4 July 2017

Back to the grind......

After having nearly 8 months off work I went back yesterday to a great role in the city. I did so with mixed feelings - guilt, sadness and excitement.

I felt sooo guilty leaving my little Maddie after spending everyday with her since she was born - technically we haven't been apart for 16 months if you count womb time haha!! Lots of tears the last few days everytime I look at her and give her bottles to her. So happy that hubby/Dad is on paternity leave and they are having a great time together.... going to take some time to get used to leaving the house all day. 5am bottles and 530pm shower and bottles are the goal for me everyday.

Sad that I don't get to see her for all the hours in the day that I used too..... no singing play school everyday or having random moments and cuddles - that face!!! Love that face, her eyes just look at you and it is the best feeling in the world - she makes my heart beat so loud and proud to be her mum.

Excitement to be able to return to work and learn a new role in a new company with great culture and people. Wearing makeup and big girl clothes instead of trackies!! Catching the train and listening to music or reading having some me time feels good. Lunching with friends in the city and enjoying hot coffee and sitting down to eat breakfasts and lunches.

Still early days and have a long way to go on this transition from sahm to working mum. I know I will find a good balance and spend quality time with Maddie when I can.

26 May 2017

Chocolate Anonymous

Being pregnant has kicked my chocolate eating into a full blown nasty habit.... I dream of chocolate and sometimes have panic attacks if I don't have it.... I know it is a bad habit that my pleasure centre in the brain controls and sends me the signals aka cravings to satisfy its dirty  hunger. No more!!!

No more I said.... even trying 90% dark chocolate to stop me eating large quantities hasn't worked. I need to go cold turkey. Cold bloody turkey.

Check out my Facebook page & join me with your bad habit for 30 days (wine, social media, trashy books, cheese, ciggies, porn etc) whatever your addiction is that you want to kick to the curb.

Starting 12pm tomorrow!! You can do it, join me and feel good, in control and taking one step at a time to change our habit!


21 February 2017

Boobies and feeding!! Pressures of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding sounds so natural right?  You get pregnant, carry them for 10months and then they are magically meant to latch onto your boobs and drink every couple of hours for at least 6 - 12 months (or longer if you have the time and/or patience).  I have seen so many ladies just popping bub on and suck suck suck.  I knew it would be a challenge as I have heard from so many mums just how challenging it would be, so you think I would of been prepared hey?

Breastfeeding is harder than being pregnant and PUSHING out the baby combined.  Waiting for the colostrum to come out and the milk to come in to feed your child. To give your child the best start in life, to build up her immune system and give her comfort by being skin to skin and on your breast.   If it so darn natural, then why is it the hardest thing I have ever had to do?  You have two people who have just met for the first time out of the womb and you are expected to know what to do.  Maddison did root around and try and find my breast which was good, glad one of us knew what to do.

For me it hasn't been an easy experience. Being induced and then having midwives (god bless them) milk me everyday to get every last bit of colostrum out of my boobs was definitely an experience!!  I have never had so many people interested in my nipples before or felt so much pain with them milking me dry.  It was totally lost on hubby as he kept walking in to find a young midwife feeling up his wife.  Maddie did latch but not very well, she would get frustrated no matter how many different positions we tried with the lactation consultant, my milk just wasn't through enough for her and it was a frustrating time for all.

Leaving hospital without my milk coming through was hard, she was getting as much colostrum and a little milk as she could and that seemed to be enough for her but we got formula on the way home, on advice from the midwife "just in case". This was the best advice from the midwife, I didn't want to "give up" just yet and I wanted to breastfeed.  I wanted to provide the best I could for Maddie, I wanted the closeness, the convenience and knowing that I could settle my daughter with the breast if I needed to when she was hungry, sleepy or not settling. Skin to skin is something that I cherish as it is a special bond with my child.

Christmas Day my milk came through, five days after she was born and it was a stressful time trying to feed her.  She would not latch and I ended up going back to the LC and getting a nipple shield which made my girl feed so much better, but still not EVERY feed of the day, we still gave her expressed milk and then some formula to top her up. It was hard trying to trust your gut and asking for advice I felt that I was doing the wrong thing by not exclusively breastfeeding my girl.  It has been a looong eight weeks. Maddie has done so well with mix feeding and she is sleeping like a champion. She has just decided to not want to bf at all, no matter how sleepy she is, hungry she screams as soon as I try any way to latch her on (even after expressing).

