Thursday, July 30, 2009

Boob Pillow

Why didn't anyone remind me what life with a newborn was like? And why didn't someone tell me that 3 boys under 4 would be a massive handful?

Things are starting to get back to normal. Darren is back at work this week, and preschool is back from holidays, so this week was a taste of what they all will be like. I was super proud of myself for getting Bowen to preschool on time, with all the boys (and myself) dressed and everything! We even went to swimming lessons on Tuesday, I took the boys' Poppy with us to watch Austin while I went in the pool. That's love for you, getting back into a swimming costume 3 weeks post-birth for my middle man. I took Riordan and Austin to Westfield yesterday to get Weeds season 3, and even breastfed Austi while Riordan had a play, just daring anyone to say something to me about it.

Today we took Ruby back to the vets (she has had three weird lumps removed, a week apart, so I've been practically living at the vets, what with surgeries, dressings and stitches. I totally have 5 kids already), and then went to Bunnings. The boys have been using our bedroom as their new playroom, pulling the weights out of the blinds while they hide behind the curtains, messing the bed up for their games, and disturbing Austin while he's sleeping (this is just Riordan, he goes in and pats him, and starts swinging the hammock in an alarming way). It's super annoying (not just because I have to make the bed more than once a day!), and I couldn't figure out a way to stop them from going in. My foggy brain finally cleared on the subject this morning, and I had a Eureka Moment; a door knob cover! So obvious, I should have thought of it before Darren tried to put a sliding latch on the hollow-core door. So it was off to Bunnings, all three boys in tow. the cover works a treat, until Riordan figures out how to use it (which won't take the little minx long at all). If I get a few days peace for my baby and I, I'll be thrilled.

Austin is going fine. He's very much like Bowen in his newborn temperament, a bit highly strung. Riordan was a very laid back baby, but it didn't take much for Bowen to start a crying fit, nor does it take Austin very long. If he doesn't get his boob when he wants it, the whole street knows about it. He's feeding much better, his attachment is still crappy, he just won't open his tiny little mouth wide enough to latch on properly. He's getting plenty of milk, he's already put on a kilogram since discharge (2 1/2 weeks), so he's 4.4kgs bare. I am going through about a million nappies now we've gone to cloth, I swear he looks at them and they are soaked through. He's feeding 2-3 hourly, although I think the 2 hourly ones are more for comfort, and are just a bit of a pain. He won't take much, and it just stuffs up the rhythm, as he wants another feed quickly.

Sleep is a bit of an issue. Mornings are usually a write-off, anything we do happens of a morning so it's just about grabbing snatches when he can. Today he was having a lovely sleep in bed (after many visits to bounce the hammock) when Riordy decided to have a visit. That was the end of that nap. He'll manage a couple of hours at a time of an afternoon, and, annoyingly, his longest sleep of the day seems to be the late afternoon one. At least I get dinner ready, I suppose. He'll doze in the swing over dinner, and then hang out with Daddy for a bit. The first part of the night is spent in the hammock, he usually wakes at about 11pm for a feed, then 1 0r 2, and then from 4am we have an unsettled period. I don't know why, if I get him up for a feed he usually passes out before we make it to the lounge (I can't feed him in bed yet, he has no idea where my nipples are if he can't see them, and gets really grumpy, really quickly trying to find them!). As soon as I go back to bed, he's awake. Oh, I didn't mention that he spends most of the night in bed with me... It works, most of the time, although I HATE getting up in the cold. The heater is on all night, and sometimes that's not even enough! I've tried the dummy, and it works occasionally. I'm thinking about using it a bit more for the crying that seems to be pointless. Then I remember weaning Bowie off his, and I reconsider...

An interesting settling technique I've discovered is my 'Boob Pillow'. I'll get a boob out (I have these great, super-cheap breastfeeding tops that I wear to bed, no shelf bra or anything to be uncomfortable, but they keep my tummy warm and give great access) and he won't feed, but just lay his head on my booby and go to sleep.

Physically, I have no idea who he looks like yet. I'm thinking maybe Riordan, but I don't know. He's still got his hormone rash, and his hair is starting to fall out in that attractive, Fryer Tuck style, as all my boys have. He's starting to fill out, as he should, packing all that beef on in a short amount of time.

I wish he was always like this!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Where we're at...

I barely have time to wash my hair at the moment, let lone get a chance to blog, so I had better make the most of the big boys being out working with Daddy to do a quick update.

Austin is going really well. Third child apathy is really kicking in, I haven't even rung the community nurse yet to book a home visit. I am dying to see if he's put on weight (that urge doesn't diminish with each child) so I might have to walk around to the chemist and pop him quickly on the scales.

