A new baby!

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here and so much has happened!

My husband gave me the whole guilt trip about letting this blog die.. well, here I am trying to resurrect it. WordPress has been less then inspiring so I’m currently looking for alternative platforms- send me your recommendations!

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If you only follow me on here (i.e. not on Insta) you should probably know that I am now almost 25 weeks pregnant! I know- time is flying! I partly didn’t want to post anything as I hadn’t told work yet before Christmas (I was barely showing) but now that everyone knows- here we are! This pregnancy has been great so far- barely any sickness, I managed to travel to the U.S for 3 weeks with only mild tiredness as well as attend a 5 day Conference in our capital city- I truly am blessed with really great pregnancies!

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Ava is getting used to the idea that there is a baby in mummy’s tummy- she has come with us to all of the scans so she often pretends to “check the baby” by putting objects on my stomach and listening for the heartbeat or pretending to look at the tv screen to see the baby! It’s very adorable! She’s also started calling the baby by name which has added a whole new dimension to it!

We are so excited to be adding to our family!

In my Diaper bag..

I had a reader ask me about what I carry in my diaper bag when Ava and I go out- I’m very much a no fuss kind of person in that I carry around what is needed- nothing more. I don’t think there is anything worse than rummaging through a bag of baby items trying to find a teeny tiny pacifier while your baby is screaming her head off so everything I have is practical.

*I used to carry around one extra outfit until she pooed through one day and I didn’t have a spare in case she did it again. My mum recommended always carrying around two changes of clothes which has served us well so far!

The weather will obviously dictate which onesies and items are needed- here in Sydney we’ve just headed into Spring, so the weather is somewhat cool hence the long sleeve onesies and beanie.

Also, depending on what time we go out I will bring a bottle (of breast milk). All the below items fit nicely into my diaper bag. I’ve tagged a similar diaper bag from Oroton as I can only find the one I have on ebay.  Hopefully this is helpful!!

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one- swaddle // two- 5-6 nappies // three- nappy bags // four- baby wipes // five- hand sanitizer // six- pacifier // seven- two singlets // eight and nine- two onesies // ten- baby sleeping bag // eleven- beanie // twelve- diaper bag (I have this one) // thirteen- two bibs

Introducing Ava!

IMG_1074It all began on Monday, the 22nd of August. We were at my grandma’s celebrating her 77th birthday..  I think it was mid cronut that I experienced, what I now know to be a contraction. I complained that my stomach hurt really bad- my mum quickly started arranging pillows on the couch so I could lay down, but just as fast as the pain came it went away.. It didn’t cross my mind that what I had experienced was a contraction. We all had a good laugh and kept eating dessert.

Fast forward a few minutes- I went to the bathroom where I had a bloody show however there was a lot of red fresh blood. We freaked out.. It’s one thing to see pale pink blood but another thing to see fresh red blood at 39/40 weeks pregnant.

We called the hospital who advised us to come in within the hour. If you know my husband, you know that he mentally began keeping track of the time. We quickly packed up our things and headed home- we needed to drop off the groceries I had bought just that morning and grab our toiletries in case we were having a baby that night!

About 10min out from the hospital we started feeling the car pulling to the right and a sound which resembled the beginnings of a flat tyre! We couldn’t believe it! We quickly pulled over (my mum had been following in her car) and began checking the tyre’s- It was slightly raining and I remember telling Greg that he should reverse and drive a little so I could look at the tyre’s.. I was having mild contractions. We couldn’t see any flat so we figured that there was a nail in one of the tyres. The stress level of my husband was beginning to sky rocket- remember his mental countdown of an hour? We were now at about 50 of the 60 minutes..

Praying we would be able to make it to the hospital without getting a flat tyre we quickly pulled back out onto the highway – after parking I had another contraction but it wasn’t long or super hard however I do remember having to breath through it.
We made our way in to the hospital- they gave me a gown and began the process of checking me. I was 3.5cm. Generally, they would send you home until you were dilated 4cm but because I was bleeding and had gestational diabetes they kept me at hospital.

They check you every 4 hours, but from 9:30pm Monday night till approx. 5:30am on Tuesday morning I had only progressed to 4cm and my waters hadn’t broken. At 7:45am (my next check) I was at 6cm and they decided to break my waters. Up until this stage the pain had been manageable- Greg was laying in the bed beside me, and as a coping mechanism I would grab his shirt and breath into it while shaking my leg. It sounds kind of ridiculous but it was helping me get through the pain quite effectively!

Around 10am the pain was becoming unbearable so I asked for the gas- I was bouncing on an exercise ball and sucking gas every time a contraction came around. The gas made me super queasy, and made the room spin, but it was taking the edge off of the contractions.

