Monday, 29 June 2009

a birth story

shortly after...

Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have either left a comment welcoming our little Mia, and to those of you who have welcomed her in person. I am so grateful to have found so many wonderful, and generous, friends through my little blog. So without further ado, the birth story... 

As you well know, I was expecting to go late with Mia. Daisy was induced at 41 weeks, and we have no idea what gestation Angus would have been if I had gone to term, so based on our previous experience, I was convinced that I would be sitting down with some Doctor when I was 42 weeks pregnant “talking about options”.

So on the Monday night (at 39w+6d) I met up with the girls in my knitting group and enjoyed a fruitful evening of knitting, sharing, laughing, and ... cramps (which for the cynical girls in my group, yes! it was just a cramp!!). After knitting, my friend and sister dropped me off at home, and I went inside had a quick check of my emails before trundling off to bed. I had been up with Angus and Daisy for half of the previous night, so I was looking forward to a good night sleep.

I had been laying in bed for about 5 minutes when I felt a sensation in my lower tummy that could only be described as a ‘pop’. It wasn’t painful, but it wasn’t really right either, at the time I remember thinking that maybe Rainbow had got her hand stuck and had forcibly moved it? a couple of minutes later I felt that much talked about sensation, and although I am not naive enough to think that I had just wet myself, it definitely felt  a lot like I had. My waters had broken ~ it was 10:20pm.

As is quite usual for me in a time of crisis, I panicked! and as usual Cam was my calm, rational thinking ‘rock’ who rang Mum, made suggestions to me (like get some warmer clothes on, you’re freezing, and you’d better ring the hospital, I can’t answer their questions...) and rounded up the outstanding items for my hospital bag.

It wasn’t long before my contractions started, and it was even faster that I realised that they were consistently close together. Cam started timing them, and to our shock they were already 2 minutes 20 seconds apart. Whatever happened to “call us when your contractions get to 10 minutes apart! I can now see how fourth children are born in places like the Bunnings car park.

As soon as Mum arrived we were in the car and heading towards the hospital, a trip that took all of 13 minutes, but one that I am eternally grateful that I didn’t have to drive myself; especially when I found myself peering at the speedometer, while doing 100 down the freeway, and thinking “why isn’t he going faster?” 160 km/h seemed much more reasonable to me at the time, I just wanted to be there. Now!

Once we did arrive at the hospital, our lovely midwife, Robyn, took us immediately to a delivery suite (bless her) and commented that things were moving a little faster than she expected. So while Robyn was rushing around trying to restock the room, I was in an almost constant state of pacing, walking through my very regular contractions.

Meanwhile Cam was calmly sitting on a lounge-chair, possibly thinking how easy this all seemed after our last two labour experiences... he asked me if the contractions were hurting yet?... to which I replied, well how about you ask me that when we are all done here, because retrospectively I may tell you that these initial contractions were ‘a walk in the park’.

Soon after a doctor arrived to check how far along I was, and upon inspection she estimated that I was 5 centimeters dilated, and that our baby’s head was very low... they didn’t think that it would take too much longer.

From that point things kept moving really fast, and it wasn’t long before my body ejected my dinner, and the contractions upped in intensity. Ah, now these ones were painful...

We soon moved into, what I think was transition, because I found myself in that common situation where I felt that I needed to go to the toilet, but once I was there it felt impossible to get off again... eventually my midwife asked if i would like to try some gas, and Cam helped me to the bed.

This part gets a little hazy, obviously due to said gas, but it wasn’t long before i was having the urge to push, and after a couple the midwife told me that it wasn’t quite time to be pushing yet, so I had the experience of breathing those tiny little breathes, while desperately trying not to push...

It wasn’t long though and our baby entered the world, one push (nearly there), two (she’s here! ... oops, no she’s not) push number three (ouch, now she’s here!)

... and thank-you to the gas, as soon as I stopped using it, I was totally alert and able to greet our beautiful new daughter Mia into our lives.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

joy riding

joy riding

We have a saying around these parts that when you are happy you tend to put on weight :: the actual term we use is that you have 'contended cow'... well I've noticed that we're looking pretty content around here, we look like we've been living in the good paddock for a while, and I for one am not happy.


