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Sunday, 3 August 2014

3.5 months

Yes I continue to be crap at blogging!  There's been many occassions where I have had stuff I've wanted to write about but I always think about it late at night when I am too tired to actually do it.  Anyway ... our little one is now 14 weeks old!!  And exactly 12 months ago yesterday was the day we found out we were pregnant.  Still can't believe how lucky we were to have gotten there in the end.  And as difficult a journey as it was, it was worth it to have the beautiful little girl I have lying in bed beside me this morning.

Bonnie is the cutest little button!  She is delightful.  Always happy and laughing.  She looks at us with so much love and awe it still makes my heart melt and eyes well up with tears of joy every day when I look at her.  Of course she has the odd moment when she is a cranky pants but it's usually because she is sick or tired or in pain and it never lasts too long.  We've got a good sleeping pattern going on that has it's occassional hick ups but for the most part she will go to sleep ok once she's tired enough and we wrap her up.  She usually wakes once a night for a feed around 3 or 4am and then goes back to sleep again pretty easily.  So I can't complain at all.  There's even been 2 nights where she's actually slept through!

Breastfeeding is still problematic.  I think my supply is definately better cos I have days where both boobs fill up and actually leak, but there are still other days where it's like they've completely dried up.  Anyway, I try not to let it bother me and just keep giving her what I can and topping up what I can't.  She definately prefers the boob so I feel alittle guilty that they don't give her all she needs but at least she gets something and I don't feel like I need to worry about her refusing it anymore.  She's use to having both now so as long as she gets fed one way or another, she's happy.

Evenings are a lot easier now since I bought a second hand highchair to put her in while cooking, eating or helping the girls with homework.  She not really old enough for it yet but because it reclines and the footrest comes right up, she can lie or sit in it with a bit of padding and she's happy as Larry.  About two weeks ago she started to purposefully hit the toys hanging down on her bouncer or play gym and yesterday she actually grabbed and pulled on the one that plays music twice which gave her of a thrill.  Her little legs are very strong.  She pushes up all the time, loves standing and is also starting to tolerate tummy time a bit better.  For the past week or so she has been constantly nawing on her fist or part of a soft toy so we have been wondering if she is starting to teeth.  The weather here is getting colder so I'm enjoying being able to rug her up in her pram with her mittens and beanie on when we go for a walk.  Super cute!

Speaking of the weather, we've had a lot of wind lately and the tree on the other side of our deck has started to fall apart.  Half of it fell on one of our sheds and pretty much demolished it.  We rent the house we are in at the moment so we're still waiting for the owner to arrange removal of the tree and pulling apart of the shed so we can see if any of our stuff survived.  We have insurance but it's a hefty excess so we are yet to see if it will be worth it.  In the meantime more of the tree has fallen on the corner of the house!  It only damaged the guttering luckily but it's left us alittle unnerved so we've got all the animals living in the house with us at the moment till it's sorted as it barely missed the rabbit hutch.  

                     

                      

To add insult to injury, a contractor let our dog out the other day so we have had to fork out for pound fees and a council fine, and now we've just found out the house we live in has also been sold.  We've had to put up with open houses etc lately and we were hoping the new owner might let us stay on but they want to live in it so we are now having to look for a new home.  We really wanted our next move to be into our own home early next year but this has thrown a spanner in the works.  We need to be out in 3 months and we can't buy while I'm still on maternity leave so we have to move to another rental.  It's annoying cos it will cost us money to move and then move again.  There also isn't too many rentals that come up in this town so it might also mean actually moving town and that will impact on the girls schooling.  It's all just a bit messy and frustrating and I'm not looking forward to any of it.  We had a trip booked and paid for to Cairns next month.  We were planning on spending a whole month tripping around spending a week with mum in Cairns, another week visiting other friends and family in Queensland and then fishing our way down the New South Wales coast on the way home.  That trip will have to be cut short now so we can come home and move, if of course we find somewhere new to live before we leave!  I don't wanna think about it.  Clearly we'll be spending the next few weeks looking at shit holes and trying to get rid of stuff we don't need.  

Anyway, here are a few more pics of our little one :).  She keeps growing and changing and while I love each and every moment of it and look forward to what happens next, I just wish I could stop time and keep her just the way she is right now for a little longer!

                              

                             

                             

                             

                              

                         

                         

                         






Thursday, 12 June 2014

No longer a newborn!

I've been trying to write this post for 3 weeks now but something always seems to come up.  Anyway our little one is now 7 weeks old! Perhaps it was the fact that she was 2 weeks over due, but she has been alert and smiling at everyone pretty much since day 1.  She is in awe of Jazz  who loves to sit and hold her and talk to her whenever she gets the chance.  Charlie is alittle less interested but we expected that.  She seems to live in a little world all of own now that she's nine.

Anyway - to bring you up to speed since Bonnie's birth ...
My mum stayed for two weeks and was a great help, especially helping with the girls, cooking, shopping or just being someone else to settle or burp Bon when I needed a break.  She drove the girls to and from school which was a big help but she was a pretty nervous driver so this made me nervous!  It was nice that she had time to bond with Bonnie but after two weeks of disruption to the girls routine and sleeping arrangements we decided it was time for us to figure out how to do things on our own.

I recovered from the surgery pretty quickly, but breastfeeding was and has been a problem.  The problem is with me, not with Bonnie.  She has no trouble latching and will pretty much take anything you put in her mouth without issue thank goodness.  But unfortunately my supply is pathetic and despite trying everything under the sun to improve it, my body is just not coming to the party (as usual!).  Bonnie dropped more than 10% of her birth weight because of it, so we were forced to start supplementing the day after we left the hospital.  All the trouble I was having trying to settle her suddenly disappeared once she started on the formula, and I realised I'd essentially been starving her without knowing it.   I got input from a lactation nurse and was breast feeding, then topping up with formula and then pumping to supplement the next feed which was all ok while my mum was here but it became much harder once she left.  I have two other kids to worry about and Scout is hardly ever home, so having to do all of that for each feed is pretty exhausting.  I've been taking Motilium which is what mothers who adopt get put on to bring on their milk, but even this has had a minimal effect.  Anyway ... it's been awhile now and I'm persisting with it but it's been hard.  Occasionally I feel like things are improving but then it all seems to go backwards again. Thankfully our little one is still humouring me and will breastfeed for a bit each side before she gets frustrated and I have to go make her a bottle.  When I do get time to express I get hardly anything so I really have no clue what she's getting from me, but as long as she continues to be happy taking the breast, I'll continue to offer it.  I just have to be content knowing that she's at least getting something from me, even if it's not much.  And she's almost back on track with her weight and doing really well now, so that's the main thing.

In terms of sleep, we have good nights and bad nights.  Sometimes I find myself dreading the evenings but I really shouldn't complain cos she doesn't cry a lot unless something is genuinely wrong.  When she was about two weeks old she started getting a cough which was pretty distressing for both of us, so we had a few nights sleeping together on the couch, but when she's not sick, she sleeps pretty well in her cradle overnight and will usually go for 3-4 hours between feeds.  We have had the odd occasion where it's been less and other times when it's been more but generally she's pretty consistent which helps ... Especially when trying to time pick ups and drop offs for the girls etc.  

