Monday, March 30, 2009

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and ...

Devon is not 7 weeks old yet and already she is holding her head up constantly, looks around, smiles at us all and burps like a 55 year old man after a good steak. Advanced? I'll say! Takes after her mother...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let Me Rock You Chakra Khan

I want to make this post about Reiki. But instead of copying what is written in a book or on a website to explain exactly what this is, I'm going to write about my experience with it and how it changed my life. In fact, I would say it saved me.

A lot of people don't know this but I am a trained Reiki Master. This means I have been trained in all 3 levels of Reiki and can perform Reiki on myself and other people. I also use the symbols to protect my friends, family and belongings and to assist in situations that need healing. But I'm jumping ahead...

To begin at the beginning, I saw a psychic years ago who recommended Reiki to me to help calm me and help me grow, but I didn't know anything about it. I was going through a particularly bad break-up and felt so lost and miserable. So I decided to take action and do something to help myself, with Ani's encouragement. I scoured Nova Magazine looking for classes and found one being taught in 2 weekends in Fremantle that cost $200. However, the first day I turned up, it had been cancelled. Hindsight is everything; of course I later realised this was a Godsend and obviously meant to happen, because Reiki is definitely NOT something that can be learnt in a few days or even weeks.

Through her advert in the Nova, I found my salvation and her name is Gail. Gail has been a Reiki Master for years and was teaching classes out of a room in her backyard on Saturday afternoons. The classes were $20 each to cover her costs and each week my class of 6 received notes to add to our Reiki file. These included beautiful colour printed affirmations and typed notes with details about that weeks class, whether it be on chakras, hand positions or the symbol we were being attuned to. We started classes at the end of February 2004 and each level took about 10 weeks. Our last class was the week before Christmas that same year, a total of 10 months, so it was very involved and very thorough. I was very nervous going to the first class, as you would be, but I was immediately fascinated with Reiki.

What is Reiki? My training notes say: Reiki is the Japanese word for Universal Life Force Energy. It is an ancient wisdom which awakens an innate power within you. Everything in the universe is made from unconditional love. It is the glue that holds everything together. This amazing energy is in every cell of your body and sustains body, mind and spirit. It is your divine right to use this energy to heal yourself and gain whatever nourishment you require. Reiki is a specific vibration designed to enhance and support our inborn healing system. The amount (of energy) drawn from the universe is determined by the needs of the person receiving it.

Now, I know I put myself across as a bit of a hippie, but to be perfectly honest, I remember sitting in this class and hearing and reading this and I was thinking, Oh come on. It sounded like poppycock. Gail explained she concentrated and drew energy down from the universe through her crown chakra and then passed that energy onto others through her hands. Hippie mumbo jumbo right? So, to help demonstrate, Gail got all her Reiki Masters, trained by her, to give us a Reiki healing. We lay down on the massage tables and they began the healing, starting by standing at our heads and placing their hands on our temples. I remember feeling the warmth of Jen's hands and just... blissful relaxing. It's very hard to understand so of course I would recommend anyone get a Reiki healing when possible to just experience it. I remember feeling so... good, so calm, relaxed and at peace. It's like a massage but without the hands moving on your body. They are placed at certain points, none of them intrusive and just left there, while the Reiki giver sends you energy and healing. And I felt it; I felt revived and refreshed. After doing Reiki for so long now, I can tell when I'm receiving it; it's like a warm blanket being drawn over your body.

I won't go on and on about how fantastic Reiki is and how you, Dear Reader, should try it. Let's just have it known that I know Reiki worked for me in fantastic ways and that I totally believe in being able to receive energies from other people. You know when you're stressed and you run your hands through your hair, or cover your eyes, or drag them over your face? These are all ways in which we are physically trying to clear negative energy and the stress from our bodies. Running your hands through your hair is trying to clear the negatives you are feeling from your crown chakra, on the top of your head. And then you know those people who just... drain you. You feel exhausted after talking to them because of their negativity. These are people who suck your energy to boost their own. And the flip side are those people you love to be around because you feel so good after talking to them, so comfortable in their presence and boosted by them. These people are giving out their good energy, letting it radiate towards others and you are getting the benefits of it.

