Thursday, June 30, 2011

Antenatal #2

A lot of you have asked many of the same questions in regards to antenatal classes so I thought I would address a few of the frequent ones here.

Antenatal classes run over 6 weeks (you can also take a 2 day intensive class) and are optional and free. You don't have to take them, although most midwives and the health care system will thoroughly encourage you to. They cover topics from pregnancy (hormones, changes, complications) to labour and birth (positions, phases, techniques, drugs, hospitals) to newborn care (breastfeeding, nappy changing, clothing, health). In our class there are only 6 couples and an instructor, there are usually about 10 couples.

You can ask questions, discuss topics and voice concerns all in a safe environment. The brilliant thing is everyone is in (almost) the same situation as you so they are probably thinking the same thing. In our group everyone is really lovely, we all seem to get on well and there is lots of laughter. Our instructor is wonderful and kind and makes a lot of (awesome) jokes.

I hope that answers some of your questions :)

Last night we focused on the different stages of labour and support. We are saving the pushing stage till next week but covered the others. I wont say too much about it, except that I am learning even more that labour is a perfectly natural and normal thing to go through for a woman and my body was made to do it.

It has surprised me how much the class endorses being at home during labour (and birth). (which is awesome).

Right at the end of the class the women and men split up and we had to make our own support super heros. We had to give them names, draw their physical characteristics and their personality characteristics. The women focused largely on the personality. We wanted gentle but strong, encouraging, listening, maternal, funny, caring sort of support person. The men came back with "Maternity Mike" and he was an all practical support person. He had the ipod, the car seat, the hot towels, parking money, he had whatever you needed. I found those differences to be slightly surprising but also fairly typical. I think the support person (typically men) have a hard job during labour. Somehow they have to know exactly what we need and want and to what degree and to see us in pain that they can do little to relieve.

I'm adding sandwhiches (not made by me) to our birth plan.

Extra for Experts: Check out this blog post by a favourite blog of mine, its her husbands account of what its like to have a baby. You can read it here!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Baby, Week 30 Update

Braxton Hicks Contractions: Zero

Times I Have Thrown Up: Zero

Thoughts This week: Baby girl is big! She's starting to kick less and starting to squirm around more, space must be in short supply in there. It's so good having a name for her. Whenever Graeme and I say it in usual conversation we sort of give each other a knowing look and a smile. We love saying "Camillas room" or "Is Camilla asleep?" etc.

I only have 10 more weeks to go and I know they are going to fly so I am determined to enjoy them as much as possible. This week it has really struck me how much I am doing the will of God right now. When I think about it I am overwhelmed with the truth that my body was made and designed to bear children and to nourish them. The human body is a wonderfully complex thing and I get surprised at how well it works. My body takes care of its self and changes and develops to accomodate our growing daughter and there is little I do for the process. Its really remarkable. I am learning to trust more in myself and God.

Its a wonderful thing.

This week I sorted through all of the clothes that Camilla has been given (heaps!) and figured out what we still need to buy. It turns out we only have a few newborn things which surprised me so I'm so glad I checked! I started washing today. It will be a slow process.

Dearest Camilla,

I am so thankful that you are a part of our lives already. You have already changed us in ways I could never describe.

These last months have taught me so much about God as our Father. He is looking after us right now and is so attentive to our every thought and desire. I am praying that as you grow you will know of God as your good Father and you will be filled with his peace and love like we have been. Infact, right now as God is knitting you together you probably know him better than we do :)

Sit tight, it wont be long :)

Love, Ma xxx

Friday, June 24, 2011

Garter Stitch Socks

This week I made socks for our little one.

I had to learn how to sssp, 3 needle bind off and master the use of double pointed needles. They are so fiddly and tricky! I found the free pattern here. Check it out and give it a try! The instructions are super easy to understand and cover every step.

I love the detailing on the front with the garter stitch stripe, and the seam that goes across the toe is the result of a 3 needle bind off. That detail was actually what attracted me to the pattern and made me want to knit them.

The back has a garter stitch seem too which is actually no seem at all and is just a design feature.

I ended up with a small hole in one of the heels and I couldn't for the life of me figure it out. The second sock I did was 2 rows longer than the other one. Doh. I guess that's what happens when you knit while watching Hells Kitchen.

