Thursday, April 30, 2009


We're lucky enough to have a photo session for Laurent and Lily today. Anyone who knows me knows I am ever so slightly (okay... completely and utterly...) obsessed with photos and one of the things I really wanted was to have some special photos from the time around Lily being a newborn. I have the ones I've taken of course but while I don't do the worst in the world I'm certainly no pro either and those newborn days go by so quickly, so despite it being not a 'strictly essential' expenditure I refused to spend years regretting not having done so and took some of the gift money for a photo session. La was a total ham of course, little cheeky-cheeks that he is... not that anyone who knows him would expect otherwise. A few sneak peeks should be online later tonight, though the proof gallery will take a bit longer. I am so excited!

I forgot to journal it but Tuesday was also Sierra's 7th birthday! Happy birthday to my bestest nubby-wigglebutt girl!

She was the most beautiful baby and my special treasure and still is.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pictures and such

These are actually from a some days back now, taken at Jayne's housewarming party. La discovered swirly tennis along with B and thought it was absolutely the coolest. I just like the shots because I'm prone to going gushy remembering how little he used to be. (Blame the hormones...) In fact, when he and B first met they were 1 month and 3 months old respectively.

Not the best shots but I love the cute-little-boys factor... they've grown into such gorgeous little people. :)

And this is X, whom we've known pretty much as long through AB meet-ups although being as he and his mum live further away we haven't seen anywhere near as much. Despite this they had a blast playing.

And of course, requisite shots of Lilypillie... mostly zonked, occasionally with eyes open! LOL

I have been so annoyed with my camera as these are the only pics that have been decent this week! It's too chilly to take pictures outside and with rain and hail, lighting has been very bad inside for natural light shots as my camera hates low light. A lot. From what I've read it's a digital "thing" as it only goes to F2.8 and in low light the camera gears down shutter speed to get good exposure - which means F2.8 and 1/30th which in turn means blur and noise even with a tripod, shutter remote and bumped ISO.

Not much to report on the dog front. I've really just sort of taken a time out from it all. I'm semi-thinking about going back to training next week but I'm not really sure if I'm ready or not. I haven't really had the heart to go since Cami as moving forward means leaving that point of life behind and and I lost out on agility unfortunately. I went to the ASCV's open show and herding, just to watch on Sat and that was hard enough. It took me a long while to get out of the car and my thoughts were wandering to her most of the time. I've also been very remiss in attending e-mails as well, taking ages to reply to anyone, which I feel awful about as it's really rude. A bit of it is because spare time for the computer is a bit more sparse these days but a lot of it if I'm honest just comes from failing to find words in reply to anything to do with it. Not feeling guilty is impossible and not missing her is just not going to happen, no matter how overjoyed I am with Lily and thankful that she along with Laurent, Sierra, Hope, Verity, Jasper, the sheep and birds are all here, healthy and wonderful. On that rather brooding note, the good moments do outweigh the bad and I am doing okay before I worry anyone - it's just that the sadness of the bad moments still walks very near to me.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Night-feeds are one of the 'best of times, worst of times' aspects of babies. Every mother who has rocked a child to sleep has probably hit at point where there is little they wouldn't give for just five more minutes of sleep and I'm no exception to that - there were plenty of such points with La given how unsettled he often was with reflux. I do love the secret moments of quiet intimacy curled up in the night nursing and rocking my bubbas though.

Last night most of Lily's feeds involved snuffling from her spot next to me, being scooped up, feeding and falling back off into her dreams pleasantly warm and full without ever fully waking. At around 4:30 she woke up more properly after needing a change and I held her drinking in the moment while gazing into wise little old eyes, rocking gently back and forth while inhaling the scent of newbornness. We listened to the rain tapping on the roof and the winds rushing around the house while we were snug in bed, warm blankets nested around us, the scent from the oil burner still lingering slightly, the only light for as far as I could see the soft light from my little lamp until she drifted back off and was snuggled down next to me again.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lily's Birth Story

A lot of Lily's birth has it's roots in Laurent's. His birth was far from ideal but while a number of things happened that shouldn't have, in terms of hospital births and the horror stories out there I considered it fairly mild and I'd been able to advocate for myself well enough most of the time.

When I first thought of TTC our second, I knew I could go into a hospital and advocate for myself again although I'd go into it with independent support this time. However the more I thought not only in terms of what I didn't want but what I did want and what fit with the physiological and psychological process of birthing, the more apparent it was to that what I was thinking of when I pictured this birth was a home birth.

Having now had such a beautiful experience with my home birth, I honestly can't picture choosing to go back into a hospital system for future births unless there was a genuine need to do so. The possibility of the law making that impossible is a disturbing one. The difference in care and the whole experience was just night and day even though compared to many hospital births Laurent's was not particularly awful.

