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.

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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.

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