Friday, March 30, 2012

Simplify Your Life Week Ten #syl12


Ok time to catch up on the Simplify Your Life challenge.  I apologise in advance for the bombardment of these posts as I catch up. I'm quite behind as I had a break from this during my blog break too.

Week ten is all about facing fears. 

Fears are normal and as I have anxiety I may have more fears than the "average" person. Although at the moment my anxiety is manageable I acknowledge I have both rational and irrational fears. 

I have phobias like clowns and petrol tankers. These may be irrational but that's what phobias are meant to be aren't they? These aren't the fears to focus on though. These can continue to only rear their ugly heads when clowns or petrol tankers are around.
Image by me
I fear so much for my kids, as every parent does. I fear they'll be hurt, bullied, peer pressured, be a bully, hurt others but mostly I fear they'll be unhappy. All I want is for them to be happy in their lives. Again, these aren't the fears to focus on.

I wrote about change at my March To Your Own Beat post. Obviously change is exciting me and I appear ready but will my fears of failure hold me back again? Of course I'm scared about going forward towards my dream of doing roller derby; 
What if I hate it?
What if I suck badly? 
What if I don't get in this year or next year? 
What if all the girls hate me? 
What if I can't attend every training session? 
Then again;
What if I love it?
What if I am awesome?
What if I get in straight away?
What if I make a bunch of friends?
What if I can attend every training session?

If I don't try I won't know. Maybe it'll be a negative experience and if it is I can sell my gear and focus my time and attention on my family and possibly studying again. If it's a positive experience then I'll have fun exercising and playing sport.

This time I will not let fear win. I will find out what will actually happen. Determination and the need to know will rule the fear I feel.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sesame - One Month

Dear Sesame,

Today you are one month old. It's flown by which awakens the whole 'they grow up so fast' fear. I like how little you still are, still fitting in 00000.
Comfy in 00000 swinging in her swing
We've had some feeding problems which we found out was partly due to you being tongue tied. You also drink SO MUCH milk that there was no keeping up with you! We will be seeing if we can get your tongue tie fixed so you don't have any speech or feeding problems like your brother. You seem happy and thriving on formula. You actually haven't gained that much weight, we had you weighed on the 26th March and you were 3.33kg up from your birth weight of 2.92kg. I'm sure you pooed a few hundred grams the day before just for your Noni to clean up.

You are so strong, rolling onto your sides to sleep and holding your head up high during tummy time. You also like to throw yourself around in our arms when we aren't paying you attention or feeding you. I'm scared that you'll be rolling over in no time. Unlike with your brother I don't mind if you don't reach the milestones early or on time (as long as there's nothing wrong with you of course). Movement means more work!

Your favourite place is the swing as long as it's on vibrate, swing and music. Sometimes when the music stops you wake up screaming until it's back playing again. My little appreciator of music making my heart sing.

You also love baths which your daddy gives you and your brother 'helps'. You and I usually have cuddle time afterwards making it a whole family affair. It's just wonderful and so relaxing.
Your first bath
We are trying to keep you sleeping in the bassinet next to the bed but you like to cuddle so much, as do I. You are a side sleeper just like the rest of us. In fact your daddy and I have been caught sleeping in the same position as you. You sleep the same as lufflump did when he was your age; your bottom lip fully sucked in. Adorable!

Speaking of your brother, he is amazing with you and loves you with all his heart. The other night he refused to come to bed until I put you in the bedroom. You are the last person he says goodbye to and the first person he says hello to. He gives you kisses randomly and loves to comfort you when you are crying. I've even caught him holding your hand while you both sleep. Besides a couple of dinosaurs to the head he is so gentle with you.
Damn broken iPhone camera this is beautiful otherwise!
You have so many clothes it's not funny. Mostly pink too which I must admit I am loving. I can use you as an excuse to inject some femininity into the house. Nothing too girly just lots of pink! We have been so fortunate to have been flooded with gifts from family and friends including a lovely fellow blogger.

Talking about bloggers, you also went to your first blogging event at just under two weeks old. You stole everyone's hearts and I was taught how to sling you properly. Now your daddy and I can both easily sling you which we do. Everywhere we go people comment on how small you are. I'm still not used to it and probably will never be!

You've slotted perfectly into our lives and home. I couldn't imagine life without you, my princess.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marching To My Own Beat #marchownbeat

Laney from Crash Test Mummy has a wonderful find yourself challenge for the month of March. Having a couple of weeks off from blogging means its catch up time! Here are my posts so far;
1. Before I was a mum...
Festivals, parties, clubbing, working and studying were my life. I had a Diploma of Community Welfare Work under my belt, dropped out of uni mid first semester and was working for a mango company. The mister and I went away with my old work to stay on two mango farms just one week after finding out I was pregnant with lufflump. I was the admin bitch and he was the sticker boy.

