And then it was over…..

September 20th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Little Human | Milestones - (1 Comments)
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And then it was over…..

I’ve written about my breastfeeding relationship with Worm quite a few times. I’ve endured the questions, comments, the support and often accusations that comes with the territory.

Whenever anyone asked me how long would I be feeding for I replied, “Well I’d like to make it to 6 months, then it will be up to Worm” as the time passed my time lines extended….. 12 months, 18 months and then 2 years.

The 2 year milestone was particularly important to me, as the WHO recommends “infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond” So to think I was giving my child the absolute best start possible was increasingly important to me.

“Breast milk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life” source WHO

Breastfeeding a toddler is never easy. There are the boob-robics that happen when the toddler wants to drink and play at the same time.

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The middle of the very public area child pulling your shirt down demanding boobs (granted this photo was only taken 6 weeks ago when we were waiting to see the doctor)

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and of course then there’s the whole wanting boobie to help relax the baby for sleep caper.

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In recent weeks, I’ve felt the pressure to wean more and more…. But the tipping point came when Worm simply refused to sleep. Countless nights of being awake, sharing her bed, or sitting in the hallway trying to hold the door to her room shut has taken its toll.

All of a sudden the lovely evening snuggle became a chore for me – I came to look upon the whole evening routine with dread, thinking to myself ‘why should I persist with this, delaying the inevitable screaming’ I felt like I was simply delaying the torture. To make it worse a few months previously Worm had stopped letting me read a book to her before bed, so that vital part of her development had been cut out of the routine.

Last Friday I was invited to a girls night out with a lovely girlfriend, the catch was that I wouldn’t be home to put Worm to bed and The Farmer was going to do it for me. The few times that I have been away for bedtime we have always re-commenced feeding the very next night, or snuck in a late night feed to make up for skipping the bed time one.

For some reason I felt confident that this was a good time to stop. I went out, I came home to a quietly sleeping house. The Farmer had survived & worm was asleep. Come Saturday I just didn’t offer, Sunday she clawed at my chest asking whilst we were having some early morning cuddles but accepted me saying no quickly.

It’s now Wednesday. My worm is snuggled in behind me in my bed (LONG story involving rowdy neighbours, runaway dogs, febrile toddler & 11.30pm drives in the car -all whilst The Farmer is away again of course!)

When I asked her if she wanted to sleep in mums bed it was an instant yes (I’ll pay for that tomorrow night, but at 12am I wasn’t going to restart that battle) once in bed I was given a kiss & that is all. She hasn’t clawed, she hasn’t asked & she hasn’t jumped all over me.

I’m equal parts saddened & relieved by this. I really loved the bond that feeding gave us, I loved having a super power, and I loved that I gave her the best nutritional start I could.

I’m relieved that my body is once again mine. I can have a guilt free glass of wine. I can (if given the opportunity) go away for a few nights. I’m relieved that she is as happy and as accepting of the new relationship as I am.

But it means that its over….. And Worm is growing up, and that she won’t be my little girl forever……

That bit makes me very very sad.

Master the flame Master the flavour

September 14th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Cooking | Product Review - (Comments Off)

There’s nothing that makes The Farmer happier than a yummy dinner. Last time we received a pack of goodies from McCormick he was straight into it – he took over completely & I happily sat back to watch.

This time it was no different! To celebrate the lunch of the McCormick new Grill Mates seasonings and new Marinade in a Bag flavours we were lucky enough to be sent an esky of goodies.

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Inside we found all the ingredients to make delicious BBQ Bush Lamb Cutlets with Mango Chutney Mayonnaise.

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Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp McCormick Grill Mates Bush Lamb
1kg lamb cutlets
250g Greek style natural yoghurt
3 tbsp mango chutney
Green salad to serve

Method
Combine oil, McCormick Grill Mates Bush lamb seasoning together and run into lamb
Pre-heat large frying pan or BBQ Grill to medium-high heat and cook cutlets for 1-2minutes each side

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Meanwhile mix lemon juice, yoghurt and chutney together until well combined.
Place cutlets on plate, drizzle dressing over & serve with salad.

