Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Typing one handed

Very limiting for blogging efforts, unfortunately.

Cuddling Rowan with the other hand, however, is enormously rewarding.

Not much happening here. Feels a bit weird actually. Usually this is a crazy time of the year but I am feeling surprisingly un-stressed about it all.

Breastfeeding entertainment for the week is Love My Way series 2 and 3. A bit too much bad language and bed-hopping going on between all the lead characters, but other than that it isn't too bad.

Time now to feed unsettled Rowan...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Looking forward to...

...the return of "It's A Knockout" on television tonight.

Sad, I know. But I think it might be a bit funny.

On reflection, I think I'm watching a bit too much television at the moment. After reading "Don't Waste Your Life," this makes me feel guilty. It would be much better to be able to say that while breastfeeding, I've spent time reading the Bible and catching up on my quiet times. Watching mindless entertainment on the television isn't a great use of time.

I keep telling myself this is only for a limited season of my life. But it is a wasted opportunity in some ways. And when extreme tiredness kicks in and it's the middle of the night, it's easy to revert back to the mindless entertainment....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Breastfeeding entertainment

The Waltons, Series 1. Back to the 70s in a big way. I remember watching episodes of this at my grandparents' house when I was little. I've been struck by the simplicity of television storylines from back then. That's okay. They need to be simple so I can easily pick them up after a few minutes of being distracted while getting Rowan latched on.

I also borrowed Series 1 of Love My Way from the DVD library. Haven't watched any of that one yet. But I am anticipating increased complexity in characters and plotlines.

Back on track

Feeding dramas (mostly) sorted. Now to wait for the weigh-in on Monday just to be sure. But he seems content, he's feeding, weeing and pooing like a champion, and latching on is getting much easier. And he looks bigger, I think.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Just when I thought I had this newborn feeding thing together

Feeding dramas are back. After having to take motillium and expressing for months last time around because of worries that my milk supply wasn't enough to meet Rosie's needs, this time it seems that I have been blessed with too much milk.

Which is proving hard to get out efficiently with a relatively small newborn mouth. After gaining 110gms in the first couple of days after coming out of hospital, Rowan has slowed right down with his weight gain and only managed to add another 50gms in the next six days since his last weigh in. And he is becoming fussier with his feeds, and taking a lot longer to get through them.

Sigh. So it was back to the lactation consultant today. The good news is that this should be a quicker fix than Rosie was, but I was so hoping for an easier run this time.

One feed at a time. One day at a time. And after this many babies with different feeding issues, I at least have a multitude of solutions hiding in the cupboard. Bottle teats that are the closest brand to the shape of a breast (in case we need to express and bottle), nipple shields for the reluctant latcher, the list goes on. Luckily I hadn't gotten around to throwing any of it away yet.

We will get there. I am determined.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


...the meals that wonderful friends in our church family are bringing to us at the moment. It's so good to feel this loved.

And it's very exciting getting a surprise dinner each night. I'm usually the menu planner in our house, so I nearly always know what we're having to eat for dinner. It's refreshing being surprised.

Friday, November 18, 2011

How quickly one forgets....

....how nocturnal newborns are.

He's happy to sleep all day but seems to come alive after his night feeds. So far he's not too bad to settle. But it's still early days. I don't think he's quite woken up properly yet.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back to an earlier topic...

A little while ago, I blogged here about what a wasted life looks like. The John Piper version.

This is another take on it. I think John Piper would like this guy.

Acknowledgement here to Wendy, who found this and thought I would like it. Thank you...

Sunday, November 13, 2011


...Rowan Patrick. Born 9/11/11 at 2.20pm. Not quite as an impressive a birthday as the 11/11/11. The local newspaper even managed to find a baby at the private hospital up the road who was born at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11/11/11.

But we think he's pretty cute even without the super-cool birthday. And doing very well. He started breastfeeding while I was in recovery after the Caesarean (the first time I'd been able to have a new baby with me in recovery so that was very exciting for me) , his blood glucose levels were excellent for the first 24 hours, and we are now home getting used to the new addition. A thunderstorm is passing over but it doesn't sound like it will amount to very much.

Rowan is now sleeping soundly in his new bed upstairs. So now let the sleepless nights begin.

