Friday, October 31, 2008

What he does by day, that I wish he'd do by night...

With the Baby Bonus papers lodged, I'm going to risk my laptop dying again, to share some of the daily miracle that is Mr Tiny... Now, if only this sleeping beauty could do this at night...






Bring on December already...

Well, LOL, having successfully whinged my way through 9 months or so of pregnancy, and then having a wonderful birth experience, I'm now nipple high (which isn´t as high as it used to be) in the realities of life with a newborn...

I haven't sleep much in a week thanks to prelabour and then the post birth high, and now the micro mini party animal who has taken up residence in our usually nocturnally orderly household...

For the past two days, he's slept like a, erm, well, a baby throughout the day, with barely any wakefulness, and then come the midnight hour he's decided to wake up and feed and scream and gaze adoringly at the shadows on the walls and ceiling until 4-5am...

I've tried to sleep, but I'm still very sore from the birth (SPD-y and swollen, tender perineum - no, smaller babies are NOT much kinder), so being forced to lay on my back with a restless baby on my chest (and worrying about dropping him when I do sleep) has meant a lot of dozing, and no restorative sleep to speak of...

Yes, I see the smirking coming from some of you. Yes, I've been here before and yes, I've conveniently forgotten this bit - well, not forgotten actually, just minimised it in my mind - after it'll only last a few weeks and then I'll start to get bed sleep and we'll all, generally, be more settled, but hey, when you're standing in the middle of a pile of shit, it's really hard to smell the sweet scent of roses off yonder...

By my reckoning, I should be feeling better by December... Gawd, I hope so, December isn't that far away... I think I need a new ticker, hahaha...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ari's birth story (well the salient bits anyway)...

I've copied and pasted this from another blog I do for a forum - so, if it seems a bit "third person" that's why, LOL...

There are so many more things to say about this birth, but I'll get to those things later, LOL...






He's three and a half days old now, and snuggled down in his rocker next to me. He's been asleep for most of today, as he did yesterday, so tonight will probably be a very wakeful night, as last night was! It's funny how we forget the depths of dispair that can be felt at 3.30am on the third night post partum, when your milk has just come in and your hormones are wild and woolly and your baby is only going to sleep with a nipple in his mouth, but then only as long as you are sitting bolt upright...

Then the next day (today), you doze for a couple of hours with him on your chest at lunch time and suddenly, everything is ok again...

Oh, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, here is Tiny's (that's his nickname, you'll see why) birthstory.

A birth story often starts with the pregnancy itself. This was my fourth pregnancy (that went to term, I have two angels), and in so many ways this one was so incredibly different that I often found myself wondering if our lovely sonographer couldn't just be wrong about her tentative boy diagnosis at 18 weeks...

For one thing, I gained weight this pregnancy. I've NEVER gained weight before, in fact, I've always lost between 6 and 11kgs!!! This time I put on 12kg. My thighs copped the brunt of the fat assault and I have many, many months of exercise ahead of me, I can tell you...

I ate better this pregnancy, no binging on thick shakes and potato chips and curries, and yet I gained and worse still my blood pressure was borderline high (most often at 130/90)...

I took so many supplements and potions for the BP to stop it rising any further, I felt like an athlete (albeit, fat one) in training.

Bubs, however, felt small.

This didn't concern me, really, because my other three had all been "very healthy" weights, and I'd actually liked that each of them got smaller in turn; 10lb (4.5kg), 9lb (4.1kg) and 8lb 12 oz (3.9kg)... I was hoping this one might be a petite 8lb 2-3oz baby...

The SPD wasn't as bad this time, and the reflux didn't start until much later, but boy when it did, it kick in HARD and I ended up on Zantac 24 for a month before the birth. Another noticeable difference was the frequency and intensity of BH. I had a lot prelabour type contractions for 6 weeks prior to giving birth, and actually thought this one might come early (my others were 42 weeks, 40+4,. and 41+5)...

But no, week 41 came and no baby with it...

Then the REAL prelabour started...

For three days, I had contractions of a minute or more in duration every 20-45 minutes. On the first day, I will say they had a little bit of bite, enough to know they weren't just BH, on the second day, that biting turn to mild pain...

On the third day, I started to think that the pain was becoming not unlike the pain of the labour right before Buddha was actually born, and I started to wonder why the contractions just would not move closer than every twenty minutes or more - maybe something was amiss and this was some form of stalled labour?

I was up through the night on Sunday the 26th, timing the contractions on the laptop. The evening before, I'd tried some nipple stimulation, on the advice of my midwife, to see if they could bring the contractions closer together, and it did, but they also lost some of their strength, and as soon as I stopped the stimulation, the contractions stopped altogether as well. I was so disappointed.

So, through the night I worked on standing up and doing pelvic circles to see if I could encourage this baby to move down a bit and put some helpful pressure on my cervix.

I start doing this at about 4am, and at that stage the contractions were about 27 minutes apart, I could feel they were starting to intensify which confused me because they were still ages apart. An hour later they'd moved closer to about 17 minutes apart though, and I was beginning to feel hopeful that I might have my baby that day.

By 6am, when Dh got up to get the boys ready for school, they were around 11-13 minutes apart, and I said I might actually give my close friend and doula a call and see if she'd come over and help me decide if this was real labour or not.

I was tentative about calling her because for the past couple of days, whenever I'd allowed myself to think I might be in labour, it had stopped, and even just talking to people about on msn had considerably slowed contractions...

I waited until 6.30 to call my first doula and she said she'd get the wheels rolling wrt to finding someone to watch her son after her dh left for work at 9.30am, and then she'd be around by about 8am, to make sure I wasn't on my own when Dh took the big boys to school.

I then called my second doula who lived further away and she said she'd be over as soon as she'd dropped her children off at care and school. I asked when that would be thinking that maybe if things progressed as they were and with the pain level I was already feeling - starting to not be able to talk during contractions - she might be scraping in if she got her later than 10.30 am...

She said she'd be here by 9.30am.

At 7.10am, I rang my MW, and said I thought this might be it. She asked if she had time for a shower, and I told her absolutely and that she could probably have a quick breakfast too and that I just hoped labour wouldn't stop now that I'd called her!

