Friday, May 9, 2014

FFS Friday/Things I Know - Hospital Woes

It’s been a massive week, what with Boo’s operation on Tuesday and all – left me plenty to FFS about, and I now know a few new things, too!

My mother met us at 5.30 on Tuesday morning so we could be at the hospital by 7.30. This meant I was awake at 4.45am. FFS

Boo was so keyed up about everything that she didn’t sleep. Guess who went Mum’s car for the 2-hour trip? No FFS

Having no-one in the car meant I could listen to podcasts and concentrate on driving in the pea-soup fog without ‘Mummy….’ No FFS

There was mild panic at the hospital when I was convinced I’d left my wallet at home. FFS
Boo and her cat 'Didero' wrapped up in her blankie
I hadn’t. My handbag had just eaten it. FFS

The nurses on the ward were just lovely to us, and made Boo feel really special. I’d taken a lot of care to make sure she wasn’t apprehensive beforehand, and they were gems about perpetuating this. No FFS

I know, without a doubt in my mind, that Paediatric nurses are a special breed of amazing.

I was allowed to go with Boo when she was anaesthetised, and watching her little head loll as she went under was a bit of a shock. Actually, a lot of a shock. I burst into tears. FFS

Turns out a tonsillectomy only takes about 20 minutes. I’d barely started reading my book when they were fetching me to go into recovery. No FFS 

At least I’d stayed in the waiting room. One mother had the impression it was a 1.5hour procedure and left to get a coffee. FFS 

Her little Miss 3 was beside herself when I got into recovery. FFS

Boo, on the other hand, took one look at me and went back to sleep…Not sure if this is a FFS or not!

She smashed an icy pole and charmed the nurses before we went back to the ward.

My brave girl.
I know that my Boo is a freakin’ superstar. Not one tear out of her during the scary bits!

When we got back to the ward, Boo realised there was now a drip in her hand. FFS

She said it was hurting, and the nurses told her it wasn’t really that painful. FFS

I spend a fair bit of time in hospital. I know this isn’t quite true. Canulation hurts like a MOFO, no matter what they say. It’s not ‘just an inconvenience’, it’s a piece of plastic hanging out of your hand! FFS

Mum put Boo to rights again by handing over the iPad while she left to do some shopping. No FFS

Cuddles with Gran
I thought I’d try napping while Mum was gone, but the girl in the bed opposite hadn’t handled her operation well and proceeded to throw up and cry loudly for the next hour. FFS

Please don’t think me cold-hearted, I felt for her but I was beyond tired by this point! FFS

Boo intermittently slept, played and hazarded eating until about 6pm when my Mum left. The nurses decided that is was time for Boo to get out of her surgical robe and into her PJ’s.

I know how hard it is to get PJ’s on with a canula in. Boo didn’t. 

Even with a nurse and me helping, she managed to pull it out of her hand. FFS

I knew this before I saw it, she made a hideous gasping sound and burst into tears. FFS

Cue blood. Quite a lot of blood. FFS

She crawled up on me like a koala for cuddles. We hadn’t yet got her PJ pants on. FFS

It took me 15 minutes to calm her down, because she’d heard the nurse say it might have to go back in. FFS

The nurse got hold of a doctor and managed to make an agreement that if Boo drank plenty we wouldn’t need it back in. No FFS

I know how hard it is to get Boo to drink when she doesn’t want to, so we made a plan. She’d be allowed to watch a movie from the ward’s DVD library if she drank half a bottle of water before bed.

I know that movies can fix anything.

Boo slept through the night. I didn’t. FFS

The little girl across from us was awake hourly, screaming and sobbing. Everytime she woke, I was convinced it was Boo so I’d sit bolt-upright in bed panicking. FFS

Not one single time was it her. FFS

She barely woke when the nurses came to do her obs. No FFS

Suffice to say, by the time Mum rang at 6am to say she was running late, I was a wreck. FFS

Boo woke up at 7.30 am sooky and sore. FFS

She didn’t want to eat breakfast, but if she didn’t we weren’t allowed to go home. FFS

Mum got her to eat half a piece of toast. I maintain getting a little girl who just had her tonsils removed to eat toast is just plain mean. FFS

We were allowed to leave in the morning. No FFS

Mum took Boo, so I detoured past our house for a quick shower before I had to get Diddy from my grandparents. No FFS

Husbeast had smothered the fire (our only heat) with a gigantic log, so the house was effing FREEZING. FFS!

Diddy was a snotty, teething and sick mess when I picked her up. FFS

This is what I came home to. FFS
I know that two sick kids amounts to 18 times the work of one. FFS

Thanks again for joining me! I'm linking up with Sarah for FFS Friday at Move Fuel Love, Ann for Things I Know at Help!! I'm Stuck, and Grace for Flog Yo' Blog Friday at With Some Grace

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Cheaper the Better!

