Katy took her first steps at 9 months and was fully
walking by 10 months. So she's already a very capable walker and is
climbing and almost running too. Maybe it's because she has two older
siblings that she's trying to keep up with, or maybe it's just her
personality! She certainly loves to mimic Matthew and Emily in
everything. They play this game where they run from one side of the room
to another to "knock" over Daddy. Katy will line up with them to take
her turn, walking as fast as she can towards Daddy and then usually
getting scared halfway and making a bee-line for me!
She copies them in her words and signing too. For a while we
had her trying to sign something by hitting herself on the head, because
Matthew thought it would be funny to teach her his own sign. We put a
quick stop to that :)
Matthew and Emily spontaneously made up some actions to a new
song while we driving in the car. The words were, "bubble, bubble,
bubble, pop!" at which point they would raise their hand in the arm
pointing. Suddenly I noticed in the rear view mirror that Katy had her
little hand in the air at the exact right time in the song too! Once
they noticed that Katy was copying them, they made up actions to the
rest of the song and now whenever it comes on, all three kids
enthusiastically do all the actions together!
Matthew and Emily go to a sports class every Thursday
morning, and if we get there early, they are allowed to kick or throw
the balls around before class starts. Katy loves to join in and do just
the same as them in kicking (she's actually quite good at kicking the
ball!) and throwing the ball around.
Katy has a number of signs that she knows. So far, she's got:
It's interesting to see how many animal signs she has. Either
that's because she's just more interested in animals or it's because
I'm too busy at the dinner table to be teaching her food signs!
Katy loves to have books read to her. She grabs a book and
then thrusts it into your face before attempting to clamber onto your
lap ready for her story, It's so cute!
For a while, Katy was waking between 4:30am and 5am. Then it
moved to sometime between 5-6am. And for the last two weeks, it's been
consistently 6am - which works great for me! I love my early morning
time with Katy, when it's just the two of us. I watch some tv and have
my coffee, she eats some dry cheerios, I sit on floor and play with her
or read books and then about 45min to an hour later the older kids wake
up and the busyness of the day starts.
Katy loves to feed herself and is just starting to use a
spoon and fork (copying her brother and sister). She likes to have
things exactly the same as Matthew and Emily :)
The kids all bath together. Katy starts her bath a bit before
the kids while they are still finishing clean up. Then she gets some
playtime with them before she gets taken off to bed. Right now she is
nursing three times a day. Early morning, after lunch and just before
bed. I love my last snuggle time of the day with her. I'm still amazed
by how quickly the little baby who couldn't even get her head in the
right place to nurse, is now such a big girl lying in my lap holding on
tightly to her blanket.
She is definitely loves her blanket and I was clever this time and cut
it in half before she realized! She's not as dependent as Emily was/is
on her blanket, but it is still the go-to for when she's tired, unhappy
Katy is a real "mommies girl". She is the most clingy of all
my kids and is very hesitant to be apart from me. She can be left at
home with Daddy and the other two just fine, but she doesn't like being
with strangers. She also doesn't smile when people say hello to her or
wave at her. She's reserved and will reach out to me for reassurance.
Katy started going to MyGym in November 2012. She really
enjoys her time there! Her favorites are the trampoline, the ball pit
and in general climbing anything! Hilton and I take it in turns to go
with her. We've also started a music class as a family on Saturday
mornings and it's really cute to see how Katy knows the starting songs
to each class. For one, you clap your hands and in the other, you slap
your knees. If you start singing the songs, she'll do the correct
Katy really enjoys music and can "sing" Twinkle Twinkly
little star really well by herself. Without words and just with sounds,
you can almost hear the tune :)
Katy is so curious and just loves to explore the world around
her. She loves to open up cupboards, empty drawers, dump boxes out and
eat toilet paper! She doesn't like the word "no" and her bottom lip will
tremble as her eyes fill up with tears. The expression on her face is
one of hurt and disbelief - such a pitiful sight to see!
Katy adores her brother and sister. She practically runs to
their bedroom to wake up Emily after nap time. And they do the same when
Katy wakes. The feelings are definitely mutual!
Katy is fearless and adventurous. She has an infectious laugh, a bright smile and the best kisses ever!
I can't quite believe it - three years old already!
You're still so
much my little girl that I have to actively remind myself that you're
not so little anymore. You're growing up so fast and changing so
quickly, so here is a snapshot of where you are on your 3rd birthday.
You are our fearless little one who is ready to try
anything. You LOVE going to your gym class every Tuesday evening with
Daddy. You climb, swing, bounce with so much enjoyment and great
co-ordination and strength. You love going swimming with us and will
happily jump into the pool whether or not we're ready to catch you!
(We're working on that one...). You're happy to get your face wet, to
try and swim on your own with just the pool noodle tied around your back
keeping you afloat. You are riding a tricycle so well at the moment. We
found a little blue one that we decorated with pink tassels, a pink
horn and a little basket that you love riding. As we go down the street,
you tell us repeatedly how fast you're able to go on your bike! Matthew
has started riding a two wheel bike and I can see the gleam in your
eyes as you know that one day you'll be doing the same! We need to
introduce you to the balance bike - you'll love that! You love running
around outside with Matthew. You can't beat him in a foot race, but you
certainly do try! We all have such great fun outside in the circle with
our friends from across the street, Abigail and Claire. If you guys
aren't climbing the tree in the front yard, you're playing in the hedge,
climbing over branches and inventing games. What a delight to watch!
It's everything I could ever have hoped for, for your childhood.
You are still going to your gym class once a week. You are really good
at all the physical activities and gymnastics. You love spending that
special time with Daddy, and I know he loves it too. Lately you've been
giving him imaginary baby ducks to carry around the gym, and when you
arrive home, you have your hands cupped in front of you and you tell me
that you've brought your little duck home. So. So. Cute.
You language/talking has just taken off in the
last couple of weeks. You used to get SO frustrated with us when we
couldn't understand something you were trying to say. Now you're able to
explain the word to us and pronounce it more clearly so we can hear it.
