Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Sunshine

Easter Sunday was spent at my parents.....a lot of chocolate rabbits were eaten and the sun shone in spectacular fashion. 

It was the first time in a very long time that we'd all been together. 

Laugh we did, and if fed our souls.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cut, tug, pull, whaaaaaaaaaaaa - Leo's Birth Story

Leo's arrival into our world was via an elective c-section.  My womb had been perforated when operated on in South Africa and we were advised that if I was to find myself pregnant again then a c-section was an absolute must.

Typically for us this wasn't quite the text book operation we had hoped for. 

Thirty minutes before being flipped onto the operating table the surgeon and anesthetist spoke about my risk of placenta previa.  Due to the potential scar tissue if the placenta didn't come away intact they would leave it behind in the hope that it would eventually dissolve back into the womb (thus presenting a high risk of infection).  Alternatively they'd perform a hysterectomy.  Whoooopeeeeeee.  I was like a deer caught in ginormous headlights at the news.  Completely dumbed into shock.

Cannula's spearing my hands, epidural, a mob of people, theatre scrubs, removal of my glasses, hand holding, gentle voices, kind nurses, husband sitting by my shoulder wearing a funny hat. 

Strangely what I hadn't banked on was the c-section being so damn brutal.  It was an unknown.  The assumed cut of the knife followed by the pulling, the tearing, the rush of fluid, the suction, the tugging, the shoving and eventually our son.  He came out screaming loudly at the top of his lungs, fighting his way into the surgeons hands via a set of forceps, all 8lbs and 4ozs of utter perfection.

The sensation of having Leo dragged from my womb was like an African woman doing her washing on the banks of the Nile.  A) Plunge the garment into water B) Rub soap through the offending item with vigour C) Twist and squeeze it tightly  D) Slap it time and again against an old rock. 

After the pediatrician had tweaked him Leo was given to us wrapped in a huge towel.  He looked like ET - the bit in the movie when he's in the tent with Elliot, his skin all powdery white.  Chris and I spilled tears of love and relief and held him as tightly as you would the most precious and fragile gift known to man. 

Thwack.  My placenta was removed fully intact.  Thump.  My womb was removed and placed on my stomach.  It had torn slightly during the birth (next to where it had been punchered) and was hurriedly being sewn back up.  Chris briefly watched and said it looked like an old fashioned leather football, the kind with heavy stitches threaded over it.

Surgeons quietly talking, repairing and taking care. 

Whilst we soaked up our baby they proceeded to anchor my womb back into place and then pain - unrecognisable pain as my organs were shifted, shoved and moved.  My face contorted, the anesthetist asked how much did it hurt?  Too much.  I struggled to find a voice, but finally asked to be put under.  Minutes later Chris was taking Leo from my arms and they were both quickly taken next door. 

In total I was in theatre for 2 hours - carefully zipped up, tidied up, cleaned up.

The surgeon visited me in the recovery room and said that it hadn't been a straight forward c-section but it had gone as well as they could have hoped.  Although the placenta had come away intact I'd lost blood, which was being cleaned and would be reintroduced via a drip.  A catheter was now in place and a drain snaked its way from inside my stomach to a bag beneath the bed. 

She looked me in the eye.  'Sadly due to the surgery we had to perform on your womb I would advise you to seriously consider becoming pregnant again.  Not only could there be problems resulting in a possible miscarriage, but your own health would certainly be put at serious risk.'

We were visited on the same day by the Senior Midwife who we knew from when we lost Ella.  She greeted us warmly before giving me a hug and admiring Leo.  She had heard about the surgery and the consequences of us having another baby.  'You are so unique Georgie, but would you stop now!'  She had a point.   

It's been 3 weeks and 3 days since those blurry conversations and coupled with a crash course in parenting it's taken a while for the information to be diluted and accepted.  But accept it we have, because we understand just how lucky we are.  My body has honoured us with the most sought after gift we could ever have hoped for and we now have only respect for the advice given. 

And should we one day choose to extend our family then we'll look at other options available, but in the meantime, Leo, Leo, Leo.

