Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a weekend

I'm baccccck! I got back from Canberra last night my first trip away since Cohen was born. It was the first time I have been without him for anymore then a odd few hours here and there. Goodbyes at the airport when I left were made a little harder when DH had to take Cohen off me so Caroline and I could board the plane. He started crying which only started pulling at my heartstrings. I turned around to see DH and Cohen taking off in the other direction to distract him from my departure. Lucky for me, I had my dear Caroline with a reassuring arm around me while I had a few tears.

Once in Canberra we really didn't waste much time getting a cab from the airport to our hotel to drop off our bags, as we couldn't check in until later. So we collected our gallery tickets from the hotel and took the same cab to the National Gallery. We had a lovely taxi driver who stopped the meter for us whilst we were taking care of our baggage and tickets for the gallery. Once at the gallery we didn't rush to line up for the exhibition and instead we took some time to have a walk around the surrounding grounds and by Lake Burley Griffin.

The Masterpieces from Paris exhibition opens at 10am each day and we were in line with many, many other people at 9.40am. Eventually the doors opened and we headed in to wander through 5 rooms, 112 masterpieces from the greats Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Monet and many, many more. I enjoyed every room we went into and each masterpiece had something new for you to consider. However when we walked into the third room, above a sea of peoples heads across the room I could see what I had been waiting all this time to see......Van Gogh's works. I know all the artist being shown are all greats, but all I can tell you is that when I saw those pieces staring at me from across the room they stood out like nothing else. To see these pieces in real life is remarkable to say the least. To see Starry Night was really awe inspiring, just so beautiful the attention to detail the reflections, the shine, the currant in the water, the brilliance of which the stars shine. I certainly enjoyed many other pieces throughout the exhibition from other artist ie. The man at the tiller by Théo VAN RYSSELBERGHE, Madame Hector France by Henri-Edmond CROSS, Woman with a black boa by Henri de TOULOUSE-LAUTREC and Hair by Henri-Edmond CROSS. That is really just to name a few, but really the biggest highlight was to see Van Gogh works. I do hope that there will be other opportunities in my life where I will get to see his other works as I would particularly like to see some of his dark pieces which were so sadly misunderstood until long after his passing. In general Van Gogh was a very sadly misunderstood artist and the words and music of Starry Starry Night really show how hauntingly so it was. Check out this youtube link to see for yourself (sorry you will have to cut and paste this link to check it out on youtube because I couldn't get it to work as a live link from my blog page.....but please do yourself a favour and check it out).

After the exhibition Caroline and I enjoyed a lunch at a cafe outside by Lake Burley Griffin and enjoyed a stroll afterwards to find an appropriate location to call a cab to return to our hotel. Once back at the hotel we were both exhausted from being up since 3am that morning due to our early flight, so we had lovely afternoon nap. It was a nice indulgence to be able to lay down and have a nap and not be woken and worried that I had to do yeah it was a nice selfish treat. For dinner we walked from Ainslie to Dickson to find an appropriate location for a nights dinning and we scored well. We had a lovely Indian meal Caroline selected a meal that she is now said to be rating in her most memorable meals lists of all time and I enjoyed a very scrummy goat curry. After tea and due to the joys of daylight savings we were still able to walk back to our hotel in relative daylight. We enjoyed a lovely evening before retiring sitting on the balcony chatting, laughing and poking fun at one another.

Thankfully we both enjoyed a very good nights sleep and Saturday morning we loaded up on our continental breakfast.....well at least I made it well and truly worth my while. After checking out of the hotel we went over to the airport and had our luggage checked in hours and hours and hours early and we headed off to the Brand Depot for some shopping. I successfully managed to only spend $20 on myself and bought myself two new maxi dresses, so I am pleased. We came across an awesome store there called Little Monsters and they sell all handmade baby and children's clothing, really cute stuff which has now left me all inspired for more sewing projects. Once we had done a complete circuit of the depot we decided we were tired and sore and that we would head back to the airport.

Back at the airport I had assured Caroline from past experience that we could pay a small fee and we would be able to relax in comfort of the Virgin Blue Lounge. We were informed by the young guy on the counter that the fee was now $35 or if we liked we could buy a yearly membership for something over $500. Ahhh thanks but no thanks! So we decided that setting up camp down from the Virgin Blue Lounge with magazines and puzzle books and bits and pieces was our only alternative for the several hours we were now going to have to wait. But as luck would have it some angel (or maybe angels I think) took care of things for us another employee from the Virgin Blue Lounge walked past and made comment about our set up. To which I replied "yeah but I am sure it would be nicer in there". When he walked back past 10mins later he said come on through to the lounge and we questioned him several times to his seriousness. Caroline and I collected our bits and pieces and were graciously welcomed into the Virgin Blue Lounge by the original guy with a "you should of told me you knew this guy". We were very grateful for our saviour who shall remain nameless and we thanked him several times and were also welcomed to indulge in all the Virgin Blue Lounge had to offer. So we waited out our time until boarding enjoying some antipasto type foods and a glass of wine for me.

We arrived back to Brisbane 20mins early and I was greeted by the cutest of smiles from my darling Cohen. Once home we had difficultly settling him down for the evening. But the best thing from all of it is, that I was able to have snuggles with him in our bed and like a champ he latched back on to the boob until he went back to sleep. So there you go all my worries about me going away and it having a negative effect on our re lactation efforts, were for nothing. Furthermore this afternoon he has backed it up with several longish sessions at the boob again. So in the morning we are off to the hospital to pick up the breast pump and see if we can really get this show on the road.

