Monday, December 28, 2009

Kiddlywink's Food, Part One.

This is probably uninteresting for most of you. Am posting this mainly for my own record keeping.


Food
(Sampling Order)
DislikesOk
LikesReally
Likes
LOVES!
Pears



Yes
Bananas

Yes

Butternut



Yes
Peas

Yes

Carrots


Yes
Sweet Potatoes



Yes
Green Beans
Yes.
Cut with pears is
edible. Just!




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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sorry, been a bit scarce! Or, the lead up to Christmas with a child.

My wonderful parents-in-law arrive this evening at 9:20pm.

Santa arrives next week.

We still haven't finished wrapping even the overseas presents. Hoping to mail cards out today after being up till 4am last few nights to get the glitter-mad things done. What IS it with cards and glitter these days?

{runs around completely unready house doing Muppet crazy arms} AAAAAAAIYYYEEE!

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Uuurgh.

Lotsa moanin' and groanin' here at the moment.
Poor Kiddlywink, she's got her first cold.
She got it from her father, who ironically got his while working on the set of House.
And I overdid a workout this weekend and have strained abdominal muscles.
Oy vey!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not thinking of sending KW a gift? Ignore this post!

For anyone that isn't intending to send a gift, please don't feel like I'm pressuring you into buying anything or even asking you to. This is for those that have already expressed, or felt, the need to do so.

Some of my readers have asked if they can send Kiddlywink a little gift for Christmas. (And some may feel shy about asking. If you do need our mailing address, please leave a comment indicating so and I'll email it to you.)

Sure! Any and all appropriate gifts are appreciated.

If you're wanting to send clothing? Remember, at the moment, it is winter here in the USA.
Kiddlywink weighs approx 12-13lbs/5.5-6kgs.
She wears a US size 3-6 months, Aussie size 00...European size..no clue, sorry. But clothes in a bigger size for a later season are always good too. :)

If you do send toys or items that contain plastic, please try and ensure they're BPA free.
BPA or Bisphenol A = BAAAAD juju for bubbies.

Story books, especially children's ones with stories about your own culture, or a particular childhood favourite of your own are always good.

As a thank you, we'll be sure to send you a photo of Kiddlywink on Christmas morning with whatever present she received from you.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's just a word, isn't it?

Now that Kiddlywink has been born, I find myself quite often feeling the same embarrassment a young man may feel in the aisle of the supermarket devoted to women's needs. That awful sniggering feeling where I know I shouldn't be embarrassed, it's just a word after all, but I still can't help it. I've even been known to bite my lip or smother a smile with my hand. Or blush.

I must admit I am slooooowly getting used to the word as it is prominently displayed on all packaging, but whenever discussing KW's eating habits or possible needs for changes in the equipment she uses to eat, I can feel my mother's eloquent silence on the end of the line while she mentally adjusts to the "correct" word.

When first discussing feeding the baby my husband reacted with a blush and the exact same embarrassed look on his face when I used the socially acceptable Australian word for the silicon or rubber attachments on the business end of a baby's bottle; completely unaware that it was called something different over here. We'll freely use other Australian-English/American-English words interchangeably, like nappy and diaper, but his embarrassment was so intense I simply switched to using nipple instead of teat. I still feel momentarily weird using nipple or seeing it in public. I accidentally used the word teat the other day, and he blushed just as strongly again.

Is it something just in our families? Or is it once again a case of our different cultures finding one word more socially acceptable over another, even though they mean the exact same thing?

ETA: Wanna know what's REALLY odd? I have no problem using the word nipple in conjunction with a woman's breasts, or even accidentally seeing nipples while someone is breastfeeding in public. It's only when connected with the fake version being called nipples that I get embarrassed.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tim Tams Available in America!

Pepperidge Farms bought the rights to repackage and sell Tim Tams to the American market.
Have had various reports of availability in Target and Walmart stores. (Apparently Walmart couldn't keep up with demand for the test samples. LOL)
http://www.pepperidgefarm.com/ProductDetail.aspx?catID=944&prdID=120848

Looks like I and my fellow Pimps have had our work finally pay off. :)

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Intuitive Eating: What My Daughter Has Taught Me.

Something I have had to fight is my fear of waste. Spending a lot of time with my Depression-era grandparents and having had parents raised by them, I find myself now and again fighting the urge to force Kiddlywink to eat more than she wants. When she was young, it quickly became apparent whenever I'd done this. She'd "waste" the excess in her own indisputable fashion. Most often, all over the fool who'd not wanted to waste the last 10 mls in the bottle.

These days it's a little trickier, because she does actually push the bottle away when she's had enough. BUT! She can also do that if it's not sitting right in her mouth, she's frustrated with how long it's taken, or she's accidentally knocked it out while stroking the bottle. So, it's a fine line between trying not to force her and offering it again in case she really does want some more and can't stop complaining about it long enough to realise the bottle's in her mouth already. Extra fun bonus points is when she pauses in between sucking, on and off for five minutes, to bitch about everything. LOL

Watching Kiddlywink as she's grown and matured, both in stature and appetite, has shown me a lot about what actual intuitive eating is. To start with, we had to have her on a three hourly schedule because she wasn't mature enough to wake herself up when she should have been hungry. That's normal for premature babies.

Even then, though, there were times that she would wake up before the three hours and express her dissatisfaction at how slow the service was around here. Other times, she would barely eat half the minimum amount she was supposed to ingest in one meal.

Keeping track of her eating habits allowed us to figure out that no matter what she ate at any particular meal, she would consistently eat the same amount in a day. And as the days wore on and we averaged out the weeks, it became even more apparent: She had distinct patterns. E.G. One meal a day, every day, was always smaller than the others. Leading up to a bowel movement she would eat a lot more the preceeding day. She cluster fed every night before bed: Sometimes eating a full meal's worth every hour for 4 or more hours!

The amount she'd eat in each meal didn't matter in the slightest, because her eating clock was set at her own time and pace. I'll never forget the absolutely disgusted looks she'd give us in the day or two it took us to figure out she was now ready for a four hourly awakening, rather than three.

Here are some other things I've learned, or had reinforced by observing her, and find that they also apply to me.


- Food is more enjoyable when I'm actually hungry.
- Sometimes, when I think I'm peckish, I'm thirsty. And sometimes, I am actually peckish.
- If there are times I feel actually hungry again sixty, thirty, or even five minutes after I finish eating? That's okay; have just a little bit more.
- Some meals I'll eat far less than I'd believe could possibly satisfy me.
- Other times, before I'm satisfied, I'll have eaten a meal bigger than my head!
- There are times when it's more important to have a little snack to stave off the hunger pangs and then go have the sleep I so desperately need. Even if it's of an evening and I sleep through till breakfast. I obviously needed the sleep more.
- Some days I eat less, or more, often than usual.
- Sometimes, I want to drink plain water, but I want it heated. Other times I want it ice cold. Most often, room temperature is nice.
- In the morning my extremities are colder than at any other time of day. I need fuel a.s.a.p. to stoke up my inner fires. Breakfast is one meal I cannot do without.
- Occasionally, I do need to eat a snack during the night.
- T.V. IS a distraction.
- Eating alongside others is extra enjoyable. Even if we don't speak, and are eating different things, sharing our enjoyment is enough.
- A burp is a compliment. As is a contented sigh. It says thank you for ensuring I have had enough to eat.

There's more, but I think you get the general gist of things. I'm also sure, that she'll continue teaching me for many years to come about how to eat, how to enjoy life, and how to love myself and others unconditionally.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

I Was Gonna Call First....But!

Yesterday, we went for our first visit to the YMCA in three or so months.

Alaskaboy, as usual, was running late for aqua aerobics. He ran inside the building and through reception really fast. Thus, he didn't see the signs on the front door or reception desk.

G, the receptionist, was so excited when he dropped our membership cards off and told her Kiddlywink was coming along behind--with me of course but the important news was that Her Cuteness was coming--she got busy slathering up with hand sanitizer and forgot to tell him. (How excited? She didn't even log us in. We discovered later our membership cards got dropped on the desk in her lunge for the sanitizer.)

In the two or so minutes it took me to reach reception, Alaskaboy had started his pre-swim rinse.

Kiddlywink and G were in raptures getting reacquainted while I went and stuck my head through the men's change room doorway and yelled, "OY! Pool's closed today for repairs!" LOL

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part Three

Part One.
Part Two.

Surrounded by scurrying medical personnel, I'll be forever grateful to the nurse who held my left hand as much as she could throughout the the pre-operative kerfuffle. She must have had a hand made of steel because I know I squeezed so hard at one point that my own hand went briefly numb.

Strapped down as I was, I couldn't brush the tears away as they dribbled their way down into my hair line then into my ears. Eventually the dribbles became a trickle and then a steady flow as the anesthetists poked and prodded, trying to insert an arterial line into my veins. This important piece of tubing would be used to monitor the minutest change in my blood pressure. Unfortunately I was so dehydrated and distressed that they couldn't find a home for the line. Two different attempts were made on my left arm and then they switched to my right.

In the background I could hear the assistants disparaging the supply unit as they'd run out of a certain kind of drug essential for my surgery. Apparently, they'd just used the last of it up in another emergency c-section, but they were incredulous that the hospital could run out of such an important drug. Dr Awesome stopped the bitching by telling them to go with the second most popular drug as they had no choice at this stage.

My attention was drawn sharply back to the anesthetists as they threaded the arterial line into my arm. Yes, into my arm. They missed my veins all together and there's nothing quite as revoltingly painful as feeling a piece of tubing slide into your body where no tubing is meant to go.

