My dearling Harland. 

I remember your birth like it was yesterday.

They called your daddy into the hospital as it was time to meet you. You decided you didn’t want to be inside anymore and made it known. A little early, but you couldn’t wait. The twisting and turning was horrible, but it was time. 

My doctors and specialists and  anesthetists gathered and made the decision to bring you into the world, kicking and screaming. I think I did most of the screaming. You didn’t. You needed a lot of help to get going. We could have lost you…glad we didn’t. 

You were so so tiny. 

You were safe under the watchful eye of your daddy while the team worked on me.  Trying to stop things that were bleeding, trying not to damage anymore organs, calling out for the on call team to come and fix the mess created when you entered the world. 

But no matter how much blood I lost, or holes in organs that were created, I made it through to be with you. 

The first day I only had your photo. I wanted to reach out and touch you so much. You looked so snugly wrapped up. Daddy had the cuddles while I couldn’t. It broke my heart not being there for you. Only a floor away but it felt like miles.  

The first time I met you I cried. You were such a little thing. I was so weak there wasn’t much I could do for you except hold you. Someone else was feeding you. Changing you. Talking to you. It wasn’t fair. 

Over the next week and a bit I gained some strength and made sure I was there more.  A few ups and plenty of downs but nothing was keeping me from you. You got more and more of my milk. I pumped like a mother. You needed me so I pushed on. 

Leaving hospital when you were just 13 days old was extraordinary. It felt like a jail break. I just wanted to be home with my family. 

We had a few crazy weeks with me healing and many hospital visits. But we got there and finally everyone was well. 

I have loved you before I met you. You have been an amazing addition to my life. Your brothers love you. Your daddy loves you. You have your moments but I couldn’t imagine life without you. 

Happy first birthday Harland. Keep amazing us. 


2016: the year that sucks the big one

Yes, I’m quite aware it’s not over yet but I’m over it. I may as well wrap it up now as what else can be thrown our way in the next few months?

This year has proven to be one of my hardest. Health issues for me, my baby and my family. 

Apart from having a highly stressful pregnancy which ended in spectacular fashion, ongoing issues for months, my husband and both older boys battling their own flu while I was trying to keep baby inside of me, my mother in law getting admitted to hospital, her sister having a stroke and my husband having to hot foot it down to Victoria to see her before she passed away while I was in hospital (she survived and is still going strong at 96!) My baby and I are now battling a bad case of the flu. 

Sadly this one has put him in hospital. This has smashed him and hard. For 3 weeks his little body has been battling and winning but 2 nights ago it was time to get help. 

We came in at 3am and stupidly hoping they would check him over, he would smile and they would send us on our way, it was not to be. 

His oxygen levels were low. A normal person has 100% oxygen. He was flipping between 88-95% depending on if he was sitting up or laying down. They put the little prongs up his nose and he sat comfortably on 95%. 

One of his other issues was his cough. It had been hanging around for weeks. We were lucky to have results negative to whooping cough. Do not look it up on You Tube. You will need tissues. He did come back positive for Influenza Type A. 

The third issue is feeding. He either won’t feed or very small feeds before screaming and coughing then passing out from exhaustion. For the last 3 days his wet nappies are few and far between. 

They like 2 mils per kilo of body weight per hour. So he weighs 6.8 kg (let’s round up to 7) so he needs 14 mils output each hour. So over a 6 hour period he should have approx 84 mils worth of wee. He has had 11-40 mils over this time. I love numbers….

This has become a concern. Dehydration in babies is dangerous. Over night we were woken every 2 hours for feeding. Worse than having a newborn! He had tiny feeds then back to sleep. I’m lucky he’s suck a good night sleeper. But still no out put. 

So this morning they had to insert a feeding tube and he’s currently on Hydralite to hopefully get those fluids back up. I’m on the pump as milk has to go somewhere. 

The next step and I really hope we don’t have to get there, is a cannula for fluids. I have first hand experience with cannula’s and wouldn’t wish that on my baby. 

The hospital has been wonderful. The staff have been amazing. They don’t advocate co-sleeping due to fall risk and I completely understand however it’s the only way we were to get rest. So bless them, they got us a bed and set us up and told me ‘just don’t drop him, get some sleep’. 

