Friday, December 12, 2008

A Picnic and Sitting Up!

Today (well yesterday really) was awesome. First of all Zeke only woke once overnight at about 3.30am for a feed and went straight back to sleep, and then did the same again at 7am. I was so ready for him to want to get up after that 7am feed, but he dozed off again and so did I! Then at 8.30, I woke up and he was still out to it! I even managed to get out of bed and get some stuff done for an hour before he woke up... in a lovely mood! I hope he repeats this again tomorrow.

We also had a picnic with our mum's group today for Christmas, we went to this gorgeous park and stuffed ourselves silly on yummy food, chatted and played with the babies. Was such a lovely day, the weather was beautiful, and Zeke was in such a good mood! Took some pics, nothing fantastic though, Zeke needed to be held for most of it, so it was hard for me to take anything really good.

Zeke also surprised me today by being a total show off. He was propped leaning on my leg then all of a sudden pushed off my leg to sit up straight without support at all! He stayed like that for a good 5 minutes, and probably would have kept going but I had to get up, so I laid him down again so he wouldn't fall and bonk his head (the way he usually finishes sitting) while I wasn't there to catch him.
My baby boy is getting soooooo big. Choosing to sit up all on his own... he'll be crawling before I know it I swear!
He also tried yoghurt a couple of days ago, just the plain stuff, but I added fruit, and he LOVES it. He even eats it plain, which surprises me, the all-natural no-sugar plainer than vanilla stuff can be quite tart.
He also tried some chicken tonight, I just poached it with a little garlic (he LOVES garlic... tries to steal anything with garlic in from me!) and he really enjoyed it minced up finely. I mixed it with his veggies and he spat out the bits after that, but if I hand-fed him the peices he swallowed them... what a funny boy. When this government Xmas bonus comes in, I'm going to get him a highchair and then he can really give finger foods a go.
It also turns out that he likes gingerbread, he had some at his aunty Kyla's Christmas party last weekend, and with most foods he did his little 'hamster' trick of eating some, but stashing some in his cheeks to ooze out about 20 minutes later on! Cheeky boy!
He got to try some hommus this evening as well, but I didn't really have a say in that, he just kinda swiped at it! As you can see, with gingerbread, hommous, garlic and yoghurt on the menu my little boy has quite an advanced palate!
Speaking of tastes, he's also decided my shoulder is quite yummy, I'll find when I'm holding him in a short-sleeved top he'll often start gnawing/sucking on my shoulder. Don't know what that's about, but it sure is slimy!
Anyway, we're going out again tomorrow, and relatively early for us, so I'm going to head off to bed... but first a couple of pics of the picnic!
Zeke eats his bells, dummy chain and chicken from Aunty Jane all at once!




Time out for Zeke in the pram!

More interested in the wrapping paper than the lovely gift from Mae & Isabel! (He loves the stacking rings though, he played with them all evening!)






Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MRI Appointment has been booked!

We have an MRI date booked for Zeke! This is what having the surgery scheduled has been waiting on, so this is great that it can be done so soon, so they can do the op around Feb-March like they planned. The MRIs were booked till June 09, so we were on a cancellation list with high priority, and we've been booked!

The MRI is booked for Jan 5th at 10am, I'm so relieved that it can already be done, but so anxious about it already because he has to have the contrast stuff and a General Aneasthetic. Because of the GA I cannot BF him after 1am, and cannot give him anything to drink after 5.30am... and it's summer here! My poor poor baby! (And my my poor poor boobs not BFing for at least 9-10 hours!)

I'm very relieved that it is booked and his surgery can go ahead as planned (it's not yet booked, but will be once the MRI is done) but I'm already nervous about the GA and him not being allowed to have anything to drink... hopefully I won't go mad before then!

Monday, December 8, 2008

6 Months old!

That's right, Zeke turned 6 months old last Wednesday! I would have updated sooner but we've all been sick with a horrible flu virus that made everyone totally miserable. Lots of runny noses, fevers, aches & pains, sore throats and general misery.

My poor baby boy was feeling so bad. He wouldn't nurse properly because his throat hurt, then he wouldn't burp because of it - you could see him grimace and swallow the burp when he tried because it hurt - then because he had air in his tummy he'd vomit what little he had eaten. Meanwhile, I'm feeling like death and trying to look after Zeke and give him all the extra TLC he needs while doing everything else as normal... it was not a good few days.

Wednesday (his offical 6-month birthday) started out awesome! I can't believe he's so big already... what happened to that soft beautiful little boy who'd snuggle on my chest and not move for hours? The morning started out great, I took him to have his picture taken with Santa, and it turned out beautifully. (I have to go get it scanned, so I can't show you just yet) He was so awesome, he didn't cry a bit! I got heaps of spares of photos so I can give them to the numerous rellies who will no doubt want one! We had coffee with a friend who I haven't seen since before I was pregnant, and generally had heaps of fun.

On Wednesday night Zeke got really hysterical, SCREAMING, running a fever (even an hour after a dose of paracetamol) all flushed and sweaty, he hadn't eaten in about 3 hours, and was throwing up a little, so I decided to take him to the ER, nothing I was doing would soothe him, and the GPs were closed. He screamed there for the first hour and a half, although he wasn't running a fever by then, and finally fell asleep. He was so deeply asleep that we had to wake him by the time the Dr saw us. (4 hours after we'd first gone in) and of course he was fine. The doctor was lovely and said it was just the virus getting a bit worse and to keep an eye on him.

We went back to the GP again the next day (Thurs) who told me to keep giving Zeke paracetamol every 4 hours thru Thurs & Fri so that he wouldn't realise his throat hurt and get all worked up again,, which seemed to work, and now we're both feeling much better!

On Friday we had a checkup with our new pedi, who is at the Children's Hospital where Zeke will be treated next year. It was more of a meet & greet than anything, but she said he was doing 'perfectly'! We also had him weighed and he is now 15lbs even, which is double his birthweight! He's absolutely stacking it on now that we're supplementing him. He's still 10%, but he's ON the line, rather than just touching the bottom of it.

He can help hold his bottle now too - if you let go for a few seconds he will even hold it himself if it is the thin ones. The fatter bottles are too big for his hands still. He eats apple, peach, pear, mango, canteloupe, apricot and banana for fruit, potato, sweet potato, carrot, zuchinni, broccoli, spinach and pea for veggies, and rice and oats for cereals. I'm planning to introduce a little bit of chicken and plain yoghurt over the next couple of weeks as we still want him to gain as much weight as possible and having some protien or dairy will really help him do that. He also LOVES LOVES Baby Mum-mums, which are a rice biscuit of sorts, he will eat two in under 5 minutes!

He's gotten rolling down to a fine art, and if there's something to the left or right of him when he's on his tummy, he can spin around so quickly to get it! "That's not where Mummy left you!" is becoming a frequent catch cry in this house! He can also sit up for a few seconds if you put him there, and he tries to sit up by himself, but doesn't get far, even when you pull his arms, because the size of his head means it is very heavy for him and difficult to lift, but he is still doing awesome. He's chatty, and loves to coo, squeal and generally make a lot of noise... I'm trying to convince him that he wants to say "Mama" but he's not doing consonant sounds regularly just yet!

Here he is a couple of days before 6mos in his ROCKING Metallica onesie Ryan bought!
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am Mummy!




That's right - Zeke recognised my 'name' today! My mum was holding him and said "Where's Mummy?" My clever boy didn't even hesitate for a second - he just spun his head straight around to look at me and give me a giant smile!




It's official guys... I am 'Mummy!'




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I have not been so offended in ages...

This is just embarrassing, an overseas (US based I believe) pain-relief manufacturer Motrin recently released this disgusting add...

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=XO6SlTUBA38

There are just so many this wrong with this add.

1) It makes babywearing mommas look like ignorant try-hards, who like the teenage girl tottering around in shoes that cause blisters and a dress so tight she can hardly breathe because she's 'sexy', wear their babies because it's 'cool' and will make them look like a 'real' mother.

2) It promotes babywearing as a painful thing to do. This is ridiculous! Even I can wear Zeke, and I have an ongoing shoulder injury and a bad back, and still comfortably tote him around in a carrier wherever I go. Babywearing when undertaken with the right advice and sling for you, (there is lots of advice out there!) is a comfortable and painless experience.

3) The add also made fun of the scientific fact that babies who are worn cry less. I cannot tell you the number of mothers I know who swear by wearing their baby in any form of carrier as a way to keep their bub close, comfortable and peaceful. Nothing turns my fussy, overtired little boy into a mellow baby like popping him in the sling and doing a few laps of the house.