I hate that I am feeling so emotional, guilty and torn about giving up breastfeeding my little girl and just expressing what I can for her and giving her formula for the rest of her feeds.  I had these expectations that I would breastfeed for as long as I wanted.  I wanted the closeness and bonding time with my little girl, knowing I was giving her mothers milk.  I imagined that is what breastfeeding would of given me long term.

I am focusing on what is important for both of us right now and that is a happy, healthy growing baby girl and a non-stressed mum!  She is putting on weight, sleeping well and is happy and loves grabbing my hand when I feed her the bottle (whether expressed breastmilk or formula) we still have cuddles and she still loves going to sleep holding my finger against her dummy  - it might not be the consoling I thought she would get from the boob, but she doesn't realise the difference. Only I am aware of the no breastfeeding changes.  She is fed. Fed is best.

I am focusing on are the positives. I have to believe that I have NOT failed my daughter and I truly believe I have tried everything in my power to get breastfeeding exclusively but it was not happening for us.  I have made lactation cookies, drank the tea, eaten the vitamins, pumped, pumped and pumped and put her on the boob so many times.  She now accepts a bottle and isn't too fussy who gives it to her (win win) Daddy can give her a feed at anytime. It has been nice to have a sleep in on the weekend and wake up to the two together having a bottle - that is perfect bonding time that is important for both of them.  We can leave the house at anytime and know that she has food ready to go which is always helpful for those days you just NEED to leave the house before you go mental!

My expectations have been shattered. I will not lie and say I am disappointed and sad.  My expectations have changed.  I have realised that we are so very lucky.  We spent a long time to get our gorgeous girl and I am just happy that she is here, healthy and striving.  I must stop listening to the inner critic and the BF nurses who harp on that "breast is best".  Breast is best if all circumstances ALLOW you to Breastfeed!  Many many women cannot breastfeed their children.  Many friends I know weren't breastfed and they turned out ok (me included).  I am giving her what I can and for how long I choose to express (or when the milk runs dry) and know I have started her on the right track and formula will keep her growing up to be a healthy girl.

So I am taking all the advice I have had from amazing friends (you know who you are). I am doing what works for me.

So if you are struggling to feed, if you are stressed and it is taking over your mind and putting you in a negative place, it is time to work out what is going to work best for YOU and your baby.  Your mental health is important. Your baby needs you to be on the ball and there for them at all times.  As long as they are fed, loved and hugged they will grow to be amazing little people.

16 January 2017

Becoming a MUM!

