Sunday, September 19, 2010

Potty, Santa and a scar.

I was just talking to the hubby earlier about whether or not Owen(who is 3 years and 3 months old) would have any memories of living in the pub when he grows up.It would be a shame if he doesn't remember any of his life here seeing as he absolutely loves the country and our pub. Then got us thinking about our own childhood memories and there are a few that really stand out in my mind.

All these memories are from when I was about 3 years old. The first was rather traumatic actually. We were living in a 2 bedroom duplex in South Australia, my mum was in my room ironing and I was playing in the lounge room. Something spooked me, I think a daddy long legs spider was in one of my toys and I went racing down the hallway screeching like a banshee to my mum....Only I turned the corner a second too early and my face met the door frame. Mum's face hovered over me looking quite sick, I didn't realise that blood was pouring from my head but I did start feeling a bit woozy. Poor mum. She didn't have a drivers license, in fact her English wasn't to good at all(my mum is Thai and had never even met an English speaking person until she met my dad). I'm not sure where dad was, but he must have been in town as he was working fly in, fly out. I got rushed to hospital and all I remember is being pinned down to the table, my mum pretty much laying on top of me. And I screamed, and screamed, and kicked, and thrashed about, and screamed some more. I had a lovely vertical gash down my forehead that needed stitching. They tried covering my face with some kind of sheet with a hole around the cut, but that just made me scream some more. 

I still feel sick when I think about it, I cut my forehead AGAIN when I was 9. This time it was horizontal(I have a sideways 'T' scar smack bang in the middle of my forehead). I was absolutely hysterical when I realised I was bleeding and I sobbed and sobbed to my Nana to not let them give me stitches. *sigh*.

The second memory was around Christmas, I may have even been about 2 and a half because I was toilet training. Dad was calling me because there was someone at the door and I remember calling back to let him know I was doing a tinkle on my little yellow potty. I tried to 'tinkle' as fast as possible to go and find out what was happening, but I was too late. There was a lovely big parcel for me though and Dad had said it was Santa dropping of the Christmas presents from my grandparents. Boy, was I disappointed that I missed Santa making a special trip to my house during the day after being to see my Nana and Pop. I still wonder what Dad would have said if I had made it to the door, perhaps the Aust Post guy had a white bushy beard?

Speaking of Santa, I was convinced that he had come to visit when I saw big boot prints in the dirt near our backdoor. It wasn't Christmas time though and there were no presents left behind. Mum never told me we had a prowler. Eep.

Lastly, I remember when I was 4 - Mum, Dad and I had gone to a friends place and came home at night by public transport. It was dark, with only a few street lights ahead. I was riding on my Dads shoulders and noticed something long a white strewn on the front lawn. My heart started thudding because I knew something was very long. Being only 4, I was frightened because there was a Mummy lurking around who was becoming unraveled. I never said anything to Mum and Dad though and when we entered our home, we realised that something was definitely wrong. Like most kids, I had my very own piggy bank and I always got the 1c and 2c pieces after a shopping trip. Now this wasn't any ordinary piggy bank, it was a replica of one of those big old red pay phones. It was about the same height as I was sitting. Anyway, our entry way was a blanket of 1c and 2c pieces and my beloved piggy bank had been smashed to smithereens. I was devastated. I was also glad that the Mummy still wasn't lurking around after being in our house. My bedroom window had been smashed(point of forced entry) and I refused to sleep in there. Poor Dad had to squeeze into my toddler bed whilst I co-slept with my Mum. It was also the dead of winter and in South Australia it gets bloody COLD. 

I'm not sure why it's these things that stand out the most. It's funny that I remember what I was thinking(Santa, Mummy's...). I can't wait until my kids are grown and find out what kind of things they remember from their childhood and what their perspective was at the time!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Preparing your homebirth kit

**I've brought this post over from my old blog as it's one of my favourite posts and I wanted to let other homebirth mama's know what worked for us in our home births).**

I'm 32 weeks pregnant today. Only 8 weeks until my 'due' date. That means only 4 weeks to get what I need ready to make the move out of here until she arrives. Now I'm wondering how to fit it all into the car, especially on the return trip home with an extra child and all our stuff! Ah well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. We may have to tie a few kids to the roof ;)

What I need to start thinking about is assembling my Homebirth Kit, ready for the big day. Here's what we learnt last time around.