Whenever I have come home with a new baby, it always feels a bit weird for the first couple of days. Remembering that last time I was at home, I was pregnant. There was one less child to deal with. Realising that the new one is going to be with us for a very long time. But I always get a teeny bit emotional when I arrive home and it's all new and changed from what it was before.

Hope everyone else out there has had a good week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hospital reading...

Because obviously I'll have heaps of time to read books when I'm there....or not....

The first one arrived yesterday. Great timing. It's the latest edition of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale. I did the training to do this assessment a few years ago. It looks at a newborn's ability to self-regulate and interact with adults, among other things. I'll only be looking at this one if I'm in any kind of frame of mind to give it a go with the baby in the first few days. Depends on how I'm feeling. And how the baby's going.

The second one (Baby on Board 2nd edition) I found at the library. It looks like a fairly common sense type of book. A good two page summary at the beginning about what you need to know (or be reminded of) in the first few days. And heaps smaller than Robin Barker's Baby Love and the massive La Leche League breastfeeding book that I also found in the library.

The third one (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) I have read before. I'm reading it again because it was interesting. And because I've already read it once it shouldn't be too taxing second time around.

The last one is one I'm checking out as a possibility for a Book Chat book for next year in the lead-up to Easter. I'm a couple of chapters in. It's not too bad. It 's integrating information from all four Gospel accounts of the lead-up to Jesus' death, which is interesting. A bit heavy going though. And old (published 2004). I'm not sure it will be easy to get hold of if a few people want to read it. Anyone else read it?

And the baby name book that we bought way back in 2001, so I can't find an image of that one anymore. Chris and I are going to try and sort out the final choices tonight...we are perhaps slightly closer to choosing something but I don't think we're there yet.

And, of course, my Bible.

Taking all these books with me, of course, is all about clinging to familiar and loved things. Change always freaks me out and this time around I've had more time to worry about it than I've had with all of my previous babies. I know it will all be okay eventually, but right now it is a bit scary.

I won't be able to blog in hospital because I don't own a smartphone or any other portable computer technology. So I will chat to you all in a week or so if everything goes well. Take care.

Monday, November 7, 2011

We have a winner....

...of "Karen's longest gestation" award. I am at 38 + 2 weeks today.

And the baby still doesn't feel like it's coming. I think he/she must be quite happy in there. But it is coming on Wednesday, whether it wants to or not.

I'm starting to feel less comfortable, but still not too bad really. I'm ready for something to happen though.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sad news...

Sarah Watt has died. One of the best Australian film-makers. I love Australian movies and Look Both Ways is one of my favourites.

I bought the book she co-authored with her husband, actor William McInnes, Worse Things Happen at Sea, a few weeks ago. You can listen to him reading an extract from it here. I've read it once and will review it in here sometime when I've read it a second time. It's fantastic.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thanks Simone

This guy is funny. I found him on Simone's blog. If you're so inclined, you can listen to his interpretation of the whole book in instalments on YouTube.

Just a warning: there is a little bit of bad language.

High Tea for Book Chat

So much fun. There were seven of us enjoying the cups of tea and ocean views.

But I think that the two sandwiches (on white bread), one chocolate chip biscuit and one lemon curd butterfly cake sent my glucose levels into the stratosphere somewhere. I had a blow-out last night as well. Two slices of home-made pizza on Lebanese bread (high GI as I discovered afterwards) and two pieces of garlic bread. I wondered if that might start labour but it didn't.

Back to this afternoon. Because I overdid it, I had trouble concentrating and felt like my thinking was all over the place. I now know this either means my BGLs are too high or too low.

Looking forward to life after gestational diabetes where I can enjoy afternoon tea and a (hopefully) clear mind again. Just have to keep it all in moderation. Because I now know too that eating well helps me to feel so much better!

Lots of suggestions for books came up. Old ones and more recent releases. I have just ordered a couple of newer ones online to review over the Christmas break and I will check out the church bookstall tomorrow too.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Speaking of time wasting television

I think this is the cleverest piece of work by the Chaser team this year so far.

Great stuff. And only four minutes long. You can get back to "Don't Waste Your Life" when you've finished watching it.


"How many lives are wasted by people who believe that the Christian life means simply avoiding badness and providing for the family. So there is no adultery, no stealing, no killing, no embezzlement, no fraud - just lots of hard work during the day, and lots of TV and PG-13 videos/DVDs in the evening (during quality family time), and lots of fun stuff on the weekend - woven around church (mostly). This is life, for millions of people. Wasted life. We were created for more, far more....

