A geriatric mother

I had my third bub at the tender age of 43 and now a month off 45 (when did that creep up on me??) I find myself with an extremely active and rambunctious 15 month old little boy running around.  There is a fair bit of “Oh God I’m too old for this!” going on at the moment.

I know I am not the only one.  Of my Mums group with my first child (I was 36 so well above the national average of 29) I fitted somewhere in the middle age wise, and I wasn’t the only one to have a late third.  Some of the Mums I know at school are also well and truly in my age bracket, which is extremely comforting, although I fear by the time my third reaches school I am going to be found out a bit.  Those damn wrinkles.

Loved the medical practice’s attitude towards us oldies.  It’s bad enough that they put the frighteners on with horrible stats around miscarriage, high risk of twins (didn’t know that one!) and numerous chromosomal abnormalities, but to add insult to injury, I was called either a ‘geriatric mother’ or of ‘advanced maternal age’ on all the various forms.  Lovely.  Lots of extra tests are encouraged as you can imagine and it’s all quite a trial.  Makes you feel somewhat in the bad books for having the cheek to have a baby at such an ‘advanced’ age!  Sigh.  It’s not like we need reminding but thanks anyway.

So with my great age, must come wisdom (surely!?) so I thought i’d put together a short list outlining my experiences of being a, God forbid, ‘geriatric mother’.  Let me tell you third time around helps too ; )

Good news:

  • I soooo don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses.
  • I don’t have to worry about wearing any kind of short skirt or skimpy outfit – think mutton dressed as a lamb.  Comfortable (and dare I say somewhat daggy) is just fine by me.
  • Been there, done that.  Kinda of know what to expect third time around.
  • Poop, vomit, mess, general yuckiness does not throw me in the least.
  • There’s no panic if junior doesn’t eat what he’s given.  They’ll eventually eat, promise.
  • Organic?  Sorry, all to hard.  Whatever is in the fridge is just fine.
  • No such thing as a schedule.  He’ll just have to fit in.

Bad news:

  • The knees, hips, shoulders and back hurts where it shouldn’t.
  • Harder to bend down to pick up the numerous toys, containers, pots, pens, remotes etc, etc that get randomly thrown about.
  • COMPLETELY over going to the park.
  • I’m going to look ridiculous at the beach, park, school grounds wherever at 55 trying to play ball with my 10 year old.
  • I fit in at the school ok now, but when Mr 1 year old goes to school at 5 and a bit I am going to look (and lets be fair, I will actually be) ancient.
  • The kids have no appreciation at all for 80’s music and I don’t know any other kind.
  • Despite my general laziness to make any effort to ‘look the part’ I do in fact feel quite bad sometimes that I could do better (that particular term has been written on my report cards from school for as long as I can remember – that’s probably saying something).

Here’s an article in Scary Mommy on being an older Mum.  She’s got it pegged.

And the little one said is a boutique online children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor site run by two sisters with lots of kids between them and a love of all things beautiful.

 

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Expecting? here’s what should be in your bag.

Being prepared is recommended, let’s just say I learnt on the job…

Baby 1.  Bag packed with candles, programmed ipod, pillows and pretty tops. … all of which were thrown at my husband during labour… Along with a heck of a lot of expletives and whatever else was in reach.

Baby 2.  Bag packed with baby clothes and a pair of my husbands underwear. that was IT (??) actually, mens briefs are surprisingly comfortable post baby.

Baby 3.  Bag packed with something like the following.  phew.

babybag 1

 

1. Baby clothes. Generally you need a few options with a wee beenie to keep your little one snug. soft organic cottons are perfect like Wilson & Frencys suits and Nurtured by Nature. Beautiful greys are great when you aren’t sure what you are having, although if you do, the gorgeous Fox & Finch is soft and stunning.

2. Baby wraps.  The hospital generally provides everything, but it’s nice to have a good wrap from home you can snuggle them in, and learn the wrapping technique with it too, otherwise it never works like the nurse said. Love Henry wraps are flannelette and just divine.  perfectly snug for winter and so soft.

3. Woolen blanket.  This will only be used for your trip home, but make it merino and soft, super light and warm, We love Babu

4. Baby bags like Bella Buttercup’s are a Godsend, even from day one.  Have the wipes, bum cream, hand disinfectant and newborn nappies all packed and ready to go inside this brilliant bag, it will become as essential as your handbag.

5. Bathrobe. Because there is a chance you can look civilised if you wrap this around your tired self when fetching toast or meeting visitors, and slippers I think are mandatory, or should be.  I’m pretty sure bare feet in hospitals is a bad idea.  Also, feet get really cold (throw in some socks)

babybag 2

6. Some lovely stretchy breathable cotton PJs with a breastfeeding friendly top. It’s nice to look nice.  I found these here.

7. Big cotton knickers, probably in a 5 pack, any colour so long as they are black.  Don’t get attached, throw them as soon as you get home (please do, I think I still have a pair in my drawer, hideous)

8. Toilet bag with….. are you ready? On top of your standard tooth brush, hairbrush shampoo and makeup get up, you should take these!

