Sunday, November 30, 2003

read an interview recently with Frances McDormand who said that she'd always vowed never to be anyone's slave, but "now I hold out my hands for my children to vomit in" (or words to that effect.)

I can relate.

I know that if a car was speeding towards us, I'd push him out of the way first; if six vicious dogs attacked us, I'd stay and fight rather than leave him and save myself.

But at the same time, I'd kind of like him to stop waking up and wanting feeding at the exact moment I'm sitting down to dinner. I can see how kids can be, well, irritating, if you're a 37-year-old who loves her established rituals, as I am. Are the big sacrifices paradoxically the easiest to make?

this afternoon I finished a feed, finished the book I was holding and spent the next 45 minutes just staring out the window and at my sleeping son on my lap.

Friday, November 28, 2003

hmph. next time, to try to get through naturally, we're not only hiring a caring yet professional midwife to wrangle the medical side of things, we're NOT telling dh's family what hospital we're going to. turns out dh's mother called the hospital and extracted information from them just after A. was born, against what we'd asked her to do and what we'd told the hospital in our birth plan. yes, I'm being picky, but I really felt pressured and none of it helped me get on with having a baby.

I reminded her that we'd said we'd call them when we had news, and mentioned we'd had to tell SIL to stop calling (which of course she knows all about), and she too came out with the "it wasn't pressure/curiousity, just concern for you" line. since when was second-guessing what I need "concern"? I'm perfectly capable of saying what I want. this morning she caught a later flight into town and didn't call to tell me because she "didn't want to disturb me" - this is a mere hour before I was expecting her to arrive here. then she rang 90 minutes late on arrival and when I said it was getting a bit late, sounded so disappointed of course I had to let her come over, and felt bad for keeping it to an hour. she's not as direct as SIL, but still gets what she wants.

(I know we'll have to tell them which hospital: but I am SO being upfront and clear, words of one syllable: Do Not Call Us. I Will Need DH's Full Focus (OK, two), And Wish To Be Left ALONE!.

I know I sound awful: the thing is that with my own family/friends I can be much more direct. wth inlaws, these in particular, I feel I have to be polite, and it's a strain.

in other news, it's hot outside, and there are no blinds on the back windows yet. am shamelessly running the a/c. think I'll sleep out here with A. on the hot nights: terrified to do anything against the SIDS rules, even though right now he's asleep on his side. am checking him every 5 minutes. last night I nearly woke him just to take a blanket off. sanity prevailed and he slept 5 hours. what a good son he is.

Thursday, November 27, 2003


is this love?

or something else? need - physical, emotional and mental - connectedness, constant awareness-of.

sounds more like obsession to me. bb the baby-stalker...

in other news dh's annoying sister and dh's ignoring my need for peace and quiet in nap time combined today to turn a 2 1/2 hour sleep for A. into 2 1/2 hours of sleepless afternoon for me. I get overtired and overwrought to the point where I can't nap. dh does not understand this at all. the experience confirmed for me how badly I need to nap - I am now on the verge of tears for the foreseeable future, while dh is being snarky with me b/c I got upset and he feels guilty. A., thankfully, is oblivious in milky bliss.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

very frustrating: all the digital pix are on dh's login, so I can't even start trying to ftp them to a site where I can point to them from.

he's asleep, and has been since he woke me from a drowsy nap 1 1/4 hours ago.
I've decided he needs more daytime sleep - there's been a bit too much handling and fussiness between feeds. he slept beautifully in the pram when I made the trek to the local shops this morning - it was a lovely spring morning, everyone was happily going about their business, I was just another new mum with a pram covered with a white muslin cloth to keep the sun out of his eyes. things felt absolutely right.

there is no point waking him to try to get him to sleep more tonight. the sleep book I'm reading says depriving them of naps only makes it harder for them to sleep at night. besides, at 13 days, there's no pattern at all yet. got two 3-hour blocks of sleep last night, which I guess is good. all the bending over while bf-ing has done in my old shoulder injury and I'm getting headaches again - on Thursday dh will just have to Cope while I go get cracked by the physio.

a page about breastfeeding issues: this one's on having too much milk, but the site has various other advice pages that could be useful.

