My Child

I carried you for 9 whole months, anxious full of hope.

When I felt you move around inside, my excitement hard to cope.

Upon meeting you my heart did burst, such a joy to see.

You made me cry a happy song, the world you mean to me.

Those first few months I held you close, you nursed and cried and slept.

My love for you so deep and strong, a secret I had kept.

I want to keep you safe from harm, forever and a day.

I know I need to let you grow without me getting in your way.

As you grow older and need me less it will not change for me,

Just how much I’ll always care – for you I’ll always be.

I hope one day when you have flown, the nest in which you grew

You always think of me with love, a friendship strong and true .

My child I’ll always love you so, for all the years to come

No matter what you say or do, I’ll always be your mum!

Voices Badge

©lucyslifeslessons

My Very Lovely Mum

image
How can I explain to you, just how great you are?
You’ve always been a friend to me, no matter near or far.
My lovely mum you brought me up, to say my ps and qs.
I hope I make you proud of me, no other mum I’d choose.
Will you ever truly know, how much you mean to me?
The special bond between us, so clear for all to see.
Throughout my childhood years, you listened to my woes
Even though my mischief often kept you on your toes.
I need for you to know, how much I love you mum.
You’ve always made the time, to listen when I’m glum.
Such loyalty you show me, when someone lets me down.
Your ranting makes me laugh so much, you really go to town.
“I never liked them anyway”
You suddenly say to me
“They don’t deserve your time or love”
Devoted as can be!
Whilst I am older now, you may think I need you less
You’re still the one I turn to if I’m in an awful mess.
I know that you won’t judge me, for anything I say
You listen and are there for me, whatever time of day.
Thank you my lovely mum, for all the years you’ve cared.
So much special time together, such memories we’ve shared.
Here’s to many more of them, for lots of years to come
I love you oh so very much, my very lovely mum!
 

Breastfeeding – me, my boobs and them

t1_me-my-boobs-and-them_satinoff-1

Minutes after giving birth to my first child, it was clear my breasts were no longer my own. As soon as the midwives cleaned her up, they took hold of my breast and nipple, placing my new baby firmly on top of both. Within seconds she was sucking away. I was relieved. Breastfeeding was something I’d hoped to do. Love drunk, full of endorphins and morphine, I stared in awe at this amazing little person attached to me. Apparently she was “a good sucker.”

The baby stayed in that position for hours. Every now and again I’d feel a little tugging and pulling sensation as she latched on in-between naps. As the initial ecstatic loved up hours went by, the toe curling pain began to set in. The tickly, tugging sensation was replaced with a feeling more akin to being sliced with razor blades. My nipples began to crack, one started to bleed. It was agony. It seemed like self-harm to keep placing the baby back onto my red raw, cracked, bleeding nipples. This couldn’t be right, I must be doing something wrong.

My sister (breastfeeder to 3 herself), stressed to me the importance of using Lanisoh cream before and after feeds. I did as I was told. Mum was staying with us and also encouraged me to persevere, promising the pain would ease and it would be worth it in the end (breastfeeder to 3 herself).

I did as I was told again. What did I know? This baby thing was a whole new world to me, one in which I was learning the truly amazing capabilities of my body for the first time in my life. My body had made, grown and housed a little human. My boobs had suddenly started producing milk, apparently to provide enough nourishment to sustain this little human for the next few months. This still amazes me. It’s all so natural, so why does it hurt like hell?

I remember references to milk ‘coming in’ on day 3 in the antenatal classes. Mine followed this rule to the letter. Day three, I stood up to go to the bathroom and nearly fell to the ground with the weight of the two balloons hanging from my chest. Not blessed with the largest of breasts previously, this was a new one for me. I looked down, initially in shock at the enormity of them, followed by a little internal smiling at my perfect, round, enormous boobs and then…ouch! Throbbing, heavy, achy, hard and sore.

After day three, the thick creamy colostrum turned into a more familiar type of milk, the kind of milk I was used to pouring on my cereal. It was at this point I experienced ‘engorgement’. My body, not yet in tune with the baby’s needs went into overdrive, producing more milk than the containers could cope with as the milk leaked out of my nipples.

I picked up my baby to feed her and within seconds she was coughing and spluttering, drowning in a fountain of milk as it squirted in her face and down her throat. I felt an instant relief as my balloons began to soften and deflate. Meanwhile my little bubba was doing her best to keep going, gasping for air and pulling away at regular intervals.

It was soon thereafter that I learned the benefits of cold cabbage leaves on engorged breasts.

