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Archive for January, 2012

On Monday Baby G was 4 weeks old so I decided to take him to a baby clinic to have him weighed.  The last time he was weighed was when he was 4 days old and then he weighed 3.24kg.  He lost 190g in the first few days and the midwife was happy with that as it was less than 10% of his original birth weight.

On Monday he weighed 4.25kg, so just over a kilo heavier than when he was 4 days old.  I was shocked to be honest; I thought he weighed less, as the guidelines my midwife gave me said that he should gain about 150g per week.  I really thought he was still less than 4 kilo’s.  I guess one doesn’t notice how much they grow if you see them all day every day.

He is getting cuter by the day, by the way.  He started laughing last Friday, I thought I was mistaken, but he laughed so many times yesterday that there is definitely no doubt anymore!  He’s only laughed when I’m around, so no one else has seen it yet, but DH just missed it last night.  Baby G laughed 3 times just after DH got into the bath, but he could hear him at least.  I really want to try and capture it on video for DH and the rest of the family when he does it again.

Other things that he does that are so cute are:  He loves to stretch when he wakes up and he pulls the funniest faces, he chats up a storm and I just love listening to that and he absolutely loves to fall asleep on mommy and daddy’s chests and the look of content is just wonderful to see, and I also love the way he likes to sometimes lick my nipple when the milk is dripping out!

He loves to cuddle and would do it all day, and then my favourite thing with him is when I’m breastfeeding him, what a special time of bonding between the two of us!

I realized that I haven’t posted any pictures of baby G’s room yet, so I took some for you and I also want to include a picture of the cradle that we are borrowing from DH’s cousin.  I never realized how nice the cradle would be until baby G was born.  He sleeps in there during the nights and it is so convenient because now he can sleep in our bedroom for as long as he fits in there.  If you can get hold of one, I would highly recommend it! One of the recliner/rockers we bought is also in our bedroom at the moment and I feed baby G from there at night.

During the day he sleeps in my arms mostly, or next to me on the bed.  We have a Moses basket in our living room, but baby G rarely sleeps in that, and if he does it’s not for long, although he is sleeping there at the moment!

The cradle

The cot and toy box

Wall cubes

Moses Basket

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I would love to continue posting all the good teachings I hear in the way I’ve been doing it, but to be honest I just don’t have the time now that baby G is here.  So I thought I’ll post them with links here and a short description and those that are interested can listen to them themselves.  It would be much better to do it that way anyway, since my posts were always summaries, since the posts would have been too long to read.

What I do with An.drew Wom.mack’s teachings is I download them and save them on my computer and then I listen to it on my phone with the headphones on anytime I think I have some time, even if it is in 15-20 minutes increments at a time, which is usually when I’m feeding baby G nowadays.  That way I can listen to one or two teachings a day, most days.

Recently I listened to How to become a water walker: lessons in faith again and one of the best parts of that teaching is his description of how we can have faith and unbelief at the same time and how the unbelief can counter balance your faith.  He describes it with the following example:  Say you have one huge weight and you hook up a horse to that weight to pull it.  If you then hook up another horse of equal strength to the opposite side of that weight and get that horse to pull in the opposite direction, the weight will not move.  It is the same with having faith and unbelief at the same time.  I can highly recommend this teaching for those that feel that their faith is not where it’s supposed to be or to those who know they have faith, but they also struggle with unbelief.

One teaching that meant a lot to me recently was Hardness Of Heart, something I did not believe I had a problem with, but he spoke of it in the teaching, “how to become a water walker” and that convinced me to listen to it.  Boy, did I need to hear that!  I never realized that my pregnancy and becoming a mommy had hardened my heart towards God.  Here he explains that sometimes life just gets in the way with your relationship with God and once something becomes more important than your relationship with God, your heart hardens towards him.

The teaching I’m currently busy listening to is How To Receive God’s Best, and that one is amazing!  It teaches about God’s blessings, how a blessing is better than a miracle and it is a good general teaching on healing and prosperity and how God has blessed us abundantly and that we must learn to receive it.

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Wow, I can’t believe baby G is almost 4 weeks old already. Time has flown by! I would like to say, time flies when you’re having fun, and it has been fun mostly, but being a parent is also much harder than I thought!

The hard parts are that I haven’t had more than 4 hours sleep in almost 4 weeks at one stretch and that there are times when you just can’t go to the loo, no matter how urgently you need to, or you can’t eat until your baby allows you, and it’s happened that I’ve only had breakfast by 11h00 in the morning and by then I felt like fainting already. I’m keeping protein bars in the bedroom for when I need something to eat immediately. And I won’t even mention how difficult it is to set time aside to get a shower, and wash and dry my hair!