I pottered around the house, I'd already laid down protective plastic on the bedroom floor with an old quilt cover for comfort on top the night before. So, I made sure the laptop was set up for timing contractions in the bedroom. Got myself a fresh bottle of water with Bach flower remedies in it, LOL. Heated a heat pack because the contractions were rather painful by now, and then basically concentrated on pelvic circling and breathing my way through the next few contractions.

By the time the boys were ready to go to school, and my first doula had turned up, the contractions were down to about 6-7 minutes apart. When my doula walked in and they didn't start to peter out, and then my midwife showed up and they were still holding steady at 6-7 minutes, I decided, this was definitely labour - whoo hoo!! It was 8am, and I sent the boys on their ways. I'd told Dave to take Bryn as well, and not to rush home, to take him to the park or something as I didn't really want Bryn distracting me during labour, and I was hoping it might all be done with by lunch time.

Dave didn't like that idea much. He insisted on dropping the boys off and then coming home just to "touch base" before taking Bryn out for a day of distracting fun.

So, my MW set up her kit in the loungeroom - those things you have just in case, but obviously hope never have to be actually used.

I was most comfortable in the bedroom during contractions, and so would wander in there, have a contraction and then come out and have a short chat with my doula and midwife, before wandering back into the bedroom. When my midwfie found out I was timing contractions she gently suggested that that was probalby no longer necessary, hehehe, so I moved the laptop back into the loungeroom, and also organised for my to sms those women who had been at my blessingway, so they could light their candles and send positive energy Cheesy...

It was about 8.30am by this stage - I know this because I saw the thread started by another close friend on another forum when she got that sms, LOL... I'm not sure how close the contractions were at this stage, but they were close enough that I came out and told my doula and midwife that I'd prefer they came into the bedroom so I didn't have to keep coming out to chat, hahaha!...

So, we all moved into the bedroom...

My doula had been at Buddha's birth so was not at all surprised that between contractions I was laughing and chatting awy. I think my MW found this all a bit foreign though because she was rather quiet. At one stage she told me to let her know when the next contraction was coming because she'd like to hear the baby's heartbeat right after.

Bubs heartbeat came in loud and clear, and that 5 seconds of hands on monitoring was literally the only time my midwife did anything "midwifey" until after bubs was born.

About four contractions or so after my doula and midwife joined me in the bedroom, I felt a slight pushing urge at the end of a contraction. I mentioned this to my midwife, and she asked if I usually stood to birth, I told her I prefer to be on my knees. She said when I felt babies head coming I should put my hand down to feel my perineum and she'd then know birth was imminent.

Another couple of contractions and the pushing urge was a little stronger, but not urgent like with my other births. I got down on my knees, and with the next contraction bore down. Then there was a slightly longer break before the next contraction and my midwife mentioned that sometimes the urge to push can come a little before full dilation - there was no instruction in this comment, she didn't tell me not to push or to push harder, it was just a comment, but it allowed me to just relax into that small pause and not question it...

During the pause, I heard a car door slam on street outside. I knew this was my second doula - who is like a sister to me - and I was happy she was going to be able to make it to this birth. As her footsteps approached the front door I told the other women that J was here, and my first doula went to let her in and told her the birth would be soon because I was feeling the urge to push.

Then another contraction hit, and I felt that burning sensation we'd all rather forget. I reach down, indicating that bubs was coming, and the contraction subsided, but a new contraction was on top of it, and I pushed hard, and felt the babies head.

I guess, at that moment I wanted the head out and despite really not wanting to tear, I push with everything I had. I expected the head to come out, but what I didn't expect was for it to feel so small, and for the body to slide right out after it!!!

I was a little disoriented for a split second, wondering if I'd just imagined it or not, but realising the birth was suddenly DONE! My baby was here!

I reached down onto the floor between my knees expecting to find feet, but found a head instead - my MW had turned him over just as he came out so I could pick him right up.

He was TINY!

My other babies had been 10lb, 9lb and 8lb 12oz, but even I knew there was no way this little one was going to be in their league!

Immediately, I could see he looked just like his middle brother blue. It was quite dim in the room (the curtains were closed) but I was fairly certain Tiny didn't share his brother Blue's golden hair colour, other than that (and their size difference) they were identical!

I sat down on the floor and cuddled my baby as my team wrapped us both in towels. He was alert, and we just looked at each other for bit, I didn't attempt to feeding him yet as he seemed so calm, no crying other than the first wail of life.

About 10 minutes later I birthed the placenta and my MW showed me the two sides of the placenta, mine and his - I'd never looked at my placenta before because I'm easily grossed out, but it was actually ok, if not a little fascinating. I decided to let my MW keep the placenta to plant in her garden as we rent (she feels throwing placentas into the bin is irresponsible when homebirthing because if found during the rubbish collection the discarded placenta can lead to the misunderstanding that a baby has been abandoned somewhere)... I'm so happy my MW has our son's placenta because in Icelandic culture (my maternal family heritage) the placenta is called "fylgja", which means follower and is believed to be the protector of the baby during pregnancy and should therefore be honoured after the birth, not just thrown away...

After this we moved into the loungeroom, where I introduced Tiny to the breast. He latched on like pro, and was the first of my four to be able to stay latched on without any support from me whatsoever!

Tiny was born at 9.02am, two minutes after my second doula showed up and an hour after my first doula and my midwife showed up. The student midwife and the trainee independent midwife arrived about 30 minutes after he was born. I had some sweet tea and we all sat around and chatted while my MW filled in the necessary forms and my doulas tidied up the bedroom and put the towels in the washer.

At about 10.15, I see Dave crossing the front porch with Buddha and telling him they need to be very quiet. He tells me he felt a lot of trepidation coming to the front door because it was so quiet and he wasn't sure what he'd find inside.

My first doula went to the door to meet him and told him his fourth son was an hour old already and Dh nearly fainted with surprise. "No, you're JOKING" he exclaimed!

So, then Buddha got to meet his little brother.

Tiny was weighed and everyone gasped when he tipped the scale at a mere 2.75kg (including the terry nappy he was wrapped in, LOL)... His head was 32cm, and he was a longish 52cm...

Then my MW gave me the once over to make sure everything was intact and doing what it should be doing after the birth. She was happy to report no tearing, and possible slight grazing, which she said I should be able to confirm once I'd wee'd (and yes, there was slight grazing, rofl!)...

And that was that.

