Tag Archive | baby

Open letter to my friends

To my friends (you know who you are!),

I am sorry that we don’t get to catch up very often. I honestly miss the moments we have together, whether they are coffee or wine infused! I had to write today though to express who much I love, respect, thank and even miss you!

Friends come and go. But the ones who stick with you during the hard periods, they are the special kind.

When I had my first child just as we hit our 20’s, you were the ones who realised that I couldn’t drop everything  and come to a last-minute party, or go to the pubs, anymore.
You still made the effort to include us in your lives.

Thank you for making the effort to catch up despite my hectic life!

Thank you for making the effort to catch up despite my hectic life!

When more children came along, and it was even harder for us to have a night out, you didn’t ignore us/drop us, you still invited us to barbeques, included my children, or said “So you have the kids at home today? We will come to your house then for coffee!”
You even visited when I was in hospital after giving birth. Outside of family, not many friends actually visited, I don’t think you realise how special that made me feel!

When our lives became more difficult due to the fact special needs cropped up, again, instead of walking away from our friendship, you said “What can I do to help?” or “How are things going at the moment?”

You take a genuine interest in our struggles and our lives. You want to help. I recognise that!

When we come to your house, you see that I am worried about my kids running riot and trashing your house. You make us feel welcome, accomodate us and tell me “It’s ok!” when my kids have made themselves at home and made a mess of your living room.

I know you don't mind too much, but I don't want to trash your houses!

I know you don’t mind too much, but I don’t want to trash your houses!

You make sure that my youngest son is allowed to have something to eat, before you hand it over, just because of his medical condition. You are aware of the need for this.

You drag me away from the kids if you see me hovering over them, and tell me I am supposed to be enjoying myself when I am at a party. You remind me that it is ok to release my control and anxieties.

You understand that it can be a long time between catch ups because I am busy with work and/or child responsibilities. You work around it, and you dont judge me for it, and you don’t forget about me.

You have no idea how much I love and respect you for the support you constantly give me and my family. My love and respect grow every time you interact with my special needs children. When my children show you something, you act like it is the coolest thing you have ever seen! You don’t ignore them and fob them off. My middle son, Ethan, has a hard time opening up to adults, yet I have memories where I watched in amazement, where he would sit in your laps, open up, and not want to leave your sides. You made him feel loved and secure. I don’t think you realise how much of a rare event this is, or what you did for him in that moment!

There are bad experiences online, but I am lucky enough to find great friends online

There are bad experiences online, but I am lucky enough to find great friends online

To my online friends- although we have never officially met in person, I hope to one day. Some of you I have known for almost eight years. We have laughed together, cried together, shared tips and advice. When my children with born, you rejoiced- sending me messages and gift of congratulations. The horrible period when my youngest, Cameron, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, it was the first time that any of us had been diagnosed with a serious condition. I contacted some of you to spread the news. Little did I know, you all rallied together, chipped in some cash, and sent Cam and I a care package of flowers, a teddy and much need chocolate to the hospital. I cried when it arrived. I felt loved and thought of. While I am no longer in contact with some of you, I still respect you for the friendship you extended to me.
One day, I will meet you, but in the meantime, you know that you can contact me, good or bad, about anything. Despite not officially meeting, I still consider you some of my best friends. I hope you feel the same way about me!

To my husband’s friends- I love and respect you for when you call and my husband isn’t available, and you will spend at least half an hour just chatting with me, asking about me (or Mark) and how our kids are, how life is travelling (instead of just saying that you will call back later.) Or when we are actually managed to catch up, you will actually sit next to me and chat.
I have immense respect for the fact that you seem to actually like me for who I am ( not just as your mate’s partner) and take a genuine interest in our children and our lives. Both Mark and I express our regrets that we can’t catch up nearly enough! 😦
I feel like a terrible friend because we don’t catch up often enough, and I can’t possibly return the sentiments that you give. I can only try! I honestly don’t feel like I have articulated well enough how I am really feeling, but I hope you are starting to get
I don’t tell you often enough, and I can’t express enough, but thank you, and I love you!

Bella 🙂


Back on the soapbox…

I have had enough of some of the comments I have been seeing on Facebook lately.

