Good Bye 2009

This year has been a great one for the Big Man and I. I think it is one of those years that I will look back on and smile about in the years and decades to come.

Of course it hasn't been all smooth sailing, but the good this year has by far out weighed the bad.

2009 Highlights (in chronological order):
  • Adopting Ollie, our laid back, cruisey Cat
  • Finding a great job that I really enjoy and having the added bonus of working with a fantastic group of people
  • Finding out that I was pregnant
  • Telling the Big Man that were going to have a baby
  • Telling our families and friends about the baby
  • Seeing Max for the first time at our 10 week scan
  • All of the pregnancy milestones, first kick, first kick that the Big Man felt, seeing Max move inside my belly, first hiccups, etc
  • Not getting fired from that job when I needed a lot of time off through out my pregnancy
  • Celebrating my first wedding anniversary
  • Seeing Beyonce in concert
  • Cooper turning two and finally turning into a sane dog rather than a uber-excited puppy
  • My Baby Shower
  • Giving birth
  • Sharing Max with all of our Families
  • Having my Family visit for Christmas
  • Celebrating the New Year with thew Big Man's Family
It was such a good year that I have probably missed a million things!

I hope you all have a wonderful 2010!

T xx

Not Yet Sinking

I've been holding together really well since Max was born. I've had a few moments where I've shut myself in my room and cried, but I'm sure every new Mum has times like those.

It was easier to keep it together while I had my Mum and Sister staying with me. Last night it all fell apart though. I think it was four weeks worth of pretending that I feel great (and sometimes I do), that lead to my monumental breakdown last night.

It's not that I'm not happy, I'm incredibly happy. It's not that I don't love being a Mum, I think it's the greatest thing in the entire world. It's not that I don't have any support, I have an amazing Husband, endless support from my family and the Big Man's and beautiful friends. It's the fear that's getting to me. I don't worry constantly, but when I do it get's out of control really quickly.

Yesterday we were supposed to drive up to Hervey Bay. We packed our bags, loaded up the car and strapped Max into his seat. I was about to get in the car myself when I realised that if we got into an accident and rolled the car, that any object loose in the car could hit Max in the head and hurt him. This lead to a stand-off between the Big Man, it started out with me wanting him to repack the car and ended up (over an hour later) with me curled up around Max in the bedroom refusing to let the Big Man come anywhere near him.

The rational part of me kept thinking 'this is stupid, just get in the car', but I couldn't get past the fact that if we drove anywhere Max could get hurt. I was hysterical, ridiculously irrational and it took hours for the Big Man to calm me down enough so that we could have a conversation.

I feel better today, but I'm still a little bit teary and keep crying for no reason.

I guess I just need to work out if is my anxiety coming back and making me feel like this or if all Mums feel like this and it's competely normal...

T xx

Christmas Wrap-Up

This year in the lead-up to Christmas we weren't sure when I would be having Max and how I would be feeling afterward, so we planned to have Christmas at our house for the first time. We invited both of our families, mine decided to come, but the Big Man's already had plans that involved Grandparent's, Aunts etc so they stayed in Hervey Bay.

Everyone told me that I was crazy for planning to host Christmas so soon after having a baby, so when my Sister Jen volunteered to do all of the organising and cooking for Christmas Day I took her up on the offer.

A couple of days before Christmas my Mum, my Sister's fiance (Jen had already been here for a week helping me out with Max) and my niece arrived. Having my Niece Ava here really made it start to feel more like Christmas. In between last minute Christmas shopping we did all sorts of Christmasy things like decorating cookies for Santa and making Christmas cards.

Two days before Christmas my Mum and Sister did a big Christmas grocery shop and they then spent the next two days getting everything ready for Christmas lunch. The menu that Jen put together was absolutely gorgeous and seeing as pictures speak louder than words, here it is (picture inspired by Bush Babe's photo of her Christmas lunch).

Missing from the picture are the prawns (strategically placed far away from the rest of the food so as not to freak out Jen!), the loads of delicious sweets that Mum made and the Christmas pudding. Jen and Mum also cooked up a storm at breakfast time, we had scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffins, tortillas, hollandaise sauce, croissants, loads of summer fruit and more... Yum!

