A Letter to My Daughter

Ok time to rip off the band aid so to speak….

Anyone that read my last blog would know I committed to writing this promise/letter to myself and Addy today so here goes.

Dear Addison

Your Dad and I waited for you for what seems a lifetime. 13 years of waiting to complete our little family. It was hard, I was already an emotional eater before that but it got worse as the years progressed. Me failing to fall pregnant was another reason to hate my own body. But my darling girl I know now that this body is the only one I have, I have to stop punishing it for things that were outside it’s control. So here we are, you and I are strong, independent females, you are already showing this side of your personality at only 8 months old. We have to learn to respect and trust and honour our bodies as they deserve and my promise to you is that I will be there beside you learning to do this too. For too many years I have been scared to try and accept, like or even love myself, believing that if I did I would stop trying to lose weight. I know now that I have to stop chasing numbers on the scale and instead chase health and happiness. Losing weight would ultimately be a by product of that but it should not be the sole focus. I want to be healthy and happy to live a long and fulfilled life with you and your Dad. Filling our days with wonder and joy at all the miracles that this world contains.

To do this I need to let go of some things first and learn to move forward without always looking backwards. I will stop blaming and hating my body for you being born early, it was not within its control. The only risk factor that led to my placental abruption was my age, yet I keep, in my head, telling myself it was because I was too fat. This is not true at all. Instead I will now change this thinking and just know that you just wanted to come and join us ASAP, I mean we had been waiting 13 years. Who knows maybe you have inherited being compulsively early from me 😂. Deep down I know that there is nothing I could have done to prevent your Arterial Blockage in your brain and I will keep remembering this and not find ways to warp the truth and hate on my body some more. I am so thankful to my body that it finally was able to fall pregnant with you and I need to cherish that and embrace that maybe the universe has a plan and that now was the right time for you and that is why we had to wait so long.

I promise to learn to love myself. This will be a hard one but one that I will strive to continue working towards every day. I will try and see myself through your eyes, the joy and happiness that is reflected in your face when I walk in to the room has me miffed at times but brings me such joy too. Your innocent eyes (I feel a Delta Goodrem song in there somewhere) don’t see a fat, ugly person, they just see your mum who you clearly love, judging by the excitement you show every time. I too will try to stop just seeing the fat, ugly person I perceive and instead just see me, someone who has a clever, sassy, cheeky and wonderful daughter.

I promise to raise you to be respectful of your own body, to show you that acceptance and love is the way. Our focus will be happiness and health, no numbers, no scales, no judgement. We will have positive self images and feel good. I want a long long time with you my gorgeous girl I waited too long to waste a minute of it with hatred, regret and sorrow anymore.

I look forward to all the adventures that await us and can’t wait to see you blossom in to the creative, clever, thoughtful, kind, loving person you are already appearing to be.

Love you my darling, your Mum and best friend. 😘

Shed your Shit & Happy Mothers Day

Almost another month between my musings…oh well you know, baby = not much time! As I sit here on my first ever Mothers Day enjoying my breakfast and cup of tea….prepared by me but thats just because I get up when the sparrows fart…or the baby stirs lol and shes now back snoring with her dad and it gives me some ME time…which lets face it with an 8 month old is a present in itself, I digress…..So yes I sit here cup of tea in hand on my first Mother’s Day remembering that only 18 months ago i was at the point where I thought I would only ever experience this day as a daughter and never as a mother myself. Look at us now…this beautiful little soul has entered our world, turned it topsy turvey and given me the greatest gift of all, the opportunity to watch her and help her thrive and grow for the rest of my life.

It makes me quite reflective today and I’m having all the feels and all the emotions. This little cutie is jam packed full of personality, cheekiness, cuteness and sass, we are truly blessed that she chose us as her parents…I am thankful. It also scares the crap out of me, I don’t want to fuck this up, I want to create the BEST life for her, with all the opportunities in the world, help her become the best version of herself and achieve anything she sets her heart on. But at times I feel like I’m getting in the way of my own desires here. The crap and negative self talk that goes on in my head is something I NEVER want her to observe or for her to feel for herself. I have realised I need to change this now, I have a short window of time whilst she is this little to change me and my thinking so I don’t pass any of it on to her. I want her life to be different from mine, I want her to love herself completely no matter what and be able to fill her cup intrinsically. And in order for her to do that she needs a role model that doesn’t just talk the talk but walks it too. But how to achieve this? That will be a developing story.

At around the start of March when we were doing the Glengarry Parenting program I stumbled across Heidi Anderson’s Shed Your Shit advertisement. I had been following her for a little while after Hubby got me on to her podcast and insta, he’d been following throughout her pregnancy and thought I should follow too. Anyway I read about this workshop and read Heidi’s background and on the spur of the moment I signed up. Then instantly regretted it, I mean what was I thinking I know I’m an over sharer here but thats behind a keyboard and no one can look at me whilst I’m purging my thoughts out of my head. I knew that being a ‘workshop’ I’d likely get opportunities to share too and I wasn’t sure how I felt about that given it would be in person, but I sucked it up and the ticket was purchased.

Of course in the meantime The Rona has changed things and this meant the workshop was going to be via Zoom! Shit, Fuck, Balls I am already dealing with having my Psychologist appointments via video link and the anxiety and stress it causes me seeing all my double chins on video whilst I’m talking to someone….the amount of time I spend trying to set up my IPad for the perfect angle to try and reduce the amount of chins visible is probably not something I should let anyone know. This was going to be god knows how many people – the anxiety was super real. When the email came out about the change of format and our options around whether we wanted to get a refund or not I seriously considered asking for the refund and to be honest the only reason I didn’t was that I felt bad, this was a source of income for someone and with all the detrimental impacts of good ole Rona I would hate to ask for money back from someone who was providing a service during these testing times. Hell I could write the money off and just not go if the anxiety got too much.

So last night rocks around, its the night of the workshop. I had a big plan all ready with John as it was going to be on at 5.30-8pm right crossing Addys dinner, bath, boob, bottle, bed routine which had always been done by me at the moment. John had instructions on her dinner, that he could bring her in if she needed some boob or just wanted mummy for a bit, she has been a bit of a mummy’s girl of late, and we were just going to push out her final breastfeed and bed till 8pm rather than the normal 7pm. I told him I needed the hour before 5.30pm as well to like make myself sorta decent, maybe put some make up on and shit like that. But is was also to try and get the best angle on the iPad too….this didn’t happen too well there were still multiple chins!

Anyways I ended up feeling the fear and doing it anyways, which has always been my motto at work but something I find hard in my personal life, and I loved it. It was awesome hearing others stories and some of their self talk and I have found it super aligned to what I have been working on with my Psych so I sorta can’t wait to chat to her about it on Thursday to help us build on what we have been working on. In a nutshell, for me, it was about shedding the negative self talk that goes on in my head. The blame, shame, embarrassment, hurt and basically all round shit show that is my mental self talk about how much I hate myself and my body. About me not being good enough, or me being too fat, too ugly, not liking anything about myself. These are all things I never want my daughter to feel. I need to get rid of the blame I feel that Addy was born early, always thinking there must have been something I could have done differently. I need to throw away the thoughts that something I did caused her brain to throw that clot and block one of her arteries in her brain. Trash the negative self talk about how I’m not worthy of anything good because of my size. It’s going to take some time, it’s not going to happen overnight but it will happen, it has to for Addy’s sake not just mine. She deserves better and she deserves to have a role model that is positive and proud to be a strong, independent woman, regardless of size.

