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March 2017


The first 3 months

posted by jodiemellor March 25, 2017 0 comments

I can’t believe 3 months has gone already! I’m a little sad about just how fast he is growing up! Call me crazy but I miss the newborn stage. In saying that though, he is really starting to become fun now. He is interacting with us which is so rewarding.

The first month. I have to admit, we have a pretty easy going baby. He was sleeping 2-3 hours at a time and just woke to feed before going straight back to sleep. Having Pete around for the first month was nice. I think he felt a bit useless though as I am breastfeeding and Lachie was sleeping so much, there was not much Pete could do. Cuddles were aplenty though.

We had our first Christmas together. It was the driest Christmas I have had in many, many years. Remind me to time that better for the next baby… 🙂 We spent the day at Pete’s parents, which was where we were staying, so that was easy for us. Lots of presents, eating, drinking (for some) and a swim to finish things off.

Between Christmas and the New Year the 3 of us headed to a friends winery in Ferguson Valley for a night. We had a delicious lunch and were so lucky to be taken through the cellar and able to taste every wine! I could not pick my favourite. They are all amazing and I can’t wait for our first shipment to arrive! 🙂

We said goodbye to Pete early in the New Year when he headed back up to Jakarta.

Things I learnt in the first 4 weeks…

  1. There is a limit to how much even the best nappies will hold
  2. A newborn can surpass that limit very quickly and unexpectedly
  3. Car seats should be easier to clean (see points above..)
  4. Newborns love to nap…usually on you and very rarely in their bassinet
  5. Strangers suddenly become your long lost friend and coo over your baby
  6. Strangers think its ok to touch my sleeping baby
  7. Strangers are oddly very interested in our method of feeding and birth story
  8. There is no love like the love you have for your baby

The second month. I was on my own now. Actually that’s exaggerating. I had my mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law there to help whenever I needed. I didn’t cook a meal or clean up and I’m not sure I did a load of washing either. I did manage to master showering with the baby on the floor though. I may have also taken to co-sleeping a little more often than when Pete was there. It was just. so. easy! Lachie didn’t seem to mind either 🙂 It was one of the many things I swore I’d never know, before I was a parent and judging everyone else was so easy.

January in our family is full of birthdays. 4 in 10 days. We celebrate each year with a get together and lots of prawns! This year was no different. It was a scorching day this year, over 40 degrees. It was uncomfortable for the adults but the kids got the water slide out and had a great time.

We had doctors appointments, first birthday parties, more introductions and finished the month off with immunisations…ouch.

I got the all clear to get back to training with no restrictions….yes! I had been walking most days and had snuck in a few runs with the pram but I was craving that hard training. I joined in with my old hockey teams’ pre-season running. I was lucky that my MIL minded Lachie so I could partake. It was great! I was surprised that I hadn’t lost too much fitness. I didn’t put on too much weight while I pregnant but my body was (and still is) so foreign to me. I had lumps and bumps in places I didn’t know you could get them. I felt terrible. Getting into some hard training made me start to feel normal again.

The third month. We headed back up to Jakarta when Lachie was 9 weeks old. We moved into a new place when we came back. A townhouse in the expat neighbourhood. We can walk around the streets with the pram and my friends live in the same area. It does take Pete about an hour to get to and from work now though…7kms away! I was looking forward to being in our own place and getting into a routine. We had lots of trips planned for the first few weeks back in Jakarta so it was broken up a little.

The flight to Jakarta was uneventful…mostly. Lachie slept the whole way. We did end up landing in Palembang (Sumatra) though as there was a thunder storm in Jakarta. We refuelled and waited about an hour or so then made our way back. We finally crawled into bed at 3am.

Our first week flew by. We set up the house and got to know our new neighbourhood. We flew to Singapore that weekend. Pete had to work so we tagged along. From Singapore, Lachie and I went to Bali to meet up with my brother. He hadn’t met Lachie before so it was really lovely. Pete joined us there for the weekend.

The following weekend we were back in Singapore to play hockey. I hadn’t picked up a stick in almost a year. I couldn’t wait! It was a grass tournament but the quality is pretty decent. Last year the heat was almost unbearable. This year it rained all day on the Saturday and was bearably hot on the Sunday. It felt great playing again but made me sad that I am missing another season back in Perth.

Since that weekend we have been laying low in Jakarta. Its nice to relax for a while.

We are going to Makassar (Sulawesi) this week and Singapore again next week. Lachie has been to 3 countries and taken 6 flights already! He has his own frequent flyer account too 🙂

Lachie hasn’t hit any major development milestones yet however I dare say rolling over is only days away. He loves to chat and giggle and loves the ladies, making them melt with his dimples. He hates napping for any longer than 30 minutes during the day but is pretty good at night, usually only waking once or twice.

