Saturday, January 30, 2010

onemillionwomen




I've joined the one million women campaign against climate change.
Check out the website www.1millionwomen.com.au

Friday, January 29, 2010

Things to look forward to

I walked into the play room this morning and not only was Harper happily playing without me in the room, she had pulled herself up on the bookshelf and was standing wobbly while holding the shelf-and grinning because she was so darn pleased with herself.

My last baby is growing into a toddler-and it makes me a little sad and nostalgic about when my other two were babies.

But there is a lot to look forward to-so I'm going to focus on that.

-no car seats and kids who can buckle themselves in and out-WOOT!
-being able to share chapter books at night
-no bums to wipe or nappies to wash
-no night feeds. That seems like a fanciful dream lol
-all 3 girls wanting to spend the morning with their grandparents
-not having to carry a bag with spare undies, pants, nappies, wipes, bibs etc etc
-a night out with my husband,just me and him
-a little more help around the house

Don't get me wrong-I'm not wishing away the baby stage. It just seems that I'm all of a sudden painfully aware of how quickly it does pass. But until it does I'm going to enjoy all the stuff that is part of being a Mama to littlies-except maybe the carseat thing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

There is something about making the kids play dough and watching them play with it that makes me feel like a good mother.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

What birth trauma looks like.

*if you have had a traumatic birth this could be a trigger for you*

I just clicked on a link and read a birth story. It was not a nice birth story but one of a woman bullied into a caesarian who suffered a lot of trauma both during and after her experience.

And I found myself bawling my eyes out.Thinking about how Tannah was bought into the world and about my own trauma and wondering if it will ever really go away. Wondering if in 20 years from now I will still be right back there at Tannah's birth every time I read a traumatic birth story or see a photo of a baby at a hospital birth.

Tannah was dragged into the world by vacuum extraction after a short, induced and incredibly painful labour. By the time she was born I was hooked up to monitors-including one that was inserted into her precious scalp-and I was so stoned on pethedine that I was passing out in between contractions. Not the birth I had imagined and worked on.

When I was pregnant I sought out a birth centre and chose to ignore the statistics thrown at me-that three quarters of us in the birth class would be "transferred out" for a list of possible complications as long as my arm. I wrote my birth plan, I packed a homeopathic kit and I spent hours talking to my belly baby.I was having her in the birth centre-it would be easy and beautiful. Then, after a lot of pre labour, I allowed the first intervention. A late scan.
The scan "showed" that I had low liquor or waters-so I was monitored (2nd intervention) for "suspected hind waters leak". Baby was fine but then I was to come back for more monitoring etc etc. I was desperate for my birth centre birth so I agreed-thinking that the fact that all was OK would keep everyone reassured. I was not prepared for what happened at the next round of monitoring.
I was told that waters were still "low" and though baby was fine my cervix was "favorable" so they would be breaking my waters. The registrar actually told me this mid vaginal exam (VE)and assured me it would send me into labour for sure and best I do it now so I could avoid another VE. Artificially broken waters are not a reason to transfer out. I was still safe-and I was going to go into labour "for sure". All good. I agreed.
Then buckets of water exploded everywhere after they were broken.
"hmm-they didn't seem that low" says the registrar.
I call Luke-this all went on while I was alone-and tell him to get to the hospital ASAP-we're having our baby today! I was so excited and sure it was all going to be fine, despite being terrified. I squatted, I climbed stairs-because I was not allowed to go home, and told that I had 4 hours to make labour happen "on my own" or they were going to do it for me.
4 hours pass. No labour, not a twinge, nothing.
I cried a little when I was transferred out. But I was still hopeful.

