#DADLIFE

*PLEASE REMEMBER THIS BLOG POST WAS WRITTEN FOR FATHER’S DAY BUT WAS NEVER POSTED DUE TO OUR LITTLE DUDE MAKING HIS EARLY ARRIVAL! EVERYTHING IS WORDED FOR FATHERS DAY!*

Father’s Day. A day for people to show their appreciation for fathers and father figures – like stepfathers and grandfathers. So, what better day to talk about the men in our lives who can play many roles from our rock to the best daddy in the world. I want to talk about all things dad from your relationship to daddy bonding!

I will start at the beginning – Ben and I had been together for only a few months when I found out I was pregnant. Obviously, it was not planned but we both knew we wanted kids one day and that day had just hit us a lot sooner than expected! We were still living a long distance relationship at the time and we were in the process of getting Ben’s transfer and buying our first home! He was around 4 hours away so we really appreciated the time we did get together – maybe a little too much and that’s how we ended up having a baby so soon! 😛

Although we had not been together for long, it felt like we had. It was almost weird to imagine life before Ben. We loved each other and were excited about our future. However, throwing a kid in the mix definitely does not make things easy!

So what most people do over five years, we did over five months – hah! We meet, fell in love, brought a house, moved in together for the first time and got pregnant. Then just days after the day we first meet a year before, Harlee-Jae was born. On our first year anniversary, we had already had a baby! And by our second year anniversary, we will have another! This is what I would have called crazy once upon a time, now it is my life.

The truth is though; this is extremely hard on your relationship! A baby coming into your life at any time of a relationship but being such a short time made things challenging for us. We were still learning things about each other and now we had a baby in the mix too. You are sleep deprived, your hormones are out of whack and you’re learning how to be a mum. Your relationship tends to take a back seat – not on purpose, just because you have a lot going on.

There were a few other contributing factors for us like unwanted opinions and certain people, taking a toll on our relationship. I will be honest – it was a bloody hard time. Ben and I both do not do well with lack of sleep and we are both headstrong and stubborn. Yes, there were arguments but we figured it out. It may have taken some time but we were still learning things about each other. Truth be told, we still deal with the issues of unwanted opinions and certain people trying to interfere with our relationship but now we know how to handle it a lot better because we have learnt more about each other.

Honestly though, we had our moments were we were both pushed to breaking point that it would have been a hell of a lot easier to just get up and walk away from the relationship but, we didn’t.

If you love, each other like you say you do, you have to persevere. Learn about balance and figure out what is reasonable and what is not. Learn that communication is your new best friend. Learn to remember that you are both tired. Learn to not take your sh*t out on each other. None of this is easy but it is so worth it! Once you get it, you will wonder why you did not figure it out earlier.

Everyone has bad days and everyone argues sometimes but the good days and good times definitely outweigh these. The key to a healthy relationship with kids is figuring out what is best for your relationship. Do not try living a certain way because Sally and Jack down the road are happy and that is what they do. Only you and you partner can figure out what works for you!

Another important factor to a healthy relationship is to make time for eachother! Kids generally take all your attention but your relationship needs attention too. Try having a date night or day once every now and then – even if it is just chilling at home together. Put down your cell phones at night when the kids are in bed and talk! We are definitely guilty of this. We can be sitting on the couch next to each other but be in completely different worlds because we are busy on our phones. Remember your relationship is more important than Facebook! Always be willing to work on your relationship and do not forget to remind each other that you do love one and other!

As hard as those days were in the beginning, I am so happy with where we are today! We do not have the perfect relationship; I do not think anyone does. However, we are happy and love where we are. I am lucky to have someone like Ben, who puts up with everything that comes with me. We work and right now, I would not change a thing.

One of the most awesome things for me has been watching Ben grow as a Dad. Harlee absolutely adores him and watching there bond is so awesome! I understand that building a bond can be hard on new dads. Even mum’s struggle forming a bond so I can imagine it must be difficult for dads. Yes, for some people it comes naturally but some it does not.

