Saturday, October 30, 2010

Toof - are you here to stay finally?

Teething, it must be the bane of every parent known to man. My wee monkey's teeth have been moving around for nearly 6 months now, and we have felt every one. We have had a rubbish few days, and upon closer inspection this morning, there is a little toof peeking through the gum. I really hope it is here to stay this time. I think my sanity depends upon it to be honest.

Thank goodness for such wonders as amber teething beads, baby nurofen, and baby pamol!

It has been dramarama round here lately. Someone very wise once said that it never rains but it pours, I think I'd like to meet that person. If only to say thanks for stating the obvious! Haha.

The scary thing (thinking back to teeth) is that this is only toof number 1, I'm really hoping that the rest aren't going to be so fraught.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

To laugh or cry

All is finally quiet on the western front and I have a couple of moments to myself - woohoo! Now if I knew little boy would continue to sleep I would start work on some of the many projects I have started, and become friends with my sewing machine which is looking lonely on the other side of the room.

I love my wee man, I love him more than words can express, but Mama needs a break. This is the first sleep of the day where he has actually gone to sleep by himself in his own bed. Kinda makes for a very long day, when its like riding a very dodgy rollercoaster when he is awake. Laugh, cry, giggle, grizzle, eat, don't eat, swallow, blow raspberries with a mouth full of milk.....Sleep, sleep is bliss. I'm fairly certain that his teeth are once again rearing their ugly head. I just wish they would actually come through this time instead of relentlessly teasing me.

Laugh. A magical sound, makes you feel good inside. Laughing with my little man is the very best way to spend the day. Laughing maniacally is just plan scary though.

Cry. Waterfalls of pain and sorrow exiting your body. Sometimes a good cry is all one really needs.

But today I am both happy and sad. Happy because my little boy is growing and interacting with the world more and more each day, and sad because he's nearly not a baby anymore. Such weird juxtapositions. I have never really understood how you can be both happy and sad at the same time. But in this new phase of my life it seems almost commonplace.

I meet with my mental health team tomorrow. It makes me very reflective. They are wonderful people, but they do ask a lot of probing questions that make me very anxious. I am learning not to dwell on things that are beyond my control - a difficult task for a born worrier.

Now because this has been somewhat a dim post I'll add some of my favourite photos my MIL took over the weekend. I love them!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Busy, busy, busy..

Ever had one of those months, where everything seems to happen at once? Well October is proving to be one of THOSE months. Luckily, my wee man doesn't seem to be fazed by it all - a real blessing in itself.

We have had the weekend with the in-laws, and although this is usually a very stressful situation for me, it went surprisingly well. Cale was the centre of attention - and hammed it up in the best possible of ways, charming everyone with his easygoing nature. Of course it also helped having a break away to meet with some other gorgeous mums and there equally beautiful babies. I always love seeing these ladies, so it was a double win really.

However nice it is to go and see family, it is so nice to be home and in our own space. Cale literally lit up like a Christmas tree when he realised where we were. So now we have most of this week here (at home), before we attempt our first major trip - a good 4 hour drive to Hastings! It's exciting, but scary as well. Hopefully wee monkey will travel just as well.

As for me, I'm quite tired, so I suspect I'll be having a quiet few days to build up my energy reserves, before next weekend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Taking the ups with the downs...

Post natal distress, not a phrase I'd ever thought would come out of my mouth. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was one of those people that thought that people who had PND were a bit, well, over dramatic. Well didn't the rooster just come home to roost!!PND is real, and the feelings you have are real, and the devastation it imposes on your life is about as real as it gets.

My PND journey has been full of ups and downs, at times I have felt fantastic, and then others like the scum of the earth. Unfortunately, it is not a case of one size fits all, and so becoming medicated is like taking a lucky dip. In my case the lucky dip was full of stinging nettle for a very long time.

I first started showing signs of distress in my third trimester - intense rage, mainly directed at my mother in law. It got so bad, that if anyone even mentioned her name, I was in a rage - to the point I felt like red hot pokers where coming out of my eyeballs. Symptoms number 2 and 3 was cunningly disguised by my traumatic birth and separation anxiety from my wee boy as he had to stay in hospital long after I was discharged. It's normal to cry after a baby right? And to feel detatched in my situation right? Well, for a while yes. But when you are sobbing so hard it feels like your soul is being unwillingly taken from your body, really, you do need to think this in not ok. But being a first time mum, I just but it down to baby blues, that got really bad.