David Koch

David Koch

An Australian celebrity (known as Kochie) is well-known for sticking his foot in his mouth on certain topics. I really feel sorry for him at the moment with how much he is getting verbally attacked by people (mostly women) because of comments he made on air about a woman who was asked to move by staff because she was breastfeeding on the edge of a pool.

Now many are saying that he is anti-public breastfeeding!

From what I understand (without having seen the interview in question) he was actually saying that women should be discreet (he just had a poor choice of words) when feeding in public, not that he doesn’t think that they should!
He also stated that he felt it was unsafe for a woman to be feeding on the edge of a pool (umm…YEAH!!! So many scenarios of what could go wrong there!)

I actually agree with his opinion (and we are all entitled to one!) I have no problems with women who choose to breastfeed, nor anything against those who feed in public. Kid’s gotta eat! What does make me uncomfortable is when I see a woman who just flops herself out for the world to see. Nobody needs to see that. In fact, if there wasn’t a child in close proximity, you could get arrested for indecent exposure!

What pisses me off (sorry, I know I don’t swear on here!) is that these women (who I call the “breast feeding nazi’s”) are so quick to jump down someone’s throat about the subject without actually thinking about the context of what was said. These are the same women who attack people, like myself, who choose not to breastfeed (or can’t!) and make them feel like scum.

It’s disgusting that this is even such a heated topic. Personal choice people!!!

Look!! It is possible to be done discreetly! You can see bub, bub can see you, no suffocation, no exposure! Why the drama??

Look!! It is possible to be done discreetly! You can see bub, bub can see you, no suffocation, no exposure! Why the drama??

But IN MY OPINION… yeah, your concern for your child’s hunger is legitimate, but show a bit of consideration for your body (and others) and be a bit discreet. Feed, but don’t flaunt! It could make people uncomfortable and we also live in a world of creepy weirdos who will not look on and see the sake of practicality, but watch in a sexual way.

Again, without having heard the original story that sparked all this, who knows the details behind the woman being asked to move away from the pool. Ok, she shouldn’t have been moved on just for that (if that was the case), but maybe this woman jumped on her high horse about being asked to move and approached the media, when maybe they just asked her to move because she was in a dangerous position?? Everyone seems to have forgotten the original story and all the limelight is on Kochie! If this place really did break the law and ask this woman to move on just for the simple fact she was breastfeeding, why aren’t you all attacking this business instead?

Call me a prude…whatever…just be certain of facts before jumping down people’s throats, and MOVE ON!!!

The “Mara” family’s story- Part 2

Remember Carly Mara? She wrote some time back about her daughter, Ava, who was born with a cleft lip and hip dysplasia, then they found out she also had cystic fibrosis.

Part One of Carly’s story explained the emotions of when Ava was diagnosed with CF.  Part two is going to explain Ava’s cleft repair.

I can sit here and tell you how amazing and powerful the following will be. But honestly, I cannot find the words that best explain this following piece. Carly’s ability to explain the emotions she went through has you feeling like you are sitting beside her, experiencing it with her.

Bella 🙂

Ava's photo in-utero

Ava’s photo in-utero

Monday 7th February at 1:15pm, 2011 was the day of Ava’s Cleft Lip repair. A day we’ll never forget!

I’ll just take you back to the day we were told of our baby’s cleft.


“Your baby has a DEFECT on her face” were the words that came from the sonographer’s mouth. I froze.I don’t think I thought one single thing at that point. I was totally numb, gutted and crushed. A defect?!?! What kind of defect?!?!

They couldn’t tell us much more than that, and oh, they were pretty sure the baby was a girl. (That’s the only reason we went for that scan, to find out what sex we were having.)

From then we had to have quite a few more scans at a place in Leederville, where they do very detailed scans and specialise in clefts and the like. We were given a picture of our baby’s face at out next scan in which you can see a line from her nose down to her lip, but no-one could tell us exactly how big, or if her palate was involved, just that they think its might be 2mm long but they had to keep monitoring it every few weeks to make sure it hadn’t grown or changed.