He has gone from a relatively average 3.5kg at birth to a whopping 6.8kgs but he is exclusively breastfed so I’m not concerned at this stage. Plus, up here I’d rather he be a little more robust.

As he only sleeps for 30 minutes during the day, its hard to find time to workout. He joins me for a workout most afternoons. I manage to get a run on the treadmill while he sleeps then he plays and giggles at me while I do circuit work. I’m back down to pre-pregnancy weight but definitely have some toning to do! As I mentioned before my body is still so foreign to me. It’s hard not to put the pressure on to bounce back almost immediately. I was lucky that I only put on about 10kgs while I was pregnant. I had dropped almost 10kgs when I first moved to Jakarta so while I know it is important to gain weight while pregnant, it was hard watching the scales creep up.

I am loving watching Lachie grow and learn and I am definitely loving my new job 🙂



posted by jodiemellor March 20, 2017 0 comments

Makassar is the capital of South Sulawesi. It was established in the 14th century and by the 16th century was a the main trading centre in Eastern Indonesia, trading largely in spices.

The island of Sulawesi is renowned as being one of the most scenic islands of Indonesia and is the gateway to many other remote islands in Eastern Indonesia such as Raja Ampat.

Pete had some work meetings to attend so we took the opportunity to tag along.

We had a 5.20am flight and even though we were only travelling domestically, you can never predict traffic or the crowd at the airport. We were up at 2.30am and in an Uber at 3am. I tried to pick up the sleeping baby as carefully as possible so he would stay asleep, however as soon as my hands touched him, those big brown eyes sprung open. Luckily he sat quietly in the car and fell back asleep along the way.

We flew out from the brand new terminal which is dedicated to Garuda Airlines. It was a lovely change from the other terminals. There were no crowds, plenty of food and drink options (even at 4am) and everything was fresh and new.

Were headed through security and onto our departure gate. Once we were called to board I prepared myself for the ensuing bus trip to our plane which was no doubt parked back at Terminal 1. I was very pleasantly surprised when we walked straight down the airbridge and onto the plane. A nice change for Jakarta.

Lachie went back to sleep just as we were preparing to take off. He is awake for longer periods of time now so I was hoping he would stay alseep for as long as possible to minimise the time I would need to keep him quiet. He ended up sleeping for about an hour which left another hour or so before we landed. He takes a great interest in the tv at the moment so that kept him entertained for a while.

Turns out Makassar is quite a busy airport. We did 3 laps of a holding pattern before we finally landed. The city and its surrounds are beautiful. Clear blue skies and lots of small islands with coral reefs that were easy to see from the plane. The airport itself was bustling, like most other domestic airports in Indonesia. It was well set out though which was a nice surprise.

We had a hotel transfer so we didn’t have to haggle for a taxi. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the hotel, the Aston. It is a lovely 4 star hotel that overlooks both the city and the ocean. We checked into our room then head out for some sightseeing.

We headed off on to Fort Rotterdam which was only a 10 minute walk from the hotel.

Originally settled by the Portugese, it was early in the 17th century that the Dutch arrived with the intention of gaining control over the spice trade. Their first move was to conquer Fort Makassar which they did in 1667 and rebuilt and renamed Fort Rotterdam.

We signed in and paid a donation fee to enter. As we walked through the front gate we had a local man approach us and in fairly good english offered to ‘show us around’. We declined as it was very hot and we just wanted to have a look around at our own pace. As it turns out we only spent about 30 minutes looking around the entire site. Most of the information was in Bahasa Indonesia and to be honest, there was very little that took our interest. We may have been better off paying for the guide to get a more detailed tour.

As we left, a man approached us and made general conversation with us. He told us as that we should visit the fish markets and the harbour where the traditional Bugis boats come in. He explained that it was the right time to go to the fish markets as the morning catch would be arriving back and offered to take us in his Becak. Both Pete and I thought he was having us on but decided it was something we wanted to do anyway and the price he offered to take us was reasonable. So Pete took Lachie and jumped in with our new friend, while I went with his son. It was quite an experience travelling in the Becak. I give it to the riders, it was hot and we aren’t light people!

15 minutes later we arrived at the fish markets. Wow! I’m so glad we decided to come along. There was a boat that had just arrived back so we went to see what they caught. It’s amazing how many beautiful fish are in the surrounding waters. They had a successful morning and were proud to show off their catch. We walked through the markets and saw all kinds of fish, stingray and squid. Most of the locals were more interested in the ‘bule baby’ and kept touching him!

