New mum Frances on her early ar­rival

Little Treasures - - CON­TENTS -

Oh boy!

I had al­ways pic­tured my­self be­com­ing a mum, I en­vi­sioned my­self with a lit­tle baby girl who was just like me and we would play out­side, go for walks with our dog and meet up with friends and their ba­bies for cof­fee. So when I found out I was hav­ing a baby boy I had to change my whole chain of thought and cre­ate a new vi­sion of a mini-pax and not a mini-me. And my, oh my, Jack­son re­ally is the spit­ting im­age of his daddy, so much that ev­ery­one who meets him pro­ceeds to tell me, “He looks just like Pax­ton!” like I haven’t heard that one be­fore.

Stitch in time

For some­one who was so sure they wanted to have ba­bies, my body was not on the same page, mak­ing my preg­nancy jour­ney quite chal­leng­ing. On Au­gust 9th, I had a fol­low-up ul­tra­sound, as the week prior at my anatomy scan, my cervix looked shorter than nor­mal. As my mid­wife had sus­pected, my cervix was ex­tremely short and I was in the hospi­tal for surgery in less than a week to place a cer­clage in my cervix – ba­si­cally they stitched my cervix closed so my baby wouldn’t fall out! So 21 weeks into my preg­nancy, I was no longer al­lowed to take the dog for a walk, lift any­thing heavy or even walk up stairs. It wasn’t to­tal bed rest but it felt like house ar­rest. This was dif­fi­cult for me as I’m very ac­tive and went from work­ing out ev­ery morn­ing to not be­ing able to lift the gro­ceries into the car. Luck­ily, I was still able to work for most of my preg­nancy which kept me from com­pletely pulling my hair out, as did my won­der­ful friends and fam­ily who kept me oc­cu­pied and en­ter­tained. My mum and sis­ter even came around ev­ery week­end to help out with the house­hold chores.

Count­ing bless­ings

Our friends and fam­ily were so happy to hear we were ex­pect­ing a baby. We were be­stowed with boxes and boxes of hand-me-downs and baby gifts ga­lore. My amaz­ing mum, sis­ter and bestie threw me the most beau­ti­ful baby shower, where we were laden with even more amaz­ing gifts. Baby Tib­bits was go­ing to be one kit­ted out kid! The big­ger my belly grew, the

less I slept and the more bath­room breaks I needed. I got hit with heart­burn but man­aged to avoid stretch marks and swollen feet. Ev­ery pass­ing week was a feat as even the doc­tors didn’t know how long the stitch would hold. I’d read my preg­nancy app ev­ery­day to see how vi­able he’d be if he were born that day. But, it was a pretty easy preg­nancy, de­spite the chal­lenges.

A last-minute dash

Fast for­ward to 37 weeks preg­nant, I was booked in at the hospi­tal the fol­low­ing day to have my cer­vi­cal stitch re­moved. But that morn­ing I started hav­ing con­trac­tions on and off and by lunchtime I rang Pax to say they were get­ting quite fre­quent and painful but that I’d just wait it out un­til my sched­uled ap­point­ment the fol­low­ing day. He told me to let my mid­wife know just to be sure. Well, she told me to get my butt to the hospi­tal to get the stitch re­moved im­me­di­ately which I am now ex­tremely grate­ful for as Jack­son was def­i­nitely not wait­ing till the next day to see the world. So Pax rushed home from work and we were at the hospi­tal by about 3pm.

Here we go!

They checked the baby’s heart rate and mon­i­tored my con­trac­tions and by about 4pm they had re­moved the cer­vi­cal stitch (and I thought that was painful - haha). I was still on the hospi­tal bed where they’d re­moved my stitch 20 min­utes ear­lier, when my wa­ters broke. Dur­ing the next hour, my con­trac­tions re­ally ramped up un­til they were back to back. Lit­tle did I know this was how the rest of my labour would con­tinue, with no chance of a break, even just to catch my breath. Luck­ily, this only went on for a few more hours un­til I told my mid­wife that I re­ally needed to push. She said it hadn’t been long enough but much to her sur­prise I was 9cm di­lated and she be­gan get­ting ev­ery­thing ready for the main event! It re­ally is amaz­ing how dif­fer­ent ev­ery­one’s labours are and how we know our own bod­ies so well. Af­ter what seemed like five min­utes (I was told it was closer to 40 min­utes), Jack­son Ben­nett Tib­bits was born at 8.05pm, on Wed­nes­day 7th De­cem­ber 2016, weigh­ing a mere 2.81kg. He was happy, healthy and the most beau­ti­ful thing I had ever seen. His um­bil­i­cal cord was short so my mid­wife lay him on my belly as he could not reach my chest un­til the pla­centa had come. As soon as I moved him up to my chest he started search­ing for his din­ner!

