Friday, October 29, 2010

the teriitory - it gets into ya blood

Now that we have made yet another move to a new community, your thoughts and life plan is laid open bare to reflect and consider where are headed and what does it all mean?. Marty and I met in the Northern Territory and I miss that life so much.  The Territory is so unique.  The materialism and white anxiety of the East Coast is miles away.   The Southern Highlands is beautiful.  The gardens, the lush countryside and the houses, the shops and cafes.  It is so civilized, ordered, comfy and almost a bit of fantasy land.  It is gentile and everyone is well mannered.

The Northern Territory is hot and often hard work.  Having things doesnt matter as much.  Culturally it can be confronting at times.  You learn more by saying and asking less.  Everytime I read or hear about things going on up North, my heart starts to flutter and I feel a yearning to return.

But this was all pre-baby.  I will keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Thank you so much my Territory friends.  Please visit BIMAWear for authentic indigenous prints from the very special ladies of the Tiwi Islands.


Friday, October 22, 2010

dirt musik

Funny when stones and dirt are much more enticing than lovingly made prepared food by Mummy.    We have noticed a little wry smile and awareness of what reaction he can get from his parents.  The old dropsie game and  warnings of danger.   Bit my tongue when heard Che say "No" on the front porch a few days ago.  He is becoming so much more aware of my tone and my reactive ways.

I have been preoccupied with trying to complete my studies for Diploma of Child Health.  Reading about parenting issues and behavioural problems in infants and toddlers and the trajectory for later life resilience. 

In those moments of feeling overwhelmed with demanding toddler cries, I remind myself of parents who have children with special needs.  We are also keen to announce our children's progress and milestones.  It must be so hard if your child  has a disability or does not fit into the norm.  I remind myself of elderly women I have come to know through my work who still look after  their child whilst they are in their 80's and their son or daughter are 40-50 years of age and have Downs or other disability that precludes them form having a normal life.  Imagine that.  The supports that are available now where so scarce in that generation.  They  must feel very alone.

I was very fortunate.  Having a child born when I was almost 44 of course put me in such a high risk bracket for a child with a chromosomal abnormality, like Down's syndrome.  However I even contemplated not having the 12 week nuchal screening.  We were seriously considering not following through with invasive testing if this scan was worrying, and just accept and love what nature had provided us.  The dubious results that can arise from the nuchal screening do make one risk a miscarriage of a normal baby as well.  The chances of falling pregnant again were very remote.

The way the pregnancy took over my body  I knew that this baby was fine and was strong and everything would be ok.  (I had severe nausea of pregnancy that lasted to about 17 weeks and thereafter still had days that made me lie flat on my back).  I was not really anxious or felt extra precious.  The scans were all reassuring.

I have caught myself thinking, I need some time to be just alone.  But everyday there is something new.  And that is FANTASTICO.

With the early morning warble of the Magpie I say to Che "see he is telling you that everything will be ok.  Today will be memorable and we love you".

Hope you have a lovely weekend.


Monday, October 18, 2010

oxytocin delirium

Now bubby is 10 months old we are still breast feeding avidly.

My breastfeeding story begins with having all the good intentions and inspiring role models as well as a medical perspective that gave me a good head start.  Pre-baby I never been that well endowed, but with the raging hormones of pregnancy I developed the most massive boobs, for me.

I have not been brave enough yet to write our birth story, but once our little chap arrived he made his way easily to my breast.   But I reckon I got a graze on his very first attachment.  My breasts were so big he found it quite hard. I took the positioning of feeding recommended but it took me 2 months to work out this was not working for us.  My nipples ended up quite distorted, ulcerated and bleeding often.  The pain would often make me think, tomorrow morning, I'm going to go and buy a tin of formula. I ended up using a nipple shield for  about a month.   I remember I would project thoughts into the future and imagine scenarios and I still wanted to be breastfeeding.  It kept me going.  Eventually supply settled down and I changed his position with him sitting more upright between my knees.  Then we were on a roll.

Che has been hungry and awake since he has been born.  I basically sat there through the hot sweltering heat of our summer, with him on my chest and let him feed when-ever and where- ever.  He hated being in a sling, with a prickly heat rash over his body, but spent all that summer in nappy, singlet and muslin wrap.  In order to pay the mortgage and  I had to return to work, part-time, when he was 5 weeks old.  No maternity pay for Doctors.  This was hard.  Expressing ahead and between consultations, getting let downs and bursting when I was busy and had emergencies to attend to and arriving home with baby distressed and not wanting to feed from the bottle. I cried a bit then.  But I got through it.

I have loved  breastfeeding but  I have often thought how much hard work it is and how it has a tendency to clash with our modern day life and expectations.  Not living close  to those able to give lots of practical support with a newborn, pressure to return to work early, to have a well running household, the awkwardness of feeding in public.  I often understand why women do give up earlier. My little man though just wants to feed and feed.

Occassionally I have felt trapped in this zone.  My son still feeds on demand and I don't have a schedule or strict routine of feeding even now.  He  pins me down and I really have to drop all other intentions and expectations of my day.  Only I can sustain him.

At the moment I am finding it a bit hard as he just is not interested in eating.  I have tried so many approaches, different tastes, foods.  As he has no real words yet in his vocabularly he now just screams at me, thows all the food on the floor( then to the dogs), often playing a game but sometimes he is quite upset. 

The lovely lady on  the ABA Mum to Mum phone support  line said not to worry just keep feeding him and he will eat when he is ready.  Instinctively I  know  this.  The early child hood nurse did not agree and said I needed to only do 3 breast feeds per day and not feed at night.  Easier said then done when baby burrows into my breast and the distress when attention is averted to foodstuffs.  It is creating all the wrong atmosphere and feeling.

Feeling a bit of a failure tonight.  I am at a loss of what to do. 

Oh well I will still wake in the morning and read lots of recipes and keep trying and keep giving him what he wants.  Booby.


Monday, October 11, 2010

an anniversary and one month onwards

In the last month we have packed up and moved house that is a 3 hour drive south.  We moved on from our intense renovations and much treasured beachside house and community.  But also from a mortgage that was crippling us.  I do miss that life though.

Che had made some lovely little friends from the mother's group of the killer summer 2009/10.

We have had to rug up and find new paths to tread every day.

The rear of our rented cottage backs directly onto to Bowral Creek with a lovely gentle slope of a walk with views to the surrounding farms on the hillsides.

We have had a few issues with not wanting to eat our solids and just wanting to feed on the booby all the time.  Poor sausage having to deal with the move, strange house and Dada going away for 4 days and then getting our first real sickness with high temperatures of 40 degrees, no wonder.
We visited the local early childhood nurse for a weigh in check up etc   We now are 9.4 kg and 74 cm long.  And yes I know I do all the wrong things.  i.e  feeding to sleep, feeding through the night, not teaching him how to self settle, co-sleeping.  But its the only way I can manage and comfort him.  We are splurging out on a new bed.   King size and it is going to be lush.

Our little man is standing up and cruising around the furniture.  More concentrated effort has been required to baby-proof the house and the backyard.  I think Che's temperament is one of those superactive types.  We are trying  for him to do something with other kids most days.  Playgroup, kindermusic, swim lessons, storytime at local library and lots of walks in the bush.  He is a different baby after these activities.

Spring is here, but the weather has been very dramatic.  Lots of dark skies , soft constant drizzle. But I've decided to not winge about the weather.

Today our son is 10 months old.  So proud of you.  You make my heart melt.

I did say that in the new house,"no dogs on the couch".  Oh well, they've had it hard too.

  ps  now rewinding with Alison.  Hop along for a trip down memory lane for others too.