2. Before I was a mum I used to... spend my spare time partying. I lived week to week financially with all my money going towards my partying lifestyle. When I found out I was pregnant I was living with an asshole housemate and planned on moving in with either the mister or by myself again once the lease was up. I was working in a job I found boring in an industry I really had no interest in. I also sold industry tickets for festivals and clubs which, of course, I attended. Our whole life revolved around each other and partying. The mister and I were together for less than six months when we found out I was pregnant and babies were definitely the last thing on our minds.

3. I've always regretted not... saving money or traveling. I also wish the mister and I had more time as a couple together focusing on just us without babies being on our minds. 

4. The most important lesson I've learnt in my life so far... would be to just wing it especially with kids. There will always be something that will happen that couldn't be planned for. Just wing it. 

5. The craziest thing I've done... probably my lifestyle before kids. It was getting a tad out of hand, a bit too much. Lufflump saved us.

6. I did... live by myself when I was told I couldn't... and didn't think I could myself. I loved it and at times I do miss it. It was my unit, my tiny over priced unit full of my stuff. All me. I was living alone when I met the mister so it was a special time which I look back fondly upon.

7. I knew exactly what to do and I knew it was right... removing certain people from my life. Toxic, selfish people are energy wasters and I realised that for me to live pleasantly they couldn't be included. It was also important to delete these people from my life for other relationships to grow. Best thing ever.
                                                                                                                           
Second week of the Crash Test Mummy March To Your Own Beat is quite positive! I'm really enjoying this challenge, it's making me think, revisit wonderful memories and look towards the future. Quite cleansing indeed.
Before children I stuck my tongue out a lot
8. More than anything I really want to do something about... my fitness and health.

Before I had kids I was unhealthy due to my unhealthy lifestyle. My exercise, apart from walking to and from work or public transport (10mins) was usually done under the influence when I would dance for hours and hours. I smoked, drank too much coffee and alcohol and ate way too much fast food. My body was not a temple, it was a bin.

Now I still eat too much take away BUT I don't smoke or often drink alcohol so that is a good start. I would like to eat more salads, more steaks, more veggies and less sugar. I have goals and plans. There is a roller derby fresh meat intake in June that I would love to go for. My dream is to play roller derby. I have a bunch of exercise DVDs to exercise to, I plan on buying skates as soon as we can afford them, I have a list of close parks that we will walk to daily and I'll be doing the Ease Into 5K app once I can FINALLY start exercising! Do I really have to wait six weeks?

9. The values that are most important to me are... all listed in my Simplify Your Life Week Four post.

10. My proudest moment... apart from having my babies it would probably be completing my diploma. I loved everything about that diploma; the people and the study especially. I'd do it all again in flash.

11. I want to be remembered for... more than the mum I am or the party girl I was. I'm still not too sure what the answer is to this but I hope whatever it is would be positive.

12. Time stands still when... I'm on a date with the mister, whether it be at home or out. When it's just us two, a couple rather than parents.

13. My most treasured possession... are my photos. Always have been and always will be.

14. Something I was totally and emotionally committed to... my friendships and family. Some friendships continue although we don't physically catch up often. I still cherish these friendships and I hope that's common knowledge.
                                                                                                                           
Third week and I've been really looking forward to it! This challenge is just so much fun and I've enjoyed reading Laney and everyone else's responses (although I haven't commented - sorry!).

15. If I was an animal I'd be a... cat. Cats know themselves. They have attitude unless they want something from you, like food or cuddles. They also sleep a lot. I like and respect that.
My cat, Rhani
16. If I could have any role/job I would be... either an employee or owner of a dual diagnosis rehabilitation centre here in Queensland. The lack of facilities for people who have both an addiction and mental illness is dangerous. People are slipping through the cracks in rehabs and mental health units as neither of them have the capacity to deal with the other problem (e.g. mental health units are not rehabs). Of course I would need to do further study but this is my dream. The further study will have to wait until I can do full time on campus study.

17. My hidden talent is... really hidden. I'm not too sure I have one. I can read people in situations well I guess. I honestly don't think I have a hidden talent.

18. The most creative thing I've ever done is... this blog. When I was younger I was really into writing an wrote short stories almost daily. I have no idea where they all are now and they are probably hopeless but that and my journals were my creative outlet. Now I have this blog and I love it. It's my third baby.

19. People come to me when they need help with... problems, I guess. People used to come to me back when I was social but now that I'm a hermit not too many people do. Lately it's been about blogging and social media but before it was relationships; friends and partners.

20. The sorts of problems I like to solve are... factual. Sudoku, crosswords and those type of problems. In life I like anything psychological which I try to decipher although often I don't. I have a short attention span and don't like feeling frustrated so I lose interest in any problems that are long or frustrating.

