1 year

It does not feel as great as I thought it would be, probably because we had a crappy night after so many good ones. Every time I get fooled into thinking that we cracked it and Lani will sleep through the night from now on and then SMACK-DOWN from 1.30 AM till 3 AM we are taking turns in trying to settle her.

I do think that our hardest year is yet to come, with Y having to finish his PhD and dealing with family issues.  We have no idea where we will be in 8 months time, my contract is ending and Y will have to look for a post-doc position.

It is only today that I have really started to become worried, moving house/country and job is a lot less easy with a toddler around.  Although she is probably the easiest, closely followed by Y and then after a very long pause there is me.

Going back to Europe for our trip made me realise how much I dont like it. It also made me realise how much Y does and how happy he was to be back.  He has never ever said anything indicating he wants to go back or that he does not like being in Australia but I dont think I have seen him being so relaxed and so himself as he was when he was with the people from the lab.   It has definitely given me something to think about and depending on the job situation, it is probably time for me to just suck it up and embrace Europe if we have to.  I know that the grandparents will be ecstatic.

For now though I need to try and get some data together and finish the work that I started so I can get some new publications.. the gap on my CV is getting bigger and bigger..  I always have every intention to start with my review, but never get much further than that.  Hopefully the doom of being jobless and without a good CV to help me find a new job will give me the motivation I need.

 

 

 

 

 

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11 almost 12 months

Hi Ms Lani,

Yep about a month late.. oops but we were overseas for most of your 11 month.. Our very first overseas adventure and not one I would like to repeat. It was not bad but also not so good.

You were great on the plane, you made new friends, barely cried and managed to sleep not in the bassinet, it was to small but on my lap.

We spent our first week in Joue le Tours with your French Grandparents and it was pretty tough. You were clearly jet-lagged, even resulting in a few big vomits.  And sleeping at night was even harder.  You did become best friends with your auntie’s cat Inca.   The whole family spoilt you like crazy with toys and clothes.  You finally saw your first Wallaby, in the botanical gardens in Tours, crazy huh??

We left to see your Oma en Opa in Holland on Boxing Day, by then you were pretty much recovered from your jet lag but you still ended up spending every night in our bed.  Oma had organised a little party so people could meet you.  While you were not too happy with all the people trying to touch you. You really loved seeing all the other kids and playing with them.  We took you to Amsterdam and to the delta works and to the zoo.  Most days though were spent on the farm, which because of the shitty weather was pretty boring, but you did enjoy looking at the Fish and the cats and the chickens.

Our last week we were back in Tours, you were much better. Although still never really yourself.  I was dying to come back home and so so tired. Mainly because you still did not sleep through the night and were spending most nights attached to me.  Dad was having a good time which which was lovely to see.   We went to the lab where you got to meet lots of people and got to spend time with Salaar a very entertaining and funny 3 yr old! And then it was time to go, just before the snow arrived.

The trip home was very tiring, mainly because we had a very long stop-over in Singapore and we went from flying business class to having to go back to cattle class. Again  though you were very well behaved although on the second leg there was a bit of screaming.

Once home, we quickly managed to settle into our usual routine. You sleep in your own bed and we have stopped all the night feeds!

You have 5 teeth, are still not walking but are very good cruising and walking while holding our hands. You have an extreme interest in animals whether they are real or in books.  You point to the things that you want, and make it very clear when you are not happy.  And last weekend we saw your love for rain since despite the torrential rain all you wanted was to be outside and dive into the massive puddles, and so we did!

My darling in these past 2 months you have changed from being a baby into a little girl and it is the most wonderful transformation.  I can not express how much I enjoy seeing you develop into your own (very bossy) person.

All my love always,

Mumma

 

MIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLKKKKKKKKKKK

Fresh, regurgitated, digested.. it is everywhere.. and I constantly smell like it. I can not wear a top longer than ooh 30 min.. when I either spring a leak or I get a little spew on it.  The leaky boobs thing is a little funny but mostly annoying. I am not very good at wearing the breast pads, but even when I do there still is milk every where.  Little L gets it on her face/arms/body when she unexpectedly pulls of the boob, this is the funny part.. since it really sprays from the boob.. I always thought it would drop.. but yeah after seeing that 2312 times it is not as funny anymore.  I think that it does get better, the leakyness and I will prob find a bra that is actually comfy to wear which means that the breast pads will get better use too. Plus once we get more mobile I will be forced to wear clothes.. these days I roam around topless most of the time.. or at least with one boob hanging out of a top. Not the most charming look but it is good for the nipples.

