Wednesday, February 27, 2013

57/365: In case you were worried what I might post for today's photo ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Baby is Exciting!

Sharing the poem I wrote which was on the thank you packs we gave guests at Kaitlyn's baby shower.

With mums in public hospitals only being funded for "two mid-nights" for normal births, they really don't need to be swamped by visitors in hospital.
A Baby is exciting
A baby is such fun
But babies are so tiring
especially for mum

We know you'll be excited
and want to meet me quick
But here's the visit rule-book
to which you have to stick.

In hospital its family
and even then, just few
so you will be invited
if the the "list", it includes you.

Once back home is special
an invitation rare
so if you are invited
do take special care

Once we've settled in
we'd love to see you more
but please make an appointment
- don't rock up at the door!

And don't come empty-handed
we still need care you see
so a meal, some help, some washing
- not just sit and cuddle me!

Cos babies are exciting
They are just so much fun
But the early days are tiring
Especially for Mum

Yvette O'Dowd
Feel free to use/share as you wish (personal use, not commercial). ~

55/365: Baby Shower thank you, with a poem about redpectful postnatal visits

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Because Life was't meant to be easy

I thought I would quickly summarise my health events of the past few days and what has led to them, because if I am getting confused, my family and friends probably are too!

So, some time late last year, I arrived for my regular myotherapy treatment feeling a bit "woozy", as I described it to my therapist. She is also a nurse and midwife, so took one look at me and asked if I felt well enough for treatment. I said sure, after all - that meant I could lie down! She didn't seem convinced and took my pulse, which was racing. She thought I might be fighting off an infection, but apart from feeling a bit breathless and faint, I felt fine (and faint is just a variation on normal for me, anyway!) so we went ahead.

Two weeks later, she greeted me asking had I become ill and I assured her I hadn't. She took my pulse and it was again racing and she asked if I was frightened of her! I laughed - no I like her and enjoy our sessions, where I keep her up to date on breastfeeding and entertain her with my coloured hair and clothing.

She was over-seas, in her native France, for the next month or so and I saw her colleague. No pulse-taking occurred and life went on. I next saw he last Friday and mid-way through my treatment, without me realising, she took my pulse again. My "resting" pulse - mid massage - was much higher than she felt was normal and she urged me to see my GP as soon as possible.

My GP doesn't do urgent - she is so popular, you need to plan weeks in advance to see her! So I saw another doctor in the practice. Her checked my pulse and agreed it was cause for concern, so I headed next door for blood tests and an ECG. Not really concerned, as I have had heart tests in the past (2006) for palpitations and all was good. then I went on my merry way and thought I must remember to call a week later for the results.

So it was a bit of a shock to get a call Wednesday while I was at work, asking me to come see the doctor. Today. Now. Well - in an hour? I asked if it could wait until a day I didn't work and was told it couldn't. Now my pulse was racing because of fear!

I drove back to my home suburb to the doctor's rooms and sat down. he said he was very concerned about my low blood count - very low haemaglobin - and after ruling out lots of possibilities through Q and A, said he was sending me straight to hospital for more tests. I knew then my plans to visit Ikea after work with my pregnant daughter were not looking good! then he said he would check my pulse and blood pressure again to make sure I was safe to drive myself to hospital - barely five minutes away, if the traffic lights were good!

He said I was and wrote up a letter for me to take. I figured if I was okay to drive to the hospital, then I was okay to drive home first and rang my daughter, who I knew wasn't working, asking her to meet me at home and drive me down. Experience meant I would have to be in the back of an ambulance to go near a hospital without reading materials etc! (Learned the last time, when stomach pain turned out to be appendicitis!) So I grabbed my crochet and my modern take on a book to read - chargers to keep my tablet alive! Also threw in a change of clothes in case they kept me in.

Over the next seven hours or so, I was monitored, had blood tests and more ECGs, had a chest xray and then told i could go home and see the doctor again the next day (today). Of course, there was no sign of breathlessness or rapid heart beat while I lay connected to monitors!

So today, back to the GP, who was surprised to see me so soon and not to happy about it, as he thought I should be in hospital having more tests! So he made some calls and arranged for me to have gastric- and colonoscopies next Wednesday. His main concern is why my blood count has dropped so much so quickly and he wants to rule out internal bleeding. Yay!

There we are then, all caught up. All this is unrelated to my MS or any other conditions and his caution not to lift anything made me smile - lordy, I don't lift anything!  am on strict orders about that already for multiple reasons and I don't lift anything heavier than a cup of tea!!!!

50/365: Unexpected. Mystery of the low blood count

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Excuse me, can we have our village back?