Anyway, the most important thing you'll need is the birth pool. That is besides my midwife and her birth kit of course. Some women prefer to buy their own, but depending on what kind of pool you want it can get pretty costly. You can pick up some pools pretty cheap - just have a look at children's wading pools, as long as it has an inflatable bottom, sturdy sides and is deep enough to be able to submerge yourself in the water then it's good enough to birth in. Or you can just ask your midwife if she has pools to hire. My midwife hires them out for $40 and charges another $40 for a pool liner.

Then there's the accessories for the pool. You'll need drop sheets to go underneath and around it - these are pretty cheap from the local hardware. Or you could put down a few sheets of tarp and some old bedsheets over the top(which is what I did last time). You'll also need a pump to pump up the pool. Nothing fancy like those plug in type ones, just a hand or foot pump will do. It doesn't take long to pump the pool up, maybe 15 minutes tops. The pool will need filling, the local hardware should also sell tap connections. We got a little pack that had a whole bunch of different connections and it was fairly easy to connect to our bathroom sink tap, don't forget the hose! I would suggest having a play around with it and make sure you can get it working properly before the actual time comes. We ended up leaving the connection on the tap when we got to 'full term' and then it was just a matter of plugging the hose onto the end when it came time to fill the pool.

Worried about keeping the water warm if you fill it before you're ready to get in? You can buy covers for the pool but hubby worked out a cheaper way. We purchased a couple of shower curtains - the really thick plastic kind. One was enough to cover the entire top of the pool and kept it warm, I hopped into the pool maybe an hour after it had been filled and it was still deliciously warm.

The other plastic shower curtain we used on our bed. First put a nice clean sheet on the bed, then cover with the shower curtain followed by another sheet. That way if the bed seems more inviting to birth on than the pool, you can just pull off the first sheet and shower curtain and have a nice clean sheet to snuggle in bed with your new baby!

Oh and a bucket, to scoop water out before you top it up with more warm water. We only had to do this once in my whole labour.

What else do you need? Towels - lots of old towels. I don't think we went through that many to be honest, but I didn't bleed a hell of a lot after the birth. I went through two or three from the multiple times of getting in and out of the pool to pee. I used a couple folded up on the side of the pool to rest my head on because face it, who wants to rest their face on hot plastic? One for the baby to get dried coming out of the pool(and one for Mama too) and then one for the shower after the placenta was birthed.

I mentioned sheets already - to cover tarp, and for the bed. I suggest putting old sheets that you don't mind throwing out if they get too dirty as the top layer.

A bowl - to catch the placenta in. I used an ice cream container and then we just popped a lid on it and put it in the fridge.

A strainer - to scoop out things from the water...yeah I won't go into detail about that one. We never had to use it.

Baby gear - a nappy, beanie, clothes, bunny rugs. We didn't get dressed for some time after the birth. We had lots of blissful skin to skin time with a bunny rug over baby and then our quilt over all of us. He didn't even have a nappy on - and no he didn't wee or poo all over the place.

Plastic bags/garbage bags - For cleaning up afterwards.

A torch - Some midwives ask you to provide one. I guess it's to see what's happening. I forgot about it and we didn't need one anyway.

Your CAMERA - VERY important if you want photos. We had ours nearby on the bedside table and our midwife grabbed it and snapped away :)

Candles, oil burner, radio and anything else that you may want to use for relaxation. It's your home and your birth. Anything goes.

T-shirt, underwear and pads - For you. Having them close by for after the birth means that your midwife can easily grab them for you while you and your partner and falling in love with your baby!

Another tip is to make sure you have you kitchen stocked weeks in advance. Have some meals prepared and frozen so that it's simply a matter of heating and eating. Be well stocked with bread and milk and coffee. If you have a marathon labour, your midwife will need refreshments too!

Have some spare pillows and blankets around too because if you do labour for a long time, your midwife and support people might need a bit of shut eye on the couch at some point.

Anyway, I would suggest keeping all your bits and pieces in a box. That way your support person isn't scrambling around the house looking for bowls or towels. And if they are busy tending to you, the midwife can easily find things that she needs.

** And just so you know, we did manage to squeeze everything back into the car to make the trip home, it was an extremely tight squeeze though. At times I couldn't see some of my children in the back due to pillows and things rolling around! **

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bacon and Herb Chicken Rissoles

We had these for dinner the other night and got a big thumbs up from Daddy right down to our youngest boy. It's very quick and easy to make - and best of all, can be premade and frozen uncooked.

