Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Baby #3: Little Ella

I have to begin this long overdue post by saying that I have been phenomenally blessed to have had 3 amazing pregnancies resulting in 3 miraculous, gorgeous, beautiful, incredible children... This brings me to little baby Ella, my sweet, smiley new little miracle!  Here is her birth story:

My pregnancy was incredible.  No problems, everything went according to plan, she measured perfectly for her dates and in a nutshell, it was yet another phenomenal experience of butterflies, kicks and movements, enjoying falling in love with the idea of another precious little girl.  However, on Saturday 28th November, we had a maternity shoot scheduled to capture our little family along with my growing belly.  I was 2 days away from 34 weeks pregnant.  After the photo shoot on the beach that evening, my stomach started to feel a little strange.  It felt uncomfortable and a little tender to the touch.  I didn't say anything but took it easy that evening and went to bed.  The next morning it was even more tender to the touch and I told hubby that something felt "off".  It was a beautiful summers' day so we spent time in and out of the swimming pool until I eventually thought I better go to the maternity ward at the hospital just to ensure all was still okay.
Maternity Shoot: Who knew baby Ella was ready to make her appearance!
Little did I know that I wasn't going to be coming home! Dressed in just a summer dress, with wet washed hair, my car keys and wallet, I was placed on monitors and told that I was having contractions and was in the early stages of preterm labour!  I was relatively calm throughout it all, believing that I would be given the anti-contraction mediation and that I would then be sent home.  I asked my ever reliable mom (thank the heavens above for her!) to pack my hospital things and to get the baby's bag ready just in case.  I was given steroid injections for the development of baby's lungs should she decide to come early and I had to wait for 48 hours...

After the 48 hours, my doctor stopped my anti-contraction meds and said we were to wait until the evening.  I was now exactly 34 weeks pregnant on 1st December.  I then knew what was coming... Contractions started again and the monitor was registering spikes up to 80 out of 100!  Baby was on her way.  We were told at 5:30pm that she was coming NOW!  Hubby had to get the kids out of the hospital, I had to put on my scrubs and we got ready to head down to theater.  What a rush!
In our hospital scrubs, waiting...
Everything seemed to follow the same protocol as my other 2 pregnancies except there was no pediatrician in the theater, but a Neonatologist from the NICU (Neonatal ICU) due to baby being premature. He was lovely and reassured us that all things going as planned, our baby would be absolutely fine apart from a few bubbles as she breathed and a slight indentation in her chest due to her lungs not being fully developed.  Being a girl she was given a much more positive outlook as well.  So although the circumstances weren't as ideal as with Lily and Zac's births, I was calm and had complete faith in my doctors.

The whole c-section experience prior to the baby being born is quite barbaric and it felt far more extreme than my other two deliveries.  Injections, feelings of nausea, extreme chest pains from the air entering my open stomach and tremendous tugging and pulling.  But as per Lily and Zac, I felt tremendous relief when little precious Ella was pulled out crying and looking absolutely perfect in every single way at 19h10 on Tuesday, 1st December 2016 weighing a tiny 2.4kg and measuring 45cm long.  Unfortunately I couldn't hold her but was given a quick glimpse of her beautiful face before they whisked her away to the ICU with daddy. Goodness but she had loads of hair!  Far more hair than any of my babies!

After I was sewn up, I was wheeled back to my room, but this experience was different as my baby wasn't waiting in the maternity ward or in my room for me.  I had to spend the evening without her which was quite a strange experience.  I was told I needed to start expressing collostrum so that they could tube feed her and this the nurses did for me and my baby got the liquid gold she needed to grow.  Daddy was lucky enough to see and spend time with her and he showed me plenty of videos and photographs.  He said she is beautiful and was doing really well.  It was sad to see that my precious, tiny newborn baby had already experienced drips in her arms and tubes down her nose, but it was reassuring to know that it was all for her benefit and that she was doing well.  We were told that she would be spending 2 weeks in the ICU.
Our little fighter!
The next morning around 4:30am I was helped out of my bed, all tubes and catheters were removed and I was wheeled down to the NICU to meet my darling baby at 5am.  It was incredible.  I couldn't believe how tiny she was and with so much hair!  She looked so much bigger in the photographs daddy had shown me.  It was hard not to be able to hold her and to only touch her slightly.  The whole initial NICU experience was rather daunting as you have to sterilise your hands and lower arms a couple of times before coming near the babies, but the staff were incredible and reassured us how wonderfully Ella was doing.  They even referred to her as the "big baby" in NICU!