Sitting here listening to the cute noises my daughter is making in her sleep I cannot believe it has been nearly a month since she arrived to meet us.    The whole experience has truly been amazing and I still cannot believe she came OUT of me.  There is NO way being pregnant for the first time prepares you for the arrival of your baby – even though you have had ten months of “being pregnant” you literally have NO idea until they are born how amazing it is to grow a mini person inside you and see them for the very first time.
I repeated the “I cannot believe she came out of me” line at least 10 times a day when we first brought her home when she was two days old.  She was just perfect and so cute and I just could not stop looking at her. It is so true what they say, all the pain and uncomfortableness is totally worth it.
The journey to become a mum has been a long one for us; we started trying a few months after we got married in 2014.  Initially it was just coming off the pill and then tracking the cycles and hoping we got pregnant.  2015 for us was a tough year suffering three miscarriages, which was such a tough time for us.  I blogged about my experiences as I felt it helped to get the weight of the losses off my chest and hoped that it helped someone out there who was suffering in silence to know they are not alone and we should talk about our children we don’t get to meet.
2016 was going to be a different year for us, we just didn’t know it yet.  We had somehow gotten stronger together through all the pain and the recovering from two “evacuations” and I decided to have a couple months off “trying” to get pregnant.  My headspace wasn’t quite in the place it needed to be and I could not do another two-week wait after ovulating to see if we had conceived. 
After three months I felt it was time to try again and that is when we conceived, on Easter Monday to be exact (TMI).   We had a friends wedding in Bali in the first week of April and we were looking forward to a few days away with friends and I put out of my mind that “we could” be pregnant and for the first time since we started trying actually relaxed, enjoyed myself with eating, drinking and having a great holiday/wedding celebrations.  I just didn’t want to be consumed anymore by getting pregnant; if we were I was happy to wait until we got back home to deal with it.  I wanted to be “normal” and enjoy the cocktails, beers and eating delicious foods that Bali has to offer.  It was the best time ever.
So after Bali I had the two-week wait to see if I got my period.  Normally I have to take the test the day I am due or a few days after for the hormones to be high enough for the pregnancy test to read it as positive.  I did it at 3am in the morning around 4 days before I was due – no idea why – just was awake and needed to pee and had the tests sitting there, I don’t know if I “just knew” or was being my usual stubborn and inpatient self (I would say a mix of the two)!  It was positive! Holy crap I thought, should I wake up Drew and let him know or wait until the morning?  Lets just say that was an early wake up alarm for him, he had NO idea ha-ha and thought it was all a dream – woke up a few hours later asking me “are we pregnant or did I dream that you told me you were?”
The first few weeks I had this strong feeling that everything was going to be ok, that it was our time to have a child and my gut was right as I saw the heartbeat flicker on the screen at the earliest ultrasound ever at 6 weeks 3 days.  My doctor wanted to get on top of things early and ensure all was ok this pregnancy, I didn’t mind and Drew didn’t come to this scan – not sure if he thought it would be too early or if he would just see nothing on the scan moving and it would be like losing our other babies all over again.   I think he needed reassurance that all was ok this time before he would go with me to a scan again, and I cannot blame him.  He came with me a week later to see the same flicker on the screen, our baby this time had a beating heart, we have never gotten this far before!
So pregnancy went well, felt like forever some days, but I really did enjoy being pregnant, even with the afternoon sickness, nausea and hormones making you turn from a mushy lovely wife to a narly cranky cow within seconds.  I embraced it all and just hoped that our little MJ (mini Jones) or babygirl as we called her (I just knew she was a girl) was going to be ok.  We had so many scans throughout the pregnancy because of my age and our history and it was all very reassuring.
That feeling when you see your little baby forming from a dot to a little person on your 10/16/20 week scan is truly the most amazing sight ever. Someone above was looking after our baby girl and us.  I felt her growing inside me and just hoped that she would make it to us ok and I was doing everything I could to provide a safe and healthy environment for her.
Our local gp and midwives at the Royal Hospital for women in Randwick looking after us, we had so many appts, blood tests to make sure all was ok.  I grew bigger and could not wait to feel our baby girl move!  Having an anterior placenta meant that I wouldn’t necessarily feel all her movements or see her arms/legs stick out of my belly as the placenta was in the way.  I enjoyed getting HUGE, I loved my body changing and was so happy to have a healthy and vital pregnancy.  Everything was going well.
July saw my newly started Operations Manager role made redundant at nearly 5 months pregnant and September we were advised that the owners of our unit were selling the property and we had 90 days to move out and find a new home.  They say everything happens at once, I took this as a good sign (gosh I can be SO darn positive sometimes).  I must admit it was a little stressful, but we managed to just take each day as it came and looked at so many different properties every weekend.
Working on a temporary contract at the Powerhouse Museum was perfect for this pregnant mamma to be, great people, friendly and the hours were flexible and the role not too stressful and on top of that we found a nice house (yes house, with grass and no stairs) in the inner west that we moved into and we were back on track.
I could not believe at how fast (and sometimes it felt slow) the year was going.  I was moving slower and walking to and from the train station took me 23mins each way (normally takes 10mins).  I started catching the bus to work and then the train home so Drew could pick me up.  The waddling was hilarious and I could not believe at how slow I had become, I am a fast walker, one of those annoying people that walk so fast they over take everyone on their way past….. the only people I overtook were old ladies with their walking frames and one day I overtook another pregnant woman (yes I did feel bad for feeling awesome for that, she was ready to pop and about 32inches shorter than me)!
Working up until the end of November was perfect my temporary role that started out as a 4-6 weeks lasted me four months! I had a week to myself before my parents arrived from Perth to make sure they didn’t miss the arrival of their FIRST grandchild, in case she came early (I was a prem baby arriving at 32 weeks) and having my folks drive me around was great, especially on those hot days where we would just go and sit in an air-conditioned coffee shop for hours (mixing retired parents with a pregnant woman)! Was great to spend time with them before baby girl arrived and I was hoping she would come early in December and not too close to Christmas.
Being an AMA pregnant mamma (Advanced Maternal Age) meant that the hospital would want me to be induced and not go over my due date to avoid any risks of being an older first time mum.   This was not my choice but I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.  I hoped and prayed that she would come on her own and when she was good and ready.  She was due on the 20th December and was born on the 20th December after being induced at exactly 40 weeks to the day.  I had been in hospital for two days prior to her being induced to prepare my cervix for delivery as it was NOT ready at all. 
I never wanted to be induced, I hated the idea that my I would not be in control and my body wasn’t going through the birth when it was ready and naturally.  But I embraced that my body is stubborn and I didn’t want to put any risks on either of us and just went with the flow. Babygirl was very happy inside, good to know the environment I created for her was so comfy she just wanted to stay there a bit longer!
After having two procedures – the gel and a balloon catheter to “ripen” my cervix I was finally ready to go to delivery suite from the antenatal ward on the day she was due.  My waters were broken at 815am and I had a couple hours of horrendous contractions coming at irregular times as the midwife Jo tried to control them with the oxytocin drip (synthetic version of the hormone the body produces to go into labour).  I had never felt anything like contractions before and they were not fun at all.  I could not get comfortable and in a good position to prepare for them as they were so irregular being controlled by the drip in my arm.  Jo tried to get them under control but I didn’t want to take it anymore and told her to get the epidural ASAP.
 Three hours was enough, I was only 4cm dilated (2cm had been from the earlier two procedures) and I did NOT fancy doing that for another 10hrs.   The gas made me sick and I didn’t feel in control.   Drew was being amazing support to me and even an assistant to our midwife, helping her with things she needed to prepare me as well as feeding me water and putting cold compresses on my head.  It was nice to feel the effects of the epidural take place and we could both have a rest until it was time for me to deliver our daughter.  So glad I made that decision.  Things got quiet and no-one was stressed, our daughter was getting ready to make her appearance.
It was a bizarre feeling being told that I had to push and I was numb as from the waist down.  I could not believe that in about 20mins I would be meeting my little girl.  Seeing her come out was truly amazing, seeing that little head and her being placed crying on my chest only to be comforted by my warmth was the best thing I have ever experienced in my entire life.  She had gunk all over her but was perfect. 

