Hats off to wee Al­fred

Little Treasures - - CONTENTS -

Day 1

You’re here! For ev­ery­thing that has just hap­pened, I would go through it again to have you. You are in­cred­i­ble, strong, so chill and a whole lot cute. You started to ar­rive on Fri­day morn­ing. I had a lit­tle feel­ing, but didn’t of­fi­cially tell fam­ily and our mid­wife un­til 3pm that day. Your Dad and I went and got ve­gan ice cream up Mt Eden hill af­ter a walk. He tried to en­cour­age me to avoid the walk, but dammit I wanted that ice cream. By 6am on Satur­day the reg­u­lar con­trac­tions that our mid­wife told us about had been steady for two hours – she told us to stay at home for the rest of the day. We kept truck­ing along and by 8.30pm Satur­day, I started to get tired, over it, and a lit­tle bit wor­ried that I didn’t know when you had last moved. To the hos­pi­tal we go! Turns out I wasn’t that far along, so my mid­wife sug­gested break­ing my wa­ters, which we de­cided to do as by then I was get­ting im­pa­tient and felt ex­tremely ex­hausted. Oh man, my friend. You sud­denly wanted to see the world and I felt my body go crazy. Shak­ing be­fore every con­trac­tion and feel­ing like I was pos­sessed or my body was be­ing taken over. Th­ese new full on con­trac­tions were so hard to take! Your Dad was amaz­ing, so sup­port­ive and car­ing. You could tell he felt my pain. It was in his eyes. His worry. I pushed you out and tried to do it fast. I needed you out right then and there. You ar­rived! Your Dad clamped your um­bil­i­cal cord but un­for­tu­nately, you had some trou­ble breath­ing. The hos­pi­tal mid­wives sug­gested skin to skin con­tact, so we chilled out to­gether and your breath­ing got way bet­ter. Af­ter we were set­tled in our room we rang your grand­par­ents and told the rest of your fam­ily about your ar­rival. They were so ex­cited. Your first vis­i­tors came, brought us food to eat and gave you loads of cud­dles. They love you so much. That night you slept well – I was still get­ting used to breast­feed­ing, but you seemed to for­get to suck and kept fall­ing asleep. De­liv­er­ing you and push­ing you out was life chang­ing. I am so amazed by what women can bear. What an in­cred­i­ble thing they (me too now) do.

Day 6

When you were only six days old we drove down via Taupo to Welling­ton for your first Christ­mas. Your mum and dad didn’t re­ally know what they were do­ing, so there was a lot of in­de­ci­sion on the road trip there and back. As you were still re­ally new, we didn’t know what your cries meant, so if we heard you cry­ing we in­stantly thought you were hun­gry. We would pull over on the side of the road, feed you for half an hour – and then get back

on the road. In hind­sight, you were prob­a­bly just ex­hausted and needed some sleep!

Week 3

You’ve grown so much al­ready, but I still feel like you’re brand new. We’re learn­ing more about you, know­ing when you need and want things. You’re like a shark on the boob and love hav­ing a suck. We had a bit of trou­ble get­ting you to sleep a cou­ple of days ago and found out we can have you up longer for more play­time. You are still so lit­tle, so it makes you very hard to hold.

Week 4

We usu­ally have some­thing ex­cit­ing on each day and to­day we braved the mall by our­selves. On the way there you cried as you don’t like the car seat, but once we ar­rived I swad­dled you up and put you in the bassinet, ready to take on the shops. I found it a bit tricky to move in and out of the clothes racks and mostly avoided places where I couldn’t keep the pram mov­ing (or you would wake up!) We also found a mag­i­cal place at the mall which I never knew ex­isted: The Par­ents’ Room. In there I was able to feed you, change your nap­pies and have a lit­tle bit of a play with you. You’re stay­ing awake for longer now, which is nice as I’m start­ing to see lit­tle touches of smiles when I talk in a silly voice.