So now we wait. They have just reduced his oxygen and with any luck he can come off that today. Then he just needs to prove he can wet that nappy! Can’t wait to get me happy baby back.  

I’m one of “those” mums

Don’t hate me but….

My baby sleeps. Sleeps really well. 

Sleeps in his bed, in the pram, in the carrier, snuggled up with me…he sleeps!

Not the car…hates the car. 

And I love it. Who wouldn’t?

When Marshal was born I was so hung up on getting him to sleep and everything had to be by the book, it was exhausting. 

Maverick was a horrid sleeper from day 1 and it took him 2.5 years to sleep through the night. More exhausting. He is still exhausting. 

This one is just super! A dream child. I honestly get 7-9 hours sleep a night. Never felt better. Co sleeping is brilliant!!! He fusses, shove a boob in his mouth, back to sleep. Awesome. 

Yes, he has had a few nights where we end up watching shit movies at 3am and very little sleep, but probably no more than 10 nights. In 15 weeks. Granted I spent 3 weeks in hospital and 2 of those he was in NICU, but I think that’s pretty good. 

Plus he sleeps through all the noise. No need to tell the others to shut up as Harland just sleeps peacefully. 

And not only is he great at sleeping, he’s just content. He can be on the floor for ages! Happily laying there watching his brother bicker and carry on for a good hour before letting me know he’s done and ready for bed. 

A lot probably comes down to me being calmer. I’m not as stressed for some reason. I don’t watch the clock. Sleep is sleep no matter where he is. As long as he’s getting it and I’m not fighting him. 

Maybe he realises all the bullshit I went through to get him here and this is his present to me? Wouldn’t that be nice. Maybe that’s another reason why I’ve managed to heal quickly (it’s felt like forever but 15 weeks is pretty quick for what happened…)

I wonder if this lasts for long. Maybe it’s a premmie thing and next week all hell will break loose….here’s hoping it doesn’t. 

Back to sleep

Months ago I said to myself I didn’t want to co-sleep with this baby. I did it for over 2 years with Maverick and just didn’t want to do it again. 

But somehow I’ve ended up here again. 

And honestly, I don’t hate it. 

Having spent so long in hospital and away from Harland in those first few weeks, I feel this little guy needs a bit more loving and cuddles. He’s a great sleeper. Yes, he has his moments and there has been many nights that we’ve ended up on the couch watching shitty 2am movies, but he’s a gazillion times better sleeper than Maverick ever was. 

I tried to put him back to his bed in those first few weeks at home. I needed to rest and recover but soon figured out it was easier staying in bed than getting up hourly. Feeding him was easy and he (generally) went back to sleep after a feed. 

Plus it’s winter and freezing so staying in bed seemed like a better idea. 

So we are back to co-sleeping or bed sharing or sleeping as I like to call it. This is the first time I’m not sleep deprived. I’ve recovered quickly from the surgeries, and I think cuddling this little guy all night has helped with that. 

He seems happy with the deal. And I get to snuggle and smell and kiss him as much as I want. There can’t be anything bad about that. 

Day 3: hit by a bus

Then times that by about 68. That’s how I feel right now. 

What a fucking nightmare the last week has been. A roller coaster for sure, but scarier than you’ve even been on. 

It all went pear shaped on Saturday night. I’d been having small bleeds on and off since Tuesday but Saturday they decided to take me back upstairs for monitoring. Lucky they did. 

Around 10.30 (I think-things are quite groggy still) I sat up and started bleeding like a horror film. Covered the bed, the floor and it just wasn’t stopping. My husband was called in and we were told one more bleed it would all be done and surgery would happen. 

I didn’t bleed again but I started getting hot and sweaty and blacking out and vommitty. Signs things weren’t going well. The doctor made the right decision to call time for surgery. 

Of course I lost my mind. Baby is too small, I was totally not ready, but it had to be done. 

They worked amazingly fast to get me prepped. Once I was wheeled to theatre they had to get more cannulas in. Bigger ones. One thing I’ve learnt being in hospital is my veins don’t work. I was already up to 4 cannulas with 8 attempts in 5 days. After me screaming in pain the head lady kicked everyone out of the way and got a needle in. Said the rest can be done later. I’ve since counted 25 holes in my arms.  Not including my central line in my neck. 

the damage done to my arm during surgey. getting blacker by the day.

 Then the next thing I knew I was crying and being put to sleep. 

