Here’s to the new dads

Here’s to the new dads 

To the men who had to listen to the complaining, hungry, tired and sore pregnant ladies for 9 months, only to get to the end and have the circulation squeezed out of their hand while watching the equivalent of their favourite pub burning down.

Here’s to the amount of times he held your hair back through morning sickness, and funded your many late night cravings of the oddest, and often hardest to purchase food at 1am.

To the guys who lovingly reassured their partners time and time again that “no, you’re not fat honey, you’re pregnant”, and took one for the team at social events by drinking for two.

To the men that attended all the little pre-baby gatherings and smiled over the tiny little outfits and shoes while pretending that they don’t think any of it is that cute, when really they really do think it’s all that cute.

Here’s to the hours he spent worrying for you, about how smooth the pregnancy will be, and how brave you’ll have to be through the birth… all while being the rock that you need to keep sane through your own worries.

To the pain he must have gone through watching you through your pain and felt helpless to stop it.

To the tears he shed the moment he laid eyes on the tiny little human you created together and felt more love than he could ever possibly imagine.

To the hours he spends burping and changing nappies while you sleep for ‘just five more minutes’ after a feed.
To the man who, despite being just as sleep deprived, just as emotional having brought a new little human into the world, and who longs, just as much as anyone else, to spend time with you and your little baby… still goes to work in the early hours of the morning until late at night to give you the life you live and love together.

Here’s to the new dads, who are just as important, and deserve just as much recognition as the new mums. The men who without, we wouldn’t be blessed with the beautiful gift that is motherhood in the first place.

For Daniel, my rock. You’re one of the greatest fathers I know and I’ll thank you every single day for the rest of my life for everything you do, everything you are, and for this gorgeous little girl we get to call our own. 

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Bump Update: 2 Weeks Postpartum 

Tomorrow, Violet is 2 weeks old! Which means tomorrow marks 2 weeks since I gave birth, yep… two weeks since the big ouchie. 
 I know what you’re thinking, postpartum… squishy belly, fluctuating hormones, bleeding… you’d be right in thinking those things. But I’m going to be honest here, it’s not that bad. Everyone certainly prepares you for the worst but hey, this will be a positive post, promise. 

The day of: sure it was kind of sucky, after pains, kind of struggling to walk without feeling like your insides will fall out… but you’ve got a baby in your arms! And you can bask in the glory of adrenaline and how awesome you are for bringing a human into the world! (No matter how you did it). I will admit I was pretty damn smitten. And no matter how many nurses/midwives/other mums told me how important it is to sleep and not stay up all night gawking at our awesome little creation of a human, I stayed up… all night. You guessed it, gawking. 

Day 2-3: they say these days are the hardest but to be honest, with the support of my lovely mum, Dan and his mum, they weren’t as hard as people said they’d be. Vi slept, and ate, and pooped, and slept… and didn’t really give us any grief at all. Belly was still squishy! But I’d mostly regained my ability to use my abdominal muscles to sit up. Holy though… my milk came in night of day two and shook me to the core. They tell you they get big, but I severely underestimated just how big. Like bigger than my effing head big. Once again the hot shower was my friend

Day 4-14: from my milk coming in until now is all pretty much the same. My bump slowly fades back into me with every day. And we’re gradually getting used to the whole sleeping thing. And by sleeping thing, I mean not sleeping. Vi got herself into a routine fairly quickly. From night 4 onward she was up around 10pm, 1am, 4am and 7ish and bless her little heart, most nights she slept soundly in between feeds. 

I’m learning pretty quickly what I can and can’t eat. Onion and garlic are no go’s obviously, even a little and she has trouble getting her burps up, which of course means a fussy Bub and therefore less sleep for everyone in general. But I think everything so far has been really very cruisy. We’re not having any trouble breast feeding (yay) and Vi is putting on the right amount of weight according to our midwife, who visited every day for 4 days and now will be visiting once a week for 6 weeks on a Wednesday. 

I can honestly say there is no way things could have been this easy without the help of my mum. She’s up every morning with Vi from about 7am until 9-10 ensuring Dan and I get just that little extra bit of sleep we might need. She’s cooked me dinner, taken me for a pedi, gone on afternoon walks with Vi, Mo and I. Just been that extra little bit of help we really didn’t know we needed but totally do need. She leaves on Tuesday and I’m really going to miss her, but so so thankful to have such support and love in my life, and to know her and all of our family, on both sides will always be around to help out.

I’m really just so thankful with how beautiful our journey has been. A wonderfully smooth pregnancy, an incredible birth and cruisy first two weeks. We’re slowly getting the hang of things. And so far this whole parenting gig has been full of nothing but endless love. 

I’m planning of continuing posts as often as possible. Of course this will be my last bump update though! As the bump is pretty much gone, but replaced by a cute little baby, who has totally stolen our hearts. 

