Friday, 30 November 2012

The In Between

As you would all know by now, DD was prem. At 33 weeks. 

As we approach her first birthday, I thought I would share a few things from the last 11 or so months. 

Through Community Health, we were provided with home visits from a Child Healthcare Nurse. These visits didn't commence until DD was almost 6 weeks old, due to a lack of communication from our hospital.

We have constantly been told to remember that she was a prem and base a lot of things on "corrected age". That's all well and good, but intellectually, she's on par with actual age.

Physically, they told us she was behind. Their actual words were, "She failed."

Excuse me? The first time these words were said, she was 7 months old (5.5 corrected) and she failed her 6 month assessment. Simply because she didn't want to take her own weight.

What hope do kids have these days when they are that young and being told they are failing??

Fast forward to the 9 month assessment, done at 10 months (8.5 corrected) and we get told, "She's still failing. Actually, she's worse."

Excuse me, yet again??

Everyone says not to compare your baby to others, but we are constantly being compared and judged.

Our CHN told us to put her in the Jolly Jumper more. The physio she referred us to, told us that was the wrong thing to do. CHN told me that there's a group for babies of less than 32 weeks gestation to get together and play and work on motor functions. 

Sorry, you're failing, but you're not premmie enough to warrant help. 
That's what it felt like I was being told. That's the worse place to be. In between. 

Through my own perseverance, that of DH and my parents, we've been working with DD.

I'm pleased to say that she is now taking her weight, loves to stand and can get into so many places she shouldn't, even though they are blocked off from her. We did get confirmation from the physio that there is in fact, nothing physically wrong, she was just waiting to start in her own time.

We are still in between - walking and crawling! That's a better place to be.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Countdown to Christmas

So, this year marks our very first Christmas at home as a family. DD and I were both still in-patients over last Christmas. 

Santa Claus even found her. Obviously her Mummy and Daddy were very muchly unprepared for her early (yet still welcome) arrival. We've also got to get through the first birthday party too, which I'm probably over-excited about.

I'm getting antsy to put our Christmas tree up, but thanks to my upbringing, I have to wait until December 1. I just can't bring myself to do it any earlier. Although I have broken with tradition and decided that Christmas carols will be played from DD's 11 month mark. That gives me an extra week and a bit to enjoy the music!

We're currently sussing out the shopping centre Santa's to get our first ever Santa photos done. I took her to look at Santa the other day, and she just stared at him. Quite intently too. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm really looking forward to this year. We're all going to be together, and won't have to steal tables from vacant hospital rooms to have Christmas lunch on. Although, I have to admit, my hospital was great and allowed me to pay extra money (out of my own pocket, not my private health insurance) which meant DH and my parents could have Christmas lunch with me. We even got a choice of beer, red wine or softdrink. 

Tomorrow sees DD at her grandparents house and me trying to organise more Christmas presents for my family and friends. This year, I am much more organised.

In fact, my mum will be getting more than just a $50 note shoved into her hand this year. She WILL get a gift. I'm making sure of that. 

This is probably a pointless post, but all these things jumble around in my head and make it hard to function some days unless I get it all out.

What are YOUR tips for getting organised for Christmas?? 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Journey Part 2

To follow on from yesterday's post....

This side will deal with how I went emotionally.

When my waters broke, I was calm. When they admitted me to hospital, I was calm. Two days of bed rest, I was bored, and still calm. The third day though, it suddenly hit me. I was going to have a premature baby.

DH had gone back to work by then, as there was no sign of labour and he was only a 5 to 10 minute drive away anyway. No point in wasting his holidays, which we were saving for when we took our baby home.

Day 3 saw me having to be cuddled LOTS by my parents. Those who know me, know that I hug, but my parents and I never really did. We knew we loved each other, we always said it, but the only things apart from DH to calm me down were my parents. The lump of emotion that constantly seemed stuck fast grew and grew and grew. 

They took me off bed rest, I walked the corridors of that ward like there was no tomorrow, trying to get bub on the way again to no avail. 

The night before my induction, I finally caved and asked for the medicine to help me sleep that I had declined the previous few nights. I still didn't sleep great. DH and my mum were at the hospital early. I remember the midwife wanting me to walk around, but as it took her, DH and mum to walk me to the toilet, it was decided it wasn't a great idea. 

When DD was born, there were a LOT of people in the room. 3 or 4 midwives, the OB and the Paed. They all arrived within 2 or 3 minutes from their rooms (the doctors) and I remember hearing DD screaming. Everyone was saying, "What is it??" My honest to goodness thought was, "I don't give a F*** what it is, IS MY BABY OK??"

