The Start of a New Era…

9 years. That’s 468 weeks, 3287 days and 78 888 hours that have passed and in that time we have had a child sleeping in our cot. Friday night was the last time that our 14-year-old cot (originally it was my nephews) was to be slept in at our home.

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It’s been a long time coming and was something that I planned on doing last year, but something always got in the way – it was probably mostly me not letting go of my baby making days. I’ve loved every minute of having my 3 babies. From pregnancy to birthing to brest feeding and beyond, I would do it all over again in a heart beat! When I said goodnight to Mia for the last time in her cot, my heart broke a little. I love my life that we lead now and where we are at, but a part of me will always want just one more….

When I was younger and watching my sister and people older than I having babies, I couldn’t wait for that part of my life to start!! I still remember the day Kane and I decided to start a family – absolute joy and excitement! I wasn’t scared or apprehensive at all. I just wanted to be a mum. Now 9 years, a miscarriage and 3 beautiful babies later, the door to having babies is officially closed (and padlocked as my husband would say lol) now that our cot has been dismantled and given away for good!

Our baby days have been full of sloppy kisses, gorgeous giggles and an endless amount of milestones. We’ve had many ups and downs with the kid’s health, but it teaches you so many things in life and for me becoming a mum has made me a better person. It’s taught me how to love unconditionally, it’s improved my patience (most of the time), it’s built me a stronger character to handle things that I wouldn’t in the past! It’s put pressure on our marriage at times, but together we always work past this and end up stronger!

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I’ve been spending some time while on holidays, looking through photos from when the kids were all little and babies. My gosh they’ve grown. They’ve developed not only physically and mentally, but they have become independent and have opinions (that aren’t always needed to be heard lol), they are really starting to enter the next phase in life!

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Yesterday morning was ‘D’ day!! Kane picked up the girls bunks that I ordered through the week after work on Friday, so there was no turning back. Plus the timing couldn’t be more prefect. Bailey needs his own space desperately and the girls are so happy to be sharing. And Mia, she has no remorse about saying goodbye to her cot lol! She has spent the last 4 weeks while we were away sleeping in a bed so she is so happy to be finally sleeping in her big girl bed!

I’m really happy so far with how their rooms are looking. I still have along way to go to having them finished and exactly right, but we’ll get there. This year is about decluttering my life of things that don’t serve a purpose to me or us anymore. But there are some things I’ll never be able to let go of – that’s what special boxes are for:)

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I’m not going to let myself be sad that my baby days are over. Instead I’m going to embrace the phase of our life that we are at and always look back at my baby days as some of the best days of my life. I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to experience pregnancy, natural birthing and brest feeding 3 times in my life time and will always be grateful for that.

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Now to really put my big girl pants on tomorrow and be ready to send my baby girl to pre school for the very first time…..;(

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3 Babies……3 Different Births!

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As I watched the season finale of the Kardashians (I know sad but true – I love them lol) with Kourtney giving birth to her baby, it brought back the most beautiful memories – that still feel so raw – about the day I gave birth to each of my babies!

Giving birth is such a huge ordeal in so many ways! It is the most rewarding and powerful thing women can do and can also be the most dangerous and scariest thing too! It takes your body to a place that is indescribable and unimaginable (for the first time anyway) yet the second your baby is born and placed on your chest the world around you instantly feels the same, except you suddenly fall in love at first sight!!

I remember the first time I gave birth like it was yesterday…..

It was the end of summer and the preseason NRL matches started. I was 38 weeks pregnant and my husband thought it would be a good idea to go to a football game down the coast and have a few beers for the night! “Of course you’ll be right babe, the baby is due in March, it’s still February!!!!!!” mmmm well this baby had other ideas! At 5pm that afternoon I had passed a small gush of clear fluid and by 7pm I’d passed another gush, a bigger one which I then alerted my family to. My sister who is a midwife came and assessed the situation. By 9pm I had a ‘show’ and started to feel a few cramps. You can imagine the phone call to my ‘happy from beers’ husband who raced home so we could go to the hospital!

