Mothers who Mothers Group.

Oh how I have neglected my blog! I must apologise to you all… it has been a tough couple of weeks and no I am not pregnant, I am simply struggling for motivation. I would say I am in a deep rut, similar to the one I found myself in last time I was trying to conceive, this time however we are looking to IVF and I’ll be sure to share that journey, with you.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the positives in my life lately, one being that I recently had the pleasure to attend an amazing wedding at Monselvat in Eltham. Wow was it the most beautiful setting for an even more beautiful couple!

The stunning bride is actually a friend I met in my Mother’s Group and to be a part of something so special was amazing. And this got me thinking…

Why do Mother’s Groups get a bad rap?

Before I had Hutch, a lot of Mums had very negative things to say about Mother’s Groups:

“They are so judgmental”

“It’s just a way for people to feel bad/good about their parenting”

“It just made me sure my child was advanced.”

There was so much negativity that it honestly made me dread my first Mother’s Group meeting, I told my husband I didn’t want to go, that I had enough Mum friends and didn’t need any more.

I was I wrong! Let’s add this to the list of things I was so very wrong about before I had my little man.

I absolutely love my Mother’s Group, it made me feel safe, confident and most of all it made me realise I was not alone.

Everyone went through the exact same hardships, sleep deprivation and anxiety that I went through. I found that my Mother’s Group was so far from judgmental, in fact when I decided to stop breastfeeding they were all totally supportive.

We all rolled our eyes, together, when the Maternal Health Nurse gave dinosaur-age-old advice; we shared in the shock when VicSafe came to talk about child dangers in the home (side note: did you know babies commonly drown in dog water bowls, yeah well I didn’t and I can tell you right now a few things changed in our home, overnight) and we laughed and laughed when baby after baby would spew, poo or burp.

If I ever felt compelled to give a new Mum advice it would be to embrace your Mother’s Group because these women are an incredible support network.

Let’s face it, being a new Mum can be lonely and days need to be filled, where possible, with coffee dates and park catch ups. Not to mention our babies will all grow up together, we live in the same area so potentially will go to the same kinder, the same primary school etc.

I hope to cherish the friendships I have made for many years to come…

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Hutch turns 1!

Well we made it! We have successfully managed to keep another human alive for 365 days and managed to keep myself relatively sane in the meantime,

Without a doubt this has been the best year of my life, I cannot imagine my life without Hutch and I don’t remember what life was like before I became a Mum! (that’s a lie, my life was full of stressful directors, loud and aggressive clients and a few more wines)

Hutch absolutely loved his birthday, especially his party.

I want to thank all the amazing friends and family that made the effort to celebrate with us, we cannot thank you enough!

We spent the afternoon at Cubbyhouse Canteen, a gorgeous little café just behind the tennis courts in Armadale Victoria. They took care of everything! The cake, the decorations, the food, the drinks and even helped with presents!

Hutch had requested a jungle theme and as you can see from the photos this is exactly what he got…

 

 

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Cake brief…nailed!
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Cake time!

I cannot thank Narelle and the girls from Cubbyhouse Canteen enough for making the day so stress free and perfect. I have been inundated on Instagram with questions about the venue so for anyone interested please contact Narelle on 0421 173 886

Or check them out @cubbyhousecanteen.

We will be back in three weeks for another first birthday and Hutch cannot wait.

M2M

XOX

I am back!!!

I’m back and boy was it a crazy couple of weeks! As most of you know I underwent my second laparoscopy, in the hope of having another baby (I’ll be sure to let you know how that goes).

The procedure and recovery went well and I am nearly one hundred percent back to normal. Thank you, so much, for all the well wishes and love.

The most challenging part of this time was being away from Master Hutch. He was with his Dad full time, for a week, and it was difficult for me to sit back, watch and try extremely hard not to question hubby’s parenting.

In saying that, I want to share some Mummy moments with you all that nearly made me lose my marbles:

My husband was under strict instruction to send through photos on the regular and in hindsight maybe this wasn’t the best idea…

The first morning I received this photo

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The boys on a lovely breakfast date at 8am; its 16 degrees at 8am and Hutch is in a T-shirt! Now this might not seem like a big deal to some but being the control freak I am, I rang hubby straightaway… enough said.