21. Someone else thinks I'm good at... parenting. They don't necessarily live with me though ;p
                                                                                                                           
Week four of March already. It's gone way too fast! Laney has made this week interesting with a quiz from Oprah which I'm off to do now. 
Your dog does not look ready for a change, Oprah!
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Your Result:
Wow. I don't know what I expected but I don't think it was that. As far as I was concerned the only change I'm happy about is moving houses every year or so. Mind you this quiz was mainly about work and I don't have a job or any prospects so maybe it wasn't quite relevant. I did answer it as I feel right now.

I am changing. I can feel it in my bones. I want to be healthier. I want to be fitter. I dream about roller derby. I read updates daily about bouts, injuries and derby girls. I walk around my town looking at the footpaths to gauge the state they are in and where I'll most likely stack it. Change is in the air. Now I need the funds to buy shoes, gym clothes and my derby gear. I also need my body to heal. It's been four weeks since I gave birth and a walk around the block puts my body into shock. I don't want to wait any longer, I'm determined now, I have motivation now. I know I will wait but I've never been a patient person.

Change is exciting. This time anyway. I've never been so motivated or drawn towards a goal. I'm thrilled to have a goal ahead that will enhance my life which will, hopefully, in turn enhance my family's. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Healthy Dreams

For the past few years I've had a dream. A pretty big dream that until now I haven't worked towards. While pregnant I decided that it was time. It was time I started following my dream. That dream is to play Roller Derby.

My closest league is having a fresh meat intake in June. That means I have to be fit, healthy and comfortable on quad skates by then. Seeing as I'm not allowed to exercise for another month at least I'm going to need to have a good training schedule. I've started walking a bit already, nothing strenuous just enough to get a bit fitter than I would sitting on the couch all day.

The mister is so excited. He's already on a fitness journey, riding to and from work daily, and can't wait to 'train' me. We have plans. So many plans. All I need now is exercise gear and a skates. I've got my eyes set on a Fresh Meat pack but it's over $500. Why did I have to choose a sport that has such expensive outlays? Luckily I have awesome tights and socks already.

My mum is freaking out thinking I'm going to get badly injured or killed. My dad used to go watch roller derby back in the 60's/70's which I think is awesome and his blessing for me to enter. The mister is excited and impressed that I'm still so motivated.

I'll be blogging about my fitness and roller derby journey. I don't need to lose weight so I won't be updating that (I also don't own scales) but I will update with photos and how I feel, physically and mentally.

I just want to get fit, have fun, skate fast, skate low and block some bitches with my booty.
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Happy Monday

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Sleep Thief

Excuse me while my mind doesn't function for anything more as a blog post. This little sleep thief and milk monster has kept me awake most of the night.
Meanwhile check out the adorable photo Zoe took and posted of sesame. I can't wait to see more! Hurry up mail man!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

#FEBphotoaday Recap

I know we are half way through March but I wanted to post my photos for the February photo challenge by Fat Mum Slim.

I'm thoroughly enjoying these photo challenges (see January here). I love seeing everyone else's and I also am loving the challenge and different perspective I've had to take. I'm not the best photographer and I seem to capture all the unimportant stuff rather than the important, but this challenge is taking it all to another level. I'm being challenged to capture things I take for granted and am being forced to be creative to be different from the pack. It's so much fun!

I had a bit of a problem though. My iPhone camera broke and is still broken. I can only take photos from the front and only through Instagram. I have to get it fixed when we have some money to spare, although I much prefer spending that money on anything but fixing something that is broken. I've been using the mister's phone and the front camera when he's at work. It's meant that some photos aren't the best quality or have been taken on different days. Frustrating to say the least, but I'm managing.
The Challenge 1 - Your View Today 2 - Words
3 - Hands 4 - A Stranger 5 - 10am
6 - Dinner 7 - Button 8 - Sun
9 - Front Door 10 - Self Portrait 11 - Makes You Happy
12 - Inside Your Closet 13 - Blue 14 - Heart
15 - Phone 16 - Something New 17 - Time
18 - Drink 19 - Something You Hate To Do 20 - Handwriting
21 - A Fave Photo Of Your 22 - Where You Work 23 - Your Shoes
24 - Inside Your Bathroom Cabinet 25 - Green 26 - Night
27 - Something You Ate 28 - Money 29 - Something You're Listening To
It's hard not to go into more detail for some of the photos like (17) Time; the time was so wrong on the Macbook before it got fixed, and (26) Night; the mister leaves us to work at night. Again, it's fun looking deeper and a different perspective for some of the challenges. 
Are you doing the Photo A Day Challenges? Link me so I can follow you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Blogiversary!

One year ago I posted;
Thank you for reading, commenting, connecting and being with me on my journey the last year. This little blog has had many changes the past year and will have more changes the next year, although not the same.

Here is my happy place. My place to vent, write and connect. My place in the universe.

Thank you for being nice.

I'm going to celebrate with a glass of Rosè and a slice of cake. Will you join? Join me on Facebook, twitter and Instagram (accidentalwonderland). 
Let's party!!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feeding Babies

My breastfeeding journeys have never been easy.
Sesame just born
Lufflump would choke on my fast supply and regardless of what I did he would splutter, spit and cry rather than drink. I ended up expressing for twelve months until I got sick of it and put him on formula. He's still on formula now.