The evenings seem to be the hardest because I'm juggling the needs of all three girls.  Scout tends to have to work late, till 9 or 10pm, so I'm on my own and it tends to be that time of day when Bonnie is wanting the most amount of attention.  The amount of times I've burnt the kids dinner is rediculous.  It gets a little crazy when I've got two kids fighting, a baby not settling or wanting to be fed and dinner burning in the stove.  Unfortunately my brain just doesn't seems capable of dealing with that many things at once so I really need to be a bit more organised and cook dinners earlier in the day.  I have used a sling a few times in the evenings to keep baby happy and both my hands free.  Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.  But all in all I think we're doing pretty well.  She's a pretty low maintenance kid most of the time.  She travels well in the car and doesn't mind the car seat.  She loves being bathed and doesn't mind getting her nappy changed.  Like I said - she really only cries if she's over tired or something's wrong.  I even took her to the movies with Scout and the girls yesterday and she barely made a peep.  I had a bottle ready for her but didn't end up needing it - just put her on the boob (which was actually harder than expected in the dark!) when she woke up and she was happy.  

Anyway - as usual I have more to write about but if I try to I'll never get this post up!  Our friend did some pics of Bonnie for us at 2 weeks so I'll attach those and save the others from around the home till my next post :)

                     

                      

                      


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Bonnie's Birth

Our little girl is now two weeks old and I already feel like precious time is passing us by way too fast, so it's time I get her birth story done.  I've actually been avoiding it alittle because I've been quite emotional since her birth but I really need to just get it out of the way.  If I wait much longer I'm bound to start forgetting things!  Anyway ...

Bonnie was over cooked and her arrival coincided with the departure of someone very special so things were a little more emotionally charged than they might normally have been.  My last week of pregnancy was spent having fetal monitoring every second day to make sure Bonnie was still ok on the inside, which she was.  It also involved trying everything under the sun to get her to come before her induction date.  I walked alot, ate foods that might help, drank raspberry leaf tea etc but nothing seemed to have any effect.  My reflexologist was booked out so I organised two accupuncture induction appointments with a clinic near the IVF place on the Thursday and the Saturday - these also didn't work.  My mum arrived on the Sunday and we reluctantly went in for the induction on Monday 21st April at 2pm - since we'd had no luck with having it moved to the Tuesday.  I was 41weeks 6 days.


On arrival we met our first midwife, Jenny, and were shown to a private room with a double bed on the maternity ward which surprised me as I'd half expected to be in a room with other women being induced until I went into labour.  They put me on a monitor and when they were happy that baby was still ok in there, they inserted the first lot of gel.  At that point I was told that my cervix was still long and closed.  Scout and my mum checked into a hotel near the hospital as we figured nothing would happen that night and I was worried mum would get tired and it was too far for Scout to be driving back and forth to our home which was a good hours drive away.  We had dinner and at 7pm the midwives took me off the monitor for a bit so I could go for a walk around.  While walking I started to get terrible pain down the back of my right leg and this became constant throughout the rest of my labour, along with occassional back pain.  At 9pm they put me back on the monitor again in preparation for being checked by the doctor.  The monitor showed regular contractions 3 mins apart which I had hardly noticed because I was so focused on the shooting pain in my leg.  Scout and Mum started getting excited about the prospect of our baby girls arrival and the midwife told me she was happy with my progress and didn't think I'd be needing a second lot of gel which made me happy.  

At 10pm we got a new midwife, Coby, who suggested I start using my TENS machine to manage the pain, which I did.  Let me just say right now ... I freakin loved the TENS machine and would highly recommend it to anyone else thinking about using one during labour.  Yes, the extra wires / cords hanging off you can be a bit annoying sometimes (especially when you're also hooked up to a monitor) but honestly it was so worth it.  The only bad thing about the TENS is that you can't use it in the tub, but any plans we had about being in water unfortunately went out the window for us when we had to be induced anyway.  

Not long after starting to use the TENS I also started to feeling a trickle, like I was leaking small amounts of fluid but it didn't seem like enough to make me feel confident it was my waters.  At 11.30pm I finally got checked again (not in a good way either I might add), only to be told my cervix was still way back, long and closed.  I was bummed to say the least.  Because my contractions were so regular and close together, they didn't want to give me another dose of gel incase it brought on a tonic contraction.  The doctor consulted with others and decided to wait a few more hours and check me again before giving me another dose which would need to be monitored extra closely.  At this point Mum went back to the hotel to sleep and Scout and I tried to get some rest.  



At 3am on Tuesday morning I got placed on the monitor again.  Baby was still happy but the contractions had started to subside a bit.  We were now 12 hours into the induction.  I got checked again and my cervix was now softer but still closed.  They decided to give me a second dose of Prostin gel which my body thankfully tolerated and I got monitored hourly after that  The contractions started getting stronger again and I increased my TENS to keep them under control.  I actually became so addicted to the feeling of my TENS that I started forgetting to turn it off between contractions.  At 6.30am Scout went back to the hotel for a quick shower, to pick up mum and to check out of the hotel.  I got released from my monitor for a bit to walk around (thank goodness!) and got under the shower.  I waited for the doctors to come check me again at 9am but by 10am I still hadn't seen them.  I got a new midwife, Fiona, who ended up checking me for the doctors under the supervision of the head midwife.  Unfortunately Fiona wasn't confident with her assessment so I then had to get checked AGAIN by the head midwife who told me my cervix was soft and open at the front but not at the back (?).  I still don't know how the fuck that is possible but at that point I just couldn't believe my cervix was still not dilating cos my vagina certainly was after having every man and his dog check me!  

Based on discussions with the doctor prior to checking me, the head midwife decided to give me a third dose of Prostin gel but only 1mg instead of 2mg.  I went back on the monitor again and at that point we decided that Scout should leave the hospital to attend her Nan's funeral.  She was gone for about 4 hours as the service was held at a venue almost an hour away.  I was relieved that things worked out such that she could attend it but also emotional about not being there myself and frustrated by the lack of progression despite ongoing contractions.  

By 3pm Scout was back at the hospital and I was back on the monitor again with a new mid wife, Zoey.  My back was killing me from the contractions and the dodgy bed I was confined to during monitoring.  I didn't get checked again till 4.30pm and at that point I was really starting to get cranky about not being able to get up and move around to cope with the pain.  When the doctor finally did check me, she told me she could get a finger into my cervix but it was still closed at the back so she couldn't break my waters.  At this point, tears started to flow despite all my best efforts to hold my shit together.  The doctor left the room to discuss what to do with others, but I knew the only option left was a c-section.  The disappointment was overwhelming.  One of the reasons I hadn't wanted to be induced was because I was worried it would fail and I'd end up having to have a c section which was the last thing I wanted.  Every show I'd ever watched where the mother had had to go to theatre had made me feel sick, plus I was worried about baby missing out on all the benefits of being born vaginally and the possible impact on my milk production post birth.  If baby was showing signs of stress I would have found it much easier to except, but she was happy as Larry in there according to the monitor, so I really struggled with it.  Anyway, the doctor came back and much to my surprise she actually offered to check me again, up in stirrups, just to be sure that they definately couldn't get through to break my waters.  So we did that, but the outcome was still the same and she confirmed that we had to go to theatre.  

It was classified as an emergency cesare but only because there was nothing elective about it.  Unfortunately they had given me something to eat just prior to checking me, so that meant I had to wait another 6 hours before they were happy for me to go to theatre.  And even after that we got pushed back a bit further to accomodate some other emergencies that came up.  I cried on and off during the wait.  I was still getting contractions and ironically I finally lost my mucous plug right before heading off to theatre.  

