Sunday, March 25, 2007

From little things, big things grow

I ahev just been reading my archives. I know that's self-indulgent, but it is amazing how much our life has changed in the last 4 weeks, let alone the last year. This time last year, I was recovering from M/C 2 and pregnant with m/c 3. I was so pessimistic. And naiive.

I'm still having trouble equating P with the small thing that lived in my belly. It still hasn't 'clicked' that he is 'mine'. I love him so much, but I still don't believe that 'he' was The Speck and then The Peanut and then Raby the Baby. In short I'm not 'bonded'.

It's suprising to me how many women will admit to this- in hushed tones, like it's a huge shameful secret. Things like this make me realise how much of women's reproductive health surrounding pregnancy and fertility is still taboo. Like miscarriages. And why if one in three women who have had a baby will wet themselves, no-one ever says "Oh God the pelvic floor went to shit after number two". (Fwiw, I have noted no difference). (Oh and fwiw, recent research shows that having a cesar does not protect against post-partum incontinence. Britney, Kate Hudson, Angelina Jolie- pick the one in three...).

I can't believe that I had never seen P, or even that right up to the delivery we still didn't know whether he was a boy or a girl. I can't really remember not knowing what his name would be. The beautiful whorl of hair right on his forehead. The tiny fingernails. His little belly button where we were connected. The way he likes to sleep with one tiny hand above his head. His sweet milky breath. An empty bassinette. Having little cause to go into his room. Not knowing how to change a nappy or bathe him. Nights without interruption.

The labour seems alternately like yeaterday and a dim, painful memory. I started having contractionswhilst watching telly at about 5.30 pm, and they gradually worsened with some slight liquor leakage. At 0130 the contractions made me go to hospital; my mum drove me as t was at work. I laboured in the bath once T arrived and lasted until 0530 when an epidural became necessary from the searing pain of a posterior presentation (that didn't go away between contractions!!). My friend A was the anaesthetist and the poor thing gave me a dural puncture, but, dammit, relieved the pain (a dural puncture headache is *nothing* compared to labour). They needed to start synto after the epi went in as the contractions started to go 'off'. Then he had dips. They turned the synto down.

My obstetrician examined me at about 0900 and P was 'deflexed' and OP (ie instead of the crown of his head being the closest to my cervix it was his face, and with him facing my front rather than my back). We were given a 60% chance of needing a Cesar. But then during the day, he turned and flexed; despite a heavy heavy motor block (I couldn't move my legs at all) and with the risk of worsening the dural puncture (the option was foreceps) I managed to push him out at about 1830- about 25 hours after the start of the contractions and 17 hours of established labour.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


We have been swimming the last three days. I am now feeling (capital letters now) A WHOLE LOT BETTER since I have been able to indulge in my favourite excercise again, now the lochia has just about gone. I am also loving being able to really push myself physically without worrying if it will hurt Raby the Baby in the womb (now I just worry the milk supply will be affected!). We are going after the first daylight feed (somewhere between 0700 and 0830) and I swim first whilst T minds P and then I have a shower whilst minding P and T does his laps.

Today whilst T was lapping, young P decided it was time for some mummy yummy, so I was very brave and popped the boob out in front of people I didn't know (a first). Now, when I was still pregnant I had noticed two other women who were pregnant who came to do laps too. They were NQOS (me, swimmers (on sale, $25) from Target, old purple swimming goggles, cap from Remo , slow but steady 1500m; them, designer pre-pregnancy bikinis, Gucci sunglasses, don't get the hair wet, gently breaststroke and chat) but we would nod and say hi in that 'wow, we are both pregnant, we must have so much in common' way. I saw them for the first time since P was born today as I was feeding him. They were in the water, about 20 metres away. They had spotted me, and were chatting about how they would feed their babies- and thought I couldn't hear them. "I'm going to bottle" one said, "it's just so much more convenient". "I mean", said the other "it just looks so wrong" and looked straight at me.

I at least have the comfort of knowing that they have absolutely no idea. One shouldn't dump on the sisterhood, but... beee-yatches!!

On a nicer note, all the old ladies who swim at my pool have been congratulating me, cooing over P, and welcoming me back to the water. The sisterhood. Now that's more like it!

Monday, March 19, 2007

The picture says it all

We have good days, we have bad days. Bad days are when he does not want to sleep, and spends his awake hours crying. Make that Screaming. With a capital S. Good days are when he sleeps, does not bite the boob that feeds him and farts without crying. And boy can he fart. And burp. The lactation consultant thinks he may have a lactose intolerance (as does his mummy) so I'm having to express off the first 20mL or so of every feed, which kind of kills the spontaneity.