Sesame started off so well, latching on wonderfully from day one. Then I got mastitis which hurt like a bitch but thanks to medication and many hot showers it quickly disappeared. One day and night she went five hours between feeds which was bliss. One night she latched on wonderfully and didn't cry all night. Lately she's not latching properly, cries for ages and drinks more than what I have.

From 12am to 5am little sesame would feed every two hours for about an hour. Throw in crying for fifteen minutes each time and that's how little I slept (the boys were banished to lufflump's room and the fire engine bed). The poor mister works from 5pm to 11pm or 12am which meant he was beyond exhausted.

This went on for a few days before we were all at each other's throats and formula was discussed. One bottle of formula and it was amazing how better we all felt from a full five hours stretch of sleep. Love was back in the house.

My plan when will I learn that children and plans don't mix? was to give her one bottle a night so she is full and sleep through the night. That was until one afternoon she cried for forty-five minutes, didn't burp or fart, wouldn't latch or anything but scream. The mister gave her a bottle and she took to it happily drinking the whole bottle.

For something so natural how the hell can a bottle be better than the real thing? How can she latch so well to a bottle/teat and not a nipple?

I feel guilty. I hate it but after expressing for so long for lufflump and not for sesame, I can't help it. I'm trying not to feel guilty. I know I wouldn't be able to express full time for sesame as I don't have the luxury of time I had with lufflump. I am expressing one or two times a day (120mls each time) but she downs that so quickly and still needs formula straight afterwards. I can't keep up. Now I'm also bleeding each time I express which never happened with lufflump. I'm over the pain.

I see her crying, frustrated, desperate face grasping for a feed and I see her contented, happy, sleeping face after a satisfying feed. The first while breastfeeding and the second after a bottle. I know what I prefer; my happy baby, my happy family.
Have your breastfeeding journeys be successful?
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Life With Four

I knew life would change when sesame arrived. I was scared. I didn't know if I would or could love her as much as I do lufflump. I didn't know if I could share my time between both of them fairly. I'm still scared, I still don't know if I can fairly share my time with them. I do know that I love her as much as her brother. Unconditional love, it's amazing!
Comfortable? No.
When sesame was born (on a Wednesday) lufflump stayed down the coast at my mum's house. They came back every day for a visit. In fact lufflump went to daycare the Thursday and Friday while my mum stayed with us for the day. It meant that I didn't have to worry about settling in with a newborn again AND a toddler while the mister was at work. My dad and the mister's mum actually came over the Wednesday night to help in any way they could which was more than lovely. Our support system is brilliant, we are so fortunate.

Friday night sesame and I joined lufflump at mum's house as the mister worked a double shift. It was such a big help plus mum has air-con so we all lavished in that. Early Saturday morning lufflump jumped into bed with sesame and me and he was hot. That day we got a doctor out who told us that he had Parvo disease. He suggested that we separate the two kids so that sesame doesn't get it. Mum made some phone calls to her doctor friends and it was decided that we would keep them in the same house but as separate as possible. Sesame never got sick.

The mister came down late Saturday night to help with lufflump. That boy will only take medication from his daddy and they are best friends straight after whereas with me it's on and I'm his worst enemy for hours. Sunday we decided to go home early in the day. Lufflump decided to have a massive tantrum and sesame decided she was hungry as soon as we got in the car. Oh my goodness, it was definitely a 'why do we have two kids?' moment. In fact that night was pretty rough for little miss sesame. Lufflump slept all day and night so he was ok.
Hard not to love these two!
The mister's mum came over on the Monday night to help out again as the mister had to work and lufflump was still sick. We all headed to bed early though which helped my confidence for finally being home alone with both kids. That happened the next night and was fine. We'd all been to the doctors that day, lufflump for his illness, sesame for her check up and me for mastitis. Thank goodness we are all healthy again!

Nights are easy, it's the mornings that kill me. When the mister and I are still drowsy and wishing we were asleep both lufflump and sesame are ready to tackle the world. It's a struggle especially as the mister works nights so needs a bit more sleep than I do. It's a work in progress definitely. Actually, it all is a big work in progress. Parenting that is.

Lufflump has been wonderful with sesame, he's so gentle. The only problem I've had is him almost smothering her with his cuddles. He loves her ears and her feet. They've held hands in their sleep which is beyond adorable. If she cries he puts a hand on her to comfort her saying 'shhh'. My heart shines when he says goodbye and hello to her before me though, he really loves her. When the doctor took her away to be weighed, he was so upset and wanted her to come back, so sweet! While he's been lovely to her, he has had a few solid tantrums over what appears to be nothing. Frustrating to say the least.
Lufflump loves sesame
Sesame had a day and night where she slept in five hour bulks. Oh it was bliss! Apart from the mastitis though. If only it had lasted. She went from that to sleeping wonderfully all day and night UNTIL 12am where she would scream until 5am where she would sleep and feed wonderfully again. It would be fine if we didn't have a toddler to worry about and if the mister didn't get home from work at 12am. I'll be going into more details with my post tomorrow which I'll link here once it's live.

