Wednesday, December 31, 2008

40 Questions

It's that time again.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Gave birth naturally!

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I thought last year I'd try to keep up with the dishes daily, but no, that never happened. And I won't bother this year. It'll be enough work just trying to raise two kids.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Maria and Simon gave birth to Nina, and Carol and Mick gave birth to Fergal the day after Lolly was born. Jonathan and Sarah gave birth to Margaret, and Craig and Judith to Elissa. I might be forgetting others... sorry.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. Stayed cozy in my little home in Scotland. Edit that- I went to England in March.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A bit more money? Is that an evil desire? Just a little bit more.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?
18 December. Lolly's birthday.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Giving birth to Lolly by a successful VBAC. Giving birth is an amazing achievement. So empowering, so incredible.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't think anything was a massive failure, though not everything went perfectly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I suffered from pre-natal depression for the first part of my pregnancy, but my gracious Saviour got me through. And I don't think (as of right now) there is any post-natal depression in the future. A big part of that was thanks to my VBAC. If I'd had another cesarean, I think I might've been at risk.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The maternity jeans I've worn nearly every day of my pregnancy and am still wearing.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Scott's. His presence and involvement during my labour were priceless. He surprised me with how wonderful he was. He didn't freak out at all and was a strong constant at my side, keeping me going and telling me all the things I needed to hear at all the right moments. He should become a midwife. ;)

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I don't have an answer for this one. That's either a good thing, or proof that I'm totally self-centred and haven't even noticed other people outside my very small little world!

14. Where did most of your money go?
Since I stopped really using cloth nappies on Fifi after her first birthday, probably nappies. Lolly's in cloth nappies now, but I imagine Fifi will still wear disposables. It's just so much easier in such an active kid! And the rest went to bills, bills, bills.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative conference! And getting pregnant!

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008?
Magnetic Fields '69 Love Songs'. I played it over and over during labour. That and my HypnoBirthing relaxation CD I listened to nearly every day for about 20 weeks.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? Even happier (excluding those months of depression).
thinner or fatter? Fatter (pregnancy) then only a little bit fatter (post-pregnancy).
richer or poorer? Poorer still. TinyTalk doesn't bring in much profit just yet.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Playing with Fifi. But it was so hard, being all tired and fat and pregnant.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Last year I said 'Eat junk food'. Same this year.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Early morning present opening with Fifi and then dinner at the in-laws. Faisal made a delicious Christmas dinner that was simply marvelous! (He's at college to become a chef.)

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
As usual, my mom.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yes, as soon as this little baby slid out my bod, I fell in love. I also fell in love with Zac Efron... is he too young for me?

23. How many one night stands in this last year?
Nada.

24. What was your favourite TV programme(s)?
I didn't get into anything new this year.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Gordon Brown's a bit of a twit, isn't he?

26. What was the best book(s) you read?
Cash by Johnny Cash and The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Is it lame to say Johnny Cash, even though he's, like, so old?

28. What did you want and get?
A baby! And a new pair of boots for Christmas. :D

29. What did you want and not get?
Nothing comes to mind.

30. What were your favourite films of this year?
High School Musical, but only the first one. Besides that, I didn't make it to many movies.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 26, and I don't recall doing anything...

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
A free housekeeper. Again.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Maternity.

34. What kept you sane?
Baking. Sewing. Co-sleeping. Breastfeeding. Again. Plus HypnoBirthing.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Zac Efron! Heh.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The credit 'crunch'. Good grief, it's more than a crunch, people. And I say this to Gordon Brown - LABOUR DOESN'T GET IT.

37. Who did you miss?
My family.

38. Who was the best new person (people) you met?
I don't think I met too many new people. Does Lolly count?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Shmeh.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?
When all the cows are sleeping
And the sun has gone to bed
UP jumps the scarecrow and this is what he said:

I'm a dingle dangle scarecrow
With a flippy floppy hat.
I can shake my hands like this,
I can shake my feet like that.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lolly's Birth Story

I’d been having on and off contractions for about 4 weeks. I’d gotten to the point where I didn’t even pay attention to them, because they never turned into anything. On my due date, a Friday, I started having steady contractions that were more intense than earlier ones. It was a full moon, and I thought it would be a perfect day to have my baby. But I went to bed that night, and they stopped, as usual. Nothing else happened until the following Tuesday. Scott, Fi and I were in Morrison’s doing some shopping when I felt my waters break. It was just a trickle, but it kept coming every few minutes. (I think it was my hind-waters, judging by what happened later during labour.) I called Allison, who was to be my birth companion, and she agreed that it sounded like my waters had gone. Still I had trouble believing it after all the false alarms previously. I called the hospital and though they wanted me to come in right away, I decided to wait until the following morning to see if my labour would start up on its own. That evening, Fifi went over to Granny’s, and Scott and I went out to a restaurant for Scott’s birthday (which was the next day). During dinner, my contractions started up and were about ten to fifteen minutes apart. It was great! We went home and throughout the evening, the contractions got closer and closer together and somewhat more intense, though still completely bearable. At around midnight they’d come to about three minutes apart and lasting about a minute each, so we headed off to the hospital.

