My Day with Anxiety

They say that drowning isn’t actually like you see it in the movies. There is no thrashing, no shouting, no waving hands. Just your head above water one minute and then it slips under, never to resurface… For me, that’s what anxiety is like. It’s silent. Calm on the surface. No major “red flags” for those around me to know everything is not okay. Drowning in plain sight.

BAM! The first wave crashes over me ferociously before I am even aware that I’m standing in the water. I’m on the ground, gasping for air. I get to my knees just as the next wave comes. BAM! Down I go again. Wet, confused and disoriented.

Of course, I’m not really in the water at all. I live in Canberra. There are no oceans here. No waves to knock me off my feet. Well, at least, none that you can see. But here I am. Gasping for air where moments earlier, I was going about my day. I’m actually walking through the local shopping centre on my lunch break as it happens. I don’t know what’s caused it. One minute I’m going through my Christmas shopping list and the next I’m telling myself to “act cool” as I walk through the crowds with a silly smile on my face in an attempt to “look normal”. Whatever that looks like.

The waves keep coming. It feels a little like an asthma attack. Struggling to breathe. Unable to fill my lungs up with air. Each breath harder than the last. Wave after wave after wave. And naturally, because I know this isn’t normal, I focus on it more. “Just breathe Amy” I tell myself as I walk into the book shop.

“You’re going to be okay”…

“It will pass soon”…

I buy some books for the kids and head back to the office.

“Breathe”…

I breathe in as deep as I can, but the air continues to evade me. I sit in meetings and answer emails paying very little attention to anything that doesn’t require my utmost attention. I have more important things to worry about. Like breathing. Who knew it was so difficult? I am focused on getting through this.

Before I know it, an hour has passed. It’s not getting better. I need to retreat, so I make my apologies and leave for the day. I need to be in my nest. My safe place.

Home.

“Distract yourself Amy”, I think to myself. I make lunch, I put on a DVD. I snuggle into myself. But those waves are still there. Every breath is hard. Laboured. Noticed. I can’t escape it. It’s wet and raining outside so I can’t (or maybe I just don’t want to) go for a walk. Plus, all of a sudden it’s four o’clock. It’s time to go get the kids. Time to put my game face on. The kids need your attention and all of it. No more time for thinking about how to breathe and why you’re having trouble with such a simple task.

Time to be a Mum again Amy. If you need to, you can lose your shit later, when the kids are in bed. But for now, get your game face on girl, because it’s go time and you’re needed…

The kids are a mess. They’ve been stuck inside all day and have too much pent-up energy. There are tears, tantrums and everything else imaginable. Two adorable mini tornadoes, ripping the house apart. But you keep your cool. You have to. You have to be strong for them.

“Breathe”…

Thai Red Curry for dinner, cooked by the husband, bless him. He really is a good egg. The girls of course, don’t want to eat any of it. “It’s DISGUSTING!” Bath time is next. Water everywhere, but squeals of delight and lots of laughter.

“It will pass soon”…

Bedtime comes and the girls are asleep. Peace and quiet again. But there I am, still on my knees in the water, floundering in the sand as the next wave approaches. Unable to get on my feet and walk away. Hair stuck to my face and body exhausted from the experience. Wave after wave after wave, just waiting for it to stop.

If you want to read more and find out where and how you can access help, start here, here or here.

You’ve got this Mama and so do I.

Unpopular Opinion: Why I Won’t be Buying my Kids Christmas Themed Outfits

Christmas is eight weeks away. Actually, it’s more like seven and a half. If you are a good Mum (I most certainly am not…) you will have already started your Christmas shopping. If you are an AMAZING Mum, you may have already finished it. Ugh, I feel dirty just writing that. To clarify, I’m usually the Mum who is still shopping for presents on Christmas Eve. I can’t be perfect 100% of the time okay? Give me a break.

