30 April 2009

Plague house

I am sick. Jenna is sick. Rowan has spit up some milk.


29 April 2009

Baby things and special treats

A few things I've been meaning to show off! ;)

This beautiful lotus came with a blessing from Naomi. It now lives beside our family bed, and I'm sure Rowan will treasure it as I do. :) These gifts have flooded in over the last two weeks, with more cards besides (most of them pictured previously in family shots). Gina, Uma, Angie, Broken Man, Kim, Alison, Jeni, Ashleigh; thankyou all! Rowan is slightly spoilt for clothes really, so many character-full, unique, organic, and special finds for this little one. On top of the purple spotty sleepsuit is a blue Goddess bead from Gina which I'm wearing right now, and most of the rainbow things in the bottom piture were the results of a shopping trip by Kim and Jeni before they dropped in to see us. Thankyou, thankyou and thankyou again. Special mentions also to the blessing of home-cooked food (including an entire cherry and almond cake) from Sam and Kev (and more recently also from my mum and some kind folks from church).

How loved we all feel. :)

How to blog about such eventful days?

Every single day is full of the kind of normal-but-exciting stuff that defies words. I can't describe the significance of an hour figuring out new ways to manage tandem nursing. Or the joy of another hour (or two) mostly dozing with a tiny sniffly snuffly warm naked baby. It's all important, precious, but somehow trying to write about it is beyond me. It's almost impossible to pin down.

So, of course, more pictures. Poorly Morgan yesterday, cuddled up and happy. She slept and nursed all day and is all fine now. :) Look at that head control! And two lovely tandem nursing pics to replace the one that photobucket censored. ;)
Morgan is suddenly slightly inclined to ask for milk any time I settle down to nurse Rowan. I'm glad she didn't wean, it's great to be able to reassure her like this, but also the toddler poor positioning is making me feel ready for her to be done. I'm very grateful that I have nothing LIKE those weaning urges I had when I was nursing Jenna though. I have all these mushy feelings towards both of the older ones in fact, no feeling of detachment or preference for spending time with the New Baby. I kind of thought that sort of negative reaction would be inevitable!

I'm still finding EC and tuning in to Rowan really easy too, even when she's cuddled up on someone else. A few times, without thinking about it, I've found myself saying, "Martin, she needs to pee!" If I keep the potty close, we "catch" nearly 100%. If I have her on open nappies, we get every poop in the potty (she won't dirty a nappy at all, and is already waiting for me to put her in potty position) though she will pee in a nappy if she has to - after a little wriggle and cry.

And that's us up to date really, at least the things I can think of right now. (PS, thanks for all the support re: wobble on monday lol, it's hard to have perspective sometimes and I'm still really dreading Martin going back to work!)

27 April 2009

More peaceful family pictures

Because the good bits are if anything more real, more true to life, than the hard times. My beautiful big girls. My wonderful husband (who made bread - and cleaned the bathroom!). My precious bundle. Hours and days of abundant joy.

On having three - a panic

This afternoon I had my first sensation of ARGH THERE ARE THREE OF THEM!! Thankfully it has passed quickly, but nevertheless... Another day with some thoughts that I don't like to put out there, but feel dishonest pretending don't exist... So here is our afternoon in technicolour.

Rowan was out of the sling, sticky-hot and thirsty. There was nowhere to sit to nurse her and she was starting to make those fretful kitten noises that were going to turn into crying at any moment. Martin had popped back into a shop to grab that last forgotten item of shopping, and so I was alone with three for the first time.

Then Morgan made a break for the top of the escalators, and I grabbed her literally at that last second before she tried to get down the up stairs (visions of her going headlong). Rowan started to howl. (Have I mentioned that this baby has no middle-key? She's either OK or hysterical, there is no initial testing cry apart from the grunty kitteny sound!) Then Jenna, skipping around in circles, ran into a guy holding a cup of coffee.

