Oct 28, 2012

I Should Have Called the Midwife First.

Yesterday began with another one of those picture perfect mornings.  The kind where the sun bathes everything in the suburbs of Sydney with rays of light that bring a smile to everyone's faces.

It didn't matter if you were spending your Saturday kicking back at a cafe or hard at work, you just knew that the day was going to be just that little bit easier with the benefit of having witnessed such a glorious weekend opening ceremony.

Saturday was equal parts kicking back and working hard for Mr SSG and I.  We had our last antenatal class at the hospital and this class, with its focus on the early weeks for new parents, was the session we found most useful.  I was designated note taker whilst Mr SSG was the legs of our partnership and hot footed it down the road at morning tea for team sustenance supplies at Luxe Bakery.

We figured that we'd have plenty of opportunity to get stuck into hospital biscuits come December so why peak too early?  Which is a round about way of saying that the current NSW Health biscuit contractor ain't Arnotts....  Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a student in Perth, Arnotts provided a superior biscuit service to hospitals.  Twin packs of biscuits came in at least 3 different varieties - Milk Coffee and Nice, choc chip cookies and something else I didn't like (which is why I can't remember what they were now) and a cream filled variety featuring Shortbread Creams.  The private establishments and veterans hospital also had Walker's Shortbread in the waiting room because their cliental had quite specific tastes.

Sandwiches have also suffered a similar fate...  They were never flash but they were honest.  Cheese and tomato, beef and mustard, chicken and mayo.  Hand made and sliced onto china plates before being double glad wrapped with a date sticker whacked on the top.  No one is quite sure now where the sandwiches come from  because they all look identical, it's hard to know what's in them from looking at them and they come in plastic snap lock boxes.

I'm sure I had something else to write about, as fascinating as that potted history is.

Ah yes, the notebook.  Remember several months ago when I started writing about baby experts and their books and my apprehension at reading them?  And how many of you advised that just going with the flow, getting to know your baby and trusting your own instincts served you far better than say page 143 of Save Our Sleep ever did?  Well, thank you because you speak the truth.  Not that I didn't think this at the time but I think that reading the books was a comforting exercise at the time and I had to read them to put things into perspective.

I have 12 pages of notes from yesterday's all day class (versus at least a couple of thousand pages of the closely printed text of the baby experts' tomes).  The bulk of my bullet points dwell on how to interpret a baby's behavioural cues and a list of things to work through in order to find an answer (if one exists).  There was no talk of 4 hourly routines from week 2 of a baby's life, no discussion about fore milk and hind milk but rather some very down to earth advice.  The essence of which is that:

  • the first 6 - 8 weeks as new parents is going to be tough and that the only realistic routine will be to do things in the same order at whatever time they need to be done
  • the best kind of expectations of yourself at this time are low expectations because they can always easily exceeded
  • that you cannot spoil a newborn and that you've got until about 10 months of age before a baby can be 'accused' of his consciously having his parents wrapped around his pudgy little fingers.

Something tells me that I'll be referring to my little note book more often than the books (if I return to them at all).

It looks as if Baby SSG's set of wheels are just about ready to roll.  Don't ask about his parents' set of wheels.  Car shopping is my least favourite activity in the whole world.  We've possibly left it too late and the current plan is to decide on one model from one brand and go to one dealer and do a deal on one Saturday morning.  Before going off to Chatswood for dumplings at New Shanghai.  Our collective parents are not to be told about the fact that 'shopping around' does not feature in our strategy.

Anyway, the Bugaboo is now road ready with a cup holder and a pair of bag hooks from Babychic.


The hooks are plastic and do not 'close off' like the metal ones that look like camping accessories.  The maximum weight per hook is 2 kgs and a pair retails for $13.  They attach to the handle of your pram via sturdy velcro straps.

The pram now features a bona fide baby bag.  A real one that comes with a change mat.  That doesn't look like a baby bag.  It's the Marc by Marc Jacobs Preppy Nylon Eliz-A-Baby bag and I have Blithely Unaware, baby shopping genius to thank for bringing it to my attention.  We are now baby bag twins and it could well be impossible to tell us or our baby boys apart should you see us both in the same spot.

