Thursday, 29 December 2011

Our Princess Has Arrived ...



Sophie Kathleen is here …

Monday 19th December arrived, nerves were definitely being felt. We gathered everything that we had packed the night before and off we went to begin the journey to meeting our prince/princess.

It had been decided the week before that we would be induced, we met with our covering Doctor and he scheduled us in for Monday. If all went to plan and I didn’t go into labour naturally prior to this, it would mean I would get to be at my sister’s wedding and we would have bubs with us for Christmas.

We had a gorgeous midwife from the UK who was looking after us and made me feel really comfortable. We arrived at the hospital at 7am and started being monitored. Our Dr came to see us at 8:15 where he proceeded to do an internal .. OUCH .. my cervix wasn’t ready for my waters to be broken so he applied the gels and the waiting game began.

As each hour passed it felt like only seconds. I managed to handle 4 hours worth of very intense contractions; I was unable to speak and was only having around 30 seconds of peace between each one. I was sucking away at the gas like there was no tomorrow, I hated the way it made me feel, I didn’t find it to be any sort of pain relief, it only made me concentrate on my breathing to get me through each contraction. I was asked if I wanted an epidural, it was almost like I was competing against myself when I heard this, all I could think was am I a failure if I give in to stronger pain relief?! I survived a few more contractions which included an arched back and my hand reaching for the pillow behind me and clinging to it for dear life. I thought to myself – I could labour for another 8 hours, could be less, could be more … there was no way I would be able to handle these contractions for that amount of time, so I said yes to the best type of injection I will ever have.

They called the anaesthetist and ordered me an epidural. It was another 40 or so minutes before he arrived, the injection itself I didn’t feel, it took around 20 minutes to kick in … that’s when the numbness creeped into my right leg and my butt.

As soon as the contractions wore off I was able to completely relax, I had a catheter in so was of course confined to the bed but I wouldn’t want to get up anyway as I’m sure my legs would have given way.

After a few hours which included me dozing, I got the shakes and by shakes I mean my body became an earthquake, then there was the pressure, my midwife examined me where she proceeded to tell me you’re fully dilated, bubs head is engaged, it’s time to push.

This was at 7pm … my last epidural top up was at 4pm, I was beginning to feel hints of contractions and the numbness was wearing off … thank god as I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to feel myself pushing because I was so numb. We all agreed that a top up wouldn’t be necessary as I was now able to feel each contraction which was a bearable amount of pain and I would know when my body was ready to push.

Once bubs’ head was crowning they offered me a mirror, which I politely declined the use of, another midwife entered the room and offered it to me again, Rob who had been undoubtedly the most amazing support throughout the whole day and didn’t faint once said it could really help you because you’ll see where bubs is and you will want to continue pushing.

Amazing doesn’t even come close to how I felt being able to not only feel my baby make her way down but to also see her being born.

In the middle of the 48 minutes that I was pushing for, I had to only give a few gentle pushes as my Dr hadn’t arrived, trying to tell a labouring woman to not push as hard as her body wants to is certainly gutsy.
Towards the end I was given an episiotomy to help bubs fit, which luckily didn’t cause me any major pain.

I surprisingly found the pushing a bearable experience, the biggest amount of pain I felt was a stabbing pain in the left side of my stomach, with each push I had my feet pushing against my midwives hips and with each release the pain was excruciating. This disappeared as soon as the birth was over.

After 48 minutes I gave birth to the newest member of our family and instantly felt an enormous amount of love. We didn’t know whether bubs was a boy or a girl but that didn’t matter, bubs was placed onto my chest, skin to skin, I was in tears and just telling this precious little baby how much Mummy loved them. Rob cut the cord and was pacing next to my bed in awe of what he just witnessed.

The midwife moved the cord aside to see what we had just been blessed with … she announced … a GIRL !!

Becoming a Mum has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Little Sophie is simply adorable and is bringing an enormous amount of joy to both Rob and I and our families lives.

We spent the next 4 days in hospital and were discharged on Christmas Eve. The time spent in hospital was certainly up and down. I felt really good and seemed to be coping with the lack of sleep … until day 4.

Sophie was weighed on day 3 and had lost 10% of her birth weight which meant I was on strict 3 hourly feeds and expressing as well and topping her up with my expressed milk.

This was done over a 24 hour period when she was re-weighed only for the midwife to tell us that she had lost more weight, she had now lost 12.9%.

It was decided that I would need to top her up with formula after each feed and continue expressing to help my milk come in.

