Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Questions Answered...

Ok so here goes... not as popular as I hoped it would be.... surely with 32 followers, I could have got some more questions... you guys suck...but I still love you....hehe...

Sazz asked;
My question: why don't you want to breastfeed Xave/why won't you let me? ;) I wink but I am curious.

Well its not that I don't want to breastfeed Xavier, its more than I never pictured myself feeding an almost 2.5 year old. I get that people do, I don't have an issue with others doing it, but its just not something I ever imagined doing for me. In saying that, part of me is so amazed that at his age Xavier has worked out how to attach and feed, that I feel like maybe I should allow him to feed, and on occasion I do in fact let him. He doesn't have a huge interest, he doesn't stay on long, really its more of a game to him, but I take the same approach with him that I plan on taking with Stella as she approaches 2, never offer, never refuse.. although I do often offer something else instead. So if and when he asks, and if I feel that its an appropriate time and place, I will allow him to have a quick feed.

I also choose not to blog or FB about this as I know many people I know in real life (I don't care that much what people I don't know irl think) would be completely freaked out by this and I don't feel that its really anyone else's business what I do with my kids and my breasts in the privacy of my own home.

Now to why wont I let you feed Xavier.. well, this is going to be a hard one without possibly causing some offence to someone, so apologies in advance. Cross nursing/co-feeding is just not for me or my kids. Again I don't have a problem with others doing it, I strongly believe that everyone has the right to make their own choices for their bodies and their babies. I have proven that I am more than happy to provide my expressed breast milk to someone else's child, and would happily accept EBM from someone else if my kids needed it, but personally I would feel uncomfortable actually putting someone else's child to my breast and well if either of mine drank from someone else's breast I would be as jealous as all hell. I worked hard to make enough milk for my daughter, and damn it she will appreciate it and not go looking for it somewhere else...

hope that answers it for you.

apwool asked;
ok, gulp, I will ask you one that I have wondered about and I hope you don't think I am being rude!! Just curious is all :) I'm certainly not asking because I think you were wrong, you just never really said in her arrival story why, and I am really nosey LOL
Why did you have an elective c/s with Stella?

This is something I am happy to talk about apwool. There are a number of reason, the first being I assumed once a CS always a CS. My obs (who I do adore) seemed to think that another CS was the best option for me seeing as there was such a small gap between my babies. He felt the risk of a VBAC was probably too high after only 16 months, he did say had it been 2 years he would have pushed me to VBAC, so he isn't against VBAC at all. I also spoke to the midwives (yes you must all remember that I am not a homebirther and would never choose to, nothing against it, just not for me) and she talked to me about the possibility of a VBAC. She talked me through the hospitals policy on VBAC and basically I would have been strapped to the bed on monitors, allowed to move very little and not allowed to have any pain relief (as I needed to be able to feel what my scar was doing at all times)... sorry but that doesn't really sound that natural to me at all. The final reason was that the CS with Xave was the most civilised thing ever. I am a control freak and I loved knowing the day I was having a baby. I recovered well and felt great. I had a very positive CS experience and honestly didn't feel that I missed out on anything. I have 2 healthy children, no one looking at them knows how or where they were born.

I should add, that since meeting that crazy hippy freak, Sazz, IF (my tubes are tied so really its a big hypothetical) I was to have another baby, I would try to VBA2C. It would still be in a hospital, I would still see my obs for antenatal care, but I would attempt to VBAC. In saying that, I still don't regret the decisions I made to have 2 CS.

Jessica asked (via FB);
What does your name mean?

Well, seeing as my folks made it up it doesn't really mean anything. I once looked it up in a name book (lets be honest, every name book I pick up I look for my name) and the book said that Kin means golden and Tara means tower... so I guess Kintara could mean, golden tower... hmmm tall blonde? I think not, my folks stuffed that one up didn't

They did get it from a racehorse named Kenny's Tara apparently that they won some money on and played around to come up with my name.

Leesa asked (via FB);
what made you get into feeding other peoples nappy addictions and sell BBH?

Because I wanna be sorry, I have a friend Emma who works for them to, and we joke that she converted me to cloth, bf, BBH, so I just want to be her clone.