4) The makers of the add also mock the bonding experience that can be had by babywearing. When you wear your baby, you are deliciously close to their soft skin, their warmth is pressed right against your heart (exactly where your baby belongs!), and every step you take you can breathe in that beautiful, sweet, milky, one-of-a-kind 'baby' scent that belongs only to your child... and even while they're asleep your baby will recognise your heartbeat, scent and warmth as a sense of comfort and protection. How is that not a wonderful way to bond with your baby?

I really am disgusted and offended by this, I cannot believe how ignorant the makers of this add are.

When I became pregnant , one of the things I looked forward to most was wearing my child... I researched all the options, and made a choice of carrier based on factors that affect me, and I have found that wearing Zeke is a happy, enjoyable and above all comfortable experience. I love having him close to me when I am out walking or shopping, and he appears to really enjoy being close to me and having a great view of the day's proceedings! Not to mention it keeps my hands free to get what I need to do finished.

For those who choose it babywearing is a win/win situation for the wearer and the child!

All you baby-wearing mothers out there who also find this add rude, offensive or ignorant, please drop by the Motrin website when it is up and running again, and let them know what you think. I will certainly be giving them my two cents!

Oh yeah... and a pic of Zeke being worn... not my best photo ever... but a baby blog needs at least one pic per post!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby talk...

Well, I still haven't gotten around to doing an "official" 5mo photo shoot yet - I planned to today, but Zeke had a longer nap than I expected! Weather obliging, I'll do it tomorrow!

Today, at 5months and 1 week exactly Zeke figured out how to roll from his back to his tummy! He was very pleased with himself, and so was I! It was all in the name of destruction, he had his heart set on grabbing the wipes and ripping them out of the tub one after another, but I didn't mind really! He's been rolling back to side for some time now, but only today got the full way over... what a big boy!

He also skipped his usual 1am waking last night... very pleased. I'm up too late again tonight though, and naturally he won't be so obliging LOL! My boobs hurt by 4am when he finally woke though... small price to pay in the long run! Hopefully this will become a habit, and he'll sleep 10.30 - 4am regularly. This would make me very happy!

I've also been busy making him baby food, at the moment he has sweet potato and broccoli, and apple, pear and mango. I'm hoping to also get his carrot and zuchinni done as well. It is so simple and cheap. Cook the food till tender and puree. It freezes in an ice cube tray and then into a ziplock bag in the freezer! He loves it too... this makes me really happy, as I've found some of the jarred foods have a lot of water in them, or other things that aren't on the label. Right now Zeke eats...

Sweet Potato
Carrot
Broccoli
Spinach
Peas
Apple
Mango
Pear
Banana
Apricot
Baby Rusks

But he doesn't like...

Plain Farex (rice cereal)
Farex with sweet potato (must be with a different veggie or fruit)
Pumpkin (makes him constipated)
ANY food with breastmilk added, BM has to be straight from the source or nothing for him, he won't even take it in a bottle. He has to have formula if he's having a bottle.

I will be introducing him to this week:

Zuchinni
Baby Porridge (Oats whizzed in a blender to get smoother)

A couple of eating pics from the other day. Spinach, broccoli & pea, with Farex added I believe... even though eating is actually a lot of fun and he really enjoys it, he takes it very seriously!

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Not much else new atm, we're on a waiting list for his MRI, they're booked till June 09, but as soon as a cancellation happens they'll book us in. It's a bit sad really, partly because he has to wait, and really he needs to be seen and get this fixed ASAP, but also because it shows how overtaxed our public hospitals are.

We're also experimenting with sippy cups. He has a lovely one with a nice soft silicone teat that he has to chew/suck to make the water pour, which means he can't just tip it everywhere. He mostly lets the water run down his chin, but he's getting the hang of it. He needs some help holding it though... if I make it full enough so he doesn't have to tip far, it's too heavy for him to hold on his own, but if it's light enough, he doesn't tip the cup up enough so he doesn't get any water!

Anyway, a couple more pics of my cutie patootie, and now I'm off to bed! He's playing on the couch with his daddy... as you can now see, tummy time is AWESOME!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some Photos...

Well, my baby boy is 5 months old! But I haven't had time to do a photo shoot for that yet. So here's some of his 4mo pics!










As you can see, I tried to be artistic... but Zeke had other ideas as usual!


No appointments for a while, but a lovely lovely picnic with my Doula Julie last week. Was awesome to see her again and show off how beautiful and big Zeke is becoming.


I promise I am working on a blog for TUI... something to do with DWI (Driving While Infuriated) methinks... since getting a car I've noticed just how irritating other road users are!


Oh wait, here's my new signature for the board I'm on. The second 'e' is a 5-month shot!


Very proud of that one...
Anyway, I should get to bed and hope my (yes, that's right MY) teething pains let me sleep. This last wisdom tooth sure is taking its sweetass time to get here... urg!
Miranda xoxo












Friday, October 24, 2008

Head updates... CT scan results

Blah... too tired and overwhelmed to go into much detail... copying again from that message board.

The verdict is Zeke will definitely need surgery. His brain is growing really fast, and his skull isn't, so the brain is starting to put pressure on it, and the bone is becoming really thin in the back of his head. The bulging fontanelle are another sign he's outgrowing his headspace.

It's not 100% clear what they want to do yet, they are going to have an MRI and another scan done first to determine their course of action, but basically they want to open and re-shape his head to allow more room for his brain to grow. They're only going to do the back of his skull, as the bluging at the front is a response to the lack of room at the back, and hope that the front will adjust to having more space. They plan to re-assess the front sometime after the surgery.

We also have to see a geneticist to establish his head is just wonky and not caused by any other issues and to determine the likelyhood of any siblings or his children having the same condition - it's for research more than anything, they're doing a study on children with heads like Zeke's atm and want to add him to the study, which is fine by me, anything that can help other mums in the same position! But it will be good to know this too, seeing as we would like to have at least one or two more kids.

So the surgery will be scheduled after the next lot of scans, but they said sometime in the next 4-6 months as he is running out of room quickly. I am so not happy about this, but I know it needs to be done... I just didn't want my baby to have to go through all of this.

So yeah... that's where it's at right now... not sure what I think... anyways, massive headache.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Zeke's head... more appointment news.

Lazy and need to hit the hay so copied directly from the message board. Just to keep you all updated.

As I've mentioned before we've been having some appointments with various pedis/specialists regarding Zeke's head circ and the fact that it's assymetrical - we just had our next lot, so it's time for an update.

Our main pedi referred us to the Children's Hospital cranio/facial unit, who we saw last week - LOVELY man, very straightfoward and friendly! Anyway, he said the circumfrence and prominent fontanelle require a CT scan (next Tues) and a neuologist and opthamology appointment just to make sure he's developing normally so far. Basically, the funny shape his head is doesn't fit with any of the 'typical' issues, so he's at a bit of a loss as to what to tell me right now. (He won't say it's fine, and he won't say he needs surgery - and I am fine with this, I want one answer for sure.)

So far Zeke's doing great, but we're looking for signs that he's got too much intercranial fluid, or too much pressure (hydrocephaly) or that his skull sutures are fusing prematurely, both can be serious if left untreated, so we want to get right on top of them if either situation is the case. Right now, our warning signs are the prominent fontanelle (his anterior fontanelle at his forehead sometimes bulges a tad, giving Zeke a slight cone-head appearance, and the area is very tight a lot of the time) indicates there could be a fluid issue, while the assymetry and bump on the back of the head are signs of possible fusing too soon.

So we had our neuro and opthamology appointment today, the opthamology appointment was fine, Zeke's eyes seem to be doing great, but he looks a little funny b/c of the drops added to dilate his pupils. I've had to keep the room dimmed all night as they can't shrink in self defence (so to speak) The neurologist said the left-right sutures (I can't remember what they're called, the ones that basically run ear-to-ear) appear to be fusing already as well as the area on the crown of his head (this is especially bad - should not fuse till he's around 2yo) - but won't be able to tell for sure until the CT is performed. He was pretty sure that surgery will be needed to resolve this, to give his brain more room to develop, but not until Zeke is between 9-15 months, so he is bigger and stronger - my poor boy!

I have check backs with the plastic surgeon at the end of Oct to review the CT scan, the neuro in Nov to discuss the CT and what the plastic surgeon said, and the opth in Dec just to keep tabs. I will keep you all updated as we find out more, but please keep your fingers crossed that Zeke won't need surgery... the neurologist was pretty definite about this, despite the fact he hasn't seen the x-ray, STUPID STUPID me forgot to take the cd of images from the local hossy along with me

Regarding the initial idea of cephalhaematoma (bone bruising) b/c the midwives at the hossy when Zeke was born were more concerned about his large head circ and didn't look at or dx a CH then, the doctors cannot treat it (ie not do anything) as one now, to be on the safe side.
And a question about CT scans for anyone in the medical field... will Zeke need to be given the contrast stuff (either orally or IV) for a cranial CT? I've looked it up and the most I can find is a definite sometimes maybe.

