Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Slinging Mama!

This was how I got my household chores completed in the early days!

Little Meg sweetly snoozing!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Recommended Vaccination Schedule For Irish Children!

Just a few days after Meg was born our local public health nurse came out to visit our family to check on the health of our newborn.  She took out her file and proceed to give me the 'low-down' on all the recent health recommendations as indicated by the Department of Health.  Firstly she advised me on the importance of administering vitamin D to our baby.  I had learned just a few days earlier (from a medical professional) that the reason for this recommendation is that, as Ireland is becoming a more 'multi-cultutal' country, a lot of darker skinned babies were showing signs of vitamin D deficiency due to our lack of sunshine.  However as our government could not be seen to single out racial minority groups they ran the 'vitamin D' campaign indicating that all babies were 'at risk'. 

Next we tackled contraception.  Oh how worried she looked when we discussed this!  Finally we got to the last topic on her list: vaccinations.  If you wish to read or re-read some of the articles relating to research, that our family has done on this topic over the last year please click here or here or see the details of this book which was the backbone of our research.  Here is a breakdown of the vaccination schedule as recommended by the Irish Department of Health:

Age Given  To Child           Recommended Vaccine

At Birth                                  BCG (Tuberculosis)
2 Months                               6 in 1 Vaccine (Diptheria, Whooping Cough    
                                                 Hib, Polio and Hepatitis B) plus Pneumococcal
4 Months                               6 in 1 (as indicated above) plus Meningococcal C.
6 Months                               6 in 1 plus Meningococcal C and Pneumococcal. 
12 Months                             MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) plus
                                              Pneumococcal vaccine.    
13 Months                             Meningococcal C plus Hib.
4 to 5 Years                           4 in 1 (Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough and
                                              Polio) plus MMR.
11 to 14 Years                       Tetanus and Diptheria.

(apologies on the layout of the above was impossible to format!)

Wow!  Does that seem like alot to you?  Me too!

Fortunately as Irish citizens we are not obligated to administer any of the above vaccinations to our children.  Thank goodness!  I informed our nurse that while I understood that she had to advise us of this vaccination schedule; our family were choosing to not vaccinate our future children.  Then the most un-expected thing happened...

...Our public health nurse peered at me over the top of her spectacles and said in a hushed voice "Do you know, I'm half inclined to agree with you"

Saddening News

I am so deeply saddened and shocked by todays news headline as linked to me via the Irish Pro-Life Campaign.  What horrific acts this man was responsible for.  Although are we more horrified at the fact that these babies were born alive and then killed?  As it could simply be said, that these murders are routinely performed under the term 'abortion' the only difference is that we cannot see what happens for ourselves and largely choose to remain ignorant of the facts.

Again I must stress that I am not judging any women who have aborted children.  Our Lord will be the one who ultimately judges us.

I will choose not to investigate this report any further simply because it is too upsetting for me.  But as I cuddle my newborn in her sling whilst she sweetly snoozes, I pray for those poor babies who were cruelly taken from this world, without knowing comfort from their mothers arms or sweet lullaby's sung by their fathers.  It is too much saddness to bear. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Celtic Sheepskin

I wanted to share with you all a company (non-affiliated) with whose products our family adores!  Celtic Sheepskin.  I was made aware of their wonderful 'Celt' boots by a dear friend of mine, whose family actually live close by their factory in England.  Since then each member of our family has had one or two pairs of their 'Celt' boots at this stage...I myself am on my second pair!  They are hard-wearing, versatile and incredibly comfy!  We even have a pair of bootees for baby Meg that Santa Claus brought...although they are a little big for her yet on account of her tiny feet!

Also last year when we first discovered we were expecting my lovely husband indicated that I may purchase my second pair of Celt boots and a beautiful cardigan that I had, had my eye on for a while!  I was over the moon!  The cardigan is handmade and knitted in beautiful merino wool.  It is one of my favourite items of clothing!  They are a little pricey for those of us on a budget but they really are worth saving for.  Most recently we have ordered a infant fleece for Megs crib, which is still yet to arrive...but we are so excited!  So go check them out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Surprise Gift From My Hubby!


