I didn’t know…

…how badly depressed I was after Aaron was born until I had Faith.

Looking back Im not sure how I survived that first year after he was born.

The biggest manifestation of my depression was anxiety.  Even the smallest things were enough to set me off.  What clothes should I put him in? Would he be too hot/cold?  Would I have enough changes of clothes for him if we went out?  I walked around with a nappy bag so full and heavy because I never trusted myself to have packed the right stuff.  If Paul or my mom or anyone for that matter told me that I was stressing for nothing or that whatever I had would be fine I would immediately assume I was a bad mother for doing it wrong.  I would get so stressed and anxious about these small things I would eventually find myself sobbing or screaming in tears on the floor, literally pulling my hair out in chunks.

I put on a happy face when we were with other people, no one would have guessed how miserable and bleak I was at home.  The only person besides Paul who ever saw me at my worst was my mom, she often got hysterical phone calls because the baby was crying and nothing I did was working and I was ruining him for life and he would never forgive me and would need therapy etc…  In fact she even came over a few times and made me go sleep or have a bath or go outside while she calmed Aaron down for me.

Dont get me wrong, there were good days, days where I could not imagine my life being any better but they were few and far between.  Then I started going for therapy and went to see a psychiatrist who prescribed an anti anxiety med called Cipralex and slowly I started becoming more the old me.  That was two years ago and over those two years I have often thought to myself that maybe my memory of that first year was wrong, maybe it wasn’t as bad as all that.  Sure I was depressed and anxious but look at how well Im doing now, it cant have been THAT bad.

Then I had Faith.  Let me tell you, the first 5 weeks of having her in our life was nothing compared to the first 5 weeks with Aaron.  Yes, I still get anxious, yes, there are times at 3am when she wont sleep and all I want to do is climb back into bed and I think to myself, what the hell have I done?  I cant carry on like this.  But those moments, and they truly are just moments, are very few and far between.  I look forward to waking up in the middle of the night to feed her, her crying doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out, I still over pack her bag but so what, its just how I roll!

I really didnt realise just how dark those dark days were until I saw how light these last few weeks have been.

I really wish I could go back and redo Aaron’s first year without being depressed.  I wish I could have enjoyed that time with him like Im enjoying this time with Faith.  It doesnt mean I love him any less.  Even through all those dark days I would still fight to the death for my son.  I loved him fiercely  and with all my heart from the moment he was born.  And maybe that was part of the anxiety, wanting to be perfect for my perfect child.

When we decided to start trying for a 2nd baby, I consulted my psychiatrist, my therapist, my GP and my OBGYN about continuing my medication.  They were all for it and insisted I continue taking it right through my pregnancy.  I cant tell you if I would have slipped back into a depression if I wasn’t taking the meds but what I can tell you is that I wouldn’t even want to try.  That single pill once a day keeps me sane.  It allows me to enjoy both my children, even when they are both crying and need my attention and my tea is getting cold and supper s burning and the beds are still unmade from the morning.

I hope that reading this makes a difference to someone who needs it.  I hope they know they are not alone.

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.  ~Norman B. Rice

Pick n Pay Real Baby – A Review on nappies

So our little bundle was 3 weeks old last Sunday.  Here are some updates.

  • She is growing.
  • She no longer fits into most of her newborn clothing.
  • She is now wearing mostly 1-3m clothes.
  • She barely fits into #1 nappies.
  • That means it was time to try out our Pick n Pay Real Baby #2 nappies!

I was very impressed with the quality of the nappy.  Although I thought it was a bit stiff and cardboardy between the legs, Faith didn’t seem to mind at all.  We only had one leak and I think it was because mommy was half asleep when I put the nappy on and I didn’t fit it properly.  My only real complaint is that the tabs are not stretchy and I have come to expect nappies to have stretchy tabs.

All in all we love our Pick n Pay nappies and will definitely be buying more soon!

Breast feeding and vomit and sleep deprivation… Oh my!

Breast feeding

So far so good.  Faith latched straight away and basically hasn’t stopped.

With Aaron, my milk only came in on day 4 or day 5, I started pumping as soon as it did so that Paul could do some night time feeds.  Im not sure if the pumping or bottle feeding effected my milk supply but by the beginning of the 2nd month we were supplementing with formula.  Part of that was also to do with not being comfortable breast feeding in public.

This time round Im determined to breast feed as long as possible, I havent started pumping yet, but I will in the next few days or so.  I want to freeze a good supply so that when I go back to work Faith will still get breast milk.  Also, being older and wiser (haha), I just dont give rocks what people think if I breast feed in public.  In fact I almost want someone to make an issue out of it so that I can take a stand, whip out a boob and say that I am proud to be a public breast feeding mommy!

The other main factor to keep breast feeding is cost.  Formula  is freaking expensive and as long as I can provide milk why not!

 

Vomit

Oh yeah… vomit… Thank heavens Faith is not as bad as Aaron was.  Aaron projectiled. Faith just spits up.  Usually while I am lying with her on top of me, so it goes all over me… yuck!

Still, newborn vomit is soooooo much better than  3 year old vomit!

