Today marks the launch of a campaign that is very close to home for me. It's a campaign to help increase awareness of the rate of Post Natal Depression amongst Aussie mamma's, and the need for further support. I believe that PND no longer has the stigma it once had, and I for one am so grateful that people are talking about it.
1 in 7 new mums will be diagnosed with PND each year and I am one of those. I'm not ashamed or embarrased by this, I don't try and hide the fact and I'm so thankful that I'm part of a wider community of authentic, caring people who can handle mah crazy from time to time.
PANDA (The Post and Antenatal Depression Assocation) has gone live today with the 1 Million Mums in May campaign. Did you know that there is a dedicated National Helpline for mum's who are struggling with PND? At present it is the only one of it's kind in Australia and it's hours of operation are limited by the wonderful volunteers who offer a listening ear and kind words to those who need it most.
Now here's the crunch...
PANDA needs to gain essential funds to enable them to provide 24/7 access to this Helpline. If nothing changes, 93 out of 100 struggling mamma's will miss out on support from PANDA that they desperately need.
Can you help?
Join 1 Million Mums and visit www.millionmums.org.au - there are two way's you can help.
1. Click on the 'Email your local MP' link to send a letter urging Government to prioritise funding for this vital resource.
2. Click on the Donation link to make a donation to PANDA. As little as $1 will help.
For more information here is a downloadable PDF. Print it out, give it to family and friends and urge them to join in!
I'm so pleased to be able to support this campaign, and I hope you take the time to give what you can.
You could be throwing a struggling mamma a life-line!
In two days, Isaac will be 6 weeks old.
We made it.
We've survived those first, horrid, trecherous few weeks where no-one has any idea if it's day, night or Wednesday.
On a daily basis, Matt and I could just muster enough energy to work out how to boil the kettle for our much-needed cup of coffee. Not sure how we've managed to drive a vehicle!
The kids have all moved through the adjustment phase and the novelty has worn off a little - I can now breastfeed without an audience and a running commentary. We've managed a few trips into the city together as a family and upon our return home we vow that we are never leaving the house with 4 kids and a newborn again.
We decided to go shopping during the school holidays, just to Aldi and Coles, nothing major. Except I forgot that taking a husband and 5 kids shopping IS major and what.the.hell.was.I.thinking. I cried. Matt cried. The kids cried. I think the check-out chick at Aldi even shed a tear for us.
Granted it was our first ever outing since having Isaac, so we were exhausted, emotional and still finding our feet as a family of 7. We've had several successful days out since then and it's been so cool spending time all together. Now to just get used to the looks that we get when people realise that all these roudy kids are ours!
Here are some other highlights from the past 6 weeks,
- Squirting breast milk on the Lactation Consultant during my appointment. *blush* Probably shouldn't squeeze my boob like that huh. I'm sure she's used to it. Maybe she should wear a rain-coat to work.
- Spending half an hour at the kids soccer training, chatting with my friends and showing off my divine little baby, before my darling husband pointed out that I had baby vomit on my shoulder. On my black cardy to be exact. Thanks love. Next time tell me oh I don't know, WHEN IT HAPPENS maybe?
-Falling asleep on the couch and waking up at 3pm. On a school day. I was sporting some pretty impressive pillow imprints on my face that afternoon! Thankfully I live one block from the school and it takes me 2 minutes to walk there. Must.set.an.alarm.
To keep myself entertained when I'm feeling dog tired I've enjoyed having a good old laugh at my hair.
Without further ado, I give you...
'Haven't Done My Hair in Four Days Hair'. Look at that massive, matted mess back there. Mmmm. Hot!
This is 'Fell Asleep On The Couch While The Kids Watched A Movie Hair'. This I was particularly impressed with. Look at the height of that fringe! You couldn't tease it up that high! And no hair gel or blowdryer necessary. Honestly, I've watched my hair do some pretty unreal things, but caring for a newborn really takes it to another level.
Now that Isaac is kinda becoming easier to predict and the kids are settled into our new normal, I'm hoping that my time here will become more frequent, because I've missed you! And I've missed being here, writing whatever it is I write and hearing from my lovely readers.