Violet Rae Cook: A Natural Birth story by a young mum

“In the end, the only thing you truly feel is infinite, incredible love”

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I’ve debated with myself all week on whether or not I would write (and post) Violet’s birth story. But today, a week after her birth, it just feels right. If birth stories aren’t really your thing you can stop reading now, I promise I won’t be offended, and nor will Violet.

I guess with these things you should start with the beginning, but to be totally honest, if you’ve been keeping up with my Bump Updates, you’d know I really can’t pinpoint exactly when it began. Violet joined us at 37+5 weeks gestation, but I’d had ‘pre-labour’ symptoms from about 34-35 weeks, things like losing my mucus plug, lightning crotch, more intense Braxton Hicks contractions, you know… all the things I had been complaining about.

The whole week before labour I definitely felt like something was building up, I was sleeping ALL THE TIME, I was having nights of constant Braxton Hicks (confusing me as to whether it was real labour or not) and to be honest with you, I was losing my mind. I had no way of knowing if the things I had been experiencing were actually a sign labour was near, or if I’d be experiencing these things for the next 2-4 weeks.

I guess if I could choose myself a point to say “thats when I knew” I’d probably say about 8pm on Saturday the 4th of February. Cooking chicken Parmy (classic aussie) with Dan in the kitchen, I had the biggest contraction I’d ever felt, not just a slight pain, a breath taking, eye watering contraction. I had to grab Dan to stay upright. Afterward though I definitely played it down, both in my head and to Dan. As we were eating dinner I remember saying, “yeah it really hurt, but like, I still don’t really know… you know?”. We finished dinner and went to bed, only for me to wake up to awful back pain at around 2am. I rang my mum at around 3:30, crying. Crying because I was in pain, crying because I wasn’t sure if it was actually labour, and crying because if it wasn’t labour I couldn’t deal with it for the next few weeks. She calmed me, told me to take some panadol, try to sleep and to ring her when I woke up- from there we’d figure out if it was labour and whether or not she needed to fly down.

“And when I say my waters broke… I can tell you they really damn broke. Like a bloody waterfall”

Well I didn’t need to wait long to know if she really needed to come down and if it really was labour, because the next morning about half an hour after I had woken up my waters broke. And when I say my waters broke… I can tell you they really damn broke. Like a bloody waterfall, all over the brand new mattress (lucky we’d thought ahead and made sure to have a mattress protector on the bed). One second I was lying there laughing at a dumb video on Facebook with Dan and the next second I was a human fire hose. When I told him my waters broke he asked me if I was sure, and I laughed at him as I whipped the sheets down and showed him the pool of fluid I was practically swimming in. Right. Ring mum. She needs to get here. Ring the midwife. We’re having a damn baby.

The next couple of hours were super nerve wracking, contractions hadn’t really kicked in but I was having regular tightenings, and I was also pretty worried about whether my mum would make it in time. We went into hospital at around 9:30am for a quick foetal monitoring and to check if it was my waters that had gone. Laughs, especially considering I needed two towels to get to the damn hospital. It was my waters, and everything was completely normal with baby. Ring mum. She’s got a flight for 12noon. Go home. Rest. Come back when contractions are painful and less than 5 minutes apart.

“They were getting more intense for sure, the kind of intense that makes you contemplate strangling small animals”

The next 10 hours were pretty uneventful, tightenings were becoming more regular but they were still just that- tightenings, not real contractions. Mum arrived around 2, Relief. Only at around 6pm did we really start to measure things and much to our frustrations they were all over the place. 5 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 4 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, 5 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart… They were getting more intense for sure, the kind of intense that makes you contemplate strangling small animals. But they weren’t close enough together. So we waited and waited and waited until I decided they were painful enough to warrant going into hospital at 11:30pm. Arrive at hospital. Foetal monitoring for half an hour. All normal. Zero centimetres Dilated. ZERO CENTIMETRES DILATED. Tears. Home. Sleep.

We got home at around 2am, said our goodnights and went to bed. The midwife had given me some sleeping pills to get some sleep, that lasted all of about an hour before I was woken up by definitely stronger, more painful contractions. I couldn’t stay lying down through them, for a few contractions I stayed in bed, sitting up for each contraction and then lying back down and trying to fall back to sleep. Impossible. By 3:30am I was up, I decided to use this time to labour on my own, I needed the time to focus on letting my body do what it needed to do. I hopped in the shower for about 10 minutes. the hot water helped, but then I felt like I needed to walk through the contractions, so I got out and paced the kitchen for what felt like hours, stopping to breathe through every contraction like I’d ran a marathon, this woke my mum up. By this time it was around 4:15am. Mum helped me through the contractions, encouraged me to sit when I could to save energy, but the problem was, when I sat and a contraction came on I felt pressure in my bottom (If you’ve had a baby you know pressure in your bottom gives you the urge to push, and being still at home I DID NOT WANT THIS). 4:45am Back in the shower. Breathe through contractions. Getting stronger. 5am Dan wakes up helps me through contractions. 5:30am still in the shower. Getting a LOT stronger. Call the midwife. 6:30am leave for hospital.

