Saturday, October 8, 2011

New, old birth photos.

I just went through all the photos on the computer and realised that there's a few birthy ones I'd like to add! Consider it a second, pictorial birth story. Full birth story (with other pics) is but a click away!

About an hour or so in, just settling into the pool.

Getting heavy now.
Midwife telling the kids all about it, baby is actually past crowning in this pic! Not that you can tell from this angle

OMG it really IS a baby! Like OMG! Who knew!?

I waited four births for this photo. The photo where my face has every emotion under sun written there for everyone to read. Every woman should have a photo (or five) like this.
Me, high on hormones, him high on new life

Daddy's first cuddle

Big sister's first cuddle, she hates this photo, but I reckon at 4:30 in the morning, after you just saw your baby brother being born it's a pretty good one!

First cuddle with big brother

And I'll leave you with a photo of the person whom all the fuss was about! This baby is a homebirth after two caesareans, yes two, and a previous stillbirth. When people ask me why I wanted a homebirth I answer 
"because I've done it in hospital and it stank"  

  If I can have a homebirth, you can too!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Time for an update!

It's been a while since I've updated the blog, but I'm finally getting around to it. Since last time we've done heaps to the house and garden. The inside of the house has gone GREEN! The lounge room, hallway, our bedroom and Stylish's room are done and now A is working on Spikee's room. Stylish did her room pretty much by herself.

We've planted a lot of seeds in the side vegetable garden and in the hothouse. Lots of herbs, strawberries, leafy greens for salad and cooking, and other fruity veg too. I'm watching the seeds daily, desperate to see them coming up, they seem to be taking their time and it's really worrying me because I don't want to have to replant them all if an entire crop fails. I can't for the life of me imagine why they would ALL fail though!? Perhaps I'm just not being patient enough.

Our bare rooted apples, plum, nectarine and cherry are all going green, one of the apples has about four flowers on it, but the raspberries are also worrying me because they're not doing anything. Spring has sprung so I really would think they'd have atleast the a sign of green shoots by now. 

Angus has had his first birthday. We had a quiet family gathering and ate pizza and cup cakes. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Formula for Disaster

Firstly -->
Happy World Breast Feeding Week!


In Australia where I live there are guidelines about how formula can be advertised, but we still catch artificial baby milk producers out. There are supposed to be no advertisements for baby formula, however toddler formula is frequently advertised across all mediums, and sometimes they sneakily slip in a picture of newborn ABM (Artificial Baby Milk). 

Formula was first created in the 1920's, probably for the right reasons, however there was money to be made, and where there's money there's usually unscrupulous people not too far behind. At first formula must have been a wonderful convenience for women who genuinely couldn't breast feed. However those women were surrounded by women who could breast feed so they had a trouble shooting team in the house next door, if not in their own home. Formula wouldn't have been something they viewed as a choice, it would have been a last resort.  

ABM companies weren't stupid. They latched on (pardon the pun) to this niche market and when the money started coming in, they decided that expanding their business would be rather nice. So they began marketing formula more aggressively.

I know a lot of women who breast feed, and many of them have struggled in the early days. The breast feeding advocates made a big error in their marketing by telling women that it is natural. Yes, it's very natural, but so is an earth quake, so are killer bees. Need I say more? 

Formula companies wanted to get rich quickly. Their get rich quick scheme was to to sell even more formula than was necessary and their strategy was to undermine mothers who really weren't having any trouble at all. The messages they sold as FACT, were pure FICTION, but they permeated every single facet of our society. 

  • Tell them their milk isn't good enough
  • Tell them their milk is insufficient 
  • Tell them that bottle feeding is a sign of affluence
  • Tell them bottle feeding is modest
  • Tell them bottle feeding is convenient 
And hey presto! Billions of dollars for ABM companies! 

92% of women initiate breast feeding when they give birth in an Australian hospital. By three months a miniscule 56% are still feeding, and by six months only 14% of women in Australia are still breast feeding.  By these statistics, we can assume one of two things. Either it is remarkable that we survived as a species given that we are so unable to feed our young, or that women have drastically lost confidence in their body's ability to grow, birth, and nourish a baby. 