I felt guilty and such a strong pain … heartache … to think that I wasn’t providing the best start to Sophie’s new life.

This was all on the same morning that my physical pain was unbearable. I had a pulling feeling which refused to go away, it didn’t matter if I sat or lied down, the pain was excruciating. One of the midwives examined me and she said with my healing, the swelling caused my stitches to pull too tight … agony is an understatement. I ended up having 5 of the stitches cut which along with lots of ice and pain killers, the pain was certainly relieved.

Day 4 blues are the pits!

We were discharged on Christmas Eve ready to begin our lives as a new family !!



Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Girlfriends


Girlfriends are an amazing thing.

When you form friendships, something magical happens.

It doesn’t matter how much time is spent apart, what direction life takes you, the friendships will remain.

Well … I believe this is the case for myself and my 3 closest girlfriends. The 4 of us have been friends for a very long time and over the past 4 years our friendship has become tighter.

Throughout this time we have supported each other through break-ups, home building, home buying, home renovating, child birth, family dramas, advice has been given, shopping is always at the forefront, countless bottles of wine have been drunk and plenty of cheese to accompany the wine has been consumed.

These girls know everything about me, they don’t judge me, they let me borrow their clothes and let me tell you we know how to have fun together.

These past few weeks with being heavily pregnant and emotions running high, I have been feeling a tad left out.

One of our other girlfriends is getting married this coming Saturday, which happens to be the same day as my sister’s wedding, so whilst the girls have all been together for the hens and other celebratory events, I haven’t been able to attend as they have clashed with my sisters events, there have been dinners etc shared where invites have not been extended to myself. I am sure these have been last minute plans and they know how tired I have been so they don’t think that I would want to take part and I wouldn’t know about these events if it weren’t for FB. One thing which I dislike about FB – logging on and seeing photos and places checked into by close friends whilst I sit on the couch feeling completely left out of the loop.

I know this all sounds completely silly but when you are feeling emotional at the best of times and it seems your friends are living their lives without you, me being me can become quite upset.

We ended up catching up last night for a ‘last supper’. It was so nice to catch up and just be the 4 of us. With my due date only being 10 days away, it meant so much to see my girls before my life changes forever. We shared a lovely meal and a sneaky glass of champas too.

I know they will always have my back and they are super excited about meeting my + 1 hopefully very soon.

Monday, 12 December 2011

3 FAB Recipes ...

Food !! Oh glorious food !!

As I mentioned at the beginning of last week – don’t worry I don’t blame you for forgetting, I blame my slackness with blogging this so late - I was inspired to cook & bake. So much so, that I created a different meal each night that week.

At the beginning of the week I made a brown rice salad which has become a favourite in our home … so simple and so yummy! I must thank my gorgeous friend Sonya for the recipe. The same day I tried a new recipe after spotting some banana’s in my fruit bowl which from my point of view needed to be cooked prior to eaten. It was a banana and berry bread … YUMMO !! Later in the week I made a linguine dish which was half a Donna Hay recipe and half my own.

Recipes with accompanying photos for you all to drool over … see below !

Brown Rice Salad

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
6 spring onions
1 red capsicum
1/3 cup sultanas
60g roasted cashew nuts
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Dressing
1/4 cup sunflower oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove of crushed garlic

Cook rice. Rinse and drain well.
Chop all ingredients. Add spring onions to drained rice followed by all other ingredients.
Pour dressing over and toss.





Banana & Berry Bread

Ingredients
Melted butter, to grease
1 1/3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
450g mashed banana (approx. 4 bananas)
2/3 cup (160ml) canola oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
125g fresh raspberries I used mixed frozen berries

Method

Preheat oven to 150°C. Brush a 7cm-deep, 10 x 20cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter. Line
the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.

Sift the combined flour into a large bowl. Add the sugar, coconut and cinnamon. Make a well in the centre. Add the eggs, banana, oil and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the raspberries. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Set aside in pan for 20 minutes to cool before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.






Chilli Linguine with Summer Herbs, Spanish Onion & Grape Tomatoes

Ingredients
200g linguine
30g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¾ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup torn mint leaves
½ cup torn basil leaves
½ cup torn flatleaf parsley leaves
Olive oil
Sea salt & cracked pepper
¼ Spanish onion
Grape tomatoes (as many as your heart desires)
Chilli paste
Zest & juice of ½ a lime

Method

Cook pasta in a large saucepan for 10-12 mins or until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in frying pan and add onion, tomatoes, a decent squeeze of chilli paste, zest and juice of lime and toss until onion is caramelised. Transfer mixture to a bowl.