When I got to the hospital I remember thinking please be at least 5cm dilated….no such luck I was only 2cm, but fully effaced! By 11pm I was in labour nasty feeling contractions and all! I was last checked at midnight by my midwife who told me she would leave me now as their policy was to check every 4 hours unless something significant was happening. They seriously were the longest 4 hours in my life! I have always been very anti epidural and was hoping to go as long as I could with no pain relief at all! As each hour passed after midnight the contractions worsened, became closer together and I was becoming more tired by the second! I went from the shower, to the birthing ball, to the floor and nothing seemed comfortable!

I begged to be checked at 3am and at 3.45am my midwife came and said I was only 5cm dilated! I was shattered:( I was in so much pain and discomfort I thought for sure I was ready to push lol….clearly I was an amateur lol! I was offered to have my waters broken, but was told my labour would go to a whole new level and that it did! By this stage I had reached my maximum of labouring with no pain relief! I tried the gas and hated it, I begged for an epidural but was suggested I have a shot of pethadine. Once I had pethadine I’d forgotten all about wanting an epidural and before I knew it my midwife was telling me that I was 10cm and ready to go!

I went from 5cm dilated to 10cm in 45mins and that urge to push came on me like a tone of bricks! I had hoped to be upright during delivery but not sleeping for 24 hours and labouring on my legs for the past 7 hours I couldn’t get off my side! With each contraction I was told to push and bare down. I felt like I was pushing so hard that the veins in my neck were going to burst! I still remember my lovely husband removing my hand from pulling on his Bulldogs jersey….should of ripped the bloody thing lol! Finally 1 hour and 15 minutes of pushing later my beautiful baby boy was placed on my chest!
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9p 5oz, 52cm long, 5.56am, 26/02/06!

He was huge and loud!!! He had long fingers and flippers for feet…that boy is Bailey Kane Trew and would be the one and only boy that I would give birth to! From the moment we became mother and son, we have lived, cried, laughed kissed and cuddled together and have a bond that no one can break! My first born, my first for everything, has given me a life of experiences and challenges that I never thought was possible, but I love him to death!
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My gorgeous baby boy:)

The second time I gave birth…..

After having a boy first, I’m not going to lie I really wanted a little girl! We didn’t find out what we were having so by 36 weeks the suspense was starting to kill me! My babies head was engaged from 36 weeks so I thought for sure I would have another early labour…not so! The last 4 weeks were so tough! I literally felt like the babies head was between my legs and every now and again they would push down hard to the point I thought the baby was going to fall out lol! Having your second baby is just as exciting as your first as you are giving your first born a sibling, but you go through the emotions of leaving your first child to have another and them not being the only priority in your life!

I still remember the morning I went into labour…3 days overdue and just in time to make the cut for the school year intake:) Saying goodbye to my little man, my first born was gut wrenching. The next time I would see him he wouldn’t be my only child! Thank goodness this labour was so different to my first, so the time between saying goodbye to Bailey and seeing him again was like the blink of an eye!

I started getting my first pain at 5am by 6.30am the pains were getting closer together and I headed into the hospital! I was still so in control and the pain was very bearable! I was stoked when my midwife checked me I was 5cm dilated!!! I felt like I was in hell when I was 5cm dilated with my first baby…clearly my body knew what it was doing this time! Things really started to change its pace at 10am. The pain was intense, fast, one on top of the other and were starting to take my breath away! I found a comfy position in the shower with the hot water on my back as great relief from the pain!

I kept talking to myself each step of the way. I kept saying waters break, waters break! I really wanted my waters to break naturally this time! Thankfully they did (all over Kane’s shoe lol) and literally seconds later I wanted to push! At that stage I was ready for my pethadine, but OMG the window of any pain relief was closed…this birth was going to be all natural!!!! As I was pushing nothing was happening. On inspection my midwife realised the lip of my cervix was stuck on the babies head…having this removed was the worst, most excruciating thing I’ve ever felt! That paved way for my baby to be born 20 minutes from when my waters broke….lucky they didn’t break at a shopping centre!!! I’ll never ever in my life forget the moment my second baby was born. As I gave one final push and her whole body slide out I was able to help catch her and pull her straight up to reveal to everyone that we had a little girl…I was the proudest and happiest mother in that moment!
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10p 2oz, 52cm long, 11.55am, 30/06/08!

