Monday, 31 December 2012

Out with the old

Warning: Today's post is VERY self indulgent and not in the least bit modest. If you can get past that, please keep reading.

So, it's almost 9am on New Years Eve 2012. I'm in a reflecting kinda mood today. I'm looking back on my 2012 and what I have achieved. So here it is

  • We got to bring Darling Daughter (DD) home at 22 days
  • Even though we had no end of trouble breastfeeding, she had EBM (Expressed Breast Milk) for at least one feed a day for 7 months
  • She was baptised on her 7 month birthday
  • I realised that YES! I can do this
  • I learnt that DD's spew down the front of my shirt at 3am while watching Charmed isn't that bad
  • We've taught DD to say Mum-mum, Daddy, Hey, Bubba, Boo and the new ones Pup and Puppa Peh (Peppa Pig) oh, and Hoo hoo (Hoot)
  • It IS possible to get excited about poop
  • Some baby foods taste pretty good, others pretty ordinary
  • We've started raising one bloody awesome kid
  • I've done a bloody good job to get her as far as she has come (and so has she!!)

  • Being a mum is the best job I've ever had

Sure, there are times when I get frustrated when DD does things she knows are wrong (you say No! and she gets sooky).

One of my workmates summed it up best on Melbourne Cup day when we went to visit, "Sarah, when you said you were pregnant, I really couldn't imagine you as a mum. Now, seeing you with DD, I can't imagine you any other way."

This statement, from someone who I count as a friend, sums up exactly how I've felt every day since finding out I was pregnant. 

I'll most likely sleep through the New Years celebrations, so will hubby and DD. But for those of you who will see it in, please have fun and stay safe.

Here's to you, my followers and readers. You've made a new blogger feel very welcome. This is post 21, so it's like my 21st all over again.

Wishing you and your friends and families a very happy, prosperous, safe and exciting 2013. See you on the flipside! 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Done for another year

Wow. What a huge few days. Darling Daughter (DD) turned one on Saturday. It was a great day, but also a bit emotional for me. We woke up before her, but made sure all her presents we had were out before we went to bed. We were very careful to only get her a few things, knowing that our families and friends would spoil her. 

I have a radio station that I listen to, every day, with DD (it's our TV off time) and she loves dancing to the music, so I contacted the host and he added in her details for a birthday announcement. I'm that sentimental, I got out my phone and recorded it. And I got a bit teary. 

We simply spent family time together (except for my two trips to the supermarket for bags of ice) until it was time for her birthday party. The weather was pretty good considering weather reports said we had an 80% chance of rain. 

DD was placed in her playpen, in the middle of all of us, and as people arrived, the circle got bigger and so did the pile of presents. I can say that we know the most generous people! 

We did things a bit different - we didn't have games or nibblies, just sat around for about 30 minutes to allow all of our guests to arrive (my cousin had to work late) and once everyone was here, we cut the cake. 

And it made me sad to do so. Why? Well, DD is obsessed with Giggle and Hoot. Mainly Hoot. We can be anywhere in the house, and if she hears the theme song, she gets so excited and starts trying to say Hoot and dances. 

So the lovely mum of a girl (I can't stop calling us girls, sorry) I went to school with made us a butter cream, chocolate mudcake Hoot. I thought a marzipan icing Hoot might be a bit much for a one year old to handle. Hubby and I ate Hoot's legs, which were wafers. Hoot has been so awesome, that a week after picking him up, we still have a little bit of his head/face! It has lasted so well! We let DD have a bit of cake to mush in her fingers (a normal serving size) and to eat. She even loved sitting up in her "big girl" Disney Princess camp chair, because our other young guests were doing it. 

I cracked a bottle of Chandon Vintage Brut (2008) that I bought on our honeymoon in 2011 and was saving for a special occassion. I figured after everything we had been through DD's first birthday was special enough.

Having Christmas just three days later was huge! Again, family and friends spoilt all three of us rotten. Our house looks like a toy store, with ALL sorts of things, from baby pianos, to walkers and stuffed toys littering our lounge room floor. But you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. I think inside I like having them so close together because I know I don't have to worry about any of it for another year. 

I do wonder what DD will think when she is older, but if she says anything, I'll just remind her that she was the impatient one who couldn't wait to meet Mummy and Daddy.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and that you have a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2013!