In between breakfast and lunch we opened up all of the presents (my favourite part of the day!) we all got very spoilt, especially Max and Ava.

By four o'clock we were all completely exhausted and I think we were all in bed by about nine.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too and I look forward to hearing about your day as well.

T xx

Christmas Cards 2009

All my Christmas cards have been posted out so I thought I would share this year's designs.

I was 37 weeks pregnant whilst making them and only used card stock, scraps, ribbons and supplies that I already had at home, so I am really happy with how they turned out. My ability to take good photos on the other hand is very, very average. Sorry about the quality...

Merry Christmas All!

T xx

Great Grandparents

I mentioned yesterday that we met the Big Man's Grandparent's at the airport, but what I forgot to write about was how amazing it was to introduce them to Max. They weren't expecting the Big Man, Max and I to be there when they landed, so when they saw us standing there holding Max there were tears all around (not so many from the Big Man, but I made up for that!).

The Big Man's Mum, Dad and Aunty were also with us at the airport and between the three ladies Max was held and hugged almost as much as he was in the first couple of days after he was born!

What really moved me though was when I was watching the Big Man's Meme (Grandmother) holding Max and I realised that 50 odd years ago she was holding the Big Man's Mum, 28 years ago she was holding the Big Man and now she was holding Max - her second Great Grandchild. Beautiful!

The Big Man's Pepe (Granddad) got in on the action too and after we had collected the luggage he pushed Max in his pram out to where we had parked the cars. It was so sweet to see them instantly fall in love with Max :)

They stayed and had lunch with us and we took plenty of photos. Then they headed up to Hervey Bay with the Big Man's parents. We'll be heading up there ourselves after Christmas so that Max can get to know his Great Grandparents a bit better.

T xx

Happy, but Sore and Tired

I'm still loving being Max's Mum and he's still a great little baby....

But because I've been feeling so good, I think I might have started to overdo it a bit. The last three days have been really busy. On Wednesday the Big Man and I took Max to my work to meet everyone and then spent a couple of hours getting photos printed and doing some shopping. The next day we did a few hours of Christmas shopping with my Sister and the Big Man's parents. And yesterday we sent out to the airport to pick up the Big Man's Grandparent's. Unlucky for me, they came into one of the further-est gates and we had to do a load of walking.

All completely worthwhile trips and I enjoyed all of it, but during the night I woke up really sore. It's not just along my scar that is hurting, my tummy muscles and back are really achy too. It's not too bad, nothing like the first couple of days that we were home from the hospital. Just enough discomfort to remind me that it has only been two and a bit weeks since I had the Caesar and that I should still be taking it easy.

The Big Man's Parent's, Grandparent's and Aunty have left again now and I have a few days before my Brother-in-Law, Niece and Mum arrive for the holidays. So I think I will spend the next couple of days hanging out on the couch and taking afternoon naps.

Hopefully I will be back to feeling great in just a couple of days.

T xx

2 Weeks Old Today

Dear Max,

Today you are two weeks old and it is hard for me to believe that I have known you for such a short time. Already you are so much a part of my life that I can't imagine a world without you.

You are a beautiful and content baby. Not much seems to bother you and you have only had two or three really good cries. Most of the time you tend to just squeak and cry for a couple of seconds before settling down again. Even in the mornings when you wake up, you just lie in your bassinet making cute noises, waiting for Daddy or I to come and pick you up.

We don't do much together yet besides me feeding you, Daddy and I bathing you, holding you and watching you sleep. Although when you are awake and you stare into our eyes it melts both of our hearts.

Daddy and I are very much looking forward to getting to know you better as you grow. But please try not to grow to quickly, I am enjoying having you as my tiny little baby boy.