I’ve learned, over five years of parenting, that the cheapest forms of entertainment are often the best. Not just at home, where craft with household bits and pieces are a bigger hit than huge expensive toys, but on holidays too.

Bozo has a grandmother who insists on taking him to all the big, expensive things. Movies, Agricultural Shows, Luna Park, the circus and more. If there’s a cost of admission she’ll do it. It seems like she’s trying to buy his love. Husbeast gets frustrated at this, because he feels like it leaves us with very few things to do when we have him, but I disagree. I know that with kids, even older ones, the novelty value is key. Yes, Luna Park is pretty awesome fun, and the Show is full of rides, but so what? Let her spend all her money on things he won’t remember and hardly appreciates! 

Kids get joy out of new experiences, they don’t care how much adults spend on them! Last year, we took Boo and Bozo to Melbourne for a family event. The day after the event we had a whole day ahead of us with nothing to do, so we created a game plan. We packed lunch in backpacks, caught the train into the city from where we were staying in Ringwood, and gave the kids my Polaroid camera to play with. Each child had $10 pocket money to last them the day. Total cost so far? $28 (including the train fare off our Myki accounts).
When is a treat more than a treat? When it includes a train ride!

From Flinders St station, we hopped a train to Spotswood and walked to Scienceworks, where we spent at least 2 hours exploring, learning and playing. We ate our lunches outside in their amphitheatre and hit the playground, then spent more time in the section for smaller kids, giving Boo her fun. Total cost so far? $38 – Scienceworks cost next to nothing.
Unlocking the secrets of the universe.

Another train back into the city and we walked through the Royal Arcade off Bourke St to visit Suga. Suga is a traditional hard candy store that actually makes their candy out on display for people to see. The kids were allowed a sample each and used their pocket money to buy a sample bag to share. No cost there, they already had their money!
When you're 4, a playground is all the excitement you need.

We wandered around the city, taking in the atmosphere – the kids and I are mad for finding alleys with graffiti, and this time we even found graffiti artists at work! The kids had a blast in Federation Square taking photos of birds, passers-by and trams on Flinders St. Tired now, especially with me being 5 months pregnant, and knowing we had to drive home after reaching Ringwood, we jumped back on the train. By the time we reached Ringwood Station, the kids had only spent $2 each of their pocket money and had spare to save and the whole day all-up cost Husbeast and I around $50 total. 

I'm a sucker for this kind of thing - Photographer's paradise!
We do trips like that anytime we’re in Melbourne, finding cheap or free things to do either just as a family or with friends. My kids always take a film camera of some sort, and I take my digital one. They always remember these excursions and talk about them for months – the trip I’ve talked about was a year ago and Bozo still talks about it everytime we see him!

Why bother spending money on showbags full of junk? It’s fun to spoil the kids occasionally, but so often it’s true what they say – ‘The Best Things in Life Are Free’!

I’m linking up with Ann at Help!! I’m Stuck for Things I Know, and Flogging my Blog at With Some Grace today. Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Just GET OUT! My Birth Story

I'm a tad late posting this, but the beautiful ladies at The Lounge gave us the prompt 'Midwife' for this week, so fate was telling me the time had come! I wish I’d done this back in August, or September, or anytime around when Diddy was born, but I seem to spend so many days either busy with the girls or in a fog of tiredness, and I’m only just now beginning to feel competent to tell the story of how our girl Diddy joined us in the world.

On Sunday 18th August, 5 days after my due date, I started feeling Braxton Hicks contractions quite strongly at around 4am. I drifted in and out of sleep, determined to have some rest before our new little person joined us and sure it’d be soon. At 7am I woke Husbeast and told him that if the pains kept up, we’d probably have to drop Bozo home early, as I didn’t want to be trying to find him a ride home while we here heading to the hospital. 

Sick of all the messages and calls, I'd been posting daily
Instagram Photos tagged #stillpregnant

That morning, we went for a walk and I kept getting niggly, uncomfortable pains in my lower back so at midday I told Husbeast to call Bozo’s mother and let her know we were on our way. She proceeded to pout, but I didn’t much care. He was leaving for school camp at 6am the next day, so it wasn’t going to matter if he got home early to pack and rest!

On the way home, the pains slowed down and eventually stopped. We’d been in the car for an hour at that stage and I was desperate to move around and get things going – I felt silly having started a fuss if it was a false alarm! I kept getting pains every half hour or so for the rest of the day and went to bed around 9pm. By this stage, I was hoping it’d be another day or so as Boo’s first orientation session at school was the next day and I was scared I’d miss it.

My last Pregnant photo, taken on the Sunday night
Around 3am, the pains started again. I didn’t want to wake Husbeast unless I had to, so between 3am and 5.45 I timed contractions. They were still irregular, but were between 3 and 5 minutes apart and very uncomfortable! At 5.45, I woke Husbeast and asked him to ring the hospital. We live an hour away from where I delivered so I didn’t want to leave things too late. The midwife on duty told Husbeast to stay home but to call if the contractions got regular as it sounded like things were on the move. 