In the same pan add butter, garlic & breadcrumbs (I found I needed to add more olive oil). Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until the crumbs become golden.

Toss with torn herbs, onion mixture and linguine, add olive oil and another squeeze of lime juice.


Once you have made the linguine dish once or twice it becomes so easy. I used to make a similar dish minus the herbs & bread crumbs. It would have coriander, scallops & chorizo in it instead. As i’m not allowed scallops or chorizo at the moment, this is the next best thing.

Enjoy !!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Tick Tock ... Tick Tock !!


I have been a tad quiet on the blogging front of late. I had every ounce of motivation at the beginning of the week and as the week progressed, it slowly drifted out the window.

The de-motivation kicked in after I saw my Dr on the Monday. Words in which I wanted to hear were not said. I was NOT happy.

After I saw him the week prior and he examined my scan results and proceeded to give me the ol’ sweep, I had in my head:

It’s OK, if the sweep doesn’t bring labour on naturally, he will induce me at the end of next week.

How wrong was I?!

I walked into his office on Monday and I asked if I could still be induced … no, I would really like you to get to 38 weeks.

OK then – why would you offer it to me only days prior then?

He examined me and said that the sweep definitely got things moving along but he wasn’t sure how early bubs would come. Can doctors really tell when babies will decide to enter this world?! Don’t babies work off their own agenda?

Dis-heartened is definitely something I was now feeling. I understood that of course where the baby was, was the best and healthiest place for it to be, but when you have been pregnant for 8.5 months and all of the pains and troubles are causing you discomfort and you hear the words would you like to be induced next week? You certainly cling to those words … words of hope … words of encouragement … you can do this, only one week to go.

Unfortunately these words had now been revoked and I was back to counting on this baby and I having a fabulous relationship from day one because he/she decided to meet us on a day that meant I wouldn’t miss out on Aunty Claire’s wedding and wouldn’t be getting served Turkey from a hospital kitchen.

So as I spend the evening of my 38th week writing down my thoughts, I am secretly hoping that I go into labour tonight and if not tonight, then an induction on Monday, 19th would be LOVELY.

Pregnancy for an anally-retentive person is not an ideal situation.

My sister made the comment to me today ‘you haven’t enjoyed pregnancy have you?!’.

I believe the last 2-3 weeks have made her think that I have hated every second of it, which is definitely not true. Unfortunately these past few weeks have been the hardest, even harder than throwing up 6 times a day at the beginning. I am up anywhere from 2 to 5 times a night to use the bathroom, each time I roll myself out of bed and place my feet on the ground, in those first few steps I feel an excruciating amount of pain shoot up my heel into my ankle, the amount of pressure on my feet is now realised after lying down for so long. The way I lie turns bubs into all sorts of positions which in turn makes my tummy feel all achy. Last night I experienced contraction like feelings when I got back into bed at 4:23am … my immediate thoughts were OMG this is it unfortunately after 3 lots of tightening pain it dwindled.

The heat that Perth has been on the receiving end of certainly isn’t helping. Normally a 30 degree day wouldn’t faze me – however carrying around this extra weight and trying to stay cool is proving to be difficult. 

I have decided that we must be having a boy … in no hurry to come and meet us … couldn’t possibly be a girl.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Finding A Balance


It is currently pouring perhaps bucketing is a better term with rain here in Perth. It has been since midnight last night, loud claps of thunder and lightning have accompanied the heavy rain also.

What better day to prop myself on the lounge with my laptop and catch up with my fabulous fellow bloggers with a bit of cooking/baking thrown in.

Dakota has clearly loved being inside and is oh so relaxed.

Can’t tell though can you?!



Today has also given me a chance to purchase the fabulous eBook by Peggy from cakecrumbs&beachsand, this was only released yesterday and I am currently half way through … pacing myself … and I love it.

Peggy certainly has a way with words – any of her blog posts will show this but reading her eBook which clearly outlines how passionate Peggy can be about things is inspiring.

It is titled ‘The Self Love Guide for the Working Mum’.

I believe that so many aspects already stated in the first half should be adhered to even if you are not a mother. Peggy has been on a journey to find an even balance that will allow her to continue working full time and being a fabulous wife and mother at the same time. So many of the valuable points in which Peggy makes are relevant to many women out there, mothers or not mothers.

