Wednesday, December 22, 2010

its ok

After a  little bit of soul searching have decided its ok to continue.  I really really appreciate the little bit of connection with fellow bloggers I've had so far.  I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity to finally be a parent with all the challenges.  Being me is ok.

I do often wish I could be better at a lot of things.  A better partner, mother, organiser, Doctor, and especially a better friend.  I often get caught up in the small stuff.  The bigger picture is very bright.

Best wishes everyone and take care over what can be a bit of crazy time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

to continue or not?

Often in the middle of the night I'm struck with the anxiety "why am I doing this?". Feeling a bit silly and exposed.  I listen to people talk about the dangers of Facebook and how pedophiles will be able to source my child, marketers can watch my every move and plant dangerous temptations to purchase.  The line between public and private life is held onto so tightly.  And here I am on this blog.  What does it all mean?

Also I question my motives. Do I want to be liked more and have more approvals/comment?s.  A lovely blog I follow, the writer has a bad day with her baby and she gets 67 comments of support.  But that is not why I started this blog.  Its ok if no one reads it or comments really. 

How will my son feel when he is older? That is a biggy?

Writing here has helped me feel less down and negative, of which I am prone to at times.  The blogging community is all so upbeat and positive.  Nevertheless it can be a bit nauseating.  Do people really have such perfect lives?

Writing here has helped keep me on track on our goals and opens up some headspace for where and how we want to live.

Reading other peoples inspiring blogs, less of the perfect ones and more of the simple, crafty and sustaninable eggs me on and I feel yeh keep going.

Going to take some time over this break to ponder.

 Keep your cool over the festive season and have fun.

xx J

Saturday, December 18, 2010

birthday boy, beach boy, last summer of baby boy

Happy birthday to our little man.  We had a small gathering of some groovy people we have only just met  from playgroup.  The kiddies were of different ages but it seemed to work well.  Our new friends made the day special.  Thanks heaps. xxx

The next day busy packing to go on our little beach holidy that we planned months ago.  In hindsight maybe trying to do too much at this normally hectic time of the year.  Exam done and dusted.  Think may have got through but I will not find out until mid January.

We rented a dog friendly cottage in Currarong beach on the south coast of NSW.  It lies on Jervis bay.  This old fibro shack was built in the 1930's.  Its was a tiny one bedroom beach hut with views directly onto the water.  Pretty cute don't you think?

We were lucky with the weather. Our little man spent the days playing in the rockpools and sorting through the shells, seaweed, anemones and flotsam and jetsam and digging many sand holes to match Dannyboy.

I took the plunge with a new swim suit into the water.  It was pretty cold.  It took my breath away.  The doggies had a pretty good time too.  I think they miss living by the water.

5 days with no computer, emails, TV.  I had plans of starting a novel but ended up taking some time to really just sit and be, and gaze onto the water.  We ate very simply steak, fish cooked on the BBQ.  I sat breast feeding thinking how next Summer might be quite different.  Our little one will be much bigger, I may not be feeding him anymore, he will be running not crawling and will not be a handy little bundle in my arms.


Saturday, December 11, 2010


One year ago today we went out with friends for woodfired pizza and then to see the movie based on the book above.  I felt well, but baby was very active.  I just could not get comfortable during the screening but thoroughly enjoyed the story and amazing set and cinematography.

I was 39 weeks pregnant.  I was wondering if I would go overdue.  The last week I had been busy having only finished work one week ago. Nesting, cleaning, yoga and spending time at the beach with my dogs.  Marty was working hard landscaping in the hot sun.

Earlier in the day I had some acupuncture.  It had been recommended by my midwife.  The practitioner Melissa thought I was pretty close and changed her approach, mentioning it may help get things going.  I was not in a rush.  I thought I could do with more time.

After farewelling our friends we drove home and Marty mentioned he really didnt wont to go to work the next day. He was really physically tired.  He went to bed straight away.  I was pottering for ages and then at 1.30 am decided I should sleep.