Probably the worst thing I did, a lot, was Google images of Clefts. Oh my gosh!! Not a good thing to do, but apparently it’s the first thing any mother does when they receive this kind of news. There are some awful pictures out there. My hubby would always tell me not to Google, but I HAD to, I had to try to find the kind of Cleft out baby had…even though I knew deep down, I wasn’t going to know until she was born. 20 weeks of not knowing, it almost killed me then as the weeks got closer to her birth, I started getting anxious and just wanted her here it was torture!

Finally, on the 21st August 7:52pm, Ava arrived.

They placed this very warm and slimy baby up on my chest. I looked down at her beautiful little face… and there it was. Everything from then on is a blur, but my reaction to her precious little mouth was “Oh my gosh!!! her lip, her lip, her lip, look at her lip!!!” as I was crying loudly. (I only know this from hearing it on her birth video and my hubby telling me.)

It was like being sooo happy, the happiest you’ve ever been, and yet grieving at the same time. It was bitter-sweet. The pediatrician had a look at her mouth and said there was no palate involvement, just an incomplete cleft lip, (incomplete means the cleft stops just before the nostril) which was a weight off my shoulders, cos that meant to transfer to PMH for her to be fitted with a bonnet to pull the lip together, but still the possibility of not being able to breastfeed. which I really wanted to do, but thank god she was straight onto my boob and I felt more relief.
I’ll be honest, it took me a good few hours that night to get used to her Cleft, I couldn’t stop touching it, kissing it and crying in sadness that it wasn’t supposed to be like this.  She wasn’t meant to go through this. It’s just not fair. Grief of what have been…and happiness because she was finally here.
It was a long few months of getting her weight up for surgery. They usually repair Clefts at about 12 weeks. but due to CF,  Ava hadn’t put enough weight on. She had to be 5kg for surgery to go ahead. We finally reached that goal when she was 5mths! (Mind you from that 5kg mark her weight gain zoomed!)

Definetely a beautiful smile that lights up a room!

Definetely a beautiful smile that lights up a room!

Surgery day, fasting and a very sad baby. We were once again thrown through a loop of emotions. By this time we loved Ava’s Cleft sooo much! They say Cleft babies have the biggest smiles and that’s sooo true! The kind of smile that lights up a room, it was beautiful.

Not knowing what her mouth was going to look like minus the cleft, then what her face was going to look like. The shape of her nose will change too.But we had faith in our surgeon Dr Vij Vijayasekaren. We knew she would be even more perfect.
Chris and I kissed Ava’s face and mouth over and over and over, took sooo many photos with her while we waited for her to go in then it was time to hand her over (I don’t think that part will ever get any easier). A couple of hours later it was time to go and see her in recovery. I had butterflies and felt like I was going to be sick… but I was excited too! That walk over to the big bed with a tiny little dark-haired baby was sound asleep on it felt like it took hours. There she was, that little baby who was already every inch of perfection to us, but now with her new mouth.

After Ava's surgery

After Ava’s surgery

I cried and kissed her so gently. The part that startled me a little was the stitches, they were black. She also had nasal stents which I wasn’t told about, so that was a bit scary looking. Her face was really shiny her eyes puffy and lips swollen. It was heartbreaking to see her look like she was in so much pain.

We were taken back to the ward a little while later, where we just held her and cried. Then the fun began trying to feed her, no more breast… we had to use a special feeding bottle with a spoon on the end of it. You would squeeze the bottle gently the spoon would fill up and you’d have to master the art of tipping it into your baby’s mouth. But because she couldn’t move her lips much every second mouthful would dribble out which after a few hours gave her a nasty looking rash under her chin and her bibs just kept getting soaked. Even the nurses had to really get used to using the bottle to feed her. Ava had splints on her arms to stop her from pulling her stitches. It was sad because she loved sucking her fingers, but wasn’t able to, so she would cry, but then crying


Special feeding bottle after surgery. Lots of practice needed!

would hurt her mouth. The poor little sweetheart was in a really crappy situation, but there was nothing we could really do. The most comfortable way for her to sleep was on a U-shaped pillow with her arms stretched right up above her head… now that was cute!!