At this point the nurse came back from telling Alaskaboy that it was taking longer than anticipated--They'd expected to have Kiddlywink out by now--and she grabbed my hand in time for them to miss-thread the line a second and third time.

Finally, Dr Awesome put his foot down. "That's enough," he said. "Let's just go. We can put the line in when she's out." From the tone in his voice and the look on his face, he was sick of seeing and hearing me suffer. And I'm guessing he could see from my face that I'd reached the end of my courage. I remember thinking at that point that I could keep being brave if they'd only successfully put the stupid thing in, but I had no faith left in the anesthetists except for their abilitiy to hurt me.

And hurt me one of them did again. After fitting the gas mask over my face, (Thank God it was at least a slightly opaque white colour not the awful smelly black ones they had years ago) he explained he was supporting the "some part of my throat I didn't quite catch" so I would keep breathing. But to me, all it felt like was him trying to choke me while crushing my Adam's Apple at the same time. There was none of that gentle hold-my-hand-and-count-backwards-from-one-hundred routine I was used to. Imagine the pain of the biggest ice cube you ever swallowed. Multiply it by about 50 and center it all on the very front of your throat. That was the last sensation I remember feeling before the lights went out.

The very next sensation I felt was my left fingers starting to twitch involuntarily. Slowly but surely I became more aware of my body and my surroundings. I caught a glimpse of the clock and seeing just how much time had passed I began to fret. All of a sudden I could peer towards the doorway and see Dr Awesome and Alaskaboy.

"Hi Baby," I said, in a voice that I barely recognised as my own, so weak and high pitched did it sound. "Is she beautiful?"

His voice I recognised, as well as his pride, relief and joy, in the one syllable that he was able to utter. "Yes."

And then I was concentrating on not giving into the urge for terrified wailing as they informed me they were transferring me to a bed. Considering what I'd been through, I expected a huge, painful process of some kind...but they gathered the corners of the sheets and slid me across onto the bed, smooth as silk.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I settled in for the ride to the ICU, tuning out the gurney driver and the nurse who was administering my meds as they argued over the best route to take. Direction sorted, we set off on a kaleidoscopic journey of lights whizzing by overhead and corners being turned at what felt like break neck speed.

My eyes opened wider and wider as we approached the turn for the elevator. Yeah, that sigh had been breathed too early. The guy misjudged the turn, too busy flapping his gums, and rammed the end of the gurney into the side of the elevator doorway.

Hearing myself make an horrific primal scream, I grabbed my stomach as I slid several inches down the bed. Then my hair stood on end as I heard the vicious tone in Alaskaboy's voice as he verbally tore strips off the guy. Miserable and tired of it all I closed my eyes and sobbed the rest of the way to ICU.

The next twenty four hours passed in a blur. I remember making and receiving phone calls and text messages; sleeping a lot; pressing the pain relief button as often as I was allowed; and even managing to get out of bed at one point.

Then during one of my lucid periods, Alaskaboy was there; with photos of our beautiful baby girl. We'd managed to have a list of about six or so names for a girl, but there were two clear favourites. It wasn't until we saw her picture though that we knew which order to put those names in. Funnily enough, the name we chose for her first name was the last name we'd put on the list. And subsequently never added any more names after that. It was like we'd known subconsciously we had our winner since that moment.

As they were preparing to move me out of the ICU and into the intensive care beds of the actual maternity ward I was able to say goodbye to the nurse who'd helped me through those first critical hours. She'd stopped back in to see how I was doing when she logged on for her next shift.

That left me in good spirits and Alaskaboy's terse warning to the gurney driver had me hoping for a smooth journey. HAHAHA! She was worse than the original gurney driver. She not only managed to ram me feet first into the side of an eight foot wide doorway, (you really don't EVER want to know what Alaskaboy said and how he sounded while he said it) but also sideswiped an elevator doorway on the way to the maternity ward. I managed to keep my mouth shut and my cries deep in my throat during the sideswipe else murder might well have been done.

But wait! There's more. The fun and games weren't over yet! It got worse before it got better.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

This touched a chord.

Something inside me is still vibrating gently after reading this piece. I'm not quite sure yet what has been touched, but I'm planning to let the vibrations do their work and shake loose whatever they will.

Thanks, Shauna, for twittering the link.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Consistency Equals Balance?

Sorry: It's a bit rambly. I don't have time to edit like I usually would. Kiddlywink's awake and hungry and it's already taken three times as long as usual to get this post done.



I remember feeling so proud of how much I achieved during the six weeks of psychotherapy I had last year. I also remember feeling bewildered when the therapist mentioned it was so nice to have someone who went home and worked with the tools she gave them in the therapy sessions. I thought to myself,Why would someone try and work through their issues in only the limited window each with with the actual therapist, why not continue on at home as well? I now realise what she meant when she said, “You have the luxury of time, a safe place, and a very understanding husband to help you deal with this.”

I still have the safe place, I have the understanding husband, but I don't have time any more, neither does the understanding husband.

And I'm SO frustrated! I'm acknowledging all these things that have come up in the past couple of weeks, but I don't have the time or energy to deal with, or feel, any of it. So I've been overeating and binging on instantly streamed television to compensate.

I also now understand why parents look so frazzled. Everything is a choice between doing one thing and not doing something else. Alaskagirl and I managed a quick chat last night on the phone, and among other things we were talked about how we would love to kick our prenatal selves. All that time we had to DO things! How easy it was to accomplish anything all by yourself! And yet we had no idea and thus were so lazy about exercising, eating, housework etc.

I think of all those times I decided not to go to the gym because it was too much effort and laugh my head off now. Do you know how EASY it is to pack up one bag of stuff, go to the gym/pool whenever you feel like it and spend as long as you like there with no one to think about but yourself? Now, I have to pack my swim bag; pack Kiddlywink's diaper bag; time it so I can feed her then get her dressed and then head on out for a quick swim while she's sleeping. Most often she wakes up while I'm in the showers or half-dressed and I need to feed her right then. And of course now she's getting older so she doesn't sleep as long during the day and wants to play at this new found bearing weight and/or sitting business. So, I rarely go swimming anymore.

It's been hard, realising this week that I have to give up one of my lifelong behavioural patterns. For as long as I can remember I'll have spurts of activity/tidiness/discipline etc followed by periods of laziness/slobbishness/chaos. In order to prevent myself from going crazy, I'm going to have to learn consistency.

Consistency, and to give up the idea of perfection. I was able to give up the ideal of perfection in my eating habits (ie, if I can't be perfect, fuck it, I'll be the total opposite) and now I have to give up that crutch in other areas of my life. No more days and/or weeks of zero housework followed by cleaning binges. Every person I know of who doesn't have a cleaning service but does have a tidy house--tidy and lived in, not Home Beautiful magazine clean, because even they edit the photos they shoot of houses--follows one simple rule: Tidy a little, each and every day.

This week, each day I've done one-three chores, at most. i.e. wash one sink of dishes, fold some clothes, sort some clothes out of storage for Kiddlywink(she'll be moving up a size soon), pick up dirty clothes, wash and sterilise one or two loads of Kidldywink's bottles etc. And you know what? I'm still frustrated. But it's a different kind of frustration.

I'm having to hold myself back from cleaning to exhaustion. It's hard to feel satisfied when at the end of the day there's still mess around, and to feel like I've accomplished hardly anything. But it's easier than working myself into a stupour and STILL feeling unsatisfied because I didn't get done all that I thought I SHOULD get done.

Funnily enough, it's Friday and the house is perceptibly tidier than it's been in months. Not as perfect as it was for that one night only when I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned to get the house spotless because a friend was coming over for dinner. But you know what? The dishes from that meal we cooked sat out for a whole week because I'd hurt myself physically and emotionally with the cleaning frenzy.

I'm at that point where I was with dieting. I'm DONE with wanting perfection. I'm fed up with the binge cycle and I'm ready to try a more intuitive approach to cleaning. Each time I feel the need to compulsively clean I'm going to ask myself why I'm wanting to binge on housework. Strangely enough the last few times I've asked myself that this week, I've given almost identical responses to times I'd binge on food.

I'm suppressing emotions, or using it to punish myself. No wonder I have a love/hate relationship with housework. So this means, like I did with dieting/food, I have to remove the Virtuousness Reward I get for doing a lot of housework, I have to remove the Punishment aspect also. Housework is just housework. It's a repetitive job, especially if done consistently, but it has to be done.But if done consistently, like exercise or a healthy diet, it's another aspect of taking care of myself and learning to live more like an adult and less like a teenager.

So, yeah, I'm frustrated this week, but also pleased that there is something I can work on to better myself, in the limited time I have lately. And who knows, once I get into the regular housework habit, I bet I'll be surprised at how much time I'll free up for other ways to help myself.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Kiddlywink Update

Kiddlywink and Kada went to visit the paediatrician for Kiddlywink's 4 month check up. We're happy to report that she weighs 10 lbs 5 ozs and is 22 inches long. This now puts her on the "regular baby" growth charts. (In the 3rd percentile, but she's on the charts!) For her weight she's following the average curve, but for her height she's "doing her own thing" as the doctor put it; she's going in a line straight up! LOL Those big hands and feet of hers, which remind us of a gangly puppy, are living up to their promise and she's already tall for her age/weight.

Kiddlywink's trying her very best to roll over, but she can't quite coordinate all of the bits of the puzzle together yet. She has been able to roll herself over on to her back just once, but she cheated since her bottom arm provided no impediment, having gotten stuck under her belly. (She'd been playing one of the games she likes: Mummy rolls Kiddlywink back and forth on the bed.)