In Australia this has huge ramifications for our health care system. However in countries where there is no access to clean water, high illiteracy rates,  and extreme poverty, formula has been an absolute disaster.  In countries where women know they can breast feed, formula companies have had to use a different marketing approach. They tell women formula is superior to breast milk, that it will make their baby stronger, smarter, and reduce the chances of diarrhea. 

In countries where babies die of diarrhea daily, this is a pretty nifty marketing ploy ... but it's an outright lie and it results in babies dying more frequently. Women don't have access to clean water, so there are diseases in the formula by the time it's given to their baby, and other women can't read the directions so they don't know how to mix it up correctly. Poor woman can't afford to buy enough formula (remember that billions of people survive on less than $1 a day) so they water the formula down to make it last.  

Babies are dying. Formula companies don't care and no one holds them accountable. The World Health Organisation has a set of guidelines relating to the marketing of ABM, but ABM companies don't abide by guidelines. Why should they? Nothing negative happens to THEM when they don't! It's time the watch dog grew some teeth.

Some bright spark got the idea to start a National Formula Feeding awareness week, because it is currently National Breast Feeding Awareness Week. Well I couldn't agree more! Let's raise awareness of the dangers of formula feeding! Let's raise awareness of the politics that drive formula producing companies.  Let's raise awareness of the environmental impact of bottle feeding. Let's start milk banks to provide REAL baby milk to those women who genuinely can't breast feed. Let's stop allowing the promotion of bottle as a choice. Let's give our babies the best start in life that they can possibly get!

Let's raise awareness of how LESS THAN 1% OF WOMEN REALLY CAN'T BREAST FEED! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Wonders of Mother's Milk

Today Angus got a nasty scratch from the neighbour's dog's claw. Given the fact that they only time the dog is ever not walking around in its' own shit is when we walk it, I was rather concerned about it causing an infection, especially because the scratch begins quite literally a millimetre from his eye.

We didn't want to use tea tree oil on it because it's so close to his eye and would hang around for ages with the potential to be rubbed in his eye. We knew salt would sting. Garlic would also sting. I posted on facebook asking what other hippy mamas would suggest and they all suggested the same thing. The most obvious thing to a fellow hippy mama, but I'd over looked it completely!


So I painstakingly expressed by hand. I probably only got about 5mls all up, but that's enough to wipe his scratch with, and I can give it another go later. This got me to thinking of all the magical uses for mama's milk, so I thought I'd make a list!

Mama's milk is full of amazing antibacterial properties

  • cleaning a wound
  • treating a burn
  • conjunctivitis
  • cradle cap
  • one mama used it for an ear infection
  • to stop soap from stinging your child's eyes 
  • eczema 
  • acne
  • mozzie or other insect bites
  • cold sores
  • chapped or dry lips
  • facial cleanser - what could be gentler? 
  • nappy rash
  • can aid the digestive system of cancer patients
  • cooking food!
  • boosting the immunity of the whole family from the baby up
  • warts 
  • external or internal ulcers
And there are probably plenty more uses! Add your own in the comments or tell us your story about healing with booby juice.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Winter is sweet in Antarctica

Click here to read about snow hunting

We're two thirds of the way through winter now, and by all accounts it was a pretty harsh winter in spots, but now it's turned quite warm. This evening it's hardly cold outside. We had a few weeks where it just rained non stop, the yard turned into a swamp, but it's dried out pretty well now.

Our side garden beds are nearly ready to have things planted in them, so over the next couple of days I plan on getting some seeds planted in seedling starter pots. We've planted a cherry tree, a plum tree, and a nectarine tree out the back and a sundowner apple out the front, and this coming week we're adding a pink lady apple to our orchard. 

We're also in the process of choosing some paint to painting inside the house. We have a whole selection of greens to choose from, and our aim is to select one that matches the greenery outside the window so that we're really extending the out door space to inside. 

The chooks had a few weeks off laying but are now laying up a storm! We gave 6 eggs away yesterday and still had enough for Spikee to eat four last night (yes you read that right, 2 were bantam eggs) and eggs benedict this morning.  

