The first few weeks with a newborn are always interesting, hey?

It’s always an interesting time during the first 4 weeks of a babies life. I mean, apart from the effects that mom and (hopefully) dad have to deal with. In fact let’s look at some of them:

1. The routine change. You know, dad goes to work, mom stays at home at does nothing. Ha, right. Maybe 30 years ago, but nowadays a dual income home is a necessity and not a luxury. This means that dad needs to help out with the new person in his life. Mom will probably have to get back to work quickly then, so whilst she is at home, mom has to look after the newborn, get the food ready for the family, stress about no sleep for her, for her husband, for her kids (if they have more) and then there’s her own stress too! Hectic.
2. Dealing with crying in the house as a norm. It sometimes takes quite awhile to get used to the noise of a crying baby again. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, it’s just different from what you’re used to.
3. Having to split yourself and your time into multiples, depending on how many other kids you have. This can be the most different thing to learn how to do. How do you split your time, your affection and your love to more than just one? This one you’ll have to figure out for yourself.
4. Feeding. Now this really can be a tricky one. Breast is best, or is it bottle? It’s certainly no lie that if a mom can breast feed for a bit it is great to get the initial colostrum inside the baby, get the immune system stronger with mom’s antibodies and all that good stuff, but there are a lot of woman that simply can’t breast feed. This can be due to health, breast jobs done or even stress. I know as a dad I actually enjoy having a bottle in one hand and a baby in the other. It’s a time of bonding, of reflection.
5. The dreaded reflux. Apparently lots of babies suffer with acid reflux, and this causes the littlies to cry a lot and spit up milk all the time. I know I suffer with it very badly and am on chronic medicine for it, so I can only imagine how horrible it is for a little person.

But hold on a second, I’ve forgotten the best part. Wind.

Yup, I reckon the worst thing is wind. So many babies suffer from taking in wind whilst feeding and this seems to cause the most troubles for the little guys. It can also be a horrible time for the parents. I can remember with our first child the 10 weeks of bad colic that we all endured. It was horrible, truly one of the worst experiences I can remember.

There were a few things that helped.
1. Correct feeding positions together with lots of burping.
2. We visited the chiro and actually found some issues. I highly recommend this for Caesar babies. They get pulled so much during the procedure, it’s no wonder their little bodies need re-aligning.
3. We even bought a flipping expensive rocking device, that didn’t really work. But our daughter enjoyed it when she got to be 2.
4. Drugs. We finally resorted to a 26 year old concoction of paed meds that worked like a charm. But this isn’t for everyone.

The most important thing that we found was to really try and enjoy as much if it as possible. It lasts for such a short period of time and you really do miss those happy times. So, forget about your sleep loss, your tired screaming brain and stop stressing. Enjoy your newborn as often as possible. It’ll be worth it, just wait and see.

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Remember the added costs when thinking of your next child

What are the costs that you think of when thinking of babies?

Seriously. I suppose it depends on where you are in the world. Here in South Africa you need to have a good private medical insurance because most of the time you don’t want to go through the public medical system – which is only really good if you’ve been shot, stabbed or such. You know, the things that the doctors are used to dealing with in there.

So let’s look at some of the costs we remember.
You’ve got the normal things, like nappies ( or diapers depending on where you are), the cosmetics, the towels, the baby grows, prams, car seats, cots, compactums, other clothes and importantly the receiving blankets. On this point if you are buying 5, then maybe consider doubling that number. You can never have enough of those things, and once you’re all done with populating the world they make really great dust cloths and grease cloths.

But what about all the things that people forget to tell you. Let’s imagine it. You’ve just found out you’re going to be parents! Whoopee. After your initial shock, you start working out the costs, and you think ok this is cool, we can manage. You always find a way to manage. But nobody tells you that you may need to see the gynae between 4 and 8 times during the pregnancy. Add that up, plus the amount they charge for the birth, and it’s a lucrative business. But money can be no option for the safety of your child and the mother.

Then don’t forget to check well beforehand that you private medical insurance will cover ALL of the costs that your gynae, your paed, your anesthetist will charge, if they don’t then start saving too.