We jumped back into our rides and headed a few more minutes up the road to the harbour. There were plenty of Bugis boats, most of which were already loaded with flour ready to go. After a quick look around here we headed back to the hotel. The streets of Makassar are so lively. We turned heads the whole way back and had hundreds of greetings by the time we arrived.

The hotel has a sky lounge which we headed up to for drinks and dinner. The view was incredible. It overlooked the port and we had clear skies to witness the sunset. The steak dinner was quite good and the dessert was amazing! We retired early (like we have much of a choice these days ;)) ready for the following day.

The next day started earlier than I would have liked (thanks Lachie). We headed to the restaurant for our included breakfast which was average at best. Plenty of options but most things were cold or tasted ‘old’. After breakfast Pete headed off to a few meetings and Lachie and I headed up to the pool which is on level 19. An indoor pool, spa and sauna with great views. The pool was a little cold  for Lachie but we had a quick dip then headed back down to get ready for our day trip. Pete had to do a reconnaissance about 100kms south of Makassar and so we all jumped in a car at lunchtime. Like most other places in Indonesia, the roads were busy and the average speed is 60km/hr. 100kms took us almost 3 hours.

Along the way, on the side of the road there are mats laid out covered with rice which is left to dry in the sun. I have seen this in many places throughout Indonesia but its always a site to see. The other thing that caught my eye on this trip was the colours. From yellows and greens to purples and reds – houses, fences and mosques were all kinds of colours.

With Lachie in arms or strapped to my chest (yes it’s legal, no we don’t have a car seat here (no regular driver) and yes it is dangerous, no we don’t have any other options) and the rocking motion of the car, he slept for most of the trip down which was great. We managed to locate the 3 sites easily and after a few photos at each, we were back on the road to Makassar. It was late afternoon and seeing as though we had been told about a nice seafood restaurant on the way home, we decided to stop and have an early dinner. The restaurant is set on the beachfront so we sat outside to enjoy the view. We fumbled our way through ordering using the little bit of Indonesian I know and after a short wait dinner arrived. I had the chicken nasi goreng and Pete had sweet and sour chicken and calamari. We both had a fresh lime juice. The food was absolutely delicious. So fresh and the flavours were incredible. One of these days I’ll rebel and try something a little ‘exotic’.

We arrived home about 9pm and headed straight to bed. The following morning Pete had some more meetings so Lachie and I had a quiet morning in the hotel. Breakfast was no better…

I really enjoyed Makassar and would really like to go back and spend more time there and on the surrounding islands.



An extra special Perth summer

posted by jodiemellor March 20, 2017 0 comments

Summer in Perth. Some would argue it’s the best place in Australia to spend Summer and I’d be hard pressed to disagree.

This year was possibly the best summer I’ve spent in Perth…for one very special reason, plus I was on holidays/unemployed so I had plenty of time to enjoy my days and didn’t have to worry about getting great weather only on weekends.

Most mornings started with a walk along the river and finishing up at my new favourite cafe for breakfast or a salted caramel frappe. I am continually surprised and impressed at the quality of breakfasts in Australia these days….or maybe I am comparing it to Jakarta?? :/ I had to slow these walks down and cut the distance in the first few weeks I was back as I didn’t want the baby to arrive early. My husband was only flying in a few days before the due date and I didn’t want any early surprises.

In the first few weeks back I got to help my sister-in-law prepare for her wedding which was in early November. I was lucky enough to be asked to be one of her bridesmaids. It was a glorious day down in Fremantle and we had an exceptional time. I managed to wobble along, 36 weeks pregnant, in my high heels for the photos before switching into something a little more dance friendly and my mother-in-law was clever enough to alter the bridesmaid dress so it fit my rapidly growing tummy which was a bonus!

Getting ready for the wedding – 36 weeks pregnant


I also got to spend an incredible amount of time with my in-laws which was really special. My nieces and nephew were absolutely thrilled about the idea of a new baby cousin, their first. Many hours were spent talking to ‘baby’ and giving my tummy an endless amount of kisses. We spent lots of time in the pool and it was really amazing to watch their confidence grow each time they got in.

My anchor system

The baby was due December 5th. My Husband was booked to fly in on December 1st. To say I was nervous about him missing the action was an understatement. There are only 3 direct flights from Jakarta each week. If he couldn’t get one if those he would have to go via Bali or Singapore making the shortest route about 12 hours. :/ I considered a few times asking him to come home early…lucky I didn’t..