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This meal was so quick & easy to make. It was delicious and The Farmer loved having a fast healthy mid week meal that really was full of flavour.
I am sensitive to some food seasonings which makes me check labels very carefully. I was thrilled to see that this had no MSG or other nastys.
Even the Worm enjoyed this meal, with her stealing my cutlets!

The new McCormick GrillMates range consists of 4 varieties. All as delicious as each other although we were gifted the Bush Lamb, the Farmer later purchased the Blazin’ Pepper Steak too!
The GrillMates seasonings come in handy re sealable packaging and each 50g pack contains enough seasoning for 3-4 meals (& we were rather liberal with our sprinkles). The range (& also the yummy Marinade in a Bag) are available in Coles.

Who has control of the BBQ in your house? What’s your quick midweek recipe?

Peter Pan had a good plan

September 6th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Life - (1 Comments)

It’s taken 3 weeks but the post-race depression appears to have taken hold.
I was warned about it, but thought I had made it through. Until this week when everything is just too much for me.
Work, parenting, life it’s all too much this week. Adding in training for health and fitness was just too much. I’ve enjoyed not having to race into my gym as soon as Worm goes to sleep, I’ve enjoyed the glass of wine with dinner (probably a little too much)

The holiday to Sydney after the race was perfect, though I fear we let Worm develop some more poor sleep habits which are taking a while to break again.
She hasn’t slept through the night for nearly a month now, and has developed a new skill of climbing (falling) out of her cot which has lead to an unplanned transition to the big girl bed.

It sounds stupid but I guess this week it’s hitting me that my life has changed so much over the past 2 years. No more impromptu pub dinners, drunken evenings solving the problems of the world with my friends, no more just jumping on a plane and running away.
I know I can still do all these things, but they take more coordination now, and have different consequences.

I guess this week I’m just wanting to be Peter Pan & never grow up.

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sorry about the disjointed writing here. I’m struggling to express myself at the moment.

It’s World Breastfeeding Week, so to celebrate I wanted to share a little about the breastfeeding story that Worm & I have written together over the past 2 years.
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I was very lucky to be able to give Worm her first breast feed less than a hour after birth, we were still in the birthing room, and Worm was snuggled onto my bare chest. The lovely midwife helped her attach and the left us for quiet snuggles.

I don’t know what I was expecting to feel with that first feed. Obviously I had the emotions and hormones of just giving birth to my child running through me, and feeding her was the most natural thing I could do.

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Just minutes after birth

I remember it stinging a little as she sucked, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. Worm was sleepy so the nurse said to let her rest for a few hours before offering another feed.

I’ve told my birthing story in a 3 part story – you can read part 1 here. So maybe go & read that and then come back if you need.

In short that first feed was the closest thing I had to a feed for the first 5 days of her life, whilst Worm was in NICU with various tubes, and drains and wires attached to her I was in my room (or later in NICU as I didn’t care who saw me) expressing milk, firstly by hand, and then a few days later using the big hospital breast pumps. My alarm was set for every 3 hours, to express for 10 minutes each side, throughout day and night. It was all I could do to help my child, I had to have faith that the doctors knew what they were doing medically, and I could only attend to her nutritional needss
When we finally left the hospital and made our way home our turbulence continued, within 3 days of being home the removalist vans came and the Farmer, Worm and I made our way across the state to our new home. To be perfectly honest I don’t remember the details of this time, I do remember feeling frustrated and trapped having to sit still for 30 minutes every few hours to feed my gorgeous baby, but I also remember those periods being a breath of calm in an otherwise hectic period.

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One of my favourite photos, looking into each others eyes

After a few weeks I contracted the first of what would end up being 5 bouts of Mastitis, but we persisted through the sweats, the shakes and at one point I remember feeling so weak that the Farmer would get up in the night and bring Worm to bed for me to feed as I didn’t feel strong enough to pick her out out the bassinet myself.