That hope faded with the first artificial contraction-that happened about 2 minutes after the drip was started. It was almost 2 minutes long and had me doubled over in pain. A midwife who walked in saw the monitor and said "oh love if it starts like that this is going to be awful"
Then I really cried. Terrified and feeling like a rabbit in headlights. But no time for that 2 minutes later another contraction. Not much I can do for pain relief when I'm strapped to a monitor and only able to move in a semi circle-not to mention those syntocin contractions. From the get go I was offered drugs-even though I made it clear that I was crap with narcotics-they make me drowsy and pukey. I begged for a shower and got my wish, but not before the midwife turned up the drip so by the time I got in I was barely able to stand and the contractions were a minute apart.
3 hours into my labour an OB came in looked at the machine, ordered me up on the bed for a poke around and announced that I probably had a few hours to go. I freaked, there was no way I could keep it up. I begged for an epidural but it was going to take too long (my saving grace from a c-section I believe) so I took the pethadine-complete with another drug to stop the puking. It was about half an hour before Tannah was to be born.
That got me up on the bed-much to the midwifes relief and had me completely out of it and still in pain. Apparently it only works in half of women for pain. Something that maybe could have been bought to my attention before having it.I was passing out all over the place and being shaken and yelled awake. Things spiraled out of control from here. Tannah was in a terrible position(me lying on my back) and her heart rate was not great (syntocin) and I had a cervical lip. They pushed the lip back but I was roughly handled by 2 doctors before the 3rd could push it back over Tannah's head-while I screamed. Then they put a monitor into her scalp. Then I started pushing-but it wasn't happening because I was lying flat on my back pushing uphill. Her hear rate was not good. She needed to be born. If I had had the epidural this is the part where I would tell you I was wheeled off for surgery-but I had not. So the OB put a suction cup on my baby's beautiful head and started to pull.
If you imagine this is gentle tug to "help" her out think again. His/her (I can't remember) foot was on the end of the bed for leverage and I remember feeling terrified that her whole head was going to come off. I pushed with all my might and the OB pulled so hard the suction cup detached from Tannah's head-taking with it a chunk of scalp. It was put back on and Tannah was born into the arms of a complete stranger-and in front of Luke, a midwife, another OB and a pediatrician-as well as tye cleaner who was changing the bin at the time.
She came out screaming and was put on my (dressed) chest. This moment is still as clear as if it were yesterday. She stopped crying and looked into me like "oh thank goodness you're here. I'm safe" Then she was whisked away for all the "essentials". weight, measurement, apgars etc. She was 37 weeks gestation and weighed 7lb 2oz Apgars were 9 and 10. All that intervention for a baby who was perfectly happy gestating in suspected low waters.

When I got her back I tried feeding her but she was drowsy (pethedine)and we only had a little success. She was wrapped in blankets and I was not allowed to carry her back to my room-she had to be wheeled and so did I. I had a LOT of stitches and all I wanted was a shower. I discovered later when I unwrapped her that she had a gaping hole in her scalp from the vacuum. Months later I discovered that they had injured my cervix with it too, making any kind of penetrative sex excruciating for about a year.

I remember getting home and unpacking my hospital bag. My birth plan and homeopathic kit were still in there. Untouched. I cried and cried.

I was "so lucky" to have a healthy baby out of the whole mess. I came home from hospital and tried to cope. We had a lot of trouble getting breastfeeding up and running. Tannah was in a fair amount of pain for at least the first year-her scalp, neck and back needed to heal from the incredible pressure of being dragged out of my body. She screamed. A lot. She didn't sleep much. I stumbled through the days, weeks,months telling myself it was no big deal until I heard Sarah J Buckley talk about birth trauma when Tannah was 10 months old.

My world fell apart. I was angry. I was upset. But most of all I felt so guilty that I had "let" all of these horrible things happen to me and my baby. It took me longer to realize that it was not my fault and longer still to accept that that's the shit that women are offered every day in hospitals around Australia. They are bullied with fear, they are traumatized with unnecessary intervention and ultimately women and babies are damaged emotionally and physically every day and told to accept it as "normal" and consider themselves lucky thanks very much for the "help".

I've since had 2 homebirths. I never felt afraid or bullied. I always felt respected. After each babe slid into my arms easily (I know it's not always the way with homebirth) and gently I felt elated and empowered. It was not something that was done to me and my baby. And each time I have cried buckets for Tannah and I and the birth that was so awful and traumatic for us both-knowing it could have been different.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bindi!