I can still pinpoint the two exact places I had contractions in the car on the way to the hospital on the 7 minute drive, it felt like 7 hours. Our hospital has it’s birth centre on the second story and an awfully slow elevator so the stairs were our best option. I cried at the bottom of the stairs mid contraction, because it hurt, because I really didn’t want to walk up the stairs but mostly because I knew that the next time I’d be walking these stairs I would have a baby in my arms. Dan held my hand, mum rubbed my back and we got up them.

Once we got up into a birthing suite I was sat on the bed for more monitoring, all was normal and contractions were strong and regular, yes. But sitting on that bed for contractions was not where I wanted to be, advice: move through contractions! I couldn’t at this time as I needed antibiotics, just because my water had been broken for more than 18 hrs (normal standard procedure for such occasions), and they gave me them via drip. After the drip was finished I was given an internal: 5cm dilated. I wasn’t disappointed nor optimistic. I was focused. Move me to the shower. Knees on the ground. Leaning on exercise ball. Hot water on back. Perfect. Exactly where I felt I needed to be.

By the time I was in the shower it was nearing 8am, mum had called the rest of the birth team and told them I was 5cm, so we could expect a baby by lunch time, but maybe later. So they went and got some breakfast and made their way over. Contractions were intense, very intense, but I didn’t want to move from where I was. Not for gas and air, not for any other form of pain relief. The hot water was doing everything it needed to do for me. Dan kept the water on my back the whole hour, and slowly but surely contractions got closer and closer together. Around 8:45 I started to panic a little, I felt a very very intense need to push, and I was panicking because not even 2 hours before I was only 5cm, so I can’t be ready to push, can I? The midwife reassured me that if I felt like I needed to push then I could. So I did. Contractions weren’t contractions anymore, it was one long single contraction and it wasn’t ending. Dan, let go of her hand you need to help catch your daughter. Mum, hold my hand. I can’t do this. Yes you can. We can see her head, Emily. Touch it. You can do this. Yes, I can. I’m doing this.

“I’m told I pushed for around 15 minutes, but I can tell you now, it felt like eternity and at the same time it felt like seconds”

I’m told I pushed for around 15 minutes, but I can tell you now, it felt like eternity and at the same time it felt like seconds. Absolutely nothing compares to those last few pushes. The last few seconds of being just me, Em, before I became a mother. The amount of love you feel through every second of the pain is indescribable. And the massive feeling of release when your child enters the world and is brought up into your arms is utterly incredible. At 9:12am on February 6th 2017, Daniel caught his daughter and helped scoop her down through my legs and onto my chest. And we all cried. She was here. She was healthy. She was all ours. And about a minute later my mum held my face and said to me “Can you just tell us one thing? What is her name?” and Dan and I replied together, with the most love either of us have ever felt

“Violet Rae”

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Bump Update: Week 37

The question on everyone’s minds answered: yes I’m still pregnant! Of course I’m only 37 weeks so you’d expect me to be right! The last week has been testing, which is why I’m surprised and also not surprised that I’m still pregnant. A few things hinted labour might be near, but of course like everything else birth related, it’s completely unpredictable.

I find it still so strange that with how advanced our world is, labour and birth (timeline wise) are still totally, for the most part, unpredictable. We live in a world where we can get everything we want almost instantaneously, we want to talk to someone we call or text them, we want to buy something right now and we can just by clicking a few buttons on our phones or laptops, we want to know something, and there’s good old google right there for us immediately. Though babies? They’re still a different story.

It’s almost refreshing how out of control you are when it comes to bringing on labour. I mean seriously we control pretty much everything else in our lives! With babies we can drink the tea, do the squats, walk to our hearts content, down the spicy curry, but ultimately that baby is going to come when shes ready, and not a minute before. How crazily exciting but at the same time also incredibly frustrating. Now I might not be near my due date yet, so probably have no right to start complaining but when pre-labour stuff is happening night after night and you’re still waking up the next day just as pregnant as you were before it’s exhausting, physically and emotionally.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve cried to Daniel telling him “I just don’t want to be pregnant anymore”, but you’d need more than 10 fingers and 10 toes. Despite it all I can definitely admit that this week has probably been one of the more emotional weeks, and probably because of a few things, lack of sleep, hormones but most of all, and I’m being totally honest here, its impatience, and believe me it’s something I’m working on! After all, if anything, patience will be one of the biggest things I ever learn from my daughter. 

Being one of the most natural and instinctual life experiences any woman will ever go through, I am reminding myself to stop wishing and hoping for the day to arrive and simply let nature run its course. Enjoy the peace and quiet while I have it and the sleep ins when my body has been allowing it. February is here and we’ve come so so far! So as of now I’ve decided to stop playing the waiting game and start appreciating where we are right now. The afternoons spent with Dan lying in the aircon laughing over videos that no one else probably finds funny, the excitement and joy on his face I still see every time he feels her move… just all of it. And though it will get tough learning the ropes with a newborn, I have a feeling that there will be even more love and beautiful moments in our lives than we could ever imagine ❤