Bacon and Herb Chicken Rissoles
Serves 4

  • 500g Chicken mince
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 8 rashers middle bacon
  1. Combine mince, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, chives, basil and half the barbecue sauce in a bowl. Shape into eight 2cm thick rissoles. Remove 'eye' piece from each bacon rasher and wrap in plastic wrap for later use. Wrap 1 tail piece around each rissole and secure with a toothpick.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Spray a large non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium heat. Cook rissoles, in batches, for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a greased baking tray. Brush with barbecue sauce. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through, basting with remaining barbecue sauce halfway through cooking.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Tahnee, home birth in water - 14th May 2010

I've finally had the time to write my birth story, it's been sitting half written on my netbook for the last week and now it's finally done.

So finding out that I was expecting baby number 5 was a bit of a shock. We had only taken over the pub a few months earlier, I was still breastfeeding my fourth baby and I'd had the implanon put in. The pub is in a remote area and our nearest hospital with a maternity unit was around 2.5 hours away. Not that I intended to birth in a hospital after having a homebirth in December 2008. Our dilemma was that there were no independent midwives nearby - only in the city - 4 hours away. Usually labour progresses fairly quickly for me and I doubted that a midwife would even make it out here anyway. Not just that, but if I DID need to transfer, the hospital was too far away. Finally we decided to apply to the community midwifery program and I would travel to the city and stay there from 36 weeks until the baby was born.

I stayed at my in laws house for the first 3 weeks, I was so sure the baby would come while I was staying there and I felt on edge because every little niggle I had made me wonder if I was going into labour - I needed to get the hubby down from the pub in time. But three weeks came and went and hubby arrived with the kids when I was 39 weeks pregnant. We moved into hubby's sisters place(her and her hubby came to the pub to run it for 2 weeks). Now the niggles started kicking up a notch - I was certain I'd have this baby before her 'due date'.

Wednesday the 13th of May rolled around. I woke at 5am to a contraction and I knew instantly that labour was starting. The were coming every half an hour from then on, they were quite painful, low down at the front. It just happened that hubby's cousin was in town for 48 hours and we were meant to head over to the in laws for dinner. I felt bad, but decided to stay at the house and sent Matt over with the kids while I just rested and dealt with these contractions that were still about 20 minutes to half an hour apart. I knew that she would come the next day, the 13th just didn't seem right. Anyhow, I still texted my midwife around 5pm to let her know I had been having contractions but didn't expect anything to happen til the following day. I was glad to get some sleep that night, the contractions were still coming but were a bit further apart, I only woke during a few of them.

I woke up around 5am on May 14th, the contractions had picked up again. I told hubby he'd have to ring his mum in about an hour or so and tell her not to go to work. I knew today would be birth day. I had a shower and had breakfast, then reorganised our homebirthing stuff. We started filling the pool at 6am because I felt like I needed it soon, the pain was all in that same area down low in front. I went back and forth to the loo a couple of times and each time I felt a whole lot of pressure in my bum. That was when I decided to let my midwife, Mel, know things were happening and if she could come around. This was just after 8am. I texted my friend Karin, who lives out here in the bush to tell her things were well on their way and to head to Perth as she was going to photograph the birth for us.

By this stage, I was feeling tired again - so I lay down on the end of the bed and dozed until 9am when Mel arrived. So we watched a bit of TV, the contractions were coming in clusters of three, around 3 minutes apart and then I felt like I was sitting around for ages waiting for the next lot. I did feel like they had slowed down even more when Mel arrived, I think I felt a bit anxious that I had called her too early and have her tell me I wasn't in 'real labour' even though I knew deep down that I was. After an hour or so I had a banana to eat and then decided to go for a walk around the backyard because the contractions were still irregular. I stomped around the backyard with Matt trailing along behind me, the backyard isn't huge, so I did laps around it and got pretty bored really fast - this was when I was updating Twitter and Facebook. I did notice that everytime I passed the fishpond, I'd have a really strong contraction and I'd hang on to Matt and sway through each contraction. The walking seemed to do the trick and I began having more contractions. I'm not sure how long I was outside for, maybe about half an hour and then it was feeling too cold.