I thought Bailey was big, but my little girl was massive…no wonder she hurt! Sienna Lynette Trew came out, not crying, with her eyes open, ready to take on the world! Unbeknown to us Sie Sie would become our middle child and boy does she suffer from middle child syndrome! But aside from that she has been my shining light on so many occasions when I needed my dark days to be brightened up! And my goodness are we going to have some disagreements when she is a teenager, but I love this girl more than life itself!
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I finally was given a princess:)

I’ve always wanted a big family and three children has always been a dream of mine. But once we had a boy and girl and add to the fact that my health was becoming an issue, we had pretty much decided to leave our family at 4….but fate works in mysterious ways!

My third and final time I gave birth….

Still to this day I’m puzzled as to how this baby was brought to us (I know that sounds stupid) but fate would have it that we were meant to complete our family with a third baby and thank goodness our little miracle baby was brought to us!!! If we didn’t conceive Mia we would have never found out about my heart condition and who knows how long I would have lived for! Because of this, Mia’s birth was very bittersweet! On one hand we were so excited to finally be meeting our little girl (she was our only baby who we found out the sex for) but on the other hand we were entering an unknown world with my heart condition! So instead of going into labour naturally and giving birth how I knew best, I had to be induced and monitored very closely!

The day of Mia’s birth was long and tough. I was hoping when my induction started and my waters were broken my body, who’d been there and done that before, would remember and go into overdrive and things would happen quickly….no such luck! I spent a lot of time sitting around and waiting for things to happen that day. I can’t believe I was getting excited every time I felt pain. I kept telling myself every bit of pain got me closer to meeting my baby. I had so many different doctors coming in and going over the same questions as the doctor before – my heart condition is quite rare in pregnant women so no one really knew what may have happened, but they sure were prepared for anything!

For the first part of my labour my heart rate and blood pressure were good. My midwife was under strict instructions to let my doctor know if my heart rate and blood pressure went past 100. Once my labour started to progress I went and stood in the shower as the hot water was acting as pain relief, but my heart rate went up past 100 so after that I was confined to the bed….grrrrr!

By 3.30 that afternoon, I was finally in established labour. One excruciating pain on top of the other! I didn’t bother with the gas and when I started to feel a bit out of control I opted for some pethidine. It didn’t seem to relax me like it did when having Bailey, I think the worry of my heart was preventing me from staying calm by this stage. Towards the end when I was about 8cm dilated I was at my limit. I was loosing all control. Control of my breathing. Control of my positive thoughts!

But then I had a change of midwife who was like the horse whisperer of midwives and the way she came in and handled the situation was like something from a movie! It was her words of encouragement, her tone of voice and the cues she was giving me, which enabled me to give birth without having to do very little pushing. After going through the most terrifying day of my life and without any intervention or epidural, my miracle baby literally slipped out and I am still here to tell the story!
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8p 13oz, 51cm long, 7.36pm, 17/02/11!

From the second Mia Natalie Trew and I touched skin our bond has been like no other! She has been my hardest baby by far, but as she grows her personality is funny and delightful! I still look at her and thank god everyday she was given to us…she is my gift of life and will always be my baby girl!
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My little miracle!

I consider myself very lucky to have had experienced three pretty good labours and each time at the Mater Hospital, with the most caring, professional and dedicated staff! I was also blessed with a loving support team in my husband, mother and sister! Giving birth is such a wonderful time in a women’s life and no matter how you give birth, where you give birth or how many times you give birth, each baby and birth is unique and should always be recognised and celebrated for what it is….a true miracle!

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The reason I get out of bed each day!

