Friday, 31 January 2014

Luka Anya - 1 month old

Just look as those big beautiful eyes!
Ok so she was officially on Monday 27th just gone.
Anyway, this last month has been a roller coaster of excitement, heartache, exhaustion but none the less the most rewarding, yet, thankless job ever.

Since Luka was born so much had happened. She's gained weight, has developed physically and mentally at such an alarming rate I am really quite surprised :-)

Here's some pics of her in the last month...

Loves sucking on her fingers!

Pretty in pink!

Loves with nanna

Curious of her surroundings during tummy time!

"Why so serious?"

Family photo for my 23rd Birthday
Weight: Luka's starting weight was 2.7kgs (5.4pounds) and it fluctuated more so down than up in the first few weeks and now she's clocked in at 3.5kg thanking her growth spurt at 3weeks she now weighs and is the size of a normal newborn baby :-)

Sleep: She sleeps really well, when she's settled enough. She's more so settled at night time. She goes down about 10:30-11pm and wakes every 3 hourly for feeding which usually takes 40mins to an hour due to her being wide awake and fussy after feeding or after a nappy change. Her first feed of the day starts at 8am and she's usually awake for 3hours before sleeping for at least an hour or two then she's awake and bursting with energy for another 2-3hours.

Diet: Her whole diet is breast milk and she feeds from 10-20mins on one breast. We've developed a good latch system since week 4 and she feeds for the first 5mins before needing to be burped then from there she goes for at least another 10mins before feeding herself to sleep and she feeds about 6times a day including early morning feeds.

Crying: Well you know how I mentioned how placid she was, well she's made me eat my words!
For the tiny size she is she sure can shake a house down with her screaming!
I blame the pethadine that I had during birth for mellowing her out in the first week. She rose with a vengance once that week was over!
And most of her screaming is cause she doesn't like being put down, something that Andrei and I have started weaning her off (being held all the time). It's taken us 4 long hard days of weaning, picking her up when she cries until she's soothed thus making her know she's safe then gently putting her back down and holding her hands to let her know there's nothing to be afraid of. This technique was recommended from a baby book we have and so far it's started to work in the last 2days albeit having to do it 50million times in an hour! Were gonna keep this up until she's more compliant but otherwise her screaming a caused by hunger, full diaper, fussiness, over tiredness, boredom or loneliness. Y-know, the usual.

Social: Luka's very sociable and loves her cuddles! She's very good around people and doesn't fuss too much when being held by other people but she let's you know when she's had enough of being held by a stranger (to her) and wants to either go back to mum or dad. Typical baby :-)

Milestones: Luka loves her tummy time! She kicks and squirms a lot and can shift her whole body around as well as hold her head up for a good 20seconds before she gets tired, sometimes longer. She's also starting to roll herself over which is very advanced for a 1month old baby!
Her eye sights developing more and she's becoming more aware of her surroundings.
Were watching out for her first smile which she should do by next week when she's 6weeks (fingers crossed!) and she's a very good traveller :-)

Postpartum: The last month has been quite good to me apart from my stitches taking 3weeks to heal. I haven't gained much weight. I gained approx 12.2kgs throughout my pregnancy, my starting weight was 60.1kgs and I'm now at 69.2kgs. I'm eating very healthily, a lot of home cooked meals, drinking plenty of water, eating salads etc. I haven't done much in the way of exercise (apart from using Luka as a weight when I do lunges to the mail box and back and doing arm lifts haha) as I'm taking the first 6weeks to settle into mummy hood then I'll be going for walks with Luka, going back to the gym once a week and I've also purchased a kettleball set which I can use at home when Luka's sleeping.
I know it's taken me 9months for my body to get the way it was but I can't wait to get back to my pre-preg body.

So that's her first month in a nutshell. Will keep you updated for her second month of milestones and photo's etc. Hopefully not too many pics next time although I know there will be as were going to Dunedin next week for Andrei's sisters wedding which you can check out on her blog 'Hung up, On Makeup', but Lukas 6week vaccinations are that week so we'll see how she responds to them first.
Until next time!


