Tuesday, 22 December 2009

And baby makes eight.......

Our baby girl, born at home in water. Snuggling skin to skin with mummy after her journey earth side.

Her biggest fan club, her siblings. They adore her and are very gentle and soft with her, it is lovely.

In these first days lots of sleeping, which is great for a mumma needing rest and recovery.

4 days old and she has changed so much already. Her face is smoother, and eyes brighter and more open. Her fan club love to sit and watch them stroke her hair and cheeks. This is both heart warming and has me 'eek' at the same time, making sure the littlest ones touch her gently.
She has already had one sibling accidentally poke her in the eye, and another elbow her in the head and sit on her trying to get closer. This is part of being the youngest and happened to her siblings before her.
For this baby girl she has older siblings too, ready to jump in and make sure she is ok and all is well.
I can't stop looking at her. She is here, outside the warmth and snugness of my womb. Now she she is there, cradled in her daddy's arms. Like her siblings before her, I feel as though she has always been here, just waiting her turn.
Her first trip will be to Nanna and Poppy's house for christmas in a few days. Thankfully this year it is a very low key, easy christmas. Perfect for a new bub and mumma who needs to take it slow and heal well.
I hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday season.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

A milestone....

41 weeks.
This is my first time in all of my pregnancies I have reached 41 weeks. I feel, nothing. Meh. I have come a very, very long way since our first, very medicalised pregnancy, labour and birth.
My trust, faith and knowledge has moved further and further away from medical, and is now very much deeply strong towards my inner voice, inner knowing, instinctual awareness, and plain and simply because no one knows my body or baby better than I.

It is a wonderful place to be. And sadly, nowadays not enough women are in this position. Which I do understand, as I was there once.
Doctors, hospitals, midwives, the 'experts and professionals' about birth have nothing but our best interest at heart, right?
In some instances, yes. Their knowledge is invaluable, when needed. I do not know one woman who would not be grateful for the expert who is truly needed in the very rare instances.
But most women don't. At the end of the day we are mammals. What we need is very simple, yet so hard to receive in such a scientific and time constrained society. People simply are too impatient with humans.
We need to be more calm, relaxed, and nurture each mother as her own pattern for labour and birth unfolds. Every birth, baby and mother are different. The only thing that should be done the same for them all, is patience.

Instead of constantly asking others for their opinions, advice, help and interventions, we woman have hundreds, and hundreds of years imprinted inside us.
If we can only look deeper into ourselves, listen to what our bodies are telling us. Trust that we have been blessed with a pregnancy, and our bodies know what to do.
I do believe the more we go inside, and listen to ourselves, the clearer things become.

Our instincts and knowing are too often fobbed off by those deep in the medical circle of birth. We begin to rely on the machines, the instruments and others telling us what is going on. This also places pressure on the medical side to constantly keep checking, and sometimes a false positive will mean even more testing, invasion, worry.

What is the answer? Well, I could put it simply that it would be wonderful that anyone involved with the care of women, pregnancy, birth and babies will have more trust in the mother, and her word. They will see her as strong, capable, knowledgeable with her own body.
Support the mother in what she wants and needs. Rather than telling her what she can and can't do.

As I said. I see this now, after 7 pregnancies, 5 births and a LOT of processing, researching, soul searching, and turning towards the wisdom women hold, and have held since women first gave birth.

So I feel this is why I am very relaxed about reaching 41 weeks. The amount of research I have done tells me this is VERY normal. But more importantly I know, deep down this is the journey this baby needs. She or he, may share the same parents as his or her siblings. Yet their blueprint is completely different.
Each baby is different. Each baby develops at a different rate. Each baby needs their own time inside our wombs.
My 4th baby surprised me at 38 weeks. He was born my 2nd largest, beautifully pink, calm and ready.
So too, will this baby be born when the time and day are right.

I find it very sad that the journey of many pregnancy's and births are managed in a way that is so far from normal, that women start to question themselves, their bodies and their babies, if they go past the strict, ridiculous number of 40 weeks.
A number that has NEVER been proven to hold any actual fact to be correct, yet it is the whole focus on every single woman and baby.
No two women, pregnancies, and babies are exactly the same. We need to put our focus on the mother and baby, and how they are travelling, rather than a 'magical' number.

Let's get back to basics. Trust women. Trust birth. Trust babies. Relax and be patient.
If there is a mother or baby who needs anything beyond normal, than what a great time we are in, that this can happen.
But for the majority, what we actually need, is to be seen as and cared for in the normal, physiological way that we are made. We are mammals. Lets us get back to our roots, listen to what our bodies need. Support eachother and encourage eachother.

Today is Sunday. I am well. Baby is well. Hub and the children are excited about what day the baby will choose.
I have set up a few areas in the house, as I am not sure until I am in labour where I will want to make a nest and birth. Yes, very mammal of me.
I have our room, which is very warm, and inviting. We also have the birth pool set up in the loungeroom. Towels and anything else needed are ready. The areas I have ready can be made quite dark which is wonderful as that makes it much easier for me to be in labourland.

We have nappies, fresh food stocked every few days, and a house with more than enough love to go around twice.

Every day that passes is another day closer to having baby in my arms, against my warm chest, me inhaling 'that' smell. Goodness, that smell is just so intoxicating isn't it?
Such an exciting time.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Are you ready?

Is anyone really ever ready for a new baby to joining their family?
This is our 6th time anticipating what life will be like with another gorgeous family member joining us.

Each time has been less daunting, as we know more about babies and life with them. Each time we have focused more on the joy, excitement and wonder the baby will bring.

With our first bay I was very focused and worried about the labour and birth. Looking back now, it's all I really thought about. That and looking at all the cute clothes accumulating around us and how a little baby will be in them soon.
Then, we were 3. A baby was here. Labour and birth behind me, but close to mind for a long time. Now there was a baby. What to do with this baby? Crying a lot. Feeding was a nightmare. The agony of getting through each day with this little person totally reliant on me, all while I struggled to care for myself, and try to work on what the hell I went through to have him.

It was close to being the biggest shock I have been through, physically, mentally and emotionally. Hub and I were pushed to so close the edge, I thought we would go over.

Could we both have done things differently, now when we look back? Absolutely! That is the hardest part about hindsight. Having all the answers after the fact.
Would we be the parents we are now if we could change things? No. Not at all.

It can be hard to think back about the times we went through. All 3 of us crying and wondering what was wrong with this baby, while the baby cried back probably thinking help me.
We stumbled through. Took on advice, some great, some horrible and a result of the previous generation and what they were told.

As each baby joined us, we learnt more to trust our heart and instincts, and follow our baby and their needs and cues. We have become a lot more relaxed about parenting and what is really important.
The most important being that each baby is different, but each baby deserves to have their needs met and that you can not spoil a baby. They depend on us for everything, and this includes love, comfort and trusting us to be there for them.

Now, as we are waiting for this baby to choose a day for their birthday our conversations could not be further than those we had 10 years, pregnant with our first baby. This baby will come into a family with more relaxed, chilled parents, who have come such a long way, and who wouldn't want it any other way.

In all honesty, I can say I am 99% ready for this baby to join us. So soon our days will be filled with feeding, nappies, washing, and most importantly a LOT of love and snuggles.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The rings are broken, not the love......

Out of all my pregnancies, this is the one that broke the rings. I even had one pregnancy in one of the hottest places in Australia.

The last couple of days here have seen me very hot, annoyed, and fingers swelling. My rings were still ok, until tonight. I started fiddling with them, seeing if they might come off.

Then I got the soap. Then I got annoyed so googled getting rings off. Learnt about windex and how everyone seemed to think it was the best thing ever.

It didn't work. Tried again after elevation and ice. Hub sprayed the finger with Windex while I tried to twist them off.


Then, of course, my finger started to swell crazy, and I just wanted them off, now!!

So Hub wonderfully scurried through all the boxes in the garage for one of his tools. Pinching pliers or something like that. It hurt, but oh the relief!