DH and I were extremely lucky. DD was breathing on her own, didn't require ventilation but was tiny. We got a quick cuddle before she was rushed over to the Special Care Nursery (SCN). 

1 week later, the day I was dreading came. I was discharged. It was great that I got to spend so much time in hospital, being so close to DD. I missed DH and my bed greatly, but the love for my child made me want to stay so close. The Nurse Manager was quite abrupt and nasty to me, and then when the lady at the desk at the hospital asked if my baby was leaving with me, I broke down. 

Another issue I had was that Kangaroo care was encouraged for so many of the other parents, but not us. In that time, I kept asking myself why we were so unlucky that we couldn't use kangaroo care to help us.

Most of the people we came into contact with were great. There's a few very special ones who I keep in contact with, especially the midwife who took care of me on bedrest and spent some time in SCN looking after DD. And me. The conversations we had at times kept me sane. 

2 weeks after she was born, our first huge milestone - leaving the isolette for an open cot. 3 weeks after she was born, I got to room in for the night. At age 22 days, we brought our daughter home. It was so great to finally show the lady at the desk that we DID have a baby and we WERE going home. I wanted to sing and shout and dance around.

The biggest, longest rollercoaster so far was defeated. We were finally a family. Even now, I look back and wonder how I got through. I don't see myself as a strong person. But in that time, I had a strength I didn't know I possessed. 

There might be more to follow this, I don't know. All I know is that it is approaching 12 months since this journey began too soon. And I wouldn't change it for the world!

I'm linking up with Jess for IBOT

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Journey Part One

This is a post I've thought long and hard about writing. I even asked DH would he mind if I shared, because it's OUR journey, not just mine.

Be warned, this could be a long one. 

As you would know from previous posts (and some of you knowing me outside this), I am a mum to a beautiful 11 month old daughter.

What a lot of you won't know (my faithful followers) is that my little girl was born early. 7 weeks early, at 33 weeks gestation, in fact. And to top it off, she had stopped growing and was the size of a 29 week baby. Not that you'd know it to look at her now. 

Here is our early start story......

I'd been on the pill for many years, to manage a medical condition where my body was wonky and instead of a 21/7 cycle, I was having the reverse, a 7/28 cycle, where my period would last 4 weeks and I'd have a week off. Ugh. So, at the start of 2011, I stopped taking it. We had our honeymoon and a month after we returned, our little girl was conceived. I know the exact date and to me, it's kinda funny.

I had the standard "morning sickness" but thankfully, mine was only nausea for the most part. I had one bout of a bad head cold at around 8 or 9 weeks pregnant, and that was the first time I actually threw up. Everyone at work had an idea, what with me wearing travel sickness bands on my arms to reduce the nausea to a workable point.

My first trimester was a breeze apart from the nausea. The second trimester, I was sick for 6 weeks with 3 chest infections. I was only allowed 2 lots of antibiotics so the third bout I just had to get on with it.

My due date was February, and because I didn't want my baby shower in January (too hot), and December was booked out with antenatal and Christmas parties, my lovely friend, Kylie, organised it for November. So many people asked me why I was having it so early, and I explained the time constraints to them.

DH and I had antenatal in the second weekend in December 2011. So many people had told me I was too small (only a tiny bump), and I looked like I'd overindulged on pasta. I'm serious. Teeny tiny bump. I asked the midwives at antenatal and they weren't concerned, so I was happy. There was one couple there, who were 36 weeks, and me, at almost 32 weeks, was convinced their baby would arrive first. 

The following Saturday, after a walk around the shops, I took my mum to our GP as he hadn't seen me since the last chest infection. I went home and decided to have a nap before my team Christmas party that afternoon. I woke up, lay there and thought about getting the washing off the line. That's when it happened. 

I was convinced I'd had too much water to drink, that tiny little release was my body's way of telling me to get up and pee. So I stood up, and said to DH, "Get up, I'm leaking." I didn't know where else to stand, so I stood in our shower stall as I didn't want to "pee" all over our newly polished floors. A call to the women's unit and we were on our way (there's another story here, but that's another day). We arrived, and were put in a labour room, because there were 3 women who presented at the same time. 

The midwife who ran our antenatal class was on, took one look at the maternity pad I'd had on, and said, "Sorry, love, your membranes are gone." We had to wait about half an hour for the on call OB, who just happened to be the one I was changing over to (that's another story). He did the first internal of my pregnancy, and held his fingers up in a circle to the midwife. A little wave of panic went through me.... I was dilating!