Thank you for sticking by me for the first couple of months!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Another award? Aw, shucks!

Tegan at Musings of the Misguided has kindly nominated me for another award - the Liebster Award. I am feeling very special lately, as it's the second one she has nominted me for.

What is the Liebster Award, I hear you ask.

"The award  is given to support and recognise up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (on their blog) or likers (on their Facebook page). The word “Liebster” apparently has German origins and is reported to mean sweetest,  kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. By following some basic rules (answer 11 questions set by your nominee, write 11 questions of your own and pass the award onto 11other  bloggers to answer) it enables readers to get to know new bloggers and connect  with a wider audience."

Now herein lies a problem. I don't know 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers. I know Ann at Help!! I'm Stuck!! has already done her Liebster Award post, and all the other blogs I follow are quite popular. I feel terrible that I have no one else to pass this on to, so if you stumble across this post, and I haven't liked your Facebook page or follow your blog, please post the link in the comments, or find me on FB at Just One More Chapter and post your link or page there.

My question from Tegan are:

  • How long have you been blogging? Honestly, about 5 minutes. This is only post number 19 for me.

  • What was the first Blog you read? Musings of the Misguided.

  • How did you come up with the name for your Blog? I read a lot, and always tell myself to read "just one more chapter" before bed.

  • Summer or Winter? Winter - I hate feeling hot and sticky, I'm not a pool person and airconditioning costs a fortune to run. At least in Winter, I can just chuck on some jeans or trackpants and a jumper and be happy.

  • How do you start your day? Some days with a trip to the gym, others I get up to my one year old daughters babbling.

  • One thing you couldn't live without? My family

  • If you were stuck on a deserted island, who is one person you would like to be stuck with? Macguyver - he could get me out of any mess we find ourselves in and back home quick smart, with just a stick and a palm frond. And Richard Dean Anderson was kinda hot back then.

  • Your favourite indulgence food? Chocolate. I think. Or any food that I go out and eat that I don't have to cook or clean up after

  • Do you blog to a schedule? I usually always try to have an IBOT (I Blog On Tuesdays) post, but missed this week. Otherwise it's just when I get the fancy to do it.

  • If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? With my husband and daughter in Tasmania

  • Are you ready for Christmas? I think so. We've got a first birthday to get through first!

  • Food for the soul

    I have to admit that I love eating out. I love it when someone else cooks and cleans up for me.

    My Darling Husband (DH) has a rep who always used to take us out. Since bub though, we've only been invited 3 times and able to go once. Darling Daughter (DD) was sick twice.

    It was great. We have sampled so many of the restaurants in our town, that I admit I am missing it. 

    And now we are on a single income, it's even tougher. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to have lunch with the lovely Tegan, from Musings of the Misguided. Our first choice of venue was fully booked out. It was our own bad luck, as we hadn't booked a table. But luckily a new place has opened up in the last few months, so off we went.

    I have to admit, I think in the hour or so we sat there, I must have talked her ear off. 

    I left our little lunch feeling so calm, happy and refreshed. She had organised to go to lunch with me on the hardest week so far, and managed to keep my mind off the 'bad' stuff. 

    If I could afford to do this all the time, I would. There's something about good food, great company and the fact you don't have to cook or wash up afterwards that is just so soothing for the soul. 

    I've linked up with Tegan today for her reader's choice. Plus, look out for my second post today! It will be up soon, so only a short one now.

    Monday, 17 December 2012

    And so it begins

    I need to get this out there. I need to talk about it, but when I've tried talking to Dear Husband (DH) he just shoots me down, telling me to forget about it, don't think about it. 

    He doesn't realise that it's just not that easy.

    Today marks 12 months since the scary rollercoaster started. It's when my waters broke, when we thought I'd just wet myself.

    When we presented at the hospital. For the midwife to look at me with sad eyes and tell me that my waters were gone.

    That agonising wait for the doctor to show up.

    The doctor giving the midwife a signal to say I was dilating already.

    Waiting with my mum for DH to come back from picking my bag up.

    Knowing that I was only allowed to walk to the toilet, and even then I had to go slowly.

    Going into the Special Care Nursery (SCN) for the first time to see where our baby WOULD go, regardless.

    Back to the wondering what had I done wrong? Why was my baby coming early? Would he/she be ok? Had I eaten something? Had I caught something? 