At 11.15am, my contractions were more frequent but still irregular. Mel had a chat to me about her leaving for a while and then coming back. At this point I decided to have an internal as it didn't seem like I was in established labour. From past experience though, once my labour progresses things happen FAST (all of my other babies had a second stage of less than 10 minutes). So the internal was done at my request and I was 4cm but Mel said she could stretch it to 7cm, 100% effaced and baby at -1 station. Mel decided that it would be best if she stayed.

11.40am and I decide the pool looks mighty inviting and there was no reason not to get in. From this point I laboured in the water, still smiling and chatty. I knelt at one end of the pool and remain in this position for the rest of the labour as any other position was just too uncomfortable. Matt sat on the end of the bed in front of me, holding my hand and pouring water on my back during contractions. I swear that the pain wasn't as bad when I was holding his hand - so he'd promptly get a whack to the leg from me if he didn't offer his hand at the beginning of each contraction.

Karin turned up sometime around now, had a chat and she went out to get everyone lunch. Even though my contractions were still irregular I knew things were getting close now, I was starting to get snappy and I really didn't want any lunch.

At 12.18pm the contractions were coming in clusters of 2 or 3 every 5-6 minutes and then at 12.45pm they were still in clusters but 11 minutes apart. Really all over the place but increasing in intensity.

I got out of the pool about a million times to pee. Tried to race back to the pool before the next contraction came because they were almost unbearable out of water.

Now I was no longer smiling and chatty, I was getting annoyed at Matt for giggling at Wife Swap. I was vaguely aware of anyone else in the room - Karin sitting quietly on the other end of the bed and Mel was somewhere behind me. I kept waiting for those transition stage contractions, I knew they were close. By 1.30pm they were becoming regular and incredibly intense, the only pain I felt was still low down at the front, no pain in my back at all.

At 2pm I asked Matt for a muesli bar. We had a bit of a giggle about my last homebirth and how I started eating a muesli bar, promptly went straight into transition and ended up throwing it half eaten onto the bed. I said I would scoff this one as fast as I could just in case.

I took one bite, a big contraction came with lots of pressure in my bum - muesli bar gets thrown on the bed. I'm in transition and the contractions were one on top of the other. I honestly felt like the next contraction started before the last one finished. I started getting a bit more vocal now, moaning through each contraction. I felt baby move down.

2.25pm and I felt the urge to push. I didn't feel like I had the energy to push so I just breathed through the contraction until I could muster up the energy to start pushing. I'm extremely vocal at this point, afterwards Mel said I wasn't very loud but I felt like I was extremely noisy. I was aware of the sound of Karin's camera, she was somewhere behind me. As baby's head starts to crown I feel my waters burst and her head move down even further. I'm hanging on to matt's calf with one hand and his jumper at his waist in the other - I'm pretty sure I was hurting him but he was fantastic, whispering in my ear and telling me what a great job I was doing and that our baby would be with us soon. At some points during a contraction, I felt like I was losing control a bit, Mel was wonderful though - gently guiding me through and telling me when to just breathe, it made a world of difference.

Still pushing and baby's head is out, I remember hearing Mel saying she could see bubs nose. I felt the baby turn - such a weird sensation - and then with the next push the baby was out! I immediately said 'Oh, that's better'. Mel tells me to pick up my baby and I push back from the edge of the pool and look down in front of me. The water was all cloudy and I said 'where is she?!', everyone laughed but I was serious! I reach down in front of me anyway and catch a glimpse of black hair - my baby! I lift her to me and can't get over how much she looks like her older brother, Owen. Now I'm exclaiming how sore my bum is(it really was sore, I don't remember it being that sore with the other kidlets) and needed Matt's help to sit back in the pool, the baby had a short cord as well making it difficult for me to move around.
We're finally settled on one side of the pool and Mel comments how much vernix there is(hence the cloudy water). I quickly had a peek between bub's legs to confirm that she is in fact as she.

I get out of the pool at 2.40pm because I'm feeling cold in the water, I needed lots of help getting up because the cord was still attached and I couldn't lift her any higher than my belly button. We settle in bed and baby Tahnee has her first breastfeed at 2.55pm. The placenta is born at 3.13pm and Matt cuts the cord. Then I snuggled down in bed with our beautiful daughter.