As sesame sleeps well during the day and early night I can spend valuable time with lufflump. We play, watch movies, spend time outside, eat together and play games. I have more energy than I've had in a long time which he's benefiting from. The house is also benefiting from my energy levels. Forget nesting during pregnancy, I nest after birth. It's lucky too as we have an inspection in a couple of weeks.
This swing is so helpful!
So far so good. Times have been and are tough but the good definitely out ways the bad. All I have to do is look at my babies' faces and know that all will be ok.
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Happy Monday

Image by me

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Simplify Your Life Week Nine #syl12

Ok time to catch up on the Simplify Your Life challenge.  I apologise in advance for the bombardment of these posts as I catch up. I'm quite behind as I had a break from this during my blog break too.

For week nine's challenge Deb is asking that we go easier on ourselves. I know I'm a few weeks behind but this challenge is perfect for me right now. Maybe there is a reason I'm behind so much. 
Milk monster!
Sesame is mainly being formula fed with only one or two breast milk feeds a day.

I'm beating myself up for it. Big time. That requires a whole post though. I know what's important and that is my baby being fed BUT I am struggling to let it go. 

I know why I persevered in expressing for lufflump; prevent allergies and asthma while giving his immunity a boost. I have so many worries for sesame. Will she have bad allergies, will she get asthma and will she be sick more often because I didn't exclusively breastfeed for at least six months?

All these worries eat away at me. The guilt and disappointment invades my dreams.

I need to go easier on myself. 

Sesame may get allergies, asthma and have bad immunity regardless of whether she is formula or breast fed. Formula is so good these days too. She drinks more than I ever imagined (200ml breast milk or 120ml formula each feed) and is much more content on formula (not crying for 15 - 45mins each feed). 

She is happy, thriving, drinking and that's what is important. 

The mister is ok with how she's being fed, in fact he is beyond happy she's not crying almost hourly. I am too. I have to grieve and let go. Breastfeeding is harder than hard. She's still getting breast milk and she's still being fed, comp feeding is not wrong. Formula is not wrong or bad, it's not ideal but it's not the end of the world.

I have not failed my daughter. I am doing what is best for her right now. 
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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Simplify Your Life Week Eight #syl12


Ok time to catch up on the Simplify Your Life challenge.  I apologise in advance for the bombardment of these posts as I catch up. I'm quite behind as I had a break from this during my blog break too.

Week eight is all about happiness. Happiness to me means many things such as a clean house, shopping and seeing my family happy. Unsurprisingly unhappiness also means many things such as a messy house, crappy finances and seeing my family unhappy. There are days where I am grateful for everything and could burst with happiness then there are days where it's all too hard and I want to crawl under the blankets until it ends.

Around 34 weeks pregnant I, slowly and under doctors guidance, stopped taking my anti-anxiety tablets. The plan was always to start taking them again the day after I gave birth. Over two weeks later and I still haven't started taking them. I know prevention instead of intervention, trust me after working in mental health I know. I'm hesitate though. I want to do it on my own, I want to try to beat this anxiety myself. I know it's around now so maybe, just maybe I can do more to prevent it myself. Mind you I have them ready to take at the drop of a hat. I'm making sure to check in with my emotions during the day, being aware of them and what is causing happiness, sadness, stress, anger etc. It seems to be helping. I do have bad days but usually after a nap and feed I'm a lot happier.
Lufflump's favourite playground activity
I have a large happy list, as do many people I'm sure. I won't list all of them just a few which I try and do daily to brighten my mood;
  • Read - If I'm not reading blogs I'll usually be on my Kindle app reading free books from Pixel of Ink. A big thanks to Deb for linking me up with them.
  • Blog - I find that if I don't do something with the blog daily I regret it. It's so rewarding that pushing myself is worth it.
  • Cuddle - Cuddles can make a bad mood disappear. I make sure I thank lufflump, sesame and the mister for at least one thing each day, appreciate them.
  • Shower - Simple but when not feeling well or having screaming children it's not on the to do list. A quick shower makes me feel 100% better even if I do go straight back into my pjs.
If I'm in a shocker of a mood all of those things help even if just to get me to cry. Is there a better place than the shower to cry it out?  There are more like a nice cup of coffee, music, and take photos. So much can turn a sour mood sweet.

Once we are all sleeping more and in more of a routine I plan on getting up early to go for a walk. I have big plans that include getting fit and healthy by June so that will be included into the happiness list. Once I am fitter and healthier I suspect my moods will be lighter, happier. Since the mister started exercising his moods have improved immensely. I can't wait but until then I'll continue to do my daily happy list.
Do you know your happy?