 

Sleep deprivation

I have not missed sleep deprivation at all.  I am a zombie.  My worst time during the night is between 12am and 3am… Faith likes to cluster feed during that time, so I just lay on the couch in her room with her attached to one or other of my boobs, catching cat naps while she feeds.  Unfortunately buy the time she goes to sleep again I am wide awake…  Also I am really not a morning person, so when she wakes up and the sun is shining and she wants to be alert and held and played with all I want to do is sleep.

Paul has been great, he usually gets up with her when the sun rises, changes her, rocks her and talks to her until she gets cross because he isn’t feeding her, then he brings her to me in bed and she feeds while I sleep.

Like I said earlier, Im going to start pumping soon and as soon as we hit the 6 week mark, Paul is going to introduce his daughter to the wonders of bottle fed breast milk and 12am feeding/bonding time with dad 😉

 

All in all Im doing ok, just a few small hurdles to overcome, a few things to get used to and before you know it we will be in a routine and we will both be happy and  a bit more awake 🙂

Pick n Pay Real Baby – A Review

As I said before I wanted to keep most of the Pick n Pay products I received to review for when our baby was born, this happened a little sooner than expected and we have been using the products for just over a week now.

My overall impression is that these are great quality products at a reasonable price.

But lets break it down shall we…

 

Junior #5 nappies

We started using these for Aaron at night mostly as he still isn’t fully potty trained.  The quality of the nappy and the materials used rival any of the big brands on the market.  I found the fit of the nappy very good and the retention (liquids and solids) excellent.  I did notice a bit of a rash that has formed around the waist band area, we are treating it with rash cream and hopefully it is unrelated to the nappy itself.

 

Cotton Wool Pleats

I like the idea of the cotton wool pleats.  They are easy to tear off but I found that the size of each pleat is too big for our needs and halving one pleat makes it too small.  I also didn’t like that at each tear section the cotton wool has a hard edge.  In terms of what cotton wool is supposed to do, I have no complaints.

 

Wipes

I LOVE the wipes.  The smell is subtle and pleasant.  They were easy to remove one at a time.  They have just the right moisture content that I like.  We usually use Pigeon brand wipes and the Pick n Pay wipes are the closest I have come to that quality.

 

Cotton Buds for Baby

I have never used a cotton bud for a babies ears but I found that these buds were just perfect for dipping into surgical spirits and cleaning Faith’s umbilical stump.

 

Nappy Cream

Personally I did not like the nappy cream.  Its a perfectly serviceable cream but I found it no different from a body or hand cream.  For me a bum cream needs to be more of a paste, a barrier cream between baby’s bum and the wet in her nappy.  I found that this cream absorbed almost immediately and that Faith started to get a small rash on her bum so I stopped using it and went back to our usual Fissan Paste.

 

Baby Lotion

I adore the baby lotion.  Again, it smells lovely and it absorbs beautifully.  Faith particularly likes it when I use it after her bath for a massage.

 

Body Wash

I love the body wash.  A little goes a long way with this product and we have used it every single bath Faith has had.  In fact I like it so much Im tempted to use it for my own bath tonight.  I also used this to wash her hair and so far it has left her hair silky and smelling beautiful.

 

So far those are the products we have used.  As we use the other products we will let you know what we think.

And just because I can and I know you will all go awwwwwww, here is a pic that the very talented Jenty took of our beautiful girl 🙂

Our beautiful girl has a name :)

Faith Sigal Jacobson

A few people have asked why we waited to name her so here is the story.

Boys are named at their bris (circumcision) on the 8th day.  Its not forbidden to announce the name before the bris but in a metaphysical sense the child only ‘receives’ his name during the ceremony at his bris.

The naming of a Jewish girl is a very spiritual moment.  The naming ceremony is linked to the public reading of the Torah.  This is usually on a Monday, Thursday or Saturday morning.  The blessing begins with a prayer for the mother’s health. It continues with the giving of the baby’s name and a prayer that this new Jewish daughter should grow to be a wise and understanding Jewish woman of goodness and greatness.

Since Faith was born on Sunday, Paul should have been in shul on the Monday to name her but the service started very early and he wasnt able to make it as he was looking after Aaron.  Today is a public holiday and as such Shul started a bit later and one of the teachers from Aarons school offered to look after him while Paul was at Shul.  So Paul named her today.

Traditionally Ashkenazi Jews name children after a deceased relative, not only to honour the deceased but also to inspire the child to live up to that persons name.  Serphadi Jews name after living relatives as well as deceased relatives.

We are Ashkenazi and as such chose to name Faith after my grandmother who passed away almost a year ago.  Her ‘english’ name was Fanyse and her Hebrew name was Feiga.  Faiths second name is Sigal, it is a hebrew name meaning violet (sigalit is a type of violet in Israel) or meaning treasure.  We chose Sigal to honour my late grandfather Sydney and Pauls late aunt Sandra.

Her hebrew name is Feiga Sigal bat Nachama (Feiga Sigal ‘daughter of’ Nechama – my hebrew name).

So, in a nutshell, Faith received her name today at shul in honour of two great grandparents and a great aunt.