Tag Archives: Sad

The pictorial progress report. Still a long road ahead.

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I avoided stepping on the scales and measuring myself yesterday because I was a bit afraid of what I would see – big fat numbers.  But it has been a month since my original fat photos so I could not avoid the progress report any longer.

It is not AS BAD as I thought it was going to be.  I am relieved that I have not gained any more, but it is what it is.  It’s pretty much what I expected, given that I had overdosed on youknowwhat and youknowwhat – the two evils, both beginning with C.  I dare not even speak their names, for I fear once the words spill from my lips, I shan’t be able to stop myself from indulging once more.

 

It has been one month since I started this journey of finding myself again underneath this layer of wobble.  One month of trying to become a runner.  One month of dinky knees.  One month of feeling guilty for eating too much c_ _ _.  One month of highs and lows.  One month of learning what not to do.  The first month of many healthy months to come.  My gift to my family – a healthy mum and a healthy wife.

 

Now, don’t get excited.  What you are about to see looks almost exactly the same as what you saw a month ago.  A little disheartening, but oh well.  Baby steps, baby steps…

Now remember – the BEFORE pictures are on the RIGHT.  Look LEFT for the non-existent improvement.

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Notice the difference?  Yeah, me neither.

As with my running, I will keep on chugging on.  I will keep you updated on my progress.

This is me, but this is not me.

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I’m not quite sure how it happened but I got a little bit fat.

 

Oh yes, that’s right, I remember now, I had 2 babies and I ate a whole heap of cake.  Then I ate chocolate and another cake and then some chocolate cake.  But that is fine, I like cake and I enjoyed eating it but I am not too keen on my new body.

Back in the day, way back when, I was able to eat cake whenever I pleased and kept my svelte figure.  So why not now?  Plain and simple – I’m now OLD (and I had 2 babies, but mostly it’s because I’m old).  The old metabolism just ain’t what it used to be.

Somewhere between going to university, getting married, working, trying to conceive, two more babies and getting old, I lost my ability to eat cake without wearing it on my ass.  And belly.  And thighs.

 

This was me not too long after D and I met.  So about 9 years ago.  I’ll be the first to say it, my body was a rockin.  I was fit, I was strong and looked pretty damn fine in a bikini.  Probably had a lot to do with how much time I spent in the gym.  I guess once I got a boyfriend and a LIFE and a lot more busy, I let the gym slip a bit.  Well, truth be told, I let it slip completely.

With a mini K and a mini J

With a mini K and a mini J.  

 

It is pretty safe to say that I will never look like that again, but now that my body is all mine again, I would like to try and get as close to my former healthy me as I can.

You know how people always say that breastfeeding will help you loose weight?  That may be true, it certainly did when I had K, a million years ago, but that was when I was young.  Now, the years have not been that kind to me and while you do need to eat a few extra calories to make that yummy boob milk for your baby, I think I really was going overboard with the cake.  And brownies.  And cookies.  I hang my head in shame.

 

So here is the plan.  This is operation reclaim my hot bod.  I actually don’t have a real plan except trying to watch what I eat and EXERCISE.  I’ve started counting calories to try and keep my cake habit under control and I WILL MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE.

I’ve started the 30 Day Shred.  The first day nearly killed me.  When Jillian Micheals began with push ups I nearly died but I made it through.  H was propped up on the couch watching me, T joined in and Chum decided that lying in the middle of the floor was the perfect spot.  Yesterday I recovered because every muscle ached, but I did day 2 today and wasn’t even as hard.  Except the crunches.  They were really hard as I had a great big lump of T who thought sitting on my tum was fun.

 

To keep me honest and motivated I am going to show you all me in a bra.  I am mortified by these photos but now that I am showing the world my wobbly bits I will work even hard to make them disappear so I can come back here and post my after photos.

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Blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I’m smiling but only out of embarrassment.

 

I going to aim for the 30 Day Shred 5 times a week, and I am going to try running.  I hate running with a capital H, but as much as I love walking it just doesn’t DO ANYTHING for me any more.  I already have my 2 afternoon walks a week locked in so I am going to attempt the Couch 2 5K during that time so I don’t need to find the extra time to run.  And if I can’t handle it, well I can just walk it.

I’m just dying to feel fit and healthy again and look sexy in underwear.

 

T wants an active Mummy too, so he has been helping me do my workout.

Been fighting the bitch that is baby eczema. And winning (for now).

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H is four months old and is yet to have the beautiful smooth flawless baby skin that you see on Johnson and Johnson ads.  Actually that is not true, she was born pretty much perfect but her poor skin has gone downhill from there.

For the first 5 or so weeks of her life she was plagued with the common ‘newborn rash’ that seems to travel around the body.  The health nurse said it should disappear around the 6 week mark and it did, which was great, except it was replaced by the onset of crap face bastard eczema.

K had the most horrendous eczema behind his knees when he was a toddler.  Honestly, it was red raw and he would scratch it until it bled.   It was just horrible.  Thankfully he grew out of it with a little help with some steroid creme which was the ONLY thing that cleared it.  We were lucky that it didn’t really come back in full force, only a few little flare ups but a little dab of cream kept it away.

T also had a bit of baby eczema in patches on his legs during his first winter, but they were not as nasty as H’s.  He didn’t need anything other than moisturiser and soothing creme and they have not come back this winter.  So I am no stranger to eczema on my kids, but I have not had to deal with it on one of my baby’s faces before now, and not on a baby so young.