I also never realized that sometimes your baby does not allow you to sleep during the day. I always thought newborns slept a lot more than baby G does, and there are times when he sleeps maybe a half an hour here or there during the day, and I always assumed that I would get opportunities to nap during the day when he naps. Well, that has happened maybe every second day so far.

The other hard thing is that I’m exclusively breastfeeding, so I have to do every single feed, and that means I have to wake up every time he wants to feed. There is no break for me. But I try to console myself with the fact that it does get better with time and I must say from this week he has been sleeping a lot better. I think the breakthrough was that DH and I identified the problem, and that was that cramps have been bothering baby G a lot and keeping him awake. We weren’t very keen on giving him any medication but eventually we tried to give him some Tela.ment drops and since then he’s been sleeping a bit better, which makes a huge difference to mommy!

That was all the negative stuff, now for the good stuff: Baby G is just adorable, and quite an easy happy baby. We think he is the most gorgeous baby in the world, but I guess every parent thinks that. He loves to smile at us and when he does, we are putty in his hands. He almost never cries, only when he has really bad cramps and that is fortunately not often, or when I’m too slow to offer him a boobie.

He loves to chat and sometimes it sounds like real words. Like the first night after he was born it sounded like he said pa-pa (Afrikaans for daddy.) We joked that he is a little genius and that he said his first word already! He is also a strong baby, grabbing and holding on to all kinds of things, and it’s really difficult to get him to release his hold. He is also a strong kicker, and loves to kick one’s hands away when we change his nappies.

I knew I loved him a lot already when I was pregnant, but I must say nothing prepared me for the love I would feel after he was born. I was also surprised how protective I am of him. The second night in hospital the one nurse took him out of our room to try to get a wind out, and at the same time give me some rest, and I didn’t like that at all! DH was on the loo and when he came out I asked him to go check up on baby G at the nurse’s station. DH said that I asked very calmly and politely but my face said, “Go fetch my baby now!” Already I cannot imagine our lives without him.

Breastfeeding is going well now, but boy, o boy, I now know why so many people give up. It not easy! The first day I almost gave up, as I was totally overwhelmed and baby G did not latch easily. But fortunately there are many midwives working at Ge.nesis Clinic and they helped me a lot, and by the second day something had clicked and things were better. Every now and then Baby G still latches wrong to my right nipple and then it’s sore for a day or so, but generally he latches very well and he empties my boobies regularly.

We are actually surprised how well it is going and how much milk I am producing. Even with the operation I’ve had on my left breast, where about a third of the tissue in my breast was removed, (I admit I believed for a creative miracle here since before I got pregnant, so that I can breastfeed, and I know I received that), I’m producing more than enough milk, and that left breast is producing just as much milk as the right breast.

Baby G generally only drinks from one breast at a time, and he empties it in about 15 minutes, but in the late afternoons and early evening he is usually very hungry and he will drink so much that he will empty both breasts twice before he goes to sleep at about 20h00. After this he usually sleeps for about 4 hours and I usually also fall into bed as soon as he is asleep in the hope that I also get 4 hours uninterrupted sleep. But after that one long stretch he usually sleeps for 2 hours and then after that only for 1 hour until morning. It also usually takes about 30 minutes to 2 hours to get him to go to sleep again, depending on whether we manage a dream feed or if he wakes up completely and if he has cramps.

Baby G also doesn’t like to be swaddled. Every now and again I try again, but that usually ends up in screaming and then I remove it again. He was happy to be swaddled for only about the first week, and then we noticed that he would fight with his arms until they are free, so we swaddled him with his arms bent and his hands close to his face. That worked for another week or so and because it’s been really hot here, we didn’t swaddle him during the day and he got used to that, and now it’s almost impossible.

I know you must all be wondering what baby G looks like by now so I’ll post a few pictures for you. They were all taken by me with my phone. Hopefully we will get our professional newborn pictures in about a week’s time, then you will see some nice pictures, but until then these have to be good enough.

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I know it’s long overdue but here is baby Gian’s birth story at last:

By lunchtime on 26 Dec I was convinced I will have to wait some more before our baby will come.  Even though I had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions it felt like nothing was going to happen that day and I even told my sister so over the phone.  After lunch I took a nap, since we had a very busy weekend due to Christmas and I was extremely tired.

During the nap I felt some contractions, but that was not unusual, since I’ve felt like that many times before.  When I got up after the nap though I felt some vaginal discharge come out and I went to check on it.  It was mustard yellow and watery and was about the amount of a couple of tablespoons, but it turned into a pinkish red, so I thought it must be my mucous plug.  I’ve read that you can lose your mucous plug days or even weeks before labour, so I didn’t take much notice.  I did put on a pad so that I could check later to see if there is more discharge.

