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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's been some time since I've updated this blog. The best of intentions have been there, even blog posts written in my head... As you know, I have been busy taking care of a baby, however, and the silly season was one of the silliest ever.
So, here I am, in post holiday bliss, with my almost 12 week old daughter and her 3 year old sister. We have all been hanging out since New Year's Eve... How do you ring in the new year with 2 such children in your charge? Well, first you go and see the host of the family bbq you were invited to in the hospital to welcome her brand new baby boy, then you go to her bbq anyway and visit with her partner and mother, then you go home and tuck the children and yourselves in bed, watch a dvd and promptly wake up the next year!
I hope to post more often to this blog and will start off by posting some "belly pics" of my friend who delivered on New Year's Eve...

It was wild and windy on Muriwai and we got splashed a couple times by the waves on the the rocks but it was really fun doing the photos for these two. Congratulations again on your new baby boy :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Poop Chronicles

If you follow my twitter/facebook status updates, you'll have noticed a few about Adventures in Babyshitting. This is one of those things new parents can't avoid or procrastinate on. When it comes out, it has to be dealt with. Especially if it's exploding out of their nappy and fast soaking through onto your white pants.
Everyone Poops...I think Jessicsa Simpson made that book famous back in her Newlyweds days. So everyone knows that everyone else is doing it, but I'm not sure if they are aware of the variety of poop out there. You just have to read The Story of the Little mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business to see the variety of animal poops but which book will tell you about the variety of baby poops? I've not found a fun pictoral version.
So, here's the story on what comes out of a baby for the first few months...
Meconium - baby's first bowel movements. A thick, sticky, tarlike dark bowel movement. Totally normal and totally gross looking. If you want a picture, go to the Wikipedia page on Meconium.
Breastmilk poop - watery, yellow, sometimes has a seedy appearance. After the meconium passes, breastfed babies will often poop after each feed. It's not very pleasant to deal with poop 10 times a day, but it's better than when they start saving up their poops for a day or two and then exploding through the nappies. This has been my recent experience with our 3 week old who has had to be bathed or showered and have her clothes soaked in stain treatment overnight after each bowel movement.
Formula poop - strained peas...that's what I hear. A bit thicker than breastmilk poop, and may have a more green or brownish tint. Usually formula fed babies poop a bit less often than breastfed babies because the formula takes longer to be digested. Formula poop is usually smellier than breastmilk poop too.
Solid-food poop - well, around 4-6 months when the baby starts on solids nappy changes get even grosser. Sugars in the fruits and vegetables change the flora and fauna of the digestive tract and the poop coming out tends to be browner, firmer, and way stinkier - everyone in a 5 mile radius will know a poop has taken place. Sometimes the poop is the color of the carrots baby ate or there are bits of undigested food in it; don't worry, that's totally normal.
So, there you have it. Simple, no frills, no illustration explanation of baby poop.

Oh, and I think I know why yellow is the preferred unisex colour now...why oh why do we have so much white in baby Wren's wardrobe?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Whirl-wind Week

Today my baby is a week old. That's right, she was born last Wednesday 14/10/09 at 3:01am. We've called her Wren and are still thinking about that middle name.
She was a few days late, but managed to arrive before her scheduled induction of 8am 14/10/09. Why was I scheduled for an induction just 4 days after my due date? Good question...they usually will let you go longer if everything is well. Unfortunately for me, I had hypertension and low platelets when I visited the midwife on the 8th which spurred worries of pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome. I went into hospital for observations and home twice before (3rd time's a charm) actually leaving with a baby.
My waters broke on Monday morning around 10am while coincidentally my midwife was here checking my blood pressure. This was all very well and good and exciting, but I wasn't in labour yet. I was told if things didn't get going - ie. if I didn't start contracting - I would have to go into hospital for antibiotics due to the risk of infection with ruptured membranes over 18 hours.
Well, I didn't manage to have any contractions all day Monday, just continued fluid leakage, so my husband drove me to hospital to stay the night and came home for his last good, long sleep in a while.
Tuesday morning, still no contractons so I had to have some prostoglandin gel to try and get things going. Still nothing. Artificial rupture of the fore-waters seemed to get things going a little better but still not true labour. As the day wore on, the contractions increased and I was coping rather well with the company of my husband and a TENS machine. My mother in law came a bit later in the day to support me as well. We went waking and did loads of stairs
An exam revealed I had dilated about 4-5cm in the early evening. The obsterician was consulted and ordered an oxytocin drip. This really got the contractions going and distraction wasn't cutting it. After this point I feel I decompensated rather quickly...used the gas, momentarily went in the water and then called for an epidural.
The epidural made all the difference in the world. I was calm, comfortable and coping. And able to get a much needed nap in. The fact was, during the 2 hours between starting the oxytocin and me calling for the epidural, I had not dilated any further despite the intense contractions. Four hours later, after a couple top-ups on the epidural, it was time to recheck progress and possibly schedule me for a ceaser if I'd not progressed to at least 8cm.
At 2am, I was fully dilated and effaced and it was time to start pushing. One hour, and a lot of pain later, we got our baby girl.
Wren is an absolute pro at being a baby. She eats well, she sleeps a lot, she makes funny faces, and she dirties a lot of nappies.
We didn't stay long at the hospital, opting instead to come out to the Helensville Birthing Center for a couple of nights support before venturing home on Friday afternoon. Since being home, we've had a few visitors but made no outings ourselves. Big sister came out for her usual weekend visit and began her journey of getting used to a new baby. Otherwise, we've been content getting to know each other and whiling awat the hours snuggling and knowing we are well from the check ups performed by the midwife which have proven how well our baby bird is getting along.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Coping Mechanisms

