A life-changing decision

So, I never in a million years thought I would say this.

We are moving to Sweden!

I was so sure I was in the right place, that we were gonna stay here. I always said I’m never going back. But somewhere along the way it changed. When Emma was born and my parents were visiting the thought started somewhere, but I still dismissed it. And to be honest, I never thought Odi would be open to the idea. And after they’d left it got stronger and stronger. With a new baby and a whole new life I started realizing how alone we were. I started thinking about my childhood, and having a huge family and so many family friends around and I realized that we don’t have that. And even if we could get out more and make more connections it just won’t be the same. Not to mention the help, that we don’t have here, with the baby and the dogs and everything. They say it takes a village, and we definitely do not have a village here.

The more I started missing my family and friends, the more I saw what we’re missing here and everything we would have there. And it made me really sad. How much they would miss with Emma, and how much I’m gonna miss. For myself this place is amazing to live, for us as a couple too, and we don’t really have a need to a huge social life. But as a family, and for Emma, as parents, for me as a mom, all of sudden this place didn’t feel right anymore.

We went back and forth for some time, and non of us like being in an in between, we’re people who take action. I still felt that the right decision would be clear at one point or another. The more I thought about it the more I realized that all we really have in life is time, and all that’s really important is your loved ones. So we decided that it was time for a new adventure.

I never thought it would be scarier moving back than it was to move away. I guess it’s because I never thought I would, and because I left for a reason. But I am a different person now, and my life is different, and I need different things, we do. So there are a lot of things that are unclear, and there are so many things that need to fall into place, but it feels like the right choice.

As usual with us it all went really fast too, as soon as we decided we started fixing everything and all of a sudden we were moving in a few weeks. Odi decided to stay behind and work a bit more before joining us, which is obviously so hard for all of us. We sold all our stuff, hired a moving company and then we were off.

I cannot believe that we’re doing this. It’s so unreal and I have no idea if this is gonna be the right thing. But one thing is for sure, you need to follow your heart and your gut. And what’s the worst thing that can happen? We end up not liking to live there and we move somewhere else. We really have so many choices, sometimes to many, and making one doesn’t mean it’s forever, maybe it’s just for right now.

It feels so weird and a bit sad to leave this chapter behind. Barcelona has given me so much, so much self development, so many dreams, so many good times, parties and amazing amazing memories, moving here also meant meeting the love of my life, getting engaged, having my baby girl and one extra fluffy baby too. I will always be so extremely happy that we moved here and for all the times we’ve spent here. It’s gonna be sad to leave, but I’m so excited to be closer to our loved ones, and to see what this new adventure has to offer.

When you think you’ve got it all figured out…

So here we were, settling into our routine really well, she started sleeping well in her crib, she was eating quite regularly, and BAM. All of a sudden she didn’t want to sleep unless she was ON someone and she started cluster feeding. And for those of you who doesn’t know what cluster feeding is. It’s when she eats, ALL THE F’KING TIME. I have never been more grateful for being able to just text my doula and ask what’s up cause I was going completely crazy. It’s not only that she eats for a long time, it’s that she eats for like 15 minutes, let go, sleeps for 2 minutes, and then wakes up hungry again, and goes on like that for TWO HOURS. So every time she lets go you think she’s done, but noooo. And little did I know, that was just the beginning. Last night she was eating for the most part of FIVE HOURS.

BUT after I got the respons from my doula that it was normal and that she might go on like that for some time, I realized that there was no point going crazy but just get settled on the couch and try to relax. This apparently happens because they’re in a growth spurt and start needing more milk so they eat like crazy to promote the production. And it also means that I need to eat and drink more, and feel even more thirsty than usually (usually is already a hung-over-as-f’-feel).

However, since our girl haven’t really gained weight as she should, we have gone to the nurse once a week to keep track. And this week she had gained perfectly, more than any other week before. And I also get to catch up on friends, cause watching the whole serie 15 times obviously isn’t enough.

Well she has just started to sleep in her bed a little again, and today she slept quite a lot. Well let’s just agree that having a baby means working on being flexible and patient. I am not giving up on create a routine though, I’m just realizing there will be more bumps on the road than I might have thought.

