28 May 2011

In search for the perfect pair of maternity jeans

Today I went on a shopping expedition on my own (which is a bit of luxury for me, as I don't get to do that that much anymore) in search of some affordable maternity clothes, in particular jeans and pyjamas.

It's so hard finding nice, stylish maternity clothes that don't cost a bundle, and that also don't look like something my mother would of worn when she was pregnant with me and my brothers.

My first stop was Big W. Big W's maternity range was very limited. I tried on their only pair of maternity jeans, which felt more like a pair of pants that your grandmother would wear - with the big elasticised waist but made to look like a pair of jeans. While the price sounded good ($35.00) the design didn't look very appealing or was very flattering.

So on to my next stop...Target. Besides Target's own range of maternity wear, they sell "Catriona Rowntree's" maternity range. While there are some nice clothes available, I found most to be marketed to the working Mum-to-be and not a lot designed for the Stay-at-home Mum like me. The jeans I tried on were $59.00, which I thought was a bit rich for Target.....I wondered if that was because they had Catriona Rowntree's name stamped on them. Today they had a sale on, which meant they would have only cost me $40.00, woohoo! Unfortunately, the pair I tried on weren't very appealing and didn't feel like they would grow with me when I got bigger. I'm wanting something that I can wear throughout winter and that will hold my tummy and bum in place! I don't think I am asking for too much.

The next store I searched in was Myer, and what a disappointment that was. I usually love going to Myer and looking at their clothes. But today I found out that they have stopped stocking maternity clothes. I'm very disappointed Myer. Can you tell me why you'd stop selling maternity clothes? Don't you think there's a market for maternity clothes? Hmmm, haven't you seen the large amount of pregnant women walking around the plaza lately? I'll give you a hint...they need clothes to wear too!

I remember when I was pregnant with "Popette", and Myer had just launched their maternity range, which was only 2 1/2 years ago!! Regardless to say, I never bought any of their maternity clothes. While they had some lovely clothes, I thought some of the items were a bit overpriced for what they were. Of course they were of good quality, but I couldn't see myself spending $80 on a pair of trousers which I would only wear a number of times.

I don't understand why it is so hard to find clothes that are affordable, and still really stylish.

I have bought quite a few pieces of clothing from K-Mart as I found the quality fairly good and the price was good. For my last pregnancy, I bought a pair of jeans for $39.00, which I wore to death. I'm wearing them again this time round, but need another pair for winter. So looked at the jeans they had in stock this season, but they are not nearly as nice as the pair I have and are not very comfortable.

On to my second last stop, Pumpkin Patch. I love Pumpkin Patch, especially the children's clothing, they are simply gorgeous. I like it even better when they have an "End of Season" sale, or sale on discounted clothing with an extra % off...woohoo!!  They are a little too expensive for everyday wear for my little cherub, but when they have a big sale on and I can snap up a few bargains, it's great. I found their maternity jeans to be a bit pricey for my liking (around the $70 - $80 mark). I tried on a pair of jean-like pants which were on sale, but they weren't for me. They were a bit too clingy and shiny in the areas I didn't want to be clingy and shiny.
I finally found a pair of jeans from none other than Jeanswest. They were the only jeans store I came across who sold maternity jeans. This weekend they have a 40% sale on all clothes, so instead of paying $69.95, I picked up a pair for $41.95...what a bargain! Now $40.00 is much better than $70 - $80+ on a pair of maternity jeans which I'm not going to get a lot of wear out of.

So in the end, I didn't go home empty-handed. Unfortunately nowhere sold maternity pyjamas, so I guess I'll just have to stick to my flannies which keep falling off me until I find something more suitable.

26 May 2011

When 3 becomes 4

In 5 months time my little family will grow from 3 to 4. I'm feeling a little sad as it won't just be me, "Popette" and "SuperDad" anymore. I love the time I'm with my little family, especially watching "Popette" develop and grow into a confident, happy, cheeky little girl. Then on the other hand, I'm also excited as we'll have another little member in our family and "Popette" will be a big sister and have a little sibling to play with.

It doesn't seem all that long ago when I was feeling anxious about Hubby and I no longer being just the two of us...but that feels like a distant memory now.

I'm feeling a little worried that "Popette" won't like sharing Mummy and Daddy with a tiny little sibling, and not get all of our attention like she currently does. Or that she gets jealous with all the attention that is given to the baby and not her.

I think she is starting to understand in her little mind, that Mummy is having a baby. If we ask her "Where's the baby", she'll lift my top and look at my tummy or bellybutton. Sometimes she kisses and cuddles my tummy, and will say "Hello baby", which is so cute.

I'm hoping she'll be a loving, big sister and will be able to help Mummy. She's become such a big girl all of a sudden, I'm not sure when that happened. I sometimes wonder what happened to my little girl. She seems to be growing up so quickly.

