Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Monday, May 06, 2013

More Breastfeeding Inspiration

Love it

My how you've grown!

The hat when he was almost a month old...and then when he's just turned 7 months!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Grandad and Knox

Click on the picture to enlarge it
My dad and my son, I love watching these two together!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday Night Funny

Bad Baby Whisperer!

Recently I read the book Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg. The book was recommended to help learn how to get Knox to sleep better. I know I could have just read the one chapter on sleep but I thought I'd give the whole book a read. Now that was a mistake!

Tracey and I got off on the wrong foot when she started by saying, if you demand feed, how terrible it will be for you, the baby and the family. By the time the baby is 3 months old our life will be chaos, baby will rule, you'll never go out, you'll never have time with your husband, you'll never get to eat together, you probably won't even have time to shower! Now Knox had just reached 3 month and my life couldn't be more different to what she described! We have a great life, Knox has all his needs met, he's happy, healthy, just the best baby. Tahu and I have dinner together every night and we get time to just hang out together too. We go out when we need to, we go out socially as well. And I'm pleased to report that I do shower every day. It really annoyed me that there would be new mums out there reading this book and going oh I really must feed my baby on a schedule cos demand feeding (feeding when the baby wants/needs it) is so bad.

She then talked about reading your baby and learning the different cries. She said she so often sees a baby cry and the mum feeds it when it's not that the baby is hungry. So I spent several weeks feeling bad whenever I fed Knox cos maybe that wasn't what he wanted. But then I thought about it some more and realised that actually, if your baby cries and you can't spot immediately what's causing it then feeding is a great place to start. This probably applies to bottle feeding too but definitely with breast feeding. There are so many things that can upset a baby that is fixed by a bit of milk from mum.
  • If he's hungry - well that's ok cos he gets fed
  • If he's cold - he'll get warmed up
  • If he's hot - you'll feel that when you hold him and know to take some clothes off him or cool the room
  • If he's tired - he'll drop off to sleep right away
  • If he's just needing some comfort - he'll get that cos he's being cuddled and loved by mum!
So while there are other reasons he might be crying, feeding him will rule out quite a few! And if it doesn't calm him and make it ok for him then you'll know to try something else. If your baby cries and you feed him, that doesn't make you a bad parent!!

Now she really had me off side when she started talking about breastfeeding and the "propaganda" that the Le Leche League puts out about how good breastfeeding is. I kid you not. That's what she said. Cos formula companies are so honest with their marketing in the states! She then talked about how it's ok to not breastfeeding if you are worried about what your breasts will look like afterwards. Seriously. There are plenty of reasons why someone might not breastfeed, that's not my business. BUT, to not do it because you are worried about how you'll look afterwards, that's not a valid reason! Also, studies have found that how your breasts look afterwards is from pregnancy, not from breast feeding. So no, that is not a good reason!

All this and I hadn't even got to the sleeping chapter!! Well when I did get there I didn't find it any help at all. It was more letting him cry and all that. Sorry I won't do it. I'll keep getting up in the night to him and I don't care if he doesn't sleep 12 hours at night like it seems every other baby is. I just won't let him cry it out.

Do you get the feeling I really didn't like this book? I found it not only unhelpful, it was downright offensive and stupid! I'll stick to blindly finding my way in this parenting thing thanks. My natural instincts seem to be doing pretty good so far.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

One Last Conversation

It’s almost 6 months now Mere. I wish it wasn’t. It just seems so long. How can it be that long already? I haven’t been to visit you yet. I will bring Knox down soon though. 

So many times I’ve found myself saying “if I could only have one more conversation with her”. And I know I can’t but I do want you to know what I would say. So please pretend that we are sitting together, having a drink, one last time, while you read this wherever you are. 

I want to start this by saying I love you. I know you know this. I know there’s no doubt about how great I think you are but I want you to hear it still. I love you, you’re amazing, I’m so incredibly proud to call you my friend and even more so, that you call me one of yours. 

You are beautiful, talented, funny as hell, just great. There's a depth about you that I love. You are young and have so much ahead of you. In the next few days, weeks, months and years there are so many cool things coming your way. This sadness you feel is honestly only temporary. This pain you can’t explain to any of us: it won’t last. Right now the future seems black, or worse...blank. But it’s actually not. There’s colours in your future that you can’t even imagine! I know now that you don’t realise this, or maybe you do but it just doesn’t seem worth the effort. 