It’s been 2 weeks since we entered baby-land and I’m happy to report that we are all still talking to each other. Sometimes just in grunts and hand-signals, but it’s communication nonetheless. Our old friend sleep deprivation is back like a mallet to the head and Matt and I? NOT IN OUR TWENTIES ANYMORE. We’re not really bouncing back from a big night out of breastfeeding and poop patrol. I’ve caught Matt on more than one occasion on the couch in the foetal position, hugging a pillow moaning ‘make it stop….make it stop!!!’ This was after a string of particularly rough nights when Mr Isaac Bentley decided that the hours between 12am – 6am were his favourite and he didn’t plan on missing a thing.
We took these nights in shifts, with one of us usually up for 2-3 hours before we would swap, giving a little ‘handover report’ on bub before we would collapse into a sleep coma. What made it worse, was that Isaac slept like a trooper during the day. I’m talking 4-5 hour sleeps. I’m all for demand feeding, but if this keeps up I’ll be attempting to set a routine real quick.
The first week of night feeds was the worst. The second week our bodies seem to have adjusted to functioning on much, much less sleep. And last night? He settled BEAUTIFULLY. Matt had a full 7 hours sleep! Oh the things that excite us new parents.
Sleep issues aside, I am completely and totally in love with having another baby. Seriously. He’s just a delight. Even when we’re exhausted, emotional, cranky and haven’t showered in two days; holding him against our hearts and realising that we are blessed with another happy, healthy little child is so unbelievably wonderful.
Blogging has been a little quiet, mainly because I'm spending so much time gazing at that lil' face. I have about 3 posts all written in my head, that will hopefully make it to this space eventually. At the right time though. I'm taking each day slowly, making sure I'm taking care of myself and giving the kids lots of cuddles and attention.
:: Isaac Bentley Willmann ::
Born on 28.3.13, at 2.25pm
With all the right bits in all the right places
He's totally adorable!
I've just arrived home from hospital, so when I've found my feet I'll share our birth story.
For now we are surrounded by family love, lots of burp cloths, left-over easter eggs and lots of kids.
Geez. Who's are all these kids??!!......
I love visiting my local op-shop. In fact, a week doesn't feel complete unless I've popped into my local Vinnies and checked out what's new.
The other week, I did just that, and SCORE.
I give you, my bounty....
Life's too short to iron....
I love a well-placed table runner. I'm a little fanatical about my table runner's actually. Sometimes it's a runner, sometimes it's a doily but either way, they get taken off the table for when we eat, and then straight back on after we're finished. They're just a lovely way to warm up a flat surface and they make me feel at home. I have heaps that I've collected over the years and now this one has been added to the collection. Must say though, it's my new favourite! The colours are so pretty and not the usual bright pinks, reds and blues that you find.
Knitted. By hand. Thick, warm, cozy. I wanted to hug the volunteer behind the counter! But I didn't.
I just love this toy. I've never seen one like it before and I love how different it is.
And the best find of the day? Vintage wired phones. Two of them.
IN MY FAVOURITE COLOUR.
I almost broke out in a hallelujah dance.
As soon as I had the chance, I rushed home, made a fresh cup of tea and pretended that Rock Hudson had called me.
You don't pretend to talk to dead actors at the kitchen table before getting lunch ready for the kids?
You don't know what you're missing!!
Find any awesome things at your local op-shop lately?
p.s I know that Rock was gay. Don't burst my bubble.
We are really getting to the tail end of this pregnancy now, and so earlier this week I figured I'd better go and see a Doctor.
Kidding. I've been once or twice so far.
This baby has been the most photographed already!
There's really no cause for concern, and I'm feeling great - albeit tired, cranky, emotional, prone to over-dramatisation and highly sensitive - you know, just the usual stuff. But at this late stage of the pregnancy the only thing that makes me a little nervous is my blood pressure. I've never had an issue with high or low blood pressure, but it's so unknown isn't it?
If my blood pressure was high, how on earth would I know? Does one feel differently when their blood pressure is dangerously high? Or even a little raised, but still enough to affect baby? Heck I don't even know how to take my own blood pressure? Which numbers are which?
So I booked an appointment. The lovely Doctor slipped that sleeve over my tuckshop wobbly arm and hit that Start button....
My blood pressure? 110/70
That there is textbook perfect! I was pretty chuffed with that result. And consequently very grateful for good health.
I'm grateful that I was able - through a lot of hard work and waaaay too much sweat to be deemed lady-like - to lose 14kg and improve my cardio fitness by about 10,000%, back in 2011.
