Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Festivities

Hi everyone! I know, I haven't been around much, I'm sorry. We've just moved, and as much as I would like to write a post on staying organised during transition, this is the most disorganised I think I've ever been!! We are basically living out of boxes as the unpacking is coming along at a painfully slow rate. Anyway, instead of anything useful about moving, I'll just say have a very happy Christmas and New Year, all of you, and hopefully I'll be able to get back to the blogging world one of these days!
Love Sarndra xx

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pram & Nappy Bag

Hi everyone! Thanks for all the great tips on my last post, I have been working on my nappy bag (aka diaper bag) and pram (aka stroller) organisation. And my new system is working! A HUGE thanks to Marcia for doing a fantastic post on her nappy bag organisation, Here is the link.

So, here is our new pram!

It's fantastic, I absolutely love it! And, after getting over the initial shock of the price, Shane now loves it too! He agrees with me that it is worth every cent. The first pram we'd bought 2nd hand, and it was fine in the beginning, but then we could no longer fold it down to put in the car. Also the wheels would get stuck on the tiniest of bumps. I had a couple of scary moments where I would be crossing a road, and the wheels would get stuck getting back up on the footpath, and we have some very impatient and crazy drivers here on the Gold coast! New pram's wheels are GREAT and easily glide over big bumps, grass, dirt, even sand!!

I'm not getting paid for product endorcement by the way Haha :-) But for those interested, its a Baby Jogger. Some of the features I love are ALOT of storage, including a pouch with 6 pockets on the handle bar. This is where I keep my purse, sunglasses, phone, Ipod, keys.

On the other side of the pouch are water, bib, face washer, my hat, sunscreen, hair clips, lip balm, tissues, chewing gum, notebook and pen (yes, ALL of that fits here!)

There's a large storage pocket here on the back of the seat, with a smaller zip pocket there too, and the long strap you can see hanging down is how you adjust the seat up and down (easy as!)

Large storage bag underneath but not too big that it drags along the ground

Plenty of room here for a cardigan, umbrella, sling, baby blanket, and a bag of grocery shopping.

And I have a large hanging hook on the handle for another shopping bag.

Another feature I love is the hand brake. Also the side windows for air flow, and the window flaps are held open or closed with magnets, not velcro.

Ok, enough of the pram! (I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging about it, I just really love it! :-D ).

Next the nappy bag. Here is a view of it packed with essentials, with extra room on top for any extra things I need.

Inside are cloth nappies, a spare onesie suit, hat, extra sunscreen, nappy rash cream (still using the free sample!), socks, hand sanitizer, thermometer (I need to monitor Alex's temp because of his ureta reflux- if he gets a high temp it could be very serious); a few wipes in a zip lock bag (GREAT idea Robyn and Marcia), plastic bags, toy and face washers.

I also have another bag packed with essentials that I keep in the back of the car. I have started to work re-stocking the 2 nappy bags into my afternoon routine, while Alex has one of his naps. Its important I do this daily especially since I am now using cloth nappies full time, things get ugly if I forget to take the dirty nappy out :-)

We go for at least one walk every day, along the water. There is a lovely path that goes for a few kms, and along the way are playparks for kids, BBQ areas and tables, and a fantastic water park for little kids, called the Rockpools. They even have a lifeguard there watching over the little ones! It's right near a cafe and also a large grassy area where they have live music from time to time. I love living here :-)

I have also started going to a mother's group exercise class on Thursday mornings, and its held here by the water. Exercising is alot more fun with a great view and friends to share it with. There's also a music class for mums and babies too on Tuesdays, and occasionally we will go to the yoga for mums and bubs as well. Also we start swimming lessons next month, with Sunny and Jamie. When those start I will drop one of the other outings. It's nice to have a few social outings spread out over the week, but I always make sure we have a restful day at home the day after a social outing so its not too much for Alex.

Along the path

I don't have a pic of Alex in the new pram yet but here's a recent one of the little cutie in a beautiful tracksuit knitted by the mother of a close family friend

He is doing MUCH better lately since I have taken sugar completely out of my diet. This hasn't been an easy feat for me, as I am a sweet tooth but it is very much worth of it for we have seen results already. Alex is so much happier and doesn't vomit nearly as much. Also the diarhea stopped immediately.

