baby lotus


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Am I still attractive?

This subject is a sensitive one, and something that all women might be able to relate to regardless if you have had children. It’s that little voice in your head that makes you question who you are as a women and what you deserve from your partner.

Having a baby is a true test on your self esteem. Having a baby is what our body is designed to do, and according to those pictures in magazines and TV shows it really shouldn’t be that hard.

When I was pregnant I felt beautiful. I truly loved watching my body change, and adapt to growing life inside of it. I felt like my body was doing what it was made to do. But one thought always plagued me during those months. The question- What will my body look like as a result of having this baby? What will the post body baby body look like?

I had an emergency caesarean, and as a result of the trauma of trying to get our son out I suffered extensive bruising and swelling. I vividly remember staring at myself in the mirror in hospital a few days after having my son, looking at my black and purple abdomen and groin, hardly being able to walk, and thinking to myself “who could ever love this?”. I remember thinking how can my now husband ever want me again looking like this! How can I possibly begin to feel like an attractive women and be the person I used to be. I felt like damaged goods, and broken.

What truly is amazing is the bodies ability to heal and recover after having a baby. I can honestly say it is only now, in these recent weeks that I feel whole again. I will never look exactly the same as I was before having my son, but I am as close as I will ever be. But in saying that it took me a good 7 months to get to this point. It is true how they say it takes 9 months for your body to make a baby, and it takes that long for your body to recover. It takes time, patience, and self respect to be at peace and happy with your body after having a baby. Now a days when I stand in front of the mirror instead of saying “Who can love this?”, I say “Look what this body can do !!”.

Be patient, and kind to yourself during the healing stage of having a baby. Don’t give yourself unrealistic goals, or put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect. One thing I have witnessed and learnt through work is that your baby feeds off your energy. What ever you are thinking, and how ever you are behaving your baby reads that energy and responds to your actions. Try and love yourself, and give yourself time to adapt to this new life as a mother. Let your baby know that it was all worth it, and do it with your actions. Don’t get caught up in the appearances and pressures of society, and instead focus on your new wonderful life as a mother. If day to day you nuture yourself and your baby, then over the months and years you will see the results of your hard work. To me there is nothing more attractive than a woman who values herself and knows her self worth.


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Take a moment to count your blessings.

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When I was pregnant it came as quite a surprise at the amount of women who were very pessimistic about lack of sleep as a result of having a baby. As soon as you told anyone you were pregnant you quite often got a response like “get used to being tired” or “say goodbye to your sleeps”, and I even remember one lady serving me at the shops say “you are going to wish you could shove that baby back up there for a day so you can sleep”.

It was quite disheartening at the amount of tired, grumpy, negative mothers out there I would come across.

So fast forward to now, and I am now a mother to a 7 month old baby. I can talk on the whole sleep subject, as I have gone through the sleepless nights, and that blurry haze they call the first 6 weeks. And to be honest I think some mothers have forgotten how good they have it.

I am a paediatric nurse and have spent many years caring for some of the sickest children. Cancer, blindness, deafness, autism, developmentally delayed, cerebal palsy, and the list goes on. I have spent many hours at work caring for children and their families who are praying for a miracle so they can take their baby home and live a normal life. I have taken care of children that have never been home their whole life. I have taken care of families who have exhausted all their avenues for treatment and have been told to go home and make the most of the last few moments with they will have with their baby before they die.

What I am trying to get at is that sleepless nights come with the territory of motherhood, but what I have done is always try and put it into perspective. I have a happy and healthy little boy who is doing exactly what he is meant to be doing, and the fact he wakes me up for a feed in the middle of the night or wakes up at 6am for play is trivial compared to some of the things I have seen keep mothers up at night in hospital. I often think to myself, who am I to complain about being tired when there are mothers in hospital who have never had the opportunity of taking their baby home! Who am I to complain about being woken in the night, when I have witnessed mothers not sleep a wink because their grief has consumed them. After seeing what I have seen I sometimes feel I have no right to complain.

