Saturday, December 31, 2011

Week 3: Where did the week... I mean, YEAR go?!

Oh the weeks go by so quickly!! Today's also the last day of 2011 so HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone! Hope this year has been a special one for you, or even if it has been a challenging one - I hope it has taught you valuable lessons in life that you will remember forever. This year has obviously been really special for both hubby and I... I'm just glad I am no longer pregnant! Haha.

I have exactly 30 mins before I have to feed Micah before we head out to dinner with a few friends for New Year's Eve (just having a quiet night tonight - dinner and a movie at our place).. so I'm going to write this blog entry as quickly as possible so please excuse me if I make any spelling / grammar mistakes!

Walking around the block
I've been feeling a lot fitter this week and I have recovered really well from all that sore stuff happening after labour, fit enough to walk longer distances again - so Micah and I had our first walk together on Monday. It was the perfect day for it too, the weather was nice and cool and the sun wasn't too sunny. We just walked around the block but it felt really good to be out. Micah of course loves being out in the pram. There is something about being rocked, and being walked, and being in the car that really calms babies!

Hubby and I have also been out and about to the shops and to the park with my sister in law and the kids and we had some friends over for lunch yesterday and went for a walk again... so we've been really active during the day.
Unfortunately, we've also been experiencing the fussy side of the little man this week. He's been very unsettled at certain hours during the day (and sometimes at night) so we have tried various things to add to our little "bag of tricks". My sister in law came by earlier this week and dropped off her rocker for us to borrow - that works like magic! We just have Micah sitting in the rocker during the day and pretty much rocked him to sleep, or at least rocked him until he is quiet. She also gave us some dummies but for some reason Micah didn't like them (we thought maybe it was because they were a bit small) so we went out and got new ones that were a bit bigger and that seems to work better.

Micah and his brand new dummy
A funny pic of him sleeping with his arms up in the rocker :)
We've also been to Bunnings this week and I got a few storage boxes to finally organise all of his presents and tidy up the nursery. It was a BIG job to put away all the things that were previously sitting in our dining table as well as to tidy up the entire nursery but I finally did it! I finally have our dining room back, and our pool table has now been cleared of all the junk and all the unfolded laundry and the nursery is now tidy as anything and even our guest bedroom is nice and clean. So proud of myself.. worked really hard this week! Only goes to prove that juggling looking after a baby AND doing chores is not an impossible mission. Of course it helped that hubby wasn't at work this week so he could help look after Micah while I was busy organising things!

Bought a cute little box from Bunnings to store all of his toys
Storage boxes to store all of his clothes!
Even bought a floor lamp to go in the nursery (some shelves are empty to make room for future childrens' books!)
Finally cleared out all the boxes that used to be in the wardrobe (all unpacked stuff from when we first moved house!)
And put some shelves in the wardrobe to store more baby stuff!
Sooo good to have my dining room back! Having presents lying around everywhere felt great during the holiday season but after a while the mess and clutter really got to me! And I wanted a place where we can sit down and eat if people come over!
Micah lifting his head up during his "tummy time" - what a strong little man!
In other news, the Plastibell ring that was put on Micah during his circumcision has finally dropped off and he is recovering brilliantly! Yayyy the whole week we have been extra careful with caring for him whilst he is recovering from "the procedure" and applying Vaseline during every single nappy change.. and worrying if he is in pain... and now he seems all good and with the ring detached he looks comfortable again! HOORAY one less thing to worry about :)

The next few days we are expecting really, really warm weather here in Melbourne. So am really hoping our air conditioning will pass the heat test - especially on Monday when the forecast is 38 degrees! Our house gets really hot very easily, so the AC will need to be on all day and we'll have to be in the lounge room to stay cool and not go out especially on Monday. Just thankful we DO have air conditioning!

Okay so that felt like a very messy blog entry but oh well.. gotta go! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Micah's 1st Christmas (Part Two)

 This year, Christmas arrived a little bit early as little Micah was born just before Christmas. By the time Christmas came along, little baby Micah who is just 2 weeks and 3 days old have accumulated a MOUNTAIN of presents!

Toys, books, clothes, hats, bibs, shoes, socks, towels, blankets, wraps, even more toys... and this does not even include all the necessities baby Micah received e.g. nappies, baby wipes, more nappies, more baby wipes, nappy sacks, baby powder, laundry basket, etc!

Micah would just like to thank all of his generous aunties and uncles, nana and granddad, mommy and daddy's friends who gave him all these wonderful presents - I'm sure he feels like the luckiest kid in the world with so many people who adore him!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baby's 1st Christmas :)

Wishing all our family and friends a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Love from Enoch, Kim & Micah Peterson

Friday, December 23, 2011

Week 2: Tis The Season To Be Growing...

Here we are, Micah officially turned 2 weeks old yesterday.. and just two days ago would've been his official due date! I am so glad he was born two weeks early, because if he was still in my belly TODAY, I don't know what I'd do! He is such a big boy now, I cannot believe he is only 2 weeks old. He is growing every minute every hour every day, it is all happening so fast before we know it he'd be walking!

This week has been a HUGE week for us, so here's a bit of summary:

First Week Home Alone
Hubby went back to work on Monday, so that was the first time I've been home alone with Micah. The week went by quickly, and I survived. Micah was very well behaved on the first day, he slept most of the day and I had time to do most of the essentials e.g. shower and eat. Didn't really have time to do much else though. Later in the week as it became warmer and warmer, he got a bit fussier but nothing too extreme that I couldn't handle. 