Second day they adventured to a play centre and to be honest I’m just going to let this picture speak for itself:

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By the third day I no longer received pictures, just short text messages advising me Hutch was alive and well.

And of course, he was, not only did he get to spend an amazing week bonding with his Dad but his Dad got to spend a week being a full-time parent which was the best thing to ever happen to me! My husband has a new appreciation for me, in ways he probably never would have before.

Hubby now understands how much attention, stimulation and activity one very active 11 month old needs; he realises how long it actually takes to get out of the house and why even when Hutch naps I am packing a nappy bag for the next outing. He also realised how extremely draining and exhausting being a Mum can really be… but he agrees it is by far the best job in the world.

I strongly recommend all Muma’s to take a few days off and let the Dad’s run the show (minus the surgery… maybe book a spa retreat) you will be amazed at the results.

BUT PACK A JUMPER IN THE CAR, NAPPY BAG AND ONE IN THE PRAM TOO, JUST IN CASE!

When your ears hang low…

Boobs…

When I think about my boobs post pregnancy and post breastfeeding a song from my childhood comes to mind:

Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do They Wobble to and Fro?
Can You Tie Them in a Knot?
Can You Tie Them in a Bow?
Can You Throw Them Over Your Shoulder Like a Continental Soldier?

Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do Your Ears Hang High?
Do They Reach Up to the Sky?
Do The Droop When They’re Wet?
Do They Stiffen When They’re Dry?
Can You Semaphore Your Neighbour with a Minimum of Labor?

Do Your Ears Hang High?
Do Your Ears Hang Wide?
Do They Flap From Side to Side?
Do They Wave in the Breeze?
From the Slightest Little Sneeze?
Can You Soar Above the Nation with a Feeling of Elation?

Do Your Ears Hang Wide?
Do Your Ears Fall Off?
When You Give a Great Big Cough?
Do They Lie There on the Ground?
Or Bounce Up at Every Sound?
Can You Stick Them in Your Pocket Just Like Little Davy Crockett?

Do Your Ears Fall Off?

Obviously in my head I replace ‘ears’ with ‘boobs’; I believe quite honestly that I could more easily tuck them into my socks, than I could stuff them into a push-up bra.

And of course, nobody warns you. Nobody sits you down and says “now look, I know you have stopped breastfeeding so be prepared for the fact that your large, sore, over-engorged breasts are about to shrivel up; quite literally turning inside out and all you will be left with are, two empty almost tea-bag style sacks, on your chest.”

For most women, boobs are the first sign of pregnancy; the growth and the tenderness are a dead giveaway. When pregnant, my boobs grew from a modest D-cup to a HH-cup. I am not joking, I am not lying! They were so comfortable and flattering in all my clothes… no actually, no they bloody weren’t; nothing fit me (my boobs were the same size as my 20 week stomach) and I couldn’t lie on either side or on my tummy, in bed.

Once our little man arrived, they only got bigger and to be honest I stopped bothering with bras, breastfeeding is so bloody tough and my boobs were always so hard and full; I mainly walked around naked in the hope my nipples would heal with some fresh air.

The real fun and games started once I decided to stop breastfeeding, my Mum came over and with her came frozen cabbage leaves; she stuck them down my top and sent me on my way.

Luckily, for me, it didn’t take too long for my milk to dry up and the pain subsided quite quickly but I am now left with what resembles more of cow’s udder than nice perky breasts. And, I am now starting to realise why my gorgeous husband begged me not to write this particular blog…

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Now that we are trying for number two, I am concerned for the size that could return whilst also being super excited to try breastfeeding, again.

I have come to terms with the fact that I may need a boob job once our next babies gig is over… not for anyone else but myself.

While writing this blog I found a meme that sums up my experience, perfectly:

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M2M xox

When 3 + 1 doesn’t equal 4

 

“For all the babies born sleeping,

Those we carried but never held.

Those we held but never took home,

And, those that came but could not stay.”

The day I found out I was pregnant, for a second time, was not straightforward. I had been feeling strange, dizzy and nauseous; my period wasn’t due so I brushed the thought out of my head…
I couldn’t be pregnant,
We weren’t even trying,
And, it’s not meant to be that easy.

I booked an appointment, with my Doctor, the next day for an explanation and then convinced myself taking a pregnancy test would be a precaution.
I took four.
They were all positive.