Lots of Love,

Yesterday afternoon I had my first trip out of the house without Max. The Big Man and I went grocery shopping and left the little guy with his Aunty Jenny. It went really well, and I only cried twice.... the first time I was checking the Big Man's iphone for a twitter update from Jen and saw Max on the screensaver (which made me miss him like crazy), the second time was when Jen tweeted to say that Max was awake and a bit sad. The folks at Aldi probably think I'm a nutter :)

It went fine though and Max wasn't even crying when I got home. Doesn't mean that I am in a hurry to be away from him again though, I think I will still keep him nice and close as much as possible!

We went out again today (the Big Man, Max and I), we took Max to my work so that I could show him to all of my work mates. He was great, he was passed around from person to person and only started to get a bit grumpy after about half an hour. I spent most of my pregnancy at work so it was really nice to be able to share him with my team mates.

Now we're back at home, he's bathed, well fed and having a nap.

I love being a Mum!

T xx

Getting Ready for 2010

Next year I think I am going to need to step up my level of organisation if I am going to manage my schedule as well as the Big Man's and Max's. So the other day when I saw this really cute yearly planner at Miriam Bereson I knew it was exactly what I needed.

Now I just need to find the perfect diary (or convince the Big Man to buy me an iphone) and I will be all set.

T xx

A Lazy Sunday

It has been a week today since we left the hospital. I know I'm supposed to be taking it easy, but it's too hot to nap and sitting on the couch all day gets very boring, very quickly. I don't think that I've overdone it, but we have gone for several walks, gone out for dinner, shopped for several hours and I've still managed to get a fair bit of housework done(with help from the Big Man).

My Sister has arrived this morning and now we are just relaxing on the couch. Bliss! Jen is staying for about 3 weeks, so I don't feel the need to entertain her or behave like I have a guest. I love that she feels relaxed at my house and can treat it like her own.

Now that she is here I feel like Christmas is really close. Under the tree is overflowing with her gorgeously wrapped presents and she has our Christmas menu all planned out and ready to go. All I need to do now is pull out the Christmas Carols and start baking for it to really feel like Christmas :)

T xx

At Home with Max


Things have been going really well since we got home with Max on Sunday. So far he is a great baby and only cries when he's hungry. Half the time he doesn't even really cry, he just whinges a bit.

On the first night that we were home with Max I did have minor hysterics though... We waited until we were ready to go to be bed before testing out the baby monitor that my Sister had lent us. It is one of those monitors that goes under the mattress and if Max stops breathing an alarm goes off. Anyway it is really sensitive, so much so that the pedestal fan in our bedroom was setting it off, meaning that we had no way of knowing whether Max's breathing was stopping the alarm from going off or if the fan was. The Big Man wasn't really phased and said that we would just start using it when the airconditioning gets installed and we no longer need the fan. I agreed with him at first, but once I got into bed and realised that once I was lying done I couldn't see or reach Max in his bassinet I started to panic.

Long story short... I cried hysterically, accused the Big Man of choosing comfort (the fan) over the safety of his child, and decided to set up Max's bassinet and monitor in one of the spare rooms and sleep without a fan. Luckily the Big Man was a bit (a lot) more level headed than me and worked out that if we repositioned the fan it wouldn't set of the sensor in Max's bassinet. I felt really stupid for not working this out earlier, but in my defense it was our first night home with Max and I was really overwhelmed.

That first night he woke up four times, but since then he has only waken up twice per night. The other great thing is that after he wakes up for his four o'clock feed he then sleeps through until seven or eight am. Meaning that the Big Man and I are getting to sleep in :) People keep asking me if I'm really tired, but at the moment we're getting plenty of sleep.

During the day Max mainly just eats and sleeps, but he does have about an hour each day of awake time. We use this time to bath him, give him tummy time and play music to him. We use the Big Man's laptop to play the music and Max loves watching the random pattern thingy.

I am probably jinxing myself for writing about how good Max is and how much of an easy baby he is being... I think I will just make the most of it in case it doesn't last!

T xx

Five Days in Hospital

Including the day that Max was born, he and I spent five days in the hospital. For my first baby it was the perfect amount of time. I wouldn't have wanted to go home any sooner, but I was definitely ready to leave by Sunday morning.

