Saturday, June 26, 2010

summer days

The weather is so lovely at the moment. It's truly summer. It feels like we've been waiting for this summer for so long. For the last few years the summers here in Ireland have been rubbish. 2 weeks in June or even May and then rain right through until winter and beyond. So it is heavenly to get up in the morning to yet another fine day. The first thing we do is open all of the doors and allow summer in and the kids out.
The sky is like this... I adore big blue summer skies. They remind me of childhood summers in Germany and of lazy days on the beach in Zanzibar. We've been taking it nice and easy under the blue sky...
much of our time is spent playing with water. This is actually a sandpit bought for Benny by our friend for his birthday. We've yet to get sand from the beach but we fill it with water in the morning and it lasts all day and is played with almost non stop.

We've also been doing lots of swinging.
I forgot to show you this. Andy made it the week before Joshua arrived. A few days pre-birth Andy and I went fishing together on the other side of the river, although we caught nothing we found this timber and brought it home and that evening Andy made the kids this swing. He is so handy and I just love his creativity! The whole thing cost us 8 euro for the bolts as Andy already had the rope, tyre and buoy. The kids love, it needless to say.

We've also been doing lots of drawing. We got Rebe some new pens yesterday and there is nothing like new pens to inspire you...
Me with 10 fingers and 10 toes under a rainbow

A picture of the world with our house and daddy on top of it. The blue around the world is the sky.
She seems to have picked up this idea from a conversation with Andy about google earth.

An anatomically correct bull (note large pink willy behind all the legs). Gotta love Rebe's drawings :-)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1 week old

I can't believe this little boy has been here for a week already. Although it seems like he's been here forever too. He's doing really great, his little face has taken on it's normal shape; all the swelling, bruising and shape shifting from the birth has gone (and by golly is he handsome). He is peeling all over bless him because he was so well cooked so I'm rubbing him with calendula oil as often as possible. He's feeding like a devil and is obviously delighted that our milk has come in. I think he was waiting for it. His first couple of days he's been quite windy and I gave him fennel tea between feeds to help with the wind. It really has helped and we're down to one dose a day and I'm sure in a couple of days he won't need it at all.
He sleeps really quite well and is finding his little rhythm.

Rebe and Benny are really taken with him. Benny wants to hold him all the time and whenever he sees him he goes over to him and says 'hawow doa' (hello Joshua) in a really sweet high pitched little voice. Rebe draws him lots of pictures and likes to tell people about him.

Love this wee man (did I mention that already?)

Today I finished the present I want to give to my midwife (the real one not Andy). At all of my pre and post natal checks her son has been with her. He is a lovely little lad of 2 1/2 and knows his stuff. He helps out and knows what each piece of her equipment is for, however as she only has one of each thing there is sometimes a bit of a tussle over who is going to hold and operate what. So, I thought I would make him his own little midwife's kit that is a copy of what his mummy has...
a stethoscope

here is Rebe modeling it.

a blood pressure gauge

and a doppler
being used on my slightly flatter tummy.

I'm really pleased how they all came out. I am going to buy a little black bag to put them all in (like his mummy's). I hope he'll like them and I am also hoping that they might mean his mummy gets a bit of a break from worrying about her own equipment being broken.
Now I can get on with a bit of knitting (between breastfeeds that is).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

first day alone with 3

Bubs went home yesterday, which is always really difficult. She was such an enormous helps, words can't describe how special it was to have her here. Rebe, as usual, was distraught and cried most of the way home from the airport and Benny was wandering around this morning saying 'peebles don' (Peebles gone).
I have to say I have been a bit nervous about her leaving and Andy working and being here with the 3 kids alone for the first time. Luckily I'm feeling ok today and not too sore which is a big relief.
I got as prepared as possible and we are coping ok....
We did some dressing up this morning... Erm..have you seen a more beautiful fairy? Our friend came to visit us this morning which was so lovely. She brought these beautiful flowers from her garden along with strawberries, new potatoes and a dozen fresh eggs and....

no less than 3 cakes and a fruit can you get a better friend than that?
After she left I managed to get the 2 boys asleep so Rebe and I can afford a bit of quiet time...think I may cope.

Happy Birthday Benny!