Waking up with a tube and oxygen is scary. My neck is still sore from it. I spent the first day in icu. It’s all a blur but I remember having the physio telling me to breathe deep and cough. Don’t know what that was about. I couldn’t see straight let alone cough! But that’s about it. My mum and husband were there and rightfully worried. 

I lost 5 litres of blood during the operation. That’s really all you have! So my blood belongs to others and for that I am eternally grateful. As the doctor said ‘you’re lucky to be alive.’ Pretty terrifying to hear that. 

When they got to my cervix to remove it, I was dilating and at 3cm. So the need for surgery was right. They couldn’t wait. It could have gone even more wrong!! I thank the doctors on that night for making the choice and being on the ball. 

They performed a hysterectomy, which we knew would happen, and I’m ok for now about it, but once they started removing my uterus my bladder was damaged along with my ureters. They have been repaired for now but who knows the on going issues I’ll face. 

Baby wasn’t breathing due to me being under general anathestic. But they got him going after 12 minutes apparently. But his oxygen levels were always good so there shouldn’t be issues. 

He’s doing great. I think he’s so tiny but my other boys have weighed over 4kg and this little guy is only 2.68kg. So a good deal less. But real baby size. I’m happy I make big baby’s. He came at 34.2 weeks so he’s got a bit of growing to do. He’s sleeping and eating and popping and I don’t have to do any of it. I’ve only had 3 cuddles so far as we are still trying to work out pain management. I am not tolerating the medications so it’s all a balancing act right now. 

Getting up and moving has been a huge struggle. I’m currently in a chair but feel like I could just fall on my face any moment. It’s a horrible feeling to be so out of control. But to get me better, to start breastfeeding and to get us home I’ve got to move. 

This won’t defeat me, I’m stubborn and this is just the next chapter in this insanely weird time of my life.  


Tapping away the pain

After my melt down at the hospital the other week, it was strongly suggested by many people that I get urgent help. There is only so much a social worker can do. 

So with the (incredibly strong) nudge of my husband, he got me booked into a therapist who just happened to have a spot open up the next day. After I finished panicking, as I hate talking to people, especially when I know I’m going to blubber my way through the birth histories, I put my big girl pants on and went to see her. 

Talk therapy is not for me. This I knew. One reason why I’ve never done anything. But this lady is different. She does tapping therapy. I only knew about it from my husband who does it too with his clients. And of course I’ve scoffed at the idea. How does tapping your body do anything?

I had my second session today, and honestly, I’m still not sure what to think about it. I felt completely stupid while doing it, crying over these thoughts, wanting to not cry when I think about them. Aparently I’ve got plenty to deal with, with my stress level incredibly high based on the worst parts of the first birth experience.

But, talking to a dad at school pick up today, he mentioned my boys looked so similar. I told him my experience of having Marshal taken away from me in hospital at only a few days old, when I got moved to high dependency ward, not knowing what the squishy pink boy looked like, having his ankle bands fall off and me worrying that he would get swapped with another baby. My husband wasn’t there at the time and of course at that moment, I panicked. The midwife holding him to take him to the children’s ward, me not saying goodbye until I freaked out and reached for him. I got 20 seconds to say goodbye before I was wheeled away and hooked up to monitors. 

When I tell this part of my story (well all of it actually…), I tense up, I get sweaty and hot. Teary. But today, nothing. I was able to tell the story and still smile. After tapping my way through this traumatic memory this morning, I was able to disconnect the emotion from the story, and have it just that. A story. The horribleness of it is still there, just not the tears that come with it. 

For 3 years it actually kind of bothered me that maybe he was swapped and I didn’t know. But then Maverick came along and now they are so similar the thought hasn’t crossed my mind since. It’s funny how your mind plays tricks on you. 

I’ve got so much to work on, more than I thought, but if I can now talk about that crappy experience, up until being moved wards that first time, without tears, then something must be working. I need something that works now, not in 12 months. I just want to get to a place where I don’t completely freak out when they produce the needle. I’m sure if I started this ages ago, I’d be in a better headspace now. Always leaving things to the last minute. 

I’m sure after this birth, I’ll need help dealing with it too. I might need to take out a loan to pay for it all….but if it helps my parenting, and stops me feeling like such a failure as a women, then it’s all worth it.