Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A hard journey.

When Otto was a baby many things were hard for me as a first time Mum.  One thing however that came easily was breastfeeding, it just clicked, he nursed straight away and for those first few months it seems as though he just didn't stop.  After watching so many other friends struggle I was so thankful.

Hugo was born a very efficient nurser, often finishing both sides within 45 minutes.  He was born with a tongue tie and while it didn't seem to affect his nursing we opted to have it removed to ensure that it wouldn't affect anything in the future.  It was thought that because of this tongue tie he found it hard work to nurse, so would make sure he got what he needed and then stop.  I was enjoying breastfeeding again and having those special moments with Hugo, that was until a hard headed three year old bruised a milk duct that lead to mastitis.

I mentioned having mastitis here before but what I haven't yet discussed was the ramifications from there.  Hugo had already been slow to put on weight, after the mastitis his percentiles plummeted and we had a few stressed weeks trying to increase my supply, increase the fat in his diet and supplement with formula.  It didn't help that he just didn't seem interested, in anything.  I felt like a failure as his mother, not only was I unable to produce enough milk, I hadn't noticed him looking skinny.  I was so busy getting everything done, looking after Otto, visiting Han in hospital, keeping the house running, feeding and cooking for everyone that it took me a while to stop and really look at what I was missing.  In fact, it would take yet another bout of mastitis for me to really stop.

Last week I made the tearful late night journey to the doctor, a swollen, hot red breast telling me that once again I was failing.  I was put back onto antibiotics, increased the amount of medication I am already taking to increase my milk supply and hope that we can continue through until Hugo is one and can start taking other milk.  In that time we have had a win, Hugo's weight is rising at a faster pace, we still have a way to go to get him to "average" but we are getting there.

It is hard to express all the different feeling I have.  I have felt like a failure, often, I have felt defeated many times, I have felt anger and resentment a sense of unjust, but mostly and I have just felt really sad.

This experience has prompted me to take a very good and hard look at myself, the good, the bad and the very ugly.  I don't want to waste this opportunity for self growth, we are given mountains to learn how to climb to the other side, it has prompted me to change my expectations, to stop and really look at my family.  To be grateful for who they are, for what they can teach me and my time spent with them.  Many times I can get overloaded with my to do list, the pile of papers that need my attention, the washing, the cleaning or any other mundane task that takes my time and attention away from them, I know I can't completely stop that, but I am trying to limit the fallout from it.  Each breastfeed for me is now so important, you can find me with tears in my eyes tracing each roll and fold of skin, listening to his breath and watching his eyelashes flutter, holding his fingers and teaching him the names for each item on my face.  They are such precious moments as I don't really know which one will be my last.

I know women face so many bigger problems in the world but in my little bubble this is a big deal.  It isn't the end of the world and I am so happy to have fed him for 9 months already.  It is amazing how such little people can teach you such big things and in the 3.5 years I have had the privilege of being a mother my world has completely turned upside down, but now I can see I am really the right way up because of it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Otto:  Those lips, my goodness little boy you were very blessed.

Hugo:  Teething and learning new things is hard, sometimes even Mumma can't help.  

Linking up with Jodi for another week.  I can't even believe that we are up to the last weekend of summer, let alone week 8 of the year!

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Hugo:  My little delight, always.

Otto:  Ahoy! 

Linking up with Jodi at Che and Fidel.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our recent adventure.

On the way to Kindy pick up yesterday I had a brain wave, time for an adventure afternoon.  Situated very closely to Otto's Kindy is a Koala Sanctuary with many animals on display and an area to feed Kangaroos with lots to explore for curious minded little boys.  We had a great time wandering around the exhibits, searching for the different animals in their burrows or high in the trees.  It felt great to be exploring the world through they eyes of a child again and reminds me that an escape from the routine of our week is great for everyone.

 There was a lot of talking to Kangaroos, and describing which ones were babies and mummies, and which ones were Otto's.

And of course feeding them.

We talked about how big they all were, why some are Kangaroos and some are called Wallabies.

Hugo had a great time, and shrieked and yelled at them constantly, which made them suitably freaked out, causing him only to yell at them more.

I can see a lot of Kangaroo afternoons in our future, which couldn't make me happier, this is already an extra special place for me.  Otto took his first steps right on that grass celebrating his first birthday.  I wonder what special memories we can make here this year?

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Otto:  Climbing trees has become a new passion, if ever I can't find him, looking up trees is usually a sure bet.  Now I just need to convince him that tree climbing should probably include clothes!

Hugo:  Moving moving moving, nothing is safe and there is always something in his mouth.

Linking up with Jodi at Che and fidel 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

War and Peace.

Lately a war has commenced in our home.

Otto has declared war on sibling love, ever since starting kindy Hugo has become his nemesis and frankly I am at a loss, everything I read and have been told tells me this is a passing phase, one that can't pass fast enough for this mum.

Trying to run him over with the office chair, pulling him around by one arm, jumping over him as though we are in a circus and Hugo is the prey and Otto the lion, head butting and pushing is all getting a bit much.  Other adult men tell me this is all part of growing up with brothers, it seems so tribal and cave like to me, I am here to raise lovely gentle men, not behemoth males.  So we forge on, directing care and gentleness where possible and a healthy amount of time out when it all gets too much.  Hugo for all the mistreatment he is receiving still lights up when his brother enters the room, and chases him down whenever he leaves the room.

Every now and then the nice moments present themselves once again and I can see the real true love underneath the frustration and jealousy, the boy who will become the man that he is destined to be, not the one anyone forces him to be, my independent spirit, my gentle loving 3 year old boy.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A new generation.

As Otto will now be at Kindy each Tuesday I have enrolled Hugo and I into a baby and mum's class.  The exact same class I used to attend when Otto was a baby.

It was gratifying and amazing to sit back and watch, think, and reminisce on that stage of motherhood when I  had only one spirited baby, full of nerves, tense with the enormity of becoming a mother for the first time, no sleep and having little idea what I was doing.  I could see myself reflected back in the faces and smiles of some of those around me.

Part of me would do anything to go back and have my Otto smiling up at me, his toothless smile, pumping chubby legs, I often wonder if I knew then what I know now would things have been different, would I have relaxed more?  Probably not, that is the story we share, of fumbling through and carving out the start of his life the best way I knew how, and for all the fumbling I have an amazing 3 year old, wonderful memories, and the best gift of all.  A chance to do it all again, but this time with Hugo.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


A while ago I made a commitment to complete the C25K program with a goal to compete in my first 5K race since finishing high school.  As this week begins, so does my final week of the program and I am beyond proud that I have reached my goal.  I have for the last 12 weeks run 2-3 times a week, in spite of sickness, family hospitalisations, purchasing a house, returning to work and the general stress of caring for two small children.  I am so bloody proud to have stuck this out to the very end, of putting in the hard work and seeing the results.  Physically I am fitter, mentally I am happier and I have the added bonus of modelling healthy behaviour for my children who in the latter stages now accompany my runs (which means I add about 40kg of resistance!).  I have six weeks to continue training before my first organised race, I am looking forward to changing programs and continuing with a realistic personal best for the race. 

Just do it?  I bloody well did it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Otto:  Running from the pounding waves is his favourite beach activity.  

Hugo:  One day soon little one, you will be more little boy than little baby, just not yet, stay my little baby for a bit longer.

Linking up with Jodi.