Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Brighter day...

Mother & daughter (source)

My mood has shifted dramatically in the last few days. I am feeling positively chipper today! Pretty sure this shift has happened because we have had a really wonderful Christmas break followed by Molly's 4th birthday party at our place yesterday.

It has been so nice to be surrounded by family and friends who we love and who love and support us so well. My mother is on annual leave until January 10th and we have already spent more time together in the last few days than we have in a very long time. I really need that right now. To feel completely myself and comfortable with another woman who knows me so well.

I met with my midwife this morning and mum was able to attend the appointment with me. It was really nice to see how quietly excited and proud she is to be involved in this process. During the appointment we spoke about my good glucose challenge results (yay body! you rock!) and the need to continue eating really well for the remainder of the pregnancy. I expressed how glad I am that the Christmas period is over and I can get back to some kind of food routine. I don't think I am the only one who feels like this. We also discussed some practical stuff around the birth pool and what supplies to have ready for the birth and about what factors may lead to a decision to transfer to hospital for the birth. I feel really good about this and am confident that we will work really well together and make the best decisions we can at the time.

I was right about baby's position.. head down, back on my left.. anterior (at the time she palpated my belly). It's nice to know I can trust what I am feeling. I don't think I had a clue last time and just trusted the midwife's guess.  For the record, my BP is a little up from last time 130/80 but still in a normal range. Babe's heart rate is 152bpm. Belly is right where it should be for size and my midwife said the baby feels just the right size for gestation. Not too big! :)

All good to hear!!

After the appointment I enjoyed a bbq steak and salad at mum's place before heading to the shops on my own to get some groceries. This sounds like a pretty boring way to spend the afternoon however for me, some mama time followed by alone time (no matter what the activity) is just perfect. Planning to make a yummy pumpkin, lentil and zucchini soup for dinner. But before that, I think I'll take a nap! What a nice day!

I hope your post-Christmas period is as nice as mine is turning out to be!


Sunday, 26 December 2010

More wisdom from Gloria Lemay via Ilithia Inspired

Here is a post I just read which hit the nail on the head with how I am feeling about this birth. Sazz posted recently about the need to live in the present and not think too much about the past or what is to come. To allow the body and mind to just experience what is happening right NOW and take that same philosophy into the birth.

I have been living with fear that this baby will end up having a similar birth to Molly (induced labour, epidural, on my back, forceps, episiotomy, respiratory distress, special care, breastfeeding challenges etc etc etc) and I have been having trouble letting go of that fear and just living each day knowing that this baby will have the birth it deserves, in it's own time if I can just trust that my body will work and everything will be ok. I trust birth.

When I feel this fear I am going to use this as a mantra of sorts... I trust birth.. I trust my body.. I am doing all I can to ensure this babe gets the best birth possible.

Sazz posted a recap of Gloria Lemay's talk on this issue... Please go read it here if you are interested.. It's about goats and birth so it's definitely worth a read! :)

Christmas morning cuteness

31 weeks

I am SO over working!

It's boxing day and I am sitting here in the office feeling very "blah" and wondering how on earth I am going to get through the next 9 (or so) weeks until this baby is born. I predict feeling a little more peaceful once I am on leave (my last day is January 15th- bring it on!). I already feel as big as a house and am having a little trouble today in finding the inner "goddess". I know she's there somewhere, I see her in just about every other pregnant woman. I just feel so damned disabled, sore and awkward! I am sure I felt like this last time but have probably blocked it out.

I have been getting a lot of braxton hicks contractions (John likes to call them Toni Braxton hicks). I don't think I had this many last time. I am getting them all day. The baby moving, getting in and out of the car, going over speed bumps, turning over in bed.... all these things cause them to happen and they are quite uncomfortable at times. I hear of women who don't even notice them happening but these cannot be ignored. They only last 10 -15 seconds and aren't painful. They just take my breath away. I am trying to view them as getting my body ready to come into labour spontaneously at the right time. Hopefully the "right time" is not past 42 weeks as I am so uncomfortable already and the thought of another 10-12 weeks is just completely depressing to think about. Having said that, this little one will come when he/she is ready and I will not be rushing the process due to my own discomfort.. just let me have a whinge. I think cutting caffeine and increasing water should help calm these BH contractions. 