I'm going to do posts now and then on Reiki affirmations, chakras, colour therapy and the other million things I learned. I hope you find it interesting and get something from it, as I did.

I know Reiki worked for me. Not only did I get over the bad relationship, I felt better about myself, I liked myself more, I became extremely confident about myself and I even lost weight. And a week after my last class, I flew to Hedland for the Xmas holidays to see my parents and I met Shane. The rest, as they say, is history...

Pictures of you...

I have mentioned before that I'm a scrapbooker. I want to whisper it, it sounds a bit daggy and housewifey doesn't it? But I love it! It gives me the chance to be creative, I love working with gorgeous colours and embellishing the pictures I take. And of course I get to take heaps of pictures of my kids, Shane, Saxon, anyone really! and sort them into colourful layouts.

It's a shame these photos don't do my layouts real justice. They're so colourful but it's hard to tell here.

The difference between my very first layouts and the ones I do nowadays, like Devon's new album above, is vast. You can see in the early ones how I've just stuck things on with sticky tape and used whatever products I had handy or whatever KMart sold. Now, hours go into organising and embellishing things just right, including ordering supplies online. Let alone the money I spend on buying it all. If I'd spent the same amount on my education, I'd be a brain surgeon by now! Sheesh!

Watch the fangs, darl...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Catalogue of Myself.

So I got to thinking about organ donation... As you do. Now I have to say straight out that I am a total, 100%, unselfish believer in donating your organs and other parts of your body when you pass on. I believe the soul is separate to our physical selves and it is the best thing you can do, because, let's face it, you won't be needing it, right? Well I won't, because I want to be cremated. Hear Ye, all that read this as you bear me witness on this comment. I have told this to Shane many, many times but of course he doesn't want to hear comments like that. So you are now my backup.

Some of this come about because of an ultrasound Devon had when she was 11 days old regarding her kidneys. Her right kidney is sitting a lot lower than the other, it's located down in her pelvis. This is called 'Ectopic Kidney' and is congenital, it occurs in 1 in a 1000 births. It needs to be monitored to make sure it doesn't cause problems for her later in life. And this is what started my mind wandering.

So in case of the unthinkable, here I am...

Brain - This of course would be snapped up first due to my extremely high IQ level and the fact that I've never had shock treatment. I'm sure it's nicely... grey? and healthy and seriously, I'm not a complete dumbass so it should be worth something.

Hair - This would definitely be suitable for cutting and donating for a wig I think. My hair is fine but there's a lot of it, and it's very porous so you can, like, colour it, like, whatever colour you want! Neat huh?

Eyes - These are great as I had laser eye surgery done in February 2007 so my vision is spot on. The colour might put some people off as they are a murky blue-grey, but hey, if you don't like it, don't look at 'em! (Geddit?)

Tongue - Do people donate their tongues? Dunno! But in case, someone needs one... My taste buds work and I don't have a tongue piercing (gross). So, what else is there?

Heart - Don't know about this one. I have ectopic beat, which is an irregular heartbeat caused by stress and I have to be careful when getting anaesthetics and certain medicines. Then again, if a real relaxed hippie wanted my heart, they'd be fine.

Liver - I've never been a big drinker so this organ should be fine. Anyway, I really love Midori and Lemonade but I doubt this would do much damage coz it's such a poofy drink.

Kidneys - I have both my kidneys. So... yeah.

Gallbladder - Absent. Sorry, that got removed in May 2006. Thank God too, those stones hurt.

Lungs - Again, this could be an issue. I get asthma when I get cold, so maybe whoever inherited these should take a leaf from my book and live in the north where it's warmer. I haven't used my puffer in over 6 months until this week, as I've suddenly developed a viral chest infection with a very annoying phlegmy cough, gross.

Eggs - If someone wanted my eggs, I wouldn't say no to that. I make beautiful babies so that'd be a definite plus. It wouldn't surprise me if organ donation developed to this level!

Skin - Depends. I am a bit freckly on my shoulders and have some moles here and there, but otherwise, it's nicely stretchy and smooth.

Hands / Feet - (I think) I have lovely hands. My fingers are long (piano fingers) and my nails grow fast, so they'd suit someone who was petite and delicate, like me! But they can't have my rings, my daughters get those!
Someone can also have my feet, but only after they get a good pedicure.