Our lion, our phoenix, our beautiful miracle. Roar on.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Snatching zzzzzzzzzzz's

I just mentioned to Chris that with Leo asleep in his pram I might nip off for a snooze - I'm grasping at any opportunity to throw myself on a pillow with wild abandon.

Chris has replied, 'yeah, it would be nice for us to both snooze in bed together...come on'. 

I've given him 'the look', because quite honestly, NO IT WOULDN'T

The thought of having a big bed to myself, however fleeting, is enough to make me cry.  There's no way I'm sharing it with a man who sleeps like the dead during the twlight hours of feeding a tiny baby and acknowledges my fumblings and yelps of sore boobs with a snore.

In the time it's taken for me to type this post he's nodded off on the sofa.  Both men in my life asleep.  Holy cow. 

I'M OFF TO BED......shhhhhhhhhhhhhsh.

The sleeping lion

The husband who thought I was being mean - then he passed out!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Multitasking - taken to another level

Before having a baby multitasking is a skill I thought I had in truck loads.  I now realise I knew nothing and that this is only the beginning (thank god Chris has been chained to my side throughout the below)!

Breast feeding whilst writing thank you cards, bringing pasta to the boil, nappy changing, food shopping, entertaining small people, big people and lots of happy people. 

Holding the baby whilst filling mugs with strong tea, making a light lunch, draining the rice and hanging washing on the line via tippy toes. 

Fumbling for glasses in the middle of the night whilst dodging a stream of projectile vomit.  Winding the baby coupled with eating a banana and cleaning the bath. 

Chatting with Chris as the brain computes the days, hours and minutes of baby sleeping.  Taking phone calls, sending texts and checking emails.  Juggling work stuff and juggling nipple pads.

Crying with love, frustration, lack of humour, sleep deprivation and relief. It's called emotional multi-tasking and I'm crap at it.

Gentle walking, strolling and enjoying the sunshine with family, friends, niece and nephew.  All of this with Leo strapped, held or pushed in a pram = contentment and laughter.

First time mothers, mothers who are long in the tooth, mothers with more than double the trouble on the child richter scale, I (and Chris) salute you.

Errrrr, no wonder I can multi-task so well - have you seen the size of my hands...!??!?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

8th Wonder of the World

Waves of emotion crash through my being - happiness, wonder, shock, amazement, tears.  I sit and stare at our baby, lost in the moment.  How quickly things change - one minute you're pregnant, the next you have a baby.  Like smoke through a keyhole the last 2 weeks have slipped by us and we're suddenly aware of how children really are a barometer of time and how powerless we are to stop it.

Leo, Leo, Leo.  To type his name, to speak his name and to write his name is such a novelty, such a feeling - it's surreal.  Chris sits with him cradled in his arms as I tap away on our new laptop.  The cottage we're renting is like a sanctuary, it's quiet with huge windows that encourage the light to flood in and there are goats in a large pen grazing and leaping about behind the property.  I kid (hahahaha) you not!

It's taken over a week, but I'm no longer crying everytime I touch my son's perfectly small hands, feet and head.  His outer ear canal has a beautiful love heart shape to it.  His pearl finger nails are like tiny razors which I've tried to nibble flat.  His toes splay out like a frogs - sadly like mine.  His cupid's bow is gorgeously peaked and his dark blue eyes drift dreamily across our faces as we hold him close.

Leo Phoenix Higginson, The Eighth Wonder of the World. 

He completes our world and may he spin it forever.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

10 days and he's still here.........!

10 days after Leo's arrival Chris and I remain full of disbelief that he's still here and that he's ours.

I continue to pinch myself every day and thank the universe for giving us such a precious miracle. 

Our hearts are filled with a deep love for our son and our ever present guardian angel, his sister Ella. 

We are bursting with hope and happiness, a tiredness and madness. 

These moments are golden.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leo Phoenix Higginson

The fulfilment of a dream.........

Leo Phoenix Higginson was born on Wednesday 30th March 2011 at 14:20pm weighing 8lb 4ozs.

We are overwhelmed with love and happiness and the magic that is the journey into parenthood