And how do I know all this? Well when I was your age I felt like you do. (I’m sure I told you all this) (there, but for the grace of God, go I) In hindsight I realise that I wanted out of where I was, but death wasn’t my goal. And every day I am thankful that I got through it. I look back on the years since then (feeling old saying that) and so much has happened. So much good stuff! And bad too of course. But more importantly, where I was right then is so different to where I am now! I have a completely different life. The things I loved then are still around but all those things that hurt me, they’re gone. My job is different, my home, my car, even how I look (earthquakes made me fat). If I could have seen then where I am now, well that night would have gone so differently.

Mere you need to talk to someone. There's so many of us that will drop everything for you. You don't have to feel this way. And there are other options. This too shall pass, let us help you through it. 

Sorry, getting too deep here what else would I say to you?

Thank you for helping organise my baby shower. It was a really special afternoon and I won't forget it. You did great, I loved the picture of sperm you drew on the blackboard! So you. Man I hope that got cleaned off before we left! 

And thank you for all the breaks and lunches we had, even if they probably were a bit long! Thanks for listening to me moaning about being pregnant. I hope I didn't put you off too much! Thanks for not telling me how terrible I looked every day. And for when I had that stupid girlie cry at work, thanks for being kind and putting the boys in their place! 

I keep seeing make up sales or products on those one day websites and thinking you'd love them. I hear songs that make me think of you and then I feel worse because I realise you haven't heard these songs even. MAC is even on sale at the moment! You'd be shopping up a storm.

Mere there is so much more we would talk about. Things that are so irrelevant, funny, serious, tangents we can't even imagine! I want to tell you all about the little boy that I have now. The one that you and I talked about so much. You would adore him. And he'd crack up smiling whenever he saw you I'm sure. 

I was going through some clothes for him the other day and found things you and I had got one lunch hour. It was the first things I bought for him and of course you were there with me. It all seemed so tiny then! Would you believe it took almost 5 months for him to be able to fit them cos they were too big? Clearly you and I had no concept of baby size!

I guess there's one thing that I grieve so much when I think of what we would talk about: that there would be such a mix of topics and emotions! We would laugh and I would most definitely cry. But I know I would make sure, as we parted ways, that you knew how much I loved you, how great I think you are and how much you will be missed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Story of Knox's Birth

About to be induced! Spot the nerves!
At 36 weeks, while at a regular midwife visit, it was found that my blood pressure was high. As this is a sign of pre eclampsia I was sent for more tests right away and within a couple of days I was admitted to hospital. This was a shock to say the least, I wasn’t feeling sick, just tired and I thought I had a few more weeks to get used to the idea of having this baby! I had a growth scan which didn’t show anything unusual but was to set a baseline for another one if I was still pregnant 2 weeks later to see how he was going. From when I started having tests the discussion with drs every day was whether I would be induced or not or whether I would be sent home or not. Most of the time I hated this, it was quite stressful! But I did have fun on my last day of work when some ladies asked when I was due and I said “well I’m due in 4 weeks but I may have him today”. The shock I got was worth it! After a week in hospital I got to go home for 10 wonderful days of bed rest. Ok I had to either go to the hospital or someone came to me every day for tests but at least I could be at home! 

Being monitored. Again!
On Monday (24th Sept) morning I had my second growth scan. They found he'd lost all his fluid. He should have at least 4 cm but he had 0.7 cm (down from 10.6cm 2 weeks prior). My midwife said she’d never seen anyone with it that low. It was because the placenta had stopped producing the fluid. It was panic stations at the hospital and we were admitted that afternoon to be induced right away. 
They used a balloon catheter to try and get me into labour although I was already 1-2cm which was a good start. That night I found out Meredith had died the day before and so labour stopped immediately. I think it was probably Knox giving me a break so I could try and deal with that. I cried for ages. Tahu and I went for a walk in the dark outside. The midwives organised a private room for me and got a mattress so Tahu could stay (they'd said earlier that he wouldn't be able to). They were so kind. 

