Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why you should be ashamed of yourself for feeding your baby!

I feel like I see/hear stories of women being shamed for feeding their babies, on a daily basis now.
Women are being shamed for breastfeeding their babies.
Women are being shamed for bottle feeding their babies.
Our Heavenly Father has entrusted you with this precious, fragile life, how DARE you have the audacity to NOURISH it!
But seriously, why should women feel ashamed for the way they choose (or don't choose, its not always a choice) to feed their baby?

Let's start with bottle feeding.
I feel like, in this word of social media, where the movement to support/normalize breastfeeding is becoming more prevalent, so too is the rate of shaming women who do not exclusively breastfeed.
Yes, some women choose not to breastfeed, some women don't have a choice.
Some mothers want to breastfeed, but have no support and give up.
Some mothers try breastfeeding and don't like it.
Some mothers try breastfeeding, but no matter how hard they try, or how much help/support they have, their baby won't latch.
Some mothers try, but no matter what they do, no matter what they eat or drink, or how many medications or supplements they take, or how badly they end up smelling like maple syrup from the supplements, they just don't produce enough milk, some don't produce any at all.
Some mothers have demanding jobs, where they are unable to pump, so their milk dries up.
Some mothers feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding.
Some babies can't tolerate breast milk.
Some mothers simply have no interest in breastfeeding and choose not to.
For these mothers, bottle feeding is generally the answer and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that! There is nothing wrong with their decision to feed their baby and they shouldn't feel the need to explain themself. They are feeding their baby and doing the best they can to make sure their baby is nourished and healthy, what more can you expect of a loving mother?

I have a dear, sweet friend, who was pregnant at the same time as me and wasn't able to breastfeed her son. I still remember the anger and hurt I felt for her the day she messaged me about their trip to the zoo. She was mixing a bottle for her son and noticed a woman looking rudely at her and shaking her head. The woman then said to her "you are feeding your child that... ridiculous" then walked away, shaking her head and murmuring about what a terrible mom she was for putting "that" into her child!

I still can't comprehend what was going through this crazy lady's head! I mean, my friend was FEEDING her baby! How does feeding her baby something that is incredibly healthy for him possibly make her a bad mother? (And just for the record: she is a wonderful mother!)

There are so many different ways that women shame mothers who bottle feed.
One example is obviously the story above.
Another way is asking WHY they didn't breastfeed. That is none of your business, and by asking that, you are insinuating that there is something wrong with bottle feeding, which there isn't.
Or people say things like:

"You could have tried harder/could have at least given it a go"
Um, no. Who the heck are you to judge? Nobody but the mother herself knows what she went through. You don't hear her thoughts or feel her feelings. You didn't struggle with her if/when she struggled. Whether she could or couldn't breastfeed, or whether she did or didn't want to, she made the best decision for her and her baby/babies and has and still is trying her hardest to be the best Mom she can be.

"Someone I know couldn't breastfeed, so they pumped and still gave their baby breast milk"
Being able to exclusively pump and still give your baby breast milk is great if you can do it, but sometimes that isn't an option. Not everybody makes enough milk to do that. Some people don't make any milk at all. Even some women who have an abundance of milk can't pump, it doesn't work for everyone. Some people feel weird being hooked up to a breast pump.

"Have you thought about using donated milk?"
Some people don't have access to donor milk, some people don't feel comfortable feeding their baby someone else's breast milk.

"Breast milk is better/breast is best"
Well, yes it is, but that doesn't make bottle feeding bad. Bottle feeding is perfectly healthy, whether it be expressed milk or formula (yes, formula is HEALTHY!). Why would you even think to say this to a bottle feeding mother? Like you think they are inferior, or you are a better mum because you breastfeed? Just, No. Go away.

I'm sure there are many more ways in which bottle feeding mums have been made to feel shamed or guilty and it has to stop. Mamas, please don't feel that way, you have not failed, you are amazing and you work so hard to make sure your children are healthy and happy. There should be no shame or guilt in that.

