great advice doc…

yesterday I went to the podiatrist and he told me I need to keep my foot elevated, with a heat pack and rest. I did not respond verbally, preferring to raise one eyebrow at him and wonder if he had noticed the 11 month old wriggling around in the pram beside me. when MrB Badger.com got home he asked for the report and then declared “since you’ve had her you’re cracking up”. he’s from the north of England what can I say. he does have a point though and while I rarely feel my age – probably due to refusal to grow up – this morning as my heavily taped foot hit the floor I felt every one of my 41+ years. the doc thinks it tendonitis bought on by my ridiculous obsession with wanting to be a runner…I had only just started to do a bit of interval training to build up my cardio fitness again and my feet tell me otherwise. these feet that have been through some pretty dodgy fashion choices and have the bunions to show for it have finally decided to send me a message – stop running. the message is so clear that even walking is a challenge right now but that could be the tape. my dear husbands point about me cracking up is exactly how I feel. I am clumsy beyond belief and my hands are still not fully recovered from the tenosynovitis I had many months ago…current injuries include one finger caught in the pram harness and a stab wound to my palm as I tried to catch a knife that fell from the knife magnet. actually now that I think about it maybe the clumsy has been with me forever…when I was a kid if I ever forgot my house key I would take the window screen off the kitchen window and let myself in. I remember one day I could only find a very small screw driver to do the job and it kept slipping out of the screw and I got so frustrated I threw the screw driver…when I looked to retrieve it imagine my surprise as I saw it sticking out of the soft flesh in the arch of my foot – I have the scar as a reminder of my stupidity.

in all my reading about pregnancy and babies and stuff I missed the bit about how much having a child can impact your body and how age plays a part in your recovery. it’s all about the changes the baby goes through during the pregnancy and then how to manage with the baby when you get home. what about the mum who ends up with tendons and ligaments as loose as nanna undies and teeth that threaten to bankrupt the family if you can find time to visit the dentist. the same changes occur regardless of the age of the mother it’s the body’s ability to recover that changes with age and right about now I am wishing that prior to falling pregnant I was in peak physical condition so I could snap back into shape and not have any of these injury woes ahhh hindsight what a wonderful way to make you feel like a failure. anyhoo once I have recovered I will go back to doing what I know and that is lifting heavy things in the gym and riding a bike for cardio, no more running for me….excellent news.

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off the curve….

so little boss is eight months old…I was unbelievably naive to think that staying at home and looking after a baby would make time slow down. if anything the past eight months have flown by quick as a jiffy – well maybe not that quick but you get my drift. we had her check up with the health nurse this week and answered the endless round of questions before little boss got her gear off to get weighed and measured. everything was going well with both weight and length following the curve…then we get to the head circumference. so old pam puts the tape around little boss’ noggin and then marks the measurement in her record book…she looks at the dot on the page and declares that she must have read the tape wrong because that can’t be right….so she measures again, this time with more care, and shut the front gate it’s the same measurement…and its off the curve – by a mile. now the problem with diagnostic tools is that when something is presented that doesn’t fit into the norm then it means there is something wrong. there must be a reason for this outlier in the stats….and there is. we are a family of big heads. I don’t mean ego, I mean literally huge heads. my grandmother, father, brother, nephew, myself and now little boss – all dealt the challenge of finding a hat that fits. for some of us we also have ears that stick out either side of our big heads and at eight months it’s very cute but later on when people are calling you wing nut it aint so much fun. of course you grow into your head and to look at us you wouldn’t say that we are out of proportion but at six months little boss was wearing hats to fit 12-18 months poor love….even getting her bonds singlet over her head brings tears to her eyes if I havent ruined it by stretching the neck.

anyhoo so the health nurse says to me “keep an eye on it”….ahhhh what for? yes I am fully aware that her measurements are all meant to follow the same curve and clearly she has gone off the chart on her head circumference but surely genetics play a part and common sense should prevail. my mum found my baby book in their latest move and to say things have changed in the last 40 odd years is an understatement. todays health record comes in a folder and must go with you at every doctors visit. it contains all immunisation info, measurements, doctors visits, health questionnaires and assessments and a whole heap of other stuff I havent bothered to read. mine is a small book of about 20 pages, several of which are blank and most of the information relates to milestones rather than health topics. the one page that did interest me was titled immunization and it says….