    There's a part in the back of my mind today that's replaying everything I did up until it all happened. From when I was at the shops, to helping mum, talking to my aunt.

    Occassionally, it get's too overwhelming and I need to shake myself, and look at my precious little girl and focus on the awesome day coming up on the weekend. Her very first birthday. 

    I want to know if other premmie parents go through this, but I'm too scared to ask because as much as I want to know, I guess I don't want to know. I really hope this year is as bad as it gets. This is why my Christmas shopping is all done and dusted and all my presents wrapped. 

    That's it from me today. You know that my mind is addled, I'm a bit scattered and scarred. But we will be ok. You can bet on that!

    Friday, 14 December 2012

    Sunshine Award

    Wow! Thank you to Tegan at Musings of the Misguided for my Sunshine Award

    I feel so very honoured to receive this after such a short time blogging. 

    “The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are: “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere”. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favourite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!”

    Now for the fun part, the questions!

    1. Favourite Time of the Year? Spring or autumn... Not too hot, not too cold

    2. Favourite Festive movie? A Christmas Carol - the Disney version. What can I say, I'm a big kid at heart

    3. What is your Passion? My family. Making the world as best of a place as I can for them. Does that count?   

    4. Favourite Colour? Purple... We have LOTS of purple.

    5. Favourite time of the Day? Anytime Darling Daughter (DD) is happy

    6. Favourite Flower? Oriental lillies

    7. Favourite Non-Alcoholic Beverage? Well, you can get this Mt Franklin Sparkling Mineral Water with hint of lime. It tastes just like a vodka, lime and soda, without the voddy.

    8. Favourite Physical Activity? Getting on the treadmill or BodyStep classes

    9. Favourite Vacation? Tassie, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road and the Grampians. We want to take DD as soon as we can afford it.

    Thursday, 13 December 2012

    My abbreviations

    This post is in response to a comment I have received. I'm going to try and think of all the abbreviations I use and may use whilst I write my blog. This will be short and sweet.

    IBOT - I Blog On Tuesday - I team up with a lovely lady, Jess, who has her own blog at Essentially Jess

    DH - Darling Husband but occassionally I think it's otherwise

    DD - Darling Daughter

    Honestly, for the life of me, I can't think of anything else at the moment, but if there are others, please reply in the comments and I'll get back to you!

    We always knew

    I've been quiet since IBOT.

    I'm starting to feel a huge range of emotions which are only going to amplify over the next 9 days in the lead up to DD's 1st birthday.

    As some of you may remember from reading my post The In Between, we got told at her 6 and 9 month milestone assessments that DD had failed and was behind. Even taking into account her corrected age.

    Well, DD showed the Child Health Nurse today. Did exactly what she had to and then some, especially on the talking front. So, it's with great pleasure, excitement and pride, that I tell you DD passed her 12 month milestone assessment. 9 days early even!

    I'm so pleased with how far she has come in 12 very short months. She's slightly ahead with her talking, and with a mum like me, that's not surprising. I could talk under wet cement!

    So it's only a short post today. Alongside the happy feelings, there's a mixed bag, as I keep thinking back to exactly what I was doing on this day 12 months ago. Tomorrow would be 12 months since we had our 32 week scan and get told that our baby is head down, ready to go, my low lying placenta has moved and oh, look! Your baby is practicing breathing! We didn't know then just how much that phrase would mean in just one short week!!

    Tuesday, 11 December 2012

    Christmas Carols

    'Tis the season, lovely people.

    Yep, that's right, there are Christmas Carols galore. In fact, right now, I'm watching Celtic Thunder: Christmas. 

    I have to admit, I'm a sucker for carols. I love them. From the traditional like Good King Wenceslas to the different like Mele Kalikimaka. That's Hawaiian for Merry Christmas.

    I wish I could listen to carols all year. Actually, DH thinks the reason DD came so early was that she was sick of me playing the carols in the car ALL the time. After 22 days of them, she'd had enough. 

    If you had to pick say, 5 Christmas Carols that you could listen to whenever you wanted, what would they be? My 5 would be:

    Good King Wenceslas

    Mele Kalikimaka

    Santa Baby (the Leann Rimes version)

    Jingle Bell Rock

    Fairytale of New York (Ronan Keating version)

    So, what are your top 5??

