Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

#reverb12 Day 29: Have you heard your word?

What word did you select to be your travelling companion in 2012? What gifts did this word bring?

The concept of choosing a word for the coming year is a new one for me, so I didn’t actively select one last year. However, had I chosen, it would without a doubt have been Mindful. I’ve done my best in 2012 to learn to be more mindful in every aspect of my life and I’ve learned so much along the way. I know that I’ve weathered a few storms a lot better than I would have done had I not embarked upon my quest to live a more mindful existance. It’s a lifelong journey and I look forward to honing my mindfulness skills in 2013. Certainly I now have a great many resources from which to draw inspiration and knowledge moving into the new year. Blogroll coming!

What word will you choose to guide you through 2013? What do you hope it will bring into your life?

Calm. Being a stay at home mum is a joy in so many, many ways, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s also bloody tough work – emotionally, mentally and right now 5 weeks post-caesar with a toddler to care for as well demand breastfeeding, physically. It’s 24/7. There is no let up. I have to stay calm in the face of it all, for the sake of me, my girls and my husband. I must remain smiling (albeit doubtless a bit maniacally at times) in the midst of the madness and remember that it will get easier. That way I’ll be sure to enjoy the precious moments, of which I know there will be many.

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

#reverb12 Day 26: How will you make time?

How very apt that today’s #reverb12 prompt should be about making time! When both my children are sleeping, as they are now, I feel I have a modicum of control over things. The rest of the time, not so much! I am told that things will get easier, and I know it is true, but right now I’m in the thick of it with a toddler and a breastfeeding five week old. My time is not my own to prioritse beyond making sure I eat properly. Sleeping is rather outwith my powers as I grab what I can between night feeds. As for “sleep when the baby sleeps” during the day, well that’s all very well until you have more than one child – and a burning desire for a little bit of time to yourself when a small miracle happens and they are both asleep at the same time!

{24 hours later}

How do you intend to carve out more time for the things that are the most important to you in 2013?

1, Get up 30 minutes before husband leaves for work regardless of who else is asleep so I have time to shower, dress, put on a load of washing and eat some cereal, so I can start the day in a better frame of mind to PLAY! Because my children are what’s most important to me and they need me to play with them, not be a frazzled, distracted wreck first thing.

2, Start expressing in about 8 weeks so that husband can be left alone with the baby as well as Miss M and I can get out on my own now and then – primarily so I can start running again. It’s really important to me that I start running again – so very good for my mental health and also I really want to lose the baby weight and get myself back in shape. One of my 2013 goals is to take part in our local running festival in September, either 10k or half marathon, and serious training will be required.

3, Whenever I chance to have both girls sleeping at the same time in the afternoon, after eating (always most important) I will take 30 minutes just to sit down and read a book or blog or sew or watch something on the iViewer instead of runninga round doing chores. It’s most important that I get some me time to avoid burnout  –  and just to stay smiling for my family!

4, Stop obsessively checking Facebook, so many hours are sucked away!!! There are so many other things that are more important to me. Facebook has become a bit of a bad habit – I so appreciate the connection during my SAHM day-to-day, but I don’t need quite so much, and that time can be much better spent. I intend to disconnect from social media more in 2013, because pretty much everything is more important than Facebook and Twitter!

And now, my time is up!

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

#reverb12 begins!

#reverb12 is about taking a little time out at the end of the year for some gentle reflection, in order to:

* celebrate the successes of 2012
* honour the challenges of 2012
* plant the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013

Hosted by the lovely Kat over at I Saw You Dancing, each day in December there will be a question to think about. This is today’s question:

How are you starting this last month of 2012?

Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel…

… in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?

I’m starting out tired and a little trepiditious in body and mind, but hopeful and full of love in my heart. My second daughter was born via c-section eight days ago and while my recovery has been excellent to date, I am still feeling a bit battered and fragile. Plus of course as a family we are getting used to the joys of living with two gorgeous little girls instead of one, and I am a little bit concerned about how I am going to manage everything when my husband goes back to work in a few weeks! And I’d forgotten all about night feeds and cluster feeding. And clustered night feeding 😉 But, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time as necessary, is my game plan. To be mindful.