....no one will ever want to say to the Lord of the universe five minutes after death, I spent every night playing games and watching clean TV with my family because I loved them so much. I think the Lord will say, "That does not make me look like a treasure in your town. You should have done something besides provide for yourself and your family. And TV, as you should have known, was not a good way to nurture your family or your own soul."

From "Don't Waste Your Life." We're discussing it tomorrow afternoon at Book Chat. Lots of good stuff in it. I think the above quote is a direct challenge to most Christians in Western society.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Okay baby....

You can come now. Tomorrow morning would actually be quite a good time to arrive. Kids at school. Rosie is at child care. We wouldn't need to ring anyone except someone to pick up the boys from school.

The bag is nearly packed. Pest control man has just arrived to spray the house and get rid of all the spiders and bugs. Appointment to fit the car seat has been booked for Monday.

Today I am just feeling like I have had enough.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What do other people do in this situation?

This morning the teachers at our kids' public school were taking industrial action, so classes didn't start until 11am. It's industrial action that I'm supportive of. I don't have any issues with the reasons why the teachers weren't working.

So I took the boys off to school just before 11am.

Because I'm not too confident yet with parking the big people mover in the smaller than average parking spaces at the front of the school, I dropped them off at the side gate and asked them to walk around the corner to the school front gate. Thinking that most of the front car parking spaces would be full up (as they usually are at morning drop off time).

They weren't. When I drove past the front of the school, the car parking was nearly empty. I could have easily parked the people mover there.

At the end of the day when I picked them up, the kids told me that in both their classes, only about half the kids turned up after the stop work action. So one of my boys spent the afternoon watching a movie. The other one's teacher did some one to one assessment work with each of the ten or so kids that were there.

So my question is: why wouldn't you take your kids to school after the industrial action was over? Aidan's theory was that it was because if parents had to take the day off work to look after their kids for the couple of hours in the morning, then they wouldn't bother bringing them in at all.

I don't get this. If I wasn't heavily pregnant and didn't have a toddler to look after, I would drop the big kids off at school as soon as I possibly could and go somewhere and have a coffee by myself. Or see a movie. Or go shopping. Take advantage of a few rare child-free hours. Or, in my case, at least reduce the number of children to be dealt with.

Obviously other parents don't think this way. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind spending time with my kids. But if the teachers are working (even if it's not for the whole day), then it's a school day. The kids go to school. Right?

And I even made them do their homework and music practice during the two hours they weren't at school this morning....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The time is drawing near....

For the past few weeks I think I've been living in some twilight zone having a great time doing a bit of tidying up (only when I feel like it), reading nice books, looking at lovely recipes, blogging, looking for poems for the boys to say in the school poetry competition this term, setting myself up some boards on Pinterest, eating well and feeling pretty okay about life.

Only a couple of challenges really. Yesterday's job interview was one of them. And Rosie has decided to show a bit of interest in using the toilet in the last week or two, and past experience toilet training my children has not been a quick and easy process. I've been trying to go with the flow (pardon the pun...there have been a few flows onto the floor but not yet into the toilet) and not expecting too much given the approaching upheaval that she doesn't realise is coming.

So I'd almost forgotten in the middle of all this enjoyment that we are about to have a baby. Today's clinic appointment was a bit of a shock. After the past few weeks of "fine, see you in a fortnight/see you next week," today there were no more appointments to be made.

Next Tuesday I am being admitted to hospital in the afternoon. The next day I will be having the baby. And today, my blood pressure was up a bit. Something in the urine sample that shouldn't be there. Might have to go onto antibiotics later in the week if it grows something. Had to go and have a blood test. Was given the talk about pre-eclampsia symptoms to watch out for. Blood glucose levels have been okay for the past week but today they have been a bit up and down even though my eating hasn't changed much.

I'm now getting a little bit nervous that I might not make it to next Tuesday. I haven't packed a bag for hospital yet....I thought if I did, it might be tempting the baby to come early again. But I am charging up the camera battery. And tomorrow morning (school teachers are having a stop work meeting so the boys don't have to go to school till after recess) I might just pop a few things into a bag.

Just in case.