Right….ummmm……now where to from here, how do I start this? I know I need to change the stories I keep telling myself but after 40 odd years of negative self talk it’s hard to say something nice to yourself. First I think i will try and jump on and write each night, even if its just a sentence about 1 thing I did that day to change the narrative. I need to realise that I can say nice things to myself and accept myself but still make healthy changes, and yes my logical brain can acknowledge that and write it but my emotional brain never follows through….now is the time to make it follow through.

During the workshop we worked on our Promise to ourselves, so my first step is to refine this a bit, I want it to be something I can look back on and have it reinvigorate what I am trying to do. That, my friends, will be something I will come back tomorrow and write about and share…I am committing to that, once Addy’s in bed for the night I will write my promise. I am going to say one nice thing to myself every day, I may not believe it at first but eventually this should change. The buck stops here and change has to happen, there is no middle ground.

I think I really need to embrace mindfulness more and continue with meditation. But I also need to practice mindfulness in all things and really think about what brings me joy. For instance if I am mindfully eating then getting healthier and losing weight would be a by product of that because when I think about it bingeing and eating crap does not bring me joy, even in the moment I don’t really enjoy it and I need to remember these things and eat mindfully. I need to chase the things that do bring me joy, the health benefits will follow. Fuck….I just need to do it and stop procrastinating.

So time to start and get on with it. Today I will start with my brain, thats and easier start, I’m still struggling with what positive self talk I can implement in relation to my body so today it’s my brain.

Brain, you’re pretty awesome how you can write and put things in perspective, I’m thankful that you are as clued on as you are that I can conduct this self analysis and write it all down in a (usually) comprehensive way! I am smart and I can write well.

A photo with all the chins.

I thought I’d add this photo in as its one that I don’t particularly like, I’m not going to use the H word, we are removing that from my vocabulary for a time. But today I’m going to like this picture as it is a beautiful moment with my daughter feeding and her current practice of patting my face all over. I was having a laugh recently with someone that it almost feels like shes trying to perform an exorcism and going ‘devil be gone’….either that or blessing me hahaha.

I realised that I haven’t updated on what’s been going on….it has been a weird time since I last wrote. My last blog was when I was still in the Mothers and Bubs unit at KEMH. I was discharged on the 16th April, on the 17th John couldn’t breathe very well and as we were sitting down to dinner he asked to be taken to the hospital – which never happens, you know men don’t even like the doctors. Mum rushed up to our place to keep an eye on Addy and I rushed him off to emergency. We were triaged outside and from a distance. His oxygen levels were very low and he had a temp so he was rushed off in a wheelchair to the Covid side of the emergency section which meant I wasn’t even allowed in the hospital. I waited outside for updates from the nurse and he was admitted and put on oxygen with all manner of tests being performed. He was in there for 4 nights in the end and diagnosed with Pneumonia, covid was ruled out on multiple tests. After 4 nights when he was finally able to come off oxygen he came home. Well he didn’t really get a whole heap better and ended up back in there last Monday for 3 nights. They were determined to find out what was going on. It appears in the end that the antibiotics for the pneumonia hadn’t gone on long enough so he had more of them and they have also diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis in his lungs which is causing the ongoing shortness of breath. So back to his old rheumatologist he will need to go. It really has been a shit show of a time….my b’day happened in amongst his first hospital visit too….but we are on the up side of it now with him home and feeling a lot better. Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot of recovering to do and he needs to take things slowly so as not to wear out or get too breathless but he’s feeling better than he was.

Anyways I won’t go in to all the feels behind that shit show at the moment as I have waffled on long enough, my cup of tea is finished and there is a little cutie pie calling out to me….ok when I say calling there is no actual Mum’s yet, no matter how hard her Dad was trying to get her to learn Mum last night lol! But there is some chatting and the occasional yell coming from the cot….time to gear up for the mothering duties.

Happy Mother’s Day to all. I know this is a hard day for fellow infertility sufferers I was there feeling that sadness and disappointment with you not too long ago. I wish you all some joy in some form today, embrace your fur babies and no motherhood comes in all shapes and forms and I hope that this coming year brings you your dreams of motherhood in whatever shape or form that may be.

In honour of Mothers Day I do have to add the obligatory baby spam #sorrynotsorry

Let’s get real

I’ve been contemplating how to write, or if to even write, about some stuff for about 2 months now and I’m still not sure how to go about it or where to start. So here goes nothing…….

Post Natal Depression and Anxiety…let’s talk about it shall we….This was not something I ever expected to experience and I am probably still in a little bit of disbelief that I am experiencing it to be honest. I wasn’t sure at first that, that’s what I was going through, I knew that I felt some trauma associated with Addy’s birth and that there were things about it that I could not let go of but probably needed to. However I did not think that it was depression or anxiety as such until recently. The reason I have not wanted to write about any of this has been that there was a deep seeded feeling of shame associated with the feelings and reactions I was having. I felt ashamed that I was feeling this way and having reactions to Addy that I was having because you know this was the miracle bub that I had been waiting for, for 13 years and so I should be swinging from the rafters happy….right?

It began manifesting itself through me fixating on things for example her development and if it was affected by her brain injury, or her sleep and how much she was or wasn’t getting and how that was subsequently impacting her neural plasticity and bedding down the neural pathways we were trying to replace due to said brain injury. Sleep was a huge one for me as Addy had always slept through the night but was not one to nap during the day but all of a sudden it was a problem to me I NEEDED her to nap during the day as I thought she needed it to bed down those new neural pathways and I also needed a break and that is where a small part of the shame crept in, I should want to spend all my time with this gorgeous little creature right?? After all I’d wanted her and waited for her for so long that I should be wanting to spend 24/7 with her….or that is what my mind was telling me and therefore my feelings of needing a little down time for just me when she was napping was wrong and something to be ashamed of not admitted to. I was getting angry when trying to settle her and she was feeling that energy and then I’d feel guilty and sick to my stomach that I could possibly even feel anger around this cute little human and that was all a vicious cycle that would repeat every night when trying to settle her to sleep. She’d lay there looking so cute chatting away to me (when she should be sleeping) and I’d be getting cross and thinking don’t you know you need this sleep, just go the fuck to sleep already. I then started to get really anxious about everything from not being able to hear her breathing when sleeping to not wanting to try her on any foods other than purées for fear of her choking. I was spending too much of my time and energy worrying, anxious, angry or sad. Not only that it was bringing up feelings of hatred for myself and my body. I hate the way I look and I don’t want Addy to be embarrassed by her mum when she’s older, I feel like I have a finite timeframe in which I can make changes to my body before she becomes aware that she has a fat mum and becomes ashamed of me. This was just building on my already ever growing level of hatred for my body and my body image. I also blamed my obesity for things like her being born early or me getting cranky with her not sleeping because I couldn’t stand in the static position patting and shushing her to sleep. All these things were making me miserable and culminated in me breaking down to the child health nurse on the phone one day when all I’d rung for was to find out how to get her weighed during all the Covid lockdown stuff.