I climbed into bed for about 30 minutes, but was too jazzed to actually sleep - despite not having slept much in the previous 48 hours, so I spent most of the rest of the day sitting the loungeroom admiring my newest little boy and chatting to my friends and Dh...

All in all, the labour was put down as being about 2.5 hours long. For me it was really only 1.5hours from when I felt sure I was actually having a baby and not just prelabour, rofl...

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Looong Weekend...

It's been a very long weekend here this weekend.

Spent all of Friday waiting on news about the lovely Leah and her precious little boy bundle. Had had a few niggles, but just felt like nothing would start up for real until I heard that baby Bang Bang was earthside.

Saturday morning brought the wonderful news of his post midnight birth, and the timing was good because I'd been having a few actually painful contractions during the night, and into the wee hours of the morning. These picked up once I knew Leah and the baby were safe and sound, and I had high hopes of our little bundles having the same birthday :)...

However, by about midafternoon the contractions, which had been 20 minutes apart, and not so painful that I couldn't talk through them, petered out to about 45 minutes or so. I managed to even catch a nap for 1hour and 15 minutes without a contraction!

When I woke up (with a big, ouchy contraction), they resumed the 20 minute timeline, and kept that up for about 4.5 hours, and then started to peter out again in the later evening. I was disappointed to be going to bed without my own little baby earthside, but the contractions did keep coming every 30-40 minutes or so throughout the night, letting me know that things hadn't stalled altogether.

By about 3.30am, the pain had intensified enough that I had to get up. For the next 3 and a bit hours, I laboured in the dining room, timing the contractions online and surfing the net. They were coming anywhere from about 11-30 minutes apart, moreso the latter towards daylight.

Once Dave and the boys were up, I went to bed for a catnap - contracting even half hour or so.

Got up a couple of hours later and had something to eat. Continued to monitor contractions and also organised for Jen to give Dave a lift to the shops to get us some groceries. After lunch, the big boys had a nap and I had a bath, which was fantastic. The contractions were quite spaced out by now, so once out of the bath I decided to have another nap. Dozed for another couple of hours, contracting every 30 minutes.

When I got up, Dave made dinner, and I noticed the contractions were more intense again, and getting closer together, down to about 14 minutes apart. I ate dinner, and then set up the bedroom in case I had a baby within a few hours, LOL...

Had spoken to my midwife during the afternoon, appraising her of the events of the weekend, and she suggested some committed nipple stimulation to see if we couldn't get the contractions to happen a little closer together. Jen had also told me how she did some frog marching to encourage contractions when they slowed in Archie's labour. I found the nip stim didn't stimulate contractions for me, but the marching did. I managed to get the contractions to come every 6 minutes or so...

Sadly, as soon as I stopped, so did the contractions. And not only that. They stopped for 35 minutes!!! It was like my body was telling me not to try and rush things, or it would slow things down even more to compensate.

At this point I decided to take a break from it all.

I sat down to watch tv, and found the contractions started to come at just under 30 minute intervals again. I went to bed at about 12.45am, and was then woken every 20-25 minutes with contractions until about 4am. The contractions were painful enough that I had to hop out of bed and pelvic rock through them, defintely can't talk through them now, rofl...

Since I got up, they've been between 20 and 14 minutes apart between 1-2 minutes long... Pain, quite intense now...

I've had lots of small shows over the past two days as well, so something is happening.

I'm two days off the gestation I was when I had Bryn, so that's promising too (that it can't really be to much longer)...

One thing I'm definitely feeling though is that any attempt to hurry this process along just seems to slow it down, so I'm pretty much just observing what's happening now, not trying to influence it anymore...

Friday, October 24, 2008

41 weeks today...

Today is the really big deadline day for Dave. Of course, it's also the first day I woke up and thought I wish he could stay home. Oh well, he'll be home tomorrow - though so will the boys... Unfortunately, all the people who are supposed to have artwork in to Dave by now are being slackers and so there's a very good likelihood that Dave will need to go in Monday and Tuesday as well, which I'm beginning to feel like I'd really rather he didn't.

It occurred to me just before that there is a pretty good likelihood that this time next week I'll be holding my baby. If this baby was to be born at the same gestation as Bryn, he'd be two days old in a weeks time. Of course, that might not happen either. In that case, I will actually get to have a November baby! I've always wanted a November baby. I don't know why. I really love the month of November - much better than October actually, which is probably the calendar month of the year that I'm LEAST, I dunno, attracted to.

Mum would love me to have an October baby because apparently no one in our family has a birthday in October, rofl...

Whatever the outcome, it isn't long now, and it still feels very surreal and like it's happening to someone else. At least it's going to be a nice warm week for having a baby :).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Goodness, now how do you suppose that happened?

It's been a big day.

Mum had her gallstones/gallbladder out today.

They were going to attempt keyhole surgery, but in the end they found they had to do the full cut. She now has five wounds to heal from, but is happy as Larry to finally have this behind her... The two stones which were removed were quite large. The larger one was dark - as a result of too thick bile, and was cylindrical, measuring 4cm in length and 2cm in diameter. The second one was lighter, as a result of non-ideal diet, and measured 2cm in diameter (I'm assuming it was spherical)...

The operation took 3 hours.

The op had originally been schedule for a week ago, the day before my due date, and that was causing me quite a bit of anxiety. I was quite relieved when it was rescheduled for a week later, as somehow I felt that gave me more time to give birth and possibly be able to fly over to SA if mum needed me (yes, I probably wasn't being very realistic there, travelling with a baby on a few days old etc.)...

Anyway, while the pressure was off, I was still feeling a little antsy about this baby needing to hurry up and be born. I was really angry on Monday when he wasn't here yet...

Then last night, I thought I was actually, possibly, in labour! I actually called my midwife to give her a heads up in case I needed to call her during the night... But labour fizzled almost as soon as I got off the phone with her...

That's when the strangest thing happen... I realised I was RELIEVED. It suddenly dawned on me, I really didn't WANT to have this baby just yet. When faced with the acutal possibility of labour, I was suddenly not sure that I was ready...

Today, I've continued to have contractions every hour, not very strong, but have been quite happy for it not to progress beyond that...

In fact, I've kind of settled into some sort of surreality where I'm not having a baby at all, it's not going to happen, and I'm ok with that... I feel calm. I don't feel any need or desire to have the baby any time soon. I don't even think I've EVER felt this way before. I have no urge to encourage these contractions to gain strength or pace or anything like that.