My body has been through a lot in 2012 but I am feeling very positive about my recovery in the next few weeks and my goals for getting back into shape in 2013. Already keeping a food diary! And I picked up an ancient exercise bike on Freecycle yesterday. Looks like it comes out of the ’80s but once cleaned up it should allow me to squeeze in some exercise on days when it’s not possible to leave the house for anything outdoorsy or more formal!

In my creative life, well, definitely no time to sew this month, but I hope to be able to write a little now and then. And hey, I did just grow a baby, so I think I can say it’s been quite a creative year all in 😉

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

A New Chapter

Today is the “official” due date for my second baby girl, who was born via happy elective c-section last Friday afternoon. Miss A is now 6 days old and fast asleep in her cot. I am so loved up! And this caesarean experience has been sooooooo much better than last time! It all went very smoothly, with no mind-mashing drug experiences and a very successful recovery to date. I was fully present when I held my baby girl in my arms for the first time and I remember every second. I fed her straight away in Recovery, my milk came in about 48 hours later, and breastfeeding is now becoming well-established and hassle-free. We came home first thing Tuesday morning (I elected to stay a fourth night to make sure I could go 24 hours without the heavier painkillers), having been very well cared for in hospital, and we’re now being very well cared for by my lovely husband. Miss M is also assisting in her own special way wherever possible, and has taken to her new little sister very well indeed. It’s so wonderful seeing them together.

I’m a little disappointed to report that I didn’t have my tubes tied after all. Everything was going great and I had Miss A on my chest when I started to get those dreaded chest pains. I heard voices talking about what drugs to try, what to do next, and someone mentioned the words general anaesthetic. Um, no thanks!! I asked them to stop right there and stitch me back up, which they did. Quit while you’re ahead, I say! I also elicited a promise from my husband then and there with many witnesses – he will be making his vasectomy appointment forthwith!

Today also marks exactly three years since my husband and I arrived in Australia – and here we are, our little Aussie family complete and ready to begin the next chapter. Feeling immensely fortunate and excited to see what the future holds for us. Meantime, my plan is to take it one grateful, intentional, mindful and undoubtedly muddled day at a time 🙂

 

Hold the opiates this time, thanks

I have never been able to remember the first time I held my precious Miss M. She was born via elective caesarean section (unusual breech), and right after she was lifted out I experienced the most excruciating pain in my chest. I thought I was going to die. I don’t remember anything except hearing her first cry, registering she was ok, and then…nothing. I don’t remember leaving the operating theatre, I barely remember being in Recovery and I have no recollection of being taken back to Maternity. The following hours and that first whole night are a blur. I have always thought that I was simply traumatised by the surgery, afraid and in pain. I thought my own pain over-rode my feelings for my newborn daughter. I never had that precious time that everyone talks about, the first time they held their baby in their arms. But, she was ok, and I was ok and that was all that mattered. I didn’t let myself get hung up on it, I’d read that it didn’t happen for everyone, that immediate connection and burst of love. In all honesty I never actually felt disconnected from her – I just felt overwhelmed, and that something had been missed, and in some way I had failed mentally in dealing with the surgery and subsequent recovery, but that it was ok now, so I should just move on. I never spoke about it and life did move on.

Indeed I forgot all about that pain in my chest until last week when it was time to book in for my second c-section and the subject came up. I said I wanted the baby to be given to me right away and explained why I thought it hadn’t happened last time – because something had gone wrong with me that to my recollection was never explained to me. I was given a pre-op appointment with an anaesthesiologist this morning so that we could find out what happened last time and stop it happening this time. It turns out that I didn’t fail my daughter – there is a reason for my not remembering anything. It wasn’t because I was emotionally unable to cope with the surgery and its aftermath. It was Fentanyl. A synthetic opiate analgesic which is 50 – 100 times more potent than morphine, and which was administered after I reacted badly to the Sentocin which was given (as was routine) to make my uterus contract while I was still on the table. Although still conscious, I was completely out of it before I even got to hold Miss M. I was then put on an intravenous morphine PCA – more opiate – which I told them to take out at some point that night as it made me nauseous and the fear of vomiting with my stomach all stitched and in so much pain was greater than my fear of more pain. And at some point after that I started to come out of my haze.

