Tuesday, 25 June 2013

3 Weeks

Mio is now 3 weeks old and looking so grown up. Still an easy little girl that lets me sleep at night and lets me have a shower while she naps in the evening.

Unfortunately Mio developed a little fungal nappy rash a few days ago. She woke one morning looking a little red and despite spending a few hours each day sleeping without a nappy on, putting breast milk on it, putting probiotic powder on it, and covering it in coconut oil (for it's amazing anti-fungal properties) I couldn't get it to heal. It didn't get any worse but it wasn't getting any better either. India had a similar problem once when she was real little and as much as I hate chemicals and do everything in my power to avoid them I knew that it just wasn't going to go away without a trip to the pharmacy. With only 2 applications and less than 24 hours it has healed considerably which makes me feel much better about the situation.
Considering it is a fungal thing it got me thinking about candida and the fact that her body is a direct reflection of mine because everything that I have goes into my milk so if she has a candida problem then chances are I have one too. I've been taking probiotics but it has been very sporadic as I often forget now that I have two little ones to keep me busy. I considered an anti-candida diet but the diet recommends eliminating all dairy (except yoghurt) and all legumes and as I don't eat meat and have had to take it easy with nuts and seeds otherwise I get stomach aches I decided it wasn't a good idea because I need protein and a varied diet to make milk for my baby. Instead I resolved to eat less sugar (and try to cut it out completely), take it easy with starchy foods like potatoes and take probiotics, I'm sure both Mio and I will benefit from this.

The niggling little pain in my back that I suddenly had at 37 weeks pregnant was still hanging around and was worse if I sat down for an extended period. Curious about exactly where this pain was coming from I looked up some pictures of the bone structure in hips and lower back. I figured out that it was my left sacroiliac joint that was causing problems and did lots of reading and started to get real worried that I may have done some real damage. I decided to go to a physiotherapist to see what they thought and to hopefully knock this problem before it got too bad.
as I suspected it was a problem with my sacroiliac joint but it wasn't as bad as I initially thought. The joint was very tense and the surrounding muscles were also quite tight which was twisting my left hip forward. This fits with my initial thoughts when I first felt the pain when I was pregnant. The cause is most likely from Mio being in a funny position when her head engaged in my pelvis which is why my back hurt and I had a pain at the front of my left hip. The pain in the front of my left hip was probably from her shoulder pressing into it. I mentioned this to our midwife and she said that it did always seem that Mio did seem to lie sort of half sideways across my belly. Mio's positioning caused the sacroiliac joint and the surrounding muscles to become tense which is most like what made that later stages of my labour feels more difficult than it should have and made the labour take longer than I expected.
I find it all incredibly fascinating and it's a relief that I haven't done any serious damage. The physio gave me a few gentle stretches to do so with time I'm sure this niggling little problem will fix itself.
My trip to the physio was also the first time I let Mio out of my sight, Dave came with me and I fed Mio before I went in and then Dave took her for a walk to the coffee shop where they had their first daddy daughter coffee date. She slept through the whole thing but it was still a bit special.

The past 3 weeks have been really beautiful and it's so lovely to see my little girl growing. She really is such an easy baby to take care of, I've been able to do a little crocheting, and some drawing and painting, and I've also been able to cook dinner most nights which is something that I really enjoy doing. I'm trying to soak in these early days before they disappear.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Two Weeks in Pictures

Birth Day 

 1 Day Old

2 Days Old 

3 Days Old 

4 Days Old 

5 Days Old 

6 Days Old 

7 Days Old 

8 Days Old 

9 Days Old 

10 Days Old 

11 Days Old 

12 Days Old 

13 Days Old 

14 Days Old


Now that I have a little baby I have been able to put to use all that wonderful knitting I did while I was pregnant. Here's a few pictures of some of the things I made on my little girl.

Knitted onsesie on my 5 day old little girl.