What a strange turn of events! Maybe my mind has finally snapped???

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Things this baby is probably waiting for...

Today is the last day of Libra. Lucy said Libra would be more advantageous to this child than Scorpio, but right from the beginning of this pregnancy - well, actually even before I knew I was pregnant, when I knew there could be a possibility of me becoming pregnant - I maintained that to fit into this family this child would be best served being a Scorpio.

The other thing is... Of course, waiting for mum to have her operation - how very "my family" of this baby to want to be part of a drama, hahaha!

Waiting for Luey's preferred date... The 25th would actually be a good date, four months after Luey's birthday, two months before Christmas...

Waiting for more "Spring-like" weather! Can you guys believe how cold it's been in Melbourne so far this week??? Seriously, if I had the choice between being tucked up in a nice dark, warm pool of water, or coming out into this chilly weather, I'd be staying put, too!

A weekday that connotes something positive...

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living,
And the child born on the Sabbath day
is bonny and blithe , and good and gay.

Who would choose to be born on a Wednesday or Thursday??? Seriously? Not me! Friday, Saturday and Sunday are all MUCH, MUCH more positive days...

More and more I find myself thinking Saturday might be the day, LOL, it'll be in Scorpio. Mum will have had her operation, it's a Saturday, and it's supposed to be 30 degrees that day, and of course, it's the day that Luey wants this baby to arrive on, hahaha! Oh, and numerologically, it's a 9...

http://www.astrology-numerology.com/num-lifepath.html#9

The Life Path 9 suggests that you entered this plane with an abundance of dramatic feelings coupled with a strong sense of compassion and generosity. The key to the nature of a Life Path number 9 person is found in their humanitarian attitude. Even the very average of those with life path 9 possess extremely compassionate tendencies.

Usually this number produces an individual that is very trustworthy and honorable, and one unlikely to harbor any sort of prejudice. Obviously, this is a rather tall order, but you are, in fact, a person that feels very deeply for individuals less fortunate than yourself, and if you are in a position to help, you certainly will. The 9, being the highest of the single digit numbers, holds an elevated position in terms of responsibilities to mankind.

Material gains are not overly important, although the quality of some life path 9 people is such that they are materially rewarded in very significant ways. In this, however, the 9 Life Path is not apt to get rich since they are very generous, sometimes to a fault, and usually have an easy come, easy go attitude about money. The rare 9 life path has a totally selfless attitude, giving up of material possessions for the common good.

The 9 Life Path indicates you have a commanding presence. You have the ability to make friends very easily, as people are attracted to your magnetic, open personality. The term "hail-fellow" may have been coined to describe a 9 Life Path, as you may indeed be one of those who is generally upbeat and heartily friendly and congenial. You meet people easily and are quickly befriended because of your openness and amiable demeanor. Your genial ways often put you in the lead in whatever field of endeavor you pursue.

Relationships can be difficult for you because it is hard to strike a balance that will work effectively. If your partner is one sharing your giving attitudes, the relationship will be happy and lasting. On the other hand, if you choose a partner whose focus is on material issues, problems will arise quickly.

You tend to be quite sensitive, as you see the world with much feeling. The number 9's very deep understanding of life is sometimes manifested in the artistic and literary fields. If drama and acting is not your forte, it will surely be an area of great interest and potential. Likewise, you may be able to express your deep emotional feelings through painting, writing, music, or other art forms.

The purpose of life for those with a 9 life path is often of a philosophical nature. Judges, spiritual leaders, healers and educators frequently have much 9 energy. The number is less inclined to the competitive business environment and may find this a struggle.

As do all the life path numbers, the 9 has its negative side. Because of the demanding nature of the truly positive 9, many tend to fail in this category. It is not uncommon for persons with the 9 life path to fight the realities and challenges of purpose imposed here because selflessness is not an easy trait. You may have difficulty believing that giving and a lack of personal ambition can be satisfying. It must be realized and accepted that little long-term satisfaction and happiness is to be gained by rejecting the natural humanitarian inclinations of this path.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A new theory on when this baby will be born - and things I'm looking forward to...

It dawned on me this morning that there is a clue to when this baby will be born. If he, like his brothers follows the tradition of being born on otherwise significant days, he'll arrive on Thursday...

Here's why;

Erik - was born the day Dave's dad had reconstructive knee surgery.

Luey - was born the day Dave's dad was admitted to hospital for a hernia operation.

Bryn - was born on my mum's 55th birthday...

Right, so following this pattern, this baby MUST be waiting for mum's gallbladder op day. Which is currently scheduled for Thursday. It was actually scheduled for last Thursday but then was postponed (don't you love the public system, LOL). So, assuming it isn't postponed again, I think I'm in with a good chance of having this baby on Thursday!

I also wanted to list the things I'm looking forward to in the NEAR future (have stolen this idea from a wise friend!):

  1. Meeting my baby, and seeing what colour hair he has!!!
  2. No longer being in a "holding pattern" and waking up every morning to realise it didn't happen last night either.
  3. Having my body back!!!
  4. Being able to walk without aching and at a reasonable pace (instead of the old granny pace I'm currently reduced to).
  5. Just feeling co-ordinated and light in my body again.
  6. Turning over in bed without having to wake up completely and have various parts of my body go into spasm.
  7. Not having heartburn!
  8. Being able to lay on my tummy!!!
  9. Getting out and about independently again - heck, even using public transport!!!
  10. Losing weight!
  11. Gaining energy (ok, I might be kidding myself considering the sleepless nights ahead, but you never know!!!)...
  12. Using all my CUTE nappies and baby clothes!!!
  13. Seeing the boys with their new brother - especially Erik, for some reason I'm really looking forward to seeing Erik with this baby, as a much older brother!
  14. Taking the baby to Adelaide!
  15. Paying off all our debt.
Exciting times ahead!!!

Oh, and how can I forget - I'm finally going to have my FULL dining table!!! (we do have an 8 seater, but we only keep 6 seats up the table at any time for good elbow room, and now I'll finally have filled every seat)!!!

I'm really looking forward to Christmas this year, too, so being able to shift my focus from having a baby to preparing for Christmas will be lovely!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

To Do list for today...

When wanting to punch a hole in the wall, Confucius say clean the house...

