Gigi's way of blocking out the world so she can sleep; use dad's beanie!
Tui on the left, Pa on the right.
4 weeks on and we are learning to cope....or rather learning to live in chaos. I realize that I have virtually no control in my life. But that is fine and that is what I have come to terms with. The goals for the weekend were achieved: I got to go out each morning for a jog on my own. We took the kids for a walk around Ti Point; turned out to be quite manageable. Pete mowed the lawn and vacuumed the house and was able to sneak out to watch the rugby at a friends house. I made homemade pasta one night and we all made our own pizzas the next night. So you see adding a third to our brood hasn't shaken us too badly. Tui is fitting in quite well. But that's not to say that we aren't all totally exhausted as you can see from the photos.
Well, this week has been full of ups and downs. It is my first week on my own with all 3 girls. Pete is back at work. The chaos started Saturday morning. Peter was out fishing, as you would be. I was getting the girls ready because we were all heading into town to run some errands. As I was brushing Rita's hair I noticed the horror of all horrors: Lice! Yuk! I panicked and text Pete to come home straight away so we could go to the pharmacy to get some sort of seek and destroy treatment. In the meantime realizing that all bedding had to be washed I stripped the beds and started decontaminating. Our whole weekend was spent doing washing and picking out lice and eggs from each other. Nice one, eh? 3 treatments later I think we are finally rid of the little buggers. Monday we had a visit from the midwife. All is well and Tui is gaining weight rapidly. Then we were off to Rita's ballet class which is just a drop off situation, thank god. Was able to leave the other 2 in the car and they were easily entertained with mommy sitting in between them. The high point of the week was finally having Tui smile at us. No more constant blank stare, she does love us after all! Low point: being at home trying to do baths and dinner with only 2 big people desperately trying to tend to 3 little people. Lots of screaming, crying, laughing, messy house, total chaos basically. Wednesday I was pretty chuffed that I was able to do all of my preschool Treasurer duties and organize birth announcements and thank you cards in the morning while miraculously Tui slept and Rita and Gigi played together nicely in their bedroom! Wednesday evening Tui and I went to the Preschool Committee Meeting which usually lasts 2 hours. Tui slept in my arms the whole time and the chairperson, Pam, managed to keep things moving swiftly so we were out of there in just over an hour. God Bless you Pam! Chaos on Thursday again. Into Warkworth with the two littlies to post some letters, get passport photos taken, buy a birthday gift, go to the supermarket and take Tui for her newborn hearing screening appointment. Gigi was a champ walking all over town but since she had been up since 4am, she was getting exhausted and kept tripping over. This meant I was wearing Tui in the front pack and carrying Gigi on my hip half the time. Passport photos were a success, got things posted off and even the supermarket wasn't too bad. My body thought otherwise about my busy day and I started to notice a sore breast halfway through the morning. Blocked ducts I thought. I would go home and apply heat and massage and that would cure it. At 6:30 I was facing a raging headache, extreme fatigue, aches, chills. Oh shit. Mastitis. I knew it right away, it hits you like a brick wall. I text Pete who had taken Rex for a walk down to our friends house that he needed to come home straight away. Our friend had some antibiotics that she sent with Pete for me to take if I needed to. We called Sally (poor lady) and she gave me instructions on what to do. I managed through the night with a throbbing boob and now must make my way into town to pick up more antibiotics.
So all in all, we've managed to make it through the first week of being back to life as normal although it has been far from normal. Gigi is saying more words everyday, Tui is smiling, Rita is clear of lice and Pete and I are exhausted as usual. Could we be so bold as to think this weekend might be a bit more relaxing? I doubt it! But we have a lovely family now and this stage goes quickly right?
Pete told me at 3 this morning about the instructor who is teaching his first aid class that he is taking today. The man has an 9 year old and 8 year old and a 7 month old! Seems that vasectomy aren't always 100% dependable. Pete is quite worried about this.....as you could imagine.
