Thursday 15 December 2011

The day I broke my son's heart

Every day in playgrounds across Australia and probably the world you can hear mothers telling their children not to play with sticks.  Sticks are a boy's best friend and a mother's worst nightmare.  All we can imagine is someone losing an eye as careless children wield them at each other with no regard for the danger but kids don't see a dangerous stick they see a sword to have a pirate battle, a magic wand or a beautiful flute.

Noah and I got into a battle royale today - I had relented and allowed him to play with a rather large stick in the park but when he insisted on bringing it in the car and home I was strident.  He is usually fairly easily convinced to leave them behind but today he was adamant.  Eventually after getting nowhere with reasoning and then a time out I took that blasted stick and snapped it over my knee.  Noah burst into tears and was wailing 'my beautiful flute, my beautiful flute'  'I need glue to get it back how it was'. He was repeating it over and over and crying so hard it was the ugly snotty cry.  Even when I tried to apologise and explain my actions he wouldn't look me in the eye.  My words can't do his level of emotion justice - he was genuinely heartbroken and he looked at me with such hurt my heart broke too.

I was with a friend who also has small children and we were both struck by the moment (and to be honest a little bit teary).  We realised that sometimes rules need to be broken.  That sometimes we need to let our kids have a win.  Would it really have killed me to let him bring the stick home. These are not little people to be controlled by our never ending rules.  Our children are full of potential - they need our guidance and some of our rules need to be steadfast but some can be bent to allow their creativity and imagination and independence to blossom.

As I type this Noah has helped himself to a jar of screws and has glued them to a collage he's working on.  I have had to remove them from his picture (They are part of an IKEA project I'm building so it's not negotiable) and he is upset (again) but the stick I could have given in on.

Amendment at 8pm

Just to document another major parenting failure - it appears I have also managed to get my beautiful 6 week old boy's face sunburned in the park today.

Both these event have caused me many tears this evening and I have realised I am at that point where no area of my life is being given the attention it needs or deserves.  I am juggling too many balls and something has got to give.  It might be time to cut the 3 hourly expressing sessions and give in to the failing battle to breastfeed.  More on that front tomorrow.

Oh yeah and my cleaner of two years quit today too.  Best. Day. Ever.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Harper 1 month.

Better late than never he's actually 6 weeks and 2 days now

Friday 2 December 2011

Things I know

As a mother of two now there are some things I have learnt - I thought I'd share.

1. Having 2 children is the fail safe quickest way to cure a lifelong nail biting habit! My hands are never still.

2. You can (and will) blow dry your hair using the car air conditioning on the way to Kindy/Swimming etc

3. The sound of the breast pump will become the soundtrack for your life and you will grow to love it's funky   German nightclub beats.

4. You and your husband will never again have a conversation that doesn't involve talk of poo, breast milk and who's turn it is to change the nappy.

5. Even though you wondered if you could ever love another child as much as your first - the love is instant and overwhelming and the pride of watching your older boy love his new brother is heartbreakingly special.

6. It's all worth it (and sleep is for the weak!)

Thursday 1 December 2011

Thursday 24 November 2011

Family of Four

I am a mother of two.  It still hasn't completely sunk in.  So many times we thought we would never have a child at all let alone two beautiful boys.

Harper is 3 weeks and 4 days old now and so far, although life is really hectic, we are settling in well to this new family arrangement.

Noah has taken to his big brother role better than we could ever have imagined.  He is so patient and wonderful with me even though I am constantly unable to be there for him like I used to be.  He is beyond smitten with Harper and is never far from him with oh so gentle kisses and cuddles.  He wants to help in every aspect of Harper's care and is actually a very capable and useful extra set of hands.

As far as Harper goes we had a little hiccup when he was re-admitted to the hospital 4 days after coming home but now he is gaining weight beautifully and is a nice and healthy 3.5 kilos.  Unfortunately breastfeeding is proving a challenge again and so I have had to concede to formula top-ups to keep this tiny boy of ours on the right track.  Hopefully with the help of the lactation consultant we will get to 100% breastfeeding eventually.

Here are some more pictures of our beautiful boys

Wednesday 2 November 2011

A Brand New Baby De Roach - Harper Thomas

Harper Thomas De Roach
Born 9.47am, 31st of October 2011
3.185 kg, 51 cm long

Sunday 30 October 2011

The Night Before

The time has finally come.  I'm heading off to bed soon and when I wake up it's off bright and early to the hospital.  Our new baby boy will be making his grand entrance at around 9am.  We are all very excited.

