Kiran Update

We went to the Early Childhood Health Centre (ECHC) yesterday (when I started this post the visit was yesterday, now I'd have to say 'Thursday' instead) for Kiran's 8 week check. It was all good and apart from the Whooping Cough he is fine and growing like a weed. In fact it appears that he put on around 500g since last Tuesday's paediatrician visit. That is a lot of breastmilk! When I told Sanjay he suddenly realised why I've been so hungry recently and why I've been a bit tired (I feel like a Cheshire-mother, I might vanish at any moment, leaving just my milky breasts).

As well as getting longer and chubbier he's developing in other ways. He seems to recognise my face from several metres away now, he will lie on the floor and look at his toys or lie on the bed and gaze out the window for ten minutes at a time or more. I don't remember Asher being able to amuse himself for that long with any regularity until he was much older. He's very communicative and loves to gaze into my eyes, smile and then we have 'conversations' where I ask him questions and he vocalises with little 'ahs' back to me.

Kiran is also getting into a really good nighttime routine (will writing about it jinx it?). He goes to bed between 8 and 9:30 then wakes for a feed between11:30 and 1:30. He generally wakes again around 6 or 6:30am and Asher usually wakes and comes in before 7am so we are effectively awake for the day, even if Kiran sometimes goes back to sleep.

The little guy also had his first bottle last night. I went out for dinner with the Mummies and left both boys at home with Sanj. I expressed some milk the other day (almost 100ml) when I was feeling a bit full and so I got another 100ml yesterday which I hoped would be enough. It turns out he was a little reluctant to drink from the bottle at first but once he got the idea had the 100ml and a bit more from me when I got home before he went back to sleep. Dinner out with the mummies was great for me - just the tonic I needed after feeling a bit caged and tense for the last week or two. We were talking about how everyday things slip by so fast, particularly with second children, and how we should all be keeping a diary everyday and I thought about how irregularly I blog and made a pact to write something every day for a week. That seems a bit poor in the light of day, like I should be doing more, but I really want to do it and I hate over-committing. So, stay tuned for a post, however brief, every day for a week!


Art Gallery Trip

Asher showing us his art
Originally uploaded by karmakeda
Today we went to one of the Art Gallery of NSW's Tours for Tots programs (http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/for_kids/tours_for_tots). My friend Karen booked it ages ago, when I was in early pregnancy, and I didn't know if I'd be able to cope getting into the city to the Gallery and doing the activities with Asher with a newborn. It turns out that it's OK - I should have left earlier as an hour isn't long enough to get there without dragging Asher throught the streets of the city. Lucky he's a tough little thing who normally likes walking otherwise it would have ended in tears. I also couldn't have done it without the wonderful Karen who not only booked for me but also, with less than 10 weeks to go of her own pregnancy, got down on the floor with the kids when it was hard for me to manage then took Asher to the beach with her and her daughter for a few hours. They are due back any minute (I've had a rest, looked after still-sick Kiran, done a few phonecall chores, done a load of washing and prepared dinner). I really don't know how people manage without such excellent mates - I don't know what I can do to repay my awesome friends.

The Tot program was good - best for relatively calm and attentive kids though, so even though they say 3-5 year olds it seemed a bit tough for some of the younger and less compliant ones. We looked at four artworks and I thought the analysis was good and still totally appropriate for the preschooler set. I also wanted to bring the John Olsen work we looked at home with me, There were two activities that related well to the artworks but perhaps lacked a little. We used stencils to layer sea creatures onto our surfboard shapes (the surfboard will become a picture frame) and used crayons and stickers to decorate sunglasses.

I want to get this posted and the bath run for when the kids descend, so I'll post this now, without re-reading.