Tips for anyone going through this

  • Get yourself a bunch of awesome snacks
  • Choose some books to read and stuff to watch on netflix
  • Call your loved ones, what better time to be on the phone then when you’re stuck on the couch. Or if you live closer to yours than I do, why don’t you invite them over so you also have someone who can do stuff for you and bring you stuff while you sit there.
  • Get out anyway, good time to practice being comfortable with breastfeeding in public
  • Allow yourself to take a break, Jesus Christ you’ll need it.

Morning routine

In my last post I talked about creating a routine, specifically a bedtime routine, so now I’m going to continue with telling you about our morning routine.

She is starting to do her nightly feedings pretty much the same times, but since they sometimes change from night to night it’s not super easy to set a time to wake up, yet. But almost! I’m aiming for 8 and usually it suits her schedule, at least close to it. So in the mornings, this is what we do.

  • Get ready
    Unless she is really hungry already, then I do her routine before mine. But if I wake up on time and she’s calm, especially if Odi’s awake and can have his cuddle time. I get ready,
    – I do my skincare routine
    – I change my clothes and,
    – Move my stuff to the living room
  • Change
    I change her diaper and her clothes, either I do after I’ve gotten ready, or Odi does while I get ready.
  • Eat
    I always make sure I get something to eat by this time. Something more proper than the snacks I eat at night. Something to eat while I feed her, a yoghurt or oatmeal usually.
  • Feeding
    I feed her while I eat my breakfast and after I’ve eaten I either read, not necessarily something for personal development but fiction or I watch my series. My baby girl eats for about an hour so I have time, and I need to, do things at the same time haha.
  • Morning walk
    I have only been doing this for a few days, and it’s still kind of tough since it’s soooo warm. So the mornings are better since it’s not as warm, and also to make sure I actually get out and moving.
  • Journal
    The one thing that I have kept doing during this whole time when I have had other things to focus on than my morning routine. It’s important for me to journal every day, to get my thoughts in order, or at least somewhat in order.

Of course it’s not always easy to stick to a routine with a baby, sometimes we have to change and follow her schedule. When that happens I make sure to still do all the same things but maybe in a different order and some days it just takes a long time to get all of it done!

I feel so much better having a routine to follow, or at least a routine to work towards, and with time I will include more things for myself, like meditation. But I also need to give myself a break and take it one step at a time.

Bedtime Routine

In the very beginning I was struggling with not being able to continue with my routine and also struggling with getting back to it after some time. My mistake being that I was trying to get back to something I had created for myself under completely different circumstances. So after some time I realized that I needed to create a new routine, take it slow and create it with the baby and not have one for her and one for me.

She is slowly getting into somewhat of a routine with sleeping and eating and within that routine I could start including things that I wanted for her and me, baby steps of course.

Getting baby to sleep in her crib
We had her sleeping in a bed next to our bed and I wanted to start getting her used to her crib instead. So we started with putting her there during her naps. In the beginning she would just wake up straight away and not fall asleep again. But we continued to try and try every time, we also put her baby nest in the crib so she might feel more comfortable. And now she is taking long naps in the crib and even if she wakes up she falls back asleep on her own, at least some of the times.

Deciding day and night time
After reading and reading this one seemed to be important for all advice given regarding how to sleep train a baby. So we started doing bedtime routine at 8 morning routine at 8. We also decided to continue working on getting her comfortable in the crib but keep her in our bedroom at night for now.

Bedtime routine
So knowing that bedtime was at 8 we started to work out a bedtime routine and start doing that around 7.30, now that’s obviously no exact time, sometimes it ends up being 8.30 instead. The few hours between the bedtime routine and the next feeding are hours that she doesn’t want to sleep right now haha, but I believe in consistency and that eventually it will have effect. We make sure to do the same things ever day. Our bedtime routine include:

  • Bath
    I wouldn’t say a bath is necessary every day, but our little girl loves baths and her skin is a little dry so we put some coconut oil in the bath to make her skin less dry too.
  • Changing into pyjamas
    I realize that a baby doesn’t know the difference between day clothes and pyjamas, but it’s still something that signals that it’s time for bed.
  • Feeding
    Now I usually feed her where ever, in the living room usually, but this feeding and the ones during the night, I do in her room. I dim the lights, turn on some slow and nice music and I feed her around 8.