On the day that I broke down to the health nurse she was a great support and immediately got on to the Psychologist I’d had contact with at the hospital where Addy was born. I must admit though some of those conversations on those few days where you are asked if your child is at risk of harm from yourself is horrible. But in the end it has resulted in me seeking some assistance to deal with the birth trauma and all the feelings I’m having since then that I’m finding it hard to deal with. I have checked Addy and myself in to a mothers and babies psychiatric unit and we have been here a week now. It has been really helpful especially around her sleeping, I am not fixating on it anymore and we are just sorta rolling with the punches, if she has 1, 2, or 3 naps we make it work and are instead focussing on spending time together and doing things to help her development.

A big thing for me that has impacted is my feelings that I abandoned her between her being born and when I finally got to meet her. Part of what we have done in here is go through a medical debrief of her birth so I could get the timeline straight in my head and I now know for certain that she was born at 1.03am and I first got to meet her at 2.30pm so 13.5hrs after birth. It’s not something I have yet gotten over and it still upsets me a lot and it has contributed to things like me not wanting to leave her playing on the floor alone whilst I do something in the house or not wanting her to ever feel like shes alone so if she cries when she’s asleep I feel like I have to immediately be there for her. It will take some time to work through that one I feel as long as some of the disappointment I have felt around her birth and how nothing that I wanted to happen has happened.

Many would say don’t worry about it you have this beautiful little miracle bub but that discounts my feelings and my feelings are valid. Yes she is here she is safe and she is gorgeous but I have the right to feel ripped off that I missed out on a more ideal birthing experience.

So yeah that’s sorta what’s been going on with me, we are still in the unit working through some stuff and hopefully will be home in a few days. I’m trying to get my head around mindfulness and use some tools to be cool calm and collected….and I can honestly say that we’ve now had 3 days with no anger directed at Addy which is a win as far as I’m concerned. I’m still having some anxiety episodes like after she tried peanut butter the other day and I sprang out of bed later that night to check on her breathing and in the process woke her up as the bed creaked. I’ve also relaxed around what she can have in her cot with her and she has her Kimba the Cow Jellycat teddy which she loves and this means for day sleeps she tends to wake up around the 40 minute mark and she will play with Kimba from anywhere from 5-20mins and then just go off to sleep again for usually another hour or sometimes a little more. This has taken away some of my anxiety around sleep and also meant I’m getting some time to myself to do things (Well at the moment that is work on some of my mental health stuff but when I go home I can balance that with housework and things around the house). I’m learning slowly that its ok not to be ok 100% of the time regardless of how much of a perfectionist I would like to be. I know we will get through this but its hard being in your own head at times and having unproductive and negative thoughts can be exhausting.

Anyways it’s been a pretty emotional day today with me having a bit of an episode around hating my body and self again so I might call it an early night. All I can say is it is so worth seeking help if you are struggling please speak up or at least reach out to someone – I’ve always got an ear for you all xx 💋

Life, Love and Little ones…..

Approx. 4 weeks compared to 22.5 weeks, look how far this little munchkin has come. I can’t imagine life without her and it feels like she’s always been with us, she is such a happy bub who just lights up our life. At times I feel a bit guilty as there are mums out there who have bubs in the same age range who are going through really rough times with their sleeping and developmental leaps and such but we are really having quite a great time with this little chicken and are so blessed. She sleeps through the night most of the time (ok so she had me up at 2.30am last night but I really don’t mind as it is only the odd occasion that this happens). Don’t get me wrong she has her days like today when she doesn’t want to be put down and absolutely cracks the shits if you do, but again they are few and far between and hey it gives me a day to binge watch ER whilst rocking her and feeding her.

One thing that bugs the shit out of me is that the first question that people ask you is ‘is she a good baby’….what is a bad baby, like you are talking about these innocent little beings that don’t know how to be ‘bad’ so yes of course she’s a good baby….oh wait you mean does she sleep through the night and not cry much etc. etc. How did that ever become the yardstick for what is a good baby I mean really! How stupid it is to ask this, or the is she a good eater….wowsers. Why can’t we just ask instead, So how is it all going? Another thing that gives me the shits is this whole 4 month sleep regression, like your baby is going backwards….they really aren’t its not a regression its a developmental phase and of course things are going to be changing and you know this might mean that your bub starts getting up more in the night again because they are growing and need more to drink to support this. Generally I bite my tongue about the use of the word regression in online forums but hey this is my blog and I haven’t sensored myself in the past why start now. As a society we are so focussed on comparing ourselves to the Jones’ and are we measuring up and everything is a competition and comparison and it really sucks when it comes to children. Just enjoy your bubs and engage with them and teach them through situational and opportunistic learning and they will develop along the timeframe that is right for them. For those who haven’t had a child in this ‘modern age’ there is this APP called Wonder Weeks, yep I downloaded it out of curiosity, and it tells you based on expected due date when to expect developmental milestones or ‘leaps’ and how long they will last for and what you might notice they child has developed after said leap. Now my problem with this is so many people think it is set in stone and say things like my bub starts leap 4 in 2 days time, really are they on the clock? Have they read the book? There are so many issues with this like its based on EDD and for anyone that did any Hypnobirthing you will know that they talk about your due month and not fixating on a due date as it can be so wrong. The other thing is that people put so much stock in these expected leap periods and how long till the next one, and how long this one lasts etc. but babies will do things on their own time schedule not ours and I just think we need to let it go a bit. Anyways that was a bit of a tangent I went on there……back to it.

I can’t remember if I have previously written about Addy’s arterial blockage in her brain. So back on day 8 she had a head ultrasound as they do them on days 1/8/28 of premature bubs and the day 8 one came back that she’d had a brain bleed at some point, possibly pre-birth, but that it had caused a blockage in a minor artery feeding oxygenated blood to the left motor cortex of the brain. There was another scan done with contrast and the hope was that as it was a minor artery that others around it would have picked up the slack, the scan with contrast did show some small amount of cell death around the blockage but it was very minor. Due to this we were entered in to the early intervention program at Perth Children’s Hospital to keep an eye on her motor skills on the right side of her body and keep an eye out for Cerebal Palsy indicators etc. As a part of this we see a paediatrician, physio and OT. We have seen the physio twice now and she has shown improvements between the two appointments as at the first she was showing some right side asymmetry but in the second we seem to have mostly corrected this and have her using both hands to grab things. Today we had the OT appointment which involved her sitting in a chair with a tray and being videoed for 10 mins whilst the OT placed different toys in front of her or handed them to her from different sides. The OT will assess the video and let us know the findings in full but she gave preliminary results and said that she is not overly concerned and that there are just a couple of little things like Addy brings her right hand in to pick things up slower than her left, she curls her right thumb in a bit which could be an age thing but also is something to watch for if it continues and she also has a bit of wrist curl in on her right side that we will watch. So much of this is we will watch and see and wait a few months and check again. Overall I’m not too concerned as there are things we can do to correct these asymmetries and she is closely monitored in this program that we will be in for the next 2 years. Apparently these brain bleeds can occur in full term bubs too from time to time but are more prevalent in premature bubs and we get the opportunity to find out about it and do something whereas in a full termer it might not get picked up so early and then gets picked up when development becomes delayed.