There's me. Hips agonising after a couple of hours errand-running, after hubby not wanting me to tag along was overruled by me wanting to be back to normal. Leaking milk because Rowan is hysterical and has been asleep for three hours. Feeling exhausted and with that post-adrenalin dip after rescuing Morgan from experimentation with moving stairs. Holding a screaming baby in one arm, and with the other hand, gripping a shrieking twisting octopus-toddler by the wrist. I shout, "Jenna STOP!" She collides with man's ankles anyway. He lifts his drink clear and avoids scalding her (or himself), darts a black look at me and tuts, and walks on. Jenna hides behind a plant pot because I raised my voice.

I cried all the way home. With Jenna sitting besides me saying, "You know you are a really good mummy, it's OK, we're all OK..." :(

24 April 2009

Firsts and other happy mummy-nonsense

Her cord came off on day five, just after we left the midwives (of course) and more firsts come and go. I still can't honestly look at her and say never again, although my hips are still clicky and my stomach muscles are non-existant and pregnancy is a VERY clear recent memory... Imagine, the last time to have a tiny this size. No. I can't let go of that yet. And maybe I ought not let myself dwell on it anyway.

We had our first potty "catches" the same day, and regularly since. Maybe EC is easier the second time around after all? I don't really have to think about it, though I don't think I'm catching even half. But then again neither is it remotely bothering me how many I get or don't get, I'm just tuning in one at a time and being glad for the understanding of her this offers.

And some boxes of baby clothes came down from the attic, mostly gifts that Jenna and Morgan were given and almost all too pink for my tastes... Though Rowan does look sweet in the little flowery vest she's currently wearing, asleep on my lap making little sucky motions every now and again. I wonder if they really do dream of milk?

Ack, now I'm looking at her again and have lost my ability to type. Little bright curious eyes just peeping - what on earth can mamma be doing tapping away there? Ten days old! How fast it passes; too fast to miss even another five minutes of pulling faces at her and talking nonsense. Signing off, still babymooning.

22 April 2009

How it is...

There are Daddy snuggles...

Sisterly snuggles...

Nobody can resist her soft soft skin and sweet baby smell!

We planted her placenta under a rose bush, and enjoyed the sun in our little garden. Everything is still sweet goodness. Though post-natal hormones have made me really tearful - and I'm just recovering from a bit of soreness from teeny latching baby mouth (blisters, ouch).

So hormonal that the first person to ask me if she's a "good baby" just got looked at in blank uncomprehension - "She's beautiful - she's perfect!" I say, totally taken aback. It takes another hour or so of feeling wierded out to remember that I'm going to be answering that question for a year or so, as I've had to do with the older girls before her...

(PS: apologies for image quality this time lol, think I need to adjust something again as I messed with settings!)

20 April 2009

Rowan again

It's so difficult to put her down. The first time we went out anywhere (see evidence in previous post lol) I took ages to put her in the car seat, not sure I wanted to stop touching her for just that short length of time. Like with Morgan, she actually doesn't mind being passed over to other people - it's me who finds myself making excuses because I just don't feel like it!

PS - Some assorted questions answered in comments section, and LOL did you all notice that photobucket censored my birth pictures?! ;)

Playing the the sunshine (from Saturday)

16 April 2009

Getting to know Rowan

More baby pictures! Because, well, how can I be expected to help myself? I was so convinced, after such a stressy pregnancy and struggling so much to stay in tune with that bump of mine, that I would produce a stressy insecure baby. And how very wrong I was! She does startle all the time, and when she cries she does go right to emergancy mode with shakey bottom lip and everything, but mostly she just watches everything with a serious frown.

I'd also convinced myself that I would struggle to bond with her. I'm glad to report that endless maternal mushiness has arrived nevertheless.