Duty calls...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Things I would want to know-UPDATED

Here are a few tips for you soon-to-be mums. Some of this was advice from other recently-new-mums and some of it is mine.

Rest as much as you can. Because you won't after your baby is born.

Pat your tummy and try to bond with the baby. I was still terrified my baby would die or something drastic would go wrong, that I missed out on *really* enjoying the last days of pregnancy.

Get some sort of massage tool like one of those plastic octopus types they sell in chemists. Your partner's knuckles will thank you. Put some lollies in your hospital bag (like jelly snakes). My hospital gave me nothing during labour except apple juice and water, and you need some sugar.

The pain from your contractions may *not* go away completely, even in early labour, especially if you have a 'back' or posterior labour. This was a total suprise to me; I thought the pain always went away between contractions. Not so.

Nitrous Oxide. Love it.

Epidural. Looooooove it.

Stay as long as you can in hospital. Many private hospitals in Australia make their money from obstetrics, so they will try to turf you out in five days (they get the same money if you stay 5 or 7 days). Stay the whole seven; get as much mileage out of someone else doing the washing, cooking and cleaning for you, as well as the services of the lactation consultant.

At my hospital you were expected to buzz for the nurse every time (in the first few days) that the little nipper wanted some boobie. No-one told us this so they all 'expected' I was coping with the breast feeds (I wasn't). You are not a failure if you want them to look after the baby for an hour or two to get some sleep, but don't expect them to offer.

Buy the hugest, fattest maternity pads you can find. Just don't bother with the 'slim' ones. They *won't* cut it. You will need about 3 packets (ie about 30 pads). You will probably go through your first pack in the first 24 hours (yes, really). Get yourself some enormous, comfy granny knickers (Cottontails) in black. Plan on leaking lochia through everything you wear on your bottom half. I hate nighties, so I made myself four enormous pairs of stretchy shorts to wear in hospital.

Get some 'nursing pads' (ie pads to soak up breast milk). Say hello to bodily fluids. (Leaky boobs, lochia and tears, plus baby poo and wee). Bring a pack to hospital. If you are like me and hate wearing a bra to bed, get yourself (or resurrect) a stretchy 'crop top' type sports bra-top to wear to bed to keep your breast pads in place.

Make sure you have a change table/area set up. Because the first thing that baby will do as you leave hospital is poo.

Buy a breast pump. (The lactation consultants love the Medela Harmony. They *don't* like the Avent Isis). Why? Because 80% of women have trouble with breastfeeding. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

God will forgive you for using disposables for the first few weeks. It's one less thing to stress about (there are enough, trust me). (Maybe you can buy carbon credits?). Keep your eyes out for specials on the large boxes of newborn nappies (like the Huggies 108's).

Stock up on essential items like poo tickets (toilet paper) and easy to cook meals (hellooo Filled Pasta and Sauce). Your life will not leave the house for a week.

Wraps. Lots of them. (Amazing how a squalling neonate can wee and poo over everything in sight.).


PS I forgot to say: you can use zip-lock bags for storing expressed breast milk. Get the smaller size (9cm or so) which will fit about 200mL. They don't need to be 'sterilised' as such (we have that on the say-so of an immunologist), just 'clean' (ie straight from the box).

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hicks debacle

I'm angry. Michael Mori may face disciplinary action. For what? Insisting that his client receive a fair and open trial? For insisting on the rule of law and justice? Truth, justice and the American way??

No matter if David Hicks actually was Bin-Laden's personal arse-wiper, he still deserves a trial run under the rules of law. In accordance with international law. With fair rules on evidence.

And Major Mori insists on this and is threatened with discipline? What are we coming to? I thought this war of "liberation" was all about freedom and liberty and justice n' all. Can't have it both ways?

Can't remember whose idea it was that Major Mori be nominated for Australian of the year. Bloody good idea.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


No wonder I am so thirsty. After poor attatchment rubbed my nipples raw, my lactation consultant advised me to give them a rest and express for a few days. Hence we have a never-ending pot of "breast pump soup" on the stove. And our fridge has been taken over by an invasion of small plastic pots...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Hello everyone!

My husband has this thing about me posting photos of myself on this blog. Now I'm definitely not one of those women who do everything they're told, but he has a small point- identity theft and all that (I saw it on Today Tonight so it must be true...).

So here is a picture of P. Because if anyone wants to steal a baby's identity, they need more help than Anna Coren can give...