Ex Pat Mamma

Sunday, July 31, 2005

No more pagan baby

So, the christening is today at 3pm. Judging by pupo's eating habits of the day, despite my best efforts, I suspect he will wake at approximately 3.05pm absolutely starving. This could be fun.

All in the Icelandic tradition, of course. We saw the pastor on Friday and arranged it all for today. That would be, we arranged it just hours before pupo got sick and now he is covered in heat spots just in time for all his photos. Ah well, not a beauty contest.

Shall let you know how it goes....

Sick baby = no fun :(

We have survived pupo's first "sickness." It seems he couldn't tolerate something in my milk - no idea what I ate, but I did have a lot of fruit so it might have been that. He was having trouble settling to sleep and then after his 3am feed, instead of going back to sleep, he screamed, and pooed (and not the usual innocuous breastfed poo, either) and screamed and threw up and screamed some more, till he ate again at 5am and then we repeated the whole thing. I just couldn't think what to do at the time; didn't occur to me to look up Marie Stoppard's baby care book at the time - it being 3am didn't exactly help. In retrospect, he must have been dehydrated and very thirsty because of the runs but all I could give him to drink was milk, which was the very thing that was upsetting him.

Of course, the next morning, when he is back to his usual self, I THEN look up Marie Stoppard to be told to call the doctor immediately. Oops, too late. Well, at least next time I'll know.

More to post, but the milk monster is awakening, so it'll have to wait...

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Good Baby!

Not a peep out of him in the church; even managed to go for a coffee and cake afterwards. Came home and he nearly gnawed my nipple off, but hey, at least he hung on that long.

Must go rescue him - having a good cry as nonno is learning how to change a nappy. (Despite being a father of two, I strongly suspect he has never done this before... )

19 days

Perhaps a little optimistic?

This morning, we shall attempt to take pupo to church with his Italian grandparents. This is a baby with fairly regular eating patterns, but a baby all the same whom I don't have the confidence to feed in public and whom, even if I had the confidence to feed in public, I would not feed in the catholic church of the single most conservative Irish priest I have ever encountered. He's managed to hang on long enough this morning that he should last out the service. Nonetheless this morning, this "bright idea" suddenly seems very dumb indeed.

My mum went home yesterday which leaves only the Italian grandparents. Pupo will need to be christened at some point (though in the "proper" church) but it is going to be impossible to have everybody here for that. How inconsiderate of him to arrive 2 weeks early when the lutheran minister was on vacation; now the minister is back, but my parents are away. Hubby's folks can't come over again this year and my parents are starting to think it is a bit too much. So maybe we will have him christened before hubby's folks go home. I feel bad though because I always assumed my parents (and his) would be part of it. Can't have everything, I suppose.

Time to grab breakfast in the 30 seconds I have left before pupo wakes up bawling for his breakfast.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bad Mummy (already!)

We're off to a wedding this afternoon, which means leaving pupo for an hour and a half. I have some expressed breast milk that I hope he won't have to take, as I hope he can hang on till I get back anyway (grandparents will take him out for a walk, which usually keeps him down.On the positive front, got a nice skirt that I can get into and control pants that means it even looks quite good ;)I'll have him walking to kindergarten by the age of 2...

The grandparents are here and being a big help - even if I am not very often in a mood for "entertaining." Hubby doesn't seem to understand that it is less tiring for me to run off to do the laundry (i.e. hide, hide hide) than to sit on the sofa making pleasant conversation. Just can't be xxxxed. Want to be alone with hubby and baby. It is enough for me to find the time and energy to feed my gluttonous wee boy, change him, play with him and sleep and eat myself, without having to worry about other people.

Pupo ADORES his dad; such a daddy's boy, which is brilliant. I think it is much to do with the fact that for the whole first day of his life, I couldn't stand up by myself, let alone lift or change him so he got used to his dad. It would have been so different if daddy hadn't been able to be in hospital all the time - then it would have been midwives who would have then been out of his life. Daddy is so good at playing with him. Sometimes I feel like I can't do enough for him. He gets his playtime after he eats and I am often exhausted and can't find the energy to give him such fun activities. (Yesterday he guzzled for a whole hour, hardly stopping for breath - surely too early for a growth spurt!) I do not grudge daddy at all, not for a second; I am delighted that he is so good with pupo and that pupo loves him so much. It's just that I wish I could do such a good job. I know how to play with him, what he needs, what he enjoys and what is good for him, but I can't always find the energy to do as much with him as I would like. But I won't be this tired forever, I'm sure.

10 days

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

No Going Back

Quick post - then back to the living room to admire by baby :)

It has happened; I have become "one of those mothers" who cannot talk about anything apart from baby and gets excited about poo. (He had his first proper solid jobbies!)

Pupo went for his check up yesterday morning and had already made up his birthweight. He was officially pronounced perfect.

Feeding time results in something of a cleopatra experience (mum and baby, sofa, cushions and have the house become immersed in a milk bath); Pupo is already being manipulated into a routine.

We are all blissfully happy. He will be one week old tonight. I can't believe he is really here; but at the same time, I can't remember life without him.