And when dad's home from work, Micah would enjoy lovely cuddles. Babies DO miss their dads when they're away from them all day!
Not The End of Our Social Life
Newborns are generally easy to take wherever you go, so having Micah at this age means it's not the end of our social life - as long as he's had a good feed before we go out, he's generally settled and just sits quietly in his little capsule / pram wherever we take him! So on Monday night, we went out to dinner with friends and Micah did not cause any trouble whatsoever. Hubby and I got to enjoy a good meal and socialize with friends quite easily!

Micah just sitting quietly in his capsule, wide awake and alert but just looking around exploring the world without any fuss. What a good little man!
Paperwork and Official Business - So Stressful!
Wednesday was probably one of the most stressful days I've had since Micah was born. I had to fill out all the Medicare and Paid Parental Leave paperwork the night before, be at the Medicare Office first thing in the morning. Thankfully hubby decided to work from home that day so he stayed home and watched Micah whilst I headed off to the Medicare Office.

I got there at 9am and there were already 20 people in the queue! Thankfully I got it all done within an hour. Then, I stopped by the Council Office to fill out Micah's Kinder Enrolment. Yes, Kindergarten Enrolment. It is crazy here in Australia. Everything is done way in advance as soon as the child is born to ensure you get your preferred kindergarten / school. There are soooo many babies born each year you have to get in early or you might miss out on your preferred choice of kinder / school! 

The baby keeps gaining, the mum keeps losing! WIN-WIN
Once that was done, I took Micah to our Maternal and Child Health Appointment at 11.15am. It was his 2-Week Check Up and I am pleased to say that I really wasn't imagining things when I've said many times that he has grown and he feels a lot heavier.. because he IS! As of Wednesday, our little man was 4.46kg and 55.2cm in length which meant that he has gained nearly 1kg since his lowest weight (after birth babies lose weight before the milk comes in) which also means he is now 500g heavier than birth weight, and he is almost 2cm taller. What a champ! And what a great thing we have going on with this whole breastfeeding gig. 

On another note, I have lost 14kg of my pregnancy weight, which means I am only 6kg away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Isn't that amazing?! All this thanks to the wonders of breastfeeding!
"Oh mum, you're fattening me up!"
Oh... and "The Procedure"
The days leading up to Thursday, I was a bit anxious and my heart was a bit unsettled at the thought of putting my precious baby boy through a "medically unnecessary" procedure... the CIRCUMCISION. Hubby and I both decided it was what we want, and I have no regrets making that decision for him. I was just a bit nervous leading up to it because I was worried the pain would change him somehow and that my happy boy just won't be happy after the procedure.

THANKFULLY, the procedure went smoothly and when the doctor came out carrying him he wasn't even crying! He only started crying a little bit later on and that was easily settled by popping him on my boob for a quick feed. Today (the day after) he seems to be his usual happy self - he had one of his best nights last night, he slept well and did not fuss at all throughout the night, he got up every 3 hours (right on the dot - no alarm was necessary) then he fed for 40 minutes and settled right back into deep sleep. He had some visitors today and fussed a little bit but nothing too extreme. He is still the same old happy boy and recovering well from his procedure. We just need to apply Vaseline Petroleum Jelly on his "affected area" for the next 10 days or until it heals to make sure it doesn't stick to his nappy.

Little sleepy man today after a big feed.. everyone on Facebook commented on how BIG he looks!

A bit of tummy time today (and good to post a photo of him with his eyes wide open!)
A photo from earlier this week, he looks sooo much tinier! I don't know, maybe it was just the clothes?
Have a Wonderful Christmas Everyone!
We are definitely looking forward to spending Micah's first Christmas this year... again, how good to be able to enjoy Christmas instead of spending Christmas in the hospital if Micah was born closer to his due date?! We're off to another trip to Coles tonight, after dinner to hopefully beat the Christmas rush to pick up some food we are taking to Christmas Lunch with the family. I love that hubby and I go grocery shopping together now - me pushing Micah on the pram and hubby pushing the shopping trolley. It's just little "family time" like that together that makes it all so special.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week 1: Breastfeeding, Jaundice & Settling In

(Below was written on the early hours of Thursday, 15th December 2011)

I am writing this blog post via my BlackBerry whilst lying in a hospital bed. Micah has been readmitted to the hospital to do 24-Hour Phototherapy treatment for his Jaundice. We have been here for 8 hours. Only 16 more hours to go... Or at least I just need to get through tonight, and then Enoch will be back at the hospital at 8am and I can maybe get some sleep. It's hard for me to rest easy, as I constantly feel like I should be watching Micah whilst he's in the incubator under the blue light, to make sure he doesn't move his sunnies away which is protecting his eyes. In fact, just as I was writing this first paragraph, my boy has moved his head twice and the sunnies fell down from his eyes down to his chin! I only get to take him out of the incubator every 3 hours for a quick feed and a nappy change. Although our last feed at 9pm took forever to get him settled back under the light as he made a mess and needed not one, not two, but THREE nappy changes. 

Oh well, I've given up on lying down now - that's FOUR times in 15 mins that I had to get up and adjust his sunnies, lol.