The startling is very cute, especially last night when we had thunder and lightening! Morgan playing the drums this morning only elicited one little jump, and then Rowan went back to alert intent stillness, taking in every crash and bang and turning her little head from side to side slowly to find where the noise was coming from. She adores being touched. It settles her more surely than nursing - especially stroking her head (which is totally softly strokeable, with a thick fuzz of dark dark hair). Yesterday I spent nearly half an hour massaging her wrinkly dry little feet - she has such LONG feet - and oh what a blissed-out baby *that* produced. I stare at her for hours, no sense of urgency about anything except knowing her more fully. She smells heavenly. Breastfeeding is also going pretty well so far, after that first day of her hardly having any energy to suck. She's pretty keen now, and consenting to open her mouth more widely (another one who struggles to latch herself but sucks very well once helped on!) She nurses with commitment. Even when big sisters climb on top of her. Which they do. Morgan regularly comes and tries to take her from my arms too, crying, "ME turn... ME hold!" Thanks for all of the lovely comments over the last couple of days by the way. Even reading back, I don't have much perception of this last birth story as calm and peaceful - it seemed so intense and emotionally hard work! But I'm told by my birth companions that I seemed very in control and happy, and that they could barely tell I was in labour most of the time. I think they must have missed the parts where I was panicking and worrying about how much longer I had to go...

Anyway, must be off! I'm just eager to go float around in maternal bliss some more (HA and I don't even care ONE BIT how uncool that is). So eager that even though I'm sitting here with her in a ring sling, it has taken nearly an hour to compose this post because I'm not looking at the screen... And that's how it should be I guess - so if I do manage to take a break from blogging, you know where I'll be. ;)

15 April 2009

Meet my new baby!

Rowan Hannah, not even one day old yet. :)

A Birth Story in Pictures

A Birth Story

And could this little one be any more of a lesson in accepting things the way they are, and not being in control is just fine? What a lesson in trust (and patience) she has been already, barely a few hours old... She started teaching me before she was even born.

After peaceful slow labour all day, as soon as the children went to bed the contractions started coming one on top of the other. It was the most intensely I've ever laboured, and I wanted the pool up fast! This felt *fast* and I spent most of my time crouching leaning down on my elbows to slow the contractions a bit and give myself space to breathe. We called the midwives about then, with the pool half-full and my mum on her way already, about 8pm I guess. It felt like the contractions were still a few minutes apart but having gone from slooow to full-on in a matter of minutes my body was obviously as impatient as my mind.

The midwife came then, and I nearly sent her away again when she spoke to her collegue and said "don't rush, she'll be a while". Argh! That was the last thing I needed to hear, and everything felt so fast (um, I said that already, right?) I ended up clinging to Martin in the pool saying, "I can't do much longer, it won't really be much longer will it?!"

With every contraction he was applying pressure to my lower back and it felt so GOOD, every time he went to get more hot water (yes, we played that game again!) I ended up shouting for him to come back! I tried to drink but was just sick, so laid off that idea. Hey, this birth story has alll the nice bits left in. ;)

After this point I have no idea of time at all. It felt at the time like it was about an hour of sets of back-to-back contractions and very little pause between, but actually I'm told it was three (three!) hours like that. I felt pushy for most of that time too, but was convinced I had ages to go yet. It was very very hard work by then, Martin was IN the pool (not allowed to stop massaging my back) and the water was nice and hot. I was swinging between "labouring beautifully" ie breathing hard, rocking my hips, feeling spaced out but on top of the world, and just whining (I can't, I don't want to, why is it so SLOW?!).

For a while we had one of those strange conversations with the midwives where they totally flipped out at the idea of lotus birthing, I discussed it between contractions for a good half hour, and finally ended up snapping and said, "look, it's my decision and I will make it at the time, I've heard your advice and now I DON'T WANT TO DISCUSS IT!!" Actually this was about the hardest I'd ever laboured with any of my children, and I was really furious that I was being asked to justify myself during contractions. Martin stopped them asking any more questions after that and the mood in the birthing room settled back to comfortably semi-festive (with my complaints and heavy breathing as constant background).

Then, unmistakably, I knew I was pushing whether or not I wanted to. Really? Now? I was convinced I had an hour left at least (I think I'd talked myself into thinking it couldn't possibly actually be nearly over, I'd been basically in transition for hours already and was tired out)... After a couple of contractions on top of each other like that, pushing but not really doing the work conciously, I could feel the head and mum ran to get Jenna. Before then I'd felt too fragile to be comfortable with her being there, but now I knew I was very close.