Before he flew in I cut down my morning walks from 5 or 6 kilometres to only 2 or 3. I abstained from spicy food and resisted the urge to ‘nest’, all in the hope that the baby would hold on.

December 1st rolled around and I half expected my waters to break at the airport once I finally relaxed. They didn’t. My husband and I spent the weekend eating out and generally enjoying our time together before it was no longer just the two of us.

December 5th – due date! We had an obstetrician appointment this day. He booked us in for an induction at the end of the week but expected to see us before that. Excitement was through the roof. Pete went out each morning cray fishing (trying to get that last bit of freedom in?) and I upped the kilometres of my walks again. I walked roughly 35 kilometres in the 3 days before the baby arrived hoping it would get things moving. It wasn’t budging. Each night I would go to bed hoping that I’d be woken by a gush of water…just like in the movies… 🙂

December 9th arrived. D-day. It’s such a strange feeling waking up knowing you’ll have a baby that day. There aren’t many pleasant surprises in life these days but in a lot of cases, your baby’s birthday is one. I was awake before my early alarm. I had everything set out ready to go. I jumped in the shower and took a last glimpse of my big belly. I wasn’t scared or nervous, just extremely excited. I had some breakfast, we took some last minute photos and we were in the car.

Last photo before heading to the hospital

The growing belly

At the hospital, we were shown to our room. The most daunting part of the hospital is the birthing ward. Sitting behind big automatic doors that have bright lights and big caution signs, its a part of the hospital you only generally see when the action starts. I put my bag down and a young girl walked in and introduced herself as our nurse. She was lovely, however, she was younger than me and had only been on the ward a short time. This is when the nerves started to creep in. I’m not sure why it bothered me so much. She did everything right and I was totally comfortable with her. I guess I just expected an older nurse with a little more experience? It suddenly daunted on me that the next chapter was completely on me. I had to get this baby out safely.

The doctor came in around 7.45am and broke my waters. An interesting experience in itself. For those of you wondering, yes it happened just like in the movies! And now the waiting game. I was lucky enough that there was a cricket game on that day. I happily sat and watched the T.V. for the next few hours while I experienced what I thought were contractions. They were mild but increasing slowly. I smugly thought to myself “This is easy”, “I don’t know what all the fuss is about”. The nurse could see the ‘contractions’ on the monitor and kept telling me I was doing a good job. Pftt. I’ll have 10 babies at this rate I thought.

‘Happy as Larry…”

A few hours later the head nurse came in to check how far along I was. I laid back in the bed still happy as Larry…. 1cm. WHAT?! 3 hours and only 1 cm? You mean things haven’t even started yet?! I spent the next hour madly pacing the halls of the birth ward. Still nothing.

My nurse finished up her shift and a new nurse and student came on to look after me. This nurse was older than me and had been working as a midwife for about 20 years. The student that was with her was also older than me and a mum to 5. I felt much more confident now. I felt like they could talk me through the next stage with their knowledge and experience.

At 2.30pm my obstetrician came back to see me. He took a look and decided that I needed Oxytocin to get things moving. I was hoping things would get moving by themselves but considering it had been 6 hours, I probably needed some help. In went the drip (still one of the worst parts of labour if you ask me!) and again sat back and waited. It was a good game of cricket so I was distracted.

The birth ward is surprisingly quiet. I expected there to be screaming women and crying babies. It was mid-afternoon that we heard the first baby. It was really special to know there had been a healthy baby born and gave me goosebumps to think I would have my own little bundle in my arms soon.

About an hour or so later and I got my first ‘ooh’ moment. I wouldn’t say it was painful, but it was definitely intense. I was still chatting away to the nurses and Pete at this stage, and was still quietly confident that I would breeze through this.

Fast forward another hour or so… wowee!! How quickly things can change. My contractions were close together and getting more and more painful. I could no longer hold a conversation during a contraction and the rests in between weren’t very long. I hadn’t had any pain relief at this stage and was determined to go as far as I could without any. Not too long after that however, I was cursing my husband and telling him if there was a next time, book me in and cut it out. This was horrific. How and why do women have more than one baby? I needed something to get me through. Cue the gas. I’m not convinced that there was much pain relief in the gas but it was a welcome distraction during contractions. Surely we were almost ready to go right??

Watching the cricket

There was still an element of excitement as we didn’t know our baby’s gender. At the very start I had a feeling it was a girl. I had many people stop me in the street in Jakarta and tell me I was having a boy though.

I asked the nurses 100 times to check if I was ready and they kept telling me, “you’ll know when it’s time”. Because I had the drip in, I was hooked up to a monitor to check the baby wasn’t distressed. This made it extremely annoying going to the toilet…and I of course needed to go a lot…a problem I have in life – pregnant or not.