My lovely lads

I don't want to be always comparing my two boys but it's hard not to. I'm not just comparing them though, I'm comparing my feelings then and now too. When Asher was less than 12 weeks old I would dread any day that I knew Sanjay would be late home from work. This time around it's so different. Sanj told me this morning that he was going to be late, but that his parents would pick Asher up from Kindy and give him a bath and dinner. I felt a flood of relief - I didn't have much to achieve today so this evening is going to be blessedly calm. With both Sanjay and Asher getting home at around 7pm, and the baby pinning me to the couch to cluster feed from 4:30 to 7:30 most nights all I can do is sit here and enjoy the quiet house and wish I had remembered to get myself a big drink of water before I sat down. When Asher was tiny I would have had to bounce and walk him around for those afternoon hours, and even with rocking and bouncing and feeding and singing he would still have howled for quite a lot of that time.

The baby, despite being snuffly with what I think is cold rather than just more of the pertussis cough, is lying in my lap gazing at me, grinning and vocalising when I look down at him and talk to him. I think that he's developing a pattern of having a good sleep in the morning and a good long sleep in his hammock in the afternoon and a snooze in the Ergo in the middle of the day. He also seems to just wake up up twice a night most nights, and so far he hasn't been to difficult to get back to sleep. If I followed the time honoured wisdom of 'sleeping when the baby sleeps' I'd actually get enough sleep! Instead I walk around with him in the Ergo or try to eat and get some washing done and the kitchen tidied. Maybe next week I'll get a rest during the day.

And before I get even more distracted, the real reason I wanted to post was to note a few of the cute things Asher says and does before he changes and they slip away for ever. After three years of no TV he's now crazy for it. It is a fondness that I think will wane fairly quickly as long as we set reasonable limits and don't get too strung up about it. He doesn't watch actual TV though, just his 'movies' which are a Bindy Irwin DVD and a few Wiggles and Thomas DVDs. He puts them on himself and then uses the 'ke-mote' (remote) to adjust the volume or get the appropriate segment of the DVD to play. Drat, the baby is grizzling but I really need to write about how under the thumb Asher's grandfather is sometime and how great those grandparents are, particularly since we've had Kiran.


The Emergency Department

The Emergency Department
Originally uploaded by karmakeda
This proves I'm a bad blogger - I had a whole week in hospital with The Little Kiran without updating here.

The short version is that I went to the GP because baby K wasn't breathing right and was coughing and seemed unwell. Since he's so little I took him to the doctor who said she thought it was probably bronchiolitis and that we should go to the emergency department because the baby probably needed oxygen and monitoring. We went, spent almost 24 hours there (check the photo - thiswas my chair in the ED. It unfolds to a squeeky, narrow, vinyl covered 'bed') and then we were admitted to the childrens ward.

Kiran was still in respiratory distress and needing a bit of oxygen and then, on Friday the swab results came back and it turned out that he had pertussis (whooping cough). The coughing fits started to get more outrageous as they entered the paroxysmal stage - he had an apnea after a coughing fit on Friday night, and another one on Saturday night. By Sunday he was kind of flat and waxy and I was pretty unhappy about his condition but there was no apnea. Monday night there was another apnea, and this time there was not much of a coughing fit beforehand and I kinda lost my cool about the whole situation. So of course, being a baby, he started to pick up on Tuesday and by Thursday he was a different baby and able to come home without me freaking out.

So I was cooped up in a hospital room with Kiran for over 8 days, leaving once a day for half an hour to head downstairs to get a coffee. My birthday was on the Friday and my family brought Pizzas. Sanjay spent his time looking after Asher, bringing food and clothing for me and trying to fit some work in around the edges. Our families were awsome and helped out wherever they could.

I might fill in some details later, but there was one funny moment: I was sitting in the ED breastfeeding and a nurse came over and was talking to me. After about half a minute she realised I was feeding and apologised profusely and closed the curtains. Um, lady, thanks but you were talking to me for half a minute before you realised, so I'm not being that indiscreet and I'm not fussed. Also, don't close the curtains because the nurses desk is my source of amusement here. It made me chuckle.

I processed my experience by taking photos and there are pics up on Flickr. Happily we are home now and getting healthier by the day. Kiran is a lovely baby, 7 weeks old tomorrow. He smiles and chuckles and gazes at me. He loves being carried in the Ergo and grizzles in the evening just like any other baby. We are so happy to be home, safe and healthy!