The first thing I did was ring my husband… he didn’t answer. So, I rang my closest friend, in a panic, screaming down the phone, “I am pregnant!” I told myself, over and over, not to get excited, not to make plans. However, being the control freak I am, I was already Googling double-pram reviews.

It was that night I started spotting, only slightly but I was worried, I was really worried; call it intuition, I knew something wasn’t right.

The following day the blood test came back positive; I was six week pregnant based on my hormone levels. I booked in for a scan straight away, I was still spotting but it wasn’t red blood and Dr Google told me that this could be okay.

Enter my second internal ultrasound… oh the joys of this wonderful experience! I didn’t know this ultrasound tech, as my regular vagina invader was on annual leave, he was cold and blunt. When he showed my uterus on the screen he simply stated; “There is nothing there, no heartbeat. If you haven’t started miscarrying, you will.”

And that was it; I was sent on my way and told to wait.
To wait for this unborn child, with no heartbeat, to pass.

And wait I did.
It never came and a silly voice in my head told me that he was wrong, that maybe it was simply too early and that a heartbeat would come…

I picked myself up and decided attending a friend’s Hens Day would be totally fine because I was still pregnant and that gave me enormous resolve.

I started bleeding about ten minutes into the celebrations; it was extremely painful and very similar to my after labour pains. I locked myself in the restaurant toilet and sat there while everything I had hoped for drained away. About an hour later, I managed to sneak out and jump in a cab to go home.

I went numb, no sadness, no tears just blackness.

Thinking about it now, I really needed to express what I was feeling, I needed to talk about it and I needed to acknowledge the loss.

Friends and family would say things like:
“At least you have Hutch.”
“At least it was early.”
“It shows you can get pregnant naturally” (this has also proven to be an incorrect statement, I am still infertile).
All those statements were said in love and meant to make me feel better…

But really all I wanted someone to say was “I am sorry for your loss” to acknowledge that no matter what, no matter how far along I was, that I was grieving the loss of a child, of a pregnancy and of a life that could have been.

To those people who don’t know what to say, it is not your fault as no one talks about miscarriage, pregnancies are still not announced until ‘safe’ and it doesn’t help, anyone. This just means that so many people suffer in silence; they keep this dark secret and never truly grieve their loss.

So to all those women, who have experienced what I have, I am so very sorry for your loss. I send you all my strength and love.

And, to that little bean we saw on that ultrasound, we love you, we loved you and we are so very sorry we never go to you show you that, as it was all over before it really begun.

M2M

XOX

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#tribe

Now that I am a Mum, a lot has changed for me, one thing I noticed most is how much I used to judge other Mums and parents. Before I had Hutch, I would look at other parents like a stuck-up know-it-all and often be horrified to see them: entertain their child with an iPad, say no to something only to say yes seconds later, hear screaming on an aeroplane (my resting bitch face was strong for this one) or even Mums who co-slept with their babies. I generally judged parents, even sometimes subconsciously, swearing not to make the ‘mistakes’ I believed them to be making. What an absolute idiot, disillusioned fool, I was! I was not a mother, my husband and I were not parents and we had absolutely no right to have any sort of opinion on others parenting techniques.

You must feel me on this one, Mums?

How many of you said you would never use a dummy, never use an iPad or allow screen time? I even told myself I wouldn’t use Panadol or Nurofen (I can see you rolling your eyes… I already admitted to being a fool).

Enter Master Hutch and ‘boy oh boy’ did this all go out the window! In the past 11 months we have done all of the following, not just for shits and gigs but to SURVIVE:

  • We tried a dummy over and over, while he used my nipples for comfort, I tried everything to get him to attach to the dummy; no luck on that one!
  • We formula-fed from two weeks old – this, I am incredibly proud of.
  • Hutch was hospitalised at four months with Bronchiolitis and when they told me to administer Panadol, to help with discomfort, I did. I administered the shit out of that Panadol!
  • iPad: now this is controversial! Hutch literally hates the car, so much so that from four weeks old, he would scream to the point of vomiting from the moment he was put in the car to the moment he was taken out, no matter what the distance. At three months old, my husband had, had enough of my mental breakdowns along with the general avoidance of the car and put an iPad in back seat; he downloaded The Wiggles and from that day, Hutch has never cried in the car and I can safely make it from one place to another paying full attention to the road. What is more important?
  • Hutch is now at the age where he has discovered the ‘tantrum’ and for an 11-month-old he can seriously throw one; when I took a toy off him, because he kept throwing it out of his pram, he screamed so loudly that all of Chadstone was looking at me, I gave it straight back!

