Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Battle...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On The Move.

Miss Squid is well and truly on the move now...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Easy Like a Sunday Morning

It's Sunday.

The neighbourhood is largely quiet except for the occasional dog barking and bird chirping.

Miss Squid is on the floor, starting to get frustrated that she can't move where she wants. She can move, but so far its not directed movement. She rolls and finds herself off her rug and onto the carpet. She then proceeds to wiggle and squirm in a way which only serves to make her skin red, without managing to get closer to the toys that were once all around her, before she rolled away from them.

I'm torn between giving her what she loudly expresses she wants, and letting her find a way through the frustration to take action and overcome the first of many hurdles she has to face. I settle on repositioning her in the midst of the toys sprinkled on her mat, propping her in a slouched sit. The toys provide the motivation to slowly lower herself to the floor as she reaches for a toy and again she is on her belly and soon doing 360s again as she pulls herself around in circles with her upper body, her legs moving, but very much uncoordinated with her upper half.

It is a simple pleasure, exciting and ordinary all in one as we watch and anticipate the huge leap of independent movement which is happening and about to happen.

Miss squid flashes us her gummy smiles, no sign of teeth despite the huge amounts of food she consumes: cereal, fruit, veggies, yoghurt, toast - all devoured happily, readily and with gusto.

She is growing well.

She makes me smile and I'm glad to spend my time with her.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Afternoon Chat

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Squiddley Wiggles and Squeaks

Not great quality, and the noise is quiet, but fun none-the-less.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Busy Doing Nothing....

Life is busy. I'm not feeling particularly constructive at the moment, but I'm busy.

Squiddley is 2 months old now! I'm glad to say that we are still breastfeeding after some stressful times early on, and still using cloth nappies - initially with disposables as a back up, but now have been disposable-less for over a week, and surviving just fine.

My happy hormones have deserted me, which is a shame to say the least. They really did help in coping with the broken sleep and constant demand of another person utterly dependent on you. Don't get me wrong, I haven't fallen off into an abyss of PND, it just means I have to work a bit harder at not being upset at being woken up 2 hours after I'd fallen asleep, or that just when I think it is safe to make a sandwich, have a shower or hang out a load of laundry, not swear too much when a plaintive cry is heard from the bassinette. I definitely have to work a lot harder to be nice to people complaining of being tired when they've had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Squiddley is growing well and gracing us daily with smiles which are the perfect tonic to the tiredness. She is more and more alert and curious about the world around her. Her movements are getting a bit more deliberate and a little less jerky (she regularly gets fingers/hand to mouth to suck on). She loves bath time and being in the thick of the action. She rarely cries and when she does, we can usually work out what is wrong in a fairly short space of time.

We've moved through the milestones of the six week check ups and the two month immunisations with reasonable ease and are starting to get more social in mixing with others. Last week we had no less than three social outings with different mothers and children, and this week is shaping up similarly. Add in the requisite grandparent visits (two sets local enough to warrant frequent visits) and she is an absolute social butterfly.

Squiddley has even had her first plane flight to canberra for her Uncle and Aunt's wedding (congratulations again to them!). She of course took it all in her stride, spending the entire first flight like this:

I met some lovely people whilst at the wedding festivities and truly regret not saying goodbye whilst in my sleep deprived haze. (Squiddly was in the midst of a growth spurt and decided our first day/night away was a GREAT time to feed every two hours... for those of you smart people without children, that means she had to be fed, burped, changed and put back to sleep within each two hour window before my own sleep could be attempted.)

I got a call a week or so ago that was not unlikely in this ecconomic climate, one of my temp contracts has been finalised due to a restructure. There are several staff moving on from the employer and even more moving within the company to different roles. I was very glad to follow up on the other contract to find that they were as keen as ever to have me back. I plan to follow up on the after hours casual job very soon, as I hope to start back there fairly soon-ish given the astonishing rate of dissipation of the savings. The good part about the temp contracts is that they are willing to do some of the legwork if and when I want more, sure beats scanning the ads myself!

