Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Elspeth is two weeks old today! Where has the time gone? Seems to fly by so quickly - next thing you know it'll be a month, and then three and six months, and a year! I'm feeling a lot better about things, and I've figured out a trick or two to help Elspeth... like putting one of my t-shirts under her so she can smell me, that seems to help her settle down a bit! I'm also feeling a bit better about my occasional use of formula to feed her; it helps that Aidan has read a little bit about it and realised the pressure on women to breastfeed is just insane, he's eased up a bit and understands that sometimes I just need a break! He was very much in favour of keeping everything natural - no formula, no pacifier... but honestly, once you live with a baby (and I'm with this baby nearly 24/7, unlike Aidan who still gets to go to work and sleep uninterrupted occasionally), you figure out that sometimes these artificial aids are a godsend.

Oh, the last little stump of her umbilical cord came off last night! I realise that may sound quite gross, but it is nice not to have to worry about it anymore.

In other news... I really don't have any other news. I'm very baby-centric right now, I'm sorry. I was so sure when I was pregnant that, after the birth, I would still be me - Stace, Aidan's wife, your friend, and not just Elspeth's mum. But here I am, pretty much being nothing but a mum. Still trying to get some study done, but concentration is lacking... yawn...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The last 24 hours have been difficult. Before I go any further I want to make it absolutely clear that I love my daughter very much, all the time. But, oh my god... why can't they be born with more communication skills?? She's been so unsettled, crying for no apparent reason, not sleeping or even lying quiety unless she's being hugged by Aidan or myself. We've both gotten a bit... tetchy... I just feel so helpless and useless. Aidan's been utterly wonderful in trying to give as much help as he can; I'm trying to write essays and stuff at the same time as being mum... but Aidan can't breastfeed! A couple of times I've had to ask him to give her a bottle of formula, which he doesn't like doing, but it's a godsend to me just to have that little bit of extra time, and rest, and both hands free.

I've been doing a few quizzes and suchlike, mostly on, and I'm beginning to worry that I may be suffering genuine post-natal depression - and that concept only depresses me even further. I'm going to mention it to my GP when I see her next Monday (if I make it that far without going crazy!!), but hopefully it's just the "baby blues"... Everyone says the baby blues go away about a week after the birth; it's been nearly two weeks now... I dunno, I guess I'll just hang in there and see what happens. If nothing else, maybe some temporary antidepressants can just take the edge off it and help me get back on track. I hate the thought of taking them, though. Oh well, whatever will be, will be...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Elspeth is ten days old today. Here are the things I've learnt in the last ten days:

    Babies are messy, but somehow their mothers don't actually mind the spit-ups and poop.

    Being a mother is also messy - you don't truly appreciate maternity pads and nursing pads until you have a child.

    Babies don't always have a reason for crying, and you can't always fix them.

    Absolutely everybody will make you feel guilty if you contemplate using formula instead of breastmilk, even just sometimes for convenience.

    Everybody will also make you feel terrible if your baby isn't always sleeping flat on her back.

    Babies can't tell the difference between feeling hungry and having gas pains - so I have no idea if I'm feeding her when I should be burping her, or vice versa.

    Post-natal depression and hormonal changes really are a bitch, even in very mild cases.

    It's extremely difficult to concentrate on studying once a baby has entered the equation.

There are probably more things, but I don't remember. My once-sharp brain is turning to mush. Aidan tells me I'm coping well and am a good mother, but I don't feel like it. I guess I need more practice.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

It often seems the "done thing" amongst women to complain about their menfolk. It's normal to roll the eyes when a man is mentioned, or to say "Men!" with an attitude of amused scorn. But, if I'm being honest, I have nothing to complain about.

This post is a tribute to my wonderful husband Aidan. He works full-time, he does loads of housework, he helps as much as he can with the baby, he pampers me with backrubs and cups of tea. He is ever-supportive, loving, and is simply always there for me and, now, for Elspeth. He wants nothing but the best for all of us. He might be the big tough man when he has to be, but he's got a tender streak that comes through for his womenfolk.

So to my husband I say: I love you, and thank you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Elspeth Abigail Irving
Born 7.37am 15th July 2009
The Canberra Hospital

My apologies for not blogging earlier! I'm sure you'll understand I've been a tad busy. Thanks to Andrew for leaving the comment on my last post :)

The story of the birth:
I began having contractions on Saturday morning (the 11th), seeming fairly regular, and I thought that was it... but they faded, and stopped. Then started again on Sunday morning. Then slowed... then sped up... the long and short of it is, I had a rather uncomfortable few days! I called Delivery Suite at the hospital a couple of times and they told me to stay home, stay home as long as I felt comfortable, so I did... until mid-Tuesday, when the contractions seemed closer together, longer lasting, and more consistent. I was examined and determined to be 3cm dilated - in other words, in active labour. I could have told 'em that!