Anyway, our little lady arrived in the early hours on Wednesday 23rd April.  By the time we went to theatre I'd come to terms with it all, but it was a numb kind of acceptance.  The spinal they gave me was painless and the theatre staff were lovely but it was 1.30 in the morning and 36 hours since we'd started the induction so I was finding it hard to get excited about the whole thing. Scout, on the other hand, was excited enough for the two of us.  She sat beside me through the whole thing and kept me calm even though I actually felt like I couldn't breath for half of it.   I don't really know how to explain how I felt when I finally saw Bonnie.  I didn't cry when she came out, and to be honest I had a hard time registering that she was the same little bundle of joy that I'd been carrying around inside of me for 10 months.  I felt alittle detached from the whole experience and even though I was happy our baby was finally here, it was a numb kind of happiness.  It wasn't until much later that I finally felt the feelings of love and joy that I thought I'd feel at her birth.





The theatre staff took lots of photos for us straight after she was born, which we're grateful for given we'd arranged for our friend to photograph the birth, but that got canned once we found out we had to go to theatre.  I got to spend a bit of time with Bonnie and Scout while they were stitching me up, but then the mid wife took her away with Scout while I went to recovery.  I stayed in recovery for about two hours and during that time, Scout and my mum got plenty of time to bond with Bonnie.  I didn't get to really hold her until they took me back to the birthing room and thankfully she latched on without an issue straight away.  I had about 30mins there with my mum and Scout before they moved me to the ward and sent them both home because it was early in the morning.  Of course Scout couldn't be kept away and was back again by 8am much to my surprise.  I thought she'd be tired from the long night and driving home etc but she was so excited she couldn't sleep.


Anyway, because Bonnie was two weeks late, all the time that Scout had booked out in her work diary to bond with baby had passed so she was booked up with clients again and could only visit us in hospital late at night after she had finished for the day.  Mum stayed at home to look after the girls, so essentially I spent alot of time on my own in there.  I had a few visitors at the end of each day which made things bearable but the nights were hell.  I shared a room with 2 other mothers and their babies so I spent the whole time either dealing with the other babies waking Bonnie up or stressing about Bonnie waking them up.  The Thursday night was so bad I started to feel like I was going to unravel. Bonnie wouldn't let me put her down the whole night and I didn't want to just palm her off to the nurses, so I ended up walking the halls with her for hours on end.  I was tired and felt isolated from my family and just wanted to get the hell out of there.  So I asked to be discharged.  Of course this threw them all into a bit of a tiz because they'd pretty much ignored me since the c-section.  Plenty of nurses had said they would do things for me that needed to be done, but most of them hadn't because they had other more pressing issues to deal with.  When they took the catheter out, one said she'd be back to help me get up and have a shower.  She never came back so I just did it on my own, which was fucking painful and at one point I thought I was going to pass out, but thankfully I didn't.  Another said she'd show me how to express by hand, but she never came back either.  Often they would come in to say hello at the start of their shift and that would be the last I'd see of them.  Anyway, I didn't care that they were too busy to do stuff, I just didn't see the point in staying there when I could be doing the same thing at home.  Anyway my request to leave had them suddenly chasing their tails to catch up on all stuff they hadn't done which was probably a good thing.  They weighed Bonnie and were suddenly concerned about how much weight she'd lost since birth.  Then they noticed she'd developed jaundice.  No one had cared about my ability to breast feed prior to this but suddenly it was an issue and I needed to buzz them everytime I fed her so they could check on my technique.



They tried to talk me out of leaving but there was no way I was going stay in there for another night.  I was starting to get overwhelmed emotionally and knew I just needed to get out of there.  Anyway, they finally got their act together, did all the assessments that hadn't been done, showed me how to hand express and gave me a bath demo before finally letting me go under the proviso that I had a home visit with a midwife / lactation consultant after the weekend.



I was so releaved when I finally left that I cried.  And I've continued to cry on and off ever since for lots of reasons.  I've been overwhelmed by how beautiful our little girl is and how lucky we are to have her, especially after thinking it would never happen.  I've also been grieving Scout's nan and the fact that she never got I meet Bonnie even though I know she's still around us and will be watching over Bonnie for many years to come.  She actually arranged for Scout's dad to give us a nappy cake from her after Bonnie was born.  When they gave it to us and told us who it was from I just started crying and still do everytime I look at it.  I'm not sure when or how we will ever be able to pull it apart, but one day I guess it will have to happen.  The fact that I will never be pregnant again has also left me with a heavy heart and I'll post more about this another time, but I'm trying to focus on how grateful I am to have had the experience that I did.  My tummy feels very lifeless and numb these days, to the point where I half wonder if they have nicked a few nerves down there, but it's probably just because it was so full of life and energy before and the change in sensation has left me feeling quite empty.  

Anyway, there is lots more I want to write about but it will have to wait till another post.  If you've read this far and a still awake, you've done very well!  I will leave you with my favourite pic of Bonnie after her first bath at home :)  She is such an alert little one!!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Little one has arrived safe and sound :)

Baby girl is finally here :). Bonnie Maree arrived at 1.38am on 23 April. 7 pounds 1 ounce with great set of lungs and lots of dark hair.  Scout and I are very tired but totally smitten by our new addition.  Will post the birth story when I get the chance :)




Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Not a lot happening despite plenty going on ...

We have had a tough week but baby is still on the inside.  Scout's Nan passed away on Saturday and we have pretty much been consumed with both the lead up to and fall out of that.  She had a blood disorder similar to leukaemia that we knew would take her at some point this year but we didn't expect it to happen right now.  She got a serious infection earlier this year and managed to survive it but hasn't been all that well since.  Then last Wednesday she went in for her usual transfusion of blood and platelets and unfortunately contracted MRSA from it.  She decided she'd had enough and declined any antibiotics which only had a slim chance of saving her.  So we pretty much spent Thursday through to Saturday up at the hospital with her waiting for it to take her.  It was pretty difficult and very stressful for everyone.  She had hoped she'd make it to see the baby.  That's all she'd been hanging in there for for the past 6 months so I was gutted that she didn't make it.  It broke my heart listening to her tell me that "this wasn't how it was meant to be" because she had wanted to still be here when the baby came.  I pretty much spent the entire 3 days on my feet, walking around with the hope that baby might come but in the end I just had to accept that it wasn't going to happen and even if it had, it would have probably created a lot of added unnecessary stress for Scout who would have then been torn about being in two places at once.  

Anyway, even though we thought the worst of the stress was behind us after Saturday, it seems to still be plaguing us.  Planning the funeral has been difficult for the family and it's brought up a lot of stuff for Scout about her childhood etc that she's found difficult.  The funeral director they are using has also been difficult about the timing of the funeral and has basically said they are too busy this week and can't do it over the Easter long weekend, so it has to wait till Tuesday next week.  Initially our concern was more about things being so drawn out for Poppa but after my midwife / OB appts at the hospital this week, it looks like we could still be looking at Scout having to choose between being in two places at once.  I am now 41weeks + 1 and looking down the barrel of an induction.  At both my last two appointments my cervix was still closed and they made attempts at sweeping the membranes but with a closed cervix it doesn't really do much good.  So yesterday when I saw the hospital OB, she wanted to book me in for an induction.  Not really something I was planning on but if that's what has to happen then so be it.  I asked that it be over the Easter weekend but of course they aren't doing bookings for the long weekend and are booked out between now and then so the earliest they can fit in a planned induction is Monday next week ... the day before the funeral.  I was kinda pissed because at first she's telling me that she doesn't want to wait that long to get baby out because I'll be almost 42 weeks, and then she comes back from looking at the diary and is suddenly ok with inducing next week because it fits into their schedule better.  Rediculous.  Anyway Scout was pretty pissed and upset about the whole thing.  If the induction goes ahead on Monday she will almost definately miss the funeral and is really having a hard time processing this.  I feel terrible and just want this baby to hurry up and come on her own before then but the chances of that happening aren't looking too good.  It's all just turned from being something we were looking forward to, to something we are now stressing about.  