Her newest and bestest games for the moment though are sitting while holding on to Mummy or Daddy's fingers, or standing while supported under her armpits. We actually managed to catch a photo of her standing this morning AND of her big, beautiful "I'm so happy" or "Hi, Mum/Dad" smile. (The nurse pointed out that she has a smile reserved just for us and a not-quite-as-big smile for anyone else. We'd noticed it, but thought we were imagining things.) This smile is also often followed by a gurgly goo and an adorable coy/shy/flirty face which seems to say "Aww shucks, I'm SOOO cute aren't I!" Don't know if we'll be lucky enough to catch a photo of that one though.

Anyway, enough talking. Here's what you're really wanting. Photos taken over the course of the previous month.

love,
Alaskaboy, Kada, and Kiddlywink.

P.S. Conveniently, her joyful kicking in the bathtub obscured her so nicely I didn't need to blur anything. LOL
P.P.S. We don't normally pause to take photos after she has puked. But this was an extremely funny moment. Alaskaboy put out his hand to catch the puke(consisting of milk she'd finished drinking no more than five seconds prior), and it hit his hand then rebounded back up and over her head. Poor kid. After Kada died laughing at the identical horrified looks on their faces she just HAD to take a photo.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feeling A Bit Weary.

The last few weeks I've been feeling really down. Sheer tiredness has played a big part of it, but on top of that everything feels like such an effort lately. Funnily enough, it's not the physical aspect of having put on 18 lbs that's making me feel this way. Don't get me wrong, that is obviously increasing the difficulty of everything, my recovery included. It's more of a mental thing that I've got going on though; and it didn't hit me what it was until two nights ago while I was out on my walk.

I'm so fucking tired of working my arse off, literally, to get into good physical and mental shape and then through no fault of my own suffering a huge setback. I'd be angry at myself if I'd fallen off the wagon each time, and rightly so, but how the fuck do you get angry at life?

Case in point:
Several years ago I was going great guns, then strained my groin and had to recover from that. Yes, at that point I did dangle from the wagon a little, but I got back on with a firmer seat than before.
Then, I had the antibiotic poisoning episode. So, along with the physical recovery, I took the opportunity to work on my mental health issues. And it took me two years plus also continuing to work on improving my physical fitness as much as I could. I was working hard to get as fit as I could before getting pregnant, and I was once again doing really well, had worked my way back to attempting land and water aerobics again as well as walking and swimming nearly every day.
Once I got pregnant, I continued exercising very regularly and eating excellently...
When as you all know--BAM!--along came HELLP and the cesarean delivery.

And here I sit, after literally YEARS of working so very hard, fatter and more unfit than I've EVER been in my life. On Monday night the unjustness of it all hit me right in the solar plexus. While I struggled to push on through the wall I'd hit at the half mile mark, I realized how very tired I am of it all. Which of course made my walk all the more difficult. Have you ever tried to walk in a public place while trying not to sob your heart out? You end up very out of breath and with a throat that feels like you've got an ice block/cube lodged in there.

It's SO unfair. I've worked so hard to ensure that I could be the kind of mother that has energy to play with her kids. Yet here I am, the mother I didn't want to be, struggling just to get through the day.

I'm so tired.

Tired of starting over, again and again and again. Tired of working so hard, and ending up even farther behind than when I first started. I am an advocate of health at any size, but it's hard to continue believing in myself when my health and fitness slip through my fingers no matter how hard I work to keep them. When my fat becomes not an accepted part of me but a hindrance to my life and my good health instead.

The funny thing is, despite all of this I can still look in the mirror and love myself. I dislike the numb parts and the incontinence. I dislike that my body doesn't feel like my own any more. I dislike yearning to have MY body back. But I still love myself. It's a weird head space to be in. Feeling both despair at starting over again, yet also pride at how far I have recovered once more. Fatigue at the thought of how far I still have to go, yet not willing to give up and remain this way. Afraid that I'll get fitter once more just to have another setback if I (ever) get pregnant again. Relief at how lucky I was to survive all that I have in the past few years, especially with much worse things could have been in every single case, yet also angry that those awful things happened at all.

I'm still working through the emotions of what happened with the birth and early postpartum period, that's why I haven't been able to write any more of my birth story yet. I'm not quite up to going there mentally or emotionally. Nor am I up to it physically. I know I'm already drained at the end of each day, I don't want to add the strain of that particular sobfest just yet to the other physical stresses.

Although, I did feel better after blubbing all over Alaskaboy in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. It made me feel so much better having the time to talk to him about all of it. (Only because he refused to go and do his usual morning yoga because he knew I needed to talk.) With how busy we've been lately taking care of Kiddlywink we haven't had any time for adult conversation. I miss being able to trail him from room to room as he gets ready for bed of an evening, catching up on what we've done during the day or discussing any issues that have come up. It's kinda hard to discuss things when we're each involved in doing separate chores that NEED to be done. Some nights we do get to talk, but obviously not in depth enough.

I know all of this will change. I know things will improve. . .no, are improving. It's just that Monday night I hit the end of my current tether and like a dog that goes tearing off after a lovely scent while forgetting she's on a leash, I came crashing down HARD.

Funnily enough, after tonight's walk I actually felt relaxed and revitalised. What a difference having a good cry, and several long naps, makes to my outlook.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Answering A Request.

Someone asked about where to find the brushes I talked about in my Pregnancy Coat post.

For them, and anyone else who is interested, I was able to buy them at my local grocery store in their health/shampoo/haircare/shower/brushes section. But you can find many types of scalp brushes at Amazon.com if you can't get them locally.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silliniess in the Morning.

I know I had enough sleep last night because I woke up in the mood to sing. (even though I don't sing or whistle in tune very well, I still enjoy doing both. and MUST do so when I'm happy and rested.)

This is what I sang as I was changing Kiddlywink's diaper/nappy this morning.
(to the tune of ten green bottles)

One wet nappy sitting on your bum,
One wet nappy sitting on your bum
And if one wet nappy should accidentally fall,
There will be no wet nappies sitting on your bum

So let's put one dry nappy up against your bum,
One dry nappy up against your bum
With one dry nappy up against your bum
We can go and get you some breakfast yummy-yums!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Shocked.

I went in for my yearly pap smear today. Having noticed several places I've slimmed down between last month's swimsuit shot and this month's photo, I was eager to get on the scales to see how those missing inches related to pounds lost.

I hadn't lost a thing.

In fact I've pretty much done the far opposite of losing weight.

I've gained 18lbs in 3 months. I'm now only 1 lb lighter than I was when I was 34 weeks pregnant!

Thus Denise's Comment on my Control Issues post is rather timely.

After having my son, I felt like I had to do everything right away- baby announcements, thank yous, laundry, and so on. I killed myself. I didn't allow myself to enjoy my baby and to enjoy my time at home with my baby. At the same time though, I still didn't do what my body needed. Now that you have a baby, it is a matter of finding that time for yourself---that includes time for managing a diet---and I don't mean diet as in counting calories. It takes time to meal plan and just think about eating better. I found it very difficult to just put Aiden in a stroller and go for a walk. You will get there---that's my point. A lot has changed in your life, and you can only take one day at a time and learn how to incorporate your needs back into it while still making the day work with all the schedules you know have!


The only way I can think of for me to have gained these 18lbs, while getting slimmer, is for the amount of water I retained earlier in the post-partum period to have been very great as opposed to my fat percent. But due to the amount of inactivity and lack of sleep I've been getting, the fat has been piling on even though the edema is going away.

And if I'm to admit to the soul searching I did on the way home, while eating the hamburger combo I'd driven thru to buy, is that my eating hasn't been as intuitive as I thought it had been. Yes, WHAT I was eating was intuitive, but the amounts certainly haven't been. Also due to the lack of sleep and lack of time etc, my intuition has been asking for far too many quick, easy meals of late. Sure, we've been eating the meals out of the freezer, but to be completely truthful, I've been eating take away food at least twice a week also. It's not all junk food, but it still is restaurant quality food, and as we all know that equals excess amounts of everything in the meals. The meals in the freezer, whilst nutritious, really don't contain enough veggies in them either. Instead of eating side veggies with them, I've merely eaten my fill of those dishes at each sitting. I also haven't been eating much fruit any more. Funny, the first few weeks postpartum I ate fruit every single day. I s'pose it was easier to with my slaves present to handle other things, or to slice up a bowl of something and hand it to me while I was pumping milk.

As Denise said though, everything is SO MUCH MORE of an effort. I might be taking the time to enjoy being a parent to Kiddlywink, but I'm not taking the time to make wiser meal choices. I also haven't been exercising as much as I'd like. Again, because it's such an effort. Walking is great to help heal from a c-section. However, with how stinking hot it's been during the day, and how exhausted I am by the relative cool of the evening, my planned daily, or even every other day, walk hasn't been happening. Some days it's hard enough to get dressed or to find time for a five minute shower, let alone cook a bloody meal. And cooking equals more dishes. {sigh}


LOL Shit! I just remembered I used to think it was too much of a bother to go swimming or exercise every day. I wanna reach back in time and slap myself. All I was responsible for was getting me to and from the pool, or out the door to walk/whatever. Now I have to take all my stuff plus everything for Kiddlywink as well. Most often I end up feeding her in the change rooms before we come back home again. Talk about an excursion!

I'm starting to sound like I'm complaining. Ugh. I'm not really, it's just a bit of a shock to realise that even though I've been kind to my body by resting as I can, that I've also been fooling myself about how bad I've been treating myself otherwise. And fooling myself about how much I've been using Kiddlywink and my tiredness as an excuse. I'm only going to get tireder the fatter I get!

