Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Comment on our Blog

We've heard that a few people have been having trouble commenting. We understand that a lot of people following our journey are not usually blog readers, so perhaps a post like this is long overdue. Our apologies. 

Here's how to do it: 
- At the bottom of the post, click on the link that says '0 Comments' (or 1, 2 or however many). This will take you to that post's individual page, with the Comments section at the end. 
- Enter your comment in the box that says 'Enter your comment'. 
- Click on the triangle next to the 'Comment as:' box to tell us who you are. You can sign in if you have a google or other account, enter your name and URL if you have a website, or just click 'Anonymous'. 
- Click 'Publish'.

These instructions will now appear each time you go to a Comment page, so no remembering required :)

Should I expect a flurry of comments from people who've been bursting to say something and now know how?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Big brother, little sister

I was sitting on the couch this morning, trying to rouse sleepy F to finish her feed. SP came over wanting to be helpful, so I suggested he sing her a song to wake her up. I was expecting him to launch noisily and tunelessly into one of his current favourites. 

Instead, he created a new song just for the occasion (or the first line, anyway), in his lovely but seldom used soprano: "Wake up, my little baby"

On a slightly different note, here's some photos of SP and F, each aged 4 days, with their wonderful Daddy. I wish now that we'd waited for F to go to sleep and recreated SP's pose. Oh well. 


Have you ever really looked forward to hanging out the washing?

I realised this morning that I was. And then I did it. I hung out an entire load of washing (including 2 extra trips up and down the stairs because my brain isn't working...) without sitting down. Hooray!!

My heart rate is still quite slow for me, as it will apparently take the digoxin a couple of weeks to clear my system, and there's obviously fatigue associated with childbirth and parenting a newborn, but the energy is definitely returning. 

So many things to be thankful for. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Team Ench!

We're home! The cardiologists are "happy, happy, happy" with F's heart, the neonatologists are happy with her jaundice and general condition, and we're so happy to be here together.

With all the hospital action of this morning and this afternoon's homecoming, it hasn't really felt much like Christmas, but it's been a wonderful day. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011


A quick update on things:

F continues to learn how to feed, and is getting better at it all the time.  The cardiologists want her in at least one more night (at one point it looked like she might be coming home tonight), but given that we live so close to the Mater, it sounds like they might let her come home tomorrow.  That would be the second best Christmas present ever.  (Refer to the opening chapters of Matthew or Luke if in doubt about the best Christmas present ever).  There's possibly a little jaundice so she'll be under a uv blanket tonight to try and resolve that quickly.  They also said that we'll need to do some monitoring ourselves for the next month - just listening to the heartbeat a couple of times a day to make sure it's in sinus, not SVT.  Thankfully my sister is a cardiac nurse so she has a stethoscope we can borrow until the shops open after Christmas.

Petrina is doing marvelously.  She's off the heart medication now and had her own ECG today, which the adult cardiologists said looked fine.

When I was writing yesterday's post, I failed to mention how impressive and encouraging my wife is.  My job during contractions was to make fingers available for squeezing and to count until the peak had passed.  Easy enough, although Petrina didn't seem all that fussed about my offer to count in Fibonnaci numbers or prime numbers, just to keep things interesting.  But while I was doing that, she was living out our faith in a remarkable way, alternating between singing the old hymn "Abide with me" and praying openly and unashamedly for God to protect her, protect the baby, to make the drugs effective, everything.  I don't think anyone who'd been in the room would have left with any doubts at all about where Petrina's hope and trust is centred.

Here at home S and I are both looking forward to having our girls home soon.  Please keep praying that S will adapt quickly to having a baby in the house, and some of the changes that will come with that (like vastly reduced tolerance for racing through the sleepout at bath time laughing hysterically or choosing to shout at the top of his lungs at random moments when he feels things are too quiet).

Friday, December 23, 2011

Introducing the newest member of Team Ench

It is with very great pleasure that we introduce you to the newest member of the family.

To read more, click on the link below and type in the password.  Contact us if you haven't got it and would like it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a girl!

At 14:22 on 22 December 2011
Weight: 2898 g
Length: 50 cm
APGARs: 7 at 1 min, 7 at 5 mins, 9 at 10 mins
Health status: wonderful!
Current location: having a feed from Mummy :-)

Here we are

Mainly this is a test post to make sure I can do the big announcement from my phone. But I may as well tell you that I'm lying in birth suite waiting to get things started. Feeling a bit anxious this morning. Prayer appreciated as always :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We've been to the hospital, and we're home.  The good news is that Petrina is already dilated a couple of centimetres so she doesn't need gel to get things going.