On top of everything, we are also trying to figure out what we will do with the kids.  Scout's dad's side of the family were going to be the one's looking after the girls when baby came, but that's not an option now because they have enough on their plate, plus school goes back next week and we live a long way away from the rest of our family, so we have a bit of a dilemma.  If baby comes this weekend, none of this will be a problem as there will be other people we can call on for help, but if we have to stick to the induction on Monday, things are just going to be all round difficult for everyone.  I know we just have to accept that whatever will be, will be, and baby arriving safely is the most important thing, but it's frustrating being forced to fit in with a holiday / long weekend, especially when it's creating all this stress.  Fortunately baby is still doing well in there so that's one thing we don't have to worry about at the moment, but I'm also mindful of the risks involved the longer she stays in there.  Anyway my mum had planned to wait till baby arrived before flying down here but last night I called her and asked her to come this weekend or Monday instead to help us if/when this induction goes ahead.  We'll probably find out today when she's likely to get here, but at this point I feel like the sooner she gets here the better.  

I go back in for fetal monitoring and another scan tomorrow and every other day from now until baby comes.  I have to say, the one blessing amidst all of this is that she is still doing really well in there.  Her heart rate was really good yesterday and she still had plenty of fluid around her so at this point everything is still looking good.  The midwife was also really happy with her position and said she was pretty much right to come straight out.  So now we just need my dodgy cervix to get it's act together and open up.  I'm not feeling all that confident that that's going to happen, but fingers crossed it comes through and we get this show on the road before Monday.

  
41 weeks and counting ...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

40 weeks + 1

Due date has come and gone and baby is still on the inside :).  She is starting to quiet down a bit now though.  Yesterday she was very quiet and I started to get a bit anxious about it when she was still quiet early this morning, but after a coffee and some mini Easter eggs she started moving again so I feel ok now.  She feels like she's a lot lower now but she's often felt like that in the past and then a few hours later she's wriggled back up under my ribs.  Who knows what she's doing in there.  Scout's work is finally on hold and the girls are on holidays as well, so everyone's at home.  I spent my due day yesterday washing hair and sheets because we found nits in Charlie's hair.  Joy!  Just what I felt like doing.  Anyway, I'm just glad to have Scout at home with me today so I can put my feet up for a bit and not have to worry about entertaining the girls.

Here are some photos from the baby shower as promised ...

                         

                         

                         

                         

How good does that food look?!  I was so spoilt :))
   And my latest bump shot ...

                                   

Anyway, we're looking forward to meeting our little one in the flesh, hopefully sooner rather than later!  Scout is getting anxious, and after this morning, I think I'm not far behind her.  My next midwife appt is this Friday.  Not long now :)  If I get the chance I'll post some pics of the babies room too ( hopefully before the little one arrives!)  It's finally looking organised and functional.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Thoughts on labour and our baby girl's arrival ...

I have had lots going on in my head lately and thought I should just get it all out before I suddenly a find myself in labour.  I am not 'scared' of what's ahead with the birth etc which actually surprises me ... perhaps that will come when labour starts ... but I do have some 'worries' that have been playing on my mind.  I don't care how our little girl arrives.  If I need drugs or an epidural or a Caesarian so be it ... as long as baby is safe.  But I do worry about the 'what if's' that I know we have no control over.  I know it's normal to have these worries at this point, but I just feel like I need to get them out there and hopefully once they're out I can worry about them a little less.  

My two biggest concerns is that something could happen to baby and also that something could happen to me.  I know these are normal things to worry about and it's most likely everything will be just fine.  But these thoughts are still in my head a lot lately, so much so that I was standing in line at the post office the other day and just suddenly started crying.  For some reason I just had this feeling like I wasn't going to survive the birth.  And oddly enough that didn't scare me so much but it did make me feel overwhelmingly sad that I could potentially end up leaving my little girl and beautiful family behind and never get to see or know of a future with them.  Even now it upsets me writing about it.  I love my wife and our little family so much and I just can't bear the thought of ever leaving them like that.  Anyway, it was bothering me so much that after my tears at the post office, I had to talk to Scout about it.  She was very understanding and said that she'd had similar thoughts when she had the girls ... Nightmares about c-sections going wrong etc.  I made her promise that she would keep and care for our baby girl if anything happened and of course she said she would, even though I think she thought I was being a little melodramatic.  Anyway, I feel better now that she knows what's going on in my head.  I think I just felt like I needed to have the conversation ... just in case.  It's not like I think there will be any issue with anyone not letting her keep our baby if something where to happen to me, but the thought is still there in the back of my head for whatever reason.  

As far as worrying about something happening to baby, I have been a lot better about pushing those thoughts aside and convincing myself that she will be fine.  I think it's just not something my brain is prepared to process or even consider with any seriousness at this point because the reality would be beyond comprehension.  Somehow I think I have just managed to convince myself that she will be fine and I'm happy to take that expectation (no matter how naive) with me into this labour because the  alternative is just not something I can think about at this point.  

In terms of labour, I feel a lot more empowered now to just give it a good crack and see what happens.  I'm not scared of the pain.  I might be once it starts!  But right now I feel ok about getting through that first stage.  The second stage still worries me, but I am just going to have to keep all those fears out of my head somehow and focus on having a happy healthy baby at the end of it.  

Another thing that has been playing on my mind, is whether I'll be successful with breastfeeding.  I know it's probably not something I should be worrying about at this point, but it's something I really want to be able to do and I hear so many stories about how much others struggle with it.  Anyway, we will cross that bridge when we get to it, but I am hoping it's not something that gets the better of me, because I'll be massively disappointed if it does.  

Apart from those couple of things, I am really looking forward to baby making her grand entrance :).  I don't feel nervous at all yet.  Probably because I've been trying to convince myself that she'll still be in there for a little while yet.  We are yet to make a list of who to tell when she arrives or discuss how we'll go about doing that.  I am not a fan of Facebook and we have deliberately keep our news quiet on there so I imagine it will be phone calls and txts.  One of the reasons we have keep any baby talk off Facebook is because we haven't wanted to hurt or offend our other friends who are still TTC.  I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but I finally told them we were pregnant back in January.  I had been putting it off because I was concerned about how they'd take the news etc. and the potential impact it could have on our friendship.  Anyway at the time, I spoke with the partner of the one who had been having so much trouble.  She was actually just starting IVF herself because they had had to swap roles in the end.  Anyway I figured she would know how best to break the news to her partner and because they were both seeing a counsellor my friend said she'd discuss it with their counsellor first.  I hadn't heard from either of them since and Scout was worried that that was the end of our friendship with them  I kept telling her it would be fine and that they just needed time after everything they'd been though.  Anyway ... I got a call out of the blue from the one I'd spoken to about it last week telling me that she still hadn't been able to break the news to her partner!  Apparently the counsellor didn't feel it was a good time to be sharing the news back in Jan and had told her to hold off but now with baby about to make an appearance any day, she had brought it up with the counsellor again and the counsellor suggested I be the one to tell the partner.  So here I am ... about to hit my due date ... thinking I'd already dealt with this and it turns out I still have to!  I can understand that it's been hard to pick the right time, but I'm feeling really bad now that my friend has been kept in the dark this long.  Anyway ... they're away right now but the plan is for me to contact her early next week, when they get back, to tell her.  This will be pretty much smack bang on my due date and pretty much the last thing I'm going to feel like doing ... but it has to be done.  Wish me luck.  I'm just hoping this baby doesn't arrive before I get to tell her ... because telling her after baby is already here is going to make me feel even worse!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

3.5 months

Yes I continue to be crap at blogging!  There's been many occassions where I have had stuff I've wanted to write about but I always think about it late at night when I am too tired to actually do it.  Anyway ... our little one is now 14 weeks old!!  And exactly 12 months ago yesterday was the day we found out we were pregnant.  Still can't believe how lucky we were to have gotten there in the end.  And as difficult a journey as it was, it was worth it to have the beautiful little girl I have lying in bed beside me this morning.