Knitted blanket lined with cotton fabric and a cardigan on my 6 day old bub.

Knitted cocoon with my 7 day old baby.

Knitted cocoon on my 11 day old sweet pea.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Night Sweats

 Since Mio was born I've been waking at night covered in sweat. Dave even woke up one night and his back was covered in sweat from me hugging him- he gave up on sleeping in the same bed that night and opted for the couch (waking up covered in someone else's sweat can't be nice. I assumed it was because I was safely snuggled between two people and sleeping that close to Dave and Mio was just making me hot. I was reading up on postpartum herbs and found some information on night sweats. Suddenly it all made so much sense! The sweating is caused by a change in hormones after giving birth as well as the body trying to rid itself of all those extra fluids. I never experienced night sweats after giving birth to India so it's been a whole new experience. Usually the sweating continues for a few weeks after giving birth so probably in the next week or two they should die down.

Ginger tea is good for night sweats and it's important to keep drinking lots of fluid throughout the day. I keep water beside my bed so I can have a few sips through the night when I wake to feed Mio, and I take my drink bottle everywhere with me.
I'm looking forward to a nice warming cup of ginger tea before bed every night, the spicy warmth is bound to  make me feel good on these cold Melbourne winter nights.

Two Weeks

I've been a new mumma again for two weeks, time really does go fast. I'm feeling good, even got out for a quick skate the other day. I'm still remembering to take things easy and I try to have a little nap with Mio every day.
I've stopped bleeding which means my body is recovering nicely. My pelvic floor muscles feel strong and my belly is slowly returning to it's pre-pregnancy state.
My milk supply is going pretty crazy, when my let down reflex kicks in it's all a bit much for Mio. My boobs leak quite a bit now and the breast pads I made have proven themselves very useful.
I've started to do a bit of yoga again- just gentle forward bends and twists as well as a few shoulder and chest opening movements to make sure I don't get too stiff from breastfeeding and carrying a baby around all day. I've also been making sure to practice my pelvic floor exercises to make sure those muscles stay strong. I'm looking forward to getting back into a more regular and longer practice but it's important to give my body time to recover before I rush into things. This is the perfect time for me to practice pranayama and meditation though so I've been trying to focus on that in my spare moments.

I've been trying to work out how to get meals cooked when Dave isn't around. He's been out of the house all day a few times which means I need to make sure India and I have good food to eat. I've discovered that soups and stews are the easiest thing for me to make and I can get things organised by cutting up the vegetables in the morning or though the day and have them in a pot in the fridge ready to cook at dinner time. Not having family around to help out with this kind of thing has been a challenge but we are managing and it really helps to have a super helpful 5-year-old that loves cooking.

Mio is such an easy baby, she sleeps at night, only waking to feed a few times and goes straight back to sleep. She doesn't cry and she likes nappy changes. I can already see her growing and changing, she's waking up to the world and staying awake for longer periods.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Reflections on the First Week

The Birth

I feel really lucky to have been able to have personal care from two midwives during pregnancy and birth. Joy was saying that every birth she attends leaves an impression and on her journey home she thought about how as my baby was crowning I took her head in my hands to guide her out slowly. Joy said it was really powerful and it's how a baby should be born. I remember that feeling and when I put my hand on Mio's head now and feel her soft hair I'm brought back to that moment of slowly guiding her into the world.

Mary said she was amazed at how as soon as Mio was born I was on my feet and I walked without effort to the shower and got in and out of the shower without assistance. As soon as Mio was born I had all the energy in the world, I felt really good and I wasn't tired anymore.

