BabyBoardy Blog

You are invited to follow the developing life of Baby Boardy as the BB ventures from life in the amniotic swamp to the bright city lights of Melbourne.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Swelly Belly - 36 weeks

Here's our regular swelly belly picture - but this week there would be at least a few of you who will have seen the belly first hand, as it was the Baby Shower.

In spite of the oppressive heat and humidity (yes... it was another of those Nth Qld-like days in Melbourne) we had around twenty people rock up at Carole's place to enjoy a yummy afternoon tea and drinks.

Once again, the BB was very spoilt, being on the receiving-end of many wonderful gifts. Naomi managed to score a couple in there as well! One of the key gifts was a voucher for 'Fuzzy Bunz' reusable, fitted nappies. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this.

A very big thanks go to Kellie and Carole for organising the event (and organising our friends is no mean feat!) and for supplying such a wonderful location.
Thanks heaps for everything and we hope you all had fun!

No-one was feeling the heat more than the four preggies in attend- ance : Mel, Tania, Naomi and Dianna.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mr Benjamin S B Woggle

We've been asked a few times if we are concerned about Ben. Both about how safe we think the BB will be with him and also how a new small, screaming, stinky being coming into his world will effect him.

There are a few strategies involved in introducing a new baby to a canine member of the family. The first thing I'll do is bring home some of the BB's clothing or a blanket, so that Ben can have a sniff (and most likely just ignore it, knowing what Ben is normally like). We'll probably do that a few times before we bring the BB home.

Next is, just as you'd imagine it, slowly introducing the BB to Ben, and ensuring that Ben is too startled etc. Ben will, of course, probably ignore it.

Greyhounds are a remarkably placid breed. The photo (above) is most-likely where Ben is right now as you are reading this. If he had his way, he'd be there 95% of the time (but we do put him out when we aren't here, so he also sleeps on his outdoor bed). Ben has had kids climb all over him, pulling his ears and poking him in the eyes. He's slowly walked away when the time was right, but he's never raised a hackle. I'm actually more concerned once the BB reaches toddler stage, as anyone who has seen Benno bound down our hallway will attest - I'm sure he'll send the BB flying on more than one occasion. But we'll deal with that when it comes.

So we aren't concerned, however we will be slow and cautious - for his sake as much as the BB's.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

HypnoBirthing - The Basics

I know we keep harping on about it, but seeing how it's a pretty major focus of ours from now until the birth, it's going to take up quite a lot of our time and effort. Consequently, we thought we'd give you our take on the basics - and that way, you may be able to help out a little as well.

In Western society, if you ask someone to explain childbirth in one word, generally that word is pain. This is so ingrained into our society, it is very hard to enter into childbirth without some element of fear, and many find it terrifying. This fear brings about a Fight or Flight response, which can slow or even stop the birthing process. Blood is channelled away from the uterus and the uterine muscles tense. The mother then finds they have to push against this. Even the classic 'puff-puff' breathing we've all seen on TV actually works against the birth.

In other cultures, where the fear of childbirth is not as prevalent, it has been found that women are able to give birth much more easily and with less, or even virtually no, pain. This is possibly where the stories of mothers working in the fields, giving birth, picking the baby up and then barely skipping a beat come from. (Not that I will be giving birth at the office and continuing with my daily routine - hopefully anyway!) Without fear, the cervix relaxes and each surge of the uterus allows the cervix to open slightly more, so the baby will, quite literally, 'ease' out.

So if it's all so natural then why does it need this western HypnoBirthing
® methodology. In essence, I have to be de-programmed from my cultural Western fear of birth. Part of that is how it's referred to. As you may have noticed in the previous paragraph, some of the terminology is changed, so that there is less anxiety involved:

Due date is 'birthing time', but we like guess date
Labour becomes birthing
are surges or waves
Pushing is actually instead a process of breathing down which really goes well with my practice of yoga and pilates
Dilating is the far more graceful opening

There's a heap of other ones, but they're a bit too American for us.

In our society people love to share horror stories, which just goes on providing this warped Western view. People who have good experience subsequently feel guilty and avoid sharing those experiences, which are the ones that should be shared.

So - that'll about do.
Cory and I are working hard, so that I can have as calm a birth as possible. Even if things don't go according to plan, I'm sure the practice at being able to relax will come in very handy at some point in the next 23 years.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Oh how cute!

It's pretty sad when you get excited about a doing a load of washing hey?
(They say it's a good idea to wash everything before first use, to remove manufacturing/packaging chemicals).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Look into my eyes...

Look into my eyes...
Not around the eyes...
Look into my eyes...