So there, above, are my wedding rings. The engagement ring that has been on my finger for over 12 years, and wedding ring for almost 10. Oh well. The rings can be fixed, and I only have one ring finger, and would like to keep it as it is thank you very much.

I told hub, maybe it's time to get the 3rd ring, when these two are getting fixed, just so then I have the whole set. Sounds great to me!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Just one 'nice' photo? Does it really matter?

Our 3 year old loves having photos taken. He will bring me the camera, he loves them so much.

However, when I get it ready, he does faces like this.....

and this.....

and this......

But, I don't mind, as they are all a reflection of how he was at this age. I have been through this before, so maybe that is why I am more relaxed about it. I can now see that the best photos are when children are not posing, but being themselves. Being in the moment. Years later we can look back and see their personalities looking back at us, rather than a stiff looking fake smile.

And when I see moments like this, well, who could see that and not go "Awwwwwww"

Friday, 30 October 2009

Why I birth at home

My birthing journey began with a private obstetrician and private hospital. From my first child's birth, to our last child's birth we have grown wiser, stronger and more trusting in what we know is best for us.
To put it simply I birth at home because that is where I do it best. Hospital does not provide me the environment in which to labour and birth physiologically. At home I am not interrupted. I can go into my zone and know that I am being supported and nurtured to birth like every other mammal, unhindered.

With more news about birthing choices both at home and in the hospital being taken from women I post this video.
Women of Australia, you ARE strong, you have a voice, you have power. Don't stand by as yet another choice is taken from us from those who are scared of us and want us to be submissive just so they can live the life they are accustomed to.
Fight for your rights, for your children, and their children.

For more about what has happened this week, check out Sazz here.

Monday, 26 October 2009

An award..... for me!

I feel very privileged to have been passed on an award. Especially considering how slack I have been in this pregnancy with blogging.

It has been passed on to me by Alecat, a wonderful woman, mother and friend. A person who has helped me a lot, although she may not know it, with advice, tips, hints and just chatting about homeschooling in particular, and also life.

With this award I am to tell you 6 things that you may not know about me.
Here goes.

1. When my eldest son was 10 months old I miscarried. It was very difficult for me to come to terms with. Our first pregnancy was quite breezy. I never thought this could happen to me.
Before I knew I was losing our baby, I had pulled out all my maternity clothes. Put them at the front of the wardrobe, and the baby journey had begun again.

One of the hardest things I did was to put all those clothes to the back of the closet again.
I clung to some hope that bubs would stick. However when our doctor called to let me know my numbers were almost gone, and that yes the baby was leaving us, I hung up the phone and fell to my knees crying. My almost 11 month was right there. He patted my back and said 's'ok mumma' and we hugged.
He was so bright at such a young age. Smiling at me, I was both blessed with my little boy, but also felt ripped off. To be put through such a journey. The pain. The emotions.

Although we have now 5 beautiful children, and a bellyfruit, I still, and always will think about the little soul who was with us, ever so briefly. Our lives forever changed whether baby was to be earthside or not.

2. I am a specific kind of lazy. What?? you ask. Let me explain. There are things in our lives we have to do. No getting around it. Dishes, washing, cooking. The list is huge for us all.
I loathe it with a Passion when people do things the long way. I set out to find the easiest, quickest way to do everything.
I will give one example with washing.
Our old house had a huge clothes line. An original Hills hoist biggun. I would hang out the clothes and group them. One side has hubs and mine, another the 2 older boys who are the same size, another our daughter, and another bubs.
When it was dry I would take it down in groups. I would also fold straight off the line. Then I would go to each room and put away the clothes in order from what was on top, down to the bottom.
This method is incredibly quick and easy. The less I have to spend on doing something I don't like the better.
Some say it is clever, problem solving. But it all comes down to my laziness, and desire to do a good job, just lots faster.

3. I am scared of Moths. Enough said.

4. Transformers, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Lego fill my day like you could never believe. Or maybe you could :) Some days it takes all my strength to listen to an excited voice tell me about a ship, or dark side baddy. My children know beyond what I ever will about these things, and I am more than ok about that.
Even my 20 month old loves to 'transform' and makes the sounds too. Yes, I know this will continue for many years to come.

5. My favourite movie of all time is 'My Friend Flicka' The original, with Roddy McDowall. I still love it.

6. Sometimes, watching my children laugh and play, I feel as though my heart is going to explode. 5 children, all whom I have carried, felt wiggle inside my womb, nourished and comforted from my body and breastmilk. Growing up far too quickly.
There are days when all I want to do is go for a drive, turn the radio up and just not have to think for a while.
There have been times when I have been paralysed with fear about one of the children being ok, getting through an operation, hurting themselves, or being rejected by another child.
This is parenting. Wearing our hearts on our sleeves.

But overall, I feel very blessed to have my best friend as my husband, and share with him such a fulfilling life.
I am excited to move to the future, all the plans we have for our house, family, travelling. I am also wanting time to go as slow as possible. Take our time. Enjoy life's ups, downs and craziness.

I would like to pass this on to a very special woman. A wonderful mother and friend. And awesome knitter!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Plug for our Nevus Support group fundraiser

Those who visit here on a regular basis, well, when I am not being lazy and blog! will know about our son and his story. Those who are new can read it here and here and here.
NeSA was, is and will always be a wonderful support for our son and our family and many other children and families.

NeSA, while small, has a huge heart. Helping many families, in particular parents who are wanting answers, advice and someone to listen to them. The support group is run by volunteers and by fundraising/sponsorship/donations.
Every little bit counts, and helps our support group keep going.

NeSA is holding a fundraising drive with Identity Direct just in time for some Christmas shopping.
Identity Direct offer a wide range of personalised products, lost property solutions and gifts for all ages. Please take a look at their website, and I am sure you will find something you can use.
PLUS - we will receive 20% in cash on all orders, and this will go towards vital equipment and supplies for our families, especially with another conference coming up next year!
Use this unique code at the checkout to ensure we receive the cash bonus
CODE - 4354503
We also have hard copy brochures and order forms available for distribution to family and friends if you prefer.
If you would like some let me know.Don't forget to forward this including the unique order code,to family, friends and workmates - everyone can help with this fundraiser.
All goods are delivered to the address of the person placing the order.
Remember to use the unique code - 4354503 when ordering to ensure funds are allocated to us.

order online at www.identitydirect.com.au/fundby phone at 1300 551 106or by order form via michelle@nevussupport.com
Thank you for supporting our fundraising,The committee of Nevus Support Australia Inc.

Monday, 5 October 2009

In which I am the only one awake...

Quite often the evening flies by. Hub gets home, we have tea, do dishes, organise children in jammies, get ready for bed, and before we know it, it's 3 hours later.

Here we have the two little women asleep against eachother and daddy, watching a movie that they probably only got half way through.

And here is the whole picture. Daddy asleep too with another toddler on his lap. Every night the littles want to be all over us. And as I have run out of room, they all want to be on Daddy, fine by me, I get to breathe!
I have many, many photos just like this, from our first born, until now. I am sure there will come a day when it will be just hub and I again. But until then we cherish, as much one can getting squished, the coziness of having the children want to be close to us.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

In which our bank redeems itself

So about an hour after finding out there is yet another form, and I am promised it is IT, Hub tells me our lender is sure I am going to go crazy and has said she will bring the form to us. You bet you are I said!
So a few hours later she is in our kitchen, with 'The Last Form' I beg her not to kid with me. I am 7 months pregnant, which is 9 months for a normal sized pregnancy, and we are in the kitchen, wink.
Yes, absolutely, it is it.
I won't hold my breath until settlement on the 16th.
The following day we will all be putting on gumboots and driving to our land to explore. I am sure at least 2 children will fall in the creek, so I will also be taking a change of clothes for them all, and towels.
And the way I am walking right now, which my Hub so lovingly told me the other day, was like a duck, I will take a change for me too.