Sometimes I cannot believe Micah is only 6 days old. We are so used to having him around and he seems so much bigger than his age. Our first week at home has its ups and downs. Thankfully, they are mostly ups. Micah is a champion at breastfeeding. Despite his jaundice condition, he feeds very well and continues to show signs of a healthy baby e.g. he has gained weight and he doesn't have serious reflux issues. He actually keeps most of his milk down except for the occasional small sickies. I am so relieved that we make such a great team and that we have no issues at all in the breastfeeding department! Hope it continues to be all good for the long run.

Hubby continues to be an amazing support person, especially in helping me take Micah whenever he needs a nappy change, and getting me food / drinks / pills whenever I am "stuck" on the couch breastfeeding. He's also been doing some handy work around the house e.g. modifying the change table so it's taller and better for our backs, did most of the chores e.g. laundry and dishes, garden work with the help of a kind friend, ran errands and did shopping etc. On my birthday, when Micah was just 2 days old and I was still recovering, he bought me some chocolates and a birthday cake and wrote me the sweetest card. I don't think I ever felt more loved than I do now :-)

We've also been blessed by really caring family members who have not just visited, but also helped with chores around the house so we have one less thing to worry about. Friends from church have also offered us meals so even less things to worry about!

(Blog post continued Saturday, 17th December 2011)

We were allowed to go home after the 24-Hour Phototherapy was up as Micah's jaundice levels improved significantly after the blood test in the morning. That was such a relief, as I have had only 1 Hour sleep during the night. Thankfully as soon as hubby as in the hospital, he watched Micah as I took naps in between feeds during the day. The next day, we went back to the hospital for me to attend the Postnatal Physio Class and then Micah had another blood test and it continued to improve so we believe his jaundice is getting better and better now. His skin colour seem to have improved too just in the past couple of days so Praise God!

As always, here are just some photos to summarize the happenings for the week :)

5 Day Old Micah doing a nice stretttccchhh...
6 Day Old Micah.. I wonder what he's thinking...
Caught Micah smiling just as Heather arrived for a visit, unfortunately it was also the same day he was asked to go back to the hospital for phototherapy! But he looked so happy and healthy.... my poor little jaundice boy...
Arrived back at the hospital approx. 3pm on Wednesday, 14th December
Phototherapy began at approx. 3.30pm Wednesday, 14th December. Sunnies look really cool but kept falling off as Micah squirms around!
Hospital food.. in case anyone was curious! I was actually quite happy with the meals served at Casey Hospital. Most of the meals were quite comforting and reasonably healthy.
On Friday after Postnatal Physio Class and Micah's bloodtest, we decided to give Coles a go and did some grocery shopping - we were very happy to finally be able to park at the "Parents with Pram" spots nice and close to the entrance!
8 Day Old Micah wide awake and alert - playtime with dad.
Day 9 and a special delivery arrived at our door from my workplace! How thoughtful :)
9 Day Old Micah looking extremely sleepy and drowsy after a big feed, hehe.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Birth of Micah Solomon Peterson

(Warning: If you are faint hearted and cannot handle too much detail regarding childbirth and labour, please DO NOT proceed to read this blog post. You may skip straight to the bottom of this post for photos. Otherwise, have fun reading.. I believe in sharing my experience not just to document this significant moment in my life forever but also to perhaps share a perspective for other women out there who is about to experience this miracle)

On Wednesday, 7th December 2011 I was officially 38 weeks pregnant. The day started off really normal, I got my usual sleep in and I got up at around 10am and started to get breakfast ready in the kitchen. It was then I felt a gush of water trickle down my legs.. oh. That felt weird. A few minutes later, another gush, and then another warm gush of water.

Calmly, I rang my husband to let him know I've definitely felt THREE distinct gushes of water flow uncontrollably down my legs. I wasn't having any contractions though, so I wasn't in any pain. He said I should give my midwife a call so I did. My midwife Heather was at another lady's house who is actually going through labour when I called. She told me to put a pad on, and then call her back in 30 minutes if water is still gushing and the pad is wet.

So that's what I did... and in my heart I knew my water just broke so I decided I should finish packing up my bags just in case this was it. I was 2 weeks early, but I have always known it would happen early anyway. Just how early? That was the question...

30 minutes later, I rang Heather back and said "Yep.. it's definitely wet.. and still gushing as we speak!" So Heather said I should go into the hospital and she will organise for someone at the hospital to do some check ups. I rang hubby to tell him it's time to come home and drive me to the hospital, and whilst I waited for him I took a warm shower to freshen up and continued packing.

We got into the hospital at around 11.30am. The nurse / midwife there examined the fluid and confirmed that yes indeed my water has broke and I had a pre-labour ruptured membrane. They hooked me up to a CTG scan machine and monitored baby's heart rate as well as my uterus activity. I was probably hooked onto that machine for a couple of hours. Baby's heart rate was a bit on the high side, so they kept monitoring. Mine was too, but eventually things started to calm down just enough for them to send us back home but will need to continue to be monitored daily for the next few days unless I go into labour of course. They talked about giving me 14 hours to go into labour naturally which will be considered "safe" and then if not, I would need to be given antibiotics and baby too, and if I don't go into labour by Saturday they might need to induce me, etc etc. It was all a blur to me right now, as they were so many standard procedures concerning pre-labour ruptured membranes and making sure baby's OK and does not develop an infection, etc.