Friday, September 12, 2008

100 Days old...

Zeke was 100 days old yesterday! That's right, I've been a mum for 100 days (well 101 now!) I can't believe it, no matter how you look at it, 14 weeks, 100 days, 3 1/2 months... I still wonder where the time has gone, and how I've managed to not update my blog for nearly a month! (And don't even get me started on TUI... about time I did a vent or a rant or something... need to find something to be mad at!)

While I've been MIA, we've had our first holiday, Zeke has rolled over, we've had more funny shaped head related appointments, I (finally) have begun to regain some control over the ever-expanding dishes and laundry pile, our car crapped itself again, and I almost got a new car. I will try and get to each of these 1 by 1 before Zeke wakes up or Mum gets here so we can go shopping.

The holiday... a blissful weekend at Apollo Bay with Dave, Sal, Corrie and her friend Sarah. The weather was pretty miserable really, but it was nice to just 'feel' on holidays, Zeke had his first beach visit when we went for a walk on the breakwater and screamed bloody murder the whole time... needless to say there were no pics of that particular outing! He was amazing the whole drive there, we only had (we did stop other times, but not because Zeke needed anything) to stop once on the way there, and once back... and it's almost a 5-hour trip!

Now some pics from our holiday...


Zeke's First Beach pic!

Zeke's first-ever beach photo!



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Miserable weather, gorgeous scenery.



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On the road



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How Zeke spent most of his first road trip.



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It's true...



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Of course the weather improved once we were heading home!



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I got bored, and snap-happy!



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We stopped in Geelong for food and Zeke had a go at driving the car too!


Now... my beautiful clever talkative son has rolled from his tummy to his back a total of 6 times since he was 10 weeks old. I can still count because to date he has refused to do it again! He did it on 10 weeks to the day, 4 times when he was 12 weeks and 2 days, once more the next day and nothing at all since. Either he didn't really roll and he just overbalanced or he couldn't be bothered now that he's got that skill mastered. He's an epic squirmer though, he can wriggle himself around in a circle when he's lying on his back... I reckon if I let him keep going he'd do a full 360! (I usually stop him just before 180 degrees)


He's also chatty and giggles properly, especially when you play 'Superman' with him, he LOVES Supermanning to his mummy. Basically you hold him so he can 'fly' through the air like Superman, with his belly down and his face rushing towards everything. This earns you the biggest grins ever... I really should take pics, but am usually to obsessed with catching my Superman and kissing him! (I just used the word Superman or a variant thereof, 5 times in a single paragraph... not bad for a blog about my baby!)


Ok... I'll skip the doldrums about dishes and laundry, but suffice to say I'm setting myself realistic tasks regarding them. Ie: I wish wash and dry one load of laundry and start another today while Zeke naps. This is waaaay better than trying to do everything at once and feeling overwhelemed!


Now the car... well... we paid about $600 and waited two weeks to get various parts involving the timing fixed a couple of weeks ago. So guess what shits itself and dies while we're doing 100km/h (about 60m/h for my overseas friends!) on a freeway at 10pm at night, over an hour from home? That's right! The car! $360 later we have it towed back home, and taken to another mechanic, we are currently waiting on their verdict.

**Mum showed up, Zeke woke, so I saved the draft... now continuing nearly 24 hours later**

What were we doing over an hour from home at 10pm at night I hear you ask? Well, the decision has been made that I really should get a car. It's a total PITA to arrange for someone else to come drive me or to wake up early enough to take Ryan to work and pick him up so I can use the car during the day.

So Fungus arranges to look at a car, that is over TWO HOURS away (genius really) and off we go. It was a great car, and we said we'd take it with a RWC, but no-go on that and the bloke we were buying it from ain't happy, he only got it a month ago himself, but needs a different car... the missus had her say! So he was given a dodgy RWC, and probably won't be able to sell the car for a decent price.

Anyway, all that means is we're still on the search for a car. Fingers crossed we will find something soon! I really wanted it before next weekend because I have a picnic to get to, which is probably close to an hour and a half away. Mum said she'll take me, but it would have been kinda cool to go myself.

Hmm... nothing else much is going on today. I have to cook something for dinner... steaks or chilli con carne...?

Hopefully I will try and update more often!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ezekiel David's Birth Saga

Where to begin? Two weeks on and I’m still not quite sure where Zeke’s eventful birth story starts. Does it begin with May 8, when I thought he’d arrive, or May 19th when he should have arrived?

My due date came and went, after weeks of thinking that he would arrive early I was surprised (and a little disappointed… I was ready to meet my baby!) with every day that passed.

At every prenatal appointment I was told that the baby’s head (we were waiting till birth to find out the gender) still hadn’t descended into my pelvis at all, despite the optimal foetal positioning I had religiously been practising. Zeke had begun to work his way around to a left anterior position, (he had spent the last few weeks posterior) but was more than happy floating up high… well away from my cervix.

I had a number of chiropractic appointments in the last few weeks, in order to prepare my pelvis and hips, and received the wonderful news that everything there was stretching and softening well and physically I was in great shape for labour and birth… turns out the baby had inherited daddy’s stubborn nature!

41 weeks came and went too… the midwives were concerned as the head was still high, I was not dilated much (about 1cm) and Zeke obstinately had his hands jammed up by his face making it impossible for him to fit into my pelvis. After a check up and an ultrasound it was decided by the Birth Centre GP to induce at 42weeks exactly… June 2nd

This was a hard decision for me, I had planned a natural birth, possibly in the water at the Birth Centre, and induction would mean I would be transferred to the main maternity ward instead. Zeke was healthy and well, he had plenty of fluid around him, and his cord and placenta were in great shape. However physically I was exhausted… my hips and back hurt constantly and my entire body had broken out in a stress rash… a sign that it was overworked and if I didn’t do something soon I would not only be tired, but sick as well.

Given that Zeke was well, but I wasn’t it felt like a selfish decision to induce. If he was fine and obviously not ready to come out, why force him… but on the other hand, I was so tired (I was barely able to sleep for more than half an hour in a stretch) how would I cope with possibly another week of pregnancy and then labour? After many talks with my mother, my partner Ryan and my doula Julie I decided for my own well being to go ahead with the induction rather than wait for spontaneous labour.

Julie especially was great in helping me make the decision. She understood both my desire to have the natural birth I planned, and the eagerness to JUST HAVE MY BABY…. NOW! She explained the pros and cons of transferring to the main ward, and what induction would involve, and generally made sure I wasn’t making an uninformed decision. It was with her counselling and advice I finally felt comfortable with the decision to head in at 7am Monday June 2nd for induction, and allowed my appointment to stay on the record.


This didn’t mean I was just going to sit around the house and wait for Monday morning though! I had two acupuncture appointments, which triggered some decent Braxton Hicks contractions, stayed as upright and mobile as possible – shuffling around the house with sciatic pain – ate curry, a very long drive on a bumpy road, had hot baths and generally sent as many loving labour vibes to my belly as I possibly could! However the only thing I achieved by this was a hole in our wallets, a near-empty petrol tank, a constant need to soak in the bath to relieve my back pain, what must be a huge water bill and a lot of curry!

After a sleepless night on the Sunday, Ryan and I dragged ourselves out of bed to call the hospital and confirm they were still ready for me to come in for induction. We were given the all clear, so after a couple of quick phone calls to our parents, a brief text to Julie letting her know we were heading off, and a think about breakfast, I couldn’t eat due to a combination of anxiety and excitement, we did one last check of the car and headed off to the hospital.

Despite my inability to eat breakfast, I still felt thoroughly queasy during the ride and ended up vomiting into an old Hungry Jack’s drink cup! How very glamorous, and what a way to start the day! It had been some weeks since my last bout of morning sickness (at about 18weeks), and the need to constantly have a ‘munt bag’ (an old plastic shopping bag) in the car had long since passed… or so we thought! Ryan pulled over into a (thankfully empty) industrial estate where I left a lovely offering in their gutter and we continued on our way… keeping the cup with us just in case my nerves got the better of me again!

We arrived at the hospital and headed straight upstairs to the maternity ward where we were shown to a delivery room and checked in. They checked my blood pressure (I remember it being remarkably high for me… I think it was 110/60… nervous much?) and other stats, and asked me something I would come to answer what felt like hundreds of times over the next few days… “What are you allergic to?” Answer: beestings, nickel and peanuts.