They don’t administer Sentocin any more, so chances are I won’t have that same reaction this time. There’s nobody to blame, I just had an unusal reaction to one drug which was treated with the drug they thought most appropriate at the time. I don’t quite understand why such a strong drug was used, but I’m not going to get hung up on that now. What’s done is done, and now I have the knowledge to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. I can refuse the Fentanyl and ask for Endone instead, or have nothing if I choose. I’m told that the chest pains, excruciating as they are, won’t last for long if they do recur, so if I can endure it and I don’t want any drugs, they won’t give me any. It’s all in my notes, plus the request for no morphine at any time.

I was stunned when the anaesthesiologist explained all this to me. I finally have a reason for what happened, and it wasn’t my fault. I hadn’t beaten myself up about it, or talked about it,  but it made me very sad whenever I thought about not remembering holding my little girl, and the fact that I let her go to the nursery that night instead of staying with me. I was too out of it to make a different decision. The anaesthesiologist asked me if I felt “cheated”. I guess I do if I think about it. Because I was denied that precious time that everyone talks about, the first time they held their baby in their arms. But I am comforted by the fact that I know that I was able to hold her just 15 minutes or so after she was born, even though I can’t recall it. And her father held for that whole first 15 minutes, she wasn’t alone or with a stranger. I was completely disoriented but I managed to breastfeed her straight away, and every time they brought her to me in the night. I have photos of me holding her and gazing at her with love and wonder, even thought I don’t remember those moments with any clarity. She was with me, as she has been ever since. And this time around, it’s going to be better. I know it.

A New Approach

Temple near Pai, Northern Thailand

Miss M woke up his morning at the glorious time of 6.10am! I made a mug of tea and took it back to bed with Buddhism For Mothers  until the even more glorious time of 7.30am, as it was my husband’s turn to do morning milk and play (part of me misses breastfeeding after 16 months of that unique closeness with my girly, but the rest of me in all honesty absolutely relishes the freedom that ending that chapter of our lives has brought!). Once again I felt inspired by this book and even shed some tears at the wonderful realisation that I am far from unique in my deep-rooted resentment and frustration with regard to various aspects of Motherhood (although of course I don’t wish them on anyone!) and that these feelings can perhaps be overcome and replaced with a sense of much needed peace, if I’m willing explore the solutions offered to me in Buddhist teachings.

Unfortunately after this marvellous start to the day, I then checked my email and was confronted with a continuation of Wednesday’s wider family conflict. I had just finished a chapter about dealing with negative emotion but didn’t imagine I’d be calling upon it within minutes of closing the book! As it was, I instantly forgot everything I had just read and began bashing out a lengthy point by point retort full of anger mixed with hurt and guilt. An hour later, emotionally exhausted, ready to be late for an appointment and having spent no precious time with Miss M, I started thinking about what I had read earlier. It finally dawned on me that I could perhaps try to control all my negative emotion instead of being carried away by it. I tried to be mindful and focus on what my body was doing, how I was holding it, my breathing. I calmed down enough to realise the absolute futility of an angry, point-scoring response. Instead I sent a short paragraph explaining that I’ll be in touch in a few weeks. I managed to end on a note of kindness that in all honesty I didn’t genuinely feel, but I wished it was genuine and I hope that is enough to diffuse things for the time being, while I sort out my emotions and decide how to approach these latest relationship difficulties in a calm and mindful manner.

From joyful relief to angry hurt in the space of a few minutes, and it was only 8.30am! But, despite my uncontrolled initial reaction I had managed to get it together in the end. Maybe there’s hope for this grumpy ol’ mindful mama wannabe after all!

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