My birth experience with India was so different. I remember getting out of bed to go to the toilet and being hit with the wave of a contraction and from then on it was a hugely intense experience and I needed Dave and mum to hold me both in and out of the pool. This time I didn't really know when labour started, I didn't know if it was labour or not. It's hard not to be influenced to some extent by a previous birth experience so I wasn't expecting to have any signs of early labour and in those early moment I didn't feel like I was in labour at all. While my active labour was similar in length to what I experienced with India my lack of sleep made this birth experience challenging. As challenging as it was though I managed the whole labour with little support from our midwives or Dave, I was way more independent the second time round and I had way more strength- even if it didn't feel like it at the time. I think that part of me also forgot a little about how much an intense experience giving birth is- it really is hard work. I'm so proud of both my birth experiences and I'm so happy that I was able to bring my daughters into the world in our own home.

Baby Blues

It's pretty normal to hit a low around day 3 or 4 after the birth, there is a lot of hormonal change going on as your body adjusts to a new role. I remember with India that I had a very brief but overwhelming sense of helplessness as it hit me that the little person I just gave birth too was completely dependent on me. During that moment Dave was out and even though I had my mum there to take care of me all I wanted was to be wrapped in Dave's arms. Those feelings didn't last very long, probably only a couple of hours but it left a lasting impression on me. I was very conscious that this might happen again so this time I told Dave that I would probably really need him at this time and that I wanted him around at all costs. Because my babies were born at different times of day I experienced a low at night this time rather than during the day. This time though it was a beautiful experience, I was lying in bed just relaxing with my baby and looking at her and touching her hair and all of a sudden I just wanted to cry, she was just so beautiful and so perfect and giving birth to her was so amazing that I just needed to cry. I got up to find Dave because I just wanted to be wrapped in his arms so we could share this experience together. He held me in bed and I cried and felt so much love for him and our two beautiful daughters. We talked and hugged and then I drifted off into a beautiful sleep while feeding our baby.


Straight away Mio was great at feeding, she just knew exactly what to do. She had a really big feed when she was born so she ended going 12 hours through that first night without feeding. Her first poo was just a couple of hours after she was born and we changed her a few times during the night but she was happy to sleep through the night without another feed. She feed a lot through the first day and the meconium continued to clear from her system. My milk came in, in the evening of the second day after she was born. My breasts were heavy and full but I didn't seem to have an oversupply and I didn't leak milk everywhere every time she fed. I haven't really needed to use my breast pads. My nipples were a little sensitive but I think that breastfeeding India had conditioned them quite well and I didn't get any cracking. when Mio was 3 days old she had trouble very briefly with the switch from colostrum to milk so she had her first big cry when she was having trouble burping but she quickly got used to the change.


Mio is an amazingly calm little baby. I believe all the yoga and taking good care of myself helped to bring such a calm and centred little girl into the world. She doesn't cry when I change her nappy and she doesn't cry when she needs to wee or poo. She's so calm when she's awake and she sleeps so well at night. She doesn't cry when she is hungry, she just looks for the breast with her mouth and moves her head around. I'm actually surprised that I wake up at night when she is hungry because she only makes little sucking and grunting sounds.


I'm recovering really well, I feel great. Because we only have 3 seats in our car and I haven't really felt up to going out without Dave and India my outings have been on foot, and while I feel great when I am out I get home and feel quite tired which I'm sure is to be expected after you have walked a couple of kilometres. I managed to go to the city on my own with the girls while Dave was busy, it felt good to get out but I was tired when I got home.
My bleeding is minimal and my uterus is well on its way to contracting down to its original size. My handmade cloth pads work well and are super comfy (way better than wearing plastic). My stomach muscles feel strong and my pelvic floor muscles are not at all sore even after being on my feet for a while. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

40 Weeks (1 Day Old)

Our little girl born one day before her due date. Being pregnant was amazing but now we are ready for a new journey.