It' hard to realise that now, I HAVE to start taking the time to exercise and cook. That even though all I can do is put a few groceries in the bottom of the stroller for each trip, then that's what I have to do. So what if I have to go twice this week just to get a nice amount of veggies/fruit, so be it. We're out, we didn't get time to go this weekend, so I have to suck it up and do it. Am figuring I'll probably get a fair few frozen veg, but hey, at least they're better than nothing! And they stand more chance of me finding time to cook them and eat them.

Anyone else, especially you Mums/Dads and those of you that work full time or have very busy schedules, got tips for how to ease on back into this exercising and cooking healthy stuff?

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Control Issues.

For weeks now I've been feeling like absolute shite. I'm recovering from the birth, but I've felt like I'd hit a wall and was going no farther. A couple weeks ago, Alaskaboy noticed that despite my use of Breathe Right strips, (which I'd discovered thanks to my dad) I was still having disturbed sleep.

Yes, yes, I know I'm the mother of a young baby plus also needing to go to the bathroom a lot thanks to the surgery, but this was something different. The slight sleep apnea that I started having during the latter stages of my pregnancy has not gone away like I'd assumed. In fact, Alaskaboy and I figured out it's the main reason I've been so exhausted. I mean, months later still falling asleep on the toilet and couch? Without even realising I've fallen asleep? Total body exhaustion.

It's taken me a few trial and errors, but I've figured out a way to get better quality sleep, without hopefully having to get a CPAP machine: Different, higher pillows for my head, one under my arm like a teddy bear to take some of the weight off my chest and throat, and of course the nasal strips. It's amazing the difference it makes having fewer episodes per sleep session.

After reading up on helpful hints etc, I got stuck on one particular point all of the data agreed upon: Losing weight. I've been debating with myself ever since about going to buy some scales. Some days I'm resolute that I'll be getting them, other days the thought of bringing them into the house nauseates me. Finally, last weekend I decided that I would purchase them.

Funnily enough, I've come up with a new excuse every day since as to why I don't get to the shops before they close. It's too hot to go out; I'm too tired; I was tending Kiddlywink all day, etc etc etc. Today, after watching Disfigured over the course of a few baby feedings, it hit me that I'd actually related more to the anorexic character in the film than the overweight ones. During a big sob session, it also shed light on why I hadn't gone out and bought those scales.

Why?

Control.

Now that I'm getting a little more quality sleep, I have the energy to feel what I'm feeling, rather than losing it all in the sleep-deprived haze. And what I'm feeling is; that I feel like I've lost control of my life. Well, I've lost my illusion of control anyway.

The birth wasn't as I wanted it, neither was the immediate aftermath. So many things I thought would happen a certain way, almost seemed to go out of their way to happen the opposite. I feel robbed and cheated and let down. But I haven't had the energy, due to the sleep deprivation, to actually feel them. If that makes sense?

I have no problem with my appearance, it's pretty much the same as it's always been, with the addition of a few more stretch marks and slightly floppier and looser bits. They'll tone up in time eventually. But will the numbness go away? Will the incontinence? Will the sleep apnea? It's my body and yet it's not.

With my body clock having to follow Kiddlywink's waking patterns, on top of all those other issues I just mentioned, I'm feeling like I have lost control of myself and my life. And the “lose 10% body weight to beat the apnea” instruction from those websites began to sing its seductive song.

Deep down I knew all along exactly who'd be in control though. The scales. Before long they'd be dictating my moods and giving me the bragging rights of just how many kilos I'd lost. And thus I was flirting with dieting thinking again and it's shocked the shit outta me. Why do I need the scales to tell me when I've lost the magic 10%? What if the apnea doesn't go away after losing 10%? What if it goes away before that?

Instead of bewailing my weight and the state of my house...I have to take the sure fire clue my messy house has been giving me and declutter the state of my mind instead. Focus on what's really the problem, instead of what's merely one of the symptoms. By this I mean, my house is acceptably messy for the situation I'm in. The actual symptom is my focus on getting my house “perfectly” clean and because it's not I can beat myself up about what a bad housewife I am. Thus taking away the heat from my real problems. Hey, I'm managing to get most of the dishes done every night, as well as cleaning and sterilising baby girl's stuff.

Let me say that again. I wash most of the dishes, sometimes all of them, every single night! Something I couldn't even manage while getting excellent sleep without a baby! So it's definitely not the housework that's the real issue, now is it?

I don't need scales to tell me I'm getting healthier...when my sleep apnea disappears, it'll have disappeared. No number on the scale will make it disappear. So why bother getting a scale to measure those totally useless numbers?

What will make it disappear is giving my body time to recover completely from the pregnancy and surgery. Giving myself time to recover my fitness and muscle tone. I'll know when I start regaining more health than I already have, because not only will I sleep better, but my energy levels plus my clothes will tell me so.

I don't need scales to regain control. What I do need is to allow myself to work through the disappointments, hurts, fears and grief that has come over the past few months. Work through them instead of hanging on to them like I have been. The control I do need to have won't be found by weighing myself. What I need to do is what I've done in the past: Allow the outflow of emotions in a safe and constructive way rather than trying to control them by corralling them behind an impenetrable wall of numbers.

That, and getting more good quality sleep. Speaking of... ZzzZZzz

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pregnancy Coat

I've seen horses desperately scrubbing against fence posts, or inelegantly flailing their legs as they roll around on their backs on the grass. The unfriendliest cat one relative ever had, would, out of sheer desperation, deign to have his back scratched by us at least once a year. And Dr Kay's short-haired dog loved it the one unseasonably warm winter we stayed for a visit, when Alaskaboy set to work with his masterful fingers scratching fast and furious.

Before, I would laugh at the silly expressions of ineffable relief they'd invariably display.

Now, I can sympathise.

Due to the heat plus not having time to do more than wash and shake--and even that rarely of late--I got my hair cut a few weeks ago. So short is this nice new 'do that it's about an inch and a bit long. A few days ago I found out another convenience of having my hair this short.

I'm molting!

Yes, that's right, shedding my pregnancy coat!

And just like all those animals I laughed at previously, I too pull funny faces as I treat myself to the human equivalent of the curry comb.



Sometimes in desperation, I'll lean over the bathroom sink and look exactly like the mad scientist grabbing fistfuls of his hair and pulling them out!

And like any other shedding creature...my hair is EVERYwhere! Poor Kiddlywink, she even had piece in her mouth the other day.

Honestly! Every day I feel like I've been back to the hairdresser. You know how it is: No matter how well they tighten the plastic cloak, or brush you off afterwards, unless you go home and have a shower, you'll spend the rest of the day itching all over as those tiny little hairs prickle you mercilessly.

ARRGH! I'm off to have a shower.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Eowyn Challenge.

Thanks to Di Francis, I came across this website:

It looks like a fun way to have a goal for exercise. There's even maps and things to mark your progress on. :D Now... to choose which journey I want to do. Anyone else want to join in with me?


"Walk, run, hike, bike, blade, swim - if you can measure the distance, you can do this challenge. Keep a log, and record your daily or weekly miles and the type of exercise. For walkers and hikers, you might want to invest in a walking meter, they look like wristwatches. Otherwise, you can estimate your distance at 1 mile for every 20 minutes of brisk walking on a flat surface. Our original suggested deadline was the opening of The Return of the King December 17, 2003. As this glorious day is now past, we are setting new goals, new times

If you would like to set a long term distance goal, choose any one of the following:

THE LORD OF THE RINGS:

458 miles: Go from Hobbiton to Rivendell.

462 miles: Set out with the Fellowship from Rivendell to Lothlorien.

389 miles: Travel through Moria and down the Anduin from Lothlorien to Rauros Falls.

355 miles: Follow the path of Merry and Pippin from Rauros to Isengard.

484 miles: Follow the path of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli from Rauros to Isengard.

470 miles: Follow Frodo and Sam on the quest from Rauros to Mt. Doom.

517 miles: Ride with Gandalf and Pippin from Isengard to Minas Tirith.

786 miles: Travel with Aragorn from Isengard to Dunharrow through the Paths of the Dead to Minas Tirith.

578 miles: Ride with Merry and the Rohirrim from Isengard to Dunharrow to Edoras to Minas Tirith.

138 miles: Follow Aragorn from Minas Tirith to the Morannon.

120 miles: Return for Aragorn’s crowning from the Morannon to Minas Tirith.

1625 miles: Take the road home with the hobbits from Minas Tirith to Hobbiton.

467 miles: Follow Frodo to the Grey Havens and return home with Sam.

THE HOBBIT:

397 miles: Travel with Bilbo from Bag End to Rivendell.

570 Miles: Travel with Bilbo from Rivendell to Lonely Mountain.

"

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

'Nother Quick Update

-This has been our first week alone, without slaves of the family variety, since Kiddlywink was born. Alaskaboy has also been back at work a couple of weeks now.

-Kiddlywink, (and us) has been missing everyone, and consequently hasn't wanted to sleep anywhere but on me during the day. Of a night she sleeps fine, but I'm still only getting approx no more than three hours broken sleep. After six nights of that plus staying on the couch with her all day...I broke down and begged Alaskaboy on the phone Thursday night to take Friday off. They were unable to replace him, because I'd left it so late. Same with Monday or Tuesday!

-In desperation, I put Kiddlywink into her favourite sleeping position--on her stomach which we usually only allow her to do in her Boppy Play Gym while supervised--and slept on the couch cushions on the floor right beside the play gym.

-Suddenly, with a few extra naps here and there, the world isn't such a godawful place.