2 days later I was finally allowed to hold her and have skin on skin contact.  It was incredible!  I loved every single second of that hour I had her on my bare chest.  The following day I was told that they would like to try breastfeeding for the first time.  I was anxious and excited at the same time.  The nurses warned me that it was highly possible that she wouldn't latch with her being so small and that their brains sometimes haven't quite "switched on" at 34 weeks yet.  But, my precious, strong little fighter was a super star and latched perfectly!  I was elated and loved it!  She was an absolute star and a very strong sucker!
In absolute heaven! So in love!
That day I was discharged from hospital.  A very bittersweet experience.  Happy to be going home to Lily, Zac and daddy but so desperately sad to be leaving Ella behind.  I recall with Lily and Zac being so elated at going home with my newborn babies, but this time I was leaving without my small, helpless little baby girl...

I spent the next few days expressing milk and delivering it to the hospital.  Hospital hours were very strict in NICU and I was only allowed to see her between 12h00-18h00 and then again from 20h00-22h00.  The mornings were strictly not allowed due to doctor's rounds.  Grandparents are only allowed at certain times on the weekends and I was so pleased that my parents got to meet her too - a very special moment for them both.
Proud Granny
On the Monday I went to my gynae to check my wound which looked incredibly bruised and bloodied.  I was told that I had developed a heamatoma and that I had to be readmitted, reopened, cleaned out and restitched.  I went into theater that evening and spent the Monday night back in the maternity ward.  That operation was one of the most excruciating experiences!  I hadn't been given much in terms of pain relief and I was in incredible pain.  Thankfully the nurses finally gave me some hardcore pain relief and I felt a million times better.  Before being discharged on the Tuesday, the NICU nurse told me to hang around as he felt that Ella was fine to be released even though she had only spent one week in ICU.  I was hopeful!  Maybe this time when leaving the hospital I could leave with my baby!  And true to his word, the doctor felt that she was doing well and could be discharged!  Weighing a tiny 2.2kg, little Ella left the hospital and came home with me!  It was amazing!
My world!
And as I type, she is definitely over 5kg (still have to have her weighed to check this estimation), is 3.5 months old and is doing incredibly well.  She is such an amazing little baby, sleeping through the night, is mostly content and always full of wide-mouthed smiles.  We are so truly blessed to have this little miracle in our lives and are truly thankful to my doctor who made the decision to deliver her at 34 weeks.  My placenta was dying and Ella had the chord wrapped around her neck 3 times!  It was definitely time for her to enter this world a full 6 weeks early! We all love you so much precious baby girl Ella xxx

Monday, June 22, 2015

Far too long!

I honestly cannot believe that life has gotten the better of me and that it has been almost 2 years without one single post on my once daily visited/updated blog site.  In those 2 years so much has changed in my life... Without getting into the nitty gritty of things, essentially, I am blessed with two amazing, gorgeous, charismatic, gentle, kind, caring, hilarious and just amazing children.  Lily is now 5 years old and Zac is 3 - where has the time flown?

Lily is honestly truly amazing. I don't know how I've been blessed with such an incredible little person in my life. She is loved by all her peers and she is truly a caring, kind and loving friend to them all. She adores her family and just wants to please every one. She is a diligent little person at school and is far above her peers in terms of linguistics and numeracy - FYI this is the only platform I freely gloat about my children and their achievements!  I cannot get over the beauty of her little face, the warmth of her loving ways and the true amazingness of such a little individual!

Gorgeous Lily just before her 5th birthday

Then there is our Zachy Boy... Such a character!  An affectionate, bright, loving, strong-willed, adventurous, hilarious, gorgeous little boy who lights up our lives. Such a mommy's boy and only wants me when he is sick or sad (much to my heart's pleasure!). His bond with daddy is growing by the day but that doesn't take away the fact that he is a true mommy's boy. Long may it last!
Zac is truly adored by everyone and says the cutest and funniest things. He is also exceptionally strong willed and knows exactly what he wants, testing my patience levels at times, but with a face as cute as his, I can't stay cross for very long! I also find myself staring at him and wondering how on earth I created such a gorgeous little man...