Ben was lucky, he fell in love with Harlee from the get go but the bond they share now is not like the bond they first had. Ben had not been around too many kids before Harlee, so it was all a big learning curve and because babies do not exactly communicate with you or have a personality it can be challenging. I guarantee you though, as soon as they start interacting together and your little one has a personality, the bond will be awesome!

Ben is the laid-back one. He’s the one that dances around like a dork, plays with Harlee’s toys – from tiara’s to blocks 😛 and just always makes everything fun. He is going to be the dad dropping all the lame dad jokes in efforts to embarrass Harlee and be that ‘funny’ Dad.

Our lifestyle approach is I am the stay at home mum and he is our provider – the working Dad! We could not do what we do and have what we have if it was not for Ben. I am so grateful to be able to be a stay at home mum – although it is still a tough gig! The joys of this mean that Ben gets to be the cool one. I am the one who says no 10,000 times a day and then when Ben gets home he gets to be cool Dad and I am totally okay with that! Because although it is hard being a stay at home mum at times, it is also bloody rewarding but Ben misses out on some of this rewarding stuff being at work so to me, letting him be the cool one is the least I can do! This is what works for us, so remember it may not work for you.

Too often we are extremely hard on our partners. We are quick to expect them to be like us and have the common knowledge to do what we expect. You need to remember that some mums lack there maternal instinct and dad’s don’t generally have it either. Something that seems obvious to us, may seem like nothing to them. It’s important to learn what a realistic expectation is because your partner isn’t the guy off daddy daycare – so don’t expect that of him. There is always more you can learn about your partner, especially once you’re a parent.

So dads, here’s to you! Whether you are a real dad, a step dad, a father in law or even a grandad! You are all so important and you are all so loved and deserve to put your feet up and have a beer.

To Ben, thank you for all you do for me and our growing family. For the patience you have, when mine is wearing thin, for the love you show to Harlee-Jae, for working hard for us everyday and most importantly for loving us unconditionally. I am so happy to call you the father of my children. Harlee-Jae and baby number two are super lucky to have a dad like you! We love you more than words can say!

I hope you have all had an awesome day and have spent father’s day with the special men in your life! Until next time mates!

Lace xxx

LABOUR UNCUT TAKE TWO – KELLAN TREVOR POHE PATTERSON’S BIRTH STORY

 

The day I was absolutely dreading because it was my second time round and I knew exactly what I was in for, the day we spend 40 weeks waiting for – Labour. Again, it will be honest and it will be raw so only read if you enjoy the good the bad and the truth behind labour, well my labour.

It was early hours of Saturday the 2nd of September. I had taken my massive pregnant self out to the lounge to sleep on the couch for a few reasons. I was super uncomfortable and the couch seemed like a better option, I had crazy insomnia and Ben’s snoring was next level because he had a cold.

I woke up around 4am and went to the bathroom for what felt like 100th time that night. However, this time I noticed I was starting to lose my mucous plug. I went into full panic mode. Last time with Harlee-Jae, I started losing my mucous plug and she arrived five or so hours later. So obviously, I thought that’s going to happen again! I went in and woke Ben up, stressing that I was not ready for this baby! I still had so much to do. I was meant to have three more weeks! Ben managed to calm me down and assured me I was not having a baby right then and there and we would sort it and he was right. No baby came and I could relax again.

All day on the Saturday, I was so uncomfortable. I quickly regretted wishing he would not come and thought how am I going to do this for three more weeks. I had no signs of contractions all day and had stopped losing my mucous plug; I thought it must have all been in my head.

I had not started anything to naturally bring on labour as I did with Harlee except drinking red raspberry leaf tea on the 1st of September. However if you do want some tips on what I have tried, head over to Harlee-Jae’s Birth Story to hear what I did try with her!

Sunday the 3rd of September had arrived – Father’s day! I had woken up and had diarrhoea and some slight cramping – very similar to the morning that Harlee came. I said to Ben, I think I may have a baby tonight. He thought I was all shit because of my meltdown in the middle of the night hah. I rang my mum who was heading to Palmerston North for the day, which is two hours away from where we live. I was in two minds about this, I wanted her to go because what if I didn’t have a baby but then what if I did go into labour!? I need my mum if I am having a baby today! However, I told her to go because I did not think he would come until early hours of the next morning.