In all honesty, for a long long time, I have secretly (well not so secret now) wanted to open my own shop. I want to be my own boss. I want to sell cloth nappies, I believe that when people can see and touch they are converted, baby wearing gear, where people can hire carriers before purchasing, breastfeeding stuff and hand made clothes and gifts from WAHM... I have no idea where I would even begin to finance this dream of mine, so in the meantime, I started selling BBH. I love their products (nappies and the best baby carrier, ergo's), there wasn't anyone representing the Mornington Peninsula (my area) and the extra cash comes in handy to finance my own nappy addiction... Seriously, I have been selling for 4 months now, and only this month has my account started to make a

Jade asked (via FB);
Why is the sky blue???

I have no freaking idea... you are the science teacher, you tell

Ealesy asked;
What's you most and least favourite kind of reptile?

To be honest, I really dont dig reptiles at all. I have no interest is looking at them or holding them of having them anywhere near me. I hope that the kids never want to have a reptile for a pet, because they are going to be told no, they can wait until they move out of home.... ooo hang on I just did a google, and I dont mind turtles.... so turtles are my fav reptile.... yes I had to check there were in fact reptiles.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ask me a question...

So I kind of got this idea from another blog, was just scanning and found a blog where she was answering questions, not sure when/where she was asked but it gave me a blog idea.... seeing as I have so many loyal followers, i encourage you all to ask me a question and I will answer it...

You can be random, or funny (or try to be) or serious or a little bit naughty... and I will endeavour to answer then all...

so come on, ask away...

Brother Anxiety...

Stella has been somewhat challenging of late. If I am not within arms reach or clear sight, she has a complete and utter meltdown... and well, its not a mummy thing, if daddy is about she is OK or any other adult to be honest.

Its exhausting, having to constantly be near her, reassuring her from the next room is not enough and its heartbreaking hearing her sobbing as she crawls trying to find me, while I'm trying to just do something (get dressed, washing, wee). Nothing is getting done around the house (Adam would argue that it never really does) but while I have worked out cooking with a child on my hip and I can kind of load the dishwasher and put on a load of washing, hanging it out is impossible... and don't get me started on folding it or putting it away. Sweeping the floor with child on hip is doable, but not easy.

I was putting it down to separation anxiety, which is new to me. Xave was such a chillaxed little dude that he never really got upset if we left the room, he would just happily play on his own until we returned. Just one more difference between my kids.

But yesterday, I came to a new realisation... Stella is not suffering separation anxiety at all... she is suffering brother anxiety!!! Meaning, she is anxious when she is left alone with her brother.

I came to this realisation yesterday when Miss woke a good half hour before he did. And she was a different child. She played happily alone in the family room while I was packing nappy orders in the lounge, she even got out of her chair and took 2 unaided steps across to her music table (YAH!) I was able to wander around the house without a sobbing mess following me, she was smiley and happy and beautiful.

But that all changed once Xave woke up... as soon as she heard him, she cried as soon as I was out of her sight. She followed me around sobbing...rightly so, seeing as Xavier was also grabbing, pulling and pushing her more than necessary.

I am at my wits end with the both of them. This past month, putting them both in full time care and returning to paid work, really does seem to be the easy option. Of course, in my heart, I know that being away from them so much would just break my heart and really isn't what I want to do at all.. but some days... geez... its tempting.

She has started assertive herself more when he takes things from her, mainly with screams and calls of 'mumma' for help, but if she had it first, she holds on tight and doesn't back down easily. He does really love her, he tries to give her cuddles which end in headlocks and her screaming, he shares his food with her and always asks me for one for Stella too (although he does always give her the little one) but I have noticed of late, she has stopped looking at him with the complete adoration she did when she was younger (you know because she is soooo old and all) instead she looks at him with reservation, just a look of not being sure what he is going to do to her at any given moment, and it breaks my heart.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

baaaa I'm a sheep...

...yes I did it, I got me an Iphone.. and well, I was pretty excited about the whole deal, but well, now that its here, I'm a bit meh about it.

Sure it pretty, and smooth and shiny, but well... Im not yet in love with it.

Granted I need to update my calendar and my contacts but well... those of you who have one, let me in on some tips to make me love the thing that I am no committed to for 2 years.

I have downloaded the facebook app (naturally) but thats it.. what else should I be downloading on it? Free downloads that is, far to tight to buy them?

Also should probably put some music on it, ringtone choices are not awesome....

hmm ideas people please..

Monday, February 15, 2010

Build it up, build it up, build it high...

... well perhaps not high as such, but building works will be starting here sooner than later.

Today we got word that our second set of garage plans have been approved. The first lot were knocked back as we wanted to build too close to the road, so we took off our proposed office, and met the councils requirement of a 6m setback and voila, approval.