Speaking of my diet, I sorted out my kitchen pantry and took out everything that contained sugar, and take a look at this! 4 bags full!

We are planning to give some of this to Kerry and Sunny if they want it. I don't like to get rid of food but its better in this case to not have all this in the house, partly as we just don't have the room and partly to minimise cooking time (so I dont have to keep checking labels!) and temptation. I must admit, I am a sugar addict and this new diet is definitely benefitting me as well as Alex. There is diabetes in my blood line so its a good thing for me to do. I have found some great natural substitutes,- Agave syrup, Rapadura and Stavia. I can use these for baking and sweetening tea etc.

Are any of you sugar free and if so, do you have some recipes ideas??  Please share :-) I am also off milk, cheese and most dairy products but can have butter and cream in small amounts (weird, I know; but it is to do with the lactose and fat content).
Hope u are well, 'til next time!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3 months old already!

Our gorgeous boy is 3 months old, I cant believe how quickly the time goes! He is a beautiful, happy baby, growing very well, he has already doubled his birth weight :) He is in 100 percentile for height, so he is a big boy. How cute he was today as we watched the sun set together :)

We are in a great little routine at the moment. He is feeding every 3 - 4 hours over the night (Hooray!) and my darling Shane still gets up for the 5am feed to let me sleep. It works so well for us both. He crawls back into bed and sleeps til late morning. Then he gets to play with Alex for a couple of hours while I duck out to the shops for some "me time" or do stuff around the house. Alex naps every couple of hours during the day, sometimes for only half an hour and sometimes for a couple of hours. I walk him every day along the water in the pram or the sling. Its such a relief that he goes in the pram now as some days I just dont have enough energy to carry him in the sling. (For weeks he wouldnt go in the pram, but now suddenly he likes it!). I've managed to scrape enough time together to whip up a few pairs of pants such as these star and apple pants.

I'm quite proud of our night time routine. I've made it flexible but always manage to get him asleep by 7pm. We walk between 4 and 5, then its bath time. This is usually a struggle unfortunately. Some days I take him in the shower, other days in the baby bath. Either way, he cries (sometimes screams-) when I take him out. I don't understand it, I wrap him in a super soft baby towel straight away, make sure the room is warm but not too warm, and whatever I do he cries! (Only for a coupple of minutes luckily). Does anyone else have this problem? Most babies I've heard of love bath time. Hopefully he will grow out of this one :-/  After bath time we read a book, listen to one of our nursery rhymes cds ($5 from Kmart!) and then wind down with lots of cuddles before dinner. Some nights I have to feed him to sleep but other nights I can pat or rock him to sleep and I always sing "twinkle, twinkle little star" to him. Its very cute, he watches me closely and "coo" s as I sing, like he's singing too :) The he falls alseep by 7, I carry him to the cot and his eyes open a tiny bit, but I tuck him in tightly. I turn on the nightlight and the "rain" white noise, then kiss him saying "Mummy and Daddy love you very much and we will be there when you wake up". It's my little routine. He waits for me to say it before he'll go fast asleep :)

I am finding it a little challenging to be organised with "going out" bags. I have tried to keep a bag of things in the car, and one under the pram so in theory I could just walk out the door and have everything I need. The problem is, when I use something from the bag while I'm out, I don't always have time to re-stock it later. So the next time I am going out I'm not sure what I need to put back in the bag. Any suggestions? It takes me SO long to leave the house sometimes, and I always go WAY over prepared (umbrella in case it rains, 5 or more nappies in case of accidents, warm suit if its cool, cool suit if its hot, sunscreen, hat, a billion bibs, cloths, wipes, etc etc...) If I am going for a brisk walk along the water i dont take all this of course :) But if I am going shopping with Alex or if I know I will be out for a couple of hours, I really might need all those things!

I know some of you will be experts at this, how do you keep organised with your nappy bag??

Grandma, Grandad, Uncle Kerry, Aunty Sunny and cousin Jamie came to visit a couple of weeks ago
:-) We had such a nice day and loved having them here.