I am now a mum! I have the most precious girl in the world and she is worth all the growing pains, stretch marks and sleepless nights.  Looking into her eyes I feel so much love, more than I ever could imagine I would feel.  She is our little angel. 

20 October 2016

Feeling very grateful today!

Most days, life is pretty great! No matter what you are dealing with at the moment, remember to stop and appreciate the simple things in life that make you smile. Take time out to just be. Spend time with those who make you smile, eat the chocolate, sleep in, drink all the wine and remember life is what you make it.

At the moment I am going through one of the biggest transformations of my life, being pregnant. It encompasses my everyday with my protruding bump arriving minutes before I do, reminding me of the precious life growing inside me (especially when I misjudge something and bump into things, bump first, sorry little one)! I cherish each day, every movement she makes, the aches and the pains, the sleepless nights, but I also am so very grateful to be pregnant at 42 and being able to grow and nurture our daughter inside me. It really has opened my eyes to life and what is important for me, right now. I cannot imagine what it will be like when she arrives in about 7-9 weeks from now. I know I am happy right where I am, I don't feel like I am missing out on anything as I have truly had the best experiences in life for the past 42years. Ok i might miss sashimi, wine & running yolks.. but they will be back on the menu soon.

I have started noticing many things as my fast walking pace has been replaced by a very, very slow waddle. On my waddles around the place I do notice as people overtake me (frequently) that everyone is all so busy, rush rush, heads stuck in our phones. Obviously I have to be more aware of my surroundings as people just walk into you without looking and this allows me to people watch more (one of my favourite pastimes).

I have noticed children playing, laughter, heard conversations between people walking past and really find it amazing the things I pick up now that I wouldn't of before as I too would of had my head in my phone and my music on to block everything out. Everyone doing what they need to do each day. I recognise the familiar faces I see daily from the buskers in the tunnels at central to the same people I manage to be at the coffee shop with at the same time each day and the friendly faces that smile at me as I huff and puff along.

I was sitting on the train going home the other day and there was a gorgeous sunset and I think I was probably the only one in my carriage that was appreciating the gorgeous skyline and didn't have my head in my phone. I didn't reach for my phone to take a picture either to share on Facebook or Instagram (I know shock horror), I just sat there smiling at the gorgeous red skyline. Truly amazing.

23 September 2016

Overthinking is not good for you!

What goes on in our minds everyday as women!! Sheeesh we seriously have to watch our thoughts!!  Well I do....  Myr thoughts should be monitored, because most of the time they are worrying or stressing about things that are either out of our control or haven't even happened or will not happen.....ugh.  