Now onto breastfeeding.
This topic tends to bring a lot of unnecessary conflict from all angles.
I kid you not, I have seen breastfeeding mums shame other breastfeeding mums.
There are some people who think breastfeeding is gross. Its not. Grow a brain.
The majority of breastfeeding shaming is based around public breastfeeding, or more specifically, whether or not you should cover when feeding in public.
When Lachlan was a baby, the only time I nursed without a cover was when I was in the privacy of my own bedroom (we lived with Anthony's parents at the time). Not because I felt that breastfeeding was wrong, or because I felt that Breastfeeding uncovered was wrong, but because I was extremely self conscious and also partly because I felt shamed into doing so.
Most of the time, he was okay eating under the nursing cover, but there were times that he would fight it and uncover me/himself.
Kennen, on the other hand, was only exposed to eating with a cover a few times before he was 3 months old. He was sort of okay with it, I say sort of because he didn't seem to like it, but he would still eat.
Well, at about 3 months old, he decided that there was no way known that he was going to let me cover him up to feed him! Of course, he decided this in the middle of Epcot, when I was wearing a maxi dress and had no other option, but to let my whole breast hang out above the neckline of my dress! Of course, now that I know that he absolutely wont eat with a cover, I dress in such a way that the layers of my clothes cover as much of my breast as possible, but that is for my own comfort, not anybody else's.

Now, I have heard countless arguments against breastfeeding uncovered in public and not one of them was valid. It would take a lifetime to list them all, so I am just going to address a handful.

"It is indecent exposure"
Actually, Its not. Indecent exposure is the exposure of sexual organs in public. Breasts are not technically sex organs and breastfeeding is specifically exempt from indecent exposure laws. In fact, there are specific laws in place PROTECTING a woman's right to breastfeed in any place that the woman is permitted to be, with or without a cover. (This fact SHOULD end the argument, but some people are so ignorant, hence the rest of this post)

"Its disrespectful"
I'm sorry, who is it disrespectful to? If you don't want to see me feeding my baby, it's as easy as directing your gaze elsewhere, certainly much easier than struggling to feed a baby who is fighting with whatever is covering his/her head and much easier than leaving the room with a crying, hungry baby and looking for a clean, comfortable place to feed. By asking a woman to cover up or leave the room when she is feeding her baby, YOU are the one who is being disrespectful.

"I don't want my husband to see it"
Really? I mean, REALLY?!!
Is there something wrong with your husband, that he sees breastfeeding as something other than a baby, eating? Are you worried that he will be attracted to the woman that breastfeeds in front of him? Grow up, breastfeeding isn't attractive. It doesn't bother me one bit if my husband sees another woman feeding her baby, we both know she isn't out to seduce him and even if she was, breastfeeding in front of him sure won't do it! I know for starters, that my husband is polite enough not to stare, and even so, he is a mature, grown man and sees breastfeeding for what it is: FEEDING A BABY. There must be some other underlying issue if you are that worried about your husband seeing another woman feed her baby.

"You shouldn't do that in front of  *gasp* the CHILDREN!"
Oh? and why not?
We already covered the fact that it is NOT indecent. Should children not know that the primary purpose of breasts are for feeding babies? Should we teach our children to sexualize breasts? That breastfeeding is bad?
I don't think so Tim.
I personally want my children to be exposed to breastfeeding. I want them to see it as the norm, to not feel awkward when a woman breastfeeds around them. I want them to know that there is no shame in feeding a baby. I want them to support their wives in whatever decisions they make. I want them to know that breasts are made for nourishing life, not just to be sexy play things.
Hiding breastfeeding from our children accomplishes nothing, except to teach them that it is a shameful act and that it is not what breasts are meant for.

"I don't want to see your boobs"
Okay...?? So don't look. Duh.
But seriously, If a woman is with a baby and starts adjusting her shirt, look away because that's a surefire sign that she is about to start breastfeeding. And if the baby is already eating, his/her head is already covering more than what a bathing suit covers, so If you manage to see anything you don't want to, then that's on you because you were obviously looking too closely.

"I don't pee or poop in public, so you shouldn't be able to breastfeed in public"
That is not even a slightly valid comparison. Urine and feces are bodily wastes, breast milk is not. You can't nourish a baby with pee and poop, yet breast milk is recommended by the World Health Organisation as the primary source of nutrition for the first two years of life.

"If you can whip your boobs out, then I should be able to whip my penis out"
No. Not at all the same. As we already covered, breasts are not sex organs, but penises are. You can't nourish a baby with your penis. If you had said "If you can whip your boobs out then I should be able to whip my man boobs out..." oh wait, it's perfectly acceptable for a man to show the male equivalent of breasts. My friend's sister made a good point about that idiotic comparison. She pointed out that if you believe that breasts and penises should be treated alike, therefore, artificial breasts (aka baby bottles and pacifiers) should be treated like artificial penises (dildos, vibrators, etc). Therefore, if you don't consider baby bottles and pacifiers to be sex toys, then how could you possibly consider breasts obscene?