Bonnie is the cutest little button!  She is delightful.  Always happy and laughing.  She looks at us with so much love and awe it still makes my heart melt and eyes well up with tears of joy every day when I look at her.  Of course she has the odd moment when she is a cranky pants but it's usually because she is sick or tired or in pain and it never lasts too long.  We've got a good sleeping pattern going on that has it's occassional hick ups but for the most part she will go to sleep ok once she's tired enough and we wrap her up.  She usually wakes once a night for a feed around 3 or 4am and then goes back to sleep again pretty easily.  So I can't complain at all.  There's even been 2 nights where she's actually slept through!

Breastfeeding is still problematic.  I think my supply is definately better cos I have days where both boobs fill up and actually leak, but there are still other days where it's like they've completely dried up.  Anyway, I try not to let it bother me and just keep giving her what I can and topping up what I can't.  She definately prefers the boob so I feel alittle guilty that they don't give her all she needs but at least she gets something and I don't feel like I need to worry about her refusing it anymore.  She's use to having both now so as long as she gets fed one way or another, she's happy.

Evenings are a lot easier now since I bought a second hand highchair to put her in while cooking, eating or helping the girls with homework.  She not really old enough for it yet but because it reclines and the footrest comes right up, she can lie or sit in it with a bit of padding and she's happy as Larry.  About two weeks ago she started to purposefully hit the toys hanging down on her bouncer or play gym and yesterday she actually grabbed and pulled on the one that plays music twice which gave her of a thrill.  Her little legs are very strong.  She pushes up all the time, loves standing and is also starting to tolerate tummy time a bit better.  For the past week or so she has been constantly nawing on her fist or part of a soft toy so we have been wondering if she is starting to teeth.  The weather here is getting colder so I'm enjoying being able to rug her up in her pram with her mittens and beanie on when we go for a walk.  Super cute!

Speaking of the weather, we've had a lot of wind lately and the tree on the other side of our deck has started to fall apart.  Half of it fell on one of our sheds and pretty much demolished it.  We rent the house we are in at the moment so we're still waiting for the owner to arrange removal of the tree and pulling apart of the shed so we can see if any of our stuff survived.  We have insurance but it's a hefty excess so we are yet to see if it will be worth it.  In the meantime more of the tree has fallen on the corner of the house!  It only damaged the guttering luckily but it's left us alittle unnerved so we've got all the animals living in the house with us at the moment till it's sorted as it barely missed the rabbit hutch.  

                     

                      

To add insult to injury, a contractor let our dog out the other day so we have had to fork out for pound fees and a council fine, and now we've just found out the house we live in has also been sold.  We've had to put up with open houses etc lately and we were hoping the new owner might let us stay on but they want to live in it so we are now having to look for a new home.  We really wanted our next move to be into our own home early next year but this has thrown a spanner in the works.  We need to be out in 3 months and we can't buy while I'm still on maternity leave so we have to move to another rental.  It's annoying cos it will cost us money to move and then move again.  There also isn't too many rentals that come up in this town so it might also mean actually moving town and that will impact on the girls schooling.  It's all just a bit messy and frustrating and I'm not looking forward to any of it.  We had a trip booked and paid for to Cairns next month.  We were planning on spending a whole month tripping around spending a week with mum in Cairns, another week visiting other friends and family in Queensland and then fishing our way down the New South Wales coast on the way home.  That trip will have to be cut short now so we can come home and move, if of course we find somewhere new to live before we leave!  I don't wanna think about it.  Clearly we'll be spending the next few weeks looking at shit holes and trying to get rid of stuff we don't need.  

Anyway, here are a few more pics of our little one :).  She keeps growing and changing and while I love each and every moment of it and look forward to what happens next, I just wish I could stop time and keep her just the way she is right now for a little longer!

                              

                             

                             

                             

                              

                         

                         

                         






Thursday, 12 June 2014

No longer a newborn!

I've been trying to write this post for 3 weeks now but something always seems to come up.  Anyway our little one is now 7 weeks old! Perhaps it was the fact that she was 2 weeks over due, but she has been alert and smiling at everyone pretty much since day 1.  She is in awe of Jazz  who loves to sit and hold her and talk to her whenever she gets the chance.  Charlie is alittle less interested but we expected that.  She seems to live in a little world all of own now that she's nine.

Anyway - to bring you up to speed since Bonnie's birth ...
My mum stayed for two weeks and was a great help, especially helping with the girls, cooking, shopping or just being someone else to settle or burp Bon when I needed a break.  She drove the girls to and from school which was a big help but she was a pretty nervous driver so this made me nervous!  It was nice that she had time to bond with Bonnie but after two weeks of disruption to the girls routine and sleeping arrangements we decided it was time for us to figure out how to do things on our own.

I recovered from the surgery pretty quickly, but breastfeeding was and has been a problem.  The problem is with me, not with Bonnie.  She has no trouble latching and will pretty much take anything you put in her mouth without issue thank goodness.  But unfortunately my supply is pathetic and despite trying everything under the sun to improve it, my body is just not coming to the party (as usual!).  Bonnie dropped more than 10% of her birth weight because of it, so we were forced to start supplementing the day after we left the hospital.  All the trouble I was having trying to settle her suddenly disappeared once she started on the formula, and I realised I'd essentially been starving her without knowing it.   I got input from a lactation nurse and was breast feeding, then topping up with formula and then pumping to supplement the next feed which was all ok while my mum was here but it became much harder once she left.  I have two other kids to worry about and Scout is hardly ever home, so having to do all of that for each feed is pretty exhausting.  I've been taking Motilium which is what mothers who adopt get put on to bring on their milk, but even this has had a minimal effect.  Anyway ... it's been awhile now and I'm persisting with it but it's been hard.  Occasionally I feel like things are improving but then it all seems to go backwards again. Thankfully our little one is still humouring me and will breastfeed for a bit each side before she gets frustrated and I have to go make her a bottle.  When I do get time to express I get hardly anything so I really have no clue what she's getting from me, but as long as she continues to be happy taking the breast, I'll continue to offer it.  I just have to be content knowing that she's at least getting something from me, even if it's not much.  And she's almost back on track with her weight and doing really well now, so that's the main thing.

In terms of sleep, we have good nights and bad nights.  Sometimes I find myself dreading the evenings but I really shouldn't complain cos she doesn't cry a lot unless something is genuinely wrong.  When she was about two weeks old she started getting a cough which was pretty distressing for both of us, so we had a few nights sleeping together on the couch, but when she's not sick, she sleeps pretty well in her cradle overnight and will usually go for 3-4 hours between feeds.  We have had the odd occasion where it's been less and other times when it's been more but generally she's pretty consistent which helps ... Especially when trying to time pick ups and drop offs for the girls etc.  

