Saturday, April 19, 2014

A very, very belated bus post

This is a rather belated post on the bus... The renovation has been going slow as we have been a little too travel happy and haven't had a lot of time to work on it. After the chaos of Christmas and New Years died down we got to planning again, and now I'm proud to say things are really progressing! The electrical cables have been installed as well as the bed and we hope to have the wall/floor insulation and floor board/wall panels in this week. Our metal box is starting to take on some wonderful characters and beginning to feel like our home. I have been collecting and sketching some ideas as well as pinning away some wonderful interior inspiration (which you can follow here

Renovating such a small space from scratch has really tested Aaron and I. To create a home that suits our family and style as well provides safety and functionality is not an easy task, especially when keeping a toddlers blooming curiosity in mind, but we have learnt to make compromises and find creative solutions to our problems. We hope to make it beautiful, quirky and appealing without creating too much clutter and mess, and to try our utmost to make it as green and sustainable as possible through upcycling and renewable energy. The amount of rust we have endured has also been a HUGE problem, as we have spent 90% of our time grinding away (and in some parts even completely replacing) areas and applying rust paint to stop it happening again. It's been the bulk of our work, so for us it often feels as though it's not progressing, until something exciting like a bed goes in! 

In hind sight I think we went into this project with an air of naivety, and definently weren't prepared for any extensive problems but we have become so much closer as a family working through the problems as well as really appreciating what it takes to create a home (albeit 6x2m home...) It's also taught us to expect the unexpected and to relax a little when issues arise, traits I hope to pass onto Lilly. So although nothing gone to plan, I'm glad I've been able to share it with you guys! 

 We have gone onto setting ourselves a deadline and hope to be living (and travelling) in it by July, as long as we don't come across any more issues.  Now that we are in the swing of things, I hope to be updating more frequently!

So this is what it looked like from the last bus post


Saturday, April 5, 2014

The birth of Lilly-Mary -Part II

The birth of
Elizabeth Skinner-Chapman

Date: 29/03/2013
Time: 4.22PM
Weight: 8 pounds, 11 Ounces
Height: 51.5cm

The Labour:

Five days overdue and a bad nights sleep I awoke 5am that morning feeling something was a little different... by 5.30 the contractions were so intense that   when Aaron called the midwife and she heard my calls through the phone she promptly demanded we come in.
A short while later we were at the hospital, my dilation only a mere 1cm! Down from the 3cm it was a few days previously. Aaron and I paced around the hospital, this clearly not being a false alarm they soon transferred me to my birthing suite where it was found that my dilation was now 3cm within the hour. Things were progressing well and I sought relief in the birthing pool. Ooh, the relief!! Within moments I felt the pain ease away and my mind clear, I could visualise Lilly-Mary in my arms with every push. The midwives were kind, helping Aaron and I where ever possible. 

Within a few hours I was 7cm dilated and still in the bath, by this point my contractions were coming hard and very fast and I began to battle along. With the fear of stalling after going so far beginning to play in my mind, I took the gas they offered. Breathing in as I felt the woozy, drunken sensation go over me, my mind began to blur. After what felt like a lifetime (but was only an hour or so) I fretted over things slowing obsessively, and soon decided to get out the bath and "walk". As soon as I left the water the pain really hit and I struggled to even get dressed, let alone walk and only just managed to waddle down to my room.
It all went down hill from there... I lay in a dull ache, the gas beginning to make the room spin and I kept having bizarre Trainspotting dreams (which apparently I insisted on loudly announcing...)
My labour started to slow and the midwives began to worry, soon they requested to artificially break my membranes, which in my haze I agreed to. Everything began to become a whirl of pain after that, My gassed up mind had lost it's initial feeling towards drugs and soon after half an hour of pushing I had requested an epidural. Both my loving husband and midwives knew it wasn't in my birth plan and had initial hesitation but after it was clear that my body not coping that an epidural would be the only way to calm me down.

One epidural later and filled with regret I was calm and ready to push. And push I did! With my tiny frame and Lilly-Mary being a hefty 8 pounds, 11 ounces it was no small feat... After I eventually got her head out her little shoulders and body got stuck in me, requiring several nurses to help pull her out.