For the past couple of weekends "SuperDad" has been cleaning out the garage, as to make room for our car which is currently at the smash repairers. So "Popette" has been outside with Daddy helping him carry things from the garage, or place rubbish in the recycling bin. It was so gorgeous to watch. She loved being outside helping Daddy, of course Daddy loved it too.

She's also been helping Mummy & Daddy carry the groceries from the car, even the really heavy bags when we've told her "No, it's too heavy". She then unpacks all the groceries, and helps me place them in the cupboard or fridge.

She loves helping us buy fruit & vegies. She'll get us a carrot, tomato or whatever else we need, sometimes its not the freshest, but she still knows what we want...another reason I think she loves it, is because she gets a stamp from the lady at the cash register!

When I'm sweeping the floorboards she will go get her little broom and mop and help Mummy clean the floor. She is a such a sweet sweet girl. I really hope she stays that way when bub comes along. Sometimes I wish I could freeze time so she would stop growing, and just keep her at this age....minus the terrible 2 tantrums and hissy fits of course! I don't own a video camera, so at times kick myself for not capturing some of the cute little things she does on video for later years.

18 May 2011

I'm halfway there

As of Monday, I hit the 20 week mark....so I'm officially halfway through my 2nd pregnancy!! I can't believe how quickly it's going by.

Today, I saw my OB/GYN who is very happy with how I'm progressing. When I was 20 weeks pregnant with "Popette" I had already started having issues with high blood pressure, and was being sent to the FMAU (Fetal Maternal Assessment Unit) at the local hospital on a regular basis for bloodworks and to get my blood pressure checked over a certain length of time, and urine checked for protein, which are possible signs of pre-eclampsia. So far, my blood pressure is behaving itself...today it was 120/70, which is great, my Dr thinks that the clexane injections that I'm doing daily are working....hooray!! Hubby and I are keeping our fingers crossed that it continues to stay that way.

On the weekend I started cleaning out the 3rd bedroom, aka "The study" or "Junk room", which eventually will be bubs bedroom. As there's so much stuff in the room, I'm worried that we won't have the space for it all. I keep telling my hubby that we need a bigger house, but of course "SuperDad" thinks it's just a case of me having to be lethal when throwing things out. Hmmm.....kind of hard when you need to find places for stuff like a fold-down lounge, bookcase, and assortment of baby stuff that we will need.

The 3rd bedroom isn't as big as "Popette's" and doesn't have a built-in wardrobe, so over the next few months we'll need to go furniture shopping and buy a tallboy or free standing wardrobe with drawers for bub's bedroom. We've also been deciding when to move "Popette" to a "big girls bed". Her cot turns into a junior bed, so we've been thinking about moving her into that first, then once she gets used to it buying her a "big girls bed", but we don't want to do that too close to when the baby arrives, as we don't want her getting upset about losing her cot. Hubby thinks we should buy "Popette" a new bedroom suite (ie. new bed and bookcase), and give bubs her old suite....arrrghh....so many things to think about!!

11 May 2011

18 - 20 week scan

I can't believe how quickly these past few weeks have flown by and that I'm nearly halfway through my 2nd pregnancy...its a little scarey. As a Mum to a toddler I've been finding that I'm not getting to enjoy this pregnancy as much as I did with my first. I seemed to have more time to talk to 'bump' and read up on things with my first, but this time round don't seem to have the time.

Before we know it hubby and I will have not one, but two, little cherubs in our household.....and will be back in the world of sleep deprivation once again.

For the past couple weeks Hubby and I have been tossing up on whether to find out the baby's sex. We didn't find out with "Popette" as we wanted it to be a surprise, not that we didn't have ample opportunities. Due to health issues I had quite a lot of ultrasounds towards the end of second trimester, that it was very tempting to find out....in the end, we kept strong and decided that we didn't want to know, and wanted it to be a surprise. After all we went through, it was so lovely to find out on the day that we had a little girl...I was so overcome with joy I broke into tears.

When we went to my 12 week scan we asked "Popette" if she wanted a baby brother or baby sister, and her reply was "Sister, Sister".

I also would love another girl, not just because we already have lots of girls baby clothes worn by "Popette" (plus some that have never been worn) and hand-me-downs, I'd also love "Popette" to have a little sister to share clothes with, swap stories with, confide in etc. I always felt like I missed out on that. I grew up with two older brothers and being the youngest was always left out of things with them because I was the "baby sister". I would love to have had a sister, especially now that I am older. Unfortunately my brothers and I are not particularly close. Don't get me wrong, when we see each other we get on fine, but its not that often, only every few months or so. Usually I am the one to organise a get together, as I find my brothers are a little useless in contacting me or my parents and arranging a catch-up.

