Kid-Friendly Recipes

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Birthing Plan - Should Older Siblings be Present?

Older children at the birth of their sibling...
yes or no???

 (my older boys as beautiful newborns)

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my birth plan for the impending arrival of #3.  It has been 4 years since our last child was born and I am aware of my need to refresh my knowledge.  In particular, this time around, I have been pondering whether or not our two older sons should be present for the birth of their new little brother.

Today marks the 27-week gestation point and our two older boys have just turned 4 and 6 years old.  They are SUPER excited to be getting a little brother - woohoo!! another superhero to fight the baddies, and another Lego "master builder" in the making.  BUT, they have indicated some interest in being there when their little bro "comes out".

My husband's reaction is "are you crazy? No way!".  My thoughts are split...

I'm really excited about our third bub's arrival and think it would be a fantastic opportunity to share that special moment with our older children.  An opportunity for my kids to witness something REAL, something uncensored, something that is completely natural yet almost magical... and hopefully something that will allow them a wonderfully close bond with their brother as they were there to witness his arrival on earth... 

... yet I also have a lot of questions swirling in my mind.... will the boys be scared? will it be too distracting for me? what if things don't go "to plan"...? 

We are booked into the Greenslopes Private Maternity Hospital (which we toured the other day and looks very flash indeed so I'll be sure to review it post birth!) and their mentality seems to be supportive of what the mother wants.  So when I asked about having our older boys present at the birth, the midwife responded with a "we will support your decision, however you want to consider your ability to maintain your focus for the birth" (or something to that effect!).

And as I dig back into that hazy memory of my previous two "uncomplicated" births, I try to recall just how intense the births were, and how much inward focus I needed to have... and I wonder if I would be able to be totally "in the zone" with my older kids there.  And of course, the question of how will it impact on them?

Child birth can be scary for the unprepared spectator.  My younger sister was 21 years old when she was an unexpected (but totally welcome) family member in the birthing suite for the arrival of my first son (she drove my mum to the hospital and decided to stay for support).  Despite being an adult, I think she was truly shocked at the whole ordeal.  She had not planned to be there, so had no prior knowledge of what labour looks like (other than the completely unrealistic TV version) and for her, seeing me (her sister) struggling to cope with intense pain; my contorted facial expressions and all the groaning/animalistic noises... it was all a bit much and she excused herself after about 20 minutes.  Looking back, I think she felt helpless, as her offers of water/ice/massages were met with "no/No/NO!... thank you".  So she probably figured she was more use out of the way.

Anyway... in terms of my boys, I am doing all of the obvious preparatory things, like reading them birthing books and trying to answer their questions about the birth as honestly as possible.  I haven't yet shown them a video of child birth (there are lots of beautiful vaginal child birth videos on Youtube) but am considering this as an option.

Of course my husband and I need to be on the same page with all of this... so I have the next 14 weeks or so to ponder this one - discuss it with my children and husband - and hopefully come to a decision that I'm happy with.  

I would love to hear your perspective on this topic.  Have you chosen to have your older children present at the birth of a younger sibling?  Did you decide not to do so?  Any advice to give either way?

FREE Zumba in the Park

Shake Your Groove Thing
at Brisbane City Council's FREE
Zumba classes in the park...

Have you stumbled upon all the cool FREE fitness activities in Brisbane that our City Council puts on?  If not, then head over to BCC Active Parks to find a whole range of fitness activities to suit every level of fitness.

The Activity?
I recently joined in a Zumba class at Majestic Park, Coorparoo.  It was a mid-morning class that fit in perfectly with my post-school-drop off schedule.

Who Should Attend?
There were about 30 ladies, ranging from uni students through to senior citizens.

What Was the Vibe?
This class was 30mins of booty-shakin', hip-swingin' fun that was easy to follow and allowed for ALL levels - as I'm pregnant, I kept it low-impact, but my friend was keen to add in the high-intensity options.  The moves are fun and the music is intoxicating so you really don't notice you're working up a sweat.  The instructor was very entertaining and she created a very relaxed vibe - lots of mums arrived a little late and just jumped in on the fun.  The feeling I got was that everyone was happy to be out in the fresh air, shakin their groove thing and having a laugh... with zero pain to your wallet!  What more could you ask for??

When:  Something different on every day of the week.

Where:  Activities are held all over Brisbane.

Keen to find out more? Check out Brisbane City Council's Active Parks website

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Brisbane City Botanic Garden PLAYGROUND!!

If you haven't been to check out the new 
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens Playground
then as they say,  
do yourself a favour....

This new park is located along the riverside walk of the City Botanical Gardens and it is totally awesome!!  We visited mid-week, around lunchtime, and there were even curious adults walking through and trying out all the cool interactive features this park has.
There are various musical stations including giant pipes, piano and drums, as well as those voice transponder things (?!) where you talk into one end of the pipe and it comes out at another end (and it actually works!!).
The physical space the park takes up is huge - so there could never be too many kids crowding the space, and from a parent-trying-to-keep-an-eye-on-my-kids perspective, it is all quite open so I could see my two monkeys no matter which part of the park they had raced of to explore.

There is a massive sandpit with lots of the mechanical diggers that kids just LOVE.

The park also caters for kids (and adults!) in wheelchairs with a spinning roundy thing that allowed for the safe securing of two wheelchairs, plus a special swing that allowed for safely securing both small and big kids.

We spent an hour at this park and it still was not long enough - we will definitely be back many many times as there is so much to explore at the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens Playground.

Ages:  1 - 101 years old.  This park is very much suitable for all ages.  There are plenty for the toddling kids as well as the bigger kids.

Getting There: We parked in Alice Street - $4/Hr, but you could also easily catch there ferry or bus.

What to Take:  Definitely pack your picnic rug and some snacks as the lush grass is so inviting and you may need a rest in between all the playing and exploring.  

Location:  The City Botanic Gardens Playground is located at 147 Alice Street, Brisbane City.  Follow the riverside walk along and you cannot miss it!

Brisbane City Botanic Gardens Playground