I hope they fit our girl - If I get time and bored enough I may just embroid her initials into the side of them.

Next week I'm making baby leg warmers :)

Dear Baby, Week 29 Update

Braxton Hicks contractions: 0

Times I have vomited: I can't remember anything that happened in the last week. 

Thoughts this week: Fat, fat and more fat. She's pounding it on (hopefully). Next week i'm on the countdown. THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO!! I am well aware that all a baby needs is warmth, food and love, but nappies would help, so would a car seat (we have one!) and a place for her to sleep. Whenever I think about it I feel panicked that we are so unprepared. I must make a list and a plan and get to it!

Dear Sweet Thing,

This week I panicked that I was not taking good care of you. Maybe I'm not eating enough, or enough of the right things, or maybe I shouldn't have walked past that man who was smoking, or had that hot shower, or gone in that hot pool.  I'm sure that will be the first in many instances where I will feel inadequate and... guilty. 

I want you to know that your Dad and I are learning every single step of the way. We will make mistakes and I am sorry in advance for those. There will probably be times later on when you shout at us, say that we are being unfair or... If that ever happens, I am so so so sorry. We really do want the best for you and we are trying so hard to learn everything we can. You're on a journey with us and we are on a journey with you.

Also, I'm sorry if we ever give you a younger sister and she gets her ears pierced earlier than we let you. We are super protective of you.

We chose your name this week. We had a list of great names that we both liked but none of them seemed to work out, then a good friend of ours came to stay they night and suggested her name. Your Dad and I both immediately said we loved it. I hassled your Dad all week to make a decision and decide if he wanted to actually name you that like I did. A week later he was setting up a new password for something and when he told me it it was your name!! I had to chase him down and pounce on him for a hug. We were so giddy! Camilla Louise, I hope you love the name. I think its very stylish and mature and classic. The middle name is from your Aunty Amy. She means the world to me and I wanted you to have a part of her name.

Stay safe and healthy, 

Love, your Mama x 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Antenatal #1

Graeme and I began our journey through antenatal classes last night.

Once a week for six weeks we learn about pregnancy, birth and the care of a newborn in a class with 5 other couples and an instructor. We are choosing to birth at home but couldn't get into the specialty home birth classes so we ended up doing them through Burwood Hospital.

I was really nervous as we approached the hospital. I've never done anything like this before but I was very thankful that at Church some times I have to go and talk to that new person, despite my mood or nerves, so I felt I could handle the situation.

We found the class room easy peasy and I shook hands with the instructor and introduced her to Graeme. She gave us name tags and a booklet and Graeme quickly buggered off to the bathrooms leaving me to the large room with one other nervous young couple sitting in it.

Don't you hate it when you have to choose where to sit? You can't sit on the other side of the room and ignore them because you know you'll have to speak to them at some point, but then you can't go sitting right next to them and invade their space.

I chose the sitting next to them option.

I introduced myself and their names were Dan and Gina. They were lovely!

I sat down and asked the instructor if it was going to be just like the movies. She laughed and said she hoped not and asked what I expected. I said I expected white boards and pointed out the 3 of them that were in the room. (I later realised there were only two whiteboards and I was going crazy. She might have thought that at the time too.)

I made small talk with Dan and Gina and awaited Graemes return. More couples moved in and I said hi to all of them. It was awkward, but not really. Everyone for the most part was really lovely.

We had to get into couple pairs and introduce themselves and tell them about our pregnancy. When it was time to share everyone had so far been on a relatively similar tired and sick journey. I was secretly (and now not so secretly) pleased that others had been through this too and were willing to say so.

The instructor showed us a model of a pelvis and how it moves to give birth. She pushed a baby through it and my insides churned. She also told us about all of the hospitals and how that statistics are much more in your favour of having a healthy birth if you do it at home (I smiled at this). We learnt about making informed decisions for your family (use your brain) (B=benefits. R=risks. A=alternatives. I=something. N=Now or later)

Graeme made a lot of jokes, I was the question master (Seriously. How do preggo people NOT know what a mucus plug is??) and I blushed every single time I had to talk.

