Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Auckland

The photo is Luke and Jacob at Sydney airport
After what I think has been my annus horribilis it's nice to be at my parents' place in Auckland being looked after by them.
Mum has shown Jacob off to all and sundry and on the whole he's been a little angel, passed from one relative or friend to another.
Jacob's being christened tomorrow during the Christmas service at the church we were married in. We tried the heirloom gown on last night and Luke said he was wearing a doily. sigh. We're the coming back here to celebrate Christmas with my Dad's family.
Merry Christmas to everyone and their families - we wish you peace, love, and prosperity

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jacob has a bellybutton

Jacob's cord stump just fell off after teasing us for days. I was changing his nappy after a feed when I noticed it. I've just wrapped him him up like a spring roll and popped him back in bed and he might sleep for another 4 hours.
Some days he's so good and sleeps for these lovely long stretches at a time so I can sleep myself or actually do something that requires both hands. Some days like yesterday he will just not settle and I end up spending all afternoon rocking and soothing him. It's hard work and it can be frustrating but I wouldn't swap it for the highest paid job.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Welcome to the world Baby Boy!

This post has been a long time coming but I'm sure all of you who have experienced first-time motherhood understand just how exhausting/confusing the whole business is and will forgive the lateness of this post.

Our son Jacob was born 8.46pm 2nd November. He weighed a healthy 3685g (8lb 2oz) was 49cm long with a head circumference of 36.5cm (ouch!). It sounds all lovely and straightforward when you put down the statistics but really it was anything but.

My waters broke 4.30am Tuesday 30th November, when I got up to use the toilet in the middle of the night (Luke reckons I planned for them to break in the bathroom). I wasn't having any contractions so I rang the Birth Centre who said to check my temperature every 4 hours, go back to bed and ring them in the morning.
When I rang them I still wasn't having regular contractions just irregular ones that weren't very painful so they organised for me to come in for ctg monitoring that afternoon and then to see them to discuss our options.
We did this and the baby was fine, very happy in his less liquid hotel. At the Birth Centre they were all happy for me to go home to wait for labour to start until they felt his head and discovered he was still not engaged thereby running a risk of cord prolapse. So I was admitted to the antenatal ward. Luckily we'd brought all our labour stuff so I had the essentials. I spent 3 nights there; every night not getting very much sleep as my contractions got a lot more painful at night but they never became 'regular' enough for established labour. Finally at 4am Friday morning the registrar did an internal exam and I was 2cm dilated so at least something had been happening if very slowly. They sent me down to the Delivery Unit and I called Luke to come in.

When Luke arrived I was in the shower using the hot water as pain relief. He rang our doula to come and things got underway. They had let me go as long as I was allowed with my waters broken without inducing me so I was hooked up to the Syntocin drip and to the foetal monitors. This meant I was restricted to lying down. The pain was too difficult to deal with this way so I asked for an epidural and a fantastic anaesthetist put it in for me. This was lovely as I was actually alert for the first time in hours but also I got some sleep. When they checked me again I was 7cm dilated!
We finally got to the pushing stage about 7pm and at 8.46pm Jacob was born. Things did get dramatic towards the end as my temperature rose and they decided Jacob had to come out immediately. The registrar came in and did a forceps delivery with a 2nd degree episitomy. Jacob must have been presenting strangely as the first thing she could feel was an ear so I probably wouldn't have been able to push him out by myself anyway. Everyone was upset as the one thing I really didn't want was an episiotomy but quite frankly by that stage all I wanted was him out!
He had to go to the paediatrician who was standing by as soon as he was delivered but once he'd been thoroughly checked he was placed on my chest. After I'd been stitched up I was able to feed him.

I spent 2 nights in hospital longing to go home so we opted for the early discharge program where the midwives visit you at home for 4 days. I've recovered really well and Jacob is beautiful, feeds really well and is only waking once in the night at the moment so I'm very blessed.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our champion

It's been more than a month since I last posted and I think that's mostly because I'm fed-up and can't wait for this baby to make his appearance.
I am enjoying being a stay at home mum even sans baby and my house has never been so clean for so long. We also have regular healthy home-cooked meals every night. Luke loves it and the fact he's been let off most of the housework. We'll see how long that lasts once the baby arrives.

