One year...and the end of the blog...
PS - Comments will still be delivered to me and this blog will stay up on the net - so if you do want to get in touch with me then a comment on a post should find me.
Our journey through life, infertility and whatever might come next...
We're beginning to think Grace was the wrong name for our wee one! She is so active, and curious, and into everything and everybody! The daycare girls agree that she is more of a Buster than a Grace.
Nine months today! She celebrated by throwing up her morning bottle of milk ALL over the bed and me. She's got a cold so she is a little bit grizzly but hopefully is over the worst of it now.
It has been a really busy few weeks. Rupes went away, I got the flu, Mum came down to help and had a great (if tiring) time helping out with Grace so I could get some extra hours in at the office. It all worked out pretty well but it has become apparent that I need to have a third day at the office. It used to be much easier when she had a 2 hour nap so I could do some work from home - now we are lucky if we get 45 minutes, and I end up staying up late doing stuff when Rupes gets home from work and when Grace goes to sleep. So, Mondays are being added to the daycare days - she really loves going, and gets all excited when I pack her daycare basket, so I think it's good for her.
We had our Plunket check up this week - she is now 9.61 kgs and 71cm - doing all the right things and the nurse noted how active she is. This child hardly sits still for a moment - another reason I think daycare is so good for her as she gets so much stimulation and lots of new experiences - and socialisation. Which I think may be one of the most important things for Grace - she is quite a determined wee girl, and loves to touch/feel/hit everything - she will need to learn some boundaries :-)
In other news we have taken the drastic step of not using her safety sleep to hold her in place in the her cot. Mum thought it was annoying her and that's why she was waking up in the early hours - wanting to roll over but unable to. The first night was awful - I slept upstairs with her and literally got about 2 hours sleep all night. She keep scooting up to the top of the cot and pressing her face against the bars and then crying. The next night Rupes was upstairs with her and it was a little better and then he had the bright idea of safety pinning her sleeping back to the bottom of her mattress. So now, she can roll, wriggle and get on her tummy - but she can't get to the top end of the cot and push her head against the bars. Last night - oh bless - just one 3am wakeup cos she lost her dummy. This of course, may have been a coincidence given a very busy day at daycare, but we shall take it as a positive sign!
So...at 39 weeks Grace is still commando crawling, rocking on her hands and knees, climbing over people/dogs/pillows, waving hello and bye bye when she wants to, babbling away when she is in the mood, brushing her teeth (kinda), eating HUGE meals, and such a happy lovely wee girl that we both feel very very lucky.
Wow. On the downward slope to a year already! And Grace is today exactly 71 years and 5 months younger than my Dad. Hehe...
We had a really good beginning to the week - Grace went to daycare on Monday and Tuesday as it was month end for me and busy at work. Then we had breakfast with our admin team on Wednesday - Grace had a fab time and got lots of cuddles! On Thursday we went swimming and had a good time too - but on Thursday night she woke at 9 and took some time to settle - in the end I moved upstairs and it honestly felt like I was up every 15 minutes. She was running a temperature, and in the morning we decided Rupert would work from home while I went to the office. Later in the morning he took her temperature and it was normal - so took her into daycare and brought the car to me, only for daycare to then call and tell me she had a high temperature again and needed taking home.
It's been a very busy couple of weeks! Rupert got home from Aussie, much to my relief, it was so good to have him back. Then his parents came up last weekend from the South Island - was lovely to see them and for them to meet Grace for the first time. Beryl spoiled Grace with some lovely clothes, including a gorgeous red anorak I can't wait to see her in later. We mainly had quiet time at home as I was coming down with a cold, but did have a lovely lunch in Devonport and Grace was great, and very well behaved!
I really hate winter. Just hate being cold, hate the rain, hate the lack of sunshine.
Time does fly when you are having fun! And oh, are we having fun! Grace turned five months last week, and we trooped off to the doctor for her shots. She was really good, just a wee cry when the needles went in, but that night was a rough one - she ran a low fever and cried from about 11 till 1 when I got her back to sleep. Added into the mix are two brand new teeth - her bottom ones. She's actually not been too grizzly about those, I had no idea new teeth were so sharp! No more shots until 15 months, thank goodness!
