Mum’s the word

Today is Henry’s half birthday.  Hooray!

And in acknowledging that, someone said to me ‘congratulations for making it through 6 months!’  When I think about that, it is totally right.  I mean, I don’t consider myself to be particularly maternal, and I had low expectations of how I’d cope with the stress of being a mum.  But I actually have surprised myself (and others too no doubt!).  I enjoy being a mum.  I am a good mum.  And its made me become even more of a homebody and encouraged me to really enjoy the simple things in life.  Don’t get me wrong, there are those moments where its frustrating and hard and in those moments I miss work, socialising with friends or just intelligent conversation with someone that will actually reply.  But all in all, I love it.  And for me, that is totally unexpected.

Before I was pregnant and during my pregnancy I speculated as to what it would be like – life with a baby.  To be cliche – its a life changing event – but I wasn’t sure just how much my life would change. I was mainly focussing on the things I would need to give up.  But what I didn’t expect was the extent to which I wouldn’t mind all the stuff that comes with a newborn – the early mornings (eventually the waking in the night does stop!), the stinky nappies, the feeling like you can talk about nothing else but baby stuff and the general chaos that accompanies your life.

But the reward and compensation for these things is so much bigger.  Smiles, laughter, fascination and learning new things and, of course, the endless love. It is amazing and I wouldn’t swap it for anything.






Are we there yet?

Sigh.  It’s been a tough few weeks of late.

It started out so great…a quick visit to Qld to visit with family and friends in the warmer weather and Henry flew really well! But whilst this was enjoyable, it was also when Henry decided it was time to change things up a little.

I went from being extremely lucky and having a baby that slept for around 7 hours a night to a baby that woke up at least once, sometimes twice, during the night and then bam, wide awake and ready to play and chat from 5am.

Of course, I speculated endlessly as to why this was.  And of course like anything with a baby it could be any number of reasons….different location, lighter room, he had a little cold…or more likely it is the 4 month sleep regression / wonder week(s) stormy cloud that lasts forever I’ve since learnt about.  Who knew?  Clearly not me.

Given it started whilst we were in Qld I initially just put it down to the travel and thought nothing of it…but then it continued….and hasn’t really ended.  Oh and in that period I also got the most awful cold known to man that lasted two weeks and was completely wrecked from being sick and not sleeping and then having to get up during the night also.  I think I’d become accustomed to having 7 hours of sleep a night – and of course – the more you get the more you want!

So here we are. Henry’s sleep is all over the place – not only waking during the night but sleeping lighter and sporadically.  Henry wants more attention and wants to be cuddled more. He’s definitely found his voice and is not afraid to use it.  Sometimes he’s not hungry and a bit fussy (and of course I conveniently picked this time to try to start introducing some solid food – you can imagine how well that’s going).

I’ve come across this blog and many many other websites that all list similar symptoms and signs which makes me more feel slightly less concerned. I even went to a sleep seminar from Lullaby SOS with some girls from my mothers group (very conveniently timed) that confirmed that there is such a thing as a 4 month sleep regression and that I was not alone.

On the flip side, Henry is also changing and learning heaps.  He’s now focussing (and going cross eyed when focussing on something close), laughing and giggling a lot, blowing a lot of raspberries and trying to roll more and more.  He mastered the front to back roll in Qld and is now close to getting the back to front roll too – although usually just manages to lie on his side.

It is week 19 – and according to the wonder week app (which I now own) we have 5 days till the end of this ‘leap’. I know the end is coming…but will it return to normal or is this the new normal? Fingers crossed my boy returns to the sleeper I had gotten used to!

And then there were three

Henry Neil was born on 1 May 2013 at 7:27pm. He weighed a healthy 8 lb 3 oz / 3.7 kgs and was 52 cm long.

At 3 months (which I’ve learned recently is technically 13 weeks) Henry now weighs 6.6 kgs and is 62 cm long.

So the story of Henry’s birth is somewhat dramatic but I’ll try to give the relatively short version here (although I doubt that’ll be the case).

I’d been extremely lucky and had a relatively easy pregnancy and my only serious complaint (well i had many about feeling enormous/tired/swollen/unable to sleep – all the usual pregnancy dilemmas!) was that I needed to be medicated throughout to keep my blood pressure normal.

But my easy pregnancy changed in the last week. On the Saturday before H was born, after eating hot curries, drinking far too many cups of raspberry tea, and taking loooong walks in an attempt to induce labour I started to feel ill. I thought perhaps it was the start if labour – but there were no contractions and just severe heartburn, nausea, fever and I wasn’t able to get comfy at all. At around 3am I called the hospital as I thought maybe I should get checked out but they weren’t interested in me as I wasn’t contracting. Instead they told me to take more panadol and to call them in the morning if I still felt ill. Of course I felt somewhat better the next day so didn’t.

My next ob appointment was the following Wednesday and I thought I’d be ok to hang out until then. Which I did although by then I was very over being pregnant as I wasn’t feeling great and similar symptoms reappeared on the Tuesday.

So on the Wednesday I was determined to get an inducement date from my ob and yet I replied ‘I’m ok’ when she asked how I was doing. Luckily hubby jumped in to tell her how miserable I was which lead to more tests. My bp was high and I was also sent for bloods. The ob sent us home and said she would call us later with a plan – as she was due to fly out to NZ the following day for four days – but that unless the bloods showed something unusual we would be getting induced the following week as the maternity ward was full.

But despite the ward being full, about 4:30, the ob rang hubby to say my bloods were extremely abnormal and how quickly could we get to the hospital.

As soon as we arrived at the hospital I became the high risk patient. I was suffering from HELLP syndrome (wiki calls it ‘a life-threatening obstetric complication usually considered to be a variant or complication of pre-eclampsia’) and my platelet count was dangerously low. My choices were 1) to be induced – but the baby had to be born within 24 hours, baby was posterior and not engaged, and because of the low platelet count I wouldn’t be able to have an epidural OR 2) have an emergency c-section under a general anaesthetic. Given the difficulties associated with option 1 I chose option 2 instead.

After an hour or so I was in a room full of people in theatre (secretly feeling quite scared) and then next thing I remember (although I was very groggy!)) was coming to (albeit it in ICU so there was no one around) and asking what I had and was everything ok. I don’t recall much but I remember being told I had a heathy baby boy! I spent two nights in ICU before returning to the ward which made things a little easier.

From then everything seems a blur…and yet here we are with a lovely little family of three!

Pics are from day one and then three months.