I am having moments of 'over it' already. This baby already feels the size of a toddler. I am huffing as I roll over in bed, and whinging about organs and lungs being squashed.
But I am trying to embrace this pregnancy. It is our last. Which makes some of our friends laugh, but I remind them, I never said this about the other pregnancies.
This time, is the first time I have had 'that' feeling. The 'we are done, no more babies' feeling.
I am happy about it, and a touch sad.
Happy that we will be moving on to the next stage of our lives. But sad that I will never feel a baby inside me, or give birth, or be the first person my baby looks at when they open their eyes and focus for the first time as a fresh newborn, slimey and lovely in my arms.

Don't worry, I know it is not all awwwwww and cute and lovely. There is copious amounts of wee and poo and changing, feeding through the night, and the list goes on. I guess I just don't focus on those much now we have had a handful of children. I know how quickly baby becomes toddler, and child. I want to enjoy it all, and take as many photos as I can as my memory will fade, no matter how hard I try for it not too.

My eldest child now has an email address. He emails me and his Dad. He is how I know my memory will fade. It still amazes me how fast time has gone. It really does seem like yesterday he was a baby, just walking, starting to talk. Now he talks sooo much sometimes I will tell him to give his voice a rest, and our ears.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Will it ever end????

So today I dropped off what I thought was the last of the paperwork for the bank. An hour later we got a phone call, sorry there is just one more we accidentally forgot about. Imagine me standing beside a brick wall, banging my head against it mumbling.

I am so friggin over this shit. It is a block of land. It was meant to be easy. This is driving me more batty than when the kids drag dirt and sand through the house after mopping.

When we bought our house many years ago we signed one form from the solicitor, and 2 forms from the bank. Done. nothing more.
So far we have signed over 20 friggin forms!! One of which had to be witnessed by a person of an elite list.

Please, gods of real estate, let this be it. The bear inside me is waking. Not a good thing.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

When others make your life harder...

Some say that life is what you make it. Others say that your life is as hard as you make it. What crap I say today.

I went to the bank, yet again, to get even more paperwork. Buying a small piece of this country has cause so much drama and stress it is ridiculous. The mortgage is teeny in the scheme of mortgages, and yet, due to others mistakes, it has dragged on for longer than it should, and seen us sign more papers than I have in my lifetime so far.
'Someone' at the real estate made an error on our paperwork to start with. This caused dramas. Because of this mistake the bank that copied said paperwork, had theirs wrong.
On top of all of this our solicitor had to have us sign extra paperwork to correct all those mistakes. Sigh.

Honestly by the end I was expecting to get a blood test for them and hand over my 1st born.
Fingers crossed it will all be over in 2 weeks.

And then the real fun begins as 'Build a house for 8 people' begins. Yay.

Monday, 28 September 2009

second verse same as the first........

I know!! What the heck? 26 days go by and not even a little hello from me, what a slacker. Or is that, busy? Meh.

Sooo many things have happened in the last few weeks, children's comments, places we have visited, new foods tried and hated.

One in particular I have enjoyed is seeing the other side of the state we live in. It has been so much fun to find new places, playgrounds for the children of course, and food, always food, sigh.

One of the recent weekends we went to an Island that is now very close to us. We drove there and visited a tourist stop. A huge building, with one side entirely glass, so you can eat your overpriced food and drink and watch the ocean. Not that the children cared about the view, oh no, not when there is an indoor play area to conquer.

When we were leaving we decided to have a look around near the beach. I am still laughing. The wind was so strong it was literally blowing children over. And what did I do as a loving, caring, protective parent? You might be thinking help the children. Wrong. I was laughing so hard my sides were hurting. Thankfully some of the children thought it was funny too. One cried when sand stung their eyes and face.

We made it back to the car safely, with our freshly wind and sand blown exfoliated faces.
We also stopped off for home made chocolates, apparently made from the finest Belgian chocolate. The kids were happy to eat theirs, but hub and I agreed we are quite the chocolate snobs, and have a taste for only what we like. We also agreed not to venture outside the chocolate bubble we love.

Two days later this post is still sitting here, sigh. As you can imagine I am interrupted a lot, and have to keep coming back to write.
Today we visited a book store, that also has art and crafts. After what seemed like forever with children changing their minds, we finally all settles on what we wanted and headed to the counter.
As the woman checked all the books, she pointed to the toddler in the stroller "And that book too?" I looked down. Cap. The toddler was chomping on a book about animal health.
I groaned. "No, that was not meant to be included"
Well, tough luck woman, that will be fifteen dollars on top of what you have already. I grumbled as I handed over my card.

As we hopped into the car, the toddler was smiling her big, cheesy smile. Ah well. It really could have been worse. She could have grabbed on the 80 dollar books that were sitting at child height.

I have now put a call out to friends, if they want the book. I am sending it free of charge. I have no animals, and clearly no need for an animal health book!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

All the colours of the Rainbow

Here is our little ray of sunshine asleep on Daddy. The tie dyed all in one is from a very special friend.
The tights I found a couple of weeks ago, and loved them. They go perfectly with her top and a gorgeous knitted dress same very special friend made for her :)
Our youngest, at the moment, has grown so much in the last couple of months in particular. She is saying new words every day, and is very much into the 'My Mummy' and 'My Daddy' stage. The older kids think it is hilarious. She will be happy playing and they will come to one of us and loudly say 'My Mummy' and she will look over, see what is happening, come running over, pushing them out of the way and cling to me and squeal 'Myyyyy Mummy, My Mummyyyyy'
At 19 months she is now helping put away toys, put things in the rubbish bin, and help with dinner. She loves to 'help' even though it makes jobs take twice as long. I embrace as I know too soon, when she can actually do the jobs, she more than likely won't want to.
She simply adores her older siblings, and they her. The oldest boys give her piggy back rides and walk around the house trying to catch the other children. She squeals so loud with happiness, it is so lovely to watch.
She will walk up to one of her older brothers, arms outstretched and say "Up" and they always do it and say "Ok bubba, where do you want to go" and she will point around the house and they will walk her there, then stop ask where to now, and she points again, laughing. She thinks it is a hilarious game.
They keep going for her, even if they get tired. Her laughter is infectious, and heart warming to hear.
She brings so much joy and happiness into all our lives. No doubt the next, and last baby will do the same.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Where have you been?

So, How are you? How have you been? What's new?

Here, well, life has been happening. We finished the house, put it on the market and spent 2 weeks like crazy people keeping it clean. I was tempted to keep the kids outside in tents, so the house would stay neat. So I looked up tents online, meh. Just a little tempted.

In our strong desire to move on, we had a one month settlement. Most people thought we were
nuts, but hey, we were the ones moving, it was our house. In the end this was perfect. It forced us to get the last things organised, find a rental and get the hell out.
Amongst all this we had 2 of the children's birthdays. Our eldest and our 3rd.
Let's not the forget the little matter of a wee belly babe growing inside me. My belly is huge!! But that is me, we have big bubbas, I'm used it now.

Bellyfruit has been increasing in strength and movements over the last month. It is quite bittersweet, this being our last baby. I am enjoying and embracing pregnancy, but also content that this really is our last.

I never before, in the other pregnancies had 'that feeling' The we are done feeling.
This time, I have felt it from the start and it has stayed.
I feel content and happy about it.

What else has been going on. We looked at several properties to buy, but none of them fitted us. None grabbed us. Then after yet another awesome episode of Grand Designs, we realised the only way we were going to get the house that fitted and suited us, was to build it.
So now we are looking at land.
Fun and crazy times can always be had with us.

We are closer to settling in here. A few more boxes to unpack, and the rest of the many books we have to put on shelves and we are done.
The kids are enjoying playing in the vacant block near our house. Lots of messy fun to be had.
Schooling is almost back on track, getting there slowly. Adding more resources as I find them which is always exciting.
The boys love science, and even though I don't, in any way shape or form, I am diving in. Their education is about them, not me. So, a science hunting we go!
I have subscribed to a magazine for them. It is a science magazine for kids.

