Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Life with a newborn

At 6am this morning Raine came in to my room, I'd been feeding Reef since about 5. We did the toilet run and got back into bed for a feed, Raine on one side, Reef on the other (very painful side). River came in and I knew the day had officially begun.
What I wanted was to get up before the toddlers and do some yoga before having a shower. Instead, I got to diaphragm breathe whilst breastfeeding...thankfully I managed to settle Reef and was able to take Raine to the toilet again, pop the oven on and have a 30second shower with a very demanding audience.
Last night I prepared breakfast:
- sliced apples to cover the bottom of baking dish, water to cover them
- frozen raspberries on top
- covered in oats 
- sprinkled with cinnamon 
Which was easy to bake for 10mins and serve with coconut milk. Buckinis and chia seeds would have made an excellent topping however our budget has been tight since Bali & Reef's birth. 
Unfortunately I need to get my tax return done before I am eligible for government assistance (paid parental leave). This is most frustrating and another thing I feel anxious about.

Being a mum of three is like being on an island...while friends and family have been incredibly kind and supportive running after toddlers & a newborn is super rough especially when Eric is at work. It will be delightful to get some sort of social life back, especially to see my mother's group! We missed everyone's birthday parties this year :(

Reef is very calm and does sleep a lot, however he also feeds a lot and because of the tongue and lip tie, feeding is painful/exhausting/frustrating. The first two weeks after my milk came in was much milk, engorgement, constantly leaking porn star boobs. Not even Raine could handle the volume and force of my let down. I haven't fed her much in the last few days as Reef and I have passed thrush back and forth and he has split my nipple. Tandem feeding is amazing but super hard work.

Today I had a client at 8.30am, trained a little at 9am and had another client at 10am. I wish I could crash out I'm so tired...its 1pm.
I am extremely proud that I got everyone dressed, fed and out the door with enough time to pick up coffees and get to the gym on time. 
Recovery is going well, training is focused on postural alignment, glute activation, pelvic & shoulder stability and healing the small separation of my abdominals (one finger now).
This pic is from this morning 18days post partum:

Being gentle with myself and just trying to make it through one day at a time. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Post Baby Bliss

So, I've actually written Reef's birth story and feel super excited to share with you lots of things to come. 
This is 52 hours after giving birth that I am laying here, having just fed my little man in my gorgeous YoHome sheets that are just luxurious. I think I fell asleep around midnight. The hormones after having a baby are just such a natural high that I can't stop kissing or staring at him. There was a full moon tonight and I can feel lots of almost static energy in the air, I did not feel like I needed to do anything to cleanse or release. In the lead up to Reef being born I had physically cleansed the house and spiritually manifested the patience and gratitude I felt I needed for Reef to be born.
The time surrounding this birth has shown me that we have some amazing friends, there is so much food in our home at the moment that we are feeling super nourished and looked after. We even had some rest yesterday (Sunday) just daddy, mummy & newborn...
Today I was able to have a shower, do the dishes and put the washing on, however I may have accidentally mixed my whites in with the blacks, a major disaster! 
My recovery is much more gentle than with Raine and certainly Rivers birth, my pelvic floor feels strong and I've been diaphragm breathing to engage my stomach muscles. I was extremely lucky in that I had no swelling in my extremities during pregnancy or afterwards though I am feeling a little washed out. To prevent jaundice and because we were blessed with a ripper day, I sat outside in the sun with Reef and Marli in the morning. It recharged my batteries very much.
Tomorrow I have to do a little bit of catch up with paperwork and contacting members/debit success/bookings but Eric and I are enjoying the time not at work. We think it's great to have help from three wonderful coaches and look forward to balancing life with our FOUR babies, as our business is exactly like a toddler!
Reef has quite a tongue tie and while he is feeding without drama, my milk is coming in, so we shall see how he goes attaching to very swollen boobs in the morning.
Raine has just stumbled in from her room so I'm out to snuggle my babies