Week 6

You have just gone through an­other growth spurt – we think you get ter­ri­ble wind and that’s so sad to see. It’s re­ally been hard get­ting you to sleep – so much time in the evening is spent try­ing to en­cour­age sleep. At the mo­ment, the eas­i­est way to do this is feed­ing. It’s re­ally quite amaz­ing we have made you. The amount of times your smile has in­creased and it’s th­ese re­wards that keep me go­ing. We had a bit of a break­through to­day – your Dad wore you in the front pack and you went to sleep on him. Hur­ray! Go Dad! We have been ex­tremely lucky to have your dad with us for six weeks whilst he was on school hol­i­days (yes, we planned this) so when he went back to work, the first day with­out him was very hard. While you sleep I’ve started a new busi­ness – it’s called Match Loves. I loved mak­ing beanies for you and had a clever idea to make matching beanies for us to wear at the same time and thought other mums and fam­i­lies might want to do the same ( Although the days have got­ten eas­ier and yes, it’s been such a pre­cious time, it’s so very hard. At times I feel re­ally stuck. I love to hang out with you, but my heart freezes when I hear you start­ing to wake up. I feel so anx­ious as I know it’s im­por­tant for you to get sleep. I just want the best for you. Please don’t think that I’m a bad mum. All th­ese feel­ings of in­ad­e­quacy... it’s so over­whelm­ing. So hard to think of the

“Re­cently it’s been re­ally hard get­ting you to sleep. So much time in the evening is spent try­ing to en­cour­age sleep, through shush­ing or feed­ing. But the amount of times you have smiled has in­creased and it’s mo­ments like this – th­ese small re­wards – that keep me go­ing”

pos­i­tives when friends ask how it’s go­ing. I need to learn a new phrase other than, “It’s good… It’s go­ing good. Hard but good.” I need to be present in the mo­ment with you. I’m al­ready rem­i­nisc­ing about you when you were even more lit­tle than you are now. You’re such a cherub. So beau­ti­ful. I love giv­ing you kisses and see­ing how you re­act. You have a cute laugh – well, I think that’s what it is. Like a lit­tle squeal or a coo­ing noise.

Week 10

Yes­ter­day your Dad and I went out by our­selves for the first time. Your grand­mama and great aunty babysat whilst we went to see one of our favourite bands play. Lead­ing up to leav­ing, it’s like you knew that we were go­ing out. I even­tu­ally got you to sleep in the knick of time and we rushed to the venue. The thing that I was most look­ing for­ward to was dress­ing up in some­thing that didn’t need ac­cess to my boobs! I wore a pretty dress, put my hair up in a pony­tail and used all my fancy makeup. Turns out I was to­tally over­dressed for the event, but I didn’t care. It was my one chance to get ready like I did be­fore you ar­rived. Last night was full of mixed emo­tions – I was happy to have some free time with­out you, but I felt my mind wan­der dur­ing songs to think of you and I kept get­ting teary eyed. Hav­ing you has given me this huge love I never knew ex­isted.

Week 12

I’ve been do­ing okay, though I had a ma­jor melt­down around week eight. You weren’t sleep­ing. I think this was a cat­a­lyst for me to try and learn a dif­fer­ent way to set­tle you other than feed­ing to sleep. It was drain­ing and didn’t give me any time to my­self as I’d have to feed you when you woke and feed you to sleep. I guess the pos­i­tive of feed­ing you to sleep is that you have put on all the weight you need. Ini­tially I had scoffed at my Plun­ket nurse when she sug­gested putting you in the cot awake when you were six weeks old. I didn’t try that un­til re­cently and wish I had started sooner. I used the Dorothy Waide tech­nique: I place you in the cot when you seem tired and then if you start to cry out, I leave you for one minute and go back in, pick you up, burp you, calm you down and then put you in the cot. If you griz­zle, I let you do this for five min­utes (I usu­ally leave it for three min­utes as I hate to hear you like this) then I go in and shush/pat you for half the time you griz­zle, usu­ally about a minute and a half and then leave the room. If you don’t go to sleep af­ter three rounds, I feed you to sleep and try again the next nap time. Hav­ing a video mon­i­tor when do­ing this is so help­ful as I am able to keep an eye on you – to see if you be­ing quiet is ac­tu­ally you asleep!