I'm sure if we were to have a little boy, I would be just as happy. I think hubby would love to have a little boy, then he would have someone to play cricket with, watch the rugby with, have a beer with (when he's older of course!) and talk blokey stuff with....not that he couldn't play cricket or watch rugby with "Popette".

Today, Hubby, "Popette" and I went to my 18-20wk scan and at the last minute decided to find out the baby's sex......

Well it seems "Popette's" wish has come true...she is going to have a little sister :-) Hubby was a little disappointed at first, but is still very excited, as am I, to be having another little princess in our house come October :-)

Now, we've just got to think of a name!

Did you find out what you were having or decide to keep it a secret until bubs was born?

08 May 2011

The day I became a Mum...

Firstly, Happy Mother's Day to all my "Mummy" readers...I hope you've had a lovely day. We didn't have a great start to the day, someone collided into the front-end of our car this morning :(  Luckily no-one was hurt, but unfortunately our car has a little pringle in the right corner....other than that it's been a gorgeous crisp & sunny mountains day. We had a picnic lunch at the park (of course!) then coffee & cake at a cafe in Glenbrook.

This post was originally going to be about my 18-20 week scan which I'm going to on Wednesday, but then I thought why not write about the day I first became a Mum. It is quite long and descriptive as I wanted to try and remember everything that had happened, and its also been therapeutic.

I originally wrote down our story back in September 2010 after watching an episode of the SBS documentary "One born every minute" where parents were watching over their tiny miracles fighting for their lives inside a British hospital's NICU ward, this episode brought back lots of memories for my hubby and I as our little girl, who is now 28 months old, was born 11 weeks prematurely.

"Popette" (which was the nickname we gave our daughter when she was in my tummy) weighed a tiny 1.148kg. I wasn't booked in to have her until March 2009, but at 28 weeks gestation I was admitted to hospital with high blood pressure, and was bed ridden until she was born at 29+3 weeks gestation due to me developing severe pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome brought on by pregnancy-induced hypertension from polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Unfortunately I didn't get to have my little girl at the hospital of my choosing or by my OB, because there was no beds available in the NICU, so I had to be transferred  to another hospital and had an emergency ceaserean where she was delivered by a Dr I didn't know.

When she was pulled out of my tummy, all I saw was a tiny little baby lifted over the top of my head and given to the NICU staff who patiently waiting behind us. My hubby quickly took some photos and was able to cut the umbilical cord. During this time all I wanted to know was, "Is it a boy or a girl", finally my hubby told me it was a girl and I cried tears of joy. The Drs didn't say a word to me. The NICU staff whisked my baby away, and the Drs quickly sewed me back up.

I was then whisked away to recovery for over 2 hours, and leaving my hubby waiting anxiously in a waiting area with my parents for what seemed like forever. They sat and waited patiently for a nurse to give my hubby an update on how his two girls were.

Afterwards I was moved to Acute care, which consisted of a small room in the ICU where I was monitored for 24 hours by a nurse. I was hooked up to several machines, one an automated blood pressure machine that took my blood pressure (b/p) every 30 minutes, a drip containing magnesium sulfate to reduce the risk of me going into seizures or full-blown eclampsia, a cathata, and of course the epidural, which made me believe that I wouldn't be able to walk again and which I wanted them to get rid of immediately!

That evening I was given a Polaroid photo of my little girl, her first photo, which we stuck onto the bed so I could see it. When I couldn't sleep I would turn the light on and stare at my new baby who still didn't have a name or who I hadn't seen.

My first photo of Popette

27 hours later I was finally moved into a private room in the maternity ward. It was so hard being in maternity without my baby. From my room I would hear the newborns crying, or see people visiting the proud new parents and their baby...unfortunately my hubby and I didn't have that same joyous experience. While we had our families visit, and a couple of rele's and close friends drop in to see us, it wasn't the same joyous experience as those parents in the rooms near mine were experiencing. While we were happy that we had a gorgeous little girl, we feared that she may not come home with us.

My first time visiting Popette

Popette holding Daddy's little finger....
at 9 days old my hubby's wedding ring was worn by Popette as a bracelet.

My hubby visited me in hospital everyday where he spent hours on end with me, even when I had the worst migraines and needed to sleep, he sat their quietly reading his book. I didn't realise how tired it made him coming and seeing me everyday, and that he wasn't getting much sleep at home as he was so worried about me, and later, both me and our daughter.

The day I was sent home from hospital was the hardest, I just didn't want to leave our daughter. I contemplated staying close by in a hostel so I could be close to her, but also wanted to be with my husband. In the end my husband said that he would drive me "any time of day or night" when I wanted to visit her, and that he could look after me much better at home than staying at a hostel.