18 Months Ago…….

Exactly 18 months ago a beautiful little chubby baby girl was placed in my arms. She was our miracle, a true angel who literally saved my life! We’ve had many ups and downs with our Mia bear, from silent reflux, a turned eye, glue ear, chronic middle ear infections to croup! But despite all of this, she is growing into a funny, affectionate, playful little lady who we absolutely adore the ground she walks on!

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It blows me away how fast time has gone and that my youngest born is already 18 months old! This age can be so trying at times and for our spirited child as we call her, a lot of the time lol, but it’s also a beautiful age. They are still so pure and innocent with really not a care in the world! They laugh at themselves and don’t care what they look like or wear. All they want is your undivided attention and affection and they are as happy as a pig in mud!

Mia has never been a fan of the camera, which is sad really because she is the most adorable thing and has a smile that makes your heart melt! But the photos I do capture of her, really depict the little lady she is becoming!

The Funny Mia:
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The Adventurous Mia:
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The Serious Mia:
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The Cheeky Mia:
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The Affectionate Mia:
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The Cranky Mia:
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The Peaceful Mia:
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The Mischievous Mia:
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The Drifter Mia:
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The Adorable Mia:
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These photos really depict a day in the life of our little Miss Mia (aka Mimi). She displays each and every one of these emotions on a daily basis, which makes the day very interesting for us! She really has left her baby days behind her and is in full steam toddler mode. Her talking is so cute and new words are added to her collection of vocab everyday….my favourite “ove you!” She is just one of the kids now and what they do she must do or at least have a go! She really lights up our lives and just like 18 months ago, at the end of the day she still needs to borrow her head on my chest to feel happy, warm, loved and comforted!

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Mia Natalie Trew….18 months today!

Our Sleeping Baby Is Looking Down on Us!

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Miscarriage. It’s a word that you hear so often these days. The statistics are quite high really with 1 in 8 women miscarrying and as small as 1 in four as a lot of miscarriages happen in the first two weeks of conception so aren’t actually recorded down, as women wouldn’t always realise they were pregnant. It makes you wonder why? What are we doing to our bodies? Is there something in our food? Is it contraception methods we used before wanting to fall pregnant? Lifestyle? My reason for writing this blog is to give women hope. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Up until then I had hardly heard of anyone having a miscarriage. But once I started to tell people, suddenly so many women started sharing their stories with me and I went from feeling so alone to feeling like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Once I knew there were others around me who had experienced the same emotions of this particular loss, it actually helped with my healing process.

This is my story………
It’s been over 7 years now since I miscarried. We’d been married for almost 6 months. I couldn’t wait to start trying for a family of our own. If I had it my way I would have started on our wedding night, but we decided to wait for a few months and enjoy just being a married couple. A few months later, it was the start of a new year and we were on holidays so we figured there was no time like the present. I was hoping to be like the line of women in my family, who were instant breeding machines, but no such luck! Three months later though we were thrilled when the ‘YOU ARE PREGNANT’ line showed up on the stick! You cold not wipe the smile off both our faces, we were over the moon and couldn’t help but share our excitement with our family and close friends. Then the smile was wiped off my face when I was struck down with terrible morning sickness from the start! But I still smiled because I was going to be a mum!!!

Even though at this stage your baby is the size of a grain of rice, it is still a life and a life that you somehow bond with straightaway. From the minute you are given the confirmation of your pregnancy, you instantly start to plan in your head and you can’t help but love this life that you and your partner have created! I was just over 6 weeks when I started spotting. I remember it so clearly as I was at work and it was my birthday!!! I kept telling myself that everything was going to be ok. I went to my GP who ordered a scan and told me to go home and rest. I felt so helpless and completely useless for not being able to have any control over what was happening. I had a scan which showed nothing more than the fact that there was an embryo in my uterus with a heartbeat. This left me feeling very hopeful that everything would be ok. My GP was quite hopeful too and wanted me to have a week of bed rest and feet up, but he also told me that if anything was to happen at this stage of a pregnancy there is nothing they can do.

