i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

…and the pasta comes back up again. April 23, 2010

So we’ve had the dreaded gastro bug that people tell me has been going around. Poogie, you started with it early Saturday morning, Aunt R1 got it on Saturday morning too, your Dad got it on Sunday evening, and I got it on Wednesday afternoon. So we’ve had a few days of retching (more…)


Birth Story: “A Generation Ago” February 3, 2010

Hello Poogie ,

So.  The first Birth Story in the series is today’s reading.

This story is by your maternal Great Grandmother about your Grandma K joining the world.  So I guess now it is two generations ago, rather than one.   It’s very special to me and I’m really glad that my Grandma got to share it with us – it’s a sneak peek into birthing in the 1950’s.   Your Grandma was a very beautiful person, and someone who was always there for me during my childhood.  I’m crying as I write this as I still miss her (she died 17 or so years ago).   I really would have liked if you could have met her – you’ll have to imagine her based on my stories about her and some of the things she did leave me and I can share with you: a love of baking, reading (poetry collections) and going to the movies.


Birth Story Details:

where: hospital, Australia

when: 1952

who: birth of your Grandma K


A Generation Ago

At 7am on 30 May, 1952, I woke up with an uneasy sensation in the stomach.  My husband suggested that I rest in bed while he prepared breakfast.  As soon as the smell of bacon and eggs floated through the house, I felt nauseated and made a frantic dash to the toilet.  That was when the continuous pain set in – not the intermittent bouts I had been told to expect.  Breakfast forgotten, we took off for the hospital, foot well down on the accelerator all the way.  No relief from the thrusting pain at all.

By 7:40am I was admitted to the hospital where immediate preparations went into top gear. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I was rushed into the public labour ward as the intermediate ward was filled to capacity.  As I was wheeled into the long room, I was horrified at the complete lack of privacy: only flimsy curtains separated the beds on which women lay in all stages of the birth process.  Some were groaning, some shrieking and a few for whom the ordeal was over smugly assured me how wonderful it was to have the birth all over.

My pain continued unabated while I had to endure that humiliating preparatory shaving and the putting on of those big white leggings that went right up to the top of the thigh.  When my legs were hoisted in the air, I was given that gas-mask to use when the pain became too agonising.  I tried desperately hard to avoid the use of this, but the continuing constant pain beat me a couple of times.  By the time my own doctor came on the scene, I was so exhausted that I felt I couldn’t stand any more of the unremitting pain.  In response to the sister’s urgings such as “You want your baby, don’t you? Try harder, harder!”, I made my last supreme effort and stayed conscious long enough to see my daughter held up in the air – and to hear one nurse exclaim, “What a shrimp!”.  I flaked out without producing the afterbirth; so that had to be removed by force without my active participation.  It was all over by 10:40am – not a bad effort for a thirty-eight-year-old woman producing her first child.

Because of a lack of beds in the wards, I was kept in the labour ward for the next five hours during which I witnessed births of all kinds and developed admiration for the hospital staff and the way they coped with so many different emergencies so competently.

I must admit, however, that I was more than pleased when a bed for me became vacant in one of the intermediate wards.

Footnote: When my husband came to see me in the afternoon, he complained rather bitterly of the bad headache he’d had all the morning!



Birth Stories – hopefully the start of a series… February 1, 2010

Today I’m getting around to another one of those not-a-new-years-resolution resolution: get there with the birth stories. Well, start the process anyhow.  Did you notice I was digging around in the storeroom the other day looking for a book? It’s all related.  I thought I’d start simply with a letter I wrote to some friends a month or more ago – but if you’re reading and you want to take part, drop me a comment… home birth book


As I think most of you know, I started blogging when I was pregnant & have continued on with my ramblings since then. One of the important posts that I haven’t got around to yet is finishing off the birth story post. I’ve almost got it down, I did most of it in the weeks after Poogie was born, but time is slipping away, and I want to get it out there. I’ve requested a dad version too, which is due before christmas sometime (husband read a book with dad’s versions of birth stories before Poogie was born to help with the birth preparation and found it really helpful). And I have an idea…

When I was a kid, my mother shared her experience having my sister R2, with our family, and had a home birth, which I watched. It’s still one of the best and most memorable experiences of my childhood. Perhaps another reason I remember it so clearly (apart from the event itself) was that soon after that my mum helped edit a book on birth stories. I wrote about my sister’s birth and did a picture, which was published, along with many other stories, in the book. My mum’s story of my birth and my sister’s birth, and my grandmother’s story about my mum’s birth was also published in the book. So. I had the idea before Poogie was born that it would be nice to publish not only his birth story, but republish those of others in my family at the same time, so they’re in one spot and celebrate us all. And, thinking about it further, I thought that it would be an idea to publish a few friends’ birth stories too – that is, if they wanted to share them.