Anyway, enough about me, back to the good Mums…

I know there’s a lot of you around, because I see you everyday on Instagram and Facebook, filling my feeds with questions about where I can buy the perfect Christmas outfit. And look, I get it. It’s super cute. Christmas is a day to get dressed up, take photos and document our cute little cherubs in all their glory before they turn into grumpy teenagers who do nothing but glare at you when you point a camera their way.

But…

It’s not for me…

Sorry.

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Love this dress so much I just realised I bought one close to identical for myself on the weekend. Not sorry.

I’m all for dressing the kids up in something special, but I can’t justify the cost of dressing them up in something that they’re going to wear once. Literally once. You can’t re-use Christmas outfits. Those snowflakes (why do our Christmas outfits even have snowflakes on them… It’s literally 35 degrees some years), trees, reindeer and Santas cannot be recycled for birthdays, Easter, even New Years one week later. From December 26, that outfit you just spent a chunk of money on is effectively useless.

Again. Sorry.

As you may have read, I am currently on a bit of a spending slowdown, so I guess maybe I’m a little oversensitive to this sort of thing this year. If you’re all for Christmas cheer and you’re reading this thinking I’m the biggest Grinch on the Internet, then that’s cool. Let’s agree to disagree. I’m still going to coo at the adorable pictures of your kiddies in their Christmas finest. I’m just not going to do it myself.

Like in years past, I will potentially get the girls a new dress to wear, but I may not. The dress Avery wore when she was two is perfect for Niamh this year, It’s white and sparkly and very festive. Just not Christmassy festive. And, while I think about it, the dress Avery wore last year is still sitting in her wardrobe and will probably fit her still if I choose that for her to wear on Christmas Day (haha, she’s four. She will choose what she wants to wear.) And yep, I know, I’ve just said that Avery might wear the same thing two Christmases in a row, so why couldn’t she do that with a Christmas themed outfit? She could, and then she would have worn that particular item twice, not once. Great, but in contrast, the outfit Avery wore last year has been used many times during the year for all sorts of special events. In my eyes, much better value for money.

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Cute AF and got to wear this outfit (sans hat) a crapload

So yep. While I’ll be trimming the tree, going all OCD with the wrapping paper and nagging Benji that we really do need Christmas lights on our house this year, I won’t be shopping for Christmas-themed outfits for the girls. May the mums of Instagram still see it in their hearts to double-click on my pics come December 25.

Why Wearing my Hair Curly is Brave

I’ve got curly hair. Not tight ringlets, not wavy and effortlessly cool. Just some middle ground kinda curl. Meh.

The kind of curls that for a large majority of my life I have avoided. At 8, Mum cut my hair short because she was sick of having to deal with the bird’s nest on my head. When I was 12, I would tie my hair in a ponytail at the nape of my neck and let it dry that way to try to get it as straight as I could. At 18, I would try furiously to blow dry it straight with very little success. Finally, when I was 21, a wonderful new invention revolutionised my hair routine – The Muster Hair Straightener. Yes, that’s right. There was once a time where GHD’s weren’t a thing and there was a big, clunky, heavy new kid on the block. I loved that bloody thing. For the first time in my life, I could have hair that was straight. I never looked back.

But now, 15 years later, I have two girls with the most beautiful curly hair and I want them to know that their hair is amazing just the way it is, so I’ve made a decision. At 36, it’s time to come to terms with my own hair. It’s time to own it. Embrace the curls.

So I’ve bravely been letting it air-dry over the last couple of weeks and wearing it curly.

“Ha. Good one Amy. Curly hair is really brave of you”

I know. It’s such a little thing. But for me? Not so much.

I’m brave because I’m not going to listen to the voices of all the people who think having an opinion on whether or not they like my hair curly or straight better is welcomed or valid (PS, it’s neither).

I’m brave because I’m dulling the memory of the controlling ex-boyfriend who told me he only liked straight hair on girls and so like a fool, I immediately went out and got my hair chemically straightened because I was so desperate to be loved.