The next step I'm told is that the draftsman will submit our plans to the building surveyor and then we have to get the owner builder paperwork on the go then construction begins....

I cant wait, it will be so awesome to finally have a garage, to be able to get the kids in the car no worries, rain, hail or shine. It will be nice to let the kids out the door and not have to panic about them running onto the road (well not quite in Stella's case yet, but you know what I mean). I am hoping that by the winter rain we have at the very least a roof on... that's my own little personal goal.

There will also be some interesting things happening during the building process. What is currently our front door will become our direct garage access and what is currently our front window will become our front door. I am already in a bit of a panic about how this exactly works, surely they cant leave me door less? Can they? I guess the builders will have it all sorted out just fine, after all, that's what they do.

Most of our front garden will be pulled up, and despite Adam complaining about this, I think he is secretly going to enjoy having a pretty much blank canvas to work with. He has always talked about ripping out the entire garden and starting again, and well here's his chance.

It will be a pain having to park on the road for a while, well I'm guessing I will have to park on the road, but it will all be worth it once we have our garage finished.

so stay tuned peeps, for building updates...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ladyby, Ladybug, fly away home...

Yesterday was Stella's first birthday party, and it was ladybug themed...

the food was ladybug (or ladybug colours)

the cake had ladybugs

and some of us dressed as ladybugs...

We had a jumping castle and the kids cubby house, sandpit and trampoline all set up for the kids to play in, all of which got a good workout and seemed to be enjoyed.

Stella was spoilt rotten with presents, her winter wardrobe is now well stocked and she has some lovely new toys and books to play with.

I cant forget, we also shared a birthday boobie...

As much as I enjoyed the day, I'm glad its over and done with... party planning is so exhausting but seeing everyone having such a good time it makes it all worth it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Stella

To my daughter...

What a challenge and blessing you have been these past 12 months.

I look at you and all I see is me. A tiny little version of myself. You have my features and you have my attitude. My mum always said that she hoped I would have a daughter just like me, and well, here you are.

In 12 short months you have pushed buttons I didn't know I had, you have made me laugh and cry and throw things and scream out loud. You amaze me with your humour and courage, and frustrate me with your drama queen antics.

You are beautiful. Daddy says, more beautiful than me, and while I act hurt at this, I know its true. Sometimes when you are feeding I look down at you in awe at just how perfect and lovely you are. It helps that with a mouthful of boob you are generally quiet too, a rare moment of peace.

I know that in the years to come you are going to push more buttons, we will yell and scream at each other, we will say things that are hurtful and things that are loving. But Im sure I will never stop being amazed by your character.

Today on your birthday, know that you are adored by all who cross your path, but in particular by your mummy, daddy and big brother.

May you have a wonderful day, not that you will remember it, but know that I thought long and hard about how to spend today, so just go with the flow and have a good time.

Love, kisses and much respect from your mum xxx

Thursday, February 11, 2010


After talking about my nan briefly during Stella's birth story, I felt it might be nice to share a little more about these wonderful people I was blessed to have in my life growing up.

My Nan, is my dad's mum. Her name was Dorothy, but most people called her Dossie, and she was awesome. She is where I get my crafty side from. She was an amazing knitter and sewer, she made all of my clothes when I was small (before name brands become essential) and my barbies and cabbage patch dolls had extensive wardrobes thanks to her. She taught me to knit and sew as a child, neither of which I do well anymore. She also taught me to cross stitch, which I still do quite a bit of and am rather good and quick at. She lived with my pop across the road from my primary school and each day used to bring me and my closest friends treats at recess and lunch. In winter it would be hot milo or tomato soup with toast, in summer, home made icypoles or ice cream cones. She was fastidious about neat hair and straight parts, and every morning I would sit at her feet while she did my hair for school. Never a hair out of place, no bumps and pigtails were always exactly even.

She was a wonderful cook of meals. She did the best ox tail and veggie soup. Granted I don't eat veggies but the broth and ox tail from that soup was the best thing ever on a cold winters day. She did a full roast dinner every Sunday lunch and never have I found anyone who does roast potatoes as good as she did. She wasn't much of a dessert cook, but always had time to help make toffee, or chocolate crackles or honey comb with me as a child to indulge my whims.