So – here is my request to you. If you have a story (or two, or three) that you (or your partner or kids / family) would like to share, I’d love to be able to publish it on the blog. I’d be happy to do so. Just words, photos and words, anonymous, not-anonymous.. Whatever suits you best…

Love me

P.S. The book my mum worked on was about homebirth – but we’re interested in all types of births, babies or experiences :)


Boobies are Us… January 12, 2010

Hello Little Munchkin,

What has been happening?   ….. mmm Apple Pie

Long time no write for me.  It’s been a busy week – swimming, sanding the back deck and reoiling, cooking apple pie (I’ve been meaning to do the pie for at least a year and I finally got to it on Sunday – and it was yum).

Apple Pie from the baking book

Apple Pie - I finally got around to this recipe..

Designer Apple Pie

You: rolling, commando crawling at greater and greater speed, trying to swim, competently sitting-up, lots and lots of squawking.

Today’s Walking Adventure – Hot hot hot

Today is our car-less day.  Your Dad has the car on Tuesdays and we are left to our own devices.  We decided it was better for the environment and would work out that we just maintained a single car and then your Dad can taxi around a bit when he needs to for work and the like, apart from Tuesdays.   We’ve always walked and cycled a lot, and it’s one of the reasons we bought our house in the inner city – so we could continue to do so.   But today is particularly hot.  It is 30.9 degrees celcius and 51% humidity.  Not the hottest day by far, but hot enough if you’re walking around.  Today was the first meeting of the year for my local group of the Australian Breastfeeding Association, so you and I walked there and back.  And today I’m gonna write about it, ’cause I enjoy it so much and really get a lot out of it.  And you enjoy it too – it’s a chance to interact with a bunch of other young kids.

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Boobies are Us.

“Boobies are Us” is what your father affectionately refers to it as.   He thinks it’s great and is really supportive of breastfeeding – he knows it is the best thing for you and unfortunately he can’t control it, so puts his energy into helping me.  We’ve been out to the shop in our city to buy some things a few times and he has had some great input from the women working there and out the back in the State office.  But I must admit I think he is still a little perplexed about what we actually do at the support group meetings.

I know it’s is jest, but the question,

“Do you all just get your boobs out?”

has come up!  The answer?  Yes, most of the women there do “get their boobs out” at some point to feed their child/children.  Some discreetly, some less discreetly.  Some babies, some toddlers.  But not everyone.  There is an older lady (perhaps in her fifties) who is our treasurer, whose children are well past the breastfeeding stage.   Is everyone there a boob feeding nazi? No, definitely not.  That’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much – there is such a mix of people there.  Yes, people there are obviously giving breastfeeding a go as that’s what it is: a breastfeeding support group.  But do some of them use other forms of food too – you bet. Are all of them commited to feeding their babes by breastmilk until they are five? Of course not. Are some – yes, if that’s what their babes are after.  It’s a mix.

Do dad’s go?  Yes -  not so many, but there have been a few at different meetings, often when their baby is young and they are there with their partner to get some input and support.

And what do we do??  Well, most fortnights there is a topic for discussion, and we have an activity or prompts that the group leader has put together that we use to stimulate discussion and chats.  The kids (of varied ages) all rollick around on the floor (it’s held in the playgroup space under a local church so there are lots of toys and it’s a safe area).  The reason I enjoy it so much is that there is actual opinion, debate and experience about meaningful things discussed.  Yes, most of it is breastfeeding-focussed, but a lot about the tribulations and challenges of raising children, and coping strategies, techniques and listening to each other.  And it’s a very local group, so I then see a lot of the members around the traps when we are out and about.  It makes me feel connected to you, my baby, and my area, and the community.  Which is pretty important.  ‘Cause my hormones still leave me up and down quite a bit.  And I’m still adjusting to the major life change of having a baby and having to care for someone else 24/7.

Today’s topic was about toddlers.  We discussed a range of topics such as  developmental milestones, separation anxiety, breastfeeding, eating, weaning, having a second child, me-time or mum-time, occupying and stimulating toddlers…  It’s still school holidays, so there were lots of extra kids there today, and about 15 mums.And there were lots of opinions, lots of questions and lots of talking.  Fun.   You cracked-up and got a bit tired about and hour and a bit in, so we left early.