-We've learned that I have to supplement with formula, I don't produce enough milk to satisfy her. I stubbornly kept trying for over two weeks, assuming that since she was dropping off to sleep after each feed she was full, and she only gained half as much weight during that time as she was s'posed to. Plus got a bit dehydrated. The doctor also suggested giving her up to 2 * 30 ml servings of sterilized, cooled water per day as she needs it. Some days she wants none, other days she drinks the full 60 mls, some days only wants a half ounce at a time. My daughter LIKES water, both to play in and to drink. Hooray! (0-3 month old swimsuits are THE cutest thing !)

-Have discovered I need to drink one bottle of gatorade per day, to prevent cramps and my own dehydration. Have been very grateful to the rellies that helped stock up the freezers and fridge completely with pre-cooked meals. Have made it so much easier. Just nuke it and then shove in the food one handed. Funnily enough, I'm still eating intuitively.

-I haven't weighed myself since my first postpartum doctor's visit. Conveniently, our own scale broke around the time I was in hospital. We'd had it in the one position that long in the bathroom, that when we went to move it to clean the floor, the rubber foot stayed stuck to the floor and the spring-loaded leg snapped off. We probably won't be buying another. I'm still bloated from the surgery, plus breastfeeding, so there's less point than usual in weighing myself.

-I'll be taking a photo once per month in my bathing suit as a judge of my progress. At the moment, I'm so out of shape, (hate to imagine what I'd've been like if I HADN'T exercised my whole way through the pregnancy) plus still rehabbing from the surgery etc that a one mile stroll is an achievement akin to completing an Ironwoman competition. Not too bad consideringa few weeks ago going to the bathroom used to feel equivalent to that.

-Despite all the blahness, unfitness, lack of sleep etc, I'm loving being a Mum. She can make me smile even in the middle of an exhausted weeping fit.





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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Three Recent Signs

Three different yet equally compelling signs, all indicating how fortunate I've been lately.


1.) While eating lunch at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant I failed to receive, for the first time ever at any Asian place that has the custom, a fortune in my cookie. It made me pause and consider that perhaps I have already had my lotto-win-sized proportion of good fortune for the year.

2) While sitting on the sidelines with Kiddlywink as Alaskaboy and Alaskagirl attended a water aerobics class, Favourite Lifeguard Number 2 came up and spoke to me. When I explained a little how I'd gotten sick and had to deliver her early and I'd nearly died, he put his hand on my arm, looked deep into my eyes and said, "I'm very, very glad that you didn't die. We would have missed you." Then, he went on to explain how his brother's girlfriend had been six months pregnant recently and also gotten sick(without mentioning with what exactly). Unfortunately, she ended up in a coma. Fortunately, they were able to save the baby. But what again made me pause and really shook me to my core. . .the woman actually died.

3) How do I know it could have been me? When in for my six week check up, I asked Dr Awesome some of the questions I'd been too brain foggy, or unconscious, to think of asking. One of which concerned Kiddlywink's APGAR scores. Not really worth much in the long run, but nice to know anyway. "Her APGAR scores were 8 or 9, she was fine. It was you who did your very best to die." And once again, his cheerful demeanour disappeared momentarily as we all pondered that last sentence of his.

I'd like you all to take a few moments out of your day, for as many days in a row as you like, and consider the things in your life that make you fortunate, and be thankful for even the smallest amount of good fortune.

Today, I'm thankful for a) the ability to produce some breast milk, b) not only the mere existence of electric breast pumps, but the fact my health insurance covers most of the rental for a hospital grade one, and c) that formula has improved enough to allow for premature babies and their special dietary needs.

And yes, currently we're making use of all three to feed Kiddlywink. Feeding her from my breasts, then topping her off with formula and previously expressed breast milk. The Daily logs we're keeping of both my pumped volume and her eating and elimination amounts is truly fascinating. She is SO intuitive. More on that in a bit though.

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part Two.

Part One.


After signing in to the Labour and Delivery Ward, (thankfully we'd preregistered,) we were ushered to a room, where I put on the first of many hospital gowns I'd wear over the next week. Despite having preregistered, there was still a bazillion pages of paperwork I had to fill out. Authorizations for all kinds of drugs/procedures etc etc. Kinda weird really, but I guess this is sue-crazy America, so they'll shove paperwork at you all day long in an attempt to avoid having to pay out in a lawsuit.

The first drugs I received in my brand-spankin' new I.V. were a blood pressure medication and magnesium sulfate. The first to prevent a stroke and the other to prevent possible convulsions. One of the reasons I'd wanted to avoid an epidural, apart from the whole stick a needle in your spine aspect, was to avoid the regular taking of my blood pressure. With how tight they have to pump the cuffs, I often end up bruised after a routine doctor's visit...imagine how I felt at the idea of it being taking with an automated cuff every 15 minutes? Yet there I was, hooked up to the infernal machine.

Machines I should say. There was also the fetal monitor. This lovely thing they cinched TIGHT around my belly in the hopes of getting it to stay in place to track Kiddlywink's heartbeat. I don't know why they bothered because she sure as hell didn't stay in the one place! LOL There was also the lovely catheter. Convenient that I didn't need to get up and go to the toilet. What I mostly focused on though was my raging thirst. I was allowed nil by mouth, and I dunno about you, but a drip may hydrate the body but I STILL wanted a drink, dammit. My mouth was doubly dry, from fear as well as thirst.

Many tests, and hours, later, Dr Awesome finally arrived. My lab results had come back and yes, it was as he'd feared, HELLP Syndrome. The reason he'd waited so long to operate on me was because he wanted to get those lab results back before proceeding. (I'll forever be grateful he made me wait those interminable hours. I found out later, if he hadn't, he wouldn't have known just how low my platelet levels were, and there would have been a real possibility of bleeding out on the table...just like sufferers of HELLP did in the past when they didn't have even the little knowledge they have nowadays about how to deal with it.)

The choice of inducing me had disappeared when they'd seen my cervix was closed completely and Kiddlywink hadn't “dropped” yet. And now, any chance I had of even being awake, including a caesarean with the dreaded epidural, was zero. Add yet more paperwork to be hurriedly signed before they shaved me down below and all of a sudden it was all systems go. Alaskaboy was handed scrubs to put on and they whisked me off to the operating theatre, for a good old fashioned birth: under general anesthetic.

Alaskaboy struggled to get the scrubs on as fast as he could, and followed my gurney out to the theatre. At this point, I was more worried about Kiddlywink than myself--ignorance truly is bliss--and hoped that she was well-formed enough to survive. My subconscious mothering instincts had prevented me from calling in to the doctor any time over the previous ten days. A good thing as it turned out. 34 weeks is the cut off point. One day earlier and she'd have had to go to the super scary, teeny tiny babies' NICU and not the “normal” NICU.

Laying there in the surgery, listening to them discussing their pre-op stuff, it made me smile on the inside despite the pain I was in; the attitudes/conversations and preparation sounds were somehow reminiscent of every single kitchen I've worked in.

Then we were informed that due to the nature and seriousness of my surgery, Alaskaboy would NOT be allowed into the theatre at all.

He was to wait outside.

In that moment, Alaskaboy, standing in the doorway, and me, lying on the operating table as they started to strap me down and my belly up, locked gazes. My absurd thought in that moment was, “God, it's just like in a movie!”

Truly, it was. Last time we'd shared a gaze this intense was as I walked down the aisle towards him on our wedding day. Now, as then, we stared into each others eyes for a few short, but highly charged seconds, and then had to look away. I wanted to drown in his eyes, but I couldn't bear the depths of the emotions contained within them. Nor could I bear the tears that had started to form. The first time, they'd been hard enough to see when they were tears of immense joy. Now they were caused by terror. Realising just how afraid and distraught he was, increased my own feelings tenfold.

Then the door was shut in his face, and he had to wait outside, and pray.

And even though I was in a crowded room, I felt dreadfully alone.

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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Quick Update.

I'm working on some posts: about learning even more about intuitive eating from my daughter; continuing the birth story; and a couple of others are brewing in the brain, but for now, here's a quick Kiddlywink update.

Age: 5 weeks (almost to her original anticipated birth day! lol)
Weight: 2.95 kg / 6.5 lbs
Holding head up: 5 seconds, while looking around.
Breast feeding: Getting better at it. Latches first go usually now, and eats on average 20mls(then switches to bottle) per each of the three feeds we're managing to coordinate in a daytime period.
Chubby Cheeks? Check!
Baby Belly? Check!
Farts? You bet! Like a brewery draft horse!
Likes: taking turns sleeping on her four current slaves' chests, eating, tummy time, snuggling, bath time, clean diapers.
Dislikes: the diaper changing process, being buckled into car seat, outfit changes, hiccups, passing gas, slack service at this restaurant...food's tasty though.


And of course, the obligatory pictures!

Let's Dance!


Stick 'Em Up!



{Burp!} Excusez-moi!


Hiding From Sun on 4th July.


My, What A Serious frown You Have!


And our current favourite...

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kiddlywink's Birth Story: Part One

The morning of our 34 week appointment dawned with me having had less than a few hours sleep...no different from any of the previous 30 mornings. But the last ten days or so had been because of that pesky pain in my side, rather than peeing every half an hour. In fact I'd been peeing less, because I'd been drinking less and eating less due to aforementioned pain. My pee, naturally, as a result progressively got darker over the 34th week.

Alaskaboy had been starting later and later each day as the week progressed into night shoots, and happily was able to come with me to my appointment; with enough time to drive us back home again before needing to go into work. (When Alaskaboy's boss found out he'd missed several ultrasounds, he insisted that he go to all of the later ones and they'd cover for him at work the necessary hour+ it took to do so.)