    Today I'm linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

    Monday, 10 December 2012

    Monday Menu Plan

    Ok, so today I'm linking up with A Dose of Dannie for her Monday Menu Plan.

    Mine is likely to change, depending on my mood, the weather and what DD is doing at the time I decide to cook. 

    But so far for this week we have:

    Monday: Chicken & Mushroom risotto with baby spinach. Courtesy of a one pot meal pack.

    Tuesday: Chicken Muffins with a potato and garlic filling - Lenards. Most likely to be served with salad.

    Wednesday: Steak and veges.

    Thursday: Marinated steak (Masterfoods Marinate in a bag - Red Wine & Garlic) and salad or veges.

    Friday: Grocery night. Likely to be Maccas or KFC - both are on my way home

    Saturday: Chinese - going out for my Nan's 73rd birthday

    Sunday: BBQ I think, with the in laws. Or whatever my MIL decides we're having. On these nights, I'm not picky, because I'm not cooking it or washing up after it lol

    We're a pretty boring bunch here. This weeks plan is slightly more extravagant than usual thanks to packet mixes and marinades. 

    What's on your menu?? 

    Sunday, 9 December 2012

    It's just the vino talking

    My name is Sarah and I love wine.

    There... I've said it. 

    Personally, I would be very happy if I could get a Sav Blanc with a zero alcohol content that tastes as good as the alco one. The current no alcohol ones you get at the supermarkets taste like shit. 

    Some people drink wine because it's alcoholic. I drink it because I like the taste. There's something about the combination of flavours and the way the can dance or roll or just sit on my palette.

    My husband tells me I drink too much wine, because I probably do. But I say again, it's the flavour. 

    If I was a wine maker, I would try my very best to do what I want - a great tasting, no alcohol wine that anyone could enjoy. 

    You know, the way a good red, like a Cab Sauv, can warm you from the inside on a cold winter's night, when you sit down with a hearty beef and vegetable stew? 

    Or in summer, the way an icy cold (yes, icy cold) white like Sauvignon Blanc can be refreshing. 

    I'm one of those adventurous people who doesn't pair wine with food. For example, as I type this, I'm enjoying a glass of Chain of Ponds "The Cachet" Cab Sav, Shiraz, Merlot. We've not long finished a dinner of chicken, leek and mushroom pie.

    Good wine-equette says that I should be drinking a white with chicken. Uh-uh. Not me. I'm a rebel. 

    My husband thinks I'm addicted to Vinomofo. I probably am. Sassy comments on ALL my Facebook posts that I put on their page. 

    By the way, I guess I should tell you that I'm just a loyal customer. I'm not receiving anything from anyone that I've mentioned. I just like great customer service and want to share it around.

    So with that, I would like to remind you, that it's just the vino talking. 

    Merry Mofo-mas everyone!

    P.S. I wrote this on Saturday night, not Sunday morning.

    Thursday, 6 December 2012

    My Christmas List

    In true Christmas Spirit, along with Essentially Jess and Always Josefa I'm doing my Christmas List.

    How many items do it get? No, I'm just kidding. There's always a few things that are standard, so here goes:

    1. Good health for all of my family. I want my mum's arm and neck to be better.
    2. A money tree. Greedy, I know. But if I had a money tree with a never ending supply of money, I'd share it with my family, friends and charities. I wouldn't be so greedy as to keep it all myself, but I just want us to be comfortable without worrying.
    3. More creativity. I'm sure you're all getting bored with my posts. I'm not that exciting or interesting.
    4. For my family and friends to get their wishes for the rest of their lives - I know what some people want and it's nothing I can help with, so I really, really want them to get it.
    5. An RDO for my husband. Having him home that one extra day a week would be wonderful.
    6. An open ticket (including travel) to any and all country music concerts in Australia forever. I want to see Big and Rich, Billy Ray Cyrus and all the artists at CMC Rocks the Hunter. I've been lucky enough to see international artists Brooks and Dunn, Tim McGraw, Joe Nichols, Dwight Yoakam and Gary Allan to name a few. I want more. It's an addiction!
    I'd share the love, but all my favourite and followed blogs have already been tagged I think.

    Tell me in the comments what you want and who you would like to see give their Christmas list.

