ailbhe: (Default)
We had a phenomenally stressful morning which pretty much ruined the day. In fact, we're both still exhausted today. However, Rob left for work on time and I got up, dressed, ate, made the bed, sorted nappies, failed entirely to get Emer in the ring sling, and shoved Linnea upstairs brutally after she picked up the blanket Emer was lying on.

Time for nappy changes now.

(LJ Support are still working on my weird usericon problem.)
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer woke from a long, leisurely nap just as the beans were almost done (beans for Linnea's lunch; she had about half a 200g tin; 100g contains 0.9g of salt. Dear gods) and the toast had popped. And she needed an immediate nappy change.

I can see that for the next year I will eat all my meals except dinner with a baby on my lap.


And scratching.

Anyway, she's just nodded off, after a solid 90 minutes - maybe more - of awake alert time. I had another go with the hugabub but I'm wearing dungarees which aren't the best for experimenting with it. I'll try the ring sling when she next wakes.

She's my second baby. That's why she's sleeping slumped in the bouncy chair while the toddler watches tv and bounces on an armchair. I'm not sure how long TV will last today; after this (so far, she's watched 7 minutes of Something Special) there's 50 minutes of Big Cook Little Cook, which is loathesome. However, we might have visitors, which would be good.

I really need to clear the dining table and tidy the library. My incision - one of my internal incisions, that is - aches. I'm tired. Linnea did a stinky poo and Emer did a milky poo (explosive, and full of curds) and I cleaned them both up and I'm finding it hard to eat enough.

I wonder how long Emer will sleep for this time.
ailbhe: (Default)
(1) It is absolutely appalling that the most pain I am in now is caused by Linnea's birth, not Emer's. I will stop taking codeine immediately. I spent over an hour shaking from pain yesterday evening, and slept incredibly badly because of it.

(2) Tandem feeding works well for us, though it's difficult to position both of them to feed together on my actual lap; in bed, Linnea snuggles up beside me and I hold Emer, and in an armchair Linnea stands on the floor and I hold Emer, but Linnea would like to be on my lap.

Engorgement, however, is much easier to deal with with a toddler. I'm leaking far less this time around. It's wonderful.

(3) I am starving to death. I can't eat enough.
ailbhe: (Default)
Emer is nine days old today. Rob did four hours of work, two and a half of them in his actual office. I'd love to know what they'd have done had he refused outright to interrupt his paternity leave. As things stand he's going to go back to work a day late, which we somehow feel to be a remarkable concession on their part.

Other than that, things are fabulous. Today I left the house. I walked to the community garden, which is easily twice as far as Elle's Baguettes, and we were over halfway there when I realised that it was two whole hours past the time I should have taken my pain medication. Once in the garden, I sat around for a while until Rob came with my meds, and after I took them I was able to walk around with my mother and look at the garden. We fed and changed Emer, and then got the call from Rob's work so had to leave earlier than we wanted to.

But it wasn't until Linnea was 14 days old that I was able to walk to Elle's Baguettes, leaning on the buggy all the way, and it took me an hour of sitting outside to recover from the walk enough to walk home. I was medicated to the max before we left, too.

This is so different an experience that I am baffled by it. I can't believe how much I can do - and I have to stop myself doing too much to prove to myself that I am not sick, am not incapacitated, am not disabled like I was last time.

And the SPD is almost all gone; I have a little ache in the middle bone now but that's about it. No more sharp pains, no more feeling almost weak enough to collapse outright. I haven't tried climbing into the bath, mind you :)
ailbhe: (Default)
After Emer was born, we went into recovery, and Rob had cups of tea, we called my mother and Rob's parents, I got given drinks of water, and I gave baby Emer her first feed. She did it as efficiently and competently as Linnea had, in spite of being much, much smaller.

Somebody somewhere messed up badly when it came to having me give birth, but they sorted it out with the breastfeeding thing. I get babies who know how, and that's all there is to it.

We took photos and chatted in the recovery room, and Rob and Fiona dressed Emer in her first vest and babygro, dyed especially for her by Since she was over a kilo smaller than Linnea had been, the gro was a little loose on her, but she was fine.

There was some argument over my refusal of an electric bed. I really, really wanted a bassinet for Emer that would clip onto my bedframe so I could get her without sitting up or getting out of bed; these do not attach to the electric beds which would enable me to sit up without others' assistance. I later discovered that some of the staff don't much like the bedside bassinets anyway because they are harder to move around and make the bed much wider. But I stuck to my guns and got the bed I wanted. Then they moved us upstairs, and had some real trouble finding me food, since I was insisting on dairy and soya free things, given the dire warnings I've had about post-section digestion anyway.

