Walk for Prems – Sunday November 14th

Coming up in just under 3 weeks is the Walk for Prems on Sunday November 14th. Obviously this is a cause close to our hearts and we are very much looking forward to supporting the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation as they aim to raise money.  Part of the money for this year’s walk is to upgrade the parent’s room facilities at Monash Hospital and to provide some comfy chairs for Kangaroo Care to several NICUs in Melbourne.  Of course the parent’s comfort isn’t everything but it really helps on this difficult journey.

Eva's First Kangaroo Care Day 8

As it is close to Eva’s second birthday (11th) we think that this is a great way to celebrate her life.  We will be doing the 5km walk and would love for anyone who can to join us.  Registration is $25 per adult and $10 per child.  After the walk there is a family fun day at Albert Park (including post walk massage).
We realise that for most people joining us isn’t going to be possible so we have started a fundraising page if you would like to contribute to this fundraising on Eva’s behalf.  Any contribution will be excitedly received.
http://www.everydayhero.com.au/evahodges is where we are collecting donations.

Eva blowing you a kiss to say Thank You

Please let us know if you will be joining us for the Walk for Prems on November 14th.  We hope to see you there.

Challenging

I’m finding this age a little challenging.  Nearly 2, walking confidently, comprehending all that I say but with no words to express herself finds Eva very frustrated at times.  Today I thought that we would go for a nice walk together around the neighbourhood for Eva to do some exploring.  Instead of an enjoyable walk I spent most of the time explaining the it wasn’t safe to climb on the gutter on the busy road and that it wasn’t ok to enter every house that had steps to climb them.  Of course these discussions led to Eva flinging herself to the ground with noise and tears.  Distraction helps until the next obstacle arrives.  Needless to say a return home was in order.

Not long after the return home we played the identify Mama’s facial features which soon turned into Eva wanting to poke her fingers into my nose, mouth and ears.  Much laughing ensued and I remembered how much fun she can be.  I love those moments when she comes up to me with a book or toy and turns herself around to sit in my lap and command my attention.  I love the moments when she is uncertain about her next move and looks around and holds her hand up for my help.  Some days it’s just hard to focus on the great stuff when the challenging stuff is ever-present.  We are both learning and practicing every day.

As a very exciting part of the day today Emma visited us.  Emma, my cousin and bridesmaid, just moved to Melbourne with her husband Luke from Perth.  It is so exciting to have them here.  Eva really enjoyed having a new person to play with.

Freedom comes with a Gate

Odd isn’t it that I would consider a gate giving me some freedom.  Eva just loves being outdoors which is great and fun (when the sun is shining).  Since she has been a walker she loves the thought of being outside roaming.  We have lovely neighbours and live in a cul-de-sac so the road is relatively quiet.  Even if we start in the backyard Eva is down the driveway like a shot desperate to get to the big wide world.  This means that I have got to know the houses with great front fences to climb, steps to attract her attention, gates with dogs behind them and gardens with pebbles to pick up and throw.  The tricky thing is the gutter is just her favourite place to hang out because it is a step that she can do without holding onto anyone or anything and Eva just loves steps.  While I love that she is exploring the world and being adventurous I would like to get more than 3 pieces of washing hung on the line at a time.  Hence the gate.

Today we had a gate installed on the driveway to define our back and front yards.  This means that when we need to we can be in the backyard with Eva and know that she is unable to escape.  Today I even planted some plants in the vegetable garden while she pottered around with her red car and ball.  What freedom this gate offers to our outdoor activities!  Of course there are lots of fun times to be had with the other children in the street so we wont lock her in the backyard all the time.

 

Eva discovers the new gate

 

 

First Shoes

Today Eva is wearing her First Shoes.  Of course since she has been walking in August she has worn shoes which have been generous hand me downs that she has now grown out of.  We have been trying to let her go shoeless for as much as possible as it gives her good sensory feedback and awareness to help with balance and gait.  For times when it is necessary we now have some options:

It was very helpful (actually essential) to have Nanny’s help today for the shoe selection and trying on process.  The best bit was that they were very discounted (hence my tolerance of the excessive pink)!

