31 July 2013

holiday snaps

1. all rugged up. as we got to blackheath it started to sleet. that's a real winter holiday.

2. Lu was very impressed with the view but held on extra tight.

3. early wattle. is this global warming?

4. worlds largest cat. Lu made friends. 

5. these eyes. i could stare into them for hours. i do.

6. the other end of the hols at the beach. magic beach. holidays are always better with little imaginations.

28 July 2013


little one - she likes ALL the crumpets. With peanut butter please! 

smalls - on a blustery day. Using her tongue as a weather vane.

25 July 2013

four months old

smalls is four months old.

She is getting more alert everyday. 

She likes...
Holding all the things.
Watching her hands. What is that long thing... Ooh! Where'd it go?
Sucking her sweet thumb.
When I bench press her.
Being told nonsense. Boo boo boo. Goo goo. Gah gah!
Siting up very straight. 
Going for long walks in the baby carrier.

And not so much...
Drinking milk in the morning. She'll quite easily go from 7am-1pm with nothing. I'd worry if she wasn't off the growth charts.
Loud sudden noises. Like the kind two year olds make.
Standing still or sitting in the baby carrier.
That moment in the car after being put in her seat but before the engine starts. END of the WORLD. 

She's toughening up and can handle cuddles from her sister a bit better.
She smiles and smiles. Makes you feel pretty awesome. 
She's had some interesting nights this week mainly due to a sniffly nose I think.
But I love her. Look at that face. As if you wouldn't?

23 July 2013

dada date. mama date.

Getting a new little sister is a pretty crazy life changing adjustment for a two year old. Being the youngest child I never got to experience it myself but its been interesting to watch the way Lu has dealt with the arrival of her baby sister. On one hand she adores her little baby but on the other has been a little more tantrumy and unpredictable. Or maybe that's just the average life of a twonager.

Over the holidays we spent some good quality time with our biggest girl and she seemed to be back to her usual chirpy public-displays-of-singing-and-dancing self. But how to continue this adorable behaviour? Enter dada and mama dates.

A couple of alone time hours a week to send some parental love her way.
We started off with a bang* this week and it went down like a treat.

Dada - Myl took Lu to see her first movie at the cinema. They saw monsters university and Lucy liked that the monsters roared. Especially the green one. They got a ginormous box of popcorn the size of Lucy's torso and I was told she had her fair share ?!?

Mama - I took Lu to the circus. She loved it. We sat in the front row and were about. Two metres away from the lions, monkeys, ponies, pigs and acrobats. I raised my eyebrows at the scantily clad trapeze artists and Lu cheered at the monkeys riding horses. It was a good day.

*pretty sure someone got spoiled. It's bread and butter at the park next week.

19 July 2013

by myself

Our little girl is getting so grown up lately.
One of her favourite things to say is "by myself?"
She likes to put on her own shoes bed almost always gets them on the wrong feet.

The other night as I was cooking dinner she scooped out some butter for herself into a little bowl. I thought I'd run with this title burst of creative independence and gave her some little bowls of sugar, flour, yoghurt and sultanas. The result was her very first biscuits made all by herself.*

She scooped the mixture onto a tray and we baked them in the oven. 
We had one excited and proud little girl in the house that night.

I'm glad that little ordinary moment of a girl scooping out butter turned into an extraordinary first time moment. It would have been easy to put the butter away and direct Lucy's attention elsewhere but we ended up having a lot of fun.

I think I need to remember this.

* I must admit my inner control freak made a few minor tweaks.

15 July 2013

Norah's Birth Story - Part Three

Part Three

We kept going. The heart monitor was not doing its job while I moved around. I was getting pretty annoyed about having to wear it and didn’t mind much when it dropped out but the doctors were getting antsy. Each time I had a contraction I would move and the monitor would cut out making it look like a dip in the heart rate. They started talking about putting a clip on our little ones head. That did it for me. I remembered the same thing happening with Lucy and it was the worst pain I have ever experienced. The stubborn angry lady came out of me. I declared I would not be having the clip and made up my mind to do each contraction standing. (The best position for the monitor.) I longed to lean over the bed or the balance ball or just crawl into a corner but I just couldn’t bring myself to have that clip. I laboured on growing more and more tired but finding the energy to work through each contraction.