20 minutes later the obstetrician arrived and performed THE MOST PAINFUL internal exam I had had to date… it was her doing that I would later announce that I’d “rather have a caesarean than another internal exam!” I had had two exams in the past week, both of which I found uncomfortable, but bearable, but this OB rammed her in fingers without any warning, which had me squirming back up the bed trying to get away. In retrospect she had all the grace and delicacy of a rugby player tackling his opponent at the waist! She said I was still 1cm dilated but my cervix was much softer, and inserted the prostaglandin gel. It immediately started some decent cramps, a lot like period pain, but felt stronger (alternately not having had any for some months may have been why they felt so bad.) As soon as they started the only thing I wanted to do was get off my back, but I had to stay put for half an hour or so, so the gel had time to soak in or something.

Those 30 minutes were SOOOOOO slow, but once I was on my feet again it was much better, my back and butt hurt a LOT less than when I was lying down. I was able to waddle around, and went out to the courtyard in the hospital a few times and while Ryan fielded phone calls, I leant on the fence around the fish pond and watched the carp swimming around, relaxing as much as I could and stared at ‘Tumour Fish’… the biggest fish in the pond with these weird growths on its body! ‘Tumour Fish’ became a good friend and distraction during the 3 or 4 trips we made down to the courtyard… he gave me something else to think about!

After a while (an hour or so I guess, maybe two, I really didn’t watch the clock… I know I ate some lunch at some point) we called mum as Ryan was hungry and had no cash, and the hospital cafeteria didn’t have an ATM, so she came to the rescue, also bringing me fruit in jelly – which I didn’t eat in the end – and some drinks, which would be ignored in favour firstly of iced water (the drinks mum had bought weren’t cold) and then “Julie’s drink”… not 100% sure what it was, but it was yummy and had something that really helped keep me going… I think it was basically an electrolyte powder in water, but I really enjoyed it, particularly the slight fizzy-ness and had a bit of a sook later on when I was offered water instead of the drink when Julie was out of the room!

My sciatica kicked in a little while after mum left, and I began to have trouble with my leg aching, which made it harder to walk, and I began to spend contractions kneeling on the floor with my head in Ryan’s lap. My back had begun to ache too, I think at this point Zeke began to rotate back into his pregnancy preferred posterior presentation, away from the optimal LOA positioning I had spent the last week trying to coax him into! After requesting a – lukewarm and thoroughly useless – heat pack, I asked Ryan to call Julie and get her to come in… I was getting pretty anti-social as the contractions (though mild) were coming fairly close together and I didn’t want to talk to anyone on the phone – a sign that I was definitely feeling a bit crappy, I usually have constant verbal diarrhoea! Mind you, even going to the loo was a bit of an effort, the cramping made sitting on the toilet very unpleasant, and going itself impossible, so I would kind of hover and wait for the cramp to pass.

The midwives were in and out through all of this checking how often the contractions came, and I complained about the heat pack. I was brought a new one, which wasn’t much hotter, but helped ease the ache in my right thigh. They offered me the opportunity to go into the ward instead of sitting in the labour room, but I said I would be happier in private and where I had a nice birth mat to kneel/lie/flop on, a toilet that was actually in the same room as I was, and a bigger floor space to attempt to waddle around when I could.

Julie arrived not long after that, and massaged my thigh for a while which helped more, she had also bought her own heat packs which she heated herself and made them MUCH hotter – lovely! This allowed me to get back up on my feet, and after (grudgingly) allowing the midwife to strap on battery operated CTG receivers we padded up and down the hallway, stopping to lean on Ryan when another contraction came and rocking my hips, with Julie guiding me to rock clockwise as I seemed to have no sense of direction!

The CTG was a pain in the ass! Zeke had never liked them (I had had 3 or 4 during the last 2 weeks and he had obstinately fought and punched at everyone, meaning it often took far longer than ‘normal’ to get a decent reading) and would continually move away from the receiver, causing the machine to beep loudly when it lost his heartbeat. This sent us shuffling back to the room so the midwife could re-position the receiver, and with Zeke’s heartbeat throbbing away, we’d set off again, only to have him move away and make the CTG start beeping again! Lather, rinse and repeat for some time. I also remember having an icy pole while walking, I think they were trying to ‘wake’ Zeke to see some acceleration in his heart rate, but he was more than happy asleep… and I was more than happy to enjoy the icy pole!

After an hour or so of walking around, still with a massive cramp down my leg, I was given another internal (why on earth did I consent to another one?) and was told that I had made little progress, I was about 2cm dilated by then but my cervix had effaced properly, and that the contractions were mostly caused by the gel so they wanted to send me to the ward. They also couldn’t give me another lot of gel or start the drip because the baby’s head was still too high. (All the loving vibes in the world don’t work when Zeke’s made his mind up!)

I really didn’t want to go into to the ward, I was sure for some reason (turns out I was wrong… and why would they have done that anyway?) that I would be put in a shared room and have no privacy, but as I really wasn’t making much progress, they were pretty keen to get me out of the delivery suite. Fortunately something ‘down there’ got the message, and another hour later, the contractions had really picked up I was declared ‘officially’ in labour and I started to have some trouble with them… making a bit of noise, and beginning to be uncomfortable in most positions.

It was during this point when the contractions really picked up that I was back on the CTG for a bit, other than the stuffing around needed to find Zeke’s heart I didn’t mind them too much, I enjoyed being able to hear his heart drumming away. Although given how high his head still was it was pretty counter-productive having to sit/lie for the duration, I probably would have been better off upright and moving around as much as I could. I think it was sometime around now that Ryan would later comment “Those contractions were going ALL THE WAY to the top of the chart!” My response “Don’t remind me! I could FEEL them!”

The midwife on at the time offered me a bath, which I jumped at the idea of, and she went to run it while I hugged heat packs, and tried to take the pressure off my back. There was a bit of messing around with the STUPID #%^$%@ CTG machines again before I could get in the bath properly, and then once I had, the tape they used to stick the receivers on dissolved, so they had to tape them on again, then Zeke moved… then the glue wore off… finally they used the elastic stretchy bands they normally use with great success, they had only not wanted to use the bands because having wet fabric would be ‘uncomfortable’… when my whole belly was already immersed, go figure?

At last I could relax in the bath, I can’t really be sure if it helped with the contractions much, but finally having all the weight off my back was fantastic, I immediately felt better. I lay in the bath for a while, sipping Julie’s drink, rocking my body in the water and moaning through the contractions. The midwives brought my dinner in, so Ryan ate the meat portion, declared it bland and unappealing, and fed me bits of the vegetables in between contractions. Lying in a hot bath and being fed a – surprisingly tasty – roast potato was a lovely feeling! By then I was communicating in shorter or one-word sentences, and so Ryan fed me to the chorus of “More!” “Wait!” (when I had a contraction) “No peas!” “More?” “What’s left?” and finally “More!”

Mum came in to say hi, and greeted me with “How are you doing kid?” I don’t remember this (Thanks to Julie’s notes!) but it certainly makes me laugh now. Coming in to see your daughter in labour and calling her kid! She told me afterwards that I seemed to be quite good, working with the contractions and very calm. She didn’t stay long, and would end up hanging in the emergency waiting room till the early hours!

To help avoid drugs, (I was beginning to struggle a little as the bath cooled) Ryan was also using an acupressure point on my hand to dull the pain, which seemed to help, although there would be a bruise for a few days afterwards! I had brought a bunch of my favourite music, but didn’t feel like any of it, however I began to make my own labour ‘soundtrack’ with my short requests, rhythmical moans, and attempted amusing commentary. The ‘music’ in the instance of acupressure being; “Yes, squeeze! Harder…ouch! Keep squeezing! Ouch!” The acupressure had to be very firm to be effective, and Ryan would always ease off when I complained. I guess it meant he was squeezing REALLY hard if I took a break from moaning about the contraction to say ouch about my hand!

Julie had taken a break while mum was gone and at some point my drink had run out… not good, labour is thirsty work! The midwife kindly refilled my glass but when it was next offered, I was extremely disappointed to taste only water, and other than a small initial sip I’m pretty sure I refused any more drinks until I had Julie’s Drink back! I remember telling Ryan very clearly after pulling my head away with a jerk that “Don’t like it!” and “Want Julie’s Drink!” (Particles had all but escaped my vocabulary by now.)

Julie came back after a while, and heated the water in the bath a bit more. I very clearly remember saying “It needs to get hotter or I need to get out!” I really was very demanding! Once the bath was hot again, she encouraged me to get up and move a little. After floating and being so weightless, the pain immediately became unbearable and I began to get upset, asking Ryan and Julie to make it stop, as soon as I moved to kneeling, the pain in my back just went crazy! They very lovingly encouraged me for a while, using the small bloody show in the bottom of the bath as a point of how much work my body was doing, and I worked with them a little longer. The heat and steam of the bath was making me woozy and my back was hurting fairly consistently all the time, and increasing during contractions. My stomach hurt too, but the back pain was my main issue, after weeks of pain because of being pregnant I just couldn’t cope with anything else in that area hurting.