I’m brave because curly hair is everything I’m not. Carefree, unpredictable and wild. walking out of the house in the morning not really knowing what my hair will look like for the day is a big deal for me. I’m trying to be okay with that. For a person who likes being in control of pretty much everything, it’s hard to let go.

I’m brave because changing the way I wear my hair everyday is changing my identity. I’m going through a bit of a style upheaval right now and the curls are a part of that. Who am I now? Changing my hairstyle has made me reflect on a lot more than what’s going on on top of my head.

It’s like I don’t even know who I am anymore…

But, really I do. I know I’m the most confident I’ve ever been in my skin. I am okay with heading to the shops in my trackies, sometimes even in uggboots, because Canberra is one cold sonofabitch and I have no interest in freezing in the name of fashion like I once did. I am happy going makeup free. Sometimes. And so slowly, I am becoming okay with my curly hair. It’s going to take me some time, because for as long as I can remember, I have tried to make it something it’s not. So please, be kind if you see me rocking my curls. I’m just a Mum trying to set a good example for her curly-haired girls.

On my Way to Financial Freedom – The Day I Decided to go Barefoot

I’m a spender, no question about it. I love having new things. Pretty things. That thing I saw in that magazine that looked like it’s going to change my life. Need it! You get the idea. I love stuff.

Thankfully, I also have pretty good will-power and a basic understanding of “don’t spend more than you make” so I’ve never gone into large amounts of debt or lived well beyond my means…

But…

I admit, being on two lots of maternity leave left my credit card looking a little dire and upon my return to work, my fortnightly pay was mostly paying the bills and mortgage first, and my credit card second. No money left for pretty new things. Wahhhhhhh! Doesn’t matter! I just paid $500 off my credit card, I’ll use that! And the cycle continued. You get the idea. I was constantly chasing my tail.

I knew something had to be done, but what?

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The magic cards of the Barefoot Club

Enter dear Husband, who sat me down one day and told be about this book that his mate had read. “A finance book? Yawn! No thanks!” was my first reaction. But I’m a good wife (ha!) so I sat and listened to what Benji had to say. Saying goodbye to debt, paying off our mortgage, setting up our girls with good nest-eggs, setting ourselves up with enough super to live comfortably until the day we bid this world adieu. It all sounded pretty good. All I had to do was read a book, and if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to go ahead with anything. Simple enough.

Enter The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. You’ve probably heard of him before. He’s on the TV, in the paper, he’s bloody everywhere. Turns out there’s a reason why.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of the book for you here, but what I will tell you is I’m hooked. I’m in. All in.

His book is simple, easy to understand and gives you a great plan for how you’re going to set yourself up. It makes you THINK about your money more and I’m pretty sure most of us could use a little reminder to do just that. Especially those of us with a nasty internet shopping addiction…

Since reading the book, I’ve cut up my credit cards, opened new, zero-fee bank accounts and have set up my buckets of money so they are now working for me. Now I just have to stick to the programme.

I’m going to be more mindful about what I purchase now. Do I really need that 6th pair of jeans just because they are a shade lighter than the ones I have already at home? No, I almost definitely do not. Do I need that face-cream that’s going to help reduce fine-lines and stop me from looking like a dragon in the morning? Yes, yes I do. For a spender, it’s tough – not unbearable, but Benji and I are making it work. We have savings goals in mind and I tells ya what, we are going to smash them. That I’m sure of. Because like I’ve said before, I’m a stubborn thing and once I get a goal in my head, I get it done.

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Who knew that you could read a finance book in bed and stay awake?!

And you know what? It feels really bloody good. Knowing that I’m taking control of my money and setting my family up for financial freedom is giving me all of the feels. More feels than having all the things in the world can give me.

So if you feel like you’re a little overwhelmed with your money, take a deep breath and go find a copy of The Barefoot Investor. You might read it and think nothing of it, but for some of you, it might just change your life. What have you got to lose?