I'm not at all nervous about the C Section but I will be waiting with bated breath to see if our boy comes out healthy and ready to face the world without any medical intervention.  After Noah and I being separated for the first days of his life (in two separate hospitals) I am very hopeful of a different outcome this time.

We have had a wonderful family weekend.  The added bonus of a long weekend here in Perth has meant 3 days of action packed fun.  Beach, Playgrounds, Fremantle, CHOGM, Lazy Breakfasts, Cafe Breakfasts, Tapas, Drinks in the sun - you name it we've squeezed it in.  It has been special to enjoy this time just the 3 of us hanging out together like we love to do.

I can't wait to meet my boy in the morning but beyond myself I am bursting to see Noah meet his baby brother.  I just know he will be in love at first sight and I look forward to watching all of their brotherly love and adventures ahead.

Rob or I will be back soon with lots of pictures and all the news.  See you on the other side.

Saturday 22 October 2011

Sometimes with toddlers you find yourself in a conversation so unexpected all you can do is dive right in and hope for the best.

A few nights ago we were reading bedtime stories and we read Moo-Cow Kung-Fu-Cow and in the story there is mention of tattoos which lead to a discussion about Mummy and Daddy's tattoos and in particular one on Daddy's arm that has the name of our first son who was stillborn - Banjo.

We have never really laboured this event with Noah and we certainly don't discuss it regularly and definitely not in a sad way.  We have however been open with him.  We have a big gum tree in our backyard with a plaque for Banjo and there is a teddy bear with his name and birth date printed on (Noah also has one of those for his birth).  We do visit the cemetary a couple of times a year.  We have kept the facts pretty light for him.  'Mummy had a baby boy in her tummy before you and he was sick so he went to Heaven to be an angel.'

This particular conversation started the same way but the questions just kept coming.  They Why's were never ending and I patiently answered them all - keeping things simple and light.  I guess he is getting to the age where the concept of death is solidifying for him.  We recently saw the Lion King and of course the death of Mufasa was a major storyline and it may even have started this whole interest.

At one stage he asked for Banjo's bear in bed with him for a snuggle and I could see he was getting teary, I was not showing any sadness so it amazes me that his little mind is processing this concept and understanding the emotions that go with it.  He's only just turned 3.

Eventually I managed to wind up the conversation and said goodnight but as I walked to the door to leave his room he started sobbing.  There is only one other time I have seen Noah genuinely cry and that was when he saw me cry.  We get the hurt cry and the 'sad that I got told off or can't get what I want' cry but this was different.  My heart broke in two - he was wailing by now with cries of  'Mummy why did Banjo leave us'  'Why did he have to go'. ' I love Banjo the best'. He was inconsolable. All I could do was hold him.

He was very confused by his own emotions and even asked me at one stage why he felt so sad.  I told him that's it's because he is a beautiful boy with a huge heart full of love and it's all true.  His capacity for love, kindness and compassion amazes me every day.

Eventually he calmed down and went to sleep and since then he has asked more questions but thankfully no repeats of the emotions of that night.

Is 3 too young to know about death? How much information do you think is the right amount?

Sunday 2 October 2011

Pregnancy, Infertility and Loss

I wrote a post last week about my pregnancy so far - it was very positive and upbeat but I never got around to publishing it.  Then we had a very traumatic weekend where we felt very uncertain about the safety of our unborn baby and went through a lot of stress.  It is never far from our minds that we lost our first son and it certainly adds an extra dimension of worry and stress to pregnancy.  The fear that it could happen again is sometimes overwhelming.  It's something that is part of my life, everyday during my pregnancy I wait for those little movements. I count them, I analyse them.  They are the only element of control I feel like I have.  My Obstetrician is amazing - she has 100% faith in me, if I'm worried she takes it seriously.  So last weekend we had two visits to the hospital to undergo ultrasound and foetal monitoring - both times all was fine.  Seeing that my stress levels are peaking my OB has now commenced twice weekly CTG (foetal heart rate monitoring) sessions as well as weekly visits.  I have also undergone the steroid injections to help mature this little guys lungs just in case we decide to bring him into the wide world even earlier than already planned.