Keep an eye out for the next installment…and new photos of Ava, the feisty two year old she is now!
Bella and Carly 🙂

The “MacFarlane” family story- part 1

Here is another diagnosis story for you all.
I met Helen MacFarlane on Facebook little more than a week ago through Carly Mara. She has happily shared her own family’s diagnosis story as another guest blogger. Again, we are going to break it up in parts. Here is part one…

I hope you enjoy this powerful story as much as I have!

Bella 🙂

On every shooting star I use to wish for a child. And when I had my first-born, Christian……I felt that I only wanted one as I couldn’t possibly have enough love to love another….

And then as I reached my late 30’s, we decided that maybe we had room for one more. We both entered childhood with trepidation, both of us having incredible dysfunction of an abusive nature as children and not wanting to relive the pain of that again, by having our own. Pleasure and pain…….

Falling pregnant with the first child was slow, falling pregnant with my second was just as slow with a painful miscarriage in between. Again I wished on my stars that I would have a child, a little girl, a doll to dress up….I prayed and I wished and suddenly, amidst the familiar biliousness, I was holding up a stick with pee on it, exploding the words…”Im pregnant!!!!” to a surprised husband and a pleased, but slightly embarrassed neighbour.

My pregnancy this time was strange. Can I call it that?…..I tended to spend long periods of time in my pyjamas, I sulked and I was covered head to toe in a very nasty and raised, lumpy rash. I have never seen anything like it…it was angry and weepy and itched so bad, despite my attempts at an “organic” pregnancy, I was medicated to prevent scratching myself to death and bleeding in my sleep.

We decided with this pregnancy that we would also find out the sex of our child and also name the child early, so that “jelly bean” would have an identity. We soon discovered that we were having a girl and we decided to call her Asha Rose. Asha – because I love anything Indian and her name means “hope” in Sanskrit and “Rose” for my obsession with roses…little did we know how symbolic her name was to be…

My labour was intense and very quick. I discovered during the 1/2 hour drive through a very dark country road why the bar above your head in a 4WD is called a “Jesus Bar” I also learnt that just because you walk in reverse into a labour room, doesn’t mean you automatically get an epidural!!!

So….there I was….delivering a baby…drug free….with a husband who clearly stated earlier in the pregnancy…and I quote…”I do not want to go down south”…and I don’t mean, on holiday……we were already living “down South”!!!!

The beautiful baby, Asha

The beautiful baby, Asha

I recall afterwards feeling very empowered. I was crying, as you do, after the labour..lamenting to the midwife…that I had been known as “stupid” for so long, by my stepfather…and I couldn’t believe that I did THIS amazing thing and that no body could take that away from me…I cried because I did something right and I was very proud, of myself….my reward was Asha.

I recall as well sitting upwards, cross-legged on the hospital bed, with Asha on my lap and I was admiring how amazing she looked, that this baby had been gifted to us. I kissed her face a million times, almost to reassure myself that I wasnt having a dream and it was then that I noticed she tasted salty. I looked out to the window across at the beautiful rose garden and admired the roses…..and didnt give that a second thought. I was amazed that she was sweaty and it was 2 degrees outside!!.

When I handed her over to the Nurses for the Guthrie test, I didn’t give this a second thought either. I had the air of confidence of a second time Mum. “Just dont drop her on her head”I probably thought to myself as I was grateful for the cup of tea and Scotch finger biscuit left by the Orderly.

She came home wrapped in a beautiful purple wrap. She was given the appropriate attention that a newborn expects, food, warmth, shelter and bundles of love. I was casual and confident this time. I breastfed her whilst I checked the mail, watered the plants, answering the phone….I was marvelling at how easy she was…and I remember bragging to someone that this baby being second WAS easy….but I was very wary…..this was too perfect, something doesn’t feel right. I even voiced my concerns to a close girlfriend. She reassured me that I was worrying with no concern and to enjoy this special time. I continued on, with this gut feeling.

Then Asha developed a wheeze that wouldn’t go away and would scream at 2pm every afternoon and lift her legs to her chest. After she filled her nappy, the pain seemed to subside. I did mention to my clinic nurse who made notes in the “yellow book” and then she talked about colic and wind pain. The wheeze? Perhaps a cold?