Friday, 24 January 2014

Benefit "They're Real" mascara

Hell I don't know the last time I've written something up about makeup.

Now being a mother I've had to come up with an easy way of applying a natural looking complexion that's suitable for any occasion so I can quickly get back to my little one.

This makeup application was done for Christmas Day last year :-)
This look is my go to.
Just a dash of foundation.
Dab of concealer.
Sweep of powder.
Puff of blush and a flick of my fave new mascara by Benefit, "They're Real".



I purchased it in this blog post here and it's truly amazing.
I already have long lashes per the before and after pics but I can't help but dramatise them.
My eyes, I would say, are def my best feature. Sue me ;-)

Benefits review have been something I've easily agreed on as it pretty much states what I've found with the product.
Based on their stats from consumers:
94% saw dramatic length and volume
90% saw base to tip curl
94% saw visible lift
100% saw visible results

I find the ingredients non clumpy, well lubricated and distributes evenly on each lash thus giving each lash a dark dramatic coat and with being able to use the wand horizontally you can spread the lashes out evenly if they decide to stick together like mine do at times.
I also find the norm results which is long wearing, doesn't smudge and more length and volume.
The way I apply it though is pretty much the same as I've always done with mascara which is in strokes rather than what Benefit have recommended in wiggling the wand from side to side whilst stroking.
Actually I've found that works too to separate the lashes and define them more.
I've noticed more curl, length and volume, another given from Benefit for this product so I can easily say my review is as it's been stated from the amazing cosmetic company.
And for a retail price of NZD$45 for the mascara it is an investment and my mascara's last me longer than the 3month time frame usually recommended so I will be getting my money's worth no sweat :-)

So that's my review, hoped you like it, here's the products I used to achieve the look in the photos:


  • Bio oil - all over face, neck and decolletage
  • POREfessional primer - over cheeks, nose, forehead and chin
  • Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation in "Cheers to Me" Champagne over face and neck
  • Boi-ing concealer in 01 light  on dark circles and blemishes
  • Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Powder " Me Vain?" Champagne over face and neck
  • MAC Peachy Keen blush 


  • MAC Old Gold Pigment over lid, light application
  • They're Real Mascara on upper and lower lashes
*eyes can be taken from day to night with a smokey application


  • Nivea lip balm

If you have any views on this or any of the Benefit products or any cosmetics that you think are worth a look at, let me know, cheers!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Lukas Birth Story

Heading out on our way to the hospital
Andrei and woke up at around 6am to make sure everything was ready for us to go into hospital for my induction.
We'd prepared our hospital bags weeks prior so it was just putting things in that we used on a daily basis. Plus I wanted to put a little makeup on and get an outfit together, it was a very exciting moment so I wanted to look my best :P
9:30am Andrei my mum and I left to Auckland hospital to prepare for my induction which I talked about here.
By around 10am my nurse came in and a gel called prostaglandin was applied to lining of my cervix and from there it was a waiting game.

The nurse who applied the prostaglandin said that my cervix had already softened and I was already a few cm's dilated so my labour was pretty much under way apart from the fact my waters hadn't broken. (I actually think I went into labour a few days before hand. Before Christmas day we saw our friends and I was laying on their driveway because the concrete was hot and back was giving me hell! Plus I had the show on Christmas)
Luka and my contractions were monitored throughout the day, in between Andrei and I would walk around the hospital and the Auckland domain next door to try and get some movement happening.
Before we knew it 6 hours had passed and nothing had progressed so it was time for another gel insertion in which I was told I was already 3cm dilated and I didn't even know!

After that my mother in law popped by and us 3 went for a walk around the hospital and a round trip around the duck pond in the domain to get some action!
I tell you I was walking up stairs, climbing trees just to get anything going!
Alas nothing did and the day had come to an end

Andrei and I were told 4 applications of the gel would be applied in a 6hour interval between each insertion. If that didn't work then my waters would need to be broken manually.

Not likely.