The breaking point was when I said to my husband that I was leaving, I didn't know where I would go, but I was leaving. I just could not cope with one more thing going wrong. So he went and stayed at a friends house that night, who just happened to have PND. For him, it was like a light bulb moment - almost everything she described was what I was doing / going through. So, after the weekend it was straight off to the doctor where I did the Edinburgh test, scoring an almost full score. The doctor said to me you are not well and prescribed me some citalopram.

That was fine for a while, but my body has a history of getting used to a medication to the point where it doesn't work anymore. History repeats itself and I began the process of weaning off citalopram so I could start on fluoxitine. Within 2 days of being on fluoxitine - the wheels completely came off. I was having black thoughts and wanting to walk into the river with my baby. Thankfully I have a good support network, and they worked out pretty quickly what was going on. So I was referred to the crisis team and the mental health team.

I have been amazed at how supportive everyone has been. I am now on venlafaxine and seraquol, with loraz for my anxiety (which is still very high at times). My up days are brilliant, I achieve so much and I feel almost normal again, my down days I can barely get off the couch. Thankfully, my up days are starting to outweigh the down days. I continue to take one day at a time, and be grateful for the small blessings, like my beautiful, wonderful little boy, and a loving husband who still stands by me no matter what.

My view of PND has done a 360. It is not something you can control, you are not weak if you have it, you are not condemned to all eternity if you have it, and most importantly, it is not forever. If you are reading this, and it triggers any 'wow, that sounds like me' thoughts, please do me one little favour. Go and see your doctor today, not tomorrow or the next day, go today - the longer you have it, the worse it gets, not better. And know that you are not alone, ever. new riesling

Now I have done pilates classes before, but last week, at the family centre, my PND group was treated to a free class of pilates. We all floated out of there afterwards, particularly as the instructor offered to give us all free tuition at her house on a weekly basis!!

So, very excitedly we all swarmed on said lady's house, and oh my, what a house! She has her own private studio downstairs all set up with the appropriate equipment etc. We started off bouncing on swiss balls like 5 year olds, FANTASTIC!! After much stretching, squeezing and resisting, we all left with beaming smiles on our faces. There are parts of me that haven't been worked in so long - I'm sore, but feel fabulous!

I can't wait for next week, and what the session will bring. One thing is for sure, it feels brilliant to be moving again.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Monkeys monkeys monkeys

Since day dot, we have called Cale monkey. Actually, he answered to monkey before he answered to Cale lol. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I went to the Craft Fair with a friend and her mum. Low and behold, I stumbled across a pattern for a couple of stuffed toy monkeys. I feel in love with how cute they are, not realising the huge undertaking I was taking on. It literally took me 2 days just to cut out all the fabric.

Today I have been feeling all inspired again, and pulled everything out - even set up the sewing machine! As usual little boy was not sleeping well, so I thought it would be a good use of time. I jinxed myself or something, because the minute I had everything set up, he fell asleep. Hang on a minute....he fell asleep WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!

I think I'll leave everything set up for the next time - and hopefully he'll go to sleep then too!

At this rate though, said monkeys might be finished by the end of the year.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Likkle toof, likkle toof, come out, come out, where ever you are...

Oh teething, how I dislike you. My angel child normally sleeps very well, especially at night time. Not so last night. After grumbling in his sleep for the majority of the night, I awoke to a screaming child at 5.30am, yawn. Pamol and bonjela on the dummy, and into the rocking chair we go. He eventually calmed down enough to allow us both to have a wee catnap. Unfortunately, that has been the way of the day. My normally happy child, has been replaced by a screaming monster, who only has eyes for his mama.

As much as I j'adore being the centre of his world, it is very taxing when I'm so tired. Because I didn't sleep properly, my medication hasn't had a chance to work - so I'm feeling really vague and incoherent. All I can do is hope that tonight will be better.