I got crackers and biscuits, in the end, and a dietician came to talk to me about dinners. I hope to make a whole post about that later, because it was shocking and amusing and edifying.

I don't remember a great deal of that day. Linnea came to see me, and said "You have a baby Emer out of your tummy!" and stroked Emer's head gently and touched her hands gently. She's very gentle to Emer, in fact, and was incredibly pleased to see her, pleased she'd been born, pleased about the whole thing. Still is, a week later.

My mother came, of course, exhausted from several nights of broken sleep and two days' toddler-wrangling.

Rob spent a lot of time sitting in the bedside chair holding Emer and being tired and happy. He also left to get lunch and dinner. He changed her nappy - meconium is very, very black, and very, very heavy, and I am convinced that had Linnea waited until after being born to pass hers she'd have weighed a full 10lb.

Rob went home to dinner, and stayed home, to get to bed early, and Mum came back in to sit with me for the permitted time. We overheard some nasty arguments, from behind my curtains. Those probably need a seperate post too.

They brought me some dinner while Rob and Mum and Linnea were away eating; it was weird. They had real trouble finding something dairy-free, soya-free, and light enough to eat after abdominal surgery. What I was served in the end looked like a toddler meal of the kind one can buy in its own plastic bowl, designed to be microwaved and eaten with a fork. It was pasta and tomato sauce, soft and flavourless and overcooked. Glutinous. I ate it anyway; I don't know a whole lot about surgery but I do know that the body needs fuel to heal, and I don't intend to do anything to slow the healing process down a nanosecond.

The first night was all about breastfeeding, really. And the first day. Everything noteworthy that happened to me or that I overheard on the postnatal ward was about feeding the newborns, one way or another. So that needs its own post too.
ailbhe: (hospital)
On Friday evening, late, my mother arrived by ferry and train from Dun Laoghaire. On Saturday we all went into town to fetch a wheelchair and give the invalid (me) an outing. On Sunday we rested and Rob took to his bed in the afternoon with a slightly queasy stomach.

On Sunday night we called a friend to take Rob to A&E as he was vomiting uncontrollably and his temperature was dropping faster than we liked. Early Monday morning he came back, and I started vomiting. Later Monday morning Rob was in bed, pale and wan, and Linnea was being babysat by a neighbour while my mother took me to hospital. I was attached to monitors which I had to detach in a nurry to rush to the loo, and later a doctor came in and asked "Are you ok?" as I spewed into a cardboard bowl. I wasn't in a position to retort anything witty, unfortunately.

They took some blood, and as the baby was apparently fine, said it was ok to come back in the following morning for the section, but that Rob needed to be asymptomatic for at least 12 hours, preferably 24, to be allowed in.

We found someone else to care for Linnea after I got home, and I lay on the library floor while Rob lay in the master bedroom, both sick as parrots, trying hard to rehydrate. Late in the afternoon Rob managed to eat a fair bit of toast, and Linnea came home. We decided he was well enough to attend the section.

So on Sunday night I got less then three hours sleep, between Rob being sick and my being sick, interrupted by Linnea being woken by the commotion. And on Monday night I got about four hours, between pre-op nerves and alarms set so that I could take my pre-op antacids.

However, come Tuesday morning, I was wide awake and cheerful - optimistic even - and I even made Rob drink something before we set off. Linnea woke in time to be kissed goodbye too.


Aug. 19th, 2006 08:05 pm
ailbhe: (Default)
We are all home and well, and I am still too tired to write the birth story up :) Hardly surprising, given how ill we were before going in.

I'm very happy. Rob's very happy. Linnea's very happy ("Where's my baby sister? I NEED him!") and Emer's very happy. My mother's very happy - I can hear her singing to Emer now.

Birth went well, healing is going well, Emer came out of the oven fully cooked and ready for the universe, feeding is going well - tandem feeding coming soon to an icon near you - and I have plans for getting involved in a group aiming to improve maternity services in the hospital where I delivered both times.

Emer has HAIR. And is unfeasibly tiny. 7lb 2.5 oz is a lot lot smaller than 9lb 14oz. She's 1.5oz bigger than I was.

Oh, and this time? Her first bowel movement was passed outside the womb, so we got to see it. Wow. (She also peed all over the obstetrician; ob said "She just weed all over me!" and I said "Good girl!" for some reason.)
ailbhe: (bigbed)
Teddy and Jim Rabbit and Bear and Nea and Horsey and Hedgehog and Mingo and Donkey and Dolly.