The idea of so much intervention would be abhorrent to many people I know.  It is to me also, but in the end I will take a a baby in my arms over the grim alternative no matter what it takes.  I am pregnant through the miracle of science and I will use that same science whenever it is required even if it is not my perfect dream scenario.  In the end I will have my perfect dream baby.

Here's last weeks unpublished post too

When you're pregnant the first time around - being pregnant is pretty much the focus of your life.  It's all about you and how precious and clever you are growing this new life inside you.  The second time (or beyond) there is a child (or children) to care for and it's easy to forget the pregnancy completely.  Much like the universal complaint that subsequent children are less photographed so too the pregnancy is far less documented.  The first 2 times around I recorded every little detail, every appointment, every milestone.

So on that note I thought it only fair that this little boy who will join our family in only a few weeks get some attention.  The first thing about this pregnancy is that I have been really well - I don't think I have had one single episode of true morning sickness.  Sure I've had days where I've felt off or the thought of certain foods made my stomach churn but at least 95% of the time I've been fighting fit.

I have been injecting blood thinners daily this time as before but that's a very small price to pay.  Let's be real - I've had about 10 rounds of IVF, an induced birth and a Caesar - not much could phase me anymore.

All of our tests have been really positive.  Our first trimester screening gave us a 1 in 641 result so need for an amnio this time around - a stress I was glad to avoid.

This bub is a mover and a shaker - boy does he wriggle and we've all had great delight feeling him move and watching Mummy's tummy do some pretty cool alien tricks as hands and feet poke out to say hi.

All in all a great pregnancy.  We all just can't wait to meet this new little boy and discover everything there is to know about him.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Family Photos

A couple of weekends ago we had some family pictures taken.  We had some around the same time last year and thought it would be nice to get some of the three of us before we become four and also document my pregnancy which sometimes gets a bit forgotten in the blur of everyday life with a toddler.

Our Crazy Kid

Mummy, Noah and Bump

The Boys

The Whole Gang

If you're in Perth and you want a fun relaxed photo session with a wonderful photographer - check Michelle out at Dainty Stills Photography

San Francisco

From the start San Francisco was a much needed change of pace.  We packed up and left the Disney Hotel nice and early on Monday morning (August 1st) and headed for the AMTRAK station.  In my husband's infinite wisdom the decision had been made to travel from Anaheim to San Fran via train.  It was something he really wanted to do and he assured me the scenery would be amazing.  I was ambivalent to the idea of 12 hours on a train with a 3 year old but I was so wrong - it was a perfect day.  

However before we got on the train things got way too hectic and stressful for my liking.  After the short trip from Anaheim to Union Station in LA we realised we had about 2 hours to kill before the long train ride started.  One flippant comment from Rob and we were in a cab whizzing around the sights of LA (not a planned part of this trip).  We almost missed our train to San Francisco and it took about half an hour for my heart to stop racing.

Here's the evidence that we have been to LA!!

Once we were on the train the relaxation really began.  Rob was right the scenery was beautiful - farmland, beaches, bird-filled wetlands, old mining towns and quaint stations.  We were blown away by our day on the train.  We had booked a sleeper cabin so we all napped and relaxed and we were also fed a really nice hot lunch and dinner - all included for only just over $200 for all of us.  It was a great way to recharge plus see some sights we would never see had we flown up the coast.

Our hotel was situated right in Fisherman's wharf with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.  All of these pictures were taken within a 10 minute walk of our hotel.

One of the highlights of San Francisco was time spent with our wonderful friends who had left Australia about two months earlier to start a new life living in Cupertino (about an hour from SF).   These are friends who trusted me with their children for four years so they mean a lot to me and especially I love those kids like they were mine.  Noah has very close bonds with the kids and especially with the Ivy who is only 9 days older. It was like a reunion from a teary rom-com and then they were inseparable for those couple of days.


We all cruised under the bridge together and visited the famous Pier 41 sea lions

Noah loved the public art - we had to take at photo at every one

Riding the famous Cable Cars

Views up and down Lombard Street - Famous for being a very long steep road that includes a section that is supposed to be the windiest in the world

Some of Noah's Photography 

Noah having a nap on a bench in Muir Woods

Muir Woods and the famous California Redwood Trees

Next Stop Vegas and then New York City.  


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