27 October 2011

Newborn haze

Where have the last few weeks gone? MissyMoo3 is already a month old. It feels like the time has gone so quickly, but I'm also reaching the point of not remembering what it was like before she was born. Before another month goes by, I thought I would jot down a quick summary of how things are going. Even if nobody else reads it, it will be something for me to look at and remember later rather than trying to recollect things through the fog of sleeplessness!

MissyMoo3 (1 month) is doing really well. She is over one kilo heavier than her birth weight and she has grown 3 1/2 cm in length since birth. She is feeding well in the sense that she drinks a lot, but she doesn't get a proper seal around the breast so she makes a kind of slurping noise and sucks in air. She gets windy tummy pains as a result, especially during "arsenic hour", and it can be hard to settle her while she's working it through. We had the same problem with MissyMoo2 (2) and Infacol helped. I bought some yesterday while I was at the pharmacy seeing the baby health nurse, so I will start her on it next feed. The nurse said not to be preoccupied with it, MissyMoo3 is doing really well and if the worst thing we have to worry about is wind, that's not a major drama.

Hubby is wonderful. He's at work all day, then amuses the big kids or tries to settle MissyMoo3 in the evenings. On the weekends he's always spending time with the girls or doing stuff around the house - yard stuff outside, or housework inside. We make a great team.

MissyMoo1 (4) and MissyMoo2 each have their own things happening in their lives, which I hope to write about later. They love their baby sister dearly. They love holding her, kissing her and watching her. They fight over which one of them MissyMoo3 is looking at or who gets to hold her next. They have been arguing a lot, probably because they're doing their own adjusting and because they have been left to their own devices a lot more - early parent intervention in arguments is a rare occurrence these days so they're having to figure things out for themselves. They have tried my patience a bit over the past few weeks but they are (slowly) getting better with one another and learning to play together a bit more.

And as for me? Well, I'm doing pretty well. Although I haven't checked the scales in the past couple of weeks, I am happily back in non-maternity clothes. I am absolutely loving not being pregnant. I am tired, but I still feel like I have so much more energy than I did when I was pregnant and not being restricted physically in what I can do is a great feeling. I'm adjusting to looking after three kids - taking that much longer to go anywhere or do anything. Sometimes it's frustrating to not be able to get any time to myself or to spend with Hubby, but we both know that it will only last for a short time to this extent and things will get easier. I've learnt a lot of new things or remembered things I'd learnt when the other MissyMoos were babies and had since forgotten, such as all the things I can manage to do with bub in a Baby Bjorn, or how to pick up a myriad of items off the floor with my toes! I'm feeling a little foggy with the broken sleep - the newborn haze is setting in so I'm having to write lots of lists so that I don't forget things (even more so than when I was pregnant!). Nothing is ever finished and there's always something to do, even more so than before, so that is taking some getting used to. But we're managing outings and other commitments, so I think we're doing pretty well.

I'd better go. I have to do, uh, something...

Big School Orientation

MissyMoo1 (4) had orientation for big school this morning. She met her Year 5 buddy and had a wonderful time. She has been telling me that she can't wait for school to start next year!

While she was having a great time with her new friend, MissyMoo2 (2), MissyMoo3 (1 month) and I were in the school library getting heaps of information about the place from different teachers giving presentations. My little girls were so well behaved - 2 hours and no tantrums.MissyMoo2 was quietly and contentedly eating her morning tea and sitting on my knee for some of the time. MissyMoo3 slept and fed and only cried a couple of times. I was a little anxious about how they would be for such a long stretch of time but I'm such a lucky mummy!

Afterwards, they P&F put on a morning tea for us and I bought some of MissyMoo1's sports uniform for next year. It's all getting closer... (!!!)

16 October 2011

Holly the Lizard

The MissyMoos have been enjoying the spring weather this weekend. Yesterday, while I was pottering in the garden, MissyMoo1 (4) found a lizard. She named it Holly and it was her pet for about half an hour, until it was time to come inside and she had to let it go (she wasn't allowed to bring it in the house).

Balloons and Flowers

We got so many beautiful balloons and bunches of flowers when MissyMoo3 (2 weeks) was born. Whenever I receive flowers, I always like to take photos of them so I can remember them long after they've died off.

MissyMoo1 (4) chose this dolphin

MissyMoo1 chose this one too

MissyMoo2 (2) chose this one

This bunch is from Hubby, MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2

The bunch at the top of the photo is from my parents (Nonna and Par)

This is from Hubby's brother (Uncle J)

These are from Mr Hubby's parents (Gran and Soot)

These are from my work.

These are from Hubby's work (not the Lansinoh - that's mine!)

These are from the lovely mums at playgroup.

12 October 2011

2 week weigh-in

This morning, at age 2 weeks and 2 days I took MissyMoo3 for her first visit to the child health nurse at our local pharmacy. I had a couple of home visits from a hospital midwife in my first week home, which was great. I was also supposed to get a home visit from a community health nurse, but when they told me they wouldn't be able to visit me for a month, I told them not to bother coming.