On Sunday the 20th of June Benny became 2 years old.
Rebe made him a beautiful train decoration.

Proud as punch!

His favourite presents were little clay snails that Rebe had made for him. He was so delighted with them and has played with them a lot.

Look how happy he is about the snails.

Rebe was pleased with her 'unbirthday present' cat.

Benny got a really sweet cutlery set from my dear friend Annika. It even has his name on them. He kept putting them in and taking them out of the packet like a jigsaw..oh the mileage out of packaging!

Even if he only has 6 of them teeth really are useful!

This was another great present from his auntie and uncle in Brighton. It's a jigsaw track that has a wee train that will run on the track. The kids have played with this for hours, in fact they played with it so much that the battery in the train ran out and had to be replaced!

Benny's birthday crown.

This was a great wee find in a charity shop and he just loves it. Snails, birthday cats, his jigsaw train all get rides in the carriage.

For lunch Bubs made a real birthday tea, complete with crocodile sandwich. These used to be a staple of my childhood birthday parties and it was so cool to have one for Benny.

A birthday feast.

chocolate roll snails

snails on a leaf cake.

At the end of the day we had a bit of naked reading time in the garden...what better way to unwind. Even more exciting; with no prompting what so ever Benny did a poo in the potty! Was a surprise to us all and he was SO proud. He walked away with his hands on his hips and a massive grin on his face. What a big boy!

'Bappy Too Too' Benny! My darling boy. You have brought so much joy and pleasure and laughter into our lives since 2008 and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Love mummy x x

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Joshua's birth story (word and picture heavy)

Wow, it's been 2 days since Joshua was born and I'd like to record his birth story here. It was a pretty amazing and intense period of time. He was 13 days over due in the end and born on a Thursday morning at home.
On Tuesday I'd had stop start pains all day, although there were some contractions in there they were all very high up in my back and although very sore didn't develop into anything useful. My midwife called out to me in the evening to check and examined me. I was 3 cm dilated and everything had stopped.
I managed to get some sleep that night (after yet another false start) and Andy and I made our way into the hospital for another check up the next morning.
Everything was still going to plan and the hospital was happy to let me go another couple of days and booked me in for an induction for Friday morning if nothing happened in the mean time.
Once we got home I decided to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have this baby on Friday morning in hospital. Once I made that decision to stop fretting I felt a bit better, being just able to get on with life until then, and if, in the mean time, anything happened all the better.
I took some caster oil (my midwife swears by this), but to be honest I have a very strong constitution and bar a little unpleasantness and feeling very sick after taking the nasty stuff, it did nothing for me.
I took the advice of a dear friend of mine, she said; get Andy to put the kids to bed, you and your mum go for a walk along the beach and pop in for a glass of wine in the local pub. Come home have a lavender bath and go to bed.... I did this and it was blissful I felt so relaxed and snuggled up in bed at around 10pm.
At this point I'd had a couple of niggles but put them to the back on my mind after the experience of the last few days.
At 11.30pm I was woken by a massive contraction. It had me 'chickening' around the bedroom. Andy came up and asked if I was OK, in an abusive way I told him no I wasn't! I had a couple more painful contractions that were maybe 10 and 7 mins apart. I decided then to ring my midwife, she said she'd be over as soon as she could.
Andy and I decided to go downstairs, in the kitchen the contractions were coming thick and fast (as was the abuse I was dishing out to poor Andy). He quietly went off and made me a little nest in the playroom with a shower curtain and some old sheets. He came to get me some water and I said to him that I didn't think Mary (our midwife) would make it in time. I was getting no break between contractions really; I only remember 3 times when I could stand up straight and breath for a few moments before the next one.
We moved into the playroom, it was way too hot and I wanted to walk out again but an enormous contraction had me down on my knees leaning on the sofa, my body needed to push. I was a little scared but knew that if I just listened to my body it would be ok. I also said this to Andy when he wanted to know what he/we should do. He tried to get on a pair of Mary's gloves (it was way too small and broke) and I wouldn't let him leave to get hot water or to wash his hands becuase I knew this baby was so close to being born.
So, there we were a few more pushes and the head was out. Andy was great, really reassuring, he talked me through the whole thing; 'The head's half way out', 'There's dark hair', 'There's a little hand up at the face', 'Here it comes', 'You did it, it's a little boy!'. And there he was delivered by Andy. He gave out a few little cries and I knew he was ok. Andy carefully passed him to me through my legs and as I picked him up the placenta slipped out.
At this point my mum came down the stairs and helped me to sit on the sofa with the baby and the placenta on my knee. We were both wrapped in towels. It was now 12.40am. At about 1am our midwife arrived, she was lovely and very surprised how quick it all was. She helped Andy cut the cord (once he'd stopped shaking and had had a cup of tea!). Here we are just after the cord was cut.
We transferred upstairs and Mary helped with the first breast feed...