During the week I spent in bed I kept spotting on and off but nothing too serious. I kept telling my little baby rice grain to hang in there. It wasn’t until the sixth day in bed I work up feeling really positive that everything was going to be ok….this was obviously the calm before the storm. Mum had come over to check up on me and I felt like I was feeling better. I was sitting out the back on our garden bed in the sun and then things begun. I started getting period like cramps and I knew something wasn’t right. Within about half an hour or so from that first cramp, I passed a large blood clot and that signaled to me that my little baby rice grain couldn’t hold on anymore – I was 7 and a half weeks pregnant:( I went to the emergency department at the Mater Hospital who took great care of me. My blood test results confirmed that I had miscarried and I was booked in for a D and C (curette) the next morning! The whole thing happened so quickly and all I remember is I was left feeling guttered! It’s the worst feeling when something you want so desperately is given to you and then taken away from you without anyone having any control over it!

Arriving home from hospital was hard as it meant life had to begin again. It was the beginning of the healing process and the beginning of picking yourself up and moving on. I was so lucky as Kane was extremely sensitive and supportive of what I was going through and my family and friends were a huge help with all of their beautiful words of prayers and best wishes. Facing people for the first time was hard. Going back to work was the hardest. And of course everywhere I looked someone was pregnant or announcing they were pregnant. I was so happy for them but so sad for us! I felt so alone and even though my husband was experiencing a loss to, we physically go through something they’ll never know. But one thing that helped with my healing process, was talking to other women who had experienced a miscarriage as well. My beautiful mother was my rock as she had had a miscarriage at 16 weeks which was far more devastating then what I was going through. Mum had to give birth to her baby and had already felt it kick and was showing before she lost her baby. This allowed me to be thankful that I didn’t reach this point and that no matter how much pain and sadness I was going through, there is always someone else out there worse off than I!

A month passed and my cycle went straight back to normal. One good thing that came out of all of this was that I knew I was able to fall pregnant and this is what kept me positive. 6 weeks after I’d miscarried we were given our little miracle and today he is 6 years old….Bailey Kane Trew:) I often look at Bay and think if we didn’t have a miscarriage our only baby boy wouldn’t have been born. Since Bailey we went on to have two healthy baby girls, Sienna and Mia who are 4 and 18 months old. Of course with each pregnancy I always had an uneasy feeling that I would miscarry again, but I tried to not let that spoil the joy and excitement of what we were going through. I often wonder what our first little baby was and what it would have been like but now I have this vision that our baby that is sleeping is always looking down on us!

There is hope at the end of a miscarriage and I as well as so many women around the world are living proof of that. It makes me sad when I hear that someone has had a miscarriage, as it always brings me back to the day I was left feeling guttered and helpless. But with great support, determination and a positive attitude, the family you have always longed for will be created. The day I miscarried I remember thinking if I only have one baby I would be so grateful and grateful I am as I’ve been blessed with three of the most precious angels, which have helped us create our Party of 5!

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“Somebody please talk to me!”

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When we first enter the unfamiliar world of parenting so many people are quick to give us advice on feeding, changing, sleeping, dummies, bottles and the like, but where is the advice on simple things and extremely important things like how important it is to speak to our children! I’ve been teaching just over a decade now and one common deficiency I’m seeing more and more is the number of children who are coming to prep with a lack of oral language skills!

Whether it be their lack of ability to ask a question, respond to a question, follow an instruction, speak in simple sentences or being able to be understood, are all problems little people are facing when entering the school system. From the second our babies are born into this world, their little ears are responding to noise and the most precious gift a mother can give to her baby is her voice!
I think the problem is we forget to talk to our babies until they start responding first with a noise or a word, but a babies first response without noise is eye contact and listening to what is being said to them! We know ourselves if we are unable to use our voice we use eye contact as a way to communicate and we attain information by listening and that is what a baby does.