My kids have gone Bindi Irwin mad. We have a couple of the DVD's and they are on high rotation.
I think she is a great role model for kids. Conservation and wildlife are great topics and it's clear she has her late Dad's passion. I know that she makes some people cringe and that some feel that she has been pushed into showbusiness but I have to disagree. I think she is following in her Dad's footsteps.
The shows have bought up lots of conversations about certain animals and had us borrowing various books from the library about them. It has also led to us borrowing some of the Crocodile Hunter series because Steve Irwin is following Bindi as a close second as Tannah's favorite person.

But I was not been prepared for how upset Tannah would be when she found out that he was dead. She has cried about it a few times. But the bit that breaks my heart is she cried for Bindi. She put herself in Bindi's shoes and imagined how sad she would be if Luke was not around. She can see that Bindi and Steve were close like her and Luke are and she feels empathy-and it upsets her. Which of course upsets me to see her upset...

Here is a song that Bindi made about her Dad after he died. Whatever you think about the Irwins she is a little girl who lost her Daddy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Feeling tiny

Sometimes the state of the planet and where it's going makes me feel so tiny and insignificant.
I feel like it doesn't matter what my contribution is and no matter how hard I try to live lightly on the earth it's not ever going to be enough. And it's true.

Too many people on the planet are still in hyper consume mode, too many people don't think about where their food comes from but most importantly-too many people just don't care.
And there is so much to think about! Recycling, plastics,topsoil, ethical farming, conscious consumption, frugal living, organics, fossil fuel, food miles, saving water, saving energy, saving endangered species, saving the forest, toxic food, toxic toys, toxic lifestyles and on and on and on.

It all seems too much-and hardly within my league to be of any difference. It seems overwhelming and makes me sad.

Maybe in my lifetime but certainly in the lifetime of my precious children life as we know it will change on this planet. We are going to start to run out of things that keep us in the lifestyle in which we are accustomed to leading. All the "stuff" we have in our homes is going to mean jack shit if we are paying $50 a kilo for potatoes and petrol is too expensive for most of us to buy. Life will change and it will be scary times to start with.

I guess I have to keep trying to "be the change I wish to see in the world".

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Housewife is not a dirty word

I'm a housewife. Yep, loud and proud. This will have many of you cringing at the term but I must admit, I don't get why.
I think that I have the best role around. I get to spend the most time with the kids and I am the boss of my own time management. I take great pride in "keeping house"-I like to have our place in order, to be able to find stuff (clean stuff even) and to have systems in place that really work. I like to nourish myself and family with healthy and yummy food-being the one to buy and prepare it is no big deal. I don't get the "fuck you" attitude to doing the housework. It is just something that needs to be done. Not a personal attack on your worth as a woman. Sure, help is great and any offers of help are gladly taken in my house! Luke helps out a fair bit but I do the majority of the housework and cooking-he's out at paid work a whole lot so it seems fair to me that I do most of the house stuff.
Of course my role as Mother comes first and that means that my place is not ultra clean nor is it a museum that the kids can't be kids in. But at the end of the day when the kids are asleep I tidy up so I can start the next day from scratch. It makes my life easier and less chaotic.
To fight housework-the stuff that just needs to get done-is an uphill battle. Kids create mess, wear clothes and nappies that need laundering and need to eat. In my mind part of caring for them is nourishing them with healthy food, having clean clothes to wear and creating an environment with little chaos so they can thrive.
Part of being a housewife is deciding when to do my jobs-which means there is time for playdates and zoo trips and all sorts of fun stuff for both me and the kids in between. If I was at paid work I would not have that flexibility.
I know there is some eye rolling and head shaking going on now, maybe some pity for me as a repressed woman. Don't feel bad for me. I'm happy. I LOVE my role as Mama and housewife-and ALL that it entails.

**NOTE-I'm not talking about women who are in abusive relationships where the housework is done though fear of repercussion. I'm not talking about men who waltz in the door 6pm and expect an ultra clean house. I'm talking about those of us in respectful relationships.**

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And just like that..