The visit went well. I had been to this nurse with MissyMoos 1 & 2 when they were babies too and loved seeing her - she had so much practical advice to offer and not judgmental at all like so many people can be. She remembered me too - she still had the older MissyMoos' cards on file with her!

I've been feeding MissyMoo3 on demand and it appears to have had an impact - she has put on more than half a kilo in two weeks! She has also grown in length to the point where I'm already having to shelve the Bonds 0000 Wondersuits. Aww, my little baby is growing up!

06 October 2011

St. Gerard Majella - In Thanks for a Safe Delivery

I truly believe that in MissyMoo3's birth, my prayers and those of my friends and family were answered. Things could have turned out so much worse, but didn't. This is the prayer I now need to pray, big time!

"Good St. Gerard, patron of mothers, assist me in thanking God for the great gift of motherhood. During the months of my waiting, I learned to call upon you and placed the safety of my child and myself under your powerful protection. The great lesson of your trust in God sustained me; your slogan 'God will provide,' became my hope and consolation. I thank God for a healthy and normal baby and my own good health. Help me to prize the great treasure of motherhood and obtain for me the grace to raise my child as a child of God.

In gratitude, I will continue to call upon you and will tell other mother about their special patron and friend. Amen."

St. Gerard Majella - Prayer for Expectant Mothers

Last year, well before hubby and I were thinking about or planning MissyMoo3, my mother-in-law gave me a prayer leaflet containing some prayers seeking St. Gerard Majella's intercession for various family/motherhood related intentions.

Once I got pregnant with MissyMoo3 I said the prayer "For Expectant Mothers" most days.

"Almighty and everlasting God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you prepared the body and soul of the Virgin Mary to be a worthy dwelling place of your divine Son. You sanctified St. John the Baptist, which still in his mother's womb. Listen now to my prayer. Through the intercession of St. Gerard, watch over my child and me; protect us at the time of delivery. May my child receive the saving graces of Baptism, lead a Christian life, and, together with all the members of our family, attain everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen."

A friend of mine from high school also put me onto a novena to St. Gerard Majella and we prayed it "together" (at the same time hundreds of kms apart!) in the lead-up to MissyMoo3's birth. If anyone is interested, it can be found at: http://www.saintgerard.com/nineday.html.

03 October 2011

MissyMoo3's Ambulance Arrival

Here is the long awaited story about how MissyMoo3 came into the world.

WARNING: This is a BIRTH STORY. There will be references to blood, medical procedures and parts of the female anatomy which would not normally be discussed in polite company. If you get squeamish, don't blame me - I warned you!

On a Spring Monday in September 2011 at 9:56pm, MissyMoo3 made her dramatic arrival to the world in the back of an ambulance, just up the road from where we live. This is how the day unfolded:

I got up to my alarm and went for a shower. We were booked in for induction that day and had to ring the hospital at 6am to find out what time we should go in. I had had a little trouble sleeping in the previous hour because I was so excited that this would be the day we would meet our new baby!

I rang the hospital delivery suite. They told me to have breakfast and come straight in. So I promptly ate my Weet-Bix and got the MissyMoos dressed while Hubby packed the car with all our bags. We drove around to my parents' house about half an hour's drive away to drop off the MissyMoos and then Hubby and I made our way to hospital.

We arrived at the hospital and made our way to the delivery suite. A midwife took us to one of the rooms there and started taking my blood pressure and filling in forms for which I had to just about relate my entire obstetric history (as I had had to do in almost every ante-natal clinic when I had seen a different midwife). I changed into a hospital gown, excited and a little anxious. A monitoring device was strapped to my belly and I was monitored for a while to check MissyMoo3's heart beat, which was all great.

Then a doctor came in to examine me. He looked quite young (Hubby reckons he took one look at my history - see MissyMoo1's birth story at Missy Moo 1's First Journey - and decided he didn't want to deal with me on his shift). He told me that he wanted to go and speak with someone more senior before deciding whether it would be appropriate to induce me that day. Ironically, he also said that if I was induced that day, they would give me syntocin straight away to ensure I delivered the baby earlier in the day when there were a lot of specialists around in case of complications.

Aaaaages later a different young doctor came in to speak with me. She said that although my cervix was already 3cm dilated, it was not soft enough and the baby wasn't low enough. She said that inducing that morning might risk cord prolapse and that with the harder cervix, baby might have difficulty getting through and get tired and distressed.

Cervidil, a prostaglandin strip, was inserted near my cervix with the intention to make my cervix softer. The plan was to keep it in for 24 hours and return at 10:30 the next morning to have it taken out and reassess. I was re-booked in for induction for Wednesday morning. The midwife told me not to take the strip out myself, that they would take it out the next morning. She also said that a side effect, which was very rare, might be regular contractions and that I could take Panadol if they got painful. I was told that if I had bleeding I should come back to hospital. I was then monitored again for half an hour and everything looked fine.