What a week! Firstly, Grace had two full days at daycare (7.30 to 3.30) and loved it! Both days when I arrived to pick her up she was happy and smiling - the staff seem to love her too and call her "happy girl" - due to all the smiling. The first day was Tuesday and I was a little on edge all day at the office wondering how she was doing, but I felt much calmer on Friday. They take very good care of her, and fill in a wee diary so I can see what she has been doing and how much she has eaten or slept during the day.
Grace slept through the night last night. Ten hours! Only the second time she has done that - she did it one night down at Christchurch. There were a few murmurings about 1am and then 3am but I just "shusssshhhhhed" from my bed next door and she went off again.
Well...conference in Christchurch was amazing! I work for a large real estate company (Harcourts) and each year they do it better - this year was no exception. Some 1100 attendees, some amazing speakers and workshops, Stan Walker (winner of Australian Idol) was the opening act, and Li Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer) was the closing. If you ever get the chance to hear Li - take it. A beautiful story and a wonderful message. It was great seeing friends from other branches and head office, and making some new mates! And just such a good feeling - there really is a nice culture of teamwork and friendliness in the company.
I managed to get to most things - Rupert and Grace had a good time hanging out and her wee Harcourts onesie went down a treat (a gift from friends when Grace was born). Daddy also bought her a Crusaders (Chch rugby team for my overseas readers) top, which she looks really cute in. She was just very happy the whole time we were away - fell asleep on the plane there and back, and in the taxi, and she was great for the nanny while Rupert and I went to the big Awards dinner. The franchise I work for did very well, and a very good time was had by all! A few glasses of wine (don't worry, I expressed and chucked it) and I could have danced all night, but fortunately the nanny was only booked till 1am which saved me being too sore headed. As it was, we only had 3 hours sleep before we had to get up, pack and get to the airport. It was so fun having a night out with Rupert though - and a bit of boogying!
The only bad thing that happened was the hotel had lent us a portacot - which was very low, and had high sides. It started to hurt my back almost immediately, so I had Rupert getting Grace out but the damage had been done and one morning when I got out of my chair at breakfast I felt my back go. Ouch! Those who know me well will know that my back and I have had a long and difficult relationship, and it was one of the things I was most worried about when I was pregnant. So...I was taking painkillers and they weren't doing anything, and it was really time today to make the tough decision to go onto anti inflammatories and stop breastfeeding. Or have this kind of pain for a month or more and not be able to do what I need to as far as work and home stuff and caring for Grace.
Grace has been taking a bottle of formula in the evenings for quite a while now - and I was finding that even though I tried to express when she was getting a bottle, I wasn't getting much. And, over the last couple of weeks I've had to top her up with formula during the day and it just seems like my supply isn't keeping up with her demand. Added to all that, she starts daycare in a week (for 2 days a week) and with my lack of success expressing it would probably have been time to stop feeding her anyway.
Sensible decision. I am really sad though, and have had a few tears. The first time I fed Grace I felt like I finally knew what my body was for. I was so very lucky - never any pain or problems, and I so loved the closeness and the quiet time we spent. I guess motherhood is going to be a whole series of these kinds of things - the letting go of each stage and letting her go on to the next. And we've done it for 18 weeks, and that's pretty good right? And at least with all formula we'll be able to keep a close eye on how much she is taking.
So. I'm having a wine right now. Just because I can!
A year ago things were very different in our lives! Rupert was about to leave to head down to Rotorua to run a marathon, and I was staying behind to work on month end at the office. We had given up any thought of a baby, and were working on our fostering papers and applications. I was sad all the time, deep down. I cried whenever I heard someone was pregnant, I never attended baby showers, and I always envied my friends who complained about their children.
As I may have mentioned previously, Grace has been hard to settle and get into a routine. What was happening was she would wake, I would feed her, she'd play and we'd have reading time, then I would top her up and try to get her to sleep. Usually she wasn't interested, so I'd end up laying with her on the bed and feeding her till she dozed off. And then, more often than not, she'd wake up half an hour later crying and off we would go again. Nights were much the same, as we were co sleeping, so I'd roll over and feed her, quick burp, and off we'd go to sleep again.
This morning, Grace had her first sleep in her cot! Took me about half an hour to settle her, but she slept soundly for 2 hours. Then, off to Plunket - she is now 6.11kgs and 60cm long! She is doing so great, growing beautifully.
Three months old yesterday! The time has flown by, and our little girl gets cuter by the day. It was a tough day though, as I had to take Grace to the doctor for her immunisation shots. I hate those - but she was actually pretty good, a bit of screaming and crying when the injections went in but I fed her straight afterwards, and by the time we left she was back to her cooing and squeaking. I've never heard such high pitched squeals - but she is doing them more and more, and we have quite the little conversations!