    During this feeding I have my reading time, that is reading for personal development. During the night feedings I watch Netflix to stay awake, but during this bedtime feeding I take my time to read something for my personal development.
    “The five love languages” – Gary Chapman, right now!
  • Put her to bed
    Well, that’s the idea anyway. For now she doesn’t want to sleep at this specific time. But we continue and one day, she will. We’re very grateful to not have a screaming baby though, she’s just awake, not wanting to miss out on anything, a real party girl.
  • Dinner and get ready
    So when she’s sleeping, or when she’s supposed to sleep, we have dinner and then I go get ready for bed, skincare routine, change my clothes and so on, and just be with Odi and watch TV.
  • Last feeding
    Around 11 I do one more feeding, right now she usually have been up for a while since she dosen’t want to sleep at the bedtime we set haha. So she falls right asleep after this feeding.

I feel better going into the baby room for the night feedings since that is where she will sleep eventually, because I wake up a bit from going into the next room, so that Odi get to sleep, he doesn’t have to be up just because I have to, and because I think I sleep better when I don’t both breastfeed, sleep, cuddle, snack, watch series and calm her down in the same place, my bed is for sleeping. As soon as she’s done I take her into our room, cuddle for a bit and then put her into the bed we have in there. And she sleeps pretty well now in between the feedings.

In the baby room I keep my nursing basket, a basket with the stuff I need for the feedings, I keep 2 water bottles in my bedroom and 2 bottles in there baby room, I mean, wow, I did not know what thirsty was until I started breastfeeding, it’s almost worse than when you’re hungover, and snacks of course!

I feel so much better having a routine to follow, and of course it’s not perfect. Sometimes you have to give up and follow the baby instead. But I do feel better having something to follow and something to work towards. It also feels great when we make progress and she, for example, falls back asleep on her own during a nap. Creating the best circumstances for ourselves.

Keep an eye out for my next post on our morning routine!

Breastfeeding

While pregnant I had read a lot about breastfeeding and how it’s not as easy as it seems. Well, I still thought, how hard can it really be? and I also thought, once you’ve got it down there’s no problem. and also, that they baby at least knew how it works. Ha ha ha.

We’ve struggled a bit. First of all, who knew it takes a few days for milk to actually come through? Well I didn’t. Those first days were horrible, she didn’t sleep as well, some of the staff in the hospital made me feel super stressed, and the baby was crying more because she didn’t get enough food.

Then there’s the whole latch thing. With what you’ve seen you would think that you just put the baby close to your breast and they’ll do the rest. Oh oh no. They need the exact right everything for it to work, you need to latch them on in the right position, in the right angle, at the right time. If not, you’re nipple will be destroyed, and your breasts too. I had heard that it could hurt, but I had no idea. My nipples were all scared up, even bleeding and don’t even get me started on the pain in my breasts. I ended up using nipple shields, and I got help from our doula to find the right position.

The one that really works for us is the koala position, using nipple shields, and holding her lower lip down to make sure her mouth is really open when latching. Finally it worked, and didn’t hurt. Until I tried different nipple shields and it started hurting again. Yes it’s a whole science.

The koala position looks like this

So at least after all of this it’s all good, you would think ha haaa. Oh no. So we thought we got it all down and it was working full well. She hadn’t gained weight properly with the struggles, but then she did, she gained what she was supposed to one week and we thought it was all good. Until we went back five days later and she’d only gained 5 grams… oh my god, what now. And let me tell you the doctors and nurses here are not super supportive about it, especially if you want to keep trying with breastfeeding, they want to shove formula down your throat using scare tactics. Good thing we’ve had the help of our doula and a friend of my mothers who is a breastfeeding specialist, otherwise we would have given up.

So with the weight problem I got really worried that something was wrong with my milk. What didn’t make sense was that she seemed completely content and full, so it couldn’t be my supply, but maybe it could be the milk in itself that wasn’t good enough.

I would breastfeed her for about 30 minutes every 3 hours, and she would fall asleep over and over while eating, I had to keep her up while eating and sometimes wake her up to eat. So logically one would think she was done. Well turns out babies can be really lazy.