So ultimately she is tracking well, in fact the OT today said that she is definitely not only showing traits at corrected age but more towards actual age. Technically we should only ever expect her developmental milestones to be in line with her corrected age (ie. the age she should be if she’d gone to term) however I’ve believed that she was a bit ahead of these for some time now, not quite at actual age milestones but definitely more ahead of the corrected age than she should be. Again all points to the fact that we shouldn’t get hung up on when they learn to do A, B or C but have faith that they will do things when they are ready.

Anyways thats about all from me for now, things are great, I am loving being the mum to this beautiful, clever, curious little creature who keeps me entertained 24/7, even now watching her toss and turn on our video monitor and stick her legs straight up in the air every so often. I am so lucky I have till at least mid October to spend time with her the whole time before I go back to work and I can’t even fathom crossing that bridge of having to leave her yet and I feel for those mums I know who have had to go back already or are in the near future, it will be so hard.

Well that’s me done have a great night xx

#MumLife

It’s pretty good, you know being a mum….I lie its frickin fantastic after waiting so long for it, but you also come across stuff that you just never realised. Things like the joy in the eyes of your child each morning when you pick them up out of their bed, just their pure pleasure to see you, or how at times you feel extreme pressure that you have put on yourself to ‘entertain’ your child at all times when they are awake and when you do so you feel like all you have done all day is play, read, cuddle, nurse and change nappies….and you know there is nothing wrong with that but at the same time you feel like there are so many other things you should be doing around the house too. Someone asked me the other day what I do with my time now I’m not working and I thought in my head….yeah what do I do…like I couldn’t actually think of an answer that wouldn’t sound like I was a lazy moocher. But looking back I probably should just say I’m keeping a mini human alive lol it’s frickin time consuming and fun and tiring and sometimes lonely. Anyways that was a bit of a tangent with no clear path of where I was going…..

So yes I’m loving my little girl, she is so entertaining and such a happy girl, smiley and giggly all the time pretty much, she doesn’t get cranky too much, she might have the odd little tanty that usually ends with her cracking a big smile like she’s just heard the worlds best joke. And her smile is just the best thing such a wide grin filled with joy and innocence, its a beautiful thing. I feel this immense sense of need to teach her things and regularly am thinking about what activities we have done on that day that would have taught her something and have I done enough, should I have done more, did she catch sight of the television too many times. Yep it’s my overthinking brain at it again.

I have however been suffering a bit mentally with my self image and how I am feeling about myself and how much weight I have put on. The biggest thing that is worrying me is perpetuating my body issues and body image issues in my gorgeous little girl. I don’t want that in her life and I want to be able to teach her to love herself no matter what and to cherish the miracle that is her body and to look after it and nourish it properly. But that all has to start with me and I definitely do not feel that way about myself, I never want to let her see that though, so I have to make changes now whilst she is too young to take the bad bits on board. It is hard because I am struggling between wanting to stay in my own little safe space at home and taking her out to see and do things, I don’t want to be seen myself I want to hide away from the world because of how fat and ugly I feel, those feelings of having nothing to wear and wanting to just hide away have sparked again, but I also want to go out and show her off to the world as I am so proud of how far she has come and how sweet and clever and entertaining she is. It is hard balancing these two conflicting feelings.

I decided we were making some changes starting today and we have stuck to the eating regime I have developed and Addy and I went for a walk this morning, our goal is simply that, eat healthy and do something physical each day. I want her to have all the opportunities in life and being overweight restricts your options especially when it comes to your health so its time to lead by example. I don’t want her to have the life that I have had when it comes to weight and body issues, I have never felt so strongly about something as I have about this. It has been making me quite sad as I just can’t fathom her being embarrassed by having fat parents or me not being able to do things with her because of being so unfit. So here we go again but this will be the final time, time to make long standing changes.

Anyways that’s where my head has been at, I’ve been a bit emotional about it all and trying to get my head on straight so I can make changes and then I have days where I just want to immerse myself in baby cuddles on the couch and non-sensical chats with her. I can’t believe how much you can love these tiny little things, how just thinking about how much you love them makes you get tears in the eyes. And how quickly you couldn’t imagine your life before this time.

In other news, it seems she has started teething…..I know it’s too soon!!!!! I figured we’d have ages before that especially being 2 months early and all but nope shes got some signs and a bit of an eye tooth bump on the lower gum….gosh I don’t look forward to breastfeeding once that pops out, she already thinks its frickin hilarious to clamp her gums down on me and rip her head around in a different direction to see how far my nipple can stretch #funtimes

It amazes me the level of curiousness and intrigue at everything and it’s so awesome to watch and wonder what are you thinking about little one. We gave her some Apple in one of those mesh sucky things today and she could not suck on it fast enough and then of course she was trying to shove it down her throat, that’s her newest trick with her hands/fists/fingers….how far down my neck will the go before I gag and look confused as to why I’m gagging……

Well I’m going to keep it short and sweet tonight as I need to get some rest, we are heading in to the hospital tomorrow to do a fitness session run by the physics which should be good. I’m feeling a bit anxious about it, not the fitness session but the walk from the car as we can’t bring prams and I am going to have to wear her in our carrier which is never an attractive look on someone my size but oh well I’m going with the fuck it attitude and trying to not care what others think and instead relish the practical nature of using the carrier.

Toodles folks – some more baby spam for your enjoyment

Merry Chrissy, Happy New Year and all that jazz!

Wowsers I let another month pass by without a post, so much for my aim to regularly write but hey there’s a little munchkin that gets the attention first and foremost!

Since I last wrote our trio of family babies has been completed and we have welcomed the beautiful Charlie in to our family on the 1st of December, just 2 weeks early, she waited till we had her baby blessing gathering on the 30th November and then decided we were all having too much fun without her in the flesh so out she popped. I’m sure it wasn’t quite that easy for her mumma but you get the drift!