She spoilt me rotten. I had my own room there and spent several nights a week at nan's house. If there was a new toy out, she would get it for me, she even fought with a lady at the toy shop over the last black my child doll, because I wanted a black one. Natarsha, as she was named, still holds pride of place on my dresser now, dressed fully in a hand knitted navy and red outfit, complete with knickers and all... I was so spoilt that my nan paid for my first car. From the day I was born she had been saving her 1 & 2 cent pieces and putting them into an account for me, when they stopped making them she started putting her 5 cent pieces in instead. By the time I turned 18, there was almost $1500 in the account to buy my first car, a 1982 Holden Gemini.

I'm not sure if she was just slightly morbid, or if she truly believed it, but she asked me to wear the necklace she wore on her wedding day when I did my deb ball in 1995 as she felt she wouldn't be here to see me married and she figured my deb dress was close enough to a wedding dress. So I did. I didn't particularly like the necklace as a 16 year old, but I could see how much it meant to her, so I wore it. Needless to say I also wore the necklace on my wedding day in 2004 with my nan there to celebrate with me. It has been left to me to care for, it was given to my nan by her own mother-in-law as her something old on her wedding day, so it has been in our family for over 100 years now. Several of my aunts and cousins have also been married in the necklace, and in time I hope to collate a photo history of the necklace to travel with it on its journey through our family. Which I really should do before any more of my great aunts pass on.

My last memory of her is at home, she got very sick very fast and passed quickly. It was what she always wanted, her sisters got dementia and suffered before passing, and she didn't want that to happen to her. She had asked to see me, I burst into tears as soon as I got there, she held me and told me to not be silly, she wasn't going anywhere, she was going to hold that baby of mine before she gave up the fight. If only her prediction was right.

My Pop, my dad's dad, is a big loud bellowing man. His name is Ronald, but everyone called him Tom (his middle name) He was a farrier and knew a whole lot about horses and seemingly cows and other animals too. It is from my pop that I get my love of all things fruity as well as my storytelling skills. My nan and pop had huge fruit trees in their backyard at home. As a child I climbed these trees and overindulged on blood plums, apples, apricots and locuts... there was also a huge fyjoa tree, but I don't like those. Pop would bring me home cherries and strawberries and mango's from the markets and we would sit like royalty stuffing our faces with out sweet delights.

During these times curled up on his lap eating fruit, he would tell me story after story. He had stories about all kinds of things, and as a child I loved them all. But the one that sticks with me all these years later, is the one about the hobyahs. The story is about a little old woman and a little old man who live in the forest with their dog (his name changed regularly). Each night the hobyahs (who were like horrible little goblin creatures who wanted to eat them) would come up to the house and the dog would bark and bark and the little old man would get cross and yell at the dog, each night cutting off part of the dog to teach him a lesson (yep charming story for a young child) so first was his tail, then an hear, leg, nose, etc until there was no dog left anymore. The next night, the hobyahs came again, this time because there was no dog to scare them off, they kidnapped the little old woman and took her back to their camp. When the little old man woke up he was shocked to find his wife gone, so he put the dog back together again (umm yeah ok...) and off they went to find the little old woman. They did, the hobyahs were going to cook and eat her, but the dog barked and scared them all off and the little old man rescued her and they lived happily ever after.... naturally you need to have the lap of a loving poppy and the voices and snarls for this story to really work, but it was this time with him that began my passion for storytelling and hearing stories.

He also taught me a healthy respect for animals. I was not allowed to be afraid of horses, but was never to trust them. His joking began my complete and utter fear of cows. One day out at 'the block' where our horses were kept, a cow had birthed a new calf. He was going out to make sure it was all OK as the calf hadn't gotten up to walk as yet and he asked if I wanted to come with him. Sure! Half way across the paddock he joked I had better be careful the bull didn't charge me seeing as I was wearing red! That was it, I bolted right out of that paddock and will not go near cows now, EVER. The worst bit is that there wasn't even a bull in the paddock, not to mention that they charge movement not red. It was also during my time out 'the block' that my love of molasses was started. For those who don't know, molasses is a thick black sticky sweet substance, its a stage in sugar making, much richer than treacle..but delicious all the same and according to my pop its the perfect thing for horse cough. It was given to the horses at the first sign of a cough, not to mention given to me too at a sore throat (many of which were claimed for a spoonful of molasses) Out 'the block' most nights after school, I would wander off and stick my finger in the giants tubs of molasses we had there. A favourite horse used to be rewarded with apples slices dipped in molasses.

My pop recently, on Australia Day, celebrated his 90th birthday. He was determined to make it to that day but kept telling us all that he wouldn't last much longer. Time will tell on this one I guess.