 

It started out with some bumpy red patches on her cheeks and forehead which I was able to keep at bay with some baby moisturiser.  Some days were better than others, but it was never completely clear.

The early stages.

The early stages.

I was able to maintain it at this level for quite a few weeks but I could not, no matter how hard I tried, get rid of these ‘rashes’.  I tried every cream/lotion/potion I had in my house.  Baby moisturiser, soothing lotion, coconut oil, paw paw ointment, rosehip oil, aloe vera and moogoo, all to no avail.

 

It got progressively worse.

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And worse.

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And worse.

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Honestly, these photos do not show the severity.  Ordinarily, I would be happy that my crap iPhone camera does such a good job making you look all shiny and new (wondering why I still look like a monkey’s arse when I try to take a selfie) but in this instance I wanted to document the awful eczema.  It was horrible.  It wrapped right around the back of her head and down around her eyes.  It was dry and red and scabby and gross.  Finally, after another failed attempt at easing the eczema at home, I took her to the chemist and spoke at length to the pharmacist.  She gave me a .5% steroid creme.  I was dubious about using it on her face but the pharmacist assured me it was ok, but no longer than 4 days.

Well, miracle cream worked overnight.  It was incredible the difference.  Her skin was almost perfect.  I was singing the praises of the steroid creme.

Almost perfect.

Almost perfect.

 

I was all like, yay woohoo, this is freaking awesome, finally my baby’s is free from this crap eczema, but the joy didn’t last.  Her clear skin lasted 3 days before it started coming back.  I didn’t not want to use the steroid cream again because even though the pharmacist said it was cool, even after 1 day of use, I noticed how much it had dried out her already dry skin.

It got real nasty.  Worse than it had ever been before.  It was wrapped around her whole head and all through her hair, at the base of her skull, her forehead, around her eyes, cheeks, arms and starting on her belly.

Everywhere.

Everywhere.  It was real bad, so much worse than it looks in this picture!  And seriously EVERYWHERE 😦

 

I took her to see my good ol’ mate Dr George.

Dr George said I was right to not continue the steroid cream as even though it is a quick fix, it doesn’t treat the cause of the eczema so it will keep on coming back and then all you get is a drug resistant eczema which is harder to get rid of.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, you end up with thin, translucent, dry skin prone to sunburn and bleeding.

He was able to prescribe me with a special non-steroid cream called Elidel.  It is a restricted medication that you had to qualify for which Hazel’s symptoms did.  He said it would not be as quick a fix as the steroid was but should clear it up better long term.  It has been 3 days and her skin is already so much better.  It is almost 100% clear.  You can barely notice where the worst patches were, but you can still feel that her skin is a little bit rough.  I think in a few more days it will be perfect.

After 1 day.

After 1 day.  She still has darker reddish patches and her skin is very rough, but no longer scabby.

After 2 days.

After 2 days.  Skin still rough and bumpy, but a more even tone.  The damaged skin seems to be peeling off.

The 3rd day.  You can see dark patches were the really bad bits were but the skin is so much smoother.  Not perfect, but getting there.  It feels so nice to rub my hand over her head now while she is nursing.  No more scabs.

The 3rd day. You can see dark patches were the really bad bits were but the skin is so much smoother. Not perfect, but getting there. It feels so nice to rub my hand over her head now while she is nursing. No more scabs.

 

Totes amazeballs.  Now my princess is finally sparkling inside and out.

For anyone struggling with bad baby eczema, get thee to your Dr and ask about this medication.  It might not be right for you and your baby but it is worth asking about.  For all you international peeps, in case it has a different name where you are, the active ingredient is: Pimecrolimus

Here’s hoping all the babies can be blemish free and beautiful.  Screw you baby eczema.

Shit mum.

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It is extremely hard for me to write this post.  I am about to admit things that I can barely admit to myself, but if I don’t get this out soon, I will quite possibly explode and unleash my inner bitch onto the people I love the most and be an even shittier mum than I already feel like I am.

Hands up who has had the dream that you are trying to get somewhere but you just can’t push through the wind and atmosphere that is holding you back?  Like you are grasping at the grass and trees and rocks, trying to pull yourself forward, while you dig your feet into the earth to gain some friction to push against, but despite your best efforts the force pushing against you is just too much?

 

That is how I feel.  Or like I am drowning.

 

I don’t even know where to start or how to explain.

 

I don’t feel like this all the time.  Some days are great and when I am fine, everything is wonderful, but as soon as one little thing goes wrong, it can throw me into the biggest funk imaginable and turn me into an angry, depressed, resentful monster.  There is nothing in this world I love more than my family and all I want to be is a good mother, but I losing touch with the kind of warm, loving, fun mum that I want to be.  Make way for the grumpy, yelling, numb, bitch mother.

I feel like I am losing touch with myself.  I am not this person.  Every day I grow another grey hair and lose a bit more of myself.  Every time I slam a bowl on the bench or say ‘for fucks sake’ I hate myself just a little bit more.

I wanted these babies and I love these babies more than I can possibly put into words and if I had my time over I would still have these babies.  I love them.  I adore them.  I would give my life for them.

 

But, here it is – I am struggling.

 

It is not how hard having two babies is that I am struggling with.  Yes, two babies is bloody hard work.  It is the fact that it is relentless.  It never ends.  Looking after the babies is my job, but it is more than a full time job.  It’s a never fucking ending job.  It’s a ‘never get a GD break’ in your life job.  It’s a non-stop from the moment you wake up until you collapse onto your pillow job.  It’s an on call while you are asleep job.  It’s a 24 hour a day job with no pay, no overtime, no sick days, no weekends, no holidays, no ciggy breaks, no time to eat, no privacy to poo in peace, no time to wash your hair, no me time, no down time, no recognition, no praise, no-one to talk to, hairy legs, bags under the eyes, pyjamas all day, mountains of washing, crap everywhere, groundhog day, just barely existing kind of job.