On a lighter note, I made big headway in my mountain of washing (a reflux baby creates soooo much washing!), and had a wee giggle when a great gust of wind came along and knocked my overladen clotheshorses to the ground - or deck as the case maybe. At least the deck was dry and relatively clean. Mmmmm love, love, love the smell of clean washing that has been hung outside in the sunshine.

Birth Story

Now I know this is rather late in the piece, but it has taken me some time to come to the point where I have felt that I could verbalise all that happened during this time.

It was always my intention to have a natural water birth, with gas being my back up plan. But in reality my experience was the polar opposite of what I had dreamed. It was shocking, and traumatic, with as much intervention as humanly possible. It still upsets me to think about it for terribly long. I have to begin my story quite some time before my 'birth' in order for it to make sense, so bear with me if you don't mind....

This was my first pregnancy, and we were very fortunate to conceive our first month of trying. This was quite surprising, as a couple of months prior to this I had my gall bladder removed, after several misdiagnoses of pancreatitis. Anyway, my pregnancy progressed well, and things were going fantastically until about 28weeks, which, coincidentally is the time I finished work, after packing up my classroom.

It started off slowly as slightly raised uric acid and creatinine levels in my blood. At first they were within range  and not moving terribly much, so my midwife (mw) referred me to the Women's Assessment Unit (WAU) at the hospital. My levels started to steadily climb, with no other symptoms of PET - so several overnight stays and monitoring sessions at the hospital, they began to talk about early delivery after a growth scan that showed our baby was very small.

The day it all happened, my MW went on leave and I met the back up for the very first time. That morning they took more bloods, and suggested that I would probably make it to 38weeks before they would need to intervene. They also sent me for an ultrasound of my kidneys to check that they were ok - which they were...and our baby was also completely, fully breech. Fast forward to around 4pm - blood results STILL weren't back and my husband and I were getting quite concerned. Finally someone came to see us, and they told me that my platelet count had started to drop - scary!!! They also said that they would need to take my baby out either that day or the next. Ok, at this point I started freaking out - this was not the birth I had envisaged for either myself or my baby, and I was petrified.

1 hour later the surgeon came to see me and said we are doing this tonight, and we will be in theature in an hour!!!! Panic stations!!!! The anaethetist came 5 minutes later while my phone was going red hot as I tried to get some sort of plan in place. It took 3 attempts to get a line in, and he said they would put the tube up for urine collection once the spinal was in place (this was after we had done yet another lot of bloods - and got clearance for the spinal over a general). The nurse came and I emphasized that I needed my back up MW there pronto!! I also got hold of my sister, who promptly dropped everything and came to the hospital. The nurse then came back and said the specialist wanted the bag attached pronto - which meant eeeeekkkk no spinal first!! After much begging and sobbing with the nurse, she agreed to shave me and let my MW insert the tube. My sister then gathered up my possessions and then we all had to walk down to the birthing unit. At this stage I was in a blind panic as my husband had gone to get the camera, and hadn't returned yet. Thankfully the surgical team PROMISED that they would wait until he got back. That walk was the most painful of my life - the tube was so uncomfortable, and I was painfully aware that soon my tiny wee baby would not be wiggling around inside me anymore. I was so scared for him, knowing how small he was, and that he still wasn't considered full term yet.

The anaethetist took my husband and I into theature where they did the spinal and lay me down. It wasn't working as well as they had hoped, so the tilted the bed so I was kind of lying upside down, but tilted to one side - a bit like a turning aeroplane. There were soooo many people in the room, at least 20 with all the NICU staff as well. I was crying as they opened me up and shivering like mad!! They had to pop a hypothermia blanket over me, which helped some. They pulled Cale out screaming his little lungs out and quickly weighed him - he was even smaller than we had expected. They wrapped him up really tightly and whisked him off to NICU to the incubator within minutes. No skin to skin. No precious first cuddles. Nothing but tears and the feeling of myself being ripped away from myself. I sent my husband with Cale (I couldn't stand the thought of him being alone) and my sister joined me in the recovery room. Unfortunately while they were stitching me up, the spinal wore off and they had to give me this other stuff which meant I shook even more, and had to have oxygen.