Well, we had our latest HypnoBirthing Session last night, and I have to say, I'm pretty blown away by it all.

After our first session, we had some homework to do. This included putting together a birth plan (what our preferences are for the birthing experience), work out which of the affirmations in the HypnoBirthing book didn't make us gag (OK, Kayte didn't quite say it that way) and for Naomi and I to go through the guided relaxation exercises that were on the CD. We pretty much did all of this (although Nai was really the only one to listen to the relaxation exercises - and she's done that pretty much every day - the iPod has helped!)

It's really looking like it's paying off. Naomi can now go into a trance-like state quite quickly and our fears regarding birthing have diminished to the point that they really don't factor into it - it's more we're looking forward to it all, because we know that the HypnoBirthing techiques are going to work - they really do gel well with us. We watched another video - but this time it was just interviews with some Australian couples who had used HypnoBirthing. It was great to get a slightly more 'real' view of it, as some of the US ones are a little over-the-top. One thing that rang very strongly with me was the fact that, generally, a calm birth leads towards a calm baby. Another good reason for HypnoBirthing I suppose.

But the biggest spinout of the night was one of the homework tasks which we hadn't done. For the techniques to be most effective, it is best if Naomi and I can get her in a trance-like state, where I can give her affirmations and help her control her breathing, body and relaxation. This, essentially, is me putting her in a trance. And... as you've probably already guessed, it all worked perfectly. At one point, I asked Naomi to open her eyes, if she could, and she couldn't do it. It was pretty astounding.

Ha HA! The power! Mwah ha ha ha!

But seriously... with more practice, this will be an extremely useful tool in ensuring that we both stay relaxed, calm and focussed leading up to, and of course, during the birth. The breathing means there's a calmness as well as more oxygen flowing around in there, so Baby Boardy seems to enjoy it too!

Anyway... I'm still buzzing (15 hours later). It just brings us both back to the thought that we wish more people would try this - apart from the dodgy name, HypnoBirthing appears to be pretty awesome! We'll post sometime soon with how all of you can help us - simple things, but effective. (Hint : out with 'contractions', in with 'surges' or 'waves').

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bend and stretch... reach for the stars...

For a few months now, Naomi has been going to a pilates class that has been specifically designed for pregnant women. The Fit to Deliver program has been designed by physiotherapists, to use aspects of pilates in a way that's safe during pregnancy. So far, Nai reckons it's a winner. Months ago, when we did the training sessions organised by the hospital, the first of the these was on Fitness and Health and it mentioned the program by name. Dr Lionel, too, has given it the big thumbs-up. I suppose time will tell, but it seems to be really helping with the general aches and pains that pregnancy can give you. As well as working on core stability (the basis of pilates), it also works on strengthening and toning everything Nai's gonna need to help the BB out into the world.

As the weeks have gone by, when Naomi has attended the sessions she is getting closer to being the 'most pregnant' there, although they do claim that women have come to sessions in their early stages of labour. It is as much about focus as it is physical activity, so in a way that is probably not terribly surprising. And the focus, deep breathing and relaxation principles that it espouses also neatly mesh in with the HypnoBirthing techniques, so it's all good really. And being physiotherapy in nature, we can also claim in on our health-insurance, which is a bonus (but then... makes sense really!)

As well as these sessions which she, and her friend Tania, attend (yes... Tania has been drinking that water too, and is due around a month or so after us) they also have DVDs so you can go through things in the comfort of your own home. So the photo is of the lovely Naomi, on her purple yoga mat in our lounge, in the last stages of the DVD. At present, Nai is managing this around 2-3 times per week.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Swelly Belly - 35 weeks

This weekend was one of those wonderful, very hot Melbourne weekends. Forecast 36 on Saturday actually tipped out at 41. Sunday was forecast for 41, which they revised for 43 and it almost made it there. Consequently, a lot of the weekend's activities revolved around keeping Nai in a cool environment.

We had a few things to do, so we were out early on Saturday. We bought a new mattress for the cot, as well as smaller one for the basinette (SIDS-people recommend you only re-use a child mattress if it is a sibling - they don't understand why, but there is a greater incidence of SIDS with used bedware). We also picked up a few things from Bunnings for the house. By the time we got home (before noon) it was pretty hot and Nai had had enough.

On Sunday, I was off killing myself in the heat (read : MountainBiking on the Commonwealth Games track at Lysterfield) while Nai went for brunch and a movie with her friend Kellie. The first thing on the agenda was to ensure of air conditioning - so after a nice iced chocolate and a vegetable panini from Brunetti's (in Faraday, off Lygon St), it was off to the Nova to see
Good Night, and Good Luck which spoke about how CBS tried to counter the scaremongering tactics of Senator McCarthy. She said it was very good - and I reckon quite enlightening in current times. Anyway - nothing like the air-conditioned cinemas on a hot day, with a nice choc-top.