Monday, November 24, 2003

more new baby tales!

warm baths are niiiiice, says A. cold baths=squawkbox. I videoded his little mouth screaming today - don't want the record to suggest he never cried.

my first moment of proper motherhood was not when he was placed on my chest and I asked dh to make sure I didn't drop him (was shaking with shock).
no, it was in recovery when I thought: "I must move my toes, I must stop shaking, so I can get out of here, get to my baby and feed him."

he's going to be a fat baby!

put on about 250g in the 1st 4 days at home, according to the child health nurses' scales. and already there are little rolls developing under his chin, and his fingers aren't so skinny. now about 3.4 kg +

very pleased.

and Australian. I suspect Melbourne. all the best people are here, y'know.

J: Scream!
S: Good morning sweetheart
J: (pause) Scream!
S: And hello to you too
J: Scream!
S: Darling, I understand you are hungry and I know that you are disappointed when you open your eyes in the morning and discover I am not standing topless, ready to feed you without delay. (makes way to kitchen with babe in arms)
J: Scream!

she's funny, too

linky love to another baby blog (is that tagline a quote from Gone With The Wind?)

Having babies is fun!
And so easy!
Sure, it takes up a bit of time changing, washing, changing, feeding, changing, soothing, changing, re-washing, changing, doing laundry, changing.
But when it comes down to it, there are lots of extraneous,trivial, inessential things in your life you can dump to make room.
Showers, for instance: I mean, you only get dirty again, don't you?
All you really need to do is make sure you get plenty of nutrituous (sp?) food and a good eight hours' sleep each night to keep up the several litres of breast milk a fast-growing baby needs to keep him healthy. No problem, really.


Saturday, November 22, 2003

another new baby, born the day before A.

last night's dream: "they" were looking for a prticular baby, not for good reasons - not A., though.
and to confuse them, we filled the church with identical babies - that did look like A. - there were row after row of cute little faces, pointing up at the roof, crying, and between them various helpers, and dh and I were just trying to do our job of keeping our particular one under control.

imagine that. hundreds of little A's. wonderful, but really, one is enough. glad we avoided twins - I can imagine things going from hard work and joy to just hard work, especially with our first child(ren) and all the learning that's involved.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I feel a bit ripped off that he appears to have dh's green-hazel eyes, dh's sister's red hair - maybe - dh's nose, ears and long limbs, and not much of me at all.

but people say he has my mouth - at which dh just snorts.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

are there really 100 people a day looking at this blog?

I mean, I think the entire world should be excited about him. but then I'm just his mum.

dh is back at work for the first 3 days next week - including possibly a work dinner with bigwigs over from head office in Singapore. it has to happen. how will I go? either great or awful, I suspect. those little bits of support - bringing water while I'm bf-ing, and of course the endless laundry - are the difference between relative order and chaos. and I say only relative order.

lord, I'm tired.

he's having a long early evening sleep, for which I'll pay later, I guess.

quickly, more hospital notes:

Friday, 2 days old: dozing in hospital, feeling the start of that satisfaction of being able to feed my baby with my body, the bizarre idea the midwives have that I should be able to be lucid at any time, let alone 2 am!

while everyone tells me to rest.

for now, a shower is a fine thing. how long before I want to be "normal" again? no need now, still his first bath to do today.

yesterday - I was still drugged up, less than 24 hours out of surgery. can't believe we actually received visitors.

in the evening - dh has gone home to sleep tonight - he was throwing up and exhausted - and I'm not alone in this room, but I feel alone, in a good way - A. is still a part of me.