Eva of course is loving her new shoes but sadly today was raining all day so we didn’t get to wear them much.

Prayer Request Update

Juarne and Luke are the proud parents of Lachlan, born this afternoon at 1.16kg (2lb 9oz). I have heard briefly from his Aunty Bridget who says that he is trying to breathe on his own which is great.  They had a blessed few days with him safely inside and now he is in the care of NICU.

They start a new journey now filled with hope and prayers continuing.

Your Prayers Please

Today I have heard from our friend Bridget that her sister-in-law, Juarne, has gone into pre-term labour at 26 weeks 2 days gestation in Adelaide.  Juarne is currently fully dilated, on bed rest with contractions on and off.  Their baby is looking healthy and about 1kg (a very good weight) on the scan.  Juarne has had both doses of steroids to help mature the baby’s lungs which is great.

All that is left is sitting and waiting and lots of prayers and positive thoughts.

Please pray for Juarne, Luke, Baby Reynolds and their family members.

My mind has been racing today thinking of what Juarne and Luke are going through and how similar it is to our story.  It has affected both Andrew and I today reflecting on this experience with our beautiful Eva.  Eva is 23 months old today.  Reflecting on us living through this 23 months ago makes me realise that it is still raw.  Juarne was a dedicated reader of this blog daily so I can only hope that knowledge of our journey is helping her right now.

Please send prayers for this beautiful baby now.  Thank you.

Our Babywearing Options

Right from the start we knew that we wanted to frequently “wear” Eva.  A big part of her hospital stay was daily Kangaroo Care with either mama or dada where she would contentedly snuggle into our chest for a couple of hours.  How could we deny her this once we got home?  Using the Kari-Me fabric baby carrier we were able to keep her snug and cosy next to us whenever she needed.  We chose this type of carrier as she could fit in it straight away whereas she had to grow bigger to fit into others.  Also the Kari-Me had a great upright position to mimic the Kangaroo Care position.  Hug-a-bub seems to be the Australian equivalent.

I used the Kari-Me frequently during the day and night for the first few months.  It was an essential item.  The broad fabric across the shoulders and hips meant that it was very comfortable.   The tying took a short while to learn in front of a mirror using a teddy bear.  Eva’s first journey out of our house was in the Kari-Me, it was nice to have her so close.  The Kari-Me has been fantastic for all travel, particularly in airports.  It means that I have my hands free and no stroller to worry about.  The most practical part that I like about babywearing is not having to avoid stairs (like with a stroller), especially great when traveling.  We have visited many a museum and enjoyed many a church service with Eva quietly asleep in the Kari-Me, so easy.  We continue to wear Eva at least weekly.  Babywearing regularly means that your muscles build up and you get used to the weight so with the right carrier even a large toddler feels comfortable.

We tried the Baby Bjorn but we didn’t find it very comfortable on the shoulders after the soft, broad fabric that we were used to.  Also the minimum weight is 3.5kg which Eva didn’t achieve until after 2 months at home.  Also this type of carrier puts a lot of pressure on the spine and hips as the baby dangles in from the crotch (like wearing a parachute harness) as opposed to a sling that keeps the baby in a “frog” or seated position which adheres to the natural curves of the spine and it potentially much more comfortable.

Recently we purchased a new carrier that we are both very pleased with, the Boba.  It was time to be wearing Eva on our back more and we needed something easy and comfortable to do that with.  The Kari-Me is quite stretchy material which isn’t as supportive for higher weights (although it does go to 15kg) and it requires 2 people to safely put the child on your back.  The Boba is easy and comfortable and has Eva in a seated position and even has foot straps to support her legs.  We can easily get her on and off on our own.  Eva seems to really enjoy it.  It has been great with her walking more as I just strap it on and then put her in when she has walked enough.  I have even enjoyed shopping at the markets with a pull along trolley with her happily on my back.

 

We have always found wearing Eva to be practical, cosy and easy.  We hope to continue wearing her as she gets bigger.