Feeding problems

The last 10 weeks have been the hardest weeks in my life thus far...

Written at 7 weeks old Well my bub is 7 weeks old now. I must say that my first was not an "easy" bub but I can honestly say that looking after him was a walk in the park compared to my experience so far with Zoe.

E had reflux as a bub and was constantly regurgitating his feeds, where here I think Zoe has what is called silent reflux. I feed her on a slope so her head is up high so gravity helps her with digestion. When I put her down flat for a play, or on her front for tummy time she will scream the house down. I need to hold her upright on my shoulder for at least half an hour to an hour for her to digest after a feed and then put her in her bassinet which is propped up by towels. If I'm lucky she'll go to sleep. But mostly she is hungry again by that stage and we start the process all over again. She is using up so much energy through lack of sleep and crying that she isn't gaining weight. Although she is getting taller. If I need to put her down to tend to something else I put her in her bouncer which has a good angle to it, she is sometimes happy enough in this position for a short while unless she is having a particularly bad bout of reflux.

8 Weeks old. Her Paediatrician admits us to hospital "Failure to thrive." She is diagnosed with insufficient suck and reflux. We had tried feeding her with all different types of bottles at home and she couldn't get milk from any of them. We ended up feeding her with those plastic syringes you get with children's medicine. In hospital she has all sorts of tests for various problems that babies can have. She has an ultrasound, barium test (scary), blood test (just horrible) and urine test (messy). All of these tests come back clear thankfully except for the barium which confirms that she has reflux.

Zoe is 10 weeks old now
and she is finally putting on weight. She is having breastfeeds and then is supplement fed with a nifty bottle called the Haberman feeder. This great bottle allows her to feed a lot quicker. She is also taking a supplement called poly-joule powder. It basically extra carbs to give her more calories (energy).

I am taking motillium to boost my milk supply since Zoe cannot draw the milk well and keep my milk coming strong. And I'm pumping when I can. I'm also eating all the things that are meant to help with milk supply.... Weleda breastfeeding tea (which contains fenugreek), steamed fish (the Chinese believe this helps) and sago (Indians say this helps).

And now I am looking towards breastfeeding her normally, am trying to see Speech Pathologist who specializes in infant feeding problems. There are only a few who practise in Sydney.

Some pages that have been useful...
Fact sheet on bottles

And then there were four...

Our Spring baby was born one stormy night in September. We named her Zoe which seems fitting as the name means "Life". There was something magical to me about the night she was born. She was a big girl at 4.35kg and 54cm long. Zoe and her big brother have been keeping me busy!

Bringing Zoe home.

Sleeping on Daddy.

Give me colour...

You know when your life just doesn't feel quite right? Like you aren't making the right choices or priorities? I feel like that right now.

I'm finally losing the post baby weight and feeling more comfortable with my body size (which I'm over the moon about) but it's at the gym - and I don't really like being there. I'm not sure I need machines, televisions and pump classes. I really really miss my lovely old Yoga centre in Perth. I'll have to find somewhere new to go where I feel peaceful.

Plus I so need to tick off some chores like doing the tax (it's a big one this year) and all the paperwork housekeeping stuff which is cluttering my brain right now. So I can move on to expressing myself on paper. I've got some artwork busting to get out!!

I also need more colour in my life. I've been choosing paint colours in boring creams and tans for our house because I wanted a "blank canvas" to put artwork up on, but now I'm thinking... that's wrong. We need more colour!!

Seven things about me

I've been tagged by Kate to write seven interesting things about myself...

1. Background... I am a mixture of lots of different nationalities who migrated to Australia. I am of Irish, Italian, English, Scottish and Swiss background. Because I am very fair, people are often surprised to hear that my grandfather was Italian. His family is from a little village just north of Padova in Venezia. When I was visiting the area, I had quite a few locals approaching me and speaking to me in Italian. I wish I could speak the language well.

2. Sisters... I started out in life with one sister 3 years my junior, then I gained a step-sister, then I got married to Steve and gained two sister's in law. They are all amazing and I am a better person for having them in my life. I wish I could spend more of my time with all four of them.

3. Collage and journals... I love to make collages! I collect pretty pictures of girls from magazines and print out some of my photos (of flowers, insects and birds) that I have photographed. The photos I post in this journal are often some of my inspiration photos. Then I create little dreamworlds in my journals. I hope to use these images to inspire me for an exhibition in the next year or so; whenever I get time between being a full-time mother!

4. Food... I love to cook and eat Thai food. My favourite Thai dishes to make are a green or red curry, phad thai, mussaman curry and thom kha gai soup. I'd like to learn some Indian or Vietnamese dishes next.

5. Exercise... I'm not a sporty person but I do enjoy relaxing things like yoga and pilates and I also love volleyball.

6. Art... I was over the moon to see an exhibition of Chagall paintings while we were in Rome in 2007. My husband and I missed out on visiting the colloseum so we could visit this exhibition of my favourite artist!

7. Travel... I'd love to do more of it!
If you have read this, consider yourself tagged!!

25 things...

that make me happy

1. laughing with my husband
2. family and friends
3. baklava sweets
4. Chai tea
5. making collages
6. a sea breeze
7. taking photos of insects
8. project runway
9. gardening
10. picnics
11. wildflowers
12. finding new artists
13. creating art journals
14. travel
15. cooking Thai food
16. pumpkin recipes
17. lovely paper
18. beads
19. nice bedlinen
20. bushwalking
21. orchids
22. sound of church bells
23. scarves
24. creating things
25. art nouveau

37 weeks

Someone requested a photo of me in my late stage of pregnancy so here we go. I'm still doing pretty well. The baby is a healthy weight of over 3.5 kgs.

My feet and ankles are now about 3 sizes larger than they used to be. My hands are all swollen with carpel tunnel syndrome and I get super sore finger and knee joints. I find it difficult to nap/sleep during the day, it has never been something I'm good at. At night I get between 5 - 8 hours sleep.

The weather has been really hot. On Boxing Day it was 44 degrees celcius (which is 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit), since then it has swung between 30C (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and 42C (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Yesterday we had a power fail for several hours. I drove to hospital to see my Obstetrition through about 6 large intersections without working traffic lights - So scary!

So many changes

I'm thinking about so many things at the moment. I'm trying to get things organised around the house while I have the time and energy and can still (sort of) bend over. I feel like the house has so many little things that need fixing, painting etc. We will probably be moving on in a year or so, and it would be nice to have it looking great when we do.

I felt so inspired to do art while I was at work, I had so many things in my head I wanted to create. Now I just feel overwhelmed by all the things I want to do! I am encouraged by this post by Penelope Dullaghan. I need to do my own thing and not compare myself to other people. I will get out my art diary and create, draw, scrawl, and see what happens. My style is so all over the place right now, it needs to move on to something new. I also need to stop procrastinating, the internet is such a time waster.

I am moving on from my past in many ways. In my new life as a mother, and working for myself again.

Even the way I dress is changing. Not just because I'm not going to work and I am getting bigger, but because I can relax a bit and wear dresses, skirts and sandals every day. It feels great!

I wanted Steve to take a photo of my chai that says chai on it. You know, just in case I wasn't sure what I was drinking.

We are enjoying our remaining days as just the two of us.