*Please note this is NOT a sponsored post – I’m just super excited to share something I’ve learned with you all!

** If you do decide to go barefoot like me and open an ING Orange everyday account before February 28 2018, email me at hellojadedmonkey@gmail.com to receive a promo code to receive $100 (conditions apply).

The Six Stages of Preparing for a Kid’s Party

Here I stand, in a friend’s kitchen, close to 10pm. Four piping bags cluttering the bench, bowls and gel icing everywhere. I’m exhausted because 9:30 is usually my bedtime #doiknowhowtoliveorwhat but yet I persist. This bloody cake is going to be the death of me…

It’s birthday party season. You see, apparently September is the most popular month of the year to be born, mostly because people seem to get, ummmm, busy during the Christmas/New Year festivities. True story. So for all the Mums and Dads out there gearing themselves up for another onslaught of birthday parties, this one’s for you.

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So pink. Much glitter.

SHOCK

“Are you sure? It’s only a month until Avery’s birthday? Really? Seriously, didn’t we just have her third birthday party?”

This is a common conversation I started having with my friends and husband around August. There’s that lovely quote about how the days are long but the years are short… I’m pretty sure that was written by a parent that was in shock that they already had to start thinking about another birthday party. FML.

DENIAL

“She’s only turning four. Do we really have to have a party? Surely she won’t notice…” Usually heard coming out of Benji’s mouth.

“Nope, she’s my baby. She’s never growing up.” Usually heard coming out of my mouth as I scoop up my “baby” and smother her with kisses as she rolls her eyes at me and reminds me that, “I’m not a baby anymore Mum. Actually I’m turning four soon”. Ugh.

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This one is still a baby at least. For now…

ANGER

“This is bullshit! Why do we have to bow down to society’s expectations of what a birthday party should entail? We are setting our children up for a life of keeping up with the Jones’, one iced cupcake at a time. I’m taking a stand. No cake! No lolly bags! I’m going to be the change I want to see in the world of kid’s parties!”

This stage looks a lot like me stropping around the house only to sit in front of my computer to trawl through Pinterest for party inspo… Sigh.

BARGAINING

“Okay. So obviously we have to have a cake. And lolly bags. We’re not monsters. But how about we buy a sponge from Woolies and just ice it? And let’s look into a play centre so we don’t have to turn the house upside down making it party ready. How does that sound?”

This is when it all starts to come together. Plans are made. Negotiations are heard and conditions agreed upon.  Breathe Amy.

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Because I’m not a monster

DEPRESSION

“Ugggggggh, fuck. Why did I say I was going to make a unicorn cake. Whyyyyyyy? Benji, does this look like a penis? Seriously. I’m going to stick in on the top of our daughter’s cake. I can’t have it look like a cock.”

This is when I start to doubt everything. RSVP’s are due tomorrow and I haven’t had a single reply yet… What if the kids don’t want to come? What if Avery doesn’t like the cake? What if her dress doesn’t fit? What if it rains? Oh calm down Amy – you’re having the party indoors! But seriously, what if the unicorn looks like it’s got a cock on it’s head. It’s 10:30 the night before the party. Wahhhhhhh

ACCEPTANCE

And finally, about five minutes before the party starts, “Let’s just enjoy ourselves. I’m sure it’s all going to be fine.”

And of course it always is. Even when things don’t go quite to plan, the kids always have an amazing time. All the effort, sweat and tears is worth it just to see the smiles on their little faces.

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100% worth it

So if you’re about to enter the six stages of planning a kids party, just remember you’re not alone… and just in case you were wondering, I’m pleased to report my unicorn didn’t receive any cock-like comments #nailedit

The Jaded Monkey’s 5K Giveaway!

Well, here we are – 5000 followers on my Instagram page!

For some, it may not mean much, but to me it means a whole lot. 5000 people who want me to pop up in their feed (Instagram willing). 5000 people who are interested in what goes on in my life.