I can’t help myself, from the time my babies take their first breath I’m in their face talking to them. Between a nappy change, feeding, bathing, burping and playing, these are all perfect opportunities to bond with our babies and expose them to language. I’ve always taken these opportunities to sing a nursery rhyme, tell them about the wonderful things of the world or simply explain what I’m doing – “mummy is going to change your nappy”, “it’s bedtime now” right from birth my babies have heard cues like this. Our babies are like sponges and they are learning from a newborn. It’s amazing as they get older you see the benefit of talking to your baby. My youngest is almost 18 months and her language is evolving everyday! Not only is she communicating clearly through a variety of words, her receptive language (understanding what we say) is fantastic! Last year when my son was in prep, one thing his teacher always complimented him on was his oral language and my daughter’s preschool teacher just recently said how well she holds a conversation.

It makes me think that so many wonderful mothers, who if educated properly on this subject, would take it on board more. It’s common knowledge that reading to our babies as early as in utero is so important for our children, but very rarely do you read a lot of information about just generally talking to our babies. We are already a part of a world where speaking is becoming less and less due to an abundance of technology compared to even 10 years ago! It’s so easy to forget to do something so simple especially when life is so busy all the time, but if we made a habit of it and integrated talking to our children into our day to day chores and routines, it wouldn’t seem like work then.

It makes me sad to think that there are so many babies being born who spend their first five years with very little exposure to a wide variety of language and that all they needed from day one was someone to consistently engage with them. Our babies need to learn how to communicate orally as god knows by the time they are 10 and discover all the ins and outs of technology, talking becomes less and less. I always wondered when my babies were little babies and would look up at me, what they were thinking….I’m sure they were saying in their head “somebody please talk to me!” and that is what I’ve always done!

Mia only days old listening to me…….she doesn’t seem very interested in what I’m saying, but she will thank me one day for all the stories and bits of information I’ve told her:)

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Just Breathe!

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It takes 9 months for a baby to grow in utero and once the baby is born our job as a mum lasts forever, but the one thing that takes the shortest amount of time, but causes us the most grief, is child birth! The idea of me writing a blog about child birth is certainly not to boast about my experience, as everyone’s stories are different and the way each baby is born into this world is unique! The idea of this blog is to get the message out there on the importance of deep BREATHING when giving birth!!!

It took me to give birth three times and a heart condition for me to experience the power of breathing (and a great midwife) when birthing your baby! When I was in labour for the first time I thought I was going to pass out from the pain and breathe – how could I think of anything other than the pain I was in! You’ll never know what to expect the first time nor can anyone really explain it, it’s one of those you have to experience it to believe it moments…..in my opinion – keep an open mind! The clearest memory of giving birth to my first born was pushing, pushing and more pushing!!!!! This left me with the sorest bottom and my pelvic floor muscles were ruined….didn’t help that he was 9 pound 5 at 38 weeks!

I couldn’t sit down properly for days and felt like I had very little control over my bladder. I worked with a physio on building my pelvic floor muscles again but they took months and months to strengthen. I remember doing a body combat class with my sister feeling like I was going to wet myself every time I jumped in the air….not my finest hour lol! Then when I was pregnant with my second baby I thought about labour a lot! You have a better understanding the second time round and my plan was to not push so much but to breathe more! It took me one hour and 15 mins to push my first baby out, so when my second baby came out in 20 mins, I thought for sure that my downstairs would be better off….I was wrong! Again I was left with a terribly sore bottom and the usual poor bladder control and once again I remember doing a lot of pushing to get that baby out!!!! Again giving birth to a 10 pound 2 baby was never going to help the situation:/

When I fell pregnant for the third time, my second child was 2 so a couple of years of healing and my body was back to normal, only for me to go and destroy it again lol! Once again I thought a lot about the labour and had a plan to let my breathing do the work, but it sounds good in theory, putting it into practice is a whole different story! I just kept thinking my second labour was so much quicker than my first this has to be quicker again! It would have been if things went to plan….but they didn’t:( At 37 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with a heart condition. Because of this, I had to be induced and have my labour monitored carefully! The conditions of me having a natural birth and not a c-section, was that I have an epidural and an assisted delivery! I was determined not to have either!

