The Birth of Nicholas

It was just an average Wednesday night at my house. We had just finished dinner and were having some family time before Alexia was off to bed.I was sitting on the couch watching the two of them play when I thought I had peed myself. The first thought that went through my head was “yep serves me right for not doing my pelvic floor exercise’s”. I mean I get daily reminders on IG so I really shouldn’t forget. Anyways off I went to freshen up. I sat back down for only a few minutes and it happened again! What was going on I thought? and then the thought started crossing my mind “Is this my waters?” I mean I was only 36 weeks that day, it’s a little early.My husband could see the look of concern on my face and asked what was I thinking, I told him I kept peeing myself but I think it’s actually my waters, and like the typical male he is his response was “how am I meant to know?” I needed a second opinion, perhaps a female one this time, so I called my mother in law. She didn’t think it was, she told me I would no as it should be gushing out. But mother’s intuition, I knew it had to be my waters.

Alexia wasn’t well that night she had one of the worse ear infections she has ever had, so my mind got side tracked. I went to bed and decided that I would see what happened in the morning. We were both up bright and early, the waters slowed down so my mind was focused on getting Alexia to the doctors. By the time, I finished at the doctors with Alexia that adult nappy proved to me it was definitely my waters. I was ready to take Alexia to the hospital with me, but by some miracle I ran into my sister in law who was able to watch her. I got to the hospital and for the next 6 hours it was just a waiting game. All the doctors were too busy to see me and because I was 36.1 the midwifes were not allowed to touch me. So, with nothing to do but wait I was scrolling Instagram and Facebook for those 6 hours (somehow that 20% battery lasted). Finally, the doctors came to see me and confirmed my mother’s intuition, my waters were broken. It was funny because the doctor asked why I didn’t come in sooner, as being in the 36 weeks mark I could easily catch an infection. I was so tempted to say I was here 6 hours ago, but better not piss of the lady who had the tools in her hands, so close to my you no!! So here I was admitted to hospital thinking that my little man would be earth side with in that night or early morning. “Yeh right mum” By this time my head space was everywhere I was so excited with the anticipation that I would soon meet my beautiful little boy, but so sad that I had not seen or spoken to Alexia in a bloody long time.  My husband came to bring my stuff, and I was so excited for some form of interaction, that didn’t involve poking and pricking me. But with no signs of contractions yet, I sent him home to be with my little girl.

A few hours later, the doctors came around and told me that if my contractions didn’t start by morning, they would induce me. So, I got a good night sleep ready for the next big day (again or so I thought). I was up at 5 and getting myself ready, makeup and all, the nurse walked in and laughed at me. Please explain to me what else there is to do at 5am in the morning when they don’t even give you a TV in your room? Plus, if I look good, I feel good. Now I was waiting to find out what time I would be induced so I could call my husband to come, there was no use him sitting next to me, with no TV and only hospital food… well lucky we were in a hospital, because he may have needed medical attention. Now here is the thing, with constant rotation of doctors, what one promises the other doesn’t deliver. I asked the new doctor on that shift when I was being induced but I was only 36.1 so this other doctor didn’t want to do it, but they would review with the doctor on the previous shift. So, for the next few hours, I walked and walked and walked waiting to hear back from someone. I kid you not I did 15km walking the hospital over and over again (thanks Fitbit). After I started running out of breath I went back to my room to see what the verdict was and it was “GO HOME DANIELLA” come back next Wednesday when you are 37 weeks and we will induce you. Well I went a little UFC on the poor Doctor, who was yes from another shift. I tried to explain that I was told off from the very first doctor for not coming in as soon as my waters broke, because Nicholas was premmie and an infection could be highly dangerous. I was being medicated to prevent infection via IV, how could you just send me home? His response “take some oral medication and just relax at home”. My blood was boiling! But I did what I was told.