I guess you can say this is a sensitive issue for me. But I also have to remind myself that it’s all relative. Sometimes when you are in the midst of it all it’s hard to take a step back and appreciate all the wonderful things in your life. Sometimes you do need to just have a moment, and vent and have someone acknowledge that what you are going through is real. I do just sometimes wish I could have a sleep in, or not wake in the night to a crying baby. Everyone copes and deals with situations differently.

Nothing in life is forever, and your baby is not a baby forever. That is always a reassuring thought for me- that this phase he is going through of waking in the night will pass. I have to admit one of my favourite moments of the day is those middle of the night feeds. Because it’s my time of reflection, and a time for me to thank my blessings.


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Healthy Mummy, Healthy Baby

So I was asked a question about my fitness regime when I was pregnant.

Before I start can I please say that this is my personal experience. Everyone has different fitness levels and health issues, so please find what is right for your individual needs. An obstetrician, GP, personal trainer, midwife, dietician, and physiotherapist are just a few of the wonderful very experienced professionals out there that can get you onto the right track to a happy and healthy pregnancy.

So before I fell pregnant I have always enjoyed keeping fit. I would regularly attend boot camp (2-3 times a week) and walk (2-3 times a week/ approx 4km walks).

Falling pregnant was a bit of a surprise, so I wasn’t doing any special fitness regime to try and fall pregnant. When I found out I was pregnant, I was a bit apprehensive about what exercises to do and how hard to push myself. My obstetrician encouraged me to keep up all exercise while pregnant but with two strict rules- Don’t introduce any new exercises/training while pregnant, and when exercising I should push myself, but not to the point of being out of breath. He said with all physical activity I should still be able to maintain a conversation while doing it.

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I kept going to boot camp up until 38 weeks, and walking till 39 weeks. I listened to my body throughout the pregnancy, and just went with the flow. Somedays you are feeling full of energy and light as a feather, and other days you have cramps, sore, tired and need to rest. Pretty much how I am when I’m not pregnant. When I reached second trimester I only did the plank for core exercises, but otherwise I did everything else (but you do get slower and slower at doing them over the months).

I really was keen on keeping up my exercise during pregnancy and believed it was important in helping me with coping with the phyical demands of labour and birth. My thought is that labour and birth is like running a marathon to hell and back, so I want to be at my peak physical ability when that day comes. You need endurance and stamina for labour and birth, and I wanted to keep my body strong, flexible and healthy for that day. (Note: Although I did have an emergency caesarean I was in labour for 10 hrs with no epidural till that point, but we will save that story for another blog)

This last photo is of me at training today. I gained 22kgs when pregnant, and have lost 23kgs since having my son. So I am 1kg less than my pre baby weight. So with that said I would definitely encourage women to keep moving and fit while pregnant, and try to enjoy every minute of your pregnancy. It really is a miracle what the human body can do. I know for a fact that for me keeping up the exercise helped me cope with the massive physical demands of being pregnant, and return to my pre pregnancy weight.

There are many studies and research to prove without a doubt the health benefits to baby and mother when you exercise during pregnancy. I have added a few links below on some of the articles and websites I referred to for pregnancy health and fitness.

http://www.livescience.com/13628-exercise-pregnancy-baby-heart-benefits-cardiovascular-disease.html

http://www.babycenter.com/0_seven-great-benefits-of-pregnancy-exercise_7864.bc

http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/keeping-fit/fitness-matters/top-ten-benefits-of-exercise.aspx#


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Dear Diary…

What I’m about to confess may sound bizarre to some, or maybe something you can relate to. It’s a very vivid memory from the hospital in the days after having Jensen.

Actually come to think of it, the feelings I am about to confess started in the late pregnancy……..

It first hit me hard when we had our immediate family come and visit Jensen and I in hospital. I distinctly remember them all in the room, everyone is all happy and passing the baby around.

And all I wanted was for everyone to leave so I could be alone with my baby. I didn’t want to share him with anyone. I wanted to hold and cuddle him and just stare at him. I wanted to have time to analzye him, to look at every inch of his body, to learn as much as I could about him. I remember when someone else was holding him and he started crying. I honestly just wanted to jump across the room and snatch him up. My thoughts were that only I knew how to settle and comfort him. I remember thinking that I’m his mother and only I know what’s best for him.

