Each time I sit down at my kitchen table with a black pen and a blank page indicating the start of a new month within my bullet journal, I often tend to think about the highlights and lowlights of the soon-to-be passing month. Alongside the wishful goals of the upcoming month. Which often leaves me dumbfounded because it has been four or five weeks since the last time I sat down in the same place to etch out the next month’s calendar, spending expense tracker as well as my ‘once sentence a day’ highlight to name a few.
With how fast time is zipping by and I feel as if I am becoming more and more dazed as the months fly by (before we know it, it’ll be Christmas!), I find myself questioning time and reality. I ask non-stop if time is playing a trick on us because it feels like we’re moving at the speed of light or if someone has repeatedly tried bribing NASA into finding a way on how we can rotate Earth at a much faster speed. Nevertheless, as I slowly come to terms with April disappearing around the corner and May approaching within the next few days, April was a rather splendid month to be alive.
April was based on enjoying and being part of multiple moments of happiness, understanding what Lois meant when stating, “when you have children and are on a date, all you will talk about is work, future plans and the children.” To which I’d originally laughed at and said it wouldn’t happen to me. Needless to say, it came true when Mr. Darcy and I had our first date weekend since the birth of Baby O’Chunky. I also found myself hysterically crying as Kaffy and Baby O’Chunky reversed out of the driveway for an weekend getaway filled with adventure at Nelly and Poppy’s.
The time spent together as Mr. Darcy & Eliza allowed us to simply talk openly and candidly about our feelings regarding parenthood, our mutual relationship values and beliefs. Before wrapping the weekend up with a few episodes of CSI, a delicious dinner spent out on the town and ticking off a few important to-do’s relating to our upcoming wedding in Spring. Apart from this, here’s what else has made me laugh and put a smile on my face…
This past month was primarily spent either talking or seeing my family in all concepts. Facebook’s messenger and its abilities to Facetime got a serious working out due to me constantly video-chatting Lois on a daily basis. There would be times that I merely wanted to talk about life in general and see how things were going with her and Red as well as the extended fur babies: Ziva and Nova. I would be told about the endless midnight sprints around the house while meowing her head off before coming to a complete and random stop, before Min Min (Ziva) would begin her sprint once again. Or, Ziva would allocate a specific bedtime for Mum and Dad, only to which, she would begin her war cry until Lois and Red complied with her demands.
As for Nova, I spent this past few weeks being informed of Nova’s new fixations and they are: Red’s work gloves, which she will enter the garage under the pretext of ‘having a look’ before stealing away with a glove. So far to date, Red has lost a few pairs of leather work gloves. But don’t worry, he can always replace the ones he has recently left through his work commitments and job.
On a side note, as I know Lois reads my posts religiously, please remind Dad to NOT bring home any hard hats as he’s gaining a collection on the garage or “man shed” wall. Secondly, Nova has become fixated on climbing under Lois and Red’s camper van, as they like to potter around the countryside on gorgeous little dates with one another, and eat the electrical wiring.
Outside of Nova and Min Min, April also bore witness to the O’Chunky family coming together to celebrate some terrific news and two special occasions. The one of the many things about the O’Chunky family is with get togethers, we often tend to have several conversations going at the same time and interject our thoughts into these conversations before returning to our own. All of which, occurs in one room of the house as we often tend to congregate in the lounge room, since we can spend hours sitting on the couch having a decent conversation without getting a sore butt/back or around the kitchen table. So in other words, think the one of the many scenes from My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the Greek women come together and you’ve got the image of my family.
Except, we aren’t Greek. Unfortunately. However, I am open to being adopted by a Greek YiaYia for some cooking lessons, cultural experiences and be head over heels deep in special occasions. Speaking of which, for the first time in nearly six years, The Twins (Kaffy and Frodo) were able to celebrate their birthday together as well as celebrating Easter long weekend for both coincided with one another.
