emma_in_dream: (lotr)
I've bought a tourer - one of those platform on wheels things that attaches to the back of the pram - and for the first time since Ruby was born we are properly mobile.

My plan was for Ruby to use the pram but Pearl did not concur. She demanded the pram, partly because she resisted being ousted as the baby and partly because of her relapse in her hypotonia.

Since Pearl was hit by the car, she has refused point blank to walk outside. (Fair enough). But pushing her about as extra cargo on top of the pram was really doing my back in.

The solution: the tourer! She feels very safe as she is literally between my arms and it is a lot easier to push. For the first time in months we have been able to go for little walks for pleasure.
emma_in_dream: (bobby)
I am feeling much more isolated with Ruby than I did with Pearl. Perhaps this is because when I had Pearl I used to phone people while I fed her (for interminable hours).

Whereas this go around I spend the time while I am feeding Ruby repeating ‘don’t hug her head, don’t touch her eyes, leave her alone while she feeds’ and encouraging Pearl to play with her toys or listen to a book.

Today, for instance, my adult conversations consisted of one two minute phone call to Huckle, one to Fe and one to my mother. All were interrupted by some domestic emergency. I really want to talk to grown up people.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I had Pearl in a private hospital and Ruby in the public system (having spent the cost of the birth on upgrading my car). I’d have to say I preferred the private system but not because the quality of care was better.

I did not like the way I saw a different doctor literally every single time I went to the public hospital. It meant I had to repeat myself over and over, and also I had to be a lot more vigilant in monitoring my own condition. (On the other hand, I was not pleased with my doctor in the private system who saw me regularly and yet failed to note that my problem with my feet was severe).

The main thing that I really didn’t like was sharing a room in the hospital. Sharing a room with one crying newborn is difficult enough. Sharing with two... far more than twice as bad.

The woman I was sharing with apparently had a cultural tradition that women do nothing for weeks after having the child other than feed him or her when he or she is brought in. This worked fine during the day when she was surrounded by hoards of her family. It worked really really badly at night when she had long fights with the midwife about whose role it was to pick the child up while I lay there literally biting my lips to stop myself from leaping up and saying that OK, I would feed the baby rather than leave the poor boy to cry for hours on end. Sharing with her was so horrible that I spent the last night in the lounge, sleeping on a couch rather than listening to a distressed, uncomforted child.

In short, I’d say going with the private system was worth it** if only for the sake of having a private room and being able to stay in for longer. (I got to board at the private hospital so I could stay for as long as Pearl was in; in the public system I got bounced out of King Edwards on the day I gave birth and was transferred to another hospital by taxi.)


** Assuming you have the money.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Her blood tests show that she has normal levels of vitamin D and iron. So probably no hypotonia!

The very best of news.
emma_in_dream: (uhura)
SLF was born on 4 November. She weighed 3.4 kilos, is 50 cm long, and is very healthy.

She was born by VBAC after a quite short labour. Still quite long enough for me as the anaesthetist was not available until the point when I was in the middle of the transition.

She is a very pretty little girl, looks much like Pearl but with straight brown hair and a peachy complexion. I think she should have the on-line name of Ruby, so I have a pair of matching jewels:-)

I was so absorbed in holding her after the birth that I did not notice (and had to be told by the midwives) that I had a tear and stitches, that there were two cysts in the unusually large placenta (sent off for a biopsy), and that I had a haemorrhage.

Anyway, we are home now - and completely exhausted.

Birth

Jul. 16th, 2010 08:01 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I was asked the other day if I wanted this birth to be the same as the last one. The answer is yes and no.

Yes in the sense that I produced a healthy, live child with no permanent injury to either of us. Yes to immediately bonding. Yes to recovering quickly from the birth. Yes to not getting post-natal depression. Yes to the lovely support of the fabulous midwives. Yes to getting a child with such a gentle, loving disposition.

No to having a premature baby. No to the mystery of her lack of reflexes and strength. No to having a child who could not grasp my finger. No to having a child who lay in the position you put her in because she lacked the strength to curl herself up into a little newborn ball. No to the extended hospital stay. No to the nightmare of her not feeding and me not producing milk. No to having her kept in a box. No to never going into labour. No to the C-section. No to having her whisked away for oxygen and not seeing her again for hours, and then only for a few minutes.* No, on a more comical note, to having some random stranger barge into the recovery room as I had my legs in the air (he was looking for the orthodics ward and no doubt would not recognise me as he was not looking at my face.) No, on a really heartfelt note, to spending the first night without her.

I have no psychological issues with having a caesarian. I was born by one myself, and, frankly, would have been equally happy had Pearl arrived by c-section, by vaginal delivery, or wrapped in a box with a ribbon on top. But obviously it is desirable to avoid abdominal surgery where possible, especially in circumstances when you know you are going home to incredibly hard work and lots of heavy lifting rather than rest. And it is better for the child, in the sense of stimulating her reflexes (an issue which Pearl has had so much trouble with).

So my ideal birth would be one in which I go to term, have a VBAC, recover quickly, bond immediately, and produce a healthy child who feeds effortlessly and sleeps well. But I could remove all of this except the important part about having a healthy, live child and still consider it an excellent birth.