I have had to go off dairy and ALL sugar, including fruit and simple carbs, in an attempt to minimse Alex's vomiting (so far, it seems to have lessoned it! Yay!). Its challenging but of course its for a good cause, and an added bonus is that I've lost weight :) Most days I eat salad and fish, and whole grain breads etc. Breakfast was a challenge, not being able to have milk, cereal, spreads such as strawberry jam etc. But kind Shane has made me almond milk (soy milk and rice milk were also no-no's) and today we managed to make a sugar and fruit free cereal for me with bran flakes and puffed wheat with LSA and phsyllum husk. Shane is SO wonderful, he is such a fantastic father and so helpful. Its so good to have such a hands-on partner. I couldnt imagine what it would be like without him! He works SO hard at the restaurant but always helps me around the house too and always has time for Alex.

And one last one of Bubby and Mummy :-) Sadly wish I 'd had time to tidy up a little here before this pic was taken :)

Hope you have a lovely week!
Xx Sarndra

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Alex, Spring Cleaning and A Bit of Organising

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments last post :-D Alex had his scan and unfortunately it turns out he does in fact have ureta reflux. There are little kinks in the ureta tubes to the kidneys which makes the wee flow the wrong way, which is why he had the urinary infection. He will need to be on a low dose of antibiotics for 2 years :-( Of course it could be alot worse, but this result is still extremely upsetting for me as I had wished the Dr would say "Your boy is perfectly healthy and will never need another test or drug again"...

Anyway, spending more time in the childrens ward (this time just a few hours) once again put things into perspective for Shane and I as we watched a beautiful tiny girl with muscular dystrophy play with the toys in the waiting room. Many, many babies have terrible conditions much worse than what Alex has and I am thankful that his condition isn't worse. He wont need surgery which is a HUGE relief. The antibiotics will keep his urine sterile and in 2 years the tubes will have straightened themselves out. At least he likes his medicine- it is banana flavoured :-) I am taking pro-biotics so he gets some in the breast milk, and hopefully that will be enough to prevent him getting thrush from taking antibiotics long term. I am also going to see a naturapath to find out if there's anything else I can do (the Dr's answer was "No". (Followed by a Loud Silence).

Anyway- apart from all this we are going very well! Little darling sleeps for 3 hour periods now which is a huge relief! And the night feeds are very "Get the Job (quietly) Done and Back to Sleep". I am still having trouble sometimes with the breast feeding, and it usually happens in the middle of the night (I guess because I am tired and Alex is tired and the whole thing goes pear shaped) and the vasospasms are worse at night. So now I pump a couple of bottles and we give him those at night, usually one at 3am and Shane gives him one early morning so I can sleep for a longer stretch. I usually get 5 or 6 hours sleep a night now which is bliss! It's enough to feel almost normal again and sometimes I get a little half hr nap in the afternoon. Alex still sleeps alot during the day of course.

I have begun to think about Spring Cleaning, as it's that time of year and our place hasn't been properly cleaned since Alex was born. Some things need to be done for health reasons, poor Shane gets terrible hayfever and Alex sneezes alot too. I now feel like I am ready to tackle some short bursts of cleaning (I can get ALOT done in 20 minutes- I am like Speedy Gonzales :-D) while he sleeps. He is playing with (well, looking at-) his toys more now (he's 2 months old now) so I can get some things done while he's awake too. I have decided to write up a timetable for the next few weeks, with the cleaning projects that really need to done, like the dusting. I will write up on my whiteboard in the laundry what jobs need doing, and allocate 20 mins twice a week. I find it much easier if I allocate a certain job to a particular day, for e.g. Vaccuum floors on Monday, Grocery shopping on Tuesday, Spring Cleaning (only 20 mins) on Wednesday, Cooking on Thursday etc. I was reading a post on the topic of creating a cleaning schedule on the Creative Organizing blog, here is the link. I also do a load of washing or 2, everyday. I know that sounds excessive, but we really do have that much washing!! Especially as Alex brings up a lot of milk, we are constantly changing his clothes and bibs, and then there's the cloth nappies, which we mostly use as large bibs. He also has diarrhea alot from the antibiotics :-(. We go through alot of nappies a day, so we have to use disposables as well as cloth. I'm constantly surprised how much washing there is even when I try to always have a bib on him! Do you find you have ALOT of washing with your babies or is it just me??