Having been asked several times by Ms. C, from the beginning of February as to what we were doing for Easter and there being rumours of crashing at The Fairy Godmother’s house while she was away exploring relationships and exploring what the world had to offer via a train window; Lois, myself and the rest of the family had clued in on the fact of Frodo and Ms. C planned on ‘surprising’ us for Easter. Least to say, it failed miserably when ringing Ms. C on Easter Friday and asking what time they’d be at the airport so I could pick them up.
After twenty-four hours, the tension between us soon began to slowly fade over time and the rest of the family began to anxiously count down the remaining days until we could yell, “Happy Birthday!” Not to mention, officially start talking to them as we have a rule in the family where we cease talking to the person/s on their birthday until their birth time.
As someone who loves taking photographs and videos of these moments, I decided to skip taking endless amounts of photos over the long weekend and simply immerse myself in the moment. Something of which, has become more transparent and predominant in my life as I continue growing older, my tastes and preferences within life change with each season and also, having now established my life routine. All the while, juggling the various balls I have within my hands at all times and come to terms with finding the correct balance as I go about life as a full-time Registered Nurse, daughter and sister, lifestyle blogger and creator of content as well as being a first-time Mum.
This past month has also really highlighted my ever-changing relationships with my support team. There has been plenty of moments where I have sat back in amazement or in a dazed state of mind for I am completely taken back. Whether it be in gratitude and appreciate as Kaffy says something wondrous, knowledge based and wise in wisdom as she bends down to pick up a murmuring Baby O’Chunky before handing him over in a content frame of mind. It has been within the past eight weeks of needing comfort, solitude and further advancing the bond Kaffy and I share as sisters but also as support persons, elders of our newly established family and women; that I have lovingly turned to her.
As a result, we alongside Frank-Kay Hey Ho, Kaffy’s alter ego, have discussed endless matters, concerns, thoughts and feelings regarding being a first time mum, partner and as a woman in general. Guess that’s what parenthood and motherhood is all about. There has also been moments filled with pure love and contentment at seeing Mr. Darcy lovingly watch me breastfeed our child and son before gently taking Baby O out of my arms to burp him, while murmuring soft words and talking to me about his day, goals for the future and how he “needs to clean the pool” amongst a growing list of to-do’s.
Not to mention, the evening ritual of where he will reach down into the bassinet against the side of my bed and give Baby O a kiss on the cheek while whispering, “Goodnight young man, I love you.” Talk about bloody heart and soul crushing and yet, uplifting and wonderful to be able to witness this moment between Father and Son. If I didn’t want to wait a few years until the next baby, I’d would’ve gleefully created another baby that evening and every evening afterwards because I find there is something so erotic and sexual about a man displaying gratification and wholehearted love towards his child and towards me.
Many opportunities have arisen regarding my relationship with Lois and Red. Not only has it been rather lovely developing our relationships with one another and getting to know both of them on a different playing field. I have enjoyed the times spent hunched over a sewing machine, sewing bits and bobs for the nursery and birthday presents for Luscious and Pablo whilst providing advice and stories for Lois as she works her magic on my bridal bouquet (Gosh, it is bloody beautiful Dearest Reader!).
But, I also have enjoyed the times spent with Red, wandering around the garden as he points out the newest plants gracing the earth, how his vegetables are growing and hearing his point of view regarding parenting styles, his code of ethics and any advice he may have when it comes to raising men.
Speaking of raising and defining how I wish to raise my son, with the help of some influential men within my life (both within my inner circle and extending a hand to others), April has been a rather joyous month regarding motherhood and enjoying the ability of being able to breastfeed.
Four weeks ago, Baby O’Chunky had been sleeping on a infant sized blanket on Mr. Darcy and I’s bed with a plaque indicating how old he was. It was amazing and bewildering how quickly time had simply flown by as it felt like only yesterday, Baby O had been birthed into this big, wide world and in return, Mr. Darcy and I had hit the ground running at the sound of light. Those four weeks for Baby O had been spent staring at the back of his eyelids, growing into his nappy as it was far to big for his tiny, wee body or being firmly attached at my breast, suckling.