Our mischievous little guy...
And some news:  I am pregnant!  Exactly 11 weeks today with our precious 3rd baby!  We are beyond thrilled! I cannot wait to find out the sex of the baby and begin planning names, nursery themes and just to experience the whole baby journey one last time (yes, this will be our final baby thank you very much!). Yes, our lives are going to be super busy and I'm going to have to forego my sexy car for a mommy bus, but it is all worth it. I was born to create these gorgeous little humans and to be a mommy to them. They are my absolute life... My world.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Been a while!

Goodness, life really has been incredibly busy with me not having updated this blog for over 3 months! Life is great, albeit a little crazy at times, with my two precious darlings!

Lily is truly the most amazing, beautiful, kind, caring, quirkly, clever little angel pie who is adored by everyone around her from her biased mommy, daddy and grandparents to her friends and teachers at school. Everyone who comes into contact with her just loves her and I'm honestly not surprised one little bit! She is flourishing at school - I can't believe that we literally have a week left of the term and then she only has one final term to conclude before moving into the next stage of pre-school and into another class! My baby is growing so quickly...

Zac is just too edible! Such a fun loving, cuddly, kissable, gorgeous, handsome, daring and chaotic (at times) little boy! I can't believe that he is already a little boy - where on earth has my baby disappeared to? He is now running around, climbing everything (and getting a few knocks and scratches as a result), exploring everything, starting to talk*, and becoming a real little person.

Life is busy. In addition to my running about with Lily and Zac, I have really got into my gym and getting healthier so for some "Mel Time", I go to the gym 4 times a week with a personal trainer.  I have the typical Mother's Guilt for leaving Zac for 2 hours in the mornings, but as soon as I'm done, I come rushing home to be with him and then the 2 of us spend some quality time together. We now do a Mommy & Me Jewish class on a Monday afternoon for 45 minutes and Bright Beginnings on a Thursday morning. I'm thinking about starting swimming lessons with him as well when the weather warms up a little.  Lily has school every day of the week and on a Monday while we are at Mommy & Me classes, she goes to Granny for a bit of Granny & Grandpa time which she just loves! Lily also has Playball after school on a Thursday which she enjoys and we are contemplating starting ballet in the new term along with her swimming lessons resuming twice a week now that the swimming school has reopened after the cold winter months.

And life is soon to become slighter busier as I am noticing that Lily is resisting her afternoon nap on a more regular basis. Some times she foregoes it completely and on others, she happily falls asleep. I know she is of an age when a lot of kids do start to go through until bedtime without a nap, but I enjoy my cup of coffee and little break while the kids nap so am hoping it continues for a little longer... Today is a day where she is napping (after a few Mommy calls from her room that went ignored) so I finally get some time to update my blog.

We are off to Knysna on a family holiday in a week's time and I'm really looking forward to getting away. My in-laws are joining us for a few days so I'm looking forward to some quiet time with the husband and perhaps, if we are lucky, some afternoon naps or even early morning lie-ins? Wouldn't that be a spoil!  Talking about early mornings, bless him, my little Zac is still an early riser. Anything after 5am is game for him and it is very seldom that my mornings start after 6am... Lily is still such an amazing little sleeper and wakes up on average around 7am, sometimes as late as 7:45am. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Zac got that memo?!

Otherwise my gorgeous, precious little bundles are my absolute pride and joy! Every day is filled with laughs, smiles and heartmelting moments. Of course there are moments when the two of them drive me up the wall or make me want to reach for the wine bottle (and that's saying something as this mommy doesn't drink!), but 99% of the time, the early mornings, defiances, constant mess and toddler tantrums (thankfully we don't experience these all that often) are all worth it as they really do make my life so wonderful!