Just thought I’d write about one of the things we get up to during the day.  An important thing.

Love you



mishaps… baby safety and a big rash December 27, 2009

Hello Little Pumpkin Pie,

so.  It’s now the 27th of December, two days have passed since Christmas.  Your fever broke on boxing day, and you seemed to be doing quite well today.  Apart from the bit of a red rash that you got yesterday / on Christmas day.  Which was just light and a little red, so we figured it was just maybe some food that maybe someone slipped you in passing on Christmas day, or just a reaction to the heat, to the humidity (it’s been around 100% and raining a lot for the past 4 days, highly unusual for this time of year but hot and sticky), or just ’cause you were tired.  Or …

But.  Another day on, and you’ve just had boob juice today as the rash was a little worse yesterday so we wanted to check.  The rash is getting redder, brighter, bigger.  And while you’re off the panadol, you seem a little unsettled.  So hard to tell why though: it could be shock from when you rolled of the bed today onto the floor when I turned my back on you for a second when you were almost asleep on our bed (I felt like the worst mum on the planet, a feeling that actually got progressively worse for an hour or so after it happened after my immediate panic and caring for you had passed).  Or it could be just that it’s been a very busy few days and whilst we’ve been trying to keep it a little quiet for you as you had an ear infection, it’s been hard to do that so there have been a lot of people about.  Who knows?  Maybe you have an opinion you could share with us if you could talk.  Your signing isn’t quite up to it yet.

What your Dad and I do know is that we’ve decided to cancel our planned trip to Straddie (Stradbroke Island) for the next two days and take you to the doctor instead as we didn’t fancy two days on an island with limited medical facilities if there is in fact something wrong with you.  And we figured that you’d only worked your way through about half of the antibiotics prescribed, so we couldn’t really stop giving them to you in case the ear infection wasn’t gone properly yet, but we couldn’t keep giving them to you as that might be the cause of the spreading rash.

Rash smash.

So.  We might just have a quiet time at home depending on what the doctor says.

Ah, the joys of being a new parent.   ;)  I sigh.  I love you but goodness, there is a lot to worry and think about.  It’s all a bit stressful sometimes, but it just creeps up on you.  All fine, all fine, then BOOM!  Rash has got worse and it looks like you’ve got the pox and we’re feeling like bad parents again. I’m starting to get the picture that this is a common feeling of parenthood.

kisses and hugs to my little boopie baby



Murphy’s Law, Christmas and an Ear Infection December 24, 2009

Hello Poogie,

you are reclining on our bed, coming in and out of dozing.  You are officially ear-infected, and on a bunch of paracetamol to bring your 39.5 degree celcius (that’s 103.1 farenheit) fever down.

Yesterday you came down with a fever in the morning, so I dosed you up on paracetamol, as it was pretty high, and made sure to give you lots of breastmilk during the day.  I am not a generally ‘give babies paracetamol’ kinda person, but your temperature was HIGH and you were burning up, and I’d rather keep your temperature down so you have a chance to recover.  You seemed to get better, but another fever spike late in the afternoon, so we kept you in bed with us and you spiked again around midnight.  The paracetamol seemed to bring it down, and you weren’t screaming in pain or anything, but oh, so hot.  The books I read seemed to say you’d be ok if the fever came down with paracetamol, but I figured 24 hours the day before Christmas was long enough to wait to see if you could right yourself, and I didn’t want to spend the next two days lining up at the emergency ward of the hospital…

So.  I managed to convince the lovely receptionist at the Doctor that we really did need an emergency appointment, she was much more resistant than normal but finally relented.  You screaming your way through the waiting room I’m sure helped us get moved up the list…  And you have a middle ear infection.  Right on the six-month mark – just what the baby books say is common in infants six months to 2 years.  Good work.  I’ve had a stressful night and morning worrying about you – not just the ear, but the antibiotics too – both my sister and I are allergic to the one you got prescribed, so I’ve been watching you to make sure you’re ok with it..  But now, apart from being very dopey, you seem a lot better.  The doctor said 24 hours or so until we should see a big improvement, and to lay low.

So.  Santa, be quiet when you come, we have a sleeping, dozing, recovering baby in the house.