Your words are so cute and we love hearing you talk! You say "peep" for
sleep so cutely. And my personal favorite is your mix between beautiful
and pretty - peu-ti--ful.
You learn a lot of your phrases from your big brother, so we're hearing a
lot of "What can we do now?", or "I don't like this!" (referring to
food). You're a great eater by the way, but very often you'll want to be
just like your big brother and so if he doesn't like his food, you
won't eat it either. Your favorite meal of the day is breakfast - you
love frosted mini shredded wheat!
You love reading books... by yourself! You enjoy hearing us read to you,
but more often then not, you'll be sitting next to us "reading" your
own book. You hand us a book, tell us to read it to you, and then start
reading your own book. And if we stop, you notice straight away and tell
us (in an exasperated voice) to carry on reading! It really is quite
I love listening to you read, "Green Hat, Blue Hat" and :New Hat, Old
Hat". You're read those to Katy for nap time on occasion too - just
adorable! And Katy loves it!Social:
Your best friend?
Definitely your big brother. You LOVE playing with him, and you guys
make up such intricate and imaginative games. This morning you both
found a stuffed toy (leopard for you, tiger for Matthew), put sock on
them and then treated them as your babies. Currently you're out riding
bikes with Daddy, and your stuffed animals! A sure way to break your
little heart is Matthew saying he doesn't want to play with you. That
and taking away your beloved pink blanket.
The joy you guys find in playing with each other is just beautiful to
see. It makes us so very happy. I look forward to when Katy is old
enough to join in your games. I can just imagine the fun you'll have
Your other friends are Abigail and Claire across the road. We've played
with them all Summer long and you have all spent a lot of time together.
is another of your friends, although we don't see her as often. You
always play "babies" when you're with her, taking turns to be the
Just recently you've started to become nervous around new people and in
new situations. You've always been our fearless one, ready to run into
any situation. But as you get older, you're a bit more hesitant and need
Mommy or Daddy to be by your side.
It's amazing to think that you're 3! You've been our little girl for so long, and it's taking a bit of getting used to!
are determined to do things on your own. Sometimes this can drive your
Dad and I nuts, but we know that you're just trying to learn and grown
on your own. And we're trying hard to help you do that. You're able to
almost get yourself completely dressed, you are learning to use the
potty, you use your fork and spoon so well, and there are so many more
things that when I stop to think about it, you do all by yourself!
We love the way to make us laugh out loud at the things you say, the
expressions you pull, they way you act. You do this really cute bum
wiggle when you dance. You have such exuberance and your laugh is just
You are an incredibly special little girl.
It's been a while since I've written, so I thought it was a good time
just to tell you how we're all doing and tell you about a new addition
on our website.
Firstly, the website... I've been aware just how
fast time is passing (it really does speed up with each child!), and
I've been looking for a way to capture and remember some of the more
"normal" day to day life as we're living it. We're pretty good about
capturing the big events, but I've been looking to find a way to
document the other stuff. Next year I want to try a project called "A
photo a day or 365 photos" where I take a picture every day and compile
an album, but that just wasn't happening this year. Then I came across
something called '10 on 10' where people would choose a day to capture,
take a bunch of photos of things that happened during the day, chose the
best 10 and published it on the 10th of every month. So, I'm a day late
(so I did 11 photos instead of 10), but that's what I'm going to be
trying to do. So today I carried the camera around all day with me and
had lots of fun taking photos! So you'll notice the link on the side bar
on the left.
I haven't had a chance to tell you what a WONDERFUL birthday I
had last weekend! I was up early with Katy at around 6am, as is usual
nowadays with her. She gave me a lovely full nights sleep from 8pm until
6am which was lovely, and I really enjoy our time together in the
morning having a cup of coffee and playing on the carpet. It was nice to
have my birthday on a Saturday this year and be able to spend it with
the whole family. As soon as the kids were awake, they came racing
through with my gifts. Lots of lovely smelly things for the bath. Hilton
gave me a massage pad that fits onto a chair or onto the couch. The
kids and I had great fun trying it out.
A while back I told Hilton how good I had been by not buying Katy any
new clothes because I had all of Emily's hand me downs, but how I really
wanted to because I was tired of seeing the same things on Katy. Well,
Hilton gave me the 'birthday gift' of taking all 3 kids to the park and
sending me shopping at the consignment store guilt free to pick up some
things for Katy. I had a lovely time indulging and getting some cute
little outfits for Katy.
After lunch and nap time, we spent the afternoon outside riding bikes
and playing with the neighbors. We got the kids down to sleep earlier
than usual and very easily, and then got dressed up for our dinner date.
When I went to kiss Emily and Matthew good night, wearing my "fancy
clothes" - a skirt - Emily looked me up and down and said, "What's that
thing?" pointing at the skirt. We had a good laugh about that!
With the kids all tucked up in bed, we were able to enjoy a delicious meal. It was the perfect ending to a really lovely day!
night Matthew started throwing up and was sick for the whole of Sunday.
We kept him home on Monday since he was not eating and could barely
function. Tuesday he was looking better, and all was on track for me to
go to school with him on Wednesday for a Mothers day tea but he threw up
again on Tuesday afternoon, so we stayed home from school on Wednesday
too. By Thursday he was feeling much better and eating well, so he went
back to school today. We thought we had been lucky that no one else got
sick, but today Emily started acting "off" - wanting her blanket,
complaining that she was tired all the time, not really eating and then
tonight after baths, she started throwing up too. Hopefully it's over
quickly with her, we'll see in the morning.