Things are getting better around here, although everyone keeps saying that at the 3 week mark (TODAY!!) babies change from quiet and sleepy and reasonable predictable to screaming and unpredictable.  This is called the “witching hour” and can last way longer than 1 hour.. we had some screaming today but we have had some before so am not too sure what it is.  Sleep is there, some nights are ace some nights suck but we manage to get at least 2 blocks of 3 hours.. if we are lucky (so far no luck) they would start at midnight  and end at 7 AM ish but mostly there is a 2 hr wakey time  in between or after the 3 AM feed..  Because Y keeps little L with him from 9 PM I get at least 2-3 hours then too! (ETA:  last night was horrible, no nap in the arvo and no sleep until midnight)..  I am trying to give up on the whole schedule thing but since my life has basically always been pretty much scheduled it is hard to let go, will see how this week pans out but am hoping the crying screaming will not continue and I will be able to nap in the afternoon.

Time to change to put my boobs back into my top and pray that they wont spring a leak in the next hour or so.

nearly 2 weeks

and we are still all here!  Motherhood has been a lot harder than I ever expected.  The first few days were awesome but then I started feeling extremely anxious and insecure, doubting everything I was doing..was she eating enough? Do I offer 1 or 2 boobs?  Is she cold/hot?  I was crying every 10 minutes and not being able to sleep during the day (when everyone says you have to sleep when the baby sleeps). It sucked!  I felt bad because Y did not only have to deal with everything around the house  he also had a crying wife to console. I was thinking I was sinking into depression and that would make me even more anxious.   A  lot of the anxiousness was a result of sleep deprivation and then suddenly after a few days of constant butterflies in my belly I felt relaxed… I have no idea what happened (hormones most likely) but I finally felt that I could breath again.  And while I still sometimes wonder if we are doing everything the way we should, as long as L is looking healthy and alert I figure we are on the right track.

I am still finding my feet though and some days are better than others, I can still burst out in tears when I hear a song or when I am  thinking about L or when she is crying and we do not know how to console her.  I am coping much better with the sleep deprivation and some nights are actually pretty awesome, when she only wakes up once and then there was the night from hell where she just fussed and cried for 4 hrs (but we survived and it made the next night so much sweeter!).

Y is amazing both as a dad and as a partner and I have no idea how I would have coped without him.  Unlike me he is way more relaxed with L.  I guess most dads are.

I remember telling my friends here how in Holland women after having a baby just get on with it, while in Australia we are scared into thinking that it is not possible to have a shower in the first six weeks after having a baby and how I thought that it was bullshit.

I would like to eat my words now.

Yes, I manage to have a shower but that is about it!  Getting out of the house is a little daunting, we managed to leave a few times to go for lunch/ ice cream and doctor. Next week I am going to try to go and have a coffee. Y will be back at work, so to get some adult interaction I will have to leave the house.

The things that  helped me most getting through these 2 weeks is receiving a daily email from A  telling me that everything  is OK and that things do get better. Is being able to call L and hear that she too felt anxious, is asking for advice from other mothers online and realising that I am not alone and getting hugs and kisses from Y whenever we have a moment (which is not very often!).

So we survived the first 2 weeks and next week is going to be a whole new chapter where for 3 days it will be just me and L, but I am confident that we can make it work (maybe no shower though!)

 

 

 

 

She is HERE

After going past my due date I was a litte upset but realised that Bubbles would come whenever she was ready and as long as she was happy inside, I should be too. Secretly I was still hoping that the 4th of Feb would be her day. Ever since I heard the due date, I was convinced that Bubbles would arrive on the 4th. So when on Friday night the contractions started I was initially thinking that it might be psychosomatic… they were not too painful to start off with and were about 10 to 15 min apart. I stayed in bed until 4 AM and then decided that since I could not sleep I might as well go downstairs and do some laundry. I sent off two emails to my friends saying that I thought it was finally happening but was still unsure and that I would keep them posted.  Y got up and we had breakfast together, by that time I had lost my mucus plug, or at least some of it so I really knew that it was REAL.  I called my mum to cancel lunch since I just wanted to be with Y and spend it together plus having to stand up every ten minutes when a contraction would come would be awkward in a restaurant.

We chilled and made sure we had our bag packed. We went to get a coffee, since staying upright and moving around would help to get things moving a long.. but even after a hot Indian curry my contractions were neither stronger nor closer together. It was pretty frustrating. And still in my head was the 4th.. but Bubbles really needed to hurry up!  Saturday evening I finally called the hospital and was told to take 2 panadol and try and get some sleep.. a lot easier said than done! We went upstairs but sleep was impossible and by that stage I was soo tired that I also found it hard to deal with the contractions, but Y was amazing and remembered to coach me through the breathing.. I decided it would be better to be downstairs on the couch so we took a duna and I called the hospital again. I hate hospitals but by that stage I was just hoping I could come in!  Still a no though, the midwife advised having a shower trying to rest and wait until the contractions were closer together or stronger, but by 6 AM they were still the same. I  had been awake since Friday morning 1 AM and was extremely tired which made it harder to cope with the contractions.  I called the hospital in tears and told the midwife what was happening that I really wanted to sleep. She asked me to come in so I could be assessed and they could give me some painkillers so I could sleep.  I dont think I have been that happy to go to hospital!!  We got a cab and off we went. On the delivery ward I was hooked up to a monitor to check my contractions and Bubbles’ heart rate. I was expected to lie down but that position really made everything more painful so I got up and would stand/rock against Y while I was having a contraction.  I was examined and the 30 hrs of pre-labour had gotten me to 3 cm.. I was sooooo disappointed!!  According to the midwife I could either stay (but be on the clock and she was very honest about it) or take the pain medication and go home to rest and come back when things were a bit further along.  Both Y and I wanted to go home so I could get some rest.. So while we were waiting it turned out that the doc was a bit worried about Bubbles’ heart rate, apparently it was a bit low indicating she might be getting tired.  Y and I were not really convinced and kept asking questions which pissed her off.. we finally decided to stay in the hospital since we did not want to do anything to risk hurting the baby.