The next morning, I woke up to blood, I cursed myself, why did I go home? Why didn’t I refuse to leave the hospital? I rang them straight away to explain the situation but they told me it was normal and not to be concerned as it wasn’t BRIGHT. A few hours passed and it happened again, called again and same response. I was in two minds, you hear so many horror stories about not making it to the hospital in time and situations go wrong, I didn’t want that, but I knew the reality that they were overcrowded and would only send me home. My husband suggested we go out for a few hours to get my mind side tracked and try to relax as we still had 4 days until they would induce me. We went to visit Robert’s uncle and must have only been there an hour when it happened again, I told Rob to take me straight to the hospital and the only way they would discharge me is by physically throwing me out of the hospital themselves. (Those hormones got me dramatic good).

I got to hospital and waited another 4 hours before someone came to see me. I don’t know what is worse, waiting for the doctors to hurry up and come, or watching your husband’s face waiting for the doctors to come. I sent him outside that many times to have a smoke, even though he didn’t want to. I finally got examined and there was nothing new to report, I didn’t even say anything, I think my facial expressions alone said it. The doctor didn’t address me, only my husband, she told him to go home as they were admitting me. I would have honestly loved for someone to take a picture of my face then.

So, by the time they got me into a ward it was 11pm. I was so excited I actually had a room to myself with a TV. I think I could do the next few days here. Somehow, I think Nicholas knew I was a little excited, as 1 hour later exactly at 12am on Sunday July 8th 2018 my first contraction stated. And it was nothing like the contractions that I experienced with Alexia, they were intense my whole body was shaking. The nurse just happened to walk past and look at me in shock. I couldn’t even get my words out properly to say I was in labour, she walked into my room and said I’m getting the doctors down now. I was 4cm. You know how they say that walking brings on labour, well after the 15kms I walked before yes, I imagine that it brings on labour.

So, I called my husband to tell him to come down to the hospital, his mobile rings out, I try again and again, seriously!!  I try the house phone, nothing. I tried for 15 minutes, what was this man doing!! He made sure his phone was on loud before he left the hospital, how could he be sleeping through this, his going to miss the birth. So, I jump onto Facebook, nope he hasn’t been active in 2 hours. Checked when my next-door neighbour was last active, 3 hours ago. My head was just spinning by this time. I tried my mother in laws phone, no answer, my father in law the same thing. Finally, the brother in law came through, very casually like what are you doing up? I think then I was ready to burst out into laughter. I explained that I was in labour and I urgently needed for someone to drive to my house to wake up my husband, and told him he might need a brick to break the window as I doubt he would even here the bloody door bell.

Alleluia the doorbell woke him!! He arrived and I felt a lot calmer.

I asked the midwife if I could go in the bath, as that’s what I did with Alexia’s birth (until the last minute when she had to be vacuumed out). I had no need for any pain medication, the contractions were mild all because of the water. The water was gold. But because Nicholas was premmie I had to be hooked up to the monitors the whole time. So, I was laying on the bed flat on my back, it was so uncomfortable! And there my husband was stretched out on his comfortable recliner playing soccer on his phone, was he serious! But its ok, I made him feel bad every time the contractions hit.

I had 2 sets of midwifes before Nicholas was born and both of them unfortunately made me feel nervous and agitated. The nurses hardly checked on me, the power actually went out in my room and they didn’t notice until my husband alerted them. They also kept trying to get me to take some form of pain relive (I was more than a little loud) but I didn’t want it, I wanted it to be as similar experience to Alexia’s birth as possible. At this stage I was happy the visits got minimal. When they did check, me I was still only 4cm, I was in for a longer ride than I thought.

It was now 8.15am in the morning and the new midwife on shift came in along with a training midwife, she asked if I minded I said no. (After all, we all need to start somewhere.) And these two ladies were my angles. I had never felt calmer around a midwife this pregnancy then I did at that moment. I was so exhausted at this stage I said to her, I either need to pee or push or something out, she didn’t even check if I had dilated anymore, she said you know what you need to do. (I’m actually crying now as I’m writing this, because if it wasn’t for these ladies, things I think would have been so different) I started to push and it was all happening, it would have happened earlier if the attention was a little more attentive. 15 minutes later, I held the most precious boy in my hands. He was here, early but safe. Our bonding needs were met this time around, we did delayed cord clamping for 20 minutes and the skin on skin time with him was beautiful. I wish it happened with Alexia.