Monday, coming home: who needs rollercoasters and thrillseeking sports - nothing compared to the white-knuckle terror of putting your 5 day old baby in a car and driving home in city traffic. what a bizarre thing to do. and already he's getting a sucking mark on his lip, a tiny spot or 2 - he's no longer perfect. but he still is, of course.

of course it's not easy not getting much sleep and of course it's weird that he is now supposedly doing the housework and I'm supposed to "let go".
but dh has burned me off with some really hard looks and comments the last couple of days and I'm too fragile - I'm sleeping much less than him - to cope with it.
but I also realise that now there is no question of ever breaking up with him, because presumably he'd have the right to take A. part of the time. and that can never happen. sigh

the sleep thing: A. slep from 11 to 7.45, with a 2-hour feed and change break. not bad, really, but I keep waking up every 90 minutes to check on him. and dh imagined a noise at 6.45 am, just as I was working up to a 3-hour sleep and woke me to ask if someone was at the door!

they say dogs, or is it cats? sleep with half their brain at a time. well, I can only sleep with the bit not devoted to baby right now - and that's not very much at all.

trying to get some pix ftpd to a Web site so I can point to them... getting around to calling the old, neglected but dear friends and "second line" friends and telling them. still haven't unpacked Monday's bags from hospital.

the baby is still the most incredible creature in the universe. even when he vomits all over my shoulder and then with a swift one-two, wipes it all into his dear little eyes. my God, didn't I freak out? what will I do the first time he's ill? what wouldn't I do for him? this has only taken a week...

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

6 days old today. and he already has a few tiny spots and a sucking blister. never be so perfect again. sigh.
some notes from the days in hospital while I have a second:

holding him in his wrap, feeling the kicks and knowing them from when he was inside me.

feeling physically ill while they milked blood from his heel for the genetic screening tests.

to me, he didn't look like a day-old baby. he was mine. I knew him, entirely, on sight.

seeing him lifted over the divider to me, lying back like some offering on an altar - the salty, bloody taste in my mouth, the red sheen on his body, a quality of flesh I've never experienced before.

wasn't until I heard the sound of his cry (as soon as he was born - no vacuuming, thank God) that I realised I'd not embraced his reality yet.

and last night: 25 minutes on the left breast and then while dh was hassling me about some dumb household detail, I let A. throw up! I actually cried over it; the right breast is cracked and very sore, but A. needed a huge feed, of course. not the greatest night's sleep - not with that and the 3am crisis over all the little things that were not-perfect about the hospital/early labour experience, and whether those led to my supposed "failure to progress". very short fuse when you're sleeping this little. but not with A. never with A.

Monday, November 17, 2003

oh, to add to the birth story - if we'd persisted for 12 hours with the drip and epidural, then done a caesar, I had a higher risk of postpartum haemorrhage (sp?). just another factor. no one clear thing. anyway, we did what we did.

I'm supposed to Do Nothing and Rest for two weeks. which I guess means lots of babytime and sitting around on the web. what a hard life!
;-) - vaginal birth after caesars.

that he's (as you can see) forcing me to live in the moment. and that I like it. I know this time with my first baby will never be again.

that now I understand why I wanted to do this. I guess I knew there was something...and this is what it is.

that I babble to him when he's feeding about the big wide world out there, and how cute his nose is too.

that Lord, I'd love a good night's sleep - and know I won't get it.

that time is now precious, but also that there are a lot of irrelevancies in life that can be dumped to make time for him and the things that actually matter.

that I am so lucky to have this lovely house, the time to really focus on him, all these useful baby things (he's sleeping in the pram beside me, so I don't have to worry about the dog licking him, the baby monitor let me move around while he slept - small, helpful things)

that quite possibly this is the best week of my entire life, past and future.

I thought the pg hormones were meant to wear off and yes, I've cried once or twice from tiredness and when I felt dh might be not supporting me (of course he's been wonderful), but there is something else going on here - something deep down in my body and soul.

that probably there is no way to say all this that will get it across to anyone who hasn't been here.

random thoughts about my little milky boy:

that it's easy as long as we just do what he needs, and take care of the rest second.

lying halfawake beside him channeling his baby self - curling myself up, pouting my lip, feeling babyness

that our funky curved loungeroom wall is an excellent echo chamber

that I'd like to slap that annoying midwife.

that he has the hiccups and I have to pick him up - more later

quick cheat - a post from my bulletin board. time of the essence!