Tahnee Liliana was 4kg(8lb 13oz), 48cm long with a head circumference of 35.5cm.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

6 More Days...

Until moving day! And yes we are counting down. It's been a battle the last few months and to be honest, we'll be glad to get away from this place and not deal with the hassles we've had with the landlord. Greed is such an ugly thing I've discovered and all I can say now is that karma will catch up to them.

So with such a short time left before the truck arrives here to take all our stuff back to our home town(and a huge huge thank you to a wonderful friend who is lending us his time and ability to drive the truck for us) - you'd think that I'd be in a flurry of packing. Erm...well I can say that I've packed some. And I've also made a huge dent in Mt Washmore(aka the washing pile). It was for this reason that I was putting off my WAHM business until after I moved but me being me, cannot wait more than a few days or so for things, HAD to start it up right away and to my amazement, orders have come flooding in. So instead of packing, I've been sewing, cutting, gluing, folding, ironing and producing some of these:

 Ok, so it's not been the most ideal time to start, but I can tell you that I am having so much fun creating these little goodies for people. There are so many ideas swimming around in my head that I can't wait to produce once we have moved and settled into our home(and my new sewing machine should be waiting for me but more about that another time).

Really, I can't say I've done much in the way of packing though I'm up to garbage bag 2042 full of clean clothes and still counting(and I did a big cull on our clothes recently, it's insane!!). I am like a 2 year old and am distracted easily by pretty coloured things, namely ribbons and fabrics. The hubby has been fantastic though, we are sleeping on the floor now because he's already taken the beds apart. It's just me that, despite my best intentions, ends up leaving things to the very last minute. Mind you, I seem to work best under pressure.

It's all so exciting, but in the same token, there are things I will miss a whole heap about living in the country. Firstly, I will miss one of my amazing friends the most. She has been such a good friend to me and was even there when Tahnee was born - we'll always be friends though, no matter how far apart we are. 

I'll also miss the school being so close - close enough to walk to and close enough for us to hear the siren from home, no forgetting to pick the kids up from school. And yes, once we did forget to pick up our kids from school and didn't realise until 30 minutes after school had finished. I will never forget the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when we realised our poor kids were sitting in the classroom alone with the teacher and wondering when we were going to come and get them. The reason we forgot? Said friend that I mentioned above had come over to take newborn photos of Jye and we got carried away. To our credit though, it was an early closure day and school finished at 2.30 instead of 3.

I'll miss the interesting people we have travelling through our pub, I'll miss the size of our bedrooms, I'll miss the quiet country roads, the commercial kitchen, having people say hello and know me by name wherever I go, having an open fireplace and I will miss having my hubby around all day every day - though I'm not sure he'd miss me as much, I like to annoy him.

There is plenty that I do look forward to; doing my groceries online, going to playgroup(that doesn't take me 40 minutes to get to), living in a proper house and not just the back of a pub, being able to pop out to the shops on a Sunday to get ingredients for dinner that I may have overlooked, seeing family everyday and being able to walk around naked in my home if I wish!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lactation Boosting Cookies

When I was still breastfeeding my fourth baby(Jye), I went to morning tea with a couple of my breastfeeding friends. We use to get together at least once a week for morning tea – sometimes more, and the usual thing was to bring a plate of something to share. This one particular time, a friend of mine cooked up a batch of lactation boosting cookies as we had been talking about them the previous week. I was curious to know if they worked or not, lots of women have sworn by this recipe.

So I turn up and there is a big plate of these delicious looking cookies. I ate one. Then two. In the end I had about half a dozen! They were soooo yummy. I’d never really had any supply issues before and I had no idea what to expect to be honest, but by evening my breast became so engorged that there is no doubt that these cookies actually do work to boost your milk supply! I have to say I was pretty impressed and a bit embarrassed that I’d eaten so many and it resulted in some big, sore breasts. Jye thought it was great though, he didn’t have to work to hard for the letdown to start gushing out.

I haven’t had to make them for myself, as I still haven’t had any issue supplies, but I have made a few batches for friends to help them out.

So here it is, the recipe for Lactation Boosting Cookies:
* 1 cup butter or marg
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal*
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
* 1 cup or more chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous)


Preheat oven at 375 degrees F. Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes. Cream (beat well) margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended. Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips. Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment or silpat. The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.

Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

Serves: 6 dozen cookies

Preparation time: 15 minutes

*can be found at any local health food store.

It makes a hell of a lot of cookies, so freeze the dough to use later!