*List of Zac's words at almost 17 months (well, what I can recall at the top of my head):
  • Mommy/Daddy
  • Lily
  • Bella
  • Juice
  • Bye bye
  • Hand
  • Nana (banana)
  • Money (yes, he knows to ask for money!)
  • Pa pa (Grandpa)
  • Ball
  • Balloo (balloon)
  • Saus (sausage)
  • Higher (as in "push me higher on the swing")
  • Milk
  • Date (loves medjool dates - his mommy's child)
  • Eyes
  • Egg
  • Toas (toast)
  • Baba
  • Bag (he loves handbags!)
  • More
  • Up
My babies...

Monday, May 27, 2013

We are walking... almost

Zac is now taking his first steps! At 13 months old he is quite confidently taking a few steps here and there, although crawling is still obviously his prefered and more trusted mode of transport.  Every day though he seems to take a few more steps than the day before and I'm sure in the next few weeks we will have a confident little walking toddler!

Zac is also sporting the cutest little smile at the moment with one extra large front tooth while its partner is still in hiding. It looks oddly strange with one tooth so large and prominent while the other one isn't anywhere near showing itself yet.  I can see it swelling behind the gum, but there are absolutely no protrusions yet.  In the mean time I will enjoy the cuteness of his lobsided smile :)

My little boy is still having his two day naps and due to Mother's Amnesia, I had to refer back to this blog to read when Lily started to drop her morning nap and funnily enough, it was at 13 months (Zac's age now) that she started going down a little later and having one nap over lunch time.  Zac still seems quite tired in the mornings and needs his 9am sleep as he goes down without fuss and usually surfaces around 11am, sometimes even 11:30am like today.  Then twice in the last few days he has fought his afternoon sleep a little and that's what got me wondering... So I suppose it's best to bare in mind that it is around this age that sleep patterns may begin to change.

Otherwise my little boy is getting cuter and cuter if that's even possible!  He is still very much a mommy's boy and loves to be with me.  He also loves giving me kisses and will often just bend over, look me in the eyes and come in for a big kiss - my best!  He also loves climbing all over me - kind of like I'm a lionness and he is a cub clambering all over the place.  Zac is also starting to communicate nicely now and says "Dudu", "Duck", makes sucking/smacking lip sounds when asked what noise a fish makes, "Daddy", "Mamma" and "Ta".  But even without words, he definitely communicates well and makes it known quite clearly what he wants... Very determined little guy, just like his sister!

I'm truly so in love with my two little babies and couldn't be a happier mom.  I've even started contemplating what it would be like to have a third little addition to our family.  I know hubby is set against it and is quite happy with our little brood, but I'm definitely broody for another.  I have had a serious chat with him to at least consider the option in a few months down the line.  Obviously not right now as Zac is still a bit young, but potentially in the future.  He didn't resist me - he nodded and essentially in his silence, agreed to at least consider the idea without immediate resistance.  So we shall see... Who knows, I may change my mind as well, but for now a third child seems perfect.  I'd love to add another precious little Lily or Zac to our gorgeous little family :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Peppa Pig Party

Our little Lily is obsessed with the children's programme "Peppa Pig" so I decided that the theme for her 3rd birthday party would be just that AND an added detail is that Peppa Pig has a little brother George which was perfect for my combined birthday party idea.  Poor little Zac doesn't have a group of baby friends his age so if we were to throw 2 parties, I'd merely be inviting the same people over to the house twice.  So why not kill two birds with one stone and throw one memorable party for them both?

The entertainment for the day was a mobile petting zoo called Zoo To You. They specialise in little baby animals so we had little chicks, piglets, a lamb, goat, small sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs and even a small little rat!  They arrived early in the morning to set up and were more than ready for the onslaught of kids that were to arrive at 10h00.  Lily got to play with the little animals before everyone arrived while I set up all the eats and decor...
Everyone seemed to have loads of fun with all the animals - some kids didn't even exit the little temporary animals' home structure at all! We managed to get quite a few lovely photographs of our precious Lily and Zac which I am thrilled about!  See below...
 All in all, Lily loved her party and had loads of fun touching the animals, jumping on her jumping castle, playing with her friends, blowing out her candles and opening up presents. Zac slept a little into the party but once I'd woken him up he had a lovely time too, also touching the animals and generally crawling about and keeping himself entertained.

As per usual, preparing a little party and tidying up afterwards takes its toll so I was more than happy to put my feet up once both children were in bed and everyone had left.  It was a wonderful morning and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the enjoyment on my little babies' faces. Until next year again...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Lily is 3!