He's about to wake up and we've only been home a couple of hours, so I'll be quickish.

the various pangs turned into proper labour last Tuesday night (41w1day); at 2.30 am we headed to hospital, probably a bit earlier than we should have as it turned out. once I got there things slowed down, partly because of that classic medical environment thing, despite our best efforts. monitoring showed some heartrate dips with contractions so I was put on a belt; dr turned up around 8 and got things moving by breaking my waters - we got a nicer midwife then and my friend came in so there were lots of good contractions in the morning. but despite trying to get it moving along (it's hard to get up and walk around knowing it will bring on more contractions, you know!), baths, etc, by the time the dr came back at 5 I was no further dilated - 4cm, same as in the am. I was only on gas, air and a TENS machine and hadn't slept for 2 nights so was getting pretty tired. also the later shift midwife was really annoying, kept fiddling with me - male, but I know there are good and bad male ones. there was an option to put up a strong syntocin drip and give me an epidural to keep trying "naturally', and we even checked that we could get another midwife to help me through that if we chose that (didn't see annoying one again after that!), but further to non-progress was the discover that the baby was posterior and therefore needed an extra 2cm to get out. that, plus my previous cervical surgery, which could have been stopping dilation, plus the odd low heartbeat (turned out cord was around his neck), plus an only 50% chance of vaginal delivery with the drip, plus the risk of forceps, plus my exhaustion, meant we chose (and the dr gave us time) to go into theatre.

so at 8.30 (after a spinal tap - boy did I sit still for that!), I got to kiss a wriggling, blood-covered little boy. dh went with him to the ward. it only took an hour in recovery, shaking like mad, before I could go up and do the first feed. they took him away overnight (our choice again) b/c we were too wrecked/drugged to care for him if he threw up mucus, which caesar babies do. midwife brought him to me when I woke once in the night for a visit. woke thursday am feeling stunned and wondering how I could pick him up and cuddle him, care for him, but I'm moving better every day, and he's just the most amazingly beautiful creature I've ever seen or touched. have been keeping visitors on a short leash so we can recover and learn to feed and "drive" him. dh is doing a fabulous job - he's so gentle with him - and will be home with me for a week and a bit to stop me exerting myself!

I haven't been around the threads yet to see the news - will asap - just wanted to let you all know and say I hope everything is going well and that you have so much to look forward to. still exhausted, btw, but whatever, who cares!



baby exists: Alexander. 12/11/03

more soon, people to talk to online, thoughts to gather, baby sleeping, just got home, very tired.

baby = :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

MAJOR in-law whinge: dh rang his mother last night. I overheard him telling someone - I thought her - that my cx was 1cm. hmmm. later spoke to her and was suitably vague about "things happening, soon, soon" etc. (they're interstate and will have to fly down when baby is born)
then while we were watching a video, the phone rang. it was SIL. didn't pick up, but at about 2am, between gasping, crouching and taking long baths and panadol, I checked the message. it was all about how excited she was that "I'd started" and so on. grrr. about 3.30 dh got up and I did have a stern talk to him about our - my! - personal space and my cx being the subject of gossip. turns out it was his FATHER who asked about it! and then MIL rang SIL, who will no doubt tell her girlfriend and the people at the fruit stall I go to where she works about the state of my privates!
then, after a fairly horrid night, just as it seemed the contractions were settling in at 15 minutes, the phone rang again. exactly 12 hours after her last call, SIL was ringing again. she got the machine, then rang dh's mobile. the first thing she asked him was how dilated I am! he was trying to say things to her about me not wanting to go into that, but then was promising her updates: I was on the verge of just grabbing the phone off him and finally saying what I think. instead I said fairly loudly that we wouldn't be and that he should tell her to stop calling. he wandered off and was on the phone for another 5, leaving me fuming. goddam it, what am I, a battery hen? talk about pressure to produce. and of course now the contractions that bugged me all night. have stopped dead. I wonder why.