To cut the story short, we got home at about 2.30pm and I sat down and had some lunch quite comfortably. And then at 3.30pm I felt what I thought was my first contraction. About 10, maybe 15 minutes later it came back. So we started timing. Over time, it became a lot more intense and by 4.00pm I was onto the TENS machine to try and relief the pain. The TENS machine worked beautifully in the beginning, and then by 5.00pm we started aromatherapy (ClarySage) which is known to also help during labour. By 6.30pm nothing was doing anything - TENS was useless, aromatherapy did nothing and I just got really distressed and started screaming through the painful contractions. It all happened so quickly, the gaps were just minutes apart by now. So we called Heather again.

Because it had technically only been 3 hours since my first contraction, Heather probably initially thought we could stay at home a bit longer. Then she heard my distressed screams and I told her I felt a need to push during those contractions (which I was holding on to, making sure I DON'T push) so she said to hubby that maybe we should go to the hospital.

We went to the hospital, the midwives thought I looked distressed so they did their "magic" and kept chanting really soothing "take deep breaths..." and that seemed to calm me down. Unfortunately our caseload midwife Heather whom we've been seeing throughout the entire pregnancy was at another labour so she couldn't actually be there for us, but her replacement Jess came in and just made me feel comfortable immediately. Midwives are amazing people I must say. They work so hard and they are the most soothing people, the midwives, nurses and doctors who were all involved during my labour at Casey Hospital were so incredible I was really well looked after.

Anyway, throughout the night we tried different things to "pass time" as my labour progresses. We started off lying sideways in bed because my lower back was in pain as well, and hubby did such a wonderful job supporting me and keeping me calm and encouraging me to breathe, and so did Jess of course. The room was dimly lit and Jess put on some soothing music and created a soothing environment throughout the night.

Then we tried a warm shower and boy, did I love that. That really helped me calm down significantly. Even as the contractions were coming I got through them a lot easier whilst in the shower. I probably stayed in the shower for close to an hour, sitting on the fit ball, and getting through one contraction at a time, when finally it was time to rest on the bed again.

Moving from one place to another, one position to another, eventually got so much harder as the contractions got more and more intense and the breaks became so short they don't even count as breaks because I couldn't help feeling anxious about the next pain I was going to feel! Baby's heartrate and my heartrate was continually being monitored and because my heartrate was a bit high, I wasn't really allowed to go into the bath sooner plus the bath could also slow down the labour process.

EVENTUALLY, and finally I was able to hop in the bath for my planned water birth. The good thing about the bath is that it took the pressure off my lower back so that was one less problem to worry about. I could easily float around the bath and adjust myself without worrying too much about back pains unlike when I was in bed, just rolling over and moving was sooooo much hard work and pain! It was whilst I was in the bath I started feeling the "pushing" sensation and I probably started pushing sooner than I should. Time was ticking away.. it was 1am and I remembered thinking "WHY IS THIS NOT OVER YET?!!" I started feeling really frustrated and really just wanted it to be over. That was probably why as soon as I felt the pushing sensation, I started pushing hard and probably too hard that I wasn't reserving my energy for when it really counts. It wasn't long after that, when the flashlight was out and a few midwives "took a look" and decided yes, it was time to start pushing.

It was also whilst I was in the bath that Jess suggested the gas. Initially I thought, I can't be bothered giving gas a go because I'm just so distracted by the pain and the whole thing was keeping me so busy I don't want to move, I don't want to try anything, I just want the baby OUT! But hubby asked again if I wanted to try gas, and then I said OK. Whilst I was on the gas, I knew it wasn't going to take the pain away, but it was just a distraction to keep me going and to help me survive the next few sets of contractions. I said to hubby "the midwives just offered me gas to keep me quiet..." because I was screaming before and it was late at night so I was probably being too noisy! By then, the "breaks" in between contractions were no longer considered breaks as the pressure I felt really low down my pelvis as baby's head starts to move down really, really hurts. So even in between those most intense contractions I had no breaks in between because the pressure was still there. I started crying. Everyone tried to be soothing, but there was not much they could do. We could just wait and get through each contraction and each push the best we could.. or the best I could anyway.

Unfortunately, as Jess took my temperature and it started to get too high - I had to hop out of the bath. I was not going to get my water birth. I dreaded changing positions. I especially dreaded moving! But I had to.. I don't know how I managed to, but I managed to change positions and I managed to move back to the other room. By this time, I have already been pushing at least an hour in the bath. I was so exhausted. I was in constant pain from the contractions and the pressure of baby's head down so low. I really have no idea how I managed to even move.

Back in the room, back in bed, we tried all different positions. I kept pushing really hard each time I had my contractions which were only 2-3 minutes apart. I was getting more and more exhausted, I really thought I was going to pass out. I kept saying "Just suck this baby out of me already..." but again, standard procedure is to keep pushing for a maximum for 2 hours before getting help.

Towards the end, I was making better progress but just not enough. They could see the baby's head but just not enough for me to push him out myself, not when I only had 5 minutes before the "2-Hour Time" is up anyway. It was however, such good progress towards the end that it was enough to call the doctor in and get me some help with the vacuum extraction.