Willow is different. Out of nappies and weaned!
She was recently using the potty at home-usually because she is nude and it's easy. But it became clear that she had quite a bit of awareness and control so I bit the bullet and put her in undies. I did have to buy some bloody brand new expensive brand name undies however because they are the only ones who make a size 1! All Tans old ones just fell down off her teeny tiny bum. It's been pretty good, Willow likes wearing undies and I like washing less nappies. Win win. We get the odd poo in the undies here and there but she'll get the hang of that in time.
Here is a photo of a much smaller Willow in a big nappy bum. Awwww memories.
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Her weaning was somewhat surprising. I guess to a lot of you she may seem like too old to "still" be breastfeeding-especially next to her baby sister. On the other hand to a lot of you she probably seems way too young to wean! But for us it was the right time. She had stopped actually drinking milk. Just kind of holding my nipple in her mouth. That feels about as annoying as it sounds. I suggested maybe she might want to have cuddles instead. She said "I don't want to suck the milky anymore, just have a boo cuddle". So that's what she asks for. She comes and lies down in my lap for a "boo cuddle". There have been no tears. She did ask a couple of days in "why don't I have boo anymore" I told her it was because she didn't suck anymore. She was surprisingly cool with it. For a child who was such an intense feeder, who hung in there through a virtually non existent supply through Harper's pregnancy and who has been the most gracious and patient of tandem feeders it came as a shock that it ended just like that. I did nudge her, but it was only a nudge. And she stopped drinking milk weeks ago, I was just putting up with the awful dry suck/hold/licking because she seemed so small and I kept waiting for her to come back to the boo. But I was well and truly over it and she is well and truly OK with not feeding.
Here is her first feed
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This is not her last but one of the last pics (I have nearly no recent ones)-and maybe the only tandem one, which sucks because I put in 10 months as a tandem Mama!
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I'm sad, she seems like a bigger kid overnight. Even though she is back in size one pants lol. I will miss sharing my boo with her, I will not miss changing her nappy.

But I have this strange feeling about the fact that in a few years I won't be changing ANY nappies or giving ANYONE boo. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I think when the time comes it will be bittersweet....then I might go away for the weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hi y'all

The kids hate me spending any time on the computer at present-forums, blogs, whatever. They protest and I am finding I don't even switch on when Luke is not at home. So I have been offline a heap of late. It's been hot. 43 degrees yesterday so there has been a fair bit of inside time and chilling with friends. Must say I'm looking forward to a play with our other homeschool friends tomorrow. My kids need a BIG run around outside. Please weather help me out.

But there have been moments of kids playing together-bliss for everyone
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Things I know

-31 seems older than 30...not sure why, just does.
-portable DVD players rock for big trips in the car
-dinner with good friends is good for the soul
-my kids would eat the same meal every night over and over if I could bring myself to cook it over and over
-they don't make undies small enough for kids with tiny bums
-when you have a sore nipple nothing is scarier than your toddlers big toothy mouth
-clean out the oven immediately after having a spill in it. Or smoke alarms will remind you to do this next time you cook
-flies don't really land on flypaper
-looking at old photos is lovely, and crap for body image.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My birthday

It's my birthday. I'm 31. And it seems today I got everything I wanted.

A clear run on the freeway, some time with good company, yummy food (and drink)and happily playing kids.

Some time away from my kids with some of my favorite women friends, laughs, more yummy food and drink.

Some cash to spend on me, a tree to plant, beer, champagne, new sunglasses and very useful handmade face wipes!

Talking & texting with some family & friends from interstate-not to mention a heap of lovely facebook messages.

Kids to bed easily & a bit of birthday love with the husband!

A very happy birthday indeed!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And so they grow.

My girls, my babies. They are growing like weeds.

My firstborn, when did you get so grown up?

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My firecracker, you are well and truly out of babyhood.