This experience was one I will never forget. They checked Nicholas through and he was perfect, he even weighed more than Alexia when she was born. I guess him coming that little bit earlier was a blessing for my HELLO!

The lead up to his birth might have been a little frustrating and terrifying, but those last 15 minutes when I stated to push, that birth experience itself was beautiful. And that is defiantly thanks to my beautiful midwifes Suzie and Tess. (Tess was the training midwife, she had only been to 4 other births, but Nicholas was her first catch).

So, it may not have been the dream labour, the labour I envisioned, but I had the dream baby in my arms, and that’s more than I could ever ask for.

Much Love

Daniella xIMG_1720IMG_1967IMG_1973IMG_1975IMG_1859IMG_1873

Preschools & Long daycares – The selection process.

Selecting a preschool or long day care centre for your child is one of the hardest decisions that you can make in the early years of their life. You are leaving your child in the care of a complete stranger for at least 6 hours a day.

It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster with Alexia and care, so here is my experience and my tips of making the selection process that little easier.

The process started in October last year, when Alexia was just over 2 ½ I thought to myself, I better start researching now as I wanted to start her when she was 3 (she started 2 months before her 3rdbirthday). Now the one thing I love to do is research, let’s call it a guilty pleasure.

So, the research process started and there were 3 preschools in my area that I wanted to look into. These preschools/long daycares had been referrals from friends and family, and then there was one based on Internet/Facebook reviews.

So, the first preschool/ long daycare I walked into was dark and dreary, I was depressed just walking into the place, there was no way I was dropping off my daughter there.

The second preschool/ long daycare couldn’t even give me the time of day, all they did was give me a wait list form and said, come to our information night (come on let’s do a little one on one seriously!)

The third preschool/ long daycare, this was the place that had the highest of reviews, everyone was raving on about it, and when I walked inside I understood what all the hype was about. Now just looking at the structure of the building, the place was open and bright, the light just shone in, the playground was larger than any and the smiles on the kids’ faces showed it all. I could genuinely see all these kids were so happy to be there. While I was getting the guided tour, Alexia was happy to go and play and I knew she would be comftable. Looking at the academic sides of things, the curriculum that they had was excellent, it felt like a school without the added pressure, there was fun and learning combined into one.

So why didn’t I enrol Alexia into my dream centre you may ask? There was a waiting list, and I would soon find out that I only got to the top of the waiting list 6 months later.

So, last year I enrolled her into another recommended centre to start in the beginning of this year. The curriculum was great, but as time would tell it was for the children who were going to kindergarten the following year. Daily reports would show to me that she was learning things she already knew, things that most kids knew, and she was just painting and drawing. Constant rotation of teachers and disorganisation of the centre throughout the 3 months there sent me on edge weekly, I was just not happy.  In my head, I thought that Alexia desperately needed the social interaction she was having weekly, I needed her to mingle with other people besides myself. And for most of the day she was good. Drop off’s were so hard and when I called an hour or two later, she was not crying but whinging, something I thought should have settled down in the period that she was at the centre. Now you think that pickups would be a piece of cake she would love to go home, but the tears kept coming. By this time something had to give.

That is when I went to my dream centre before I went to pick up Alexia one afternoon. I felt like Cinderella and all my dreams where coming true, she could immediately start that following week. But like any fairytale there has to be some heart break and most of it was on my end with the guilt of what I was about to do to my daughter and the change I was about to bring to her life. I had already settled her into a school where she had familiar faces, a routine she was used to and I was just about to change all that. The days leading up to her first day at the new school led to me having no sleep, as these were the thoughts that were currently going through my head.

So, I’m not going to sugar coat it, here’s how Alexia’s first day went. The day arrived that Alexia was to start her first day she was mostly excited, that was until we rocked up to the centre. We were immediately greeted by the teacher that she had meet earlier in the week and although she was happy to see her, she clenched onto me for dear life.  She let me settle her in by putting her bag away for her and putting on her hat to play outside but she did want me to pick her up and stay with her for a little bit. Now I know it’s best to just leave them and run, but I wanted to give her a little comfort. I stayed by her side for 5 minutes while I went through some points with the teacher.