Monday, November 10, 2003

a quite-good walk through of stages of labor

officially 1cm dilated. woo-hoo.

this means nothing in particular about when I might "go" - just that I probably will. we've chewed over the question of inducing this week - they had a time for me Wednesday morning if I wanted it - but the baby's fine (one boring 20 minute CTG heart/contraction trace and amniotic fluid check later) - so the only reason would be to have my ob/gyn there if I go over the weekend. and that's really not a good enough reason.

now I have an appt to see the locum tomorrow at 12, so we can be sure he's in tune with what we want, show him the birth plan etc. then Wed am another CGT. the cramps/contractions were bad enough to trash my nap today, so I hope it either eases up or gets on with it.

oh, and the scan showed that the baby had its fingers in its mouth...

apparently this is the "latent phase" where my cervix thins out. bit alarmed by the news that it can go from hours to weeks, depending. this page (in Google cache) has a short description.

they've been more consistent this morning, since about 4-5 am - strong enough to wake me each time, 15 minutes-ish apart. but they'r not labour pains. have appt at 11 am. dh has stayed home to drive me to appt and help quiz ob/gyn on various matters.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

well, all the nipple stimulation seems to do is produce colustrum, and maybe a little cramping. I'm probably doing it wrong.
three days of this is quite enough; seem to be just continuing to spot and cramp and not go into labour. some last night were enough to wake me, but none have been what you could even remotely call a labour pain.
will probably make it to the ob/gyn appt at midday tomorrow, I'm afraid. hope that by then my cervix will be shown to have done something at least.

Friday, November 07, 2003

still here.
at the mil's birthday dinner last night the bh's became more like period cramps and I was most uncomfortable - difficult to keep the chitchat up under those circs. we left before dessert - the fact that it was at a nice restaurant only made it worse, all that sitting up straight. plus the waitress chose to share way too much information about her own going-into-labor with the whole table, which I found slightly embarrassing. FIL is a bit straight for all that.
and last night around 10 I began spotting blood, just a little. small cramps - just over the border between discomfort and pain - until about 2 am, so my sleep was broken up into tiny chunks. but I did try to rest.

this morning got dh to help me finish sorting out bags/house/baby carrier into car and sent him off to work. received one visit from my brother but cancelled others that were vaguely scheduled. let birth helper know that there's an outside chance of things moving soon. rang ob/gyn's rooms. his midwife is off work, but he took my call - I think it was because I mentioned "40 weeks and 4 days" and "bleeding" that got the receptionist to decide it was worth bothering with - gave him the rundown (was concerned about whether I'd need an anti-D shot - sure the rest is normal), and he said no shot needed, but it sounds like something's going to happen.

no real change today; cramps are gentler/less frequent if anything. but it's a very good sign that I might go naturally. also a bit terrifying, of course.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

option a: sit here at the computer vaguely blogging, bulletin-boarding, running the dishwasher and washing machine, staring out the window and listening to the huge jackhammer running next door for YET ANOTHER morning.

option b: break the pact with dh and sneak off to the 10 am of Revolutions, in case baby happens like, this afternoon - we can't go together until at least Friday night, if we can get tix, etc.

see ya!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Involving the patient in this discussion is wise because her feelings and understanding of the situation are important as well.

isn't that nice of them?
but seriously, this article does at least say that up to 41 weeks doesn't seem to make any difference. so I should just relax and stop searching the Web for info. hah.

most of the articles about postmaturity bang on about mistaken dates. but that doesn't apply to me.

increased risks of: stillbirth, mecononium inhalation, fetal distress during birth. not much that's solid, though. at least I'll have some more q's for the ob/gyn, about my fluid levels and whether we should do an U/S.

a birth plan site

and yes, I'm now on 1-2 cups of raspberry leaf tea a day. and despite us both being very tired, did the prostoglandin wild thing last night. now considering nipple stimulation, if I can find some reliable info on how to actually do it.
as for regular uterine stimulation, well, the truth is that the odd afternoon nap has been preceded by same. which I s'pose I should continue. :)

an interesting article covering a lot of issues.

a very matter-of-fact assessment of what to do about post-maturity.

mum has sent pix of nephew and new baby, as I can't go up to the country to see her (the baby). she's only 5lb, but looks perfect. nephew's hand is so much bigger than her head, and the rough little bugger has a really sweet absorbed look on his face as he's looking down at her.
she has his stubborn mouth. I hope all that works out for them.