But when they placed her onto my chest it was so very worth it. This tiny, beautiful little creature wriggled wide eyed on my chest, nuzzling for my nipple and with the biggest, goofiest grin on her face. Aaron and I cradled her, feeling so much love flow through us. After 9 months of so much trouble, seeing her finally in the flesh was heartwarming, our little Lilly-Mary was finally here!

Sadly, being the large baby she is, I didn't fare to well, requiring two hours worth of tiny, tiny stitches as I had multiple first degree tears. They were battling to stitch up without tearing it more and I had been required to stay in hospital for 2 days with a catheter until the swelling began to show signs of going down.

On Sunday, we finally got to return home with our Lilly-Mary, excited to show her off to everyone... <3

The birth of Lilly-Mary- Part 1

The birth of
Elizabeth Skinner-Chapman

Date: 29/03/2013
Time: 4.22PM
Weight: 8 pounds, 11 Ounces
Height: 51.5cm

The days leading up:

Day one- 
After 11 weeks of enduring early labour, 6 hospital trips for everything from impending labour to premature rupture of the membranes (AKA my waters broke very awkwardly at the shops at 30 weeks) and being given every drug to stop my contractions/labour, infections and help Lilly-Mary's lungs grow (in case we couldn't stop my contractions) she finally decided to come!!

Ofcourse, we were nervous to get to excited as my contractions would quite regularly sit at 2-3 minutes for a minute long for days and then stall, but after a few days and relying on my instincts we went to the hospital to find out that I was indeed in labour! Being utterly excited Aaron and I opted to go home and wait out my labour in the comfort of our apartment, where a sleepy Leo the cat awaited us.

Day two-
Just over 24 hours later and my labour was slowly but surely progressing, I combated my pain with yoga, pacing, hot showers and a lot of breathing exercises and as my body began to ache from pain I began to feel reassurance come over me that my body knew exactly what to do and I really began to enjoy labour. Each painful contraction was met with an exhausted smile as I felt Lilly-Mary coming closer and closer to the outside and into Aaron and my welcoming arms.

A little over 27 hours later and my contractions were still sitting at a happy 3 minute apart for a minute long, I was seeing all the symptoms and with a huge amount of loss and mucus throughout the day and I knew things were going.... just so very slowly...
So I promptly gathered my camera, put on some form of clothing and we headed to the beach. I figured a change in environment and pushing myself to walk along the soft squishey sand would push things along a little faster... or at the very least I could enjoy the warm water and pink sunset.

Day three-
Officially one day overdue. After days of intense painful contractions met hours later with the bitter disappointment of stalling I was beginning to feel really rather useless. A year ago we had been told we would most likely never have a baby, then battling to conceive and then all the problems I faced throughout this pregnancy, I felt as if my body was trying to tell me I wasn't cut out to be a mother. That clearly I was failing as a woman. We had tried everything in my desperate attempts to keep it going, from walking, rest, ignoring it, sex and every other trick in the book but I could feel the chances of having Lilly-Mary in my arms soon slipping away into a ball of hurt. The contractions stayed; sometimes encouragingly painful, sometimes just a horrid, constant dull ache but always there. Always reminding me what my body was meant to be doing but just not.

When the midwives had told me to expect Lilly-Mary in the next 12-24 hours I was overflowing with happiness, but as the hours grew to days my excitement fell through. Every thoughtful message, call or text from friends and family felt like a jab at my ability to give birth. I felt raw with heart ache as each time I would have to explain that although I was still contracting and dilating that she wasn't near coming yet, that my body was failing to do what it's essentially meant to. And although I knew everyone meant well, I couldn't face the pressure anymore and ended up cutting off communication with the outside world earlier this morning. Aaron and I decided to continue our day as per usual; going to the beach, grocery shopping, chores and editing. I went into hours of incredibly powerful contractions that eventually subsided into a constant pain, in and out like this was how I spent my time as Lilly-Mary moved inside of me.

Aaron was truly my rock throughout this, in my hot, frustrated tears he would hold me and in my cries of pain he would encourage me. Breathing with me, pushing me but always understanding and caring for me in my fragile state, giving me the reassurance that every pregnancy was different. Every labour was unique, and that Lilly-Mary and I were strong and that eventually she would be here. Whether it was by a natural birth or an induction, I knew she would be here in the next 7 days and I could feel my patience growing.


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