Scottish Grandma is here and has been helping out a lot; Grandpa arrives in a few hours. The nonni will be here on Thursday (they had booked for the 18th, on the assumption that he wouldn't be here till at least the 10th - well, that's what I told them! - but have managed to change flights.

6 days and 15 hours

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Birth of Kieran Logi

Part One
Kieran was due on the 14th of July, but mummy and daddy expected him to be much later. On the 30th of June, he had shown no interest in engaging. On Sunday the 3rd of July, mum and dad were having dinner with friends and saying: “he isn’t coming any time soon.”

At 6am on Monday 4th, Kieran decided to prove us wrong. I had a show and went into a total panic mode! (“But we don’t have… a, b, c…. yet.”). Dad kept a bit calmer and got things together. Mum had some occasional twinges during the day, but by evening was having contractions every five minutes – but not sore ones. We phoned the hospital and were invited to come in to see if this really was the start of something, or just Braxton Hicks. I thought they weren’t Braxton Hicks, but I also didn’t believe that Kieran was willing to enter the world just yet.

The midwife confirmed 1cm dilation and the 5 minute contractions; we were invited to stay but decided to go home. I got about 2 hours sleep, because of the contractions (less frequent, but still not sore).

Mum got about 2 hours sleep and on Tuesday we realised that Kieran wouldn’t wait. But I was still in denial and didn’t want to announce my labour to find it was in fact a false alarm. We went a walk together and I bought a nursing bra (item b on the not got yet list!). We met a colleague and a student, with whom I discussed Turkish Cypriot property law.

By late afternoon, the contractions were getting sore, and I needed to moan through them. They were becoming more regular by about 4 o’clock; at one point every 5 minutes, but then back to 7-8. We realized it was time to go to hospital but I wanted to call my mum who would get home from work at 4.30 our time; we waited and waited; all the time on MSN with my best friend who was saying: “GO TO HOSPITAL!” and my husband saying: “I’m not sure we should wait!” Hubby’s mum had been trying to get us to go to hospital from the previous night – “But if you go to hospital, doctors can look at her.” (like that would help!)

We waited: (stubborn old bint, me!). At 4.30 I phoned Scotland to say it was time to go in – mum had picked THIS day, of all days, to work an extra half hour. Aaagh!! Tried to hang on, but at 5pm realised we had to go. As we were getting our shoes on, the phone rang and we went back in to take it; it was indeed mum and I gasped and panted and told her we were on her way.

Part Two
We arrived at the hospital at 1710 on Tuesday 5th July; I was 4cm dilated; the contractions were regular and starting to hurt a bit more. After the checks, hubby and I were left alone to get on with things; we had TWO birthing suites to pace about it, including a ball, ensuite, hot tub. By six the contractions were every 4 minutes, but nonetheless we hobbled to the kaffistofa for some toast and orange juice as I realized this might be my last chance for a while and I tried not to groan too much in public! Then back to our birth suite to “labour” some more.

By 1930 I was in the bath and the pain was getting too much; we called the midwife, Edda, who massaged me through each contraction until it got unbearable and we got out for a check and some decisions on pain relief. All this took some time; I was only 5cm dilated – aaagh, 2.5 hours and only once centimeter; a little mental arithmetic left me very dejected; I could NOT go on with this. We tried gas and air which worked a bit for a little while and then I just couldn’t breath any more; I felt I was suffocating. And I thought this was going to continue for another 12.5 hours! I said to Edda: “Now, I would like to change my birth plan to read: ‘At the first sign of maternal distress, a c-section should be offered.” Hadn’t lost my sense of humour, anyway.


Siggi (epidural man, henceforth known as St. Siggi) came in but it all takes some time to get organized and for it to take effect. I think the epidural went in about 10pm; we had a “test” dose and then the main whack which was to last for an hour and a half. I had to lie on my back to get it to take effect, but had no sooner got over than I was told to get on my hands an knees. “Don’t want to”… “no, but you have to,” “why?,” “the baby needs you to move.” OH CRAP! I heard her call Ragnheidur who, I knew was the obstetrician, so I also knew I HAD to get turned over. Not easy with an epidural and a very tired body. As soon as I was on my hands and knees, his heartbeat picked up and I heard Edda say to tell Ragnheidur not to bother coming. And that, my dear friends, was the most "worrying" part of the whole experience - no more than a few seconds.

And then…oh the BLISS. The absence of pain. What a blessing. I was so happy to get a nap, thinking when I woke up I would be ready to work some more.

Twenty minute nap and I could feel a little pressure in my vagina and… oops, waters went; told hubby. And then POP, SPLASH eruption of waters everywhere! The midwife came over and I said I was starting to feel the contractions again and she got ready to top up the epidural. I could feel pressure on my vagina, so I asked her just to check; I was sure it was just the waters, but would she just... you know…

Kieran was 2 inches away from delivery! Help! So, no more epidural for mum. I was soooo disappointed; “it’s not fair, I’m not ready; I want my nap; I shouldn’t have said anything till you were done.”