So in summary, all is well in Antarctica!

 The elected spokeswoman demanding food
 The fence A built
Where the outdoor veggie garden will be

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reasonable Expectations

So many women think that they'll just go to hospital, have a baby, and all will be well. They think they will be respected, supported, and that the experience will be a happy one. Unfortunately that's not what's happening to many women. I'm one of the ones who didn't have that experience.

When I go to the supermarket I don't expect the staff to treat me specially, I just expect them to be polite and helpful. When I imagined what my first birth would be like I had similar expectations but they went unmet. However,  unlike a trip to the shops, the ramifications of my "birth" were lasting. They still impact on me thirteen years later.

Sometimes when women are critical of hospital staff or their birthing experiences, they are met with disbelief, criticism, and outright anger. I don't really understand why it's so hard for people to believe that a woman and her baby were treated badly in a hospital. 

People criticise hospitals all the time, there are frequently news stories which report dangerous, dissatisfactory patient care, but society won't accept that this reality extends to the maternity ward. We know that doctors often make errors and do shonky work, but for some completely unfathomable reason it's almost impossible for some people to imagine an obstetric surgeon in the same light. 

It's nice to think that birthing women will only be surrounded by caring staff who work hard to ensure the safest, happiest birthing experience possible, but it's not reality. The same way that it's nice to expect your grocery shopping trip will be easy and you will encounter only friendly and helpful staff, but you know you may also encounter rude, bored, inexperienced, rushed, and overtired staff - you should expect nothing less in a hospital when you intend to give birth there. 

So if you are pregnant or planning a baby, what can you do to protect yourself against the possibility that you will encounter less than perfect hospital staff?

  1. Give birth at home with an independent midwife and / or a doula. 
  2. Take a doula to hospital with you
  3. Be well informed about hospital protocol and typical interventions and their impact on birth
  4. Write a HARD ARSE BIRTH PLAN! Don't stuff about with "wish lists" and never ever ever include the words "unless necessary". If it's necessary of course you'll consent to interventions - refer to point 3.
  5. Ensure that your partner is well versed on your birth plan and hospital policies. He / she may become your best advocate or be used against you. (it happened to me twice) 
  6. When you're in labour it's not your job to please hospital staff or to be convenient, it's THEIR job to ensure that your needs are met, so be assertive!
  7. Last but not least ==> if a woman says she was treated badly and feels dissatisfied or worse, don't deny her that personal truth. Be part of the solution, don't add to the problem.
Remember that although you  may want a natural birth very few staff in a hospital have ever actually seen birth without interventions, or unhindered birth (click here). Watching The Business of Being Born is an eye opener when the young medical students are asked how many unhindered births they've seen and they all answer "ummmmm none". Statically speaking, if you're after an unhindered birth you have a far greater chance of getting it at home.  

Finally, to those doctors, midwives and nurses who do work hard to protect women's bodily integrity, and offer genuine support to labouring women, THANK YOU! Please keep doing your job to the best of your ability, and when you hear women criticising hospital birth, don't take it personally. Work towards changing the system that you work in but don't attempt to silence a woman who has suffered birth rape, birth trauma, or dissatisfaction as a result of her own experience. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What's white and fluffy?


The hill with snow icing on top, taken from our front doorstep by Stylish

Mount Wellington, taken from the Tasman bridge while we drove over it.

The day before Spikee's birthday we went to get last minute party supplies and when we drove through Longley there was snow beside the road so we pulled over and threw it at each other. Stylish had decided to stay home that day so she missed out, but she noticed snow on the hill so she took pics of it for us. Spikee thought snow was excellent! 