Since becoming pregnant I have learnt quite a lot about finding time for me. I don’t believe I have mastered this and probably will never have a grasp on this concept 100% but I am open to learning.

I have always been a pleaser and a multi-tasker. I will say yes to every social event and will try and cram in as much housework/errand running as possible on a Saturday. I worked a 9-day fortnight at my previous job which helped a lot leaving me with both Saturday & Sunday housework/errand free. This, unfortunately rarely happened though.

I can never sit still, I always have to be up and about doing things, whether its spotting a pair of shoes on the rug that need to be packed away, dust on the kitchen table which needs to be wiped down, a load of washing that has just beeped which now needs to be hung out, the mirror in the bathroom with water marks on it – so of course that needs to be wiped down with windex.

It frustrates Rob as I can never completely relax – lying/sitting on the lounge always involves me getting up and down numerous times throughout the evening.

I would write a list at the beginning of each week – the list would outline what we were having for dinner each night, which errands/appts/gym sessions I would be attending each day after work and what we had on for that weekend.

The list was always FULL.

Re-visiting my list on a Sunday evening would not always leave me with a feeling of contentment, if I hadn’t ticked each thing off the list I felt as though I let myself down and felt as if I had failed.

Certainly not a nice feeling especially if this happened more than once within the month.

As I suffered quite badly with morning sickness up until week 14 of my pregnancy, I had to learn to let go.

My Mum was kind enough to clean our house each week until I was feeling better and saying no to social events had to occur as some days I couldn’t get myself away from the toilet bowl.

I certainly think that as an expectant Mum, you learn to think about others as soon as the two lines appear on that test. Soon there will be a little person within our family that we have to take care of, soon there won’t be all the time in the world to have a clean home and to go shopping, my feelings and wants will be put aside for this little person and I believe these thoughts/feelings start with pregnancy not once you become a Mum.

I am proud of myself for saying no to catch ups recently when I have needed the time to rest, I am proud of myself for leaving my floors an extra few days because I don’t have the energy to vacuum and mop – each day I struggled with this but so glad I allowed myself to do it.

I know that once I do become a Mum, my little bean will need so much of my attention and I will want to give it to them, who cares if my house is a little messy and if the washing basket is overflowing, as long as our little family stays healthy and happy, then I will certainly feel that feeling of contentment.

I hope that I find an even balance once this little bean does decide to come and meet us, between catching up with friends, as friendships are so important, keeping the spark between Rob and I alive, getting back into an exercise routine and down the track being a working Mum.

I hope you all take some me time occasionally and are able to relax and revive yourselves, because at the end of the day you were one person at a point in your lives – never forget that.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Patience is a Virtue - Not a statement that exists within me !!

I have never been a patient person.

I was one of those children who would place my Christmas present from Nana and Pop over a steaming kettle to gently open it and then re-stick it down and put it neatly back under the Christmas tree.

I somehow think this trait of mine is doing me no favours in waiting for this baby’s arrival.

I saw my obstetrician yesterday whose first word to me was ‘WOW!’ My response ‘I know, get this baby out of me!’

He stated that he is worried about the size of bubs especially considering it is my first baby, he then offered to book me in for an induction either next week which would be with him or the following week with another obstetrician (he is going away between my 38 & 40th week).

I voiced my concerns towards an induction as they tend to lead towards a c-section, so I suggested that I get a sweep done instead.

He felt bubs and said that his/her head is really low and then proceeded to examine my cervix and swept away.

OK … so I probably should have read more information regarding sweeps prior to suggesting that I be on the receiving end of one.

HOLY CRAP !!

It was soooo painful !!

This was done at 11:30 yesterday morning … 33 hours later … no baby !

I had a few niggling pains here and there throughout the day yesterday but slept fine last night and woke up to no waters being broken. I have lounged around at home for the majority of today, had a nap, bounced on my fitball, went for a walk and then proceeded to have a curry for dinner.

Rob has gone out with the boys for a friend’s birthday … I told him to keep his phone on him at all times, who knows what might happen.

I know I only have 3 weeks to go but my Dr said that he thinks I’ll come early so now that is all of the info I have circulating through this impatient head of mine. I want this baby to come this weekend … no I want this baby to come NOW !!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Nursery !!

Bubba Jagger’s fabulous nursery!!

The nursery is now complete after we received the wall sticker in the post. Rob patiently applied it last night and VOILA all is complete.




















Some of bubs clothes ...

All that is missing … Our beautiful baby !!