A friend of mine asked recently if I have any new tips on organising. I realise I haven't really written anything useful on organising/tidying for a while- it's all been about Alex hasn't it :-D  Well I'm not sure about anything new on organising but I can sum up a couple of helpful tips I've been thinking about. Firstly, when de-cluttering an area like the kitchen bench, I go with the rule Like With Like, meaning keep like things together. This rule can be applied to both tidying up and organising. When tidying, I first run around grabbing all the clothes, off the floor, bed, furniture etc. I then sort out dirty clothes from the "can be worn again" clothes- I know this might sound a bit gross but I put the "can be worn again" back into the cupboard. Otherwise the house is cluttered by these items- I will wear things like jeans many, many times in an attempt to cut down on washing (mind you- I don't fit my jeans yet so it's mostly just pj's around the house ;-)) Obviously, dirty clothes go to the laundry basket.

Next I tackle paper, and sort into piles- rubbish, things to be read, bills, etc- usually bills go straight into my 3 tier paper organiser but lately the little buggars end up on the coffee table or kitchen bench etc. After clothing and paper has all been put away or dealt with, I will grab all the bathroom items, for eg. moisturiser, hair ties, lip blam etc that finds its way to the rest of the house. On I go in this way- just tackling one "type" of thing at a time. Have you tried this system when you tidy up? I find it helps me stay focused, as otherwise I may walk randomly around the place unsure of what I am picking up next.

"Like With Like"- I always use this rule with organising. Basically, keep like items together, and when relevant, keep them in some sort of container and label it. It can be that simple! For eg, if you want to tidy up the bathroom cupboard, sort everthing into piles- hair things, skin creams, first aid supplies, soaps, teeth cleaning items etc. Next source suitable containers, I recently got some small white plastic baskets at Woolworths, and they were only about $9 for 4! (Photos to come, another day- camera battery is flat :-)) I never spend alot on these sorts of containers. Remember to use plastic ones in the bathroom as cane or material will get mouldy. Next you can either label the containers once you've filled them with the individual piles "Hair Things" or you may not have to if it is obvious to you and your family what is in them. Aahh containers- I do feel better when things are snuggled neatly in them.

Speaking of snuggle- Bubba is waking so I better get going- please share with me if you are doing some organising lately, and if you use the "Like with Like" rule- and what containers are you using??

Xxo  Sarndra

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Spring already??

Well I'm stil not organised enough to do any kind of serious blogging but I wanted to let you all know we are doing well :-) We are feeding on demand, and Alex demands feeding 2 hourly over the night, sometimes hourly and when we are lucky, every 3 hours :-) JUST when I think we are in a pattern, it changes- that's kids, right??
BUT look how cute he is! Could YOU say no?

You may remember I told you that Alex had an urinary tract infection at 10 days old. Well he has to have a follow-up scan on Monday, where they will put a dye through his urethra, then do an X-ray while he wee's, to check the wee flows the right way through the urethra and kidneys. Sounds terrible I know but I have been assured it's fine, and necessary of course. I'm sure nothing will be wrong with his tubes but in the slim chance there is a kink somewhere, it's best to fix it now than later on.
Also we go for his 2 month vaccinatins tomorrow (Sunday)- so it will be a very Sad couple of days :-( I am regretting making the vacc appointment the day before the scan, but I guess in a way it's best to get all the yucky stuff done and over with in 2 days rather than dragging it out over a couple of days.

Organising- what is it, again??? The house looks like a cyclone hit it, and that's on a good day! Haha! But I am getting time to wash Alex's clothes and nappies, doing the dishes when we run out of plates, and even get a shower every so often (although washing my hair has been out of the question this week!). We are doing well with the washing, in quite a little routine of putting a load on in the morning, bringing in the damp load off the line (it's been overcast a lot lately), putting the damp things in the dryer for the final drying, and folding the dry things. Alex brings up his milk a lot- so we have more than  the usual washing as whenever I am not organised to have a bib on him, his clothing gets vomit on it and he has to be changed again.

