Thursday, October 26, 2006

Woohoo Alyn & AJ are here!

YEY for Alyn & AJ being here! And the little Jones currently tucked up inside AJ and making mommy feel a bit peaky.

Honour is growing well and now weighs a chunky 9lb 4 at 3.5 weeks of age.

Here is a photo of her being weighed (in case you thought it was some medieval torture device)....and our lovely guests...performing excellent baby-calming duties!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Brain Fart

Today making myself a sandwich for lunch.

Checking expiry date on ham to discover it expired (!) yesterday.

Think to self "Hope I don't get Listerine from this"

(Man, that would be some serious mouthwash.....)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Public Outings

Made my first solo trip into town today. Well, when I say solo, I mean solo with Honour. Yes they even allow me to go out alone and unsupervised with her.

So I managed to get her successfully installed in the 'baby capsule' which sounds like something in which she should be shot into outer space. But is actually the car seat for ickle babies. I even managed to get her in without knocking her head off or dropping her on the floor. Pretty good eh? Mind you it's a good thing her legs are so bendy otherwise I don't know how I would have negotiated the vagaries of the 5 point seatbelt system. Don't the manufacturers of baby stuff know that I have fashioned my life so that I don't actually have to understand anything technical that involves buttons and clips and the suchlike. That's one of Dave's many skills.

Anyhoo we made it into town....I met Maya and baby Caleb for a hot chocolate and introduced Yfke to Honour. Then we popped into the estate agents to show Mel (heavily pregnant daughter of our real estate agent) the progeny. Then we hotfooted it to the curtain shop to show Sam and heavily pregnant partner, Hadie, the offspring. Yes I do just randomly make friends with anyone with an enlarged stomach. This is why Dave won't let me go into the pubs while the rugby is on. (Too many men with large beer bellies).

Speaking of public outings, I am hereby outing Dave as a closet performer. Today he was captured on film singing "My Girl" with a singing and dancing furry pig. Herewith the evidence.

Oh and some more photos of Honour. Surprise.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Blessing of St Arbucks

Hey so it was our 11th wedding anniversary on Saturday (14 October).

To celebrate we piled into our new and rather snazzy Prado (which actually IS the size of a tank) and whisked off to Rotorua - the place of the rotten eggs. Nothing significant intended by that.

Of course when I say 'whisked' I mean we packed 83 bags full of spare nappies, clothes, spit-up cloths, snacks, water, carrying contraptions and the bassinet. And that was just for Dave.

Anyway, this grand expedition was under the banner of "Adele wants a video camcorder with which to record every twitch, snuffle and movement of her new and permanent obsession - Honour". Honour and I were incredibly helpful in this - I pushed her (in her pram, it's rude to push babies otherwise) into the first store. We stood at the videocamcorder thingy counter for about 3.33 minutes. Then she decided to cry. So I wheeled her into the fridge section and we wandered around that for a while. As she continued to request her lunch I then took her back out to the car park and fed her in the car (with some very nifty shifting of the chiffon muslin thingy over my shoulder)....

Meanwhile Dave did all the price comparison things, rushed around to all the stores, decided on the best deal, purchased camcorder and came back. Honour and I were still hanging out in the car park. We know how to have a good time.

Anyway, after that...the highlight. Da da daaaah. Yes we decided to get the definitive saintly blessing on our wedding anniversary and hotfooted it to St Arbucks. This was Honour's first official visit in person. I think it is important that we got her into the swing of the cafe culture on her 14th day of being in this world.

By the way I am not responsible for this:

But I was very responsible for glugging down this iced latte....yum!

Meanwhile, we have decided on Honour's middle name. Her full name is Honour Zoe Richards.
She now weighs 8lb7oz which is pretty good weight gain in 2 weeks and 2 days.

Clearly she likes her lattes.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Honour - updated

Plot summary: (typed one handed while holding a non-sleepy girl)

Honour was born at 11.58 am on 30 September in the water birth pool at Taupo Maternity Hospital. Weighing 7.14 the gorgeous little chunker! Natural birth. Official duration - 4 hours!!!!