We had delicious hot chocolates and I felt like we made new friends. I am definitely looking forward to next week!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still Rippilin'

My Ripple Blanket is still going strong. I'm using Lucys pattern from her blog and its crazy easy. I'm a serious newbie crochet'er and I have only made one mistake so far. It took me 3 minutes to learn (I watched youtube clips for each of the stitches) so if I can do it you can too! Take up crocheting tomorrow (after you get yourself a hook and yarn!)

The only downside is its crazy repetitive so its hard to stay inspired. I hope to have it finished in the next few weeks. At this rate I'm averaging about one row a day. One night i'll do five, then I wont pick it up for days on end. I must combat this!

I used cheap acrylic yarn and some of them are really soft (the dark pink, purple and green) but the others are very rough (the blue, light pink and yellow). I think I thought about this when I was choosing the colours but I decided to ignore my thoughts. Now i'm paying for it. It results in different textures and probably wouldn't be suitable for a soft baby blanket. It may just have to be a "to look at" one, or one for my lap :)

Mostly, its just really exciting to be making something for us to keep, rather than to sell on. I realised I've never actually made anything (that worked out) for myself or our family. YAY!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Things To Do...

... When you are 29 weeks pregnant...

  • Begin a weekly countdown on the fridge
  • Decide on a name (we have a great one but I still dont know if I want you to know it. I'm still getting used to it myself)
  • Start antenatal classes
  • Make a game out of guessing what body parts are trying to push themselves through my belly button.
  • Refer to Graeme as "Spikey Man" everytime he gets close
  • Realise that having a newborn is going to happen in a matter of weeks and feel completely inadequate and unprepared
  • Start getting help with the groceries (Graeme offering made me cry)
Just a little update :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

CHCH Quake Update

Hi Friends :)

I've said it before and i'll say it again, we don't have internet access at our house yet, and the reception is really bad to be able to jump on Graemes iphone.

I wanted to stop in and say that we are well after the quakes today. I managed to do some weeding in the garden, finish baking cookies (despite the power being off. House wife extraordinaire.) and start a puzzle by candlelight and Graeme got to come home from work early. All after being scared out of my wits and thinking the house would come down on top of me. We still have no power and a trickle of water coming out the tap so we're at a friends house now with delicious steak in the pan.

My thoughts and love go out to the stressed and lonely tonight. Praying that you would be safe and have a spirit of happiness :)

Peace and love, Christchurch xx

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dear Baby, 28 Week Update

Braxton Hicks contractions: 0

Times I have vomited: 2

Thoughts this week: Her eyes will be partially opened, although there’s not much to see in there. She has known when its light and dark for a while now, unfortunately she hasn’t learn that darkness is a time for sleeping. She kicks and spins whenever we are trying to sleep and will wake me up in the middle of the night. I had my first bout of heart burn this week. Extremely painful burning acid shooting up my throat and into my mouth. This is because a preggo hormone relaxes all of my muscles and joints so everything can expand – this also means my oesophagus is relaxing and there’s not much I can do about the acid.

For the first time I thought and said outloud to Graeme and I didn’t want to be pregnant that day. I woke up sore and tired and just wanted a day off. He laughed at me, rubbed my back and tried to make the rest of my day a little bit easier. Bless him.

We also decided this week to have a home birth as our first birthing option. It was a pretty easy decision to make when you compared all of the options. Our midwife is excellent and I am learning all I can about birth and babies to be as prepared as possible. When it comes down to it, I was made to do this. That fact scares away any concerns very quickly.

I had my last monthly midwife appointment this week where she took bloods and tested my pee again. All good for diabetes and protein with the blood results coming later in the week. From now on the appointments are fortnightly and we are booked in for Anti Natal classes to begin in a fortnight as well.

28 Weeks Baby Bump. Yes, that is my belly button sticking out from my blurry bump.

Lucy Rose Burgess in my arms. Taken on Steves iPhone. Not even 2 days old!

Dear Baby,

Dad passed some of his most beloved books into your name this week. I can’t wait till you can sit in his lap and he can read them to you. Your Dad isn’t a reader but I think you might just change that.

This week your good friend Lucy was born. She is so sweet! Her Mum and Dad have taught me so much already about parenthood and they are good friends of ours. I know you’ll have a lot to do with them when you grow up.

Love, Mum

Dear Baby, Week 27 Update

Weight: I have stopped weighing myself. Mainly because we don't own any scales but also because I"m not particularly concerned with my weight.