Katy had her 4 month check-up today. She's doing great, weighing
14lbs now and babbling and trying to roll. She's also determined to try
and sit by herself and the doctor mentioned that she might be an early
walker. Considering that Matthew walked at 11 months, Emily at 10
months, I'd hate to think of Katy starting earlier than that! As
mentioned earlier, she's sleeping really well at night. She goes down
without a fuss at 8pm and half the time she'll sleep through until 6am,
and the other half, she'll wake up for a feed once during the night. She
had 3 shots today and had a mild fever this afternoon which luckily
went away by the time she went down to sleep. Maybe we'll be really
lucky and she won't catch the tummy bug that the older kids have. We've
tried to keep them away from her as much as possible, but it's really
tough. Matthew has only just today been allowed to touch her again and
he's just heaping on the love! This morning, I was busy in the kitchen
rushing to get the lunches ready and Katy was fussing on her playmat.
Matthew always takes it upon himself to try and keep her happy and
occupied by giving her toys and making funny faces at her. If you get
within her reach though, she'll grab onto your hair very tightly and she
seems to really enjoy it. After listening to her fussing for a while
and hearing Matthew trying to soothe her with toys, I heard him say in a
very resigned tone of voice, "ok, Katy I'm ready for the hair pulling
game" as he leaned down close to allow her to grab his hair. And sure
enough, she stopped fussing :)
We bought an outside plastic playhouse for the kids for Summer which
has been sitting (un-built) in our front room for the last two days.
The kids are so excited to put it together! So that is on our list of
tings to do, as well as a trip to IKEA (call me crazy but this is my
Mothers Day treat - we don't exchange gifts on mothers and fathers day
as we feel that there are just too many times during the year that you
have to buy a gift, so we do a special outing or homemade gifts instead.
My special outing is going to IKEA guilt free to buy some new bedding
for the kids beds that they really don't need but that I really want
them to have! I love having a husband who knows me well enough to know
how much I'm looking forward to this! Also, I get a free breakfast on
mothers day at IKEA, which is a saving of $1.74!)
The wading pool is open this weekend because we're getting
spectacular weather for the next two days and Matthew is really excited
about going. We are so pleased to see his enthusiasm, because swimming
has been going really badly for him these past few weeks with a new swim
teacher and then back to an old swim teacher who just isn't the right
fit for him, that we'll be going both days if possible. He's even keen
to try out sitting on the pool noodle in the wading pool which is great
So lots of sun, shopping and outside time for us this weekend!
Matthew is such an active little boy! He loves to run, jump, race, roll, wrestle, tumble and so on.
has swimming lessons three days a week after preschool for half and
hour. It's taken a long time for him to build up trust with the swim
teachers and he is still not confident in the water unless held tightly
in someones arms. He is making progress little by little though and even
though they are small steps, at least he's moving in the right
direction. He's happy in the wading pool which is only 2ft deep or
splashing around at the edge of a lake, and I'm sure one day will be
just as happy swimming in the big pool.
Matthew got a tricycle for his third birthday and has loved riding
around on it. In October we bought a balance bike for him which is a two
wheel bike without peddles. He wasn't interested at first and only sat
on it a couple of times. We adjusted the seat, padded it and encouraged
him to try it again a few months later and this time something just
clicked! He now zooms all over the place on his bike! He has no fear
going down a steep hill on it, racing around the park or up and down the
street. To see his confidence on it is really wonderful! He'll soon be
ready for a proper two wheel bike!
Matthew also loves racing. Whether it be on his bike or just on his own
two feet. He's also obsessed with winning, but that's just an age thing
and something we're working on. Matthew has remained true to his first
love of diggers/construction vehicles. We bought him a space rocket for
Christmas but he'd rather play with his diggers. So I'm sure he'll be
pleased with the big backhoe that's hidden in the cupboard for him!
Whenever there is dirt or sand or mud around, Matthew is ready to dig.
Nothing pleases him more. Both kids were so happy when the sandbox was
reopened after being packed away for the whole of Winter. Nothing
frustrates Matthew more than having a digger without the correct dump
truck or the other way around!
Matthew also loves watching tv, and having family movie night. This year
he's had a wide range of favorite programs like Richard Scarry Busy
Town, Blues Clues, Fishtronaught, Chuck the truck, My Big blue friend,
Shaun the sheep and Pingu. He also really enjoys playing on the computer
and is quite good at using the mouse and key board. He really loves
playing Boowa and Kwala! lately he's also become enamored with watching
Star Wars cello every morning before breakfast. He is so intent while he
watches it and never forgets to ask for it each morning!
Matthew really is a big brother. He is protective of his
sisters and most times is very sweet to them. He adores Katy and it's
almost guaranteed that she will smile when she sees him! He loves to lie
down next to her, talk to her and play with her. If she needs a diaper
change though, he'll wait outside her room and call out "is her diaper
clean yet?" before coming in. There are the usual sibling rivalry issues
with Emily and because of their close ages, they often want to play
with the same toys which can cause some problems, but when they play
nicely together it is an absolute joy to watch! Watching them holding
hands and walking around together is another sight that melts my heart
Matthew really enjoys going to preschool.
He has a bunch of friends there (most a year older than him) and he
seems to get on well with the teachers and other kids in his class. He
has a swimming lesson after each school day for 30min which he doesn't
enjoy as much because swimming is a challenge for him. He doesn't like
being in deep water and has trouble trusting someone to hold him safely.
He's made small steps of progress throughout the year and it's not as
big a problem as it was at the beginning of the year. We're still
working on it though.
His school friends at the moment are: Larry, Austin, Theo, Brody, Braydon and Collen
is a typical little boy learning to deal with his anger. He gets a bit
rough with Emily and us at times and is learning (the hard way) how to
cool down and use his words instead of his actions when he's angry,
Controlling his body when he's angry is currently what we're working on!
also discovered that Matthew is color blind. He can't distinguish
between green and orange and has trouble with blue and pink as well.
Very often he'll call something "greenish orange" to cover both
Matthew is a very sensitive little guy. He likes to be close to us in
new situations and when he's unsure of things. He loves listening to
music but will pick up very quickly when it makes him feel scared or sad
and ask for it to be turned off. The same goes for tv. If things get
too scary (such as the big bad wolf, a witch, a "bad man") Matthew will
want it off immediately. He loves to be tickled and to wrestle. He loves
his goodnight hug and kiss and gets quite upset if he doesn't get it,
same goes for when Daddy leaves in the morning. Matthew will often say
to me, "Did I tell Daddy I love him? Did I give Daddy a hug? Did I give
Daddy a kiss?".
