Tuesday, September 16, 2014

6 Months Later...


Cannot believe 6 months have passed just like that... the past 6 months have been FULL ON. That is quite an understatement really. You just don't realize what a luxury it was to only have to care for one child until another one comes along. Life is busy, busy and busy ALL the time! Sleep is pretty much a bonus on days when we get lucky. The house is a permanent bomb site. I have been very lucky though, half the time I have had my mum staying with us and helping me with the kids. She was here for 3 months when Silver was born, and recently 3 weeks with my youngest sis. Best 3 weeks I have had this year, lol. We did lots of fun things and I got to go out and feel normal again after a long time of just being a full time mother. They have just gone last weekend, so once again I am left to care for my children all by myself (on weekdays when hubby is at work) and some days are great, some are just so overwhelming....

Good news is - I KNOW I am NOT alone! I know many mums out there are going through the exact same thing as me. The same joys, the same challenges. We all need to stick together and keep encouraging each other and be there for each other when we need to vent. I am so blessed that I have many women in my life I can count on for support, and so thankful.

Anyway, I will write a bit more another night when I have a bit more time. It is almost 10pm and I have JUST finished setting up my own little home office corner away from the clutter in the study... so I have a clear workspace, and it feels good. Also feels good to be back in front on a laptop and typing words! Phones are totally overrated, and is not the same thing. Here's to more future blogging and sharing! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Birth of Silver Grace Peterson

This blog has been abandoned for many, many months now but I figured now is a good time to write a new blog post because Micah now has a little sister! This is her birth story...


Introducing Silver Grace Peterson, born 5.11pm on Sunday, 16th March 2014.
Weight 4.54kg, Length 52cm, Head Circ 37.5cm.
Unlike Micah (who was born at 38 weeks), this little bubba was way too comfortable in my belly and did NOT want to come out! The last few weeks of my pregnancy was such a long haul... I was HUGE, I was HEAVY, I was getting quite immobile and sore, and every day I waited was another day I felt was wasted doing absolutely nothing but wait. I even started getting cabin fever because I was too paranoid to drive in case I started getting contractions... and I went for a few short walks but that was all I could manage without feeling incredibly sore. Now I feel like I probably whinged too much, but if you look at the size of my belly most of you would understand....

Fully cooked @ 40 weeks
It all finally started happening at 40 weeks and 2 days. It was a Sunday morning and at around 7am my waters broke while I was still in bed. I immediately woke up, jumped off the bed, and said to my husband "Enoch, YAY my waters broke!! Oh no, I am wet! Oh no there goes another gush of water!!"

Because all this has happened before with Micah (waters breaking before contractions even started happening) we knew what we had to do. I jumped straight in the shower to wash up, put on a pad and called my midwife, Heather. She said to just go and have some breakfast and when we're ready make our way to the hospital for CTG observation. So I had some breakfast and we made our way to the hospital.

At the hospital Heather hooked me up to the CTG machine and started monitoring baby's heart rate etc. Took my blood pressure, did a swab etc... all the standard stuff you do to make sure everything is okay. Everything was okay, so we were given the OK to go home and wait for things to happen. Of course we knew things would just happen like it did with Micah, the other option of inducing if things did not progress naturally just was very unlikely.

Not long after we got home, the first contractions started happening just after 10am. It was very irregular at first, but started progressing very quickly. By 11.30am it started happening every 10 minutes quite regularly. By 12.30pm I was in the shower and putting up with regular, more painful contractions every 5 minutes and they were lasting 40 seconds or more. It was time to ring Heather again. We made plans to meet at the hospital at 2pm to allow time for me to slowly get out of the shower, get dressed, make my way to the car, out of the car, make my way to the ward etc etc. Gosh that was a huge struggle!!! The contractions were getting more and more painful and intense and I really did not have much time in between contractions to do things like get dressed etc. 

Eventually, with a lot of help from Enoch, we got there. I don't know how, but we made it to Birthing Suite 13. All I remember now is pain, pain, pain. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Cry, cry, cry. Why am I here again?! How the heck did I get myself into this situation... again?! It took every fibre of my being to try and be positive. All the waiting before sort of helped, I took joy in the fact that the end IS near. So this time around, compared to Micah's labour, I was a lot more calm and did not scream as much. Instead, I surprised myself with the focus I had to just keep breathing.

Heather's choice of words were spot on and very reassuring. I loved how she kept telling me that with every contraction, I need to imagine baby moving down and me opening up. She kept telling me my body is amazing and I should just go with it, listen to what my body is telling me, and not to fight it. So I did. I breathed, I imagined, and I did not fight the pain.

I was in the shower for as long as possible. Taking contraction after contraction, enjoying the warmth of the water in between and resting in between. I think I was in the shower for almost 2 hours, I don't know for sure but felt like it.

Eventually I had to come out of the shower so Heather could examine me. By this time, I was 7cm dilated, which is good. I was a bit disappointed that it was only 7 and not the full 10, but Heather once again reassured me that the last 3cm will happen quickly. She wasn't wrong!!!

The next stage DID happen quickly, quicker than I imagined. I was lying on my side. Heather wanted me to go on my knees but I insisted on not moving. I just couldn't move!!!! Poor Enoch had to support one of my legs up in the air with his knee so I can have my legs apart while lying sideways. They gave me the gas, it did nothing in terms of pain relief, but gave me something else to focus on and to distract me. I enjoyed the gas and the state of blur it did to my head. Even though I could still feel the pain, I felt like I was floating around in La-La land and all I had to do was keep breathing in and out, deep breaths.

Before long, the urge to push naturally came over me without anyone telling me to push.