To all 5000 of you, I want to say thank you so I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite stores to present The Jaded Monkey’s 5K Giveaway!

Gro Company – Ollie the Owl Sleep-Aid RRP $79.95

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The perfect sleep companion! Playing 4 comforting sounds (Heartbeat, Rainfall, Static White Noise or Brahms Lullaby) and with a gentle warm glowing tummy, Ollie the Owl creates a lovely soothing environment for your baby to drift off to sleep in. The built in CrySensor cleverly listens in and reactivates to help keep them calm should they stir.

  • Suitable from Birth
  • 4 soothing sounds – Heartbeat, Rainfall, White Noise static and Brahms Lullaby
  • CrySensor technology listens in on White Noise and Brahms Lullaby sounds
  • Adjustable Volume – High, Mid, Low (Tailored to suit your baby)
  • Sounds play for 20 minutes
  • Replicates pre-birth sounds
  • 4 different levels of light
  • Light shines for 30 minutes
  • Secure Velcro Fastening – attaches to cot, moses basket, pushchair or car seat

Talk about a Godsend for new babies (and not so new babies. Niamh loves her Ollie!)

Babyink Keep Sake – Hand/Footprint Frame Set RRP $68.00

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Mess Free, Ink- less and safe to use from birth. BABYink® is the perfect way to capture those special hand and footprints!

Wipe. Press. No Mess™ Exclusive COLOUR ink-less printing technology creates prints in vivid pink, blue and soft grey. The combination of the wipe and special paper creates prints like magic! Draw or print on the paper! – It’s double sided!

This gorgeous classic white frame is the perfect way to show off your BABYink® prints.
The frame has a thick white bevelled mat with two cut outs of 5×7″ and glass front, perfect for a photo enlargement alongside your little one’s hand or footprints.

Simply take your prints, customise them with your child’s details (these can be run through your home printer or simply handwritten alongside the prints) and pop them into the frame behind the mat.

Fun and a beautiful keepsake. Win win!

Two Little Ducklings – High Contrast Flash Cards and Milestone Flip Book RRP $66.90

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Created for infants 0-6 months, the High Contrast Flash Cards consist of 15 black and white illustrated flash cards which are designed to aid cognitive development and strengthen eyesight. Each card is laminated and designed with rounded corners to protect them from wear and tear.

The Milestone Flip Book can be used throughout pregnancy, for your newborn baby and also for your growing child. The first two parts of the flip book have the pages 0-9 so that you can choose the number, the second part of the flip book also incorporates ST, ND, RD and TH so that you can use it for 1ST, 2ND, 3RD and 4th etc. The third part of the book has the following pages: day, days, week, weeks, month, months, year, years, today, birthday, day of childcare, day of kindergarten, day of school, Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day and lastly Father’s Day.

We have used this for basically every milestone you can think of. Love!

Tip You’re It! – Interior Design Book: Creative Children’s Spaces by Ashlyn Gibson RRP $59.00

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Our favourite Canberra children’s store – Tip You’re It! wants to help you with your kids spaces, since putting together a creative and inspiring environment for children is perhaps one of the most exciting interior projects, yet also one of the hardest to get right! Creative Children’s Spaces is here to change that.

Packed with fresh and imaginative ideas, Creative Children’s Spaces is the perfect companion for your journey into parenthood.

I must admit, I had a quick flick through this book. It’s a great read! You’re lucky I’m not keeping it…

Munchkin – Bottle and Steriliser Bag Set RRP $36.98

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I’ve previously written about my love for the Latch range which you can read about here, but here’s the highlights…

The Latch Bottle does what others claim to do and fail – mimics the breast in movement and function. The flexibility of the Latch nipple moves with your baby without disrupting his/her feeding, which for an easily distracted baby is amazing. The shape of the bottle is easy to hold and big enough to hold a full bottle without being so big that it becomes heavy and cumbersome. The anti-colic valve at the base of the bottle allows the milk to flow without bubbles travelling through, helping to reduce gassiness. There are a range of nipples available, ensuring that the Latch Bottle will grow with your baby from the newborn stage, up until they are ready to ditch the bottle and move to a transition cup.