Then we got the phone call. Asha was 5 weeks old. Our Doctor in Bridgetown rang us at home and I answered. He was using words like ..disease….no cure….Cystic Fibrosis…PMH….team of specialists….bed waiting……physiotherapy….normal lives….management. And then, at that exact moment….I actually felt my heart break……I felt “let go” by God and I felt like I was floating…in a bad dream. I was crying…..uncontrollably…..wet…..heaving…cannot breathe….oh my God…….Why?…wanting to vomit…..wanting to scream…needing…my Mum….vomit…..no breath….And..Im doing this, in front of my 4-year-old and my husband. Very very private feelings and emotions…..in public view. Once I had composed myself and comforted my husband, we silently went through the motions of heading up to Perth the next day. My son, Christian came over to me as I had my head buried in my arms, he touched me on the shoulder and sang the Good Night Song that GWN play every night. Fat Cat jumps into a bed and a song is played, poxy one…to the tunes of a keyboard… He sang this song like an angel….and then gently said to me…”I sang this song to you, to cheer you up….I love you”……It was his way of providing me with a safe place to hide…..I hid in his flannelette arms and cried some more….

We drove 5 hours to Perth the very next day and once settled into our room at PMH , the onslaught of specialists attacked our very private lives and opened the guitar case of emotions and plucked at every string. We were sitting on the bed dumbstruck at a new vocabulary with words such as enzymes….physio…percussion….malabsorption. I should have been listening but instead I’m looking at them blankly thinking “Why me? Why us?…….I ate the right foods…..I did good deeds……Ive already suffered at the hands of others……why are we being punished???” I met nurses Liz and Charlotte and cried in front of them…..Dr Wilson and cried solidly in front of him too. My emotions were raw and I felt incredibly vulnerable.

To be continued…

The “Mara” family’s story- part 1

Some time ago, I put the call out into cyber space, for any parents of children with special needs to share their stories.

It wasn’t only limited to Cystic Fibrosis or Global Development Delay. Anyone who wanted to share their experiences as a way to vent, or hopefully help someone in a similar situation, were (and still are) invited to tell their stories.

The wonderful Carly Mara accepted the challenge 🙂

Her daughter, Ava, not only has CF, but was also born with a cleft lip, and was also dealing with hip dysplasia. While all this was going on, Carly’s father had a stroke.

Her story has touched me. I can relate to so much of it (well, the CF side of it anyway!) I found myself nodding along as she describes her emotions. She has explained them so much better than I could!

Thank you so much, Carly, for sharing your family’s experience (and providing pics)

Follow her story. We will be publishing it in installments.

Bella 🙂

 Here is part one of Carly’s story….


Meet baby Ava. Isn't she adorable???

The 14th September 2010 was just like any other day.

We had a 3 week old baby girl who was born with a Cleft Lip and was also in a froggy brace for Hip dysplasia. Her cleft was discovered at my 20-week anatomy scan(another day I will never forget!)

 I was devastated. I just couldn’t believe this had happened to our baby girl’s face! It was hard enough getting her here to begin with, being that she is our IVF miracle I was sure that was the biggest hurdle we were going to have to overcome! So once I got those two little lines, and the confirmed blood test, I thoughtWOW. We did it!”

Little did I know there were three things waiting for us around the corner, the biggest blow coming to us last.

I remember the midwife coming to check on Ava. and also to do the Guthrie Test. It’s funny. you know, cos when I think back, the midwife handed me a pamphlet explaining the Guthrie Test, how it was done and what it screened. I had a really quick look at it and placed it on the table. My mother-in-law said “Have you read through it?” I said “Yeah” quickly, then the midwife said I should sit down and have a read.

Once again, I just flicked through it thinking to myself “Nah it’s all good. We’ve got the cleft lip and the brace (which was fitted at three days old)…there couldn’t possibly be anything else.”  So the whole thing just left my head. Test was done, Ava was looking well and doing everything a newborn should be doing so all was great. I never gave that Guthrie test another thought.