At 11pm, Edda was due to change shift, and Hulda took over; but Edda was sooooo sweet and stayed with me nonetheless. 11.10pm I was pushing. Oh my, was I pushing. Get it OUT!!

Kieran Logi arrived at 2341; 3.49kg, 50cm long and 35cm head circumference. My first words were (allegedly): “My God; I just had a baby. My baby.” Well, I still wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t all a “false labour” because I thought he would be late.

Hubby had been fantastic the whole way. He did exactly what I asked him when I asked him; he didn’t make “suggestions” and just held me when I needed held, picked me up when I needed to stand, helped me turn when I needed to turn, cleaned me up as and when required, and was all round a total star.

I don’t remember the first few minutes of his life; I think I just collapsed in a big heap of relief and exhaustion. I remember him being placed on my chest and suckling a little; Daddy cut the cord; Hulda poked and prodded and hurt me for an hour and we tried to turn Kieran round (I’ve no idea why) to suckle the other breast, but he didn’t want it. Still, it gave me something to concentrate on as I got a grand total of 3 stitches; all in the vagina. Perineum intact and not a single pile J (These things matter, trust me!)

Kieran had his checks, hubby was shown how to clean him (I think; I couldn’t even turn over to watch.) I got offered something to eat: “what would you like?” I was asked – “A big plate of hubby’s creamy pasta.” “Hmmm… well, we have some toast.” “OK, I’ll have the toast then.”

After a 25 minute second stage, it then took me about 40 to go for my first pee! I couldn’t stop shaking but was also extremely dizzy (something that didn’t pass till well into Thursday). They wheeled the bed to me, because I couldn’t manage to walk back to bed in a new ward with a bed also for hubby. Kieran was placed between us, I fell into what seemed like a coma and hubby nipped home to make the calls; when he came back, I sat awake for an hour just looking at Kieran; he was so beautiful and I couldn’t believe he was here. Still can’t.

The next day, Hulda told me that she could have pulled him out with her hands, no need even for an episiotomy; I replied: “Why didn’t you? Why did you make me push?!!”

Now we are all very very well; we went our first walk yesterday; my milk is here (oh, if it is HERE! already experienced my first blocked duct, ow ow ow ow ow, but now I know how to express. We already have one full bottle in the freezer and have expressed more than the same again just to throw away for my own relief.) But that is settling down. Kieran is sleeping very well in his carry cot and for the last 2 nights only wakes to feed. Hope it lasts!

We are all soooooooooooooooooooooo happy and proud and delighted; Grandma (Scottish) is here; Grandpa (Scottish) comes on Tuesday; Italian nonni arrive on the 18th (they had prebooked their tickets, assuming a birth around the 19th).

OF COURSE you will hear lots more about us J
Meanwhile, I cannot say enough positive things about the FANTASTIC maternity care here, especially with helping me learn to breastfeed and a simply personal service: my midwife staying beyond her shift to help deliver Kieran and an obstetrician I hadn’t seen since all the early post- bleeding scans popping in the next day with his congratulations.

One very very proud and delighted expatmamma
Kieran Logi, 4 days, 11 hours and 40 minutes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

It's happening....

Well, last night I had some weird pains, but I couldn't tell if they were "contractions" or not, so after waiting a while, we called the hospital and went up for a check. Got monitored and they are definitely "real" contractions, roughly every 5 minutes, but not very regular and I wasn't very dilated, so I came home.

OOOUCH here's another one!!!!

They got much more infrequent and I slept for an hour, then later for another hour. Hubby got about 6 hours, which is good, because there is no point in us both being shattered before this even starts. Now, they are irregular, between 8 and 15 minutes apart. Getting sorer too. But I could still be here another day before there is any point going back to hospital. I want to wait at home as long as possible. Lounging on the sofa watching Bridget Jones; hubby is pottering in the kitchen and has just put the car seat in.

Back to the sofa then... could be getting through a few more movies.

Crikey, will be a mum soon....


Monday, July 04, 2005

A Show a Show!!!!

Without going into details, I woke up to a definite "show" this morning. Baby could come today; could come in 2 weeks. But it isn't unlikely that it will be the next few days...

Total panic. Been up since 6 am and still haven't got round to brushing my teeth. Think I'm off for a greet now. And to finish packing my hospital bag. And making the bed. Got a lot of pain too which comes and goes in my back and my abdomen, but I don't think it is a 'contraction.' Not sore enough!!


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Wishful thinking...

For 3 mornings in a row now, I have woken about 4am and then again at 8am with quite sore cramps low down and backache. Could it be? Could it? I mean, it probably isn't but... could it? PLEASE let it be it....!!! But nah, as soon as I get out of bed and walk around it goes away. I'm kidding myself. Pupo won't turn up for a couple of weeks yet, but, well, he COULD and, well, that would be great....

I've booked myself in for a pregnancy massage on Thursday. All terribly posh but I think it will be very good for my generally achy body and as my mum rightly said, I might as well pamper myself now, 'cause I won't have a chance once pupo is here. But if he happens to turn up before that, I will happily forego the massage ;)

Just as long as he hangs on long enough for me to finish defrosting the freezer. Nesting... sigh....