The Birth

One day before the due date I woke in the middle of the night to Braxton Hicks contractions like I have been for the past couple of weeks. I was having trouble sleeping which was not out of the ordinary so I was in and out of bed. I went to the toilet and discovered that I had a bit of a show, I was pretty excited which made it harder to get back to sleep so I started setting things up for the birth in the hope that it would all get started soon. I had a bit more mucus when I went to the toilet with a bit more blood in it so I knew that things would get going pretty soon. I managed to get back to sleep for a bit. I was still having a few Braxton Hicks-like contractions and they seemed to go away by the time India woke up and I thought that I would probably hold out until that night. I sent Mary a message telling her what had been happening and that I thought it would probably hold out a bit longer.
I wanted to keep Dave and India home with me just in case things got going. I had a shower and got dressed with the odd contraction here and there and then it seemed that suddenly they had become 3-5 minutes apart but still very easy to just breathe through and go about doing things. We filled up the pool and I got in just because I knew it would be nice and relaxing. I let Mary know how things were going and she arrived soon after. After Mary arrived was when it finally started to feel like things were really happening, the contractions became more intense and I knew that the baby was actually on the way.
Joy arrived a while later. The contractions were very intense and long and often didn’t finish before the next one started. I started to get tired from not having very much sleep. Mary suggested that having wee in my bladder might be preventing things from happening so she suggested I try getting out of the pool and going to the toilet. I managed to do a wee and come back to the bedroom but by this time I was getting really tired from my lack of sleep so rather than getting back in the pool all I wanted to do was labour in bed. I moved between the bed and the floor beside the bed in the hope that the movement would help. My back was really sore which made it challenging, having a hot water bottle helped a lot. I began to feel like I couldn’t do it anymore, I was really tired and just wanted to go to sleep. Joy suggested that the lip of my cervix might be caught and preventing the baby’s head from moving down so with an internal examination and the next contraction we managed to move it out of the way so that finally the baby would move down the birth canal. Pushing the baby out is hard work but it’s always the fun part. As the baby came down the waters broke. The head started crowning and then with one big contraction she came out all at once and Mary caught our bubba. Reaching out straight away I suddenly felt like I had all the strength in the world to grab hold of my baby and stand up. I turned and sat on the bed so happy to have a little baby in my arms again.
Throughout the day India had been in and out of the bedroom, worried about me at times and also taking care of me but she did get a bit bored. When the baby was crowning she left the room because it was a bit too much for her but she came running in when she heard a little cry. Straight away India wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl so we decided to have a look together. We had a beautiful baby girl.
She had a very strong sucking reflex straight away and fed for quite a while. I birthed the placenta about 30mins after our baby and then India cut the cord. We measured, weighed and made sure our baby was strong and healthy before dressing her and wrapping her up For India’s first cuddle.
This Labour was much harder than it was with India, I guess that with the baby’s head in not quite the right position to help the cervix open properly made it a real difference to the length and intensity of the labour. Once the labour actually got going properly I laboured for about five and a half hours like I did with India but the lack of sleep and the mild Braxton Hicks- like contractions through the night made it more exhausting than India’s birth. Everyone kept telling me that the birth was going to be quick and easy but every pregnancy, every labour and every birth is different and it’s important not to get attached to what you think is going to happen. No matter what happens birth will always be amazing if you allow it to be.
Birthing at home is always beautiful and I’m glad I had the comfort of that when I felt tired and exhausted through the labour. I gave birth to an amazing placid little girl and I did it in my own home without drugs or interventions.

It took us a day to decide what we would name our little girl. We named her Mio, our little white lotus.

Labouring in the pool.

Our new baby girl.

Just a few minutes old.

Joy checking her hips and tiny body.

Weighing our girl. She weighed 3.34kg.

India being a helpful big sister while we put clothes on for the first time.

India the super proud big sister.

Saturday, 1 June 2013


After a night of not sleeping and 2 days of Braxton Hicks contractions every time I stand up I was feeling pretty exhausted, but with Dave and India out for the afternoon I summoned the energy for a few inversions. With my head connected to the earth I find headstands grounding and quite relaxing so it seemed appropriate to practice a few.
So here I am at 39 weeks and 3 days still finding ways to be upside-down.