Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Coming Soon...

So I have decided to do a fitness blog.  It won't be here, as I want a clean slate, but I will provide a link when I eventually get around to creating the page.  Hopefully soon. 

I need to do this because I am really struggling with my weight.  Breastfeeding is not a magical diet for me, it seems.  I am up 6kg from my pregnancy weight.  I look more pregnant now than I did when I was pregnant!!  And I want to eat all the things, especially the chocolate things.  Self control is not strong at the moment.  Blogging will help keep me accountable, I hope.  

So my goal is to have a page created and a first post written by the end of the week.  I just need to figure out a plan that will work for me and my dieting beliefs (which are basically that diets don't work). 

And Bubs is 4 months old today!!!  My goal for her is to force her to do more tummy time (oh the screams and the tears I have to look forward to here!!), and start using the cloth nappies more.  But the good news is I have got her sleeping longer!  Earlier to bed, later to rise!!  But she sounds like she is waking up now, which will coincide with laundry in the wash finishing up and brownies needing to come out of the oven (yeah, yeah, I know, brownies are not healthy...I told you I have a problem with the chocolate!).

Saturday, 5 September 2015

NICU Revisited

We have been home from the NICU for two months now.  Two months isn't that long, and yet it feels like ages ago, a memory so distant that the reality of it is questionable.  Were we really there for 6 weeks?  And yet...some things bring it back into such sudden sharpness that it leaves me stunned.  A news program featuring some medical advancements, and instantly I can hear the alarms on monitors.  I can feel the quiet pressure of parents trying to hold it together day after day after day.  The warmth of the room, the dry and cracking skin of hands washed over and over.  The silence of babies too little or too sick to cry.

The thing is, I coped well with it at the time by pushing all these things aside.  After all, my baby was doing well.  She was never in any real danger (apart from that third day when they thought she may have had an infection since she wasn't digesting the tiny amount of milk she was receiving through her ng tube).  When meeting with other NICU moms in the parent room, or the pumping station, or just in the hallways, when they asked how she was doing, my answer was always the same.  She was doing great.  Sometimes I dreaded asking that question back.  Sometimes I knew their babies were struggling.  And yet they held it together.  If they could do this, then I had no business falling apart when things were going so well for me.  A sort of survivor's guilt?  I don't know. 

Last week one of the babies from the NICU passed away.  He had been born at 24 weeks, just at 500g, and the doctors initially thought he wouldn't make it.  But he did, for 23 weeks.  He made it through surgeries, blood transfusions, infections.  When I was in the NICU, he and his mum had been there the longest.  When I left the NICU, he actually weighed more than Bubs, and was holding his temperature better, even though he still needed oxygen.  Everyone thought he would be heading home in September, or maybe October. 

I really feel for his parents.  His mum (who lived a short distance from the hospital) was in every day, doing skin to skin and feeding him and just sitting with him.  For 23 weeks.  Her heart must be breaking over and over again.  How does she fill her day now?  I can't even begin to imagine the feeling of emptiness.  Empty arms, empty hours. 

A full term but very sick baby died while Bubs and I were still in the NICU, and I remember talking with the other mums about this, about how terrible and awkward we all feel, wheeling breast pumps past grieving families, doing skin to skin in the same room with parents who have only a short time in which they can do the same with their babies.  Now this mum, who witnessed the passing of two other NICU babies, has become the grieving parent.  When we talked about how horrible it was, I am sure neither of us ever expected to be in those shoes.  We were out of the woods.  Or so it felt.

After hearing about her wee boy passing away, I just cuddled Bubs all day.  I am thankful and lucky.  Things could have been so different, and I am so glad to have her here and healthy, despite the rather dramatic early entrance.  No matter how much I try, or how distant in the past it gets, the NICU will never really leave me.  I will always remember.  The other mums and the camaraderie.  The grief and the joys.  The kindness of the nurses.  The stress of maintaining such a routine, day in and day out.  The sounds, the smells, the noises, the heaviness of it all.  It is all so fuzzy and distant until it is not.  Something triggers it.  And I do feel it.  Sometimes I cry.  Sometimes I try to think of something else.  Sometimes I just pick up Bubs and cuddle her.  I am so proud of how far she has come.