I could see her absorbing it all, she was excited to play but just nervous to leave my side. By me staying there also I could see how the kids were interacting with eachother and how the teachers handled certain situations (there were 2 kids fighting at the time and I think the teacher handle the situation well), but that also added to my stress, but I guess anywhere you go kids could fight. I called about an hour or so later and the teachers told me that while she was distracted she was ok, but when the teacher’s attention was directed somewhere else she started to get a bit teary. I was about to call back when I decided to check the app to see if there were any updates of Alexia’s day. This was something that was so new to me, I was used to receiving a newsletter at the end of the day from her old centre, with sometimes no photos of her. By lunchtime I had received 3 photos and a video. I could see as each photo went on the little smile that was also half a cry turned into a genuine smile.

After I picked up Alexia she recited her whole day to me, this was without me having to ask her did you paint or colour? etc. and everything she was telling me reflected on what she really did do from what I seen in her photos and daily report.

It’s a pretty structured day which is something I like. In the morning when I dropped her off there was just outside activity time, from there they went in and had a little free time, during this time she painted, which is her absolute favourite thing to do, if you ask me it was a real Picasso haha. Then it was time for some morning tea and then sports time. Again, this is something that really impressed me, they have an obstacle in which they work through which really helps the gross motor skills, and after a structed obstacle there is time just to run around and have some fun. Obviously after all that hype it was time to have a bit of down time, so it was group activity time, today was learnt all about germs, and by the afternoon Alexia kept telling me that to make sure she doesn’t get sick with germs she needs to wash her hands. Lunchtime followed, but by this time of the day she was feeling a little lost because she had stopped all the fun and realised that I still wasn’t back. I picked her up not long after this where she was just having down time while the other kids slept, she was learning how to trace letters and numbers on a clear contacted sheet. Previously where she was, when the other kids slept and she had quiet time she was given the IPad to watch a show, here she was practicing her writing skills. It’s safe to safe I was more than impressed when I saw this.

When I walked into the room to pick her up for the day I expected tears, but there was nothing like that, it’s like she didn’t even care that I was standing there, she continued her activities, so I decided to leave her and talk to her teacher to get more of an update on how her day went. Once she was ready she collected her stuff and told me we could leave for the day.

Over all I don’t want to jinx myself cause it’s only the first day but I was so impressed with every aspect of the school and the day she had.

So, what are my top tips for choosing a suitable preschool/daycare: –

  1. TRUST YOUR GUT – We all know mother’s intuition is always right, so why go against it? If your gut says go with one, then honestly that’s the one you should go with.
  2. DON’T RUSH INTO ENROLLMENT – Unless it’s un avoidable and you need to get your child into care due to work commitments or something else, don’t enrol them into another centre, as above trust your gut.
  3. HOW THE SCHOOL COMMUNICATES WITH PARENTS – This is one of the most important ones. Communication should be constant. Do you receive updates throughout the day through photos or comments, on apps or emails? If your child is unsettled for a period of time, will the make the phone call to tell you that?
  4. ASK A LOT OF OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS TO MULTIPLE STAFF MEMBERS – I found that I asked the same questions to different teachers to see if I would get the same result. As your 1stintroduced to the teacher of the room your child is more than likely clinging onto you for dear life, ask them many questions, but open ended questions so they need to elaborate not just yes or no. I also ask the same question twice but in a roundabout way, so you get a similar answer. Then you notice that that teacher will often ask the children to come and interact this is the perfect time to approach another teacher and do the same as above, ask the same questions to see if the answers are the same. I know this may seem over the top, but I did more of this the second time around and I got the same answers and felt a lot more comfortable.
  5. WHAT IS THE CIRICULUM FOR THE YEAR – Again like the above point you may seem like one of those OTT mums, but honestly learning and absorbing information at these young ages is imperative, so what their curriculum is and ask them to elaborate. Ok yes, the learn about numbers, ok so how to count to 10? How to put 10 rocks in one pile? How to recognise the number 10? And so forth. It’s so easy to say ok yes that’s what I think my child needs to learn when it may only be the basic and not what you thought it would be.