    Wednesday, 5 December 2012

    Wacky Wednesday

    I'm feeling a bit wacky and stir crazy today, even though DD and I have been out for a couple of hours this morning.

    I've been thinking back over funny things that I've done. 

    The most memorable prank would have to be the one I pulled on DH. It started out innocently enough - the sprinkler popped off the hose. Seeing as he was near it, he decided to fix it for me. Of course, I turned it on while he was still standing next to it and I have never seen a man jump so high before. 

    I think back to all the times my bestie and I stalked people through the shops, ran around yelling that we were aeroplanes, me pretending to be a kangaroo because I was drunk.

    My best drunk experience would have been after a post work drinkies episode. I cannot remember how many UDL's I had, but it was a lot, especially for me. DH (then just boyfriend) was driving me home, and he got pulled over for an RBT. He'd had one or two beers, and was definitely fine to drive, but I kept hissing, "Don't lie!!" at him in my best Gollum voice. 

    I got my comeuppance the very next day - it was the hottest, most humid day of the year, I had to wash and vacuum my car AND to top it off, I had to take my Nan to bingo in a non airconditioned hall.

    All of these hilarious experiences have made me who I am today. And if you see me walking funny down the street - I did my first RPM class today and it the seat feels just like a real bicycle and I don't normally ride bikes....

    Tuesday, 4 December 2012

    That Darn Feeling

    Ok, so yesterday I freaked out. Big time.

    For two days, I'd had severe nausea and even vomiting in the morning. 

    I honestly thought I was pregnant again, even though DH and I have always used protection, apart from when we were trying for DD.

    When I threw up yesterday, DH said, "You're not pregnant, are you?"

    That's when the panic set in. I rang my mum, all scared, wanting her to watch DD while I went and got a pregnancy test. In the end, I went and saw my GP because in my mind, the test was only going to give me a false negative. I became a human pincushion for bloods to be taken, I was so dehydrated. He rushed them through and one of his receptionists rang yesterday afternoon - I'm not pregnant! It's just food poisoning or a virus.

    Why was I so scared? I'm just not ready for another baby yet.

    There's quite a number of reasons, including the fact any further pregnancies are high risk, with lots of monitoring, early steroid injections, lots of scans, and a very good chance I will go premmie again, maybe even earlier than 33 weeks. I don't want to miss out on anything with DD while she is still so young. It wouldn't be fair to her to do it all again so early. Our house isn't big enough, we don't earn enough money, I can't risk losing my job. I mean, Centrelink would probably look a bit nicer toward us if we had more than one, but it still wouldn't get us through. 

    Will I ever be ready for another baby? I honestly don't know. DH thinks I'm just being silly, but he's not the one who was left alone in the hospital at night, with no one to turn to if I needed to vent. He could have called his parents or mine, but I'm the sort of person who finds it very hard to talk about how I'm feeling sometimes. I also have trouble asking for help. 

    There's no doubt in my mind that we would have just carried on and somehow gotten through if I was, but it was such a relief to know that I'm not pregnant. 

    But I will say to you - if you ask for your steak medium well and it's still rare, don't eat it, no matter how starving you are!

    I've linked up with Essentially Jess for IBOT today. Head on over and check everyone out!

    Friday, 30 November 2012

    The In Between

    As you would all know by now, DD was prem. At 33 weeks. 

    As we approach her first birthday, I thought I would share a few things from the last 11 or so months. 

    Through Community Health, we were provided with home visits from a Child Healthcare Nurse. These visits didn't commence until DD was almost 6 weeks old, due to a lack of communication from our hospital.

    We have constantly been told to remember that she was a prem and base a lot of things on "corrected age". That's all well and good, but intellectually, she's on par with actual age.

    Physically, they told us she was behind. Their actual words were, "She failed."

    Excuse me? The first time these words were said, she was 7 months old (5.5 corrected) and she failed her 6 month assessment. Simply because she didn't want to take her own weight.

    What hope do kids have these days when they are that young and being told they are failing??

    Fast forward to the 9 month assessment, done at 10 months (8.5 corrected) and we get told, "She's still failing. Actually, she's worse."

    Excuse me, yet again??

    Everyone says not to compare your baby to others, but we are constantly being compared and judged.

    Our CHN told us to put her in the Jolly Jumper more. The physio she referred us to, told us that was the wrong thing to do. CHN told me that there's a group for babies of less than 32 weeks gestation to get together and play and work on motor functions. 