I have wanted to get a pedigree heifer for a long time now and have had many discussions with Brian about it.  At first he agreed it would be a great idea; reasoning that we would have the same amount of work but a greater return when it came time to sell the pedigree calves born on our farm.  Though more recently he became non-commital about this issue...

...thats because for a while now he had been plotting!  I am now the proud owner of our very own pedigree Hereford heifer!  Isn't she beautiful!  Thank you honey!

Amy's Charity Store Treasures!

A few weeks ago, the children and I had to go into our small town centre for a spot of shopping and several errands.  I was really not looking forward to it as there are not many places to park close to town and the parking fee's are astronomical!  However, we had to go, so we went!

Last time we went to town we popped into a local charity shop in aid of the Sue Ryder Foundation.  We found a few lovely skirts in there...but I neglected to buy them right then as I was tired and promised Amy we would come back another day.  So today I kept my promise and we returned.  We did not find the items we liked on our last visit...wishful thinking!  However we did find these lovely items for Amy:  a vibrant green jumper (€4), denim skirt (€6), rose coloured checkered shirt (€4) and a beige, corduroy skirt (€2), which was actually labelled from a very upmarket shop!  We are beginning to realise that there are lots of beautiful, modest length skirts to be found in charity stores...for a fraction of the price!

A little while in the past Amy has shown times of being a little resistant to ditching her jeans in favour of more feminine dress.  However Brian believes that if we wish to encourge more feminine dressing in Amy then we should supplement her wardrobe now and then, with lovely (in design, texture and fabric) skirts that she will enjoy wearing...then the transition should be a welcome and pleasant one.  What a beautiful outfit this one is!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Megs First Bath!

 Megs First Bath Was Enjoyed By Our Whole Family!

 Big Brother Dylan Washed Her Tiny Toes!

Dylan Was So Proud That He Had Helped His Little Sister!

Jim Reeves - Bimbo

I just love this song!  My husband has introduced me to Jim Reeves music.  Apparently his mother used to sing this song to them when they were all we sing it to our own childen!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Megan Faith's Birth Story

The morning of 29th December Brian and I travelled to Wexford, to have another antenatal check up with our Domino midwifery team.  As they advised us the time before, we were asked if we had wanted to be induced over the New Year weekend; on account of our baby appearing to be very large.  Brian and I had discussed this matter much over the last week and had decided that we would decline to be induced at term.  In the end this decision was easy, but I had wrestled with it privately and prayed over it for a few days.  The last few weeks of being heavily pregnant had me in discomfort during the day and it worsened at night.  It was not uncommon for me to cry upon waking for being so stiff and sore; however Brian was a tremendous encouragement and support to me during this time.  So for the time being we were happy to go home and wait another week to see if I would start into spontaneous labour.  

The following day was the 30th; my official due date.  I was pretty certain that I would not go into labour on my due date because lets face it, how often does that happen?!  The day itself was largely uneventful.  Brian and I had decided to start looking into natural methods to induce labour rather than to be induced by invasive medical methods a week later, so we agreed to me taking an oral evening primrose capsule.  We had heard that evening primrose can act like a prostaglandin, and therefore can help labour to start; we were assured however that we would need to take it for a few days before I might go into labour.  


At 2:00am I was awakened by a sharp shooting pain in my lower tummy, and I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be funny if..."  That was as far as my thought went, as my waters had indeed broke!  I have never had my waters rupture on their own before so this was a first for me!  I poked Brian who was fast asleep behind me and told him.  "Are you sure?"  However he didn't doubt me for very long as my waters kept gushing so much that our bed was soaked!  Every time I moved more came so Brian fetched me a towel and I just sat there until it abated a little and then hobbled off to the bathroom!  Too much information I know! 