After the first day and night Max spent all of his time in my room with me and the visitors that we had. Although he did go back to the Well Baby Nursery for part of the second night, I was given painkillers that made me feel really drowsy so they took him away. Once I woke up and fed him at 3am I was feeling fine so they let him stay the rest of the night with me. I chose not to take those painkillers again, I preferred to have Max in the room with me and a little bit of pain was easy to put up with.

Each day that I was in the hospital the Big Man would spend the day with us. We mostly just hung out in my room, watched the cricket and held Max.

In the afternoon of day two my Mum arrived and then stayed for two days. It was great, she got plenty of hugs with Max and it also gave the me a chance to get out of the room several times and go for short walks with the Big Man.

On day three a got a small dose of the baby blues, it seemed to come and go over the next two days. I'm still really emotional now, but I think it is just my hormones sorting themselves back out :)

My milk came in on day four, which was something that I had been anxious about. I really didn't want to go home before it had happened. It's silly, but I was so happy to be able to give Max really good feeds, I felt like I was being a good Mum!

All in all it was a great hospital to have a baby at. The staff at the hospital were all really great. Once they realised that the Big Man and I were comfortable taking care of Max on our own and that I was feeding easily, they left us alone most of the time. They came in when it was time to weigh or bath or do tests with Max and I was always able to talk to someone if I buzzed, but I was glad that they weren't constantly in my room checking up on me. Even the food was really nice, definitely not the nasty hospital food that I had heard about!

Overall, a very nice experience!

T xx

Max Riley - Birth Story

On the morning of the 2nd of December we had a really early start. We needed to be at the hospital by 6am, so we were up and about at 4.30. The night before I had been really (really, really) emotional, to the point of hysterics and crying, which I think was just due to anxiety. But from when I woke up on the Wednesday morning all of the anxiety was gone, I was still nervous, but mainly just excited.

We left home at 5.30 and checked into the hospital at 6. We were taken to my room and after about half an hour a midwife gave me a hospital gown and some compression stockings to put on. A little while later an orderly and another midwife came in and they took us upstairs to the theatre.

Before we went in, the Big Man got changed into his scrubs and each of the theatre staff came out and introduced themselves to us and told us what their role would be in the caesar. Next up the anesthetist came and put the drip into my hand and I was wheeled into the operating theater.

Once we were in there the theatre nurse talked me through the epidural and the obstetrician explained how the caesar would be performed and what would happen at each step. Information overload! I started to get really nervous, mainly about the epidural. The Big Man had to sit in the corner whilst the epidural was done, but the theatre nurse and orderly held my hands and talked to me whilst it was being done. I was really worried that they would try and distract me, but they were really good and let me know exactly what was happening and what to expect next.

The epidural started working almost straight away and I was moved over to the operating table and had a catheter inserted (I was really nervous about this too, but I didn't feel a thing). Not long after that they started the operation, I didn't feel any pain, but there was lots of pulling and pressure. The Big Man wanted to stand up and watch the operation over the top of the curtain that they put up, but I was still scared and asked him to sit with me and hold my hand. The theatre nurse sat on the other side of me and told me what was happening. After about 5 minutes I started to relax, so the Big Man stood up. Turns out it was perfect timing. As he stood up they made the last incision and the nurse let me know that I was going to be feeling someone putting a lot of pressure on the top of my stomach (to help push the baby out). The Big Man got to see the obstetrician pull the baby's head out. As they pulled the baby out completely they dropped the drapes down so that I could see as well and I saw my baby for the first time :).

The moment I saw him was absolutely magical and I will never forget it. He was pulling a really cranky face, but didn't really cry much at first. The pediatrician, midwife and the Big Man took him over to the warming tray (I have no idea what it is really called) and did all sorts of things to him like clearing his lungs, warming him up, and the Big Man got to trim down his umbilical cord. The whole time Max was over on the table I watched what was happening and said silly things to no-one in particular like 'I just had a baby' and 'that's my baby over there' and 'did you see him, he's perfect'! Madly in love from the minute he was born :)

At one point the pediatrician came over and let me know that Max had a fair bit of fluid in his lungs and was 'gurgly'. This meant that he would have to go to the special care nursery. I asked how long he would need to be in there and I was told it could be anywhere from one hour to 24 hours and if it was worse than they thought he might need to be transferred to the Royal Women's and Children's Hospital. But the pediatrician said that he didn't think it was too bad and they I could still have a hold of him before they took him away.