He's feeding like a demon (as she types with one hand, guess what I'm doing right now?), only pooing about once a day which makes for some doosies to clean up, sleeping OK and charming everyone he comes across.

Sleep went a bit haywire there for a moment, he went from worrying me by sleeping for hours, only emerging for a feed before he'd drift off to the Land of Nod again, to deciding sleep was for the weak and he'd rather not do it all, thanks for the offer though. He managed two wonderful day sleeps in the hammock yesterday, after being rocked to sleep in it. The first time took a while, but the second sleep he did almost all be himself, and I even got to eat dinner with two hands, without a baby attached to me!

Nights have been fairly consistent, up every three hours or so for a 40 minute feed (makes me yawn just typing it), but the past couple of nights has seen him want to comfort feed only an hour or so after his 3am jobbie. I know it's only for comfort, as soon as he gets a let down he freaks out and starts crying. To try and solve this, I broke the rule I made after Bowen was born; that's right, I bought a dummy for him. Both the boys tested it out last night for him (Bowen is still the dummy addict when he gets a chance, even though he hasn't had one for a year) and when he woke at 5am grizzling, I pulled it out of my PJ pocket and after a few false starts he was happily sucking away until his 6am feed, when he actually wanted something coming out!

I'm also enjoying these long feeds through the day, using them to catch up on my reading. Since I was the last person in the world to have read the Twilight series, I am now proud to say I am up to book 3, and I even watched the movie on Saturday. I preferred the book. I'm also really into Mad Men, I bought the DVD series to watch in hospital, and am hooked.

Here are a couple more photos of my new boy...

Grr, can I edit them in here? Will try again another time, you get the idea!
It's bath time now, can you hear the crying already? I think he's the only baby in the world who doesn't like being bathed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Austin John's Birth

My three births have all been radically different experiences. Bowen was 10 days overdue. I had a couple of contractions in the hours before we went in to be induced, nothing too crazy, but Darren and I were totally shocked when we were told that our head down since 30 weeks baby was now breech! He had turned in the previous five days without me even realising. I was whisked away for a caesarean and not much time later Bowen was born.

Riordan was always going to be a vaginal birth; I hated feeling so out of it after Bowen’s birth. There was no reason for him not to be, and happily, after just 5 ½ hours of labour, albeit 7 days overdue, he was born. I had some pethidine for pain relief, which I didn’t regret but would like to do without the next time. I also really wanted to avoid the tearing that I got with Riordy-boy too.

My third pregnancy was just a textbook as the first two. Granted, I was exhausted most of the time from working fulltime and having two little boys running me around the rest of the time. I stopped working just short of 36 weeks, and it was the best thing I could have done. I went from feeling tired and achy all the time, to enjoying my pregnancy, and my boys. I was also lucky enough to have my Mum only working part-time, so she often had the boys in the afternoons while I had some rest.

Although I knew in my heart that this baby would most likely be late, I tried everything I could to get him out a bit earlier. The most aggressive way was acupuncture. I went about 6 times in 4 weeks, but I can’t say that it definitely helped push things along. I also stayed really active, walked a lot, and bounced on a fit ball (OK, so it was a Thomas the Tank Engine bouncy thing, same concept!).

My due date, as it always does, came and went. Actually, both due dates came and went. As baby #3 was conceived before I got my period back after weaning, I had an early scan to confirm my EDD. It said 29/6/09. My OB, strangely enough, saw that date, got out his little whirly card doover, and ended up with 26/6/09. I had been using the 29th as my due date, and it wasn’t until I was at my 39 week appointment, and he mentioned that I was due in just 10 days (not 13) that I remembered about the differing dates. In the scheme of things it shouldn’t matter, but 3 days is a lot when you may have to be induced, and you can’t really be induced as you are having a VBAC! I tried to put it out of my mind, and just concentrate on giving birth to my baby, when he was ready.

On the advice of my calmbirth teacher (calmbirth was my way of trying to have a drug-free birth) I started some nipple stimulation to try and bring something on. Boy, did it give me contractions (or ‘surges’ in calmbirth speak). Nothing came of it, except that I started to lose my mucous plug the next day. I also went and saw Pink that night, hoping that I could dance my baby out. He absolutely hated the concert; he moved so much that I could barely sit still.

I went to the OB on the Wednesday; he did an internal and found me to be about 2cm dilated, with bulging membranes. At least something was happening! We also booked an induction for the following Monday, something I hoped with all my might that I could avoid.

Thursday passed, with just a few Braxton Hicks contractions waking me at night, until Friday came. I was just so tired that Mum took the boys for the afternoon and I just blobbed around, willing the baby to appear. I was still losing bits of bloody mucous, but only having the odd BH in return. Friday night I found it impossible to sleep, I was being woken a few times every hour with contractions, nothing too crazy but just enough to not let me be comfortable. I just breathed through them, and tried to get back to sleep. My plug was coming away much thicker now, and had streaks of fresh blood in it. I was heartened by this, as I knew it meant that I was dilating, if not very slowly.