Not long after that the steam and heat started to bother me too much and I started to lose the plot a little, crying instead of moaning and not moving at all when another contraction came, so Ryan asked for a few minutes alone with me. I think I may have asked for him at the time. Before she and Julie left, the midwife on duty (Helen) offered some gas, and I mumbled something inconclusive about my natural birth plan, followed by something to the effect of “Oh god, make it stop!” Helen said she would set it up for me, but I didn’t have to use it, this seemed a fair compromise, as I hadn’t decided either way.

Ryan encouraged me a little more, but I’d had enough of the bath by then, and demanded “OUT!” so with Ryan’s help I got semi-decent again. (I think the staff were relieved I’m pretty sure I had heard another woman wanted the bath then too.) Meanwhile I complained about each contraction, and we (sort of) discussed the option of using the gas, my head was begging for it, knowing I was exhausted and in pain but part of me still begged for the drug-free birth I’d planned. By sort of discussed I mean I went back and forth going, “I want gas, I want no drugs I want gas…” etc while Ryan listened and rationalised each point as it repetitively came up.

Finally we went back to the labour suite where the gas had been set up, as had the birth mat next to the bed. I have a feeling this may have been Julie’s doing knowing I wanted to stay off the bed, but REALLY needed to at least kneel (if not flop) to take the weight off my back. On seeing the mat, I did just that – flop! A contraction made gravity hurry me along, and I hit my knees pretty damn fast. The increased pressure on my back again sealed the deal in favour of the gas, and Helen told me how to use the mouthpiece. I think I moved to sitting with my legs crossed like they have you do at school and gave the gas a go. It had a funny taste, I’m not sure if it was the plastic mouthpiece or the gas itself, and it made me thirsty, but once I got the hang of it I definitely felt some relief.

I sat on the floor for a little, while Ryan stretched (he’d been sitting hunched up next to the bath for almost two hours) and cuddled me. The contractions were tricky to pre-empt so that the gas could kick in, as there was very little warning before one hit full-force. I remember sitting there, with my eyes tightly shut, internally counting my breathing in for 5 seconds, out for 5 and in again, knowing by that third count of 5 the gas should be taking effect. That really worked, and those three counts of 5, seemed far shorter than the “15 seconds” I had been told to wait for relief. It certainly didn’t take all of the pain away, but made it bearable, as I was sitting with my weight on my hips and barely noticed. Julie put the heat packs back on and I settled into my little counts of 5.

After a while I began to get restless again, as my front started to hurt worse and began to yell at the mouthpiece rather than breathing in the gas, and having to pull it out to suck in air. Ryan tried to keep me focused on the right pattern, but I would rarely last more than one or two contractions before loosing my rhythm again and shouting into the tube rather than breathing in. Julie suggested I got up to use the toilet. It had been only 10 minutes, since I started the gas, but felt longer. The gas has a wonderful way of warping time. I apparently resisted the idea for a while as you can’t take the gas to the bathroom, but hobbled up and went. I learned two things, firstly if cramping and toilets are unpleasant, contractions and toilet seats are a HELLISHLY uncomfortable combination – so, like earlier in the day, I sort of hovered over the toilet seat. Secondly, contractions and a full bladder are equally unpleasant and I felt considerably better after going.

While I was in there, Julie told Ryan I’d be due for another contraction, and he came to support me. I remember thinking very clearly that I didn’t want anyone coming in while I was peeing, I didn’t mind being naked, crying or otherwise being a bit of a mess, but that was ‘my’ space, so I was grateful that he waited till I had finished, yes – I needed to go THAT much they could hear me loud and clear in the other room! He came in as I got up, and proudly pointed out to him more of a show in the toilet and on the paper, and I had barely flushed and staggered back toward the main room that my first contraction since going off the gas (residual gas in my system had made the first one in the toilet less intense) hit. Well, I couldn’t make it back to my mat in time, and I remember leaning on Ryan very heavily and making a whole lot of noise. Ryan later tells me that I screamed so loudly, half the maternity ward babies started crying after that! Now the labour suite and maternity wards are separated by fairly heavy doors, so if I made that much noise, I was really making an effort! (Not to mention how many babies would have had to have woken to cry loudly enough to be heard all the way over where we were!)

I was getting pretty tired by then, and really wanted to lay down, but being on my side wasn’t comfortable, any weight on my hips and back quickly became unbearable again, even when sucking on the gas, which I did like it was my only source of oxygen. So Julie and Ryan helped me get up onto the bed kneeling over pillows with my head turned to the side so I could suck away on the gas again. The gas made me pretty woozy, but it seemed to be doing the trick for a while, so I really don’t remember a lot of lying there using the gas other than the heat packs came and went and I think Ryan cuddled me for a while before taking a break.

A while after Ryan got back I’d decided I’d had enough. The gas wasn’t as effective as it had been, and I started to get angry and exhausted. I’d barely slept the previous night, and although I had been in ‘proper’ labour for only 2.5hours, I’d actually been having contractions for around 12 hours, and was thoroughly exhausted. Around now I think another internal was suggested and I got stroppy and flatly refused. I could feel that I hadn’t made much progress, and didn’t need the discomfort to be told the same thing again.

The staff were pretty insistent about the exam, and I really began to argue telling them that I would rather have a caesarean than have an exam, as I remembered how much the earlier ones hurt, and really did not want to go through that again. I had another breakdown saying I couldn’t do anymore, I was exhausted and I just needed sleep. Their insistence about the exam upset me, and in the end I wound up sobbing and begging firstly not for the internal, and secondly to just do a c-section so I could hold my baby. After some arguing we decided on a shot of pethidine, and while the needle went in I sucked on the gas like crazy… it stung like hell!

After 15 minutes or so of shouting at the staff because I couldn’t feel the peth working, the gas wasn’t enough and my thigh throbbed from the shot I passed out cold, my face planted on the pillows, and the mouthpiece for the gas firmly clamped between my teeth! Ryan said he gently took it out, but even as he did my hand tightened around the tube so he couldn’t take it away all together! Thus began what I call the ‘lost hour’ because I fell asleep so suddenly and heavily, still in pain, and woke up in the same position and in pain, I have no memory of the pethidine being effective. Ryan however tells me I lay there on my side, out cold and slept for at least an hour, while he curled beside me for a break.

The next thing I remember after being angry because the shot had hurt like crazy but I had felt no relief is waking up and jamming the gas back in my mouth in a hurry! Ryan went to visit mum in the ER waiting room while I lay on my side again in increasing pain, sipped more of Julie’s Drink and had the heat packs some more, a big one on my back, and a little one on my front which I remember hugging for comfort long after it was too cold to be of use.

I got up to go to the loo again before having another internal, agreeing mostly because by now I was too tired to argue, and also because I looked at the clock and was surprised at how much time had passed (it was now almost 1am, and I had been given the pethidine around 9) and I wanted to know too. There was a lot of mucking around while the staff, who had wrongly assumed I was mentally uncomfortable with the exam not that it HURT LIKE HELL, tried to reassure me that they would be respectful as possible, covering me up with the blanket (which I didn’t want I was overheated anyway) and trying to talk me through the whole thing. The current OB was far gentler than the first one I had met earlier in the day, although it was still by no means comfortable, despite my furious sucking on the gas and I was relieved but disappointed to hear I was at 6cms, but his head was still high. So close yet so far! I was still exhausted though, and once it was finished, I flopped back to my side, and continued sucking on the gas.

Ryan was sitting in front of me, not doing a lot because I didn’t want him to, but strictly not allowed to leave my touch, holding my hand and cuddling me when I wanted it through each contraction. He was also translating to everyone else as I was mumbling exhaustedly around the mouthpiece, which I refused to remove, not that anyone tried, but I had already made my dizzy fondness for the gas clear. I’m not sure if it was any help for the pain by now, but it allowed my mind to become a bit foggy so I could stop stressing and watching the time.

Since the exam the contractions had been getting steadily more intense, when a HUGE contraction was followed by a gigantic warm gush, and the most intense pressure relief I had felt all evening. I mumbled to Ryan I thought my waters had broken, which he translated to the rest of the room, a very patient midwife Karen who had been watching the CTG and Julie who had been rubbing my back and pushing the heat pack onto me harder for relief. A quick peek at the soggy bed confirmed this, Ryan later told me I was in a two inch deep puddle from my toes to my waist! None of this bothered me, I was too busy breathing huge relieved gasps (without the gas if I remember rightly!) as the water continued to gush and the pressure eased further.

As the baby’s head hadn’t descended at the last internal, I was told another exam was necessary to make sure there was no cord prolapse, even though I was reluctant I agreed, as I’d been well versed in the weeks prior about the concern. Karen did the exam this time, and while she was really careful, it hurt like crazy because the contractions were so hard and frequent by now that she couldn’t avoid them, and I spent the entire time crying and begging her to stop, while Ryan held my hand and Julie kept her hand on my forehead, and I did my best to dislodge all three of them writhing in the bed and making no end of noise. The verdict was no prolapse, which I was relieved about, and I was still 6cms.