We are getting much better with being prepared- sometimes it feels like a military operation! Especially as it's been very very cold here (well, what we QLDer's call cold anyway- less than 20 C :-D) and our unit is cold- we don't have heating here. We have 2 electric heaters that would never heat the whole unit, so getting dry and warm after a bath or shower was a bit tricky. But I am doing better now, I have a bassinet on a stand with wheels that has made life alot easier. I take it into the bathroom, turn on the heater so the room is warm, get 2 clean towels warm in the dryer and roll them up so the warmth stays inside them while I shower Alex. When we come out I get him dry and warm quickly and wrap him up and put him in the bassinet while I get myself dry and warm. It's very bad if I get cold at this stage because of the nipple vasospasms I've been having (you can read about this horrible vasospasm through Lusi's blog- she has bravely suffered through it with 4 of her beautiful kiddies and hopefully not with your little no. 5 due now, Lusi!!!)

Alex is waking up- off I go, will try to write again soon!
Hope you are well!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The early days

Well it's taken me a month to get any kind of blogging happening but better late than never, eh! What a huge month its has been. Wonderful, challenging, loving, rewarding, sleep deprived, happy and stressful. I'm sure you parents out there can relate. I am a self confessed drama queen and I do tend to make things more difficult than they need be, I guess putting unecessary pressure on myself to do things right. But OH I am just loving being a Mum!! Of course I dont get everything right but Shane tells me I am a great Mum and we can tell that Alex is happy, so thats good enough for me.

We have the most beautiful little boy and he is such a happy baby who is easy to settle. The poor dear and I had to spend 5 days in hospital with a urinary tract infection, which was incredibly scary for us to say the least. It was quite a traumatic time for us especially watching the Dr's and nurses putting needles into our little baby, just 10 days old. SO many horrible tests all of course necessary but quite a few told us they hadn't dont such and such a test on a baby so young before.. not very reassuring! Happily to say after a 2 week course of anti-biotics Alex is well and gaining the right amount of weight thank goodness.

He is feeding 3 hourly now which is a relief after a couple of weeks with hourly or 2 hourly feeds. This was necessary due to a mild case of jaundice in the early days and then of course the UTI. It was challenging for me and Shane, to say the least. Especially for my poor nipples not having long enough between feeds to heal. But we are getting there and so this 3 hourly feeding and the occasional 4 hr break is a welcome relief.

Shane is back to work now and our routine is settling into place, for the time period anyway. Obviously I do the nights as I feed Alex, then Shane gets up around 7.30am and has some play time with Alex while I put the washing on and do bits and pieces around the house. Alex usually settles back to sleep after an hour or so of playing so we are sometimes able to both go back to bed for a nap. Shane has more time with him in the late morning and this is usually when Alex has his bath or shower. Shane baths him but I find showering easier for me as I can sit down on my shower stool and hold him securely. I'm a bit nervous using the baby bath but it will get easier as Alex gets older. He feeds 3 to 4 hourly over the day then as most babies do, cluster feeds in the early evening. I was prepared for this as many mums had told me about the 'witching hour'. So I make sure I have had a substantial lunch so that I can purely concentrate on Alex in the early evening. He feeds off and on til about 7 then we both go to bed. During the night he usually feeds at 9pm, midnight, 3am, then 6am, fairly predictably. Getting up in the night is getting easier for me but I found it so challenging at the beginning even though I am also a night person. All in all I was only getting 3 or 4 hours sleep broken for a couple of weeks there so its much better now that I am able to nap during the day and get more sleep during the night.

It's working out really well with Shane's working hours of midday -ish to around 10pm at night. It enables me to concentrate on feeding Alex in the early evening instead of making dinner or being distracted. It's also really lovely that Shane has the precious play time with him in the mornings.

It's lovely to have our little routine for the moment- I am aware it will change depending on Alex and the next growth spurt which will be any day now. It's a relief for me to be able to get the house work done again. Shane did a fantastic job while I was getting the feeding established in the early days but I am more than happy to have my duties reassigned to me :-) Shane is in charge of feeding us now which is also a relief for me. It amkes sense as he is naturally good at that and I am naturally good at the housework!

Its also been a wonderful help to have had my Mum visit us weekly, helping me with housework on a Sunday or bringing a meal during the week.  I have alot more energy too now which helps me get organised and get back into something somewhat closer to our former life, with remembering to pay bills etc.

Thank you all for such lovely heartfelt wishes and comments. It was so lovely to read them when I have had a few minutes to spare. Alex is awake now so I best be going... see u next time :-)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Here He Is..

Thank you so much everyone for your beautiful messages. What an amazing, Full-On, most rewarding and most beautiful and possibly the toughest 19 days of mine and Shane's life ...:-) We are so in love with our little man.