I spend the last days making sure she was done, using all the tricks in the book to keep her up, a wet cold washcloth on her back or her forehead, undressing her, changing her in the middle of feeding. And even when she let go, I would offer her twice on each side and have her let go by herself each time. I also fed her every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours during the night, for an hour at a time, which means I’ve basically only been nursing these last days. I also pumped in the morning and supplemented with that milk twice a day to really make sure she got enough.

And WOHO she gained weight!! So it turns out, nothing it wrong with me, the milk or the baby, she’s just lazy. So now we’re hoping this will continue, and that she will start eating more efficiently.

Newborn essentials – what I’ve actually needed

I had gone through all the pinterest lists and with that info made my own list with a hint of common sense and it seems I did a pretty good job. So here are the things that I have actually needed, so far!

The baby hug 4n1
We have a crib too, but we haven’t used that one yet. This one is all we use, you can move it around and you can put it high or low, on any level, so you can make it the same height as your own bed. We keep her in it at night, right next to me, and then we can roll it out to the living room and have somewhere to put her for naps and throughout the day. It’s phenomenal. The wheels make it a little clumsy though so watch out if you have a small space.

Dresser/changing table
I’m so happy that we decided to turn a dresser into a changing table instead of buying an expensive changing table, cause it works perfectly and we saved a lot of money.

Nursing basket
It doesn’t have to be a specific basket, just something to put all your breastfeeding stuff in. And possibly changing stuff if you don’t wanna have to get up and go to the changing table in the middle of the night. I keep my towel, wash cloths, my nipple cream, snacks, bottle of water, baby log book and all the stuff you might need.

Wash cloths and towels
So I didn’t get the burp cloths, because, well, why? Just have a good sized towel, small but long, to put over your shoulder when you need to burp the baby. Wash cloths have been useful to, to wipe her mouth, my boob or what ever needs wiping, and to use with a bit of cold water for when she doesn’t want to wake up to eat (luxury problem haha).

Stroller
Obviously. But we really found an amazing stroller. I’m so happy with it and it’s the perfect size because it actually fits in our elevator haha, which of course is important, and it also came with a great diaper bag!

Bath stuff
We literally got the cheapest baby bath tub we could find and it is working perfectly. I don’t see a reason to spend a whole bunch of money on this since it’s literally only to keep water in.

Coconut oil
For everything. For the boobs, the baby, the bath, as oil, lotion and cream it just an all in one. I needed to go get a special diaper cream because my nipples got ruined at first, but accept for that coconut oil for everything, all the time.

Baby wrap
I haven’t used this one too much yet, I actually got it delivered quite recently, but it felt amazing when I did. To be able to have you baby close and even comfort her while having your hands and arms free, amazing.

Pacifiers
I know some advice to not use pacifiers, and I wasn’t sure about it at first, but when our little girl started getting some stomach ache in the evenings, using the pacifier to calm her down has been golden! She is however very specific with what pacifiers she likes, so my advice would be to get a few different ones.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding I would also advice to keep some infant formula at the house just in case. If it takes some time for your milk to come through and you have a hungry, screaming baby, it might be a good idea to supplement with a little bit, or if breastfeeding is just not working. We supplemented a little bit once or twice, and both times it was in the middle of the night when we would have had no chance to go to a store and get it.

Maybe I have forgotten something, my brain is not functioning super great with the lack of sleep, so I might do an update later on! Hope it’s helpful

We’re doing pretty good

Things are getting better. I’m feeling better. My parents left a few days ago and it felt a bit scary when they were leaving. I do already miss them, but we’re doing pretty good so far. Of course it was easier to have someone help with the baby when she didn’t want to sleep so that we could rest, but you also get kind of used to not sleeping through the night and even though it’s tough it’s getting better.

We’re getting better at working as a team and we’re getting more and more used to the situation. My hormones have also calmed down a bit, at least for now, so I feel fine. I’m also trying to enjoy it as much as possible.

It’s extremely frustrating when you manage to get the baby to sleep and as soon as you put her down she wakes up and start screaming, and you can barely keep your eyes open anymore. But it’s also so phenomenal when you’ve gotten a few hours of sleep and you wake up to see her cute little face. Of course it’s hard. But of course it’s worth it.

So since a few days, I feel fine, I feel good even. And even though there are more ups and downs to come, I’m enjoying this moment. Those moments that you easily take for granted, like laying on the couch with the love of my life, watching TV with a sleeping adorable baby in my arms.