Our gorgeous, infectiously funny, kind and loving little girl is 3 years old! This post is a little late as the special day was on the 28th of April, but as a mommy of 2 busy little bodies, it isn't always easy to get to write my updates these days.

So we decided to buy our little angel a beautiful doll's house for her third birthday. Grannies and Grandpas put their money towards buying the furniture for the house so Lily had plenty of unwrapping to do. She was also spoilt with plenty of Peppa Pig attire and a baking set as well. And of course everything had to be opened and used immediately - we even had to do some baking with her new set!
A little later in the morning, Granny Gail, Grandpa Dave, Uncle Rollie, Aunt Lou and Cousin Noa all came around to bring presents and to sing happy birthday to the excited birthday girl. Lily insisted on wearing her "fairy princess" dress and crown for her special day - see pic below:
We then headed off to the Spur for a celebratory lunch where Lily excitedly spent almost the entire time in the play area with either mom or dad having to watch or supervise - quite exhausting but worth it as she had such a fun time running about and playing. We then got the staff to bring Lily a birthday ice cream with sparkler and everyone sang a special song for her.  She wasn't quite sure of the whole sing-song by strangers, but she enjoyed the sparkler and the ice cream.

Lily was also spoilt 2 days before her birthday when they did a birthday ring for her at her little school.  Hubby, myself, Zac, Granny Gail, Grandpa Dave and Ritah all went to school half an hour before the end of the day. As we walked in Lily was so excited that her eyes filled with tears and a contagious giggle ensued. You could tell she was so surprised and excited that she didn't quite know whether to laugh or cry! Bless her, it was so special.

The class sang songs and did a little dance, they then all sat on the floor and sang happy birthday to her in both English and Hebrew. She then blew out her candles and along with all her little class mates, they happily ate the birthday cupcakes.  Such a very special day at school for both Lily and her very proud parents!
I can't believe our little angel pie is 3 years old. Such a happy, confident, delightful little person she has grown into. Her mommy and daddy couldn't be MORE proud. We love you to absolute bits our little Lily Pie xxx

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Zac is 1!

My little baby boy turned a whole year old yesterday! In some regards it feels like just the other day that I was leaving home in the early morning darkness to check into hospital so we could meet our precious new little baby, but on the other hand, it does sometimes feel like Zac has been in our lives for ages!  I suppose we have had many ups and downs with our precious little boy - the downs being hospital visits, compromised immune system and reflux to down-right bad sleeping habits (all of which are no fault of his own) and the ups being too many to list (but include his precious little smiles, giggles, infectious snuggles and kisses).

So unfortunately on Zac's special day, his daddy was in Hong Kong on business so it was just Zac, Lily and myself in the very early hours of the morning.  Yes, Zac loves waking up at exactly 5:40am these days *insert yawn*.  So we had our bottle and snuggled for a while and then he crawled over to his new remote controlled car and had a little play in it.  He doesn't like it when it moves so he just plays happily in the seat pushing all the buttons.
We didn't get up to anything too exciting on his special day as it fell on a Friday which meant doing the normal school runs with Lily and fitting in Zac's nap times.  And the worst thing was that Zac has Tonsillitis again so no-one could come around for tea in the afternoon as previously planned due to potentially infecting the other children.  My folks did come around though so we all sang happy birthday with a little number 1 candle in a small little cupcake and Zac got to open his present from his grandparents - a little car wash and garage.
So another milestone has passed... My baby boy has graduated to a toddler and the time really has gone incredibly quickly.  As I always say, I want to push the pause button and injest the baby that he currently is... It seems to be going far too rapidly!  He has changed our lives considerably and we could never picture our world without him.  Zac, you have completed our little family and we love you more than you will ever know. Love you forever and every to infinity and back! xxx

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Another little update

Yet again things have been quite busy and crazy in our little home.  It was recently school holidays and unfortunately we were all sick.  Lily had a bad bout of Tonsillitis and Croup, which we thankfully discovered quite early so she didn't suffer too much.  Zac continued with a fever and just being miserable - think it was definitely teething that was (and still is) bothering him as his top 2 teeth are just about through.  His little gums are extremely swollen and I can see the outline of his new toofies quite clearly.  His teething is affecting his sleep a little too at the moment poor baby.  And I had a bad case of flu, but as we all know, moms aren't allowed to be sick so I just put on my big girl panties and carried on with my daily tasks.