Herewith a million photos:

Helloooooo chaps! I've missed you! How have you been? So good to see you again - nice haircut by the way!

Well I've been mulling this blog posting for a few days and as a testimony to the time consuming nature of having a newborn...have only just managed to get to sit down and write it.

I've had lots of ideas for the title of the post:

My latest attachment (a very Alyn Jones kind of title I think you'll agree)

The best weight loss plan in the world - I lost 7.14lb in 4 hours, and I didn't have to eat Subway.

I can tie my own shoelaces!

But then I realised that this post is about Honour....and so I went for the straightforward title.

Sooo.....for those of you who are playing catch up here is the plot summary. Warning, some level of biological content regarding birth will be following. (But not as much as I am willing to give in a private email. Requests accepted for a truly appalling level of detail....)

Friday 29th September 2006. This was my due date and Dave had told people that Honour would start to come at 2.30pm and be here by 7.30pm. Sadly this word spread around town and - I kid you not - I walked into 2 shops the day before and was greeted with a "Oh you're the one who's giving birth on Friday at 2.30pm!". Small towns, scary places.

Well, she takes after her father on the promptness thing because in actual fact she DID start to come on her due date!! Not at 2.30pm but at about 6pm. I'd just gone for a strenuous walk down the hill to the lake and more strenuously back up the steep hill. Must have done the trick because half an hour later I started having cramps.

Dave had just bought a new car - a very snazzy Prado - and so wanted to take me on a drive into town. We went to the Merchant of Taupo and I bought a box of imported Jaffa Cakes. The cramps continued.

I started to have a craving for when we got home I lay on the couch and watched the highly edifying America's Next Top Model (ANTM) while Dave ordered me Duck Cashew from the Thai Restaurant.


Ok, I'm back. I may have only had 4 hours sleep - in 2 natty 2 hour segments....I may have a sleeping baby strapped to me in a very natty frontpack....but I am still prepared to blog. Call me crazy. Cos with all the sleep deprivation I nigh on am!

So, where were we? I was eating duck cashew and watching ANTM - a fitting way to usher one's firstborn into the world don't ya think?

Yep so basically the cramps continued all I got about 2 hours sleep. (Yes I can count the hours of sleep I had in the first week on 2 hands. That's 10 for those of you who struggle with the mathematical content of this blog).

They weren't pleasant but they weren't awful either. Just like mediumly (yes that is a word...don't argue with me) bad period pains. Ok, glad that's put everything ino focus for my male readers.

Then I had a 'show' in the middle of the night. I will say no more....but it wasn't Miss Saigon. More, Miss Richards saying 'Hellooooo, I'm coming out soon!'

So by 7am I was ready to phone my midwife and say "Batten the hatches, I'm coming in!"

Note how I considerately waited till 7am to call. Actually it may have been 6.59am cos I got a bit impatient.

Now when the cramps started the previous night I was excited. You know, crampy, but excited. It was that feeling of Christmas Eve when you are a kid and you know that the thing you have been eagerly anticipating has finally arrived.

But by 7am, I was getting a bit over the excitement of cramps and was hoping that this was The Real Thing and not some jolly false alarm. My cunning midwife Sonia said that they were 'just cramps' and not contractions.


And to wait till the pains were 45 seconds in duration and then call her again.

At this stage they were 15 seconds long but happening every 3 mins or so.

Have you ever willed pain to last longer? Boy, did I want to reach that 45 sec mark and get the freak into the hospital!

So I packed my bag and staggered around the house, stopping every few minutes to clasp a piece of furniture and groan. Harley found this fascinating and started following me around. Then I realised he was trying to bite the cord of the stopwatch every time I pulled it out of my pocket. Thanks Harley.

Within an hour the 'pains' were 37 to 40 seconds long and ok, NOW they hurt. Fortunately it was only at the peak that they REALLy hurt and that was over in about 10 seconds. But not a fun 10 seconds.

So, 40 secs was long enough for me and we called Sonia again. She suggested that I get into the bath at home - this would either stop the cramps/contractions or speed things up. Dave went to run the bath and to find me a tennis ball to squeeze mid contraction as somehow this helped!

