I was making breakfast and looked down at her, calm and happy, in her Mamaroo and remember thinking ‘I want to pick her up and cuddle her.’ It hit me that until this point I just hadn’t wanted to pick her up. The emotional toll of colic is real. Once we knew what we were dealing with, Jared and I could admit how hard it had been.  I didn’t feel any love for her, I didn’t want to pick her up, I just wanted her to be asleep. Feeling love, and starting to get to know any enjoy our baby at 3 months old was the sweetest thing in the world.

SLEEP

From early on I’ve tried to find a loose schedule for both babies. You can read all about our schedules from birth in The Whole Food Baby Ebook, but currently we’re feeding every 3 hours at 7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm. She landed easily on that schedule by about a month old, but her nights were a total joke. The colic affected her night sleep much more than the days and we were up every hour in the night for weeks.  I took it’s toll on me.
Once we figured out the colic, within a week she started sleeping through the night. She’s not consistently doing it, and a lot of nights we feed at 4am then back to sleep until the 7am feed.  I’m just letting her do that for now and we’ll see how long it goes on for. I currently have 2 noise machines in my Amazon cart – I didn’t want to turn to them as a parent, but how oh many things we vowed we’d never do as parents are now part of our lives. And it’s very ok.
I cried for days trying to get Clayton on a schedule. The books all told me he should be sleeping in 2 hour chunks so I fought and fought. Every nap of every day I thought I was failing. Nothing on earth got a nap longer than 45 minutes out of him before 6 months. Happily while Roey’s night sleep is not as fab, she’s a better napper during the day – and the noises she can sleep through astound me. Hashtag: second child.

POSTPARTUM HEALTH

 

For me 4 months on, my body is is still finding its new normal. It’s a weird and wonderful journey navigating our bodies post partum and if I’m honest it’s one I don’t always ace.  Staying fit and in shape during pregnancy both times was just naturally easy for me.  Adjusting to a new schedule with less time, little sleep, and a new baby is much harder for me. I decided to quit my gym membership and move to at home workouts and running because it felt better for family life. I don’t regret the decision but it’s a new way of working out for me! I’m doing a workout subscription by Becky from Good For The Swole and I LOVE it. I tried Kayla Itsines but just didn’t fall in love with the workouts and I have to have something I love.  Diastasis Recti has also been a product of both pregnancies so the Kayla Itsines ones just weren’t suitable for me.  All Becky’s workout are designed for post partum mamas so they’re safe for me. I’ve also been doing THIS 30 minute crunches Ab workout which I did daily after Clayton’s brith and successfully brought my abs back together again from a four finger gap between them.
Four months post partum was when hormones hit me with Clayton and this time I’m trying to do a better job with asking for help, taking naps, prioritising sleep, and going slow. When Clayton was 4 weeks old I went back to working till 3am in the morning making hundred of doughnuts which in hindsight was not a wise move.  This time I knew I had to take it more slowly and I’m doing better at assessing how I’m doing, and keeping like manageable and relatively calm.
There can be such a feeling that we have to ‘bounce back’ physically and in life after birth, especially with social media and the ample opportunities to compare ourselves. I’ve had to unfollow accounts that show before and after photos from working out because honestly I look more like all the before photos right now! But that’s perfect for me at the moment. I’m bouncing, 100% but I’m bouncing into being a new mum not ‘back’ into anything. My body is on a journey, my emotions, mind, family, and every part of me are on a journey forward into  the next stage of life and it gets to look however it needs to. Read more about my post partum body journey HERE and a post from this point after Clayton’s birth HERE where I talked about finding the ‘perfect’ post baby body.

CLAYTON’S ADJUSTMENT

We talked a lot about Roey’s arrival during my pregnancy and loved reading THIS book with him. (Top tip: if you want to keep your baby name a secret, don’t tell your toddler. Now we know.) For the first weeks of having a sister he was very calm about it. He either ignored her, or kissed her. AS the weeks have gone on and definitely influrenced by the colic he’s had a harder time sharing parents, cuddles, and airtime. Now if she has a bad moment of crying he immediately acts out, he’ll mimick her cry, try to throw things (largely at her, yes) or try to kick her or punch her.  We try to sympathize with him and say that we don’t enjoy the crying either and explain to him, but we also use timeouts too if he can’t choose to be calm around her.
Aside from when she cries, he’s having a hard time sharing Jared. He’s honesty not so bothered about sharing me but if I say ‘Jared can you take Roey in a sec while I do XYZ.’ He’ll immediately run to Jared and ask to be picked up. He’ll let us know, ‘Mama Roey, me Daddy’ is the way life is supposed to go! But we’re trying to work on sharing!
At the same time, he’ll run to try and sooth her if she cries, and he loves making her smile so it’s a mixed bag but in general he’s figuring out how to have a sister and watching them play together is about the best thing ever!

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