Matthew loves to tell jokes, he always wants to know what we're talking
about, he's at an age where he wants to be heard when he's talking and
doesn't like being interrupted. Matthew loves to read and will hear you
reading from across the room and come and settle in to listen. He loves
to ask questions and understand things. Matthew has the sweetest smile.
His is full of love and luckily still full of cuddles. We are the VERY
proud parents of this little boy and can't quite believe that on one
hand we've only known him for 4 years and on the other hand, that 4
years has passed so quickly!
A quick update on how our precious little Katy is doing.
She is full of smiles at the moment and we're loving it! When she wakes
up, she gives the biggest grins - it's my favorite time of the day. She
has started grabbing things in front of her or just above her on the
play mat, and started kicking her legs up in an attempt to roll over.
It's all very exciting to see. The kids love seeing her "growing up" and
starting to do new things. She's found her fingers and loves to suck
them, as you can see in the photos.
She has started sleeping through the night about half the time. And I
mean real sleeping through the night - falling asleep between 8:30pm and
9:00pm and only waking up at 7am. The other half of the time she will
wake once, usually around 3am or 4am. It certainly makes it a lot easier for me to be getting some sleep!
She doesn't sleep great during the day, I think that she thrives on the
noise and chaos and when things are too quiet, she'll wake up. But
luckily she doesn't wake up grumpy, she'll have a short 10min snooze and
wake up happy and refreshed. So really we have nothing to complain
about! We're loving watching her grow and develop!
You can see some photos here.
| Katy 2 months
|| Emily 2.5 months
|| Matthew 4 months
My story of battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG)
Summer is coming to the Pacific Northwest soon (hopefully in
July!) and with it comes memories of my pregnancy with Katy. And sadly they are
bad memories, in fact, horrible memories.
Let me say firstly, that my battle with HG was not
considered severe or life-threatening to me or to the baby. When you read other
stories of HG survivors, you’ll see that many have suffered far, far worse than
I did. This is just my story.
When Hilton and I first started talking about having a third
child, we knew that I would probably suffer from horrible morning sickness like
I did with both Matthew and Emily. We hoped it wouldn’t happen, but we were
expecting it. Because of this, I started to do some reading about coping with
morning sickness, so at least this time I would be better prepared, since my
two previous pregnancies were really tough, Emily’s more so than Matthews.
When reading a review about a book on morning sickness, I
read the comment, “This book might help those people suffering from normal
morning sickness, but not for those suffering from HG. This book ……. is
better.” Immediately I was curious. What was HG? And I started researching. As
I read more and more about Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), I felt like crying with
relief. I had finally found a name for what I went through with both my other
pregnancies. It had a name. Other people suffered from it. It wasn’t all in my
head. It could be helped with medication. I hadn’t had it half as badly as some
others. Basically I had the assurance - It was real.
It was also very scary. I found out that people who suffer
from HG have it worse with each pregnancy and it’s unlikely that you’ll have a
HG free pregnancy once you’ve had one already. But I was now armed with
information. I literally gobbled up information about this condition. I read
the book recommended, I read blogs about other women’s journeys through HG and
I became familiar the criteria for being classified as having HG, with the
medication recommended, the side effects, and how the doctor would most likely
We now faced having to bring this up with my OB-GYN (the
same one that we went to for Emily’s pregnancy) as a ‘self-diagnosis’. It
hadn’t been picked up with either of my other pregnancies, so I felt a bit
awkward telling her that I thought I had suffered from this horrible condition
and was most likely to again. I was worried that I would have to convince her
that it was real, that maybe she hadn’t heard of it before, or wouldn’t agree
with prescribing the medication until things got really bad. We walked out of
her office that day with the biggest smiles on our faces and feelings of
immense relief. She had just had a baby girl and had suffered from HG during
her pregnancy. She knew exactly what we were talking about, she knew how to
treat it and could give real hands on advice.
Her first piece of advice – plump up, as you’re likely to lose
a lot of weight. Perfect timing, as we headed off to South Africa for a 3 week
trip to celebrate my sister’s wedding. I ate with gay abandon!
We fell pregnant in May and waited for the first symptoms to
appear. We took the pregnancy test on the night before Matthew’s 3rd
birthday. I remember the excitement of finding out we were pregnant, but more
than excitement, I remember feeling fear. I was so scared of what was about to
I had told Hilton that “it was only 9 months out of our
lives, we can get through it”, and “I’ll be stronger this time, and make myself
eat” and a whole bunch of other things that all proved to be really, really
In HG cases, the morning sickness starts much earlier (5
weeks as opposed to 6 or 7 weeks) than in other pregnancies. Sure enough, 5.5
weeks pregnant and I was ready to start taking prescription medication to help
and control the ever increasing nausea. I remember exactly where I was when I
made the decision. I had taken the kids, by myself, to Idylwood Beach Park and
I was sitting on the sand watching them play and feeling sick. Part of me
thought I should wait until it got worse before taking the medication but in
the end I went home and made the call to the doctor so I could pick up my
pills. All through my pregnancy, I was worried about the amount of medication I
was taking. I had always been told not to take anything while pregnant, and
here I was on 6 different medications, but I knew I had no choice.
Things went steadily downhill from that point onward. To be
honest, I don’t remember much of that time. The days passed in a blur of trying
to look after the kids, letting them watch way too much TV while I lay on the
couch and begging Hilton to come home to relieve me. Somehow I was still
preparing meals for them and Hilton, but I wasn’t eating anymore and I was
barely drinking. Water was a real trigger for me. Seeing it, tasting it and
hearing it. I would gag whenever I brushed my teeth, until the dread was so
much that I just wouldn’t brush them. I wasn’t eating anything anyway…
I felt like I could drink the flavored fizzy drinks from
Trader Joes, so Hilton stocked up on those. I lived on those drinks for months.
