A journey into Parenthood & dealing with loss

Posts tagged ‘updates’

The past 6 months

I can’t believe how bad I am at blogging! Kyle will be 6 months old next week, so clearly I have been very very busy.

Watch me grow

Watch me grow

Life with a baby is so different, than it was before. Even having au paired and nannied for 4 years, hasn’t prepared me for what life is like when the child is yours full time. I absolutely love it, but we have had our fair share of challenges.

  • Kyle is a sensory seeker, also known as FOMO. He has been since he was born. He is always alert, and following everything that is going on. He hates to be left alone and is very easily distracted from feeding and being put to sleep.
  • Until about a week ago, it was almost impossible to get Kyle to sleep without swaddling his arms. In the Durban heat this has proven difficult, as he was waking up from being too hot! Last weekend we made the first attempt to let him sleep unswaddled, and it worked.
  • Breastfeeding was not as easy as I had expected. Kyle was not a natural, and still chooses a relatively narrow latch. Pumping when I started work was even harder for me. At 4 months we switched to formula during the day when I am at work. I was surprised at how big a deal that decision was for me. Now that it’s made though, I am enjoying my moments of breastfeeding him even more. The tension and stress of leaving enough expressed breast milk is gone. He also now gets a bottle of formula at bed time, which means Daddy gets to really share in the bedtime routine.
  • Kyle hates the car! HATES it! I have never known a child who screams so much when in the car. It’s really only in the last few weeks that he is getting more tolerant of short trips. In the beginning, the moment the straps of the car seat came down, he would start screaming. We once had him scream for almost an hour while we were driving. Car trips were torture for me.
  • Kyle only recently decided to take a dummy. This has been helping with car trips a bit. He only has a dummy during car trips and when going to sleep.
  • Day sleeps are a bit of a problem! During the work week he sleDaddy wearing Kyleeps on his nanny’s back in the carrier. This means that on weekends, the only place he will sleep is in the carrier with us. And not if we are sitting or standing still. We have burst 3 exercise balls already, while bouncing our little boy to sleep! His aunty on the other hand manages to get him to sleep in his cot – so I have no idea what we are doing wrong.
  • We are using cloth nappies on Kyle. The challenge with this is that I have become rather addicted to them, and the child now has enough nappies to last 2 weeks without a wash. And I still can’t stop buying them. They are just so adorable!IMG_2723
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The BSquirt has arrived!

Kyle Connor Johnson

Minutes after birth

Minutes after birth

was born at 13h50 on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 at Life Westville Hospital in Durban, South Africa. He came into the world via natural delivery after a relatively short labour at 40 weeks and 2 days.

I began counting contractions around 19h00 on Tuesday evening. They were fairly regular, but quite far apart and not very intense. Since I’d thought labour had started on Sunday night, I was not going to count my chickens before they hatched. I eventually decided to go to sleep around midnight. At 02h30 I was woken up by a rather painful contraction. I once again started recording them and they were closer together and firmer, but still a little erratic. At about 04h30 I woke hubby to let him know we were getting closer. He remained very calm and began getting everything together and into the car.

We both showered and at about 05h45 I was in the middle of getting dressed and had a leak of fluid. Now we knew it was time to head to the hospital. We left home just after 06h00. Here is the last photo of me pregnant:

Leaving for the hospital

Leaving for the hospital

We arrived at the hospital and I went straight to the labour ward. I was admitted and put on monitoring. I arrived a few minutes before the shifts changed, so we waited for the day staff to do most things. I was assessed and was at 3cm dilated, baby’s heart rate and contractions were regular and everything was as it should be. After the assessment was done we were moved to our labour room. I was the only mother in the ward the whole morning. All other deliveries that day were Caesarean Section.

We were made comfortable and then left to our own devices pretty much. My sister arrived around 08h00 to check in on us, and remained at the hospital for the rest of the morning, sending updates to all the family and friends. My parents had already started their journey from Swan River, MB, Canada to Durban, so they were getting updates as and when they could get wifi in airports.

Dr P arrived just before 08h00 and assessed me and I was now at 5cm and he was happy with how everything was going. I continued to to labour for a few hours without any intervention, but eventually asked for the entonox gas. Although that made me slightly woosy, it wore off quickly and definitely too the edge off. Dr P checked me once more when I was 9cm and said it would be in the next 2-3 hours. The last few hours are all a bit of a blur!