Limbs - Go for it. But you might want to make sure the hands and feet aren't already taken, as per the above piano playing ballerina recommendation.

Geez. This list has gone from me boasting about my good health to a hypochondriac's drone of 'Poor Me'. Hmmm. Just makes me think I need to take better care of myself for the next person who might be lucky enough to own a piece of me. Happy thought.
Wouldn't it be funny if that was the prerequisite to being on the Organ Donor's List! Question: Do you abuse yourself regularly? Answer: Oh yes, I take all sorts of drugs and alcohol, jump off cliffs and worse, I don't moisturise! Then no, bugger off, we don't want you! Heh heh.

She sleeps...

Musings of a Tiny Mind...

My new obsessions, conveniently, are the song 'My Delirium' by LadyHawke and the 'Twilight' series of vampire books by Stephanie Meyer. I say conveniently because everytime I hear the song, I am swathed in mental images from the movie and how much it would fit in the moody, romantic soundtrack.
The worst thing? I haven't even seen the movie! Ridiculous! I've seen one short clip of Edward racing through the trees with Bella clinging on his back. And that's it. I've conjured up whole scenes for the movie in my head revolving around one (I feel) perfectly suited song, which encaptures her obsession with him and how much they are to each other. I only hope I'm not disappointed when I do see it because it doesn't match the elaborately planned scenes in my tiny mind.
Am I the only one who has these random going ons in my brain??

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Heart Will Go Woooonnnnnnnn!!!!

Don't you think Devon looks like she's broken into song here? A'la Celine Dion? Sing it, girl!

Friday, March 13, 2009

The birth of Devon Hannah - Part 2.

Okay. Are you sitting on the edge of your seats? Suitably tense? Ready for action? Okay, so here we go.

As some of you know, my EDD (expected due date) was Friday 13 February and of course, like any hippie with some knowledge of numerology, I kept going through which dates I liked and which I didn't. I don't like odd numbers, I didn't want the same birthday as someone else and I wasn't particularly fond of having my baby on a Friday the 13th either. But of course, none of that was going to be up to me, coz this baby was coming when it was coming... or so we thought.

I went along for my regular obstetricians appointment with a few weeks to go and everything was fine. Until Dr Claite mentioned my belly length had been bigger than my weeks during my whole pregnancy, of which I was wholly unaware. To the uninitiated, the length of your belly from your pubic bone to the top is usually the same amount of weeks you are, e.g. at 26 weeks, you usually measure 26 cms. And apparently I was slightly higher with my measurements, which usually means a bigger size baby. So Dr Claite decided to send me off for an ultrasound to get a size estimate.

I was lucky enough to get in straight away and David measured the length of the femur and other bones and also checked the internal organs. I asked him for a guesstimate when he was done as he's experienced and knows what he's on about. He said, well it looks to be about 10 pounds! I freaked out. I said How accurate is that? He said, well the machine calculates it based on the measurements I've taken, so it's pretty spot on. Also, there seems to be an anomaly with the kidneys as one of them is quite enlarged, but the Dr will tell you about that. I was in shock. I left and was in tears by the time I reached the car. I rang Shane but he couldn't really understand my warbling through the sobbing, so I drove straight to my Mum.

Mum was standing at the hatch at the Post Office and as luck would have it, she was chatting to Debbie who was my ante-natal teacher first time round. I babbled to them both what had happened and Debbie was fantastic, soothing me and encouraged me to go home and ring the obstetrician straight away, which I did. Dr Claite said we'd wait and see what the head obstetrician said at my regular midwife appointment the next week.

Shane came with me this time and the Dr said we'll send you for another ultrasound next week, 2 weeks since the last one and we'll compare the measurements and see how much baby has grown. This could just be a growth spurt but if it has increased, you may need to be induced early or have a caesarean. This had Shane and me on edge for another whole week, not knowing what was going to happen. So after the next ultrasound, Dr Praba compared the results and then said, this is strange, there's been a mistake because the measurements are smaller and that's not right, the baby doesn't shrink so obviously the first ultrasound wasn't done right. However he then said I was still quite big and as Cassidy was 8 pound 3 ounces and this baby was already around that weight, he would prefer to book me in to be induced. So he scheduled me for Thursday 12 February at 4pm. It was strange that weekend knowing that by the next weekend FOR SURE, our baby would be here.