Our little tribe had a wonderful Christmas and the three girls did their little rotation of needing feeds, of course never at the same time so one of us mummas was usually found somewhere round the house, boob out feeding our munchkins. Below is a picture of our little blessings from left to right Addison, Gwen and Charlie:

This time last year I was recovering from a hangover and didn’t know it at the time but had just had my last heavy drinking session in a year. We were commencing another round of changing habits on the 2nd trying to really get healthy and ready for our cruise in April. I can’t remember where in the piece the conversation occurred but John and I had joked that to fall pregnant we really needed to ‘do the deed’ every 2-3 days to which John had scoffed ‘yeah right you’d never follow through on that’…..that was apparently the red flag to a bull and the challenge was accepted. So we have to thank my stubbornness and urge to prove John wrong combined with Acupuncture for bringing us our little miracle babe that we waited, hoped and prayed for the universe to deliver for 13 years. A lot of this year has passed in a blur and seems so far away now. John and I had discussed that March 2020 we would stop trying to have a baby and that once we got back from my 40th cruise in April 2019 we would have a very focused effort on falling pregnant combining acupuncture, going to a reproductive endocrinologist, more tracking cycles etc. and of course the challenge had been set to try do the deed every couple of days so there was of course trying to follow through on that haha.

I remember having the strongest ovulation symptoms I’ve ever had on Australia Day as we were getting ready to go out to play mini golf and remember thinking hmmm maybe we should stay home and get busy, the urge to socialise was too strong and out we went with me thinking well if its meant to be we did have sex 3 days ago so that’s still a possibility and wouldn’t that mean we’d get a girl if we did fall pregnant….all tongue in cheek not believing a word of it because we’d tried for so long.

Roll on to 11th February our 13th Wedding anniversary and also 13 years since we started trying to fall pregnant. My period was a week late, given I have PCOS this was not unusual but I’d had 4 months of regularity due to acupuncture regulating my cycle so I had thought in the back of my mind, maybe, just maybe this was it. However I was not willing to purchase a pregnancy test and find out as I’d stopped with that disappointing cycle ten years earlier, yep I literally had not done a pregnancy test in ten years as it was too upsetting always getting that negative result. I also had a feeling that the reproductive endocrinologist appointment I’d been to at the start of February and the tests she’d ordered would show anything up if there was anything to show. Tuesday the 12th February I was at work and my mobile rang, I ducked in to a coaching room to take the call, it was my endocrinologist she wanted to know more about the HCG drops we were taking for Changing habits protocol. I instantly knew what she was asking – could these show up as a false positive pregnancy result. I knew that they couldn’t as the amount was negligible and also they were homeopathic so slightly different chemical make up or something to the naturally occurring HCG that is found in your blood when you fall pregnant. She also wanted to know if there was thyroxine in them as my levels were a bit hinky, I answered that the HCG couldn’t cause a false positive and I didn’t think there was thyroxine but I’d have to check. She then responded with well your HCG levels indicate you are pregnant….it was I think at this point I went in to a bit of shock and I mean literally not figuratively, she asked if I could get to the Royal Perth Hospital quickly so I could have a blood test to see what my HCG levels and progesterone levels were like as progesterone was a bit low. I stammered yes and she got off the phone and emailed me the blood test form. I rang mum as the RE had said to find out about thyroxine in the drops and stammered to mum asking if she knew and then blurted out that I was pregnant, I was shaking like a leaf at this point and in uncontrollable tears. I then rang my boss to say I needed to leave and get this blood test done and cried to her as well telling her what was going on. I walked out of the coaching room to my on site team who of course wanted to know what was wrong, I explained in between sobs and one of the team members offered to drive me to the hospital as she could see I was not in a fit state to drive. Off we toddled and once I was in the car I got to call John, poor thing was like 5th to find out. After the hospital I had all intentions of staying at work but I was just too worked up and couldn’t stop crying, I headed home and decided to buy a pregnancy test for the first time in a decade. John was in shock and I think a bit speechless when I got home, I remember being a bit cross with him as the reaction was not what I thought it would be. I went and did the pregnancy test and finally got my positive one. John was worried and voiced he didn’t want to lose me, I scoffed well they generally don’t let mothers die in childbirth nowadays….who would have thought that his fears were actually quite valid and that we would come close to a horrible outcome.

Many of you will already know much of this story so if you’ve come this far thanks for reading, I do feel the need to purge the year and recap things in total, it can then be packaged up in a nice neat box in my mind and we can move on with this new year and decade. Feel free to stop reading now if you’ve heard it all before 🙂

So we were finally pregnant, I was taking progesterone 3 times a day as my levels were so low, I felt pretty crappy all the time but am not a spewer so it was just constant nausea and tiredness but I was oh so happy to be feeling all of that. We were getting ready for our trip to Sydney, I’d had to cancel the cruise part for John and I but we were still heading to Sydney to stay in the hotel whilst mum and dad went on the cruise. Just before our trip we had our anatomy scan to put our minds at ease and all was looking fantastic there were no issues.

Pre trip new haircut for my 40th.

12 week anatomy scan of our little Peanut.

We enjoyed Sydney but I was still so tired all the time but at least the nausea had started to go. I remember thinking that this was such a different 40th to what I had expected, I was expecting to be quite upset and drowning my sorrows at not being a mum and was so glad that I instead could celebrate that I was going to be a mum later this year.

Once in the 2nd trimester I thought that my anxiety of losing the baby would subside but it escalated. I had grown up knowing so many people in my life that had lost babies whether in pregnancy or postnatally that it was weighing on my mind almost constantly. I just remember thinking I cannot lose this baby it would break me and I just couldn’t shake my anxiousness I felt like this was my one and only shot and if anything happened I wouldn’t get another chance. This made me a blubbering mess through much of the 2nd trimester, so much so that my OB and I decided it was best to finish up work on the 19th July at 25 weeks pregnant and take some of my sick leave to rest and try and address my anxiety issues. In hindsight this was a blessing……

At 27 weeks I was finally starting to enjoy my pregnancy, I was starting to feel bub more and more and loved just laying and feeling her move, I was relaxing more and more and less anxious. I had plans to do lots of cooking and freezing of meals so that we had ready made things for after she was born as I knew I’d be having an elective c section. I got one dish made and frozen.

Saturday the 17th August we went out with some friends for a b’day and were out really late then Sunday the 18th August we met John’s 2 boys at a Dome in Midland for lunch, I was feeling a bit of twinges in the lower abdomen but at that point thought nothing of it. Around 8pm that night I was having some cramping and back pain and had some bleeding, I hadn’t had any bleeding since about the week 9 mark so it freaked me out, I decided to have a lay down and message with my student midwife to see what she thought. She advised going to the hospital and getting it checked out, better to be safe than sorry right. We rocked up to SJOG Mt Lawley where I was meant to have bubs at about 9.30pm and they took me up to the labour ward and we got all hooked up on a monitor to see how bubs was doing. She was fine, mind you she kept kicking at the monitor making it hard for them but we got a good trace, I gave a urine sample and there was blood in it so my OB was rung to see if she wanted to come in and check me out. She got all the facts and said she thought it was fine to go home and come back to her rooms in the morning for a scan to confirm things were fine and see if she could see where the bleeding was coming from. Again hindsight is fantastic lol, the OB says she is so glad she did this because if she came in she would not have had access to her internal ultrasound on the ward and wouldn’t have been able to discover what she did. So I have written my birth story before so I wont rehash again but its funny how as time goes on little flashes of different things come back to me. Like how surreal it all felt as they called a code in the labour ward and rushed me to surgery. How I kept thinking wow there are so many people in here and feeling embarrassed that I was bleeding all over the place in front of them all. How when I was having lower back pain and cramps I refused to call them contractions as it was too soon to be having those and surely they couldn’t be contractions – can you say denial!