The Department of Health recommends that immunization against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping-cough should start when your baby is three months old and three injections should be given at monthly intervals.

When baby is 15-18 months old he will require the first booster injection and at school entry he will require another booster injection if he is to be fully protected.

The immunization against poliomyelitis should also start when your baby is three months old and three doses of Sabin vaccine are given at two monthly intervals followed by a booster dose when baby is 15-18 months old and a further booster when he enters school. 

just a little different to the program we have now…and lucky for my mum that they didn’t measure head circumference back then or she would have been freaking out with the size on my brothers melon…

 

another one bites the dust…

our christmas family 2012
our christmas family 2012

there goes another year  seemingly at the speed of a jiffy. I remember being at school and thinking that the days went sooooo slooooowww while waiting for the school holidays to come around and for some bizarre reason I thought that by staying at home and being a mum time would revert to that slow pace of childhood. alas it has not. if anything time seems to be going faster – now I am aware that it cannot actually go faster however my perception is my reality and I perceive the days to be flying by. little boss is now 6 1/2 months old, sitting on her own, eating solid food and letting us know when she is happy, sad, bored and frustrated in a whole new way. it feels like only weeks ago I was showering with the anti bacterial soap and swallowing antacid in preparation for her arrival and now she is closer to her first birthday than the day of her birth. and I am closer to returning to work….which I am looking forward to however it’s a bittersweet feeling as I am already reluctant to leave little boss in case I miss out on any of her discoveries. pity I can’t take her to work with me…not sure on the effect of the productivity of the rest of the team though. doing part of my work from home would be cool as I could start work at 4am when I am awake anyway and then I could also play with little boss in my breaks…okay way too much talk about returning to work when it doesn’t happen til May.

christmas is done for another year and 2012 was the most non christmassy celebration I have ever had. we had planned a lunch at our place but it didn’t go according to plan so my sydney besty and his boyfriend/partner/lover/houseboy – select the appropriate term – spent the day and night with us and we drank and swam and generally trash talked our way through the day. we did have lunch but it was about 4pm and instead of the big hoo haa we ended up having german hotdogs…it was too hot to do much else anyway and let’s be honest we had consumed a weeks worth of calories in alcohol by then so we didn’t need much else. we had a heat wave in perth so I feel for all those turkey lovers who were standing around a hot barby or even worse a hot oven on christmas day preparing a feast that is best reserved for those that can build a snowman after lunch.

only in the movies….

so I recently watched what to expect when you’re expecting which is based on the book by Heidi Murkoff…this is one of those films that Mr B Badger.com would suffer through and then declare it as “a load of twaddle” afterwards, so I watched it on my own. and essentially I would have to agree with him. now it may just be that I am married to a man who hails from the north of england and romance doesn’t feature highly but do people actually say stuff to each other like they do on the movies?? please, if you or your significant other speak to each other in such a way let me know…and also please advise me if you do this because it comes naturally or because you think everyone does it cause that’s what they do on the movies – so it must be the norm. yes the whole conception to birth journey is amazing when you think about it but it’s also stressful, terrifying, emotional and the list goes on. they show some of this in the movie which was moderately amusing but they also show husbands and partners that look lovingly into the eyes of their woman and declare their undying love, admiration and respect. this is the bit I am wondering about. maybe I was too high on pain killers or a little confronted by the TEDS stockings and machine attached to my legs to keep the blood flowing but I don’t recall Mr B Badger.com looking anything but stunned and shattered in a “what the hell just happened” kind of way…and honestly if he had cracked out any of the common hollywood style phrases I would have assumed that he had also been drugged to his eyeballs. I know if a movie were based on my relationship it certainly wouldn’t leave people with the tear in the eye kind of warm and fuzzy feeling you get from watching movie relationships because it’s essentially hard to capture on camera the subtlety behind many of our moments. we don’t hold hands, hug or do any public displays of affection – we don’t really do private displays of affection either when I think about it, it’s just not our thing. it is, however, the reason that people flock to the cinema to watch “chick flicks”. you don’t see hollywood writing wedding night scenes where you share an adjoining room with your newly acquired mother and sister-in-law or on your honeymoon on the island of mykonos you are booked into a room that has two single beds…unless its going to be a comedy as it’s not really passion inducing. now that I have been up since 1.30am and it’s now almost 3am I am beginning to think that we are the exception to all this loving behaviour that is perpetuated by film producers…while they were prepping me for my spinal block, the overly talkative nurse – obviously a technique to distract you from the environment and what it about to happen – said to Mr B Badger.com “you can sit over here and hold her hand”, which on the silver screen would have been portrayed by him looking at me with reassurance in his eyes and a “you’re doing great honey” out of his mouth. how it actually played out was more like this…