We knew Ava’s Cleft would be repaired at 3-months-old, so we were concentrating mostly on that, trying to prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally. So the morning of the 14th September, I was sitting on my bed, Ava was asleep and my hubby was out in the kitchen. The phone rang, he answered it. I could hear him talking for a while but couldn’t hear what was being said. Didnt really think much of it. Then he hung up walked in and said to me ” That was a lady from Princess Margaret Hospital. She said Ava has tested positive for Cystic Fibrosis”

I just looked up at him and said “What?”

Ava in her brace for hip dysplasia

I was dumbfounded! Mostly cos I wasnt too familair with CF. I knew it existed along with a million other diseases. I knew it wasnt a nice one, cos I remember a conversation with my mum years ago talking about her nursing years. She said that from things she saw she never wanted to have a baby with four particular diseases, one of which was CF.

I asked hubby to tell me the whole conversation, so he repeated what he just told me. I demanded more information, but I think he was stuck too, not knowing exactly what had just happened. But luckily he wrote down a phone number, so I called and got Liz on the phone. She explained that the Guthrie test had come back positive for Cystic Fibrosis. She gave me a rough run down of what it was. I just kept asking her if they were sure, like, really, really sure. Is it possible they’ve made a mistake? Are there any other tests Ava has to do to further confirm it?

Liz told me about the Sweat Test. I think I was on the phone to her for about twenty minutes, going around in circles pretty much, trying to comprehend what was being said, and at the same time flat-out rejecting it. I wanted to scream and cry. I also felt totally numb and angry and confused.

I think about a week or two later we had to go to PMH for CF Education, woah! What a head spin that was! So many people, soo much information. All so scary, confusing and overwhelming. I think it was even harder for me at the time, because the same day as Ava’s diagnosis, my dad had his second stroke, so we were between Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital & PMH for quite some time.

Thank God we were given so much literature, cos there is no way in hell I could have retained much information. Everyone time someone walked into our little room to talk to us about their part in CF treatment, I felt defensive and a little stand-offish, like it was their fault we were there. I felt some kind of resentment towards Liz for calling us that day too. Every time we would get a phone call or appointment letter I would feel angry because I just wanted us to be left alone. I had waited sooo long to finally have my little baby, and I was having to share her with all these people.

Being shown all the physio positions and all the medication Ava would be on was very overwhelming. Where physio was concerned, for a few months, it wasnt at the top our priority list because Ava had to be in the froggy brace for 23 hours a day (it could only come off at bath time). Our physio understood, so that was one less thing taking up space in my head.

 Our first lung function test was a whole lot of drama for nothing. Very stressful the first time around. The sedative didnt do its job. Ava was screaming and crying, which was upsetting me. I hated seeing her have to go through all this stuff. At one point, hubby was holding Ava in one arm and vacuuming the main desk in Respiratory Department, trying to get Ava to sleep (she was a white noise baby for quite a few months. I spent many hours with the blow dryer going or the vacuum putting her to sleep, even at 3am!) But unfortunately this day at PMH it just didn’t work. So after an hour or so, we decided it was time to go home, thank God! Once home, Ava slept soundly -of course!

Our first Bronchoscopy was an experience too!

Fasting a baby is horrible. Being in the waiting room with other parents and their children, waiting to be called in, while your walking the floors with a screaming baby is no fun at all! Plus being a bag of nerves knowing what is going to happen, your mind going over what they might find in those little lungs, it was really starting to do my head in! Then finally we were called in. The walk down the corridor felt so long, cuddling Ava soo tight and giving her the biggest kisses as I hand her to my husband, Chris, so he could be with her when she goes to sleep.

I just felt sooo helpless and guilty, and wishing I could take it all away from her, or that I could go through it all for her. We waited in the Friendship Room. I finally sucked my tears up and it was all over. Into recovery and there she was, my tiny baby, sound asleep. So the tears started again. The results from the bronchoscopy came back fine.Yipeeee!

 One bronc down, Cleft lip repair to go!

To be CONTINUED……Keep an eye out!!!



***Extra Notes***

 The nurse mentioned in this installment, Liz, will be known by West Australian CF families. To those who don’t know her, she is a clinic nurse on the Princess Margaret Hospital CF team. She is the “guru” CF nurse.