I have alot of ideas for future posts on organising with a newborn- especially in regards to what IS important and what is NOT important in the early days!

IS- wonderful family coming around, cleaning and bringing food, and visiting us in the hospital, buying bits and pieces for us that we needed
IS NOT important- having wondersuits etc beautifully folded

Ah so many lessons learned, so many things put into perspective and so much love has filled my heart until I feel it will explode.

Many thanks and love from the 3 of us

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alexander Georg Hetzel has been experiencing technical difficulties.... thank you for re-joining us and please stay tuned for future posts...

Our beautiful little Alexander Georg came into the world on Sunday the 10th July at 4.20pm. He weighed 3.24 kg and has a light splattering of dark hair. His eyes are dark blue-green, a mixture of Mummy's and Daddy's. Shane and I are ecstatically happy and cannot express our joy at our little miracle.

I will post some pics soon. There are already hundreds to choose from :-)

Thank you so much for your well wishes everyone. We feel the love.

Love Sarndra, Shane and Alexander

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I've been contemplating certain responsibilities of being a parent. No longer can I pretend I'm still a teenager "playing house"- I am married with our first baby very, very much on his way (any day now in fact). Shane and I are looking at things such as life insurance, making sure our superannuation accounts are consolidated, private health insurance, car insurance, and making sure our dental and health checks are up to date. We will have more than ourselves to think of from now on- and I want to make sure that our futures are as secure as possible, for the sake of our little Peanut.

Post-irrelevant, but wanted to show you very thoughtful and gorgeous gifts from my sister Benita who has arrived from the UK and NZ- cutest bear, and wireless headphones- so TV noise doesn't bother Mum & Baby. Very thoughtful eh?? Also Benita suggested the headphones would be great for me to wear to listen to music if I get stressed about Peanut crying- I can hold him and still stay calm. SUCH a good idea eh? Thanks so much Aunty Benita! Xx

Of course there's also everyday parenting responsibilities as well- making sure our baby is safe and secure at all times, making sure our home and car are safe, and making sure we are happy and live a stress-free lifestyle(as much as possible-), as stress can be the biggest killer. I am ashamed to admit I have never had any form of insurance, I've never thought it worth the expense up until now. I have also been pretty slack with getting regular dental and health checks, but now I have our son to think of. I have to make sure Shane and I are healthy so that we will be around for a long, long time to care for our son and to still be there for him when he is a grown adult.

I am booking Shane in to the dentist this week, and I will do the same for myself in a month or two after I am settled in with Peanut. We will strive to keep on top of age- and sex-relevant health checks, and others such as diabetes and skin cancer checks; as we are all told time and time again early detection is the best way to survive such things. We also need to organise our wills, with God parents named in the unlikely event that both of us should die.

I have mentioned before my dislike of paper work, but in this case I need to bite the bullet and knuckle down and get these important things done. There is more than myself to consider here, and these things are possibly the most important tasks I should have on my To-Do list over the next few months. Don't worry- I won't put pressure on myself to get all of this done with a new-born- I will just make sure they are completed when we are settled in with Peanut.

What kind of things have you organised in your life, to make sure your parenting responsibilities are taken care of? Or if you don't have children yet, what other life responsibilities have you organised for your own future?

Hope you are having a great week :-)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

If you're not Completely Sick of reading about my Birthing Plans...

Thanks to everybody's great suggestions I have added a few things to the Bag. Lis had a fantastic idea to break the bag up into 2 bags- one for if all goes to plan and I give birth without complications in the Birth Centre (located within the Gold Coast Hospital, on the same floor as normal delivery); the other for if I am transferred to normal delivery, and stay 3 or 4 nights.