A point for prayer is that baby is currently sitting high, so there's a possibility of the cord coming down first when they induce, which would mean an emergency ceasar.  The doctors have a couple of options to prevent this, but please pray that while Pib's asleep tonight baby would come down of its own accord.

It was incredibly odd to be back in the birth suite tonight; I felt very unprepared.  But one way or another, in 24 hours we'll be back out on the ward getting to know our new son or daughter.  And after the experiences of the last two months, that will be wonderful.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nearly time

24 hours from now I'll be in hospital (unless I don't need the gel and they send me home until early morning)

48 hours from now we expect to be well acquainted with our baby. 

I thought I'd share some prayer points for the next few days. We are so thankful for everyone's support and prayers thus far. So without further ado, please pray for: 
  • Good rest and good energy for me, particularly between now and Thursday, but also after that.
  • SP coping with me going back to hospital. He's realised that things are imminent and is getting a bit clingy again. And for him coping with a new sibling and all that that entails. 
  • Dave having energy and health. He's feeling very tired and run down, and has a habit of getting sick on holidays. We'd love that not to happen this time around :)
  • Labour being smooth and uneventful. And that we'd be calm and trusting and the doctors will be wise if it's not and other things need to be done. 
  • Baby's heart coping with labour, birth and the outside world. And again, trust and wisdom for any treatment. 
  • I'd love to have a cuddle with the baby at birth, but I also want the necessary testing done ASAP. Pray that we'll enjoy meeting and getting to know this little person, however physically close we're able to get. 
  • Getting breastfeeding well established, especially if Baby spends significant time in the nursery. 
  • Most importantly, pray that we would trust God with the big picture, the nitty gritty details and everything in between. We continue to be so thankful that He has all this in His perfect control.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Password protection

Pretty soon, Baby will have a name and a face that we can photograph. And that we're personally not comfortable having on the internet for all to see. 

Which means we'll resume password protection for posts or sections of posts that contain photos or identifying details. 

So if you know us and you don't already have the password, send us an email or a facebook message, or leave a comment, and we'll send it to you. 

But don't worry, if you're just a random observer or if you don't get around to asking for the password in the next 4 days (4 days!!), Baby's gender, basic stats and health status will be available for all to see :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A big step closer to ready

It was Working Bee day here today. 

From about 8:30am, we had 4 wonderful helpers arrive to turn our very scary sleepout into separate study and baby areas. It may have seemed overwhelming at times, but by about 2:30 things were looking so much better. 

Here's the before shots: (yikes!)

And after: 

As you can see, there's still boxes and things hanging around waiting to be dealt with, but it's amazing to see some more of the floor! The blue divider screen is (intended to be) a temporary measure, just to get us (and SP) used to the idea of it being two separate areas. We'll hopefully have a floor to ceiling curtain made before too long. But realistically not before Baby is born, so it's very helpful to have the screen for now. 

Many big thank yous to my tireless husband and our wonderful workers :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thankfulness #7

Today, I'm being extra specially thankful for my husband. Five years ago I walked down the aisle towards him, and I have been privileged to walk through life alongside him ever since. 

I'm also thankful that we had our proper celebration, a night at the Stamford Plaza, 4 months ago. God knew that we needed it then, and that it would be even more difficult now than we'd anticipated. We will get out for some date time tomorrow though. 

To Dave, thank you for being such a wonderful, caring, self-sacrificing husband. There's no one I'd rather spend my life with than you :)

God is amazing

A few days ago we heard very sad news from one of Dave's cousins. A scan of her unborn baby showed serious concerns about the baby's brain. 

Today, another scan showed that the brain measurements are now normal! Praise God!

I told SP that God had answered our prayers and that that this baby was now well, and his little face was a picture of amazement and delight. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Latest update

We had another scan today. The last one scheduled before Baby is born. It felt a bit like the end of an era, I've had so many!

Apart from my excessive lack of energy, everything looks good with baby and with me. Normal. I'm still overwhelmed that we've come this far. 

I'm due back at the hospital at 5pm next Wednesday, unless things get started before then. 

I'm planning to post again with some more thoughts on things, but my brain isn't quite functioning right now. 

