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Parenthood

I can't breastfeed and I am ok with it not killing me.

After going in for what was supposed to be a minor surgery, I was signed off for 6 weeks recovery.  This was then, and now I am so much fitter and healthier thanks to being pain free.

After going in for what was supposed to be a minor surgery, I was signed off for 6 weeks recovery.  This was then, and now I am so much fitter and healthier thanks to being pain free.

This is a hugely personal event in my life, but typifies where I am in my life, living my truth, authenticity and vulnerability. I actually just finished writing an email to a role model mum Meg from from www.themilkmeg.com and there was a reason this email was so important that I had suppressed.

In December 2012 I gave birth to my second child.  I spoke with the hospital and explained that I could not breastfeed.  As a teenager I had a breast reduction as had my sister and mum.  However, for some reason with her operation she could breast feed, and mine not.  We are identical twins and were somewhat of a phenomenon at birth as we were born with breasts, so you can imagine the size of them in my teenage years.  This was not a cosmetic choice they were large, grew so big, so fast with stretch marks and back pain and I was still a kid myself; so I made the decision with no regrets to reduce them.  I knew the risks and having children meant possibly no breastfeeding for me. 

Fast forward nearly 20 years, I tried to breastfeed the first with no success.  I was okay with it but Swiss society was not. The nurse at the hospital told me to drink sage tea, and would not give me any pills to stop the milk coming. My breasts just got harder and harder like breeze blocks.  The kind of bricks that you use on the inner walls of an extension before you lay bricks, it didn't matter how much tea I drunk.  I tried the hospital several times but with no luck. I rang my old gynaecologist and he told me to get to the hospital ASAP.  I'd moved Kantons (we moved districts before moving birth), so I still had the old contact.  I was lucky.  I was on the verge of sepsis. I was treated and managed to get back to good health or so I thought.

For the next 3 years I struggled around every period my breasts would be so painful, and a big ball would grow until I relieved it.  I was in chronic pain, pain that I never had before and embarrassed that the only relief would be to squeeze stuff out of my breasts.  My kids would come and give me a hugs and I would screech with pain. Eventually the hospital operated, and scraped everything out behind my nipples.  I went in for what was supposed to be a few hours and ended up being 6, my husband said he was so worried.  I remember going in and feeling grateful that God gave me a chance to be a Mum, telling him my family would be there if he needed help, and that I was the luckiest to have him. These are moments as a Mum where words do not do it justice.  After the operation I didn't care that my nipples were flat, it was a relief that the pain went away and I was lucky to be healthy, alive and able to run, do yoga and cuddle my kids.  I have a pain free body!

Why am I sharing this.  Well motherhood is not all highs, it's also lows. Many of us cannot breastfeed, or even have low milk supply. When I found milkmeg I thought I wish I would have had access to that.  As a young woman for advice on my future, and as an expat who can contact a lactation expert globally.

I'm blessed because both my kids are super healthy, smart and happy.

A C section is not easy and does not determine the second birth

My first birth was an unplanned c section, let me tell you they are not the easy way out!  After 64 hours of: pushing, going on all fours like a cow,  being shoved to try and move her, hubby going to sleep 3 times, 3 midwife shift changes, my daughter was so distressed from continually getting stuck as she tried to find her was out her heart stopped, and had doctors rushed in to restart it. I was in a queue behind two emergencies, but I finally had a c-section.  I had practiced and taught yoga until the day I went into labour, but my contractions were off the charts.  They had not seen anything like it and I opted for an epidural, but then the contractions themselves were not strong enough for her to get out.

Our best friend did a video in Switzerland and sent it out to our friends, it was funny as one of my friends remarked how could you let them take photo's of you like that.  For me that's the reality of child birth, there was no spa and sudden make up. Child brith is sheer primal motherhood where I did not sleep for over 3 days and kept going, as my one focus was to get my daughter out safe.  

After I eventually had a c section I could not stop shaking uncontrollably.  It was a feeling I've never had before, as well as crying with tears of joy. What I looked like was far from my mind having my daughter safe and healthy, and being a mother which changed my life for good was part of that sweaty and exhausted photo.

When I was pregnant with the second the gynaecologist was sceptical of a natural birth.  I was prepared to do what meant my son was safe and healthy, but we would try.  This time I opted for no epidural, and just gas.  The only thing was they had none!!!  I had moved kantons (the Swiss equivalent of districts in the US or shires in the UK) and in the process silly me assumed all hospitals were the same.  The moment the doctor told me, I looked at my husband and said what the F***.  He just said 'it's too late now,' we laughed and I just decided mentally to suck it up.  He came out in a few hours it was so quick. 

I'm obviously not a doctor so of course listen to your gynaecologist, we all want our babies to be safe and healthy.  My story was that my first birth did not determine my second, and their is no easy route only the right route for Mum and baby.

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Do You Want More Time For Your Kids

Do You Want More Time For Your Kids

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There's never enough time! Give me more time #whatifihadapa #moretime #tools #technology I ran a session on Parental Leadership on 10th April.  In that session we went through one of the tools called 'Transparent Communication.'  It has 4 stages where:

  1. You recognise how you really feel
  2. You recognise how your child really feels (putting your self in their shoes)
  3. You acknowledge the two
  4. You make an authentic response in acknowledgement to address the feelings, and increase the parental attachment bond

There were 8 different parents, and every one in there acknowledgement at some point had time creep in as a factor.

Situation

We discussed and delved into the example of their 2 year old son screaming, shouting and saying he hates the time to get ready, from scrubbing his teeth and being ready to go to the nursery (kita).

Identify with own feelings:

The mother explained that she felt frustrated and needed to get to work (TIME).

 

Identify with the child’s feelings:

When she put herself in the shoes of the child, he wants to do it himself. However, both the father and mother expressed that they were worried about the teeth not being brushed properly. The father explained that he rewards chocolates if his son behaves and explains he can only have the chocolates if his teeth are clean.

Acknowledge

Hug and share each others feelings.

Authentic Response

They realised that the solution does not address the real issue. The anger from the child is because he wants to do it himself, and there is fear from the parents that he will not do it properly. The authentic response they created was to speak with him and explain that he will do it himself, and that Mummy and Daddy will show him how to do it and check after, where they may just need to get him to redo some areas or help. The real issue was anger caused by a wish for more independence, and the time pressure that they felt and the worry of incompleteness was creating a repetitive issue every morning.

Our Mission to Give Parents More Time 'Memories Over Chores'

Giving parents the tools and technology is not just to develop technology for technologies sake.  What we have done is develop a tool in a way that makes sense for parents, to organise their life, to suggest events that make a difference to them, to enable them to complete tasks like travel and shopping quicker / cheaper and in a way that adds value to their time.

The one thing we can give parents is time.  Join Us.

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