The next morning they tried 2 more ways to induce me (broke my non-existent waters and a stretch and sweep) but they didn't work so I was put on a drip of Synto to get it started which worked. Due to this we were monitored very closely and his heart rate wasn't great. Everyone one said we would most likely need a C-section and depending on how fast it went downhill I might have to be put under general and Tahu couldn't be in the room then. Just before 12 when the contractions were super painful my midwife said well we should have a baby by dinner time and I thought mate I can't do this for another 7-8 hours! And with it in the back of my mind about the C-section I asked for an epidural. If I had that then we could go straight to C-section and I wouldn't have to worry about a general and no Tahu. It was the best. It didn't hurt getting it (I figure if the needle hurts more than the contractions then you really didn't need one!) and it took away the pain but I could feel everything. The contractions kept getting stronger and I said there's a lot of pressure now so she checked and I was fully dilated at 2pm. There was also meconium meaning he was in distress. 

We waited an hour so he could move down a bit further and at 3 I started pushing. When it came to pushing his heart was so slow, about 80 beats per minute down from the 150ish it had been before. It sounded like 1 bpm! 

At 3.10pm the emergency button was pressed and about 6-8 people rushed in and they used a kiwi cup which is similar to a ventouse to turn him and then help him out as I pushed. It was pretty much one chance to push or we had to go to C-section. 
I really felt like we didn’t have time for that. He was out in 10 mins from when the button was pressed. He was put on me for a moment but because he started to cry they had to take him away so he didn’t get meconium in his lungs. He needed about 30 mins of work before he could be given to us. I honestly wasn't worried about Knox, I think I was just numb. I could see them working on him and Tahu kept going back and forth between us and showing me photos. Everyone kept saying how calm I was but I think as I said I was just numb. And I knew that everyone was doing things for him and looking after him and he’d come to me when he was ready. 

Skin on skin with mummy

Once they gave him to us everyone left and he started feeding right away like a natural. It was really special to be just the 3 of us for a wee bit. 

Skin on skin with daddy

They moved us up to the ward and then we texted everyone and after a bit my mum, dad and sister and her family came in to meet him. It was just amazing having him there. Those first few hours were so great. There was a beautiful sunset and we were so relaxed and happy.

Knox's first sunset was so beautiful. He spent it getting to know his daddy

So in summary, Knox's birth was just like an episode from One Born Every Minute and had basically all the things everyone hates these days but actually I thought it was great. I'd do it again in a second. And I figure with a difficult pregnancy and birth that he has to be an awesome baby and maybe even teenager! So far so good!

A special thank you has to go to our amazing midwife Bronwyn Carpenter. She cared for Knox and I so well and we couldn't have got through it without her. Her kindness, calmness and wisdom and the way she explained everything to us made our entry into Parenthood something we will treasure despite it's ups and downs. 

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Pleased as punch!

Check out the look on his face! He's now rolling front to back and back to front and he's so pleased with himself! He's on solids now too. Where's my tiny baby gone!!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Knox's First Swim

One of the many things we did on Christmas day was go out to Tahu's cousins place in Prebbleton. It was a beautiful day and of course we spent most of it by the pool! Knox loves baths and showers and so we decided the day was right for his first swim. The water was cold but he loved it! No tears or anything. And then he go to try out one of his presents which was a blow up boat his daddy gave him.

 And then my fav pic:

An Amazing Story

Now this lady is just so amazing! What an incredible photo! 

If you want to read her story, and I highly recommend that you do, click here

Friday, February 22, 2013

A change is as good as a holiday!

Or so they say. I'm not sure I agree cos a holiday would be awesome but never mind! So inspired by Deb and cos I just wanted something more interesting, we now have a new name and a new look.

Why The Accidental Hippy you say? Well I am not a big fan of hippys, never really wanted to be one! But now that I'm a mum, and I look at my parenting style I realise that I am one! Accidentally! Ok I eat meat and I shave my arm pits and legs and I refuse to use cloth nappies so I'm not entirely hippy but I lean towards attachment parenting and I have my own vege garden and I do cross stitch and crochet and other crafty things. Accidentally I've become a wee bit hippy.

So this look isn't perfect, as comes with using someone else's work so I shall keep working on it and fixing things but I like the overall look. write more posts!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Love this

My friend Holly sent me this. So true!