I am going to fast forward through this bit because it is the most traumatizing stage of my labour and I just want to skip to the beautiful part of this.. so basically, after the "time is up" and I was just running too low on fuel and the doctor came in, gave me some local anaesthetic, and told me that during my next contraction, to just give it MY ALL because I still needed to push while she pulls and she will also need to snip me - I was so terrified but I stayed strong just knowing the end is VERY near, in fact I only had one more set of contractions to put up with, to survive through, so I was getting ready. I calmed down and collected as much strength as I could during those last few minutes of waiting for my last few contractions. When it happened, and I can still remember everything, I gave it ONE big push, then TWO big push, felt a snip and another snip, and felt a pull, then THREE BIG push, snip sinp, felt THE BABY coming through.. and by this time the contractions were gone but I still had to find some inner strength to KEEP PUSHING... so BIG PUSH NUMBER FOUR, and then one LAST BIG PUSH NUMBER FIVE and the baby was completely out. OHHH THE SIGGHHH OF RELIEF!!!

And then it was just the blurry moment of this warm miracle, I knew hubby was crying. They took him, gave him a quick clean and then placed this little man on my bare chest. I couldn't take a good look at him because I was lying flat on my back facing the ceiling! So all I could do was hold him, and feel him squirming around my chest. Hubby was overwhelmed with emotions I'm sure, but I was fully aware of what the doctor is STILL doing to me that I knew it wasn't quite over yet. She was trying to deliver my placenta and then she had to work with another doctor to quickly stitch me up. "Quickly" wasn't quickly enough, but I laid still and they administered some gas to help me cope with the stitching process. I actually got really high on gas this time around and started saying funny, embarassing things. At some stage, as I was breathing the gas in and out - I called the sound of my breathing "techno music". I also kept saying I was drunk, lol. I really WAS drunk! They must've upped the gas levels, it worked like magic but I could still feel every single stitching movement as the doctor worked on me. I also heard the doctors and midwives say I am losing a lot of blood and someone said "THAT IS AN OVER 1KG PLACENTA!" which I think is larger than the usual?

Anyway, eventually the whole traumatizing experience was over and I was holding our precious little bundle of joy. I am still traumatized, and I still remember the whole thing so clearly... but each time I look at my baby boy, I knew it was worth it.

Micah Solomon Peterson was born at 4.59AM on Thursday, 8th December 2011. His birth weight was 3.97kg, length 53.5cm and head circ 37cm. 

We could've stayed in hospital for 2 nights but decided to go home after the 1st night as we thought home was more comfortable and we had a shared room at the hospital which meant hubby couldn't stay overnight. Both Micah and I were continually monitored while we were in the hospital, and Heather visits our home to do routine follow up check ups, etc. So we have sufficient support, plus the hospital's only 5 minutes away if we needed anything.

We are doing really well so far, Micah has jaundice (you know, the whole skin turning yellow thing) but nothing to worry about I just need to keep feeding him and let him flush those toxins out. Milk has well and truly come in and he's feeding very well. He gets very unsettled at night, and keeps up awake, but during the day he is an angel. So we need to somehow turn that around? I'm recovering well from those stitches and just getting as much rest as possible (except today I decided I must write this blog post and document my experience before I forget!).

And finally... here are some photos :)

Our first family portrait - Enoch's a very proud dad, and he has been the most amazing support person I couldn't have done this without him. So much love exploding in all direction!
Amazing angels / midwives Heather (right) and Jess
Micah doing his hearing test
Micah's first bath at the hospital - he didn't like it at all, probably because the hospital room was a bit chilly, but we had a bath today at home and he loved it!
Little sleepy playtime with daddy
Sunshine time for his jaundice
All dressed in clean clothes
Wide awake in the middle of his first night at the hospital
Just after a feed, so content and sleepy
In the pram, again very content (we only take content photos, lol no grumpy face!)
Having a wiggle and a cuddle
Thank you so much to everyone (you know who you are) for your well wishes, messages, visits, meals, phone calls, gifts, and valuable first hand tips and advice. Enoch and I are definitely going through a huge change in our life, but we both definitely feel a lot closer to each other now more than ever and our entire house is just filled with so much LOVE at the moment. We are over the moon, so happy and so blessed. Micah is truly a blessing and we are so in love. So what if we are sleep deprived and tired most of the time, all it takes is a little cuddle and a kiss with the little man and it is all worth it. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Week 37: Chest Freezer!!

Writing this post makes me very happy, because I've finally managed to convince hubby that we need a chest freezer! Well, I need a chest freezer. It just so happened to be perfect timing - with a baby on its way, and my birthday and Christmas all coming together at the same time, I told him what I wanted as a present and that's a CHEST FREEZER!!

So, even though my birthday is not until the 10th of December and Christmas is more than 3 weeks away - I got my chest freezer nice and early so I can start shopping, stocking up, cooking and freezing meals for those post baby days when I will no longer be bothered to cook or possibly not physically able to do anything else but tend to the newborn demanding ALL of my attention!

We bought this chest freezer off a seller on eBay - it's a really good 210L Westinghouse Chest Freezer in perfect condition, only costed us $210 (haha $1 per litre?) and we only had to pick it up from Pakenham which is 15 minutes away. Too easy!

Ever since Thursday (when hubby and mate went to pick it up), I've been to CostCo on Friday, Tasman Meats on Saturday and cooked 3-4 dishes and now have a freezer FULL of frozen meals, meat, convenience meals, some snacks e.g. dim sims, etc... it's fantastic!!

