A Heavy Heart

Today I have heard of two families whose stories have left me with a heavy heart.  Both have suffered awful tragedies and we are praying for them.

Today a friend called me and told me of the recent death of her friend. This mother went to hospital to have a scheduled caesarean at 38 weeks gestation.  Her twin boys arrived all happy and healthy.  Just 12 hours after their arrival she suffered a bleed on her brain from a previously undiagnosed aneurysm. A day later she died.

This mother has left behind her brand new twin sons, a 23 month old and a 6-year-old.  Her husband has to grieve for his life partner, support his grieving children and enter newborn chaos alone.  I can’t imagine what it will be like but I’m sure that those children will all be held tightly and told how much their mummy loves them.

Please pray for this family as they face a challenging time.  They are blessed to be living in a supportive community where everybody is pitching in to help but some things just can’t be solved with a meal on the doorstep.

Also I am sad for a NZ family who lost their 2-year-old triplets in a fire in Doha, Qatar.  Their only children, gone so quickly.  This blog post has a video with the Haka being performed at the memorial service.  It brought me to tears. Many other families have been touched by the fire including a Spanish family where 3 out of their 4 children died.

Please keep these families in your prayers and thoughts tonight and they face the start of a try different life than they had planned just a few days ago.

Hugo’s Twelve Month Review

It has taken me a while to get this written but here it is.  I kept thinking of updates to share so it has turned into a long post.

Hugo zoomed past his corrected first birthday and so did we.  I guess I knew from the start of the pregnancy that I would never make it to May realistically so I never expected to have a May baby.  His due date was May 6th which I spent at Church and High Tea and Hugo spent time having lots of fun with Eva and Daddy.

Last year on his due date he had a pediatrician review and weighed 3.38kg (up from 2.355kg at birth) and he lay still for photos.

This year he was reviewed by the Maternal and Child Health nurse and does not sit still for photos!

His stats currently are:

Weight: 8.560kg (up just 740g in 4 months) at least my babies’ get lots of wear out of each size of clothing!

Length: 72.5cm (up 5cm in 4 months)

If it is plotted on the charts in the blue baby book he is between the 3rd and 10th centile.  He comes slightly higher on the WHO breastfeeding baby chart and the important thing is that both his weight and height are in proportion to each other.  I kind of forget how small he is until I read a friend’s 4 month baby stats update and the baby weighed 7.5kg.  He’s a good size for me to carry around and for that I am thankful.  Hugo is still in size 0 clothes and, like his sister, I find it hard to find trousers that stay on his waist.

Remarkably he is only 855g bigger than Eva was at her corrected 1st birthday but they are the same length.

Of course developmentally he is doing exactly what he should be which is the most important news of the review!

Hugo loves to push anything that moves but shows no interest in free standing or letting go. I am happy with this pace of progression.  In just that last week he has become really confident with Eva’s mouse which goes very fast in all directions.  He has quickly mastered turning it and controlling it.  He must have good stomach muscles!

Climbing is certainly a lot of fun for Hugo with the coffee table and children’s table fun places to be found inside and the cubby house stairs a major attraction outside. He climbs with such ease and confidence now.  Just this past weekend we have seen him automatically turn around to go backwards “safe-safe” down any step.  We are relieved and proud that he has been listening to us and remembered.

Opening the cupboards and removing the contents with gusto is a favourite activity which is a pity as mama is tired of tripping over things and replacing them to their homes.  Andrew has put cupboard locks on where they are needed but I really don’t think that I want one on the pantry, we’ll see how long I last!

Hugo loves his baths more than ever and is so robust in the bath now just happy to splash with Eva and have lots of fun.   He goes under water and resurfaces with no drama.

Finally after his birthday Hugo has learnt to sleep through the night.  It did take some strength and coercion from mama to convince both of us that he didn’t need feeding overnight really and that sleep was a much better option.  After a couple of sad nights Hugo is now consistently sleeping through the night without needing resettling from us.  How magical is sleep and how much more refreshed we all feel.  Morning sleeps seem to be disappearing with just one long sleep in the middle of the day.

Hugo’s food ideas are trending towards the picky toddler stage with any food that is undesired being immediately dropped off the side of the high chair without a second glance.  Potatoes are a firm favourite, other vegetables are hit and miss and meat is not that popular any more.  He loves to feed himself both finger food and with a spoon but will let us feed him with a spoon too which is handy.

We are still enjoying a lovely breastfeeding relationship with an average of 4 feeds a day.  We both really enjoy the time to slow down and spend time together.

We have been practicing Elimination Communication with Hugo since he came home from hospital.  It is very much a part time basis mostly with just pottytunities after eating and before and after sleeps.  We have great success with 90% dry nappies after day sleeps.  He is of course becoming less interested in sitting still long enough so this is becoming less successful but we will still persist.

So Hugo has been busy and we are delighted with his progress at 12 months corrected.  We keep thinking that he must be going to walk soon but he’s taking his time (mama’s happy).

Mother’s Day Reflections

I rather like the idea of Mother’s Day.  The spoiling, the taking over of mummy’s jobs, the breakfast in bed and the homemade craft.  It’s rather nice to have a day where my job is acknowledged.  It’s nice to have a day to reflect on the wonderful job that our mother’s did!

I don’t like the extreme commercialisation of the day because I really don’t need to be told that I need a fluffy dressing gown or chocolates.  But I do like enjoying taking a day to thank Mothers.

To those whose mothers aren’t with you I’m thinking of you. And those who are struggling to be mamas. And to those who don’t have a good relationship with your mother I’m thinking of you too.

I had delicious heart shaped pancakes and wonderful coffee for breakfast.

Eva and Hugo presented me with a hand and foot print craft that Daddy had lovingly created with them when I was out last weekend.  Aren’t they clever?

We had lunch out and Andrew took care of dinner and I didn’t touch any dishes ALL day which is just heaven to me.  I shared a little of my journey in faith specifically related to Eva’s birth at our church in the morning.  The sermon was about following Jesus, especially in times of suffering.  I was honoured to be interviewed by Rod and pleased to share our story.  Eva was in the service with us (normally she is in Sunday School in a separate room) and a little confused as to why photos of her where on the big screen.  I always find this sharing part of the healing process.  And as always it’s great to remind ourselves about how blessed we are by the grace that God showed through Eva’s journey.

I have to admit though that the most enjoyable part of the day was sitting by the fire with a glass of wine while the children were sleeping!  Is that bad?  I was happy in the knowledge that I felt very loved and appreciated while simultaneously the children were peaceful and angelic, a win all round I feel.

Last Wednesday Eva’s pre-school invited us for a Mother’s Day morning tea. The class sung 5 very cute songs and then we shared cake and water outside.  We were presented with a  framed picture and a keyring with a photo and thumbprint.  It was delightful.

Gifts made by Eva at Pre-School

Thank you to Andrew for dealing with all the messy faces, nappy changes, cooking duties and dishes!  And a special thank you to him for being such a vital part of my mothering journey.

The best photo to choose from – cheeky 3-year-old!

An Update on Charlotte

Thank you for all your loving prayers and thoughts about Charlotte and her family following my request last week.

Charlotte and Andrea survived the overnight sleep study to assess Charlotte’s oxygen.  You can read all about the intense sleep deprivation here.

The great news is that Charlotte is disconnected from her oxygen supply during the day. The oxygen is still needed overnight and another sleep study is required in 3 months.  Any improvement from their little miracle is greatly welcomed by this family.

We are all doing ok here.  A few infections are making this a tired week but hopefully we will catch up here next week!