As often as I’d craved larger boobs throughout different phases of my life, I wasn’t too keen on the heaviness and discomfort that went along with these two treasures. It soon became apparent that breastfeeding breasts were about the furthest thing from sexy imaginable. I was a soaking, soggy, sore, cabbage smelling breastfeeding mummy.

Luckily, within a couple of weeks things improved. Lanisoh, gritted teeth and some hard core nipple weathering enabled the rawness of my nipples to ease and the cracking to heal. As the engorgement happened less, so too did the need for cabbage leaves down my bra.The leaky boobs continued, however less frequently, as my milk supply became more in sync with my daughter’s demand. At the early stages of breastfeeding I daren’t leave the house without a breast pad firmly in place. On the odd occasion I forgot, I’d find myself blissfully unaware of a big wet patch spreading its way through my bra and across my top.

I am currently breastfeeding my second child. My breastfeeding experience has, on the whole, been similar. I was lucky to have two “good suckers.” I’ve surprised myself with my comfort and ease at breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere when my babies require.

In the beginning I awkwardly covered up in an effort to preserve my own modesty and ease others’ embarrassment. As my breastfeeding journey has progressed I’ve relaxed, and sometimes, in a panic to get the screaming baby to my boob – I just forget to cover up all together. My youngest currently climbs on me and helps herself, no care in the world for where we are or who is around.

To me it’s the most natural thing in the world- just as we use our mouths to eat and our feet to walk, breasts are a vessel with which to provide babies with the food and nourishment they need for the first few months of their precious lives as well as offering them comfort.

Often breastfeeding is ‘on the go’, when the baby is in the carrier, or I’m on the phone, typing on the laptop, eating etc. However, now and again I’m stopped in my tracks, suddenly aware of her presence. I feel her stroking or patting my chest, fiddling with my necklace. I look down at her, her mouth swallowing up my breast, and I see my child. Her vulnerability and need for me never more apparent than at this moment. My love for her and the connection we share ours alone. I tickle her leg and see her eye glisten, a quivering smile forming at the side of her mouth. The smile forces her to pause sucking, however she doesn’t let go. If I could bottle up this moment and save it forever, I would.

My youngest daughter (15 months) is a breastaholic. As I mentioned, she climbs on me to help herself whenever she fancies a top-up. As soon as access has been granted and my boobs are in her sight, she squeals delightedly jumping up and down in joy.

We have now reached a point where I am having to accept the time has come to wean her.  The reasons for this are practical: I often breastfeed her to sleep, so she now depends on it to get to sleep, making it impossible for my husband to put her to bed, leaving him feeling frustrated at not being able to comfort her.

The end of this era brings mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to a little more freedom, hopeful she will learn to self-settle and be less attached to me. On the other hand, I’m completely heartbroken to be ending the beautiful connection and special time together that only we have shared.

Whilst I’m sure there are many people whose preference is not to breastfeed, I do have friends who have not been as fortunate as me with their experiences. The initial pain too much to bear, unable to produce enough milk, the baby not latching on properly or continual bouts of agonising mastitis.

As my mummy journey continues, the fact that all babies and mummies are different, is continually reinforced. Some can’t do as they wish, some wish different things. I wished to breastfeed and was fortunate to be able to do so. Breastfeeding gave me, my boobs and them (my babies) so much more than just milk. I will always be grateful for that unique bond we shared.

 

The Mum and Wife I Thought I’d Be

I’m not going to lie, I visualised ‘The Waltons’. I thought being a wife and mum would be a wholesome, happy, calm, loving and relatively easy ride. The love I have for my husband and children is immense and overwhelming. I know I’m blessed and we have hundreds of wonderfully happy moments. However, life with 2 toddlers is full on, hectic, exhausting and challenging. I have had to adapt my picture perfect image, lowering my standards and accepting that my perception of a ‘perfect wife and mother’ was a little unrealistic.

I played a big part in my sister’s life when she had her first 2 boys and thought I had a good idea of what life with kids was like. What I was forgetting was that I could walk away at the end of the day, returning to my tranquil haven of calm followed by sleep filled nights. I was an exciting novelty to my nephews who delighted in the attention I smothered them with and all the sugary treats I lavished upon them.

I believed that my pregnancy journey would involve eating nutritious and wholesome food, yoga and other mind and body relaxing/strengthening activities, leading up to the baby’s birth which would, of course, be as natural as possible. I would be a devoted wife and mother, bringing my children up in a healthy and nurturing environment.

The reality has been a little different.