Into the recovery room and my MW was trying in vain to get my colostrum going - but with no labour this was not going to happen, so I had to give permission for Cale to have formula. My little boy spent close to 3 weeks in NICU and my milk didn't start to come in for a week. A week of hand expressing and pumping every 3 hours religiously. How I grew to hate that machine! The absolutely hardest thing though, was being discharged from the hospital and leaving my baby behind. It didn't feel right, and for weeks I felt very disjointed and detatched.

I live in hope that my next pregnancy will be the wonderful experience that I craved, and I am doing everything I can to ensure my successful VBAC.

I know that I have been blessed by the most wonderful, darling, precious child that ever roamed the face of the Earth. I love him with every ounce of my being, I just wish things had been different for the both of us - so that we wouldn't still be healing 8 months later.

My wee man

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Life, it seems, is far too interesting to use up valuable time sleeping, or at least that is what I think the monkey is saying. Power napping has been the name of the game today, and it makes for a very tired mama. I had to break out my moby wrap today, for the first time in a long time, to get him to stop shouting angrily. Sigh. At least it isn't so hot yet that I have to strip the both of us off before putting it on. I ordered a BabyHawk Mei Tai the other night, can't wait for it to arrive.

Even as I type this, I can hear monkey talking away in his cot. I only put him down about 20 minutes ago. Frustrating. Hopefully this means that he will crash out good and proper soon and have an awesomely awesome nights sleep.

I didn't go for a walk today, and boy can I notice the difference in my mood. The relationship between depression and exercise seems to be quite evident. I can see why people harp on about the importance of squeezing some in everyday.

This is totally my son. He is so curious, and so captivated by everything and everyone. I love that we will be able to explore together when he gets older.

Think pink

I love this quote, and many others by Audrey Hepburn -she was a woman of style, grace, integrity and compassion. The line I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong is of particular importance to me, and fits very well with my own personal philosophy of what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family days at home

Sleep, sleep, why do you elude me? I should be sleeping like a log with all the medication they have me on, but once again the insomniac was awake til 2am - an improvement on the previous night, I must add, but wears me down. Little boy on the other hand had another great nights sleep! Oh to be a baby again.

We are waiting for little monkey's BCG vaccination site to heal before we go swimming (which none of us can wait for by the way), he is a real water baby as you can see. Last night we had a trial run in the much fun, I think the neighbour's could just about here the giggling! 

The water wings were a bit of a trick, they pretty much took up his whole arms. To start with he couldn't control his arms, then his slightly idiotic parents realised the water was too shallow! Hehe, can't wait for the water ring his Ouma is sending him.

Teething is an ongoing battle here at the moment, causing tears for Cale and for Mama. The upside to all of this of course, is that he is getting really good at sitting up. Poor little mite, he can't have any of the Weleda products as they all have a lactose base, and the latest trick is eating the bonjela so that it doesn't actually make it to his gums! Here are a couple of pictures of my clever boy!

I'm going to go and cuddle my wee family, and have a snooze with my darling boy this afternoon - days don't get much better than this.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fun in the sun

After a week of preparing for a day by the lake with a good friend, the day has arrived! And oh my, what a gorgeous day it is!  Not a cloud in the sky and a wonderful 20 degrees. Cale has had an awesome nights sleep (9pm to 9am), and Mama is feeling rested, despite not falling asleep til 3am. To be honest, if it was left up to me, we probably wouldn't have ventured out the door today. It is often like that, PND takes away your confidence and motivation. Luckily I had some pretty good external motivation today so all good!! 

We drove the 20minutes across town, and freaked out at the number of people at the lake - holy moly! Then a light dawning moment, of course its busy, its school holidays!! A few deep breathing exercises and a cuddle with my boy later, my friend and her daughter arrived, sigh, relief! I can focus on her and her little girl, and the rest of the mayhem can fade into the background. Ahhhhh much better, smiling both inside and out!

I'm suitably impressed with myself and Cale - we managed 4 hours at the lake, AND WE HAD A GOOD TIME!! I am so pleased I took the risk today, it would have been very easy to stay at home. I remember something my Nana once said "It is within the risk that we grow". It's scary, but I'm learning to be courageous again. And I'm learning that if I can't do it for myself, then I will absolutely do it for my little boy. 

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.