Around 12am I woke with terrible contractions.
One of my birth plan pain relievers was a hot shower and gym ball.
Andrei was helping massage my back and holding me up in the shower. We were in there for about 40mins, and my contractions were about 30seconds apart, before I almost collapsed from exhaustion of just being tired and being sick of the pain.
I was saying to Andrei that I simply can't do it, it felt like being stabbed and ripped open in my girly bits.
I slowly shuffled over to the nurses desk and asked for a wheat bag and put it in the microwave, the nurse watching me trying to stand and breathing from the contractions in the mean time!
I remember being told that if I couldn't talk from the contractions that meant I was ready to go, but I didn't have that problem at all. I could still hold a conversation.
Unfortunately the wheat bag didn't work, and I had to move away from my birthplan of a 'natural birth' and asked for something stronger than normal pain killers!
The nurse assisting us recommended I take a dose if pethidine which will knock me out and ease the pain.
Just before I had the dose given to me I was kneeling on the bed and suddenly I felt a trickle of water and I told the nurse in a bit of shock that I think my waters broke.
Unfortunately there was no way to tell cause it happened so quickly and I was wearing a sanitary pad. I was then given pethidine and was out like a light within in minutes.

And it only felt like minutes when I was awake again at around 4am. This time I was pushing and grunting!
I was so confused, mainly cause I was still out of it on pethidine and kept falling back to sleep between my pushing, but because I couldn't tell if I pushing out a baby or (TMI alert!) a big poo hahaha!

Don't ask me how long that went in for.
Poor Andrei had no idea what to do apart from calling the nurses in which I refused because I just wanted to sleep but also cause the pushing wasn't painful and I could still hold a conversation (well kinda, when I wasn't sleeping).
Andrei was on his last nerve when I started pushing while sleeping crouched over on the bed with my bum in the air and called the nurses in.
Poor nurses haha!
I kinda woke up and had my cervix examined again to which the nurse didn't need to prod very far to say that Lukas head was 'right there'!
In my drugged up sleepy state all I could manage to slur out was 'holy shit' and then before I knew it I was being rolled into the birthing unit and swearing in disbelief that I was about to push a baby out; apologizing to the nurses in between my cursing.

The first cuddle with my Luka :-)

It actually gets quite funny from here cause being half asleep and then being asleep while pushing I could've had Luka out in half the time!
I was in an up right on my knees position for birth which made it hard for one of my midwives to view what was going on as she wanted me to poke my butt out more or to get on my back cause every time I pushed I would push inward rather than outward which annoyed my midwife. (I feel bad now cause she has I think 3 other women to attend to that were in labour the same time as me)
She was on her last nerve and told me that if I didn't push out I would have to get on my back. I yelled NO at my midwife to laying on my back and they extended the bed more upright so I had a good grip around the top of the bed which then made it easier for me to push my butt out wards (but mainly because my back up midwife came through, she was no nonsense, and told me to push my butt out!) and then focus (we'll try to) on pushing.
Andrei was by my side the whole time keeping me awake and helping me breathe cause I obviously forgot to haha!
The times that the nurses told me to push I was already so tired and annoyed I yelled at them "I'll push soon just let me sleep!".
Then I'd yell at them saying that "errrr I'm having another contraction, faaaaaaaarrrrrkkkk!", that's when Andrei got in my face, helped me breathe and it was at that time when I forced myself awake and pushed Lukas head through until I heard that amazing little war cry.
The worst part was having to pushing when her shoulders were out but it was the most amazing feeling when my midwife pulled her out!
It felt like a waterfall and all that pressure from pregnancy was gone.

Little Luka Anya Linda Cher-Amour Monet was born at 5:56am weighing 2.475kg.

As out if it as I was, my new instincts kicked in and as soon as I was handed her I kissed her sweet little face and lips as did Drei and bonding was done :-)

Skin to skin bonding with my bubba who just loves sucking on her fingers!

So proud :-)

Unfortunately while pushing Luka, her hand was on her face which gave me a tear. Being stitched up was actually very pleasant, I was handed the laughing gas and I was gone again on a high much to mine and my midwives delight :P
Having Luka in my arms at the time took my mind away from what was happening, I couldn't get over how perfect and sweet she is.