  1. Tidy the living room (me)
  2. Tidy the dining room (me)
  3. Tidy the bedroom (me)
  4. Tidy the kitchen and wash the dishes (Dave)
  5. vacuum (me) and wash the floors (Dave)
  6. Clean the bathroom (me)
  7. Clean the toilet (me)
  8. Wash and dry the baby's pouch (me)
  9. Do this week's grocery shopping (Dave)
  10. Go to the movies (ME)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bloody Lego!!!

Used to be that lego came in big packs with multi-use bits, wheels, axels, thingy-ma-bobs, and you used your imagination to build all sorts of wild and whacky creations from flying houses to racing cars with swimming pools in them (or maybe that was just at our house)...

These days you can basic tubs of blocks in varying sizes, shapes and colours. OR, you can buy purpose build "scenes", more often than not designed as merchandising from blockbuster movies...

This has caused a huge debate in our house, because my wonder Dh never actually had much lego as a child (if any at all), and as well as this, he was an only child who never had to share his toys. He was a rule follower who didn't think laterally in play (or at least that is the impression I've gotten from what he's told me)...

So, we've invested a fair amount of the toy budget in lego for the boys. I love that they play with lego... At first we got them a big tub of bricks, and since then we've added scenes from Star Wars, Pirates, Indiana Jones, Racing, and so on...

Dave is always all for helping the boys reconstruct the scenes on the boxes - he also encourages them to keep the boxes and the instruction manuals (keeping the manuals, I get that, the boxes, not so much)...

Today though, after years of these "scenes" sitting on top of the boys shelves, decoratively gathering dust, Dave discovers that Erik has brought down one or two scenes and deconstructed them to use the parts to create something NOT on a box or in a manual... Dave wasn't terribly impressed. Partly because now the pieces were being mixed in with the general brickage of the lego tub, and partly because Erik has (probably rather cleverly) decided to dismantle "Luey's" scenes...

Oh, and that's another thing... For Christmases and birthdays, we've given each boy a set, which Dave now views as "Erik's Lego" and "Luey's Lego"... To get Dave to see that it isn't actually condusive to family peace and harmony to label the lego in this way, is like trying to push molten excrement up a steep slope, I tell you!

So, according to Dave, we should spend small fortunes buying lego scenes that are then built and set high on a shelf and not played with for five years in case they fall apart or get mixed up. And there should certainly be no sharing of the lego because that only leads to fights...

ARGH!!! Can't the good people at Lego see that if they only provide tubs of plain bricks and purpose built scenes, they are encouraging people like my Dh to prevent their children from using their imaginations???

So, there has been much debating going on in this house, this morning.

I believe Erik should be free to mix and match all the Lego pieces and use his imagination, and then if he or Luey wants to reconstruct a purpose built scene, they can refer back to the manuals for those activities. I also believe that while each boy might be the individual recipient of a "scene" of Lego, that all Lego is the common property of the age appropriate children (otherwise, Erik and Luey will be moving out of home with their individual scenes of Lego at age 18 and Ari will never get to play with that stuff, for example)...

Is that unreasonable???

Friday, October 17, 2008

40 weeks today!

The ticker says I have 0 days left until baby is due...

Thankfully, and as expected, he hasn't chosen today to be his birthday - well, I guess he still could, but I'm really not expecting him to, and after the big day of walking, talking and shopping that I've had, I'd much rather sleep tonight than give birth - Hahahahahaha!

I bought (coz, you know you want to know the details!):

A boppy pillow

A small pink Tupperware bottle (I have the big gray one, but wanted something smaller).

A Bubblebubs AIO

A Bubblebubs "Just Hatched" cover

A Totsbot newborn cover in grey with white stars

A Stinkybotz nappyholder/changemat

A years subscription to the ABA (got my free Pinky McKay "Toddler Tactics" book too)...

A 9 book children's pack of books for $50

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yeah, so my pubic bone is a little tender, LOL... But it already was after shopping at Doncaster yesterday...

So, now I'm *ready* hahaha... Some time, in the next two weeks (hopefully, or this WILL be a November baby afterall), I expect to be holding my little baby... Can't wait, very excited now!

Back onto the raspberry leaf and epo etc. as of tonight...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just a note on my previous blog from this morning...

I told you I'd be sheepish about that last blog...

So, with more self-analysis, I've come to the conclusion that I'm feeling frustration and little jealous that other people all seem to have full and exciting lives at the moment, while I feel like I'm in some sort of holding pattern and too boring for anyone to want to actually spend any time with...

Yes, I'm chucking myself a late pregnancy pity party for one...

Unspecial...

The following is a completely self-indulgent post, not at all directed at any individuals, LOL, just commenting on a general phenomenon that strikes this brain in late pregnancy. In fact, feel free to read and write off as some sort of hormonal side effect that this writer will probably be embarrassed about in weeks to come, but at this moment believes there might be some socialogical intrigue about...

A while ago, another pregnant friend mention that this being her second pregnancy, had left her feeling a little disappointed, a little ignored, or unspecial. With her first pregnancy, people noticed she was pregnant and they took special consideration to her pregnancy. At the time this friend told me this, I didn't really relate to what she was saying. I had been aware of the decline in excitement over subsequent pregnancies, but felt it was just a normal evolution as people no longer found it novel that I was having a baby. Afterall, I'd done it before.

I felt a little smug in my acceptance of this phenomenon, like somehow I had reached a level of maturity beyond that which my friend was expressing at that time...

Well, apparently, I have not, hahaha!

I think, at some level, all women who are pregnant, whether with their first or their 13th baby, want to feel special. Some will say, "It's nothing, I've done this all before, life goes on..." but somewhere deep down, they will feel the miracle of what their body is doing. The awesomeness of growing a complete human being from just a single cell organism, and they will want that recognised on some level...

Recently, I've felt unspecial. People are being lovely, can't fault them in any specifics; constantly asking how I'm feeling, commenting on how good I look, showing excitement for the impending birth... Honestly, I don't know why I feel unspecial when I analyse it closely...

But there is something there. I think it has something to do with being confined at home while everyone else gets on with their lives. Go to work, or to school, have social lives and errands and what not. I sit here waiting, unable to do much else because everything exhausts me.