nurse: “you can sit over here and hold her hand”

husband: wheels stool to sit next to wife and awkwardly takes her hand in his while looking like a stunned mullet

wife: sitting on bed, breathing deeply to keep a panic attack at bay, stares straight ahead and says “don’t touch me”

now I know what it was like to go through it and I have to say it was probably more confronting for Mr B Badger.com than for myself, but now that I remember that little exchange I do think our relationship is more on the side of a comedy – sometimes even dark comedy – than romance or even rom com and I prefer it that way as it’s far more fun for us to laugh about our antics….okay little boss has finally gone back to sleep so im off to catch another hour or so of shut-eye. I welcome your thoughts on the fantasy versus reality of the movie world especially if that movie myth is your real life day to day…ni ni neville.

the guessing game…

in all the information you can get about babies and their development and what’s “normal” and what’s not they say babies have different cries to let you know what they want or need. mine must be broken because she only has one cry and it goes from 0-100 in about 8.5 seconds, whatever she needs is urgent. I can’t help but feel for all the new first time mums who, like me, are trying to find that little difference in the crying to see if she wants feeding, changing, burping, sleeping or just holding. early on it was evident and Mr B Badger.com and I would know instantly what she needed, not so much now that she has hit three months. yesterday my besty and I went out for lunch. she had her two girls with her and when K Doggy started to cry one of the girls said “why is she crying?” I said I didn’t know, so she says “well how do you know what she is crying for?” and my besty summed it up for her and everyone else…”well you don’t know, cause little babies can’t speak so they cant tell you whats wrong so you just have to guess and keep guessing until they stop crying” pretty much nailed it. you’re not going to get that kind of advice in a baby book that’s for sure. and I think I only actually feed her 2/3 of the formula in the tin and the rest gets made up  and then turns out to be a wrong guess and down the sink it goes. yes the “f” word – formula – but you know what? her colic has stopped since becoming a formula only baby. she is soooo much happier and not in any pain trying to bring up wind. yes breast is best but maybe not a one size fits all solution. seriously it’s hard enough adjusting to life with a baby without the added pressure of sticking to breastfeeding when it’s not working. oh and to all the midwives, health nurses, doctors, chemists and do gooders out there….making a new mum feel bad about how she is feeding her baby is not helping her and making out that baby formula is doing damage to the baby is really not cool peeps so off the breast-feeding high horse please for the mental wellbeing of new mums if nothing else.

three months…my god where has it gone? having said that it does seem like a lifetime ago that I was wheeled into the theatre at 10am as just Mrs and Mr B Badger.com only to be wheeled out 30 minutes later with mini B Badger.com in tow. I still feel mild anxiety in the evenings but I laugh now at the emotional rollercoaster I was riding in the first few weeks after bring K Doggy home…not sure Mr B Badger.com experiences the same level of humour in looking back though…he thought I was going a bit bonkers there for a while. thanks to acupuncture and some good herbs I was quickly returned to my normal, only slightly bonkers, self.

well the weather is already starting to warm up, my old hormones are returning and they have bought the headaches along for the ride and both Mr B Badger.com and I are trying to lose our baby weight…I am already at my pre conception weight but, seriously, lets just say I started on a high point. so we are making an effort to get rid of some excess and look after ourselves so that when K Doggy starts running around we will be able to keep up…not quite ready for the marathon club yet but I’m workin on it…