Now we live in a beautiful part of the world, lots of bush parks, with goats-trail like tracks; but it's not very 'suburban' which means no footpaths, and in my world of double prams and baby carriers, footpaths are very important. Very important. So this morning we all piled into the car (the only way to get to a footpath!) and drove down to the river. We took a walk along the very flat and wide track by the river, our destination the children's playground (the only way to entice them into the pram) and after that, we stopped in at the bakery (the only way to entice them out of the playground) for some wood fired bread for lunch, then back into the pram for a walk back to the car (enticed by the chocolate chip cookie that we just bought them from the bakery).

On the way back, we saw a little boy riding a wooden bike (similar to a like-a-bike). I have been entertaining the idea* of getting these for A+D for a while now, so I couldn't resist asking the little boys parents a couple of questions about the bike, so I now know that it was a Tike Bike, a little cheaper that the like-a-bike, and made in China not Europe, and that the boys mum owns a local toy store... may have been fate?!?

she's telling him how to start his motorbike!

As it turned out, we needn't have worried too much about getting out for a walk this morning; Dad arrived this afternoon to collect some firewood for down the hill, and as usual brought along his 4-wheel-motorbike to help lug the wood up the hill - Cam (who was designated helper) wasn't so lucky, and had to make multiple trips back and forth from the driveway at the front of the house, down the hill at the back... I even joined them, with Mia strapped into the BabyBjorn for a few trecks up and down, mostly so A+D could have a look at what Grandpa was up to, and why he kept riding his motorbike past their bedroom window.

hitching a ride...

Of course the temptation (to ride the bike) proved too much, and all three of them enjoyed some leisurely joy riding around the paddock...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Mia's very own Fleur

Mia's very own fleur

A lovely surprise in the mail today, together with the most adorable bloomers... we are feeling extremely grateful to out lovely online (and now in real life, too) friend. Thank-you for thinking of us Leslie, Mia loves her little Fleur!

Leslie's website
Leslie's shop
Leslie's photostream

Sunday, 14 June 2009

more photos {just because...}

:: and some tips on how to photograph a newborn here.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Good Things

I decided that I was going to have a pajama day today, no pressure to get dressed and no pressure to face the world. I did manage to fit in a shower, and then I got dressed right back into a clean pair of pajamas. There is a reason for this, and that is I have a really sore right shoulder. I have no idea how I hurt it, but it hurts so bad that it is affecting my sleep (on top of those other regular sleep interruptions!) and when I wake up in the morning, I lay in bed, flat on my back, and request that Cam please get me a couple of ‘panadol’ and some water... normally I don’t take pain killers, my approach is to just tough it out, but folks, my shoulder really hurts... after my paracetamol kicks in I have just been getting on with my day.


pajama day

So today I decided that I was going to be off duty, well as much as one can be with a newborn and two kids under 4 in the house, so I haven’t tidied up, I haven’t done the dishes, and I have spent the morning with my right hand mostly tucked into my pocket, in a bid to rest my shoulder. I think that it is starting to work, I may just be able to turn my head a fraction more, and it’s definitely starting to feel a little better.

I’ve had lots of other things grabbing my attention though, and you may have noticed some of them in my side bar. A little space for the things that are currently inspiring me, no it’s not a new idea, but I thought that if you are like me, and spend a bit of time on-line, it’s nice to surf around to a few new places, and new ideas every now and then. I am hoping to keep it updating regularly, and will set up a separate page to archive the older inspiring ideas, just in case we ever need to go back and find them.

I really would like to bring one in particular to your attention though, it is ‘the story of stuff’ with Annie Leonard. A video about the way that we consume, and a story that resonated so strongly with me, that I would love to see it gain some wider exposure :: so what is the story of stuff?

From its extraction through to sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad. yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

You can click on the link in my side bar, or you can watch it via youtube here :: but please, do watch it (and spread the word)

So after I watched the story of stuff, I spent quite a bit of that night thinking about what we could do differently, and one of the simplest things that we can do right now is to start using the cloth nappies that I bought for Mia. Up until that point I hadn’t even tried them. Mia seems so small, and quite frankly the nappies just look a little too big ~ but after reading through the week of posts that Tsh over at SimpleMom did on cloth diapering (also in my inspiration section) I figured that I should just have a go.