Sleep, glorious sleep: Happy Christmas Mum! December 23, 2009

Hello Poogie,

Yes, you’re having your morning nap and I’m taking the time out to write.  Because I am blissfully rested :)

Three days ago I was exhausted once again, from the combination of the flu and you waking up four times a night.  And I just decided and said to your Dad,

“That’s it.  Poogie slept through for months.  Right from when he was about six weeks old until about a month ago.  I’ve had it.  He hasn’t been having a growth spurt for a whole month… He is now over his flu so is sleeping and feeding perfectly well.  And he slept through for so long before that I know he can do it.  And he is eating two square solid-food meals a day.  Enough.  I need my sleep.  Tonight if he wakes we are just going to try to settle him and get him back to sleep without feeding him.”.   ..

Tentatively, your Dad, “Ok…”  Pause.. “I’m just remembering what G&J said about T learning to sleep through at six months, and how it was 3 nights of pain and no sleep while G nursed him back down each time he woke.”…

Me: “We can do it”.

Did I ever mention just how much I need my sleep??? Me: no sleep, emerge crazed automaton manic woman.  Can you imagine automaton and manic combined?  Think sci-fi-horror film character with wayward curly crazy hair.  You’ve got it.

So.  First night.  1.12 am.  Crying from your room.  I put the pillow on my head.  Ten minutes later soft crying has escalated to loud crying.  Your dad gets up.  Here we go, I think, he’ll nurse you back down.  Pillow on head.

1.13 am:  30 seconds has gone by and your dad comes into the room with you and puts you in the middle of the bed between us, you keep crying and do the automatic ‘search for boobie’ reflex thing you have going when you’re half asleep and crying.

me: thinking, “C, did you even try to settle him???  30 seconds really isn’t long. Oh well, your Dad isn’t the best in the middle of night.  He’s good early in the morning, but between 11 and 2am not so great. “  Pick you up.

your Dad: “Are you really going to not feed him? Mmm. ZZzzzz”

1:14-1:36 am: So I got you up, bounced you around for a bit until you stopped crying, tried to rock you to sleep for 15 minutes.  Got sore legs. You were awake but happy.  So I put you in your cot and went back to bed with the pillow on my head.  Without using my boobs at all!

1:36-1:48 am: resting with pillow on head.  Noises in your room escalating.

1:49-1:55 am: retrieve you from your cot where you are once again crying.  Repeat bouncing motion.  Settle you.  Hear door opening as your Aunt gets home and think, “Damn, the front door waking the baby again, this just isn’t going to work”…

1:55 – 2:10 am:  More bouncing…  Stick you back in cot.  Return to my bed.  Again, no use of the boobie at all :)

1:56 am: put pillow on head, think “mm, there is a lot of ‘talking’ going on in the cot, I bet I’m going to have to feed him”

1:58 am: pass out.


6:20 am: wake-up to baby talking in the next room…


Three days on…

And you’ve now slept through perfectly for four nights.  And I’m becoming more and more sane by the minute.  Scratch that.  I’m becoming more and more like my usual self by the minute.  Woot.

I think you woke on the second night, and your dad gave you a bounce and you went back to sleep.  And the third night I heard you, but you just did a little talking at around 3am and then went back to sleep.   Apparently you woke up last night and did a little crying.  But I just slept on through, and your dad said you were asleep again by the time he went to the bathroom and came back.

You seem to have adjusted your feeding accordingly too – back to your old HUGE feed, followed half and hour later by another HUGE feed, just before you go down for the count.

so, excellent work buddy.  Please keep it up.  This is a GREAT Christmas present.  Thank-you!!!

love mum


And bring on the summer flu. Erk. December 15, 2009

Filed under: healthcare,Parenting,Raising a Child — rakster @ 11:26 am
Tags: , , ,

Hello Poogie,

Well, you had a snuffle on the weekend, and so did I.  So we laid a little low.  But to no avail.  Full blown flu has hit.  I thought you were worse than me – snuffling and coughing and having difficulty breastfeeding.  But today it’s me that is worse.  Think all out on the floor unable to do much except get a glass of water then lie down again.  And feel like death warmed up.   You are relatively cheeful for someone who is obviously sick too – despite coughing and hacking and nasal-breathing difficulties, you still seem to want to play in between longer-than-normal sleeps.  Which is tough for me as all I want to do is lie down and stare at the ceiling.  So.  We’ve reached a middle ground.  You’re on the bed with me, playing rolley-polley while I lie there staring dejectedly looking at the ceiling, alternatively moving you back to the middle when you’re in danger of rolling off the bed again or giving you a muslin wrap to play with (you are endlessly fascinated by the variety of ways in which you can eat, wrap yourself in, cover you face etc by such a cloth).

You are supposed to be having your six month vaccinations today.  I think they won’t give them to you as you have a cold.  But we’ll go to the doctor – to check you, and hopefully get me some medication.