-Panadol (it’s all you are allowed, sob)

-Ural – If you had a vaginal birth and were torn to buggery you will appreciate this,

-Lansinoh cream – Keep applying, I’m pretty sure it made no difference but it gave me hope.  More importantly, it was hands down the best lip balm I have used,

-Earplugs.  If you have to share a room, they can be very handy.

-Nail file.  Snaggy nails and babies don’t mix

-Hairbands & clips.  A stray hair would drive me insane… oh wait, that was labour, everything drove me insane

-Pads for all the leaky bits.

9. Something for the kids.  We had siblings that were keen as beans and a little freaked out.  They need a little treat and some attention, I like Seedling because it gives you a chance to sit down and create something (with everything provided)  and not just spend all the time talking about the baby that has just invaded their lives. They need to feel special too.

10. Note book and pen.  you will be constantly asked to sign stuff, and you will need to make notes, an old supermarket and a crayon just wont cut it this time.

11. A smart phone for all the important stuff… Alert the world the most precious little baby has been born, call your Mum, google “is it normal to want to kill my hisband during birth”,  last minute name ideas, watch dirty dancing on youtube when you are feeding for hours from 3am and to take that precious photo that will become the perfect screensaver.

12. a Camera, a good one. Because Goddamnit they grow up quick, you want to remember it all.

collage bubs

 

 

Stinking sodding hospital

The last couple of weeks have been horrid. Horrid!   And so we have a very late blog and not an awful lot more than horrendousness to discuss I’m afraid.   I know we are not alone in our rubbish week, apparantly we are one of thousands this winter, but we live in our own little bubbles don’t we…

I thought a few months back when my 3 girls had a stomach virus and threw up at the same time all night was possibly as bad as it got… erm..

The climax for the bad week was rushing to hospital ED with a bad case of asthma for my oldest. We have been here before many times but this time we all had the flu and felt like busses were hitting us left right and centre – making it an extra horrid night on those charming pull outs, interrupted hourly for ventolin, and a quick trip back to ED to pick up my youngest who has apparantly developed asthma too.  Two kids in hospital at the same time makes for a rather sniffly mum.

HOWEVER! As we are seasoned pros, there is at least a little knowledge I can impart to you all, wanted or not.  It gives me a chance to do a collage of images which lets be honest, is a joy in itself.

Items for child in 24hr stay:

collage hospital

  • Chocolate/lollies (I had a giant pink easter egg – used solely for bribery when encountering needles/yucky drugs/scary nasaly mouth things).
  • Books.  We had a ‘Where’s Wally?’ given to us and it was hopeless when we first arrived, an exhausted kid drugged to their eyeballs isn’t about to be able to find Wally.  I couldn’t find the bugger and I looked darn hard!  Drop it down a gear or two on reading ability, story books with lovely pictures and old favourites are winners.
  • An iPad.  Now is not the time to worry about restricting screen times, ipad charger…. ipad backup … smartphone … smartphone charger … you get the idea. I also let my daughter video the nurse taking blood so she was concentrating on the video part rather than the blood sucking part.
  • Change of clothes and some favourite sleepwear.  Things get scary and sweaty and throwy uppy in hospital. Best be prepared.
  • Textas and a notebook.
  • Hair ties, obviously for the girls.  Or maybe not.. Whatever sex, if it’s long hair they have, it’s nice to be out of your face.  If you are caught short, rip the top of a pair of rubber gloves off (found in boxes all over the place), works brilliantly.
  • Snacks.. meusli bars, crackers, raisins whatever. Hospital food is average except the white toast and vegemite.
  • Favourite toy/blanket.
  • Drink bottle.

Items for Mum in 24hr stay:

mum hosp

  • I take my pillow, but only because I have some wierd issue with sleeping on the plasticy covered ones.  Elsie ended up using it instead, it’s nice to have a comfy backup.
  • Medicare/insurance cards.
  • Socks
  • Cash… quite a bit.  Parking is horrendous, snack stops are inevitable, coffee is essential and colouring books and treats are likely.
  • Baby wipes for speedy showers.
  • I take a book and never read it, but it’s nice to dream.
  • Good headache pills and Berrocca.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Drink bottle.

Techniques for most comfortable stay:

  • Make sure the doctors, nurses and orderleys all know who you are.
  • Ask LOT’s of questions and make sure you get an idea of when things are happening.  You need to be the squeeky wheel!
  • Get dropped off if you can.  Not having to worry about parking fines or the fees clocking up is lovely.
  • Make the most of the educators/clowns/entertainers.  They are brilliant.  Takes the mind off your stay and usually give you a chance to duck away for a coffee.
  • Make yourself useful. The nurses are amazing and probably don’t need to get you another blanket, get some more water, get another pillow.  Use your common sense and help out.
  • Get some sleep when you get home.  Not always easy with others waiting for you but it’s bloody stressful being in hospital, you don’t eat well, you are often unwell too and you have woken as often as your child for medication and rounds.  You aren’t much good to anyone when you are knackered.
  • Big ups to RPA and their awesome staff.  I really should drop round some muffins.

tired_mom