Only 5 days left until my due date. It's one of those assignments you can't ask for an extension on, either...and if you're told to hand it in early, you'd better be ready.
How am I dealing with this? In the usual way I handle stress and fear, with detachment and apathy. Things will be fine in the end. I did a bit of preparation a while ago and am mostly well-informed about what will happen so why worry?
Why worry? Because this time it's not a grade, or a class that needs to be passed, it's a human life that I will have to foster and protect. Knowing this doesn't seem to make much of a difference, however.
The babies things are not finished being set up in our room. I open my eyes each morning to an unorganized menagerie of furniture that seems like it can't fit in the space we have. I go shopping, hubs and Miss 3 in tow for storage solutions and can't manage to choose anything from the available options. We possibly need additional baby clothing but I've not the determination to go through everything we do have and check.
What I do have the passion for is sourcing cute nursing lingerie...hopefully the breastfeeding thing works out or else I'll be looking for ways to unload some high-end knickers and drop down bras...

Monday, September 21, 2009

The stuff nighmares are made of...

I was shocked to read that a Russian woman has given birth to a 7.75kg baby - that's 17.5lbs and more than double the average newborn weight! I thought perhaps I'd misread the headline and it should have read Russian woman gives birth to toddler. This is the type of story that makes us expectant mums very nervous...

Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


There are days when questions regarding my pregnancy are met with annoyance and a curt response, especially when those questions come from strangers. There are other days, however, when I can’t stop burbling. Makes me wonder, how much information is too much? What do people actually want to know and what am I forcing upon them when I’m in my “receptive” mood?
Today has been a day of burbles. I’m in a familiar environment with a familiar group of clients and I seem to be talking an awful lot about myself. And my bump. I think the type of information I give is relatively innocuous and certainly not TMI in the sense that I’m not talking bowel movements or discharge. But really, is the type of information I’m disseminating interesting? Due date, gender, agreement that my feet are a bit swollen and I’ve broken out my jandals on non-working days, minor complaints about the physical aspect of my job, the fact that my maternity leave starts on Friday… Blah, blah, blah.
I was looking at yesterday’s newspaper today while eating lunch and I saw in the “Sideswipe” column, a reader submitted blurb about parents over-indulging their desires to talk about their offspring. Apparently this man had been stuck on a long international flight beside a new mother and heard all sorts of interesting tid-bits about whether baby slept the night, how many diapers they went through in a day, how much the bub was eating, when the first smile was, etc, etc. I thought to myself, “Poor man, nowhere to escape on an airplane” and then began wondering if I’ve started to morph into the woman sitting next to him.
If you end up sharing space with me before or after I give birth and I can’t find a more interesting topic than the impending arrival of my child or what it’s been like since she’s arrived, go ahead and tell me if you’re bored with it. I won’t be offended…I promise. Well, I’ll try not to be offended. It would be good if you managed to let me know how interesting other things I may have to talk about are though…

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Personal Space? What's That?

So, yesterday I made a foray to the mall to collect party goodies for the upcoming 3 year old madness that will be happening this Sunday and to shop for the perfect present for said 3 year old. All was good, the shopping was fruitful and hubs agrees that I've chosen a suitably brightly coloured and exciting present befitting a 3 year old.
While my focus was on a 3 year old, everyone else's focus was on someone who has still about 30 days before making her debut.
The first shop I went into, an elderly lady said hello and began asking me questions such as "how much longer have you got to go?" and "do you know what you're having?" I just thought she was a lonely elderly lady. I was wrong. In each shop I visited, someone managed to comment on my belly. "When are you due?" or "How much longer?" were the most common questions and I think my answer of 4+ weeks to go surprised many. The other comments tended to be "Wow, you're big!" or "I bet you'll be happy when it's over." One lady shared with me how a week ago she'd delivered a little boy 7 weeks early and was just out doing some shopping to finish the nursery before they let him out of the hospital.
People have also begun to imagine it's appropriate to rub my stomach. I am not a Buddha and I will not bring you good luck. Up until very recently, the only people who had been brave enough to touch or rub my stomach are my husband, my husband's daughter, my MIL (although hers have been quite tentative little touches) and one of my friends before she went back to Canada and the belly was barely a bump. One of the ladies who questioned my due date yesterday, reached out and gave my stomach a bit of a stroke which shocked me - she was a complete stranger. And I was left feeling somewhat akward when a very nice lady who runs one of the venues where I teach first aid classes put one hand on either side of my bump and rubbed up and down while cooing something to the baby (at least she was not a stranger). I'm not quite sure of how to respond to these things...if I wasn't pregnant, there's no way you'd be so familiar and rub my stomach, so what's changed? Do pregnant women, once they reach a certain stage, lose their right to privacy and personal space?