Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless(ish) Wednesday

Avalon at the park this morning...

Currently Reading...

This is great.

I have finished book one already and would recommend to anyone looking for strategies to become more patient and a calmer individual, using Buddhist teachings and principles.

I am working daily on putting this into practice.

Read it now.

A month in the blink of an eye...

Lucian was 4 weeks old yesterday.

I cannot believe how quickly the last month has passed me by; a whirlwind of gazing at our son in wonderment, bonding as a family of four and supporting Avalon in the adjustment to becoming big sister/sibling/one of two children. 

I am stealing a few minutes to blog and update on the past month as both children are napping and my Mother is here to help and cuddle her Grandbabies. No doubt I will write in bits and pieces as I have found having 2 children isn't double the work-  more like quadruple! I am not sure how that happens and am still mystified how people manage but maybe that feeling is designated to the early days.

Lucian's birth went brilliantly and I will absolutely write more on that later.

We took a couple of weeks for a babymoon with minimal visitations from friends and family. It was really important to me to focus on the four of us. We have been spoiled by seemingly endless gifts of clothing for the boy, food for us, chocolate and cake. I have been humbled by the generosity of friends and family and feel so grateful to have such wonderful people in our lives.

Lucian is an absolute gem and as the cliche goes, I am finding it hard to remember life without him.

He has the same 'old soul' look that his sister had, although I am not quite sure they look very similar, you can tell they are related, but very different all the same.

Lucian has a lot of hair, with little golden streaks through the front, a small mouth and steely grey/blue eyes that focus on you and search your face as if he is still trying to figure you out. He smiles with a slight upturn of his top lip and his eyes glow warmly. He is cuddly, soft, a little hairy, yet sturdy too.

He is my 'Big Boy' and both Grant and I joke about our 'Little Rugby Player.' The boy is fairly chilled out, sleeps a lot in the day, but also has moments of fussing, particularly at night. He likes to lie over your shoulder and get a good pat on the back although I don't seem to have the same effect on him that his Nannie and his Daddy do when they employ this manoeuvre.

The past month has also brought its unexpected trials.

After 3 weeks of very painful feeding I sought the help of my friend Paula, a local La Leche League Leader as to whether Lucian had tongue-tie or a bad latch or thrush (or a combination of all three) as feeding him was more pain inducing than labour. After further consultation with a lactation consultant at the hospital, he was found to have posterior tongue-tie and an appointment was made to get it snipped. Unfortunately, that appointment was another 2 weeks wait.

I just could not wait that long as nursing him was toe-curling- I liken it to glass being dragged through my nipples, yep, not pleasant. I have not experienced anything like this whilst feeding Avalon so it came as a shock, and after such a positive and 'easy' labour it really took me by surprise.

I spent alot of time in tears in those 3 weeks and found myself avoiding feeds which is kind of hard when you are feeding a newborn on demand. I was so dispirited and hoped that tongue-tie would be the issue and would be 'fixed.' I was filled with worry that our breastfeeding journey would be over before it really began.

Knowing my desperation, my amazing doula, Rhiannon, asked a friend of hers to do the procedure for us, on very short notice (asking her at 8pm to assist us, she was on my doorstep at 10pm.)

Kathryn is an independent midwife who is trained in separating tongue-tie. I am so grateful she came to us when she did as I could not continue to feed like this any longer little alone another two weeks before the scheduled appointment. The first feed after the procedure was a vast improvement from where we had been, the only other feed I had like that with Lucian was our very first nurse after his birth, skin to skin, laying on our couch in the lounge room. From then on, nursing has gotten increasingly better. We have good and bad feeds as we are both still learning. But we are getting to where we need to be.

Along with the constant support of Rhiannon prior to labour, during labour and during our babymoon and the fact she introduced us to Kathryn, she honestly is a lifesaver. If you know how important breastfeeding my children is to me, you would know what this means to me for this relationship continue. I am forever grateful for her support- she is a wonderful friend to boot.

Grant, as always, has been amazing. My rock. I don't know where I would be without him.

He was a brilliant labour support, as he was for Avalon's birth too. Throughout that 2 week period he was off work he took care of the 3 of us. I know he is anxious to get home to his family every day as he tells me so. We love him so much and as our family has grown, so has my love and appreciation for him.

As I mentioned, my Mum is here for 3 weeks. I can hardly explain what a blessing this is.

My Mum lives on the other side of the world so to have her in my home, sharing conversation over coffee, watching her with her grandchildren, bantering with my husband is a blessed feeling. I miss not seeing her more often than a weekly virtual SKYPE phone call. She has been here 6 days already and has been a domestic star; cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and of course baby holding.

Mum being here has allowed me to get out for a little exercise each day. More than anything this time is needed to clear my head- to banish out the 'cobwebs' of darkness so to speak. As wonderful as this time is, my hormones have wreaked havoc on me and my feelings and emotions are up and down like a yoyo. Grant's patience with me is amazing. It feels great to stretch my legs as I wander the neighbourhood, listening to music on my iPod and feeling the breeze in my hair after weeks of home time and months of feeling so heavy and so tired. With Mum here, we have also been going to our local park daily, Avalon has really appreciated her Nannie (and sandpit) time.

I am so thankful for this time and will of course, feel terribly sad when Mum leaves in 2 weeks.

Over the past month, Grant's Dad came to visit from South Africa. Here for 2 weeks, he stayed with my brother in law about 10 minutes away. Because of the timing of his visit we didn't get to spend as much time with him as we would have liked but it was great to see home all the same as we hadn't seen him for almost 2 years.

We are all adjusting well to being a family of four.

I really hope to blog just as often (or little as it were) as before.

Signing off for now, the girl is chatting away beside me after her nap (I knew I would have to keep coming back to this post!) in just a nappy, eating gingerbread teddie biscuits- it is SO warm here today.

I hope this is the start of our 'Summer' albeit in a very mild Spring.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

He is here!

A very quick update...

Lucian Grant Francis was born on the 24th April at 11.26pm, weighing a very healthy 8lb 14oz (4.020kg)

He was born at home in the birthing pool after 'officially' 3 1/2 hours of labour without intervention. He was caught by his Dad and his big sister slept through all the excitement, meeting her brother about an hour later.

His birth was perfect.

I will write Lucian's birth story in the next few weeks and hope to find some time to blog...