When we got there, they assessed me. I had to lie on my back to be monitored and that slowed my labour a lot. Contractions were now about six minutes apart and not lasting nearly as long. After two hours, the midwife decided I wasn’t in active labour and sent me home. This was disappointing, and by the time I got home, the contractions had mostly stopped. I was devastated. They wanted me in the next morning to assess me again.

The next morning I woke with only a few mild contractions. I called the hospital and said I was going to stay home longer and hope for labour to start back up. I agreed to come in at 2.00, which would be a full 24 hours after my waters broke. Scott and I wandered around the town for hours hoping to start things up, but nothing happened. At the hospital, I spoke to one of the obstetricians, and he agreed to let me go another night before starting me off on Syntocinon. We agreed that if labour didn’t start on its own, we’d try a small dose to get me started and if it didn’t work, we’d have an elective caesarean. I was gutted but glad he was giving me one more night to start on my own.

Scott and I stayed in town and went to the cinema (we saw High School Musical 3!), then went back to the hospital for me to stay overnight. Over night, the contractions started again but stayed about ten minutes apart. The next morning there was no option but to be induced.

The midwives who were attending me were wonderful. I had a senior midwife and a student midwife. We all got along great. They started the drip at 9.45, and for about an hour, we all just sat around chatting and laughing and having a good time. I started then having some cramps and before I knew it, the contractions were coming on pretty steadily. I was able to laugh and talk in between them, but I had to really concentrate during them. Then they got stronger and stronger, and suddenly they felt like they were coming one directly after the other. I was finding it harder now but continued to decline gas and air until later. Scott went away for lunch. At that point, the contractions were really hard to manage, but I kept using my HypnoBirthing breathing, and it helped a lot.

While Scott was away, I had one huge contraction, and in the middle of it, the baby kicked extremely hard and my fore-waters burst. The pain was, to be perfectly honest, excruciating. The waters breaking kept my contraction going for a long time at its peak, and I lost it completely. I began crying and shouting and writhing around and saying, ‘I can’t do this! I can’t do this!’ I felt like the contraction was never going to end. I tried to get positive by saying through my sobbing, ‘I CAN do this, I CAN do this!’, but I was screaming and still writhing around. The midwife started saying, ‘Lori. Lori. Look at me. Look at me. NO ONE can do this. TAKE THE GAS AND AIR.’ I’d forgotten about gas and air! So I took it. That ended the contraction, but after that point, they came one on top of the other. And then Scott returned. He felt terrible for having been away!

I sucked on the gas and air for I don’t know how long, but it just wasn’t doing the trick. I couldn’t believe how intense the contractions became after my waters broke. I just didn’t think I could do it anymore. Scott kept telling me, ‘Just one more. Can you do just one more?’ I kept agreeing I could do one more. Then I told the midwife that I really needed her to check me to see how far along I was, because if I wasn’t progressing, then I really couldn’t go on like this. She checked me.

She said to me, ‘You’re not going to like what I have to tell you. You are only 1-2 centimetres dilated, but you are fully effaced.’ I glared at her. She then went on to say how good that was because frankly she didn’t think I’d progressed at all. She said to keep trying. I said I’d keep trying, but I was going to need diamorphine. The diamorphine helped just enough to take the edge off the pain, but it was still really painful. Scott continued to coach me through ‘just one more’, but my answers changed from ‘okay, one more’ to ‘maybe’ to ‘I don’t know’.

At some point, Allison arrived. She’d had several other visits that morning to attend to (as a proper midwife, so I felt those visits took precedence over being with me as just a companion). It was perfect timing, as in my head I was close to just asking for a c-section again. When she arrived, it gave me a new sense of energy, and I wanted to prove to myself and to everyone that I could do this.

I was all over the place, unable to get into a comfortable position for labouring. I was all over the bed, the birthing ball, standing up, leaning over the bed, everywhere. Since I was strapped to a continuous monitor, I couldn’t go very far, and all my moving was interrupting the trace on the baby’s heart beat. Because of this, they asked me to sit on the bed for awhile just to get a good twenty minute trace. I wanted to kill them, but I did it anyway. After not very long, I suddenly got the urge to push. It hadn’t been long since I had been checked, so I said very hesitantly, ‘I know this sounds stupid, but I’m just going to say it. I feel like I need to push.’ The midwife asked me to wait to push so she could check me, but with the next contraction, I couldn’t stop myself – I just pushed. She checked me and found I was 8 cm. I couldn’t stop pushing though, even though I tried my hardest. I kept trying not to, and then apologising through the whole contraction because I couldn’t help myself. It felt so good to push!