 

I need a break.  There, I admitted it.  I need a break.

 

I need help and I need support.

 

I need my doodles to pick their own shit up and close the fucking cupboards so I don’t have to spend every waking moment picking up shit that T pulls out, and then deal with the tantrum that ensues.  Don’t bitch because you can’t find your clothes in the morning, put them in the fucking washing basket and I’ll wash them.  Just get ready for school so I don’t have to constantly tell you what to do, you’re teenagers for fucks sake.  Is it so hard to put your shit away in the kitchen after you’ve made a sandwich/noodles/dinner/breakfast?  I picked up 18 fucking dirty socks the other day.  18!  Rubbish goes in the bin, not on the floor.  Don’t fucking taunt T with things he wants but can’t have so I have to be the mean mum when I take him away.  Be thoughtful.  Help without having to be nagged.

 

There is rage in me, there is a deep sadness.  I can’t even say why and I can’t talk to D about it.  I just don’t know what to say, so instead I merely exist and smile through gritted teeth and then cry when I am alone.  But I am telling you blogosphere.  Please don’t think that I don’t love my babies, I do.  I just don’t know who I am anymore.  I need help to find me again.  I want to be happy fun mum.  I want to feel good about myself.  I want to feel attractive.  I want a break.

Ewwww! You stinky, rotten, crotch sniffer!

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If there is one thing that I absolutely hate, it is losing something.  No, that is not true.  I also hate it when D shaves his head and leaves the hair on the bathroom floor, and I hate it when I kick my toe on the trolley in the supermarket and have to act all cool like while trying to stifle all manner of swear words and I hate it when someone starts telling you something and then says ‘never mind, it’s not important’ – wtf? Tell me!

But I really really really really really hate losing stuff.  I always know where everything is.  Seriously, you can ask me where anything is and I can tell you, even in this messy house, I can find whatever D, L or K ask me for.  Sports uniforms, rubber bands, the lid for the rice cooker, a glue stick, ‘my other thong’, lunch money, the third Harry Potter book, keys, passports.  You name it, I can tell you where it is.

Only on the rarest of rare occasions, I loose something.  When D and I were first dating, nine years ago, I lost my sunglasses.  It almost drove me to the brink of insanity.  I ripped D’s unit apart looking for them in every crevice and under every towel, t-shirt and Tupperware container.  I searched my car more carefully that a forensic investigator looking for evidence and I called every single GD place I had been to that day.  Nothing but a mystery.  Sunglasses were just GONE, never to be seen again.  It bugged the shit out of me!  It still does nine years later.

 

Well, it has happened again.  I have lost something and it is making me crazy.

 

Yesterday I changed T’s nappy before we went to playgroup.  I tossed the wet one in the nappy pail that sits in the laundry tub.  When we returned, I changed T’s nappy again, but when I went into the laundry to put the dirty in the bucket I noticed that the morning nappy was now out of the bucket.  I remembered Chum-Lee jumping up there while I was throwing a load on before I left.  Ewww, gross, cat has been playing with the dirty nappy!

It was then that I noticed something was missing.  When I put the nappy back in the bin, I noticed that one of the inserts was missing!  The silly old cat has run off with my insert!

I looked high, I looked low.  I looked everywhere a panty-sniffing feline would go.  I went on an emu search around the yard, under every bed, in every cupboard, on every surface, even over the fence.  Do you think I could find it?  Nope.  Gone, just like my sunglasses.

 

Just thought of another thing that I hate.  Things with missing pieces.  Like jigsaw puzzles.  I will turn the lounge room upside down looking for the missing piece from one of T’s puzzles.  D says, ‘who fucking cares?’  I’ll tell you who – me!  I just can’t have a puzzle with a missing piece staring at me, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else.

So now I have an incomplete nappy.  And I am hating it!  Stupid cat.

 

 

OK, now I am feeling really terrible.  I just finished writing that ^ and now there is something wrong with said crazy cat.

Chum-Lee has been sleeping on his chair in the garage all day, which I thought was unusual.  K and I checked on him before the boys went to bed and he seemed to just be hanging out.

Chum has just come out of the garage and is walking very slowly with a bit of a limp.  He won’t come to me and growled when I tried to pick him up or look at his leg.  I’ve checked him for ticks.  He won’t eat.  I am beside myself.  D is out watching the football.  Now he is hiding out in the back of my wardrobe.  Something is wrong with my furbaby.  I’m taking him to the vet first thing in the morning.  I’ll keep you posted 😦

We love you Chum-Lee, even if you are a naughty nappy insert stealer.  Please be OK.

We love you Chum-Lee, even if you are a naughty nappy insert stealer. Please be OK.

Mother’s Milk

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Time for some real writing.

 

This is a short story that I wrote, inspired by my aunty – a strong and beautiful woman who recently fought and won the battle against cancer, and dedicated to my cousin Niki.  Today he celebrates his 21st birthday.

 

 

Mother’s Milk

 

This is not how I imagined spending the days after finally giving birth to a beautiful baby boy.  I spent the past ten years trying to conceive, all the while dreaming endlessly about how wonderful these days would be.  All my fantasies featured a delicate bundle cradled in my arms with the sweet aromas of talc and lavender overcoming the smell of a freshly painted nursery. The baby would be making soft suckling sounds while nestled against my bosom, bountiful with nourishment.