It was Ben’s first father’s day so it was a chilled morning for us to just enjoy it as a family. Around 11am Ben and I kind of got the same thought and said we should get organised just in case this baby does come? So, that’s exactly what we did. They say we women nest but seriously, I believe Ben was nesting hah! My typical male partner, who isn’t into the cleaning scene whatsoever, was into it! He did the lawns, he cleaned out the laundry, he washed the inside and outside of the car and got little man’s capsule and base sorted into the car. While he smashed that, I smashed the inside of the house – Kitchen, bathroom, sheet changing, vacuuming, bag packing etc. We were on a serious roll!

I then rang my dad who would be on Harlee duty IF I were to go into labour. So, off I shot around to his house to drop off the porta cot, just in case. Dad had visitors who looked at me thinking naaaaaaa, she’s not having a baby today. It was about 2.30pm when I said to Ben, I think my contractions are every hour now. Funny how it was my second time around and I still was questioning if I was going into labour and if I was really having contractions!

My mum then text at 3pm saying we are leaving now. She rang and said to me, I just have a feeling that we need to come back now and that is when I said to her ‘Thank fucking god because this baby is definitely coming’. Ben and I got all bags packed and the boot loaded up. All of Harlee’s bags and other things were packed and her car seat was moved into my Grandad’s car and she was ready to go with him to my dad’s once I was ready to go.

4pm hit and I text mum telling her she needs to hurry up. I think I was in denial and my contractions were actually happening every 20 minutes at this point and things were progressing very quickly. I rang my midwife and because we had to travel an hour north to Base Hospital because of my history of haemorrhaging, she said I needed to let her know when contractions were 10 minutes apart.

This next hour waiting for my mum, was the longest hour of my life. I could feel my contractions getting closer and the clock was not going any faster. Finally, they arrived just after 5pm. We packed Harlee up and sent her off to my dad’s and little did she know next time she would see us, she would have a little brother too! I do think she knew something was up though; she was not having a bar of Ben and I and couldn’t have been happier to get out of the house.

Once she was gone, I finally sat down to time my contractions properly so I knew where I was at. I had figured they were around 8-10 minutes apart so on the phone I got again to my midwife and we were off to Hawera Maternity to meet her in half an hour.

6pm hit and it was kind of like dejavu! We arrived at Hawera Maternity. It was nearly a whole year ago that I was walking into this place with no idea what was ahead of me. Only this time, I knew full well the pain that was coming for me! Just like with Harlee, I walked in as normal as could be so the other midwife on said to my midwife – she is not in labour!

I was popped on the monitor for a while just to make sure baby was still happy in there. Then it was that fun time for an internal! And just like that, I was five and a half centimetres dilated – woohoo! My midwife went and sorted out the ambulance and brought me a MASSIVE pad to sit on. When I say massive, I’m talking like a bloody surfboard! But she had told me my waters were right there and ready to pop so the pad aka surfboard was just to help absorb it if my waters were to break on the ambulance ride! I got out of my clothes and into a hospital gown because I really could not have given a shit what I was wearing when I was about to have a baby.

Because of my postpartum haemorrhage with Harlee, I also had to have a IV line in, just in case. However, my veins are extremely hard to see, you would have more luck finding water in the Sahara desert! My midwife got a nurse from A&E to come down and tackle my veins to try to make it a reasonably fast process… She could have not been more bloody wrong! When the nurse first arrived, I heard her say ‘oh I will give it a go’. First off, her confidence was not there so she should have turned around and got someone else! I was already in labour with contractions hitting hard and fast and I really wanted to get on our way because I did not want to have a baby in the ambulance! So the sooner we got to New Plymouth the better!