My mother was called and she came around immediately.  I changed and packed my bags into the car, and off we went!  From the time my waters had ruptured until we got to the hospital around 4:00am my contractions had been coming about every five minutes.  After checking into the labour ward I was hooked up to the monitors for twenty minutes or so...and wouldn't you just have guessed it; my contractions started slowing down!  Every seven minutes, ten, fifteen, twenty and finally every twenty five and then they began to decrease in intensity!  To say I was disappointed would be an huge understatement, I had reckoned on being home that very day!

I ended up staying there the whole day long.  When we finally got to the evening time I asked Brian to inquire as to whether I could return home for the evening...I was missing my children!  The particular midwife he spoke to came to see me and informed me that I would not be allowed to return home and that Brian would have to leave until the morning.  I was very upset at this news and burst into tears!  I was feeling very sorry for myself: away from my children, my husband sent away, the bed uncomfortable, way too hot and stuffy in a hospital environment (seriously do they not realise that there would be less hospital super-bugs if they just opened a window!)  The midwife seemed to be unsympathetic and a little cold which made me feel worse, which made me cry more, which made me cry even more!  It was right there that my wonderful husband stepped in and rescued me!  He organised a cooling fan for me (which I kept switched on all night!), cuddled me and mopped up my tears; he also brought me more yummy food, before going home for the evening!

After that I felt much better and resigned myself to stay the night.  I prayed for quite a while and read my soul felt quieted and peaceful once more.  Several packets of sweets and sudoku puzzles later I was more than ready for a nice long sleep.

Whoops...wrong again!

The minute I lay my head down to sleep my contractions started up again!  Big ones!  I lay for a while until they got too painful and began to use the birthing ball to try and bring them on stronger; as I did not want things to go quiet again!  At around 2:00am I decided that I needed to avail of the 'gas and air' pain medication, so I pressed my buzzer for the midwife but alas it was not off I waddled to find her.  Find her I did and she sent me off to the labour ward once more and provided me with the 'gas and air'.  I was then examined by a lovely midwife.  I was 3cm dilated and mostly effaced.  I thought I was in for another long day!

And again I would be wrong!

As the midwife left me she asked whether I needed any stronger pain medication;  I told her I was fine with what I had but that I would call if I needed anything stronger.  I called Brian and told him to come as I was really in labour now but that things would probably move slowly so to take his time.  Within twenty minutes or so I called him back telling him to "come now!"  And I went off to find the midwife again to ask for the epidural!  I think she thought I was being a little wimpy as I was fine only one hour ago...but they called the anesthetist immediately anyway.

The doctor arrived within a quarter of an hour to give me the epidural and by that time my contractions were very painful and strong.  But he soon fixed me up and pretty soon I was becoming pain free!  Then Brian arrived looking very excited!  I was so glad to see him.  Our midwife examined me again just two hours since she first examined me and I was fully dilated, however because I had, had the epidural so recently I could not yet feel the urge to bear down and push. 

So we waited...

Some time later our midwives changed shifts and we were issued in the charge of another lovely lady, who informed us that we would need to try and get baby moving.  I was beginning to feel some pressure to push with but not much, so I asked her to coach me through.  We worked so well together.  She had me alternating pushing on my side and back which was a first for me.  During my last labour I had joked whilst I was bearing down that I wasn't even breaking a sweat...boy was I in for it now!  Our baby girl was hard work!  I have never had to work so hard to get a baby out!  But only half an hour later little Megan Faith was born and placed onto my tummy to love and snuggle!  What a joyous moment!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Introducing......Megan Faith O'Neill

 Just Minutes Old Snuggling With Mama!

We are absolutely delighted to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful daughter Megan Faith O'Neill.  She was born 31 December 2010 at 10:06am.  Coincidentally she weighed exactly the same weight as our last born son Dylan; 10lb 5oz!  Although he was delivered ten days later than his due date and little Meg was right on time!  We are enjoying every minute with our newborn and are gradually getting back into our normal daily routines.  Thank you everyone who emailed and called us with prayers for a safe delivery, well wishes and congratulations...we were so blessed by you all!

Big Yawn, Sleepy Head!