Friday, March 16, 2012

Lufflump's Birth Story

Today brings us to the end of the wonderful guest posts. A big thank you to all the bloggers who were kind enough to share their stories during my blog break. I hope you enjoyed the posts as much as I did. Today, I thought I'd share lufflump's birth story. 


I wrote this when lufflump was a month old and posted it on my old, dead blog. This was the moment that changed the mister and my lives forever. The worst and best day of our life.

After a very easy pregnancy with no complications (the roughest thing was aching legs and tiredness but nothing) I didn't know what to expect with labour, I think I expected the worse as I didn't think my luck would continue to labour and birth.

I woke up at 7am on the 12th May 2009 with what felt like period pain. I called my mum who said I was in labour and to time the pain. They were coming every couple of minutes so I called the hospital who told me to call back when they were three to four minutes apart and I couldn't talk through them. I lazed around watching TV, reading and a movie.

Around 2pm I went to the toilet and had a bloody show so called the hospital. The contractions were more painful but I could still talk through them and walk around. The hospital said I could come in or wait till the contractions were closer together and more painful. I decided to go in so the mister got everything in the car for me and we headed in. On the way the contractions got more painful and closer together. I got lost when I got into the hospital (my brain was definitely not working) but made it to the pregnancy assessment area. I had a further three contractions before I was seen and kept feeling like I needed to sit on the toilet so was running between the bathroom and my labour room.

The midwife who examined me told me not to feel bad if I was only four or six centimetres dilated but was surprised when she felt I was eight or nine centimetres and his head was very close but the waters hadn't broken.

About half an hour later I was taken up to the birth suite where the contractions got more painful and closer together. I had an extreme urge to go to the toilet where I had a massive contraction with my first urge to push and my waters broke. It sounded like a massive water balloon hitting a brick wall - it was at such a force that it came out the top of the toilet bowl onto the floor.

I had some nitro gas which made me feel out of control so I stopped taking that and it was too late for any other pain relief so I was on my own. The poor mister had to watch me in pain and asked if I could be given anything to which the stupid midwife told him if he couldn’t handle it to leave. I would have killed her if she had kicked him out, stupid cow. I’m glad she left and didn’t actually deliver lufflump. I had the nicest midwife actually deliver him. I only had the gas again when the midwife had to move my cervix over his head during a contraction which was a strange feeling.

I had two and a half hours of pushing in which I only swore twice (I actually apologised once which is extremely strange as I have quite a potty mouth). I think the worse thing about labour and birth for me was being so out of control, I didn’t find it overly painful apart from the burning sensation as his head began coming out.

Lufflump’s head was on the side which made the birth more complicated and I had to have an episiotomy which I wanted at that stage because his heart rate dropped to 50bpms so I was freaking. Once his head came out he just flew out! I couldn’t believe how big he was so just stared with an extremely shocked look on my face. His head was distorted with a huge egg on one side from how he had been laying so the mister freaked a bit but it’s normal now.

He ended up being born at 7:33pm, after 12 and half hours labour with 2 hours 45 minutes of pushing, weighing 3292g and 53cms long. 

He is the best baby, hardly ever cries and loves people and cuddles. 

I am smitten.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guest Post: Mixed Gems: Are You Lost?

Sesame is here! A lovely bunch of bloggers have jumped in to help me out at this time so I don't have to worry about a newborn, a toddler AND blogging. Today, Veronica from Mixed Gems is sharing her lost story (no where near as complicated as the TV show).
Image