"Its immodest"
Actually, its not. Modesty is somewhat situational. Most swimsuits show much more than what you see when a woman is breastfeeding, yet when you are at the beach, do you feel immodest in a one piece or tankini? of course not! Feeding a baby in the way God intended it not immodest in any manner.

"Breastfeeding without a cover is the younger generation's way of rebelling"
I actually laughed out loud when I read this one!
Breastfeeding without a cover is by no means a new idea. Covering whilst breastfeeding is actually a more modern idea that feeding uncovered. Through history, even in times where it was considered "rude" to show so much as an ankle, women could breastfeed publicly without a cover and it wasn't given a second thought.

"Women who breastfeed uncovered are exhibitionists"
I'm pretty sure I already covered the fact that I am self conscious and I'm pretty sure that no mother feeding her child is doing it to show off, she just wants to feed her baby! Its not like she is waving her bare breasts around, screaming "Look at me, I have my boobs out!". Nope, she is JUST feeding her baby.

"I don't have sex in public, so you shouldn't breastfeed in public"
This goes hand in hand with the whipping a penis out in public and urinating/defecating in public. Its not a valid point in the slightest. None of these acts can nourish and sustain life, so stop bringing them up!

"You could always cover with a blanket or scarf, or better yet, they make super cute nursing covers these days!"
I have three super cute nursing covers! But that doesn't change the fact that my son absolutely wont eat under any sort of cover. If I am lucky enough to get him to latch on when he is covered up, he will only stay latched long enough to trigger a letdown, and then he pulls away and ends up getting milk sprayed all over his little face and in his eyes, all the while, fighting whatever it is that I'm using to cover him.
And, having experience with both covering and not covering, I can honestly say that covering up draws more attention to what you are doing, so if the baby happens to unlatch and pull the cover away (trust me, it happens a lot!) then you are more likely to be exposed.

"What if a woman who couldn't breastfeed sees you? You will make her feel bad"
I'm sorry if someone feels guilty or bad for not being able to breastfeed. I personally never want to make anyone feel bad, and as I said before, I do not think I am better than any other mother just because I was able to breastfeed. I will not refuse to feed my son just because there could possibly be someone who I don't even know, watching me and feeling bad. She shouldn't feel bad anyway if she is doing the best she can for her child.

"That's what breast pumps/bottles are for"
AGAIN not all women can pump. Pumps are nowhere near as effective as babies at removing the milk from the breast, it takes longer, then you have to think about the storage and transportation of the milk, the fact that if you are out for more than a few hours, you can become engorged, which causes a lot of pain and discomfort and going longer than normal between feedings can reduce your milk supply. And that is assuming that the baby will take a bottle, not all breastfed babies will take a bottle.

There are so so many more and so far, the only valid reason I have ever heard for covering up in public is that the breastfeeding mother herself is self conscious/uncomfortable with being uncovered. Literally every other argument for it is either uneducated, uninformed or just plain moronic. If you truly look at it for what it is, all you will see is a mother feeding her baby, all that awkwardness, discomfort, prudishness, embarrassment, etc. fades away.

So PLEASE open your minds, consider the facts and be compassionate towards mothers who are feeding their babies. Don't say stupid things, don't act like your parenting choices are better and please please stop the shaming.
By shaming a woman for feeding her baby, whether you mean to shame her, or are just being negative about her choices, you are sending the message that what she is doing is wrong. There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding or bottle feeding and they should not be hidden.

The sooner we see breastfeeding and bottle feeding for what they are: FEEDING AND NOURISHING BABIES (regardless of whether she is breastfeeding or bottle feeding, using expressed milk or formula) the sooner ALL women will be able to feed their children without shame, embarrassment or "mommy guilt".

What other baby-feeding shaming comments have you heard? post in the comments below!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stop giving bad advice!

Dear parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and friends of new parents,
Stop giving them bad advice!


But seriously, stop it. I can honestly say that the majority of advice I have been given since the very first time I got pregnant was bad advice.

Stop telling new mums to give their baby rice cereal in a bottle because they wont sleep through the night. Stop telling them to start solids earlier than the age recommended by their doctor.
Stop saying that they will sleep through the night if they have a full belly.
Stop telling them to lay their babies on their belly or sides to sleep (I understand that in some cases, like with a gassy/colicky baby, this can help them, but I'm talking about in general).
Stop telling them to put whiskey on their teething baby's gums.
Stop telling them that it is okay to balance their infant car seat on top of a shopping cart/trolley (it's really not).
Stop telling them to loosen the car seat straps, or that they should be able to fit 2/3/4/5 fingers or a whole elephant between the straps and baby.