Today we're more or less stuck in the town because the rain has caused the Huon River to burst its' banks and the roads are flooded, and who wants to drive on the icy roads anyway! Luckily we're well supplied. The weather has been crazy, much more extreme that locals can remember it being for about 20 years. We had several black outs the other night, one on Spikee's birthday night when we were without power (thank heavens for the wood heater!) for a couple of hours. We played snakes and ladders by candle light. It was actually nice being all snug and warm and just being a family with no technology however we didn't complain when it all came back on. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Quiet Breastfeeding Nazi

I don't consider myself to be a breastfeeding nazi. I'm just pro breastfeeding and anti formula. I'm not anti women who formula feed though, just anti formula company. I don't have a single nice thing to say about companies who produce artificial baby milk. They seem to do nothing but undermine natural baby feeding, break WHO advertising codes, and make mega bucks. 

As I was feeding my baby the other night I was reading something about how special breast feeding is, and I thought to myself "but I don't think it IS special". Sure I was sad when my older two weaned (one at 6 months, one at 4.5years) but I didn't feel really special when I was feeding them. 

Not that it isn't special, but any time we spend with our babies is special. Any sweet little smile they give us, any time they sleep in our arms, the way they love us so unconditionally, it's all lovely. Breast feeding is just normal, like giving your baby a sandwich but easier.

I'm not lucky that I breast feed, my baby isn't lucky, we're just normal. It didn't come easily to me with any of the kids, I had to work really hard to get it right. I had a lot of pain in the early days with all of them. And with the first, it shot my confidence to bits and was the first of the steps that led to failure. And I don't think I I failed, coz I really wanted to breastfeed. I think that society failed me and my daughter by telling us that "breast is best, formula is good enough". The underlying message in that is that we can't always have what's best, but what's good enough is, well, it's good enough!

Breast is best, yes .... but it's just normal. Formula is not best, and it's only normal in cultures where breasts are sexualised and images of bottle feeding are plastered everywhere, from feeding rooms to children's books, soap operas, ads for formula but not breastfeeding etc. The symbol for baby is often a bottle! If that doesn't normalise it I don't know what does.

There will always be women who are unable to breast feed, but these women should feel no guilt. I don't feel guilt for not successfully feeding my first child, and it wasn't a physical hinderance, it was a societal lack of support that broke the back of our feeding relationship.  I don't feel guilty about it and I would never want another woman to feel guilty either. 

I'm a bit tired of the whole "don't say this or that because it might make women feel guilty" stuff that permeates every discussion about breast vs artificial milk. If you genuinely can't breast feed why feel guilty? Do you feel guilty for not being able to run fast!? 

If you can breast feed but choose not to, and you feel guilt, then maybe you should take a closer look at why you would "choose" not to breast feed. Do better next time, but don't waste time with guilt once you have thought it all through. 

I resent being called a nazi. I've never killed anyone, but artificial baby milk companies are responsible for deaths every day! I simply state the truth. That given support, the vast and overwhelming majority of women in the world can and do breastfeed perfectly well.

So next time you see me posting on facebook, or on my blog, about how women can breastfeed don't label me a nazi, because that's just offensive. Have a look at your beliefs about baby feeding, about your own body and ability to do what you are biologically designed for. 

Have a look at the way your culture has made breast feeding seem like some virtually unattainable goal.  I'm not better because I breast feed, I'm just normal. You're not worse because you formula feed, but chances are that your view of baby feeding is somewhat different to reality if you think it's simply a "choice".

Monday, June 20, 2011

Winter is Upon Us in Antarctica!

So Winter has arrived, and for all I was expecting it to be horrendous, I'm actually really enjoying it! Yes, it's cold, but we have heating here! We didn't have heating in Sydney because it was too expensive to run, so we really only used it when we absolutely had to. We used heating for two nights last Winter, one of those was when I was in labour with Angus. The wood fire heater here makes us toasty warm! Everywhere in the house is comfortable (except the rumpus room which isn't insulated)

Our firewood finally arrived! After four months of ringing them and telling them that they owed us three tonnes of firewood (we won it in a raffle for the QLD floods, way back in January). After four months of the most tireless excuse making I've ever encountered (protesters were inhibiting their ability to get it here, their machinery had broken down, they lost our phone number - countless times - they had our address wrong, they couldn't remember how much wood it was meant to be ... you get the drift?) So I rang them for the last time and, as usual, was polite but assertive, and the next day a huge truck appeared on the street with full logs! The wood was meant to be all cut up, ready to use, but what were we going to do, send them away? So they dumped it in the drive way and across the foot path and at long last we had a good top us to our supply! They were meant to being 3 tonnes, but in actual fact what they left was closer to 5 or 6. We had to buy a chain saw. A spent 3 whole days sawing, and then chopping with an axe, and Stylish and I took it in turns to help him hauling it up the driveway, across the yard to the wood pile. Back breaking work! 