The Latch Sterilize Bags are small, portable and re-usable for up to 30 uses. Big enough to hold two wide mouth bottles or the parts for a double breast pump and a Cool-Touch grip that ensures you won’t have to worry about burning your fingers!

You’ll take away a set of three bottles and a six pack of steriliser bags. Ah-may-zing.

Mama Body Tea – 2 x Boxed Teas RRP $35.90

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Happy and healthy is all Mama wishes for when bringing her baby into the world!

This is exactly why Mama Body Tea has created an organic and caffeine free herbal tea range to assist women and their babies the healthy and natural way. The Mama Body Tea range is specially formulated to provide support and comfort to women and their babies throughout pregnancy, breastfeeding and motherhood.

Their organic teas are grown and processed without pesticides or artificial fertilisers, ensuring you are nourishing your body and your baby without any nasty chemicals. This also means workers nor the environment are exposed to the harmful chemicals used in conventional tea production.

I personally love the Digestive tea, but lucky you – you get two teas of your choice!

Seriously Milestones – The Original Baby Milestone Cards RRP $29.95

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Newborns suck right?

We know you’re meant to be totally over the moon in love with them, but…. sometimes, they just suck.

To help share the load, Seriously Milestones have created the baby milestone cards you really need! Seriously Milestones are all about keeping it real, so they love celebrating your babes first poo in the bath, that time they kept you up every hour, and even when they found their genitals!

  • Each pack contains 19 cards to be used as a photo prop or keepsake.
  • The cards are an A6 size and 400gsm so are perfect for photos.
  • Seriously Milestones are made to be used in conjunction with standard milestone cards in that they do not contain similar cards.
  • $1 from each pack is donated to Postnatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).

Want to find out more about the creator of the most realistic milestone cards on the market? You can do that here.

Amberocks – Teething Necklace RRP $27

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This Raw Cognac and Lemon Baltic Amber teething necklace measures approximately 30-31cm’s in length.

Each bead is individually knotted so if the necklace was to break, only one bead would come free. The screw clasp is designed to break under stress.

Baltic amber works best by being heated by your skin allowing the release of its natural oils. For this reason it’s recommended to wear a necklace where possible to allow the most amount of oil to be absorbed by your skin.

Each amber bead is completely unique. That’s what makes it so special.

So, they look good and help with teething symptoms. Ummmm, yes please!

BasiK Organics – Bottom Balm RRP $24

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Their #1 selling Bottom Balm helps soothe and protect little bottoms. Regular use can even help prevent nappy rash.

Calendula has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, while cocoa butter contains natural antioxidants, is high in vitamin e, and is well known for it’s healing and moisturising properties. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and healing properties while castor oil is naturally astringent, helping to pull impurities from the skin. It fights infection by inhibiting growth of bacteria and fungi, and has anti-viral properties. Coconut oil helps to increase collagen production and facilitate the healing of wounds, while beeswax is highly effective at locking in moisture and promoting cell development. Tea tree has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, and chamomile is calming and works as an anti-inflammatory.

And have I mentioned how good it smells? Ahhhhhhh

Shop Zaha – Set of Three Bows RRP $22

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Check out this set of three sweet little pure merino wool felt bows on soft nylon headbands, that will stretch as they grow. Handmade by my insta-turned-real-life friend Beck, they are the perfect accessory for your little one.

Colours in set: Mulberry, Dusty Blue and Grey

We have a tonne of these are the girls LOVE them.