Once Dr P was happy for me to push, I managed to push Kyle out in 4 or 5 contractions. I avoided an episiotomy and only had a grade 1 internal tear. I got over and hour skin-on-skin time with Kyle in the delivery room and then he was taken with B to the nursery for his check ups and first bath. Dad finally got to hold him – I hadn’t even realised that I was hogging him the whole time in the labour ward.

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B was the most amazing partner during labour and I am so impressed with him. He was there for the me the whole time, making sure I was as comfortable as possible. He was a great distraction when I needed him to be too. He was totally all I could have asked for. The nursing staff were exceptional too and I am very impressed with my time in the labour ward,  the maternity ward is another story, for another day!

I was so thrilled to have had nearly everything from my birth plan stuck to. As Dr P said, my labour and birth were not just text book – I rewrote the text book. I was even told I’d get a gold star on the day I was discharged.

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Kyle is doing well and we are loving having this beautiful little boy in our lives!

The poser even at 2 days old!

The poser even at 2 days old!

 

It’s been a while

I apologise again for the delay. I’ve been really bad at even reading my blog roll, never mind updating my own blog. There really isn’t much of a reason really.

My pregnancy is still going very smoothly. I am 38 weeks on Monday and BSquirt is expected to arrive any time in the next 3 weeks. Dr P will induce on 3 June if baby hasn’t arrived by then on his/her own terms yet. I’m really hoping that an appearance will be made some time from 10-14 days from now.

I have had a surprisingly easy pregnancy, that I feel terrible complaining at all. However my pelvic bone pain is now almost constant, and baby hasn’t even engaged yet. I’m not sleeping well at all, and pretty much haven’t the whole pregnancy. I’ve been very lucky with very few other symptoms. I am still quite mobile and am still driving fairly happily. I do find walking up stairs a chore, but otherwise I’m feeling pretty fit.

All our shopping is done and we are as ready as we will ever be for baby to arrive. The best news is that I was told today that I have won a competition I entered in a magazine. The prize is a pop up travel cot that we just love. I saw it early on in the pregnancy and just knew it was perfect for us. So excited that we have won it. I can’t wait for it to be delivered!

I thought I would also share a few things that I have been watching on Netflix that have been really good. I watched The Business of Being Born and the follow up documentaries More Business of Being Born. I got so much useful information from these shows and really felt more empowered about my birth. I watched A Doula Story and enjoyed that too, although not really relevant to my own life. I then discovered Call the Midwife – a BBC series about midwives in the East End of London in the late 50s, early 60s. What a really fun show! I am loving it. I’m hoping season 3 will load on Netflix soon!

I can’t believe that I’m just over 2 weeks away from my due date! This has truly been an amazing experience and I am feeling calmer about the impending birth.

To all the other pregnant women on the blogs I follow – I am thrilled for you and wish you everything of the best, even if I don’t always comment or like your posts. You are always in my thoughts!

Week 24 – 26 Update

I’ve realised why I’m not so good at remembering to post on my blog. Well I remember that I should, but never get around to it. There are two reasons – firstly I don’t feel that doing it on my phone or iPad gives me enough control in editing, and so I keep putting it off. Secondly the computer room at home is one of the hottest in the house, so I try not to spend too much time in there. Given that today is the 5th day in a row of highs around 32C, and this whole month has been highs above 28C, this room is decidedly uncomfortable. Our AC at work wasn’t working so I am at home earlier than normal (I just couldn’t stand to be there anymore), so I thought I must just buckle down and get writing. There are so many updates.

Baby is more than 960g. This whole fruit thing is way too confusing.

How far along are you? I am 26 weeks and 4 days. 94 days to go. This is the last week of the 2nd Trimester already!!

What’s happening with the baby? We had our 24 week appointment last week (a week late). Baby is measuring ahead of the average, and the sonographer said that baby was growing well. Dr P made a note to look out for a big baby. Baby is very active and we have nicknamed BSquirt the little dancer.