So all in all I have had the most fabulous weekend with my darling Caroline. It has been so nice to have some head space and time for me to let my guard down for the first time in a long time and let some of the crazy Trudie out. Caroline my dear I thoroughly enjoyed our weekend and all our laughs and digs at one another and just being in your company. You are such a wonderful and amazing friend and you have really done more for me then you know by always being there for me, especially in recent years through some of my darkest days of my life. I love you my darling.....where are we heading to for our next holiday??????

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Before I head off

At this very moment I am putting my feet up and taking a break whilst Cohen is having a nap. Again this week hasn't turned out to be the week I expected but oh well that's life isn't. I just thought I would get a blog post in now as tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn I must get up and get to the airport because my dear Caroline and I are off to Canberra to see the Masterpieces from Paris.

Oh and my dear Caroline I know at some point you will be reading this post and I just want to say thank you again....I love you!

So the week has had some of the most amazing highlights and rushes of joy I have had since Cohen's birth. As you all know we are working on re lactating and things have seriously taken a turn for the positive but we still have some serious work cut out for us. So I will keep you posted on those efforts as they happen. As a result of the our re lactation efforts kicking up a notch many things on the home front have been ignored, as a lot of free access booby time has been required. Amidst this weeks efforts in the last 24 odd hours Cohen has come down with the sniffles and a cough and is now out of sorts. All things considered though he is still eager to try and latch on which is a good thing.

I haven't been able to free myself up to get to yoga or pilates again this week, as Cohen being sick and the re lactation are priorities. I also haven't had the time or right head space to try and finish my sewing project of the PJ pants, so that's on the back burner for some time next week. Hopefully Cohen will be on the mend in a few days times and I can see my way clear of my first pilates or yoga session. I also had plans this week of ensuring things were just right around home so that DH and Cohen could make the most of their time together whilst I am in Canberra but alas that has not happened either. Thankfully though DH is understanding of all this and our efforts to re lactate.

So that is over and out for me now as I have packing to do and things to take care of and make sure are in order. I also need to make the most of this afternoon when Cohen gets up from his nap. Because come tomorrow morning when I wave to DH and Cohen as I board the plane it will be my first time away from Cohen since he was born.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Further efforts

I tried calling the ABA today to get some further advice on my re lactating efforts so far. I was halfway through explaining myself when I got cut off and then I couldn't get back through. As I am desperate to give my efforts all I can, it has been frustrating speaking with the ABA as the counsellors I have spoken to have little to no actual experience with assisting mothers with re lactating.

So instead of calling back the ABA I decided to try and contact a lactation consultant here on the Gold Coast. Thankfully I was lucky enough that I picked the right name and got hold of the LC that Karen and Maia had suggested to me - Helen Green. I actually think she is the LC that attended to Cohen and I when we were in hospital. So I had a long chat with her and told her all about our efforts and everything I have been trying to do. She was very impressed with our efforts so far but said that I was at the critical point now where I need to get more of a supply happening or I we are going to lose all our efforts thus far. She has assisted several mothers in re lactating so I feel very happy with her capable hands and guidance.

Helen has advised that I really need to get a higher dose of Motilium which can aid in increasing supply and with that pump, pump, pump. Hopefully that combo with Cohen latching on will help stimulate enough milk production to get things really successfully happening where I can drop formula back slowly. Helen has offered me the use of a hospital breast pump for a week to see if this will assist me. So I will be collecting that on Monday and be getting the run down on everything thing then. In the meantime I have to keep up with our current efforts and start the medication and drink at least 3 litres of water a day to help with milk production. So all of that up until the water is easy done, but I might have my work cut of for me downing 3 litres a day, but I will do it......just better hope I'm not far from the loo until I get use to drinking that much again.

More booby updates

Well my post are fast becoming the "booby journals" aren't they?

Cohen and I had more success yesterday, I can't believe it is just wonderful. After yesterday mornings efforts with Cohen waking at 2.30am, he has backed up in fine form. During the day I gave him easy access to my boobs and he had the few odd sucks here and there throughout the day. However when I tried to put him down for his afternoon sleep he woke 10 mins later crying with his runny nose again. So instead of trying to see if he would settle back down in the cot, I bought him out to the lounge room to lay down with me on a cool fresh sheet. I got him to settle back down and doze for another 10 mins but he woke again, crying and looking exhausted. So I ended up laying on my side and offered boob. He took and stayed on the boob sucking for AGES and actually took himself off to sleep from being on the boob.....I was amazed.

Cohen had a long nap with me on the living room floor when he woke he was a little dis-orientated I think from waking up in a different location from normal. After a few cuddles and a little play he started to get grizzly again. At which time DH called to advise he was on his way home to give me a break from being up since 2.30am. After speaking with DH I got a grizzly Cohen onto my lap and offered him boob again and he stayed on for a good 15 mins at least until DH got home. Cohen only pulled himself off the boob when DH came through the house from the garage. To which Cohen greeted DH with big smiles, and DH greeted us with kisses and high fives again for our efforts.