The first picture of Bubs.

Bubs at 14 weeks.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Three and a half months, with photos!

We've been busy.  First getting ready for my parents to visit, then surprisingly busy doing things while they were here, and now deciding that we aren't going to sleep much during the day, and oh yeah, lets both catch a cold. 

Anyway, Bubs is three and a half months.  A few weeks ago she made it to 7lbs.  Not sure what she would be now, but more than that.  She is quickly outgrowing her new born sizes, and is mostly fitting 0-3 months.  Carters fit her best, because she is long and skinny, and lots of other brands seem to be shorter in the torso or legs, and wider.  Anyway, turns out I only have a few things in this size range that fit her well.  Bugger. 

I buried her in her toys...I love this photo, it looks like she is pretending to be a hairdresser and having a good gossip with teddy.  
We set up a "photo shoot" when my mom was here...this one is a bit blurry, but I like how peaceful she looks!
From the photo shoot.  This one is my favorite!
A sleepy smile (sleeping on her grandma).
This is the expression we refer to as "bath eyes", because when you put her in a bath, her face freezes this way and she goes still (well, used to, she has discovered wiggling but the face stays the same).  She makes this face at things that surprise her, or that she just can't figure out.
Cleo trying to teach Bubs to roll over.  

I have to admit, I am slack on tummy time because she hates it so much.  She loves to be held upright though, I at least that is something.  She has good control of her neck and head then.  But we are making an effort now to spend more time on the dreaded tummy.  She has rolled from tummy to back about half a dozen times, but she easily gets frustrated and forgets how.  She can roll easily in my arms though.

Her head is a bit flattened on the right, and has been since she left the NICU.  She strongly prefers that side and it doesn't really matter what you do, she will go back to it.  But she is starting to sleep more and more on the left, so I am not too worried.  One of the NICU docs who came up this way to see NICU grads that live afar said I should put a wedge on the right to prevent her from lying on that side, but I am choosing to ignore him based on the fact that I don't want her to suffocate!  SIDS, SUDI, whichever you call it, I am not about to risk it.  The well child nurse agreed with me.  Anyway, working on that tummy time now.  
As far as my postpartum fun time goes...my parents being here naturally meant that we ate only junk food for 10 whole days.  So I am up a few pounds now.  Definitely more than I weighed during pregnancy.  And now I am used to indulging, so it is going to be even harder to loose.  Arg.  But the weather is getting nicer so Bubs and I are getting out for walks more now.
My tummy still has some impressive nerve damage that prevents me from wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans for more than a few hours.  The fact that the jeans are too tight in the waist wouldn't be too much of an issue otherwise (they have some stretch to them), but the pressure just kills the nerves.  

I am still taking the mini pill, and my period has been awol.  It had shown up something like 7 or 8 weeks postpartum (grr), but hasn't returned.  I am on CD51 I guess, but I am not pregnant, so I will blame the pills and secretly be thankful!  

My hair is falling out.  More noticeably because it is long enough to be worn in a messy bun, which holds all the hair up there until I take it down to wash it, and then heaps of it comb/wash out.  I don't know how different this is to during pregnancy, because my hair during pregnancy was too short to tie back.  It is annoying though- I will have to clean the shower drain more often, and I HATE cleaning the shower drain!!

I'll try to write a post about NICU again soon, but not sure when I will get around to it.  Bubs keeps me busy.  Like me she doesn't like to sleep much during the day.  I've been trying to wear her out with play though, and it seems to be working.  She actually napped a bit yesterday.

But she is waking up now, and since I should have gone back to bed instead of blogging and internet-ing, I guess I had best skul this cup of coffee!