Guaranteed I experienced many hiccups when it came to breastfeeding during those weeks. While in hospital, I initially struggled with the concept of ‘latching a baby’ and often spent a majority of my time with the Lactation Midwives or the midwife looking after me. As you’d expect, the women who had a wide array of knowledge relating to newborns, were able to establish the perfect latch and Baby O was able to suckle for a few minutes before de-latching due to his jaundice.
It would take until I was discharged from hospital and within my own comfort of home that I was able to establish a proper latch and felt the wondrous affect of being able to breastfeed for the first time, without any assistance. Or crying spells. Fast forward to where we are currently today and I cannot speak highly of breastfeeding; however, the only thing I must complain about Dearest Reader is the nipple pain!
As for breastfeeding mama’s and women who have breastfed/tried breastfeeding, y’all can understand where I am coming from. For men, it’s like being kicked in the balls repeatedly with a baseball bat and than having someone take a blow torch to them. In other words during one feeding time and when I moved the wrong way and pulled the stitches from my caesarean, I screamed “Oh you sonnva gun!”
When secretly all I wanted to do was scream, “Oh you sonnva bitch!”
Oh my gosh, I would’ve done anything for the pain to simply be gone the next time I breastfed and I did often find myself, having to bite back the tears as Baby O suckled happily. Least to say, after a weekend of constant pumping as Mr. Darcy and I enjoyed date weeked while Baby O stayed with Nelly and Poppy, I discovered the next time I latched (after initially being afraid of nipple confusion, we didn’t experience this thankfully!) Baby O….. there was no more pain.
Definitely recommend popping the bottle of wine and discarding the nipple cream. For now at least.
Recently, life has been filled with countless moments spent smelling the milkiness of my son’s skin, blowing raspberries into his soft, pillowy cheeks and staring at him while sleeping. Simply for the fact, I am still amazed, shocked and incredibly blessed beyond all levels of comprehension and it’s these feelings that have brought a realisation. By entering this scary, slightly daunting and completely foreign territory known as ‘motherhood’ and being identified as a first time Mother, this next step in life has brought a different frame of mind, perception of strength and more importantly, the never-ending lessons dedicated on how to re-love one’s self.
The baby steps to developing a different mind frame begin in my pregnancy and in particularly, during the time I thought I’d have a natural birth with pain relief and in case of an emergency, a caesarean. Leading up to birth, I spent months researching extensively and broadening my knowledge on epidurals, risks associated with natural births and caesareans, watching birthing videos, asking a ton of questions and educating myself on the means of how to raise a baby/child. However, Fate decided to deal a solid 21 in our unknown game of Blackjack and my thoughts regarding labour and birth changed.
Spending nearly 24 hours in a induced labour due to my waters breaking prematurely at 34 weeks and with that, experiencing a daily loss of amniotic fluid; I was informed by my phenomenal midwife that I hadn’t progressed beyond three centimetres. It was in this moment of staring into her eyes and seeing the truth behind the mask, my perception regarding my entry into motherhood and becoming an elite squad member with optimal powers was briefly negative. Merely for the fact, I internally began to blame my body, the small opening to my severely unripened cervix and my waters breaking at 34 weeks and all of the complications resulting from this event.
Only after having welcomed our son into a scary and exhilarating world nine weeks ago, I’ve spent the past four weeks reliving and thinking about the journey Mr. Darcy and I had undertaken in the hopes of being able to conceive and ultimately have a child. Although continuously presenting with a smile on my face and happy exterior, it was a different matter and concern behind closed doors as I dealt with yet another ovulation test came back negative for the seventh, fourteenth and twenty-first time in row. With each negative confirmation that I wasn’t ovulating or having a low percentage of hormones, I was becoming more and more concerned about not only my fertility but also the signs I was showing of being clinically depressed.
As my hopes and dreams of trying to fall pregnant were becoming slimmer as each day went on, it brought to light the ever constant worry of having been told as a teenager that there would be a large possibility of me never being able to have children and IVF wouldn’t be an option at all. However, it would be during one of my routine three o’clock breastfeed’s that I found myself staring down at the angelic face of my child and realised how mentally, physically and emotionally strong I had become.