She's telling them stories. It also sounds like she's eating at least one of them.
ailbhe: (nana)
This morning we finally got some essential pre-baby errands run. Rob took me into town and pushed me around in a wheelchair. It was immensely liberating, being able to go more than a few paces without pain. I'd almost forgotten what being outside the house was like. Linnea enjoyed pushing too, though she spent a lot of time riding Rob's shoulders or my lap, since she was easiest to keep contained there.

Rob's working from home now, since Linnea has agreed to watch telly. We had hoped to have NCT people here from 2-4 but the guaranteed help has sprained her foot so can't come. There's still a chance of drop-ins, luckily.

At 4 pm we have guaranteed childcare (the reliable teenager's mother) so Rob may even get as far as his office, if we're lucky.

My mother's flight tomorrow will be delayed, at best, and it seems likely that it will be cancelled. This is awkward; we were rather depending on her being here by 6 pm so that Rob might be able to work late. She can get the ferry instead, but there's no way to do that and arrive before 7 pm, assuming there are no problems with the trains. The train and ferry is a lot more expensive than the flight, too. But it's really not worth it. She's diet-controlled diabetic with other food issues as well; she can't wait indefinitely in an airport for a flight, not knowing what food will be available and not able to bring her own food through security with her. Aer Lingus have no way of knowing whether they'll be flying at all tomorrow; our best option is to hope that they're not, because then we can get a refund on her outbound flight to cover part of the cost of the train and ferry.

She's quite looking forward to the train trip, though. She'll be allowed a book, she hasn't much luggage, and she's never seen the parts of the countries she'll be passing through before. I just hope the ferry isn't too full of people determinedly getting as drunk as they can (though the Ireland-Wales leg tends to be less full of those than the Wales-Ireland leg; I think fewer Dubs get the ferry over for stag weekends).

At worst, she'll have to get the ferry on Monday, I suppose, and my operation is on Tuesday. That means Rob would have to take some time off on Monday to take me to hospital again, and we'd need to find childcare, too.

Still, it could be worse. I could be facing a flight to Australia with a toddler, armed only with a clear plastic bag containing nappies, wipes, a wallet, my housekeys, our passports, and no Blankie or Jim Rabbit or stack of cardboard books or... *shudder* Now that's terrifying.
ailbhe: (bigbed)
I went to bed about 11 last night, got to sleep about 12:30. Tadpole is lively. Then Linnea woke shortly after six. So we were all up earlier than we'd like. However, it was cooler than last week at breaskfast time, which was a relief.

About 9:30 it became obvious that Linnea was exhausted, and we went to bed in my room. In the end we got about an hour's sleep from 10-11. I feel fabulous and Linnea is transformed.

She enjoyed her weekend away. Didn't miss me a bit, which means we must be doing something right, and was pleased to see me when she got back, but not as pleased as she was to see the trike. Her sentences are clearer than they were on Friday - she's grown some more grammar. And on Friday we were having salad, and she said "I can't eat the rice."

"It's not rice, it's couscous."

"I can't eat the couscous eeether."

I thought that was impressive, but I'm not sure why. I think it was the use of "either" but I have no idea what that development represents. Anyway, she has also started answering "How are you?" with "My's fine," which is cute and useful, because a huge number of adults randomly ask toddlers the social non-question "How are you?" and I've seen Linnea and other toddlers hopelessly confused by it. I'm sure I've asked it myself, inflicting needless bewilderment on toddlers talking to me on the phone or whatever.

On Friday we did gluing and sellotaping with boxes and lollipop sticks. She's not keen on sellotape; it's more difficult to use than glue, though it does produce more instant results. She has expressed some interest in making things for the baby, or for Dave, but never follows through :)

Today I think we mainly need to assemble all the library books she took out the other week and get the bus to the library. I can't wait until I can walk again. By the end of the day, seperating my knees enough to climb the stairs hurts like bejeepers (what useful swearwords I know when I try!) and lying down doesn't help much. "Mammy take a baby out a you tummy now!" as Nea says.
ailbhe: (Default)
Linnea seems to be having a day off. She woke in a good mood, but refused to eat even the breakfast foods she asked for, having milk instead (incidentally, I like sitting beside the jasmine in the morning cloud-filtered sunshine feeding a toddler who is getting visible comfort from it and who can say "thank you" afterwards. We must trim the jasmine more often so it flowers more). She was then a bit whiny and subdued, but refused bread and butter, bread and jam, porridge, bananas - all her usual foods, nu-uh. I suggested television, and she was pleased by that; she's sitting quietly watching telly now.