The nurse came in and probably spent the next 10 minutes examining my veins, saying the same old thing over and over. She then thought she would give it a go in my right arm. She sat down, stole my pillow, got a chair and sat down. I was about ready to offer her a cup of bloody tea hah! She then prepped my arm and took her time flicking my vein and all sorts of other things. After wasting another 20 minutes, decided this arm was not going to work for her so moved over to my left arm and repeated everything all over again. Except this time, the midwives had come in and she had an audience! Obviously this did not help her confidence and she went straight through my bloody vein – that made for a beauty of bruise the next day! I could see her confidence was at an all time low and my patience was wearing very thin. Back to my right arm she went, taking her jolly good time all over again and refusing to put the big needle in, in case she stuffed it up again. Finally, after using the little needle rather than the big and wasting soooooo much time she got it in!

Finally it was time to get into the ambulance! On the bed I got, and all set up and ready to go. I quickly remembered how small an ambulance was and was determined to not have a baby in there! My midwife and Ben jumped in the ambulance with me and my mum and her partner followed very close behind.

Following Lacey up to Base in the Ambulance Sunday 3rd of September 2017 before Kellan was born

Ben and my midwife talked and talked the whole way up. It was great for me because the constant conversation was a good distraction. It was pitch black outside and I could not see a thing – thank god! I had no idea where I was so the whole time I kept my legs tightly crossed and got through my contractions hoping for no baby just yet.

I said to my midwife, I am starting to feel some serious pressure down there. She later told me we were only about 10 minutes away from the hospital but she didn’t want to tell me that then in case I wanted to push.

We got to the hospital finally around 8.30pm. My mum and her partner were already in the birthing suite waiting for me to come in. I went in and they could not believe how calm I was – that was the one thing I really wanted to do this time, I knew it would be a lot easier for me if I kept calm and did not stress. My midwife told them that I was so calm coming up throughout my contractions that you would not have even known I was in labour.

I went to the loo, we all just took our time to get settled in and then I knew it was nearly time. I asked for gas and I was determined to get it this time! I couldn’t figure out how to breath and suck on the gas when I had Harlee but this time it was bloody good! My contractions were super close and I was feeling ready to push!

I kept cool, calm, collected, and kept on chatting away to everyone. My midwife then said, your waters are going to break any minute now and probably hit that wall over there and then I will be catching a baby about here! Sure enough a few minutes after the tsunami otherwise known as my waters, it burst and after a super quick three minutes of pushing, out flew Master Kellan Trevor Pohe Patterson and 9.05pm on the 3rd of September 2017.

Straight away, I was hooked up to a machine for four hours of drugs to keep my bleeding at bay. There was no hesitation to whether I was haemorrhaging or not, they just got me all connected to be safe. I did not haemorrhage because they were super organised but I still did bleed more than your average person – so it was for the best that we made the mad dash up to Taranaki Base Hospital.

Just like that, our hearts had grown that little bit bigger. Our new addition was here 3 weeks earlier than we thought he would be but we would not have had it any other way! We all had cuddles and photos taken and before we knew it, it was nearly midnight. My mum and her partner headed back to Hawera and Ben was allowed to stay with me. I was running off adrenaline and could not sleep. After that long four hours of having drugs through the IV line, I was finally all good to be taken off and allowed to have a shower – If you have had a baby, you will agree that first shower is amazing and makes you feel so good! If you have not had a baby, trust me you will love the first shower, even if it feels like your vag is hanging down to your knees, hah!

As crazy as it sounds, the second time around was definitely easier than the first for me. It was absolutely petrifying knowing what pain I was in for but it also helped me know what to expect so it was easier to keep calm – this was my one goal this time and I think I did it! My midwife joked that I would be no good for students to come and watch my labour to put them off getting pregnant as teenagers, because I make it look far too easy, hah!

I hope you enjoyed my birth story, take two and remember you can also check out my first birth story here. Hopefully this hasn’t scared the daylights out of you if you’re expecting but I hope it has given you a little bit of an idea of how labour can play out – even though yours could be completely different! Check back in a fortnight to see the latest blog post, in the meantime come and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with us in-between blog posts!

Lace xxx