There was probably more to say, but I can't think of it at the moment - lets hope it prompts me to write again, sooner.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Know How I Could Make Millions...

If I could bottle the effects of the hormones I have coursing through my body right now, I'd be rich.

I feel fantastic.

I'm happy, calm, serene, and all of this on broken, disjointed sleep of a duration less than my norm.

I celebrate poos, wees, burps and farts.

My routine, my life has gone out the window.

The bank balance is dwindling at an alarming rate.

And to top it off, most alarmingly, I would happily be pregnant again tomorrow despite the fact that intellectually I know that is not our plan, nor is it something I'd aspire to.

I'm very happy. This is working for me at this point in time.

I like it.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Birth of our BabyBear

It seems so long ago, and yet BabyBear is only 11 days old today.

Warning up front, this might not be everyone's cup of tea to read. This is a post that I need to write, but doesn't need to be read :) It does involve commentary and description of some of the icky parts of my experience of childbirth. It's also very long.

On Australia Day we went to a housewarming/Hottest 100 BBQ party at a friends' house. As such parties go, it was an all day party and we deliberately went before lunch so we could stay for a meal but head off if I started getting tired as heavily pregnant women are wont to do.

The party hosts did have a pool which was a welcome distraction from the fact that once again I was designated driver whilst people all around me were drinking happily.

We ended up getting home from the party at about 9:30pm, so I must have been somewhat distracted with the water. BabyCakes is glad to hear that the OB's appointment scheduled for the next day is an afternoon appointment, and not our usual 8am ish one.

I toddled off to bed and BabyCakes stayed up playing poker on facebook. He tells me he came to bed about midnight. Somewhere after 3am I needed to go to the loo, again. As a pregnant woman, you do get used to this, but retrospectively the fact that I'd been in the hour before should have been a tip off that something was different. So, I went, I wiped, I see pink. Once again, as a pregnant woman, checking of toilet paper for blood is something even the sanest most laid back women do given it is a big indicator that something is happening at all stages of pregnancy, sometimes good, sometimes bad. This is not something that bothers me at this late stage of pregnancy, it can mean labour is immanent, or it might not. One thing any health professional will want to know is how much blood there was, so one needs to get a panty liner to monitor this.

I lifted my leg up to get my knickers up (bending is difficult with a big round belly), and feel a small gush. I know I didn't wee myself, I know I didn't "do" it. I'm not 100% sure because an extra 10+kgs of weight pushing on one's lower body doesn't do a lot for one's bladder control. I know I need to talk to the hospital for some advice, so I toddle off to find the piece of paper with appropriate phone numbers etc. BabyCakes gets woken by my search, but manages to stay in bed when I tell him not to worry, and that I'll talk to the hospital and find out what to do.

The midwife I talk to on the phone tells me it sounds like waters breaking, and to come in, but don't rush, and if I'd like to wait an hour or so until I'm sure, that'd be ok too. I decide to head in straight away, and by the time we get downstairs to the car, I was sure. The bag was packed, and all I had to do was grab a couple of towels to sit on and BabyCakes looked after the bag.

We got to the hospital which was somewhat locked up in the middle of the night, so we needed a security escort downstairs. Thankfully, another couple had arrived just moments before us so we weren't in unfamiliar territory alone. As I'd stood up out of the car I'd had a gush of water, and it continued all the way to the labour ward. It was such a disgusting feeling to be leaking and not be able to control it.

We were met by a midwife who ushered us into our birth suite. I got changed into some dry clothes and waited for the midwife to come back and give me a bit of an examination and hooked me up to monitor bubs and any contractions. She felt baby through my belly and gave me the bad news that while baby's head was down and in my pelvis, her back was towards my back. I'd done my reading on labour (forewarned is forearmed!), and I knew a posterior labour (back to back) was destined to be long and ouchy, and felt more in my back than in my belly. The ideal presentation for a baby is the baby's back to mum's belly button. They can turn during labour, but don't always. The good news was that baby was completely and utterly not distressed .

