Raising Will


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Think Again Mama: A Letter to Myself

Dear me,

I see November 2013 is rolling around and you are getting that itch. That hankering for the ovary-tingling smell. That uncontrollable urge to hold ALL the babies. That sly glance at assorted newborn-sized cuteness. That desire for an uncomplicated little bundle who’s needs are so simple. That thought of proferring your uterus to a wriggly tenant on a nine month lease…..

STOP!

Stop right there Missy!

I give you Exhibit A:

Screamy Baby

Screamy Baby

And Exhibit B:

Tantrumming Toddler

Tantrumming Toddler

And through your newborn-coloured glasses you may not remember the following:

1. At least four weeks of house-bound pain and invalid-ness;

2. Two hours of sleep a night if you’re lucky;

3. Boobs the size and weight of the bag full of nappies you have to lug out to the bin every three hours;

4. Being tethered to a little person who demands you frequently otherwise SCREAMY happens;

5. Always being 30mins late…. ALWAYS;

6. Waving to the wine bottle as it passes;

7. Fashion dictated by whether or not you can get your boobs out quick enough;

8. Unless you want it stretched, broken or eaten – no fancy-schmancy jewellery;

9. Only taking a purse, phone and glasses for yourself in a 45kg bag of crap for everyone else;

10. Getting. Nothing. Done;

11. Stubbing your toe on various tractor-related sharp and pointy things;

12. Never going to the toilet alone….. EVER;

13. Having absolutely no idea whats wrong with the writhing screaming bundle in your arms;

14. Tantrums because the top fell off a sandwich or the juice is in the wrong cup;

15. Being drooled, spewed, weed and pooed on all within 3 minutes;

16. Wearing the drool-spew-wee-poo clothes for four days because the washing machine is running overtime washing kidlet clothes;

17.  Killer back-ache from leaning over the bath/cot/couch/floor/car and under the bath/cot/couch/floor/car – yes! Under the bath!

18. More Peppa Pig, Wiggles, Play School and Pingu than any sane, normal person should have to handle;

19. Always… ALWAYS being required to share half your meal;

20. And NINE MONTHS of feeling like a hungry whale that somebody perched atop two tree stumps and sent off in a V8 Supercar to drive up and down from Bright to Falls Creek at 80km/hr.

Yep! ALLLLLL that!

No –  I don’t want to see……

I said don’t show me!………..

Nooooooooooooo!

Can't handle the cute...

Can’t handle the cute…

Ah crap….. As you were.


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Announcing the Arrival of…

Well, it’s been a whirlwind 4 weeks and I’ve finally been able to find some time to sit down at the computer! On Aug 1 at 12.06am, we welcomed our #2 ball of love into the world via Caesarean Section after 19 hours of posterior labour.

Hubby and I are very pleased to announce the arrival of…

Xavier Thomas
3692 grams (8″ 2′)
Length: 52cm
Head Circumference: 38cm

Introducing Xavier

Xavier Thomas – Cuddles With Mum

I will one day write a post about his not so awesome entry into the world, but it’s all still a bit too raw for me to write about yet – so that will come later down the track.

Xav is an angel baby and is feeding like a dream – and if you remember reading about Will’s breastfeeding complications you will know how much of a luxury it is for me to have a baby that just latches and away he goes! He is thriving and at his 4 week check it became apparent that his giant head (which I totally blame for the caesarean) was even GIANTER again! The equivalent of the average 4 month old boy to be exact!

Brothers - Will and Xavier

Brothers – Will and Xavier

I’m very slowly adjusting to life with two little boys (and one big boy) – it’s a hard slog full of complete chaos and unpredictability – but it gets better every day, just as I get better every day as I recover from the c-section.

Anyway – I look forward to sharing Xav’s milestones here as he grows alongside his big brother Will (who is proudly sporting a ripping case of the terrible twos!).

And hopefully, blogging becomes a bigger part of my life again in the very near future – Lord knows I miss the therapy! Ha!


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Where’s the Milk MUM!: Part 2

For all you yummy mummies out there after the recipe I promised… first things first: Check out Raising Will’s Lactation Cookies! They’re like Anzac Biscuits for your boobs!

Secondly, wanted to update you all on last night’s effort to get Will sleeping again and not feeding non-stop. He had a good day yesterday, finally feeding semi-properly, so I was hoping last night would go off without a hitch.

Will’s Dad was under instruction to feed Will a bottle of water if he woke between 12am-3am, becasue if Will saw Mum, he was going to scream for boobies. At 2.30am, turned out, he screamed anyway. For an hour! Apparently the bottle is Voldemort’s evil twin and Will is Harry Potter… Arch Nemisises! So after deciding a sippy-cup of water would work better (which it did), Will finally got back to bed, whimpered to himself for 20 minutes and went to sleep – UNTIL 7.30AM!!!! Woot Woot **do a little happy dance** Normally I would expect him to wake at 5.00am in the case above.