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Baby Reef arrives

Welcome Earthside baby boy!
3.7kgs of a healthy little man came dramatically into my arms at 11.30pm on Saturday 2nd May.
We'd been having "tightenings" regularly since 1/2pm in the afternoon but daddy & River were in Richmond at a comp watching one of our coaches perform amazingly! So Raine, baby and I waited for the boys to come home. Eric cooked us up a beautiful dinner of wraps, nachos and he had sneakily gotten mi goreng from Vege Bar. I followed that up with a vegan Mars bar and took Marli for a walk while the fam watched Thor & set up the birth pool. The half hour walk saw 11-12 contractions that I could walk through. Then I went to bed.
Eric got the kids down by 8.30pm (superdad) and came to rest with me. I'd been in contact with the midwives and told Juliana not to rush and we'd call with news. 
I looked up at a star, it felt like I'd be in labour for days (like with Riv), and I repeated "strong and powerful" Then within minutes I got the strangest feeling that my baby was trying to break my waters so I woke Eric to grab me a towel so that I didn't ruin my new bedsheets. I was actually a bit annoyed at him for trying to get rest, I felt he wasn't taking me seriously...turns out he just needed rest!
Well, the moment the towel was under me, my waters broke. It was very cool predicting it and I'm super amazed my sheets remain in good health. However, the contractions became extremely "strong and powerful" I was still able to talk and do things for about 15mins, telling Juliana to come and Siggy to make her way over....having a giggle with Kylie via text that I could still message. And then Raine woke up and my contractions went next level...I needed to get in that water. So Eric is filling the birth pool, trying to soothe Raine, trying to help me through contractions and calling our birth team to haul arse because it was so intense! He popped Raine on his back in the ergo and I don't really remember getting in but the water was good.
I was pretty scared, things were progressing much faster than I had visualised and I felt alone. Eric was working his butt off to fill the pool and  it cannot be easy to watch your partner lose it. The midwives arrived together and started to try calm my breathing down. There is something so honestly soothing and relieving about the gentle touch of a woman who cares for you. I have never experienced anything like it before but through both the birth of Raine and now Reef, the holding of hands or smoothing my face or even Juliana tying my hair up. The love expressed through touch is something that I clung to. 
Eric was kept busy filling the pool and getting things organised, I was in was really full on and it hurt! My time distortion happens here but I found myself pushing following each contraction and both midwives asking me to slow down. Juliana felt a cervical lip and actually had to help move it to get the little one's head through, this can happen when you start pushing before fully ready. Then as I was starting to grunt following contractions, Eric got into the pool. I'm quite sure Siggy was taking pics and helping with Raine and there was lots and lots going on...I didn't even say hello to her and was worried that I was so noisy! 
River woke up and came through the lounge, announced that he just needed to wee first and then came back to watch his little brother being born. Raine was a bit upset because I was so noisy but they both did a great job of witnessing their brothers birth.
Then Bubs head started crowning. I kept yelling "he's crowning oh my god it's crowning!" I was so shocked at how fast his head was there...Eric had his head in both hands but the cord was wrapped around his neck and the cord was short and I was actually resting his head on Eric's hands on the bottom of the birth pool. When the contraction ended his head felt like it started moving back up and that's when both Juliana and Helen told me to push and get that baby out now, I had to half stand (which I had visualised) and I was pushing with everything. But he wouldn't budge so in seconds Helen had freed him and his shoulders from me. Eric said it was amazing, the amount of water (amniotic fluid) that was behind his body everything came gushing out. Our little man was born blue as a smurf and yet I wasn't panicked. His heart was beating strong and Juliana spoke calmly to me about stimulating him while Helen gave him some much needed oxygen. It didn't take long for him to cry and breathe deeply and snuggle down. 
That damn short cord though was pulling the placenta (similar to with Raine) and I started to feel quite ill so when I had the next contraction Helen told me to push it out, which I did and the RELIEF was brilliant. 
The other thing people rarely prepare new mothers for is the after pain...your uterus keeps contracting...and it feels sickening. So I was lovingly dosed up on panadol and voltarin...which, for a person who doesn't take pharmaceuticals, was lovely.
I had no damage to my lady parts which surprised me but evening primrose oil and perineal massage did the trick. Therefore I could walk to the toilet with no dramas and felt even better than after Raine's birth.
Reef latched on like a champ while we were chilling on the couch.

It's now day nine!!! Reef is more than a whole week old. He has both a lip and tongue tie which will be lasered in about three weeks, it just makes feeding harder and can affect his teeth and/or speech development. He also has thrush now on his tongue which we will treat with some baby probiotics. 
I've been through an emotional week and survived. My mister testosterone almost 4 year old is working through some behavioural challenges, we've had a bit of help from Rivs God father & his beautiful girlfriend who have looked after the toddlers twice now so that Eric and I can bond with Reef/rest. Raine is mostly wonderful except when trying to put her to bed. We definitely need a new strategy because it took well over an hour to lay with her to get her to sleep. The other day when Nick had Riv, I got both Raine & Reef to sleep (Eric was training) and I literally felt like a goddess!! 
Eric had his first day back at work today and it wasn't too bad with the three kids but it also wasn't easy. I think it's hard without a break at all and would certainly be harder if Eric had a 9-5. However I've also taken 4 phone calls and Erics taken another 4 (we tag team)...and my new website is being constructed, I will be launching "the mumma movement" in the next few weeks, so it hasn't been quiet in my head!
After Rivers birth I barely slept...I cleaned as soon as I had a minute to myself. After Raine's birth I went back to work probably a little faster than I needed to. I think I've been a little more restful this time around, though mess gets me anxious and I'm still working from home. The hardest part has been that Eric took on so much prior to Reef's arrival and only had a week off (which was mostly spent managing the older two), and because we have a business and three babies our relationship is often not a priority and we don't get much time to hang out. In saying all of that, the super dad has been training and feeding us all and making sure we watch Netflix together when the kids are sleeping, he's empathetic about my constantly leaking boobs and compliments my changing body every day. He is beautiful, patient and fun with the kids, and the way he looks at Reef makes me swoon. 

So I suppose I should mention that recovery is going well, I went on a short walk today and otherwise have been diaphragm breathing, doing kegels and pelvic tilts. I've started doing "calf raises" or relevé (ballet) because it feels good and I make sure to get my legs up the wall and stretch my shoulders, neck and side body each day. Returning to gentle exercise is lovely and I'm glad my little belly is shrinking! I don't feel any pressure to start WODding again but may be itching for a barbell in about two weeks!

This was taken the day after Reefs birth:

And this yesterday:

I've lost all definition in my legs and arms and am eagerly awaiting headstand and handstands when ready. I will be participating in the Wunderlust yoga class this weekend and look forward to postpartum practice.

With much love and thanks for the well wishes and support - Sares xx