I sat down on the side of the bed and felt a really strong pain that gripped me.  It lasted about half a minute.  I laid down and gazed out the window.  Five minutes later it recurred.  I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions from about 20 weeks.  This was different!   After a few  similar  I got up and started packing the bag.  I had not yet done that.  Chester was following me everywhere.  Marty was still snoring away.

Forty minutes later the contractions were coming every 3 minutes and lasting about 40 seconds.  They were so intense I could not talk.  I was kneeling on the rug on the kitchen floor in a yoga pose with my arms out stretched.  The intensity in my lower back and groin gripped me.  Marty woke up due to my moaning.  He yelled out, "Is this it Jill?".  I couldnt really speak.

We rang our midwife.  Yes it was time to come in.  The contractions were now lasting a full minute, 3 minutes apart.  I had been involved in an antenatal midwife programme at Gosford Hospital where we have the same midwife throughout the pregnancy.  Lindel though was infact the second midwife as My first Anne Marie was on her annual leave.  I had thought about having a home birth.  But it came down to affordability, and actually our house was only half functional with  a stripped out loungeroom.

I really didnt know how I was going to get into the car.  The drive  to the hospital takes about 30 minutes.  We set up the dogs on the verandah, bundled ourselves in the car and set off.  I was lying on the back seat, sitting up over the child restraint.  The drive in was surreal. 

Upon arrival and meeting with Lindel, she confirmed the baby was still posterior but I was in fact already 6cm dilated and well effaced.  It was now 4am.  I had no real formal birth plan as such.  Like always, go with what feels natural and right at the time.  Lindel suggested we go into the shower. The relief from the warm water on my back was immediate.  I needed Marty there all the time.

I had accepted having a student midwife with me as I was a student once.  Justine was called from her home.  We had got to know each other over the last few appointments.  It was in fact great having here there as well.

We ended up staying  in the shower.  It seems like so long ago now.   Memory is certainly fading about the details.  I remember loosing the plot a bit, probably was in transition.  I remember feeling on the edge of a precipice and fearful of the next stage, almost too scared to become a mother.  The pain did get too much for me and I really thought I could not go on.  Baby's heart beat via the doppler was spot on.  My waters had not even broke yet but I felt I was ready to push.  So I did.   I let it roar.  But it was hard work.   My waters broke just before giving birth.  Babies head was right there I could feel.  I was sitting on the birthing stool, still in the shower.  Lindel then said  he had been there too long and I needed an episiotomy to get him out.  I remember shouting "Oh no".  But then with another push he arrived face looking up at me , pink and screaming with life.  I picked him up in my arms between my legs and hugged him tight.  Yes  baby boy!

It was the hardest but  most amazing day of my life. 

After all having a clean up shower, we laid down for our first breast feed.  I needed I few stitches  so baby Che had a bit of an explore around to find the nipple.  I felt so much love and warmth.

 Che  born 9.17am 11/12/2009.  Birthweight 8lb 4 oz (3750 gms ) and 53 cm long.  We were very proud parents.  We actually ended up going home to our abdoe and keenly waiting puppy dogs 4 hours later.  We were now a family.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

exam nerves

here i am, nearly midnight doing last minute frenzied study for my exam in the morning.  we have to get up at 5am to travel hour and half to be ready to start writing at 8am.  baby just woke up with big fearful cry, now suckling at breast, and has then done the usual lurching back and says "Dada" and now wants to be awake.  oops.  maybe we should all just take to the big bed now.  oh but there is that topic on rickets .... hmm.  oh well i have done the best i can since i've had no real sleep in 12 months.  i'll just keep thinking of my little one to get me thru.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

cloth on bot

Since Che's arrival I have endevoured to use cloth nappies as much as possible.  We used plain white terry sqaures  in the newborn period and then since have being trying a number of different fitted nappies that can be ordered on line.  The terry squares now make great cleaning cloths for mop ups with adventurous eating habits and great for polishing mirrors and windows etc. I must admit it is a bit of a maze sorting through all the different options and it has been fun trialling different sets and brands. I especially love the packages of soft fluffy bundles of green joy arriving with the post.