This whole period felt like (and I remember it as) forever, but was in actuality only 20 minutes, and after that they got me up to change the bedding as there had been yet more fluid and I was soaked and starting to get chilly. Julie and Karen got busy stripping the bed, while I stood next to it, Ryan holding me up from behind, and watching more of my waters pour out onto the floor. This gives us a good laugh now, me stoned out of my brain on gas (I still hadn’t let go of the mouthpiece!) and the residual pethidine, standing there looking at my wet feet and the puddle on the floor going “Whoa… that’s a lot!” in a thoroughly hazy but impressed voice. Ryan merely agreed with me, and carefully took a step backwards to avoid getting his only pair of socks and shoes wet.

Standing up again seemed to kick things up another notch and after a while I began to ask for sleep and complete pain relief, so I was set up for an epidural, sitting on the edge of the bed, curling forward and holding onto Ryan. The anaesthetist talked me through the procedure, and worked very quickly between contractions, he had already had a few false starts interrupted by another contraction, which were now much closer and far more intense. When he started to push the needle in I had already begun to inhale on the gas and didn’t feel anything. I kept sucking continually, as I had been very afraid of the pain from the injection. The rattling noise from the mouthpiece echoed in my head, and my whole back got very hot for a few seconds, I felt like I was shaking and held Ryan tighter, even though I couldn’t feel a thing I was still really scared that I would, I had been terrified of the idea of an epidural for weeks before.

When it was done I finally let go of the mouthpiece and opened my eyes, I was woozy from so much gas, and I could see at least two of Ryan. Once the dizzy spell passed as my oxygen rebalanced, I lay back down and instantly felt SO MUCH better, I was completely numb and for the first time in a few hours I totally relaxed and went to sleep. Ryan and Julie both went to take well-earned breaks while I dozed off and on, barely aware of anything around me.

Julie had gone over to the Birth Centre for some sleep and Ryan was dozing on a mattress on the floor when I suddenly began to have a lot of pain in my front, and began to really loose the plot again. The midwife who had come into check the CTG readings was talking ‘over my head’ (meaning not to me despite the fact I was in the room and could hear her) and had said something to someone else about the baby’s heart rate dropping and that the baby was tired, before disappearing. This freaked me out plenty and I began to cry and shiver as the pain in my front worsened and no one explained to me what was going on with the baby. Ryan had woken and come back to me as soon as I had woken as I’d called out to him with pain, and the midwives called Julie back. I told her what I’d heard and that I was tired, in pain and scared. Another internal was done and I was told I was now at 9cms, with the baby’s head dropped! I remember thinking I’d be seeing my baby soon for sure, if only I wasn’t still so freaked out. I really was terrified, why, if the baby wasn’t ok weren’t they doing a c-section, and why if everything was ok, had she said anything about the baby’s heart rate in the first place?

The reason for the pain soon became clear, I needed to wee again, but being completely numb, they inserted a catheter, and immediately drained 1000mls (1 litre!) For some reason Ryan delights in telling everyone that you could see my bladder on the outside it was so full and the amount drained. The pain eased almost immediately and settled me down somewhat, I stopped crying and shivering and Karen the nice midwife – the other one who mentioned the baby was tired was no where to be seen – explained that though the heart rate dropped a little during contractions, it was still recovering normally and everything was fine.

Reassured, I calmed down again, but that half hour or so was incredibly scary, and it took a while and another epidural top-up (which I don’t even remember consenting to although I would have had to) before I was resting fully again with Ryan cuddling me and Julie now resting on the mattress. After a while they swapped, Julie rubbing my back and working on my hip bones to help the baby descend, and Ryan sleeping.

We all rested on and off for a while, and by 7ish I was getting even more tired, although I couldn’t feel anything I didn’t sleep heaps, and had really just had enough, I just wanted to meet my baby and snuggle up for a sleep with Ryan and my little one safe in my arms. Ryan’s being asleep was wearing on me too, I really needed a cuddle, and had called out to him (albeit softly) a couple of times to see if he’d wake and come lie next to me, but after only an hour or so of sleep, after staying up all night with me he was out cold.

Not long before 8, the new OB came back to check on me. I remember being reassured that he had “very small hands” my physical discomfort with internals having finally being registered, even though I was now well and truly numb below my waist. Dr Lee checked me very quickly and said that the head was high again, directly posterior (spine to spine) and that I was back to around 6cms.

The decision was made to go ahead with a caesarean, and I was extremely relieved. I was tired, frustrated and just wanted to have my baby and for everything to be over with. As soon as he left the room to go get ready I called out to Ryan (who was still sleeping) to let him know what was happening, and he replied “They’re going to have to wait till I’ve had enough sleep!” Like hell I would have waited, he can sleep for 14 or 15 hours in a stretch!

The next hour before I was taken to the theatre passed in haze of checks, questions and sending text messages. I told everyone my allergies at least 3 or 4 times, and would do so several more in the pre-op area! I also signed the consent forms, completely calm and although disappointed totally confident in the decision to have the section done. I wasn’t making progress, in fact I had gone backwards, and I knew this was the way my baby needed to be born. Ryan was finally pulled into consciousness and I was taken down to the operating room.

After a bit more buggering around with gowns and caps for Ryan, and whether or not I should have a red hairnet because I was allergic, but not to any medications, I didn’t care either way! Ryan had to wait outside when they took me into the theatre to get me prepped and top up the epi, so I gave him a kiss and was wheeled in.

The lovely OR technician, Sean, I still remember him, he was wonderful – the only person at the time who really talked to me like I was a patient rather than an object – helped me sit up so they could get my gown fixed and top the epidural up when they discovered that the catheter for the epidural had come out at some point. Great! Now I had to sit up for longer while they firstly decided whether another epidural was the go or whether to do a spinal block (They chose a spinal.) and then to actually do it. Sean was absolutely wonderful, holding me up and letting me slump as much as I needed on him while the anaesthetist took FIVE (yes – 5!) goes to replace the spinal. (As a result, 2 days post-partum I would suffer from an unbearable epidural headache as my spinal column resembled a sieve, and develop a 2-inch bruise along my spine, which I still have a mark from nearly 10 weeks later.)

I was pretty unaware of the number of goes it was taking, and just held onto Sean for dear life; the earlier epidural made me feel like a sack of potatoes and every time his grip even lessened I’d just about collapse sideways. (There was a pretty freaky moment when he let me go to untangle my foot from my IV tubing and I nearly went over backwards. After that he came right up close and let me lean my head on his shoulder.)

Finally the spinal was in place and topped up more and I was able to lay down again, one of the nurses kept poking my belly, and being satisfied that I was numb, they put a screen up and called Ryan in. He came and sat by my head but by then I was so totally exhausted (not to mention numb and woozy from all the drugs) I couldn’t do much more than glance at him. I think he rubbed my hand and everyone got ready to do their work.

Even though I was really out of it, and hadn’t said anything other than answering questions for probably the past hour a really sharp pain across my belly as Dr Lee made the first incision sure got me to yell! I kept shouting for a bit and probably crying as one of the other staff told me “You can’t feel anything,” and while Dr Lee checked to find out if it was just pressure or if I could actually feel the scalpel. Yep, it was a sharp pain alright, on my right side. The spinal block was lopsided and I could still feel the incision, so without any discussion involving me (not that I would have disagreed anyway) Dr Lee and the anaesthetist decided to put me under a general anaesthetic, and hustled Ryan out of the room again.

I remember thinking, but not saying (I was physically and mentally out of everything) to Ryan “I love you,” and “Wherever the baby goes, follow!” I knew Julie would come and look after me if necessary, and I didn’t want the baby to be alone. I was told as the drugs were given that they “might sting a little” and let me tell you they burned! I’m pretty sure I was still hollering about that even as I went under.

Because of the general Ryan was called back in at the very last minute, and says he came back just in time to see them lifting out our baby… our son. That did it for him apparently, Ryan started bawling and didn’t stop till the baby – ‘he’ we could finally stop saying “it” – was taken to the nursery and he left to call everyone.

Zeke cried immediately although the report I read later said they gave him a puff of oxygen. Ryan was allowed to cut the cord and they wiped him down and took a photo to show me in recovery. Dr Lee delivered the placenta and stitched me up – problem free, finally one thing that went right!

Ezekiel David (although he was not yet named) was born June 3 2008 at 10.26am and weighed in at 3406grams (7 pound 8 ounces) was 48cm long (about 18 or 19 inches) and had a whopping head circumference of 38.5cm!