I could barely eat for the duration of my pregnancies, most of what I could face would in no way be considered nutritious or wholesome. Suffering with severe nausea and hyperemesis, the smell of food was enough to send me running to the nearest toilet or bush to throw up. My poor husband was exiled to the veranda to spray his deodorant on despite it being the middle of winter as I couldn’t bear the smell of it. I had acne and ‘bacne’ and the only ‘blooming’ I felt was bloomin’ awful.

I couldn’t face getting out of bed let alone doing yoga. The days dragged and I’ve never wished an end to something as much as I did this. At least in my first pregnancy I had hope, each week thinking surely next week will be better. Second time around my glass was well and truly empty. I was going to be in a permanent state of nauseous hangover for the next 280 (give or take) days.

As for my natural birth, that was going to have to wait. Our first daughter was breech at 37 weeks. The obstetrician and midwives attempted an ECV to turn her around. It didn’t quite go according to plan -her heart rate dropped alarmingly (and my husband’s too as he looked on helplessly beside me turning green). The hospital informed me I had no other option but to have a C-section. Our baby was measuring small and appeared to be stuck. She was also potentially traumatised from the ECV and they felt she wouldn’t cope/survive a vaginal delivery.

I was devastated. It took me a few days to get my head around the fact I wouldn’t be pushing my baby out. Guy Sebastian’s voice wouldn’t be playing out on the CD player nor would my fiancé be massaging my shoulders as we’d practiced in the weeks of ante natal classes leading up to this point. Reluctantly, I agreed. Her way out into the world didn’t change the fact that I loved her immediately, just as much as I love her sister who I did push out 18 months later.

When I first became a Mum I wasn’t married to my now husband. It was strange for me to accept that I would be finishing work and no longer have money coming into my bank each month. In Australia most companies don’t offer maternity pay so, on top of the fact I wasn’t receiving financial support from the government as we weren’t permanent residents, I also wasn’t receiving anything from my employer. At the age of 34, having been financially self-sufficient for as long as I can remember, I was freaking out, aware of my dependency on my fiancé.

Luckily for me my fiancé (now husband) was wonderful. From the minute my job ended and my maternity leave began he gave me a bank card with full access to his bank account which he informed me was now ‘ours’. Regardless of his generosity it still felt alien to me. I continually asked if it was ‘ok’ for me to buy things, feeling guilty when I made purchases that felt like luxuries.

The fact that financially he was entirely supporting us made me take my role in the home very seriously. I felt that our daughter and everything ‘home related’ was my responsibility, an old-fashioned view I know but mine nonetheless. Luckily for me he was not so pre-historic in his views. He adores our girls and helps out in every way possible whenever he’s around, regularly chastising me for overdoing it in my bid to be ‘the perfect wife and mother’. He gets frustrated with my guilt at spending money and encourages me to treat myself from time to time.

Whilst I did manage to achieve most of the day-to-day tasks I set myself when we had one child it soon changed with the arrival of our next daughter 18 months later. My daily walks to do the grocery shopping have now been replaced with online shopping. The children’s dinner is last minute, usually thrown together from whatever I have available in the fridge (my eldest was so hungry the other day she started eating frozen fish fingers out of the box #badMummy). Our dinner is way down the pecking order and if it wasn’t for my husband being such a good cook it would probably be beans on toast most nights. The washing basket is never empty, ironing is a foreign word, the children’s toys remain scattered across the apartment and the jobs pile up.

Before I had the girls I thought the following:

  • No processed food
  • No eating in the pram or car seat
  • Limit watching TV
  • Not IPad
  • Clean snot from their noses immediately
  • Never let them cry themselves to sleep
  • No dummies
  • Read to them every night
  • Brush their teeth twice a day
  • Breastfeed
  • Having girls I would enjoy washing, brushing and accessorising their beautiful hair
  • I would lead by example not shouting at them or my husband

The reality:

  • Food is whatever is to hand as quickly and easily as possible
  • Eating in the pram and car seat is standard (often the only way to negotiate with them to get in or stay put)
  • Dinner is in front of the TV most evenings
  • Dummies are essential
  • Snot regularly pours from their nose (It’s impossible to keep on top of)
  • Brushing teeth has become a form of torture to our eldest
  • Brushing hair has become a form of torture to our eldest
  • I’m often not calm or patient and sometimes I LOSE IT!

Occasionally I joke with other mums that being a parent is about survival. Whilst I know I have only their best interests at heart, sometimes the journey to get to the end point is harder than anticipated and it is necessary to employ any tactic possible to get there. It doesn’t mean that they won’t turn out ok or that my love for them is any less, just that we aren’t quite ‘The Walton’s’.

TV Dinner