Week 13

When you were only lit­tle in my belly I asked on a ve­gan Face­book group if there were any other ex­pec­tant mums who’d like to meet. I didn’t have any friends who were preg­nant, let alone ve­gan! Four of us meet every week at dif­fer­ent cafes. We talk about how we par­ent and our hes­i­ta­tion to go back to work be­cause we will miss see­ing you grow. We know it’s im­por­tant for our chil­dren to have us at home in the early stages of their life. We give each other tips about trav­el­ling with a baby, such as tak­ing head­phones, ex­tra for­mula, blan­kets and re­mem­ber to book a bassinet on long haul flights. How will our chil­dren han­dle be­ing ve­gan – what will they eat at birth­day par­ties? We rec­om­mend read­ing-books for ve­gan chil­dren. We are thank­ful that we know each other and that our kids will have friends brought up with the same be­liefs. You like to look around at your sur­round­ings; trees mov­ing in the wind, pot plants and the tex­ture of the couch en­thral you. Yes­ter­day you touched our cat, Neko when you were ly­ing on the bed. Neko jumped up onto the bed, me­ow­ing for at­ten­tion and walked past you. You reached out your hand, grazed her fur and Neko ran off. I don’t think you knew what you were up to and how you frighten our usu­ally brave cat.

Week 14

We went camp­ing for the first time at the week­end and you did a great job. Es­pe­cially since you had a cold. Some­times I won­der whether I should wrap you in cot­ton wool a bit more and if I should have a ‘gen­tler life­style’. I spot­ted you a cou­ple of days ago smil­ing at a fly! It’s not of­ten that I man­age to get ev­ery­thing done on my list. Usu­ally at the start of the week I’m all guns blaz­ing, but to­day I bought you a Grobag sleep sack and made a cou­ple of Match Loves beanies. I’m about to put the wash­ing on the clothes­line to dry and then I’ll start mak­ing the rocky road for your cousin’s Easter present. All whilst you sleep.

Week 16

I can’t be­lieve you are just four months old. It has been an ex­pe­ri­ence all right. I’m so glad that I had you, Al­fred. You are turn­ing into a cu­ri­ous, cheeky and calm hu­man be­ing. You are per­fect­ing the roll from back to side and you love hold­ing your hands. You do this weird thing where you grab the front of your top or sleep sack and suck on it. We have seen you roll from your tummy to your back, but only oc­ca­sion­ally when you’re in the right po­si­tion. I’d like to think you un­der­stand the con­cept of turn­ing the pages of your books as you grab the edges and act like you want to see the next page. You are so pa­tient with me when I take pho­tos of you wear­ing Match Loves beanies for my In­sta­gram page. Be­fore you were born, your Dad and I went to Bali. Sit­ting at a bar, watch­ing the sun­set, we wrote down what we hoped you would be like: em­pathic, cre­ative, con­fi­dent, en­joys read­ing, ad­ven­tur­ous. As par­ents, we visit li­braries, read to you, travel, im­merse you in the com­mu­nity. We love you so much and want to bring you up in an en­vi­ron­ment where you can be­come all we wished for.

Lit­tle Al­fred is born, and has a snug­gle with Mum be­fore the ar­rival of his first vis­i­tors. Such a beau­ti­ful mo­ment

Kirsty glowing dur­ing preg­nancy – be­fore her world turned up­side down

At one month old, Al­fred is grow­ing so much and vis­it­ing new places but he still feels brand new to Mum and Dad Lit­tle Al­fred charm­ing in a hat and yel­low trousers, ready to be placed into his buggy and tackle the shops with mum, Kirsty

Mum and Dad with their new bun­dle en­joy a day in the gar­den as a fam­ily. This lit­tle boy is al­ready sur­rounded by love

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