We arrived, then I was duly weighed (pleased I hadn't gained any weight since last weigh despite the cankles that wouldn't go away all of a sudden) and deposited my lovely cola-coloured smidgen of pee into the cup. The nurse took my blood pressure, and said something about me needing to drink more and that the cuff must be faulty or something. Eventually she got a reading and left.

Dr Awesome took longer to come in than usual, and I figured his last patient was running late or something, so Alaskaboy and I continued our conversation of how to get some more stuff tidied over the weekend. I felt confident to help with a little more than I'd been able to recently, considering I'd had a huge burst of energy and cleaned the kitchen and washed all the dishes the previous night. For weeks I'd been fretting over the need to get the house tidied and stuff for Kiddlywink ready. I was certain she'd come at least two weeks prior to her due date, since my family has a history of eager beavers born early. LOL (Myself included: 5 weeks early and 2 lb 12 oz at birth.)

Dr Awesome finally came in and asked how I was feeling. I assumed he was feeling tired and overworked because the usual happy vibe I got from him was missing. I explained about the “pulled muscle” in my side or possible popped rib. He asked a few more questions that I really don't remember, and then HE took my blood pressure. I frowned at Alaskaboy, because, hello! Doctors leave that sort of shit up to the nurses.

Then he broke the news to us. My urine sample had returned a +4 result for protein. (Apparently a rather bad result to receive.) To top it off, my blood pressure was currently 180/110.

Say what? The HIGHEST I'd ever been before was 130/80 and that was in the middle of all those anxiety attacks. (And once earlier in the pregnancy.) 180/110 is stroke territory!

Those results plus the pain in my side meant I was to be admitted to the hospital for more tests and would likely be having my baby that very day: I most probably had preeclampsia, or something worse. What had been a normal healthy pregnancy was now suddenly a possible life or death situation.

On the way to the hospital from Dr Awesome's office we each were busy on our mobile phones, notifying the various people we had to of our changed circumstances. I felt awful calling my parents during the wee hours of the morning their time, but I figured the situation warranted it. To this day, I believe my mother went into complete shock upon hearing what I had to say. Punctuating most of her conversation were several phrases along the lines of, “It's 4 o'clock in the morning!” She'd fixated on the mundane annoyance rather than taking in the horrible news I'd just given them...from half way around the world.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Ray Of Sunshine.

I distinctly remember asking Alaskaboy at some point during the first four days of Kiddlywink's life, "What's it like, being able to hold our daughter?" I of course was unable to go to her and she was unable to come to me, us being in our respective ICU beds.

The utterly besotted look that came over his face lit up my/our room like the sun breaking through cloud cover. "Even though I'm so exhausted, I'm nodding off while holding her, I always want to stay that little bit longer. When I can't sleep, I go to the NICU (because they let parents in any time they like) and spend an hour just holding her. She makes everything worthwhile."

This song came out a few years before I was born, but it's always been my and my dad's anthem. Today I watched Alaskaboy feeding our own little ray of sunshine, while listening to this song.

It added a whole new depth of meaning to this beautiful song.



We found out today at the lactation consultation, Kiddlywink has gained to almost 5 lbs. She was also able to successfully breastfeed for the first time since her birth. We've got a way to go before we can end the "expressing breast milk to feed by bottle plus supplementing by formula" stage we're currently in. But! She was big enough to actually latch and eat successfully today. Ate a whole 14 mls. (currently an actual feed is between 40-60mls)

Now we enter a whole new stage. Which is funny, we went to the lactation consult hoping it would get easier than what we're currently doing and enable Alaskaboy to go back to work. Instead, the feeding stuff is now more complicated but it will be worth it in the long run.

Currently I pump milk every three(or thereabouts) hours to go into the fridge for a later feed. We feed her approximately half milk and half made up formula every three hours. (The ratio can vary depending on how much breast milk is in that particular bottle and how much formula she requires after that to be full.) Not to mention diapering the baby, washing and sterilising bottle and pump parts etc

We trialled me doing everything myself for twenty four hours...hoping Alaskaboy'd be able to go back to work this week. (Next week and a half week after that is all the work left until a four week hiatus.) Trying to do it all myself, if each cycle went perfectly--which of course it rarely does--I'd get 40 mins bed time every three hours...all day long. As you'd guess, especially with me still recovering from nearly dying not too long ago, it ended in me strung out and sobbing in complete exhaustion.

Now after the lactation consultation, we'll be weighing* her before each day time feed then putting her to the breast. When she's done with that, we weigh again. (Each gram of extra weight means one ml of milk eaten) THEN we top off with expressed milk and formula as per now. And I still have to pump.

Eventually, she'll get stronger and stay longer at the breast. Eventually, I hope to produce enough milk to feed her completely myself. Eventually, we hope it will get easier. We're still hoping Alaskaboy can get back to do Some work before hiatus.

But it doesn't matter what we have to do. Because even with the extra work and sleeplessness, the money we're not earning, as Alaskaboy and the song said, "She makes everything worthwhile."

*We've ordered a cool scale that once she's successfully feeding enough we don't need to weigh her anymore, we can swap out the baby tray for the mail/letter attachment. :D We'd been wanting to get one for ages with the amount of packages we send, now we have a twofer! LOL

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kiddlywink's Second* Favourite Restaurant.

Alaskaboy was sitting at the dining table, Kiddlywink's butt sidesaddle on his leg and her head/neck in one of his hands in their favourite feeding position.

I was mashing an avocado to have with crackers for my soon-to-be session with the pump.

In a terrible French accent mastered by B-film actors the world over, he says to her a-la waiter, "For tonaght's firrrst course, we have zee bottle of meeelk! Would you like to try? No?"

Since she was in the middle of a stretch I asked him, in an even worse French accent, "Madamoiselle wishes to know, ees eet from zee region of Tittee or from zee Can?"

"From zee Grrrrrand Tittee!"


LOL


(Second course was as you'd guess, from the can.)

*In the NICU the service was like clockwork; fast and efficient too. Here, we're not quite as prompt, but we're like one of those hole in the wall joints that ya just keep coming back to. :)

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Mixed Bag.

- Kiddlywink has gained 10 ozs since friday. She's now 4lb 10ozs; a full pound over her birth weight. :)

- Her umbilical stump fell off this afternoon.

- I left my cell phone, the brand new one we got a few weeks ago to replace the one I lost during a pregnancy-hormones-induced lapse of memory, in my trouser pocket...and Alaskaboy was so tired he forgot to check all the pockets for about the first time since we've been married...

- Did I mention the tired? It's like no other kind of tired I've EVER experienced. And that's with Alaskaboy doing more than his fair share to help give me time to recover, and my mother-in-law doing all the dishes and most of cooking.

- And yet Alaskaboy, mom-in-law, and now my abdominals, are nagging me to do even less! "You had major surgery and you almost died! It hasn't even been two weeks yet! REST!" He "should" be going back to work next week and I "should" be able to cope with just Mom here. But he's not, and I can't. Is this the Mummy guilt they talk about, that I'm feeling?

- Kiddlywink' suck is too immature to latch on and feed from me without her tiring out before getting enough calories. (I also have flat nipples, need to see a lactation consultant about that!) So, I'm pumping breast milk and we're supplementing with formula.

- Successfully managed to juggle pumping (using a hands-free bustier) and bottle feeding at the same time. Felt proud for that.

- ESPECIALLY since pumping tends to knock me out cold!

- Am still eating completely intuitively which is a big relief. Was afraid I'd overeat with how tired/rundown I am.

- Walking is hard, not just because of the wounds (coughing is a BITCH AND A HALF!) but also my lung capacity is much lower than it was. Am told it's a side effect of being pregnant as well as the general anesthetic. Hope I improve quickly, I miss nice long walks.

- Am still having very satisfying naps while sitting on the toilet. Sometimes even for an hour long! LOL

- Even more in love than I was last week. :D

Catch yas later!

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Birth Announcement.

Hi Everyone,


After coming down with HELLP syndrome, Kada was given an emergency
cesarean section under general anesthetic.

Baby girl Kiddlywink born 3lb 10 ozs. (4lbs at discharge.) (For her privacy, in public internet places we'll still be using her pseudonym of Kiddlywink.)



Both of us spent a week in icu and are now home. Eating, sleeping, using
the bathroom and snuggling are the main activities for all three of us,
as you would expect. LOL



Love,
Alaskaboy and Kada
Completely besotted parents of Kiddlywink.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Kiddlywink is Here!

Due to sudden onset of HELLP Syndrome, Kiddlywink McDonald was welcomed into the world the old fashioned way: Mummy under general anesthesia and Daddy sitting outside surgical theatre waiting for news.

Have had a rough week but both Mum and Kiddlywink are healthy. I came home this evening, Kiddlywink comes home tomorrow; we're off tonight to buy the bare necessities of the nursery.

Will update as I get a chance.

Mmm sleeep, how I miss you already!

(Alaskagirl's comment on Previous Post, now up here on main page to see}
BLOG UPDATE 6/2/09: Kada tried to have me sign in and update the blog properly, but it wouldn't let me for some reason, so hopefully dedicated readers will check these comments.

What Kada thought were the normal pains of late pregnancy was actually HELLP syndrome, and as a result, she had an emergency C-section. Kiddlywink has joined us in breathing air, and quite well, too, for such an early, tiny baby.