The first night I was home I cried for hours. I think the trauma from being in hospital at 28 weeks gestation, then having the emergency ceasar at 29 weeks gestation finally got to me....it was the worst thing I had ever experienced and couldn't believe the pain I was feeling. My hubby was my shoulder to cry on. He too cried some tears, but couldn't say enough to stop mine. I wasn't only crying because I was home and she was still in the hospital, but for the time I was away from my hubby and dog for 2 weeks (who were my world before she was born).

At the time of my breakdown I had become delusional due to not enough sleep. I wasn't believing things that nurses were telling me. I kept laughing when I should have been crying...I think hubby knew I was going through it tough, but didn't realise it until I broke down in tears. While in hospital I hardly had any sleep as nurses were taking my b/p every 2-3 hours, then a couple days after my daughter was born they got me to start expressing milk every 3 hours as well as take my b/p.

We spent many hours sitting by our little girls beside watching her sleep and listening to the different alarms going off, wondering if she was alright. Seeing the tiny little cords and tubes connected to her would upset us and make us wonder why it had to happen to us.

Popette being treated for jaundice

We were lucky, she wasn't on a ventilator for very long only 40 minutes after she was delivered, and spent four days on CPAP. She didn't have anything wrong with her apart from being out in the big wide world too early. All the nurses would say "she's just a premmie growing up".

There were days where we'd sit next to her reading "Winnie-the-Pooh" stories, or would just cuff her head in our hands and tell her that it was alright and that "Mummy and Daddy was here", my hubby and I found it hard saying goodbye and leaving her every day.

Sometimes when I would visit, I'd sit next to her and express milk, so not to waste the precious time I was there. But then there were times I would feel guilty if I didn't stay that long, and wanted to go home. I'd always return at night with Daddy to see our little angel again. When she was still in the humidicrib we could only hold her when it was time to do her 'cares' - changing her nappy, taking her temperature or bathing her, which was 3 times a day, so whenever we were running late and missed 'cares' as the nurses had already taken care of it, was hard for us.

Our darling girl finally came home at 36 weeks gestation, she was in hospital for a total of 50 days. She was still so tiny, only 2kgs, especially in the new car seat we had fitted the day before. As she was so small my hubby had trouble strapping her into the car seat, and was scared that she'd fall out so I sat in the back with her holding her hand.

When we finally got her home we laid her in her new bassinet in her room, then after a while, moved her out to the lounge room so we could keep an eye on her and be close to her. We kept looking at her in amazement, saying "I can't believe she's ours".

Finally at home in her brand new bassinet
It's hard to believe that was 28 months ago, and that we are now having our second baby. We're hoping that this baby will be born big and healthy, and at full-term. I missed out on my 3rd trimester with Popette so hopefully I'll get to the end of the 3rd trimester this time round.

02 May 2011

"Popette's" first outing to the City

On Saturday, hubby and I took "Popette" on her first outing to the city.

It was a miserable, rainy morning in the Blue Mountains, so we thought it might be nice to take "Popette" to see the Dinosaurs at the Australian Museum in Sydney. It was a spur of the moment thought....which is quite unlike us, normally we are very organised and have things planned out...so it was quite a surprise at how quickly we got ourselves organised and ready to go on our outing. After filling up the car with fuel, picking up some much needed coffee and a bit of brekkie from McDonalds, we turned on "The Wiggles" CD, much to Mummy & Daddy's dismay, and was on our way!

"Popette" had a great time running around the museum and looking (up) at the dinosaurs, but all the excitement got to her too soon, leading to a very hungry little girl. We hadn't brought lunch with us, as we thought we'd buy lunch in the Museum's cafe.......well $10 later, we had 1 sausage roll, which we forked out a ridiculous $6.50 for, and a bottle of Lift!! We ordered a pie each, but then realised how much they were charging and said no. As long as "Popette" had some food in her tummy and was happy again (you know how toddlers get when they're hungry, they start getting cranky), we were ok to wait for lunch.

"Popette" excitedly reading out the letters
"Popette" and a dinosaur

Back in the museum for a look at the skeletons, the dinosaurs again, stuffed animals, birds and butterflies. "Popette" also loved the "Kidspace" area where she got to do some drawing and have some playtime.

After the museum we went in search of some reasonably priced lunch for Mummy & Daddy, and later a leisurely walk (more like run for "Popette") through Hyde Park.

Daddy and "Popette" exploring Hyde Park
The fountain in Hyde Park
Mummy and "Popette" looking at the fountain......
more like trying to stop "Popette" from jumping in to the water!!
Daddy and "Popette"
Beautiful, St Marys Cathedral, where the bells were ringing

It was a lovely day out, we were very lucky that the sun came out and we didn't get rained on until we jumped back in the car and headed back home.