My mum's mum was always known as Possy Poo Nan. WHY? Well because she called me possum poo poo and well, I had 2 nans so had to be able to tell the difference, and possy poo poo nan just stuck. Her real name was Olive. She was a little woman with a sharp wit and potty mouth. I adored her. She taught me dirty rhymes and we would laugh and cackle as mum would tell her off for teaching me such things. Granted it wasn't quite so funny when I would get into trouble at school (catholic school I might add) for singing "we 3 kings from orentair, selling ladies underwear, one on a scooter, pulling his hooter, following yonder star". She said shit and fart and bugger and I thought she was tough. She loved cuddles and would squeeze you so very tight that for a second you would quite literally stop breathing.

Possy poo nan used to come and stay with us every Wed and Thur night during my childhood. She wasn't much of a meal cook, but boy could that woman bake desserts. She made the most amazing apple pies and choc mud cakes. People would kill for her lemon meringue pie and her scones were to die for. Each week of a Wednesday we would race home from school to see what sweet treat was waiting for us from her. During my, well, I guess eating disorder time, she would bring something for the family, then a second dessert just for me. I would sit and hide and stuff my face, then purge and punish myself for a week for being so weak.

The older she got, the more she seemed to shrink. I guess that fact that I was also growing didn't help that perception either, but really she was shrinking. She still sent $10 in a card for my birthday every year until she died, actually, come to think of it, my birthday this year will be my first without a card from her. She lived independently almost until she died from cancer in July last year. While it was sad, her passing came as a relief after months of illness. One of my last memories of her was just after Stella was born, I had gone to visit her with the new baby. We chatted about mundane things for a while and then she asked, "are you feeding her?" to which I replied, "oh no, I let her starve, don't want her to get fat like the rest of us." she laughed, told me not to be a smart arse and clarified, "I mean, are you feeding her or is she on the bottle?" I told her that I was in fact feeding her, to which my nan replied, "Its a lovely thing isn't it?" After how hard I had fought to feed Stella, it meant so much to have her acknowledge the awesomeness of what I was doing. We then had a brief chat about her breastfeeding history, it was a nice final memory.

So if I haven't bored you to tears and you have read this far, thank you. I know how blessed I am to have had 3 wonderful grandparents growing up. My mum's dad died when she was only 14 so I never got to know him at all. I also am so happy that my children have 6 loving grandparents to guide them through their childhood. My parents are divorced and both remarried, but the step grandies love the kids just as much as the others do. Unfortunately, my kids grandies, were able to agree on different names so that there is no risk of anyone becoming poo poo anything... lol

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Breastfeeding Stella...

Like with her birth story, you really need to read Xavier's breast feeding story to understand where Stella's story comes from..

After the initial shock of being pregnant again so soon after Xave, I began to think about the breast feeding relationship I wanted this time around. And the basis of that was, that I wanted one. I wanted pictures and success and months and months of milky goodness.

So operation Breastfeed began.

First step was to make use of my ABA subscription. I decided that I was going to attend some meetings before my baby arrived, well I made it to 1 meeting when I was 14 weeks pregnant, I still remember Helen and Kathy from that meeting (mainly because we were all as pregnant as each other) and I also remember Meredith with a very little baby (who is now a little boy). However, after that meeting, Xave and I seemed to just share this cycle of sickness... he got sick, I got sick, he got sick.. and I really didn't want to share our germs with others.

As part of my ABA subscription, Adam and I also attended a Breastfeeding Education Class. I had done that much research myself that I didn't really learn anything there, but boy oh boy do I wish that I had gone to that class before I had Xavier... my story could have been a very different one if I had...but then, maybe I needed Xavier's experience to bring me to the place and person I am today.

Stage 2 was to meet and debrief with the hospital Lactation Consultant about what happened last time and how we could fix it this time around. It was great, it really put my mind at ease to know that there were notes in my file about how important it was to me to breast feed and that the LC's were planning to come and visit me soon after delivery.

I also truly believed that the formula top ups that Xavier had were the beginning of the end of our breast feeding relationship. Avoiding giving Stella formula was of great importance to me. I noticed around 25 weeks pregnant that if I squeezed, I could get a small amount of colostrum out of my breasts.(do not ask how or why one decided to squeeze ones boobs during pregnancy) On mentioning this to a breastfeeding friend, she told me that I could collect this up and freeze it, offering it to Stella if she lost too much weight and was needing top ups after birth. I did some more reading about this, and decided that I would express daily (after 35 weeks pregnant) and freeze my collection. I ended up with about 30ml all up in the freezer, most days would yield between 0.5-1ml of liquid gold, which seems like dismal amounts, but knowing that a newborns stomach only holds 3-5ml, it was enough.