I love the suburb where I live. It's an interesting mix of housing, from waterfront mansions to state rentals, and is truly multicultural. There are bush trails for walking or biking, a huge park with an exercise machine circuit, access to the water at high tide. It's beautiful. I love that I can walk on a Sunday and hear the different songs in various languages from the churches, and see the families all dressed up in their various Sunday best. That I can wander through the park and see people with their dogs, groups of teens having a game of soccer or touch rugby, older folks sitting on the benches in the sun - all shapes, ages, colour and sizes.
Over the years, blogging has been a lifeline for me. Not only in writing my own blog but in following the blogs of other women going through the same, or similar life experiences. There were blogs I read that "everyone" read - like alittlepregnant.com, or tertia.org. And then there were the blogs I found where women wrote honestly and openly about their issues. Some of those women became friends - I may never meet them, or talk to them on the phone, but we have shared something of ourselves with each other and that creates a bond that is intense. I can imagine sitting down for coffee with any one of these women and not running out of things to talk about.
She was pretty unhappy and grizzly after the jabs - no wonder, and I basically spent all of Friday night cuddling her and feeding her as she wanted. She'd doze off and then wake up sobbing - just heartbreaking. We gave her the first ever dose of Pamol for the temperature she had, and that helped I think - but it was just one of those nights where it was all about her, and not about routine or anything else.
Folks have been warning us that things might not always go so smoothly. I hate it when folks are right!
Today our wee Grace is one month old. Where has the time gone? I am ever grateful that I was blessed with this experience - each day with her is like a gift. She really is the most beautiful baby, and I remind myself daily how lucky we are to have her.
Miss Grace has gained another 300 grams in six days bringing her to a grand total of 3700 grams - and is now 53cm long (she was 49cm at birth). Her head circumference is 36cm, up 1cm on birth. All in all, she is doing very well!
Well, little Grace is now a week old! And I fall more in love each day. She is a good baby, wakes up murmuring to herself rather than crying, but hates her nappy being changed. She feeds well but is inclined to fall asleep on the breast which can make feed times a little long. She sleeps well once she is off, though some of her nights so far have been a little tough as she is more active and harder to settle. But all in all - how cute is she?
I understand now why whales beach themselves - they are just tired out!
37 weeks today, and things are going very very well. Baby is growing well, and engaged in the D2 position still, she is still very active and apart from the aches and pains and the heat I am feeling well.
Am kinda pinching myself - 8 months pregnant today! Wow. Time has gone quite quickly in some ways, but I get the feeling the next few weeks will pass very very slowly.
I can't quite believe that in just a few short weeks this part of the journey will be over and we will be meeting our wee girl for the first time. I laid awake last night, feeling her wriggle and kick inside me, thinking about what it is going to be like meeting her, holding her, feeding her, dressing her.
Another week has ticked by - time feels like it is going really quickly now. Saw the obstetrician on Monday - he is happy with progress and baby is looking good - he did say again that they would be monitoring me very closely from 36 weeks due to my age and possible complications. He talked about degraded placentas and pre eclampsia, but so far everything is fine and I have a good amount of fluid. I've still only gained 4.5 kilos, but she is growing well, so I guess that's the main thing! He also said they definately wouldn't let me go beyond term so our baby will be here in a maximum of six weeks. Oh gosh! Now that sounds scary!
I had the first few days of swollen feet and ankles - most uncomfortable! It's been a busy couple of weeks - we had Rupert's work Xmas party, a visit to Christmas Wonderland with my work, month end at the office for me, a lot of disturbed nights, and just generally lots on (New Moon with Jo at Gold Class was a highlight!). It's also been quite humid and warm which doesn't help so much with either the swelling or the sleeping! Still, happy to have ticked off 33 weeks yesterday!
And it was a pretty good one. Managed three days off work, two days on - and had lots of errands and appointments on my days off. Ticking off the "things to do/buy/learn" list!
So reassuring to see our little girl - she was head down (right position for birth) and growing really well. I'd been a little concerned - paranoid perhaps - that my lack of weight gain might mean she was not thriving, but she is still measuring ahead of her age and doing beautifully. Her estimated weight is 1.686 kilos, about 3 and a half pounds, and everything looks great.