A little later on in the evening before Cohen's bed time and before arranging his bed time bottle, I offered him boob again. Again he took it and DH watched on in awe that his little man was latching back on after all this time away from the boob. So there you go our most recent up date, I am so happy with our efforts. And you know what? I am really damn proud of myself for my efforts to do this for Cohen, I'm so proud that I have followed the right cues from my son and I am giving him what he has been asking for. Again it makes me think about how thankful I am to be a SAHM, and that we have this time together and the opportunity to pick up on these things in my son and give him opportunities.

I am hoping we can keep backing each day up with more and more success. Only thing on my mind is going away to Canberra on Friday and not wanting it to impact our efforts. At this point I will offer him boob whilst at the airport right up until I have board the plane and hopefully he will take it. When I return on Saturday night I will offer boob again straight away. In between this time there will be 4 other feeds I will miss. DH is happy to fulfill any request I have of him in keeping Cohen's feed times as close to our times together to limit impact. At the moment Cohen isn't having anywhere close to a full breastfeed besides my supply is still be worked on. However because I am offering boob as much as I can during the day and he is having all these snack feeds so to speak. So please anyone reading this please cross your fingers for us that the breastfeeding fairies will be working in our favour to resume with no further interruption when I return on Saturday evening.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The most amazing thing has happened....

In the last week or more now I have started to think my hopes of getting Cohen back on the boob may be numbered due to his teething and sever biting of everything. We have gone from him having the odd few sucks in a row and going back to the bottle during feeds to him biting me so severely that I haven't been able to offer him up boob. So whilst we have been trying to get his teething and biting to settle down I have still been keeping up with all our little tricks to encourage lactation and Cohen's interest in the boob. I have been careful not to force things with him due to being unsettled with the teething and also to protect myself somewhat from his vicious biting. Since the sever teething and biting I have struggled to get him interested back into latching back on even for a few sucks like he had been doing. I mean he has seriously been showing no effort and therefore why I was starting to get dis-heartened. But then something happened yesterday afternoon, the most amazing thing happened.

I was sitting on the floor and thought I better just get the girls out for a bit of a squeeze. I've figured I better try and keep up what little supply I have been able to get going, whilst we keep working on our efforts. Anyways Cohen came crawling over and got his fingers wet with the tiny amount I had hand expressed on my nipple. He proceeded to put his fingers in his mouth to have a taste then his mouth on my boob for a lick really. But it was what he did next that surprised me, he started to have a whinge so I laid down on the floor on my side with my boob out and he latched on and sucked no stop for a few minutes. He took himself off after a bit and I sat up so he sat up and put himself back on. Then the phone rang and I grabbed it whilst I stayed seated where I was and he crawled around in position whilst I was on the phone and latched himself back on for another minute or so.

I can not express to you how thrilled I am about this, I am amazed how this has come all about from the first days of him showing interest again, when my head was swirling with the loss of my most recent pregnancy. Since those early days of him showing interest in the boob again the best until yesterday, I could encourage was 4 - 5 odd sucks in a row maybe twice a day if I was lucky. But today without me pushing anything with him, he has come out of the blocks and blown me away. I am so, so, so proud of my little man.

We have even more success since yesterday afternoon as well, Cohen had a restless nights sleep and woke at 2.30am this morning. He had a runny nose which I tried to take care of and then tried to get him to settle him back down so I could put him back in his cot. I ended up bringing him into our bed to help get him settle and after some initial squirming he settled down and to my surprise again he latched on, this time onto my other boob. He stayed on for longer then yesterdays efforts, so I am absolutely thrilled. I have given him easy access again this morning since being up and about and he has shown eager interest.

So just when I thought we might be taking a major detour with the re lactation resorting to EMB at best he has surprised this mumma beyond all imaginable belief. I am really proud of both of us! I know it's still early days yet and I will still need to take things slowly with him and not push or rush things. I don't know where our end destination with this journey is going to end up, but for now I am so happy for what we have.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How did it go, you ask!

So at my last entry I spoke about learning to use an actual pattern and follow it. Well last night Katherine came over and we had a few glasses of wine over her teaching me the ins and outs of what the damn pattern instructions actually mean. I must say I did learn a lot of little things which I am sure will improve my sewing knowledge and skills over time. I am the type of person who learns from doing things but I generally need to do it several times and have someone spotting me so to speak to confer with. Sorry did I hear you ask for a picture? Well you're going to have to wait, because I'm not done yet. We achieved a lot last night but Katherine has left me do the casing for the elastic to do myself and hemming the legs of the pyjama pants I am making.

Early this evening I attempt to do the casing for the elastic but it ended up doing my head in and I had to walk away from it. The pattern instructions says I need 3..2cm hem or whatever for the casing but the raw edge needs to be folded up by 6mm. It's that damn 6mm with flannelet fabric that was driving me nuts trying to get it all perfect and right and was all over the shop. I chucked the sooks and decided to walk away from it for the night. The pants are looking fantastic (because I had Katherine guiding me) so I don't want to do a dodgy arse rob on the rest because I know she is going to check on it like it was homework from the teacher. So for now I will give it another try early this week, as I want this project completed before I head off to Canberra this week. So there you go for know, I'm working on it..........I will be a sewer yet.

So for the other highlights of the weekend I did my volunteering at the gym's creche yesterday and I had an awesome morning. I got to look after a cheerie 4 month old boy......cluck, cluck, cluck. I am really enjoying the interaction and makes me miss all the wonderful things are about working with children and their sweet minds. One of the ladies I work alongside is a Pilate's teacher and holds 2 classes at the gym during the week as well as working in the creche. I am going to try and attend her class tomorrow night if not Monday, she is certain she will be able to help with my array of neck and back problems. As well as assisting me to get some form back after all my body has been through in the last few years with babies and pregnancy.