The biggest problem was that labour hadn't started. Labour didn't start by the time my OB did her rounds at 6am ish. She did an internal exam which is not the most comfortable thing I've ever had a doctor do... More bad news, I was one cm dilated and my cervix was long and closed. To top it off, it seemed the leaking waters I experienced seemed to be a hind water leak (high in my belly), and the waters were intact below baby's head. The doctor used a charming tool that looked like a jumbo plastic crochet hook to pop this bit to try and wake up my body into starting contractions. It didn't, and by 7am when nothing started naturally, I was put onto a drip of chemical (oxytocin) designed to help start labour. I was hooked up to the monitor again, and we waited to see what happened.

The nurse came and went, taking me off the monitor, turning up the drip dose, putting me back on the monitor, etc. etc. BabyCakes snoozed in a vinyl recliner, and I tried to "rest" but wasn't in sleep mode. Lunch was brought in, and I was advised to stick to the light options, BabyCakes had the heavier fare, and after lunch my OB came back to visit again. More bad news. 1 cm dilated still. I needed another bag of oxytocin, cranked up to max dosage. I tried to stay upright, bouncing on a fit ball, trying to encourage baby out. The contractions did start, and they were all in my back. I asked for a heat pack, which in concert with BabyCakes' massage brought me some relief. The contractions weren't super regular, but I had faith in my body to do it's funky thing, and I'd hoped for progress. During this section my temperature went up slightly, so I was given some antibiotics via the drip to deal with any possible infection.

When my OB came at 5pm and did another internal to tell me I was only 1.5cm dilated, I was devastated.

My OB knew I wanted a minimal intervention birth.

She explained to us that the chemical being used to stimulate labour was also the same chemical they give you post delivery to encourage the uterus to contract and clot the blood at the placenta site, and there was a concern if too much was given now, that it wouldn't work then, and I would bleed too much (which doesn't sound like a good option). She said we could trial labour some more, but the reality is, babies only come out if there is 10cms dilation, 2cm, 4cm, 6cm just does not cut it, you need the full 10cm. I also knew that the contractions were getting to the point that I would fast need pain relief - an epidural would not likely be given (not that I asked) because they tend to slow down labour, and we were doing everything to speed it up, so that would mean gas and pethidine as pain relief... Also, I'd been awake since 3am, having had a big day the day before, I was tired and emotional. I told Steve that I didn't think I'd cope if I'd continued for however long they'd have let me and still ended up with cesarean as the best option. We decided that while baby and I were still calm and unstressed (within reason), that we could make an active choice and I guess I got some degree of control over a situation I did not expect to find myself in. I did cry. BabyCakes wiped away my tears and talked to me whilst my OB organised all the necessary people for my surgery.

Thankfully, there had been another lady in surgery, and we could utilise most of the same staff instead of having to wait for people to get there. I was still contracting and breathing through them the whole time this was going on. After signing the appropriate consent forms the Anesthetist and his assistant were first in to see me, and they came into the labour room where I'd been all day. I was asked if I had allergies and if I wanted to be conscious or unconscious and elected for conscious. The spinal block was administered quickly and easily, and to be honest, I was relieved. The needle inserted into my back concept was pretty scary to someone who had never been to hospital as a patient before this. It was not long before the contractions were no longer an issue for me. What did surprise me was getting the shakes. I was told this was not uncommon and to let them happen and they should pass. I must say, the anesthetist was lovely. he explained everything he was doing, and what I could expect to feel/not feel etc.

I was wheeled into surgery and placed on the operating table and the anesthetist kept up the explanations and kept me at ease. He asked me if I wanted to be told when things started, and I said that ignorance is fine, to which he replied "Good, because it has already started!" I must say, it's a really odd sensation not not feel pain, but to feel referred movement. The only thing I had to compare it too was having a tooth pulled.