I could manage tiny sips, a little at a time. But I was so thirsty all the
time. Hilton would beg me to eat, encourage and insist. I don’t remember if I
I was just so tired. At times, I felt it was unsafe for me
to be around the kids and I think I even called Hilton home a few times because
I was worried I might pass out. Eventually it got so bad that Hilton decided
that we needed a Nanny to help out during the day. He couldn’t leave work to be
with me all day, and I couldn’t be alone with the kids.
Monday morning and the Nanny arrives. She seems nice. I
remember lying on the couch, barely moving, barely keeping my eyes open. I’m
really not feeling well. Hilton was worried about me, so he called the nurse at
the doctor’s office. He tells them that I am 8 weeks pregnant, not eating and
I’ve already lost 17lbs. She tells him to take me to the Emergency room right
away to get fluids for dehydration. We said goodbye to the kids, they were so
confused and worried. I can’t blame them, they had only met the Nanny an hour
before. I cried in the car. I was scared.
Trying to explain what was going on the doctor in the
Emergency room was tough. I felt silly and like I was over-reacting. I was put
on fluids for the dehydration and given IV Zofran. Hilton went home to be with
the kids and I remember just lying there, half awake and half asleep. Feeling
so, so sick. After 3 bags of IV fluid, the nurse asked me if I needed to use
the bathroom. I said no. She went out to tell the doctor. I heard the doctor
tell her that if I didn’t need to use the toilet after 3 bags of fluid, they
had better give me a forth. So I stayed for another bag of fluid, after which I
“passed” the test and used the bathroom. Hilton came to pick me up. I felt
slightly better after having the fluids, but I was still terribly weak and
tired and still feeling sick. I lay on the couch all afternoon while the Nanny
cared for my kids and made supper. Matthew was so concerned for me, he was so
worried. And that worry still exists today as every time I go the doctor, he
wants to know if I’ll be coming back of if I’ll stay at the hospital.
That evening we got offers from both moms to fly over from
South Africa and stay with us. It was really difficult having to ask for help.
It felt to me like I was failing as a mom, and in a way I was.
We made the decision to accept the offers. We just couldn’t
cope. And 3 days later my Mom arrived.
The time that my Mom was here is the most difficult time for
me to remember. Partly because I was now
on 6 different medications, and the combination of them made me incredibly
drowsy. I battled to wake up or to stay awake. The other reason was because
this was the worst time for me.
I barely saw the kids during this time. I would sleep in
during the mornings, maybe get up at around 11am to have TV time with the kids,
where I would lie on the couch some more. I can’t even think about the TV shows
that the kids used to watch during this time without feeling really sick. The
theme music plays in my head if I even think of them and the trigger is so
strong that I instantly get taken back to that time. And then to be honest, I
don’t know what I did the rest of the day. I think I probably slept some more,
or lay on the couch. I remember lying on the couch during their bath time and
watching ‘House Hunters’ on HGTV. Another show that I don’t watch anymore.
I was eating 2 teaspoons of oats in the morning and maybe at
other times of the day. I was drinking a bit, but still not touching water. I
returned to the ER during this time for more fluids and my weight hit its all-time
low. I lost a total of 25lbs.
I lost touch with the world. I didn’t keep up with my
emails, I didn’t talk to my friends and I didn’t leave the house much. It was a
really low point for me. I mentioned to the Doctor at one of my appointments
that I thought I was suffering from depression, because I just lost interest in
everything. But she said that it was all probably related to my being so sick
and by the time the medication started making me feel better, the HG would
probably be fading and I would be feeling better. Luckily she was right.
As the 3 weeks with
my Mom drew to a close, I remember an outing where we took the kids to the lake
to watch hydroplane boat racing. It was the first time I actually felt like
eating something. I ate one cherry. I was so scared to put it into my mouth,
but it actually tasted good. Then I felt like strawberry ice cream. It was such
a breakthrough! (In the end I landed up having some vanilla ice cream since
they didn’t have strawberry that day). But it was one step closer to returning
to normal. And the other thing that changed that day was that I had a lovely
time with the kids. I had hardly seen them in the previous weeks. I felt
totally disconnected from them. I didn’t know what they spent their time doing
anymore, I couldn’t cuddle them or be with them much and the guilt from that
was over-powering. Here I was, bringing a new baby into their world and about
to disrupt their lives, and I had just become an absent Mommy. It was the worst
thing for me to have to deal with. Amazingly there is a book called Mama Has
Hyperemesis Gravidarum (But Only For A While) which (I hoped) helped the kids
to understand what was going on.
My Mom left after
about 3.5 weeks and Hilton’s Mom arrived. I was more alert during this time,
and starting to feel a bit better. I dropped one of my medications, the one
that made me feel like I was living in a fog, and that helped a lot. I started
eating sandwiches with cheese and marmite. They had to be made a certain way,
with toast and with the cheese melted for 10 seconds exactly. I remember the
night when I suddenly said to Hilton that I wanted marmite. He left straight
away to go and get some from the store. It was that big of a deal to us. I soon
found that there was a bread sold at the bakery next door to Emily’s gym class
that I loved, and if I had my sandwich on that bread, I wanted two sandwiches –
whoo hoo! My weight hit 139lbs at its lowest and now it was starting to stay
there and not drop anymore.
We were all a bit
worried about what would happen when it was time for Hilton’s mom to leave,
would I be able to manage, to cook and look after the kids? We knew the answer
to that when one Saturday, while Hilton, my Mom-in-law and the kids were eating
ham sandwiches at the dining room table and I was lying down, I called Hilton
to the bedroom and said, “I’m SO scared, but I REALLY want a bite of your
sandwich”. I had one tentative bite and it was delicious! I then added ham to
my 3 sandwiches a day. I also started drinking water again. I was just so
thirsty one day, and the juice just wanted helping me at all, so I just closed
my eyes and took a big gulp from a glass of cold water. It felt so good! After
that moment, I was drinking water all the time and did so for the rest of my
We celebrated the 4th
of July up at Big Lake with my Mom-in-law and friends and I was able to eat! I
could have cried with joy when I went back a second time to put one tiny spoon
of macaroni salad on my plate. It was over, it was going to get better, we were
going to be ok.