I never anticipated that I would be sitting here, still in the hospital five days later, staring at a plastic box cradling my still and helpless baby.  I look at the tube in his mouth attached to the machine that breathes for him, at the drip in his tiny arm that delivers him his medicine and at the button inserted into his stomach that my own breast milk gets pumped into.  Silently, tears run down my numb face and drip from the end of my chin to my lap, where my hands lie unmoving, dull, lifeless.

“You can touch him,” the nurse reassures me as she places her hand on my shoulder.  She leaves it there to linger for a moment while smiling gently at me, nodding her head towards the humidity crib before turning away to arrange the breast pump.  My shoulder tingles for a moment when her hand leaves it and this surprises me.  I have become accustomed to the deadened feeling one suffers after sitting motionless for a long time.

The nurse wheels the pump over to me and pulls up a chair to sit along side me.  I force my hands to move and unbutton my nightgown to reveal two red and swollen breasts.  They are hot to touch and feel hard and lumpy.  My milk came in the day before last and I am now carrying so much, my breasts throb with the strain, but I have not yet been able to produce a decent amount for my baby.

The machine begins pumping and my milk slowly begins to dribble into the bottle.  I know that it is supposed to gush out and I am supposed to feel this intoxicating rush as the pressure is relieved, but I don’t.  Still, my breasts throb and still, my milk does not let down.  I can hear the nurse talking, she is worried about mastitis.  If my milk doesn’t drain soon I risk infection, blah blah blah.  I’ve read all the books, yes I know this, but really, what else can I do?  I am attached to this machine for half an hour, every two hours as it is.  I don’t say anything though; just nod when she stops talking.

“Have you named the baby yet dear?” she asks.  I shake my head.

I want to love him, I want to feel a connection, but how can I when I don’t even know if he will live through another night?  Right before me in this plastic cot, on a blue blanket lies my fantasy, my dream, my beautiful baby.  How could I live through the anguish of losing him if I let him into my heart?

There is nothing I can do for him anyway, other than sit here and express this meagre amount of breast milk and wait.  Wait for the swelling to go down.  Wait to see if he breathes on his own.  Wait for the test results.  Wait for those developmental milestones.  I want to know how long I have to wait, how long will it take to find out the extent of the damage?  Will I always be waiting?  The word wait has never had so much, or so little meaning.

The doctor walks in with his entourage of white coated professionals.  He tells me that it is time to remove the tube attached to the machine that fills his lungs with air, to see if he will take his first breath.

This is the same doctor who inseminated me with my very best egg, fertilized from my husband’s very best sperm nine months ago, the same doctor who provided prenatal care throughout my pregnancy.  It is the same doctor who laughed and joked with my husband and me, while conducting my ultrasounds, and the very same doctor who constantly assured me that everything was progressing perfectly, and that my baby and I were both in the best of health.

And yet, it was this doctor who was playing golf when I went into labour.  This doctor who made sure he finished his 18th hole before making his way to the hospital.   This doctor who instructed the midwife not to let the birth progress until he was present or he would not be paid for the delivery.  This very same doctor, who cared more about lining his own pockets than my baby’s life, yes, it was this doctor who told his midwife to do what ever she had to do to keep the baby inside, until he walked in the room.

I am sure it is this doctor who is to blame for the grapefruit sized cephalhaematoma – the massive purple lump on my baby’s small head.

I was in full labour and feeling the urge to push.  After all the books I’ve read about birth and pregnancy I knew that this was it.  I was going to meet my baby in a short while.  I was bearing down making guttural noises and panting.  The midwife was telling me to slow down, don’t push.  My husband could see the baby’s head crowning, but the midwife wasn’t helping to ease it out.  He was screaming at her, “What are you doing?  Move your hand, she’s pushing!”

I could hear the commotion, but the seriousness didn’t register as my whole body was involved in a compulsion that I could not resist.  I didn’t know that she was keeping his head inside my birth canal, pushing against it while I was bearing down.  I didn’t know she had fractured his skull and caused blood and fluid to rush to his brain, while waiting for the doctor to announce his arrival.  The moment he waltzed into the room wearing his golfing whites, the midwife stepped aside and my baby was suddenly born into a flood of haemorrhaged blood.

And now, I sit here staring at this doctor who can’t seem to meet my glaring eyes as he speaks to me and think about the irony of the situation.  The one who is responsible for my baby’s condition, will be the one who receives the recognition from his peers should he survive.

He slowly pulls the tube from my baby’s mouth as his team stand by with the defibrillator ready to shock his heart if it stops beating.  I look at the clock, the second hand ticks and everything seems to be slowing down.  The room is swimming around me, swirling and blending into a big mess that encircles the ten or so people surrounding a tiny baby in his plastic bed.

Finally after an eternity of waiting, his lungs inhale and his chest rises with air.  He opens his mouth and his face contorts.  His mouth opens wider and he begins to cry, softly at first, then louder.  The room erupts with sound, and I find that I have somehow stood up and am by his cot, watching transfixed, looking at the baby writhing and wailing in the cot.

He opens his eyes for the first time and seems to be searching for something to focus on.  His eyes find mine and I gaze into the deepest dark brown eyes I have ever seen, and I feel warmth on my stomach.  I touch my nightgown searching for the source of the delight and find that it is wet, soaked with my own breast milk.

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Copyright By Sophia Marini

I’m seriously coming undone at the seams.