You would think after 9 months of pregnancy and having the baby all to yourself you would be happy to share, and hand them over!!

I mentioned these feelings to my mum at the time, who had nothing but reassuring and comforting words and saying that what I was feeling was normal. I’m just taking a guess but I think what I was feeling must come from a deeper level. Something I think all mothers in the animal kingdom develop when their off spring enter the world. A natural instinct and feeling of protection and nuture towards your little baby. A strong urge to want to bond with your baby.

After going through that I would honestly respect a friend if she didn’t want visitors in the hospital. I would understand completely and not judge her or her partner for wanting those precious few days to themselves with their baby. Those days don’t come back, and there will be many more days and years to share your baby with the world.

I guess what I have learnt is that next time, I will not be afraid to ask for time out and to be alone. I will not feel like I am being selfish for wanting those first moments alone with just my husband and baby. I will not feel bad, or guilty for wanting my baby all to myself, just for a little bit longer.IMG_1180


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Bottle or Boob? What’s the point of it all?

I have enrolled this year to do a post-graduate course at university specialising in Child and Family Health. I just completed a three-day workshop at uni and one topic that was discussed was feeding the baby.

Now from a personal point of view I was blessed and very lucky with the whole breastfeeding experience. My son was born with a very strong suck reflex, and I had plenty of milk, so we both have had a very wonderful experience. I was also very confident and excited about breastfeeding my baby during my pregnancy, and had no doubts I could do it when he arrived.

We all know that ‘breast is best’ and there is all this push to encourage breastfeeding to all new mothers. But upon reflection it occurred to me how there are so many steps involved in breastfeeding, and so many chain of events that have to occur to ensure success. From what I have witnessed and experienced myself it has become obvious to me that breastfeeding really isn’t just about a boob, and a hungry baby. There are so many more elements to breastfeeding, that in my opinion are sometimes missed and dismissed when teaching and supporting a mother.

The power of the mind is enormous, and if you have a scared, sore, insecure, afraid, nervous, exhausted mother (to name a few things a mother can feel after having a baby) then how can we expect breastfeeding to come naturally and easily. I am a breastfeeding advocate, but how far do we push a mother to feed if she mentally is not in the right head space. Somehow there is this perception that mothers that formula feed are second class citizens, as though they have failed. I really have a problem with this. I feel that the emphasis and goal should be to help a mother bond with their baby and be encouraged to form a safe and secure relationship. If she has tried the breastfeeding but it is causing more grief than anything then a mother should not in any way feel she has failed if she decides to bottle feed their baby.

We know that breastfeeding helps the mother and baby bond, and we know breast milk is the premium, but let’s not forget all the other things that helps a mother bond with a baby. These would include a supportive family and partner, a confident and happy mother, good nutrition, sleep, time and patience, non judgemental and supportive medical staff. The list goes on, but I guess the point I’m trying to make is that no mother should feel that breastfeeding is the deciding factor of what sort of mother she is going to be. I have had many thoughts of guilt, doubt and worry with things I have done with my son. As a mother you are constantly second guessing yourself and wondering deep down “will this harm my baby?”, but one thing I have never doubted is the love I feel for my son. I have never doubted the fact that I know my baby better than anybody else, and I will not be made to feel otherwise by anyone. Learning to understand your baby takes time. And although I have breastfed my baby, I don’t believe it is that one action alone that has helped  me bond with my baby.

What are your thoughts?


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Let’s start at the beginning…..

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Two little lines appeared on Halloweens Day 2012.

We found out we were having a boy!

Apart from morning sickness and heartburn I had a very uneventful pregnancy, and to be honest really loved being pregnant.

Jensen arrived into this world July 2013 via emergency caesarean.

I thought I was prepared for motherhood and all it entailed. But I have come to find out that parenthood is really just a series of trial and errors. You are constantly second guessing yourself, and hoping you don’t permanently damage your baby along the way.

We bought a house in January 2013. And I married Jensen’s father January 2014, the love of my life.

So lots of new beginnings for me. SAM_0809