3am is the new black…

well actually anywhere between 1am and 4am is pretty on trend now at my place. seems that these are the hours to par-tay when you are only nine weeks old and don’t really care if anyone gets any sleep. lucky for us we live in western australia which means we don’t really get winter so being up at this time does not involve the wearing of scarves and beanies to keep warm. even still it’s not all that cute when a kicking smiling baby is staring at you wide-eyed at 3am and showing no signs of slowing down but I can’t have it all…yesterday I met my husband after he had played golf and we had a lovely lunch and some fine NZ Sav Blanc – yes do gooders I had expressed a feed earlier – and our little girl stayed asleep for the entire time so I got to enjoy the lunch almost as much as I would have BB – that’s before baby, remember?. I say almost as much because lunch BB would have involved more Sav Blanc followed by more of something similar at home or at a pub – yesterday it was a couple of glasses followed by water, peppermint tea and a sprite zero go hard girl. so I realise I can’t have it all…cant sit and enjoy a quiet lunch with my sleeping baby and expect to be able to sleep through the night and since her disturbance at night only affects scotty and I not an entire restaurant full of people I know what I would prefer. still its hard to have that realisation as I walk zombie like through a dark house in the wee hours of the morning…

so since our little bundle arrived we have looked at our house and discussed some of the changes that we will need to make in order to make it a safe and fun environment for us all. one of these changes is to provide some shade over our pool which in summer gets the full sun and all its power. not good for our skin let alone that of a newbie. so I put out some online enquiries to see if I could get some people out to quote us for shade sails…that was two weeks ago and I still had not heard from any of them so yesterday I sent some more enquiries and this morning received an email….this company can provide a quote. all I have to do is send off a site plan, photos of the area, description of what is required and dimensions…now call me crazy but isn’t that what they are supposed to do when providing a quote?? should I respond with “how about you send me your labour cost per hour, materials cost to the customer and estimated hours to complete the job and I will provide myself with a quote” what a liberty! consequently the other company that called me this morning and is sending a guy out this afternoon to measure up and provide a quote will probably get the job if the price is close to right. seriously though where has service gone? are people making that much money that they don’t give a rats about word of mouth advertising? is it just a western australian thing or is customer service indifference an epidemic sweeping our nation? I am not sure if it would bother me as much if stuff was cheaper…maybe it would just annoy me slightly rather than make my blood pressure rise…obviously I have issues.

the other “f” word…

I can understand why women give up on breastfeeding and switch to formula – there I said it, the other “f” word. breastfeeding is not easy and doesn’t come naturally. little myffyn is nine weeks old this friday and I have only just got the hang of it. to be perfectly honest I am a little disappointed…during my pregnancy I had fantasized about getting massive porno tits once my milk came in and the truth is I have the same small boobs I have always had. my dad reminds me that at least when I am in my 60’s they will still be on my chest and not tucked into my pants. so my efforts with feeding havent been all that fab and at times it has been very tempting to switch to formula especially on the days when she wants to feed hourly or more and I have felt tied to the house – I haven’t mastered the art enough to take it public. the reason I havent made the switch is the wind the small amounts of formula I have given her create. seriously farts are funny, but huge man farts coming out of a 4.5kg lightweight are kind of funny the first couple of times but when one bottle of formula causes wind that lasts for a whole day I can only imagine the turmoil going on inside her. so we continue to persist with the breastfeeding and it wont be that long before she is introduced to solids…formula is definitely a word you don’t want to utter in front of the health nurse or the midwives. I get the feeling they would use the disapproving tone while grilling you about your reasons for not breastfeeding…I mean yesss breast is best but the determination required to persevere with breastfeeding when you also have to contend with sleep deprivation and getting used to a baby can be a bit difficult to maintain. and I get that it’s not actually about me and how I feel it’s about giving her the best possible start in life but as my besty said to me – happy mum, happy baby…the nurses, doctors and midwives can all be a judgemental as they like while they are living their life and not mine so if I do chose to stop breastfeeding in the near future it’s a choice I will make for myself and myffyn not them.