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I don’t know where to start or what to say.  What I do know is that I am barley holding it together.  I feel like at any moment, the last thread of my saneness is about break and I am going to come undone.  Like, I can visualise my body is held together by string and that thread is unravelling causing all of my muscles and tissue and veins and organs to plop out all over the floor.  My eyes will fall out as will my hair, strand by strand, and all that will be left of me is a saggy bag of empty skin and a pile of bones.

 

To be frank, I am not coping.

 

I am completely overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do.  Everywhere I look I see shit.  I pick up the same shit 10 times a day.  Yesterday I went to the shops and bought a heap more cupboard latches so I could secure every single fucking cupboard and draw in the GD house.  You know how everyone says how great it is to leave the Tupperware cupboard in the kitchen unlocked so your baby can have heaps of fun playing with all the plastic?  NO.  Just no.  Whoever said that obviously wasn’t pregnant and could still bend over and touch their toes.  It is not fun.  No more Tupperware for you.  No more pulling all the tea towels out of the tea towel drawer.  No more decorating your room with nappies.  No more flying pencils from the stationary drawer.  No more.  No more.  No more.  Except for the fact that I have been too exhausted to actually fit the latches, so yes, 1 more day.  Then NO MORE!  Today I think I am just going to leave all the stuff all over the floor and see if the floor fairies help me.

 

I cry.  I cry all the time.  For anything.

T throws some food – I cry.  K lies about doing all his homework – cry.  D says, ‘how are you feeling today?’ – cry.  Evil 2 year old pushes T over in the change room play area (because let’s face it, that is the only place mums can relax for 5 minutes while out shopping) – give child’s mother a glare and then cry.  Find empty packet of mint slices in the fridge – cry.  Fold pile of washing for the 5th time after T pulls them back on the floor – cry.  Of course, if I was actually a decent housewife, I would be able to pull the washing off the line, fold it and put it away before T woke up.  But I’m not.  I’m a shit housewife and I leave the growing pile of washing to be folded on the daybed for T to spread over the room 597 times first.

I cry in the car, I cry while I am shopping, I cry while I am having a coffee.  I’m crying right now.

 

This morning was the worst for me.  So I’m pretty bunged up in the back passage.  I’ve already been to the toilet 386 times and can’t move my poo.  I can feel my arse full of shit but it won’t come out.  I am thinking that this is partially because I am horribly constipated, thank you pregnancy, and partially because I can’t visit the loo alone.  I can’t concentrate and to relax on the dunny is what is needed.  I secretly want to punch D in the face each time he goes to the toilet (alone), closes the door (peace) and his shit falls out like rain falling from the sky (sweet relief).  I would give my left boob for some rain poo.

But I digress… So this morning I went to try and poo for the umpteenth time.  Of course T accompanies me.  He unrolls all the toilet paper, constantly tries to play with the toilet brush, pulls open all the drawers and throws nail polish onto the tiled floor.  Yes, I know.  Just put the GD latches on!  I will, I will!  I’m trying to deliver a poo baby while pleading with a 1 year old to stop this, stop that.  After going for the toilet brush for the third time, I yelled at him and threw my hair brush (which I was holding after he tried to stick it between my legs into the toilet).

I scared my baby.  His bottom lip went out and he looked so hurt.  He wailed, I wailed.  I scooped him up and we sobbed together on the toilet.  Poo stayed in.  Again.

 

I feel like such a horrible mother at the moment.  I’m yelling at my baby?  WTF?  Who am I?  I hate myself so much right now.  I don’t even know who I am.  I have K and D telling me constantly how much they love me but I am just a wreck.  I can’t talk to D about how I am feeling because I can’t verbalise it.  I just cry.

I feel like I am nothing more than a failure.  I can’t keep my house tidy, I’ve lost my patience with my children, I’m not bringing money into the household, I don’t cook, I’m lazy, I look like shit.  What is going on?

 

I am finding it really hard to deal with what I am going through because I don’t feel like I have the right to be ‘going through’ anything.  I love my family more that life itself and I am so incredibly thankful for my husband and the children I have, especially after how hard it was to conceive T, I have not forgotten that.  I am so lucky and happy to be pregnant again with the daughter I longed for.  I feel so guilty that I am struggling.  I shouldn’t be struggling, I should be thankful, and I am, but…  I don’t know.  I just don’t know what to do or how to get out of this feeling.  It is like everything is on top of me and there is too much to do, so I don’t know where to start.  All I want to do is sleep.  I forced myself to stay awake while T had his nap today and cleaned my en suite which felt good to accomplish something but an hour later I felt like shit again.

 

What is wrong with me?  Is this just pregnancy hormones or is it some kind of depression or am I having a breakdown?  Am I just not cut out for this role?

 

I hate seeing my domestic goddess friends on Facebook posting the beautiful gourmet meals they cooked their families and reading their status updates on how they cleaned their entire houses until they sparkled, did arts and craft with their kids, gave themselves a mani/pedi, had romantic dates with their spouses and still had time to take the kids to the park or the beach and put on make up.  Not a man toe or grey hair in sight.  FRIENDS – this is not a dig at any one person, just collectively as a group you are all kicking my pathetic domestic butt.  I fail on all accounts.

 

Why am I feeling like this?  I love my husband, we are happy.  I love my children.  I am happy to be having another.  Why am I crying?  Poor D does not know what to do or how to help me.  What can I do?  I would eat more chocolate but the mint slices are all gone.