So I hit today running faster than normal, spending it with my Mum, discovering a very elegant dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding, and topping it off with a fantastic Tupperware party at a friend’s place. Nothing like a bit of control to feel like you’ve got your life back!

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding - Back on Track!


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Where’s the milk MUM!

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with young Will since we got back from Tassie. Not only did he get sick, he’s decided that he would rather feed through the night than during the day. When the sun was up there was tears and screaming and pulling and biting. Booooo I hear you all say! That’s right folks, three hourly feeds overnight do not a happy mummy make! Went to see our Maternal Child Health Nurse this morning and when I walked in her first comment was “Well Michelle, What’s up with you…? You look EXHAUSTED!”…. thank you Captain Obvious! I was exhausted. The night feeds were really taking it out of me.

We came up with the theory that Will had decided night-time was the best time to feed because he had my undivided attention; no distractions. So our plan is to feed in a ‘night-time-like’ scenario i.e. dark room, no noise, no distractions. So far, since this morning’s visit, it’s worked a treat. Will’s had three semi-fantastic feeds. We also decided this morning that my milk supply was running low; probably from a combination lack of sleep, stress from Will’s virus, and Will’s hap-hazard feeding. So I was sent on a mission to get some Weleda Tea. Now, I love Black Tea, but don’t like most herbal tea, so I wasn’t 100% keen on the idea. I had however read online somewhere about Lactation Cookies, so I vowed I’d make some of them and see how we go…

I found a recipe and went to my local Health Food shop and picked up some Linseed Meal, Brewer’s Yeast & Fenugreek Seed. And after Will went to bed, I started whipping them up!

Adding the Linseed Meal

Adding the Linseed Meal

Mixing it all up

Mixing it all up

Shaping the biscuit mixture

Shaping the biscuit mixture

The finished Cookies

The finished Cookies

Now it’s getting late so I’ll pop the recipe up tomorrow night for all you ladies out there looking to increase your liquid Gold! Also a fantastic gift to send into hospital for new mummies! I know I would’ve LOVED a box of these when I was in hospital. And just for the record, I’ve taste tested them and well, let’s just say I’ve taste tested them three times…. Yum yum yum…

**Check out the recipe for Raising Will’s Lactation Cookies right here!


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Motherhood: The good, the bad and the ugly!

Just wanted to say that as good as Motherhood can be, at times it can be bad and certainly ugly…

With my little man over his virus, I take stock of myself after my germ duelling and realise that I’ve become the walking dead (and not for the first time). The toll motherhood takes on your body is extraordinary and I wanted to pay tribute to what Mummies go through; the hard stuff that lurks beneath; the physical and the mental. Behold – the bad and the ugly…

One: No sleep. I’ve covered this topic before. Now that Will has decided to feed three hourly through the deepest part of the night, I have next to none. Add to that all the thinking my brain decides that it HAS to do between 12am and 6am and vwhah-LAH! I present exhibit zombie!

Two: Dinner dates. Ba ha ha ha ha ha. Almost as common as leg shaving. In fact they probably accompany each other in their rareness.

Three: Guilt. There’s something you like doing for yourself, then you find yourself doing it when you should be doing something for your child. Enter guilt and the subsequent guilt you feel when you do it again. Example. Get out of shower and hear Will crying (he had been asleep). Proceed to blow dry and straighten hair anyway whilst Will cries his eyes out for attention. Oh so guilty.

Four: Bad Hair. I haven’t been to the hairdressers for six months. Enough said. 

Five: Biscuits. I have already eaten too many half eaten biscuits. Will’s only 9 1/2 months old. Sigh

Six: House arrest. Breast feeding is fantastic – but it ties me to home. Rarely can I do things out-of-town (or even in town sometimes) without my little guy needing to tag along and that’s not always practical.

Seven: Simplicity? What’s that? I’m all about chaos at the moment. Semi-organised chaos sometimes, but mostly just plain crazy chaos. **Shout-out to a cracker of a blog – Common Chaos Chronicle. If I think one kid is bad… Jac’s got SIX OF THEM!!!**

Eight: Chocolate consumption. Proportionate to levels of guilt experienced. Unbelievably bad….

Nine: Exhibitionism. Only a mum could feel at ease with whipping a boob out in the middle of a shopping centre. Well, a mum and a stripper. Hmmmm…

Ten: Clean carpet. Our carpet has begun to resemble a leopard. A blue and slightly-lighter-blue one. Who would’ve thought a spewy baby could be such a post-impressionist!

If only I knew what he was thinking: Will works on his mischeif!

If only I knew what he was thinking: Will works on his mischief!