Once Nai got home, it was back into the air-conditioned comfort for the rest of the day. Thankfully, the change arrived early in the evening, although they are prediciting another bout of very high temperatures later this week. We read that the BB has pretty much stopped growing in length (average is around 45cm from head to toe), but will spend the remaining time in-utero putting on around 250g per week until it's time to pop out and see the world.

Nai is still keeping up with the Pilates, and we have our next HypnoBirthing session on Wednesday. She's starting to scale back at work a little and may, if possible start late or leave early if she needs to. Maybe even snooze in the car after lunch and/or listen to a hypnobirthing CD in the car when possible.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bigger than average???

We had our first visit with Lionel for the year and he said that everything was going well and according to plan.....except that he thinks the BB might be a little bit bigger than your average 34.5 week old foetus! Apparently the average weight at birth is 7lb 10oz and he reckons that BB might come in a pound over that. However he did say it is all purely guessing and of course BB might decide to make an early appearance - which we are not discouraging based on that information.

BB is being reminded on a daily basis that we are very excited about its arrival so anytime from 36 weeks on is fine with us! I am not the most patient person in the world so these last few weeks are going to seem like ages.....

Sunday, January 15, 2006

A better way to birth

A few weeks back, I bought the book in this picture, having read about the theory of hypnobirthing on a few internet sites. I pretty much read the book from cover to cover and felt that it all made a lot of sense with regards to making yourself as relaxed as possible for the duration of the birth to provide an easier, less painful experience for both mother and baby. So we looked around for a practitioner in Melbourne - easier said than done!! There are not too many around and most seem to be in Sydney. However we managed to find one in Preston and booked in with her for the sessions. Basically the technique uses breathing and visualisation to enable the mother to work with her body to relax all of the muscles to effectively give birth.

We had our first session on Saturday and the practitioner turned out to be a woman that Cory had worked with at TAFE - small world! Anyway Kayte was very good and took us through the theory and we saw some videos of women delivering using the techniques. It was very different to what we saw at birthing class!! The women in these videos were nowhere near as distressed or in pain as the one we had seen. It really showed a different experience completely.

So now along with pilates, walking, drinking raspberry leaf tea, massage, resting and nutrition I also need to practice my breathing and affirmations.... I'm not sure how I can fit all of this in to one day with work as well!!!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Swelly Belly - 33 weeks

It's been a while since we've had a photo in the 'baby' top (it's been too warm to wear it), so we thought we'd better give you one, for reference.

Nai is definitely starting to slow down. She's feeling less mobile, and more tired more often. She's also finding it harder to roll over at night, as well as changing positions on the couch. Tomorrow she's back at work for the final four weeks, and is somewhat concerned how she'll cope without the afternoon nap she's got into the habit of taking

Saturday, January 07, 2006

T-minus 50 days and counting...

More and more these days we're getting asked "When are you due?" It is, of course, a perfectly natural question and in particular for Nai, with the bump getting more and more out there, I'm not surprised it's one of the first questions asked.

As you can see from the photo, since we went public, we've been keeping the countdown ourselves, on our fridge. (The actual size is from head to bum, which is now 30cm. Head to toe is 45cm!)

But in reality, the BB can come any time. Pretty much any time around 3 weeks either side from the 'guess date' of Feb 27th is pretty normal. Even outside of that 6 week span isn't exactly abnormal either, although they don't like it getting any later than that. Naomi has taken to saying she's due "Late Feb" and I suppose that'll change to "Any day now" as it gets closer. But don't worry - we'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Nursery Decor

Nai and I thought we'd deck out the nursery in an aquatic style, to go with the blue/green colours that are already in there. One easy way to do this would be to put in a wallpaper border. I found this one, but Nai doesn't think it's appropriate. I can't see what her problem is!

Monday, January 02, 2006


Well... the nursery is pretty much set up - well at least enough to actually call it a nursery. We've moved all the baby stuff in, or more to the point, we've moved all of the other stuff out, and set up the baby stuff in there. It's had a thorough clean (probably the first of a few before the baby arrives). And, as you can see from the photos, we've set up the cot. Looks VERY cool. From this point, the wardrobe will need another coat of paint, and we're keen to get some sort of aquatic styled border to put around the walls.

Cory Assembling

Nai thinks the BB will work
out these latches before she does!

The finished product