Our day today was spent checking out more of the newer section of Robina Town Centre. We were in search of some different types of toys for Cohen, we have so much plastic stuff around here (if we are buying stuff we would rather wooden/ eco toys). Cohen is 10 months this week and its a hard age to buy for, we opted to buy nothing but we had a look around. We saw some great wooden toys which we would dearly love for Cohen, but it will have to wait (maybe his birthday). After Robina Town Centre we headed to Noelle's so DH could meet sweet Elizabeth. I could tell by the look on his face after seeing how small and precious she is that he too was all clucky (he won't deny it). We enjoyed a nice lunch with Noelle, her DH and kids which we arranged, so I hope that gave them a bit of a break not having to worry about doing that with a newborn.

As for my evening tonight well I am going to retire shortly with a full belly after scoffing down a bowl of pasta with homemade pesto and a whole block of chocolate. Yes I know piggy wiggy......but sometimes things call your name and you just can't stop at one piece. Oh well good thing I have a gym membership to take advantage of now.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Week.

My post last weekend hinted at this week being full of exciting things for Cohen and I to do. Well the week I thought we would have hasn't turned out, as I had hoped. I had hoped that this was the week I was going to get back into yoga, but two things have stood in my way. The first thing that prevented me from attending my first yoga session in nearly over 2 years was waiting around here at home for an insurance accessor. The weekend that Cohen and I made his first cubby house was the same weekend we had such massive down pour with rain that we ended up with a roof leak. We have been waiting since then for the accessor to come out and look at the damage, and in the meantime we have had another brief but heavy down pour which has sprung more wet patches in our living room. So the accessor called the other day and said that he would be here yesterday between 10am - 2pm. Since yoga starts at 10.30am there was no way I was getting away.

As luck would have it when the insurance accessor was here yesterday I some how injured my back lifting Cohen and putting him on my hip. I ended up with sharp shooting nerve pain down through my hip and upper leg. As a result I had to call DH and ask that he come home to help out with Cohen, as every time I tried to lift Cohen I felt I was going to drop to ground. So now I really need to get back to yoga to get back into a limber state. DH gave me a break from everything last night so I could rest, so along with that painkillers and full nights sleep I am feeling a lot better but a little tender. So hence there won't be any major activities around here for a few days.

As for other matters this week I have finished a little sewing project which were fisherman pants for Cohen. However I have decided it is time to actually try and follow a legitimate pattern as we are nearly at the end of the second month of the year and my sewing goals need to see me very capable by the end of the year. So I have asked my dear Katherine to come over Saturday night whilst DH is at the football, so she can assist me with following a pattern correctly. So I am going to attempt to make myself some flannelet PJ pants.

So for the now that's how my week has ended and my weekend is looking, I will post over the weekend and show you how my sewing over the weekend got on. Fingers crossed for next week and achieving more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Booby Update

Our re lactation efforts are at a bit of a standstill at the moment, for the last week Cohen has been severely teething. He has gone from being interested in the boob wanting to have a few sucks, to seeing anything that comes in a short distance of his mouth as an opportunity to bite it. We were at a point with the re lactating until this happened were I was able to get him off the bottle during a feed to my boob for a few sucks. But now I am just living in ouchie town. You see his biting has been sever and he has been biting everything and everybody, regardless of if he is happy or sad or in between. I have been covered in little bruises all over my body from my legs and arms to my tummy and my thighs.....everywhere. In fact he has attacked my thighs on several occasions now and has drawn blood. Our lounge room furniture has even been getting a bit of bad treatment as well.

It has been hard to manage all this, I have been doing everything I can to try and assist him at the moment with his teething and biting. I offer and provide him things to chew on and cold teething rings etc......but nooooo mummy's flesh seems to be the most interesting thing around. When he has been biting me everywhere else (but my boob) I have been letting out a big ouch and sad/angry face. He of course doesn't like this grunts and whinges because he has been told off. As for the boob everything was going along ok and we were making slow progress as I mentioned, until the biting got too bad and he could feel the tension in me. So sadly I don't know where we stand right now, we are kind of back to square one again as I haven't been able to offer up boob like I was (besides mummy has needed some healing). I have been maintaining the routine we initially established for re lactating in regards to the position I hold him, the way I am feeding him with bottle teat against my breast beside my nipple and other little tricks. I have kept everything the same so that the offer and opportunity is still there for him, if he is wanting it.

My mind has been going back and forth this week about whether the re lactation journey is already over before it really got a good start. But I did speak with ABA counsellor just before the biting started and she reminded me that the road to re lactating can be a long one and even after all the effort you can end up putting in, baby May no longer be interested. She warned me to be prepared for this, I guess I just wasn't prepared for the beautiful booby moments were starting to have again to turn into painful ones causing major issues. So where am I at now? What am I going to do? I feel that we have 3 options, first one is keep up the routine and little tricks we had established before the biting and see how we go. Secondly getting a better supply for decent expressing and seeing how we will go with that. I feel like this option may be a good contender since I was able to give him a tiny amount of expressed milk from a syringe (not enough to be bothered with a bottle) and he took it with no objection. So there is hope there that he still does like and want mummy milk. Thirdly just ditch all efforts all together. Since it was Cohen who re instigated interest in the boob I'm not prepared yet to walk away from this journey. He doesn't have words to tell me what he is wanting and how do I not know that this teething and biting is a interruption he preferred hadn't happened in the middle of getting his mummy's boobies back.

