Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A little boy.

Just a few photos because I have been very slack on the blog.  I have had mastitis twice and am still trying to increase supply in the hope we won't always need to comp feed with formula.   So that means a lot of pumping, medication, and still constant washing and sterilising of bottles.  

Not to mention it has been school holidays for 2 weeks.  The boys went back today.  Hooray! 

These were my attempt at getting some nice photos when he was 6 weeks old.   

It was pretty difficult to get any that I was happy with, and I took zillions! Even if they aren't perfect I am really glad I attempted it.  He is 11 weeks old now, so I will have to try again. 

Coder pointed out that he has my Grandma's eyes, and once he said that I can see it too.  

He is such a good baby.  Settles himself to sleep and goes straight back to sleep at night even though he is awake when I lay him back down.  He has 4 big brothers that love him to bits.  And he loves them too, rewarding their attention with huge grins, coos and even little laughs.

Today I link up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays).

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Inadequacy and blame

So it has been 5 weeks now since the arrival of baby #5, and it has not been without drama and stress.

Every newborn brings their own unique challenges, but when you discover your baby has been starving it really brings everything you thought you knew about babies crashing down.  At least about breastfeeding anyway.

I have successfully breastfed 4 babies previous, and for longer then a year each time.  And even though I had sometimes questioned my milk supply, like every mother would sometimes briefly entertain the thought, I had never been on the receiving end of damning evidence.

One of the biggest concerns with a new baby leaving hospital, and there are so many, is that they are gaining weight.

Our baby wasn't. 

In fact, he had actually lost even more weight then when he left hospital a week before.

Well that was a smack in the face.

It seemed like he was getting enough milk, he didn't cry inconsolably and he would be settled in between feeds.

He was born 3.6kgs, left hospital at 3.25 and 15 days later was 3.09kg.

The midwife was concerned, he was jaundice so she arranged me to see a Paediatrician first thing the next morning.  During that appointment the Dr was not overly concerned, thinking that this may just be the turning point, but as a precaution ordered blood tests to check the Bilirubin levels (for the jaundice).

One thing of note was that baby was tongue tied, and this may be contributing to how he is latching on and his ability to suck.   We discussed the option of snipping the attached skin to free the tongue and arranged another appointment a week later to check the weight gain and possibly do the procedure.

6 days later I took the baby to get weighed at the local community health centre.  His weight was -still- 3.1kgs.  In 6 days he had not put on any weight at all.


I left that appointment feeling like the worst mother in the world.

So my baby had been literally starving.  Well, I like to tell myself he wasn't feeling hungry all of the time, he would sleep pretty well and was having wet/dirty nappies.

The term is 'failure to thrive'.  And as a mother, and I would like to think an experienced one, that is pretty gut wrenching to hear.

I called the paed the next morning at 9, explained it all to the receptionist and left a message for him to call me.  I didn't hear from him all day (he called the next afternoon).

In Coder's wisdom and encouragement we began comp feeding him that morning regardless.  He needed more milk, so we started our first ever journey into formula land and all that it entails.

After 2 days of comp feeding with formula after breast milk, he was weighed and had gained a whooping 200gms in that short amount of time!   The Paed was really happy with that, but as feeding was still excruciatingly painful, we still thought the tongue tie procedure may help.

It was over really quick, I had left the room and came in moments after to offer breast milk.

Breast milk saves the day, at least in this respect.

Now this is my life...

But it's working, and now he's thriving!  I hope to increase my supply and eventually go back to 100% breastfeeding.

Today I link up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays).

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Brotherly Love

When we first told the boys that we were going to have another baby they were really excited.  And it wasn't long before the question was asked, "Is is a girl baby or a boy baby?"   When we eventually found out they were having another brother, there was a little bit of disappointment, especially from the oldest. I think he was especially tired of being the biggest brother to all those boys.  But of course he was still eager for the arrival of brother #4.  

Pichu, the youngest at the time, had the most to gain from the new baby.  It meant his status would be upgraded to 'Big Brother'.  He was the most impatient as the weeks passed, he would ask me several times a day if the baby was coming out now.  "Baby out now?" He would say.  He would kiss my belly and give it a pat, and we would talk to him about how the baby would cry alot.  It became a running joke, the baby will just go 'Wah wah wah!" all day long. 

Thankfully he doesn't.

So after all those weeks of anticipation and having to put up with Mummy being tired and getting cranky for having to bend over to pick things up, finally the day came that they got meet their newest little brother.

It was love at first sight.

 Even after 2 weeks, the novelty hasn't worn off.  They want to see him as soon as he wakes up each time, and they race in the door after school to see him.  The older ones hold him often so I can do a few jobs here and there, they tell him that he is the cutest, smartest baby in the world and that he always will be. 

He is a very fortunate little brother, surrounded by love, and heaps of noise!

Today I link up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays).

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

And then there were 5.

On the 5th day of the 5th month, our 5th son was born.  He was 3.6kgs, which is 29gms short of 8lb. So actually the smallest of the 5.

 Let the games begin.

 I had the most amazing supportive midwives. They encouraged me to assist in his delivery.

 Easy peasy lemon squeasy.

I even cut the cord!

 My sister, official labour support person, tea fetcher, chief photographer and vomit cleaner uppera person.

I am so grateful to my sister for not only coming from Broken Hill for the birth, but also for taking these amazing photos.  She was a bit worried about using the camera on manual, but I set it all up for the light conditions, and you can see why I insisted.  The photos are so intimate and special for not using a harsh flash.

Hi Mummy!

 Can't stay naked forever.

 12 hours old.

Meeting Daddy and Big Brother #4.

Getting measured. 51cms long, 35.5cm head circumference.