To check out the meals I've cooked and freezed, please visit my food blog

Hubby went with me to Tasman Meats and Chicken was on special for only $1.99 a kg! See, we couldn't have possibly bought all that chicken in bulk without a chest freezer. Now we have enough chicken to last us MONTHS!!

So, Week 37 and I am almost there. Baby technically can come out any minute now.. at least we are one step closer to being fully ready. Just need to pack my hospital bags and pick up TENS machine now. Even the baby clothes have been washed!! The house is a bit messy at the moment, but I've given up on vacuuming and mopping - I get too sore, so hubby will have to take care of those chores for me for now. Hhmmm.. I can smell my Rice Porridge bubbling away in the pot, best get to it!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 36: "Final Weeks Are The Toughest"

No kidding. Here I am, having people say to me "not long to go now..." and "hang in there..." and occasionally (though I haven't really used this phrase very often, yet) I say "get this baby out of me!!" - I plan to save that phrase for when I'm actually overdue, if I actually go overdue. 

Baby's not due until the 21st of December. BUT my mother had all three of her children 1-2 weeks early. I believe genetics do play an influential part in this whole childbirth thing, so I have faith that our baby will be early. How early? Only time will tell.. I try not to feel anxious, I try not to "wait around".. but this past week has been such an emotional, mental and physical roller coaster that a part of me maybe just wants this baby out so I can hold him outside of my body, not inside.

His kicking and squirming have been more intense than ever. It is literally moving my belly back and forth, side to side, and some kicks are harder than others - which actually feel quite uncomfortable and sometimes very painful I have to stop whatever I'm doing.

The past two days, I have had problems with diarrhea. Sorry if this is too much information - but anything pregnancy and childbirth related has lost its private factor many blog posts, forums, websites, books and classes ago. Last night was particular bad, I got woken up at 4am firstly by the intense sudden kicking - and then the stomach discomfort, and then I sat on the toilet for 45 minutes, and then I tried to go back to sleep, no luck, was hungry, so I got up and cooked myself some Chicken Noodles, and ate my noodles and watched a TV show, then back to bed at 6am. That's 4am - 6am of NOT SLEEPING in the middle of the night. Then, I got woken up to go to church and I wasn't ready to wake up.. I was exhausted. But I got up anyway, felt miserable at church, emotional that I wasn't feeling too good, and cried a few times at church. Then, I ate Sri Lankan food for lunch and my stomach got all upset all over again.. and the cycle continues... why did I have that curry. Because I really wanted curry. I can't get enough of spicy food during my pregnancy. It's so bad, yet so good.

This week was also particularly bad with the hay fever and the warm weather. I was pretty sure I was going into labour on Friday. My belly has dropped and I felt pains down my pelvic area and my uterus felt like it was contracting. Obviously false alarm, otherwise this post would've been a "HE IS BORN!" post... and although I've had many Braxton Hicks in the past few months, this past week my Braxton Hicks "practice" contractions have been more intense than ever.

Notice the trending words... "more.... than ever"?

This week I also had a mid week emotional breakdown. It was one of those days when I've scheduled too much to do in one day. Bigggg mistake. I felt so overwhelmed by the list of chores and having people over for Bible Study the night before meant that the house was in a mess and I wasn't exactly feeling the fittest or the most mobile to get that tidy up done as quickly as I used to be able to. I drove to my sister in law's and picked up lots of baby stuff she was so kind to give me, and then went to the shops, and by the time I got home, I had to unload all that stuff from my car in the HEAT, all that stuff piled up at the front door, the HEAT made me all hot and bothered. Even though I turned the AC on, it was too late by then, I was already hot and bothered. The house was a mess, the stuff needed to be packed away, I was hot, I had a bad hay fever attack, I still had a list of chores to do, and EVERYTHING just fell apart right then and there. 

I had a massive cry. I called hubby and said "Can you please come home.." while sobbing uncontrollably. Hubby had no idea what to do.. he listened and he told me to not think of everything all at once, just focus on one thing at a time. He calmed me down, and he also came home. What a precious man.

So this week, I plan to take it easy. No more scheduling things to do that "fill up my days". Who cares if I don't get much done during the day.. I'm on MATERNITY leave I am supposed to be resting and looking after myself. Because of all the social things I had this week, my swimming has been neglected. That is probably why I am feeling more sore than ever this week compared to previous weeks.

The final weeks are supposed to be the toughest.. hopefully this past week was my toughest and I don't have to go through that again. 

(Oohhh.. give me a minute while my baby gives me one of his strong kicks...)

He is so strong and active :-)

I can't wait to hold him, and yet at the same time I want this time to last as long as possible, just these final moments when it's just hubby and I, and I get to sleep as much as I want... 

A lot of mixed emotions at this stage of my pregnancy... and it is all beautiful, wonderful feelings I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world. Hubby and I are waiting, and we are anxiously waiting for our little bundle of joy to come into our lives and make us a real FAMILY.

Thank you God for this gift and we pray you keep both of us safe and pray for a smooth delivery of our baby MICAH SOLOMON PETERSON...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Next on my "To Do" List:

  • Write Thank You cards
  • Write a simple Baby Plan / Breastfeeding Plan just as a guide
  • Wash baby clothes
  • Pack hospital bag
  • Fit baby carseat / capsule
  • Attend Church Music Team Christmas Dinner (25/11)
  • Attend Brother in Law's 21st Birthday Party (2/12)
  • Our 4th Wedding Anniversary (9/12)
  • My 28th Birthday & Nephew's 3rd Birthday (10/12)
That is all I dare to schedule - considering D-Day could happen any minute in December, I might not even make it to my own Birthday Dinner let alone commit to Christmas Lunch!