So, to pretty much summaries the above ASK, ASK AND ASK AS MANY QUESTIONS AS YOU CAN, as they say the more you ask the more you know. The average 3-year-old ask 144 questions a day, so you asking 20 to 30 questions isn’t so bad.

What things would I do differently? –

  1. There is only one thing I would do differently with this experience and this would be wait. I have the flexibility that I don’t not need to put Alexia into care, so why did I rush to put her in. Yes, the waiting list took 6 months before I could get her in, but there was no urgency in her starting at the beginning of the year, or now 3 months later.

I hope this story and these tips for choosing the right care for your child have been helpful.

Much love

Daniella xUnknown-1UnknownUnknown-2

The 1st Trimester!

It was the news that we were ecstatic to share, but the reservations hit us after our recent miscarriage. It’s meant to be an exciting time after all but the reality of what could potentially happen during this 1st trimester hit us like a ton of bricks and i felt like i was walking on egg shells around myself.

Every little pain that I had, every time that I feel ill, it made me question myself “do i think I’m mis-carrying”?

Throughout my pregnancy with my 1st daughter Alexia, I never experienced any morning sickness, there were no growing pains, heck there wasn’t even any cravings there was absolutely no signs on my end that I was pregnant. The only way you could really tell I was pregnant was by the whoping 24kgs that i put on.

And then there was my second pregnancy and everything that I never experienced when I was pregnant with Alexia I was now having with that pregnancy.

Now I know that every pregnancy is different so why did I let what happened in my past affect my future? I knew it was all in my head, but why couldn’t I shake it?

And then at 13.5 weeks I had my second ultrasound and this baby is growing perfectly. All my worries have disappeared .

Apart from the worrying, this pregnancy has been the same as my daughter Alexia’s, there has been no morning sickness, no cravings, no nothing, it’s like I was saying earlier, it’s just the growing bump that I have been trying to hide since week 8 (by wearing jumpers in summer, who did i really think i was fooling?), but in my defence my husband blasts the air conditioning at 17 degrees so it is an igloo in our house.

Coping with a almost Threenager!

Why is it always that the start these phases early? The terrible two’s, the threenager? I still have a month left! But in saying that apart from the occasional un co-operative child Alexia has been a little superstar throughout it all, she is so gentle and wakes up every morning kisses my stomach and says “good morning baby I love you” I know that this kid is truly ready to be a big sister. We told Alexia about the pregnancy from day one so that she understood that I would not be able to pick her up as often, so this stage 10 clinger would need to slow down, and not to jump on my stomach. And i know when you fall pregnant it happens when it happens, but i honestly think at this time in both our lives we are ready for this journey and together through all the appointments she has accompanied with me and just at home in general we are really enjoying the experience together.

Liquid Gold!

Yes I no that water is the best hydration for you, but honestly i just can’t stomach it (no matter if I am pregnant or not) it makes me feel sick, so normally I have cordial, but throughout this pregnancy my liquid gold is orange juice, I mean I can easily drink 1.5 – 2 litres per day and it’s not like im craving it, there is no desire for it, it’s just the only thing I can stomach.

Weird dreams + hormones!

I love this stage especially when there mixed together…not. So my emotions are all over the place, i’m used to crying at a commercial that does not even give you a reason to cry, but i’m at home and I can deal with that. It’s super fun when it happens in the middle of your local shopping center, a center so small that pretty much the majority of the shops know who you are. So when you walk past the babar shop a bunch of men who don’t understand what you’re going through and start crying, they stop what there doing to stare, yep that is on another level of embarrassment.

Now please tell me i’m not the only one who has these weird dreams that make absolutely no sence, from what you can remember of them they pretty much go from a horror to romance in 3.5 seconds. I’m actually surprised that my husband hasn’t recorded me yet, i’m always scared to wake up in the morning to find out what I was talking about in my sleep.

They say that we have these dreams because of anxiety towards motherhood and childbirth and also about the changing of our bodies, but i’m not feeling anxious at all I guess its more sub conscious.