And just because we now have our beautiful miracle does not mean that I don’t have feelings of disappointment about how she came out. Nothing that i planned for or wanted as part of her delivery was able to occur. My greatest sadness is at not seeing her come out and not meeting her till she was 15 hours old, it at times till causes me to get a little teary. People have at times not understood this or discounted my feelings of grief around this and I have to at times defend that these feelings are valid, I was robbed of what could have and should have been a beautiful experience and instead it was traumatic. This does not mean I don’t feel grateful for my gorgeous little girl every single day.

We are now at a point where things are awesome, she is a dream bub, I know this will wax and wane as she goes through developmental stages but for now things are perfect, she sleeps through the night, she’s the happiest little smiley girl, we never wake to crying we always wake to stirring in her cot and you go and look in at her to see this beautiful smiling grinning face looking up at you with such love it is just my favourite time of the day getting her up from her big night time sleep. We have snuggly cuddles and go change her bum and then have a lovely morning breastfeed and things could not be more perfect at that exact point.

But we have been through some hellish weeks with her too and my mum was correct in pointing out the other day when I was talking about how excellent things are and how shes such a happy girl that we block out the bad bits and we have had some bad bits. We were in hospital for 6 weeks so when she came home her days and nights were arse about, John and I did shifts where he’d be up from 11pm to 4 or 5 am with her and do a bottle feed over the night time so I could get some sleep. I’d then take over and he’d go to bed – we were like ships passing in the night….or early hours of the morning as it was. She’s had her clingy periods where she would only sleep on us during that time and hence the shifwork we did! She started to refuse the breast with the nipple shield and we had to spend an intense 2 weeks at mum and dads whilst John was sick with the flu and shingles and we also during that time were trying to learn how to breastfeed all over again this time without the nipple shield. We tried to stop top ups of formula as I wanted to exclusively breast feed but she lost weight, I’ve done everything I could think of and read about to increase my supply including strict 3 hourly schedules of feeding, topping up with bottle then power pumping for 50mins every time till I was too exhausted and had to resign myself to the fact that formula is going to be a part of our journey. I’ve eaten oats, milo and any other food touted to increase milk supply, I’ve been taking Motillium (Domperidone) for the last 16 weeks, my GP is wanting me to wean off this now and this is making me shit scared of the impact that it might have on my supply. Due to this I’ve started pumping after every feed again and doing a power pump once or twice a day to try and offset the impact of coming off the tablets. I love feeding my baby so much and I don’t want to stop so i will continue to do anything in my power to keep going. We are in a good place now however and she can latch effectively by herself so much so that the other day we were having a shower and she took it upon herself to latch on and have a feed whilst showering little ratbag!

The only aspect of life that is getting me down at the moment is my body image and this horrible fear I have of putting my body image issues on to my daughter which is why I need to do things now to change how I feel about myself. I have again ballooned to my heaviest weight and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. John has set me up a gym area in the garage which I’ve only used once since he set it up but with a new year comes all those new resolutions etc. so next week I intend to try and use it twice and I shall increase this as my fitness increases, in between we shall walk and walk and walk. I am quite worried as I have committed to doing 2 x PT sessions with some ladies from our mothers group each week and I feel like I’m going to be in a world of pain next week as I’m so unfit at the moment. Wish me luck as our first two sessions are Monday and Tuesday then on Thursday two of the ladies are coming to do a workout in our garage with me ….we might be dying by Friday. I’m so conscious of needing to be able to use my arms to lift Addy that it worries me a little hehe 😜 we might need to have a pool session on Friday as recovery will see how we go.

Anyways now is awesome 😎. Our little fighter is so beautiful and such a happy girl.

Wish us luck for her 4 month immunisations tomorrow hopefully she does not scream too much and mummy doesnt cry too much.

Who knew 12 months ago that this is where we’d be today, I’m so grateful that this happened and finally all my dreams have come true, I have my perfect little family and that is all I have wanted for so long. Dreams can come true, keep pushing and never give up. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Starting to find our MoJo

When I last wrote we were in a dark place in our breastfeeding journey, it was fucking hard and we were trying to get Addy to latch without the breast shield and I went to stay with Mum and Dad whilst we did this as John was also suffering from Influenza and didnt want Addy or me catching it. We also found a good doctor that is out of our area but she is supportive and worth the drive to get to, in doing this we decided on a trial to see if I could feed Addy purely via breastfeeding and that we would do an initial weigh in and do this for a week and then come back and get her weighed again to see how we went and if she could thrive with just exclusive breastfeeding. It was a hard hard week like the hardest thing I’ve had to do and involved lots of tears and frustrations but we got there and fought through and got her latching and feeding. I had a feeling that by the end of the week we were not going to get the result that I wanted as she was moving away from 3 hourly feeds to regularly feeding 1-1.5 hourly making me feel like she was having to do regular feeds just to get enough to to sustain her. Sure enough at the weigh in she had lost 30gms, I was devastated and burst in to tears in the doctors as I just wanted to feed my baby like I should be able to and was so sick of my body doing all the wrong things. I’d read things in the facebook baby groups I’m in about people having post partum hair loss due to Breastfeeding or leaking boobs all the time or engorgement and actually feel jealous….thinking to myself well at least your bodies are doing what they are meant to, mines just defective. Anyways this weight loss meant we had to go back to mixed feeding and expressing again. I’ve resigned myself to this now and am letting my disappointment go so i can at least enjoy Addy and seeing her develop, I can’t keep worrying and stressing on this whole breastfeeding thing and I did at times contemplate giving up totally but to be honest I actually don’t know how to do that now as I have invested too much to get us to this point that I am not willing to give up the small amount of goodness I am able to provide for her, coupled with the fact that we are now at a point where we are both enjoying the bonding experience of feeding and it’s no longer a stressful experience.

The day we weighed her and she’d lost weight we were meant to go home and stop staying at mum and dads however John had caught Shingles and so we spent another week away to ensure he was no longer contagious. The poor boy was missing us something chronic and feeling really miserable and lonely and unwell as well. He is however now on the mend and although still suffering some residual effects around his energy levels and being able to do a lot, he is in much better spirits.

So cue this last week where we have mixed fed with breastfeeding on demand first followed by a 60ml top up every 3hrs and one full bottle feed a day to give her a bit of a rest and the little chubba has put on 470gms in a week her biggest gain ever! She is now 4.25kgs such a change from her birth weight of 1.9kgs. She’s even got little elbow dimples – they are very cute.

I am now reconciled with the mixed feeding and as long as she is growing and thriving then we will use whatever methods we need to. She is smiling and giggling so much now it is so cute, I think one of her favourite things is the mobile above her change table as she absolutely laughs and smiles at it when she’s getting her nappy changed.