I have bitter-sweet feelings about my breastfeeding coming to an end...  I managed to feed Zac until he was just over 11 months old, the same age as Lily when she stopped nursing.  I am sad as it is the end of a bonding experience with my baby and the end of an era.  We don't think we will be having any more children so my breastfeeding duties are complete forever.  I love breastfeeding so it was quite sad to have the experience end.  On another note, I was happy to have my body back.  To be able to take medication should I need without worrying about the adverse effect it may have on my nursing baby, to be able to wear my normal bras again and to not worry about having to wip my boobs out, sometimes in "not so suitable" places.  So the end of an another era!

Lily is back at school and thriving.  She got such a brilliant little report from her first term - we are so incredibly proud.  Potty training is coming along well.  She now asks to go to the toilet 90% of the time and only makes a mistake every odd day.  She is even making number 2's in the toilet which I've heard takes a little longer, but she is doing exceptionally well.  Very proud (and relieved)!

Zac will be 1 next week... I can't quite believe that it was a year ago that I was preparing for his arrival and wondering how our lives were going to be with 2 precious little angels.  The time has literally flown!  Zac is just the happiest, cuddliest, most lovable little boy.  He loves giving kisses and snuggles much to my utter delight!  He is such a mommy's boy which I love - long may it last!

So all-in-all things are going well here in our little home with my precious little family xxx

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some noted milestones

Zac's milestones to date:

  • 1st smile: 3.5 weeks
  • 1st "talked": 4 weeks
  • 1st giggled: 6.5 weeks (looking at mobile above compactum)
  • 1st night in own room: 18 weeks
  • 1st rolled over: 4 months
  • Eating hands: 4 months
  • 1st tooth: 8th December (4 days before 8 months old)
  • Crawl on all 4's: 17th December (8 months)
  • 1st waved: 4th February (9 months)
  • 1st clapped: 9 months
  • 1st word: "Ta" 10 months and "Daddy" at 10 months
  • 1st standing without holding on: 11 months

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sleep training

We are now on day 4 and tonight is night number 5 of sleep training and oh how things have thankfully improved!  Last night saw Zac crying for a mere 3 minutes before settling himself and falling asleep which is a vast improvement from the first night which saw him crying on and off for 45 minutes.  He then woke up at 9:45pm, but after about 5 minutes he was asleep again and he stretched through the night until 5:30am! I wasn't sure whether we should have started the day at this time or try get him to fall asleep again so I decided to listen to what the sleep trainer had instructed me to do which was to continue with the sleep training until at least 6am.  Thankfully I did that and he went back to sleep until 7am! Brilliant.

The first night with the sleep trainer didn't quite go as planned.  I had visions of being up all night with a screaming baby who we would need to continuously train. We had paid this woman a mini fortune so I was looking forward to some heavy duty training going down.  And of course, Murphy's Law, after the initial put down of 45 minutes and one wake up an hour later, Zac decided to sleep right through! The first time in his little life!  So the woman who we were paying to work that night just sat on the couch waiting and waiting for him to wake up!  I was so disappointed.  Thankfully the second night Zac woke up twice so we could get a little training done - made it a little more worth the money spent.

And after 2 nights, the sleep trainer was done and I was left to continue with the training on my own.  I have been incredibly strict and have followed her instructions down to the letter.  Things are improving every day and I'm sure in a few more days I will be able to put Zac down to sleep without any crying at all.  Already his cries are intermittent and consist more of moans than anything else.

I'm already feeling more refreshed with much better nights. I don't know how I'm going to get used to actually enjoying a full night's sleep again! I think I'm going to have to train this body not to wake up during the nights as it has become accustomed.

Sleep training is definitely the way to go when you're enduring nights like I'd been having.  I totally believe in the process and Zac was never left to feel abandoned or unloved.  Everything was done with the utmost love and care possible.  I would have paid almost any price to hire Erica - I was that exhausted! And quite honestly, I don't think you can put a price on sleep. It is SO needed!!!