Soon I'll try to feed her some solid food again, and take her to the co-op and the library on the bus. We need to swap books over, and I want her to have another go at buying something; she's done handing-over-money-and-giving-me-the-change only once before, as far as we know. She seemed to enjoy it. She also likes giving the librarian the books to get checked out, though actually letting go of the books can pose problems.

I'm hoping that the time vegetating in front of the telly will rejuvenate her enough to go out. It's very unusual behaviour for her unless she's ill. Normally if she wants quiet she'll take cuddles or drawing or reading or being read to. Still, it's about a week since she last watched TV so perhaps she just wanted to. Who knows?

She has started choosing wordier books from the library, and she tends to learn them off by heart after only one or two readings, where it used to take a lot of repetition. She still mainly reads to herself, except for bedtime and occasional cuddly reading sessions. If I want to read to her I need to produce a book she hasn't seen before :)


Jul. 14th, 2006 07:45 pm
ailbhe: (step out)
Today we went to the Home Ed group by bus, which was fine; interesting, but fine. We rode upstairs and Linnea hugely enjoyed looking out the windows. She was also extremely good about coming carefully down the stairs to disembark.

When we got there, Linnea seemed mainly to want to play on her own, for most of three hours. She did intermittently try playing with other people but she spent a lot of time sitting with a group if children reading to herself, or playing alone in the sandpit outside. That was fine; I spent a lot of time sitting listening to other peoples' conversations and drinking tea.

It was interesting though, because many people assume that the reason I go to this group is to provide Linnea with a social group, much the way nurseries and preschools do for other children. And that's broadly true, but it's access to a social group I'm providing. I want her to choose whether or not, and when, to socialise. And with whom, from a hopefully broad range of people. She doesn't get on well with the large group activities such as Storytime, or Singing, or whatever; we've even stopped going to the library's Rhyme Time sessions entirely because Linnea actively dislikes them half the time. She almost never sits through the story and song at Tigglers Togglers. Group behaviour appears not to be her thing.

But oh, does she like people or what! She loves them all. She hates leaving them. She remembers them and talks about them after they're gone, or we're gone, or whatever. She just... likes to be able to choose whether or not to interact with them. On her own terms.

My goodness me, I appear to have produced my daughter.

(More later, perhaps, on tomorrow's Social Dilemma).
ailbhe: (linnea in a dress)
Linnea walked out of the dining room, closed the door on me, and has been playing in isolation in the library for over 20 minutes. I'm really quite grateful, as I'm exhausted (though my pelvic pain is greatly lessened by doing nothing at all and walking with my knees together and only sitting on hard, flat surfaces) but it's a bit strange, how much time she chooses to spend entirely alone, when she clearly adores the time she spends with other people too. I suppose this morning we went to Tigglers Togglers and then had a mother, toddler and baby visit with us afterwards, so she was in constant company from 9:30 until 14:00. That could be it.

She's happy, whatever she's doing, and the stairgate is in front of the door so she can't run out onto the street. I'll leave her to it.
ailbhe: (reading)
Today Linnea further developed her understanding of cooperative play, sharing, putting your toys away, storytelling, showing other children how to do something, arguing for a compromise, putting on and taking off shoes, socks, and sandals, and giving an adult precise instructions to get her needs met. She also demonstrated her ability to undress and give a nappy change to a doll, and to negotiate chair-ownership with a cat.
ailbhe: (Default)
Went to bed early last night because I couldn't sit upright any more. I can't sit with my legs propped up in front of me because of my pelvis, and if they're low down my knees swell up. I must have had some kind of bug, because I had to change tshirts halfway through the night and swap the duvet for a light cotton candlewick blanket. When I woke this morning I had breakfast, Rob went to work, and I brought Linnea upstairs to choose clothes; she started playing in her room instead so I went back to bed. I got to doze until 9:30 that way, with both doors open.

Then I got up, dressed us both, dragged the monster buggy out of the cupboard, and went to the pool, where I delivered Linnea to the creche and myself to the shallow pool. I did a few lengths with my arms on a float, kicking from the knees. Then I did a few breast-stroke lengths with my legs crossed to keep me from using them. And I did a fair bit of stretching. Keeping my pelvis together is proving to be harder work than I was prepared for. I wasn't up to taking Linnea into the pool afterwards, which was sad.

While showering, a woman asked both "how long have you got?" and "do you know what it is yet?" - in my next pregnancy, I will make up Bingo cards.

After that, I brought Linnea into town and bought her new shoes. I have no idea whether or not they fit but I wasn't up to arguing with the shoe fitter and chasing Linnea at the same time, so I'll see and if they don't I can just take them back as long as she hasn't worn them outside. Maybe next time "my" shoe fitter will be there again.