I finally jumped back on the scales the other day and was my heaviest weight ever by 300gms, so depressing. However after a week of getting back to fresh healthy eating and no processed foods I had dropped a kilo, mind you this week may have not had much change as we’ve had a couple of eating outings and I’ve not walked as much as I did last week. I am needing to sit down and work out some workout plans and have asked John to get the boxing bag back up for me as I’d really like to get back in to some of my interval training at home as well as walking with the little Miss A. I did briefly contemplate that if I stopped breastfeeding I could go back on the Changing Habits protocol again but breastfeeding is too important to me so I need to lose weight in other ways including upping the exercise. We are really enjoying our walks but need to make sure we are doing it daily as it is very hit and miss depending on the day we are having sleep-wise.

We have started a bit of a loose routine in the afternoons where we go for a walk, come home for a bath and massage, she has a feed and then goes to bed for usually her biggest sleep interval – 4hrs generally sometimes we luck out and get anywhere up to 6hrs but not often. My favourite time of the day is when she wakes around 5am as she is in such a good mood, she starts the day with the biggest, cutest stretches once she is loosed from her sleeping bag and then we change nappy and have a feed and afterwards she giggles and smiles and talks to me. This is usually when we are most likely to have success with time on the floor so I can have my breakfast too.

I must admit I really am feeling a lot happier about things now and I think a big part has been the letting go of the hang ups I had around bottle feeding and accepting that at least I am able to still breast feed in some capacity.

Anyways off I go to catch some zzzz’s before the next feed!

Oh but first some more baby spam…..

Wow my posts are not as wordy as they used to be lol – gotta cram what I can in between feeds hehe……

The Fourth Trimester Blues

Ok so my blog posts are becoming few and far between but there’s another that monopolises my attention at the moment 😀

Our gorgeous little girl is 11 weeks old on Thursday (or 17 days corrected)…..that is one of the things that I have found so confusing is this whole corrected age thing for Premature bubs. Like she’s already nearly 3 months old but I should expect her developmentally to be acting like a newborn – she isn’t by the way, she smiles and is so strong in her head and neck strength and loves her tummy time. I’m going to preface what I’m about to write with please do not get me wrong I love her more than anything and am so grateful to have her and thank my lucky stars daily however I have a lot of anger and sadness around how she arrived in to this world and the subsequent impacts that has had. People tend to discount these feelings with but look at her, you didnt think that you would get to be a mum, be thankful. I am but my feelings are valid as well and I have a right to feel a bit ripped off. I mean nothing about her birth and subsequent feeding issues has gone the way I wanted, her and I have had to fight to where we are now and where we are now is still not where I’d like us to be. So in order to try move on from this I need to get it all out so to speak so I apologise in advance if its something you’ve already heard from me feel free to scroll through.

I wanted to be able to bond immediately with my child and have immediate skin to skin and try to feed her straight away in the ‘golden hour’ – instead I didnt meet her for 15 hours due to having her under a general anaesthetic.

I wanted delayed cord clamping – due to being under a general who knows what happened here but I believe that they would have had to clamp and cut immediately due to my blood loss that was happening before and during the surgery.

I wanted to breastfeed solely, I was naive enough to think that the only troubles we might have would be initially getting her to latch – instead my milk took a very long time to come in, I can’t even remember what day as it was a blur of recovery and special nursery trips in a wheel chair with hand expressing and pumping in between to get all the colostrum I could for her. I was pumping between every 2-3 hours and she was initially solely fed via nasal gastric tube. We used donor milk for the first 3 weeks as my supply was not very good. I would initially express only 10-20mls a time but by the end of the first 3 weeks this had increased to 90mls a time. To get to that my mum and I were doing everything under the sun to encourage my milk production including but not limited to:

– lactation cookies

– lactation smoothies

– blood generating foods (slow cooked beef dishes, beetroot etc.) to help replace the 1.8 litres that I lost

– 2-3hr expressing for 30mins solid each time, including getting up throughout the night to do this even though my baby was still in special nursery.

– power pumping

– eating Galactagogue rich foods to encourage milk generation

We did have troubles with latching obviously because she was so small, so we had to use a nipple shield and still are using a nipple shield.

As we progressed through the weeks I was allowed to try some breast experiences but she still need top ups through her NG tube after wards as she was not getting enough from me and would tire easily. We would go on to alternate between NG feeds and breast feeds with top ups until the last 2 days of her 6 weeks in hospital where we went to sole breast feeding. This saw her stagnate her weight and then lose weight on the 2nd day. I felt I then was railroaded in to using a bottle which I had not wanted to do and this absolutely broke me at the time, I was inconsolable and cried so much about it. I think the nurses thought I was crazy and I would hear them use the term ‘mum’s refusing to use a bottle’ in their hand overs which just made me feel so judged. I finally gave up and allowed her to be bottle fed so she would thrive and we could get out of the hospital and I could then feed her the way I wanted – demand feeding. We did this for the first two days out of hospital and then had the visiting midwife come out to check on us and she initially had put on weight but that was due to the hospital had told me to add fortifier to her EBM (expressed breast milk) which was stocking her up on calories. We discussed with the visiting midwife and she advised that the hospital we had started in (KEMH) would not have recommended this and that we should probably stop it. We continued with demand feeding as long as she liked with small bottle top ups but at the next visit the a few days later she had lost weight again. It was decided I would go to a breastfeeding centre and get some assistance and they put us on a plan of feeding at the breast for no more than 10mins per side so she was not expending too many calories to work at feeding and then top her up with increasing amounts of EBM via bottle which does not have her expending as much energy to get her feed. This meant that i would feed for 10mins each side then feed with the bottle then put her down or hand to John and jump on and express for 30-50mins, after a week I really broke down and was not expressing enough to cover her top ups and this devastated me, I knew that I had to purchase formula and supplement her feeds this way when I was short of EBM.

The first day I used formula I cried so much I felt like a failure and like my body was failing her by not providing her what she needed. I still feel like this to be honest it hasn’t gone away I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that I have to use it. I have this delirious thought that I’ll be able to decrease using it to the point where one day we won’t need it but deep down I know this is unlikely to be the case. I feel embarrassed when out and about and needing to bottle feed her and just feel ashamed and judged when I have to bottle feed in public. All totally on me and what I’m projecting on what I think others are thinking when they probably are not thinking about it at all. It’s like personally for me bottle feeding has this deep sense of shame attached to it because it is an indication of my bodies failure to be able to do one of its basic functions and provide food for my daughter. Funnily enough i have never and would never judge anyone else for bottle feeding their child and dont even think on it when I see people bottle feeding so I don’t know why I am feeling this way except that breastfeeding was THAT important to me.

Some things I never knew about motherhood:

– that I would constantly feel like I have failed my daughter in some way, if not around breastfeeding then because she has a sore tummy and i can’t do anything to ease it or I’m not sure if she is just being unsettled or if there is actual pain. When we go through days like the last few where she only wants to be held and even then she sometimes is crying the whole time and I can’t figure out why. It all just makes me feel like a failure.