I am seeing my midwife on Tuesday and I am interested to see what position she thinks the baby is in. I get most of my bigger kicks in the upper right area of my abdomen but sometimes around the front so I think that s/he is head down and flipping from a posterior to an anterior position with it's back mostly on the left. From my own poking and prodding, the head is still totally mobile above my pubic bone and occasionally moves near my right hip bone.  

My nutrition has been a bit all over the place with lots of Christmas treats! Although yesterday I didn't actually go overboard at lunch and dinner as I am quickly running out of stomach space and I fill up quickly. Lunch was a yummy mix of roast turkey, ham and mum's regular spread of delicious salads and of course a fab pudding. We had dinner with John's family and I pretty much had a plate of roast parsnip, carrot, sweet potato and green beans. I could not manage any more meat but did have another small serving of pudding afterwards. As the night wore on I just couldn't get comfortable in any position. There was seriously not one chair in the house that I could sit on. It was a lovely but very busy day with a lot of driving and talking and pressies and food. I think my body was just craving home. Once I lay down in my comfy bed I was out like a light and didn't wake till 7:30.

 This week I am sticking to fruit, veggies, meat, fish, rice, oats, yoghurt and water. I am starting to drink a cup a day of red raspberry leaf tea with a little nettle and peppermint as I have been feeling flat and like I am low in iron. The RRL tea may also help with the BHs. I take a pregnancy multi and have started taking iron too.

Tomorrow is Molly's 4th birthday party and I have asked everyone to bring a plate as I seriously do not have the energy to prepare party food (I am making a cake though) and I assume most people have Christmas leftovers they can bring. We are going to the local playground and I have organised a couple of games- the actual facilitation of said games will most likely be delegated to John. I hope the weather holds out and we don't end up needing to go back to our house.

Anyway.. enough whining from me. Hope you all had a lovely Christmas or festivus or whatever you celebrate- if you celebrate... ugh! I'm tiring myself out!

Here is me at 31 weeks.. tired and bloated and needing water and good food!

Please leave me a comment! I love hearing from you!


Thursday, 23 December 2010

Money money money

I am hoping it will be fine  however I am beginning to have a little anxiety around how we are going to manage financially next year.

I have 10 weeks paid maternity leave from my work which I am taking at half pay over 20 weeks beginning in 4 weeks! (yikes!) So this will mean an increase in Centrelink payments (I hope). Then the 18 weeks of paid parental leave will start. And after that, we will be 100% reliant on Centrelink until I return to work in January 2012.

This freaks me out.

I know people do it all the time.. just, usually not US!

So.. the frugality will continue.. which is the way we want it anyway however it's nice to choose it rather than being forced into it.

The other thing is, out lovely housemate will be moving out mid next year as she is getting married so we are praying for the right person to come and take her place in our home. It really needs to be the RIGHT fit for our family. If you know of anyone wanting to live close to Melbourne city and who would like to join our somewhat chaotic household, please let us know!

If we don't find anyone we will have to move.. and probably to a teeny-tiny apartment. Which would not be ideal!

Anyway.. enough complaining... it's nearly Christmas!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Choc chip cookies... a (not so) secret family recipe

Chocolate chip cookies

125g butter softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
125g choc chips (I use milk, dark and white together)
60g chopped walnuts (optional but nice)

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C. 
Cream together butter and sugars, add vanilla and lightly beaten egg. Mix in SR flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Stir in choc chips and walnuts. 

Roll into balls (teaspoonfuls) and place on a greased and lined biscuit tray making sure to leave space for spreading. 

Bake in moderte oven for 10-12 mins or until lightly golden. Allow to cool on the tray for approx 5 mins before transferring to wire racks. Makes approx 40 small biscuits. 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

30 week bump

It might just be what I am wearing, but my bump doesn't seem as big. Maybe I'm just getting used to this thing.

I weighed myself this morning and a pretty happy to report that I am 15kg up from my starting weight. I know this sounds like a lot to some people but for someone who gained nearly 40 in her first pregnancy this is good news! Now I just need to lay off the shortbread and mince pies over Christmas and we should be able to scrape in an even 20kg gain for the whole pregnancy (how average of me!)