I know most of you would be thinking what a silly choice when my life was potentially at risk! I had faith in my body, who had already birthed two babies, that it wasn’t going to let me down and thank goodness it didn’t! Being induced ruined any plans for the quick labour I envisioned, but once I finally hit established labour things progressed pretty quickly! I was under strict instructions NOT TO PUSH, so of course when I was completely dilated and had the feeling of pressure, what’s the bodies natural reaction….to push! Thankfully I had the most beautiful midwife who took charge of the situation and was very firm with her instructions….”Natalie you are going to have your baby and you are not going to push her out, your breathing is going to do all the work!” It took so much of my energy not to push and so much of my concentration to listen to the breathing cues from my midwife, but I did it! After half an hour of wanting to push until my little poppet was born, I did NOT push her out like I did her brother and sister, I listened to my midwife and used the technique of deep breathing!

I was amazed at how it all panned out and was so grateful that my pelvic floor muscles and bladder control were pretty close to normal. For the first time ever after having a baby, I didn’t even feel like I’d given birth…I was also grateful she was my smallest at 8 pound 13! I knew my body wouldn’t let me down and thankfully neither did my heart! I still remember my midwife and what she said to get me through it…she even had my support people breathing too which encouraged me not to give up! God love them, if only we all knew how silly we looked and sounded lol!

When I started my plan to get fit 8 months after my daughter was born, I was worried how my pelvic floor muscles would go when I ran, but all is great! I’m living proof that a baby can be born through the power of breathing and that we can walk away from giving birth, without having to experience too much difficulty with one of the most delicate parts of a female’s body!

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End of an Era:(

The time has come. I knew it was approaching. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. I knew it would be a sad day………….

6 years ago, when I became a mum for the first time, I took to breastfeeding like a duck to water. I always hoped to breastfeed, but I also had an open mind that it may not work or I may not be suited to it, but I was! I loved everything about it. The bond I shared with each of my babies was one like no other and the fact that I was providing all of their vitamins, minerals and nutrients was always a great feeling. It was the one thing that only I could do with my babies and I feel so blessed that I was able to experience that with each of my children!

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One of my first breast feeds with Mia!

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. The first couple of weeks of painful attachments, grazing, bleeding, cracks and blocked milk ducks. The first few days when your milk comes in and you suddenly wake up to these human watermelons that start from under your armpits! The night feeds and wishing and praying for more than three hours sleep at a time! Or the times when you feed, settle and put down and within a blink of an eye you were having to turn around and do it all over again. But I wouldn’t have traded that for one minute. That is the reality of breastfeeding!

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Such precious memories…..drunk on milk!

I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding, but also believe that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. It can be one of those controversial issues, but at the end of the day, as long as a baby is being fed adequately for their age then there shouldn’t be any controversy….breast or bottle, it’s all food! You see so often women left feeling guilty over not being able to, not giving it a go longer or even attempting it! Breastfeeding doesn’t define you as a parent, it’s one small factor in the whole big picture! And please don’t get me started on breast is best for health….3 breastfed babies, 3 out of 3 chronic middle ear infections…..where was the benefits of my breast milk while this was happening??? But again I wouldn’t change anything!

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Sleep is always a good option after a belly full of milk!

I never put a time constraint on how long I would breastfeed for. My only goal was to get them to 6 months and on solids and then I went with the flow and let them dictate what they wanted. 3 children, a boy and two girls and all such different feeders! Bailey self weaned at 7 and a half months, Sienna I stopped at 13 months and my last baby, which brought me to writing this blog, Mia who had her last feed 3 days ago at 15 months!

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My last baby to be fed….Miss independent just finished at 15 months:(

I knew the day that signified the end of breastfeeding forever was always going to be an emotional one. It’s reality that I am never going to have a newborn again and experience all that goes with it. It only feels like yesterday I was experiencing it all for the first time, now 3 children and 4000 plus breastfeeds later, that part of my life is over:(….it really is the end of an era!

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