Last night, my pregnant daughter, my son and our dog headed to the beach for some relief from the heat, fish & chips for dinner, a walk along the shore - and to hang out at the meet up of the local fire twirling, spinning and drumming circle who regularly come together at The Frankston Foreshore.

We sat, talked and laughed as fire was spun on sticks and poi. Independent drummers joined together to create the rhythm and women and children dance naturally to the beat. Dogs and toddlers ran about, the casual groups of families and friends forming a safe circle of protection around them.

My daughter, with only 8 weeks before her baby arrives, sat cross-legged beside me on the grass, her unborn daughter wedged more firmly down  into her pelvis by her natural sitting position and adding her own kicks to the atmosphere before quietly settling. We talked about what she could could sense from the womb and how the beat of the drums would clearly be heard.

It was around this point I looked around me with different eyes. Looking past the alternative-lifestyle of these modern hippies (most who have mainstream lives and jobs), beyond the dreadlocks and flowing skirts and into the human core of what was in front of me.

The firelight may have come from fuel lit by modern lighters but it hinted at the large, communal fire we would once have gathered around at dusk. The freshly killed game and gathered fruits and berries replaced by fish and chips, pizza and food brought from home and behind the circle were cars, not huts, but the essence was there.

Here was a village at the end of the day. The drum beat that helped my unborn granddaughter drift off to sleep would have the same affect on babies, in the arms of mothers/sisters/aunts/grandmothers or tied against their bodies in slings, rocked to sleep as the women danced or swayed to the beat and talked about their day. Older children burned off the last of the day's energy running in and out of the circle, unattracted to the darkness behind it but kept safe within the light. they would go to sleep alongside their parents, safely knowing when all the fun was over, they were missing nothing. Young women would dance and show off their bodies to young men, who would sweep them off into the darkness, not far from parents with similar plans, safe in the knowledge their children were safe with family. And the resulting pregnancies would lead to unborn babies learning the beat of the drums and being rocked to sleep by its rhythm, just as they would after they were born.

Like  Jean Liedloff, author of the timeless book, The Continuum Concept. I was saddened that our modern society has moved so far from the fundamental basis of community that we have lost the natural ways of parenting which some of us had to re-learn despite disapproval by many.

But I really do wish we could have our village back.

Friday, February 8, 2013

MamAmor Dolls

MamAmor Dolls:

I have just entered this competition to try (again!) to win one of these dolls for our Breastfeeding Centre.

Wish me luck!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

In our backyard

I never cease to be thankful that we live in a place where nature is literally all around us. In an ordinary home in an outer-suburb, I can see natural life from every window as I go about my day. Even when the windows and doors are not open, the sound of bird life is ever-present.

But even my most wonderful experiences have been superseded this week by a relocation in the back garden. When my husband first said something about a Ring-Tailed Possum nest in the lemon tree, I assumed he meant the tree near the back fence, close to the long-term nesting area of generations of Ring-tails in the garden. I didn't realise he meant the other lemon tree, the one that is right by our back deck, clearly visible from both our living areas which basically wrap around the deck.Or that the nest is just a little above eye-level but clearly visible through the leaves, as are its occupants!!!

Because the possums sleep on the nest, not in it and are nocturnal marsupials, we have the privilege of watching them snooze, except if our activity disturbs them, at which point the gaze back with their big, round eyes. The photographer in me can't leave them alone and I feel like David Attenborough as I observe them through their day!

These are not our only possums. Ring-Tails are the smaller possum common in urban areas, where their Brush-Tailed cousins live in bigger trees ... or roofs ... or possum nesting boxes. We have always had a resident Brush-Tail, female, who we nick-named Matilda when we moved here in 1997. I have no idea the natural life-span of possums, but the regularity they are killed by cars, cats and dogs means we would be unlikely to see it occur. So the current Matilda is several generations down from our original and she would have been descended from possums who lived here when my husband and I were growing up an easy walk in either direction of this house. So we respect her right to live alongside us in harmony and raise her babies in peace. After relocating the original Matilda from her residence in our lounge room wall when we arrived (!) we gave her the first of several nesting boxes constructed by my husband. Over the years we have had to evict a bee swarm, add a second box for another female and allow Matildas to entertain us in many ways - from hand-feeding with fruit to sitting above the festivities at our daughter's engagement party! Sometimes we intrude upon them, sometimes they intrude upon us. Once, an exploring baby accidentally came through the en-suite window and I had to catch it in a towel and return to an angry mother! Other times, they have made it into our roof and tried to burrow through the ceiling! And there have been many signs of possum clumsiness, with falls from the gum tree which looms over the house, slips off the ledge that runs under our eaves and being chased off the roof by swooping magpies!