We also have our first Home Ed camp to look forward to next year. Lots of activities for all the children, which they are very excited about.

So much more has happened , all small, everyday things. Here are some pics of the last couple of months to help tell the story.

Having fun with fake moustache. Always a great pastime.
Here we have oldest and youngest(for now) peaking over from behind the table, being used as a barrier, while Hub was painting the kitchen.

I promise you will not have to wait as long for the next entry!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Pictures in lieu of words

I blinked and he turned 3. Three!! You love it when I whinge about time flying, but it is!

The girl who sleeps anywhere, anytime. Snuggled up with her biggest brother. Nawwww
When you are the youngest of several children, anything can happen when you are not looking.
In this case bubs wanted to be pushed around in the stroller. Her older brother pushed her round the house a few times and realised she had fallen asleep.
He put her near the couch, where her older sister thought it would be a good idea to put a blanket on her to keep her warm, and also some sunnies so the lights were not too bright for her.
Very sweet, and quite funny too.

Close up of Little miss warm and cozy.

And just so you can see how she looks awake!!
(Note the newly laid floor in the background. We are ever so closer to being out of here! Some painting and hanging of curtains to go, woohoo)(And of course someone to buy the house, which always helps)

Friday, 15 May 2009

Bitch, whinge, moan and groan

I am over this pregnancy now, I'd like to get off thank you very much.

I feel craaaap!!


The above was written 3 days ago. Since then the queasiness has slowed right down, thank goodness. I noticed yesterday I had felt better after half the day had flown by. I stopped and thought, something isn't right. I couldn't figure it out. Then I realised, I don't feel crap!
Then last night before tea my tummy felt a tad icky, but then as soon as I ate it was ok again.

I am very nervous to say I have turned the corner. I don't want to jinx myself.

In other news Hub did a superb job on the dining/kitchen/laundry floor. We have a floor again!! He laid the sub-floor all Friday night, Saturday, and night again. Poor thing banged he thumb far too many times.
Then he had the fun job of laying the floor on top. The kids had a ball sliding all over it. The novelty has worn off a little now though, which is good.

Last night he painted two doors in the garage. Once they are done we can hang them, and then one more door to paint and hang.
After that there is painting the kitchen ceiling, which is the most horrible stucko colour, ick.
Theeennnn.....I can hung the last curtain and call up the estate agents.

In my dream world the house is sold in 2 weeks and we move out a month later. Yes, a dream, a lovely dream.
It could happen.

I am very keen to be settled into the next house before bubs chooses his or her birthday.
I told hub I will be looking at each house at the potential places to put the birth pool, while he will be looking at whether there is a garage for his bike.
Constant hot water would be a bonus too. I get very exciting thinking about our last birth, our 3rd homebirth.

The children are also excited. Talking about names and whether bubs will be a girl or a boy. It is the most wonderful surprise, to see for the first time, snuggling your new baby.
The children are also very keen to call people and tell them the news of when baby is born. I figure hub and I have done it 5 times now, this time the children can do it.

I am still quite tired, hence the lack in posting, but hoping I start to get more energy soon and post more.

Friday, 8 May 2009

It's the little things....

So the first bit of news for today..... we are pregnant! and we are all very excited in our house. The children are talking already about when the baby will come, if we are having a boy or a girl.
My 4 year old was extra excited, and said "Is the baby coming tomorrow?" Uh, no darling, quite a few months to go yet. Which, of course is years and years to her.

So far I am feeling very tired, and very queasy all day and all night. I am constantly reminded there is a wee baby growing inside me.

Another lit bit of, well, not news, but it certainly made my heart swell. The other night I went to bed early, as I was feeling quite unwell. Hubs was bathing bubs and my 4 year old was ready for bed and wanted me to read the next chapter of her book. We read every night.
I asked her if it was ok if we saved it for the next night. Before she could answer my oldest Son bounced in and said I'll read it for you!
So of they went. He tucked her in and read to her. It was lovely to hear.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Whose body is it anyway?

This morning I was greeted by children running in my room, climbing all over the bed and jumping and squealing. As usual one is telling another off, or what to do, what not to do. Sigh.
My 4 year old saying in her very, very loud annoying high pitch squeal who is and who is NOT the boss.
Someone said Mummy and Daddy.
To which she quickly replied "I am the boss of MY body"

I laughed, and agreed, saying yes, that is right hun you are.

I love that my children not only know this, but make damn certain all and sundry know too. It is very important for Hub and I our children know that just because they are smaller, does not mean other who are bigger can touch them in any way. Even to tickle them in fun. If they say no, it means no!! They are the boss of their body.
By instilling in them as youngsters we hope for them to carry this on through adulthood.
I am confident.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Time flies..

..before you know it a year goes by, then another. Our son has had several surgeries now, and will have more through his life.
Being in a large family however, life cannot stop or slow down. We just keep going. Our son is not treated different, or special, from the other children. We treat them all as unique little people, emerging into their own minds and bodies.

Being the 4th child, our son has older siblings who have things going on in their lives too. We go swimming, to the beach, to basketball, the park, playgrounds, shopping. We do anything and everything as your typical family.
While I do not want to take away that our son has challenges other children do not, and always will, we want him to be raised in a family that lives live to the full.

I love that he adored by his brothers and sisters. They see him as their brother. A part of our family. They love him, and as they do with with eachother will protect him. No matter what happens in his life with surgeries, challenges, and changes he will always have them, close by. They will all have eachother.
(Sappy enough? lol)

As with each baby, the previous siblings smother them with love and adoration. Sometimes a little too much smothering, but it is from the heart. This pic is of our son and his younger sister. He tries to be gentle with her, but sometimes doesn't realise his strength. He will try to help her get up, and will fling her across the room. Or try to push her on her bike, and watch her go flying!! She is quite tough though, and seems to enjoy his love. If she is upset or cries, he rushes over to try and help her in a soft voice saying "Baybee ok? Baybe ok?" Yes, heart melting, and more sappy. (Don't get too heart felt though, she is just as quick to squeal if he takes something off her, in which case the toy is promptly given back!)

This is his latest 'thing' poking out his tongue to the side as you take a photo. He laughs hysterically when he does it, and we groan. He then rushes over to look at the photo just taken, and laughs again louder.
As he approaches his 3rd birthday, I am filled with many emotions about our journey together. From pregnancy, birth to now. I remember in the early days, crying and thinking why him? why MY baby? A few weeks later I read a story from another mother, whose child also had a nevus. She was saying how she asked herself the same question. And then she thought, why not her child?
I thought about it a lot. She was right, why not? We all have challenges, forks in the road, some harder than others. We all have things to learn, and to teach others.
Our world needs to e reminded that we are all different, and that is ok, and should be celebrated. How boring if we all looked the same, thought the same, lived the same.
Embrace people for who they are on the inside, their thoughts, their wisdom, what they have to offer you and the world.
I often think that beauty is not able to be seen with the eye.
And on that note, I will be sure to talk about the other 4 magical children in my life too, real soon!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Our fourth child, our 3rd son (Part Two)

(Please note the following story is my own, and is not permitted to be copied or shared in any way, shape or form. So to the pictures that are my own. Please respect that while yes I am sharing this in the public world of the Internet, it is our story)

The drive to the hospital was hard. So many questions flying through our heads. One main question staying in the front. "Is he ok?" It was all I wanted to hear an answer to. Is my baby healthy in every other way.
We arrived at the hospital and headed towards the maternity section. Hub had called ahead so they knew we were coming. The receptionist had us fill in forms and for some reason admitted me and bubs. I assumed it was due to procedures for payment by medicare.