I won't go into huge detail, largely because I'm a bit hazy about it all myself! But little Elspeth wouldn't stay facing the right way. She was what they call "face to pubes", which is exactly what it sounds like - she was facing up instead of down. They tried to turn her, but she just kept turning back. I have a stubborn child. So, instead of the nice calm quiet birth I'd planned, I was carted to theatre, given an epidural, and had the poor child yanked out with forceps! (But only after attempts to vacuum her out failed.)

We came home from hospital on Friday afternoon, and all things considered I think we're doing rather well. Elspeth is an awesome feeder, she's almost back up to her birth weight already, and she also sleeps pretty well most of the time - sometimes for up to four hours at a time! She was rather jaundiced, but that's passing now - a midwife called around this morning to do a final check on her, and gave the all-clear that no more tests should be necessary and we're officially "discharged" from the hospital midwifery service. She was also pretty bruised and scratched from the suction thing and the forceps, but that's also healing up nicely and all you can really see now is a small circular mark on her head and one black eye.

We have created a beautiful daughter; Aidan and I are both very happy and very much in love with her!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Well, false alarm this afternoon - I thought my waters had broken, but according to the doctor that hasn't happened. Possibly just an uncontrollable gush of urine, which sounds quite gross but is apparently normal. But later, after we got home from hospital, I'm 99% sure the "mucus plug" I keep hearing about came out, so that means things should be moving along pretty soon... Fingers are crossed...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The midwife today said it really could be any time now, but it still may not be for over a week... They don't even think about inducing or anything like that until at least 41 weeks, and even then if everything seems healthy they might leave it for another few days... sigh...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Well, here I am, on my official due date, and still not in labour. In fact, the only unusual thing to have happened so far today is that I'm out of bed, fully awake, well before midday. My more usual thing, when unemployed, is to sleep until at least 1pm! So I don't know if that was just anxiety keeping me awake, or if my body's trying to tell me something's happening soon... fingers crossed, anyway!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I forgot to mention that our car has been all fixed up and we're back on the road. There's not enough evidence regarding who did it, officially, so that bites. But at least we're mobile; we won't need to get a taxi when I go into labor!

Friday, July 03, 2009

There are 21 emails which Hotmail has identified as crap and moved automatically into my junk email folder.

- 5 of them offer to enlarge my penis (didn't know I had one...)
- 6 of them offer me money, discounts, or free things that I haven't signed up for
- 4 of them want to help me lose weight (while pregnant?! great idea...)
- 1 is a phishing email supposedly from Hotmail themselves (because they don't know my password)
- 2 of them offer true love (thought I already had that...)
- 2 of them offer me great travel deals with limited eligibility (I think you have to live in the USA!)
- 1 says something about a king whose daughters were all beautiful (lucky guy)

Who the heck falls for all this junk? I read somewhere recently that, as consumers have started to wise up to email scams, text messages to your phone is the new big thing. I have two main issues with this.
Firstly - what do they mean, started to wise up? Surely the human race isn't so stupid that we've only just started to catch on to something that's been happening for at least fifteen years... oh, what am I saying? Right, ok, moving on.
Secondly - the text message scams are exactly the same as the email ones! Just using a different medium! Why on earth would any of these apparently newly-wise consumers fall for the same thing sent a different way? Oh... yeah, ok.

We're really not the brightest, us humans, are we? Perhaps the eternal optimism gene needs to be switched off so that we realise that not everybody has our best interests at heart. There really are people out there who just want to take us for a ride, steal our money, trick us, lie to us, hurt us, inconvenience us, and annoy us. There are people out there who are not nice people. They've always been there, but the internet has brought them closer.

Watch it out there, folks. It's a big bad world, and it's getting smaller!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

39 weeks

I feel as though pregnancy has become my ground state. I always have been, and always will be. There is no beginning or end, there's just this big round belly in front of me no matter which way I turn! Labor has become an abstract concept; having an actual baby even more so.

I saw my GP this morning, she said that the baby has dropped a little, she's lower than she was a week ago, but is still not actually engaged. Apparently, however, it's pretty normal for first babies not to engage until labor starts, so it could still be any time now. Everything's fine, her heartrate is still good, as is my blood pressure, she's measuring perfectly normal, and I haven't had either a dizzy spell or a faint spell for at least a few weeks now.

The stuff I used to clean the bathroom mirror the other day says "no streak" on the bottle. It lied.