My parents and and mother in law came as soon as Andrei let them know I was in labour and they were head over heels straight away.
How could they not, though, she's pretty gorgeous!

Two hours after having Luka I was transferred to Birthcare which helps new mothers learn to breast feed, change and bath their babies etc which I stayed from Friday till Sunday. 
It was so hard cause A: there were crying babies EVERYWHERE so I was very unsettled. Luka wasn't fazed at all B: you're partner can't stay unless you pay $100 a night for accom for them or they visit between 8am-8pm, the first night was awful we were both in tears having to leave each other and I ended up having the baby blues for 3days, crying at anything from seeing my sister and seeing Drei hold and love our baby; I was a mess full stop! And C: I was home sick and missed my home comforts.
But despite it being hard the food was amazing, the midwives on call were helpful and I learnt how to care for Luka.
But I would never, ever go there again unless I really had to.

Since then everything has been going great. We've had ups and downs and are still learning everyday.
I'm still in awe that Luka is ours and Drei can't get over her either, he's completely head over heels and she is going be such a daddy's girl!
He's fantastic with her and I have seen a new and beautiful side to him which has made me love him more as my partner and father to our baby.
I feel so blessed to have such a perfect partner and daughter that I couldn't imagine life without them.

Luka is now officially 2weeks old and is so good. Sometimes.
She's eating well and putting on fat, she sleeps well too; we haven't exactly been the best with safe sleeping cause she sleeps with us in the bed about 95% of the time as she's still getting used to the bassinet (I ended up putting her pram lining in there which has made her feel more secure and has added softness to the bed) but we both sleep with one eye open so we don't do anything that may harm her. It's still baby steps at the moment and were doing our best to wean her into sleeping in it.

The last few weeks have been the bomb and I wouldn't change my decision to keep her at all, she is seriously the best thing that has happened to me crappy nappies, late nights, screaming and all :-)
Plus my birthing experience was something quite different, fun and exciting and I would do it again in a heart beat.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the father of lights"
James 1:17


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Introducing Luka Anya

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm so excited to share with you what we've all been waiting for since May which is the birth of mine and Andrei's daughter, Luka Anya Linda Cher-Amour Monet.

Here's some pics of our beautiful baby who was born on Friday 27th December 2013 at 5:56am and weighed 2.475kg (5pounds, 4ounces).


I cannot believe she's a week old already, time has just flew by!
Andrei and I have been keeping very busy with her though, trying to establish a routine (not working right now as she's too little, about 6weeks a routine will probably be easier to establish), changing, feeding, going out with her and just overall enjoying her in this state.
In regards to her name; Luka was given to her before we knew she was a girl.
We thought we were having a boy and just always spoke to my belly as Luka and from there it kinda stuck.
It has no significant meaning but she'll add a meaning to it by just living a good, hardworking prosperous life and being a good person :-)
Anya is from her grandmother (my mother in law) who's name is Annette and the name Anne has had a long run in her family history so we decided to give Luka the Russian version of Anya as she's half Kiwi from me and Russian from her dad.
Linda is from her other grandmother (my mumma), Cher~Amour means 'Dear Love' in French as she is 'dearly loved' from our friends and her family and Monet's from my favourite artists Claude Monet who painted such intricate, colourful and lively paintings that I feel Luka to be like and just as beautiful as they are :-)
She is so so precious and has such a placid nature (gets it from her mumma :D ) but she does have one good war cry on her!
Our New Years Eve was celebrated by trying to calm her down, she started screaming from 10pm 31.12.13 till 1am 01.01.14!
And all she wanted was to be in the baby backpack, take notes! Andrei and I also thought it would've been cause she went on her first outing that day, we've been taking her out ever since to get her used to travelling and she is fantastic!
She sleeps and dreams a lot, and when she's awake she is very alert and is curious of her surroundings.
She also used to using a pacifier and baby bottles for when I pump milk and she loves to suck on her and mine and Dreis fingers, it is so cute!
She really has no idea how much she has effected Drei and I and also our family.
I can't wait to see how she'll turn out :-)
I'll be posting about my birth story soon so watch this space!