We were told to go home and return at 10:30 the next morning. We were feeling so deflated and disappointed. We thought we were having our baby only to be told now to wait two more days. Also, there would have to be so much more running around and disruption for the Missy Moos, getting my parents to look after them over the next two days while the interventions continued. And if I was to give birth on Wednesday, just how would we be able to get MissyMoo1 to her friend's 5th birthday party on Thursday morning? She would be so disappointed at not being able to go...

We left hospital.

Had KFC for lunch on the way to picking up the MissyMoos from their non-sleepover at their Nonna and Par's house. Stuff the diabetes.

Picked up the MissyMoos. Hubby had to drag MissyMoo1 kicking, screaming and crying to the car, as she wanted to stay at Nonna Par's house for her sleepover. We told her she'd have her sleepover in a couple of days.

Pains start in the car on the way home, morphing into contractions 2 - 3 minutes apart. Not painful though.

I rang the hospital delivery suite as I was still having regular contractions. The midwife I spoke to said not to worry and that it was just a side-effect of the Cervidil and that it was the Cervidil having the effect on my body it was supposed to - doing its job. She said that if they got too painful to manage or if my waters broke, that I could come back to hospital.

I didn't really feel like eating dinner but Hubby made me some toast which I ate, because we both knew how tired I would be if I kept being woken up by contractions through the night (as that had been the experience of my early labour with MissyMoo1 after my waters had broken).

The contractions were starting to become a little painful so I took one Panadol and went to bed. I managed to distract myself by singing hymns in my head and wriggling around during them. Hubby put the Missy Moos to bed and went downstairs to watch the Brownlow Medal count on TV.

I called out to hubby to get me another Panadol, as the pain was getting bad and I didn't feel up to getting it myself.

I called the hospital delivery suite again and was on hold for 12 minutes. During that time my contractions were very painful and only 2 minutes apart. I was also quite worried and upset because I hadn't felt MissyMoo3 move for at least half an hour and that was usually her most active time of day.

While I was on hold to the hospital on the iPhone, Hubby called my parents from the home phone and asked them to come over straight away.

Hubby called our friend Gina who lives down the road and asked her to come over to mind the girls in the meantime, as it would take my parents at least half an hour to arrive.

At that time I also finally got to talk to a midwife. I explained that it was my third pregnancy, I'd had Cervidil, described the contractions. Her response: "So you think it's time to come in then." "Yes!" I screamed. I was on hold for 12 minutes for that? I wanted her to tell me that it was labour, or if it was still Cervidil "doing its job", what I should do etc. I just hung up.

Saw blood in my pad. Lay on the bed. Hubby got some towels.

Hubby called the ambulance. Lots of blood. Lucky we had the towels. Contractions were now only about 1 minute apart.

Gina arrived directly from the shower in her pjs and dressing gown, God bless her. Rather than be there in case the kids woke up, Gina went straight into good friend and nurse mode, and took over the duties of holding my hand and helping me breathe through contractions while Hubby was on the phone to the ambulance.

Ambulance arrived (Ken and Gary).

Ambulance officers arrived upstairs in my bedroom. They didn't seem to be in a hurry to move me, so I screamed out in frustration (and pain) "Take me to hospital!"

After the ambos got the stretcher ready at our front door and we waited for the small window of opportunity between contractions, I got down the stairs and onto the stretcher ... just in time before the next contraction hit. At this stage I was feeling a really strong urge to push but was being told just to keep breathing. My waters still hadn't broken yet.

I was wheeled into the back of the ambulance. I immediately felt more at ease in a "medical" setting. If I'd wanted a home birth I would have planned it that way.

Made it up the road and onto the main street. Gary pulled over as the ambos realised the birth was imminent. Turns out my parents drove past in the other direction on the way to our place and saw the ambulance.

Waters broke ("exploded" as Hubby says).

At the next contraction I felt a huge urge to push which I just couldn't fight. Ken encouraged me to push (not that I needed it). MissyMoo3 was born then and there, pushed out in one contraction and caught by Ken.

Hubby cut the cord. I asked Ken whether I would deliver the placenta or if it would be taken out by the hospital. He said that it could take 20 to 30 minutes to come so we might make it to hospital before it came out.

Placenta came out.
The rest of the ride to hospital was quite calm as Hubby, Ken and I chatted in the back while I cuddled MissyMoo3 on my chest and kept her warm.

I am quite annoyed and upset by the poor advice and lack of attention I received by the hospital, from delaying induction and advising that Cervidil would not put me into labour to the responses I received to my calls that afternoon and night (a midwife who visited me at home the other day said that in giving me Cervidil with my third baby, I should not have been sent home).

But, we had the right people with us at the right time and things turned out for the best. Hubby was just amazing, as were Gina, Ken and Gary. All our prayers and the prayers of family and friends were answered. Thankfully, despite the panic and the drama, our beautiful baby girl was born safe and healthy.


01 October 2011

Introducing MissyMoo3

Welcome to the world MissyMoo3! She had a ripper of a birth story. Stay tuned and I will write about it when I get a chance.

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