For now I think we will stay on the current path....a boob to suck on will be bare and on offer during his bottle feeds so he can go between the two if he wishes again. I think I will also concentrate on further efforts to express since he didn't have an objection to my breast milk. If he doesn't get back on the boob but I can have him taking more expressed breast milk, it's a fair compromise given the circumstances. Walking away from this whole effort.......well this isn't option until Cohen show signs he doesn't want my boob or expressed breast milk. If he doesn't want the boob or expressed breast milk there will be little else I can do. Finally if all this effort sees him remain on formula, I know one thing is for sure I can be proud of my efforts to re lactate. If all else fails at least this journey has given us some wonderful moments that few mothers get to experience again once having put their baby on formula full time. Regardless Cohen thank you for giving us both a second chance.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Run for my money!

Well, well, well......look at what trouble I have on my hands.

My cheeky little monkey has been walking for about 3 weeks now, but look what he surprised us with this afternoon.

We have a climber on our hands.

Yes, yes you may laugh, but he isn't even 10 months yet he will be on the 24th. My little guy is just growing up way to quickly. It is amazing watching your child grow, but at times it feels bittersweet when they achieve things by themselves. You are so proud of them and cheer on their accomplishments, but the heartstrings a tugged at the thought that they are growing so quickly I don't need you there holding their hand for everything.

I am just so blown away by how quickly Cohen is growing and learning and doing different things every day. I am really thankful that I took the leap to do this blog as now I have documentation of my thoughts about some of things he is doing, rather then just the photo or memory.

I'll just say again I am so glad that I am able to be home with him everyday, I get to hold him and kiss and hug him whenever he needs it, and whenever I need it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Just busting!

Just a short one, I have been home for a little over an hour now, I have been up to the hospital to visit a gorgeous friend of mine and meet her baby girl. I am just busting to gush and say so many things but she is a good friend who follows my blog as I do hers. So I am going to exercise some self control as it is this wee sweet angels mummy that will be doing all the gushing just as soon as she gets a chance. But I just wanted to say that I saw the sweetest most delicate little angel this evening. I am so proud of you my darling mummy friend, your dear little poppet couldn't be luckier then to of scored such a special mummy in you. I look forward watching her grow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wow....what a week!

Gee what a week it has been, firstly this week I have felt that some of the cloud of our recent loss in January has started to lift. I have started to feel a lot more like myself and getting that pep back in my step and that drive to do things and go places if you know what I mean. Secondly this week I took a major leap with my blog and shared it with a greater audience of people I know. The response has been overwhelming and I am truly touched to the depths of my soul by every ones beautiful comments. Furthermore I am touched by the stories some have shared with me, thank you for trusting me with those. It's reassuring to know that not only am doing something for myself that allows my healing to continue but through that process I am helping others as well.

For the rest of the week I have been kept busy with a little man who is teething and suffering a bit with separation anxiety because he is feeling out sorts. As long as I'm not too far away for reassuring cuddles he has been doing alright. To distract the little man we have tried to get out and about as much as we can and on Friday we caught up with old school friend and her son and had a lovely time at the park.

This weekend however has seen us very busy, Saturday I started my volunteering at a local gyms creche. I think I mentioned previously that I am giving up two Saturday mornings a month from 8am - 11.30am to help out and in return a get a gym membership. I am looking forward to attend some yoga classes and getting back into it. I haven't been back to yoga since a few weeks after I fell pregnant with Elle & Meg and I was on restrictions so to speak. So hopefully this coming week I can start working on the mind and body connection a bit more again. So my first day of volunteering went really well I got along well with the staff and kids and it felt like I had never left those days working back in childcare, I guess some things are like riding a bike.

As for this morning however (Valentines Day) well there were no celebrations here we were too busy. DH got up at 3.50am this morning to get going down to the car boot sale site. If you leave it too late you get a really crappy spot, so off he went this morning. When Cohen stirred this morning I got him feed, dressed and organised and we headed down to join DH. We had a lovely morning down there it was busy, hopefully the pics shows you that and the fun Cohen was having under another makeshift cubby. We did pretty well with the car boot sale and I now have some extra funds for my girls trip away with Caroline to Canberra in just under 2 weeks.....yay can't wait. After the car boot sale there was a bit of dash here at home to get organised and tidied up for our guests this afternoon. We had my very, very dear old school friend of mine Cameron and his fiance here for afternoon tea. So we managed some baking of choc chip muffins before they arrived. So overall it was a lovely afternoon and Cam and I were talking a lot of crap as we generally do and reminiscing about old times.

Well the week ahead is already shaping up to be a fun and busy one for Master Cohen and I, so I will keep you updated as the week progresses. Oh and check out the pics from today's car boot sale.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Red, Red, Red

Tomato look at it, I finally did it.