Choosing midwives was easy... I'd met Andrea, who would be my primary midwife, through birthing meetings and felt very comfortable with her. Helen who became our other midwife I met through Andrea and was likewise instantly comfortable with. The pregnancy went so smoothly I didn't even really feel pregnant until the last few weeks and even then I was only slowed by a cold and loss of Cami rather than the pregnancy. By 36 weeks I was having a fair number of braxton-hicks and in the last week and a bit proper contractions occasionally for a week or so. With Laurent's labor I had no show, no loss of mucous plug, no backache, never lost my waters (he was born in the caul) only a measly few painless braxton hicks some days before - just went to bed at midnight and woke up at 2am in full labor contractions only a few minutes apart so it was hard to be patient when it felt so near!

On the morning of the 8th, Nic asked me if I'd like to sleep in a bit more and I said yes as I'd slept very poorly. I dozed 10 minutes before I felt my waters go, jumped up out of bed and whooped excitedly to Nic to bring me breakfast because I was in labor! I popped online to post the good news, feeling giddy and cheering and rang the midwives to leave messages labor had started. In the meantime I had breakfast and by the time I finished maybe 10-15 minutes later contractions had progressed in strength and intensity to about every 3-5 minutes apart, maybe 30-40 seconds each and quickly ramping up. Nic was flustered having slept through Laurent's early labor until shortly before we left. I told him to relax but he wanted to ring around and since it gave him something to do I waved him off and simply focused on moving into the contractions. Finally he came back and told me he'd heard from Helen who was on her way, while Andrea, my primary midwife was just wrapping up at an earlier birth and would be over soon.

Helen arrived at 1 o'clock, announced by the girls. My contractions were hitting hard, fast and heavy and I moaned and breathed through them. In between one of the contractions she asked if it was alright to check bubs heart rate, offered me some water and brought almond oil for my lips but otherwise just letting me focus internally and occasionally quietly affirming I was doing well. I just nodded and said I knew. I was thinking to myself I had several hours of this to go despite the contractions being close together when she said she saw the head. I think it'd have been 20 minutes after when Andrea arrived and Helen stepped back to let her ask how I was going when I had a moment between contractions. I told her I wouldn't mind if there were at least few seconds between one contraction for a breather, still a bit disbelieving I could be so near to the end. Nic was in and out and La was in at a few points, giving me pats and a hug as she quietly chatted to him about his sister coming before he left again to go play.

Only minutes after I felt a shift in the sensation, a sort of tremendous pressure and stretching and began bearing down. I felt a bit surprised that this was it... everyone always talked about the ring of fire or how it was the most painful experience and while this hurt it was a hurt of intensity rather than agony. I hollered it out - loudly, which surprisingly did make it feel better! Meanwhile Nic and Laurent had gone out to the garden a bit previous, so Helen quickly went to fetch them. La had apparently already heard me as she was starting to crown though and told Nic I was ouchie and he needed to go help me. They had just enough time for Nic to start snapping photos while Helen held Laurent, as Andrea supported bubs head as it emerged.

With the next contraction after her head, she slipped out and Andrea brought her up and into my arms, with a towel wrapped around her. Having started with waters bursting at around 10:30, Lily had arrived by 12:42 though it seemed so much shorter to me! Time spent pushing was a mere 4 minutes. I dried her off for a moment and was asked if I'd like to move to the couch to rest while we waited for the placenta. The midwives got a bunch of the blankets to make me a cozy little nest and I sat down and asked if I could get some lemonade and a few biscuits.

The placenta took it's time to arrive, by that point the cord had stopped pulsing and I asked to have it cut, the placenta was irritating me by taking it's time and I wanted to be able to shift without having to manage the cord attached to bubs. The cord was clamped and Nic cut it. Our student midwife Sharron who'd been following my pregnancy had rushed from class to make it when Andrea had texted her and made it unfortunately literally minutes too late for the actual birth. La had 'In The Night Garden' on in the background, I was just relaxed listening to everyone chat over teas occasionally pipping up between baby gazing. I was a bit wobbly but eventually the placenta arrived after some lazy contractions, was in-tact and healthy so we were able to get cleaned up and dressed.

After everyone eventually left I posted some photos and news around 6pm to update everyone and after took a bit of a nap. So that was that and Lily was born. I really couldn't believe it was so quick and easy and felt like I could do that again. Pretty bad when straight after you're already clucky for more! LOL Lily has been the most cruisey, contented baby... totally not fussed by anything really. What more can you ask for really?

Friday, April 17, 2009

An alternative use for crocs

Soaking in blissful cuddles and newborn bubbaness

La on "Jack" the horse (Don't look at me... he pulled the name out of thin air and proclaimed him Jack... we don't even KNOW a Jack!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter photos

The three of us, trying to get La to pose for a nice photo before we hand him his easter gift.

Wonders never cease... he held still!