 

No picture to go with the post.  Just a sad face 😦

 

I did by the way, end up on getting the poo out of my butt.  After T went to sleep for his nap I was able to relax and out she came.  I almost needed an episiotomy but the relief was good.

My husband, my hero.

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As some of you will know, Cambodia is a country close to our hearts, but my husbands heart in particular.  Having lived there for a couple of years back in the 90’s as a volunteer, D considers Cambodia his other home.  The country and the people are a part of him and he was told on his last visit that his Khmer is now so good that he doesn’t even sound like a foreigner any more.  A very proud moment indeed for a white guy.

It’s D’s birthday soon, and this is how wonderful he is – he does not want any gifts, but would prefer to give to those in need instead.  He wants to give something that we all just take for granted – clean water.  We bathe in it, drink it, water our plants, wash our clothes in it, swim in it, shit in it and clean our cars in it.  In many parts of Cambodia, villages still do not have access to clean water.  D is doing what he can to turn this around.  There is water there, but they have no means to access it. He wants to help build wells so ALL small villages throughout the country can have access to this basic necessity.  Simple.

 

Rather than me tell you about this venture, I am going to take the text from D’s gofundme page, as he puts so much more eloquently than I ever could.

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10 Wells for My Birthday

So in a few weeks (Feb 22nd to be exact) I am going to turn another year older, and figuring I am about halfway through life, I think it is time to start making a point of giving back. Today I stumbled across a Khmer/Australian guy named Allan Lim on my Facebook feed who has had a great idea, and it is to him that I owe this brainwave and much of this text. 

Many of you know I have a long-standing love affair with Cambodia, ever since taking up a volunteer position there back in 1996. What Cambodia gave to me simply cannot be explained. If you have spent any time in this wonderful country, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, please place it upon your bucket list immediately. 
So anyway, here’s the idea.

I want ten wells for my birthday. Simple. The only catch is I want them in Cambodia, and with your name on them. Many small villages still have no access to clean water, and guess what? It only costs $165 to dig one of these bad boys (In truth, they are $150 each, but PayPal fees and the like charged to use this method of fundraising are out of my hands.) 

There is no obligation or pressure to sponsor a whole well. I would appreciate any amount you could contribute to this ultimate birthday present. Maybe find some people to chip in with you and buy part of a well together! Any donations of $55 or more will get your name (or any name you like for that matter) engraved on the well. 

Details of where the wells are situated (province, commune and village) will be posted along with photos and GPS co-ordinates so you can view where the well you built is located. You might even visit your well one day! More than eighty of these wells have been built already and I really want to help push that number over 100.

All donations will go directly towards the well building, regardless of how much is donated. Remember, any money you can donate will help make this the best birthday present ever for me, provide some of your fellow humans with clean water, and will do your karma the world of good. Triple win.

 

Here is Allan’s explanation:

Heang, a friend based in Siemreap has been a renowned off-the-beaten track tour guide since the mid 1990’s. Over the last 4 years has arranged for around 80 wells to be constructed for families who didn’t have access to clean running water. Usually families have to hike through rice paddy fields to a faraway water supply. The funds for these wells were mostly originating from Norway, so I figured what a better way to start 2013, with a bang of 65 wells.

I was very surprised to find out how inexpensive it was to construct a well. All funds raised during this cause goes directly to build the actual wells. Unlike charity organisations there is no “admin fees” that are added to the costs. At only $150 per well which includes drilling, labor for construction and price of materials (the pump, cement etc.) it is a small price to help provide & pay for clean running water.

CONTRIBUTE TO MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT HERE:
http://www.gofundme.com/tenwells

 

 

Isn’t he wonderful.  I am so proud of him.  I’m very pleased to say that he has already raised enough for 6 wells!  That is over half way to his goal of 10!

I am posting this for 2 reasons.

  1. To help my husband reach his goal of building 10 wells.  If we can raise more than his goal amount then we just keep on building wells!  All money raised goes towards the building of wells.  I just want to get the word out there any way I can and hope that the beautiful readers of this little blog can find it in their hearts to give a little (or a lot!) to help D get his birthday wish.  This is not a cliche – every little bit DOES help.
  2. Share this post, reblog it, tell you neighbours.  Just help this little preggo and her hubs get the word out there about the plight of this beautiful country.  It is not just the lack of clean water we are worried about it, it is helping rebuild a once thriving country after the horrible crimes against humanity committed there.  And I am not talking hundreds of years ago, I am talking recent history peeps.  In our lifetime.  It is unthinkable.  If you have no idea what I am talking about I urge you to watch the movie The Killing Fields and that will give you a heads up.

 

Some photos from our visit to Cambodia a few years ago of Tuol Sleng (Prison S-21) and the Killing fields:

At Tuol Sleng.  Never mind the random tourist.

At Tuol Sleng. Never mind the random tourist. Click on this one to read the sign.

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Some of the victims.

Some of the victims.

More victims - children.

More victims – children.

Oh my :(

Oh my 😦

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A single cell.

A single cell.

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At the killing fields.  Skulls recovered from some of the mass graves.

At the killing fields. Skulls recovered from some of the mass graves.

More.

More.

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My heart bleeds.

My heart bleeds.

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Random teeth and bones found by visitors to the Killing Fields.

Random teeth and bones found by visitors to the Killing Fields.

 

Cambodia is so much more than a gruesome past and what I have shown you.  It is an amazing country with so much history and soul.  The people are beautiful, as is the landscape.  I know I was forever changed after visiting and long to return again soon.  I know that some of the photos are hard to take but let me leave you with one of beauty.  This one is of one of the thousands of butterflies at the killing fields.  I like to think they were the souls of the slain, hanging around to remind people of the beauty that still remains, and to see that this horror never happens again.

