Archive | January, 2010

Testing, testing…..

29 Jan

I’ve had a bit of a reality check about how easy it is having a baby.

It’s easy when everything goes well.

But as soon as there’s a question mark of any kind, geez it gets hard quickly!

I had a phone call last night from the hospital saying that they want to redo the newborn screening tests for the baby.

These tests test for genetic and metabolic disorders – the most scary of which is cystic fibrosis, but others that would also be not much fun to deal with.

They couldn’t tell me WHY they wanted to retest. Just that they needed to do it and wanted it done as soon as possible.

So I didn’t sleep well last night. Fear instantly crept into bed with us. I held him a little more tightly than I have other nights and I found myself listening to his breathing, checking his body for anything unusual. BUT no, he just seems perfect.

We were already heading into the hospital today to do his newborn hearing test so it worked out well for me to also get the screening test done today as well.

We did the hearing test first. AND his hearing is fine. I wasn’t quite as fine, because the tester used Avagard handrub on her hands before doing the testing.

For anyone who’s spent time in a NICU, you may identify with the horrible memories that can be churned up by THAT smell. For me, it just sums up everything that was awful about being in the NICU. She was standing right beside me, attaching the sensors to the baby’s head. It might sound silly, but I had to summon up all my energy to just not burst into tears.

BUT I didn’t. And his hearing is fine. Yay.

Next, I had to head over to the special care nursery for the repeat screening test. Another place I really would rather not be. It’s not the special care nursery where S was, but still.  There they were. All those tiny little babies, all those anxious parents not able to take their bundles of joy home yet. AND again. That smell. Ugh.

The baby didn’t wake when they pricked his heel. He’s such a cool dude.

The nurse tried to soothe my nerves, telling me it was ‘probably nothing’ and to just take confidence from how well he’s feeding and growing to just assume they needed to retest because it was a dud sample first time around.

And I know the odds are definitely in our favour that it IS nothing to worry about.

BUT I will still worry. Because we’ve fallen the wrong side of the odds in the past. I’m not brave enough to consider that everything will automatically be fine.

I’ll try not to worry too much though. Especially as they’ve said it might be TEN days til we get results.

I will just keep enjoying this beautiful boy who is still feeding and sleeping like a dream. He is having longer periods of being awake and he loves to just gaze into the eyes of whoever is holding him. And he’s learnt to love his baths too.

More photos to come (the cable to to the computer hasn’t been unpacked yet….it’s got to be here somewhere???)

AND he has a name. To keep in line with the blog, I’ll be keeping it to initials – he is an A baby. We tried very hard for a J name to stick with tradition, but it really did reach a point where there just wasn’t the perfect J name around……

And now I am off for another cuddle.

What’s in a name????

25 Jan

Our little boy is 10 days old today. He is divine. He sleeps and feeds, feeds and sleeps.
I’ve not had an ‘easy’ baby before and it is a revelation. Wow. I could do this again and again ;-).
He looks so much like S did when he was a baby that I find myself often wondering what might have been if S hadn’t suffered such trauma at his birth….would he have been an ‘easy’ baby too??? I rarely play the ‘what if’ game, but I guess new mummy hormones and this gorgeous little bundle means I am allowed to have that odd fleeting thought about what may have been my first experience as a parent IF things had been different….

AND this gorgeous, divine, sleeping little boy does not yet have a name.

He’s had 2 already, but neither have stuck.

And now as I hunt around for a third – the ‘perfect’ name – my husband has started to just roll his eyes and wonder if I’ll ever find a name that I think is ‘right’.

Maybe he’s right. But I LOVE my other boys names. They are perfect. AND I want this little guy to have the perfect name too. A name that belongs to him, suits him and becomes him.

I have one in mind. It’s lovely. I just have to convince my husband that this time I’ll be happy with it and that it will be a ‘keeper’.

As for the little boy. I don’t think he minds. He’s too busy sleeping and gurgling and getting lots of cuddles.

M calls him (constantly and with much love and affection) ‘baby brother’. He is not at all jealous as I’d feared and seems much happier about the ‘baby brother’ than he ever did about the ‘baby in the tummy’. He laughs whenever his little brother gets the hiccups and is LEARNING to be gentle as he pats his head or touches his face (and learning not to poke his fingers into his eyes or his mouth for a reaction).

And S adores him too. He tells me that the baby is his best friend. And he also tells me that we don’t need a new name. His name is ‘Ogol’. Well at least someone is sure about a name ;-).

Oh baby!!!

17 Jan

He’s here!!!Our gorgeous boy #3. Born 3.48pm yesterday 16/01/10, weighing 3.64 kg. Still not sure about the name….we’re home and happy. He’s just divine and his big brothers love him!!!

While things certainly happened fairly quickly (we got to hospital just 30 minutes before he was born) and progressed very smoothly, it wasn’t a totally incident free birth – those who know about S’s birth story will understand how freaked out I was to have a birth that involved the following phrases in the birth notes: “cord wrapped tightly around neck”, ‘mild/mod shoulder dystocia” and ‘oxygen required 1 minute’.

BUT he is fine. perfect. gorgeous.

I experienced some post traumatic stress flashbacks  but now doing great and loving the lil guy to bits.

What did I just say?

10 Jan

Hands up any parents who have ever responded to something that their child says with the words ‘really?’, ‘yes’ or ‘I know!’ when in fact you’ve not really been listening to what they’re saying.