nearly forgot the ob/gyn report:
a) internal exams HURT when you're this pregnant. I didn't expect that. dh and ob/gyn were prattling about something and I had to say "shut up, (dh)" because I needed to concentrate on getting through the pain. in labour I will be hopeless - no one will be allowed to talk, but I'll need to prattle/moan to get my mind off it and cope.
b) as ob/gyn said "the door's shut". this means cervix not ripe - though he says that changes fast if contractions start. I thought cervix had to go first? anyway...
c) nothing else until an appt at 41 weeks, then regular CGTs (heartbeat scans). I don't know what risks there are in going too far over term - the issue of him being away from 10-14 days over is now looking like a real issue, not a distant concern.
need to find out more about his locum, who is not the one I've met.

oh thanks very much, Blogger.
I turned the computer off last night because its whine in the next room was keeping me awake. now I discover that if you sit and type a post on a networked PC, then try to post, it asks for your password, then lets you in - AFTER deleting your post.

shorter version: just been told that my mother's history is 17, 9 and 11 days overdue, only one of which involved no induction. so my expectations of a baby this week have been dramatically lowered.

and very annoyed with inconsiderate SIL who decided to come and hang out at our place all afternoon yesterday, in what we'd been planning to be a quiet afternoon together of naps and just tootling around in advance of babyness. no nap for me because she stayed, so MIL (who had come for a MORNING brunch) stayed too, and even though I eventually did go and lie down for half an hour (you'd think she'd take the hint when you go to bed, wouldn't you?). so my headache - which had taken much care to get rid of - came back last night, hence today feeling very tired and like this cold is going to get the better of me, and annoyed with her, partly because she pushes my personal boundaries too far - is it unreasonable to be upset that she chose to unwrap and WEAR our baby carrier, the one dh bought for me specially, when I'd been leaving it in the box on purpose? this is just another manifestation of her putting herself too far into my experiences - she asks me personal questions I just don't feel we're close enough for, and so on.
I can see more boundary issues coming up with the baby - she's always ignored our wishes when it comes to simple things like not encouraging our dog to jump up on her when she visits, but a baby's training/care is not something I'll shut up about. not my baby. grrr.

Monday, November 03, 2003

shocking sleep last night - or lack of it. up about 4 times between 9 and 2, then awake for two hours at least, snacking, reading, trying to get comfortable. still have the small headache that's been dogging me, don't feel at all up to the strain of labour.
q's for ob/gyn today (dh is coming along):
how's my cervix behaving (first internal check for months!)
what tests will they do after 41 weeks, and what action might different results indicate?
what can we do to get labour going without hospital induction?
what induction methods does he use, and what will it involve (eg going into hospital)
if he's away between 10-14 days overdue, is is a good idea to just wait if the baby is not distressed?
who's his locum in that time and what will he (there are 3, all male) think of my birth plan?

such a dilemma, between the dangers of induction and the dangers of not having my trained and trusted ob/gyn for the birth...

well, the counter says the baby is due in 115 minutes. but I sure as heck ain't in labour yet. tx was at about 2.20 pm - or was that the first one? - anyway, looks like it's going to take after chronically late Daddy ("I just have to rewire the home network/iron ten shirts/wash the car before we go out"), not neurotically on-time Mummy.)

Saturday, November 01, 2003

I no longer have a belly; my belly has me.
the bh's are quite strong and I'm fairly constantly achy all round that region. I woke up from my nap breathing quite heavily and needed to do some of the birth-type out breaths to relax myself. am getting more inclined not to do things.
yesterday, strangely, my brain seemed to kick in for a bit, and I thought about abstract concepts and did some related net-surfing and blogging, and I sort of remembered why aspects of my study/work interested me. does that indicate a drop in hormones, or just that I'm pretty much through all my prebaby chores and dare I say it, bored with hanging around being a kept woman? it won't last long.

got the raspberry leaf tea today; probably should have been drinking it for the past four weeks. some books say drink it right through, but I'm sure I read somewhere else that it wasn't good in early pg. it's sort of bitter and otherwise not interesting, but I think I can drink a few cups a day for the "tonifying" effect one book claims. had a nice cuddle last night too - not only nice, but a good dose of prostoglandins for the ol' cervix.

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