Friday, June 14, 2013

House in order

It's been a tumultuous month since our second baby arrived, but I finally feel like I can start getting our house in order. I've accepted my house is going to have a new sense of "clean" in, it may never be spotless again! Perhaps I can save that shining perfection for after the children leave home?

 That's where it got to!

This past month has been about letting go of my expectations and running with what's directly in front of me. About embracing this new sense of disorder, with a beautiful sense of accomplishment.

It's a lot easier accepting baby's cry, feed and do other baby stuff when they need to, instead of beating myself against an expectation that things should be "just" so, or remember when things used to be like...

Can we really cut 'n paste fragments of time, to keep our reality in check?

 My watch but who's counting?

Life rarely stays the same though, and I'm swept into this new sense of direction. I'm embracing and smiling as if it were exactly how it was meant to be. Dis-ordered chaos. Yep! That's my house alright, and I'm completely okay with that. I can still make it a beautiful way to live, by choosing not to argue with reality.  I put my attitude on and feel great immediately.

 Ready to bake another day

The dirty dishes and laundry, do eventually get done. My food covered floors, do eventually get swept. At the moment, I've been sorting through stuff I no longer need and re-purposing items I've always intended for other uses.

I'm even starting to think "plants" again. Several sad culprits are in desperate need of re-potting, if I'm to save them at all - and it's not too late to take hardwood cuttings from some of my deciduous trees and roses.

Little things, really, but it all adds up. I'm happy to say, I've got plenty to keep me busy without being obsessed with too much detail. Anything which is achievable and productive, keeps me smiling - especially if it allows me to come and go as our new baby demands. Life is pretty good, even if I don't get all the sleep I want and get covered in baby vomit.

Isn't it all the little things which helps keep life interesting?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Peter's Story - days 6 - 8

Days six and seven, were Peter's first real taste of home. It's where he got to see his family in action, and where we got to see how everything suddenly changed around this new little person.

After our first bath at home

Peter enjoyed his first bath at home, and Dad was proud to see him wearing the "Doctor Who" body suit he got especially for him. I dedicated a lot of time breastfeeding, which I missed out on doing while in hospital. It was a lovely time.

Of course, speaking of 'hospital' there was a little proviso in leaving - getting a follow-up blood test to check how his borderline jaundice was progressing. On day eight, we had a lactation consultant appointment at the hospital (which was brilliant at helping me) and so we took Peter to do the blood test afterwards. Then it was off to catch-up on some food shopping!

Life was returning to normal. But just as we hit the first shop to collect some bibs for Peter, we received a phone call on the mobile. It was the dreaded paediatricians again, and it wasn't good news. Two hours later and the blood results were already in. They wanted to admit him that night, to do some light therapy for his jaundice. It broke my heart...

Love you Sweetie!

So my little baby boy, got another feeding tube up his nose, he was cooked under the lights for 12 hours and had to wear a blindfold so it wouldn't burn his eyes. My breastfeeding got put on hold again, but at least I got to spend the night with him in the Pediatric ward. On the whole though, I hated it and I hated the whole industrialised attitude at the hospital.

I don't want to mar Peter's story with grievances about hospitals, but I will say that while I respect the need of trained medical staff to save lives which are in serious jeopardy, I'm not sure why they would want to clog the system up with "just in case" patients. One would think a firm diagnosis would ensure necessary treatment, rather than treating every baby as if they were in serious jeopardy.

I can only say this having birthed two children, ten years apart. The system has changed from a diagnosis based treatment plan, to a mass production line of neonates - all being treated as if they're going to die. My son was denied breast milk during those vital few days following birth, in preference for being dosed up on antibiotics, formula and glucose drips instead.

I cannot say if these added measures saved his life or not, because it wasn't a diagnosis based treatment plan. It was explained to me every time, as a, 'just in case', measure.

 Peter loves cuddles

But that part of our lives is behind us now. Our little Peter is going from strength to strength. Whatever lack of appetite he experienced in the past, has been made up for now! Sadly, we had to give up breast milk, due to Peter's tongue being the wrong shape for good extraction, but it was the second bout of mastitis which really did it for me. I'm glad we stuck with it, for as long as we could though.

And now about Peter's name. We had originally selected another one, and it's one I really loved. It was, "Millan". Feedback from relatives however, wasn't very encouraging. We decided to err on the side of caution and stick with a traditional name instead. "Peter" was in honour of David's departed Father.

So in a nutshell, that is Peter's story, of the first eight days of his life. When I look at his older sister though, I know how quickly time flies by. It's why I cherish every smile I give him now. He will linger with us for as long as possible, but manhood will soon call him one day, and I will have to say goodbye to my little boy, once and for all.

In the meantime its lots of cuddles and kisses!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Peter's Story - day 5

Day five from birth was coming home day! Our little guy had been through so much in the Special Care Nursery. He started with a feeding tube in his nose, which then became a glucose drip in his wee little hand, that lead to a nasty course of antibiotics.

For the record, I believe a lot of this was unnecessary, but that's a subject for another post. Because when it was the day to come home for Peter, nothing could have wiped the smile from my face.

Returned to hospital 24 hours after my discharge
I kept my hospital tag on, until we arrived home together

With the feeding tube removed from his nose, I was able to successfully breastfeed him for the first time before we left the hospital. I couldn't wait to leave the place, but we will miss "Lincoln" who was Peter's little premature room buddy. He was so tiny compared to Peter, yet just as robust!

 You've earned the rest, Peter

My boy looked just like a regular baby now. No more facial bruising, and I even noticed how much blonder he appeared, than his older sister when she first left the hospital. But they both still had Dad's long eyelashes!

Mum's papoose

I almost felt like a prison escapee when I tucked my precious little bundle under my wing and fled the hospital confines. We had our own paparazzi following our every step though, with David clicking madly to capture everything - even when we finally wrangled him into the baby capsule to drive home.

Dad's got you!

But driving home was the best feeling of all, because 24 hours earlier I was arriving home after my discharge without our baby boy. I stayed in the car for at least 10 minutes, afraid to go inside and not find him there. All of those five days had been spent in a matter of confines. I couldn't take him out of the Special Care Nursery, I couldn't feed him, nor could I hold him close - not without some tangle of medical tubing getting in the way.

Yet coming home that day made up for it all. We brought him home and he was where he belonged. We all took our turn holding and adoring him.

Our two treasures

We even got that precious picture of sister and brother, we failed to capture at the hospital. She likes to hold her little brother - in fact, we all do. The novelty hasn't worn off for any of us. Although the occasional sore arm reminds us to swap sides more frequently! I swear we can see him growing every day.

Never too young to start garden appreciation

Of course, what would be coming home without a casual walk through the garden. I couldn't wait to show him everything out there. In a day of patchy weather, we were even fortunate to catch some afternoon rays too.

A fitting end to a tumultuous five days - or - so we thought...