My OB discovered that our little girl was also in my pelvis with her head tucked back, not chin tucked in - which was another indicator of a long and painful labour.

By the time they lowered the drape so that we could see our baby girl for the first time, I think I was still in shock. A picture not everyone will want to see... I looked at her swollen little face in wonder. They re-raised the drape and BabyBear was handed over to the paediatrician and his assistant and BabyCakes was called over to watch and be a part of the weighing and cleaning up of BabyBear. She was 3680g (just shy of 8lb 2oz), head circumference of 34.5cm and 55cms long. She got 9 and 9 on the APGAR test. It took a while before I asked if she was a girl, because I'd completely forgotten to look!

We got a brief moment to be together for the first time as a family before BabyCakes went with her while they dressed her and took some blood so she could be tested for infection related to my high temp earlier. My OB had a look at my insides (I'd had an unusually swollen ovary at one stage during pregnancy) before stitching me up. I was wheeled out to recovery and was handed BabyBear pretty much straight away and we fumbled through our first breastfeed together. The spinal block wore off surprisingly quickly and as it worked its way out of my system, my arms finally stopped shaking. I was in recovery for half an hour with BabyBear on my chest, lost in the wonder of a newborn. It was during this time that we were told that BabyBear had no infection related to my high temp.

She caught us by surprise 2 weeks early and was a very reasonable size - any more "cooking" and she would have been a very big girl! Whilst not my planned birth, we are both safe and healthy. Recovery from the surgery has been very straightforward as I took the advice of those around me and kept up my pain medication, only now just starting to contemplate reducing it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Love, Fear and Perfection.

Now, I admit I have a lot of hormones coursing through my body doing their funky thing, but WOW, BabyCakes and I made a beautiful baby. Now we just have to look after her until she can look after herself.

I know that there will be arguments and frustrations, and that at some stage she will loathe us and blame us for everything we did (and we're bound to do lots) that has totally ruined her life, but for right now, she is perfection. A pooing, weeing, burping, farting tiny tiny bundle of perfection. It takes my breath away sometimes, and depending on how much sleep I've had, she can stir so many varied emotions.

When I'm tired and generally sleep deprived, the responsibility of being so totally key to her survival inspires huge amounts of fear for the unknown, the possibility of how many ways a child can be hurt and harmed, and how I could despite all my best intentions fail her bubbles over and almost paralyses me.

When I've had more sleep, and feel calmer and more secure in myself the sheer awe, love and excitement I feel when I look at her is inspiring. I want to be a better person for her, I want her to have and be the very best I can offer her (and more), and I desperately want to nurture and love her and watch as she grows into her own person and take joy in that journey together.

I know most of these feelings will get buried in the mundanity of life, and I'll get caught up in survival over time. At this stage my whole day revolves around her needs because she can't do anything to help herself, but in time she'll grow and will start learning skills, and I'll go back to work, and the bills will keep getting paid and the world will happen around us.

This is such a small window of time, and such a magical one. So many firsts for her and us. I know from the outside it is easy to think that a week old baby has't changed much since they were born, but ask a parent and they'll be able to tell you all the milestones that have come and gone in the short space of time, and the milestones ahead to be faced each day.

Crazy chemicals, or the meaning of life. I don't care. It's an amazing roller coaster that is my whole life right now, and it is so wonderful.

And I don't care if it is really gas, I see a smile and it melts me.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

We Are Family

With great joy BabyCakes and I welcomed our daughter into the world on Tuesday evening.

My waters broke in the early hours of the morning and induction of labour provided too little progression of labour in 10 hours, so a cesarean section was needed for us to safely meet.

She is our joy and seems so perfect. She feeds and sleeps well, and my recovery from surgery has been straightforward.

BabyCakes has applied for his shotgun license.