The midwife bought him over all wrapped up and handed him to me. Amazing! I think the photo explains how I was feeling better than words will ever be able to... Like I said, love at first sight!

I held him for about 5 minutes, but then I got nauseous and started to have trouble breathing. They took Max off me and handed him to the Big Man who was sitting next to me. I remember asking the nurse if she could hold the sick bag on the other side so that I could see the baby and if I could please have a drink of water so that I could actually throw up. She said no to both :(

After a couple of minutes I started to feel better and the midwife took the Big Man and Max away so that he could be weighed and be put on oxygen in the nursery. At that point I started crying because I didn't know when I was going to get to see Max again.

The obstetrician finished sewing me up and I was transferred through to recovery. I stayed there for about 20 minutes before I was taken back down to my room. I was desperately hoping that the Big Man and Max would be waiting in my room for me, but they were both still in the special care nursery. The midwife went and got the Big Man for me and he filled me in on how Max was doing and told me his weight and vital stats.

Over the next four hours I think I asked to see Max about 40 times, but because I couldn't get out of bed and Max wasn't allowed to leave the nursery it didn't happen. The Big Man spent most of that time in the nursery, but came back every half hour to let me know how Max was doing.

Around lunch time the Big Man convinced one of the nurses to bring Max into me for a visit and I was finally allowed to hold him again. But because he was still cold and not quite getting enough oxygen I wasn't able to unwrap him or feed him. The took him away again and I expressed so that he could be fed with a syringe (which he spat out anyway).

I must have had a lot of morphine and adrenaline in my system because I stayed happy and excited the whole time. Beforehand, I had thought that if something stopped me from holding and feeding Max straight away I would be an absolute wreck.

At three o'clock the Big Man's parents, my Dad and my sister arrived and the Big Man took each of them through to the nursery to look at Max. The pediatrician also came in and told me that Max would be released at 6pm. Happy news indeed!

It only got better from there... the midwife came in at 4pm and let me know that Max was being released early! They bought him in and all of the family cleared out so that I could finally hold him up to my chest and feed him. He was an absolute natural and fed like a champion. I was over the moon to finally get to feed him and spend some quality one on one time with him. The Big Man and I were so happy to finally have him with us both and it was one of the major highlights of the day.

The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a blur, Max got passed around between the family members, the Big Man and I and a million photos were taken. Our family left at about 7.30 and the Big Man and I marveled over Max for another couple of hours before the Big Man headed home as well. Max and I hung out together for another hour and then they took him away so that I could get some sleep. I asked if I could keep him with me overnight, but because I still wasn't able to sit up on my own or get out of bed they took him to the well baby nursery.

I slept like a baby, but woke up at 2.3oam and released that they still hadn't bought him in for a feed. I buzzed the nurses and they woke him up and bought him in. I hung on to him for as long as possible before they came and took him back to the nursery. The next morning I woke up at 5.30am. I knew that they were bringing Max in at 6am, so I just sat in bed and waited. I didn't turn on the tv or read, I just sat there and kept running through the previous day in my head with a huge smile on my face.

It was a long day and it didn't go exactly how I had planned, but it was still perfect and was easily the best day of my life.

T xx

Max Riley


Max Mark Riley was born on the 2nd of December 2009 at 8.32am.

Max is an absolute angel and it is impossible to describe how much I am in love with him. He is a really happy little baby who eats, sleeps and loves bath time and the sound of his Dad's voice. He has been absolutely spoiled rotten since he was born, I don't think he spent more than 2 daylight hours in his cot for the five days that we were in the hospital. Between me, the Big Man and all of his doting relatives he has been hugged and held constantly. :)

His birth weight was 8 pounds even (3630 grams) and he has already started gaining weight after his initial weight loss. He was 52cm long and his head circumference was 35cm.

More photos and stories soon.

T xx