And then there are the jokes about what times are convenient for other people for me to have this baby. They are well meant jokes and EVERYONE has said them at some time or other, so I'm not thinking of anyone in particular. Because I can - because I know he won't be too offended, I'll pick on my Dh as an example... He has a busy schedule at work atm. There are several publications lined up to go to the printers and he's organising advertising art; collating and redistributing it around the country, keeping track of hundreds of individual projects... Usually, by the time I'm 37 weeks pregnant, he's going on leave from work because I need more support, but this time around I've been doing my best to just get on with life as long as possible, hopefully right up until the birth because it is such a busy time at work for him... And then he tells me that I am not ALLOWED to have this baby before it's due date (which is highly unlikely anyway), because he has all these deadlines...

Of course, if I went into labour he'd drop everything, I know that, but it still impacts on my mindset, that I can't put people out by going into labour at an inconvenient time.

Everyone who is attending this birth, or affected by it will have more and less convenient times for me to give birth. I'm really very aware of that, too aware of that, I think. I try to laugh it off, but honestly, deep down, there are pangs of anxiety that when it comes to the crunch, I might find myself putting people out or worse still not being able to contact people for some reason or another.

The reality is, my midwife might be at another birth, others might be running errands, at work, at school, at functions, or trying to meet the needs of their own families. And yes, people will drop everything, but in our society there is a very strong social convention of not putting other people out...

This is why pregnant women don't call their midwives in the middle of the night... They don't want to put people out for "no reason"...

So, what is the solution here? Do pregnant women need to become less self-centred and simply accept that other people have lives, even when they feel like all they are doing is WAITING to have a baby, or do the people around pregnant women need to be aware that while they're just trying to be honest, or just trying to be lighthearted and funny, their references to the fact that their lives are still going on despite the fact that the woman is about to give birth, might actually cause some level of distress, even if when not heavily pregnant the woman would be much more rational about the realities and not take everything so to heart?

Hahahaha! Yes, I'm a hormonal pregnant woman! Rationally, I know I'm not the centre of the Universe, but emotionally I probably wish I was, seeing as I'm currently in possession of the Divine power of creation...

Please, no one take this personally, it's not directed at any individual, just at a general phenomenon of expectations and realities being mis-aligned during a time of emotional instability...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Head Spin...

Hmmm, well, this morning when I was lammenting being bored, I had NO IDEA of the bombshell Kevin Rudd was about to drop on the Australian public...

I've just spend two hours in a head spin!

It seems that because of the world economic crisis, created by greed and the need to "profit, profit, profit", our economy is slowing down... Well, when something has grown out of sight for a few years (thanks Johnny for your legacy of "feeding the economy" - aka, spend, spend, spend, even if it means putting yourself into more debt than you can rightfully handle), sooner or later the growth has to slow, or even revert...

So, yep, people are suddenly scared to spend money, and RIGHTFULLY SO in my opinion, too... It really IS time to learn how to live within our means... But this isn't good for The Economy. So, businesses are set to be negatively impacted, people will be laid off, and unemployment will rise...

All yucky stuff, I don't deny that!

So, Kevin's solution seems to be to chuck a heap - and I mean a HEAP of money at people in a one off payment. People are encouraged, nay EXPECTED to SPEND this money over Christmas to prop up the economy...

Hmmm, but ok, what if you're not the kind of person to mindless go out and buy stuff. What if, after years of living on or under the official poverty line, you've learned that things will never make you happy... For our family the "windfall" is going to be quite substantial because we'll have 4 children, and I'm on a disability pension... There is no way we could live with ourselves just spending all that money, not when we know that lean times are likely to be ahead *at some point* as they always are... Besides which, having a new baby ALREADY means a substantial windfall, which is being used on those current bigger purchases that we've been planning for for a while now - including completely erradicating our personal debt!

But what about all those families who decide to use the money to buy those big things they only usually dream off. The plasma tvs, the new couch, the new second hand car, or a dream summer holiday to the gold coast? What happens to those families in the New Year when the money is gone? What happens in the New Year to the economy, when suddenly people realise they're back to square one, and they need to tighten their belts anyway... Won't THAT slow the economy? Isn't this one off injection into the economy just forestalling the inevitable?

I'm no economist, I'll admit that. There may be things I'm just not getting about how all of this works, but it seems to me that bust follows boom, and giving people money to keep the boom going can only last so long - the bust is inevitable, sooner or later...

Isn't it?

The downside of getting everything "done"...

At the start of another day, and this morning I'm feeling a bit, erm, ah... BORED!!!

Oh dear, have a very exciting day ahead of maybe vacuuming the floor, and otherwise trying to keep Bryn from climbing the walls. Don't have any money to get out anywhere. So staying home is really my only option.

I might even go to BaBs tomorrow, even though I know it's going to exhaust me. Yet another day of staring at these walls will drive me insane, I think...

There is a local ABA meeting for expectant mums on Thursday, but I'm a bit too shy to take myself off to that without knowing I'm going to know someone there - I do need to re-subscribe to the aBA though, so might do that online...

Friday is the expo, whoo hoo! I'm very excited about going to that!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sleepy today...

I'm paying for not having gone to sleep earlier last night, LOL. Yawning away, and would love to just curl up in bed! It's days like today that I wish Bryn would take a nap, LOL!

Anyway, so as not to completely succumb to the lethargy, I thought I might set myself a couple of tasks today and maybe get the juices flowing and see if I can put a stop to the yawning...

  1. Tidy up the living areas
  2. Do the dishes
  3. Vaccuum throughout
  4. Put away clean laundry
  5. Do baby laundry (let's test that superstiticious laundry theory, shall we!)
I also did a load of my own laundry...

Not too bad, didn't manage the vacuuming, but have to leave something for tomorrow, hahaha, besides which my lower back/cocyz area is stiff and sore atm...

Finding it hard to keep an appetite today. Had a good breaky - 4 slices of toast with sliced banana on top. Then had half a punnet of prune and a glass of Coke for lunch at about 3.30pm, LOL (I know, you're all going YUCK, prunes with coke, hahaha, prune were a recent craving, though I wouldn't actually recommend eating that many in one go - the rest of the household is paying for it tonight, iykwim)... Then made a chicken curry (sweet not hot) for dinner at Dave's request, more dishes, and now I'm going to have a browse on the net..

Taking anatomical correctness just that one step further...



PMSL!