I plucked a good harvest of rose hips and made apple and rose hip jelly. It's delicious on sour dough toast, and I have about a litre of it so it won't run out any time soon. We've been doing lots of good cooking, my favourite thing we've discovered is a chicken baked risotto with marinated capsicum, and butter beans. 

Yesterday was Stylish's birthday, she is now officially a teenager! We gave her a new bike and took her out for dinner to the Chinese restaurant in Huonville. We had a lovely day all round! And ate lots of disgustingly rich chocolate, mousse, and raspberry cake.

Farewell Ra

When Ra was a young cat our neighbour came and knocked on the door to tell me that she'd just seen him run over. I sat in the middle of the road with him cradled in my arms as he took his last breath and bled all over me. A had a sprained ankle at the time and he stood on one leg in the small back yard of our block of flats in Stanmore, Sydney, and dug a deep hole. We wrapped Ra up in a lovely shawl and buried him. We all cried lots.
After the burial we were standing in the kitchen, me, Stylish and A (no one else was around then) and we were all crying when all of a sudden ... Ra walked along the window sill and jumped into the kitchen.

We checked the hole ... no disturbance.

We discovered that we had actually buried the wrong cat! Ra was a pretty ordinary nondescript tabby cat! We laughed lots about that over the years, and a friend who is a teacher told her drama class about it and they did a play of the story.

However, we didn't laugh last week when we really did bury our little middle aged cat.  He started getting thinner, and a bit moth eaten, he went off his food, and within days he pretty much wasted away to nothing. We took him to the vet who basically said that he was too far gone to warrant testing. She said to take him home and keep him comfortable. The two conditions she suspected were both untreatable anyway.

We brought him home and he had a quiet  last week with us until one morning he just died in our dining room. A and Stylish were with him. He's buried next to the hothouse where he spent many hours in his cat style day spa.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cooling down

The weather has been cooling down rather fast, and this morning we had our first serious frost. The fire is keeping us lovely and toasty warm of an evening and my new slippers are a very welcome addition to my slothful wardrobe.

Some of our recently planted seeds are sprouting up in their planter pots, keeping warm in the hothouse. The tomatoes are still giving us plenty of juicy harvest and when the weather gets too seriously cold for them to keep ripening we're going to make green tomato pickles with them. Spikee is very keen to help pick the green tomatoes. He'll be less keen to eat them if history can offer us any clues.

Vinnie and Ra seem to be embroiled in an ongoing war for top cat. Ra is winning by virtue of his sharper claws and nasty disposition. Angus has been driving Ra mad pulling his fur out and trying to get into his bowl when he's eating, but sometimes Vinnie and Ra have quite long standoffs near the cat bowl where Ra decided he's finished eating but won't let Vinnie finish off the scraps. it's almost as if Ra likes flirting with the dog. The dog is very keen to befriend him, and often rolls around in a submissive way trying to get Ra to acquiesce, and sometimes Ra will actually chase the dog around playfully.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today was mother's Day. It was a really lovely, simple, stay home family day and the only consumerism we partook in was one pair of lambs wool slippers. The kids made me a card each and Stylish did all the dishwashing for my present. A gave me eggs benedict and a clean house. 