My hand is high in the air. Both in fact. And yes, with a certain amount of guilt. However, I’ve been quite relieved to hear from close friends and family that they’ve done this with their kids on more than one occasion.

I know it’s not ideal, but wow, sometimes kids really have a lot to say.

And when you add in the fact that your child has seriously affected speech due to cerebral palsy, the temptation is great to just pretend that you’ve understood something when in fact, you didn’t actually get past the third word.

In my defence, S and I spend a LOT of time where I focus very carefully on what he has to say, where I help him to convey complex ideas using Makaton signing, the ‘PROMPT’ technique, his PODD communication book, his clunky Dynovox (that we’re looking forward to updating this year) OR with good old fashioned gestures or what I call ‘narrowing the field questions’ (eg ‘Is it something I can eat?’, ‘Is it a place we’ve been?’).

But all this takes times and there are times when I  just don’t have the time OR the energy to work through every single sentence.

And at age 5, S has a LOT to say. He wants to tell me what he’s doing. He wants to tell me what he’s just done. He wants to tell me what he’s going to do. He wants to tell me what he’s pretending to do and quite often he wants to tell me what each of his toys are doing (his teddy often goes to school or work, Dory the fish is often in hospital and Nemo seems to have a birthday party every week).

It’s a lot to keep up with.

Especially right now when I’m heavily pregnant and tired and spending a lot of time trying to pack up our house around him.

Believe me, I am NOT complaining. His speech was almost non-existent until about 18 months ago and I am honestly thrilled that he has now reached a stage where he wants to talk in long complicated sentence.

But the longer the sentence, the more chance there is that two things will happen – 1) there will be at least one word (often more) that has me bamboozled because it’s a new word or one that is particularly difficult for him to articulate and 2)the quality of his speech will deteriorate because he’ll be focusing more on getting the sentence out rather than articulating every sound clearly.

End of word consonants are a particular problem for him when he’s on a roll. For anyone unfamiliar with his speech patterns, that probably seems like quite an understatement. I know many people find it hard to understand a lot of his speech. But those who know him well can pick up more and more of what he wants to convey.

And of course, as his mum, I often have an advantage because I can make educated guesses based on the context AND on knowing what he often likes to discuss. (For example he’s particularly fond of talking about a flying car that could take him to Indonesia to visit his extended family there ;-)).

So to get back to my original point, S has cleverly developed a new strategy of his own to counter any ‘really?’, ‘hhhmmm, that’s nice’ comments.

He will now ask me “What did I just say?” after he’s finished every sentence, if my response indicates anything other than perfect understanding.

And if my answer to that question is unsatisfactory, then he’ll insist we go back to his original question/statement/story and make sure I understand completely.

I am proud of him for working out this strategy, for insisting on being understood and for persisting.

But it was only just this morning, as I tried to discuss something with my darling husband as he was watching a soccer game in some far off land on TV that it clicked just where S had got this strategy from.

I was listing a half dozen jobs I wanted my husband to do after the game was over (moving day is two days away!!) and he responded with a ‘hhmmm, sure’. And then there was my light bulb moment as I heard myself ask him ‘What did I just say?’…..and realised I ask him that question rather often ;-).

So now I know that S is not only getting very good at speaking, but he’s also very adept at listening and learning ;-). I hope his dad is too!

A New Year (new house, new baby to come)…!

6 Jan

Happy New Year!

Sorry I’ve been missing.

Christmas, my birthday and New Year all passed in a bit of a blur as we planned, packed, survived heatwaves and MANY 2 year old tantrums, organised Aunty J to travel to Jakarta for her visa interview (already!) and generally just kept very, very busy.

And then my husband used up all our Internet allowance downloading who knows what so I was reduced to dial up speed. The slowing down was actually a pleasant relief – getting on line being one less thing to do. An enforced break from the Internet right at the time when there was so much to do ‘in real life’.

And now, here we are. It’s Jan 7th. Tomorrow I will be 38 weeks pregnant. The baby is not quite engaged, and possibly quite big. I had a scan which suggested he was 3.4 kg last week but the doctor at my most recent appointment dismissed this, saying 3rd trimester ultrasounds are notoriously inaccurate and I don’t  ‘look’ big.

Hhmm. I don’t feel big either. But at the same time. I don’t particularly want to give birth to another 4kg baby with the associated risk of his shoulder getting stuck during the delivery.

Again, the doctor worked on alleviating my fears saying that with a history of shoulder dystocia there would be little chance of anyone involved in the birth (probably me included) missing the signs of this happening and the situation would be dealt with swiftly, avoiding any injury to either myself or the baby.

Still. I am not 100% convinced.

I have another doctor appointment tomorrow and I kind of hope they’ll be inclined to consider inducing me at 39 weeks (next Friday or soon thereafter) JUST IN CASE he is bigger than he seems. JUST IN CASE something could go wrong.

I would prefer to go into labour naturally and have no intervention at all, but most of all I just want a healthy little baby boy in my arms.

I am STILL swimming. Still walking. And still hoping for another wonderful birth experience. But feeling remarkably relaxed about whatever will happen…

And we move house on Tuesday. We’re still busy packing and cleaning, sorting and decluttering. It still seems a little surreal that we’ll be moving into our own home, paying a mortgage and being very grown up with our almost complete family.

Exciting times.

It’s going to be a busy year. Hopefully a great year.

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope your year is wonderful too ;-).

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