I came across an emotionally charged piece on Mammia.com a few months ago entitled “I don’t want to be a full-time mother anymore“. It told the story of Japanese American author, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto. In 2001, at the age of 37 and when her boys were 3 and 5, she decided to leave her marriage for six months to pursue her writing career. In that article, and an earlier piece on Salon.com entitled Why I Left My Children, she outlined how that short separation changed her. It made her realise she “never really wanted to be a mother”, that she feared being “swallowed up”, of losing herself. Her newfound sense of independence, eventually led to her divorce her husband and childhood sweetheart of 20 years and leave him as the primary caregiver of her sons.
Suffice to say, the article stirred the emotions of hundreds, maybe thousands, the world over. Some supported her; many didn’t. Some understood her reasons; many couldn’t; some wouldn’t. Some argued we’re used to men doing it, why not a woman?
My immediate reaction was, “How could she? Why have children if she didn’t want them? The poor kids! How emotionally scarring for them? How selfish of her!” Then I thought, “Maybe she just married too young. Maybe she has a warped view on what being a mother really is. Maybe she really is just self-centered.”
However, as I read further into the comments, I found myself a teensy bit softened and a tiny bit swayed by arguments and opinions from both sides. Not swayed in that I could, or would, ever do the same. More swayed to accept that each person’s story is their own and factors we may not understand can come into play. Maybe I should not be so quick to judge.
Having said that, I believe some things stand and that it is better to not have children, if you don’t want them or if you know you value your independence more. I do appreciate that the waters can become muddy, however, if you do want them, or unexpectedly find yourself pregnant, but then realise you can’t cope as a mother or parent.
There are practical solutions to help with some motherhood challenges. For example with chores, you might be able to simplify your lifestyle, get relatives to help or get a cleaner (if affordable). But I believe there is one insidious area that isn’t always easy to manage or sometimes even to identify, at least that was my experience. I’ll come back to that.
Amongst the diverse comments, one person related her own story and it specifically resonated with me. In it she describes being asked by a friend who was already a parent, “Are you lost yet?”. She answered, “Yes, how do I get back to me?” Her friend replied, “I have no idea – I’m still lost.”
For about the initial three months of my first child’s life, I went through the motions of motherhood. I wasn’t unhappy but I was definitely weary, sleep-deprived and overwhelmed trying to understand how to look after this totally dependent little person. It was the onset of winter, days were getting shorter and colder and I was indoors a lot. I was struggling to get some sort of routine or at least pattern to my days whilst struggling with a catnapper who was cranky when tired but wouldn’t sleep long enough to awake refreshed. I remember starting to feel a little low, a little claustrophobic even, especially as darkness fell. Hubby was working late and I was alone.
By nature, I’m an introvert and more of a thoughtful, pensive person. I’m can get a little more moody, or grumpy as hubby would say. I’m a “glass-is-half-empty” kind of person (though not as bad as I used to be). Initially I didn’t reflect much on how I was feeling. As the days rolled by and the feelings lingered, I started to get worried, but I dared not admit it to anyone, especially not to other mothers. Was I exhibiting some signs of post-natal depression (PND)? One day I was worried enough to say to my hubby, “I hope I’m okay.”
Not long after that, my mum called one afternoon and told me Oprah was airing an episode about mothers. I turned on the TV. The episode was entitled The Truth About Motherhood. For the first time, I saw real mothers talking about their “guilty secrets”; the things we normally daren’t say publicly for fear of being judged; the triggers for mummy guilt. This was all new to me. I’d never heard mothers talk like that before. I was riveted.
The most poignant part for me was when actress, Cheryl Hines said her “biggest adjustment” was to “accept the loss of her old self”.
BINGO!
Immediately I had a revelation. I was feeling lost! I was struggling to adjust to the loss of me, the loss of self, the loss of independence. No one had mentioned any of these concepts before I became a mum. It was all about the labour, breastfeeding and practical odds and ends. What about the emotional adjustment?
I’d have to say that moment was a turning point. I suddenly felt I understood. I understood myself.
Since that day, I’ve shared that experience and the website on numerous occasions, in the hope that if it can help another mother feel understood and not alone with her emotions, then it might help her be reassured that feeling a degree of loss as a new mother is normal, that it’s “okay”.*
For me now, my personal journey is about creating a new version of me, and living a “new normal” that has motherhood weaved into the fabric of my being. It’s no longer a loss of self but an enrichment of self driven by the fact that I want to be a better person for my girls. And I’m not doing it begrudgingly just for them or hubby, I’m doing it willingly for me too.
Was I lost? Yes! Have I found me? I’d like to think I’m well on my way.
* Note: If you are experiencing negative feelings that you cannot shake, that are debilitating and you feel you might be bordering on post-natal depression, please seek help immediately by contacting your local GP or calling:
PANDA - Post and Ante Natal Depression Inc.
Beyond Blue – The National Depression Initiative
Veronica blogs about treasured tidbits of life at Mixed Gems, which include her thoughts and experiences of life, motherhood, parenting, infertility, being “mixed” and a whole range of related and unrelated discoveries, musings, inspirations and the odd recipe thrown in for good measure. She’s also a photo challenge addict and loves creating and being inspired by images. (In her dreams, she’s a world famous photographer - shhhh!). You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and occasionally lurking about Twitter and Pinterest.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Guest Post: New Adventures In Dreamworld: Big Brother


Sesame is here! A lovely bunch of bloggers have jumped in to help me out at this time so I don't have to worry about a newborn, a toddler AND blogging. Today, Amy from New Adventures In Dreamworld is sharing her worries about how her son, Flynn, will go with being a big brother.

I have, a week or two ago, passed the first trimester mark with my 2nd pregnancy. 12 weeks down - possibly 28 weeks to go! And in that maybe 28 weeks (my first child was 2 weeks earlier than expected, so who knows?) there are 2 very important things i need to work out:
#1 - how to prepare my son for a new baby and
#2 - how to cope when he decides that he wants to send that new baby back.