Myles was amazing. We talked before this day about what I would like him to do and as I went through it all he was so good at meeting my requests. We spent many contractions staring into each other’s eyes, breathing together. It was all very Ina May. I’m so glad we got to labour together. I think it really strengthened our marriage no matter how hard the following hours would be.

The contractions were coming quickly. I was breathing and moving through them but had barely any time to rest in between. I was getting excited. Having not been through labour before I thought that this must be what it is like. I was sure I’d be at least eight centimetres dilated. But at 2am another check told me I was only three, maybe four centimetres and still barely effaced.

I was exhausted. Physically and mentally. For almost two whole days I had been gearing up to have this baby. I’d been totally absorbed in getting labour going and after nine hours on the drip I was chugging along very slowly. I’d been standing up for the last five or so hours. I’d been pleading with my body to let my baby out and it just wasn’t working.

The doctors came in a number of times telling me what I already knew. They wanted to take me to surgery. Our girl wasn’t distressed but she also wasn’t budging. My contractions, though they were coming close together were not particularly strong. I could have slapped the doctor when he told me I didn’t look like the contractions were uncomfortable. “This is what nine months of training for a calm birth get you!” I should have yelled. But he meant well.

I’d been texting my mum through the whole process. She was at home with Lucy. She gave me so much encouragement. It felt like having her in the room not just receiving her texts but remembering all the words she has spoken to me in my pregnancy and in my life. What a blessing to grow up with a midwife mother. She taught me about birth, about how to prepare yourself and deal with the marathon of labour. She taught me about natural childbirth and how to stick up for your rights as a pregnant woman. Though she was looking after my firstborn she was right there with me in the wisdom she embedded in my heart and soul. She is the reason I knew I had to fight for my natural birth. I knew I would have to exhaust every option so that I would feel empowered about my birth experience the next day.

I collapsed into Myles arms. So much of me wanted to give up. But I knew that I had to give my all. I had to know that I did all I could do. So I asked for more time.

They gave me two hours. I could go for a caesarean now or in two hours. It didn’t seem like very long and in fact it wasn’t. During the two hours they kept checking and checking. Nothing improved. The decision was taken out of my hands. I would go in for surgery again.

It took longer this time than with Lucy. Because our girl wasn’t distressed they had more time.  I signed the form and the midwives prepped me for surgery. They took out my drip and I sat down. It felt so good to sit down. The contractions all but stopped. Another blow. It was all the drugs. My body hadn’t taken over. Myles and I chatted. Despite the disappointment in my body it was pretty exciting. We would see our little girl soon. By hook or by crook she’d be out soon. I couldn’t wait to meet her.
Off to surgery I went on my stretcher bed with my chin held high. It was all very casual and friendly. The surgeons made jokes as they wheeled me in. Nice ones. It was the most familiar part of my labour so far. Once again I surrendered my body to the hospital machine. I sat up on the bed while they put in the spinal block. The anaesthetist took a good few goes to get it in. I began to feel very nervous. I tried not to think about the knife or the needle for that matter. My body went numb, they called Myles in and began.

In high tradition Myles and I sung our little girl into the world. Lord of Lords, Let the Weak Say I Am Strong, Jesus Paid it All. My voice was weak but my heart was willing. Myles will tell you I seemed quite out of it. I think after all that time I was just happy for the lie down.

After what seemed like not long at all I heard that blessed sound. Our girls first cry. She was gurgling and spluttering a bit. A bit of something had gone down the wrong pipe. But she was out! My heart filled up and ran over. There is no sweeter noise. Myles went over to cut the cord and then brought our girl straight over to me. We had told the doctors that I wanted skin to skin straight away. They had laid all the dressings so that we could. 

My Norah girl was put on my tummy and there we lay looking at one another. She was a dark purply pink colour and had a thick mop of black hair. She was covered in gloop but she was mine. My sweet girl. It was just after four in the morning. The twenty first of March.

She nosed around for a while and then leapt her way over to her first feed. They took us up into recovery and then to my room. I had lost a fair bit of blood in the operation but didn’t need a transfusion. We settled in to our shared room and Myles fell asleep on the floor. The sun came up on Norah’s birthday and I held her in my arms so glad that she had come safely into the world.

