Monday, February 25, 2013

Aussie speak

On a recent trip to Australia a friend asked me if I wanted to nurse her baby. I looked at her like she was nuts. Was it a common practice to let friend's breastfeed each other's babies in Oz?  And I didn't even have a baby at the time, so I certainly didn't have any breast milk. It didn't take me long to realize Aussies speak a completely different language when it comes to all things baby.

If you came into my home right now and listened to my in-laws and hubby speak (all Australians), you'd think you'd walked into a foreign country.

Aussie Speak:

After waking up from a nap, grandpa took baby out of her cot, changed her nappy, gave her a dummy, wrapped her, patted her back to get rid of wind, gave her to grandma to nurse, went for a walk in the pram, and then gave her to mummy for a feed.

American translation:

After waking from a nap, grandpa took baby out of her crib, changed her diaper, gave her a pacifier, swaddled her, patted her back to burp her, gave her to grandma to hold, went for a walk in the stroller, and then gave baby to mommy to nurse.

It's three against one in the house right now so even I have begun to say cot, pram, and nappy. But it won't last. My hubby has come to terms with the fact that his daughter will use American terms and speak with an American accent, much to his dismay. 

But I have conceded to feeding her Vegemite (a black, tar-like spread that Aussies love with a passion, but Americans gag on), so we're even.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Epic boob fail

What's the first thing I did after giving birth? Send a picture of my breast to everyone I know, including all my husband's work colleagues. It was in one of the pictures attached to the birth announcement email. Epic fail.

But that's not all. My mother also sent my breast out for all to see and I posted it on Facebook. Luckily my sister caught it and I took it off Facebook but it is still in the inbox of everyone I have ever met. Or at least it was.

On the bright side, if there was ever a time for my boob to be out there, it is now. The girls have never looked better.

Don't scurry off too fast to go searching through your inbox...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Home, sweet homebirth

My baby girl is out! 6lbs 6oz, 19.5 inches.  Push ‘em out small, fatten 'em up later!
It has been almost six weeks, and she has already gained three pounds. She’s got a belly and a double chin. You go girl. Own your chubby cheeks!
I know there were haters out there, whom, when I said I was planning a homebirth, smiled at me but were really thinking, Ha! She has no idea what she’s in for! Just wait until she feels the pain. She’ll be screaming for an epidural!
I did not scream. Not once. Er… at least not until the pushing, but it was more like an animal grunting in the wild than a scream. The birth was as amazing as we’d hoped. It wasn’t a day at the spa but it certainly wasn’t me screaming in pain as if my arm were being chopped off. The pain was manageable and not once did I ask or want to go to the hospital.   
It all started the morning of Sunday, January 13, 2013.
For some reason I thought the first sign of labor would be the appearance of my mucus plug (basically, this is exactly what it sounds like, it plugs up your cervix until the baby is ready to be born and then your cervix releases it and it comes out your vag). During the final weeks, every time I went to the bathroom I looked eagerly into the toilet to see if there was anything slimy in the water. Peeing was a very exciting experience during that time.
I never did see that mucus plug.
The morning I went into labor (a week before my due date), I was all ready to get up and finish the last minute chores and projects before baby came. It was going to be a big day. And it was, but not in the way we expected.
As I lay in bed, I suddenly felt like I was peeing myself. I stood up and saw that my sweatpants were wet. I changed into another pair and they were immediately wet. That’s when I knew I was beginning labor. I put on my trusty Depends, that’s right, Depends (my sister-in-law suggested I buy them, because even after your water breaks your body keeps producing amniotic fluid, which continues to flow out).
My mother, my hubby, and I began racing around the house in a manic state, preparing everything for the birth. I’d been told that early labor can last many hours if not days, so I had the rest of the day mapped out with lots of activities. I got to do one of them. A walk on the beach.
After the walk, I had a contraction that made me rethink leaving the house again. Instead I put on the Golden Globes Red Carpet and in between contractions I watched the best and worst dressed (Lucy Liu what were you smoking!). Soon I left the red carpet behind, and Mick and I departed into our bedroom.
I lay on the bed snuggled up to my boppy pillow and the rest is a timeless blur. Mick put me into hypnosis (which does not take the pain away, but lessons it and makes it more manageable and puts me into a kind of deep meditative state). Mick stayed by my side the whole time and I breathed through every contraction, not a peep was heard from me until the pushing. I had the lights low and spa music on during the entire labor.
I never, not once wanted to go to the hospital or had a thought that I couldn’t handle it. I did have thoughts like, “maybe next time I should have an epidural. That might be nice.” That thought usually came in the middle of a long contraction but would soon disappear when I relaxed in between.
That’s the thing. You get breaks between every contraction. And I’d just lay peacefully, undisturbed, in my home, in my bed, until another came.
At 11pm the midwife checked my dilation for the first time (they’d been checking my vitals and baby’s vitals the entire time). I was at 9 and 1/2 centimeters (you push at 10 centimeters). When I heard that I was wanted to scream HELL YA!!!  
Next was the pushing.
I moved into the birthing tub, which was set up in the nursery (our daughter was born in the her own room- how cool is that), and I did not need to be told when to push, it was on my body’s terms. And trust me, you know when it is time. When you push you let out an involuntary grunt at the end. And when I say grunt, it is low and loud. It was the first noise I’d made since active labor began.
Pushing was intense and euphoric all at the same time. But I had a little surprise waiting for me each time I pushed... my regurgitated lunch. Yep, with every push, I also vomited. And I NEVER vomit. I can shoot back ten tequila shots, a dozen beers, and five bottles of champagne and never vomit. So this was quite a shock. My hubby said the bigger the push, the  bigger the spew.
The good thing about pushing is, you get a bigger break in between them. And all I can say is, I was so relaxed and aware during this time that I had the foresight to realize pictures would be coming soon. I had a feeling my eyes look liked a panda bear from the mascara I'd put on early that day (next time wear waterproof or nothing!). My husband confirmed my oh-so-scary eyes and I looked up at my mamma and asked for some eye make-up remover. Once that was done I was ready for baby.
After an hour of pushing the midwife told me to reach down and when I did, I could feel the feathery hair on my daughters head, ready to crown. I made a decision right then that it was time. I was done with all this pushing. When the next urge came I pushed like a motherf*cker, and got her head out. Then during the next urge I pushed again and out she came! Those last two pushes are called the ring of fire, and yes, it felt fiery as I pushed and it hurt but I was so excited it didn’t matter and it was over quickly. Out of everything, the pushing was the most intense but I didn’t mind it. Or maybe I just have a bit of amnesia.

I don’t care! She came out and she was healthy and I was in a state of euphoria that I am so thrilled I got to experience drug free. And thirty minutes later, after birthing the placenta, I lay on my bed with my baby nursing. It was exactly what I’d hoped for. No drugs to interfere with our bonding.
And there you are. I loved it. I will do it again. Just not tomorrow.
One final note: Because I know the women want to know (men, you may want to avert your eyes). Yes, I tore. Only slightly. And no, I didn’t feel it. There was way too much other stuff going on for that to matter. Oh, and no, I did not do a doo-doo in the tub. The vomiting was enough!
Any questions?