Apparently I pushed for less than 30 minutes - which is incredible considering I spent the whole 2 hours pushing for Micah and failed to push him out naturally! (He was "vacuumed" out)

The PAIN was SO intense during pushing, but I was a lot less tired, more focused, and encouraged each time I pushed by the very distinct feel between my legs... I could FEEL baby trying to come out! I did not have that feeling with Micah. Because I could feel REAL PROGRESS this time around, each time I pushed I gave it more and more, ignoring the fact that towards the end I felt some tearing and I was in so much pain..... when Silver was FINALLY out I just let out a huge "Thank you God! OH THANK YOU GOD, Thank You that it is all OVER!!!".... it was just a massive sigh of relief!!!

I couldn't believe it was happening all over again.. this massive feeling of joy as a newborn baby is placed on my chest. Of course it wasn't all over.... while I was rejoicing in the fact that baby is finally OUT, and that the worst is over... I still had to be injected so my placenta would come out.... finally the placenta came out but they then had to check to see if I needed stitches.... oh, of course I did. So local anesthetic goes in, and stitches happening all while I was lying in that messy bloody bed.

But it doesn't matter. It is all over. I was holding my baby in my arms. She is alive and she is healthy. She started searching and found my boobs and started sucking. I am a mummy all over again. So blessed and so happy. We just stayed there for a while before I got up to have my shower and they weighed her and cleaned her... her birth weight was 4.54kg! She is a 10 pound baby, typical Peterson big baby. Some people went "ouch" as soon as they heard. Ouch. Yes. Ouch.

So now, 4 days later and my body is still recovering. Everything is still pretty much ouch. My back especially seems completely wrecked. I need to see a physio and get this sorted. I am on painkillers to get on with my day. Without painkillers I can barely walk. The after birth pains are sooooo much more painful this time around, especially the first 3 days. It has eased off now, thankfully... but the after birth contractions were sooooo painful especially whenever I was breastfeeding.

The first night was great - I got two blocks of 3 hour sleeps because Silver slept so well. But apparently that was normal for baby to sleep well the first 24 hours because their tummy was still full from all the food they consumed while still in my belly. The 2nd and 3rd nights....nightmare. My milk wasn't in yet. In fact, on the 2nd night nothing was coming out of my boobs when I hand expressed... not even a drop of colostrum. She was sucking on my boobs from 9pm - 3pm when I finally gave in and the nurse at the hospital suggested formula. I couldn't stand letting her cry and cry from hunger, and not getting anything from my boobs. Plus, after 6 hours of breastfeeding we just needed to get some sleep! So I gave her 40ml of formula and finally went to sleep at 4am and got a much needed 4 hours sleep.

Thankfully that dose of formula was just once off. On the 3rd day, some stuff finally came out when I hand expressed... probably thanks to her sucking so much the night before! The 3rd night was still quite a struggle... she pretty much fed all night again but thankfully settled at 3am and we got 2 hours sleep. Better than none!! But surviving on 2 hours sleep really makes you cranky and emotional, some tears were cried that morning. Some yelling at loved ones too. Not a good day.

By the 4th day my boobs are nice and full, big and hard lol. Oh the familiar pain in my chest!!! Milk supply is of abundance, and Silver spent most of today content, happy, full and drunk with milk. Finally a decent night of 2-3 block of hours sleep. Much happier. Much more sane. I am a functional human being once again.

Hopefully we can establish a nice little routine now. Enjoying the newborn stage, she just sleeps most of the day. Hoping to do a newborn photo shoot for her tomorrow if I can be bothered, lol. We are open to visitors now that we are a bit more rested. I can stay up more during the day now and spend time with Micah. Really hoping to feel better physically with my back and all the various achy parts of my body.... look forward to my next shopping trip haha. That probably won't happen until next week, but time really flies when you have a new baby in the house! I mean, I cannot believe it is Friday already tomorrow... one week down! Only another week to go and my husband will have to go back to work! NOOOOOOO..... I love having Enoch around. He has been such an amazing support person. My mum too. I simply cannot do it without her helping me look after Micah, cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry. I am so blessed to just have this time to focus on recovering and looking after Silver (basically be her milk machine).

Well that's basically it. To summarize, my labour this time around was around 7 hours in total. Micah's was 13 hours. So YAY to half the time! I only pushed for less than 30 mins this time.. with success. Micah's was more than 2 hours, with no success and needed intervention. So YAY to natural labour!! My milk came in on Day 3. Micah's milk came in on Day 5. So YAY to milk!! Silver was born during the day, which meant I had more energy and then rewarded with a good night sleep that night. Micah was born overnight, which meant I was completely exhausted by the end of it and struggled to really sleep during the day due to all the excitement. So YAY to daytime labour!!

I will end this blog post with a series of photos I have already posted on FB and Instagram so far... should really go and have a shower and get some sleep before Silver wakes for her next feed!

First car ride leaving the hospital
Relaxing with daddy
First time meeting big brother, Micah. Kisses!
First feed at home, Micah just loves to be around.
First night at the hospital - restful sleeps.
Daddy's little girl - just hours after she was born.
Micah is officially in love with his little sister!
Quality time with Grandma.

P/S: What's the story behind Silver's name??? Well, my name (Kim) means "Gold" in Chinese. My sister is Pearly and youngest sister is Ruby. So we thought for our girl we will follow the tradition of my family's girls aka precious jewels / precious metal. Silver made sense because it is a precious metal, she is the second child so again Silver (doesn't mean she is 2nd place in our hearts just means she came second in the birthing order lol) and technically Silver is also in the Bible. May not be a Biblical character's name (the Peterson family naming tradition) but in the Bible nevertheless as a precious and valued metal, purified like God's word. (Ignore the fact the fact that silver is commonly coveted and the exchange of silver did play a role in some major falls...it is not the silver's fault it is the fault of sinful man hehe)