This is all outdated advice and I could seriously add so much more to that list.
But it gets worse. The well meaning people who are giving this bad advice, back it up by saying things like "Well I did this with my kids and they turned out fine" or "They are always changing what you should and shouldn't do, they will probably change it again in a year or two anyway"
To the people who say these things: do you freaking hear yourselves?! You are telling new parents, who are probably feeling a little unsure and maybe even a little vulnerable, to go against what medical professionals say is best/safest.
Yes, you did this with your kids and they probably turned out okay, but that doesn't mean it's the safest option.
Now before you get insulted, defensive or just plain jump down my throat, I want to reiterate that I am not attacking your parenting choices. I do not doubt that you did what you knew at the time was best for your children and that's fantastic. I have no doubt that the majority of people who are giving this advice are/were great parents, but the fact is, knowledge has grown.
Research and technology have shown us that there are increased risks of diseases and other health problems when you feed your baby anything other than breast milk or formula before 6 months.
It has shown that putting your baby to sleep on their back significantly decreases the chance of SIDS. And no, a baby is not going to choke on their own spit up and die if they are sleeping on their back, so stop telling new moms that.
And don't get me started on putting whiskey on a baby's gums, seriously?
The one that really gets to me, though, is the car seat issue. the straps should NOT be loose enough to fit two fingers between the straps and baby, they should be snug. No, a child is not going to choke or suffocate from having the straps on their car seat done up correctly. So what if your kid survived having loose straps on their car seat, or if they survived not being in a car seat at all? The fact is, if a child or infant is not in the correct car seat for their age and size, with the harness done up correctly, their risk of being seriously injured or even killed in the event of a car accident significantly increases, same with putting your kids in expired car seats (yes, car seats expire and it's not just a gimmick). Why would I ever risk that?!

Oh and FYI: Doctors/the AAP don't change recommendations just for fun, they change it because knowledge grows and they have a responsibility to recommend what they know at the time to be best/healthiest/safest for your children. Stop telling people that it is okay to risk their child's health or safety by not doing what we now know to be best.

The same goes for pregnancy, I don't care if you chose to eat or do the things that we are warned by our doctors not to do during pregnancy and your kid turned out just fine, that doesn't mean I should do those things, so stop telling pregnant women that "just a little bit is okay" because sometimes just that little bit of whatever it is can make the world of difference in the health of the baby. I WILL NOT RISK MY BABY'S HEALTH FOR A PIECE OF HAM OR DELICIOUS RAW SUSHI.

The whole point of doctors making recommendations about what to feed your baby and when, about what to avoid eating or doing during pregnancy, about what position to put your baby in to sleep, or any other important recommendations, is NOT because they think that everybody that goes against these recommendations will experience the adverse effects. No not at all, the point is that doing these things that are not recommended significantly INCREASES the risk of the adverse effects. I am not going to knowingly put my children at risk just because your children turned out fine.

SO please, I don't care who you are, or how many kids you have, if you find yourself in conversation with a parent of a young child and you find yourself thinking  that you did things differently with your kids, remember this post.

Stop saying that you did [insert no longer recommended thing here] with your children and they turned out fine.
Stop saying that doctors are always changing what you should and shouldn't do, or that they will just change it again anyway.
Stop telling parents to go against what research has shown is best for their kids.
and most importantly:
Stop getting defensive or taking it as people are saying you are/were a bad parent for doing those things, because that is just plain not true.

Oh and before I step off my soapbox, I want to add:
Stop telling new parents that their choices are wrong. As long as they are not putting their child in danger, who cares if they breastfeed or bottle feed? Who cares if they use cloth or disposable diapers? Who cares if they put their kid in a stroller or baby carrier? Who cares if they pick up their baby when they cry or do controlled crying? Who cares if they choose to have an epidural, elective c-section or unmedicated natural birth? Who cares if they give their baby store bought baby food or make their own? Who cares if they choose to let the baby sleep in their room or if they put them in their own room from the day they come home? You may not agree with some of these decisions for whatever reason, but as long as their kids are safe, let them parent the way they feel is best, don't tell them that they are "wrong" and if you really cant help but judge them, keep it to yourself. We parents need to love and support each other to keep these precious babes safe!