Both Kada and Kiddlywink are doing well (now). Kiddlywink is over 3.5 pounds, and apparently the spitting image of her daddy. She gets time to sleep on her daddy's chest (kangaroo care), and Kada is well enough to do some care too.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Mum called to say that an ambulance had just arrived to take Nan back to the hospital for reevaluation.
The pain hasn't really gone away and as of Thursday she's been incontinent every time she's stood up.
The urologist who came out to see her yesterday suggested there's something more going on than just the fractured pelvis, possibly nerve damage.
They went to take her in today, but couldn't get her to move: Apparently the pain she's describing as "worse than childbirth."
Thus the ambulance with the nice strong men and pain drugs.


And me? I'm at the unfun part of being pregnant. Can't breathe properly. Can't fit more than a half cup of food or water in my stomach at any one time and not more than a few times a day. Feel like I've got both a pulled stomach muscle from coughing AND a floating rib in the back there somewhere. And the lovely Braxton Hicks contractions are starting to HURT now.
Can't even sit in a position that's comfy to blog about it, and crying is hard to do when can't breathe very well, so that's adding to the anxiety and miserableness that I can't get it out in my usual ways.
Off to blubber on my obgyn's shoulder. {sigh}

There's been other stuff going on, both good and bad, but see unable to blog.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Bit o' this, bit o' that.

Yesterday I was feeling somewhat less sore and sorry for myself. So, I made sure I took my new way of doing things under advisement. Don't do what I think I should be able for, do what I can! Because, really? Going like a bull at a gate trying to get everything done leads to one or more recovery days. Days that I could have had the same amount of work spread out over them with a lot less pain and aggravation for all concerned!

Thus, I went to Ralphs to pick up the puff pastry I forgot on Monday. I also checked out a local Motherhood Maternity in case they, by some freakish chance, actually had some clothes in my size. Besides walking/waddling--mmm nice cool mall--is good for a sore back, or so I'd heard. My back was definitely less irritated with me because I remembered to take a thinnish cushion to support my upper and middle back. (Thanks to pedal extenders, I can put seat back to where legs and belly are comfy, but as of about a two weeks ago, arms are now too short and I'm hunching forward to barely reach the steering wheel.)

After no luck then I almost gave up and went home, but instead of pouting I went to Costco. The thought of pushing one of those big trolleys around, in the heat especially, had me feeling nervous. But I psyched myself up with thoughts of what women have to do in other parts of the world with a toddler on each hip AND one in the belly! Pushing a trolley? Piece of cake!

Luckily it was only a few staples like milk, eggs, chicken (whole and breasts), fruit'n'veg, nuts etc but those bulk packets add up pretty quick! When I got home, I remembered to use the hand truck this time, AND even one better, left it at the top of the step or two coming up from the garage. Threw all the stuff on it, then up the elevator and inside. Wasn't able to put the truck away though as lifting it back up out of the horizontal and reconfiguring it to vertical position was beyond me at that point.

I did get the groceries put away. and ate some lunch. Mmmm cheese and crackers with fresh pear and kiwi fruit, plus Ribena with sparkling mineral water.

I debated with myself about doing some dishes and/then cooking chickens, sausage rolls and or soup (or cook all of the above and ignore the dishes), but again forcefully reminded myself of my new manifesto for more even work habits rather than fits and starts So I compromised, I roasted the two chickens and left the rest of the to do items alone.

Speaking of, I wonder if I've been eating enough fat recently, or if it was just something about the chicken fat yesterday that had me going hog wild? I like crispy chicken skin, but in small portions and only straight out of the oven. Usually I have my piece of chicken with the skin on and I'm satisfied. The rest of the chicken I eat is skin free, even if I go back for more in the same meal. Yesterday, for afternoon tea I ate all of the skin from one chicken, and one drumstick skin portion of the other. (plus two drumsticks, one thigh and two wings.) Also hinting to lacking in something, I then went and slept off the 'snack'. Dinner was again what I was hungry for but simply almonds, fruit, and yoghurt. (This has also been continuing to amaze me, this wanting so much fruit when it's hot. A pregnancy dietary change I hope I can continue once Kiddlywink arrives.)

I didn't want to have to buy any more maternity clothes, but yesterday I realised that if the weather continues this hot, I'm gonna needs some more shorts and tops. (Normal cut, but larger, ones aren't comfy anymore. Belly needs the support from the pregnancy clothes.) Oh! And plus nightgowns for when visitors are here. Oddly enough, in the plus size clothes the ONLY clothes they have for nursing are nightgowns and bras. Plenty of nursing tops/blouses/workclothes etc for slim women but NONE at all for plus size. NONE! (Overweight women only nurse in the bedroom, obviously.) I thought I couldn't be any more shocked about clothing discrimination...and then I find out the next level.

A completely disgraceful amount of money later, I have a blouse/shorts set, 2 nightgowns (one I'll have to alter to short sleeve), 1 pair Capri pants, and 1 tank top. Thankfully, with sizing I did allow for these to be worn after the birth also. The disgraceful amount of money looks truly shock worthy once I converted it to Australian dollars. (Used up the birthday and Christmas money I had stashed away there, as well as some of our Aussie trip spending money left over from last time.) With needing to buy blinds for the windows, hopefully to cut down on enough of the awful heat in Kiddlywink's room, (as I discovered yesterday during afternoon nap,) and possibly need to also purchase an air conditioner, I didn't feel justified hitting up any of the other budgetary categories for the money for these clothes. Especially when there was money in my Aussie account. (Also bought another indoor clothes airer last week with the account as well, so now it's looking kinda deflated.)

After an instant messenger convo with Dr Kay, plus then a virtual shopping trip with Raina (both looking at website and comparing things we like via instant messenger) at one of my new favouritest shops. Santa will DEFINITLY be doing shopping there later this year! I felt much better.

Felt even better when I realised in two weeks Raina will be having a layover at LAX on her way to somewhere else in the US. (And she then confirmed her family trip to California is ON for later this year. YEEHAW!) So, no coffee/snacks after the virtual shopping trip, but we're saving it for the layover.

And that's part of what I've been missing lately. Everyone has been so busy lately, me included, either working, being sick, having operations, or with just general life stuff, that we really haven't had time for our regular phonecalls/emails/IMs etc. And when we have connected up, me and Alaskagirl in particular {pout}, we've sort of been ships in the night. Timing for one has sucked for the other.

No WONDER I've been feeling lonely! The little social life I do have had fizzled badly over the past 6 weeks or so and I hadn't really noticed, other than subconsciously, because of how busy/tired I'd also been.

Come bed time? Was SO very glad I'd drawn the line with the chores. My hip was even less happy than the night before. (At one point I didn't know if I'd be able to complete cleaning myself after the toilet, let alone get back up off the thing!) So, first thing this morning I went for a swim again. (literally, was up at 7:30am, almost unheard of these days!) Back enjoyed that once the kinks and aches stopped hurting.

This afternoon I have a maternity tour of the hospital, thankfully only an hour long, but will be driving home in peak hour. Will see how the bod goes after that. May end back at the pool again this evening.

Happy Thursday!(Friday if you're in the Southern Hemisphere!)

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ups and Downs.

The nesting instinct is a bitch. Especially when coupled with looser joints/ligaments.

Frustrated by how fickle my energy levels have been recently, I celebrated yesterday's high energy day by going grocery shopping. I covered Ralph's but skipped Costco in favour of coming home for lunch. When I got home I realised it was probably the smartest move to make as it took me four trips to and fro to just get those groceries into the house.

Had lunch, threw one corned beef into the freezer and put the other two on to cook. Yes, that's three of them. Considering we haven't been able to find any since February, I took my chances while the getting was good! (At least the brand we get, which is the only one we can find with their spices still contained in the little plastic packet instead of mixed in with the beef. They all used to do that. Why change? Ruined the flavour completely the one time we went ahead and bought one anyway.) While that was cooking I called mum to natter a bit. Have been feeling a bit down lately and it kinda came out when I blubbered on the phone at her. (funny aside, our family is known for it's twilightzone-like coincidences..and what did mum pull out of the fridge and put on to cook while I was on the phone? A corned beef. Again, something they haven't had in ages and just happened to pick up the day before.)

I know that I have chosen, and continue to choose, to live in this city with Alaskaboy. That fact doesn't change how I FEEL. Especially not here and now with pregnancy hormones adding their own unique impetus to things. I feel lonely. Engagement and Marriage was bad enough with both families spread so far apart. At least in some small way we had nearby friends to help fill the gap a little.

Now, there are no friends nearby.

Mum and Dad had hoped to be able to time their holidays to come out for the birth, but that just wasn't feasible. Mom and Dad aren't sure if they'll be able to come out now at all because of the knee-replacement surgery Mom had a few weeks ago. Especially with this latest flu scare. Mom must avoid any chance of catching any form of viral or bacterial infection, else her knee could end up all kinds of screwed up. And Alaskagirl? She had jury duty the other week which has hampered her efforts to try and get enough work done to take some time off to allow for her own family commitments as well as possibly coming to visit us for a week. Dr Kay, apart from never having had children, also has family, social and work commitments, as well as a new relationship on her very full plate.

After visiting Alaskaboy's work last week, I realised just how lonely I have been feeling. Not just lonely, but also uncelebrated. To Alaskaboy and I, this is our first wanted pregnancy and is extremely special. To the rest of the world, it's nice and all, but they have their own lives to lead. (Which is as it should be.)

Logically, I understand all of this stuff. Emotionally? Fuck no!

Last week at his work, hearing all the "pregnant lady coming through" comments. Or having people ask how it's going, giving advice, telling their own stories etc etc It hammered home the loneliness. I know I have my virtual workplace with all of you guys encouraging me along. I have family and friends to be grateful for. I have a wonderful supportive husband. But apart from that husband, there's only me and Kiddlywink here.