Baby Bump


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When the bubble bursts: Heading back to work after Maternity Leave…

At some stage throughout most pregnancies, maternity leave will enter a mother-to-be’s life. Some women love the break and never return to work. Some women, amongst other reasons, hate feeling isolated from the adult world and return to work as soon as possible. Some families can’t afford for mum not to work. Some families can’t afford the childcare. No matter what your situation is, maternity leave calls for big decisions. And in the last week I’ve been faced with several.

I have been one of those mum’s that has revelled in the maternity leave bubble. That 12 months where I can just ‘be’ with my little man and maintain the house (even if it becomes sporadic maintenance at times), build relationships with other mothers, attend to my baby’s and my own health needs, planning a holiday to Tassie, all without the worry as to how it affects my work. I was floating in my bubble above the ocean of happy families.

Now anyone that knows me and my husband, will know that we are desperate to buy a house. Seven years of renting with a revolving door of noisy neighbours is wearing as thin as the wall adjoining our unit to theirs. Chatting with our bank when I first began maternity leave we came to the conclusion that a home loan would probably not be comfortable for us until I returned to work and we were happy with that plan.  We’d wait a few months after I went back to work and start looking for a house around Dec 2011, whilst save save saving in the meantime.

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Will & Mum


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Breastfeeding – not for the faint hearted… Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the saga that became my 4 month-long entry into breastfeeding. I left you yesterday at the point where a lump had appeared in my left breast.

Any breastfeeding mum will know that your breasts will feel funny and lumpy sometimes, but this was different. This lump was hard, like a golf ball and would not shrink once I had fed. I began to get really concerned and called my GP immediately to book an appointment.

With a quick examination, my doctor believed it to be a cyst as I had no pain or redness but he sent me for an ultrasound that afternoon just to be sure. At the ultrasound, my sonographer was pretty certain she was looking at an abscess, not a cyst. My lymph nodes were swollen hinting at an infection and sure enough, upon my visit to my GP again the next day he declared that an abscess was the culprit. It had most likely resulted from the touch of mastitis I had when I first came home from hospital. We both commented on how odd it was for me to have no tenderness or redness, but he put me on antibiotics and sent me home with instructions to come back in a week to see if the abscess has receded.

The day after my GP appointment (Saturday), my breast started to become uncomfortable to feed from. Then it became very uncomfortable. Then it went red. And by Sunday, I was in tears of agony and the only thing that made it less worse was to grit my teeth and have Will feed from the afflicted breast. My God, I had never been in so much pain. I called the GP immediately on Monday morning and went in to see him right away. The abscess infection had most likely spread to the rest of my breast and it would need to be drained. So, off to hospital I went.

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Shhhh.... baby sleeping!


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Breastfeeding – not for the faint hearted… Part 2

So, continuing on from yesterday’s post, (and remember boys – you’ve been warned, this post contains secret lady business) I‘d left hospital with a baby drinking expressed breast milk (EBM) from a bottle. I was under strict instruction to try him at the breast as often as possible.  He would catch on soon enough.

We got home and hubby was sent to Kmart at 8.45pm to buy bottles as during the day we had come to realise that two was just not gonna cut it. And so began my sleep deprivation. Not only was I waking to a baby that wanted a feed every three hours (and let it be said that hubby was a great help for the first three weeks whilst he was at home on leave…), Will had to be put to sleep in my arms – he would not go to sleep himself – and then I had to express to keep up enough supply for the little man to drink.

Three days after coming home I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. My boobs were so sore, my nipples were excruciating, my head hurt, my eyes were gritty, and I felt ill. I resented that gorgeous little thing that had done this to me and I hated the world. I was thinking, as hubby SENT me to bed, that I probably now had mastitis. The next day though, after having significant help that night with feeds (thanks hubster), I woke up refreshed, albeit still a little sore and I thought nothing more of the day from hell that had been yesterday.

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Mother & Son: My first hours with my little man...


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Breastfeeding – not for the faint hearted… Part 1

Becoming a mother is the most natural thing in the world right? The labour is the hard part right? On their entry into the world, all babys will plug themselves to your chest and away you go right?…… Wrong!

With so many late nights pouring over the internet for advice, answers and stories of women that had experienced anything similar to myself, the least I can do for those mums struggling out there is to add my story to the mix and hope it helps someone in the way some of the stories I read helped me.

The road that leads to motherhood becomes unbelivably rough at the end of your pregnancy. I’m not going to sugar-coat it. I thought I was prepared for what I would experience after I gave birth and to some degree I was, but no one told me that what was to follow would be the hardest four months of my life. I’m sure most mother’s will agree that even if you have it easy, it’s hard! The topic that causes so much angst for mothers, both old and new, is breastfeeding. After pushing through my own extremely difficult slog (which I’ll discuss in a moment), I’ve come out the other side still breastfeeding my little boy, but I can certainly understand why many women choose not to continue or are forced to stop.

**Note for the boys reading this post, consider yourself warned – it’s going to get a little rough….

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