If I am in the B. Centre I will be sent home 4 hours after giving birth, if neither Peanut nor I need medical assistance. This is because there are only two B. Centre rooms, and these two rooms are in high demand. However they will only take on a certain number of mothers in the B. Centre. I believe there are 6 midwives, split up into two groups of 3, and each group takes on one mother in waiting per week (the week the mother is due). Of course there is the chance that a few mothers may go into labour at the same time; if this happens its basically first in, best dressed (the unlucky mother would go to normal delivery).  But this rarely happens. This is why there is a waiting list to get in, here on the Gold Coast there is a very high rate of births for some reason. I guess due to the density of population but also apparently because alot of mothers come here from afar to give birth and have a holiday at the same time! My midwife told me. I thought that was fascinating; I can't imagine going away from home to have a holiday and give birth! But that's me :)

I am hoping all goes to plan and I have my room. It is very large spacious room on the third floor of the hospital, there is a huge spa bath for pain relief and/or birthing, a double bed, a large bathroom and various things to aid birthing such as those big bouncy exercise balls, bars to help with squatting, shower stool, mats for kneeling on the floor, and a birthing stool.

If you or someone you know are pregnant and may be interested in "active birth", I recommend you find out if there is a Birth Centre nearby. I'm only saying this now because before I was pregnant I had no idea that these places existed, and only found out from my friend Dana. She had a wonderful water birth with her first son, and was so excited to share with me her amazing drug-free birthing experience, at a Birth Centre in the Royal Women's Hospital in Brisbane. I too am hoping for drug-free birthing (I won't go into my reasons here but if you are curious or would like some links for reading materials please feel free to email me).

In my other bag packed for in case I am transferred and stay a few nights, I have added more clothing and tracksuits (suggested by Chrissy), more underwear of course, more baby clothing, tissues (suggested by Jamie), my own soft non-hospital toilet paper (as suggested by Kendall), pen and paper for thank you cards (suggested by Archer's Mum and Joolz), and Ural (thanks Julia). Also have thrown in a robe and extra slippers, socks etc.We got a great bag of goodies too, muesli bars, powerade, boiled lollies, and blue cheese like I mentioned earlier :-). I will also be hanging out for a strong coffee but alas, that is not recommended with breast feeding either. I guess another year or two wait is in order, unless I am going to pump...

We now have our new (old) car, handed down to us by my very kind brother and his girlfriend. They bought new cars each and wanted to help us. How lucky are we?? It needed a little work but not nearly as much as expected so it hasn't cost us much at all. It is a '98 Holden Barina and its fantastic! I absolutely love it, as it has power steering, air con and is automatic (unlike the Ute which my father in law very kindly sold for us).  So today I rang RACQ to book in to get the baby car seat installed. They are calling me back on Monday and hopefully we can have it done on Wednesday. It's only $25 and I think it's worth it as Shane and I know nothing about installing baby seats and of course its very important it is done properly.

There is really only one more thing on my To-Do Before Peanut Arrives list, and that is to take some final documents in to Centrelink to finalise the family payments application. I tell you, I have been in there 3 times now to get this done and each time I was told to bring something else in. And I did research this before I started the application, the first time I went in I felt very prepared but of course, not prepared enough. It's not very straight forward, as most dealings with Centrelink aren't, I've found. Fingers crossed this last visit next week will enable me to cross this To-Do off the list.

SO now we just play the waiting game and try to patiently wait for our precious little Peanut to arrive...

Friday, July 1, 2011

These Last Few Days

9 days until our EDD!... Today I have been thinking about the significance of these last few days in my pregnancy. Mine and Shane's lives are about to change forever; we are about to become parents. We will never again just be 'the two of us'. I really want to take a step back, take a deep breath and appreciate these moments. We are both completely over-the-moon-excited about Peanut's arrival, and we absolutely can't wait to meet him. But we also realise how different everything will be, and how much our lives are about to change.

Last night I babysat our gorgeous nephew Jamie for 4 hours. He was an absolute darling and I loved every bit of it. He only gave a tiny whimper now and then, and I managed to work out what he wanted before it turned into a cry. So I felt quite proud of myself and it was great practise :-) The experience gave me a little taste of things to come- feeding, holding, getting to sleep, changing nappies, changing wet clothing, feeding, getting to sleep, etc etc. It amazed me how much we did in those short 4 hours. I had planned to cook dinner while he was here but it didn't get done. (It didn't matter as Kerry and Sunny came back with delicious Japanese food for me to say thanks :-)).

And I realise this is what it will be like with Peanut, only for 24 hrs/ 7 days a week. It's amazing how much my life is about to change, and even though I've tried to prepare myself for what's to come, even though I have talked with parents and read alot of books on parenting; I know that nothing can really truly prepare us for the job of parenting.I will just have to dive on in and get the job done- just as all of you who are parents out there, have done. And while I know that we may not love every minute, I do know that we are absolutely going to love our new roles as parents.