Where's the icing on my cake? I want the baby shower with all the fun and games. A cake for wishing me well on my maternity leave at work. I want to go shopping with family and friends. I want people to rub my belly. I want it to be easy to receive hand-me-downs instead of paying a fortune to ship things. I hate hearing the wistfulness in Nan's voice as she wishes she could come and visit. I hate getting all that advice to truly "let" people help you when they ask is their anything they can do when they 'drop on by'.

I feel like I did the eve of my actual wedding. When it finally hit me, that I was going through an important rite of passage, and all my female peeps were elsewhere. Through my own actions/choices but again it didn't make it suck any less. (I've even looked into getting a doula, because I really would like one. But holy shit are they way out of our budget!)

Most days I'm fine. And I truly do mean most. But there's been a day or two here recently where I've started to fret. And I finally blubbered about it to mum on the phone. Alaskaboy copped it the other two times prior. Once in a baby furniture parking lot where I'd just parked the car prior to entering the store. LOL

All the what ifs are coming up in my mind. So far, of the necessities, we only have some baby clothes, a dresser, a breastpump, car seat and stroller, plus one mysterious package that has arrived from the baby registry. (As yet unopened as we're waiting for any other packages that may arrive, to do more than one thing per episode.) Myself personally, I was born five weeks early and most people I know had their children some form of early. So, in the back of my mind, the "due date" is only a possible date that may or may not be reached.

Nine and a half weeks, from today, possibly, if Kiddlywink comes "on time". That's not much time. And I'm starting to panic. I already have a hard time with waiting till a reasonable time before starting to prepare for visitors. I like my t's crossed and i's dotted days before a lot of visitors have even started thinking about packing their own suitcases. LOL And that's for a visitor! Imagine how I'm getting for this new person, whose arrival date/time is so up in the air!

On top of all this is knowing how much hotter the weather's going to get. How much more unwieldy my belly is going to be. We'll be doing some pre-childbirth classes on some of the upcoming weekends too, so even less time for stuff. AND not knowing how much more tired/fatigued I'll be. Pre-birth let alone afterwards.

Case in point. After I got off the phone with mum, I cooked some bolognese sauce, did a heap of dishes but still didn't get them all done (SIGH!), swept the kitchen and also made a meatball mexicana casserole. (see pre-prepared dishes in freezer running low.) I HAD planned to go back out to Costco and get the rest of the groceries, but it was late at night and I was stuffed from "all" that I'd done that day.

So stuffed, I had a warm bath before bed, but was then too tired to ice any of the aching bits.

Last night had a shitty sleep. Every hour on the hour I was awake. Couldn't get comfy, too hot, too cold, weird dreams, Kiddlywink danced the night away, I peed, etc etc ad nauseum.

This morning when I got up? It was like I'd never transitioned to the airbed. Each toilet trip during the night was a painful hobble with me worrying each step would see the sacroiliac joint give up the ghost.. And by morning I had managed to get out to the freezer and bring an icepack back in with me, which helped only a little. Today's Costco trip? A non-event. Too bad for the rest of the cooking and cleaning I'd also planned. Too bad for the remainder of the April birthday presents we still haven't finished wrapping. Too bad for Mother's day stuff to go out on time.

I spent the day alternating between dozing on the bed and sitting on the yoga ball. I didn't even dare get in the bath in case I couldn't get out again. By evening I felt okay enough to gingerly drive down to the pool. Again a little improvement from an hour spent in the water.

All of this is only adding to my fears and sense of loneliness. Feeling useless because I can't do even half the things my nesting instinct is wanting me to do. Needing Alaskaboy's help for so many simple things is driving us both nuts. As is my constant use of the phrase "I meant to." Thing is I do MEAN to do those things, but I'll forget, or only half do it before getting too pooped to continue. I've almost given up planning/promising/or attempting to do anything that he may have foreknowledge of. That way IF anything gets done even half right, hey it's a bonus! (Was so proud that I managed to ask not only if our insurance covers doulas, but alsoremembering to ask for a list of paediatricians and how to add kiddlywink to our health insurance once s/he arrives. Very impressive since I was on hold for half an hour, at nap time, and nodding off so bad I'd drop the phone/pen every other few minutes or so.)

And as I said, I've only felt like this a few days on and off so far. (We won't even mention the niggling worries that are starting to crop up about the actual delivery and aftermath.) I know a lot of these things I'm feeling a normal, and that I'm feeling them to a lesser degree and nowhere near as often as some women do.

I don't like this sense of feeling out of control, or that my body is no longer my own, or that I'm having to juggle what does or doesn't get done, while in fact nothing ever gets completed fully.

OH!

Wait.

Did I really just say that?

This is just practice for the years to come, isn't it? Welcome to Being a Parent!

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

SO Angry, I Actually Spluttered.

Went out on location for lunch with Alaskaboy yesterday, and ended up staying to wrap. (7 hrs later) I didn't realise I hadn't seen everyone since the end of season party last year! No wonder we had stacks to talk about.

As I'm typing this, I realised the main drive behind me going out to his work for lunch was threefold a) the location was easy to get to and park right nearby for free, b) because on location is catered. Rather than just the craft service truck which is mainly a sandwich bar with snack stuff/drinks etc. and c) I really had reached cabin fever point about a week ago and needed to get out of the house for a reason other than shopping, doctor's appointments or baby stuff. You know, socialise.

The secondary underlying drive was simple, I couldn't face waiting around the house for Mum to call with further news on Nan. Just. Couldn't.

Glad I didn't! Got home VERY ready for falling into bed. Started to listen to message on machine but didn't get beyond "Hi it's Mum" because Dr Kay called for news. Promised to call back asap, then called Mum right away.

Now. The bit I was fuzzy on yesterday? Not fuzzy anymore. My blood pressure wishes I was still though.

Nan has been a little doddery on her feet recently, even stumbling on totally smooth hardwood floors. (She has a walker but hates to use it.) This is the reason Aunty who lives with her has said "there's nothing you need to do outdoors all the plants are watered, any chores you want to do, PLEASE stick with the indoor ones while I'm not home." (trying to help but probably a red flag to the bull.) Ironically, she's fabulous on stairs because she's extra careful to pick her feet up properly. So yes she did get tangled up in her slippers and/or stumbled while turning around to come back into the house and fell.

She crawled up the three back steps to the porch, and then managed to use the back door to lever herself up onto her feet. (Angry point number one: she's s'posed to have the phone out in the kitchen with her during the day, not sitting up in the lounge room cradle..but habit prevails and it always goes back into the bloody cradle. I suggested months ago that she get a second handset FOR the kitchen, but that went nowhere.)

She's somehow made it as far as the lounge room, traversing the whole length of the house, but then sat on the couch because she literally couldn't go any farther. There was no "good timing" or "soon after" about the phone call from Aunty. THREE HOURS SHE SAT ON THE CHAIR! THREE HOURS! With a torturous break to commando crawl back up the hallway, past the kitchen, to pee in the shower and then back to the chair.

{continue outraged spluttering}

When Aunty did call she only just managed to get to the phone in time from the chair. She refused to call an ambulance, even when Aunty said you need to call one right now, because she'd only had a "little bit of a fall" and didn't call anyone else because she couldn't remember anyone's numbers. (Logically I know she was probably in complete shock and wouldn't have remembered to use the rolodex either. But am betting there was also the underlying "don't want to be a nuisance" thing she does so well. Hopefully now she'll let them implement another suggestion we had years ago which was all the important numbers in large print stuck to the wall right near the phone.)

When she wouldn't listen to Aunty, Aunty hung up and went up the next rung in the sibling ladder, my mum. Mum called back. Sometime between calls the t.v. was all of a sudden turned on. (Sneaky ol' bugger trying to pretend she was all normal!) BUT the volume was too loud and when she stood up again to go turn it down, mum heard all of her pain noises, moans/howls/oohs and ouches etc. She didn't make it past standing before sitting back on the couch.

Aunty by this point had spoken to her bosses and told them she was going home. Got Mum on call waiting to let her know and called the ambulance while she was on her way home. (How DO the emergency services get into the house if there's no one capable of letting them inside?)

We're hoping it's been a lesson for Nan, without destroying her confidence completely. And also a foot up the bum for Aunty to go down to the housing department and get her name put on the lease as co-renter.

Mind you, it should be no surprise she survived this. Legionnaires Disease didn't kill her when the Dr misdiagnosed it as a cold on the Friday and sent her home for the weekend. (when she lived alone and again she didn't call anybody and subsisted on nothing but jelly beans and water for the whole weekend before giving in and calling someone Monday morning.)

She's stubborn in the wrong ways, but thankfully stubborn in the right ways too! I love her dearly, and alternately curse and praise her stubbornness.

Really good news: Nan's been moved to the rehab centre part of the hospital. Decor and locale are dreary, BUT they don't just slob around in gowns. They're breakfasted, showered and dressed before attending any rehab sessions. (I know the gown thing would depress nan totally!) They're think she should be good to come home in a couple weeks. YAY.

After all that I called Dr Kay back, we spluttered together as did Alaskaboy hearing the story while I related it to her. (didn't have energy to tell it twice and it was past all of our bedtimes.) Went to call back Alaskagirl who'd also left an earlier message on the machine, but realised it was way late for her too.

So we stumbled off to my room to make space for Kiddlywink's chest of drawers that are due to be delivered today and then fell into bed.

SO very glad I wasn't nearby to get that phone call earlier in the afternoon. Would have worked myself into a fine state by the time Alaskaboy got home.

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