Once the birth is done you’ll also need to remember your new bundle of joy needs inoculations done. Depending on where you are these can be fairly regular and also vary in cost tremendously, anything from R100 to R700. but who gives these jabs? Don’t forget to pay the clinic, the paed, the ante-natal sister or whoever you choose to go to.

So what happens then? You’ve got the jabs done, but is the baby putting on weight? Is he or she doing ok, or is there a problem? Maybe you’ll want to consider going to a sister for a feeding consult. Don’t forget to add this to your budget too.

Whilst we’re at it you’d be better off putting some extra aside for when your miracle gets sick. At least then you’ll have the money to get real medical advise, instead of checking on Dr Google!

I know all this sounds like doom and gloom, but it’s all part of the course. It really isn’t that bad. It’s just that nobody tells you about all these extra baby expenses when you first get pregnant, or when you first decide to have kids.

Hopefully you’ll have learnt from my mistakes and will remember the above. I’m sure there’s some stuff I’ve forgotten about, but you can always tell me by commenting on my post.

Cheers for now

Projectile vomit at Midnight

Night number 3 came along with a new routine for my wife and I. I’m not really one of those dads that will just watch mom wake up at all hours, get moody due to lack of sleep, and quite frankly I prefer to have my normal wife back, so I like to help out.

So last night we fed our newborn at 21:30 and his next feed was due about 3 hours after that. I duly set my alarm for 23:15 and went to sleep.

It was great! Our boy woke up at 23:30 and I came in and started to feed him. Only thing was that I couldn’t Figure out that he had huge amounts of gas. But it wasn’t coming out..

It did eventually, all over me! Just a small hurk, but still not the best thing at midnight. So off we went to get him undressed, cleaned up, changed again and back to see if he wanted some more bottle.

I really just wish babies came with a warning light. A big flashing red light that means:

Warning! I’m about to puke.

Or a brown light that meant similarly

Careful, I’m not finished pooing yet.

Or better still, a flashing yellow to indicate (if you have a boy)

Fire hydrant about to explode, cover it or yourself quick!

Anyway, back to the saga from last night. My second attempt to feed went even worse than the first one did. This produced a proper
projectile vomit over me, him, and my face! All at 12:30.

But why did this happen?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. My wife seems to think that
our boy has too much wind, so he often needs a second winding.

Hopefully tonight will be different. It will be my final night before
work starts again, so the real adventure begins tonight.

Enjoy

Welcome to the world Leo Gard

After a relatively difficult pregnancy for my wife, what with the baby pushing on her pelvis a lot, her spine, bladder and all the rest of it the big day finally came on Wednesday 25th April 2012.

Our gynecologist, Dr Tim Berios, works out of Umhlanga Medical Center in Durban, South Africa. Although working out of this hospital he actually does all of his surgeries out of the fairly new Ethekwini Heart Hospital.

It was good to see that Leo gave Dr Tim a good run for his money during the delivery. Leo was a breach baby, so the gyne had to go to gym to get him out, but because Leo was breach he was a Caesar baby.

I was there the whole time in theatre, although I had strict instructions from my wife that I wasn’t allowed to video the event, only take a few pictures. I’ll add some in the upcoming posts.

I love c-sections. No labour, you have a time, wife gets drugged and there you go. Although it’s easy for me to say, hey? All I have to do is stand there and make sure the baby is ok. I suppose the husband also has to deal with some hormones during the pregnancy too. But I’m
sure my wife would agree, c-section is the way to go.

We are very Blessed that our Leo is completely healthy, 10 fingers and
toes, no problems at all. All of our thanks and praises can only go to
our Father upstairs.

Thank you Lord.

Baby Leo was 3.76Kg when born, so about 8 and a bit pounds. That’s a decent weight, so we’re happy. He was also 52.50cm long. Not bad considering both his parents are under 5ft 10inches!

Anyway, welcome my boy to this wonderful great big world. I can’t wait to show it to you.

Love,
Your dad