Once I got into the bath I realised the endorphins had arrived.

Pulsating Placentas, Batman! Those endorphins are good! They are the natural equivalent of morphine and your body releases them when you are in pain.

Man, I was completely spacey. Totally relaxed. Felt amazing. Happy. Drugged. Was almost seeing double. I went into this whole other zone.

And then the contraction would start and MAN I'd be writhing with pain and kindof dry sobbing....and then it was over and the endorphins kicked back in. It was the weirdest thing. To go from absolute relaxed bliss to YEAOUCH pain within a few minutes. It makes it pretty much manageable though cos during the contraction you just focus on the fact that the endorphins are about to take you away to La La land to recover for a few minutes.

Anyway, we called Sonia and told her the contractions were getting longer and so she gave us the green flag to come in.

Having a contraction in the car while I couldn't writhe about was pretty awful....and when we arrived at the hospital (5 minute drive away!) I staggered out of the car in the middle of another one and was staggering to the door weeping and groaning like I'd lost my mind!!!

I ignored everyone and in my spacey, endorphined way headed down the corridor to the pool...they are lucky I didn't start unddressing in the corridor en route to the pool. Cos by that point. I just did not care. Really. I just DID NOT CARE about who saw what or when or how.

The midwives headed me off at the pass before I burst into the birth pool room and dived in headfirst yelling "where's my rubber duck?". Fortunate, because there was someone else in the room at the time!

So I was herded into another room and lovely Sonia arrived and lovely Denise arrived. Denise asked me a question...but I looked at her through my endorphin haze and just said, "can you take my shoes off for me?".

Dave was squirting water into my mouth from a drink bottle. Denise was putting wet flannels on the back of my neck and lower back. Sonia did a check to see how far gone I was.

This was a terrifying moment cos I thought if I'm only a few centimetres ready....I'm not sure I can keep this up for another 12 hours!! But PRAISE GOD (and I did) I was 8 centimetres already by 10am.


By this stage the contractions seemed to be shorter, extremely intense at the peak, but shorter at the peak too. So it was really fact better than the previous hour I thought.

Denise joined in with the breathing to help me pant my way through the peaks. (She later confessed to thinking she was going to pass out!).

Dave kept watering me. Denise kept up with the flannels....and finally the birth pool room was ready.

Getting into the pool was fantastic. Dave & Denise kept splashing water on my lower back and this really helped.

I felt like once I was 10cms and ready to push, my work was done. I'd worried about the first stage and figured that the pushing would sort itself out. Ha ha.

Although it kindof did. It's so true what they say about your body knowing what it is doing. As soon as I was ready to push I just couldn't hold it back. It hurt less pushing than having a contraction but it was really tiring. I couldn't believe all the weird guttural, animalistic noises I was making as soon as the urge to push came! I was so loud I was hurting my own ears!!!

It was really an out of body experience in every way!!!

The good ol' endorphins were still doing their thing so I was pretty much on another planet in between pushes.
I was aware enough to realise that I was saying some pretty ridiculous things:

"I don't think I can do it."
"I don't think she's ever going to come out"
"Can I go home now?"
"Can someone else take over please?"

Yes. I actually said those things.

So I pushed and pushed and pushed and it felt like nothing was happening. The others kept encouraging me to keep going. None of them volunteered to finish things off for me which was a bit mean i thought. Dave kept telling me how amazingly I was doing. Denise & Sonia kept assuring me that the baby really was going to come out.

Then they all started getting excited cos they could see her head. A few great big pushes, and OH MY GOODNESS the relief - she was out! The instant physical relief topped with the absolute amazement of seeing this gorgeous, chubby, purple (!) baby! So bizarre to realise that she had been inside me all along. They put her in my arms there in the pool and I was just amazed with her. Dave was grinning like a loon! It was the most surreal and fantastic moment.

I couldn't believe how big she was! How cute! How dark! And although I'd never seen her before in the flesh I knew her, and I loved her straight away.

Awww, isn't God amazing? He gave me the best job in the world. To be Honour's mum.