When I hit 7cm I decided to get into the bath- I wanted a water birth so I figured this would help progress things- big mistake. As soon as I got into the water and had my first contraction the pain was unbearable- there was nothing for me to push against or bounce up and down on- I think I had 3 contractions in the tub and decided that there was no way I could have the baby in the bath. I hit the wall of pain. I was desperate for an epidural.

Thank God the anaesthetist was on the floor- It felt like he appeared within minutes of me asking for the epidural. After telling me all the side effects that could happen as a result of getting an epidural we started getting situated to get the needle. All I kept telling myself was not to move. I had 3 contractions while he was trying to get the epidural in- I believe God helped me to barely feel them because I knew they were coming but I was able to block out the pain and sit like a rock. After hitting additional cartilage the first time, he found the right area the second time.

I was given a low block which took the pain but still allowed me to move my legs. Almost as soon as I got the epidural I started shaking- the shakes continued right up until I was pushing. This was probably one of the most traumatic parts for my mum. She coped really well (from what I remember) except seeing me shake and in so much pain.

Another thing I experienced was intense pressure every contraction. The epidural was fantastic but the pressure from her head was almost as painful as contractions so I was sucking the gas even though I had an epidural.

Fast forward to around 4:30pm and I was finally 10cm so I could begin pushing.

I can’t even describe the intense pain and pressure I felt.

The hour and a half of pushing was the most traumatic part of my labour. Between intense contractions I don’t remember much- my mum tells me that she would call my name because it was as if I lost consciousness between contractions. Once I felt a contraction coming I would “wake up” to a spinning room and push.

I can’t remember most of the pushing experience- I do remember lying to the midwife though when she asked me if a contraction was still there for a 4th push (we were doing sets of 3 pushes) and I lied saying no.. Of course she knew it was there- her hand was on my tummy..haha..You can’t just change the rules like that!

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After Ava was born and we checked if she was indeed a girl- we did skin to skin and started the recovery process.

Due to the intense pushing I broke blood vessels in my eyes and face. My eyes, 8 days on, have started clearing up but my face has pretty much gone back to normal.

Physically- I feel great considering I gave birth a week ago and I’m back in my pre-pregnancy clothes with only a little baby bump.

Birthing Ava was the most traumatic and difficult thing I have ever experienced but it was worth it!

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Swaddles and Blankets

Swaddles are some of my favourite items to look at in stores and find online! There are so many beautiful designs and fabric choices. I would love to create a range of swaddles to sell locally here in Sydney- maybe one day that dream will become a reality! Below are some of my current favourites!

Beach Resort Travel Photo Collage

Beach Resort Travel Photo Collage

One- Watercolour Rose swaddle (Little Unicorn) // Two- I love you most blanket (Noah & Bowie) // Three- Jack Plaid swaddle (Little Unicorn) Four- Bison swaddle (Little Unicorn) // Five- Rose swaddle (Milkmaid Goods) // Six- Lightweight Marl Bears wrap (Noah & Bowie) // Seven- Our greatest adventure swaddle (How Joyful) // Eight- Wildflowers swaddle (Oh so Vera) // Nine- DIY Wrapped in love swaddle (Delia Creates) // Ten- Royal Blue Heart blanket (Yarning made) // Eleven- Teal tartan pom pom blanket (Kip and Co) // Twelve- Bible verse swaddle (Modern Burlap)

The “joys” of pregnancy!

If you are pregnant and you haven’t heard of Line Severinsen you need to look her up on instagram or google stat!

The mother of two and illustrator has created cartoons depicting the “joys” of pregnancy and motherhood! I have to admit, most of the pregnancy cartoons were hilarious and so very true! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has experienced some of the “un-said” experiences of pregnancy! Below are some of my favourite!

Tell your heart to beat again..

On the 15th of October I took a pregnancy test- we were trying to have a baby but felt that this month our chance had come and gone. So I took the test- there was a faint positive! Immediately I called a friend of mine to ask whether that meant I was pregnant even if it was faint.. Yep! You’re pregnant she almost yelled (as I scrambled to txt her a photo of the test). When we have news to tell we go big.. I pulled out a onesie I had bought for Greg which said “I’m awesome like dad” and placed the pregnancy test in the little pocket.

We had some washing on an indoor clothes horse so I pegged the little onesie to it and set up the laptop to record Greg’s response..

Fast forward- Greg was helping me take the clothes off the line when he started taking ALL the clothing off the line around the onesie but not the onesie- at this stage I was pretty much ticking so I pointed the onesie out to him to which he replied- “Yeah? Did you wash some of the baby stuff we had?” (someone had gifted us some baby clothes already) and then it all clicked when he saw the test hanging out the side. He was so shocked and excited! We made a plan to go over to my mums house and give her a mug we had made which said “I’m going to be an Oma again.” We were going out-of-town the following morning for a church trip so we wanted to tell her before we left.