· The only good part to this was that my Mum was there as my support person and she went with her, so poor wee Pearl was not alone for her first few hours.

Weaning

Jul. 13th, 2010 07:46 pm
emma_in_dream: (Dark Angel friendship)
The process of weaning, which began on 1 January, is nearing an end. Pearl has not had a feed for a week now.

Feel very sad, but relieved that I won't have to tandem feed.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I have only just begun it but I have to recommend Jo Jackson-King’s *Raising the Best Possible Child* (2010).

I would have recommended it anyway as the starving author is a friend of mine, but having begun it I am blown away. It is a parenting book for parents who want to know what lies behind the advice. Why are we told to this and encouraged to that – what does the research say. Jo’s emphasis is on gentle, caring attachment. Some parenting books (the sort I do *not* like) encourage you to think of yourself as a lion tamer and your child as a wild animal always locked in battle with you and wilfully testing your limits; Jo sees parents as the bigger, wiser, calmer half of a loving dyad.

Vitamin D

Apr. 15th, 2010 07:55 pm
emma_in_dream: (Bronte)
Pearl's levels are up to 121 (with greater than 50 as normal). So yay for her!
emma_in_dream: (monk)
Mog - Mog the Forgetful Cat
Spot - Where is Spot?
Bob - various Bob the Builder books
Peace - her book on the nature of peace
Camel - The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr Seuss
Baby - Baby Loves Visiting
Yay book! - John Williamson's Christmas in Australia
Dirty - Harry the Dirty Dog
Pom Pom - Bertie and the Bear
emma_in_dream: (Monroe)
We went to the Year 12 exhibition on the weekend, and my favourite was the stick and raffia sculpture of a horse. I thought Pearl would like this as well as it is very like Deborah Butterfield's *EastWest* whcih is one of her favourite pictures in her horse book - http://www.uky.edu/ArtMuseum/luce/Top50/50/pages/Butterfield_jpg.htm

However, her favourite was a set of blocks with pictures of oranges and apples on them. She also very much liked an analysis of empire with a big star on it. 'Star! Star!'

When she was younger she only liked representational sculpture. For instance, she liked a realistic sculpture of a kookaburra, mostly because it just looked like a bird.

She is now clearly a much more sophisticated person, who likes quirkier art.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Pearl is sick.

I am sick.

The house is full of vomited on clothes and sheets waiting to be washed.
emma_in_dream: (Bronte)
Pearl loves her dollies, loves carrying them around and feeding them and kissing them.

The obvious interpretation of this is to say 'she is such a little girl'.

But while she does gravitate towards dolls and traditionally girly things, it's not like she does this in a vacuum. I try not to push her towards one set of toys or another - she owns the same number of toy cars as she does dollies - but I am sure I telegraph my approval of her when she plays with dolls. Frankly I find them a lot more interesting than the toy cars.

Me, observing her push a car: Broom! Vroom! Go car!

Me, observing her hug her bear: Oh, how sweet! Let's feed bear.

It's not that I approve of her doing traditionally feminine things - it's that I approve of the traditionally feminine things. I was reading to a friend's little boy and he brought out a string of phenomenally dull books about tractors and trains. Seriously, no people, just machines. So dull.

Whereas interacting with dolls and reading books about people - interesting! Something I value!

So I feel like I encourage her to do traditionally feminine things, and if she were a boy I'd be doing the same thing.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I can see that I won't be able to keep the tsunami of pink tat out of the house for long. Pearl saw a row of Barbies in the supermarket the other day and was so excited that she tried to hug several at the same time even though they were in boxes.

Oh Medela!

Jan. 19th, 2010 07:36 pm
emma_in_dream: (Monroe)
I was so fond of Medela. I had really good experiences with their pumps (comfortable) and their bottles (BPA-free) and their teats (did not flow too fast).

And now they are using dodgy social media advertising against the WHO Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

see: http://hoydenabouttown.com/20100116.7162/medela-mom-mavens-the-social-media-spam-offensive/
emma_in_dream: (Invented in Russia)
Who's the champion? Pearl is!

Who now walks in preference to shuffling? Pearl does!

Walking at 20 months, my little champion!

I cannot say how happy I am.
emma_in_dream: (Elizabeth Peters)
The Department of Health says that by six months 50% of babies are sleeping through the night. Then they add that 40% of children wake once or twice a night between the ages of two and three.

So, either you fall into the lucky half at six months or you wait til your child is four?

Pearl has yet to make it through the night without waking. We are currently in the midst of an intensive program of working on her sleep. But not sure with what success. A few nights with only two resettlings and some marathon sessions of eight resettlings.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Q: Who took five steps yesterday?

A: Pearl.

Q: How far did she get?

A: About five centimetres.



She leads with her right foot and catches up with the left. Her left has always been weaker, it used to flop over sideways, which it no longer does as she is getting stronger daily.
emma_in_dream: (Bronte)
The dentist says that despite the vitamin D deficiency her teeth are OK (though her adult teeth may not). Also, her eyes are good and she does not have cataracts (a possible side effect of the calcium deficiency).

And the paediatrician was very pleased with her and showered her with praise. I have no restraint when it comes to hearing praise about her. I can literally listen to people saying she is the most beautiful child in the world and only think how perceptive they are.

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