Nellie and the Cat – “You’ve got this Mama” Charity Mug RRP $18

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You’ve got this Mama! Exclusively designed for Nellie and the Cat by Tiny Mountain Studio, these charity mugs are very special. They are a reminder that you’re doing your best and you’re doing a great job. Buy it for yourself for those days you need that reminder or for someone special who might need reminding too.

$5 from each mug sold goes to Love Your Sister to help with their fundraising for cancer research.

As of 30 June 2017, over $2000 has been raised for Love Your Sister! Talk about giving you all the warm and fuzzies!

Modern Monty – Arctic Silicone Teether RRP $18

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The Arctic Teether is designed to be extra practical and soothing for your teething bub. Made with only 100% food grade silicone beads of the highest quality. Their beads are certified to be free from BPA, Lead, Cadmium, Phthalates, PVC and Latex and will not absorb odours or support the growth of mould, fungus or bacteria. AND, the most exciting feature of this teether is it’s ability to get wet!

Available in 12 Modern Scandinavian inspired colours – it’s your choice!

There you go, that’s it! Total prize value is $485.68. Holy moly, talk about a good one… To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, head over to my Instagram page for all the details.

Good luck!

Your Services are No Longer Required: That Time I was Fired from Breastfeeding

Last week marked the end of an era for me. One night, for the final time in my life, I unclipped that little hook on the top of my bra, and fed my youngest. One more chance to feed her to sleep. A final moment of hearing those little slurping noises. The last time I’ll watch as she dozes off in my arms, getting comfort from the milk my body has made, just for her.

I was one of the lucky ones. Able to feed both of my babies for 13 and 14 months respectively. I took it for granted the first time around. It was easy. The milk came in and for the first time in my life, I loved my breasts. I thought, yes! They finally have a purpose! Avery was a star. Perfect latch, power feeder. 13 months and only one bout of mastitis when I stopped feeding her that last pre-bed feed.

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My little milk monster

Knowing things could be completely different the second time around, I still secretly expected it was all going to go smoothly again, because how could it not? My body was a milk-making machine! Ha! Niamh had other ideas. A tongue-tie that we waited a month to snip just in case it self-corrected. Trauma from the bad latching led to nipple vasospasm (where blood vessels tighten and go into spasm, so that blood does not flow to the nipple). Searing pain for months not only during feeds, but pretty much all the time, resulting in pumping exclusively on my left side for a month straight. It seemed like I was losing the battle. I almost gave up. But if you know me, you know I’m a stubborn thing and so I persevered. Maybe a little longer than I should have. It almost broke me, but I kept going. And now here we are, 14 months strong. Time to hang up the maternity bra and pack away the reusable breast pads. I quit. Well, more like Niamh quit.

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I wish I knew these were a thing earlier…

In my head, I had this vision of the last time Niamh and I would share our special feeding time together. I would decide that this was the final feed. I would spend those precious moments watching her as her eyes got heavy and her breathing went from rushed and needing to get in milk as quick as possible, to calm and quiet as she drifted off to sleep. I would let her sit there for a moment longer than normal and reminisce about our feeding journey (ugh that word. Not a fan) in the dark with my precious babe sleeping in my arms, boob still in mouth.

Of course, that’s not how it went at all. A last minute flight to Adelaide at 7pm saw Niamh refuse her feed on the plane. “It must be all the noise, lights and distractions,” I thought to myself. She’ll be right tomorrow night. And so I tried again the following night. Still, not interested. Arched back. Tears. No dice. And then once more the following day. Complete and utter rejection.

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One of our final feeds. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Devastated.

So here we are today, a week on. Our journey (again…) has come to an end. To my breasts, I say thank you. You gave my girls an amazing start to life, providing them with the nourishment and comfort they needed during those first precious moments and beyond. Sometimes it amazes me what our bodies are capable of.

Now… Where did I put those small, lacy bras with the underwire?[

(Just kidding. T-shirt or sports bras fo’ life!)

Amy x

 

Feature image courtesy of Kayleigh McGlynn Photography