    Sorry, you're failing, but you're not premmie enough to warrant help. 
    That's what it felt like I was being told. That's the worse place to be. In between. 

    Through my own perseverance, that of DH and my parents, we've been working with DD.

    I'm pleased to say that she is now taking her weight, loves to stand and can get into so many places she shouldn't, even though they are blocked off from her. We did get confirmation from the physio that there is in fact, nothing physically wrong, she was just waiting to start in her own time.

    We are still in between - walking and crawling! That's a better place to be.

    Wednesday, 28 November 2012

    Countdown to Christmas

    So, this year marks our very first Christmas at home as a family. DD and I were both still in-patients over last Christmas. 

    Santa Claus even found her. Obviously her Mummy and Daddy were very muchly unprepared for her early (yet still welcome) arrival. We've also got to get through the first birthday party too, which I'm probably over-excited about.

    I'm getting antsy to put our Christmas tree up, but thanks to my upbringing, I have to wait until December 1. I just can't bring myself to do it any earlier. Although I have broken with tradition and decided that Christmas carols will be played from DD's 11 month mark. That gives me an extra week and a bit to enjoy the music!

    We're currently sussing out the shopping centre Santa's to get our first ever Santa photos done. I took her to look at Santa the other day, and she just stared at him. Quite intently too. I don't know whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

    I'm really looking forward to this year. We're all going to be together, and won't have to steal tables from vacant hospital rooms to have Christmas lunch on. Although, I have to admit, my hospital was great and allowed me to pay extra money (out of my own pocket, not my private health insurance) which meant DH and my parents could have Christmas lunch with me. We even got a choice of beer, red wine or softdrink. 

    Tomorrow sees DD at her grandparents house and me trying to organise more Christmas presents for my family and friends. This year, I am much more organised.

    In fact, my mum will be getting more than just a $50 note shoved into her hand this year. She WILL get a gift. I'm making sure of that. 

    This is probably a pointless post, but all these things jumble around in my head and make it hard to function some days unless I get it all out.

    What are YOUR tips for getting organised for Christmas?? 

    Tuesday, 27 November 2012

    The Journey Part 2

    To follow on from yesterday's post....

    This side will deal with how I went emotionally.

    When my waters broke, I was calm. When they admitted me to hospital, I was calm. Two days of bed rest, I was bored, and still calm. The third day though, it suddenly hit me. I was going to have a premature baby.

    DH had gone back to work by then, as there was no sign of labour and he was only a 5 to 10 minute drive away anyway. No point in wasting his holidays, which we were saving for when we took our baby home.

    Day 3 saw me having to be cuddled LOTS by my parents. Those who know me, know that I hug, but my parents and I never really did. We knew we loved each other, we always said it, but the only things apart from DH to calm me down were my parents. The lump of emotion that constantly seemed stuck fast grew and grew and grew. 

    They took me off bed rest, I walked the corridors of that ward like there was no tomorrow, trying to get bub on the way again to no avail. 

    The night before my induction, I finally caved and asked for the medicine to help me sleep that I had declined the previous few nights. I still didn't sleep great. DH and my mum were at the hospital early. I remember the midwife wanting me to walk around, but as it took her, DH and mum to walk me to the toilet, it was decided it wasn't a great idea. 

    When DD was born, there were a LOT of people in the room. 3 or 4 midwives, the OB and the Paed. They all arrived within 2 or 3 minutes from their rooms (the doctors) and I remember hearing DD screaming. Everyone was saying, "What is it??" My honest to goodness thought was, "I don't give a F*** what it is, IS MY BABY OK??"

    DH and I were extremely lucky. DD was breathing on her own, didn't require ventilation but was tiny. We got a quick cuddle before she was rushed over to the Special Care Nursery (SCN). 

    1 week later, the day I was dreading came. I was discharged. It was great that I got to spend so much time in hospital, being so close to DD. I missed DH and my bed greatly, but the love for my child made me want to stay so close. The Nurse Manager was quite abrupt and nasty to me, and then when the lady at the desk at the hospital asked if my baby was leaving with me, I broke down. 

    Another issue I had was that Kangaroo care was encouraged for so many of the other parents, but not us. In that time, I kept asking myself why we were so unlucky that we couldn't use kangaroo care to help us.