The evenings seem to be the hardest because I'm juggling the needs of all three girls.  Scout tends to have to work late, till 9 or 10pm, so I'm on my own and it tends to be that time of day when Bonnie is wanting the most amount of attention.  The amount of times I've burnt the kids dinner is rediculous.  It gets a little crazy when I've got two kids fighting, a baby not settling or wanting to be fed and dinner burning in the stove.  Unfortunately my brain just doesn't seems capable of dealing with that many things at once so I really need to be a bit more organised and cook dinners earlier in the day.  I have used a sling a few times in the evenings to keep baby happy and both my hands free.  Sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.  But all in all I think we're doing pretty well.  She's a pretty low maintenance kid most of the time.  She travels well in the car and doesn't mind the car seat.  She loves being bathed and doesn't mind getting her nappy changed.  Like I said - she really only cries if she's over tired or something's wrong.  I even took her to the movies with Scout and the girls yesterday and she barely made a peep.  I had a bottle ready for her but didn't end up needing it - just put her on the boob (which was actually harder than expected in the dark!) when she woke up and she was happy.  

Anyway - as usual I have more to write about but if I try to I'll never get this post up!  Our friend did some pics of Bonnie for us at 2 weeks so I'll attach those and save the others from around the home till my next post :)

                     

                      

                      


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Bonnie's Birth

Our little girl is now two weeks old and I already feel like precious time is passing us by way too fast, so it's time I get her birth story done.  I've actually been avoiding it alittle because I've been quite emotional since her birth but I really need to just get it out of the way.  If I wait much longer I'm bound to start forgetting things!  Anyway ...

Bonnie was over cooked and her arrival coincided with the departure of someone very special so things were a little more emotionally charged than they might normally have been.  My last week of pregnancy was spent having fetal monitoring every second day to make sure Bonnie was still ok on the inside, which she was.  It also involved trying everything under the sun to get her to come before her induction date.  I walked alot, ate foods that might help, drank raspberry leaf tea etc but nothing seemed to have any effect.  My reflexologist was booked out so I organised two accupuncture induction appointments with a clinic near the IVF place on the Thursday and the Saturday - these also didn't work.  My mum arrived on the Sunday and we reluctantly went in for the induction on Monday 21st April at 2pm - since we'd had no luck with having it moved to the Tuesday.  I was 41weeks 6 days.


On arrival we met our first midwife, Jenny, and were shown to a private room with a double bed on the maternity ward which surprised me as I'd half expected to be in a room with other women being induced until I went into labour.  They put me on a monitor and when they were happy that baby was still ok in there, they inserted the first lot of gel.  At that point I was told that my cervix was still long and closed.  Scout and my mum checked into a hotel near the hospital as we figured nothing would happen that night and I was worried mum would get tired and it was too far for Scout to be driving back and forth to our home which was a good hours drive away.  We had dinner and at 7pm the midwives took me off the monitor for a bit so I could go for a walk around.  While walking I started to get terrible pain down the back of my right leg and this became constant throughout the rest of my labour, along with occassional back pain.  At 9pm they put me back on the monitor again in preparation for being checked by the doctor.  The monitor showed regular contractions 3 mins apart which I had hardly noticed because I was so focused on the shooting pain in my leg.  Scout and Mum started getting excited about the prospect of our baby girls arrival and the midwife told me she was happy with my progress and didn't think I'd be needing a second lot of gel which made me happy.  

At 10pm we got a new midwife, Coby, who suggested I start using my TENS machine to manage the pain, which I did.  Let me just say right now ... I freakin loved the TENS machine and would highly recommend it to anyone else thinking about using one during labour.  Yes, the extra wires / cords hanging off you can be a bit annoying sometimes (especially when you're also hooked up to a monitor) but honestly it was so worth it.  The only bad thing about the TENS is that you can't use it in the tub, but any plans we had about being in water unfortunately went out the window for us when we had to be induced anyway.  

Not long after starting to use the TENS I also started to feeling a trickle, like I was leaking small amounts of fluid but it didn't seem like enough to make me feel confident it was my waters.  At 11.30pm I finally got checked again (not in a good way either I might add), only to be told my cervix was still way back, long and closed.  I was bummed to say the least.  Because my contractions were so regular and close together, they didn't want to give me another dose of gel incase it brought on a tonic contraction.  The doctor consulted with others and decided to wait a few more hours and check me again before giving me another dose which would need to be monitored extra closely.  At this point Mum went back to the hotel to sleep and Scout and I tried to get some rest.  



At 3am on Tuesday morning I got placed on the monitor again.  Baby was still happy but the contractions had started to subside a bit.  We were now 12 hours into the induction.  I got checked again and my cervix was now softer but still closed.  They decided to give me a second dose of Prostin gel which my body thankfully tolerated and I got monitored hourly after that  The contractions started getting stronger again and I increased my TENS to keep them under control.  I actually became so addicted to the feeling of my TENS that I started forgetting to turn it off between contractions.  At 6.30am Scout went back to the hotel for a quick shower, to pick up mum and to check out of the hotel.  I got released from my monitor for a bit to walk around (thank goodness!) and got under the shower.  I waited for the doctors to come check me again at 9am but by 10am I still hadn't seen them.  I got a new midwife, Fiona, who ended up checking me for the doctors under the supervision of the head midwife.  Unfortunately Fiona wasn't confident with her assessment so I then had to get checked AGAIN by the head midwife who told me my cervix was soft and open at the front but not at the back (?).  I still don't know how the fuck that is possible but at that point I just couldn't believe my cervix was still not dilating cos my vagina certainly was after having every man and his dog check me!  

Based on discussions with the doctor prior to checking me, the head midwife decided to give me a third dose of Prostin gel but only 1mg instead of 2mg.  I went back on the monitor again and at that point we decided that Scout should leave the hospital to attend her Nan's funeral.  She was gone for about 4 hours as the service was held at a venue almost an hour away.  I was relieved that things worked out such that she could attend it but also emotional about not being there myself and frustrated by the lack of progression despite ongoing contractions.  

By 3pm Scout was back at the hospital and I was back on the monitor again with a new mid wife, Zoey.  My back was killing me from the contractions and the dodgy bed I was confined to during monitoring.  I didn't get checked again till 4.30pm and at that point I was really starting to get cranky about not being able to get up and move around to cope with the pain.  When the doctor finally did check me, she told me she could get a finger into my cervix but it was still closed at the back so she couldn't break my waters.  At this point, tears started to flow despite all my best efforts to hold my shit together.  The doctor left the room to discuss what to do with others, but I knew the only option left was a c-section.  The disappointment was overwhelming.  One of the reasons I hadn't wanted to be induced was because I was worried it would fail and I'd end up having to have a c section which was the last thing I wanted.  Every show I'd ever watched where the mother had had to go to theatre had made me feel sick, plus I was worried about baby missing out on all the benefits of being born vaginally and the possible impact on my milk production post birth.  If baby was showing signs of stress I would have found it much easier to except, but she was happy as Larry in there according to the monitor, so I really struggled with it.  Anyway, the doctor came back and much to my surprise she actually offered to check me again, up in stirrups, just to be sure that they definately couldn't get through to break my waters.  So we did that, but the outcome was still the same and she confirmed that we had to go to theatre.  

It was classified as an emergency cesare but only because there was nothing elective about it.  Unfortunately they had given me something to eat just prior to checking me, so that meant I had to wait another 6 hours before they were happy for me to go to theatre.  And even after that we got pushed back a bit further to accomodate some other emergencies that came up.  I cried on and off during the wait.  I was still getting contractions and ironically I finally lost my mucous plug right before heading off to theatre.  