Ark. Erk. Yuck.

love you

ps. your Aunt is severely afflicted too. In fact, I think she is worse.  Your dad however is at work and seems to have escaped so far.

P.p.s. And yes, this  is the first time you’ve been sick.  And I was really worried about you and feeling bad on the weekend.  But I took your temperature a lot, and you aren’t feverish.  So I figured just a bit of mucous and discomfort.  But still felt heartwrenchingly bad for you.  Now that I’m feeling like death, I do feel bad for you too, but in a more detached way.  Like, as long as you are ‘ok’, then you’ll get through it and be ok.  I just don’t have the energy to feel bad for you anymore.  Sorry.


More food attempts. November 4, 2009

Hi Poogie,

so, it was very apparent from your facial expressions yesterday evening that Farex (rice cereal for babies) mixed with breastmilk is NOT as appetising as avocado.  In fact, I think your Aunt and I can quite confidently say that you thought it tasted disgusting and weren’t at all sure why the hell we even tried to feed it to you.  Screwed up your face and pushed it out with your tongue and gave me a “what the hell do you think you are doing to me, Mum?” look.

Righto.  So I adjusted.  And mixed some avocado in with the disgusting-smelling mixture.  There was no way I was going to taste it myself (which doesn’t vouch for me feeding it to you does it? Maybe I should have a rule that if I wouldn’t eat it then I won’t feed it to you? Sounds fair – though at some point I will feed you meat that your dad has made, but I won’t eat).  Anyway, you did decide to eat the mixture of rice cereal, breastmilk and avocado.  Not as voraciously as you attacked the plain avocado.   But you got a substantial amount down.  In fact, at least a quarter of an avocado and maybe two tablespoons of rice cereal and boobie milk mixture.

oscar eating

you're not as keen on this foul mixture. not surprisingly!


We’ve also been experimenting with sippy cups.   C told me that you are supposed to try to drink 30ml of water with each ‘solid’ foods meal.  First cup was insulated and you have to suck on it pretty hard to get the water to flow out.  It will be fantastic when you’re a bit older and used to a sippy cup, but for now it was a bit too big of a learning curve.  Next cup was just a tip and the water flows out the three little holes without having to suck at all.   Your bumbo ended up with a pool of water in the bottom of it.  Good thing you were naked.   Third cup was a winner – a soft rubbery part for your mouth, that you have to suck on a little to get the water to flow out, but not too much.  Still a lot of water spillage, but less choking-action (cup two) and more drinking-attempt-action.   So you managed to get some water down too.  You preferred it when the water was warm.

eating with mum

getting food with mum

Otherwise?  Well, I haven’t been to mum’s group for weeks due to the lack of ability to walk/drive, but have kept up with the emails.  It seems a few of the four-month-old babies are going through a whingey, unsettled phase.   You are a little.  Trying to get you to sleep at night has become a battle where you scream for a good half to full hour each night.  So two nights ago your Dad and I instigated renewed effort to settle you into a night-time get-ready-for-bed routine.   I’m not the best at routines, so it’s not 100% the same each day, but better than before.  New tip, back to swaddling you and having lots of quiet, ‘chill-out’ time in the hour leading up to 7pm.  So far, SUCCESS!  A little grizling but not the screaming tantrums of the past week.  I think we were just letting you get too tired before putting you down.


righto. Must run. you have awoken and need to eat some food.


love mum


First tooth October 28, 2009

Hello Poogie,

tooth coming through baby's gum

your first tooth. It looks to me to be in the wrong spot. But I guess we'll just wait and see....

Well. Look what I found this morning: a new tooth coming through! You’ve been a bit grisly for the past few days, with a few screaming episodes in the afternoons. Yesterday was particularly bad, but you had your four-month immunisations yesterday so I figured it was due to that.

But, this morning I was rubbing your gums as you seem to like that at the moment, and felt that “grain of sand” feeling in your gum… On closer inspection, there is a patch of white and it appears to be a tooth! Mind you, not sure it’s growing in the right spot – it seems to be coming out of your gum beneath the tooth ridge rather than on it. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Good for you.

Big you.


And the doctor has advised that the latest research about allergies suggests you should try to start on solids now, at four months. So this week we might give that a go. I’ve been teetering about it as there is so much literature out there that is contradictory – six months, four months, blah blah. But you’re growing a tooth, so I reckon you might be ready for a bit. So your Dad and I think we’ll try a little. And since I can’t walk properly yet it will be others that will have to help with the mess!

love you


P.S. You’re four months and one week old.