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I have added an image link on my side bar that can take you straight to D’s page.  You can share and donate from there or you can share or reblog this post.  Anything that you can do to help is so greatly appreciated.  D and I are so humbled by the response he has had so far and really want this goodness to continue, past this 10 wells and beyond.

Much love from D and I.

Really hoped I didn’t have to write this post. All things are not roses.

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7 weeks ago I had an ultrasound.  I told you about it.  I said that the gender was confirmed as a girl and everything was roses.

For the most part, that was true.  LSP is a girl, and all of her major parts are perfect and in working order.  Technician couldn’t find any soft markers for any of the big issue problems that they look for, which I know is the best news ever and for that I am truly grateful.  My baby girl is, as far as we can tell, perfectly healthy.

 

Let me take you on a journey back to that day…

 

The ultrasound technician took forever and a day looking at the palate and didn’t say a lot about it.  When I asked her, she just said, after a pause, it was ‘fine’, whereas everything else was ‘great’ or ‘perfect’.  She kept on going back again and again to look in that area, and this is when I began to feel a little nervous.  She wasn’t saying much.

She then spent ages getting 3D images of her face.  I was in awe at her beauty and thought the pictures were amazing.  After that she let me go and empty my bladder (before I exploded wee all over the place), and when I returned I found that she had called in a colleague to have a look at the pictures of her face.  It was then she told me she was concerned about her left eye (couldn’t see the right eye at this point) as it looked as if the eyeball was sitting out from the face rather than more in the socket.  I listened to the 2 of them talking and I heard her mention Graves Disease, but then they went to check the thyroid which was fine, so discounted that theory.  The second lady didn’t seem too concerned but also didn’t say too much.

She was able to get some more face pictures later from the other side and that eye looked normal in the socket, but then we looked again at the first side, and at first it seemed not so puffy, but it was sticking out more than the other side.
I tried to get as much info as I could out of her and she was nice about it, but I don’t think she was as forthcoming as she could have been.  Basically she said that it is more than likely absolutely nothing, she didn’t find any other markers for any thing else so it was unlikely to be a problem.  She also said that she would have the head radiographer who specialises in babies to look at the scan and make his recommendation, but it looked like I would have another scan in about 6-8 weeks time when LSP had more fat on her face.

I left feeling thrilled to be having a healthy sparkle princess but so distraught at the possibility of there being something wrong.  I just kept on thinking of children with disabilities and their distinctive shaped eyes.  Although, logic told me that if there was a major problem she would have found other markers.  I didn’t know what to feel except thankful that I have a beautiful little girl, but I was scared and nervous also.

 

I was able to make an appointment to see my doctor first thing in the morning to see the ultrasound report once it had been emailed to him.

The report was shit really.  Everything was normal except she had written that the face, eyes, palate, profile, nose and lips were not examined when they clearly were.  So I really had no idea what is going on.  She also wrote that she wanted a review at 26 – 28 weeks and spoke about possible proptosis of the left eye.  I love my Dr, he was really reassuring and asked me if I wanted to have the scan repeated elsewhere.  I asked him what he thought I should do and he told me to relax, chill out and have a lovely Christmas.  He said that all scans are is soundwaves and shadows, and sometimes scan places like to get as much money out of you as they can and make a mountain out of a molehill.  He told me to take the report with me to my next hospital appointment, because the hospital with more than likely want to follow up on it with their own experts which would be more reliable anyway.  So that is what I have been trying to do – chill.

 

I was doing so well until the night before my hospital appointment a few weeks ago when I made the horrible mistake to visit Dr. Google.  I searched for eye protrusion in babies.  I should never have done that.  The first think I clicked on was a YouTube video.  I thought it was going to be a medical-type-informative video.  Fuck.  Me.  I was so wrong.  No, I will NOT show you the video.  Firstly, because that would mean I would have to see it again, and secondly if you saw it you would die a little in your heart and see that poor baby every time you closed your eyes for a week solid.  I still cry when I think about it.  I was traumatised.  I realise that the baby I saw obviously had a multitude of problems but it was horrifying to see a newborn baby crying it’s lungs out with its eyes bulging.  Please, please do not search for it, I beg you.

 

The doctor at the hospital was lovely, but she wanted a follow-up scan scheduled before my next appointment.  That scan was today.

 

It was ok, just OK.  Still not really sure on everything though.  I am now waiting again to see the hospital doctor next week.  I wasn’t really able to see the screen today (The scan was at hospital today rather than at the fancy-pants ultrasound place where you get champagne and canapés on arrival and get to view your scan on a massive wall mounted TV) but Dave could, and he said she looked alright (his professional opinion).  The scanner guy said everything was looking OK as far as he could tell but couldn’t really be sure.  She was in an awkward position with her head rammed up under my right rib, so now I am just waiting to see the report when I see the Dr next week.

I had a big cry when we left.  I really was hoping for a more positive result, like they were going to tell me everything was perfect and not to worry, but all I got was an ‘all looks ok, I guess, but it is hard to tell’ result and I feel a bit let down.  Dave is feeling reassured though so I am trying to go with his gut feeling.  I know deep down that everything is fine and she is going to be the most perfect beautiful baby and we will look back and laugh about how worried we were, but I just wanted someone else to tell me that.

At least I now know why I have to go to the toilet every half hour for a trickle.  Breech baby dancing on my bladder.  Typical girl!  My mother said I did the same.