Just wanted to post a little shout-out to Danielle at Hello Owl. You and your family are in my prayers and in my heart. Big hugs. Please go over there and offer some support.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Sad sack...

I have been totally miserable for most of the day.

For no reason..

Friday, 17 December 2010

Advent activities- toenail painting and frozen beach walk

The message in today's advent pocket read "paint each other's toenails... even dads!"

I think Molly was more excited about this activity than any other we have done so far. 
John's a good sport.. he now has sparkly pink toenails to match ours.

Another advent activity was "eat fish and chips on the beach".. We pushed this one to tonight as there has not been a good time to do it however due to the freezing gale force winds coming off the water, we ate in the car and John and Molly ventured out for a quick walk (in completely inappropriate clothing!) before quickly retreating to the warm car!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

29 week update and a bit of a rant!

I am getting so many braxton hicks contractions at the moment. Baby Carr is so active and the movements cause these "practice" contractions and they really take my breath away. They are not painful at all but I do have to stop and concentrate on them at times. I am hoping this will get me all primed and ready to go into spontaneous labour before 42 weeks gestation.

I am happy to be patient and wait for baby to come when he/she is ready this time, however I do really hope things start before 42 weeks. If baby does wait that long I will be having regular monitoring to ensure babe & I are healthy and well and, assuming all is fine, we will be waiting for baby to arrive in his or her own time.

At around 20 weeks (when others were having anomaly scans which we chose to avoid) I was beginning to wish we knew the sex of our baby. Other's started talking about their babies using "him" or "her" and I began feeling that it would be kind of nice to be able to speak in a more familiar way about our little one. But having made the decision a long time ago (after reading many articles suggesting that ultrasounds may not be as safe for baby as is commonly thought) to avoid unnecessary scans, we were stuck not knowing whether I was growing a little boy or another little girl.

I can happily say that I am so glad we don't know. I am a believer that there are not many true surprises in life and this is something that we feel will add to the experience of birthing this baby. We didn't know with Molly either. I am getting so excited about giving birth and welcoming a new life earthside to join our family. Molly can't wait and is beginning to feel impatient about when babe will arrive.

For the record, my hunch is that it is a boy and that I will come into labour on March 5th 2011. It will probably be wrong but I thought it was worth recording in case I am right!

My feelings about the birth itself swing between a serene sense of calm anticipation to a little bit of panic and anxiety about how I am going to handle the pain. I have a good understanding of the physiology of birth and the way hormones interact to assist a mother to naturally manage the pain however I only have a medical induction to compare it to... the induction was absolutely awful and I did not cope at all. I know from hearing stories and reading lots of information that a chemically induced labour is vastly different to one in which the woman comes into labour spontaneously and goes on to feel safe and supported through her labour and birth without stimulus to bring her out of "the zone" and affect the steady release of oxytocin.

Something that eases my mind about these fears is that I have made plans to give me the best chance possible of being able to have this kind of birth. I am birthing at home as long as baby & I remain well, I have an independent midwife who I really like and respect (and more importantly, she respects me and my choices), my support people (John and Mum) are on board and agree with my choice to birth at home, I am keeping well and healthy and I am staying out of the hospital system unless there is a medical need for me to enter it.

The number one factor influencing how you birth is your choice of care provider (should you choose to have one). If you have a care provider (Ob) with a high caesarian rate or a high episiotomy rate, you are likely to be an addition to their statistics. On the flip side, if you hire a midwife who usually sits in the other room knitting or reading and allowing the mother to do the work of bringing a baby earthside in privacy, you will probably have this kind of experience yourself.

What I am saying, is DO YOUR RESEARCH! And choose the care provider who fits with your own birth philosophy. If your philosophy does not match that of your care provider, you will find yourself fighting your way through the whole experience- this is NOT what a birthing woman needs.

If you want a VBAC, find the care provider who has the most experience and the best stats in supporting women to achieve this.

You are the CEO of your body and of your birth. YOU make the decisions. Just let them be well informed decisions..

Sunday, 12 December 2010

29 Weeks..

Advent-ure and Christmas rituals we love..