What I have come to realise that it really depends on your baby's shape and degree of wetting that really points to which nappies are better for each individual.  I have found some fitted nappies to always leak around the legs, especially when he was younger.  Also as Che is a keen night feeder he is such a heavy wetter .  I'm usually really not into brand naming but I would  recommend in this situation that the best coverage and absorbancy has been from baby beehinds, especially with the organic cotton/bamboo fitted nappy and a good cover.  They take a bit more of organising, but you can increase the absorbency even more with bamboo boosters.  For convenience the minkee all in ones are excellent as well.

The washing and up keep obviously can be seen as yet another chore, but I relish it and find the whole process quite meditative.   Dry paling, so no soaking and using less detergent makes things much easier.  Beloved will often put on a disposable, if expecting a pooey one.  And to be honest at night we have resorted back to a good disposable and I just have not found a cloth nappy that will last the whole night and we are trying to get more sleep around here.

I also love cleaning botty with almond oil and putting calendula nappy ointment on.

2 more sleeps until my exam.  I won't know myself.  Then a special birthday the day after.  Wow I have almost made it !

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


What can I say about our Danny boy, our much loved black lab.  Born 3/9/2002 in Darwin.  Danny has been up and down this continent with me and is now showing some wear and tear. So sad when one day you realise gosh my dog is now old, he has aged.  Grey and limping but always up for a swim and ball chase.  Danny in true lab style is always in your way. Needing to step over him to get through the doorway.  Such a gentle soul, but often has passive aggressive tendencies.  He has never been interested in chasing anything.  Live and let live.  He will  dig to china on the beach, but leaves our garden alone.  He especially loves our son and Che adores him.  There is a symbiotic relationship with food between the two of them.  I know it sounds silly but it is Danny that stops me from going and working remote again.  I just dont think he would cope very well.
Love ya Dan.xx J

Monday, December 6, 2010


Born 1/3/04, Cavoodle, apricot colour.  Very bossy, super intelligent.  Special trick sings along with harmonica or piano accordian.  Used to be my "baby'.  Is still allowed to sleep on our bed at my feet.  Dan's best mate and arch rival.  Chester has grown up a lot since little human baby has arrived.  Guess he has come to accept him as part of the pack.  Chester is great at letting me know when Che is awake or crying.  Loves to chase bunny rabbits and howls when sees cows.  Love ya.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It takes a village to raise a child

It takes a village to raise a child
What I love about blogging is the time to sit and read other people's experiences when you might be feeling a little bit alone in your world.  Especially with being only new to a town/community and have yet to build those networks that support you and who you are.  The above link confirmed how really it is unusual in the word, to be alone with your baby all the time.  Fostering a village is what I'm looking forward to.

Pleased to say gently gently we have made some leadway to all of us getting some more sleep.  With some constant tweaking of the sleeping set up, we are now sleeping 6-7 hours before needing a feed say anywhere between 12 and 3am and then sleeping more peacefully again until the morning.  He is still coming in for that cherished early morning cuddle/feed.   It was really the time for Che to have some of his own space and I think is only now starting to say, in his own baby way, Oh yeh sleep, excellent!.

These photos were taken after one of our many country drives.  There are many exclusive old manors that are now made into top end boutique accomodation.  We just popped in on a hot day and took to the shade for some lunch.  We imagined staying there and being la- di -da.  We were alone in this beautiful courtyard away from the masses/hoards of xmas shoppers. Bliss.

Friday, December 3, 2010

one year ago today

One year ago today I was 38 weeks pregnant. I had just finished working as a local GP on the central coast.  The pregnancy had been uncomplicated.  I was doing regular yoga and walking meditations.  Positive visualisations regarding giving birth.  I did have quite annoying reflux and insomnia and was sleeping sitting propped up on many pillows.  We had been to the midwife earlier in the week and confirmed that baby was still posterior.  All we could feel was little hands and feet.  I planned this week to get many things into order, as I had left a lot of nesting to the last minute.  Here above we were sorting our all the stuff we had stored in the garage.  This couch ended up going to Vinnies.