I knew that the road to successful breastfeeding was not going to be easy, and I knew that I would need the support of those close to me most. I wrote letters to those whose support I valued asking for their help and giving them ideas about what I would find helpful and what I would not find helpful. I'm unsure if this was appreciated or not, but it was something I needed to ask for me.

I asked my friend Sam to be the delivering midwife for Stella's Cesarean birth. She and I had many discussion about how important breastfeeding was to me, and she assured me she would do all she could to assist us succeed. It was Sam who told the recovery nurse checking my blood pressure could wait until Stella was on the breast... it was Sam who captured this photo of Stella's first ever breastfeed...

I will forever appreciate her help in these first hours of my daughters life.

We experienced some attachment issues with grazed nipples. But a visit from the LC soon fixed that up for me. We experienced greater than 10% weight loss and jaundice. There was mention of top ups, I agreed once again, but rather than formula, this time I had my freezer stash of colostrum ready and waiting. I also had my sister, who was feeding at the time, express almost 100ml of her breast milk for me to give to Stella over formula if needed. It made me laugh when the midwife exclaimed, "oh, you're that woman." I asked her to clarify and she said she had heard there was someone on the ward who had frozen colostrum..she also added that she thought it was wonderful and she wished more people were as in the know as I seemed to be.

I allowed Stella unlimited access to the breast, and she took full advantage of that. She also took all of the colostrum I had frozen, she regained enough weight and was allowed to come home.

Initially my goal was to breastfeed her for longer than I fed Xavier. The early days were certainly not all roses and breast milk. My supply was low again, but a wonderful LC got me onto medication when Stella was 6 days old to boost my supply. It worked. We reached 2 weeks with relative ease.

The next goal was 6 weeks. I kept hearing that if you can make it to 6 weeks it gets easier from there. We got to 6 weeks, still trying to work out supply, with slow weight gains, but gains nonetheless. As a reward I bought my boobies a sexy feeding bra. Yes, they do exist.

The next goal was 6 months. We got there and celebrated with another sexy bra. But it was tough. Supply was low, weight gains were lower and it took all the support my ABA group could muster to support me through these months. But we got there. I had always suspected that I would be weaning her around 6 months. But as that time approached, she still seemed like such a baby. So I decided I would wean her when she got teeth.

A month later, she cut her first tooth. A bottom one. No stress, I knew that when they were feeding properly their tongues should be out over their bottom lip, therefore a feeding baby could not bite. Then the top teeth arrived, they could, and did bite once or twice. But we kept on keeping on.

We overcame the sticky beaks of 7 months, the pinching of 8 months and the seeming complete lack of interest in breastfeeding of 9 months. That was of course until she got severe gastro at 9 months and lost 800g in 6 days. She kept nothing down, not even breast milk. She was hospitalised twice and re hydrated via nasal tube during these times. After that she came back to her boobies with a vengeance.

We have fed in playgrounds, in bed, at the sink at the hairdressers while having a colour washed out, we have been smiled at and frowned at alike as we fed in cafes and restaurants, we have had some wonderful chats with random strangers, from a 4 year old who was sure my milk must have been delicious seeing as Stella fed from both sides, to the lovely old lady who reminisced with me about how much she enjoyed feeding her own children.

The final goal was to be 12 months, but as that date approaches all too fast, once again the finishing line moves. The new line, well who really knows. I now am saying 2. But she may choose to end our breastfeeding relationship before then, or 2 may come and go as quickly as 1 has and we may find ourselves still sharing our special time while we share boobies.

Whenever the end may come, I am bloody proud of how far I have come. Yes I was pigheaded, yes it was hard, but I wouldn't change a second of it for love nor money. I still take medication to keep my supply up and will do until we finish feeding, but its a small price to pay to allow me to do something that brings my daughter and I so much joy.

Gold badge for Breastfeeding for 12 months

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stella's arrival Story...

If you aren't familiar with my road to motherhood with Xavier, you can read it here...

...but as baby girls first birthday approaches, all to fast I might add, the time to share her journey into the family has come.

There is 16 months between my babies, and to understand why the gap is so close, its important to know just how long it took for us to fall pregnant with Xavier. 26 long months to be exact.