We pick up Puck next Saturday but yesterday he competed in the All Breeds Cat Society Of The Blue Mountains for best male kitten and he won 1 fourth and 5 fifths! Considering he was competing against kittens 8 months older than him, he did very well.
That's him with his mouth open in front.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A new addition to the family

No, not the baby, we're getting a new kitten! We decided that our boy Loki really needed a feline companion especially with the impending arrival of his human brother.
I wanted a seal point Siamese male kitten so we contacted Penny, the breeder that bred Loki and she got back to us when Myumi had a litter of 4 kittens, 1 blue point girl, 1 chocolate point girl and 2 seal points - a girl and a boy!
We went to visit him today and he's quite a shy little boy but with 3 big sisters bossing him around that's understandable. We've decided to call him Puck and get to take him home towards the end of October.
The photos are me having a cuddle, Puck looking at the camera - check out those blue eyes, and Puck and his sister Berry, the blue point.

Friday, September 21, 2007


32 weeks + 4 days
Excuse the awful expression on my face - Luke was having trouble with my new camera and I was starting to get impatient.

Rock a bye baby

Just a few more photos to show the progress I've made in the nursery. The little bassinet is made up with sheets and blanket, the nappies are in the nappy stacker and the clothes are in the drawers.

We still need to hang a few pictures and I'm going to buy a lamp to go on top of the bookcase in reach of the rocking chair. I'll put a dim bulb in it and use it during night feeds.

Loki's big adventure

For his birthday, our kitten Loki got a harness and a leash so that he could go outside. On the whole he has enjoyed his outings and he now will run to the back door any time we open the blind there and miaow to go out.

The problem is he is getting a bit too brave and thinks he can go outside without supervision.

The first few times he had a bit of agoraphobia as it all was too big and scary but he now feels very confident in our little courtyard. He wasn't quite so keen on exploring further, grass felt weird on his paws and he smelt a dog coming but Dad was with him so he got up on his shoulders and was brave again.

Here are some photos of the morning of his birthday and his first exploration.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

3D baby

We went last weekend for our 4D ultrasound. I'd had a breakfast of pancakes, orange juice and a hot chocolate so the little one was like a 'frog in a sock'in my belly. We didn't have to wait long and within minutes were looking at the profile of our beautiful baby boy watching him yawn, blow kisses, rub his little face and stick his fingers in his mouth.

I don't think it was as clear as it could have been, a mix of less quality technology and the fact my placenta is lying in front meaning that the ultrasound was often bouncing off the placenta and shadowing the baby's head. But we did get some amazing images and again a real sense of connection with our unborn boy.

We went out for dinner that night to a local restaurant just short walk up the road. I had to send my trout back to be cooked a little more as I'm not supposed to eat raw fish while pregnant but the maitre'd was very obliging. Later when he came back to check on us Luke was very lovingly rubbing my belly, a surprising show of affection for my bump. It turned out he had a 10 month old son so probably understood the trials of dining with a pregnant woman. We had a great night and it was lovely to be able to stroll home in the balmy night air.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Uncooperative baby

We went for a 4D ultrasound on Saturday before dropping Mum at the airport however the baby refused to cooperate. He was lying with his face turned towards my back and his hands and feet up there too. We jiggled him, I went and peed and the sonographer even rolled a cold can across my tummy (Brrrrrr) with no luck.
We were trying for a profile shot to get a look at his little face. So we rescheduled the ultrasound for another two weeks.
It was a shame we couldn't get a good look at his face while Mum was there but we did see the head and the heart in 2D and get a confirmation that he's a boy! Note the masculine pronouns ;-)
This is me at 26 weeks - I'm huge!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Last night of 29

As a family tradition my Mum used to take photos of us the night before our birthday. She has the cutest photo of me in my pjs, sitting up in bed, clutching Teddy on my last night of three. It's something I hope to do for my own kids and last week I made Luke take a photo of my last night of 29.
That's right folks I am officially 30. We didn't do much on my actual birthday as I had my first sewing night class but Luke made me breakfast in bed and then had flowers delivered to work so I was royally spoilt and of course I got my sewing machine we'd bought a few weeks earlier.

The next night we went out for dinner with friends to a restaurant called Thaitanic (groan) , the food was good and the company enjoyable.
Saturday we were checking in to a hotel for a night of luxury to celebrate my birthday. Saturday morning I decided to go to the doctor as I'd had athlete's foot for a few days and my toes had become unbearably itchy and red. After a 5 hour wait to see someone I left with a prescription. We made it to the hotel a little later than we'd wanted but proceeded to make the most of it.
We ordered room service, took baths, watched satellite tv and relaxed on the king sized bed.
During a lot of this I iced my foot as it was the only way to relieve the itching and it was swelling.