***Please remember that there are some doctors who chose not to keep up to date with the AAP recommendations and still recommend things like feeding baby at 4-6 months, rather than 6 months. Parents, remember to do your own research as well***

Friday, June 13, 2014

Kennen's Story

Since I last posted, our family has grown by another perfect baby boy!

We found out in July last year that we were expecting our rainbow baby, after miscarrying not even 6 weeks earlier. Obviously it was a little bit of a scary pregnancy, being so soon after a loss, but thankfully I had a lot of emotional support throughout from my wonderful family and friends, you know who you are.
Thankfully, apart from the morning sickness, a few small incidences of spotting and slightly high blood pressure, baby boy and I were both healthy and feeling good by the end of my pregnancy!
We decided to try for a different type of birth with this baby and chose a wonderful midwife and a birth centre, rather than a regular hospital birth.
To deliver at the birth centre, you have to be between 37 and 41 weeks pregnant so I was nervous by around 36 weeks, when the baby was sitting super low, putting a lot of pressure on my cervix and one of the midwives said that she estimated it would be "about a week, maybe two" before I delivered. Of course, this freaked me out a little, especially because I So desperately wanted Mum to be there for the birth and she wasn't due to arrive until March 5th, 12 days before my due date.
37 weeks came and went and I was thankfully still pregnant and praying that baby would hold on until after his Nanna got here from Australia.
I had been having a lot of braxton hicks contractions with this pregnancy from about 35 weeks, which was something I didn't really experience with Lachlan, but by about March 1st, they had stopped.
Then on March 3rd, I was chatting on the phone to my friend, Amber, when Lachlan climbed up on me and fell asleep. It was only about 7pm which was super early for him, his bedtime isn't until 9:30, so I let him Lay on me for a little while, then put him in bed and kept chatting to Amber. at about 8pm I realised that I was still having "cramps", which had started right when Lachie fell asleep on me. I casually said to Amber "um so I've been having contractions for the past hour..." 
She told me I was crazy and to call my midwife etc. so we got off the phone, and I called the labour line. The contractions were super mild, and inconsistent, so much so that I couldn't tell when they started and ended, but the midwives had been telling me at my appointments to call and give a heads up if I noticed anything. My midwife, Jennie ended up texting me and saying to drink some chamomile tea and take a warm bath then try to get some sleep in case this was it.
Ant was at school, so I called him and got him to pick up some chamomile tea on the way home and just relaxed in the bath until he got here. By this time the contractions/cramps had stopped and had been gone for a while, but I was tired, so I relaxed for a bit and went to bed. Literally the minute I got into bed, I was hit with a strong contraction. I figured I would time it on my phone and the next hit 7 minutes later, then another 6 minutes after that. okay so maybe this was it, but 6-7 minutes apart meant it would probably be a while. oh wait, the next one decided to come two minutes after that, then another one two minutes after that one. And these weren't just mild contractions, I'm talking the kind of contractions that made my whole body tense up and made me curl into a ball.
I called Jennie back and she said that because the real contractions had only just started, to try and get some sleep and call her back if I felt like I needed to go in. Then she suggested that I call my mother in law, Karen, and tell her to make her way over, seeing as she was almost two hours away and we needed her to watch Lachie for us.
So I called her, thankfully she was still awake, then she called my friend Stephanie, who had kindly offered to be my doula, and they got on the road.
Poor Anthony had been up for about 30 hours at this point, because of his busy work and school schedule, so I told him to try to take a nap before we had to go in. 
By this time, Lachlan had woken up and was full of energy, and as I scrambled to get the rest of my labour bag together between contractions, he followed me around the apartment, pulling everything out of the bag and laughing at me and copying every time a contraction hit and I squatted to try and handle the pain.
By about 1:45am, Karen and Stephanie had called me what felt like about a thousand times and because my contractions were so close together, they were starting to freak out a little, and said that they would just meet us at the birth centre, rather than coming to our apartment, so I called Jennie and said that it was time to head in and went to wake Anthony. He had been asleep less than an hour and thought i was crazy for going in so early, but got his stuff together anyway.
As I was getting ready to leave, I decided to go to the bathroom and pee and ended up throwing up all over the bathroom and myself. I knew this usually meant that a woman was in transition, but seeing as it had only been about 2 1/2 hours, I figured there was no way I could be that far along. Then I remembered an article I had read about something called the "purple line" which was apparently an alternate, much less invasive way of checking how far dilated a woman was during labour. I went back into the bathroom and checked in the mirror, and sure enough there was a purple line and it was pretty long! 
So after changing into clean pjs and cleaning up myself and the bathroom, we were out the door. let me tell you, a 28 minute drive is NO fun when you are having intense contractions every 2 minutes!
we finally arrived at the birth centre at 2:29 and Jennie was waiting outside for us, with Karen and Stephanie.
Karen had brought some labour snacks and offered me some yogurt, which I promptly turned down, there was no way I could think about food by this stage! Jennie gave me a look like she knew I would be pretty far progressed, so she checked me and I was 7cm dilated! 