Thanks for all your prayers :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

News just keeps getting better

I'm feeling quite overwhelmed by how much God has blessed us. Everything looks fine on the scan today. Our wonderful staff specialist sonographer made the comment that you'd never know this baby had a troubled history from looking at things now. Amazing. 

Today's surprise is that amniotic fluid levels have come way back down. 2 weeks ago we were at 26.8cm, last week 25.8. Normal is between 5 and 25 cm. Today: 17.something! (They were so busy at Maternal Foetal Medicine that we elected not to wait for the report, so I'm doing things from memory). That's another risk factor that we don't need to worry about any more.

Now that the fluid inside baby has gone, we were able to get a better look at Baby's size, and that's also better than expected. Baby growth is around the 14th percentile, or around 2.6 kg at the moment (though there's considerable error in scan measurements). Tracking along the graph, I figure we could be looking at around the 3 kg mark at delivery, which is perfectly respectable. Turns out baby does just have short thighs compared to the rest of it. 

And the news you've been waiting for: we're booked an induction for Thursday 22 December, which means going in on the Wednesday evening and probably having prostaglandin gel, then breaking waters in the morning. There was much discussion about this date and course of action. 

- From the baby's point of view, we could have gone longer and let baby grow a bit more. The doctors would even be happy to wait for spontaneous labour, even a few days after my due date. But it doesn't make too much difference now that we've come this far. 37 weeks is considered 'term' (that's today!!), so 38 weeks 6 days is fine. 

- For my health, not waiting too much longer is a good thing. I've been on these drugs for some weeks now, and while my heart appears to be coping ok, I am experiencing side effects (mostly tiring very quickly). So getting baby out and weaning me off the drugs is a good idea. 

- I'm still a bit concerned about my ability to go through labour, given my lack of energy, but I've heard an epidural is a wonderful thing. Since the baby's heart rhythm is stable, labour poses no particular risks to its health, and avoiding a caesarean would be good if possible.

So unless it's God's plan that I go into labour earlier, it looks like 22 December will be the day. 

Dave, SP & I did a quick tour of the nursery as well. The baby will definitely go there post-birth, hopefully just for lots of tests and not too much treatment. But if treatment is needed, that's the place to be :) 

I think that's it for now. God is SO good. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happiness is...

... looking for a Christmas carol CD to play whilst cooking and discovering the complete Messiah CDs that I'd forgotten I'd been given since last year.

Thankfulness #6

We're thanking God for this lovely cool weather. The first week or so out of hospital was so much more difficult because it was so hot, and cooler weather is making such a difference to my coping ability. Looks like the heat is coming back in a couple of days though . . .

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Processing through Play

Whilst playing in the yard yesterday, SP announced that he couldn't walk a long way over to me because he had a baby inside him. Then he got on his little car, drove to the hospital, found a car park (quite a long process), and sat waiting for his scan. "It's a looong time to wait!" I didn't notice the scan happening, I think he got distracted by something next door, but when I was recounting this story over dinner, he reported that it had been fine. 

Kids are amazing. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thankfulness #5

Today, I'm thanking God for my beautiful boy. Life has been tough for SP lately, but he's been such a trooper. And very helpful too - it seems my hydration levels are very important to him so he brings me my water bottle any time he notices it around, as well as fetching and carrying many other things and (usually) being very understanding when I can't do something with him.

He's in rest time at the moment, singing 'He's a Mighty God' and 'Joy to the World' (which he thinks is about Aunty Joy as well as Jesus). My heart smiles :)

Edited a few minutes later: I'm now hearing "Mummy, could you bring me my helping stool because I want to open the door? There's no stool in here at the moment. I can't reach the door handle." Lovely polite asking, but... no.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More good news

Last week's scan showed that the fluid inside Baby had lessened. Today, it's gone!!! Praise God for this amazing and unexpected development. We were hoping for continued lessening of fluid, but to have no evidence of it is phenomenal. Woohoo!

At this stage, we're looking at planned delivery (but not necessarily caesarean) in the 38th week, so probably 19-21 December. We can expect Baby to go straight onto medication, and there's certainly a chance that the heart could go back into abnormal rhythms after birth and need more intervention. But the fluid was a big risk factor which is now dealt with. 

We have another scan and a meeting with the neonatologist on Friday, to sort out a bit more of the nitty gritty. 

To quote the staff specialist today, Baby's future is now looking "very bright". How far we've come in 6 weeks. God is blessing us in so many ways.