    Most of the people we came into contact with were great. There's a few very special ones who I keep in contact with, especially the midwife who took care of me on bedrest and spent some time in SCN looking after DD. And me. The conversations we had at times kept me sane. 

    2 weeks after she was born, our first huge milestone - leaving the isolette for an open cot. 3 weeks after she was born, I got to room in for the night. At age 22 days, we brought our daughter home. It was so great to finally show the lady at the desk that we DID have a baby and we WERE going home. I wanted to sing and shout and dance around.

    The biggest, longest rollercoaster so far was defeated. We were finally a family. Even now, I look back and wonder how I got through. I don't see myself as a strong person. But in that time, I had a strength I didn't know I possessed. 

    There might be more to follow this, I don't know. All I know is that it is approaching 12 months since this journey began too soon. And I wouldn't change it for the world!

    I'm linking up with Jess for IBOT

    Monday, 26 November 2012

    The Journey Part One

    This is a post I've thought long and hard about writing. I even asked DH would he mind if I shared, because it's OUR journey, not just mine.

    Be warned, this could be a long one. 

    As you would know from previous posts (and some of you knowing me outside this), I am a mum to a beautiful 11 month old daughter.

    What a lot of you won't know (my faithful followers) is that my little girl was born early. 7 weeks early, at 33 weeks gestation, in fact. And to top it off, she had stopped growing and was the size of a 29 week baby. Not that you'd know it to look at her now. 

    Here is our early start story......

    I'd been on the pill for many years, to manage a medical condition where my body was wonky and instead of a 21/7 cycle, I was having the reverse, a 7/28 cycle, where my period would last 4 weeks and I'd have a week off. Ugh. So, at the start of 2011, I stopped taking it. We had our honeymoon and a month after we returned, our little girl was conceived. I know the exact date and to me, it's kinda funny.

    I had the standard "morning sickness" but thankfully, mine was only nausea for the most part. I had one bout of a bad head cold at around 8 or 9 weeks pregnant, and that was the first time I actually threw up. Everyone at work had an idea, what with me wearing travel sickness bands on my arms to reduce the nausea to a workable point.

    My first trimester was a breeze apart from the nausea. The second trimester, I was sick for 6 weeks with 3 chest infections. I was only allowed 2 lots of antibiotics so the third bout I just had to get on with it.

    My due date was February, and because I didn't want my baby shower in January (too hot), and December was booked out with antenatal and Christmas parties, my lovely friend, Kylie, organised it for November. So many people asked me why I was having it so early, and I explained the time constraints to them.

    DH and I had antenatal in the second weekend in December 2011. So many people had told me I was too small (only a tiny bump), and I looked like I'd overindulged on pasta. I'm serious. Teeny tiny bump. I asked the midwives at antenatal and they weren't concerned, so I was happy. There was one couple there, who were 36 weeks, and me, at almost 32 weeks, was convinced their baby would arrive first. 

    The following Saturday, after a walk around the shops, I took my mum to our GP as he hadn't seen me since the last chest infection. I went home and decided to have a nap before my team Christmas party that afternoon. I woke up, lay there and thought about getting the washing off the line. That's when it happened. 

    I was convinced I'd had too much water to drink, that tiny little release was my body's way of telling me to get up and pee. So I stood up, and said to DH, "Get up, I'm leaking." I didn't know where else to stand, so I stood in our shower stall as I didn't want to "pee" all over our newly polished floors. A call to the women's unit and we were on our way (there's another story here, but that's another day). We arrived, and were put in a labour room, because there were 3 women who presented at the same time. 

    The midwife who ran our antenatal class was on, took one look at the maternity pad I'd had on, and said, "Sorry, love, your membranes are gone." We had to wait about half an hour for the on call OB, who just happened to be the one I was changing over to (that's another story). He did the first internal of my pregnancy, and held his fingers up in a circle to the midwife. A little wave of panic went through me.... I was dilating!

    My mum, by this stage, had joined me at hospital, while hubby went home and got my hospital bag. I mentioned to mum that it really felt like I needed to pass wind, and she said sadly, "That's early labour, love."