I am unashamedly a lover of Christmas.. Of course, there are many many aspects of Christmas that I detest (mostly around materialism, wastefulness and greed), but the season itself, and how we choose to celebrate it brings me joy nonetheless.

Over the last few years we have been practicing being more frugal, wasting less, making more and giving truly meaningful gifts. We have also focused on creating family rituals that revolve around togetherness and fun. These are aside from the community and churchy stuff that we also do.

A few of these rituals include;
- Decorating the house with a Christmas tree and adding several home made additions each year. This year we have made paper chains, painted Christmas paintings and have hung the new (old) Advent calendar that was recently bought by my sister in law from the op-shop.

- Christmas cooking. This starts some time in early December (fruit "super" balls, gingerbread angels/stars/house, shortbread, fruit cakes etc) and finishes Christmas day with the baking of Christmas morning cinnamon scrolls and any lunch/dinner fare that we may be serving up. Oh, and a pav... can't forget the pav! Molly has requested a peppermint crisp topping this year after eating some at a friend's party yesterday. I am a traditionalist and like strawberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit but I am willing to be flexible so I may come up with a way to combine both! Fun!

- Women's Christmas brunch... now this sounds very "hoity-toity" however, it is really just an excuse for the women in my family to stop, eat, drink tea and gass-bag. Not sure when this is happening this year but I hosted it last year and I think the torch was passed on to the mother-in-law. Better confirm this soon!!

- Going to Nana and Pa's to put up their tree and decorate it. This is done at the beginning of December and the kids (although it was just Molly this year) receive a special Christmas-themed gift from Nana and Pa to use in the lead up to Christmas. Molly was given a cool sticker book this year.

- The advent calendar. This is a new one this year! It involves getting a lolly (yes, we do lollies.. it's Christmas after all!) and a written message with an activity to be completed during the day. Eg. Yesterday was "make icecream sundaes" and the day before was "go op-shopping with Dad". There are lots of funny and some more meaningful ideas, some of which I copied from one of my favourite bloggers Owlet. I will come back with some advent calendar activity updates as they happen!

So Christmas is a special time for us in our family.

What do you do for Christmas?? Why not write a post about it? I'd love to read it! Go on, go write one and let me know (in the comments) when it's done so I can steal some of your ideas share in the joy!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Eggs & pelvic pain...

After suffering for several weeks with fairly severe pelvic pain, a friend of mine suggested lecithin to ease the pain. I had never heard much about lecithin before so I did what all good bloggers do and I "Googled it"..

I found out that a great source of lecithin is the humble chicken egg!

So three days later, and eating 2 eggs per day, I can confidently say that my pelvic pain has eased substantially! I am quite shocked at the super swift result! I am so thankful to my friend for suggesting it... 

I have some exercises from my osteo and have been advised to get a support belt..

If this combination (eggs, exercises & belt) is all it takes to feel better, I'm stoked! 

Here's a little photo post.. just because..

A few from our trip to Aireys.. I didn't take many pics at all! My fave is John with his gigantic icecream from Anglesea. 

A few snaps of Molly painting Christmas paper.. and herself

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


We are heading home today after a beautiful few days on the coast. My Aunty and Uncle have owned a property in Aireys Inlet for many many years. In fact, Paul built his first house here when he was 19. He is now 54. The first house burnt to the ground in the Ash Wednesday fires. He was insured and re-built (the wonders of being a builder). In 1999 he and my Aunty decided to move the existing house on to one half of the block, sell it, and build on the other half. The house they built then is the house I'm sitting in  now! It was built to accommodate 12 people comfortably but is not huge and feels really homely and special with hard wood floors and a beautiful open plan kitchen/living area.

I first came here when I was 11 years old, and have enjoyed many summers, winters, and in-betweens over the 15 years. Now Molly gets to enjoy the ritual too.

There is a family of king parrots (all the males are named Paulie and the females Pauline) that visit daily and sit on your knee if you have some seed to offer. There are also bully Cockatoos who scare away the Paulie/ines.. We don't like them.. Molly asks for us to shoo them away as she is really frightened of them. They are pretty awful compared to the beautiful king parrots.