Having her there was magical. As I pushed the head out I heard her gasp and exclaim, "our baby!" and a moment later as the body was born she said, "the baby swam out BEAUTIFULLY!"

I held a tiny little fat wrinkly newborn body for a moment, long enough to see that we had a third daughter (WOW!!) but the little body was very limp and the little eyes didn't open. She started to turn blue and we realised that the cord was vey very short and not pulsing, the placenta had come away too soon and hadn't fed her for those last couple of pushes. So we cut the cord quickly and she was revived a moment later. Through that brief scare we were all totally calm, though I think the midwives both panicked a bit, and Martin and I just looked at each other and said, "she's OK, she'll breathe in a minute". And she did.

I held her back in the water and snuggled her close. Her hands and feet are wrinkly and dry, but her little head was very vernix-y and she is SO ROUND, a little ball of plumpness! She's a good bit bigger than either of the others was, well cooked little mite that she is. Jenna had a little cry now that we'd had a girl, just what she wanted, and she got a little cuddle too. She hasn't stopped telling her how much she loves her, and how glad she is to meet her!

Morgan met her new sister this morning, in our bed, and they nursed together for the first time too. Rowan has a good strong suck but is quite sleepy and won't feed for more than a few sucks at a time. We're keeping at it though, with Morgan cheering her on - she keeps coming and saying, "good girl baby Row-na, more mummy moolk" (also keeps calling her "Re-an" lol, I think this name might take time to stick for my teeny toddler!). In fact, the first thing Morgan said when she saw her was, "baby - from there!" pointing at my stomach. Followed by, "baby sad, have mummy moolk".

And here she is. Perfect, complete, and strangely alien! I actually have a baby, she's really here!

14 April 2009

An exercise in trust - and patience

All day quietly labouring, mostly lying on the swing in my mum's garden watching children and husband come and go, gardening being done and sand being redistributed, little plastic cups becoming ships on an ocean, sticks being waved as flags, normal bright everyday wonderful family life...

The longest between contractions so far has been about an hour. But we're heading slowly in the direction of established labour and enjoying the strength and wonder of my body working perfectly and a baby coming, coming in its own sweet time. Strange that once I was totally sure I was in labour (not until about lunchtime lol) I stopped feeling impatient! I'm not willing this on any faster, for now, just accepting what it is.

Thankyou, for all your thoughts and prayers. :) Perhaps tonight, perhaps in the morning, there will be more good news...

Now? Really?

OK I'm not commiting to anything here, but I'm having contractions and Martin has stayed home in the hopes that things won't go off again... Am I really going to have another baby? Really? I've been pregnant forever!

13 April 2009

More Easter pictures

Yesterday afternoon we were going to have lunch with my mum but my little brother didn't put the oven on for us! So out we went for an unconventional Easter Sunday Lunch; pizza. The girls helped to make it in fact.
And we made egg-shell candles later. Well, I made - the girls were pretty much too busy eating cake and watching Doctor Who... Morgan did say, "me hewp!" but quickly wandered off again. Jenna's interest only went as far as asking what she could smell burning (thanks baby).

We were meant to be going to an Easter Egg trail this afternoon. But we are broke again, when I checked the account I had assumed money for shopping had gone out earlier in the week but it hadn't gone until today, so we don't have busfare. So as not to upset Jenna, we set up our own egg hunt and had a picnic in the garden. The girls couldn't have cared less that we were staying in again!
But I am still upset that we couldn't go out. And that we have very little food in the house. And that I have to see the midwife tomorrow for another two-weeks-overdue type conversation. I feel whiney. I feel like running away.

Instead, I wait. And watch two little girls playing in the sunshine. And try to find some hope.

12 April 2009

Easter morning celebrations

This (the sink unit on their kitchen) is her favorite place to sit and watch the comings and goings in the mornings. Bags are packed, Morgan is caught and dressed, plans are made, Morgan is caught and re-dressed, and Jenna watches it all with a sweet little contented grin.