They must’ve checked me again, because they told me to go ahead and push. It felt amazing! Suddenly, labour was FUN. I was absolutely LOVING the pushing. I gave it my all with each contraction and enjoyed resting in between. I gave up the gas and air, so I could concentrate better on pushing. I don’t know how long I pushed, but it wasn’t long before the baby crowned. I reached down and felt her full head of hair. It was incredible. Before long, the baby’s head was out and with the next push, out whooshed her body. They placed her right on my tummy, and I was blown away. She didn’t breathe right away, so they took her to the resuscitation table while I delivered the placenta. Then they put her back on my tummy, and we all watched in amazement as she crawled up my chest and found the breast herself. From the start of the drip to delivery was about seven and a half hours. I was 40 weeks plus 6 days.

I had a second degree tear, and I was exhausted, so Scott spent a lot of time holding Lolly for me. I felt too wobbly from the drugs and the exhaustion to hold her myself too long. But I didn’t feel it interfered with our bonding. She and I stayed in the hospital for two days. It shouldn’t have been that long except that the very next day, when I was due to go home, the entire west of Scotland flooded, and we were stranded! Interestingly enough, my friend Carol, who was due the same day as me, gave birth the next morning, so we were both in the same ward, stranded together. That night, because no one could get into the hospital for work, our ward was shut down, and we were all moved to different wards, so Carol and I even ended up in the same room! So while we got no visitors, we at least had each other!

I was so happy. I really wanted a natural birth and really didn’t want to be induced. But more than anything, I didn’t want another c-section. I was so upset during the time between my waters breaking and being induced. I couldn’t’ understand why God was letting this happen, when He knew how important this was to me. I was certain I’d end up with another section. But as always, I realised when it was all over, that He did still have everything under control. It just wasn’t how I planned it. I still got my VBAC, and I can also say now that I went through induction without needing an epidural! I had to apologise to God afterwards for my lack of trust in Him. I was pretty mad at Him to be honest. But the birth was amazing, and I don’t regret any choices I made, even though I agreed to many things I’d normally refuse. It was an indescribably amazing experience, and only a week later I’m sure I could do it again.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Middle Child Gets It

It all makes so much sense now. The reason there are no pictures of the middle child (or second as the case may be) is not because the parents care less but simply that there aren't enough arms to go around!

We did a poor job of snapping photos of Christmas yesterday. For that, I apologise, Family In Arkansas. Scott did video Fifi opening her presents though, while I held Lolly. So that's something.

Here's a few we did manage to get. I don't know if Scott and I made it into any pictures, but if we all look tired, it's because we were. Fifi must've remembered me telling her the night before Christmas that the next morning was Christmas because she woke up (she's not even 2 remember!!) shouting 'PRESENTS! DADDY, UP!! WAKE!! SANTA! PRESENTS!'

Her favourite presents were her kitchen set (yay!), the bike from Gran and Grandpa and the teddy bear for Lolly. Yeah, it's Lolly's teddy bear, but Fifi has adopted it.

The best present I got? My mom's present from my dad; he's booked her a flight over for January! Mommy will be here in 3 weeks! Fifi will be happy to see her Mamaw again.

Christmas was over all a lot of fun this year. Kids make it better. They bring that joy and excitement back. Though due to the unexpected early wake up call, we did not get our chocolate gravy and biscuits, nor did I remember to read her the Real Christmas story. Maybe in retrospect... would it have the same affect?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Welcome

We welcomed Lolly into the world on Thursday, 18th December, at 17.15, weighing in at 9lbs 1oz. Birth story to come... when I get a chance to write it!

Mum and baby are well. Daddy is thrilled. Big sister finding it all a bit (a lot) too much.



Name pronounced AHY-la for those of you unaccustomed to Scottish names.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Going to hospital. BRB.

Santa Again

One of the bloggers I regularly read posted this story today, and I'm going to take these thoughts and run with my own.

We never believed in Santa either; it was just a story, and that's how I intended it to be with my kids too. I've discussed that before on this blog. However, as I've also recently written about, Fifi has for some reason become completely fixated on Santa. While she isn't so keen on actually seeing him live in action, she talks about him all day long, sleeps with a Santa Christmas card and only wants to colour in pictures of Santa, nothing else. This morning, her first words when she awoke were, 'Santa? Beard? Hat? Coat? Shoes? Toys!' Each day she comes up with more and more information on Santa's appearance and whereabouts. (He rides a bus, by the way, since of course, she first met him on the Teen Challenge bus at The Haven's Christmas fete.)