This evening a good friend and her kids came over for dinner. We had lime, chili, garlic, and cayenne roasted chicken thighs on the bone and lots of vegetables. Spikee is the same age as said friend's son so they played contentedly all evening and we watched "It's Complicated" and breast fed upside down babies and folded the clothes. It was a really enjoyable movie, and a lovely day all round. Best Mother's day ever!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wintering! Making semi dried tomatoes

This is yesterday's harvest. The chard was delicious!
 We cut the larger tomatoes in half and coated them in olive oil, bush spices (wattle seed, pepperberry and lemon myrtle) brown sugar and sea salt. Then I put a cake cooling rack over the top of a baking dish and baked them for about 2 and a half hours on about 150C

The semi dried tomatoes are stored in my second hand tupperware container, covered with olive oil. The flavour is AMAZING!
 Then tonight we added about half of them to a spaghetti bolognaise with more bush spices, lemon pepper, homegrown zucchini and masses of freshly picked parsley. It was delicious!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

My thumb is green today!

I finally managed to spend an hour in the garden in between the teething baby, and the other children. I planted a heap of seeds. Pak choy, brussel sprouts, beetroot,  cauliflower, lettuce, radish and silverbeet. I also harvested a whole box of tomatoes of every imaginable colour, a massive bunch of parsley and a beautiful red stemmed chard. 

We had a gorgeous family lunch yesterday with a massive roast consisting of pork, lamb, potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, beans, and home made mint sauce and gravy. After that there was a choice of melting moments or chocolate cake. Most people chose both. There was also a good whack of the latest home brewed beer which is lime and chili. I think it's my favourite. I like the berry beer but the lime and chili is such a unique flavour with its' mix of green and red chili and fresh limes, you just can't go past it. 

I plan on roasting most of the tomatoes until they're semidried, and making the parsley into pesto with cashews, and having the chard with sour cream and grated nutmeg, but I won't do anything until the teething demon awakes from his nap. 


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Autumn is upon us

You can feel a definite chill in the air now, but for the last few days the weather has been beautiful in the afternoons. Last night before bed I let Vinnie out to pee and I could hardly see the front fenc through the mist. I love mist! I never knew how much I loved it til it was a regular part of my life. It was cooooold out there standing in it, but I think I'm going to enjoy winter with the fire, and weather watching on the hill.

We've been taking Vinnie out as much as we can, knowing that soon it'll be dark and rainy and too cold to enjoy the out doors as much as we have been over the Summer months. He's improved so much with his training. It's a beautiful sight to see him running freely at the park, he runs so fast, you can really see the cattle dog in him when he's running.

We went for a walk over the Easter long weekend and discovered a new park near the bowling club. The river goes through it and it's beautiful, open and sunny. We've spent every day over there since then, with Vinnie running wild and the kids skipping stones on the river. Today they banked lots of them up in the current to see how the water changed course. There are lots of toadstools there and they look so pretty, Spikee thinks that faeries live in them, and was very upset to see one that had been deliberately smashed. 

We had a wonderful Easter weekend, we made a big pink marshmallow rabbit and a berry jelly one, too. And we enjoyed lots of other tasty treats like home made hot angry buns and, melting moments with mandarin icing. The family were planning on coming down but they ended up canceling, but they're coming over next weekend instead and everyone is really looking forward to it. We also celebrated Mabon, just to completely confuse things! We went walking and collected a basket of beautiful coloured leaves, red, yellow, brown, faded green, and sticks and some rocks, which we had in a basket on the coffee table. We're going to tie the sticks in a bundle and put them in the fire to welcome the Dark Mother, next weekend, and the kids are going to read Mabon poems.

hot x buns

where the faeries live

the dog, enjoying the park

pink rabbit with crazy son!

latest harvest

pink rabbit with jelly rabbit

kids at the river

Monday, April 18, 2011

At least you got the groceries!

My friend went to the supermarket to go shopping. She prefers a natural diet because she knows it's better for her and her kids. She had to go on a Tuesday because that was the only day they could fit her in, despite the fact she didn't need any groceries for another week or two. They didn't have any of the food she likes to eat, the staff were rude and insisted that she buy what they had - even though she was very firm about not wanting it - they rushed her through as fast as they could and told her to be quiet so she didn't put off the other shoppers. When it was time to pay they simply fished around in her handbag, took out her wallet and the money and ushered her out the door with armfuls of shopping bags and a toddler in tow. They waved enthusiastically and said "see you again soon!"