Anyway the next day after we checked out; we stopped off at RPA on the way home as my foot was getting worse. Luckily I am pregnant because Emergency were extremely busy and predicting an 8 hour wait but once they found out I was pregnant, they rang the labour ward and asked if they would see me. Labour and Delivery were quiet so were happy to look after me and I was dealt with in a couple of hours. I have some localised cellulitis in my foot so I am now resting at home, taking antibiotics and watching for any increase in redness. If it had been any worse I would have been admitted and given IV antibiotics so I am very glad we did something about it rather than waiting.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nursery in progress

We're slowly turning the study into a nursery. The computers and desks went downstairs into the open plan living area in May when my parents were here so they could help Luke schlep the heavy stuff down the stairs and the rocking chair I bought on ebay upstairs.
I cleared out the bookcase of all the non-baby books, redistributing them around the house and got Luke to move it across to the other side of the room so I could fill with all the children's books I've been given. He put together the change table I bought on ebay and the following weekend we bought a bassinet.
I could hardly wait to get it out of it's box , it's the one thing that really makes it feel like a nursery. We still need to buy a lamp and my father in law is making me a little table to go next to the rocking chair so I have somewhere to put my water, books and other paraphernalia but it does feel like the room where my baby will sleep.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Night Out

We went out for dinner last night to Bistrode in Surry Hills to celebrate Luke's new job. The food was very interesting, mostly things considered offal which gave us pause but turned out to be very tasty. I wasn't quite as brave as Luke mostly because I have to be careful about what I eat at the moment but I had a great dinner; choosing the smoked eel with a potato pancake and horseradish and the waygu corned beef with bubble and squeak. Luke had pig's head, black sausage and egg salad and cornfed chicken with sweetbreads, prawns and samphire (sea asparagus). He pronounced everything delicious. The maitre'd was very nice and served me sparkling water in a wine glass to go with Luke's glass of cuvee so we could toast his new job.

The baby's now a lot more active and the kicks can be seen from the outside of my belly. Unfortunately Luke's has yet to feel one yet as he doesn't have the patience to wait for a kick and every time he's tried to feel one, the baby won't cooperate. The photo is me at almost 22 weeks ready to go out for dinner.

Monday, July 02, 2007

What a silly galah!

I sometimes forget I live in Australia, so many things are similar to NZ, but it's mornings like this when I'm driving to work and I see a flock of galahs grazing in the park near home that I realise I'm not in Kansas anymore.

Sad result in the rugby too :-( it was a close game right up until the end. Go the ABs!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

One down, many more to go

We took a long weekend and went up to the Hunter Valley to celebrate our first anniversary. In some ways it's hard to believe that it has only been a year since the wedding, in other ways it seems like forever (in a good way).
We stayed at Cedar Creek Cottages which are on Stonehurst Vineyard. We'd stayed there before almost 4 years ago just before Christmas and had a wonderful time. This time we experienced a completely different season as they've just had some bad flooding in this area. Unfortunately their cellar door and winery had been affected by the floods and the bridge over the river on their property had been washed away. They'd also lost our booking as they were busy drying papers all over their house. This didn't matter as there was an available cottage but to get there we had to cross over the neighbour's bridge, a very scary old iron bridge with just 2 tracks for the tyres and then drive across the bottom of the vineyard on a dirt track.

We had a great time reading, watching dvds, taking baths and vegging in front of the fire. We did also leave the cottage at some point and ate at some great restaurants, bought stinky cheeses and walked in the Hunter Valley Gardens. We didn't do any wine tasting as Luke didn't want to do it by himself so we feel we'll have to make another trip at some point to take advantage of the great vineyards up there. We did buy a few bottles of Stonehurst wine; mostly late harvest semillion, as they were having a 50% off storm sale because the bottle labels were damages by the flood.

We did wonder if we were going to be trapped there as it rained all night before we were leaving and that track across the vineyard turned into mud. We were going sideways at some point but we made it out safely and back to Sydney. The photo is of that morning looking across the vineyard from the verandah of our cottage and down over the river with the layer of mist.
Loki was very indignant when we picked him up and scolded us all the way home and since has been incredibly clingy, he's currently perched precariously on the edge of the keyboard tray and on top of my belly snuggling as close as possible.