As we sat there waiting to be called in, the women behind the counter, who was also a midwife looked at us and said "You know the best part about homebirths? No mess for us to clean up" and then she laughed.
I just stared back at her. Kind of not registering. My heart and soul were focused on my son right now, what was she on about? For the record there is very little mess in a normal birth. We had a big paint drop sheet laid out, with lots of towels on top. After bubs and I moved to our comfy bed Hub just tied it all up and chucked it in the bin. Easy.
Days later when I thought back to that moment I wanted to scream. How dare she make a mockery of us being there. She saw our son. She knew why we were there.
It says more about her though. Her lack of empathy, understanding, and knowledge of normal birth. Sad really.

Soon after we were called in a 'delivery' room. (I loathe the term delivery. Babies are born, their mothers give birth to them. They are not delivered) It was just awful. Exactly as I pictured one of their 'birthing' rooms to be like. It looked like a theatre room. There was a large open cupboard full of medical equipment. There was a very uncomfy chair, and a hospital bed, crisp, hard sheets, and pillow. There was no curtain as the window was blurred. The light was pouring through the windows. The noises coming in from the corridor were so loud. Talking, clanging, doors. The smell was also overpowering.
I started crying, and hub asked what was wrong. I said "I am so glad he was born at home"
A older looking man in a white coat and a woman also in a white coat walked in. He said Hi, and she introduced themselves to us. They asked to see our baby. This was the first time we had handed him to anyone. They put him in one of those awful plastic tubs and undressed him, so he was naked. He started crying and my heart broke. The doctor said something about how he has a nice loud cry. I mumbled something about how it was the first time he had cried actually.

All I wanted to do was grab my baby, but they kept looking at him. The doctor then started the hard sell on the vitamin K. It was the last thing on our minds. His birth was very straightforward and they themselves said how perfect his head was and how healthy he looked. We were both still shocked, and very vulnerable. The midwife who was there now started pushing too. It was for the health and safety of our baby, we want him healthy don't we?
When I think back now I am furious. After lots of research also, there was no need whatsoever for him to be injected with vitamin K.

Finally they were finished and motioned for one of us to come dress him. He was back, safe in our arms again.
The next thing we know we are asked if we don't mind some students coming to see our baby. Again, not being in a full alert state of mind we said ok. Within minutes there was 6 or 7 people crowding around us, staring at our baby. Only one of them, the last, a woman, smiled and us and said thank you for letting me see your baby. The coldness was freezing in that room.

The Doctor, who was head Paediatrician admitted to never seeing a birthmark like our sons. He explained it was called a Nevus and how this size affects on in half a million babies. I burst out crying and sobbed "Was there maybe something I did or ate or anything, in the pregnancy"
He said no, not at all. Nevus is neither sexist or racist, it touches anybody, anywhere in the world.
He said as far as he knew there was nothing that could be done. He woffled on about a friend he had in university who had a birth mark on his face. This friend lived life to the full. I was hearing his words, but not listening. I was focused on the fact said our son would stay like this forever.

He was my newborn baby, not even 24 hours old but I loved him fiercely. He was perfect in my eyes and always would be. But I knew how cruel the world could be, and I was petrified for him, for what the future held.

Then, as low as we were the woman doctor went and got a camera. She asked if she could take pictures of our baby. Another thing that makes me so angry when I look back. I can understand their interest, as they had never seen one. But the lack in sensitivity for us as parents, and as me as a mother who had just given birth was non existent. I was sore, tender, and my heart was aching for my new baby.
Hub held our baby as she took some pictures.

They spoke about how some Nevus on the head and scalp can go deep under the head on on the brain. They wanted to book bubs in for a MRI. They explained nothing could be done if there were lesions on his Brain, but an MRI would tell us if there were.
An appointment was made for the MRI and also a follow up with this same Head Doctor. We got up to leave and I asked if there was anything else we needed to do. The woman doctor smiled and said "Just take him home and love him"
Who says that?! Argh. I don't think she meant it in a harsh way, but I still feel strange about her saying that. Like we didn't know that already.

More tears flowed as we drove home. We talked about what they said, about how scared we were for him as he grew older. How unfair it was for him, a new baby, he never asked for this. He was new and prefect in every way. There was no reason he should be given this card.
Was there really nothing that can be done? There mustn't be, he was the Head, he would know.

When we got home we were quickly thrust into the circus of life. Children needing dinner, clothes to be washed, bathes to be had, bedtime stories to be read.
And of course the baby, like all babies, needing feeding and changing. That night in the shower I cried so hard, and so much my throat hurt and I couldn't cry anymore. This was not fair. Why our baby? Our sweet, gentle baby boy.

As the days went on, life did too. Nothing stops just because you want it to. You can't get off, you have to keep going. Just like our other children, when they were babies, we fell more and more in love with our new baby as the days flew by.
His older siblings never left his side when they were home. He was no different to any other bay to them. He was special, as he was their brother.

Hub was home from work for a few weeks, so he dove right into the internet. Searching for many hours in the day. He came across a support network for Nevus in Australia.
He read through stories and looked at photos of other babies and children and called me over to look to. We sat together and looked at the pictures. There were pictures of surgeries. But that Doctor said there were no surgeries?
We were confused, but also keen to learn more. Within a few days we had learnt about the several surgery types for Nevus, and the stories and journeys of some of the children.
We soon discovered that NSW and Victoria both had teams of specialists, dedicated to this and other rare birth marks.

My feelings were very mixed. The Doctor did not know any of this. He told us things that are actually incorrect. I was both angry, and also not wanting other parents to suffer through what we had. (Months later, I called the same Doctor and told them everything we had been through and learnt. I gave them the details of the support group, and also of the teams in NSW and Vic who specialised. I told them I didn't want wrong information going to another parent.)

It quickly became clear that we had to move. Our baby needed to be near those professionals who specialised in Nevus.
I still do not know what to call what happened a few days after we realised we had to move, but it still amazes me.
Hub got a call from a recruitment agency in our home state. They had been looking for a specialist for some time and were not having any luck. They were very keen to interview him. 2 days later he was hired over the phone and arrangements were on the way to getting us home, and closer to the specialists.
We were sad to leave as we had made some wonderful friends, but they understood that family comes first. We drove all the way home, which was fun. We kept looking at eachother, amazed at how awesome the kids were being. At one point I wondered who had taken over our children's bodies. The trip was long, boring, and at times freezing, but we made it.

Hub started his new job not long after we got back, and we had an appointment with a children's plastic surgeon and birth mark specialist.
The time leading up to the appointment seemed to drag on and on. In between Hub decided it would be a great time to get tonsillitis. But not the normal kind, oh no, he had an abscess. It was just awful for him, ok and us too. So he had them taken out.
We just ooze excitement in our family. Always something going on!

I was so nervous on the drive to the specialist. I guess I after our experience with the hospital I was still feeling vulnerable. Again here we were putting our trust and naivety into someone else.
It turned out to be a great talk. The surgeon was very friendly, honest and told us everything he knew about Nevus, both from when he started out, up until the latest research.
He showed us pictures of before and after from the several types of surgeries. Explained what type of surgeries are best suited for certain parts of the body where a nevus may be.
He also told us all the down sides of surgeries. What can and has gone wrong. We greatly appreciated his no nonsense and honest approach with us. He explained that there were very little to no sweat glands in our sons nevus. This is why he was warmer than a normal babe, as the heat could not escape his body and head like a normal baby.
He knew all about the support group and said they are a great resource and support. This was very reassuring, that he knew about the group.
We talked more about the different options for the different areas on our baby. We agreed that we would go home and talk more about what we want to do in regards to surgery, and also ask questions and chat with members of the Nevus support group.
The following months flew by. Our baby was growing so quickly, and adored by his older siblings. Life carried on, as close to normal as possible. School, kinder, sport, activities, family outings. There was always something going on. Something to keep us busy.
Our son fitted in perfectly with all our goings on. His birthmark, while prominent blended in to us. We could see it yes, of course, but we didn't notice it. It was like hair or eye colour, nose or ear size.
We were only reminded when we were either asked, or when people stared, and sometimes sadly, pointed, or nudged a person beside them. We were so strongly protected earlier on. People were going to look, yes, we got that, but some were extremely rude and harsh.
It was very hard to deal with. He was just a regular baby. Happy, smiling, laughing, enjoying others company. Strangers did not see that though. They saw the birthmark and that was it.
When he started smiling it did help a little, when we were out and about. He had, and still has, the most gorgeous smile. Those looking at him smiled back. A small exchange from him to them, showing them he was a happy baby.
A few times while at a park or shopping, someone would look over at our son, and I would notice. But understood, as I would look too, let's be honest. It is very large and back then was still quite dark. Then I was pleasantly surprised to hear "Excuse me, I hope you don't mind, but I was wondering about the mark on your baby" The first time I was shocked at first, and took me a few seconds to register. But then I smiled and though, wow, how great for someone to ask, and want to know more.
Children, in our experience, are very sweet, and don't hold back. They will come over and ask straight out "What is that on the baby's face?" If I don't respond quick enough one of the children will jump in, and give their spiel on nevus and all about what it is, etc It is warming to see them talk about their brother, and spread the word about Nevus.
I will leave it there for now, again, as this has taken 3 days to write! Why do children need 8 meals a day? Surely one would be enough, I have writing to do. Yes, of course I am kidding. A little.
Here is our baby a few days old. We were very grateful to those parents who posted pictures of their children on the support group and felt strongly to do the same for those who would come after us.
This picture shows the side of his head. The nevus went behind his ear and stopped at the back of his head, then all the way over the top, and to the front.