It was also strange because, although I could have gone into labour naturally at any moment, we sort of stopped expecting and were just... waiting. My hospital bag was all ready to go and I had to prepare a bag for Cassidy who was staying at Mum's for a couple of nights. So on Thursday afternoon, we dropped Cassidy off at Mum's place and drove to the hospital. It was a pretty quiet drive; I was very, very nervous and shed a few tears but tried to keep calm.

We got settled in our room, then got moved coz the TV didn't work (God forbid!) and at 5pm, the midwife and obstetrician came in and put the gel on my cervix to start labour. (For anyone reading this who is squirmish, sorry, but I'm writing about the birth now so this will get pretty detailed). Within 10 minutes I had my first contraction as apparently this gel starts 'the niggles' which is basically an hour of contractions while it dilates the cervix. Sure enough, at exactly an hour later, everything stopped. So Shane and I had tea and had an awful nights sleep because the airconditioning wasn't working properly, plus poor Shane was on a mattress on the floor and ended up with a sore back all night.

We were awake pretty early and while I was having breakfast, around 7am, my contractions started again on their own. They niggled me on and off while I ate and were pretty regular at about 6 or 7 mins apart. At 8.30 we were moved into Delivery Room 2 and Dr Praba came and broke my waters. Wow, that's a weird feeling. You don't feel anything until the rush of warm water which is quite nice, but man, it kept coming and coming. And every time I moved, more would gush out. After a while, we decided I'd be comfortable standing up, as I was determined not to sit or lay down for the whole labour again, plus moving around helps bring things on. When I got off the bed, I leaked even more, so I waddled my way over to have a shower.

While I did this, Shane, my knight in shining armour, cleaned up the floor and bed as the midwife was out of the room. I wonder if they even realise he did this, he went along the whole floor with wet paper towels and a towel and cleaned it all up so no one would slip.
I told him how great he was and we had a little conversation about partners and how there were blokes we both knew who just wouldn't be able to cope with cleaning that sort of thing up, let alone deal with watching their partner go through this. And then we agreed that we both knew some blokes who definitely could handle it and it was nice to know that about them. Funny the little observations you have in quiet times. We were sort of in limbo, knowing things were about to get quite intense.

I stayed in the shower for ages under the hot water and Shane stood with me while I held the rails and rocked through the contractions. It definitely did feel better to be up and about and after a while I went back into the room and stood up, leaning on the bed while Shane rubbed my back. After a couple of hours of this, the contractions were becoming more painful and I was getting very tired very quickly. The midwife Nicola suggested I lay down on the bed on my side to rest and that I could use the gas if I wanted; after a few more contractions I decided this was a good idea. Shane was wonderful during this, he never got worried or panicked, he just kept up a constant stream of encouragement, made sure I had water and let me grab his hand or shoulder (and at one stage, his hair) to hold onto while I breathed with the contractions.
The gas is weird, you have to start inhaling it a bit before the crest of the pain, but if they hit you quickly, you're often puffing away and nothing is working, then the contractions die off before the gas hits you. It was hard to anticipate and to time my inhalations right. All the while I had the monitors around my belly checking the baby and the contractions and Nicola regularly checked my pulse and blood pressure, which was a bit too low. By now the contractions were 2 or 3 mins apart and lots more painful. When it worked though, it was great and after the first few, I rolled my eyes at Shane and told him I'm off my head! Of course, he thought this was hilarious, judging by his hysterical laughter. Nicola was great, she kept up lots of encouraging talk and Shane did too and that really helped me to concentrate through the pain. Once, I said to Shane, if there's anything you want to ask me, now's the time to do it coz I'll say yes to anything! And another time, Nicola commented on how well I was doing, to which I replied, Oh yeah, I think I'm fucking brilliant!