In pregnancy news I've started feeling small kicks particularly last thing at night but becoming more frequent. It's the most amazing feeling and I can't wait until Luke can feel them too.
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Saturday, June 16, 2007

baby belly

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Well as you can see I definitely have a belly now and in fact I can't wear any of my old trousers, I've had to move into maternity pants. Luckily I've found a pair of comfy jeans at Pumpkin Patch. We had our 18 week scan this Thursday and everything is fine. My placenta is lying in front so that explains why I haven't felt any movement yet. You can see how squished up he/she is with the leg and foot top left.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

a new yogi

It's been a while since I last posted and I've been feeling better and better. I struggled with hyperemesis up until 13 weeks. The last weeks of it were terrible, I spent them in bed barely able to move without throwing up, eating very little and watching bad daytime tv. Then all of a sudden I got better and slowly I've regained my health and energy. I had 1 relapse that lasted a day at 14 weeks but nothing for the past few weeks (fingers crossed).
I am suffering bad heartburn on and off and sciatica, both which are side effects of pregnancy and darn uncomfortable but nothing compared to the debilitating effects of nausea.

I haven't feel the baby move yet but hopefully it should be soon, I can't wait for those first few flutters. I have my 18-20 week ultrasound this week which should be exciting.
I went to my first prenatal yoga class 0n Saturday, it was an interesting 2 hours. Not an awful lot of yoga actually happened but it was a good experience. The teacher is a nurse, theatre nurse, midwife, parent educator and international yoga teacher as well as quite eccentric with a broad Scottish accent. She interrogated everyone as to whether they had placenta previa or any other conditions before leading us in some yogic breathing and meditation. We progressed into a few gentle Hatha yoga moves and then all lay on our mats for relaxation. I've done quite a bit of Iyengar yoga previously so it was weird for this all to have such a strong pregnancy/labour/birth focus but appropriate and worthwhile. I won't be able to attend the next two classes but I look forward to going back when I can.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I think we've caught up most people with our news by now so I'll announce it to the community at large.
I'm pregnant!
I know, we're very goal-orientated over here and I think this may the first year I've ever fulfilled one of my new year's resolutions. This is also partly the reason for the lack of updates to this blog - morning sickness or rather all day and night sickness is kicking my butt.

So le enfant is due mid-November and we're hoping to return to New Zealand for Christmas with infant in tow. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, it does seem a cruel and unusual decision to take a new baby on a plane flight but I think my Mum would attempt a cross-border kidnapping if we weren't visiting.

It's the first grandchild on my side and (as far as I know yet) the first great-grandchild too so it's going to be royally spoilt. We are very much looking forward to visiting NZ over Christmas and catching up with all our friends and whanau.

We were discussing things we 'must do' while in Auckland and one of them is eat at Tanuki's Cave, our favourite izakaya bar in the city and Luke said in all seriousness 'we'll have to arrange a babysitter' I burst out laughing at him then explained there would be no shortage of people to babysit and I think any others may have to fight Mum for the privilege anyway.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

OpenAir Cinema

A couple of weeks ago Luke and I went to the OpenAir Cinema at Mrs Macquarie's Point in the Domain. It was amazing to sit in the dusk facing towards the Opera house and the Harbour Bridge watching flying foxes flit overhead and watch a film on a large screen that was actually supprted by legs that were in the sea!

We went twice to this event, once to see Miss Potter, the story of Beatrix Potter who wrote Peter Rabbit and other wonderful stories. Then again a week later to see Stranger than Fiction with friends. Both films were captivating in different ways.
This is a photo of us sitting at a table at the cinema about to have dinner.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year! I hope this is a great year with not too many major events in it for us because if there's one thing I've learnt about major events is that they're expensive.

We've had a quiet New Year's Eve. I made a 3-course dinner consisting of Chilled Pea and Watercress Soup, Scotch Fillet served with aligot(french potato puree with garlic and cheese), baked crumbed tomato, steamed beans and horseradish cream and a beef jus. For dessert we had icecream sandwiches of chocolate fudge cookies and mocha icecream with fresh raspberries and cream. We meant open a bottle of champagne at midnight while watching the Harbour Bridge fireworks on TV but we were both a bit stuffed and Luke felt nauseous so we'll save it for another occasion. The fireworks were amazing though and we could see the light of them illuminating the sky in many colours from our upstairs window.

This year Luke's parents moved to Brisbane, our godson was born, we got married, my grandfather died, Luke got a job in Sydney, we moved to Sydney, we adopted our kitten Loki, our niece was born and I got a job at a large university. Whew!

There have been ups and downs this year; we still really miss everyone in NZ and we look forward to any visitors over the next year.

We hope to be parents by this time next year but who knows what's in store for us. I read somewhere if you want make God laugh? Tell Him your plans. So we're just going where the wind takes us.
A good friend's baby was due on Friday so I wish a easy speedy delivery for her and a healthy happy baby.
I also wish my family and friends a safe, joyful and rewarding new year.