Braxton Hicks Contractions: 1 (after a sneeze)

Times I have vomited: Zero

Thoughts this week: Baby girl has started regularly hiccupping this week. It feels different to standard kicks and punches because it is very rhythmic (you could almost predict when the next one comes, usually a few seconds later) and often vibrates and feels like a "thud" down there. Hiccuping is *really* annoying especially when I had them while sitting in Church. I was on a plastic chair so I could feel them vibrate through my whole body and although they don't hurt they were incredibly frustrating and annoying.

My skin is super sensitive. I tried to exfoliate (bad idea) and basically scrapped off 2 layers of skin leaving it burning and itchy. Boo!

I just discovered this photo I had taken from the afternoon of finding out our news! It's blurry but I will never get this moment captured again so thought I would share it. Yes, I did pee on that, and yes I did keep it. 

Dearest Babe,
This week we moved into our new home that you will be born into. It's just the right size for our growing family and it will be safe and warm for you. We've been here a few days now and whenever I walk into your room I say "Hello Baby!". I'm Practicing.

Can't wait to meet you soon!
Love, Mama xxx

Sister Hairstyle

My beloved Sissy is 6 years older than me and has always been an icon of style, education, work ethic and generally being a lovely person. I love her to pieces!

I was sorting through photos the other night to redo our photo albums and I came across photographic evidence of something we have always joked about: Having the same hair style.


I'm not sure if she'll tell you she ever copied me, but I honestly never copied her. We both just seemed to change our hair within weeks of each other and always ended up the same (ish).

And now, after 2 years of us both having long blonde hair, infront of all my readers I would like to introduce you to my latest bathroom creatios. I have not spoken to Amy in 2 weeks, so if she changes her hair - you'll know that I inspired it. Brunette again!!

What's your hair doing Amy?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Honey, I'm home!

This weekend we have had a Waffle & Game Party, our first out-of-town-guest-stay-over, an Icecream and Community screening and WELOVEIT!! 

We feel like newly weds again - everything is exciting and a novelty. I'm not sure how long that will last but while it does I am lapping it up :) Can I let you in on a little secret? In our 2+ years of being married we've never actually lived alone... It's a little bit nerve racking and a little bit exctiting! Up until now we've always had a boarder / flatmate to help cover expenses which has been cool and I would do it all over again. Living with others taught us a lot about our roles in a marriage and helped us to communicate well and be more hospitible + when we got married first we really wanted to be a blessing to others. We thought the best way to do this would be to take people under our wings and look after them a little bit and provide them with a nice environment to live in. But it is so nice to have our own space.

We have mostly unpacked, still to complete MiniMoos room and our bedroom. MiniMoo's can wait but I hope to have our bedroom unpacked by tomorrow.

We had a little surprise left for us in the storage cupboard when we moved in and put a light bulb in there: Some type of animal vomit! It. Was. Rank. A carpet cleaner has been around, a dehumidifier is running as we speak and another cleaner is coming around on Tuesday to finish the job off. Hopefully it removes the smell and if it doesn't they'll probably have to remove the carpet in there. Any other ideas to de-stink the little room?? If you come around before then, hopefully we have managed to mask it well enough with glade plug ins and carpet deodoriser. Hehe.

Its a long weekend, what are you doing with your extra day tomorrow?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Coming Home

"A house is made of brick and stone a home is made of love alone."

I have been searching for a home that can store and contain our love. A home that can provide relief and comfort after a long day at work. A home which is warm and safe for our ever growing family. A home that welcomes and heals people and teaches them about love and hospitality. I have been yearning for a contribution to our community of friends. Home, where our hearts can stay together no matter what time of day or where else we may be.

After viewing countless properties we were determined not to settle, we had a list of priorities that we needed in a home and over time and being worn down by pushy rental agents and disappointing viewings we began to compromise and applied for houses that didn't meet our needs.

We were too slow and others had applied and moved in, then we found this gem. It was our list and only slightly out of our budget. Budgets were reworked and raises were given and we applied.

We move in tonight!

There are so many things I am looking forward to but most of all I can't wait to have you over. We have missed you.

When I am ready I will have photos to show you and lists to share with you but in the meantime I am just grateful for provision and that God had a home for us. We will fill it with love <3
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