From that point
onwards, I improved physically, slowly but surely. By the time my Mom-in-law
left I was able to cook meals and look after the kids. It was a huge change
from what I was like when she arrived. I also started to stop taking some of
medication that I didn’t need anymore, but I was scared, in fact terrified to
give up my main nausea medication (Zofran). I felt addicted to it, not
physically, but emotionally. It was my security blanket.
We planned a trip to
the Great Wolf Lodge in October and I suddenly realized that I wouldn’t have
enough pills for the trip. I frantically phoned the doctor to get my
prescription rushed so I could pick it up before we left. I was so worried
about not having enough. After the first day there, I got distracted and forgot
to take my pill and the same for the next day and then I suddenly realized – I
didn’t need it anymore! It truly was over.
Physically, the HG
didn’t leave any lasting problems. Once it was over, the last months of
pregnancy passed pretty easily with just the usual issues such as discomfort,
sleeplessness and tiredness.
left scars on our little family. For a long time afterwards and still sometimes
today, Matthew will worry when I say I’m going to the doctor. He wants to know
if I’ll be coming straight back or if I’m staying there. Memories of the ER…
For me, it was one of
the most difficult times of my life. I had very dark moments when I didn’t want
to be pregnant anymore, when I didn’t want another baby. It was so hard to
admit that then, and it is still hard to admit it now. I desperately wanted
another child, which is why we started this journey knowing what we did about
my condition. But when I was going through it, it was harder than I could ever
It was so difficult
to bond with this new baby while I was pregnant. I worried that it was a
mistake getting pregnant. I worried
constantly that I wouldn’t be able to love this new child. I felt like I
couldn’t admit this to anyone except Hilton and my closest friend. But I
worried about it all the time. Eventually Hilton just said to me – Stop
worrying. It’s going to be impossible not to love her when she’s here. We will
love her, she will love us. It’s not her making you sick, it’s not a problem if
you don’t feel complete love while you’re so sick, it’s ok. It will all be just
And it was. It is.
Katy is just wonderful and he was right. Despite her dramatic birth, when she
was put into my arms, there wasn’t any leftover resentment, not an ounce of
feeling like we’d made a mistake, not even a little bit of worry about if I
could love her. I already did.
I wasn’t sure whether to write about how it
affected me emotionally. I know that Katy might read this someday, that she
might hear about what it was like being pregnant with her or she might have
questions about what it was like when we were waiting for her to arrive. And I
don’t want to pretend that it was something that it wasn’t. I don’t want any
lies. I want her to know, completely and utterly, how much we wanted her, how
loved she is. How she is really deeply and completely loved no matter what her
pregnancy was like, no matter what thoughts and worries I had. Illness can do
that to you. It robbed Matthew and Emily of their mommy, it robbed Hilton of
his wife and it robbed me of time with the people I loved most in the world and
it robbed me of the joy of being pregnant. But you know what, that’s ok. It’s
over and all that is important is life now, here in this moment. And I’m so
lucky, because life is good, very good.
Since Katy is about to be two months old, I thought it would be a good
time to give you an update on how she is doing. I am painfully aware of
how regularly I would update everyone about Matthew and even Emily, and
how many photos we took of them, so I am hoping to be at least
semi-regular with Katy.
Katy is nursing really well and I get lots of comments on how much
bigger she's getting. At her last doctors visit (3 weeks ago), she
weighed 10lbs and the doc was very pleased with that. Shes moved into 3
month clothes because she's not fitting into her 0-3 month stuff
anymore. I think I was in a bit of denial about how fast she's been
growing because it took two separate people to mention that her clothes
were looking a bit small before I realized that she couldn't really
stretch out her legs! So we've just done a big clothes reshuffle and now
she has a lot of nice new, cute things to wear and is probably more
comfortable! Since she's my last, it's a bit sad to see her growing (as
I'm sure both mothers can relate to!), but there's no use denying that
fact that she is!
Katy is sleeping pretty well at night. I wake up about once, maybe
twice, but we only get her down to sleep very late. 11pm is considered
early, usually it's about 12 or 1am. Sometimes as late as 2am. Hilton
and I believe in teaching even a really young child to sleep on their
own in their crib. So we have never done co-sleeping with any of our
kids. When Katy falls asleep in our arms or bouncing on the ball, we put her down in the crib/cot. She
usually wakes up and we repeat the cycle as many times as needed until
she stays asleep. It's more work and many people would disagree with us,
but it's what we feel is best. During the day she hates to sleep unless
she's in my arms, driving in the car or in the baby Bjorn (baby pouch).
So I'm finding it difficult to manage that and give the older kids the
attention they need and deserve. We're still trying to work out how to
handle this, she's a very different sleeper to our two others so it's
like we're learning all over again.
Matthew absolutely ADORES Katy. He is forever fussing over her,
trying to hold her and cuddle her. Sometimes it can be really challenging.
Emily is definitely having a harder time adjusting. She really craves
time and cuddles with me, especially the cuddles part. And having a baby
means that I'm not hands free much, so Emily tries to get me to put her
down so she can be in my arms instead. She throws lots of tantrums and
really likes to control situations like what to wear, where to sit, etc.
I feel really bad about it, it breaks my heart when she's just crying
and begging me to pick her up but I have just got Katy to sleep in my
arms and I can't. I've been told that it takes about 3 months for the
family to completely adjust to the arrival of a new baby. I'm pretty
sure that she'll be fine and it's just a matter of time, but it's hard
watching her go through it. I really thought she would be all over the
baby like she is with her baby dolls, but Matthew is more like that and
Emily is more stand-offish.