She wasn't very happy so I said to her "Well, at least you got your groceries!"

She wasn't very happy so I said to her "but I find that supermarket WONDERFUL!?"

My friend went to the hospital to have a baby. She wanted a natural birth with no drugs. They insisted on inducing her because they didn't want too many women there on the weekend when her doctor was going on holidays. They didn't have a birth pool or allow her to move about freely in labour to ease the pain. In fact when she tried to move around they loudly chastised her, saying she was being too loud, and that other women would be frightened by her noises and that some were trying to sleep. They insisted that she have every imaginable procedure in the "cascade of interventions", despite her protesting. They even held her down and put things into her vagina against her will, once again telling her to be quiet and think of the other patients. Then they cut her baby out, told her she couldn't feel the ripping and tearing of her flesh, took her baby away, and left her in recovery, cold and alone. When it was time to discharge her they expected her to be happy, they waved and said "see you again soon".

She was traumatised, unable to breastfeed, unable to form a true bond with her baby, her caesarean scar was badly infected and burst open, she felt violated, she couldn't stop crying, she felt alone and scared, and guilty, and didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. She couldn't look after her older children and her partner couldn't take any time off work to help out.

I said to her "Well at least you got a healthy baby"

I said to her "But my caesarean was WONDERFUL!?"


Every women is grateful for the health of her baby. But a healthy baby is NOT all the matters, mothers matter too! And just because YOU had a good birth in a hospital doesn't mean that everyone has a good hospital birth. Let mother's speak their truth!

The Cascade

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Dog, and other furry creatures

The dog is completely toilet trained (although tonight he peed on the rug because we didn't understand his "please let me out" pleas) and for the most part is settled in now. He's had a few cold nights now because he took it upon himself to totally destroy his bedding, leaving it all across the front lawn, through the kennel, and right down the driveway, there were even bits of green stuffing floating aimlessly down the street on the wind. We relented and gave him an old doona because it is quite cold out there of a night and we're hoping to pick another one up from vinnies (I can't decide if that's a pun or not...) when they have one that isn't good for humans - they do give them out apparently.

He had been a little bugger at the park when we let him off his lead and he was refusing to come when he was called, and running rings around us when he did come. This was ok in the middle of the park but he ran up onto the main street (not too busy in comparison to Sydney, but still not entirely safe) and wouldn't come back. So we took dog treats to the park and made him sit for one. let him off the lead and then called him, made him sit and gave him a treat every time he came. The first day we did it he came about half of the time, the next day he was even better, and the third day he came every time except when there was another puppy (which happened twice) and when he was chasing pink crocs (stay tuned).

After a wander up the platypus walk we took Spikee to the skate park on his bike and he was happily riding over bumps and ramps and whatnot when Vinnie decided to chase him and try to chew his pink crocs. Spikee came off his bike very badly and landed with an almighty face plant on the concrete. Blood was gushing out of his mouth and I was worried he might have lost a tooth, but he just cut the inside of his cheek very badly. The cut is easily the size of a 20c piece, and there is a graze on the outside and purple and blue bruising is still coming out. He also grazed his knee and got a cut on his forehead from where the helmet was crushed between his head and the concrete. Seeing him come down as I did I am relieved beyond words that he was wearing his helmet because without it he would have undoubtedly fractured his skull.

On our next trip to the park we will take Spikee, his bikee, me, A and Stylish, and when Vinnie goes near Spikee on his bikee he'll get a whack on the bottom. I attachment parent my kids, the dog isn't so fortunate after this incident.

The day after the accident was shopping day and A and I made a snap decision to ge the kids a guinea pig each. One of the cutest things I have ever seen is Spikee sitting down watching tv, tickling the guinea pig in his lap. They're really tame little things even though the guy in the petshop said they were quite skittish. Today we went to the tip shop and bought timber to make an outside run for them. It's coming along nicely so stay tuned for pics!

You can see the cut on his face and the swollen lip here but not very clearly. It's actually much worse!

House of a different colour

The boys, hard at work
2/3 finito!
The latest harvest