Breaking point??

I always wondered what breaking point felt like. It’s a strange one; because when you think about whether you’re at breaking point generally it means you’re feeling pretty low. But then you get back up; move on. Something else happens – and you think you’re there again. But then you get back up; and move on again. And life cycles through these downs and ups and downs and ups; constantly wondering where you’re at, and how do you get out of those cycles?

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Trying to feed you.

Evie-Paul, feeding you has been a significant challenge. One I am struggling with. You have severe and horrible reflux, which causes a lot of pain. Sometimes I wonder if you also have a dairy allergy too which contributes to the way you feel. Your bowels are fairly inconsistent, and you get a lot of colic tummy cramp pains. Sometimes you just scream for absolute hours and I just cant figure out what you need.

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1 Month.

Evie-Paul; you passed the 1 month milestone. Well done my sweet girl! We made it. It hasn’t been an easy month; we knew it wouldn’t be easy though. But we’ve made it here. So far we’ve dealt with every feeding issue under the sun. You’re growing well – so it’s all paying off; but little girl – it is hard. We’ve gone through feeding you via a syringe, to a haberman specialist bottle, to a Nuk bottle, back to the syringe, and then to the Dr. Browns specialist bottle – to now a nasogastric feeding tube with small bottle top ups along the way. All you really want is to breastfeed; and boy does it break my heart that you can’t. You weigh 4.16 kg. That’s a total gain of 800grams. Wowsers baby. Nearly a kg! You lost a bit in your first week, fluctuated a little while we navigated feeding issues – but luckily put it back on. The feeding tube is helping now and you are on the home straight with growth. You wore prem size “00000” for your first 3 weeks; and now you wear newborn size. Some newborn stuff is still too big. Your little legs have a little roll on each leg. It’s strange; you’re chunkier than your big sister – but small in clothing fit? You must have shorter wee legs and fill them out differently!

Although things are hard – you love your snuggles; especially upright ones. They help your reflux feel better, and they help Mama feel better too. You feed almost every 3 hours; but you’re such a hungry girl you’d eat every hour if you could! It’s a hard balance; as you are also suffering gnarly reflux – so it’s causing a bit of a vicious cycle for you. I’ve struggled to tell when you’re hungry, or just sore. It’s a lot different exclusively bottle/tube feeding. They keep telling me not to over feed you – but it’s hard when you do seem hungry. Hopefully soon it’s lessened and you’re in a nice 3-4 hourly routine. It’s tiring expressing breastmilk for you; as you are unable to breastfeed properly (though you certainly try), but I do it. It’s what’s best for you – and at this point we’re unsure how you’ll go with dairy. So we’re cautiously optimistic on that front. You’ve definitely had formula the odd time though. Sometimes I wish you could formula feed exclusively. But then when I see those little rolls with Mama’s milk – I know you are doing well. I still hold onto hope that you can breastfeed after surgery; but it could be an unrealistic expectation. You have lots of nurses and doctors supporting you through these feeding troubles though. Your reflux is medicated now; and we’ve trialled a few different doses. It seems to be helping; woohoo. The only thing is – as you grow we will have to see the GP and get it adjusted. It’s certainly a big adventure we’re on. But little Evie girl – you are so loved; and all your family on the other side of the country just can’t wait to meet you.

Your cleft.

My sweet little Evie; you are beautiful beyond measure. Everyone told me your cleft was “cosmetic” and it didn’t matter because they could fix it easily and you’d live a normal life; and that you’d be just like any other normal baby. I ignored the diagnosis of your cleft the majority of my pregnancy. I prepared and planned for life to only be just a little bit different. That you’d be that normal baby I expected; just with a “cosmetic difference.” Everyone kept asking me if I was prepared, what I had done to prepare – but the reality was; nothing really. I had blocked it out. You’d be born; how you’d be born. I didn’t really plan anything; or actually even think anything different of your diagnosis during my pregnancy.

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Birth Story.

So I started to do a post at 37 weeks. Something about how sick of the bleeding, and cramps that have been so off and on I was. How I just want the baby out. But how weird it is thinking this COULD be my last pregnant bump; my last baby to feel kick from within. I know I’ll miss it. Yet I only got as far as titling it “37 weeks” because then soon enough the blood got darker and more; and we were just thinking what could be the cause of this – so ended up in women’s assessment at our local hospital to be looked at on Friday night the 5th November.