What’s happening with my body? I am getting bigger, and strangers are no longer unsure if I am pregnant or not. My skin across my belly is starting to feel tight, but my belly button is still an innie, and my butterfly tattoo is still recognisable. I have had some pain in my pubic bone area, but other than that, I’ve been feeling pretty good. I tire very quickly – especially when going up stairs. I did my first preggy yoga class and loved it, although I was shattered after the class. I will be continuing with the classes. I still don’t feel like my boobs have gotten any bigger. A lot of people have said that I look like I’ve lost weight everywhere else, which is good I guess. I have only put on just under 4kg the whole pregnancy so far.

Moments since the last post? We have painted the nursery finished. We are very happy with the outcome, although it was a lot of very hot, tiring work, it will be good to know that we put the effort in and did the work. Here are our pictures documenting all the work.

Miss anything? I’m not really missing anything. I’m still not sleeping well and I know that’s just going to continue, so I’ve stopped missing that.

Movement? Loving this little dancer! Lots and lots of movement. The most annoying habit is that baba loves to bounce on my cervix, particularly when I’m in a meeting or something like that. I feel lots of movement often during the day.

Any weird Food issues? Still loving frozen grapes and all kinds of fruit. The heat makes me very anti cooking which has not been great for our budget.

Gender? We still aren’t finding out, but it’s getting harder with each visit. I had a dream in these last couple weeks where I introduced the baby with my girl’s name, so now I really don’t know. We still mostly refer to baby has a “he”, but we would be perfectly happy with either gender.

Looking forward to? Our baby moon this weekend – we are camping in one of my favourite places. It is also the Clarens Craft Beer Festival, which B will very much enjoy. Unfortunately none of our friends are able to join us. This is our third year going and we love the atmosphere. I don’t normally drink beer, so for me it’s never been about the beer, but it is just a festive day and there is really good food. The location is amazing too.  Photos from this site.

Clarens Golden Gate

I am also really looking forward to our 4D scan next week. And mostly looking forward to February being over, in hopes of having some cooler weather.

For those that are interested, I have posted a few photos in the preggy gallery, but I’m going to end with one more. This is B’s favourite photo of me so far – barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen!!

IMG_1367

 

Week 21 – 23 Update

Ok – so I am being awful at keeping this blog updated! I keep reading other people’s blog posts and never get round to posting my own update. Like someone else said, when you’ve been through what we have, it feels awkward just posting week on week that things are going well. I do acknowledge that things aren’t always peachy, but so far this pregnancy is actually going very well and I am enjoying it and really starting to get excited. It’s been a busy few weeks since my last post. I have had a few moments of doubts, but generally it’s not major issues. My psychologist still says I’m doing really well, and I do overall feel that I am. But having been through loss, and read the stories of other’s losses, I know that I won’t truly be completely free and easy with any pregnancy until I have my baby in my arms. With that said, here is the update for the last couple of weeks. I will post updated photos in the gallery later this week.

Baby is the size of a grapefruit or mango depending on the app.

courtesy of TheBump.com

courtesy of TheBump.com

How far along are you? I am 23 weeks and 1 day already, about 118 days to go still.

What’s happening with the baby? We had a really awesome scan for our big anatomy scan just over 20 weeks. BSquirt’s spine is perfect – we even got a pic. Heather checked for cleft lip & palate so we got to see baby’s face – while she was looking at that baby put his/her hand up in front of their face. It was very cute. The brain, heart, bladder and kidneys are all looking good. Baby was measuring on track at between 2ow6d and 21w4d  – averaged out to exactly correct, so my due date remains the same for now. BSquirt is very active, especially when I lie back on the couch in the evenings – Dad and Aunty Cam have both felt good kicks. I got a kick on the inside of my hip bone the other day which was a really weird feeling.

What’s happening with my body? I am definitely showing now – No more mistaking this for too much food at Christmas anymore lol. I have ordered some maternity clothes online and expect them next week. I have started using the hairband trick to keep some of my pants on, since I don’t have that much of a flexible wardrobe yet. I did get two pairs of pyjama pants which are working quite well as maternity pants for now. Although the grey pair really looks a bit too casual for work. I have a lot of new skin tags and most of my moles are growing a lot – Dr P says this is all normal, but it is a bit weird. My finger nails are the longest and strongest they have ever been which is pretty cool! My chiropractor is seeing me every 3 weeks now rather than every 4 since I seem to be getting much more tense. I am also swimming a lot (well standing around in the pool), since it has been really hot and it is really comfortable to take the weight off my belly. My belly button and tattoo on my belly are getting rather stretched. The only reason I know my belly button is getting bigger is that I am now noticing the scar from my appendectomy.