So this morning I asked her if she believed in Santa, and she said yes. A trifle dismayed, I asked her if she believed in Jesus, and she looked at me blankly. I've been trying to tell her about Jesus and Christmas, reading her cute nativity stories and what not, but of course I know she's too young to get the concept. We talk about praying to Jesus when we go to church, and we say our prayers at night (when we remember... blush), but it hasn't sunk in for her, and that's perfectly understandable. So then it just kills me that she gets the concept of Santa!

I suppose Santa is more saturated in our culture than Jesus. She sees pictures of Santa, sees people dressed up as Santa, sees electronic Santas playing the trombone in the mall, and then of course everyone around her is talking about Santa and what toys he'll bring her this year. I suppose that even we ourselves have encouraged it by taking her to see Santa and get a present from him. Still, I thought it would all pass over her as a fun game, not something real to believe in.

I just don't want to lie to her. And I don't want her to think that Jesus is also just a fun game to play at Christmas. I'm sure I'm over-thinking it, and maybe next year, she'll be happy to separate fantasy from reality. But I'm beginning to feel a bit guilty and even sucked into the whole Santa thing. I even caught myself saying to her she couldn't have some toy in the shop because 'Santa already got your presents'. I couldn't believe those words were coming out of my own mouth!

I know nearly all of you will say this isn't a big deal, and it's fine to tell kids about Santa, and it won't damage them. But I do know people who were rather traumatised to find out the whole thing was a farse (and a straight lie!), and I even know someone who decided Jesus must not be real either. I don't want that.

But for now, I guess I just have to let Fifi be two and not worry too much about it. We'll see what happens next year. For now, it is kinda cute to see her get all excited over All Things Santa Claus. And when she kisses that Christmas card, well, that's just adorable.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Out of Order

Just to forewarn you, this blog will be down for a few days, or will at least have limited facilities. I know, bad time for it, as I'm about to have a baby (supposedly), but it can't be helped. If you come to check if we've delivered, and there is no blog, go have a look at our Flickr page, which will be updated with pictures and any news. We'll try to have the site back up as soon as possible.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Santa - Fly - Hat

I don't know where she picked all this up, but suddenly, Fifi is very interested in Santa. She was whining all morning about seeing Santa. She kept telling me, 'Santa. Fly. Hat.' How she knew he flies and wears a hat, I do not know. I've certainly never talked much about Santa. I don't believe in lying to children about these things, so Santa is just the name of a fictional character, not someone to truly believe in. She must've been talking to her friends at playgroup...

Anyway, she heard me on the phone with Scott's mum talking about taking her to The Haven's fundraiser this afternoon where Santa will arrive at 3.00. She then talked about Santa all morning until we left.

We got there, and she was all excitement. She kept asking where Santa was. Then we heard the 'bells' (he arrived on the Teen Challenge bus). She was so excited. She climbed the bus and pushed through the crowds to get to Santa. Then, as soon as she laid eyes on him, she did an immediate 180 and came running back to me in floods of tears. She did NOT like Santa one bit. She refused to let go of me. Santa handed her present to one of the elves, and Fifi accepted it, without giving Santa one more look. She couldn't get off the bus fast enough.


Excitement.


Terror.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nothing

I've been instructed to blog, but I'm sorry, I have nothing to talk about. The conference was the last interesting thing to happen to me. Now it's just a lot of irregular contractions which have been off and on for a few weeks now. It's getting irritating. I don't get the least bit excited when they start. There have only been two days I thought I *might* start labour in the near future but never have I believed in my contractions enough to think 'this is it'. It'll never be it. It'll just been rando contractions until my time limit is up; that's what it feels like. I know I've still got, what, 9 days until my official due date, but really, contractions that just go on and on and on and on without getting more intense or regular is just ANNOYING.

That's all I have to say really. I want to make Scott wake up so I can go lie in a bath. Even though he's been up in the mornings with Fifi the past two mornings (we're 'supposed' to take turns). Is that selfish, or justified?

Oh and can I just complain real quick about something? A wonderful girl offered yesterday to take Fifi for me this morning so I could relax/shop/do whatever I need to do, and I turned her down because Fifi goes into a creche the first Wednesday of the month while we do our breastfeeding work. I told her I'd have loved her taking her for me, but she would be in the creche and I wanted to keep her used to going. Well, what do you know but they cancelled the creche (third time in a row, I think now?). GAH. So much for a morning off. I feel crabby already.