13 days past the 'due date' and 24 hours before Grandma flies back to California. We went to see Sally yet one more time. Pete said he was sick of the birthing centre already and we hadn't even had the baby yet. She hooked me up to the monitor to see how the baby was doing and of course baby was just fine. I was about 2 cm dilated, a bit more than the previous visit. Sweep number 5. Sally suggests that if we really want baby to come soon we could try castor oil. Hell ya, let's get this baby out of here. Pete then overheard Sally tell the girls in the office that I was taking some castor oil and would most likely be in tonight to give birth. There was only one more bed available at the centre and Sally's other client was going down to the hospital to be induced. I was determined that that bed was going to be mine. We stopped by the pharmacy and I sent Pete in for the castor oil. I thought it would look too ironic to see the pregnant lady waddle in to buy some castor oil. Pete dropped us off at home and went back to work. No point starting paternity leave until we actually had a baby in our arms. I took one dose of oil at noon and laid down to rest and read. An hour later I took another dose of oil. At 2pm I phoned Sally to say that yes indeed the oil was doing the trick. I was having solid contractions every 5 minutes. We got the girls all packed up to stay the night at Nana and Pa's and my mom got all showered and pack to be picked up by the taxi at 2:45am to go the airport. I was trying to take my time and as they say "stay at home as long as you can". I made a cup of tea and had a shower but the contractions were coming on stronger. Sally had mentioned to come in when I was getting 3 in 10 minutes. That was where I was at. Pete came home and picked us up. The ride to Bill and Noelene's was pretty uncomfortable. Contractions while sitting in a moving car are not a good thing. With Gigi's birth, we arrived at the birthing centre to find out I was only 2 cm and Sally told us to take a walk to get the contractions working more. I was determined to be further along this time when we got there so we took a walk up and down Bill and Noelene's road. I called Sally who said there was no point waiting any longer that we should go in and see what was happening. We arrived at 6:20pm. I was 3 cm, yippee! We all settled in to the birthing room; Peter, myself, Sally and the student nurse, Zara. We all kind of sat around while I bounced on the exercise ball and they recorded my contractions. We put on some music and chatted and made bets on how much the baby would weigh, time of birth, sex, etc. It was all quite cruisey and relaxing and totally surreal. At 8:30pm Sally ruptured the membranes with the crochet hook; I was fully effaced and about 4cm. I felt a few trickles but not much of a gush. I wandered around the room some more and after a few strong contractions felt more of a gush. Sally suggested I lie on the bed with the lights dimmed to try to get the contractions more intense. Immediately upon lying down they started to get stronger. 10:15pm I want to get in the pool, right away. Contractions are lasting a minute now. 10:35pm contractions are 4 in 10 minutes and getting very strong. 10:40pm feeling pressure in bowels. 10:50pm contractions are almost unbearable now and I tell Sally that I need to push. 10:52pm start pushing involuntarily. The final few contractions before I felt the urge to push were super intense. I knew at this stage that it was almost over so I wanted the contractions to come so it would end but I didn't want to go through another at the same time. Being the 3rd time around I knew for sure this was transition and wouldn't last long but you still don't want to be there doing it. Once I felt the urge to push, it all gets very animalistic. You can't stop your body from doing anything. It naturally and involuntarily is going to get the baby out of there. I had one push, then at the second they said the head was out but the chin was stuck. Pete ran around the other side of the pool to catch the baby. He said the head was out then an arm flew out and another arm and then slip slop out came this baby. It was literally about 5 pushes and it took 5 minutes. Tui was born at 10:57pm. Pete took off his shirt and they put her on his chest while I got out of the pool to birth the placenta. Darn placenta took nearly an hour to push out! Baby was on my chest for a while feeding until Pete took her again to cuddle. After about an hour he declared that she would be called Tui Ann. We phoned Bill and Noelene and told them to bring my mom in to see the baby before her taxi arrived to take her to the airport. Mom came around midnight and she got to come into the birthing room to see her weighed and measured. They then went with her into the lounge while I took a shower and went into my room. Tui had arrived just in time to meet Grandma. My mom was over the moon. Pete and I had a lovely first night together with Tui at the birthing centre and his parents arrived the next morning with the girls to introduce them to their new baby sister. They were pleased as punch. I was truly amazed that the birth went as well as it did. It certainly wasn't a breeze but I don't think it could have gone any better than it did.
Almost 2 weeks later, we are settling into our new routine and Tui is gaining weight and becoming more alert. The girls are finally settling down after all the excitement but they still want to cuddle Tui every chance they get. It is just beautiful to watch.
I am jumping the gun here a bit since I haven't even posted about our beautiful new arrival, Tui Ann Browne, but last night I received a gorgeous gift from a friend that I had to share right away. Zeti has been hard at work sewing this amazing quilt for Tui. I don't know how she manages as she herself has 5 children at home to tend to. The colors and design that she chose are absolutely perfect. What a treasured gift for Tui!
Another very cherished gift was this blanket that my mom crocheted for the baby. I love the colors and the pattern of crochet technique that she used. It is a perfect little swaddling blanket and is oh so soft.
And I couldn't write a post without including a few photos of our in house entertainer, Gigi!