At about 6.30pm I kept telling the nurse that I really needed to go to the toilet during contractions. She kept saying it was just the baby pressing down and I was ok. I begged her to check me again. Well hello…9cms! We were ready to go. Off the nurse went to call the doctor.

What felt like a lifetime went by. Where was the doctor? This baby was coming! The doctor arrived and took a look as I was getting another contraction. Surprised by my progress and still putting his gloves on, “push!” he said. After a couple of pushes and a great deal of encouragement from my ‘team’, the nurse told me she could see the baby’s head. I’m not sure why but I was desperate to know if it had hair or not. Her lack of response indicated that there wasn’t a full head of luscious hair on my baby. Hardly surprising as I didn’t have hair until I was almost 2!

A few more minutes of pushing and before I knew it my baby was on my chest. My little miracle was here. Pete was so amazed by the whole experience that he had to be prompted twice by the doctor to check the gender. It’s a boy! Plenty of happy tears followed and I was oblivious to the rest of the business that was taking place at the other end of the bed. After a minute or so holding my new baby boy, my obstetrician calmly advised the nurses to call the pediatrician. Something wasn’t right with the baby. I heard his request and my heart sank. The baby was a bit grey for the doctors liking. Within a flash my piece of perfection was taken back from me. Pete had been busy snapping photos and it was at this stage he realised there was a problem. I asked him to go over and be with the baby and stay with him no matter what.

The pediatrician was there within seconds and after taking a look at the baby, told us he needed to be taken to the nursery. The nurse, student nurse, my husband and the pediatrician all hurried with the baby down to the nursery. The room suddenly went from being filled with people to just my obstetrician and me. It was deafeningly silent. I struck up general conversation while he cleaned me up, trying to suppress the dread that had filled my body.  I couldn’t reach my phone so I had no idea what was going on. What was wrong with my baby? Was he ok?

A few minutes later the nurse came back and said he is doing ok but he was on a ventilator as he was having some difficulty breathing. I got up to shower and had something to eat but still had no word on how he was doing half an hour later. My father-in-law and sister-in-law came into my room to keep me company until I could go to the nursery. They didn’t know anything either. Pete had called his mum to join him in the nursery. The family had gathered in anticipation for the new arrival as Pete had been giving a running commentary during the day on our family group chat. I can only imagine what entered their heads when the phone call came that the baby had been taken straight to the nursery.

About an hour after he’d been born, I made my way down to the nursery. I wasn’t prepared for how I would see my new, perfect bundle. There were cords everywhere. In his hand, up his nose, on his feet and a cap on his head which had more cords attached. I wasn’t allowed to hold him. I wasn’t allowed to feed him. All I could do was gently touch him. He looked so scared and vulnerable. He was crying and there was nothing I could do to comfort him. A feeling I’d have no idea would be so powerful and distressing until it was my own baby. I couldn’t bare it. As it turns out he had a Pneumothorax – an air sac on his lung which can lead to a collapsed lung. He would need to be monitored to see if he could clear it himself or whether they would need to drain it.

After spending some time with him, we left him in very capable hands in the SJOG nursery and headed up to the ward via our family who were still in the waiting room. I had imagined this a lot differently. I didn’t expect to be going to the ward without my baby.

The following morning we headed down to the nursery. He looked a lot better than the night before. The nurses said he had a good night and was feeding well. We saw the pediatrician later in the day who gave us an update. He was on antibiotics and would need to stay in the nursery for at least 48hrs, depending on the outcome of the airsac.

I got my first cuddle and feed on the Sunday afternoon. 2 days after he was first put on my chest. I felt lucky because my husband still hadn’t had a cuddle. He took to breastfeeding straight away which was a relief. He had managed to clear the air sac himself which was great news. As soon as he finished his antibiotics he could join us in our room. That would turn out to be the Tuesday afternoon. Finally, we got to have our baby with us and embark on our journey of firsts. First cuddles, first nappy changes, first introductions. Finally, we had the baby we were expecting. We are very lucky though. After spending a few days in the nursery and seeing other babies that were in a much more precarious position than ours, we are blessed to have a healthy baby to take home.

Daddys first cuddle

We spent the next few days introducing him to the world. My parents flew in from QLD to meet their first grandchild and friends and family came to visit. Finally, 5 days after our baby made his entrance into the world, we were going home. You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as we drove out of the hospital driveway.

Meeting his big sister

Lachlan Peter Kingston Mellor – 7pd 9oz. 7.20pm Friday 9th December 2016