Anyway, our little lady arrived in the early hours on Wednesday 23rd April.  By the time we went to theatre I'd come to terms with it all, but it was a numb kind of acceptance.  The spinal they gave me was painless and the theatre staff were lovely but it was 1.30 in the morning and 36 hours since we'd started the induction so I was finding it hard to get excited about the whole thing. Scout, on the other hand, was excited enough for the two of us.  She sat beside me through the whole thing and kept me calm even though I actually felt like I couldn't breath for half of it.   I don't really know how to explain how I felt when I finally saw Bonnie.  I didn't cry when she came out, and to be honest I had a hard time registering that she was the same little bundle of joy that I'd been carrying around inside of me for 10 months.  I felt alittle detached from the whole experience and even though I was happy our baby was finally here, it was a numb kind of happiness.  It wasn't until much later that I finally felt the feelings of love and joy that I thought I'd feel at her birth.





The theatre staff took lots of photos for us straight after she was born, which we're grateful for given we'd arranged for our friend to photograph the birth, but that got canned once we found out we had to go to theatre.  I got to spend a bit of time with Bonnie and Scout while they were stitching me up, but then the mid wife took her away with Scout while I went to recovery.  I stayed in recovery for about two hours and during that time, Scout and my mum got plenty of time to bond with Bonnie.  I didn't get to really hold her until they took me back to the birthing room and thankfully she latched on without an issue straight away.  I had about 30mins there with my mum and Scout before they moved me to the ward and sent them both home because it was early in the morning.  Of course Scout couldn't be kept away and was back again by 8am much to my surprise.  I thought she'd be tired from the long night and driving home etc but she was so excited she couldn't sleep.


Anyway, because Bonnie was two weeks late, all the time that Scout had booked out in her work diary to bond with baby had passed so she was booked up with clients again and could only visit us in hospital late at night after she had finished for the day.  Mum stayed at home to look after the girls, so essentially I spent alot of time on my own in there.  I had a few visitors at the end of each day which made things bearable but the nights were hell.  I shared a room with 2 other mothers and their babies so I spent the whole time either dealing with the other babies waking Bonnie up or stressing about Bonnie waking them up.  The Thursday night was so bad I started to feel like I was going to unravel. Bonnie wouldn't let me put her down the whole night and I didn't want to just palm her off to the nurses, so I ended up walking the halls with her for hours on end.  I was tired and felt isolated from my family and just wanted to get the hell out of there.  So I asked to be discharged.  Of course this threw them all into a bit of a tiz because they'd pretty much ignored me since the c-section.  Plenty of nurses had said they would do things for me that needed to be done, but most of them hadn't because they had other more pressing issues to deal with.  When they took the catheter out, one said she'd be back to help me get up and have a shower.  She never came back so I just did it on my own, which was fucking painful and at one point I thought I was going to pass out, but thankfully I didn't.  Another said she'd show me how to express by hand, but she never came back either.  Often they would come in to say hello at the start of their shift and that would be the last I'd see of them.  Anyway, I didn't care that they were too busy to do stuff, I just didn't see the point in staying there when I could be doing the same thing at home.  Anyway my request to leave had them suddenly chasing their tails to catch up on all stuff they hadn't done which was probably a good thing.  They weighed Bonnie and were suddenly concerned about how much weight she'd lost since birth.  Then they noticed she'd developed jaundice.  No one had cared about my ability to breast feed prior to this but suddenly it was an issue and I needed to buzz them everytime I fed her so they could check on my technique.



They tried to talk me out of leaving but there was no way I was going stay in there for another night.  I was starting to get overwhelmed emotionally and knew I just needed to get out of there.  Anyway, they finally got their act together, did all the assessments that hadn't been done, showed me how to hand express and gave me a bath demo before finally letting me go under the proviso that I had a home visit with a midwife / lactation consultant after the weekend.



I was so releaved when I finally left that I cried.  And I've continued to cry on and off ever since for lots of reasons.  I've been overwhelmed by how beautiful our little girl is and how lucky we are to have her, especially after thinking it would never happen.  I've also been grieving Scout's nan and the fact that she never got I meet Bonnie even though I know she's still around us and will be watching over Bonnie for many years to come.  She actually arranged for Scout's dad to give us a nappy cake from her after Bonnie was born.  When they gave it to us and told us who it was from I just started crying and still do everytime I look at it.  I'm not sure when or how we will ever be able to pull it apart, but one day I guess it will have to happen.  The fact that I will never be pregnant again has also left me with a heavy heart and I'll post more about this another time, but I'm trying to focus on how grateful I am to have had the experience that I did.  My tummy feels very lifeless and numb these days, to the point where I half wonder if they have nicked a few nerves down there, but it's probably just because it was so full of life and energy before and the change in sensation has left me feeling quite empty.  

Anyway, there is lots more I want to write about but it will have to wait till another post.  If you've read this far and a still awake, you've done very well!  I will leave you with my favourite pic of Bonnie after her first bath at home :)  She is such an alert little one!!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Little one has arrived safe and sound :)

Baby girl is finally here :). Bonnie Maree arrived at 1.38am on 23 April. 7 pounds 1 ounce with great set of lungs and lots of dark hair.  Scout and I are very tired but totally smitten by our new addition.  Will post the birth story when I get the chance :)




Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Not a lot happening despite plenty going on ...

We have had a tough week but baby is still on the inside.  Scout's Nan passed away on Saturday and we have pretty much been consumed with both the lead up to and fall out of that.  She had a blood disorder similar to leukaemia that we knew would take her at some point this year but we didn't expect it to happen right now.  She got a serious infection earlier this year and managed to survive it but hasn't been all that well since.  Then last Wednesday she went in for her usual transfusion of blood and platelets and unfortunately contracted MRSA from it.  She decided she'd had enough and declined any antibiotics which only had a slim chance of saving her.  So we pretty much spent Thursday through to Saturday up at the hospital with her waiting for it to take her.  It was pretty difficult and very stressful for everyone.  She had hoped she'd make it to see the baby.  That's all she'd been hanging in there for for the past 6 months so I was gutted that she didn't make it.  It broke my heart listening to her tell me that "this wasn't how it was meant to be" because she had wanted to still be here when the baby came.  I pretty much spent the entire 3 days on my feet, walking around with the hope that baby might come but in the end I just had to accept that it wasn't going to happen and even if it had, it would have probably created a lot of added unnecessary stress for Scout who would have then been torn about being in two places at once.  

Anyway, even though we thought the worst of the stress was behind us after Saturday, it seems to still be plaguing us.  Planning the funeral has been difficult for the family and it's brought up a lot of stuff for Scout about her childhood etc that she's found difficult.  The funeral director they are using has also been difficult about the timing of the funeral and has basically said they are too busy this week and can't do it over the Easter long weekend, so it has to wait till Tuesday next week.  Initially our concern was more about things being so drawn out for Poppa but after my midwife / OB appts at the hospital this week, it looks like we could still be looking at Scout having to choose between being in two places at once.  I am now 41weeks + 1 and looking down the barrel of an induction.  At both my last two appointments my cervix was still closed and they made attempts at sweeping the membranes but with a closed cervix it doesn't really do much good.  So yesterday when I saw the hospital OB, she wanted to book me in for an induction.  Not really something I was planning on but if that's what has to happen then so be it.  I asked that it be over the Easter weekend but of course they aren't doing bookings for the long weekend and are booked out between now and then so the earliest they can fit in a planned induction is Monday next week ... the day before the funeral.  I was kinda pissed because at first she's telling me that she doesn't want to wait that long to get baby out because I'll be almost 42 weeks, and then she comes back from looking at the diary and is suddenly ok with inducing next week because it fits into their schedule better.  Rediculous.  Anyway Scout was pretty pissed and upset about the whole thing.  If the induction goes ahead on Monday she will almost definately miss the funeral and is really having a hard time processing this.  I feel terrible and just want this baby to hurry up and come on her own before then but the chances of that happening aren't looking too good.  It's all just turned from being something we were looking forward to, to something we are now stressing about.  