Matilda pretends she didn't fall off the eaves in her sleep,  as she tries to get back up there in broad daylight!

There are times I cannot sleep due to possums on the roof, lorikeets in the flowering gums or other nature noises. Sweeney Todd, the butcher bird entertains me but he is also a threat to some of the other birds, however the descendants of the magpies we hand-fed one year keep Sweeney in his place and trust us so much they came calling for water on a hot day recently! There are Wattle Birds every day and Eastern Rosellas just one or two days a year, and unexpected red-Tailed Black Cockatoos dropping gum nuts on the roof for just one summer. It is all sorts of things, but never dull!!!

Sweeney Todd - the Butcher Bird!
2005 - our almost-fledged baby Magpies, whose parents left in our care for two weeks of hand-feeding and then collected once they could fly! Our generosity is passed on through the generations and I still get adult birds who tap on my bedroom window!!

Excuse me, we are trying to sleep!

Ah, maybe it is all about the last patch of afternoon sun!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Side two

One finished: side one

Latest pants

32/365 Flame Tree blossoms always remind me of pixie hats

Catching up

I seems a little unfair that I am blogging everyday but not actually writing anything, so I thought I should touch base with some words ;) I am loving the automation of IFTTT which posts my daily photo here on my blog without me doing anything. In fact, lots of different things are actioned when I take the image of the day - beautifully it ends up in all the places online that I want it to. So much easier.

I am really focused on my crafting-self right now, despite the frustrations of my body not always being on track with my requirements. I have a heap of projects on the go and in the queue and sometimes I get quite depressed when pain and/or fatigue prevent me doing them.

I am currently sewing as much as I can be for the granddaughter2be, who is destined to join us in around 68 days, according to the app on my blog! I thought ten weeks sounded soon, but days - ! Kaitlyn is the picture of perfect pregnancy and if she continues this way, she will be in good form for the birth. The baby, nick-named Jelly Bean, is a bit of a gymnast and plays "guess where I am lying now!" all day. I hope when the roulette wheel stops she will find herself in a good position for birth.

Plans are underway for the baby shower in a few weeks and we got to designing the invitations and getting them printed last week. I decided Officeworks do such a good job at a comparable price, so why print them at home and enjoyed emailing the PDF and getting a text a couple of days later to pick them up! The shower has a Jelly Bean theme!

As well as sewing, sewing, sewing, I have focused my yarn time into just one project for now, getting the crochet baby blanket finished. Using three variations of granny squares in the colours of the nursery, I am over the hump and on the downhill run, but have to remember the joining and edging will take as long again! Like all my activities, it would be quicker without Frodo's assistance at every turn! Whatever I do - sew, scrap, knit or crochet, there he is, either trying to sit on my lap or project or walking about jeopardising everything from his tail to his life!

And scrapping I am! Well, Project Lifeing. I am completely up-to-date with 2013, my photos-a-day spurring me along and I am also gradually covering events from last year as well. I am loving online printables created by others as free downloads and by following other PLers on Pinterest, can download from my tablet (even lying in bed in the wee small hours!), move to my Google Drive and then print them from there. And with new new printer able to print remotely, I can even email things directly to it that I find while browsing online in my lunch break or in waiting rooms and have them waiting to cut out when I get home!!!!

Work is quite frantic as we have our branch conference next weekend, our health professionals seminar a few weeks after that and then the baby expo exactly ten weeks from now. Yes - ten weeks. Only my daughter would be due to have her baby in one of my busiest work weeks! But I shall be taking grand-maternity leave from the moment labour begins and hope to be able to be at her call for the first 40 days. So work means getting everything in place for the others to run smoothly without me, all at a time when we feel a bit swamped by the demands of the year's beginning. So a bit of stress, added to by stuff like internet and phone problems! Ten weeks ... until ... well, not a *holiday*, but a work-free period. Well, bus-mans holiday I guess, as I will be doing lots of breastfeeding support ;) I am even stepping aside from my volunteer roles for that time, so I can just focus on doula work.

doula (pronounced "doó la", also known as a labour coach and originating from the Ancient Greek word δούλη meaning female servant or slave) is a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family by providing information, physical assistance, and emotional support.[1] The provision of continuous support during labour by doulas (as well as nurses, family, or friends) is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits.

I expect to be cleaning, cooking and washing to relieve the new parents and let them focus on the baby, as well as being there to support them through what I know to be the most challenging few weeks of a baby's life. I hope to get to do some cuddling and bonding with Jelly Bean as well, but given her mother's own enjoyment of cuddling babies, i might not get much opportunity ;)

So - that's me for now. Hope you are enjoying the daily photos.