The midwife broke my water and there was meconium in it. This convinced me that we made the right decision to stay.  We were moved to the delivery room ( the biggest one) and I was hooked up to a portably monitor so I could continue my stand/rocking way of dealing with the contractions.  After my water was broken,  things did move along a bit, I was 5 cm dilated but the contractions were now coming harder and faster and I found it hard to cope so asked for some pain medication and got Morphine, Oh boy that was the best. Apparently I fell asleep for a bit (dont remember) I do remember being very out of it, especially between contractions when I would kinda nod off.  Since Bubbles’ heart rate was still low the doc’s wanted to take some of her blood to see if they needed to get her out immediately or if I could keep on going. Midwife and one  doctor started, I was 8 cm according to the midwife and 9 cm according to the doc so that was looking good. Unfortunately they were unable to get blood so the head doctor had to come (the one we did not like) she said that I was 6 cm.. I was soo upset cause I felt that I would not be able to cope for another 4 hrs. The blood test showed that everything was still OK and but they did want to put me on a synthetic oxytocin drip. And then everyone left and it was just me and Y again.. Suddenly I felt this urge to push, and I did. Y was telling me to stop since I was only 6 cm and it was bad to push.. but I could not control it. After 3 more contractions,  I rang for the midfwife  another one came and got me to hop on the bed.  She said, oh I can see the head.. just go ahead and push! I was a bit in shock since 30 min before I was told that I was 6 cm…

My “own” midwife came too and she was lovely the other one was a bit strict but exactly what I needed. They made it clear that they wanted the baby out  as soon as possible since they did not want the doc to use a vacuum pump or forceps.  And then within 3 or 4 contractions she was suddenly there!!!

It took about 38 hrs and it was of course totally worth it!  She was a bit stoned from the morphine and only “woke up” once we were moved to the maternity ward.  I was fine and so was L (formerly known as Bubbles). We came home the next day and are slowly getting used to each other.  Will talk all about that  in another post, the one thing I can say it is really really hard.

 

 

 

 

 

1 more week

to go!! It is moving pretty slow and fast at the same time.  I am now really really home, as in I have promised to not go to uni until AFTER the baby!! I even handed over my swipe card so wont have access to the labs anyway. 

I wake up in the middle of the night freaking out, I cry over NOTHING but it all seems to be part of the end stages of being pregnant. I look absolutely ridiculous and have now also started to retain water.. Had a doctors appt yesterday and the baby is slowly moving down but still has  way to go.. she is also still posterior while I keep telling her to TURN hopefully it will happen before or during labour.

Y and I are trying to enjoy our last few weeks as a twosome by hanging out together on the days that he is home and every time it makes us realise that in a few days there will be this other person that will need us 100% .

We are pretty much ready to go but since we have another bet going I dont want to give birth before 01/02/12 and he is hoping for 25/01/12.. Since the baby is still so high up,  I think this is one bet that I am going to win!

 

 

Despite being on

maternity leave I seem to have a hard time updating this blog thing..

In a way it is because while I am not doing much, except knitting, everything takes 3421 times longer than it used to.  Cleaning, grocery shopping etc I seem to be moving at the slowest pace ever.  Maybe also because my belly is now the size of a small car so movement is HARD.

Still no signs of Bubbles’ immediate arrival.. Y (who is now my husband!) thinks she will arrive in the week before the 31st while I am betting on the week after.. Hopefully the 2nd of Feb since that will give my mum a chance to meet the baby before she flies back Melbourne and then Europe. I had hoped she would be able to stay a bit longer, but with her job and my dad being the way that he is she needs to get back a bit sooner.

I am slowly getting used to the fact that we will have another person in the house very soon.  It is weird and exciting and it does freak me out a little.  When I see my friend L and her darling daughter N, I realise that while it must be the most rewarding thing in the world (looking after your child) it is HARD!  She does make it look easy and I really do hope that Bubbles will have a similar chilled out character as N (previously known as the Spud).   Yesterday I got to hang out with both of them and L and I were projecting to the future how our girls will be in say 10-15 yrs time.. SCARY!!   For now though lets see what the next few weeks bring and when Bubbles decides to finally meet us.