I was lucky to be given a special gown to use during labour.  These gown's are made by Cherub and Bliss, who make hospital apparel. This is not a sponsored post, I just was so happy with it, I wanted to share.  The alternative was a purple gingham tablecloth, so I was very happy to have something that suited my personality a bit more. I am certainly not a pink or purple kind of girl!  I had so many comments on the gown that night, every midwife I saw asked me about it. 

Today I link up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays).

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Bicheno or bust!

After a long Term 1, school holidays finally rolled around, along with Easter.  A long term 1 for the boys, not so much for me.  I quite enjoyed my leisurely weeks of swimming twice a week with Pichu, having long coffee sessions with friends and generally not having to listen to the fighting and bickering that school holidays brings.  Of course, along with the joy of having my darlings at home.  

No wonder I usually pack them all up and head of to Broken Hill, for some much needed cousin distraction and family support.   

Alas, as I was past the 36 week mark in this pregnancy I was unable to fly.  And actually, I was probably just not physically able to.  Considering I cannot walk without some kind of pain from here or there.  And then the stinging pain I get in my back when I have over done things, meaning if I do not sit down (in the exact right position) immediately I feel like lashing out in a frenzy unlike that of a feral cat trapped in a cage.  

So these school holidays I have had to endure being stuck at home, for the most part.  We have still been swimming, albeit with more kids and much more stress.  And we decided to head up the East coast of Tassie for a few days after Easter.  It was a very last minute decision, making finding accommodation for 6 pretty difficult, and more so due to fact that we have 2 dogs to take along.  We would normally book them into Club K9, yes... that is what it is called.  And they would normally love this little doggie holiday.  But because it was Easter and this was a last minute decision, there was no way we would be able to book them in.  

 Not sure of what is to come, vet, puppy school, or something worse?

So off we went, 2 adults, 4 boys, 2 dogs, a surf board on the roof and a fully packed Cruiser.  No problem really, it is after all only a 1.5 hour trip!   Or so we thought.

Who knew. 

Who knew that dogs get car sick?  

I didn't.

But I have since been educated.

We had our first stop just 40mins after setting out, well come on, I was 37 weeks pregnant!   Seeing as check in at the holiday house wasn't until 2pm we were in no hurry anyway.  We stopped at a little beach so the kids and dogs could get out to play.  

 Beach stop at Orford.

All was fine and dandy, the weather was mild, everyone was in good spirits, and Mummy had a toilet on hand.  We set off again, blissfully unaware of the chaos that would soon unfold.

Having a coffee at the last stop was unfortunately not a fantastic idea.  Almost immediately I was bladderly uncomfortable again, but I know I can wait awhile yet. 

Further unfortunately the roads along the East coast are not straight, not by any stretch of the imagination.  After 30 minutes Legoman informs us that Ziggy, the delightfully playful Border Collie puppy, has vomited in the back of the car.   Furthermore, Ziggy, the delightfully playful Border Collie puppy, who lives and dies for chow time, was NOT going to let good food go to waste and was therefore eating his own vomit.

The car smelled like vomit, and Legoman now also felt like vomiting.  And I desperately at this stage needed a toilet. 

But with just 13 kms until destination and 1 km before a toilet (as it turned out), we had to pull over.

 Elsie, too civilised to eat her brother's vomit, and extremely happy to be removed from the scene.

Dog's were tied to a nearby farm fence, which happened to be the site of an old cemetery, while the clean up was undertaken.  Legoman was out faster then I could blink, and then refused to sit in the back with the dogs again.  We had to shuffle kids and a carseat, luckily with a happy outcome for all involved, though Ziggy probably wasn't feeling so crash hot.

Setting off again (and only slightly tempted to leave them at the cemetery!), this time only for a minute, stopping at the delicious berry ice cream shop that had been just around the next bend.   But much to my dismay, no toilet sign in sight.  Thankfully I do look very pregnant, and actually about to pop, so the very kind lady let me use their personal toilet.

Coder and I had ice cream, Pichu wasted his so the dogs got it.  Not the best idea really, considering what had just happened, but luckily it didn't come back to haunt me. 

 Pichu makes a pretty good photographer for a 3 yr old!

Eventually we arrived at Bicheno, stomach and bladder contents intact.  Our first stop was the closest fish and chippery, followed by a shaded spot under some trees near the Bicheno Blow Hole.

Disco moves by the blow hole.

 Do you know what is harder then setting the timer on the camera as it balances on a rock and hopping across uneven rock formations?  Doing it at 37 weeks pregnant! 

Legoman saw a Dolphin at this spot the next day.

We spent the next 2 days at beaches, rocks/blowhole, a glass bottom boat and hanging out with friends who were also in the area for the week. 


Yes they are getting too close.  Considering Legoman had fallen in this spot just the day before, and also just a few days before, the blow hole made the paper for having a massive tide and washing people over.

Just seconds after I took this photo, Oshawott (in blue) walked up to the left of Pichu, where it is extremely slippery.  He naturally slipped, and kept slipping.  Coder dropped down and slid after him all the while trying to still hold onto Pichu.

It was a bit of a heart stopping moment.  We learned afterwards that a father and son had been washed away and drowned last year from this spot.

Pichu is sulking because Mummy told him not to climb to the top of the rock by himself. 

So good cop comes and whispers something.

 Look at the smirk I get.

 Victory! Thanks Dad...

 On the way to Diamond Island.  You can only gain access via foot, and at low tide.

 Tide was already slowly coming back in on the way across.

Lots of rock pools to explore.

 Sparkler fun.

The trip home was uneventful, Legoman and Voltorb decided to still be in swapped seats.  The weather was not as pleasant at Orford this time, so it was only a quick toilet stop and stretch for the dogs.

The water was a beautiful colour but the rain was coming and the wind was howling.

Today I link up with Essentially Jess for IBOT (I blog on Tuesdays).

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