The surf beaches are amazing (albeit scarily powerful) but we like the inlet as it is calm and clean after high tide each day and there is a huge river-like passage of water with shallows that Molly loves playing in and deeper channels where it is possible to swim. On Monday went for a walk there and, since it was cool and overcast, did not pack swimming stuff but once there the draw of the water was irresistible and Molly stripped off and did a nudie run. I wish I felt comfortable doing the same but alas, the beach is not as secluded as I would need it to be able to feel I could do that. We went back yesterday with swimming gear and I had a very relaxing swim/float in the inlet. Totally gorgeous.

We are now waiting for my uncle to wake up and cook us BBQ bacon & eggs brunch..

Packing up to go home after that.. very sad..

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

And we're back online!

The third trimester is upon me! Where did that time go??

We just got our connection back after over a week! Apparently we had a corroded line or something. I don't really care as long as we have a connection back! Admittedly, I did spend too much money on my mobile internet over the last week to access email and Twitter. Proves my addiction to this thing. 

So.. what have we been doing since the forced silence? 

We put up the Christmas tree and Molly and I worked together on some Christmas-type craft.

We have been swimming like fishes and Molly is getting really good! She has gone up to level D2 at her swimming lesson and is now the only 3 year old in a class with 5 and 6 year olds (!!).. She looks so tiny with the group however as soon as she is in the water she is no different. I love how her swimming school progresses them through the levels at their own rate and not just as a group. 

I am loving the swimming myself too. The feeling of weightlessness and freedom of movement I get is just something else. I bought a cheap pair of maternity bathers/swimmers/togs last week and I am so much more comfortable in a cossie that actually fits. My endurance in the water is still really good, which is lovely as I am now pretty much restricted to swimming for exercise due to some pretty bad pelvic instability and abdominal separation (4 fingers!!). I have even been advised to invest in a maternity belt/brace thingy. Ugh! The osteo has recommended I cut down on my walking (*cry!*) and to be super careful with yoga as there is a good chance I will injure myself. An injury is the last thing I need before planning an active birth at home. So, swimming is it really.. oh, and some light body weight resistance exercises (mainly for the legs and butt) and pelvic floor work.  

Baby is still doing flips and I am looking forward to him/her settling in a head down position. The head under the ribs thing is getting a bit old. I am getting increasingly frustrated with people telling me that I must be due soon. The sympathetic look they give me when I say I still have 3 months to go doesn't make me feel any better. I can only imagine the looks of panic I'll get when I venture out of the house closer to the due date.

Speaking of due dates, I have a feeling about March 5th 2011. And I have boy vibes... So there, it's out there now. It will probably be later and a girl, but thought I should record this in case it's right. lol

I am attending my first ever ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association) meeting on Friday and I am looking forward to meeting a group of mamas who care about human milk for human babies as much as I do. Hopefully Molly will like the kids too. I am becoming more and more aware of our families choice to live in an intentional community based on loving and connecting with marginalised and underprivileged people. There is so much Molly is learning about how we are all different and all the same, and what a beautiful thing this is.. Living like this though, we have compromised certain things.. Often (but not always of course), this means that the kids Molly spends her time with have quite high needs and sometimes quite significant behavioural/attachment/social issues which can be a lot for Molly to deal with. She has never mentioned it in the past however she has recently started saying she doesn't want to be around certain kids as she is worried they wont share with her or might be too aggressive. She can rarely just relax and play. I have realised that she has no really close (and local dwelling) peers who are really similar to her in age, interests, language development etc. The closest is an 8 year old! This is just not fair on her and I am hoping that there are some children she can connect with through the ABA group. 

I should probably go and spend some time with hubby. It's our anniversary on Saturday.. 6 years of marriage! Wow! Time flies! 

I hope you all enjoy the first day of summer tomorrow! 

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Recipe: Lactation cookies

I have seen a few different recipes for these cookies and I intend to make myself a huge batch to enjoy during our baby-moon.

Lactation Cookies

Makes approx 72 cookies

* 1 cup butter or spread
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal*
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
* 1 cup or more chocolate chips/sultanas/almonds (whatever takes your fancy)
* 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast** (be generous)

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips. Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment. The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.

Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

*can be found at any local health food store.

**Don't substitute brewer's yeast for anything else... that's what makes them work!

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