DH and I are slowly trying to get a collection of vegetables, herbs and fruit in pots going. We don't have the space in an appropriate area on our property to put a vegie patch where it would thrive in the right conditions. So our best option is pots down one side of our house along the fence. Currently we only have the tomato tree, a basil plant, thyme and coriander. Well we did have coriander until a certain dog......Lacey, decided to dig it out of the pot agrrrrr. Our basil plant is absolutely thriving it is massive. When I do our meal plan this weekend I am planing on a big pesto pasta meal and using the basil, my mouth is watering at the thought of it now. Our thyme needs to moved into another pot as it is being overshadowed my the basil, a job for this weekend I think. The tomato plant well what can I say we have been very fortunate since potting it, to be getting a lot a rain on and off so it has helped. I must tell you the truth this isn't it's first tomato we have had several but have lost them to aphids or black rot. Just a few weeks ago I had left one on the tree that was turning the perfect shades of red and I was waiting for perfection to pick it for a toasted sandwich. It was the same night DH had gone out to watch the football (soccer) with a friend. I was thinking great easy meal night and then I can get on with my little sewing project I had planned that night. I went out to the tree to pick it for my half prepared sandwich and it was gone, it wasn't on the tree. I was flabbergasted, and I knew there was one culprit and one culprit only.....Lacey. I took a walk around the yard and yes my suspicions were confirmed she had half eaten the damn thing.

So here we are now a few weeks on and we have avoided rot and aphids this time, however this one fell off the tree whilst turning a yellowy colour. I decided to bring it in and vine ripen it on my window sill so to speak. So all is not lost and look what I have to show for it my first edible tomato and all without a drop or dusting of any pesticide wouldn't you call that 100% natural. I am looking forward to eaten it this weekend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This years promises to myself!

So I call them promises, I don't know why but the word resolutions really bothers me. So this year I thought I wouldn't get too carried away with the dawn of the new year and keep things realistic. First promise is to be kinder to myself, which leaves a pretty wide berth of how I could go about achieving that. I guess it's just about honouring yearnings and my soul, so that shouldn't be too hard. Second promise probably could tie into being kinder to myself by honouring my desires. This second promise is to teach myself to sew. DH bought me a sewing machine years ago as I insisted I had the drive to do something and had hair brained schemes of all sorts of things I could make. I have dabbled in attempts at sewing before but haven't achieved anything of major substance, and I haven't continued to push on beyond those crappy and mostly unfinished attempts. But now I am determined that I am going to make a serious go of learning and teaching myself to sew this year. I think giving myself the year to achieve greatness is a pretty fair deal. By the years end the goal is to be competent enough to make several gifts for family and friends for Christmas.

I am seriously determined to achieve my sewing goal and I think having Cohen will help as I would much prefer to be able to make wears for him. I also have a major passion for op-shopping so I am also hoping that I will be able to score some cool finds that I can up cycle into some cool pieces for Cohen and for us as well.

My first albeit slightly dodgy outfit for Cohen, the singlet is good I am fairly impressed with my appliqueing abilities given it was my second attempt. I do have a pic around somewhere of my first applique attempt but can't find it.....but that was bad. What can I say about the matching shorts the only pattern I followed was unpicking an old pair of shorts and working out from there how I thought it was all meant to sew together. The print fabric is something I picked up from a op shop years and years ago and have held onto it wanting to do something with it (I have always wanted a skirt for myself in this print). Anyways the white fabric is a really good quality high thread count queen sheet I picked up from the op shop as well. So all in all not bad going......if you could see the stitching attempts on the shorts though you may be reserving your praises. Ahhh well its a learning process, I'm going to need to make mistakes to learn from them aren't I??

So this is a fabric notebook cover with pockets I have made, I tried to follow an online tute which I discovered once starting the project really didn't make all that much sense. So I had to try and teach myself on the fly, it's not what I hoped it would be, so we will have try again and this time I think I will just sew to the beat of my own drum then follow that online tute again. But as I said before mistakes are just chances for me to learn from.

A little pic of a little fabric stash I have, I'm sure not a big deal to seasoned sewers out there, but my stash nonetheless to start off with. Oh and a big thank you to my dear Caroline for the bookcases this one has come in handy, another 2 shelves yet to be filled with sewing goodies, but that will happen in time.

This is a pic of my sewing quarters in our office, the fabric you see on the table is a work in progress, a pair of fishermen pants for Cohen.....when completed I will post another pic.

Hmm feeling some heaviness.

In the last 24 - 36 hours I have started to feel some heaviness across my chest. No I'm not about to have a heart attack, there is nothing wrong with my health. The heaviness I am speaking of is my boobs. I am amidst efforts at the moment to try and re-lactate and go back to breastfeeding Cohen. You see recently he has shown signs of being interested in the boob again. It has been so hot here that at night I have been sleeping bare chested. In the mornings if Cohen wakes before 5am we bring him into our bed for cuddles. He has been finding it entertaining to crawl over us in bed and give cuddles and kisses but has also been finding my boob and trying to have a few sucks.
It came as somewhat a confusing revelation at first. You see just before Christmas DH and I found out that I was pregnant again and Cohen started this behaviour just as the new year dawned. Sadly though come the second week of the new year and it was confirmed via ultrasound that our baby had no heartbeat. January 14th I went into hospital and had a D&C. It has been yet a difficult time in my life again and I have had many feelings over Elle & Meg re-visited as well. But in the middle of my recovery has been my little man, wanting mummy's boob.....or at least showing signs he does. I have been seeking advice and opinion on re-lactating and decided that for the sole benefit of my child and ascertaining his needs it is something I must try and do. He doesn't have words to tell me what he needs or wants he only has his actions and I can only do my best to interpret them. It has also been helping me emotionally with my journey through my recent grief. I had always wanted to be breastfeeding Cohen for a minimum of a year and longer hopefully. However my journey through breastfeeding him stopped around 6 months. I started having supply problems and DH and I had also started talking about trying for another baby. I know the desire for another baby has a lot to do with losing Elle & Meg and wanting two children close together. So when I was having the supply problems and we started to try again, things just happened and Cohen ended up on the bottle full time due to unsettledness.