Moments since the last post? It has been a busy few weeks. My In-Laws were staying with us for 10 days around the time of my scan. It was lovely to see them and we have a really nice visit. While they were here we visited B’s Aunt and Uncle who live on the South Coast and that was a really lovely day. While there we went to the beach. B & I went to put our feet in the sea and a very large wave was approaching. We both turned to run, and he was in front of me. I managed to fall over and when he turned around after being told to help me all he did was laugh! It was a very funny moment, but that seemed to be the start of me falling over. I fell over walking to the shops during the week again and grazed my knee. While B’s parents were here his father helped us get started on our nursery and his mom sewed the new curtains for the nursery. I’m very excited to have a lot of these things started and it is now feeling very real. This weekend B & I painted the ceiling in the nursery. Yesterday we bought our pram – we had to change the original colour we liked, but we got a 10% discount on their sale which made me very happy.

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Miss anything? Not really – pretty much the things I have been missing already. Sleeping late, taking good drugs, being able to sleep comfortably and some foods. Also I miss my parents. It was lovely having B’s folks here, but it really made me miss my folks a bit. When I sent my Mom the pic above she mentioned that she feels like she’s missing out on stuff, and it’s kinda true. We try to keep them updated, but it’s just not the same.

Movement? Oh Yeah! The flutters have now changed to definite movements, and B is able to feel them most evenings. BSquirt is definitely most active between 5 and 6am and in the evenings when we sit down for dinner – around 7pm for an hour or so.

Any weird Food issues? I am in love with frozen grapes. I eat a bunch almost every nights. I do find that when my brain decides I want something, that it really hangs on to that for ages. It took me almost 3 weeks before I finally found a place that did potstickers – as it turned out it was our house when I bought them at the Chinese supermarket. I was so glad to finally get to eat them, I could let that craving settle down for a bit.

Gender? I’ve had another dream that it was a boy, so now my gut changes from day to day. Most people close to me are saying boy. B and Aunty Cam are both adamant that it’s a boy. But I guess we’ll wait and see.

Looking forward to? Finishing the nursery – we need to finish painting the room, then get the guys in to sand and finish the floors, then we can start to put all the decor stuff in. It really is beginning to feel real now! Other things we have coming up in the next few weeks are my next appointment on 11 Feb and our 4D scan on 28 Feb which my sister (Aunty Cam) is coming to. In between there we are going for a weekend camping trip to the mountains – it just happens to also be the weekend that the Craft Beer Fest is on, and is our 5 year anniversary of being together that weekend too. So there are lots of fun things to look forward to in the coming month or so.

HALFWAY! Looking forwards and backwards.

I can’t believe that I am half way through this pregnancy already! It has both dragged and flown by! I can’t believe that I haven’t done a proper update in almost a month either. I apologise to my avid followers. I don’t really have any real excuse except that I was being super lazy. In South Africa the 16th of December is a public holiday, so the whole festive season kinda starts then. It didn’t help that it was a Monday and gave everyone a long weekend, which made for a real start to the laziness. I worked right through until the 24th and also kinda worked on the 27th, but it was all such random work, that it didn’t really feel all that much like work.

Christmas Eve was very low key, with my sister and her friend coming over for dinner. I did a really good ham recipe that I found online, with salads and roast potatoes. We had a really yummy Panettone trifle for dessert. After they left we started our new Christmas Eve tradition of watching a Christmas movie together. This year we watched Nightmare Before Christmas. On Christmas Day it was just B and I. We spent the morning slowly getting up (and staying in the aircon), we then had a lovely breakfast of leftover ham and fried eggs, and then opened our presents. I got another angel for my collection (it’s kinda become a tradition with him that I get some sort of angel decoration every year), Matt Preston’s (a judge on MasterChef Australia) latest cookbook, and some lovely lingerie that I had kinda picked out and sent the details to him a couple of months ago. I got him a case of craft beer that he was very excited about, and other bits and pieces. We then spent most of the day in the pool while we cooked a turkey on the Weber (kettle BBQ). It was delicious! The 26th is a holiday here as well, and it was also spent lazing around the pool and doing very little. We both had to work on the 27th, but then we were off for the rest of the year LOL

