Saturday, July 23, 2011

new zealand maternity care

Sharon undressing Trent for a weight check at our home.  

I have been very impressed with maternity care in New Zealand.

All midwifery care is provided free of charge (as long as you qualify for government health services, which we do with 2 1/2 year work visas).  There are charges if you decide to deliver with an obstetrician, unless you are referred by your midwife for a high risk pregnancy.  Standard midwifery care includes pre-natal visits, home, hospital or birth centre delivery, and six weeks of post-natal visits.  After six weeks, the mother and baby are transferred to a community health nurse who also does home visits to discuss any concerns about development, including checking weight and height.  She may also recommend other community based resources.

We were able to choose our midwife, and we chose a wonderful woman named Sharon Down.  I had gotten to know Sharon in our ward (church congregation).  The first time I met Sharon, she was teaching a lesson in Relief Society.  I learned she was a midwife, and I introduced myself after the lesson.  I mentioned to her that I hoped we would have another baby sometime soon.  When she told me to go home and seduce my husband, I knew I wanted her to be my friend.  She was almost as thrilled as we were when I told her I was pregnant.  Because she lives just around the corner from us, Sharon was kind enough to do all of our visits at my home.  I never have to wrestle my kids in a waiting room or schedule a babysitter.  Max and Maya loved being part of the pre-natal visits.  While Sharon would examine my baby bump, the kids would sit close by and "help".  During the delivery, Sharon was just what I needed.  She was with me the whole time.  She let me set the mood, stepped aside when I needed quiet, and took charge when I needed direction.  It has also been wonderful to have her visits after we came home from the hospital.

Another of the benefits of having a baby in New Zealand is that I felt no pressure to have another c-section, which was the delivery method with Max and Maya.  In fact, I was encouraged to have a VBAC.  I wasn't considered weird and alternative for wanting a natural delivery.  Also, although I was 10 days past my due date, I was not pushed to artificially induce my labor.

We are so glad to have a New Zealand made baby.

Friday, July 22, 2011

snow ball

It has been cold an wet lately, cold and wet.  Last Tuesday the sun came out and we decided to take a walk over to the local park.  I was worried that Trent might get too cold so I put him in this snuggly suit before putting him in the buggy.  We all thought he looked so cute, Maya wanted a photo with him.  

Our sweet Trent is growing well.  He is now 4.75 kg (10.5 lbs), most of that weight is in his yummy cheeks.  :)

We had a long stressful week #3 (also Lonnie's first week back at work).  While Trent was eating very well, every time I put him down after feeding he would scream and cry....fall asleep for 10min and then wake up crying again.  He was spiting up a lot which would then cause his nose to get plugged up, making it hard for him to eat.  I was worried that having one fussy baby would be just as hard as having two premie twins* (at least they would sleep because they were always so tired).  

I gave up dairy (very difficult for this ice cream, milk and cheese loving girl), took Trent to see a cranial osteopath (on the recommendation of our midwife and several friends).  I also tried giving him gripe water and Rhuger....nothing seemed to work.  Trent and I were both worn out and tired....and we cried a lot.  

Thankfully our wonderful midwife, Sharon, finally figured out that he might be suffering from a fast let down and oversupply.  She told me to feed him on just one side rather than both.  It worked.  Our sweet and happy little baby was back.  Of corse he still has his fussy times, especially in the evenings, but he is now also able to enjoy time talking to his brother and sister, sitting in his swing, laying on the floor stretching his legs and strengthening his already amazingly strong neck (which he has been able to hold up on his own since birth).  

It is funny to me that something so simple would cause so much grief.  You would think that I would have know to only feed him on one side, but having twins taught me to try and get your baby to eat as much as possible at every feeding.  I also only had one side available for each baby each time. 

Maya is a very proud big sister.

*There is actually nothing harder than premature twins, who take three months to learn how to breastfeed.