There were lots of tears and congratulations- I ended up taking 3 tests- all of which were faint but still positives. It was something I will never forget!

Fast forward that weekend- it became a blur of church services, telling my best friend and taking more pregnancy tests. The problem was- the pregnancy test results were getting more faint rather than stronger- we thought it could be the time I was taking them or maybe I was super early which is why it wasn’t getting any stronger overnight.

I went to the doctor’s the day after we got home- they expedited the results so we could have confirmation of the pregnancy that afternoon. I sat in the waiting room for what felt like hours after work (but was only about 40min)- when the results came in it wasn’t good news. We had lost the pregnancy. I’ll spare you all the yuck details of everything else but it was such a devastating time in our lives.

In Australia, 1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage. Not much is said on the subject- normally it’s in the first trimester (too early to share with friends) so you grieve in silence- your family may know, your spouse or partner, but the community is unaware. The people you do life with are in the dark so you’re torn between hating them for not caring or showing support and then realising you are crazy because they don’t know. I remember praying that through some jedi-mind trick someone would just know and say all the right things to me..

An ocean of tears were shed between Greg and I- questions of why and how –  I can only assume it would be more devastating actually hearing a heart beat and seeing your sweet baby on the ultrasound and then watching it pass from this world to the next.

We decided we wanted to try again as soon as we were able. It came with it’s own mental battles this time around- trying not to think of what had happened or feeling worry at the possible thought that we couldn’t get pregnant…but thankfully- not long after this we were pregnant again!

We have watched God fashion her limbs and her heart. We’ve seen her tiny fingers and her beautiful nose.

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We have watched as my belly has gone from somewhat of a burger belly (for the first 4 months) to a full baby belly (and is still continuing to grow).

At my doctors appointments they always start the conversation off by saying- so this is your first pregnancy, to which I always reply- no- second pregnancy but first baby.

To quote a comment I read last week from a band called Phillips, Craig and Dean “There’s so many  people who have experienced so much brokenness to their heart. And even though God the great surgeon has saved us and repaired us, covered us with His grace, sometimes it takes you and me to tell our own heart “beat again, love again, hope again.”

Recommended Apps

Today I bring you my top recommended apps! There are a lot of apps to choose from on iTunes if you put in the word “pregnancy” but the below have been tried by yours truly (and the husband) and are definitely the cream of the crop.

Apps

For those with gestational diabetes- MySugr

At this stage I’m only having to input my blood glucose levels however you can also put in your carbs, pills, how you’re feeling, reasons for possible high or low readings- you can also add in reminders and pictures. This app has been a lifesaver!

For those first time dad’s- Who’s Your Daddy?

With this being our first baby I wanted to find an app for Greg that was more visually appealing than What to Expect. The app comes with a built in checklist, contraction counter, weekly updates and daily tips. When setting up the app you input the name of your partner/spouse and child to be (if you have decided) and it personalizes the information each week.

A little side story- I came home late one night last week to Greg cleaning our toilets. This is normally his job but only when we’re “officially” cleaning the house. Apparently this app had mentioned that I was probably spending more time in the bathroom with all the extra weight pressing on my bladder. It has to be one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen him do!

For those first time (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th time) parents- What to Expect and The Bump

What to Expect is very informative as it details where your baby is at week by week. It also has built in videos for each week which goes into depth as to the milestones your baby is hitting. For most, the forum section on the app is fantastic! You can join one of the thousands of groups and share opinions and ideas with ladies from around the world. Personally, I was becoming obsessive about every little tweak I felt, or if another woman was experiencing something it started worrying me if I hadn’t felt that, so I decided to just completely ignore the forums. Each to his own.

As for The Bump- it is a very similar app to What to expect. I like the visual fruit and vegetables it gives for the size of the baby and the app, in general, is a lot more visually appealing.

If you use Instagram or Facebook- Baby Pics

This app is seriously so cute! They have banners that can be added to pictures categorized in themes: Dates, Holidays, Baby’s Firsts, On the Daily, Pregnancy etc

This app is modern and super easy to use!

For those that are pregnant- Dashlane

The amount of things I have forgotten while being pregnant is hilarious. Just yesterday I sent my husband off to work with his lunch which consisted of two slices of bread. I hadn’t put anything on the bread, or given him a spread for the bread- just two slices of bread. That is my most recent bout of forgetfulness! Dashlane stores all your passwords for all different social platforms (as well as computers, banks etc) in one place. Obviously you can’t be too careful so I have simply used it for general passwords which seem to be escaping me of late!