Week 35: Busy Bee!

I absolutely LOVE being on Maternity Leave. You would've thought it would be hard to fill up my days - oh it is quite the opposite. With all this TIME I suddenly have available, I have pretty much filled up most of my days with activities and being quite productive. I go for a swim 3 times a week, I organise lunch catch ups with friends, done some Christmas shopping, up to date with my laundry, house is reasonably tidy at all times, and of course kept up with my medical appointments which are becoming more and more frequent now that we are nearing D-Day.

Of course, every now and then I have my lazy and "can't be bothered" days.. like today. I just didn't feel like doing anything. I felt almost depressed, although I know I wasn't really depressed - I just didn't feel like going out of the house and felt quite happy to "hide" within the comforting walls of my home and not face the world. That stage is over now, it's almost bedtime and I look forward to getting on with my day tomorrow - starting with a trip to Officeworks, then swim, then Physio appointment, then have Growth Group come over for our regular Tuesday Night Bible Study.

Anyway, here's a run through of what I've been up to the past couple of weeks:

29/10/2011: Attended a Wedding
Hubby and I drove over an hour to our destination - Neerim South / Drouin - and attended a lovely wedding and I not only survived the whole day, but also really enjoyed it! I wore really sensible shoes so my feet were not sore at all, and got all dressed up in my red dress and even got up on the dancefloor a couple of times during the reception. We left at a reasonable time (just after 10pm) and got home just after 11pm so I had a restful sleep afterwards.

30/10/2011: Attended Hubby's Parents 60th Birthday
The next day, again we drove an hour to our destination - Werribee - for hubby's parents combined 60th Birthday Party. It was an afternoon tea and the sister in laws did a lot to help out e.g. made beautiful slices and cakes, etc and organised activities - I didn't really do much except for maybe help out a little in the kitchen to serve up the food. It was a bit more difficult this time around as they weren't really a lot of chairs available, so I occasionally sneaked out of the party to have a bit of a rest at the house. Overall though, it was a lovely afternoon and yes I survived again!

31/10/2011: Ramen & Karaoke in the City
The next day, AGAIN I travelled over an hour (by train) into the city to catch up with my food bloggger friends - we had ramen for dinner and had lots of fun karaoke-ing. I was sensible enough to leave just after 10pm and got home just in time to have a long, deep sleep. The next day I was supposed to "party on" again at a Melbourne Cup Lunch, but fatigue kicked in and I chose sleep.

5/11/2011: Attended a Breastfeeding Education Class
I not only attended this class, which was great to learn all about breastfeeding and meet new mums, etc.. but I also signed up to be a member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Great to have a support group and yes, I am officially becoming a mum and being part of a Mothers' Group of various types of interest and activities, etc. Gee - wait til the baby gets here - I just wonder how much busier my weeks will be with the addition of Play Groups, etc. Busy life of a mum!

8/11/2011: Baked some Cupcakes
I thought I'd mention this just because it is so RARE for me to actually bake.
Chocolate Banana Cupcakes - recipe available at
12/11/2011: Had a small Baby Shower / Lunch Gathering of a small group of friends
I did not end up having a BIG Baby Shower (where I originally invited over 60 people, which was a crazy idea then it got too hard to organise so I cancelled it) but we did decide to have a small gathering of close friends over for lunch - and that was my Baby Shower. It was a special afternoon. Lunch was fairly simple to organise - I made Nachos as Entree, then I just chopped up a whole lot of carrots, cucumber, capsicum, spring onion, tomatoes, salad leaves, hard boiled eggs and cooked up some chicken - and then just got people to make their own wraps. My dear friend Leah made a GORGEOUS cake and made some lovely "cake pops". My sister in law Hannah organised some games & activities - Guess The Baby, Onesie Decorating, Pop the Balloons - and hubby got the guys to do "guy stuff" for us, hehe, a flat pack shoe cabinet was assembled and our brand new Baby Jogger pram was put together.

Gorgeous Ladybird Cake made with love by my dear friend Leah
Even came with an Icing Jar of Cream!
Leah also went the distance and made these AMAZING cake pops!

Decorated Onesies!
We had plenty of food leftover - so the "party" continued as some friends stayed for dinner and we also had some family over for dinner. By the end of the day, I was utterly exhausted. It was great that we had just the small group of people there though, if we had ALL of our friends there, yes it would mean a lot to us that they were all there, but it would've been too difficult to manage! So, I'll have to catch up with various groups of friends individually at separate lunch / dinner sessions.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has given us baby things whether they are hand me down clothes, toys, sheets and linen, furniture, accessories, baby daily essentials, pregnancy tips, advice, books, gifts or anything baby related - THANK YOU so much for your thoughtful gifts and making this whole experience so much easier and less overwhelming for us. You know who you are, if you are reading this, we are really grateful for your love and support for us and our baby. We are truly blessed to have family and friends like you.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Week 33: Maternity Leave!