We had a bit of a panic moment though, as I misjudged the end of one contraction and the start of another and had too much gas; and I fainted. I remember sucking in and then my hand falling away. Shane was sitting with me and said, Tracey? Tracey? He calmly said to Nicola, Um, she's out, she's unconscious. Nicola RAN over and started shaking me, shouting my name and I was trying to mutter, I'm awake, I'm awake but I was too out of it. After I recovered, Nicola said that was a bit too close for comfort, it shouldn't be happening and your blood pressure is getting lower and lower, so let's call the obstetrician and if you want we can give you an epidural. Shane and I both agreed; I was incredibly tired by now. It was about 2pm so I'd been going for about 7 hours. The obstetrician checked and I was only dilated 3 cms; I remember feeling incredibly disappointed and that I had ages to go yet.

The anaesthetist came about half an hour later and I sat on the edge of the bed so he could get at my back. He waited while I had a contraction and I remember thinking, thank god, that'll be the last one I have to feel. He gave me a local and then started trying to give me the epidural needle which goes between L3 and L4 in your spine. But he couldn't find the space between them and ended up doing it between L4 and L5 which is quite rare apparently, only 5% of women have enough space there to use. He told me later he ended up looking in my file and seeing I have mild scoliosis (crooked spine) gave him the idea. Weird ay, but meanwhile I ended up having about 5 contractions while he thought of this and each time I was thinking, is this the last one, is this the last one? Man, I was ready to bite his head off and yell, JUST GET THE EFFIN THING IN THERE ALREADY!!

However, it was soon done and then aahhhh, painless. I tried not to fall asleep but both Shane and I dozed on and off for nearly an hour, it was nice just to rest in the quiet and the new midwife Cynthia came on. At about 3pm they checked me again and I was only 2.5 cms dilated. I wasn't progressing at all, so they decided to give me the drug in my drip to help bring the labour on and then check me again at 6.30pm. I had wires and cords all over me, I looked like Frankenstein. I remember too after checking me, Cynthia said that there was meconium in my waters. Meconium is the baby's first poo and it can be dangerous if it happens while they are still in the womb, as it sometimes means the baby's in distress. Cynthia didn't seem too concerned about it though as all my vitals looked good, so I tried not to worry about that too much. Looking back, I wonder if I should've kicked up a fuss.

Later on I realised I could feel the contractions although I wasn't having any pain with them, just the tightening of my belly. I mentioned this to Cynthia and she decided to check my dilation again, this was just after 5pm. She checked me out and said, guess what? I said, I'm fully dilated?, hoping against hope. Cynthia smiled and nodded and said yep and also, the baby's head is right here, you're fully engaged, it's nearly time to push!

Well, that woke us up! I sat up further in bed, got heaps of pillows behind me for support and Cynthia told me how to push. I had to push 3 times during the contraction and keep my muscles tensed when I took in a breath so the baby didn't slide back in. I had Shane on one side and Cynthia on the other and at the next contraction I started pushing, taking 2 breaths during it and getting lots of encouragement from my posse of 2. After 5 pushes like this, Cynthia said, the head's right there, you want to feel it? I looked at her in amazement and said Yes! and put my hand down and felt the warm soft head right there, wow. I looked at Shane saying, Can you see? and he was nodding.

She said okay, now with this next push the head will come out so when I say stop, you stop pushing immediately okay? I said yep, gave a push at the start of the contraction and Cynthia immediately said Stop. And so began the worst couple of minutes of our life. Cynthia said, The cord is around the baby's neck. Shane, when I say so, I want you to push that red button there okay? Shane said yes and got ready but stayed at my side. I'm not sure when she said it but the comment was also made how blue the baby was. Cynthia tried getting the scissors under the cord but it was wrapped really tightly and also the baby had her hand up against her face. Shane could see her trying to cut the cord. Cynthia asked Shane to hit the button and the obstetrician Damian and another midwife came running in. Damian came straight over and said to Cynthia, Cut it, just CUT IT, raising his voice. She managed to squeeze the scissors under and cut the cord without cutting the baby, they turned her slightly and then with one more push, out the baby came. Cynthia pulled her up and put her on my chest; as I mentioned before, I wasn't expecting this and it was the loveliest surprise. Shane said later my eyes were huge! She started rubbing the blue baby with a towel to get her blood circulating, I saw her eyes blink and relaxed a little and tried seeing past Cynthia's hands to see what sex the baby was. I asked if it was a boy or girl and she said, it's a girl. And I was hit with the biggest jolt of happiness ever, and said Hello Devon Hannah!