We had always planned to have kids close. There is a big gap (5 years) between myself and my brother and sister (who are twins) and I have always felt that played a part in the not so close relationship we have. Adam on the other hand, has 16 months between him and his brother and he loved it growing up. He says he never remembers a time when he didn't have a brother, playmate and partner in crime. Although his mother will tell you that Adam was an angel, it was his brother David who led Adam astray. Anyone who knows Dave, will probably agree to this. Personally, I find Dave great fun and actually miss him being around (he lives in London at the moment).

But despite planning kids close, what we got was a little closer than anticipated. We thought 18 months would be a nice time frame, so decided that we would stop using contraception (condoms) when Xave was 6 months old, seeing as it took us ages to get pregnant anyway we figured it would be maybe 12 months before we were pregnant again.

Turns out that Adam's birthday was on Xave's 5 month birthday, and he joked that perhaps he deserved a 'free ride'... so we then decided that we would stop using contraception on Adam's birthday. After all, in 5 years time, would a few months really matter.

In may that year, we were on holidays in sunny Queensland, visiting the lovely Kimbo and my cousin Kaylene and her son Caleb, Xavier was 7 months old and trying to have a baby was the last thing on our minds.

But it was state of origin time, we hate rugby, so I suggested to our hosts that if I was going to have to watch that crud, they had better find me some wine, FAST! They did, and also found Adam some bourbon too. We watched, we drank, we kind of enjoyed it... we were tipsy and we GOT IT ON at a friends place... how very teenage of us.

Weeks later back at home, I realised that my period was probably due soon, when my ticker reminded me that it was in fact due the day before. I had no HPT's in the house, so went to get one, and low and behold... there were 2 lines...

Once again, I called Adam, who declared that he has "super sperm" then a moment later went, "shit its gonna be a girl" lovely. I didn't care what it was, it was another baby, and despite how wonderfully relaxed and easy going Xave was, I was not ready for another one. It wasn't supposed to happen so quickly. It was supposed to take longer. OMG how on earth were we going to do this? Adam was the ever calm one, reminding me that in 5 years the few months wasn't going to matter... and I'm sure he is right, but at the time, all my brain could process was "oh shit!"

Again I did pregnancy well. Blood pressure was medicated but behaved, no hospitalisations were needed, no morning sickness. Tired? yes, but what mother of a small child isn't tired? I did get huge, fast, but I loved the preggo belly, I loved feeling her move and I loved being pregnant.

We argued about whether to find out what we were having this time. We didn't find out with Xavier, figured with our first it didn't matter. I was desperate to know this time, I adore my son, but I really was rather desperate for a girl. Adam didn't care what it was and he didn't want to know this time either. He was concerned that if we found out we were expecting another boy, I would spend the next 4 months depressed... I argued that if it was a boy, yes I would be sad for a minute, but by the time he was here I would have worked through it and just be happy he was here and safe. We were still debating this in the waiting room, at the same time, deciding on a boys name...just for the record, had Stella been a boy, her name would have been Baxter. Adam finally agreed that I could find out BUT I was not allowed to tell anyone else what we were having, it was to be our little secret. Deal!

Towards the end of the scan, the sonographer asked if there was anything else we wanted to see. I asked if the baby was happy to show us what it was packing downstairs. He said it was, and asked if we wanted to know. I replied, I think so, looking hopefully at Adam to make sure he hadn't changed his mind. He said, well thinking so isn't good enough. If you want to know I will tell you, but you have to really be sure, I cant take it back once you know. I said if he could tell me with 99% accuracy then to tell us. So he did. He got a good shot of the aforementioned downstairs, and immediately I saw it, I saw something that resembled a hamburger... it was a girl. Then he said, now see those round bits there.. ARGH what? I said slighly panicked, they are testicles aren't they? He laughed and said, no, they are the balls of the hips, look between them, that there is her FANNY! yes the sonographer said fanny! I cried. Which freaked Adam out a little. He looked at me and said, I thought you wanted a girl. I told him I did, these were happy tears.