Don't get me wrong - my Flynn is a good kid. He's sweet and mostly gentle (except when he's "doing wrestles" with Daddy or Poppy) and he loves babies. He might only be 2 years old himself, but he squats down next to babies and puts on a goo-goo voice to talk to them, he pulls funny faces and does silly dances to make them laugh. He's a very gentle hugger and he knows that if you're going to touch a babies hair you have to do it softly, like with a puppy (really, he said that once). He really is absolutely wonderful with our friends babies, and with my little cousin... it's just that I'm pretty sure once the baby is living at his house, sleeping in his old cot, and stealing away the majority of his mums attention he might decide that little babies are the Devil. Or worse, he might turn Devil and try his darndest to get rid of his new sibling. 
Amy and baby Flynn
Hell, I know I did. I'm the eldest in my family and my mum tells me that one afternoon when my brother was a few weeks old I stood beside the change table while she was doing his nappy and, as soon as she had her back turned, I pushed him off. Oopsy, there he goes, right off the edge. I also vividly remember, once he was old enough to toddle, pushing him in the square of the back, sending him flying onto a concrete pathway and chipping his tooth. Part of this memory involves a smack and a telling off from my Dad - it's a bit hazy as to whether my poor brother did anything to warrant a good shoving or whether I was just being a turd.

It is also well documented (almost literally) how jealous I was when my younger sister came along. I was 6 and a half by this time and, in a bid to get some attention back my way, apparently faked blurred and spotty vision. I say apparently, but I now work with the optometrist who tested my eyes back then and he actually wrote on my record card that he thought it was all in my head, and perhaps a bid for attention. Poor, poor 6 year old me...

So what am I going to do? Well, we've already started talking about babies - about how Mummy has a baby in her tummy and when the baby comes out its going to live with us. Flynn has generously told me the baby can have his bottles ("I'na big boy, i got a cup") and that he will help change the babies bottom (except if its a smelly poo - typical male...) but as yet he isn't so keen on the baby sleeping in his cot or using his bath. In a few weeks we hope to have our garage converted into a room which will become Flynn's new "big boy room" where he can have his big boy bed and all his toys, and the baby can have his old "little" room. He's already been to an ultrasound with me and I hope to be able to take him (accompanied by Grandma or, if possible, Daddy) at the 20 week scan so we can show him a picture that looks more like a baby, and maybe even tell him whether he's getting a brother or a sister. Plus, we might employ the old "here's a present from the new baby!" trick when the time comes - you know, just to foster good sibling relationships. 
Amy and Flynn late last year at Amy's wedding!
I mean, besides all that, what else can I do except cross my fingers and hope for the best?

Amy blogs over at New Adventures In Dreamworld. She's a newly married mum to Flynn and is currently baking a womb baby while starting a business with her hubby. She's one busy lady who still finds time to blog, be on Facebook and occasionally dabble on twitter.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guest Post: The Rambling Mummy: Breastfeeding Pressure

Sesame is here! A lovely bunch of bloggers have jumped in to help me out at this time so I don't have to worry about a newborn, a toddler AND blogging. Today, Beck from The Rambling Mummy is sharing her breastfeeding stories.

Breastfeeding and I weren’t great friends when I had my son. After having midwifes and lactation consultants poke, pull and prod my boobs, we came to the conclusion it just wasn’t going to work. I’ll never forget the first bottle we gave my son, it was about 2am and after about 2 hours of me and Campbell crying. Hubby disappeared and came back bottle in hand. I was devastated, I cried for quite some time more while Hubby was reassuring me that it was okay and that I tried my best. But I was still heartbroken that I couldn’t provide for my son.

After we made that decision I felt like I needed to justify it to everyone. And no matter what we were doing it was still the wrong choice. People would give me the death stare at shopping centres when I went to heat a bottle. The same death stares I had gotten for feeding in public. I just couldn’t win.

This time was quite nervous about feeding, a lot of thoughts played in my mind, ones that I wish I didn’t have.

Would it work this time?

Would I have enough milk?

Would I be able to latch her correctly?

What were people going to think this time around?

What was everyone going to say?

I felt so much pressure to get it right this time and I hate that I felt this way, but I felt like I had to please everyone. So many people wanted to put their opinion forward, some were great and very supportive – others were pushy and made me feel so much worse for not being a successful breast feeder for my son and made me doubt my ability to do it this time.

I’m lucky, Charli is a champion feeder, it’s like she has been doing it her whole life (well she has when I think about it). She and I just work well together. We have had a crazy moment where I have milk going everywhere or she is gulping it down as quickly as she can but manages to make it come out her nose. But that is okay. This time I know that we will have an off day every now and then.
It isn’t going to be a success every day. It doesn’t matter if you breast feed for 3 weeks, 6 months or longer, Good on you! It is your choice how you wish to provide for your child. I just hope that you won’t feel like me and will do whatever feels right for you and your baby.

Beck is a mummy, a wife, a blogger and a part time worker. She blogs at The Rambling Mummy about everyday life. Wife to Ryan and a Mummy to 2 beautiful kids. She is yet to find the right balancing act for everything but loves writing about it along the way. You can also find Beck on Facebook, Twitter.

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