I have missed breastfeeding him so much and have longed and missed the special connection you have when you are successfully breastfeeding. But now it looks like we might be getting a second chance. I know the journey to re-lactate can be a long one and it could mean that a lot of effort is put in for no successful return to the breast in the long run. However I can't walk away from the signs my son is showing me and giving us both that second chance. So who knows what's going to happen, but stay tuned and we will see I guess. Fingers crossed that my boy will return and he will be a booby boy once again. So for the moment I am taking some medication to help build a supply again things are happening very slowly there but hence the heaviness I am starting to feel fuller. We are also employing other tactics for example trying to break Cohen's visual response and connect to the bottle at the moment. So now I feed with a bottle up my shirt with my breast also at the teat of the bottle. We are at stage where Cohen is feeding from the bottle but will also go off the bottle and have a few sucks at the breast. However once he realises there isn't enough of a supply yet for him to get anything he stops. My next step at the moment is to speak with the ABA about a supply line so that I can have at the breast and be stimulated constantly but he would still be getting a supply or feed until we can see if I can get a legitimate supply back for him. So in the long run we will have to see if he wants mummy milk again rather then formula, he is also going to need to work out that he is going to have to work harder at the breast to get something as well.

So again here is to hoping and we will see what happens, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's nice to let them know what they mean to you.

I have had lovely morning, I decided that Cohen and I needed to run into town today to do some errands and pay some very important people a visit. These special people I'm talking about are earth angels and blessings in my books. These people are some of the group of people who have been crucial in my grief process and my delivery of Cohen and afterwards. So we decided this morning that we would drop into the maternity ward at the hospital. My feelings of going to the maternity ward are always fraught with mixed feelings because not only is it were I spent my first few days with Cohen, but it is also the place where I laboured and lost my Elle and Meg.

This morning we got to see Karen (my Karen as I have referred to previously), Karen was the midwife who was with me when I lost Elle and Meg and since then our little family has stayed in touch with this beautiful angel. It has been several months since we have seen Karen and as always it is exciting to see her. Cohen beams smiles at her and gives cuddles. I just love seeing Karen she always makes me smile and giggle and I think my journey through my grief would have been harder had I not been able to maintain the friendship we have now established. Had we not kept contact I would have always wondered how her experiencing my tragedy with me would of effected her journey as a midwife, a mum and as a person. I always let Karen now how her kindness and support has effected our lives and how thankful we are for having her in our lives. I believe it was some divine power that sent her to me on the 25th May 2008 to be with me through the worst moment in my life.....and for the blessing of Karen I will always be thankful from the depths of my soul.

This morning we also got to speak with Di who I have seen a few times on my visits to pop in and say hi with Cohen, but I have never really been able to have a long conversation with her. Anytime we see her, her face lights up and is eager to say hi and see how Cohen and I are doing. It wasn't until today that I realised what part she played in supporting me on the 25th May 2008. I now know that she supported my girlfriend after being shuffled out of room when I lost the girls. Di expressed to me how wonderful she feels it is when mothers like myself visit and let them know what they have done to help us through our journeys. In emotional tones she expressed to me how she loves her job, but letting them know what they mean to us in our journeys helps them do better. Di is such a sweet, open women and again I always love seeing her on our visits.

Lastly this morning we got to see Maia who I have previously explained was our social worker after we lost Elle & Meg and my support during Cohen's pregnancy. Maia in my belief is another earth angel sent from other realms to help me through my journey, she has limitless compassion, grace and calm about her.......qualities I wish to only build upon on further in myself. We laughed, giggle, chattered at a hundred miles an hour this morning, about all the going-ons in the months since seeing her last. I think the last time she saw us, Cohen was 16 weeks old and he has changed so much since then. Only thing though today, Cohen decided it was sleep time by the time we got to see Maia, so she didn't get to see the sweet, cheeky little fella he is becoming. I am sure we will see her again soon enough and she will probably poke fun at how he is just like his mum and dad with his cheekiness. As I do with the others I always give Maia big hugs. I'm sure she always knows and feels that those hugs are always saying thank you for everything you have done and being who you are.

These women and others are such special people in our journey and its really important that they know it, hear it and feel it. If you ever find yourself in a position were you have angels like these help you along a significant journey like ours I would encourage you to reach out and let them know how special they are. Just remember that good, bad or otherwise some of the midwives, social workers, health care professional keep thinking of you long after you are gone and wonder how everything is. Just remember to, that you effect their lives as much as they effect yours and they aren't always thanked for the work and jobs they do. Can you imagine what some of them have to face on good days and bad days with the type of work in the maternity division........I know because I have shared the worst of days in my life and the best of days in my life with these people. If you can let them know how you feel and what they have meant to you, not only is it wonderful and rewarding for them to hear it, it will help your own journey limitlessly.