On a side note, I am not generally a crier. Its just not something I do often. But while I was pregnant with Xave I lost my beloved nan. I was a mess. I was her favourite and the thought that she wouldn't be here to hold my firstborn cut me to the core. All I wanted was one photo of her with my child, holding them, loving them, the way she did me as a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager, an adult... I always thought that it was 'Hollywood' that people quite literally collapsed with grief, but its what I did. When I got the call, I was at Rock Eisteddfod rehearsals and quite literally collapsed in a heap on the foyer floor of our school gym. I took a week off work, I helped plan the funeral, I surrounded myself with her. With her daughters (my aunts), her house, her knitting... I wore her necklace (that is now mine) to keep her close to my heart. She always talked of me having a daughter, although she was knitting a coming home outfit for my baby when she died, and she was knitting blue, she obviously knew something the rest of us did not. But from the day she died, there was something each day that would remind me of her and I would cry. It would be a song, a smell, seeing another old lady with a baby, my heart just ached to have her back.

I share this, not because I want you to cry, but to understand why at that moment the sonographer told me my baby had a fanny, my heart healed. I felt that growing inside me was a precious gift from my nan. The great grand-daughter she talked of. The little girl she had been knitting for long before I was even considering having children. At that moment, I knew, I just knew without question that she was watching me, guiding me and she had sent me this little girl sooner than expected or planned.

As easy as my pregnancy was, deciding on a name for out little girl was not. Adam wanted Lyla, I didn't know what I wanted. I liked Lyla enough, but I didn't love it, and to not love the name of such a precious gift was just somehow not right. I needed a name that just made my heart sing. We threw around Lucinda (LuLu) and Violet (nan's favourite flower) but nothing felt perfect for me. Then I found Stella and that was it, it was perfect. It means star, my favourite things, and it was strong and feminine. Adam HATED it. Middle names were easy, Dossie after my nan, Dorothy and Grace after Adam's nan, but deciding on the first name was a killer.

So we left it. She would be something Dossie Grace.

On the night before she was born, Adam said to me, what is her name?, I don't want to be deciding on the way to the hospital tomorrow morning. I answered, you know what I want to call her.

She was another elective Cesarean. I booked it for 39 weeks as my private obs was delivering in the public hospital once a fortnight and I wanted him to do it. My friend Sam was the attending midwife, and an old school friend Danielle was there as a student midwife.

It was Thursday 12th February 2oo9.

On the way to the hospital, he asked, what is her name?, I don't want to be deciding on the way to theatre. I answered, you know what I want to call her.

The day she was born was crazy. They told me I was 3rd on the theatre list, then took me down 5 minutes later, only to realise I was not in labour and needing an emergency CS, I was in fact very much not in labour...they had grabbed the wrong person...oops (I feel for the girl who was really in labour and should have been in theatre) As well as my student midwife, there were a few other students in the room too, both of the midwife and obstetric variety. I loved it, it meant that I got to listen to everything that was happening as the real Dr's and midwives explained it all to the students. Although I do recall asking when I heard a catheter was going in, "where are the students? If I wanted people looking up my who-ha I would have pushed a baby out of it", a lovely male student called out to assure me, they were all over on the side wall for the time

At this point Adam asked me, what is her name?, She has to have a name before we leave theatre. I answered, you know what I want to call her.

Her delivery was easy and quick. It seemed much faster than Xavier's was. Maybe because she was head down and not all breech with legs akimbo. She came out screaming and pissed off at the world. I had been chatting away during delivery, seeing as there were so many people I knew so well in the room, when all of a sudden, there she was, in front of me and I fell silent... not because she was so loud I couldn't be heard (although she was pretty loud) but because all I could see were her bits... the Dr then said, "it is a girl" and I replied with, "thank fuck, I thought they were balls"

On first sight, I sighed, "oh she has a piggy nose", Adam pointed out, "she has your nose", yes I said, a piggy nose. She looked as much like me as Xavier looked like Adam. Yet, there was something so similar about them both.

Time in recovery with her was short, in no time at all we were back in our room with Adam wanting to make announcement phone calls, when Sam (the midwife) walked in and asked, what is her name? and he replied, Stella Dossie Grace Phillips.

Upon unwrapping my precious bundle back in our room, one of the first things I noticed was that Stella had my nan's hands. It was the final confirmation that she was indeed hand picked and sent by my nan for Adam, Xavier and I to love.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Craft it forward...

I found this "pay it forward" atJen's blog. My reasons for joining in are I love handmade gifts, I love parcels in the post, and I want more excuses to get crafty myself ;)

■I will make a handmade gift for the first 3 people who comment on this post.
■I have 365 days in which to do it.
■What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise!

The catch is that you must participate as well ~ you must also pay it forward. Write up a little pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going.

At this point it's difficult to say what you will receive, but love and care will go into the making ;)
I hope you will want to join in the fun!