Within a few months our baby was smiling, laughing and loving lots of love and attention from everyone.

Here is another side view, he is approximately 7 months here. You can see the nevus is lighter then when he was born and it has stretched a bit, and is not as lumpy now as his head has grown.

Here he is the same day as the pic above, with his Daddy. While all our babies have been happy, this little guy seemed to smile non stop. You would just look at him and he would smile. He is still this way now (unless he has a toy taken from him by his baby sister)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Our fourth child, our 3rd son (Part One)

(Please note the following story is my own, and is not permitted to be copied or shared in any way, shape or form. So to the pictures that are my own. Please respect that while yes I am sharing this in the public world of the Internet, it is our story)

I have put off talking about our son. Not because I am ashamed, embarrassed, or anything really. Mostly because it brings of so many memories, feelings of sadness, happiness, joy, pain, anger, confusion, helplessness and also strength.

We moved interstate when I was 5 months pregnant with our 4th child. We love being busy and cramming lots into life, so when Hub's work said they would pay for us to move there we said why not? Let's do it. It was a great opportunity and did I mention they were paying?

Up until then I assumed I would have our baby in the Birth Centre where out 3rd baby was born. My journey from my first baby to our 3rd was hard, long, painful but also gave me strength and determination. I learnt more each birth, and grew stronger with what I wanted and needed, rather than what made it easier on the staff.

This time I knew exactly what I wanted and needed. Basically it was stay the hell out of my way, don't talk to me, don't touch me.
So after we moved I spoke with the Birth Centre there. There waiting list was about 8 months long. Ironic.

They told me my only choice was to be with a Birth Centre midwife on the ward. Straight away I felt uneasy. There was no way I could go into my labour state of mind in a sterile, cold, bright room with a midwife I'd never met, who only knew what was written about me on a piece of paper.

Several situations pointed us towards homebirthing. I met with other homebirth mums, doulas and midwives. They all answered many, many questions from myself and Hub.

We spoke at length with one support person in particular and she said she would be happy to be at our birth if we felt she was right.
After she left our apartment we looked at each other and smiled. She was it. Homebirth here we come.

Hub and I did a lot of research over the next few months. One book in particular called Emergency Childbirth, which was surprisingly very thin. While we had a support person, we wanted to know as much as we could about all emergency situations that can happen, to be prepared.
This is something I strongly believe everyone should do, regardless of where they chose to birth.

By 38 weeks I was having a daily nap and slowing down. As slow as one can go with 3 young children.
One night Hub was not well. A bug had so nicely been shared amongst school friends and our home. He rested while I cooked an easy tea.
We got the kids all in bed and then sat down on the couch to watch TV. As I sat down I heard and felt a pop. I tensed and ran to the toilet.

Yup, this was it. I called out to Hub "Are you ready to be a daddy again" He came in and smiled, and said "Ya know just as you sat down on the couch I was about to breathe in and say I was heading to bed"
"Guess the baby has other plans!"

There was a calmness in the house. It was quiet, and dark. I liked it. By the time our support came I was swaying beside the couch. Soft music was put on and aromatherapy which let out a very soft light.
It was so much easy to be in labourland in my own house. I was very relaxed and could truly let go, knowing I was not going to be stopped, talked to, interrupted.

We had everything we needed ready. Which isn't much, some old towels, warm blankets, and a owl for the placenta. Easy.
Our eldest son woke as I was pushing. Hub caught our slimy baby and passed him through to me. I sat and looked at him. I still remember noticing his face and head. The birthmark. But I was not worried or concerned. I still think of that moment often when I look at him. As a new baby, his birthmark seemed so large on his head and face. But I knew he, as a baby, was ok.

We snuggled up together and our new baby, who still had no name, looked at us. Those newborn dark eyes.
He had ten little fingers, and ten little toes. He was, in every way, a normal newborn. With a little something special. Our eldest sun ran down and woke up his brother and sister. Then there we were, our little family, surrounding our new baby and saying hello.

We chatted to our support person about what to do now. She said he looks great in every way. Apgars of 9 and 10 after birth, feeding and latching like a champ. She left it with us to call and let the hospital know in the morning. As bubs was born just after midnight.

The following morning my mum arrived. We had called her when bubs was born and she booked a flight for first thing.
Hub called the hospital to let them know about our new babe. We decided to go in after school pick up, so the kids were all home with mum.

I will leave it there for now. Part Two to come.

This is the biggest brother and his first cuddle with his new baby brother. The children were smitten with him from the first time they saw him, and this feeling continues.

This pic he is about a week old. He had just had a feed and was zonked out on Mummy. No matter what was going through our hearts and heads at the time, he showed us we had to go on. Just like your typical baby he needing feeding, changing and lots of snuggles.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Sore throat, or throats?

Conversation at my house recently...

Daughter who is 4 and a half, well, technically anyway, had a sore throat for a few days, like us all. We are the BEST of shares with bugs around here!

DD "I need the medishin"
Me "Is your throat still sore?"
DD " Yes, it is hurting one, no two throat!"
Me "So two sore throats? at the one time?"
DD "Yes, cough, cough, two throats need the medishin"
Me "Deary me, this does sounds serious"
DD "Very sheri-us"

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Playing catch-up

I know!!! How long has it been? Sorry for my absence. March is a bit of a crazy month in my family. 5 birthdays in the space of 2 weeks!!! 2 in my own little family. Me being one of those and middle son now 7! is the other.

Our baby, who is now a big one years old, and others may say toddler. No, uh uh, she is still the baby. Her first birthday was perfect. A lovely day spent with our little family, and then birthday cake with some family and close friends.

Here are some recent pics to show you just how big she is getting.

This first pic shows on of her favourite places to be. Leaning on my legs while I am in the kitchen. She will sit and lean against me with a little toy car or doll. Happy just to be close. It is both annoying and very cute.

Here she is with big brothers and sister, and 'the family' teddies, dolls, bears, and even a turtle! They all have bibs on as it was lunchtime of course!

The birthday girl on her new present from Nanna and Poppy. This present was, and still is a huge hit. She loves it! Now she can scoot around it quite fast, and even have it on two wheels around a corner. I have to be careful around the house. The older kids also love it, and I am forever saying to get off. Their own bikes are clearly not as much fun.

On her Birthday again. Our little woman LOVES shoes! She doesn't mind who's, so long as she can put them on her hands and walk around with them, laughing as she goes.
It still amazes me that she has been with us for a year. Like every child, after they are here with us, it feels like there was never a time when they were not.
She waited to join our family, and we are all madly in love with her. The older kids all adore her, and she them. Especially her oldest sibling. She hears him come in our room in the morning when she wakes. He will call out "Where is my babeeeeee" and she will giggle her head off and jump around the bed, anticipating him coming to get her.
It is lovely to see, and I know they will keep a special bond forever.