So yesterday I skipped the huggies newborn in favour of one of my cute BumGenius pocket nappies, and was pleasantly surprised when it fitted beautifully. We have been using the cloth nappies since then, including overnight, and so far so good. We’ve had one leg leak, which I think would have leaked out of a disposable too, but otherwise its all good. 


When I bought the BumGenius I only bought a part-time pack, because I have tried cloth before without success, I was hesitant to go the whole hog. So we are going to alternate between cloth and disposable (while the cloth are in the wash) while we figure out if BumGenius are the way for us. I also am looking at purchasing a couple of Green Kids Anytime nappies, on the recommendation of my friend Clare, who’s had her son in cloth the whole time. One of the things that I like about the Green Kids is that they are Australian Owned and Australian Made, which feels to me like a more green and sustainable choice. 

So if anyone would like to share their cloth experiences here to help make my decision making a little easier, I would appreciate the feedback; and in the meantime, I hope that you enjoy surfing around the sites that are inspiring me, right now.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

it's all about baby around here

our new sister

from the viewing platform

evening tummy grumbles

20090604_999_2first b-a.t,h

Mia is finding her place in our home and in our family; she is proving to be so easy going... and I am not sure if that is because she is any more relaxed than my other children were, or if I am much more relaxed and accepting of the little challenges that a newborn brings.

I had a very short stay in hospital, in fact they requested that we leave the day after Mia was born! It really does make one wonder whether our public health system has improved over time? ... when my Mum was in hospital having her children, the minimum time that she stayed was six days, I was on the ward for a mere 18 hours before being told that they needed the bed and I was outta-there...

So our first few days at home were mostly focused on trying to get me enough sleep, while trying to ensure that Angus and Daisy were given that all important attention that they needed to help transition Mia from the baby that was in my tummy, to their baby sister who is a part of our family.

Daisy has been wonderful, she is such a little-Mama, and requests many holds of Mia. She now pops herself on the couch with her cushion beside her (to support Mia's head) and holds Mia across her lap - then she invariable asks me to take a photo of her and Mia, I am starting to think that I will be able to start a flickr set of "365 days of Mia on Daisy's lap" :D

On the other hand while Angus has been incredibly interested in my empty tummy, he is mostly nonplussed, a nearly 4 year old boy has way too many other things to keep him busy, including looking after Snoozy - the kinder bear for the weekend.

So at the moment I am taking to time to enjoy being at home, and all of the help that my Mum has been giving, such as taking and picking Angus up from Kinder, doing my dishes (every day!) entertaining the kids, giving Mia cuddles, and looking after me... I feel so blessed and grateful for this transition time, and am trusting that we will start to find some sort of rhythm soon.

Until then, it's all about baby around here... 

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

She's Arrived


Mia Rainbow Ely
Born early hours of this morning
6 pounds 8 ounces
Mum and baby doing well

Monday, 1 June 2009

The Reverse Art Truck

Have you heard of the Reverse Art Truck? It is a s a non profit organization which collects rejects, seconds and factory offcuts for distribution to schools, early learning centres, community groups and individuals. Basically you turn up, they supply you with a large garbage bag, which you then fill up with 'stuff' to use in your creations, then you pay for the bag at the end.

The Reverse Art Truck Store

When we went, I had a few projects in mind, so we happily filled our bag with the stuff that we would be able to use at home ~ mainly pasting. The kids thought that the shop was pretty awesome too, as they were able to peer into the big bins and fossick about, throwing bits and bobs into our garbage bag.


One of the things that I grabbed was boards, sort of like the middle out of a frame(?), thinking that they would be perfect for sticking things on to and making mini-collages (which we have done).

I didn't foresee that they would also be perfect to use as little chalk-boards, but that is the great thing about children, they see things with such fresh eyes, and mini-chalk-boards was what they saw. The foam was also grabbed during our visit to the Reverse Art Truck and has been used as chalk-board dusters, and as an accessory in the play-kitchen.

delivering the mail

The little boards have been the perfect size to use as pretend postal letters and have been delivered all over the house (including to Mama & Grandpa at the farm-house), making me think that it may have been a good idea to join Christie's latest mail swap (oh well, there's always next time, right?).