The first feed

Once he'd had some boob, Mary checked and weighed him

He was a whopping 9lb 4oz! Which is massive for me... (Rebe was 4lb 12oz and Benny 7lb 12 oz)

Here he is all dressed in his nightie. Look how swollen his poor little face is. Sitting head so far down in my pelvis for so long must've taken it's toll (I know it has done on my pelvis :-)).

Everything was cleaned up, I was checked and Mary was off on her way back home by 3am. We all snuggled down and managed to get a couple of hours of rest before the older 2 woke up and came through.

They were delighted with the buggies that the baby had brought for them and of course they were delighted with their new little brother.

Proud sister having her first cuddle.

So there it is, our unexpected unassisted delivery. It was amazing and beautiful if somewhat intense! I feel very proud of how well Andy coped and I am completely in love with our new arrival.
He's doing great, been a bit windy but fennel tea is helping with that brilliantly. He's sleeping lots (Angel by name angel by nature) and is all round a happy little camper.
I'm also well, still a little tired and my back is still pretty sore, but I know these things will just take time.
I'm so grateful for my mum for being here, she has been such an amazing support and help (thank you Bubs).
Right off to bake a cake now, it's Benny's 2nd birthday tomorrow!!

Friday, June 18, 2010


He's here at last!!
Joshua Angel
Born at 12.40 am on Jun 17th 2010
Weight: 9lb 4 oz

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

41 +4

Still pregnant...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

quick update

No baby yet I'm afraid, but I thought I'd give a quick update. Hospital was really good yesterday, I was so pleasantly surprised!
Andy and I dropped the kids to a friend and got there about 10am. We were seen for a scan straight away. Baby doing great, saw a great picture of the ribs and spine and a lovely wee heart beating away hard. Lots of fluid around baby and baby had a full bladder. Got bp and urine checked all great there too and no waiting. I saw the registrar (I thought it was going to be a bit of a battle here), but he looked at my notes and said to come back at 40+12 (Wednesday) for a scan if nothing had happened by then. The word 'induction' was not mentioned!
All done in less than an hour, so Andy and I had a cake and coffee. Well, it'd be rude not to!
I'm feeling so much better now, I suppose I was quite stressed and worried by it all and didn't realise how much it was affecting me physically.
Also, my mum arrived in the evening...she almost didn't...but that's a long story...
We're thrilled to have her here, it's very exciting that she'll be here for the birth.
So come on baby Angel, we're really ready for you now!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

41 weeks today

Yup we're still here, 41 weeks and still no baby!

I've been feeling pretty fed up and sore the past few days and find myself wishing this last bit of pregnancy away. It is made easier though by having such sweet children...

...who pick me gorgeous bunches of flowers. Rebe says these are called 'love you' flowers and are specially for people who are grumpy or sad (well needed in my case ;-)). And because she's not allowed to use the kettle, she's making me lots of cups of tea like this...

My dear little people! Just wish the last little person would make an appearance soon.

We're dropping Rebe and Benny to a friend today and going up to the hospital for a check up. I saw my doctor yesterday (not a home birth supporter) and both he and my midwife think it's time we go for a wee visit there. Hopefully all will be well and progressing nicely, if I'm favourable I'll get a sweep, see if that kicks starts anything like it did Benny's birth.

Best of all my mum arrives tonight (the kids are sooo excited). So I can stop worrying about logistics and relax a little more knowing the older two will be so well looked after leaving Andy and I free to focus, for a while, on me and the new wee one.

Hope you're all well and hope I will have some real news for you soon x