Fam­ily ties

The whole thing was a blur...even once Jack­son was born, I felt so far gone that I couldn’t be­lieve he was ac­tu­ally there and that he was my baby. Pax and mum sup­ported me through­out my labour, but I barely even no­ticed them half the time. When it came time to push, I was wor­ried that Pax might pass out as he is known to be a bit of a fainter, but he proved me wrong and was ex­tremely sup­port­ive and even watched as Jack­son was be­ing born (much to my dis­may). I could tell he was one proud daddy the mo­ment he saw his son for the first time, I may have even spot­ted a tear or two. We chose Jack­son’s name be­cause it was a late Gran’s maiden name. She was my favourite per­son in the world so I wanted a lit­tle piece of her in my baby. Ben­nett is Pax­ton’s mum’s maiden name and there­fore his grand­par­ents’ sur­name. I can’t speak for him but I know he loved and cher­ished his grand­par­ents dearly and was over­joyed when I sug­gested it for the mid­dle name.

Help at hand

The next day we trans­ferred to the He­lensville Birthing unit for two nights which was so amaz­ing. All the ladies there were so help­ful and won­der­ful, it re­ally gave us the con­fi­dence we needed to start our lives as new par­ents. We then spent the next two weeks at my mum and dad’s place so we could fo­cus on Jack­son and not have to worry so much about cook­ing and clean­ing. They were more than happy to help us out with any­thing and ev­ery­thing, when they weren’t ‘wast­ing’ hours at a time just star­ing at the baby that is.

The early days

Those first few weeks re­ally do just blow by. Be­tween the vis­i­tors, sleep­ing *cough* and breast­feed­ing, there wasn’t much time left for any­thing else apart from be­ing a to­tal creep and just star­ing at my

sleep­ing baby. Speak­ing of vis­i­tors and breast­feed­ing, isn’t it funny how you go from be­ing a woman with boobs, to sim­ply baby’s feed­ing ma­chine? Ev­ery­one looks at his beau­ti­ful lit­tle face while he’s feed­ing and some­how it’s like half your boob isn’t hang­ing out for them to see! I’ve been ex­tremely lucky that Jack­son has fed well from day one – I know a lot of mums try re­ally hard to breast­feed and it just won’t work. He may not be the chub­bi­est baby around but he’s steadily gain­ing weight.

Early hur­dles

Our first bump in the road oc­curred when af­ter nine days Jack­son’s cord stump hadn’t fallen off and it started to bleed. It wasn’t a ter­ri­ble amount of blood but as a first-time mum it freaked me out. We rang our mid­wife and she told us to take Jack­son to the hospi­tal just to be safe. The rea­son his cord stump wouldn’t stop bleed­ing was be­cause we’d opted against the vi­ta­min K in­jec­tion ini­tially, and his blood was not clot­ting well. So af­ter a blood test and the vi­ta­min K in­jec­tion (and a lot of nee­dles and cry­ing from baby) we took him home, he stopped bleed­ing and his cord stump fell off the next day. Which brings us to bump in the road num­ber two: the um­bil­i­cal gran­u­loma. Af­ter the cord stump fell off he was left with a red mass of tis­sue cells called an um­bil­i­cal gran­u­loma. We had no idea what it was to start with but we took him back to the hospi­tal to get it looked at. They at­tempted to burn it off with sil­ver ni­trate – which is scarier than it sounds as gran­u­lo­mas don’t con­tain nerves so it didn’t hurt. The GP fol­lowed up with a few more ap­pli­ca­tions of the sil­ver ni­trate but the gran­u­loma wasn’t go­ing away. It was just “too big and juicy.” We now have an ap­point­ment at Star­ship hospi­tal for Jack­son to be put to sleep to have it sur­gi­cally re­moved *in­sert hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing mother here*.

Head over heels

It may sound like the first few weeks of Jack­son’s life were scary and mis­er­able but I prom­ise they weren’t. They were the most ex­cit­ing, lov­ing, mag­i­cal weeks of our lives. He was such a happy baby, he fed well, slept well and stole the hearts of ev­ery­one who met him.

Happy camper

They call the first three months of a baby’s life the ‘fourth trimester’ be­cause baby once they’re born they still want to be as close to you as pos­si­ble to feel safe. Jack­son def­i­nitely fol­lowed in this think­ing and would only go to sleep when be­ing cud­dled for a long time. At around three months, he be­gan sleep­ing through the night much to this mummy’s sat­is­fac­tion, all in time for the end of day­light sav­ings to muck ev­ery­thing up! How­ever, ev­ery morn­ing he wakes up re­freshed and rar­ing to go, full of smiles and talk­ing about how he slept and what he dreamed of (in goo’s and ga’s). His day then con­sists of lots of boo­bies, naps, cud­dles and presents for mum in the form of nappy sur­prises.

On the move

At first it was hard to get out of the house, es­pe­cially when it was just Jack­son and I, but ev­ery out­ing be­came eas­ier and eas­ier. Now four months on, there is rarely a day when we just stay home, even if it is just a trip to the park or the beach to walk the dog. 

Mum with Dad’s mini me A book from Dad, as he drives dig­gers for a liv­ing!

Jack­son at three months old, with his bunny from mum’s bestie, Jessie Frances, at 26 weeks preg­nant, had to take it easy af­ter a cer­vi­cal stitch in the sec­ond trimester Frances, Pax­ton and Jack­son’s first fam­ily photo, post birth. Jack­son’s cot was...

One day old .... Jack­son’s muslin blan­ket and romper are from Na­ture Baby – Mum’s favourite cloth­ing brand

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