09 July 2013


halfway through the year aint bad.

little one
this is what she thought of my photo taking. there's always the other twenty six weeks.

bright eyes as blue as the sky.

linking up with che and fidel

Norah's Birth Story - Part Two

Part Two

It had been a long day. It was thirty-one hours since my water had broken and I still wasn’t in labour.  Our appointment at 1:30 was to listen to Norah’s heartbeat to make sure she wasn’t in distress. We headed to the place where they do ultrasounds and I was hooked up to the heart rate monitor. She was beating a little fast so we started singing again and I turned on my side. That seemed to calm things down a bit.

Despite all the drama it was so great to spend all this time with Myles. We spent a lot of time just chatting. In between all the bits and pieces there was a lot of waiting. Waiting for doctors, waiting for heart rates, walking to and from the hospital. We chatted about all kinds of things. Baby things and life things. It was nice to take my mind off worrying. We joked around and kept things light. It was nice.
They gave us the ok and we headed down to the birth centre. Back into the room we went and the midwife came to check. My contractions had all but stopped and any that came weren’t strong. It wasn’t a good sign.

So we had the chat. The midwife gave me my options. Because of all the other factors they were a bit worried. I could go straight to surgery, have an induction or keep waiting. I wanted to give it my best shot. I decided to induce. It seemed that if our girl hadn’t come after more than 24 hours it was unlikely she would come without a bit of extra help. This meant once more leaving the birth centre. A familiar path to tread.

Off we went to settle in. We dimmed the lights and put on our music. We made our little room our home. We met our midwife who was lovely and the same age as me. She told me I would need to be monitored the whole time and that the wireless monitor was not available. Oh. I asked if I could have it as soon as it was figuring that with a non existent first time labour and a twelve hour induction timeline I would be there for a while. Our girl was doing well. Heartbeat normal but happy to stay inside.

A nurse came in to put my canula in for the drip. She tried my left arm and missed. Of all the needles you can get, this is not a particularly nice one and when it goes in wrong it hurts like billy-o. I practiced my calm birth. Easy breathing, stay calm. The nurse went to get someone else. A doctor came in to have a go. Bingo, in it went but when the midwife flushed it with water my arm started to swell up. She’d got it in my tissue. Weirdest feeling ever. Easy breathing, stay calm. I was starting to get nervous and we hadn’t even begun. Another spot on my arm, another bruise, another doctor and it went in. They gave me some fluids and said they’d be back with the induction drip.

Myles and I chatted and hung about. We listened to Norah Jones and sung along. They started the drip at about 5pm. Here we go. The contractions came slowly. We could watch them on the machine. The numbers went high when the contraction came and back down as it faded away. Up to 20 and down. Up to 30 and down. They were really gentle. The midwife mentioned something about a gown and I ignored her. I had this I thought. I was standing and swaying and dancing and breathing to practice for when they became more intense. After about an hour I decided to lie down and rest. I was in for a long night.

When I was lying down the heart monitor started to loose the plot. The monitor is a couple of big plastic disks they place on your tummy. Every time I moved they seemed to loose position causing the machine to stop reading our little ones heartbeat. Most of me did not care a toss. I resented the continuous monitoring but the doctors needed to make sure she was ok because a dip in heart rate is the first sign of uterine rupture. The contractions started to get stronger and the monitor was flipping out. My nap was short lived. I couldn’t lie down anymore. I had to get moving.

The hours passed by so quickly. All of a sudden it was 9pm. I had been working hard, breathing and moving. Our midwife has said she would come in at nine and see how far I had progressed. It was the moment I had been waiting for.

I was to be disappointed. I was only two centimetres dilated and barely effaced. On top of all that, the midwife thought that part of the waters hadn’t broken and said she would need to manually break them. It felt like a kick in the guts. I’d been working hard and my body was just not doing it for me. I felt exhausted and imagined the hours that stretched ahead of me. If four hours meant two centimetres then I supposed it would take me another day to get to ten. My confidence began to waver but I’d read the books where marvellous speedy dilations happened. I kept telling myself that my body knew what to do, just go with it, trust the process.

I promise the next one will be up very soon.

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