Here she is in her beautiful knitted dress. It is "an april" and just gorgeous, of course!It fits her wonderfully, and will for quite a while. This pic was the best of many. It is very hard to get a picture of a child standing still. Let alone a child with several siblings who want in on the picture too, and who keep making her laugh and run away. I will take some more and post them soon.

She is walking everywhere and has her first pair of soft soled shoes. Of course she loves them, and even when we are staying home she brings them to me, then sits down and lifts her feet. It makes me laugh every time.
She will stand up, look down at her feet, then do a few quick steps and laugh. I see a future with a lot of shoes!

She sleeps in bed with mummy and daddy and I wouldn't have it any other way. There is nothing more delightful than waking up in the morning to a smiling baby. I only wish I had the confidence to do it with my first babe when I felt it was right, instead of listening to others telling me it was a rod for my own back. Easy for them to say, they weren't the ones getting up out of bed every 3 hours, to feed and change the baby, then trying to get back to sleep before the cycle started all over again! Now that was my worst sleeping period in my life. I felt like I was falling through the days. Live and learn.

So much to be learned and discovered as we all go through our own parenting journey's. I look at our youngest daughter and am amazed and humbled at how relaxed, calm and content Hub and I are nowadays. She has the blessing of being a younger sibling. Her older brothers and sister paving the way for her.

I came into the kitchen the other day and she was under the table chomping on some toast that had fallen to the floor. With my first baby I would have grabbed it off him and wiped his hands and mouth. Now, I am not concerned. Yay for her for hunting out her own food. With 4 other siblings, you get what you can when you can in regards to food.

Things that worried us, or we were a tad strict about, we have since relaxed our ways. I don't see it as us not caring as much, more that we are not more aware, and focus on the more important things.

I am sure you are keen to hear about the other birthdays and happenings, but I will post about those on their own. So they get all the attention, and don't have to share.
I promise not to wait so long next time.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Please sign the petition for every woman..

For every woman to be supported in the choice she makes with her own body, baby and birth.

My hospital births were fully funded and supported. My homebirths were not. Why? Why should I miss out on funding and support in my homebirths because I chose to birth in my own home?

Why is it so hard for people to understand that choosing to birth at home is not the same for every mother. I did the research. I spent hours and hours educating myself on birth and what was best for me.
It was a decision I came to through lengthy and intelligent discussion with my partner and others.

If midwives are not supported to care for and be at women's homebirths what will happen? Whether you support homebirth or not this decision will affect you. It will affect your children. Taking away peoples choices is taking away their freedom.
What next? Will the they start to force every woman to stay in hospital from 38 weeks? Will woman be told what hospital they have to go to? Will they decide we are not allowed to have anyone in the birthing suite with us, like not long ago?

Do you see where I am going? Every woman right to choose and be supported is at stake here.
We are ALL affected.


Please sign today.

View this montage created at One True Media

Friday, 6 March 2009

Whose body is it anyway?

Do you have complete say over what you do with your body?

The Maternity Services Review report, released last weekend, was an attempt to deliver continuity of care and midwife-led services to more Australian women. In so doing, it has stripped that very same care and service from the only women who currently have it - homebirth mums.

The fact that it did this in the face of having received the majority of its submissions from homebirth parents is galling and speaks volumes for the way "public consultation" occurs in this country. But the fact that the report's recommendations, if accepted by the Government and made law, would criminalise the high quality care currently delivered to women who choose to give birth at home by registered, professional, independent midwives to their clients is radical and dangerous.

Good intentions have paved the way. The MSR was established partly in response to rising birth intervention rates and widespread concern that women were being poorly served by a maternity care system that was fragmented, expensive and increasingly medicalised.
But the process became hijacked by professional lobbying, deal-making and perhaps a strange reflex of governments to favour institutionalised power over the rights of individual constituents.

The report is fairly forthcoming about this:
"In recognising that, at the current time in Australia, homebirthing is a sensitive and controversial issue, the Review Team has formed the view that the relationship between maternity health care professionals is not such as to support homebirth as a mainstream Commonwealth-funded option (at least in the short term). The Review also considers that moving prematurely to a mainstream private model of care incorporating homebirthing risks polarising the professions..."

So as long as the AMA and RANZCOG are hostile to homebirth -ideologically, not evidentially - the government is not prepared to stare them down. In the next paragraph, the Report notes the existing small-scale state-funded public homebirth schemes, with no evidence that such models were polarising, or that they were being undermined by a poor relationship between maternity health care professionals, or that there were any justifiable safety concerns. But the MSR is not engaging with the evidence, it's playing politics.

The public consultation process is made farcical when over half the submissions are lightly dismissed without reasons of substance. Such deal-making reveals a government prepared to bend to the powerful medical lobby even against the weight of public submission and international evidence.

The Review concluded that, "while homebirth is the preferred choice for some women, they represent a very small proportion of the total." Since when has being in the minority constituted an acceptable reason for discrimination? The fact that only a small proportion of the population will need heart transplants is no reason to ban them or block public funding to them. The small minority of families who choose private education due to religious beliefs are still supported by Commonwealth funding. And of course homebirth will be unpopular when it is the only way to give birth in Australia that receives no public funding whatsoever.

The report notes that in countries where homebirth is publicly funded - New Zealand and the United Kingdom, for example - homebirth rates are ten times those in Australia.

But the MSR report goes further than merely continuing to deny homebirth funding. It becomes dangerous when it takes a back-door route to criminalisation of homebirth.

Under the proposed new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme, to apply to midwives from July 2010, midwives must have professional indemnity insurance to obtain registration. This is not currently the case - hospital insurance schemes cover their employed midwives; homebirth midwives work uninsured. The report notes that this latter situation is unacceptable. Homebirth consumers and midwives agree and have repeatedly sought Federal assistance in obtaining appropriate insurance.

But the report, while recommending Commonwealth-supported professional indemnity for midwives in collaborative team-based models, withholds such support where homebirth is concerned, since "it is likely that insurers will be less inclined to provide indemnity cover for private homebirths and, if they did provide cover, the premium costs would be very high."

Neither evidence nor logic support this. The reason insurers have not offered coverage to privately practising midwives since 2002 is not the risk profile of midwives. It is that the pool of homebirth midwives shrank to an uncommercial size during the insurance crisis in 2002 - which was caused by astronomical compensation payouts against obstetricians, not midwives.

Everyone in the industry suddenly became uninsurable, yet the then government's bailout package, under the Premium Support and High Cost of Claims Schemes, saved only GPs and obstetricians. So midwives had to work uninsured or give up their practice. Unsurprisingly, many quit attending homebirths. Even if the risk profile of homebirth practice did make premiums too high, that would only put midwives in the same boat as GPs and obstetricians, who receive substantial government support under these schemes.
The simple, obvious answer is to extend the schemes to midwives.

Instead, by cutting midwives loose on insurance, the government is effectively outlawing homebirth, since by mid-next year uninsured midwives will be unable to obtain registration, and unregistered midwifery is a criminal offence. There is no surer way than this to make homebirth unsafe.

Consumers rely on registration to ensure that they are choosing a skilled and professional carer. To remove this indicator of quality away from consumers, not on the basis of professionalism but on the availability of a suitable insurance scheme, puts women at risk. More women will birth unattended.

Women are entitled to choose where they give birth and with whom. They are entitled to refuse treatment and to choose it. They are entitled to give birth in a hospital, a birth centre, a home or under a tree if that's what they want to do. Research shows that a woman is safest birthing in the environment where she feels safest. And to make it illegal for a woman who chooses to birth at home to access appropriate care is surely not the intention of this government.

However you feel about homebirth, whether you'd want it for yourself or not, the removal of a woman's right to birth where she chooses is indefensible and should be a matter of grave concern to all women, just as if women were denied access to breast cancer treatment, epidurals, or condoms.