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38 WEEKS. Welcome to the world baby girl #2.

How crazy has life been the last week and a half. Birth story to come, but my sweet little girl has arrived into this crazy world. She arrived during Covid Level 3; under strict conditions for birth and delivery as well as visitors. But we managed.

Evie-Paul Alora. 11th November at 4.39am. Thursday morning. 7lb 6oz.

Welcome to the world beautiful girl.

35 WEEKS 5 DAYS ðŸ’•ðŸ’•

Time is ticking my little girl! Before I know it – you’ll be here; and in my arms. It’s such a weird feeling; definitely stranger than when I was about to birth your big sister. When I was at this stage with her; I didn’t have a birth plan, I didn’t have worries, I didn’t have stresses. She was growing, wriggling, and I was just hanging out day by day to meet her; just as I am you. With Emelia-Michelle’s pregnancy; I spent so long being scared I was going to loose her that I didn’t have a lot of enjoyment in her pregnancy. It was filled with a lot of fear, and nervousness. But then at the same time – I felt very much in control; and at peace with letting my body just do what it would and what it needed to do. I didn’t have a birth plan, I had hopes. I wanted no epidural etc, I didn’t want caeserian, I just wanted to let my body birth in the calm environment of the birth centre. But I did know that sometimes things go out the window, I just didn’t fully know what to expect, and I didn’t know what child birth was really truly like. I was told every pregnancy is different, and that’s so true. I’m seeing that now. With you – I do have a lot of worry, I have a lot more planned, I have a bucket of ‘different’ nerves. But for some strange reason – I feel so much more at peace and connected. The worries are different; the plans are for different reasons and the nerves are different. Your bed is made, your bags are packed, your clothes are washed, the carseat is ready. Your birth needs to be planned a little more; there are things that need to be done, and things that need to be checked and looked at. It’s very much a different process that’s for sure.

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26 WEEKS 1 DAY💕💕

Baby girl is growing well; wriggling jiggly bouncing around – making herself quite at home and cozy inside me!

I’ve had a few appointments since my last blog; A phone consult with the cleft coordinator, an in clinic consult with a lactation consultant and my regular maternity midwife appointment. The cleft coordinator answered a few of my unanswered questions about her birth, post partum stages and what to expect. The biggest thing; was that the birth doesn’t need to be as scary as what I thought it would be. My baby girl might NOT be rushed down to NICU. We might still get time together, she might not need to be tube fed, she might not have difficulty breathing. All of the initial diagnosis triggers causing anxiety in my brain to go haywire. But to hear her say it might not be that scary was somewhat reassuring.

Then I saw the lactation consultant; who was much the same – she said with a palate involvement; breastfeeding is pretty much impossible to manage exclusively. But certainly don’t rule it out as a comfort. Provided she has a safe swallow and suck; then I can definitely try… She showed me some special ways to hold her to support her cleft; and lessen the milk going up her nose. So that was another positive!

Finally my midwife. I had HOPED to be able to pursuade her to let me try birth at our local birth centre like I hoped too with Emelia-Michelle. But no such luck unfortunately. She said the risk of breathing difficulty is just too high; and we’d better just play it safe. It didn’t help that Fetal Med have also recommended this. Gah. I’ve been so worried about what her first few days will look like; I really hoped I could escape the hospital setting and have the quiet calm private post birth rooms at the birth centre. Somewhere I could bond, and feed, and pump, and hand express, AND shower and pee without having to leave my baby unattended down a corridor. But I guess it is what it is! The good news is after all my begging and pleading; she said if baby is healthy and breathing ok – she will help us leave as fast as we can!

My anxiety is still sky high; I’m still worried as ever – but feeling her wee kicks and rolls and wriggles helps me feel better. Surprisingly still despite everything going on; I do feel more bonded with this pregnancy than I ever did with Emelia-Michelle’s. 26 weeks, she’s now the size of a rabbit according to my app!

The next and current mission is figuring out a name for this sweet wee girl!!