The MJ is worth considering if you're in the market for something light weight and roomy with lots of internal and external pockets, the top zips shut.  The bulk of the bag is wipe clean nylon and the trims are synthetic.  The straps are comfortable to hold and the shoulder strap is removable.  It does retail for $350 at Shopbop and other American sites.  I was lucky enough to have a 20% off code from Vogue's Fashion Night Out last month which took a great deal of the sting out of the price.  It's also smart enough to double as a work satchel in the longer term.


  1. Some more advice for you:
    1. In the first couple of months, sleep when the baby sleeps. Bugger the cleaning, washing, tidying, cooking (see point two). No-one cares about clean floors but if you are sleep deprived then it makes everything feel a lot worse.

    2. FILL THE FREEZER BEFORE THE BABY IS DUE. Casseroles, pasta sauces, sausage rolls, soups... I know it's summer, but it saves living on toast for weeks on end. You'll always have a nutritious meal at hand. Takes the stress out of everything and you can concentrate on the baby.

    3. I love my Volvo XC70. It's practical, fits the Camy in the boot with room to spare for the shopping and it's not too hard to park for a big car. Consider.

    4. I know they say about routines being impossible early on but if you can gently manoeuvre the baby into one you can regain a semblance of a life faster than if you let them lead. I do recommend plenty of sunshine and light during the day and when they wake at night trying to keep it dark-ish if possible. It's not foolproof but the earlier you try and help them work out day and night the more likely they are to sleep through. That's the holy grail.

    K xx

  2. I can just feel how excited you are looking forward to your little one. Getting so close now! When buying a car, I would probably suggest bringing the pram with you - the boot of the car is very important and you'd want to make sure that pram fits! I know my work colleagues suggested I buy a pram that fits into my car (as I am clinging onto my Alfa Romeo hatch) and didn't realise that once I put the Bugaboo Bee into it - there is hardly room for anything else! Lol.

    Agree with sleeps when the baby sleeps. I also took the home phone off the wall during the day. Limit your visitors and definitely suggest a time that suits you and baby (not vice versa).

    Is your mum coming over to stay with you for the first month? I didn't think I need my mum but she insisted this is what viet parents do...and as my hubby was going to be home but she stayed for 2 weeks and did all the cooking/cleaning/washing all I had to do was sleep and feed the baby...it was so sad to see her leave.

    Oh that biccies pic reminds me that I ate copious amounts of free tim tams when we had our hospital classes!

  3. SSG, I love this post and the first image looks like a glorious way to start any weekend. You seem very organised and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your pregnancy journey so far. Lovely pram and all of my friends with children have stressed the importance of cooking up and freezing lots of meals before the arrival date. Miss Kitty-Cat sounds like a baby sage. xxx

  4. Hi Fifi!

    Thanks so much for your lovely comment. Yep, will be cooking up a storm in the coming weeks.

    Take care

    SSG xxx

  5. Hello Mai!
    Good advice about phones and visitors.

    Yes, my mum is coming over for a bit after bubs is born. I'm really looking forward to her being here. It's just nice to have someone around who's seen it al before.

    I am jealous that you got Tim Tams at your class!

    SSG xxx

  6. K,

    Thank you as always for your wisdom. We were thinking of the same car for similar reasons.

    SSG xxx

  7. If you are keen on that model, consider the diesel. I go to the petrol station half as often as I did with a petrol car. Much more economical and the time saving is great. I get 700km to a tank around town and 1000km on the open road.

    Ahhh - the things we discuss now we are grown up.

    K xx

  8. Love this post :)
    Having just begun to exit the newborn fog, my only recommendation is to go with the flow... Don't expect patterns, routines etc for the first few months and you will be fine. If any develop so much the better but in those early days, lots of cuddles and responding to bub will ensure you are both content. X

  9. We still have the Arnott's biscuits at work but those green and gold ones infiltrate the system too... GAH!!! So glad you got the bag, it really is the bees knees. xox

  10. From my recollection the choc chip cookies were paired with butternut snap. My dad used to bring them home all the time. For some reason they tasted so much better in their twin packs.


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