It's hot tonight...

I should be asleep, but it's hot tonight, our first hot night of the season!

Without looking I know my ticker has ticked over to 4 days left.

Imagine that!

It's funny, I feel like I should be more excited, rofl. But I'm feeling very relaxed about it all of a sudden. As another wise pg woman said yesterday, there seems to be a change in the air. Maybe it's the impending full moon! The celestial sign of all things ripening to their fullest potential... That knowledge that this baby will be here soon, no matter what...

I still catch myself feeling like that will happen to someone else, not me. That I'm waiting for someone else to have a baby, not waiting on my own labour to start. I catch my breath when I think about the fact that it's actually ME who will be going into labour, and giving birth... It just doesn't seem real, rofl. It certainly doesn't seem like something that could happen any time, even though time is running down at a rate of knots now...

Intellectually, I'm anxious to have this baby soon. There are a number of things that would be made a fair bit easier if the baby arrived in the next couple of days or so...

Emotionally though, I'm not in a rush just yet. I haven't got that "over it" feeling, and in some ways, I might not even be ready to meet this little person yet. I still have some Bryn to savour. I still feel like I have to "wake up" to this new person as more than just something I've hoped for for a few years now. Oh, and then there is my new found trepidation about labouring. Goodness knows why I'm not as "chafing at the bit" to get into it all this time. Usually at this point, I'm like a marathon runner 10 minutes before the race starts, focused, hungry, and excited all at once. This time, I'm not so sure, this time I think it might be a bit of hard work, LOL.

I realise I shouldn't be LOAing that stuff, hahaha, but hey, I've just got to go with what I'm feeling.

All I know is, I have the knowledge that there are things I could do to get this going, and I don't want to do them...

Even going as far as having the inkling that maybe if I finally washeed those baby clothes and wraps, this baby might decide to come, and yet each morning I find some new reason to put that job off, hahaha! Like some sort of supersticious laundry is the kep to going into labour, PMSL...

Well, maybe I should go lie down, even if I don't sleep...

Friday, October 10, 2008

39 weeks!!!

Wow!

Bubs was moving around like crazy all day yesterday. Haven't had that much movement in one day in weeks!

Heard a very sad and strange anecdote yesterday. A friend had recently attended a birth at my local hospital. The mum had a natural labour and birthed her baby on all fours on the floor with her two small children milling about. Everyone was so happy, and then this friend looks up and sees one of the hospital midwives standing quietly in the corner of the room, weeping.

So, she goes over to the midwife and asks if everything is ok, and the midwife says everything is ok, she just doesn't get to see birth very often. My friend asks if the midwife works in the special care unit of the hospital (thinking she mustn't attend births often), but no, apparently the midwife worked in the labour rooms!

Natural birth is becoming such a rare event in this hospital that this midwife was overwhelmed to actually be priveledged enough to witness it in her chosen career as a midwife!

How sad is that???

Women who achieve natural births in hospitals are providing extraordinary experience for the staff at those hospitals these days. While I'm very excited to be having my baby at home, part of me wonders who might be missing out on seeing a natural birth because I won't be having this baby at my local hospital. It's kind of nice to think that maybe, in some small way, my last two births at the hospital might have made the staff's day or even week!

LOL, mind you, that wouldn't be enough to make me go back there, hahaha! Especially now that midwives are crying in corners because they never get to see natural birth anymore - that's pretty scary actually, things sound like they've changed a lot just in the last three years (no one cried at Luey or Bryn's births, natural birth wasn't quite as rare three and 7 years ago, obviously)...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Intermission... A break from regular programming...







I guess it doesn't take much these days...

Struggling not to feel depressed today...

Very sore hips overnight made turning over in bed excruiatingly painful. This has been building for a week, but I guess with the emotional upheaval of yesterday afternoon, I just didn't feel up to viewing it as a temporary, rather short term inconvenience...

Am going to try and distract myself with other birth preps today, and get back on track with the positive mindset I had going before I became all self-conscious about hoping for this baby to be the exception and come on time.

Philosophically, I can put this down to the precarious nature of being nearly 39 weeks pregnant and having hormones rushing through my body, and wanting to meet my baby but also being a bit anxious about the whole prospect of parenting four children and going back to that baby and a toddler stage - which I didn't deal with so well the last time I was there (with Erik and Luey)...

But, on reflection, the truth is that I feel like I paid my dues with Erik and Bryn, and I was super patient and zen about Bryn going over, and I even happily negotiated with the hospital for Bryn to be able to go to 42.5 weeks, and so I kind of feel like the Universe owes me this time. I don't really care if that's logical thinking or helpful (it's helpful to me btw, I was quite happy in my little bubble of delusion until people started trying to put holes in the bubble)...

There should be some sort of law that it's not permitted to interfere with a pregnant woman's thinking processes, however unrealistic they may seem to others, unless she is a physical danger to herself or her baby - and by danger, I mean if she's about to do away with herself or her baby as some sort of desperate act...

If I want to believe this baby might come early or on time, then what business is it of anyone else to make comment on that - to me or to a third party? Absolutely none! Besides which, I find it's the people who only went a couple of days over, or a week over who are the most judgemental and the ones most likely to say, "babies are born on their birthdays, they're never late..."

Bah humbug to them, when they've waiting for two weeks or more past their estimated due date, and have done that more than once, then they can come "The Zen" with me - and I'll still probably tell them to take a long walk on a short pier, but chances are they haven't done the wait while taking care of two or more other children...

I know a woman who went to 43.5 weeks with her sixth, and she'd gone over before - several times, I think, so it wasn't new territory for her. She seemed to be pretty zen, but she was actually zen about wanting the baby out yesterday. She didn't try to pretend that she didn't give a toss when the baby would arrive, she seemed to accept her own impatience as part of the process. I really admired that. She was being completely honest with herself and not trying to fit some particular school of thought with regards to philosophy towards birthing...

So, even though I'm not even due yet, I think it's fine for me to admit that I'd love this baby to come in the next week. I'm not going to fall in a heap if bubs doesn't agree - I'm an "overtime" veteran, but I also don't need to pretend like I don't have a preference and that I'm not excited about lots of prelabour, even though so far it seems to be going no where which is why I haven't bothered my midwife with it...

Ah, well, I see the sun is coming out, hopefully a few D-rays will lighten my mood a bit...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just a little annoyed!