After 5 or 10 seconds, they took Devon away and put her in the humidicrib as the pedeatrician arrived, then the 3 of them started working on Devon to get her to breathe. Shane says he remembers the midwife tapping out time on the side of the crib, as she counted either how long Devon had been without oxygen, or the beats for CPR. We're not sure as we couldn't see past them to what was happening. We could hear them saying, Come on bubba, breathe, breathe.

Cynthia stayed working on me to make sure the placenta came away okay. Last time, I had 'retained' placenta which means it doesn't come away naturally and the Dr had to take it out surgically, so I lost of lot of blood. Luckily I was already in the theatre as Cassidy was an assisted forcep delivery, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was concerned about this happening again this time; I remember being pleased when Cynthia said it had come out unassisted and whole. Then we watched the Damian and the pedeatrician and midwife working on Devon and getting her to breathe. She had a tiny little oxygen mask over her face, so scary.

I said to Shane, get the camera; I just knew I wanted a picture of her... in case, and in case they took her away. Shane wouldn't, when I looked at him, his face was white and he held his hand around his neck; I think he thought I hadn't realised what was going on. He came around to the other side of the bed and sat on the stool. He said, I feel faint, so I told him to put his head down on the bed and I rubbed his back while I watched them work on Devon. We were both crying by then. I said a couple of times, Is she okay? Is she okay? and the second time Cynthia said, Yes she's fine now. The atmosphere relaxed and I could hear the panic was gone from the voices of the staff with her. One even commented about how much she was pooing and that it was good. I could see them wiping her clean and her moving her arms around and was so relieved; I knew deep down she was going to be alright. And then we heard a little 'wah'.

The midwife called Shane over and said Come on Dad, you want to cut the cord? so Shane got to do that this time. He cut the cord close to the belly button like they showed him and says now he remembers it being really hard; obviously the umbilical cord is made of pretty tough skin. After a few more minutes of being checked, they happily gave her the all clear. We could hear her making noises and the midwife wrapped her up and put a little bonnet on her head to keep her warm. They gave her to Shane who had the first cuddle and finally some colour started to come back into his face. The midwife took some photos and he then brought her over to me. I took my singlet off so I could hold her skin to skin and Shane lay her down on my chest. We spent ages like this, I just couldn't stop kissing her and gazing at her. Shane rang both our Mums and his brother and mate, while I unceremoniously had my legs put in stirrups while Damien stitched me up. Well, she was 9 pounds, so you can imagine.

Cynthia and I were chatting later and she said she suspected something wasn't right as when I stopped pushing between contractions, the baby was being pulled back in, which is often a sign that the cord is being held back. She also said how proud she was of me for following her instructions so well, I did a good job and pushed really well, so I was insanely proud of myself of course.

Mum and Cassidy soon arrived, the camera came out and heaps of photos were taken. Devon was eventually weighed; 4085 grams, as per the above pic. We were all struck with how much she looked like Cassidy. She has the same long dark hair, same nose, lips and chin and big wide eyes. One thing I will always remember is the intense pride I felt when told I had another baby girl, as well as the fear in Shane's eyes as they worked on her. I know someone who lost their baby at birth and I still cannot imagine going through that intense labour and delivery only to not have your baby at the end of it. I cannot thank the Dr's and midwives from that night enough. The whole thing felt so surreal and yet I just knew she was going to be okay. Mother's instinct perhaps?

Well, that's the whole, long, long story. Devon is 4 weeks old today as I write this and she is growing into a big girl. I haven't had her weighed yet but she would easily be 10 pounds already. She's a hungry hungry girl and is already out of her 0000 clothes. Cassidy just dotes on her, we all do. What can I say? I'm in love.

One more thing. On the wall in the delivery room was a pretty framed painting of a beach. The name of the painting? Devon Landscape. Must've been a sign huh?

Tracey x

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Funny Cats No. 1

The birth of Devon Hannah - Part 1.

I've decided to make my first post about my pregnancy with Devon and her birth. In the above photo she is about 15 minutes old, this was taken after Shane cut the umbilical cord.