These are just a few examples and I am sure there are many, many more and Hutch is only 11 months old! This is going to get worse: he is going to learn to roll his eyes, to answer back and am I going to have to break so many more expectations, I had for myself?

Why am I telling you this? Why am I admitting to being an absolute fool? I am doing this because I am 100% sure I am not the only one.

To all the Mums (and to all the women with a uterus that may or may not become Mums, one day) my message is: stop judging!

If you think you won’t make those mistakes, STOP, because you will.

If you think your child won’t scream in public, STOP, because they will.

If you think that your child will never ever watch ‘the devil’ (the TV), STOP, because they will.

Support other Mums; if you see them struggling, help them, smile and offer the best sympathetic face that you can muster. We are a tribe, we all have a common goal and we MUST support one another!

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The Pouch.

I have seen a few things on social media recently from Mums who have just given birth or even those who’ve had a child six years ago, all worried about their weight and body image. This has inspired me to write a blog, just in time for all the yummy Christmas day food, we will all enjoy.

This is not an inspirational blog, unfortunately you will not finish reading this and be motivated to head to the gym, have a green smoothie and drop 5kg. However, I hope you feel a little less alone, a little less pressured and just be a little bit easier on yourself.

So here goes…

I hated pregnancy; yep, I said it. I don’t care what anyone says, it is not an enjoyable experience. It is approximately nine months of sweaty, nauseous, crampy mess. The part I hated most was the loss of control, I am a control freak (SURPRISE!) so when that was taken away from me, I found it very hard to enjoy.

Every day I would wake up and something would be different about my body; my boobs would be a little bigger, my hips a little wider, my cankles a little fatter and so on. I also lacked the energy for exercise; by the time I hit my second trimester and felt well enough to exercise I was told to ‘rest’ due to high blood pressure (developing pre-eclampsia). So I ‘rested’ and if you look up ‘rest’ in the dictionary, I am pretty sure it means EAT; and, boy, did I eat! I wasn’t eating out of boredom; I swear I was actually starving all the time. Fast forward eight months and I had gained 25kg and was a waddling little whale.

After my little man arrived due to a C-section birth I was advised: no exercise for six weeks and after that six weeks walking only. I bounced from diet, to fad, to weight-loss shake, to hardcore boot camp, to Nutella and back again; nothing stuck or worked. I lost 8kg, naturally, but still weigh a good 15kg more than I want to be.

About two weeks ago I looked myself in the mirror and thought ENOUGH. I looked at that pouch of skin, where my baby used to be, and realised without that little pouch I would never have got my most miraculous gift. I swore to stop pressuring myself to get up at 5am and exercise, to stop crying in the bathroom before a social gathering because nothing fits and to stop dieting (…because it always results in a binge session). Instead I decided to be kinder to myself, to be proud of what my body has achieved and to completely change my mindset:

I am the absolute best Mum that I believe I can be.

I am striving to be the best wife that I believe I can be.

And, I hope to be the best friend, daughter and sister that I can be.

This is me, the first picture is two weeks post partum. I have cabbage leaves in my bra to help dry up my milk and ease the pain of mastitis, I have a huge bruise on my arm from one of the many needles given to me in the hospital and I have some nice fresh stretch marks.

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This is me, the first picture is two weeks post partum. I have cabbage leaves in my bra to help dry up my milk and ease the pain of mastitis, I have a huge bruise on my arm from one of the many needles given to me in the hospital and I have some nice fresh stretch marks. The second picture was taken about 2 weeks ago, still with obvious stretch marks and a big belly. But one difference, I am happy.

 

I choose to have the best relationship with food that I can have. Regardless of the food I eat I simply will ask myself to make better choices for ME. Me and only me.

To all those stunning Mummies out there, whether you reach your pre-baby weight or not, it does not matter as long as you are proud of who you are, that is all that matters. With vomit in your hair, bags under your eyes and yesterday’s clothes – we are all beautiful.

And to that little bundle of joy, you are the most beautiful person they have ever seen.

M2M xx