My mum, by this stage, had joined me at hospital, while hubby went home and got my hospital bag. I mentioned to mum that it really felt like I needed to pass wind, and she said sadly, "That's early labour, love."

They dosed me full of drugs, which made me look like I'd sun baked naked in the midday sun, but they stopped my labour and I got the recommended 2 doses of steroids for bubs lungs. They said to me if I hadn't gone by the Thursday that week, then they would induce me, as it was too risky for bub to stay in there. So Thursday comes around, and they pump me full of drugs... I must have looked like a pin cushion as I had 3 (yes, 3!!) things being pumped into my two hands. I was one of the lucky ones - my labour was only 3 hours, 33 minutes long and with one huge push at the OB's instructions, DD was born, screaming! 

33 weeks, 3 days gestation, 3 pounds 7 ounces (1560 grams), baby girl, head full of hair. NO ventilation required. But she still spent 2 weeks in an isolette (humidicrib) because of her size. She couldn't hold body temp. 

I think today, I will stop our story here. There's so much more to tell. But I don't think I want to dwell on anything now. Just getting this part out there is an awesome start. Please stick with me, everyone, while I get brave enough to let you into what was going through my mind during this time. I've only stuck to the cold, hard facts for now. But you need those before you can see into my mind. 

Have a lovely Monday!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

A Little Bit

Hello faithful followers. Today I thought I would post a little about me. Just so you can get to know me a little.

I'm a twenty-something mum of one gorgeous little girl. DH and I have been married for almost 2 and a half years now and have been together for 7.

DD is about to turn one which both scares and excites me. Where did my teeny tiny baby go?

I am on maternity leave and I'm not going back until mid 2013. My choice. It means 8 months with only one income in the household and we are going to struggle. I won't lie about that. But it's far more important for me to be there for DD and get through her upcoming birthday first.

I love to read, which is where my blog name came from. For years I have been told, or even told myself, "Just one more chapter...." that one chapter has turned into six or seven or more on many occasions. 

So, here are my top 5 reads (which can and probably will change a little) and in no particular order:

1. April Fools Day - Bryce Courtenay. First read when I was 16, I cried when reading about the Courtenay family's loss of their son, Damon, to AIDS which he contracted through a blood transfusion for haemophilia. 

2. Anything by Nora Roberts - yes, I'm a romance tragic, but Nora has a story with hers, ranging from mystery to fantasy. 

3. The Dark Jewels books - Anne Bishop. Thanks to a lovely colleague, I fell in love with Janelle and Daemon's story and have followed what was first the Dark Jewels Trilogy and has expanded into a whole range of books.

4. Little Women - Lousia M. Alcott. Need I say more? It's a classic!

5. A Man's Got to Have a Hobby - William McInnes. It's a laugh out loud account of him growing up in Redcliffe. I've never looked at bunting the same way ever again!

Now, here's my challenge for you, faithful readers.... Comment and tell me YOUR top 5 :) If they tickle my fancy (yes, I'm a very picky reader), I may trundle off to the local library to see if they have a copy and have a squiz!

Thanks again, lovely people!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Since When

This was my first ever blog post, kindly hosted originally by Tegan at Musings for the Misguided, which is why you have to click here to read it:

Since When

When did this happen?

I went to a concert recently. With my parents. I'm 27. They got me the ticket, and I was happy enough to go with them.

But when we got there, I suddenly asked myself for the first time that night (and certainly not the last), "When did this happen?"

When did I start sitting right up the back? Ok, there was a nice breeze, so I forgive myself

When did I sit so far away from the bar? Argh, why why why??

When did I start wishing I was in amongst 'it'? I would like to think next time, I will be the one who rips their shirt off to get a free singlet.

When did it become okay for a 56 year old man to be encouraged to thrust at any and all given opportunities and pretty much in the faces of 18 year old girls? Ew....

I suddenly realised that I am growing up. Maybe even growing old. 

Please don't get me wrong, I love my parents and it was wonderful to have a night where I wasn't just "mummy". But when the penny dropped, it felt more like a brick on my chest.

It made me think about all the good times I had at that venue with my girlfriends, prior to meeting my husband. And while we were still dating. Since we've been married, I can probably count the amount of times I've been out on one hand and not even have to use my thumbs.

So I'm a bit scared. I'm not going to go running amok around town, as much as I would like to prove to myself that I can still do it, because I know that if I have a big night, DD will NOT be forgiving the next day. I have read that babies know when their parents have hangovers, and I'm not about to test that theory!! But, when did I become such a fuddy duddy????