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My baby, on the move and on your way to toddlerdom.
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Time flies huh?
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Making the best out of a tiny backyard

We have a tiny backyard. Really tiny. It's probably more of a courtyard really. I used to whinge about it. But now we have made it quite functional. Veggies, a trampoline, a sandpit and even chooks! We have maximized the space by building retaining walls all the way around the fences and planting the veggies and fruit in there-the drainage is awesome. We've also planted in wine barrels around the place. The ground is our next project, at the moment it is crushed rock that is covered in some recycled tennis court grass in places. We are getting REAL grass this year at the beginning of spring. I know it's a permaculture no no but it will be watered from our washing machine and it really is a small patch. We followed the advice of a friend who knows his permaculture-plant what you want, see what lives and what dies and you'll have a better idea of what to plant next year or what to fix. I like this advice :)

This photo was taken from inside the back window. There is the fence. That's the clothesline which gets the washing dry surprisingly fast. In the bottom right you can see the rabbit hutch and the chook house. The gate in the right hand corner goes to dead space around the house. It's about a meter wide and runs in an L shape around the outside of our place-it will be the chook's run when they get a little bigger.
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Here are some close ups of the garden beds that run along that wall.The first one is taken from against the gate. Flowers, basil, celery, raspberries and broccoli to name a few. The trampoline provides a bit of shade so it's a good spot for delicate plants.
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This photo is taken from inside the sliding door on the other part of the yard. The kids run hot and cold with playing with the cubby house but it's a favorite to share with friends
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And this picture is taken from against the roller door into the garage to give you an idea of the longest part of the yard.
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A close up of the sandpit that Luke is standing in in the previous photo.
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A view from the sandpit
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Some closer shots of the wine barrels. and garden behind. This spot gets the best sun and is going a little crazy. Cucumbers, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries, a mini peach tree and a sunflower to name a bit of what's going on here. Herbs are planted in the gaps around the place.
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The lemon tree barrel. Or the pee barrel lol.
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This barrel has Harper's placenta planted in it. We chucked some random seedlings and seeds in there while we wait for bare rooted season to get a mini apple. But it has all gone crazy! I'm not sure if the mint will kill the zucchini or vice versa.
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Tannah doing her favorite thing. Bouncing!
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Willow helping pick the rainbow silverbeet for dinnerPhotobucket



So that's our backyard-I hope it has inspired you to make the best out of your small space if you have one or be grateful for a huge space if that's what you have!
Looking forward to feeling some real grass between my toes next year...and maybe putting in a bench seat somewhere.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Things I know-Saturday edition

-Luke's time off has gone waaay too fast
-zucchini and mint in a barrel=cramped!
-there is something soothing about the book booking of chooks
-I should just buy Tannah and Willow everything identical to avoid fights
-op shopping can be addictive!
-when Harper is less in arms and more mobile I will be so happy, and a little sad that that period of my parenting has come to an end.
-new years with friends is one of my favorite traditions
-there are far too many interesting forums out there, I need more time!

Friday, January 1, 2010

a decade apart

I have been reflecting on the decade that was. Have I had a busy 10 years! Here is me and my then-boyfriend at midnight, just as the new millennium ticked over (thanks Gra for letting me use this pic)
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That year was huge for me. I turned 21. Much to my surprise that relationship died a natural death about 6 months after this photo was taken and I found myself back living at home with my parents. I made a decision to move to Melbourne for a complete change and to start fresh. At the end of the year I met Luke-who was up on holidays from Melbourne so it happened. The rest, as they say, is history.

The rest of the decade has seen massive changes. I have had my 3 amazing children, I married my man, we bought a house, we lost a house, we moved back to QLD, we moved back to VIC, I lost my beloved Pop, I gained two nephews and a niece, I've been vegetarian, vegan, omnivore and everything in between. I feel like the last decade was building my house by experimenting with different materials and now I'm happy with the end product the next decade is going to be about making it my own and becoming comfortable in it-tweaking and adjusting along the way.

So here is a photo of me 10 years later-at midnight as the new decade ticked over. With my husband. I'm older, fatter and much more comfortable with who I am.
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Looking forward to the next decade and all it brings.
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