I haven't blogged much over the last couple of years, I know, but life just gets in the way sometimes. Almost from conception Emily was a handful, with the worst morning sickness for a while and then being so tired and breathless from lack of iron. Normally it's a relief when a baby is finally born but not in Emily's case. I had a separation of the stomach muscles and a herniated belly button and was in agony only a few hours after her birth. Nobody picked up on it until I figured out what the problem was. I was in more pain that child birth and in the middle of her first night she was crying and I was in so much pain I got stuck halfway between sitting up and laying down. I couldn't even reach the buzzer to get a nurse, not that they came when I buzzed them anyway. I finally figured out that if I pushed my belly button in and held it I was in a lot less pain. After I finally got the attention of a nurse we figured out what the problem might be and in the morning I had a visit from the hospital physiotherapist and given a band to wear around my waist. I had to go home that morning, they wouldn't keep me in any longer, it's not their policy to keep women in longer than 2 nights and because she was born a few minutes before midnight that counted as the first night for them. They drugged me up with panadeine forte and Tramadol and made an appointment for me to see the hospital physiotherapist in 6 weeks.
I was not supposed to do any heavy lifting for those 6 weeks but you know what it's like being a mum and 2 days later I was in extreme agony again, feeling like I was going to die. My bowel had gotten caught in the muscles. I took some Tramadol and my husband called the ambulance. They were all busy and were going to take half an hour to get there so Tim drove me to the hospital. By that time the Tramadol was working and I wasn't in as much pain. So the doctor gave me endone, a morphine drug, knowing that I was breastfeeding, I decided to go to my own doctor before I got the script filled and he agreed that if I didn't need it not to get it filled I still had some Tramadol, which was bad enough.
We also had a house inspection coming up when Emily was only 2 weeks old. I knew I didn't want to be in that much pain again so I got the kids working to get the place ready. The owner of the house was also coming to take a look with the agent. We'd already put the inspection off once and couldn't do it again. I thought the place looked great, especially considering that the kids did most of the work, but the owner of the house was not happy, noticing some little rings of dirt around the jets of the spa bath. I'm glad we're moving out of here in October, though I'm worried he's going to try and get some of our bond money.
So on top of all that Emily had reflux and didn't sleep well. She would wake up within 5 minutes of being put down, so we had to hold her most of the time and while that wasn't so bad when she was really little nothing changed as she grew older. She wasn't settling until nearly midnight and even then she was really restless. She needed to be rocked and sung to and the only ones who could settle her were myself and Elijah (13) for the most part. This dragged on and on for months with her starting to pinch me and drawing blood as she was being cuddled, she was also starting to play with a mole I have on my neck, which I couldn't allow her to do. I was hating holding her and giving her a cuddle. I didn't want to get close to my little girl as she just hurt me.
I knew I was in a bad place when she was about 10 months old, when I was getting so frustrated and tired that as I was cuddling her I would squeeze her and yell at her to go to sleep. Don't get me wrong I never hurt her and when I say yell....well....that is comparatively as no-one else in the house heard me. It wasn't just me it was affecting. The other little one's weren't going to bed at a decent time as there was no point, Emily would wake them up with her crying and I was too tired to fight with them to get them to stay in bed. So they were falling asleep in front of the TV at who knows what time. The big kids weren't going to bed at a decent time either because Christian and Rose would wake them up with their noise. I had to do something drastic. I was going to just have to let her cry herself to sleep before something bad did happen.
So I googled 'control crying techniques' and read as much as I could to back myself up. I found out that it would only take about 3 days for things to get better and if after a week there was no change to go and seek medical advice. It was much easier to contemplate doing this knowing that there was a time limit. Her cot was already set up in the girls room, it just hadn't been used as she slept in bed with me. For the first day she cried for 2 hours before she fell asleep. I only went in a couple of times as I felt that I made things worse going in and trying to settle her. The second day she cried for 20 mins before falling asleep and the third day she only cried for 5 mins.
She's now 14 months old and things are a lot better. We still have issues with her sleep. We're slowly getting her to go to bed earlier but she still isn't settling until 9:30pm if I'm lucky. We're putting our foot down with the other littlies and working on getting their bedtime to the same as Emily's although they're so used to sleeping in front of the TV that we're having tantrums, especially our strong-willed Rose. The bigger kids have always been good with going to bed when they're told and so it's just a matter of Tim and I sending them to bed at a decent time, at the moment that time is 9:30, the same as the others, for Kahlia and Daniel, 10:30 for Elijah and well Josiah's nearly 18 so he stays up a little later.
Some of you might be asking where Tim was during all this but if you know me at all you know that don't like to delegate what I feel I should be able to do. Tim would try and take Emily for me but the way she cried just broke my heart and I couldn't bear it (although I look back now and think I should have let him have his way). He really did try to help but I wouldn't let him in, yes I am a little bit of a control freak. Emily was baby no. 7 and this was the first time I had had this issue. It shows that no matter how many children you have each one is different and you handle each one differently. I thank God that we made it through those 12 months with our family intact and our faith intact.
Emily is a gorgeous, intelligent little girl who started walking at 10 months. She loves running up to me and giving me cuddles and I love giving her cuddles. She gives the cutest sloppy open mouthed kisses and dances to any music that comes on. She loves her big brothers and sisters and follows Rose around like her shadow.