Tired and in pain, I decided it was time to call my Mum just before 7am to come and be with Boo. It wasn’t going to be long. While I rang her, I was hopping into a hot bath and by the time we’d hung up I knew things were happening. It was like a change happened. The next two contractions were much stronger and happened less than 4 minutes apart! I heaved out of the bath and got dressed. As Mum arrived, Husbeast was making porridge for himself and Boo (who’d woken to see what all the fus was about) and Mum watched me leaning over the sofa in pain then announced to Husbeast that it was time to go, my contractions were 3 minutes apart and we still had an hour to travel!

I had a cupful of ice cubes that I crunched while we were in the car. As we were leaving town, I called the hospital to let them know we were coming. The midwife told me to try and stay home as long as possible, and I told her too late, we were on our way.

Halfway to our birthing hospital, I was telling Husbeast to pull over. Our car was old, and seemed to be hitting every bump along the way. My contractions were 2.5 minutes apart and I was scared I’d be giving birth on the roadside in an ’89 Falcon! However, when he asked if I was serious (right as another contraction hit!) I shook my head and we kept going. I know he wanted to stop and call an ambulance, but in our rural area that could have taken much longer than soldiering on.

When we reached the hospital not long before 9am we parked right out the front in the 2hr parking (the only available parking at this hospital) are Husbeast helped me up to the Labour ward. Right as we entered the ward a humungous contraction ripped through me and I knelt down in the corridor. I couldn’t keep going! A Midwife came to us and helped me the last few metres into the birthing suite where I was met by Lisa, my birthing midwife, and Kim, a student midwife. I was Kim’s 17th birth, she told us as she timed contractions and checked Diddy’s heartbeat. Everything was OK and my contractions were 2 minutes apart, and when checked I was 5cm dilated! After my super long labour with Boo (4 days all up!) I was telling myself it was ages away, so I changed into a nightie and knelt up over the back of the bed with the Gas tube to ride it out.

Husbeast found my TENS machine and got that going on my back and it was like a miracle! I could think again! But the gas was making me loopy, slurry and sick. Kim and Husbeast sat with me while I threw up, and then I lay on my side, cuddling Husbeast and trying to convince myself I had hours to go! 

Not long before 10.30, I told Husbeast I thought I had to push, scared that I was going to be told ‘don’t be silly, you can’t be!’ by the midwives like I was during Boo’s birth. Instead, Lisa told Kim ‘never ignore a Mum who says she’s ready to push’ and gave me a quick check. Yes, I was 10cm, time to go!

Still flashing back to Boo’s birth, I was sure it’d be hours of pain and exhaustion. Boo took 2 hours of pushing and ventouse extraction to join us in the world. Regardless, I lay on my side, held Husbeasts hand and pushed as hard as I could, trying my hardest not to scream. During the first push my waters broke from the pressure, hard enough that they hit the wall and just barely missed Lisa as she moved out of the way! Between contractions, I remember being quite relaxed. My little girl would be with us today! After 3 pushes, Lisa and Kim told me they could see the head, but I told them not to get too excited, it’d go away again! The looked at me in confusion and after the next push I explained about Boo. Lisa told me the next push would get the head out and as it came I pushed, begging my little girl to come. After the push, I heard little gurgling sounds. Husbeast and the midwives were giggling – not even fully born and our little girl was chatting! 

My little girl
‘One more Tara, she’s coming!’ I pushed and felt a huge release of tension as Lisa lifted my little person onto my chest. She was here! Our little girl had come to be with us. The relief and exhaustion washed over me as I held my little girl close and smiled.
First Photo of Many!

 Later on, Kim told me she’d come out with one hand above her head which explained a small tear I had which needed stitching. We had a good laugh about that – my baby came out waving and talking, guess she wanted to make a grand entrance! 

I’m glad I finally got a chance to share this birth story. Thanks to the girls at The Lounge for the inspiration - Robomum is hosting this week, pop over and say Hi for me! I’m also sharing this post over at Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life. I’m so thankful that Diddy’s birth was much shorter and a much more positive experience than Boo’s. My midwives were absolute saints and made everything so breezy, peaceful and happy!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In My 'Spare Time'

A few years ago, I started a small photography business from home, doing family and childrens’ photos at outdoor locations. Over the years as my skill improved I took on some weddings, Debutante portraits and event photos. After four years, my business is still operating, quietly, in the background of my life. I’m so proud of what I have built, and I love the creative outlet my work has become. For not-so Wordless Wednesday with Sakura Haruka, and My Little Drummer Boys, and Ms Mystery Case for Worth Casing Wednesday, I’m sharing a few photos from the last few months of work with you all. I hope you enjoy.

One of my beautiful friends, K, a stunning Bride

My sister-in-law J and my soon-to-be niece!

Of course, this is my princess Diddy