I woke up in recovery and saw the clock, 11.20am and immediately wanted to ask about my baby, but before I knew what I was doing my mouth yelled because my stomach was sore. One of the nurses showed up at my side and added something in my drip, still woozy I complained because my throat hurt, and she told me it was from the tube they inserted after I was out. Checking my vitals woke me up some and I looked at the clock – 11.30am, the last thing I remember was about 10am outside the operating theatre!

Consciousness finally came to me, and I managed to control my mouth to say something other than random grunts… “Where’s my baby?” The same nurse unsympathetically told me that my baby was fine, in just those words as she left “Your baby is fine.” Boy did she need a lesson in bedside manner! I still had no idea whether I’d had a boy or a girl! A few minutes later, she returned with a photo.

As she dropped the photo into my vision, the first thing my eyes settled on was this huge red pair of testicles between my baby’s splayed legs. I had been positive for the whole pregnancy I was having a girl, yet here he was, with his crying, sleepy daddy next to him, my son… screaming for the world to hear, pink, with rolls of fat on his belly and legs, and totally perfect and beautiful in every single way. In that second I wouldn’t have changed a thing!

Smiling to myself, I thought (and maybe said) “Hi Zeke” and stroked my son’s ‘face’ running my finger over the photo, and dozed on and off for a while longer, although I’m not sure how long, and woke up to see Julie next to me along with Cheryl. Both of them affirmed exactly how beautiful and healthy he was, and said that he was waiting in the nursery for me if I was ready to come back up to my room.

Was I ready? Of course I was ready! Mum was in the room when I was wheeled back up there and Ryan was getting our boy from the nursery. Julie helped me get into a slightly upright position, and to get my gown off so I could have skin-to-skin contact. Then a good hour and a half after his birth I finally met him… a tiny little bundle in a plastic cot with wide grey eyes, a calm face and wonderfully warm and soft.

Ryan popped him on my chest and he snuggled there under a bunny rug, while I stroked his back, unable to do anything other than stare. Julie and mum left to give us some time to get to know our baby, but not before Julie took some of the most precious photos I will probably ever have.

Still unnamed, our little boy lay quietly, naked except his nappy while Ryan cried and I just stroked him some more in total awe. After a while, he rooted around and shuffled himself toward my breast and with a little help, latched on. I just stroked and cuddled him and Ryan as much as I could.

Sometime after this Ryan and I officially decided on his name Ezekiel David or Zeke for short, his proud great-grandfather says that Ezekiel means ‘God will strengthen’ and while I may not go to church, I 100% believe that someone was smiling down on us that day, and I am so very grateful that despite all the setbacks and trials, I was able to have my beautiful, perfectly healthy son, and I thank whoever they are every single day.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Appointments...

Well the last week has been hella busy with 3 appointments for Zeke, the first one was with the Pedi at the hospital to get his head assymetry checked out, then his 8-week check and finally to have his hearing checked.

I'll start with the last two as they are the shortest and easiest to explain.

The 8-week check was a breeze, he's doing brilliantly and charmed the Health Nurse so much I wasn't sure she'd give him back. He turned on his big beaming grins and his puppy eyes, I think she said he was cute about 10 times in the first couple of minutes! His first round of shots are on the 20th... here's hoping they go well!

The auidiology appointment was good too. He had to sleep for the test, and was drifting off just as we got called in. He grizzled a bit when the earpeice was put in and when the tech put the electrode things on his head, but slept solidly for the whole right ear test. He woke when she tried to change ears, so I fed and changed him, then waited for him to drift off again, he wasn't fussy but it took a while. I was nearly asleep myself, as the room was dimmed and quiet to get him back to sleep.

The tech said he has very slightly lower than normal responses in the lower frequencies, but it's nothing to worry about as he is a little congested right now, so his ears are a bit gunky inside. I have to go back again for a checkup in summer when the weather is warmer so Zeke's less likely to be stuffy. I'm not sure about this, he's just a snuffly bub really!

Now... the head checkup... I'm just going to copy my post from a message board I visit and edit it...

30/7 We walked to the hospital, and I was dreading the outpatients' dept where we had to go, but the 'zoo' wasn't too bad this time around, and Zeke was happy to have a cuddle a feed (NIP... go me! The hard part is balancing him to feed in waiting room chairs!) and a sleep while we waited... and waited... we didn't get seen till noon (our appt was at 10 to 11) and that was only by the med student, who really didn't seem to know much. While the med student was checking, Zeke did the BIGGEST poop, totally blew out both legs on his nappy and soaked thru his clothes.

So I get around to cleaning him up, when I'm told they want to weigh him, so I have to carry him naked and wrapped in a cloth nappy to the scales (which are in the corridor outside the clinic room) and on the way he threw up... fortunately he missed me, but splashed the floor everywhere and totally freaked out the med students... (if they're grossed out by baby vomit, why are they doctors?) Get him back into the room and set about dressing him, and he does a massive wee all over the bed! Finish mopping up, and have a cuddle when the Pedi arrives... it's about 12.30 by now!

Zeke begins to scream and won't stop. Cuddles, singing, distraction, a feed... nothing I absolutely couldn't get the poor boy to settle. In the end, she just checked him while he wailed, he was really tired and just wanted to sleep, which he did, totally exhausted in my arms while we arranged to have an ultrasound and x-ray done just to be sure.

Take him up to X-ray, where as soon as I lift him out of his pram again he starts screaming again. Tried (and failed) to settle him, and in the end had to hold him still (I HATE HATE HATE having to do that to my baby!) so they could get the shots done. I rock him and sing Norah Jones to him while the radiologist is out of the room checking the films, and finally Zeke falls asleep heaving huge sobbing breaths and clutching my shirt. He settles again and goes into the pram and over to ulstrasound room... fortunately the ultrasound didn't even wake him, I think he was absolutely cried out.

He cried again on the way home, after some idiot drove too fast, nearly collected another car and came to a screeching halt, the noise of the brakes scared him, and no amount of soothing worked, so I opted just to push the pram as fast as I could. (It's only a 15min walk, but LOOOOONG when your baby is crying their heart out.) He's asleep again now, too tired for a feed (even though I'm sure he's due) and tear tracks all down his cheeks... it's been a long day.

The news from today: It is still most likely a Cephalhaematoma, but we have checked for fluid on the brain and to make sure his fontanelle aren't prematurely fusing to be safe. I will know for sure tomorrow once the Pedi has reviewed the U/S and Xrays. If it is just the haematoma, we will have a checkup every couple of months or so to make sure it fades. Obviously if the scans have shown fluid or the skull fusing badly, we will be referred on (and I will be transferring his care to the Children's Hospital instead) But it all looks good, and I am very happy!

Oh yes... and he weighed in at a whopping 5190 grams... about 11 and a half pounds I believe! (He was 7 pound 8 at birth!) My little boy is growing marvellously.

The next day (31/7) Well they just called back, the scans showed nothing horrible! There is some head assymetry in the skull (which is why I went to see them, why tell me that again?) and also the fluid around his brain is slightly assymetrical too. However as he is growing and developing well, they don't seem to think that it is a problem, but want him to go back for another lot of scans in a couple of weeks to see if it changes any, as I've noticed he's been favouring the 'wonky' side of his head less in the last couple of weeks, a sign that the bump may be receeding. So as long as he keeps growing and being this beautiful happy little boy we should have no problems at all! Right now all it comes down to is he has a bit of a funny shaped head... just like his father... that's my boy!

We have another appointment on the 13th to see how it's all progressing. Back to the hospital we go... delightful!

Oh... and next weekend Ryan, Zeke and I are going to Apollo Bay for a holiday with Dave & Sal! My first holiday of any kind in 3 years! I can't wait!

Now... some photos, I'm sure they're necessary!

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Daddy & Zeke snoozing away

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Chatting to his daddy

And some funny faces from my boy...

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Bad blogger...


Well, I guess it's time I updated all of you on how Zeke is going, and as you can probably tell by his smiles he is going wonderfully!

For the most part he is still a happy, sweet little boy who loves his mummy and likes nothing more than a good feed, bath and cuddle!

He's gotten more and more head control now, but still doesn't like being on his tummy. Tummy time is definitely more enjoyable for him if it takes place on someone's chest. When he's on your shoulder he will look around and peer at anything and everything he possibly can. His neck is very strong, but still gets tired pretty quick, so I've got to be quick with my hands to make sure he doesn't bash his head on my shoulder when it gives way without notice.

He's a smart one too! He's already learned the sound of my voice, the theme music to a TV show we watch every morning and most importantly the little 'click' the plastic clip on my bra makes when I unhook it to feed him! That noise results in a lot of cooing, and frantic flailing of the arms.

In the past day or so he's also discovered his hand is a tasty snack, and just this evening has really begun to get the hang of it. He's dribbling all over the place now as a result, but it's cute as anything!