Blaming the pregnancy hormones I have been a bit anxious this week as our baby girl starting moving quite a bit and I got super excited, so when she didn't move as much I started stressing like nothing else (which apparently is not good for you either ahem).   So I spent a couple nights this week just obsessing with my large tummy begging her to move.  She moved when she normally did when I was lying down sleeping around midnight and 5am but apparently I wanted MORE and made a special trip to go see my GP today to listen to baby girl's heartbeat.  Which was perfectly fine, strong and LOUD.  I knew somewhere in my gut that all was ok, so why didn't i listen to that and to the voice in my head that was making me super anxious.

After some happy tears (from Dr Z and myself) and a big hug I left the GP with a prescription for my asthma medication (because it is in a box somewhere after our move last week) and made me feel like I had a reason to go see my GP hey.... she said come everyday if you want and I will be more than happy to listen to her heartbeat!  Aww bless.  

So I am normal apparently. Being nearly 7 months pregnant I have connected with my little girl and of course I was going to worry if i had just an inkling of something could be wrong. 

So it was ok to worry a little (hah a lot) and so glad I went in and checked things out to be on the safe side and now I feel so much more relaxed and after the nice walk back from Hyde Park, I treated myself to a delicious beef burger (from Create cafe at the Powerhouse museum) and a banana milkshake - because they taste effing amazing & I am sure there is some goodness in the milk that will be absorbed by Jones Junior! You know calcium for strong bones and all that jazz......

So, happy mamma means happy bubba -  back to my yoga breathing and meditation each night to relax myself and control the thoughts, because they are not good for you.  I need more peace and calm in my body.  Trusting the gut is imperative and I would never ignore something major if it happened, but good to know that I have my gp on my side and a very supportive hubby who lets me just be me, all large, swollen, achy and hormonal and he still loves me! 

Winner winner chicken dinner.   

14 September 2016

Going with the flow!

Life surely is bizarre.  I am a big believer of everything happens at the right time and this year has been no exception.  Pregnant for the fourth time with our first viable pregnancy is bloody exciting, tiring, scary and effing amazing (all can be experienced in one day).  The last 26 weeks surely has been a roller coaster ride whilst growing our baby girl #jonesjnr, filled with interesting cravings, plenty of nanna naps, emotions, hormones and morning/afternoon/evening sickness.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

2016 started off with a new job, moving out from the EA space and moving into management. Was an exciting time, working for a fundraising company and had two staff reporting into me and was excited to be learning new skills and put my highly organised skills to the test to see how I could be the best Operations Manager I could possibly be.  Six months into the role, it was made redundant due to restructure. That is cool shite happens right, everything will work out and to be honest in hindsight probably was the best thing to happen as I am now working at the Powerhouse museum in a great EA role temporarily and I am feeling relaxed and less stressed than I was before, which can only be good when one is growing another human inside her hey? My gut told me it was the right thing, I learnt so much and I look forward to exploring that space again after the arrival of baby Jones.

We had talked about moving house when we found out we were pregnant back in April, then decided to stay put because we love our apartment and the area and were already so settled and coming up to four years in our place..... then the owners wanted to "pop-in" and have a look at the property.......................... alarm bells ringing please, you only do that if you want to SELL! Bingo two weeks later we were given 90 days - so a temporary job and having to find a new place whilst pregnant at 42, yes this is how I imagined my life in my 20's, haha, bring it.

So we have literally JUST moved, we found a great HOUSE with a backyard and NO stairs (why did I think stairs would be good at our old place hey, in denial I was) and I am just going with the flow.  Trying to pack up the house when nearly 7 months pregnant was not fun at all, so tiring and I was extremely frustrated at how LITTLE I could physically and mentally do.  Thank god my husband has taken it in his stride and just got things done, what a legend. Definitely won the lotto there peeps. I of course did the admin side of things with moving Foxtel, AGL, changing our addresses on bills and ensuring our first food shop is delivered to fill our fridge and pantry with food noms. Normally I would of unpacked the kitchen and gotten all my clothes organised - last night I ordered thai for dinner and made the bed (after sorting out the fur cat in the spare room). That was plenty and off to bed I went at 8:30pm!  Even today I am not overthinking what I need to do, just will see what I feel like doing.  What is going on! 

2015 taught me that shit happens and you just have to go with the flow the universe gives you. It has reminded me that yes change happens and it can lead to much better things, to never look back and ponder "what if" and to deal with the card you are being handed right this very second because you never know where it may lead you.    I have a feeling this will come in handy with a newborn also - as they aren't able to be project managed and organised!!  I look forward to see how that pans out in 3 months time!  

Less stress on oneself is important, lower expectations and just do what you can :) sometimes is the best approach. It feels good.