 

I had previously posted a picture of her sweet little face, but I showed you one of her ‘good side’.  Here is a picture of her eye in question from the 20 weeks scan, 7 weeks ago.  I didn’t get any pictures today.

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Looks fine to me, but I don’t really know what I am looking at, except beauty.

I did get to see something amazing today though.  I saw her little tongue moving as she was having a nice drink of amniotic fluid.  Yes, she was drinking some of her own wee 🙂

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Now, on a happier note – a reminder about my Give-Away!  Get your entries in for your chance to win an awesome planner from Personal Planners.

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Just make your merry little way along to THIS POST for all the details and how to enter.  You’ll be glad you did! (especially if you win)  Get on it!

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Peace out.

The moving day saga – Part 2. Mourning the loss of breastmilk.

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Continuing on from my last post about moving house.  As you know it was a stressful/frustrating/want to stab myself (or anyone who ventured close enough) in the eye kinda day.

You would think that once we finally finished off all we were going to do that day and did the final drive to the new place to relax and get take-out, all the feelings of hate and murder would just wash away.  Well, no, no they did not.  My friends, things took a turn for the worse.  You didn’t think they could get any worse?  Neither did I, but worse they did get.

 

During the afternoon of frustration, I tried to nurse T a few times, but he decided that he didn’t feel like it and was more happy to just bite my poor tender pregnant nipple.  And my shoulder, fingers, toes, leg, nose – anything he could sink his teeth into really.  Teething is such a joy.  This was not unusual, as he had been pretty bitey of late, but usually he would reserve using his chompers until the END of the boob feed.

I didn’t think too much of it, after all there was a lot going on to distract him with all the moving furniture and the non-cleaning and the sitting on the floor in an empty room trapped by oven cleaner fumes wafting down the hall way (if you don’t get it, see this post).  I would want to bite the person responsible for holding me captive in such a predicament too, if I was a baby .

 

We got ‘home’ finally with our Red Rooster, woofed down some tucker, pulled up the port-a-cot, gave T a quick bath and then settled in for his bed time boob.  BITE.  Ouch.  Why, Theo?  Why?  Surely you must want some boob, you haven’t had any for most of the day, and surely you must want to go to sleep so I can drop dead from exhaustion.

Try again.  BITE.  Wait for a few mins and try again.  BITE.  WTF?!

‘D, take the baby,’ says I, before running off to have a sob on the bed.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  OK, composed now.

This time, I take T to feed in the quiet of his bedroom instead of the lounge room.  There is no way he can resist yummy boob in his quiet bedroom, right?  BITE.  BITE.  BITE

 

Dump T on D and run off to wail, howl and scream into my pillow.  Everything and everything crashing down all around.  All the moving stress, all the frustration, all the throbbing bite marks exploding in my heart.  D tentatively pokes his head into the bedroom and asks what he can do.  ‘I don’t knowwwwwwww waaa waaa waaaa!’  I sob.  He asks if I want him to defrost some milk from the freezer.  ‘I don’t knowwwwwwwww waaa waaa yes, no , I don’t care, whatever, ok.’  I admit defeat, thinking that there is no way it is going to work anyway.  T fucking hates bottles.  Mother-in-law has to give him my milk from a spoon when she babysits.

 

He guzzled it down.  FROM A BOTTLE PEEPS!  100mL in 2 seconds flat and was looking for more.  I defrosted another 100mL bag which he also guzzled and then another 90mL which he drank and was content enough to go to bed.  Damn, the kid was starving.

After this I sank into the couch and died a little inside.  I fetched my pump and sat down to express all the milk I had stoed up in my boobs during the afternoon and evening.  20mL.  20 measly little mLs.  No bloody milk my friends.  I guess that is what he was trying to tell me with all the biting.

I tried to give him boob in the morning.  BITE.  Crap.  Last bag of breastmilk.  No more milk.  I pumped and got a little and went out to do what every nursing mother doesn’t want to do – buy formula.  How freaking hard is it to choose which formula to buy?  Do I buy the pro or the gold or the pro gold or the plus or the plus gold or the pro plus?

 

Anyway, as it turned out T took to the bottle and formula with gusto.  The pregnancy had officially dried me up and my milk had begun to turn back to colostrum.  I knew that it had been diminishing somewhat but wasn’t expecting it to dry up completely so soon.  I think the stress of the move finished me off.  T had been a bit of a miserable grump for a few weeks prior and we put it down to teething.  I actually now think that I was starving the poor little dude.  Once he was getting a nice full belly again he chilled out and became so much more content and happy.

Once I saw the change in him and realised that it was time to move on and he needed the extra nutrition that I could no longer give him, I made peace with the change.  My little doodle is thriving on formula now as he was once thriving on breastmilk.  I did the best I could for him and I am proud of myself.

As an added bonus, I have discovered that there is a certain freedom that comes with being a formula feeding mum.  My boobs are mine again until LSP arrives and therefore, so am I.  If I need to go out for a bit and leave T with D, I don’t need to race home for his next feed.  Hell, I can even sleep in and D can do the morning shift.  He have settled into a nice system – you know I love systems – I get up with T weekdays and D gets a little extra rest in before work, you know, because he works soooo hard (insert sarcasm – ummmm, I work too) but on the weekends we both get a big sleep in.  He gets Saturday sleep in and I get Sunday sleep in.  Works for me!

I don’t have any photos of T on the bottle so I will leave you with this instead.

It’s an oldie but a goodie.  T after a few too many boobs.