Preparing myself for childbirth!

This was something I was not even worried about, the thought did not even cross my mind, well that was until my oh so loving husband decided to remind me of Alexia’s birth in full detail. (Don’t worry i wont go into that much now). I was ment to have a very relaxing water birth, I had the most caring midwife and she made me feel so comfortable that I needed no pain relief, the relief through each contraction was the calmest of the hot water that I was submerged in. However as the labour progressed unfortunately Alexia got stuck and she had to be vacuumed out. This was something I did not research (and i’m big on this) and I really knew nothing about it, the only thing I knew at that moment is that I had to get my daughter out safely and that was all that mattered.

So yes this is what my husband decided to remind me of, all the cutting, blood and suction. He scared the shit out of me, so during these 14 weeks that I have been on edge not knowing what is going on inside me (I think i’ll start to relax once the movements and kicking start to kick in) I have also been thinking about child-birth, and in the words of Celine Dion “It’s all coming back to me now” I guess the only thing I can do is put my birth plan into place and if something occurs like it did with Alexia I just need to breathe and go with what the midwives and doctors say, after all they do this multiple times a day (but I will research every type of childbirth this time around). So Mr husband you are not getting in my head!

I’ve pretty much decided that this birth I want to be the same as Alexia’s, straight into the bath, no pain relief and pray for the best.

I am truly grateful and thankful to be pregnant again and that’s all that matters. So now I am going to lap up the next few months, by keeping my feet up, facials and just plain old pampering myself until its D day.

 

Much Love

Daniella x

THE WORD I NEVER EXPECTED TO HEAR – MISCARRIAGE

They say that mother’s intuition is always right and I now believe that happens even before you give birth.

It’s something you do not wish upon your worst enemy, it’s something that you think will never happen to you, Its miscarriage.

I was 12 weeks, I thought I was safe, so I announced it to the world that I am pregnant. It was the news that I was so excited to share, after all I had to keep the secret for 12 weeks not really that easy when I had wanted to share the news instantly as soon as I found out, after all it had taken over a year to get to this point.

No sooner that I announced that I was pregnant, I blinked and it was all over.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that I knew it was going to happen. I had told my husband a few weeks before that I really didn’t feel pregnant anymore, but he told me not to stress, I always panicked when I was pregnant with Alexia and she came out perfect, but I guess this was a different feeling.

It’s something I don’t think I will ever forget, I still have dreams about it till today. That Tuesday night I went to bed with cramps, but as soon as I put the hot water bottle on I was fine, I told myself that it was just growing pains, and I prayed that everything would be alright. The next morning, I had woken up to the tiniest bit of red blood, and I mean the tiniest where you really needed a microscope to look at it, but it was enough to send me to the emergency department. As soon as I got into a room it happened all I remember was standing up and standing in a pile of blood and clots, a vision that constantly haunts me.

It’s a mother’s job to love, care and protect her baby and I couldn’t even do that. I had felt like I killed my baby, something that is so hard to process. It’s taken me some time to realise that I couldn’t have prevented this as much as I still kick myself now.

I have learnt a lot through this tough process, but the main two things that I have learnt is: –

TALK – I am normally one of those people that typically bottles everything up, I don’t like to be a burden on other people by unloading all my problems on them, but talking throughout this process has helped me so much. As long as you have a loving and supportive network of family and friends which I am so blessed to have, they are there for you they are happy to listen to you and believe me the talks have done so much. Through telling my story I have also learnt that so many people I know have gone through the same experience, one that helps me understand that this is life and as hard as it is, its real.

NEVER GIVE UP – As raw as this still is especially while writing this now and as much as I will never forget this beautiful little baby I can’t hold in my arms everything happens for a reason, I can’t give up hope for another baby. I am so truly blessed in my life right now, I have a beautiful little girl who I can hold in my arms every day, there are so many women out there who are not even able to have 1 child and here I am with one.

Just writing this has helped me and I hope if you are going through or have gone through something similar this has been able to help you.

We are all mothers and we all stand together, we will always be here for each other to talk to, especially in this amazing social media community we have created.

Much Love

Daniella x