Getting ink'd

Yes I got another tattoo. These things are addictive ok? I found this one and loved it. I had no reason for it, I just thought it was beautiful and that maybe that was enough reason to get it! But as I thought about it more I realised there were plenty of reasons for getting this! It was originally 4 birds but I just got 3.

Reason One: Last year was big. Loads happened. Three things stand out to me and so each bird represents one of those: Tahu and I got married, we had Knox and I lost Meredith.

Reason Two: When Tahu and I first got together he lived in Ausy. One week I was having a particularly hard time and I woke up one morning to an email that had a song attached. He'd recorded himself playing and singing this song just for me. It was Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. The main part goes "Don't worry about a thing, cos every little thing, is gonna be alright". Was so perfect for how I felt. And in the week we had Knox, when we also lost Meredith and Judah as well as entering the ocean that is Parenthood, this song played endlessly in my head. Don't worry about a thing, cos everything is going to be ok. And so these 3 little birds remind me of that song and those moments.

 Reason Three: Chrissy, my darling niece, came with me and got it too. And Shaz is getting birds next time she's over and if I have my way Deb will get some too.

Reason Four: The birds are swallows. These birds were often the first to land on a ship that had been out to sea for long periods of time. The swallow is also the harbinger of the spring season. So, to me, the bird symbolises being close to, or finding your way, home and also the coming out of the cold into spring/summer (which is my favourite season).

And also cos I just think it's beautiful!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

He's growing too fast!

The other day I commented to mum about how fast Knox is growing and she said that I should just feed him once a day. Good thinking I felt! So at work someone commented on how fast he was growing and I go "yeah mum says I should just feed him once a day cos that'll slow him down" and they go "is she serious?"

Yes you idiot…my mum actually thinks I should feed him just once a day. 

Honestly people!…here's your sign! (Click on the link, it's a great joke!)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well - Virginia Woolf

There are many areas of parenting that cause controversy and when to feed a baby is one of them. There's two schools of though: either to feed on demand or feed on schedule (usually 3 or 4 hourly). When Tahu and I became parents we made a series of decisions from our gut instincts. We went with what felt right to us and a big one was when to feed Knox. We chose to demand feed. Now I've just finished a (terrible) book called Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg. In this book she talks about how if you demand feed your baby, by 3 months old your household will be chaos. You will have no time for yourself or time with your husband/partner, your house will be a mess, you'll probably not be able to find time for a shower, the baby will rule, you'll never get to go out, you'll constantly be feeding the baby. Basically demand feeding is the worst decision you can make. I am pleased to say that at 3 months (and actually at all months), this was not the case for us! By demand feeding Knox  he is happy, not hungry! We always have dinner together, we have time to ourselves, we go out when and where we want. Knox is a huge part of our lives but he does not "rule" our lives. I am not constantly feeding him! I can also confirm I do find time for showers!! I was shocked to read such strong things against demand feeding from someone who clearly had never tried it!

Now we chose demand feeding by our instinct, it felt right to feed him when he was hungry and to learn his schedule and what suited him from him, not from a book. And I'm so glad we did. But there is also strong scientific research to back up what we have said! In another book I read called Baby on Board by Dr Howard Chilton, he discusses how a breast takes 30 minutes to fill and a baby's stomach takes 35 minutes to empty (using ultrasound to determine this). Now why would I feed my baby every 3 or 4 hours if I know his stomach has probably emptied at 35 minutes?

He also talks about the make up of breast milk from humans and other animals comparing then how often the babies are fed. For example, a rabbit has a very high protein content in the breast milk and feeds their babies once a day. Then going through other animal and how often they feed and when you come to humans they have the least amount of protein and this indicates that human babies should be fed very often, probably half hourly! As the baby grows and is able to drink ("eat") more then the times between feeds increases. Babies shouldn't have to wait 4 hourly for a feed!

Of course parenting is a very individual thing and everyone has to make their own choices and so there's plenty of people who will totally disagree with this post but that's ok. I just wanted to be an example of how demand feeding and/or going with your gut instincts is awesome and can totally work well.

And that's the end of another installment of Why I Do What I Do.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My mummys funny!

How gorgeous is this wee man?