This weekend Shane and I are going to spend some quality time together. I'm not going to do housework, I'm not going to organise any cupboards and I may not even get any washing done. I'm going to make sure we relax together, watch a movie together, go for a walk, cook and eat a lovely meal together. We will sit and listen to our favourite music together, chat and laugh like we do. And we will appreciate these beautiful moments, and not take them for granted, as this may be one of our last weekends where we can do what we want, when we want, together as just us two.

Sound like a good idea?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Bag Packed For Birthing

Thanks again all for your lovely comments and condolences xx It really means so much to me.

Chrissy had a great suggestion for me to show what's in my bag packed for the hospital. I've had the bag packed for a couple of weeks now (way too eager..) but I keep adding to it now and then. Poor Shane will need a trolley to wheel it from the car soon Lol :-) I think it's just about done now.

Here's the red bag packed

The contents are -

5 all-in-one warm baby suits sizes 0000 and 000

Baby accessories- singlets, booties, mittens, and hats

"Bunny rugs" or baby wraps

Underwear (that can be thrown afterwards) and maternity bra's

Cloth nappies, covers, snappi's and nappy bag

Disposable newborn nappies

2 packs of maternity pads

Face cloths (maybe for Peanut or maybe for me!)

Bathroom bag

Including toothbrush + toothpaste, moisturiser, deodorant, lip balm, nipple balm (although I have been advised by ladies from the ABA that these creams aren't always helpful) concealer, powder + lip gloss (for photos :-))

Large, comfortable loose nighties given to me by Mum

A beautiful white nighty from Mum I can change into for photos :)

Slippers + socks

Ice cream container in case I am sick in the car, and a plastic bag for dirty nappies and soiled clothing

Spare clothes for Shane, including swimming shorts if we use the bath

Old towel and shower curtain for me to sit on, in case my waters break in the car

A list of our birth preferences,  laminated. I have a place in the Birth Centre and the lovely midwives there all share my natural/ drugfree birthing aims, so this list isn't really for them.  I typed up this list in case I am transferred to the normal delivery suite and in case I come across any staff who don't share our philosophies. My midwife from the Birth Centre will come with us if I am transferred, and she will stick up for me and what Shane and I have chosen (such as low lighting, and a physiological third stage). I realise some staff wouldn't be happy to do everything I have listed here, but apparently if I have someone who doesn't agree I can request for them to be replaced (they will realise I am not the "backing down" type). Of course I am hoping it wouldn't come to that- but I like to be prepared :-) The list continues on the back, with breast feeding preferences such as wanting to allow Peanut to self-attach instead of someone pushing his head onto my breast (which friends have told me does sometimes happen). Also things like wanting him to be placed tummy down on the scales instead of on his back, and that I don't want him or my chest to be washed on the first day to enhance bonding.

Here is my freezer so far- 3 types of soup made and a risotto. If we don't have anything good in the fridge at the time we are heading to the Birth Centre, Shane can grab one of these frozen meals. He will also get my fruit flavoured ice blocks from the freezer for during the birthing. I have been advised to take a fair amount of our own food for after the birth.

Here's also a list I have put up by Shane's desk of things for him to grab on the day, like the phones and camera. I will check out the shower stool they have in the B. Centre to see if it is as good as mine and if so we won't bring ours (also would be awkward for Shane to be carrying the bag, the stool and holding my hand :-/)

I've also thrown in some photos of our favourite camping spot, waves and lotus flowers opening so I have nice images which will help me with the relaxation and visualisations.

I am still to get some more little things, I have a shopping list for tomorrow to get some soft cheeses and a small bottle of champagne for us to have a (tiny) celebratory sip after the first breast feed! My friend recommended this and I loved the idea. I haven't really missed alcohol but I have certainly missed blue cheese! :) I also have to get breast pads, boiled lollies to suck on during the birthing (I did the 40hr famine when I was younger so I know I can live on barley sugar for at least 40 hours :-)), and sports drinks such as powerade. Of course these aren't necessities but more nice-eties :)

I feel pretty prepared but maybe I've forgotten something- let me know if you can think of anything I've missed :-)