Just before she turned 6 weeks, we
got a glimmer of a smile and since then we've seen some big, happy
smiles, but nothing that we can catch on camera or that we can get her
to reproduce. You can she she's trying really hard, but is not quite
She's just now started enjoying her bath. She used to scream till she
was blue in the face whenever it was bath time, but we've started her on
a regular night time routine that means having a bath daily and she's
started enjoying it now, although she still hates being cold, so getting
in and out are still unpleasant.
She tries to suck her fingers, but as yet is unable to get them into her
mouth. It's most often her fist that she's suck on. We've tried the
dummy a few times, but she hasn't taken to it.
Since she's not
mobile at the moment, there is nothing much else to say. We're busy
learning what she likes (bouncing on the ball, watching Matthew, lying
on the play mat, being bundled in a blanket, being carried in a pouch,
eating, her mobile...) and what she doesn't (the dummy, being cold,
standing still when you should be bouncing, daddy's arms when all she
wants is mommy) and it's quite exciting to get to know her and take this
Katherine Shirley Lange
Born: 1:19am Thursday January 5, 2012
Weight: 7lbs 13oz
Length: 19 1/2 inches
Wednesday January 4, 2012
I had a regular doctors appointment this morning. I was concerned that
the OBGYN would talk to me about inducing labor as I was a bit worried
about my fluid levels and I also hadn't felt the baby move much in the
past couple of days. I asked Hilton to come with me because I wanted
another opinion if the subject of inducing came up and also because I
was worried that something might be wrong. After dropping Matthew off at
preschool, we headed over to the doctors office. I remember chatting to
Hilton in the car about what would happen if they did actually find the
baby in some distress and we had to have an emergency C-section.The
doctor checked me and told us that I was 4cm dilated and she also
stripped my membranes. After chatting to the doctor a bit, she said that
she'd like to do a stress test to check that the baby was moving
enough. So we were led into another room where I got to sit on a comfy
chair and be hooked up to monitors to check contractions and baby's
heartbeat and I also had a button to push every time baby moved. I had
one small contraction while lying there for 20min, and I also felt the
baby move about 4 times. The doctor took a look at the results and
decided that we should just do an ultrasound to check that the baby was
doing the correct breathing motions and to check my fluid levels. At
this point Hilton and Emily left to go and pick up Matthew from
preschool, while I stayed behind to get the ultrasound done. The
ultrasound showed everything was fine with baby and so we were told not
to worry, and sent home to await her big arrival. Little did we know
that her arrival would happen so soon!
At home that afternoon, Hilton went back to work and I spent a quiet
afternoon with the kids because I was feeling quite sore and crampy
after the doctors appointment. The evening proceeded as normal with no
indication of what lay ahead!
The evening as were getting ready for bed at about 11pm, I started
feeling some pretty painful contractions. They weren't regular though
and they didn't last very long or intensify. So I assumed that like
previous times, it was something that would fade. I even mentioned to
Hilton that I would have to be 100% sure that it really was labor before
I woke Holly up in the middle of the night and dropped off our two
sleeping kids. I was waiting for that first really painful contraction
that would signify to me that this was the real deal. So we lay in bed
chatting and reading with me occasionally commenting that I was having a
contraction that was sore, but not sore enough that I couldn't talk
through it. At about 11:45pm, I had a really painful contraction. The
type that I knew was real, but I told Hilton that I thought we should
wait for another one before we woke up everyone, possibly for a false
alarm. I then lay down to go to sleep since it seemed I wasn't going to
have another one. As I was lying on my side, I had another really
painful contraction, I felt a distinction "pop" and then water gushed
between my legs. I gasped and then if I remember, I said to Hilton,
"crap, my water just broke!" I managed to roll out of bed (to protect
the mattress!) as Hilton went to fetch towels. I was in a lot of pain, I
remember telling Hilton a number of times to get dressed, get dressed!
It was now 12:20am on Thursday January 5, 2012
Hilton went to wake up the kids, and surprisingly they both woke up
immediately and were really awake and responsive and completely
understood what was going on. I phoned Holly, her husband answered and
laughed when I told him I was in labor, but said, 'come on over'. I also
phoned the hospital to tell them we were on our way. We rushed to get
the kids into warm jackets and get the car started and warmed up. I was
having really painful contractions every few minutes, but the break
between them was long enough that I was still helping out and getting
the kids ready. It was raining really heavily that night as we rushed
the kids into the car and drove to Holly's. I managed to carry Emily to
the front doorstep between contractions, and as I was standing there, on
the front porch, I had water running down my leg. I remember leaning
against the door frame in pain, and apologizing to Holly for waking her
up in the middle of the night. We left almost immediately after a quick
goodbye to the kids and headed for the hospital. The rain was really
coming down hard and Hilton was driving as fast as possible, while my
contractions were about 2min apart. Parking at the hospital and getting
out the car to the elevator was a painful process. My contractions were
really strong and I now had water gushing down my legs. I almost
couldn't walk, the pain was so strong and frequent. Hilton checked me
in, while I was doubled over in pain at the nurses station. A nurse came
out immediately to show us to the room - no intermediate room to check
if I was in labor, like we had had for Emily's birth - straight to the
delivery room. I had to pause a few times on the walk to the room
because of the contractions. The nurse asked me if I wanted an epidural
and I immediately answered "yes!". So she said they would get someone to
come and give me one. As we were on the way to the room, we heard a
lady screaming in another room, and the nurse said, "that's what a
natural birth sounds like!". At the time, I had no clue that I would be
in the same situation as her!
In the delivery room, trying to get into the hospital gown was a
challenge, my pants were dripping wet and there was water all over the
floor. I finally got settled into bed where the nurse checked to see how
far along I was, and I just remember here saying, "Ah sweetie, you're
8-9am dilated, I will try and get the IV in for the epidural, but I
don't think there will be time" What a shock...