It was lovely having B home for 10 days. We had great plans of cooking and baking and getting things ready around the house, but we accomplished none of that. We slept in, we swam, we caught up on the whole season of MasterChef Australia Season 5 and just enjoyed being lazy together. We also ate a lot of leftovers and a lot of cookies! New Years Eve I was treated to dinner at one of the top restaurants in Durban, and we had a fabulous meal, with fantastic service. Knowing it will probably be a few years before we can do that sort of thing on NYE again, made it extra special. I really loved not starting the new year with a dirty kitchen too! I tried really hard to stay up, but only made it to 11:15pm LOL. I got a kiss at midnight from B.

Our family has a tradition of always going to a movie together on New Year’s Day. This year the movie was supposed to be The Hobbit part 2. My parents saw it a little early in Canada, and my sister and I made all the plans to see it on New Year’s Day as usual. Well the movie house managed to mess it up so badly they restarted 3 times but couldn’t get the sound right so we ended up getting a refund. B hates going to the movies, so he is now insisting that we will watch it when it comes on Netflix and invite everyone over for a movie night. So the traditional movie this year didn’t happen. It’s a tradition I want to try really hard to hang on to, as it came from my Dad’s side of the family. Hopefully we can make it work.

I started feeling confirmed flutter from BSquirt about a week or so before Christmas, but by Christmas I was very sure that that was what I was feeling. It is now becoming quite distinct which I am really loving. So here is the update:

Baby is the size of a banana, or a carrot, or a coconut, depending on which app I’m looking at. It’s a bit confusing. as they seem like very different sized fruit.

howbigisbaby_week20

For this in metric that’s about 25cm and about 300 grams

How far along are you? Today I am 20W3d.

What’s happening with the baby? Baby is swallowing amniotic fluid and is gaining weight all the time. Eyelashes, eyebrows and hair are getting thicker. Foetal kicks are more prominent now. Baby has functional taste buds and can hear noises from outside the womb.

What’s happening with my body? I am showing quite a bit now. Strangers still aren’t sure, but people who know can definitely see that I am pregnant. I actually got some really restful nights’ sleep while we were on leave which was lovely, but since this past weekend I’ve had vivid dreams and nightmares every night. My nipples are still itching a lot, but I’m a little disappointed that my boobs haven’t grown as much as I hoped they would by now. My whole life all I wanted was decent boobs LOL. Otherwise I have had very few other symptoms. I am struggling with the heat, but that happens normally, although I am feeling it more than usual I think.

Moments since the last post? I posted above about Christmas and New Years. These were the really good moments. B also got to feel the faintest of kicks the other night when baby was being particularly active. Just enjoying the time together has been the highlight. We also started shopping for nursery items – we have bought our cot and we bought the paint to redo the room. My in-laws are coming down next week for my scan so Mum in Law will be working on the curtains which will be very exciting.

Miss anything? I had a small glass of bubbly on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and enjoyed them, but other than that haven’t had anything much to drink. We have discovered that Sodastream makes cocktail flavoured syrups, so I have been having lots of mocktails. I have been missing sushi a bit as it’s so hot, and it’s such a nice lunch time food in this heat. But other than that I’ve been pretty good and not really missing anything much.

Movement? YES! 🙂 I’m loving feeling baby inside me and like all the books say baby is definitely active when I settle down. This is usually in the evenings when we settle on the couch to watch our shows for the night.

Any weird Food issues? Still mostly fruit and not so much of the chips anymore.