so yesterday I went on a rant about my online grocery shopping and how they messed up my order. I am happy to report that they responded to my email and will be refunding the items I should have received. they did offer to deliver them but I didn’t think it was worth getting the truck out for a packet of croissants and some chicken rissoles…so I will see how they go next week – or I might just go back to doing it myself…

another year older…

this week I celebrated another year by having lunch with my husband, my mum and my daughter. I had expressed a couple of feeds so I could have a wine with lunch which probably wasn’t a good idea because just having “a” wine is never really enough. and while I have never enjoyed the sensation of the following days hangover I do enjoy drinking and in most cases getting absolutely mortal and playing sing star til I think I am better than the actual artist – my neighbours must have loved the free concerts that I put on in my BB days – that’s before baby yeah? last year when I celebrated another year I had a party and asked everyone to dress in their bogan best, mullet wigs and ciggies optional, and I think the last of us finished up around 3ish to back it up the following day at a winery….my east coast besty is a seasoned pro and managed to be up and ready to go sunglasses on ciggies in hand, my husband was a different story and put on a brave, and a little puffy, face and off we went to the winery. we arrived before my parentals and got a bottle of wine of which my husband had one sip and said he didn’t know what was wrong but he just didn’t feel that great – maybe he was just tired….ah how about still mortal? anyhoo my east coast besty is ever so kind and suggested he go for a lay down on the back seat of the car which he did and only resurfaced at the end of lunch 20 minutes before we were all ready to leave. overall it was a great birthday party, presents, great people and good times. fast forward 12 months and things have changed considerably. still got presents and hung out with great people and had good times…just earlier in the day and governed by the schedule of an eight week old baby. we were that couple that says we wont change our lives for a baby, the baby will have to fit in with us…damn that takes hard work! I totally understand why people don’t go anywhere once they have a baby cause it takes it out of you and I don’t think you totally relax. well that and it’s not that much fun changing nappies on the floor of the disabled toilet because the establishment doesn’t want to put a change table on the wall. may as well chuck a sign up saying “no thongs, no hoodies, no bikie colours, no MMA clothing, no beanies, no babies” mmmm yes bikies, fight fans and newborns are an absolute menace. soon it will be easier for them to list what they want you to wear rather than what you can’t. anyhoo I am determined to continue heading out socially but I also understand that sometimes our bundle of joy wont want to play the game so we may have to cancel plans and stay in but in all honesty the last eight weeks have flown by with such jiffy like speed it wont be that long before we are the annoying parents that takes the toddler to the pub for lunch – last year we were the pub patrons that got annoyed at the parents of the toddler and made comments like – “why would you bring a baby here” now I know why they did….because they want to continue to live like they used to BB as well. don’t get me wrong though I don’t intend on bringing my child up at the bar, we are also looking forward to a time when we can all go camping and teaching her to ride a bike so we can all hit the trails together…and then have lunch at the pub.

key learnings so far…

alrighty then…so it’s three weeks into our parenthood journey and we have already experienced some key learnings that the google didn’t warn us about.

the press studs on baby clothing are very strong and difficult to fasten and undo, not to mention that when you have your screaming newborn on the change table she wont just lay there with her legs straight out waiting for you to undo her overly studded onesie, change her nappy and then hopefully get all the little press studs to align while putting the very cute, but difficult, garment back on. no, no you must do this while the screaming bundle of joy kicks her legs in a jerky out of control fashion and you consequently end up with a lopsided, one leg shorter than the other creation and at 1.30am you figure who cares? she will need changing again in two hours so you can fix it then. I will keep this challenge in mind when purchasing any clothing for her in future.

a lot of baby “stuff” comes with velcro as a fastener and the only thing I know of that comes in an adult size with velcro are boardshorts so taking this new material into consideration while doing the laundry didn’t enter my thoughts…I just chucked all the baby stuff in the washer and an hour later I was standing at the clothesline trying to untangle the ball of onesies, singlets and bibs that had formed due to my failure to understand the power of velcro…NASA use it on space shuttles – hello…so the learning here is fasten all velcro prior to washing, cause hanging everything in one big ball takes ages to dry…

all new babies do is eat, sleep and poo – yes it would appear that this is correct. however it’s the frequency of the eating, sleeping and pooing that can come as a shock. yesterday I may as well have walked around with my tits to the wind all day and night to accommodate the feeding schedule of kenzi. I tried to leave the house to get some groceries and after three attempts finally got to dash out and take a spin round woolies – otherwise we would have continued the cheese on toast diet…