To my angels thank you.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Artistic and Creative Endevours

I have always had an artistic and creative spirit, and have always had the burning desire to try different things. In the craft realm I have dabbled in several things before and at one point was even a scrapbook teacher for a short period of time. About 4 years ago now in the middle of a difficult time in my life I decided that I needed to do something for my soul, something it had been asking for and wanting nourishing for some time. I bit the bullet and enrolled into a beginners art class, I never took art at school and my artistic efforts had all been private attempts of drawing and sketching at home. My art classes taught me a lot but in the long run it was focused on oil paintings solely as the medium they taught in. I stayed with the school and moved into intermediate classes, but eventually followed my teacher when she left to another school. My teacher at the time was a few years younger then me and I quickly learnt that although she knew enough to teach art, she couldn't help students direct the soul journey through discovering the world of art. I think she also lacked social interacting with people for the most part and struggled to relate to students appropriately. She ended up making inappropriate comments about students and art and students in general. Therefore it saw some of us leave her tuition in search of other artistic journeys.

I normally find that people of an artistic, creative or musical background are people that are very understanding on how a journey through these realms comes from the soul and you have got to feel supported and safe to reach your potential. So I struggle to understand why our teacher was the way she was. But never mind in the end I ended up following a dear friend of mine, which saw us under the tuition of a Master Pastelist, Cynthia Hargreaves. Under her tuition I learnt so much more again and she was a lovely women who spoke about her life experiences and what bought her to painting or drawing a certain piece at a certain time. I enjoyed the medium of pastels for some time and was able to complete many more pieces then I had ever accomplish at my original school or under the tuition of my original teacher.

After many pastel pieces under my belt I thought I would try an oil painting again and had choose my own elements to create inspiration for the piece. All previous pieces had been a picture of something I had thought "oh that would been nice copied into an art piece". So I guess what I am trying to say is that this was to be a major undertaking for me to finally embark on my own emotional and creative inspired piece. I knew I wanted the piece to feature elephants as I feel an affinity with them. I also knew I wanted to piece to show the nurturing side of a mother elephant, as it was meant to be reflective of the private journey I was on, trying to start a family. This piece I speak which you will see pictured here is still incomplete. I had been working on this piece when I found out I was pregnant with Elle & Meg. As that pregnancy progress I ended up having to pull myself out of classes as the late nights were too much for me. I wish to complete this piece but have not in the right place emotionally to do that due to the symbolism that this piece holds for me. I feel now, nearly 2 years on that I may be getting to a place where I can look at trying to complete it some time soon.....I will keep you posted.

In the meantime here are some pictures of some of my works. Art is subjective and I don't expect others to like all or even any of my pieces. For me art is just about letting my soul say something rather then being conformed by what others deem as art or not. Just as a final note I have not returned to art classes since losing Elle & Meg. I decided that I wanted to be free in my own space to work on pieces when and how I felt directed by my soul to do so. I did find the class situation to be a frustrating element for me ultimately, and always being pushed time wise and to try techniques I had no interest in pursuing at the time. So I have decided that at least for the foreseeable future that I will just do what I want to do when I want to do it and see what I can teach myself through a self-guided journey.

Oil and Ink Lillies

Pastel Row Boat

My un-finished Mumma and Bubba Elephant oil painting that I was painting when I fell pregnant with Elle & Meg, I hope in time I can pick this up and have it be something I am really proud of.

Pastel Chess Pieces I really like this piece and am rather proud of it, I must get around to framing this one.

An oil copy of the book cover of the children's book "When the wind Blows"

Our dear Howard and oil painting I did years ago now (not quite finished needs his whiskers). RIP darling we miss you.

Oil Painting and Oil Pastel

Pastel Hibiscus, which now hangs in our bathroom and greats me each day, its symbolic of Elle & Meg

For the Girls, oil painting and pastel

Finally this last piece is not mine it is a portrait my pastel teacher at the time did of me she called it "The Daydreamer". I think she may have also been prompted to title that due to the slow pace I worked at in class

I have more drawings and and bits and pieces that I will hopefully get around to adding in time. But this is just a bit of what I get up to from time to time. Painting and drawing though has taken a bit of backseat recently to me teaching myself to sew. So shortly I will be adding another post on what other creative endeavours I have been up to.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Current Day

It has been hard work emotionally trying to get this blog going but I feel like we are getting somewhere now. I have been in two minds about in what direction this blog will take, and if I will continue to have it be an all encompassing look at my life. It was my intention to have this blog be about my journey through grief after loss, family and my attempts to nourish my soul through artistic and creative endevours. I have also been spending time working on some other ideas away from the aim of this blog, which I think my make for interesting reading or documentation in another blog. Well I guess its early days for this blog and other projects I am working on, so we will proceed as we are for now.......but it might be worth watching this space in time.

So far I have shared a great portion of the happenings in my life in the last 2 years that have bought me to the point of starting this blog. I know the reading thus far has probably been dark and emotional even for others to take in until now. But I do wish to start changing pace on things, as not all posts are going to be talking directly to my loss. It will however be something from time to time that will come up in my blog enteries as a point of reference to other aspects of my life at time. I attend to continue to give a fair reflection of happenings and adventures in our day to day life (not that my enteries will be daily but you know what I mean).

Anyways I just wanted to say thanks for sticking with me (although I only have 1 or 2 followers at the moment). I hope if not now in time you will enjoy dropping in from time to time to see whats going on in my Journey to Bliss.
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