I have waited for this day since I found out I was pregnant - I am officially on maternity leave! It is actually very difficult to physically maintain a fit state to fully concentrate at work. In the beginning of the pregnancy, I felt nauseous and sick most of the time. In the middle, I had some good days and some really bad days when my back used to cause problems. Now, in my third trimester - I'm just too big to keep up with the highly demanding pace at work. I am slow, big and heavy - and that affects me mentally as well. It gets harder to get up in the mornings and to get ready, and driving for at least an hour everyday just to get to work has started to take its toll on me... in short, I did the best I can those final weeks at work - but I believe I have reached that point where I just cannot deal with work stress anymore, nor the travel, nor can I find the focus to deal with issues on a daily basis. 

Updated Belly Shot - 33 Weeks
Even with Mondays off, I felt like time wasn't enough. There's only so much a heavily pregnant woman can do in one day. I felt like I needed to "split" my chores - so I only do a little bit each day - so I don't get all tired and sore by the end of each day. 

I also felt like I needed to make more time for exercise. So there was no way I could fit everything in the weekend (which is usually busy with social events coming up as we approach Christmas!) and just one day off.

So... YAYY!! I am officially on maternity leave!

We had a truly busy weekend this week (and it's also the long Melbourne Cup weekend so the parties are not over yet) - we went to a lovely wedding on Saturday and it was a long drive to get there - and yes, I survived most of the day in fact surprised myself by how much energy I actually had. Even got up on the dancefloor a few times! But by 10pm I was wrecked and ready to go home, lol.

Then on Sunday, we drove a long way again to Werribee to celebrate hubby's parents' combined 60th Birthday. It was really good to see family and a lot of other people and the sister and brother in laws have all done a great job putting the party together. I didn't really do much... I guess I had the pregnancy excuse, lol. Of course, throughout the party I had to quietly sneak back into the house to rest my feet and then come back to the party, talked to a few more people, then sneak to a quiet corner somewhere again to sit, lol. It's silly being this pregnant! Can't stand up too long, can't sit down too long! After the party, we stayed up at the house for a little bit to hang out with the family. Then, it was time to head home and drive another long hour (I had a short snooze in the car), then pick up something quick for dinner on our way home, cook a simple meal, have dinner, watch a movie, bed.

I got up at 11am today. Finally a good night's sleep and I only have to get up to go to the toilet TWICE last night, woohoo!! Twice is good.. most nights I have to get up 3-4 times during the night to go to the toilet - very annoying - but hey, at least that's better than wetting the bed! Hahahaha... hubby is working from home today, so that's always nice. I am off to the CITY tonight for karaoke with some friends. I know, I know.. what am I doing with all these activities?? I should be fine by tonight, will take today easy breezy and be fully energised again for tonight. It'll be good to catch up with these friends before the baby arrives anyway - and it's so much easier to go out now anyway, so I may not get anymore chances to hang out with my friends when the baby is born.

Tomorrow, we're off to a Melbourne Cup day at another friend's place. So, as you can see... this weekend is hectic - but it's fun - and I don't have to stress about chores YET because I will have the rest of the week, oh wait the rest of the MONTH to do them all. 

I AM LOVIN' IT! Happy Maternity Leave TO ME!! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 30: Flights, Pram & Paid Parental Leave - CHECK!

Week 30 and getting more things done in preparation for the big day. 10 more weeks to go!

I have booked flights for my parents to come and visit me in Melbourne (my parents live in Malaysia) on the 27th June 2012. I know that seems ages away, but I booked those dates for various reasons:
  1. The flights on that date are the CHEAPEST flights I could find on Air Asia's website.
  2. It would take a lot of getting used to - having an extra person in the house aka a BABY, I think hubby and I would appreciate as much "family time" just the three of us and getting used to it first before having my parents also stay in the same house.
  3. I'm sure my parents would have more fun meeting their 6-month old grandchild for the first time who can smile back at them and interact better.
We've also purchased a PRAM today! I know we didn't really have to rush into buying a pram, but here's the thing - we didn't rush! There was a sale months ago on - I think I've mentioned it before on my previous posts - where the Baby Jogger City Select was on sale for $599 (the normal price is $929). We've missed out on that sale, because we procrastinated. Then, we went to Baby Bunting to physically check out all the different prams on offer. It was a nightmare! So confusing, so many choices... and then we saw the Baby Jogger City Select and we loved it. The thing was, the cheapest Baby Bunting could offer at that time was $720. Oh bummer... we've missed out on a GREAT deal online for just $599!!

THANKFULLY, the online sale came back today. Same price, same pram, same sale. And we bought it!! Hooorrrayyyy!! We picked the "Ruby" pram as the only other option is "Diamond" which is too white for my liking - I don't trust white things around a baby, it'll just get dirty too easily!

To view full specs of this pram:
To view a list of accessories that can be purchased separately:

And finally, I've submitted my claim for Paid Parental Leave - it was all done online, and it took me three attempts to get the application right. So many things / paperwork I needed to get together in order to provide all the information the Australian government / Centrelink needed to process this claim! Paperwork is so important, all my Australian Visa stuff, all the passport details, Tax File Numbers, Employer Details, Income Details, etc - so important to stay organised and have all this information properly filed so it's easily available whenever an application like this needed to be completed. Thankfully, it's all done now. Just need to wait for their response.

If successful, I think I get 18 weeks Paid Parental Leave funded by the government at the current National Minimum Wage. Not much, but better than nothing and a few thousand dollars more than the Baby Bonus when you add them all up. For more information, visit this page.