On top of everything, we are also trying to figure out what we will do with the kids.  Scout's dad's side of the family were going to be the one's looking after the girls when baby came, but that's not an option now because they have enough on their plate, plus school goes back next week and we live a long way away from the rest of our family, so we have a bit of a dilemma.  If baby comes this weekend, none of this will be a problem as there will be other people we can call on for help, but if we have to stick to the induction on Monday, things are just going to be all round difficult for everyone.  I know we just have to accept that whatever will be, will be, and baby arriving safely is the most important thing, but it's frustrating being forced to fit in with a holiday / long weekend, especially when it's creating all this stress.  Fortunately baby is still doing well in there so that's one thing we don't have to worry about at the moment, but I'm also mindful of the risks involved the longer she stays in there.  Anyway my mum had planned to wait till baby arrived before flying down here but last night I called her and asked her to come this weekend or Monday instead to help us if/when this induction goes ahead.  We'll probably find out today when she's likely to get here, but at this point I feel like the sooner she gets here the better.  

I go back in for fetal monitoring and another scan tomorrow and every other day from now until baby comes.  I have to say, the one blessing amidst all of this is that she is still doing really well in there.  Her heart rate was really good yesterday and she still had plenty of fluid around her so at this point everything is still looking good.  The midwife was also really happy with her position and said she was pretty much right to come straight out.  So now we just need my dodgy cervix to get it's act together and open up.  I'm not feeling all that confident that that's going to happen, but fingers crossed it comes through and we get this show on the road before Monday.

  
41 weeks and counting ...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

40 weeks + 1

Due date has come and gone and baby is still on the inside :).  She is starting to quiet down a bit now though.  Yesterday she was very quiet and I started to get a bit anxious about it when she was still quiet early this morning, but after a coffee and some mini Easter eggs she started moving again so I feel ok now.  She feels like she's a lot lower now but she's often felt like that in the past and then a few hours later she's wriggled back up under my ribs.  Who knows what she's doing in there.  Scout's work is finally on hold and the girls are on holidays as well, so everyone's at home.  I spent my due day yesterday washing hair and sheets because we found nits in Charlie's hair.  Joy!  Just what I felt like doing.  Anyway, I'm just glad to have Scout at home with me today so I can put my feet up for a bit and not have to worry about entertaining the girls.

Here are some photos from the baby shower as promised ...

                         

                         

                         

                         

How good does that food look?!  I was so spoilt :))
   And my latest bump shot ...

                                   

Anyway, we're looking forward to meeting our little one in the flesh, hopefully sooner rather than later!  Scout is getting anxious, and after this morning, I think I'm not far behind her.  My next midwife appt is this Friday.  Not long now :)  If I get the chance I'll post some pics of the babies room too ( hopefully before the little one arrives!)  It's finally looking organised and functional.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Thoughts on labour and our baby girl's arrival ...

I have had lots going on in my head lately and thought I should just get it all out before I suddenly a find myself in labour.  I am not 'scared' of what's ahead with the birth etc which actually surprises me ... perhaps that will come when labour starts ... but I do have some 'worries' that have been playing on my mind.  I don't care how our little girl arrives.  If I need drugs or an epidural or a Caesarian so be it ... as long as baby is safe.  But I do worry about the 'what if's' that I know we have no control over.  I know it's normal to have these worries at this point, but I just feel like I need to get them out there and hopefully once they're out I can worry about them a little less.  

My two biggest concerns is that something could happen to baby and also that something could happen to me.  I know these are normal things to worry about and it's most likely everything will be just fine.  But these thoughts are still in my head a lot lately, so much so that I was standing in line at the post office the other day and just suddenly started crying.  For some reason I just had this feeling like I wasn't going to survive the birth.  And oddly enough that didn't scare me so much but it did make me feel overwhelmingly sad that I could potentially end up leaving my little girl and beautiful family behind and never get to see or know of a future with them.  Even now it upsets me writing about it.  I love my wife and our little family so much and I just can't bear the thought of ever leaving them like that.  Anyway, it was bothering me so much that after my tears at the post office, I had to talk to Scout about it.  She was very understanding and said that she'd had similar thoughts when she had the girls ... Nightmares about c-sections going wrong etc.  I made her promise that she would keep and care for our baby girl if anything happened and of course she said she would, even though I think she thought I was being a little melodramatic.  Anyway, I feel better now that she knows what's going on in my head.  I think I just felt like I needed to have the conversation ... just in case.  It's not like I think there will be any issue with anyone not letting her keep our baby if something where to happen to me, but the thought is still there in the back of my head for whatever reason.  

As far as worrying about something happening to baby, I have been a lot better about pushing those thoughts aside and convincing myself that she will be fine.  I think it's just not something my brain is prepared to process or even consider with any seriousness at this point because the reality would be beyond comprehension.  Somehow I think I have just managed to convince myself that she will be fine and I'm happy to take that expectation (no matter how naive) with me into this labour because the  alternative is just not something I can think about at this point.  

In terms of labour, I feel a lot more empowered now to just give it a good crack and see what happens.  I'm not scared of the pain.  I might be once it starts!  But right now I feel ok about getting through that first stage.  The second stage still worries me, but I am just going to have to keep all those fears out of my head somehow and focus on having a happy healthy baby at the end of it.  

Another thing that has been playing on my mind, is whether I'll be successful with breastfeeding.  I know it's probably not something I should be worrying about at this point, but it's something I really want to be able to do and I hear so many stories about how much others struggle with it.  Anyway, we will cross that bridge when we get to it, but I am hoping it's not something that gets the better of me, because I'll be massively disappointed if it does.  

Apart from those couple of things, I am really looking forward to baby making her grand entrance :).  I don't feel nervous at all yet.  Probably because I've been trying to convince myself that she'll still be in there for a little while yet.  We are yet to make a list of who to tell when she arrives or discuss how we'll go about doing that.  I am not a fan of Facebook and we have deliberately keep our news quiet on there so I imagine it will be phone calls and txts.  One of the reasons we have keep any baby talk off Facebook is because we haven't wanted to hurt or offend our other friends who are still TTC.  I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but I finally told them we were pregnant back in January.  I had been putting it off because I was concerned about how they'd take the news etc. and the potential impact it could have on our friendship.  Anyway at the time, I spoke with the partner of the one who had been having so much trouble.  She was actually just starting IVF herself because they had had to swap roles in the end.  Anyway I figured she would know how best to break the news to her partner and because they were both seeing a counsellor my friend said she'd discuss it with their counsellor first.  I hadn't heard from either of them since and Scout was worried that that was the end of our friendship with them  I kept telling her it would be fine and that they just needed time after everything they'd been though.  Anyway ... I got a call out of the blue from the one I'd spoken to about it last week telling me that she still hadn't been able to break the news to her partner!  Apparently the counsellor didn't feel it was a good time to be sharing the news back in Jan and had told her to hold off but now with baby about to make an appearance any day, she had brought it up with the counsellor again and the counsellor suggested I be the one to tell the partner.  So here I am ... about to hit my due date ... thinking I'd already dealt with this and it turns out I still have to!  I can understand that it's been hard to pick the right time, but I'm feeling really bad now that my friend has been kept in the dark this long.  Anyway ... they're away right now but the plan is for me to contact her early next week, when they get back, to tell her.  This will be pretty much smack bang on my due date and pretty much the last thing I'm going to feel like doing ... but it has to be done.  Wish me luck.  I'm just hoping this baby doesn't arrive before I get to tell her ... because telling her after baby is already here is going to make me feel even worse!

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