After opening his gift - a bunny dinnerware set with a chocolate egg - bright, shiney and green! Despite how big it looks it's hollow, so it's not actually much chocolate but still plenty to have him pinging off the walls!

Lily let me get a picture of her with her eyes open despite the lighting!

And just a lovely view of a sunny day... looking through some of the rhododendrons toward the paddock. Nic and Laurent have been working on building a large 3 bay compost system from recycled roofing to handle the amounts our property generates. La is loving being the helpful helper.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yes, I'm spamming you all with photos...

You'll all just have to indulge me a bit, newborns are just so lovely. Besides, it's remarkably novel to have the little person I'm trying to get a photograph of not darting about at the speed of light for a change!

Unfortunately I've not been able to get a picture of her eyes open so far, although she's quite an alert little critter (especially at, oh, about 4 am) because we're not keen on keeping them open when the light is decent to get a snapshot, so you'll just have to trust me... she does wake up! I think mostly everyone has heard by now but in case there's a few who haven't, we also settled on using the name we'd originally liked - so she is officially Lily Ariane.

Meanwhile despite us having an overall much quieter Easter than usual, La still got to have a bit of fun activity as while mum and our midwife had another little visit he got to see the local display, do a colouring page to hang in the local shops, got a chocolate egg and got his face painted which was deemed beyond way too cool for words! Not that it stopped him from telling me using every very excited word of thrill he knows of course, bless him!

The request was for a bunny, given that's his nickname but he decided it looked more like a cat and spent the remainder of the afternoon burning off the chocolate high running around on all fours meowing, purring and swatting Jasper's toys while insisting he was "Jasp-berger"!

He is so far settling into the whole big brother role pretty easily. Granted I give it a few more weeks before he realizes she's permanent and we run into adjustment but at the moment he thinks she's pretty neat and is rather fascinated between the ideas of it being the same baby inside mum that is now on the outside. Mind you she is not allowed to fuss a single second before I'm informed by Sir Bossy Boots on the proper care of a baby - "Mummy, bubby needs bibi!" You can cut and paste for a cuddle, nappy check, burping or any other care or interaction he reckons she needs as well. LOL I'm also frequently given a running commentary on exactly how that care should be going. It's the left bibi, not the right one she had last (because the difference isn't obvious enough...) and she needs to open her mouth real wide (complete with demonstrations) etc. which is hilarious and adorable at the same time.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A few pics from the day

The first night was pretty uneventful - all the usual staples of newborndom: eat, sleep, poo, repeat. Over all she seems as easy going on the outside as she was inside - something I think must be a surprise to a few people given what a determined little livewire her brother is! (And he was one since the word go btw...)

I have been good and taking it easy as well. Had A, our primary midwife and S out today for a check-up though and I got the skeptical eye when she spotted the electrical cord on the porch and a log. "You WEREN'T cutting firewood -were- you???" (For the record, no I wasn't! It was for the mulcher and from the morning before... honest!)

Since it was such a lovely day we had to enjoy a bit of it outside though...

The critters were all curious, or possibly just wondering where their treats were yesterday and expecting double-goodies today. In the meantime bubs has discovered the fine joys of slings and is loving it. (Girls NOT in this shot as they will eat chook and sheep feed... or really, any food or a foodlike substance... they're Aussie Shepherds after all!)

La is slightly chuffed at being able to hold her.
"Aw mum, she's really, really beautiful isn't she?"

La is rather unfussed by the whole turn of events, aside from the points he gets to hold her when he's quite chuffed with himself. Yep. There's a baby but it's usually just sleeping and there's paintings to paint, soccerballs to kick, girls to play with and other very important things to discourse on... like the fact there's a moth flying outside the window. Now moths are truly newsworthy stuff!

The most noteworthy aspect of the labor and birth for him are that "Bubby made a BIG mess in mud puddles!" (read: the show of blood) which is apparently terribly funny. Other than that, he's been pretty cute although he's still feeling a bit under the weather. After everyone had left following her birth and we were having a little rest he patted me on the shoulder while looking at her and said, "Aw mum, well DONE!"

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

She's here! :-)

After a VERY quick labor bubs is here!

Waters went at 10:30 this morning, with contractions happily underway 3-5 mins apart shortly after and she arrived at 12:42 after a whole 4 minutes of pushing, a couple of minor grazes when I was a bit enthusiastic in pushing but otherwise I'm feeling very good. Wobbled off to the couch for lemonade and cookies while she had her feeds after she arrived waiting for the placenta. She measures 50 cm long and 3.74kg, so a bit more dainty than La who weighed in at nearly 4.2 kg. Most of the time since has been spent waiting for the placenta to hurry up - it was in less of a hurry than her!

La was gorgeous throughout and right there when she was born. When bubs was crowning and I hollered, he stopped and told Nic "Mummy is ouchy, I need to go help mummy!" Aw, my sweet little man.

Lots more pics on the camera but a few of them...