I need to express any supplementary feeds in the morning…by the time the afternoon hits I could sit with the breast pump sucking away for hours and get a disappointing 20-50ml which at 3am doesn’t really cut the mustard.

have a shower and get dressed early in the day…while my pre baby idea of a relaxing day in during cold weather would have involved hanging out in my pyjamas all day, now it feels strangely demotivating so getting in the shower early in the day says get off your arse and do something sista!

these are just a few of the learnings I have had over the past three weeks. the other thing I have is a renewed respect for woman who have multiple births or children born close together. my besty had her two eldest at 11 months apart and I take my hat off to her.

I am certain that the learning curve will continue to increase as I get closer to a time that will see me back behind the wheel and resuming some exercise…I may end up doing my workouts at 1am…could be interesting…

let the games begin…

scotty has returned to work this morning so that leaves me at home with kenzi and Mr Rooben, neither of which say much so barrybadger will probably cop a hammering of posts over the next few days as I attempt to communicate. the past two weeks have been interesting and I have learnt quite a bit about myself and the behaviours I need to try to manage on a daily basis if I am to succeed in my motherhood quest. I have already documented my high anxiety in barrybadger posts gone by and scott and I had already flagged that I would need to be mindful of this when we came home with our ultimate prize otherwise I would probably never sleep again. throughout my pregnancy I managed to avoid the google and all the other advice we can access at the touch of a button as I didn’t want to over think every kick, hiccup and movement or lack thereof. then our bundle arrived and all of a sudden I am reading everything put in front of me and listening to every bit of contradictory advice thrown my way. the midwives in the hospital say wake her up for a feed every two to three hours or she wont get enough, the community nurse says as long as she is doing enough business in her nappies there is no need to wake her she will wake of her own accord and the google supports both arguments and provides vivid descriptions of what can happen if she gets dehydrated….and thats just feeding. I cant help but think that utilising the services of old Dr Spock’s handbook 40 odd years ago may have been a better way to go rather than the over-supply of information we have today. the community nurse left me with enough toilet reading material to last well into my 41st year and the two showbags you get from the hospital have an abundance of suggested necessities that you simply cannot do without. I am struggling to understand why they even bother making clothing other than singlets and onesies in sizes suitable for newborns because they do business that often you just don’t need to add removal of cool looking outfit to your playbook. no sooner have you removed the outfit, changed the stink bum, and put the outfit back on you see what you now recognise as “the poo face” that is quickly followed by the pants rumble and you start it all again. onesie all the way I say…anyhoo the one thing they really don’t prepare you for in any of the conversations with midwives or in the barrage of supplied literature is the potential for you to feel so sad and alone. yes your hormones are going bananas and yes this is the biggest and most important job you will ever do and the enormity of it all can get to you and really when it does it is terrifying and I have had times during the past two weeks when I have wanted to just curl into a ball and be left alone to just cry…so I went for acupuncture on friday and will continue to get treatment until my hormones regain some sort of balance and the fog of depression starts to lift. fortunately for me I have some very amazing people in my life who support me without smothering me, cause that wouldn’t work! we are also very lucky to have a new baby that only wakes once during the night at the moment so both of us are getting a decent amount of sleep….not sure if this trend will continue but I have all fingers crossed that it does.

it has been a relatively heavy post this morning so I will end it on a smile…whoever said only boys are a challenge to change had never met a girl like ours….so far I have been shot by the urine arc of kenzi three times, she is mastering the art of waiting until the nappy comes off, pulling her legs back and shooting me with her wee. lucky for me I am getting used to being wet from most of her bodily fluids and some of my own – loving the leaky boob – so if you see me out and I smell a little like wee, poo or stale milk be sure and let me know – i promise to only be mildly embarrassed and not at all offended!