I remember little else from that time on. I had my eyes closed and was
clutching Hilton's hand as one contraction after another came. The
nurses were talking about getting the doctor here as soon as possible,
about telling her not to go to room 2, but to come to us immediately.
They told me not to push, but to breathe through the contractions. I
remember moaning and whimpering through some really, really painful
contractions and realizing that I wasn't going to get any pain relief,
that I was going to have to do this naturally. It was a difficult thing
to come to terms with. Hilton was so calm the whole time, he just kept
saying to me over and over again that I was doing great, that I could do
this, that it was going to be fine. The urge to push got stronger and
stronger, until I was begging the nurses to let me push instead of
waiting for the doctor to arrive. They got my legs ready, and told me to
start pushing. The doctor walked in and I heard the nurse say to her,
"get your gloves in and come catch a baby". I think I pushed about 3-4
times, it felt like nothing I could have imagined. But I was very aware
of when Katy made her entrance into the world. It was painful and sore,
but it also felt good to push and was almost a relief in a way. I guess
it's what your body is designed to do. The nurses and doctor then called
out, "open you eyes, open your eyes" and I opened them just in time to
see Katy being lifted into arms. I held this wet, squirming bundle,
amazed and in shock at what had just happened. Just under an hour from
water breaking to Katy being born at 1:19am.
I had no tearing and no stitches. The placenta was delivered easily and
the cord blood collected for donation. Hilton got to hold Katy while my
body adjusted to everything that had just happened and I was shaking all
over. Katy had the normal tests done and all that, while Hilton and I
looked at each other in amazement - what had just happened!
Hilton then sms'd parents while they cleaned Katy up and brought her
back to me. I let her feed a bit before she was taken for her bath. I
was suddenly starving, so the nurse brought some sandwiches and a salad,
which I devoured. I couldn't believe how hungry I was!
At about 3am, Hilton left to go home and get some sleep before having to
pick up the kids the next morning. I was finally taken to my new room
at about 4am, where I got an hour and a half of sleep before being woken
for all the various checks they do at the hospital.
What a night, what a story to tell, what an adventure! I'm so glad we
got to experience all that (although at the time, I was certainly not!),
and even more excited that it resulted in a beautiful baby girl for us
to get to know and love.
As we got closer to Emily’s birthday, Matthew kept asking if
she would still look the same on her birthday, and if she would still be a
little girl? I assured him that although she was getting older, she would still
be Emily and look just the same – this seemed to reassure him greatly!
A little girl is definitely what Emily is. She loves babies
of any type, real or not, animal or human. In fact she calls anything small
‘baby’ and will proceed to find a mommy size and a daddy size of the same item.
We’ve tried to correct her, but it’s really too cute and I’m sure that she
won’t be doing this in college, so we don’t have to fear. If you ask her what
her favorite color is, or to identify any color, she’s answer blue – so I guess
pink is not on the radar yet!
She loves to pretend play and will happily “cook” in the
play kitchen, feed her baby dolls, put them to sleep and so on. She is also
happiest when included in Matthew’s games. She’s not quite able to follow what
he wants her to do, but every now and then you’ll see then interacting
perfectly and understanding each other. If Matthew is around, Emily wants to be
with him. Either playing next to him, with him or doing what he tells her too.
She really does adore him. She understands his routine and is content dropping
him off at preschool and excited to pick him up again after swimming.
Emily loves playing peek-a-boo and hide and seek. It’s
especially funny to watch her try and hide in the corner or some other random
place and squeal when she’s found.
She also loves her weekly routine of going to gym class with
me. She has really grown in her physical abilities and is adept at climbing on
all the play structures and taking part in the gymnastics. She’s still as
fearless as she’s always been, so anything new is tackled with enthusiasm and
no hesitancy at all. This can be especially challenging when she’s trying to
imitate her older brother on some of the bigger play equipment at the
playground or around the swimming pool!
Emily has really begun to assert her independence and her
control over situations when she’s able to. She has strong opinions about what
she wants to wear (and when!) and where she wants to go and how things are
meant to be. Since her communication is still not great, sometimes it’s a bit
of a guessing game to try and work out what is upsetting her. It can be as
simple as which door she wants to use to get out the car, or as complex as
which color fork she wants to eat which food with on which plate.
She’s recently had a real boost in her ability to
communicate which has helped a great deal with this! She’s always talked a lot
and had much to say, but her sounds have been indistinguishable and very hard
to understand. She’s just now beginning to use the proper sounds for her words
and even started changing some of her ‘old’ words into ones that we can
understand. It’s been lovely getting to really communicate with her!
Emily loves reading in a very different way to Matthew.
Matthew would always listen with great interest when you started reading and even
if he was busy with something else, if her heard you reading a book, he would
drop what he was doing to come and listen. Emily on the other hand loves to
read herself. She’ll half listen to the story that you are reading and then as
soon as you’re done, she’ll ask for the book and proceed to read it herself
from front cover to back. She will
continue to do this long after the light has been turned off or after you’ve
left the room. In the morning, we’ll often find a huge pile of books lying next
to her bed even though we had left her with only one book when we turned the
Emily loves to cuddle more than anything else. And if she
finds you on the floor or sitting down, she’ll climb onto your lap for a
cuddle, or two or three. Often asking for “baby’ which means being held in a
baby position, sucking her thumb and blanket and being sung to,
“rock-a-bye-baby” being her absolute favorite – especially if you “drop” her at
the end J
Any chance for physical attention is taken with Emily, she’ll climb into your
lap, lean her head on your shoulder, wrap herself around your legs or ask to be
picked up. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get a great big hug around your neck!
Emily also has the ability to make us laugh, no matter what
mood we’re in! She pulls the funniest faces, just out of the blue. And not
always when someone is watching her. We’re not sure where she gets it from, but
it can send us into giggles every time!
Parenting Emily so far has certainly been different to
Matthew’s first two years, but in a completely fun, surprising and wonderful
way. We look forward to seeing what comes next with our little girl!