She filled the birthing pool, because I was hoping for a water birth, and I got in. Let me tell you, labouring in the water was absolute bliss! I wouldn't say it took away the pain of the contractions, but it definitely eased the back pain that I was experiencing in between the contractions, and it helped me to relax my entire body.
having a doula to talk me through each contraction and to tell Anthony what to do to help me with the pain was absolutely the best help I could have had at that point in time.
The whole atmosphere of the birth centre was so peaceful and relaxing and Jennie even let us facetime my family in Australia when I was in the tub, the cool part was, they were all together (except for my eldest sister, who lives in a different state) for a family dinner at mum and Dad's place, because mum was leaving to come see us for 5 weeks the very next morning. 
facetime with my family
after what felt like hours, Jennie and literally 2 seconds after she checked me, my waters broke! For a second, I thought that she hit me in the crotch, then I realised that the weird popping feeling was my waters breaking. She let me labour for a few minutes longer and checked me again because my body was taking over and starting to push. By this point, I was fully dilated with a slight lip on my cervix, so she suggested I get out of the water and walk around for a minute. As Ant and Stephanie were helping we out of the tub, I had another contraction, so Jennie asked me to lay on my side on the bed so she could check me again. By this point, He was on his way out, I couldn't stop my body from pushing, so she said to go for it, I pushed once and his head came out, then on the second push he was born!
 after the birth, i asked Jennie what time he was born and she said it was 3:34am! I was in complete disbelief, it had felt like I was in that tub for hours, but in reality, we had only been at the birth centre for an hour and I had been in actual labour for just four hours!
Just like Lachlan, I felt no pain during the actual birth, but this time, I got through it without absolutely no tearing whatsoever!
It was so amazing to be able to bring our son into the world in such a beautiful, peaceful atmosphere, and Lachlan was actually able to be in the room as well, so that was pretty special, even if he didn't take any notice of what was going on.
Literally the second they put our beautiful baby boy on my chest, I asked Ant to call my mum on facetime, we had wanted to facetime her during the actual birth, but it all happened so quickly that it just didnt happen, but my parents and siblings were able to meet our little boy at just a few seconds old, so that was super special!
kennen meeting his Aussie family on facetime
We chose to delay cord clamping, so he was put on my chest the moment he was born and was able to breastfeed and snuggle until after all the blood from the placenta had finished pumping through the unbilical cord and the colour difference in his skin was amazing, by the time Anthony cut the cord, he was glowing with this beautiful, healthy, bright pink colour.
Just like we did with Lachlan, we had decided to wait until we held him to choose his name, we had a list of a few names and two possible middle names, but the minute we held him, we knew his name was meant to be Kennen Gregory Mojica. Kennen after my dad and Gregory after Anthony's dad.

Kennen weighed 7lb 1oz and measured 21 inches long (with a measuring tape), although when he was measured on the actual baby measuring device at the pediatrician a few days later, he was only 19 inches long.

Within two hours of his birth, I had showered, eaten breakfast and was asking Jennie if I could go home. We had to fill out some papers, but as soon as that was done and Anthony had a little nap, we were out of there and were home by 8am. It was so nice to be able to recover in the comfort of my own home, rather than in a stark, cold hospital.

The boys napping - having a baby is exhausting!

The irony of the whole situation: Kennen was born just a half a day before my mum got on the plane from Australia to come be here with us, which is exactly what Lachlan did to us just two years earlier! 
Kennen on top and Lachlan on the bottom, both in the same outfit, same age, on the way to pick Nanna up from the airport!
Meeting Mum at the airport

Overall, I would have to say that a birth centre birth compared to a natural hospital birth is like night and day. It was such a warm, loving, peaceful environment and I will definitely be choosing to deliver at a birth centre, with a midwife and a doula for all of our future babies, and hopefully we will be able to have Jennie as our midwife again, because she is absolutely one in a million!
Jennie Joseph, our wonderful midwife!