    They dosed me full of drugs, which made me look like I'd sun baked naked in the midday sun, but they stopped my labour and I got the recommended 2 doses of steroids for bubs lungs. They said to me if I hadn't gone by the Thursday that week, then they would induce me, as it was too risky for bub to stay in there. So Thursday comes around, and they pump me full of drugs... I must have looked like a pin cushion as I had 3 (yes, 3!!) things being pumped into my two hands. I was one of the lucky ones - my labour was only 3 hours, 33 minutes long and with one huge push at the OB's instructions, DD was born, screaming! 

    33 weeks, 3 days gestation, 3 pounds 7 ounces (1560 grams), baby girl, head full of hair. NO ventilation required. But she still spent 2 weeks in an isolette (humidicrib) because of her size. She couldn't hold body temp. 

    I think today, I will stop our story here. There's so much more to tell. But I don't think I want to dwell on anything now. Just getting this part out there is an awesome start. Please stick with me, everyone, while I get brave enough to let you into what was going through my mind during this time. I've only stuck to the cold, hard facts for now. But you need those before you can see into my mind. 

    Have a lovely Monday!

    Saturday, 24 November 2012

    A Little Bit

    Hello faithful followers. Today I thought I would post a little about me. Just so you can get to know me a little.

    I'm a twenty-something mum of one gorgeous little girl. DH and I have been married for almost 2 and a half years now and have been together for 7.

    DD is about to turn one which both scares and excites me. Where did my teeny tiny baby go?

    I am on maternity leave and I'm not going back until mid 2013. My choice. It means 8 months with only one income in the household and we are going to struggle. I won't lie about that. But it's far more important for me to be there for DD and get through her upcoming birthday first.

    I love to read, which is where my blog name came from. For years I have been told, or even told myself, "Just one more chapter...." that one chapter has turned into six or seven or more on many occasions. 

    So, here are my top 5 reads (which can and probably will change a little) and in no particular order:

    1. April Fools Day - Bryce Courtenay. First read when I was 16, I cried when reading about the Courtenay family's loss of their son, Damon, to AIDS which he contracted through a blood transfusion for haemophilia. 

    2. Anything by Nora Roberts - yes, I'm a romance tragic, but Nora has a story with hers, ranging from mystery to fantasy. 

    3. The Dark Jewels books - Anne Bishop. Thanks to a lovely colleague, I fell in love with Janelle and Daemon's story and have followed what was first the Dark Jewels Trilogy and has expanded into a whole range of books.

    4. Little Women - Lousia M. Alcott. Need I say more? It's a classic!

    5. A Man's Got to Have a Hobby - William McInnes. It's a laugh out loud account of him growing up in Redcliffe. I've never looked at bunting the same way ever again!

    Now, here's my challenge for you, faithful readers.... Comment and tell me YOUR top 5 :) If they tickle my fancy (yes, I'm a very picky reader), I may trundle off to the local library to see if they have a copy and have a squiz!

    Thanks again, lovely people!

    Friday, 23 November 2012

    Since When

    This was my first ever blog post, kindly hosted originally by Tegan at Musings for the Misguided, which is why you have to click here to read it:

    Since When

    When did this happen?

    I went to a concert recently. With my parents. I'm 27. They got me the ticket, and I was happy enough to go with them.

    But when we got there, I suddenly asked myself for the first time that night (and certainly not the last), "When did this happen?"

    When did I start sitting right up the back? Ok, there was a nice breeze, so I forgive myself

    When did I sit so far away from the bar? Argh, why why why??

    When did I start wishing I was in amongst 'it'? I would like to think next time, I will be the one who rips their shirt off to get a free singlet.

    When did it become okay for a 56 year old man to be encouraged to thrust at any and all given opportunities and pretty much in the faces of 18 year old girls? Ew....

    I suddenly realised that I am growing up. Maybe even growing old. 

    Please don't get me wrong, I love my parents and it was wonderful to have a night where I wasn't just "mummy". But when the penny dropped, it felt more like a brick on my chest.

    It made me think about all the good times I had at that venue with my girlfriends, prior to meeting my husband. And while we were still dating. Since we've been married, I can probably count the amount of times I've been out on one hand and not even have to use my thumbs.

    So I'm a bit scared. I'm not going to go running amok around town, as much as I would like to prove to myself that I can still do it, because I know that if I have a big night, DD will NOT be forgiving the next day. I have read that babies know when their parents have hangovers, and I'm not about to test that theory!! But, when did I become such a fuddy duddy????