I rang my mum, in tears from lack of sleep, and she came and got the boys while Darren drove me to my last-ditch acupuncture appointment. It was excruciating, having the sporadic surges while lying on that bed, but I would try anything at this point. It was a really long session, and after it we just went home and tried to relax. We went on a long walk (with me stopping every now and again to have contractions) and then for a trip in Darren’s work truck (!) to get some DVD’s to watch. I had a bath, which surprised me with its ability to relax me, and then went and saw the boys. Mum, thankfully, offered to have them overnight, which took a lot of the weight off my mind. I tried to go to bed early, but I was up and down with surges until I got back in the bath, and actually fell asleep. If it hadn’t got cold, I think I would have stayed there all night!

At about 2am, things changed. The waves intensified, and I knew I couldn’t cope at home, just breathing through them. All I could think about was an Epidural, sod the all natural birth, I needed to just survive! I woke Darren; we rang the hospital and told them I was coming in. I spoke relatively normally on the phone; I don’t think she actually believed that I was in full on labour. There was nothing she could say to keep me away, so I shoved what I could into my bags, yelled at Darren for no reason, and off we went.

The phone call must have released something inside me, because the contractions that were coming 3-4 an hour suddenly came thick and fast, and I could barely catch my breath between them. We got the hospital, went to the birthing suite, and after a few waves I had an internal, and was 8cm dilated! Hooray! I hadn’t heard such good news in my life. The OB was called (mine was, of course, not on call) and then I had to be monitored, and have a cannula put in. I wasn’t happy about this, but the baby’s heart rate was quite low, so they gave me some fluids while I was trapped on the bed. The OB came, a woman from my doctors practice, and she gave me an internal, said there was just a small rim around my cervix and I would be pushing very soon. She also broke my waters and put a trace on the baby’s head. I could get off the bed after that.

I didn’t actually make if off the bed. As soon as I sat up, I knew that I was in transition. The waves had stopped, and I felt strangely calm. I even said to Darren, “I’m in transition now” and explained what it meant! We had been at the hospital for about an hour when I felt the urge to push. I had discussed with my OB different positions for pushing to try and protect my perineum, and the doctor delivering my baby assured me that the best way for her to keep an eye on things was if I lay on my side, so that’s what I did. With each pushing contraction, the baby’s heart rate dropped below 100, so I had to push with all my might to try and get him out. After half an hour of pushing, my face nearly purple from exertion, he was finally out!

He was put on my chest straight away, and I realised (cliché that it is), that it was all worth it.

I did tear, so I was stitched up while Darren held the baby. Strangely enough, I had gotten through 30 hours of ‘prelabour’ (which didn’t feel very ‘pre’ to me!) and 1 ½ hours of really intense labour and pushing with no drugs, but I sucked on the gas like it was my best friend while I was being stitched up! I had to laugh, I asked if she was finally finished down there, and the doctor said, “I’m just making it look pretty!” Only a female doctor would say that!

Austin John was born at 4.42 am, 5/709. He was 3.5kgs (7pd12oz), 51.5cm long, with a 36cm head.

Austin's first feed.
PS - More pics to come, I just managed to get them onto Facebook today, so here is next!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

He's here!

Just a quickie...

Austin John was born at 4.42am, 5/7/09. He was 3.5kgs, 51.5cm long with a 36cm head circumference. He is gorgeous, and I couldn't be happier with my drug-free VBAC.

More to come (when I am slightly more organised)...

Friday, July 3, 2009


***Big sigh***

Still sitting here, very pregnant and none too happy about it.

Pink obviously didn't do the trick, although she was amazing. Such an athlete, I found myself envying her energy the whole time. The baby hated it, he did nothing but wiggle and squirm and generally make my life uncomfortable. Maybe his continued gestation is my punishment...

I'm still getting bloody mucous, obviously I am very slowly dilating. My OB appointment on Wednesday showed that I was about 2cm dilated, with bulging membranes, but I was in the exact same boat with Bowen at the exact same dates, and he turned out to be my breech post-dates bubba. I can tell #3 is anterior now, my lumpy belly is clearly defined by his back, and he is so far down that I can't believe he just doesn't fall out. I've made an appointment for another acupuncture session tomorrow, if that doesn't get the baby out at 8 days overdue, I will lose all faith in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Here is me and my bulging abdomen...

Hmm, I don't look particularly happy... that's no coincidence. Darren just rang and I had a sob on the phone to him!

Here are the boys in the bath to make me feel better.