I'll firstly mention that Devon was supposed to be a boy. I mean, we had a daughter and it was natural to hope that we would have a son this time to round out the family. This was also important to me as Shane is the 6th generation Robert McLean, Shane being his middle name. So if we had a son, we were going to continue the tradition by calling him Robert McLean and using his middle name for everyday use, like yelling at him from the back door. I liked Eden and Shane liked Riley, so Robert Riley or Robert Eden it was going to be.

However, Shane was convinced he is a girl breeder (Thanks Azza) and we were having another girl. So was Mum and Britt-Marie. But everyone else, and I mean everyone, even complete strangers I would chat to at the shop when they saw my belly, would all say I was having a boy. I was carrying a certain way or had 'that' look about me. So I was convinced of that too by the end.

But you know what? When Devon was born and they pulled her out and put her on my chest (I was NOT expecting that, Shane said my eyes were big as plates), I was busy trying to look past the midwives hands to see a fanwa or a willy. And when my fantastic midwife Cynthia said "it's a girl", I felt a... BURST of happiness. I was SO pleased, SO happy that I had another girl and a complete surge of pleasure hit me like a ton of bricks. So not only did I deliver her naturally, but I was clever enough to make myself another beautiful daughter! But more of that later...

I would like to say it was an uneventful pregnancy, but unfortunately that would be lying. When we first fell pregnant after 6 months of trying, we couldn't announce it for nearly 4 months due to all the testing we had to have. Due to my age, I had the extra tests for Down's Syndrome and other abnormalities and we had an awful couple of weeks waiting for the eventual all clear, as the Dr's thought they had detected something and had to order extra tests.
Of course, I had the usual backaches, indigestion, swollen ankles and leg cramps, but the added awkwardness, clumsiness and general uncomfortableness really took a toll on my sanity, especially in the last few weeks.
Then the worst happened. On 25 November, over 6 months along, I fell. I was walking to work along a footpath which was wet from the sprinklers and strewn with fallen frangipani flowers. My foot slipped out from under me on a wet flower, twisting my ankle, I fell heavily on my opposite knee on the concrete and landed facedown... on my belly. After what felt like forever but must have only been 5 seconds, I got my breath back and started to cry... well, scream actually. I'd just said hello to a bloke I knew in the carpark; luckily they heard me and came running over. Bayden quickly rang 000 and the other guy helped me sit up. They got some help from the nearby building and some lovely ladies got me a chair, some ice for my foot and helped calm me down. I was having twinges in my belly but thankfully after about 10 minutes, I could feel the baby move a little bit. I was panicked inside but trying not to show it because of all the concerned people gathered around me.
The ambulance soon arrived and the officer decided it was best to take me to the hospital to check on the baby, which was fine by me. My belly wasn't hurting as much by then but my ankle was killing me.
I tried ringing Shane on the mobile but he didn't answer. I kept redialling, unbeknownst to me, Shane was in a meeting and had his phone on the table, on silent, so he couldn't feel it ringing. He eventually saw it was me ringing and hung up on me! This is our code for 'I'm busy' so I sent a message saying 'Emergency. Pick up' and kept ringing. He then checked his phone again, saw the message, saw the dozen missed calls and freaking out, finally answered. When I said I was in an ambulance and on the way to hospital, he did a runner from the meeting and took off straight to the hospital.
To our relief, the midwife Carol that met us in the emergency room was well known to us, she'd been there when Cassidy was born. They put the monitor on my belly to check for baby's heartbeat and movement and bandaged my ankle, then took me to the maternity ward, where I stayed for constant monitoring all day. Everything turned out fine, Devon was protected by being behind my placenta so she didn't cop any major knocking around, and I was released from hospital with strict orders to take it easy by late that afternoon. BTW, when we got the ambulance bill, it was $850! Thank God for HBF.

Obviously that wasn't enough excitement for me though, as about 2 weeks later, on 11 December, I fell again! This is my sisters birthday, I told her later I was upset about all the attention she was getting so I decided to take some of it!