Well, it seems my talk of prelabour is getting back to my wonderful midwife via people other than myself. Twice now I've heard of people "filling my midwife in" on what's happening with me, and what annoys me about that is that I'm not actually trying to keep anything from my midwife, I'm just not wanting to bother the poor woman with my own little excitements about my body doing it's thing slowly but surely unless I feel it worth putting her on alert. My midwife is a busy woman with other clients as well as a host of other activities, and just life, to get on with and had I started emailing and calling her with even prelabour niggle, starting two weeks ago or more, then by now she'd probably think I was completely neurotic.

Still and all, *I* like to obsess about these things amongst those of you who are interested in listening to me rambling on, because it's all part of the fun, feeling all the contractions and wondering when things might finally happen...

I have to wonder though why other people would feel it was their business to be bringing my mw up to speed anyway? Isn't that for me to decide when to do? What is this, big brother?

Hmph!

Down to single digits...

You knew I was going to point that out, right?

Well, a few months ago, I worked out that if all my births were going to work out to an "average" of 40 weeks gestations, then I'd need to have this baby today... Erik was born, thanks to an induction, at 42 weeks even, then Luey was induced(by ARM only) at 40 weeks and 4 days. Bryn arrived under his own steam at 41 weeks and 5 days, and so to bring me back to 40 weeks this one would have to be born at 38 weeks and 4 days...

I highly doubt today will be the day, rofl, but I'm open to it, if it were to happen...

Keeping in mind that my longest labour - Erik's properly induced one - took 8 hours, I could quite easily fit birthing a baby into today.

It dawned on my last night, that my hospital records for Bryn's birth might actually state that Bryn's labour was 2.5 hours long, as a lot of hospitals seem to have the habit of counting labour from when you walk through their doors, rather than when you state you went into labour. I went into labour at 1am, but didn't get to the hospital (which is 2 minutes away) until 2am, and then he was born at 4.33am... Then again, I was definitely in established labour when I got there, so maybe they did take me on my word. I should really think about getting my records, LOL.

Am planning on going to the Baby Expo here in Melbourne on Friday week (my estimated due date), if I haven't had this baby by then. The way I'm looking at it, I've had a lot of prelabour this time, at least one contraction an hour for the past 5 days or so, but things maybe still not have happened in 9 days times (these things can take a while, I've seen it happen many times), and so, it's always a good idea to have something to look forward to.

Despite all the formula advertising and baby detachment devices promoting that goes on at these Expos, I love going to them and seeing what's going on our there in "Baby World". Last year I picked up one of those ingenius Tommee Tippee night time nursing pillows, that supports the newborn's back while you feed them in bed, lying down. It has it's own night light with timer, so mum can see to attach, and honestly I don't know why I never see this thing advertised anywhere, because it would make nighttime feeding of a newborn so much easier for many new mums! I can't wait to use mine! (note, I bought mine before I was even pregnant, rofl)

Anyway, enough rambling, things to do, things to do...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Belly art...

I thought I´d post a couple of pics of the wonderful piece of belly art Jayne did for me on Saturday at my Blessingway - courtesy of Jen's Iphone!


Monday, October 06, 2008

Milestones coming thick and fast now...

As of today, I can officially say, "This baby is due at the end of next week!"

As of Wednesday, I can say, "This baby is due in less than 10 days time!"

As of Friday, I can say, "This baby is due in a week's time!"

It's all exciting...

Last night I had about 1/2 a dozen good contractions, including a couple with the baby's head being shoved into my pelvis - LOTS of pressure. Lots of BHs in between, too. Nothing to keep me awake, mind you...

Needed to get to the shops today to get raspberry leaf tablets and epsom salts, and wanted to get some cotton yarn to try out a crocheted beanie for the baby (because this baby doesn't have enough hats, hahaha). The weather is crappy though, so none of that is going to happen today, Will have to get Dave to get the epsom salts, at least, because I definitely need those.

Other than that, I guess I'll just potter around the house...

Friday, October 03, 2008

38 weeks....

Well, this last week has been a tough one emotionally. Had to deal with a lot of demons, I think... I say, 'I think', because I´m not sure which demons or if I actually dealt with them. I know it has something to do with birth and feeling safe and needing control everything and surrendering and just having faith that everything will turn out.

A good friend has been through a lot more than me wrt these things, and has helped put my fears and whatnot into perspective, too - I'm sure she doesn't even realise she's done this for me, LOL...

I might have said, "two weeks to go now", except that last night I had a distinct and clear dream that today would be the beginning of my 41st weeks, not my 38th, and I was feeling kind of sheepish about thinking I would possibly go earlier. I was even feeling ok at the prospect of heading towards 42 weeks and having that Scorpio baby that Lucy said wouldn't be ideal. So, maybe I have another month to go...

Today is the last official day of the school holidays, so YAY! we've made it this far. It's been hard work at times, but I guess still a lot easier than it would have been if the boys hadn't had their excursions to go on.

Today I need to get to the shopping centre and buy some food for my Blessingway tomorrow, and a gift for a friends Blessingway as well. I also think I should get this baby some muslin wraps, I thought I had some, but a quick search through the wardrobe this morning suggests I might have given them away or packed them or something...

Generally speaking though, this baby could come now and I'd be ready, so that's good...

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I don´t know what´s wrong with me today :(...

I woke up this morning and my strongest urge was to pull everything out of the bottom of the wardrobe, crawl in there, close the doors and just hide in the darkness.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with anxiety atm, nothing specific, just lots of little things...

  • how others perceive me, especially people close to me...
  • why on earth I'd want to bring another baby into this world when I'm finding it so hard to cope with the three I have on an emotional level (yes, it's the holidays)...
  • whether I actually really want another baby right now? Yes, ludicrous, I know, but every day I can think of three good reasons why today would be a good day NOT to have a baby, and this morning I found myself actively willing away BH...
  • am I my own worst enemy? I mean seriously, I'm so driven by my desires but then I can't cope with them, I compulsively take on more than I can handle in basically every aspect of my life and then I put too much pressure on other people to take up the slack, and I wonder why people get annoyed by me. I just don't seem to be able to get a grip on balance. It's one extreme or the other, it always has been and 36 years of falling on my face time and again doesn't seem to have taught me much.

Teenagers and the failing parent...