Gender? We aren’t going to find out, but the votes are coming in and are going about half and half right now. B still is sure it’s a boy, I’m tending to lean towards girl now, although I was sure it was a boy early on. I guess only time will tell 🙂

Looking forward to? Our big scan on the 15th. I’m also looking forward to having my in-laws here as Mum and I will go shopping for fabrics and stuff for the baby’s room. I’m also really looking forward to getting bigger, even in this heat! We are spending lots of time in the pool and it has been lovely, very nice on my body, so I’m looking forward to lots of afternoon swims. For those in the frozen north, to give you an idea of our heat our high temp today is allegedly 29C (85F), but when we left for work this morning at 8am the car registered 33C (92F). So I think it’s well above what the app says. And next month is only the height of summer here.

Week 16 based on our New Dates

We had our 16 week scan with Dr P and baby has consistently measured 6 days ahead of my LMP, so we will now work on the new dates.

Baby is the size of an avocado. Perhaps tonight calls for guacamole?

avocado

How far along are you? New dates I am 16w3d. Revised due date is 24 May 2014

What’s happening with the baby? Baby was in a ball with feet over head, so we didn’t get many good pics. Heather, the awesome sonographer, measured head circumference, waist circumference and femur length, and all of those were measuring about the same gestation. She said baby was “very good”. Baby’s eyes can now detect light, baby shows purposeful movement such as thumb sucking and is now “breathing” the amniotic fluid. Heather was happy with the fluid around baby and the state and location of my placenta. So everything is looking good.

What’s happening with my body? I am starting to show a bit. Clothes are getting tight. Hubby and close friends can see a bump, but not many others yet. My nipples are itchy and definitely getting darker and larger. Sleep is still elusive! I fall sound asleep fairly early in the evenings, but I am awake early and very fidgety. This bugs B!

Moments since the last post? It’s been an eventful week and a bit. Last week our country, and the world, lost Nelson Mandela. This has made for a very introspective time in SA. It was not a shock to me, nor was reading about the theories as to why it was announced when it was. Today is his memorial service in Johannesburg and reading about the service has been interesting. I believe that Madiba was an amazing man who brought about peaceful change in our country and was an incredibly significant man. It is amazing for me to have lived through his legacy in South Africa.

On Friday afternoon we discovered that our baby cat had been hit by a car sometime during the day. Tapioca was my baby and was the most affectionate cat I have ever had. He will be sorely missed in our household. Our domestic worker was so sad about it when I told her yesterday that she couldn’t work. He just had a way of going straight to anyone’s heart strings. This is my beautiful boy:

Tapioca 2 months old

Tapioca 2 months old

Tapioca Mommy's Boy

Tapioca Mommy’s Boy

We have had good moments this week though! We put up the last of our Christmas Decorations and I started wrapping presents for family and friends. I have also started to put together my Christmas box of goodies that I am sending my parents who are in Canada. I love Christmas and have really been enjoying all the Christmas music I want in our rental car, as it has a bluetooth radio and can play from my iPhone.

Miss anything? Like Miss Rain said – I miss being able to take good drugs for pain. I’ve had a horrible spasm in my lower back that the chiro can’t work on because of the pregnancy. And I know two decent pills would help it release, but I can’t take them. Instead I do my best to stretch it out. I also miss not being the designated driver at EVERY function lately. And there are lots at this time of the year!

Movement? Nothing for certain yet, Dr P says we could have a Christmas present and feel something for sure around then. Either way we should be feeling it soon. It’s been a tough couple of weeks since my nausea abated, and I haven’t really had any other concrete symptoms. It was a huge relief to see baby’s heartbeat this morning.

Any weird Food issues? I have a thing at the moment for take away chips – particularly from KFC and Steers. Both have these flavoured salts on them which I just love right now. And still loads of fruit. I ate a whole punnet of grapes for lunch today.

Gender? We aren’t going to find out, but the general consensus seems to be a boy. I haven’t got any of the obvious signs though – no linea nigera, or other body symptoms. We haven’t done any of the old wives methods yet either.

Looking forward to? Christmas – Our last one just the two of us. We aren’t seeing any family on the day except my sister possibly, for the first time since we’ve been dating! It’s going to be nice to just be the two of us and very relaxed. This weekend we are going to Joburg for B’s Mom’s 71st birthday celebrations. B and I splurged and booked a B&B rather than stay with friends again and I am really looking forward to that. This is where we are staying, in the black and gold Room 3. I’m not looking forward to the drive though.

And we are also looking forward to making it official on Facebook:

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