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Location never stopped me- feeding in a dry creek bed near Orroroo in South Australia

As the milestones passed it did become easier, 6 months, 12 months, 18 and now that we have been feeding for 2 years, I’m not sure when we will stop. The comfort of my cuddle has become an essential part of my toddlers day. We start and finish each day snuggled into each other. I tell her stories of my day in the morning, prepare her for events that might be happening, and generally chat whilst she gets that first drink.

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Feeding a toddler can be challenging, but the snuggles are worth it.

In the evenings we sit together in a darkened room, usually very quietly, I might hum a song, or pat her back but for the most part we are content and quite still. To be perfectly honest this is usually when I catch up on Candy Crush as at this particular feed Worm just wants quiet. I believe that this had become a fantastic sleep cue, and although I don’t let her feed herself to sleep, it certainly helps calm her after a busy day.

Over the past 2 years we have become authors of our own story. This is ours and ours alone. I do not judge those who feed their babies any other method, my philosophy is that a child needs to be fed regardless of how they get their milk.

Personally I have found breastfeeding very rewarding and the connection it gave me to my child is one of the most grounding things I have had over the turbulent past 2 years. I know that every time I felt the desire to run away, the knowledge that she was going to need a breastfeed in a few hours time kept me home.

The theme for the 2013 World Beastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding Support – Close to Mothers. For me this means that I am always willing to help any mother with their feeding questions. I was hoping to become an Australian Breastfeeding Association counseller, and I still might do this in time, however for now it was just too much. Please know if you ever need any help, advice, or just someone to chat to I can be contacted and I am more than happy to provide any support I can. I believe that ALL mothers (regardless of feeding choice) need support and I feel privilaged and blessed to be able to help them whenever I can.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week

xx

Sara

If you or anyone you know needs a hand please encourage them to reach out. The Australian Breastfeeding Association offer a 24 x 7 phone counselling service, staffed by volunteers, who understand what mums go through at all stages in life. For more information about the hotline check out the ABA website.

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Worm Turns Two!

July 27th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Being a mum | Little Human | Milestones - (Comments Off)

Urgh I hate when a pre-written and scheduled blog post heads into the interwebs never to be seen again! Apologies to you all, but this was supposed to be live last Friday!

 

Worm turned 2 on Saturday, I can’t believe that we have had this blessing in our lives for 2 years now. It’s hard to imagine life without her now.

 

The Farmer & I love parties, and what better excuse for a party than a birthday. I decided after the epic 1st birthday last year we would scale it back this year, so we invited some lovely friends for a BBQ & cake.

 

Decorations were simple, some lanterns hanging in our tree outside, some bunting over the door way, I was planning on having a whole bunch of balloons however when the very first one I blew up burst in Worm’s hands she didn’t want them.

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Food was restrained! Cupcakes, and Honey Joys for the kids, little frankferts, dips & cheeses for the adults (of course the kids ended up eating the dips & the adults the honey joys)

 

The cake was a classic Dolly Varden. I used a kuglehoff shaped cake pan to get the dress structure, and then The Farmer and I cut out individual petals in the pre-purchased roll out icing. I was super impressed at how easy the icing was to use, particularly considering the hassle that we went to last year to make our own fondant type icing, I know now what I’ll be using in future!

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The doll was purchased at the recent toy sales, and I had to conduct some minor surgery (amputating at the knees) to get her the right height, so this doll is now back in the cake decorating box for future years.

I actually nearly forgot all about the cake, and so the photos we have of Worm blowing her candles out are not of her in a pretty dress- bur rather of her in striped pyjamas!

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For her present The Farmer & I didn’t want to go overboard, I’m planning on rotating some of her older toys out now she has a couple of new things to play with.

We purchased the Art Easel that attaches onto the Learning Tower, and it was an instant success – as soon as Em walked into the lounge and saw it she grabbed the chalk & started drawing – initially ignoring the large rainbow striped parcel right beside her.

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She certainly has the hang of opening presents now and quickly her attention turned. The Fisher Price Little People Farm set was a HUGE success; I had noticed her playing with one during our recent Tassie adventure, so when we saw the big kit on special it made present purchasing easy.

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Overall I’m claiming the 2nd birthday celebrations a big success, the next day she wanted more bubbles, cake and balloons, so I think she had fun!

 

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