Gestational Diabetes

“I need to see you.” Those were the first words the midwife said when I saw her 2 weeks ago. I knew I had taken the glucose test 2 days prior but I didn’t think anything of it and to be honest it didn’t even cross my mind that I had tested positive for something I had never heard of. The midwife went on to tell me that my 1 hour test had come back as over the limit so I was diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. I was truly overcome with emotion- I felt like I had failed as a mum (before our little one had even gotten here). The midwife took me through the process of the high-risk pregnancy clinic, and a gestational diabetes clinic I had to attend the following week. She gave me brochures and cancelled all my existing appointments with the out-patient midwives. I was truly devastated seeing her throw that little white card of appointments in the bin.

Walking back to the car I called my mum who offered to come and sit with me for the high-risk appointments (it could take upwards of 3 hours to see a doctor even with an appointment time). Greg got home from running some errands and I had another big cry.

After reading through what we could find online we were re-assured that it wasn’t due to my eating patterns but rather hereditary- Middle Eastern people are pre-disposed to type 2 diabetes (my mother is from Iraq) and my grandfather also had type 2 diabetes. This didn’t make the facts any less devastating but it was at least providing an explanation.

Fast forward to the diabetes clinic- we sat in a room with 6 to 7 other women. All walks of life, all at different stages in our pregnancies watching a video from the 90’s about gestational diabetes. A doctor came in and gave us the worst case scenario of what could happen if we didn’t manage our glucose levels. Greg leant over and re-assured me that he was simply trying to use shock tactics (I love that man). After some discussion they passed around bright yellow bags with a little butterfly on the outside- I’m sure it’s some marketing ploy to make you feel happy while handing you what feels like a death sentence. As I sat there pulling out the contents I cried (dang pregnancy hormones).. I looked at my husband and through tears told him I felt like a drug addict. In a little black zippered case were needles, test strips and a little tester. Did I mention I also have a biohazard container?!

I don’t think I could clearly verbalize the mixture of feelings I was experiencing- something between wanting our baby to be perfect and healthy and how I would do anything for her to have the best possible start of life, and feeling like my life was over. That’s a great big chasm I know.

They taught us how to prick our fingers and take a reading- of which I do four times a day. Four times a day.

It’s been 10 days since I first got my reader, I have gone through 40 test strips and 11 needles. The countdown for my next finger prick ticks down precariously on my lock screen as I type this.

Every time I pull the needle out to prick myself I sense myself tensing up, hoping it won’t bruise my finger tips- you see, I’m a pianist. Sometimes my fingertips bruise for a day or two, sometimes I can’t get the bleeding to stop fast enough and I get it on my clothes, and sometimes it doesn’t hurt as much as I am expecting and I feel like it’s all manageable.

I’m sure there are many women who have gone through much worse to have children- by no means am I trying to belittle what they have experienced but in my little world this has been life shaking.

A beautiful quote I read said “being a mother is not about what you gave up to have a child, but what you’ve gained from having one.”

My beloved Ava, you are more precious than rubies.

(on a side note- after having to write down what I eat and record readings for a week they moved me over to just writing down the readings- if you have recently being diagnosed with GD, the app mySugr has been a life saver! It’s a free app which seamlessly records your readings)

Ballerina Baby

I am loving all the baby girl items I am seeing in stores- below are a few of my favourites that I came across last week!

On a side note it’s incredible that they can charge so much for something so small but this being our first little baby I have definitely turned a little bit of a blind eye to the prices!Ballerina

one – baby girls lurex knit dress

two – baby girls fur vest

three – baby girl’s lyla baby shoe

four – secret garden crown headband

five – baby party tights

(BONDS have a 40% off everything sale at the moment!)

It’s a girl!

29th of March, 3pm

Greg, my mother and I had all made our way to our local ultrasound office- this was the moment we had been waiting for. Our (my mother, sister and I) hearts were set on a boy.

I lay down on that table, praying that we would see something between those itty bitty legs. As usual the technician had me empty my bladder (every.single.time) because he couldn’t see anything and off we went. 10 fingers, 10 toes, heart beat, an arm, a knee everything looked perfect..gender time.. It’s a girl!

I cried..and I cried a lot.. I was so grateful that our little baby was growing healthy and whole, I was grateful that we had even made it to an ultrasound with this pregnancy but A GIRL! We finished up the scan with tears streaming down my face. We sat in the waiting room anxious to get the little wallet picture to show our family and friends:

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After sending my husband off to the gym and saying bye to my mum I got home and started sorting through the bags of clothes I had been given years ago (they were mainly boys clothes with a few girls items mixed in). I then called my dad. When I told him the news he laughed and said (and I quote) “I’m cursed to have only girls!” (I have 2 sisters) He then went on to explain that he thought girls were better and how father’s could be very hard on their sons (especially in his culture). Right then and there I thought he deserved an A+ in parenting.

By the time dinner came around I had fully embraced having a baby girl! How fickle hormones can be!

So here we are, playing the waiting game at 28 weeks.

With a 3D ultrasound in tow Baby Ava is almost here!