By about 15h40 I noticed that the contractions were getting a little painful and that they were regular, so I started to time them on an app I had on my Ga.laxy ta.b.  The contractions were just under 5 minutes apart, and that confused me a lot, because it didn’t feel like I would imagine contractions to feel.  I was told by my midwife that if there is doubt it is probably not real contractions, and that I would know when it’s the real thing.

A little while later (17h00) I told DH about it because the contractions were getting even closer together and the discharge was now a light brown colour and DH made me SMS the midwife.  She said that she would phone me at about 20h00.  She changed her mind about half an hour later and phoned me to chat with me and hear how I was doing.  I had decided in the mean time that I think that the discharge might have been my waters breaking, and that the colour could be due to meconium, so I mentioned to the midwife that I thought my waters might have broken, but that the volume wasn’t much.  She told me to use a glycerine suppository to get my bowels moving and to time my contractions (I had stopped doing that, since I thought I was doing it wrong).

We watched an episode of Ca.stle while timing the contractions this time on DH’s I.phone and we realised they were just over 2 minutes apart so at 19h00 I phone the midwife and told her so.  She advised us to come in immediately to Gen.esis clinic.

We arrived at the clinic just before 20h00 and the midwife was already waiting for us.  My contractions and baby Gian’s heartbeat was monitored and my contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and genuine contractions, much to my surprise, as they were still not very sore.  I was able to breathe through them quite comfortably.  Up to this stage DH and I still thought that it might be a false alarm, but we were told I was definitely in labour.

The midwife then proceeded to check my cervix and found that although my cervix was very thin it didn’t dilate at all.  She could not even insert the tip of her finger.  She decided to try something she usually uses for mom’s who want a VBAC, by inserting a catheter into my uterus with a balloon and inflate the balloon with 50 ml of saline to try to stretch my cervix open, but she warned that if it doesn’t work that I will have to have a c-section.  When the catheter was inserted she confirmed that my waters had indeed broken and that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid.

After this was done the contractions suddenly became incredibly sore and it actually felt like I had one long contraction that only differed from incredibly sore to almost unbearable, and after about 10 minutes I begged for some kind of pain relief.  I was given laughing gas but it felt like it didn’t help at all.  The midwife put me back on the monitor to check on baby Gian’s heartbeat and it was extremely high and that indicated that baby was in distress, so she immediately took out the catheter again.  She said that she would check on my cervix again in 45 minutes and if it didn’t dilate enough that she will call the doctors to come in for a c-section.  (They were already notified of my case and on standby)

At 22h00 the midwife said that my cervix was still the same as earlier and she started to prep me for surgery.  By the time she was done with this all the doctors were waiting for us already outside my room.

The midwife was so nice, all the time explaining to me what the next step would be.  That helped me a lot because I was incredibly scared of a c-section.  Eventually all the prep work was done, I had the spinal and DH could sit next to me.  He barely sat down when he said that they’ve already cut me open.  After a little while the midwife explained that I would hear suctioning and that shortly after that our baby would be born.  So when I heard the sound of suctioning I asked DH to try to flatten the blue covers on my chest so that I could see, but I didn’t know that it was sterile and we weren’t allowed to touch it.

The gynae heard me though and he stopped and asked the anaesthetist to lift up my head (what a wonderful  doctor!) and I was able to see how he lifted our baby out head first, facing me, and we even made eye contact before they whisked him away to suction him, because of the meconium in the amniotic fluid.  I lay there with tears rolling down my face, so incredibly grateful that we were eventually parents.

DH left my side to make a video of our baby’s first moments and after what felt like an eternity I could finally hear him cry.  It took a while before he started to breathe, but he was fine.  His apgars were 8 and 10.  The paediatrician and the midwife said that he had a nice colour, beautiful skin and a strong grasp as he was clutching at everything he could lay his hands on.  He also pee’d all over them.  After about 20 minutes he was brought to me and put on my chest and less than 5 minutes later he was drinking from my breast.  I could only stare at our beautiful baby, and DH was actually a bit worried because I didn’t say a word for such a long time.  I just kissed DH’s hand and was totally amazed to see our baby.  DH told me that he was so proud of me and thanked me for our beautiful baby.  He was a proud daddy and totally in love from the first moment.

Baby Gian was allowed to lie skin to skin on me and drink from my breasts for about 2 hours, before he was dressed and allowed to sleep in bed with DH.  I didn’t sleep a wink that night, just so incredibly happy to be a mommy at last!  DH also didn’t sleep much, he kept on staring at our baby, also totally in awe, and a little scared that he might hurt our baby.

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