The” Friendship Room” mentioned, will also be known to families who have been at PMH. It is a waiting area for parents to sit in while their children are in surgery. It is run by hospital volunteers who serve tea/coffee, provide plenty of magazines and conversation. They receive the call when your child is out of theatre, and escort you down the passages to where your child is in Recovery.

Funny Story

I won a copy of “The Mum Who Roared”  by Christie Nicholas in an online competition a while ago, and it finally arrived yesterday. After only a few pages, I was laughing and was able to nod my head in agreement. I highly recommend this book.

A couple of chapters in, I came across something I had to share.

Get a copy! It's a great read!

Funny Story about Motherhood (by anon.)

Your clothes:

1st Baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your ob/gyn confirms your pregnancy.

2nd Baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.

3rd Baby: Your maternity clothes are your regular clothes.


Preparing for the birth:

1st Baby: You practise your breathing religiously.

2nd Baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time breathing didn’t do a thing.

3rd Baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.


The layette:

1st Baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, colour co-ordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.

2nd Baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard the one with the darkest stains.

3rd Baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?



1st Baby: At the first sign of distress- a whimper, a frown- you pick up the baby.

2nd Baby: You pick up the baby when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.

3rd Baby: You teach your three-year-old who to rewind the mechanical swing.



1st Baby: If the dummy falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash it and boil it.

2nd Baby: When the dummy falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.

3rd Baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.



1st Baby: You change your baby’s nappy every hour, whether they need it or not.

2nd Baby: You change your baby’s nappy every two to three hours, if needed.

3rd Baby: You try to change their nappy before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.



1st Baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing and Baby Story Hour.

2nd Baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd Baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.


Going out:

1st Baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.

2nd Baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd Baby: You leave instruction for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.


At home:

1st Baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd Baby: You spend a bit of every day watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking or hitting the baby.

3rd Baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.


Swallowing Coins:

1st Baby: When your first child swallows a coin, you rush to the hospital and demand x-rays.

2nd Child: When the second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.

3rd Child: When the third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his allowance!


Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

Bella 🙂



Life in the world of “Poop”

Okay, I know, not the greatest of subjects, but any CF parent will understand its meaning.

Approach with caution!

I have mentioned before that my son with cystic fibrosis isn’t pancreatic sufficient. This means his pancreas doesn’t secrete enzymes which break down the fat in his foods for him to absorb. This is why he has to take a multitude of tablets every day, before he eats anything with a fat content, to help him thrive.

Our first indication that something is going on in his body, is his dirty nappies. They stink like nothing you have ever smelled before, and have a distinct look when we have stuffed up with tablets. If he hasn’t had enough, he becomes very loose and you can see undigested food. (HA! I can already picture the looks of disgust on your faces!) If we have given too many, constipation can become an issue.

If I talk to any CF parent about dealing with poop, they all nod their heads knowingly. This is a normal subject for CF parents, well, it is for the parents I have come across!

I have to share a funny story that happened recently. My two youngest sons go to the same daycare as another CF boy (don’t worry, our kids aren’t in the same rooms as they are different ages, so cross-contamination isn’t an issue!) This other mum has recently had a baby, and we were discussing the possibility of the new baby having cystic fibrosis like her big brother.

EEEWW!! You said WHAT happens?!?!

One of the daycare workers was standing with us as we had our conversation, quietly listening, picking up some new information along the way. We talked about the little features which may mean a diagnosis, the baby’s build (she may just be petite in frame), or the wind (it could be regular colic, or it could be malabsorption related), the salty skin, etc.

Then we got to the point of talking about the contents of nappies. We started talking in great detail about the appearance. It was a completely normal conversation to us, but the daycare worker’s face slowly start to contort into a look of horror! She admitted it was interesting to learn about CF through our conversations, but this was a subject that was probably a “too much information” kind of topic. It was hilarious to see! At least we could laugh about it. Hopefully we haven’t scared her off any more conversations!

So if you get a couple of CF parents together, my suggestion is that if you don’t want to start hearing all the dirty details…back off slowly! LOL

Bella 🙂