The routine still isn't really a routine as such, or maybe I don't watch the clock closely enough to pick it. I feed him when he's hungry, change him when he's wet or dirty and sleep when we can!

Anyway, Ryan's gotta head out so I've got to go back to baby duty!

Miranda xxoxo

My two beautiful boys about a week ago!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

4 Weeks Old...

How is it my little boy is ALREADY 4 weeks old? Where does time go? Seriously, the tiny little bubby who I first met 29 days ago who could barely stay awake for more than half an hour is beginning to smile, laugh, recognise me, hold his head up and has begun to develop a taste in music - you sing almost ANY kiddy or Playschool songs to him and he wails, sing Nickelback or Metallica and he immediately relaxes. He's a big fan of The Cat Empire too!

He's eating like an absolute champ, and already (or so Daddy claims, I haven't seen this yet) recognises the word 'boob!' You'd better not get in between him and a good long breastfeed, let me tell you! He's stopped shoving his fist in his mouth when there's a nipple on offer too... makes things a lot easier when you don't have to wrestle that out of the way. He'll usually eat every 2.5-4 hours, depending on whether he plays or sleeps in between, if he plays more the break is shorter, while if he goes back to sleep it's longer. I guess it's all about how much energy he burns up!

I am slightly worried he may begin to think of himself as some kind of foodstuff though, he's been my "Little Burrito" since he was 2 days old, but is also called a Crepe` (when he is wrapped up), and I call him Chook and Baba Ganoush, while his Granny calls him Lamb! I also frequently kiss him because he is just sooooo delicious! I wonder if there's a word for a personality disorder where you believe you are food...?

Sleeping is still a hit and miss situation. Last night he was in bed by 12, but right now (at 3 to midnight) he is still going strong. For the most part however he is a good sleeper and lets me get 2 solid 3-4 hour stretches overnight, as well as a couple of shorter naps during the day if I need. Don't get me wrong, there are days/nights where he will only sleep if he is cuddled, or won't sleep at all, but the majority of the time, he is a brillaint little boy!

I am still absolutely and completely in LOVE with this little man. I already can't imagine life without him, and am not 100% sure what I did before I had him... other than sleep full nights, drink, and go out when I wanted of course :P....

Anyway, time to send some sleepy messages to my sweet son, here are some pics to keep you busy!

Hungry...
A tad hungry and letting me know...

More snuggles
Snuggles with Mummy

After milk bliss...
Looking angelic and milk drunk

Cuddles with Daddy
Cuddling with Daddy

Tummy Time #4
And having a good yell during tummy-time!

Miranda xoxo

Friday, June 20, 2008

So In Love...

Well I guess you're wondering where I've been the last few days. The answer is mostly caring for and admiring my beautiful son! He is a wonderful, beautiful little boy, and I can't seem to tear myself away from him for very long, even when he is sleeping and doesn't need constant attention.

Zeke is now 17 days old, and sleeps and eats like a champion. I usually get a broken 8 hours sleep overnight as well as a couple of hours sleep during the day... he really is a wonderful boy... once he's asleep there's no waking him for at least 2 hours, and has even been as long as 6! (Twice to date... and just wonderful)

Of course like all bubbas he does have a good cry every now and again, but usually it's just because he has had enough of the world, and fortunately this doesn't often take place in the middle of the night. When he wakes then he's all about a feed, a nappy change, sometimes another feed, a cuddle and back to sleep... if he's really restless he gets to sleep in bed with mummy and daddy, which always works!

He feeds well too, and other than the fact that there is more milk than he knows what to do with I can't really complain too much. He is a champion latcher, and has been from day 1, so no sore nipples to date! Let-down is painful though it can feel like a million needles in my boobs all at once... if it's such a natural thing and at one point was the only way a small baby would survive I wonder why it hurts... you'd think if it was such a necessity it would be painless so the mother would want to continue.

Anyway... I have to take care of the grizzle guts again... I think it's time for dinner... pics and a better update to come!

Miranda xoox

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Introducing...

I am proud to finally introduce you to my wonderful little boy, everyone meet Zeke!

Ezekiel David

Born: 3 June 2008 10.26am by C-section

Weight: 3406grams (7lbs 8oz)

Length: 48cms

Zeke smiling

We are doing so well, he is feeding like a champion, sleeps (mostly) well and is generally a beautiful and peaceful little boy.

Birth story to come, it is something of a saga and I am still not clear on what happened when.

Anyway, off to bed to catch what Z's my Zekie-bubba will let me!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Induction in a few short hours...

Well it's been a long while I know, but I have been pretty antisocial, tired and grotty waiting for the baby to come. However I will be off to get induced in just 6.5 hours! (Or thereabouts)

The next post I hope will be a birth story and introducing my sweet baby!

Talk to you all soon!

Miranda xoxxo

Friday, May 9, 2008

10 Days to go...

Well the date I thought our baby would arrive has come and gone. So much for mummy's intuition! However with that date passed there are now only 10 days till the baby is officially due.

Let the countdown begin...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

38 weeks

Naughty Miranda! I am so bad at this remembering to update regularly thing!

So what's new? I have had two midwife visits, a chiropractors appointment and a visit with Julie since I last updated, all is still well, my BP is amazingly low, and the baby's heartrate is perfect as usual. I had my Strep-B swab thing done on Monday as well, so I should hear back about that soon.

The head is still not engaged at all, hence the chiro visit. Julie suggested that because my hips are a bit crooked and weird that the baby is having trouble fitting properly, and a whole lot of pubic bone pain added to the misery so I went off for a chiro visit yesterday. Talk about bliss! I feel SO MUCH better since seeing her. Still a little tender, but I can move nice and easily now, and the baby has been a lot more active as well, so I think getting poked and prodded a bit has made everything better.

In the meanwhile I am exercising and stretching as much as I can to get everything all lined up and soft for the big day... which can't come soon enough!

Monday, April 21, 2008

36 Weeks

One more week and I am officially 'term'! The due date isn't till May 19th, but babies qualify as term from 37 weeks, which technically means the baby could make his/her appearance basically any time now!

I am soooo ready to have this baby. Actually I'm not, there are still some things we need to take care of before the baby arrives, but I am definitely ready TO HAVE THIS BABY OUT OF ME! Seriously, everything aches, my hips because the baby is settling and quite possibly starting to engage in my pelvis, my ribs because there are still feet lodged up there, my back because of carrying around the extra weight, and my shoulders/neck because... well I'm not sure, but may as well complete the package hey?

BH contractions are also a pain in the ass. Well they're not a pain in anything fortunately but it seems like I get them EVERY FREAKING TIME I MOVE. I know it's just because my body is practising and getting stronger so that when it pushes the baby out it can do so easily, but the ensuing rush to the loo is no fun. (Pressure on everything makes me think I have to pee, even though I don't necessarily have to)

Hehe... Can anyone tell I'm getting over this? I'm also SO impatient to meet the baby now, I want to know what my baby looks like, and hold him/her, and just cuddle and gaze at them for the first time. Not to mention finding out if Ryan and I have a son or daughter!

In other sweet news, Ryan's mum arranged a surprise baby shower for me (it was a family thing really, and because it was a surprise she couldn't ask me for phone numbers etc, so apologies to those who weren't invited) and we got some gorgeous things, and a lot of useful stuff too. I'll have to take some pics and show you all the lovely things I got. (First I have to get the camera out of the car though... that in itself will be an effort, I can't remember ANYTHING easily these days.)

I have another meeting with Julie this week, and then a midwife appointment on Monday... so there will be lots to update on soon. And hopefully the news that bubby is here in the not-to-distant future!

Well a girl can hope right...?

Miranda xxox

Thursday, April 17, 2008

35 Weeks

Naughty Miranda for not updating sooner! However I was actually not home on Tuesday till late in the evening, and somehow yesterday dissapeared.

Anyway the good news is the baby has gone head-down again! The bad news is this means there are little teeny baby feet kicking my ribs.... they do not however feel so little and teeny when they're thumping me so hard I wake up in the middle of the night!

Everything else is well though, my BP is fantastically low, and my iron levels are coming up.

Every time I go to this new Centre I get proof that I've made the right choice about where to have this little bugger, this time around it was because they informed me of my right to refuse to have a test done. (I always knew I could at Box Hill and would have said something if they wanted to amnio me or something but blood tests... eh no biggie) This is the first time in the entire 30 weeks or so that I have been seeing Dr's (and varied other medical professionals) that any one of them has informed me I have a right to refuse to have the tests done. Hooray for feeling happy about the world!

There's nothing much new to report, I have an appointment with Julie later in the week, and I'm beginning to work on a birth plan. I will have to share it when I'm done. I need to take it into my next MW appointment and refine it from there.

Seeya!