Then Nicky and Is came, with Baby Jo, and played for hours and hours. And then they went home. Now it's dinnertime, and tomorrow it's Tiggler's Togglers.
ailbhe: (Default)
I say "It's nearly bedtime!" and she says "Milk and bed," and cooperates in the whole PJs, nappy, milk thing. Then she gets her rabbit, kisses me goodnight, and walks upstairs, cheerfully, to go to bed. There were a few delay tactics when she was up there, but nothing major.
What on earth happened?
ailbhe: (step out)
We have two bicycles propped against the wall and each other outside the back door. I just lifted Linnea down from the saddle of the outside one. I have no idea how she got up there. She did it with less noise than making the plastic duck have a swim in the watering can. First I knew of it was when she called for me to come and get her.

What next?!
ailbhe: (bee)
For the first time since I got my sinus thing, the dining room floor has been hoovered. Yeaurch. Linnea is outside playing in the mud, because the rain has stopped. The temperature in here has dropped to 23C and the Tadpole reacts very, very strongly to thunder. However, the storm has released something, and I feel far more human. It's not blazing sun anymore. Linnea and I may even go out later, to the charity shops and perhaps on the bus to the central library.

Hoovering and the antibiotics have conspired to make me queasy. Also, perineal massage is a whole new level of complicated when one has a rectocele sitting in there. It's a little frightening to try, in fact. Feels like there's a gap in the muscle there still, under the skin - though I suppose it could just be that there's hard scar tissue everywhere else and what I think is a gap is normal soft muscle.

I need to put the paddling pool out to fill with rainwater, assuming it rains some more later. It's supposed to. It's also supposed to max out at 27C today. Bliss :)

One of the cats has been sick in the actual food bowl. I daren't clean it up, since I'm pregnant and I have no idea what the cat might be sick of. Sunstroke seems likely. Even staying indoors, Linnea and I have both had upset stomachs from the weather. We went out after 5:30 pm yesterday and it was so bright that she buried her face in my chest and I felt my sunburn beginning to tingle.

My Boots Advantage Card arrived, so I've sorted out all the free stuff vouchers, and if Linnea and I do venture into town we'll get some freebies.

There's a local preschool nursery thing that might let Linnea go part-time, only one or two mornings a week, starting in September. That might be quite good with a newborn. She adores creche but they won't always have a place, especially not in the early days of the new term. (Everything goes by terms as far as I can tell. I have no idea how families without a stay-home parent manage after the child is three - there seems to be a week-long break every other month).
ailbhe: (trike)
I've been noticing more and more that my favourite posture is leaning slightly forward almost exactly as I do when tricycling; it's rather difficult to maintain when sitting about at home though. This baby, much more than Linnea did, has definite ideas about how I should sit and stand and lie and walk. I often wake flat on my back, hips aching, baby blissed out and quiet, and have to ask Rob to roll me over so that my hips and back can recover. The baby doesn't like me lying on my side though, and tends to wake aggressively.

The heat means I've swollen very slightly; I can still get my wedding and engagement rings on, but they're not comfortable, and all the cycling in the sun on Saturday made my knees swell hugely. Yesterday I did a little walking around Oxford looking at the outsides of pretty buildings and the locked gates of shady parks, and my ankles swelled a little. Not much, for a pregnant person, but some. Hardly surprising, I suppose.

Linnea rubbed cocoa butter into my bump this morning and talked again about the tiny baby in my bellybutton. I think she's in for a shock in 5 weeks or so.

She chose her own lunch. At 10 am she led me to the fridge and demanded potato salad. At noon she led me to the fridge and demanded cake. Then she wanted gingerbread mans. Then she ate some wholemeal bread, without butter, and a huge pear. It all seems to even out in the end.

My antibiotics, for the sinus thing I had last week, are making me queasy and tired. But I have to keep taking them lest I create a supersinusvirus, which would be really very tedious at 33 weeks pregnant in an average of 30C heat. Linnea's cough is still coughy, and still not bothering her in the least, so I've decided to stop giving her the syrup in case it's been suppressing the cough and she'd be more productive without it. It could just be the heat and dust and so on of all the cycling and walking she's done this past month.

We've booked my mother's flights for her visit to see the new baby, based on the c-section date, since that's easiest. I won't need her so much for a homebirth anyway since we won't need to find extraordinary childcare :) but of course she's not keen ("My baby isn't!" as she said when I said "But it could be worse, Mum, at least my baby's ok," some 18 months ago).

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