I was in KMart shopping by myself, Cassidy had gone with Mum back to work for a while so I could get some things done. I was walking down the Xmas tree aisle and didn't see that someone had spilt sweet chilli sauce all over the floor (well actually, I'm not sure what flavour it was, I didn't taste it while I was down there). I slipped on the sauce, landed heavily on the OTHER knee on the ground and fell, but luckily more on my side. Again it knocked the wind out of me and bloody hurt too. A lovely man nearby with his family, who I later found out was a copper, rang the ambulance for me and then rang Shane. Poor Shane, getting a phone call from a complete stranger saying his wife Tracey had fallen over, he must've thought he was having deja vu. He rang me back on my phone to make sure it was true!

A couple of ladies from KMart got me a chair and wiped up the floor (and all the evidence, I was thinking), but luckily the manager Phil came along and saw it all before it was cleaned up, although I had sauce all over my clothes. The same ambulance officer turned up, although he didn't recognise me at first. He gave me the all clear on the spot, it was mainly my knee that was bunged up and I didn't have as hard a knock to the belly. He decided not to send me to hospital, although again I was on strict orders to call or go straight there if I had any pains or worries.

Shane turned up just as they left and helped me limp out to the car to take me home. I was fine and had no complications from either fall, and you'll be glad to hear that was the end of my pregnancy acrobatics. And yes, I threw those shoes away. Shane doesn't seem to quite believe me when I say that neither fall was my fault, I genuinely slipped each time, but I threw them away anyway. It was a good excuse to buy a new pair! And I never got an ambulance bill this time, I'm pretty sure KMart took care of it. Someone asked me whether or not I was going to sue... hmm...

Okay, I'll leave it there for now, that's enough to absorb this hour. I'll update Part 2 soon, but for now, go and vacuum your floors while waiting for the next intriguing episode of...

LaLa's Life!

Tracey x

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nuff said really.

Take 1 - have a look at LaLa's Life!

Welcome one, and, welcome all!

Okay, so you know how I send out emails every couple of months to practically everyone I know, pleading with you to please drool over photos of my beautiful children (yes, 2 now, need to remember the plural...) and begging for gossip and news to absorb. Well one of my best friends (Hey Ani Pani) showed me her blog (all about makeup, now you know why she's my friend!) and got me hooked! I thought, THAT'S what I need! Somewhere for my family, friends and complete strangers to check me out, see what I'm about and get freaked out.

So. Welcome to LaLa's Life.

To encourage your viewing me as much as possible (sounds a bit rude), and to get lots of attention, I shall now list my election promises to ensure your continued adoration.

One. I solemnly declare to be as honest as possible on this blog and not sugarcoat anything. For example, I'll try not clog it up with boring crap like what I cooked for dinner, but instead write witty and endearing pieces on what I think, do and say about various things in and around my life. This however is a giant contradiction as my life can tend to be a bit boring and sometimes consists wholly on what to cook for tea. Hmmm. Bit of a conundrum that one... Shall I just say that I'll try not to be too cheery or chirpy? If I'm having a shit day, I'll tell you about it. Oh, and I may swear a bit too.

Two. For all the rellies and the girls... Yes, I shall post AS MANY cute, adorable and drool-able pictures of Cassidy and Devon (and occasionally Saxon) as possible. I mean, they're my kids so EVERYTHING they do is totally photo-worthy and worth a visit to this blog.
And yes, I'm aware that I just called our dog my kid. Everybody knows he's practically human anyway.
This also means viewing up to 23 photos a day of Devon sleeping. Well what do you want? She's 3 weeks old, there's nothing much else she does yet!

Three. I also solemnly declare to update this blog as much as possible. I mean, to keep your interest I need to keep it punchy, current, newsworthy and modern (sounds like Channel 10). But yeah, I'll try not to let weeks go by without so much as a 'we're having beef roast for tea... again'.

Four. I swear that no child shall live in poverty, no, hang on, wrong speech. I will warn you now that a) I am a scrapbooker and b) I have 2 little girls. These things tend to make me overly girly in the shopping, taking photos, experimenting with hairstyles and playing with makeup departments. In the interests of any blokes reading this, and to keep your continued support, I'll try to keep the flowery stuff to a minimum.

Okay, well that about does the laying down of the rules. I expect you're totally enthralled and can't wait to see what I'm going to do next. Well I'm going to bed, it's late, so I suggest you go watch Deal or No Deal to distract you from chewing your nails before the next instalment of...

LaLa's Life!

Tracey x