I just scored this little cradle on ebay, second hand and was starting only now to wonder how would we all sleep?  Like most things in my life, I would feel what felt right at the time.  Our house was only 3/4 renovated at this stage.  No lounge room, but we had a  refurbished kitchen and bathroom that was the main thing.

I wondered if  I would go overdue due to the position of the baby.  But I could feel the baby was way down.   I felt very calm and it was warm and sunny.  The journey ahead of us was still very uncertain. 

       And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, speak to us of children.
And he said:
       Your children are not your children.
       They are the son's and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
       They come through you but not from you, 
       And though they are with you they belong not to you.

      You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
      For they have their own thoughts.
      You may house their bodies but not their souls,
      For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
      which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

      You may strive to be like them, but seek not to
      make them like you.
      For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

      You are the bows from which your children as
      living arrows are set forth.

     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
     infinite, and He bends you with His might that 
     His arrows may go swift and far.

    Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for

    For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves
    also the bow that is stable.

                                      THE PROPHET, Kahlil Gibran, 1923.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cynthia' Circle

A dear friend of mine is undergoing unique but unfunded treatment for her recurrent and progressive bladder cancer.  We were junior doctors together and shared a house and dreams in those salad days.  I now live at a distance but wish I was still close by.  So heartening to hear her mother's group have formed a fundraising venture to help her and her family out.  Cynthia is a mother of 2, incredibly strong and positive and a smart and dedicated Doctor.  If you are on the  Central Coast NSW and have next Wednesday 8th December, 2010 free there is the event below at the Avoca Cinema.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the subtle muscles of the pelvic floor

Sorry to go down so below ladies, but I feel this is an important issue to attend to.  Finally I have decided to be more proactive. Having had a posterior birth, things are not quite the same.  I consulted an excellent physiotherapist and realised even I was doing the exercises incorrectly.  I had been using more of my abdominal muscles and a pelvic floor contraction is quite distinct and much more subtle than this.  With real time ultrasound this was pointed out to me and gave me great bio-feedback.  If you have any issues relating to this I would say find local expert help as above and get more one on one instruction.  It will really help when change of life and age starts being more of a reality.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


One of the baby activities that we have enjoyed the most in Kindermusik .  Our lovely teacher Tanya runs a class locally.  There are classes for specific age groups and they are developmentally appropriate.  They only last 45 minutes.  But we are guaranteed a good sleep afterwards.  Ours is a small class of only 6 or 7 babies up to 18 months.  Classes run up to age 7.  The use of age old songs, beautifully recorded music, repetition, movement, dance and simple instruments.  The classes has given me tools to continue on at home.  We have lots of fun with the waking up song.  Each term there is a new theme, with a CD to take home and new songs to learn.  Next term is daily rhythms.  Looking forward to that one.

I just had to remind myself of his early days, re above photo

Sunday, November 28, 2010

time for a swim suit

or cossie or bathers !  its raining constantly today and bub has just had a good daytime nap.  Have done the pre-requisite study on chronic diarrhea in children and then decided to explore options for a new mommy swim suit.   Just after my exam , we are giving ourselves a couple of days on a beach on the south coast.  Currarong Beach.  Can't wait.

Found a great spot here , great advice on choosing a new cossie  when still nursing.

Have made a bit of recovery after meltdown week.  Thanks Ams.  xxxx

Thursday, November 25, 2010

good enough

I have had a few meltdowns this week.  With so much grief in the news from around the world and with bad news with friends and friends family, I think this has contributed. Along with the ever present anxiety about my sons lack of ability to sleep more than 2 hours and not really wanting to eat.  Apart from the usual wingeing, he is happy I think in his own little way.  Oh yeh and have a major hard exam in 2 weeks.  I just don't seem to retain much.

Its me that intellectualizes about this trajectory and my with own expectations my despair rises.   I have this bad habit of walking around my inner sanctum, constantly scanning, looking for what is wrong, how I could improve, creating a "must do" or "should" list in my head.

Being able to accept things as they are. Give myself and my family the credit that is due.  Love my son for who he is.  That what is here,  and now is good enough.