– that breastfeeding is one of the single most difficult things you can ever do but once achieved it is so worth it. But that it brings with it a whole host of mindfuckery around whether you are doing it right, for the right amount of time, is she gaining weight or losing weight (fuck no wonder our society has weight issues and is so focussed on what everyone weighs it starts this early)

– That I could love a little person so much but also at times really not want to pick her up because I’m so tired and don’t feel I like I can do anything for her and she wont settle and i feel like I’m failing her. Cue additional Mum Guilt……especially when I’ve just got her down 5mins earlier and she stirs and I think please, please just stay asleep I can’t hold you any longer right now.

– that most days you feel like you have achieved nothing.

There are certain things I wanted to do daily that I dont get done and then feel again like I’m failing at this mum gig. Like reading to her each day, or daily massage for her, or playing on the floor with her for tummy time, or daily walks. I’m lucky if these things happen every 3 days at the moment as my time is filled with trying to express, washing bottles and expressing gear or sleep when she sleeps, which then pisses me off as I feel like the stupid breast pump is taking me away from spending time with her but she needs me to use it because she needs the breastmilk top ups, which then causes me to be upset that I cant be one of these people that just feeds their child at the boob and doesnt need to wash and sterilise bottles. I feel like I just want something to go our way and work how its meant to work and then i feel like the reason it isn’t is due to my stupid body which i hate so much.

This of course all spirals in to my emotional eating patterns and binge eating and I just feel like I’m putting on so much weight which upsets me further.

I think I need some structure in our days and I know I am anti her having a routine except for what she sets, I fully expected that I was to be at her beck and call that is what i see my job as at the moment, but given how organised and structured a person I am I dont think the lack of a bit of a routine is helping me much at the moment. I need to figure out how to find a balance.

Anyways this isn’t a pity party just me getting stuff off my chest as usual in the hope that its better out than in. Hopefully I can move on from all this disappointment I’m feeling and enjoy the time I have with my gorgeous girl, believe me I do enjoy the time with her but feel its tarnished a bit by all this other crap in my head.

If you got this far thanks for reading and enjoy some baby spam 😘

Institutionalisation and the mystery of the Dick Cosy…

So it’s been awhile….you know I been a bit busy for some reason…its a very damn cute reason to be honest! I can’t quite remember where my last update left off so I’m just going to give a bit of an update….

Addy and I moved out to our private hospital 2 weeks ago and I commenced boarding there so i could be with her the whole time. This has pros and cons….pros are that I can be here the whole time and really work on establishing breastfeeding with her, cons are that I’m beginning to feel institutionalised in hospital life….the four walls of the hospital are driving me a big cabin feverish! I have however now realised how lucky i am to have had this time where I dont have to do any housework or cooking or other daily crap but I can just focus on Addy and I have had this time to recover after my c-section as well. But that does not mean it has not been hard, I’ve felt a bit trapped here and missing my boys at home (John and Baggins).

Addy is doing really good and has been doing better and better with breastfeed overall however can I just say Breastfeeding is FUCKING HARD, then her being a premature Bub means it SUPER FUCKING HARD. I feel like I’ve been running a marathon just trying to get her to feed, we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back constantly. Sometimes getting her to latch properly is a bloody fight between us, a battle of wills almost and who can outlast the other one. Generally its just because she is just learning still and gets confused on what she should be doing but its fucking demoralising at times. I have always known 100% that Breastfeeding was super important to me for any child that I may have, so giving up on this has never crossed my mind but it has been a struggle with lots of tears and feeling like I’m a failure, at times I felt like I was doing something wrong and failing her. Other times I’m just super tired and it all gets on top of me but we persevere because for us there are no other options and I will make it work. This has meant that I’ve had to continue the use of a nipple shield to get her to latch properly but she does and it works. I am very lucky that none of it actually hurts me and I dont get an engorged feeling or pains. Addy is like a frickin octopus when it comes to feeding time with her arms pinwheeling all over the shop whilst she is trying to latch and then she’ll knock off the nipple shield so i have to then take more time to get her on as i have to find where she’s knocked it off to, re-wash it and reposition it again. During which time she’s getting pissed at me because its taking too long. Once she is latched and sucking effectively it is so worth it as she just stares up at me and we have some really good bonding time. So in summary Breastfeeding = hard fucking work but worth it in the end. No one tells you about the actual little things that are involved that make it hard and that it doesnt just come naturally.

Anyways we can almost see the finish line….that is the finish of our hospital stay and our time to go home and actually begin figuring out our lives with this new little squishy. She has done really well today on a 3 hourly cycle of 3 breastfeeds to one tube feed and tomorrow she is having her last tube feed at 3am and we are going to try exclusive breastfeeding. If she manages this we will then remove the tube on Friday and have the weekend to ensure that she is feeding and gaining weight before we can head home on hopefully Monday or Tuesday! Fingers crossed for us!

I can’t believe that she is 5 weeks today! I realised earlier today that Friday this week was one of our planned dates for the planned c-section till she decided to change the plans it seems weird that we could be just getting ready to meet her when we’ve now known her for 5 weeks.

There is so much more I could write but I’m only 15mins away from heading back to the nursery for her next nappy change and feed and i need a toilet break and drink before that so I’m going to end it short and sweet tonight.

We are so in love with our beautiful daughter and I can’t believe how blessed we are….here’s some baby spam 🙂

I just had to edit because I didn’t explain the Dick Cosy title…..John did some washing of Addisons and I got the following message! We think it used to be a little beanie lol!

3 weeks old tomorrow!

Addison is 3 weeks old tomorrow! Wow that has gone fast and slow, it’s such a hard thing to describe how time seems strange when you are living day to day in the special nursery. At times it flies by but at other times it feels like we have been doing this for ever!

I am struggling with the concept of what it means to be a mum and I think this is exacerbated by the fact that Addy is not home with us. During the day I definitely feel like her mum when I’m here with her and feeding and changing and cuddling her but then I go home without her and besides the three hourly expressing things don’t seem too different so I start thinking ‘why don’t I feel like a mum?’ And then I start questioning things like have we bonded, does she even recognise my voice,smell or presence when I am with her. I think at times being the parent of a bub who has to stay in special nursery can be quite a mind fuck at times. It’s also something that unless you have done it you probably have no comprehension of how emotionally and physically tiring the journey can be, not just for me and John but my parents who are looking after me and driving me around. This is on top of me trying to recover from my c section and massive blood loss that occurred during that process!

You never want to leave the nursery but you know you have to go get rest. I just want to hold her all the time and could not care less if she gets used to sleeping on myself or her dad, we’ve waited too long for her.

So I had a little pause in writing this as we had the plan to transfer to our private hospital come to fruition! We have now moved and I am staying as a boarder so I can be at Addys beck and call lol! I’ve woken with a massive headache this morning probably due to being back in a hospital bed! But I’ve had 2 lots of skin to skin cuddles during the night and multiple breastfeed attempts so I’m happy!