Instead of opting to put all of the blame onto medicine for failing me in all aspects and my body for not being able to produce decent contractions for dilation or curling up in my hospital bed with the intention of dying or withdrawing, while leaving Mr. Darcy confused as heck as he had no prior knowledge to looking after a newborn; I swung my legs over the edge of the bed. As I gathered my breath because it sure bloody hurt to do so before peeling myself away from the solid comfort, I took the first few shuffled steps into womanhood and motherhood and I haven’t looked back since.
During my labour, my midwives had shown me that I was capable of doing anything I put my mind too and as a result, I have accepted the fact that my body tried doing everything. Everything that was possible to go into labour because it dilated to three centimetres and I had access to medicines because I live in an economically developed country. Because of this knowledge and realisation, I often find myself praying at random intervals throughout the day.
In this moments, I hope and pray the third world women who are in labour or are going to give birth will have a safe labour and birth because they do not always have the ability to access hospital and medical care like I would. This has made me appreciative of the utmost wondrous and loving care I received throughout my labour and birth from my midwives and I cannot stop speaking of them highly. Because of their attention to midwifery and the concept of “being with woman”, I’ve been more comfortable and open to the approach of not only having a caesarean but also, breastfeeding my son.
With breastfeeding, I’ve come to terms with my nipples are now facing southwards because my breasts are no longer firm and perky. Nor do they have the appearance of a 22 year old wearing a push up bra. Because I am able to breastfeed my son, I have had moments of complete and utter smugness about being able to whip up my shirt or unbutton a few buttons and latch Baby O onto my breast, while openly staring at anyone who makes a face, states a comment or just so happens to be staring a few seconds too long.
The self-confidence I now seem to be oozing from my pores like some kind of love wonder drug makes me feel invincible, womanly and damn, does it make me feel sexy. That’s until I wake up with Pamela Anderson’s breasts from Baywatch and it’s a whole different ball game. By breastfeeding, being in-tuned with my body and possessing this confidence, I’ve noticed my jeans are a little bit snugger because my hips have widened slightly due to having a baby.
As a result, when I put my “skinny bitch jeans” (as I’ve dubbed them)five weeks postpartum, I was overcome by so much emotion as it had been over five months since I wore them last. On the other hand, I was ecstatic because I was able to do the zip up without grunting, lying down on the bed and taking a coat hanger to my jean zip or photoshopping myself in the hopes of erasing any ungodly sights. It would be in this moments of wearing my skinny jeans, I felt like a cool, sexy mum with an amazing rack because I hadn’t breastfed or pumped my excess milk off alongside a phenomenal smile, great laugh and a more positive outlook on life.
One thing that seemed to cap off my positive frame of mind and acceptance of what had happened regarding my labour and birth was the fact, I found other first time Mum’s in my neck of the woods. Who like me, at the time, had no idea what the hell they were doing in any sense of the matter, how they weren’t mentally or emotionally scarred from their labour and birthing stories. Before openly admitting that we were scared of having not found other first time Mum’s in their situation and feeling as if they were completely alone.
Although our official Mums and Bubs group has come to an end, we’ve all agreed to carrying on the journey and support team by meeting up for regular play dates and coffee chats. Knowing I’ve got this support group of various aged women from all different backgrounds and ethnicities (which I am beyond loving!)alongside my fortnightly visit from my child health community nurse, I’ve never once worried about or experienced having postpartum depression (PPD) and anxiety like I did when I was pregnant.
Instead, I’m choosing to solely focus on each day as if they were a diary entry and when signing off each page within my diary, I reflect upon the positives and think about the ways on how I can prolong and continue to nurture this feeling of happiness and positivity. As for the negatives, I’m teaching myself to not solely focus on them too harsh and continuously think about them for too long because at the end of the day, life is relatively short and I’ve got so many things to accomplish and I simply don’t have the time for it and those who wish to inflict it.
Hoping your April was relatively carefree and your Easter a safe one with loved ones.
Lots of love,