The government can't ban homebirth any more than it can ban sex, but by banning professional, registered midwives from attending homebirths, it greatly increases risk.

Not funding homebirth is just bad policy: cost-ineffective to Australian taxpayers and unfair to Australian women. But making homebirth illegal is paternalistic, internationally isolated and dangerous.

Homebirth with an independent midwife is a great model of care for lots of reasons, key among them that it provides continuity of care with a known carer - something the Maternity Services Review says it wants to see in hospital -based models. So why is it killing off the only model that reliably delivers that care?
Giving birth at home with a highly skilled and qualified midwife is not new or radical.
Outlawing it is.

Written by Alison Leeman

Also, a reminder of where you can write and show your support for all our rights.

The Hon Nicola Roxon,
MPMinister for Health and Ageing
Parliament House
Canberra 2600

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Every woman's birth choices are jeapordised

(re posted with authors permission)

Australian Government , Violating The Fortelesa Declaration

The Australian Government is in the process of violating the human rights of Australian women. They are doing this through the latest Maternity Services Review which stands to extensively restrict the choices women have with regard to where they give birth and who they can hire to be their medical care provider. The recommendations of the Maternity Services Review stand in violation of The World Health Organisation's Fortelesa Declaration. In particular, article one which states:

1. The whole community should be informed about the various procedures in birth care, to enable each woman to choose the type of birth care she prefers. And the opening statement of the declaration which states:

Birth Is Not An Illness
These 16 recommendations are based on the principle that each woman has a fundamental right to receive proper prenatal care: that the woman has a central role in all aspects of this care, including participation in the planning, carrying out and evaluation of the care: and that social, emotional and psychological factors are decisive in the understanding and implementation of proper prenatal care.

The latest Maternity Services Review in Australia is removing the rights of Australian women by refusing to publicly fund home births, thus restricting the availability of home birth to many Australian families. And forcing independent midwives to be part of a national registration scheme. This registration will include mandatory professional indemnity insurance for all midwives, the alternative is to practice midwifery unlawfully.

In order for midwives to access professional indemnity insurance they must work within a "collaborative team", however no definition of "collaborative team" has been provided. It is possible that "collaborative team" could mean not working independently (as many homebirth midwives do) in which case insurance would not be available to these midwives and their decision to attend homebirths could lead to prosecution and incarceration.
The Maternity Services Review clearly states that these decisions were based on presumptions of risk for homebirth. No medical evidence was consulted regarding homebirth and the review goes as far as to make the outlandish claim that there is no medical evidence which they could base their judgments on.
Ultimately The Australian Government has furthered obstetricians' monopoly over maternity care and has prioritised the medical model of maternity care over the midwifery model, despite the fact that the midwifery model is the safer model for the majority of women. By further empowering the already powerful players in Australia's maternity system, The Australian Government has aggressively restricted the rights and freedoms of birthing women. Perplexing behaviour for a government committed to raising the national birth rate!

For Those Of You Who Don't Homebirth

At this time I refer to the author of Empowering Birth Blog's reinterpretation of "First They Came For The Jews":

"First they came for the unassisted birthers, but I did not speak out,
because I do not free-birth.

Then they came for those who birth at home with lay midwives, but I
would would not speak out, because I would not have a home-birth with a lay

Then they came for those who birthed with Certified Professional
Midwives, and I would not speak out, because I would not have a home-birth with a CPM.

And then they came for those who birthed in birth centers and with
Certified Nurse Midwives, but I would not speak out because I would not have a
birth in a birth center or with a CNM.

And then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for

When one woman's human rights are attacked, all human rights are attacked! No one is safe when a government takes to such heavy regulation of the choices women make with regard to their bodies, their babies and their birth experiences!

What Can You Do?
You can send your letters of disgust and demand to The Department of Health and Aging:
Central Office postal address
GPO Box 9848,
Canberra ACT 2601,

And your feedback to Maternity.Services.Review@health.gov.au

And The Office For Women:
Australian Government Office for Women
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
PO Box 7576
Canberra Business Centre
ACT 2610
Telephone 1300 653 227 Facsimile +61 6212 9572Email women@fahcsia.gov.au

Send them to the parties in opposition to the current government as well:
The Liberal Party

The Greens

The Democrats

Family First

What Women Want

(I do not endorse any of these parties. I provide links to them so that readers have access to the information required to contact political power holders in Australia in order to apply pressure to these groups and individuals to do something to change this unacceptable position Australian women and independent midwives find themselves in).

Please also read more about others thoughts, opinions and explanations about the review here at Bustin' Out Baby and also here at Confession Time.
Lisa, at Homebirth ~ A Midwife Mutiny talks about the Review from a Midwives perspective, thank you Lisa.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Hand made gifts are my favourite and the wondrous Placenta

There is something so special about a hand made gift. It takes time, effort, love and dedication to gather materials and make something.

This first pic is of a felt and knitted doll the a very talented friend of mine for my daughters first Birthday. The picture does not do it justice. It is a bit brighter in person, and my daughter adores her 'Dolly Jo' unfortunately for her however, her older brother loves Dolly Jo too. So she is adored by everyone here.

Thank you so much again Jo!!

The next pic is very special. It is a knitted placenta with felt, made by the very wonderful and awesomely(it's a word!) talented April. A mumma April knows wanted her baby's placenta, however, sadly the hospital did not respect her wishes.

The Mumma now has this woolly placenta and was very grateful for the thoughtfulness and loved it.

April made the woolly placenta just from her own ideas and thoughts, she is very cleaver, and I would love even a smidgen of her talent.

What is special is that it was made by a fellow Mumma, who understood the sadness and disappointment.

To some a placenta may as well not exist. Too often, almost every time actually, in hospital the placenta is never seen by the mother, or parents. It is cut too early form the baby and then discarded. Gone. Spoken of like something that looks awful, gross and even disgusting. People screw up their noses at the very word. Why? How did people get to the point where they associate disgust with the organ that was made of the same cells and womb as their baby?

For me, I do not understand this view. The placenta gives every baby the nutrients it needs to stay alive inside us. How can people find it gross when it has en their baby's lifeline?

The following is taken from Birthowl blog Follow the link and you will also see a placenta cake. What a great imagination and patience to complete!! It looks wonderful.

The placenta is a beautiful organ. It is the only organ that develops and
grows within another organ. It is responsible for growing a healthy baby. It is
the bridge between a mother and her baby in the womb. In some cultures, it is
called the called bucha-co-satthi, meaning baby’s friend.(1) Others see the
placenta as the baby’s protective older sibling.(2) For these reasons alone, it
is unique, amazing and beautiful.
The baby and the placenta are made from the same cells, which are formed through combination of the egg and the sperm.
Once implantation occurs on about day six after fertilization, the gestation
period begins and the fertilized egg and the placenta begin to develop
separately, still connected. The placenta stays attached to the uterine wall
while the fetus has the ability to move around the uterus.

The placenta is the fetus’s only source of food, blood, oxygen, vitamins and nutrients. All of these vital resources are carried from placenta to fetus via the cord. These
resources come from the mother’s bloodstream, which is why a healthy nutritious
balance of whole foods is so important during pregnancy. Iron is especially
important because iron increases the hemoglobin level in the blood; hemoglobin
carries oxygen in the body. Once the baby is born and the cord stops pulsing,
that baby is no longer getting its oxygen from the placenta. When baby takes a
first breath, the lungs begin to work and baby begins breathing on his or her
own. In order for the baby to receive all the blood and oxygen required, the
cord must stop pulsing before being cut.
The placenta is an incredibly important and spiritual piece of life. It has many uses, both spiritual and medicinal. It can provide whatever is needed and should not be wasted. We are responsible for treating the placenta with respect for everything that it has done.

If you are stuck for ideas of a present for someone maybe you could make something for them.

I have another special handmade gift to post about real soon!