I'm grateful that this pregnancy has been, for the most part, healthy and problem free; considering it could have been so much worse. Twin A kept on growing even though Twin B had stopped.
I'm grateful to have a body that births easy, that is fit, strong and able. And I'm grateful for the 3D pictures of that chubby face on my fridge that tell me that baby is in good health too.
2 weeks to go!
Linking up with Maxabella for
Yesterday was our 9th Wedding Anniversary. Nine years! Where did that go?
Nine years ago I promised my love and devotion to the nicest guy I'd ever met. His proposal was expected (we had talked about it) but still it took me by complete surprise. On a beautiful beach my best friend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
It was the happiest day of my life.
I couldn't wait to be married, to begin this life-long journey with this amazing man. To learn from him, to grow beside him, to seek out God's will for our life together. And most importantly to have FUN with him. To continue to laugh with him, enjoying all the common interests that we have.
The thing that I didn't expect to do, was to clash with him. To have him irritate me so much that I want to jump out of my own skin and run screaming down the street.
No-one tells you on your wedding day that your life-partner will expose your weaknesses. It's all about loving and supporting, obeying and sharing the remote control. Funny how they skip the part about poking your husbands wound with a big, sharp stick? Or how growing closer together, whilst a wonderful and fullfilling journey of intimacy, will also allow your deepest fears and wounds to be left wide-open? For all the world to see?
Fair enough though, I think had our Celebrant said to us as we said our vows on the beach, 'Now go and enjoy your married life together which may be lovely for the first 3 years or so, but after that you'll just spend the rest of your life triggering each other's insecurities and inevitably either having to face your inadequacies, grow and change, or simply spend each day pretending that your happy when really you know that there is, and can be, more love and joy to be had if you would simply face your past, your story, forgive yourself and then offer the same to your husband'......
...Yeah, I would have totally bailed.
It's a process that has taken me a little by surprise. You think you know your partner so well when you're first married, when I think it's more that you know their good bits. You haven't really found the difficult qualities about them yet. Sure, we had rose coloured glasses on for a while. I think you HAVE to have that time of peachiness. Lord knows if we knew all of our own failings and the pain that will cause our partner, and the broken elements of our partners that will end up unknowingly hurting us? We'd be too scared to begin the journey at all.
It's one day at a time. And I am so, so glad that God ordained it that way.
Matt and I, circa 1996
I have changed so much as a person since that sunny day in 2004. Being married has taught me so very much about myself. It has stretched me and tauntered me and challenged me. It has made me laugh 'till I pee'd my pants (birthing 4 babies didn't help....) and cried so violently that I felt like my heart would rip in two.
Being married has forced me to speak up, when the child heart in me is fearful of that very thing. It has forced me to be quiet. When damn.it.I.know.I'm.right.he.just.doesn't.listen.
It has been the greatest joy and the deepest sorrow and I seriously can't believe that we have so many more years of marriage to come. It seems like there couldn't possibly be any more to learn about myself, or to understand and love about Matt, but I'm sure there will be more. Each day brings new possibilities for love and growth, fights and the odd wooden spoon being hurled across the kitchen. Aimed at his head.
Just kidding. I've only ever thought about doing that.
Matt, I'm thankful for the way that you challenge me. The way that you put up with MA CRAZY when I'm sure it would be easier to switch off. I love the way that sometimes, when the kids are being difficult, you whisper in my ear that I'm being really great with them, that I'm trying my hardest to be patient, understanding and kind with my words and you notice. 'You're a great mum' you say.
In that moment I don't feel like a worn-out, stressed mother of 4, trying to get some food on the table and listen to the childrens' hearts and stories of the day while my feet and back are aching from the weight of our next baby.
I feel like a princess. Valued. Treasured. Beautiful. Noticed. Loved.
Matt, you are my sunshine and my rain.
My sparkle on a dark day, my rest when I'm tired.
My laughter when the clouds gather.
Matt and I, yesterday
Happy Anniversary. I love you to the moon and back. xo
She was the baby that we thought would take a little longer to arrive. Her big sister was 6 months old and we thought, 'why not try for another one?' Turns out it didn't take much 'trying'....
And so, along came Rachael Taylor, 7 years ago today. A beautiful baby girl.
She was the cutest little poppet I'd ever seen, like a like pixie with dark eyes and tiny arms and legs. She was, and still is, captivating.
I love her tenacity, her firey gumption and her temper, which is always followed by a heartfelt apology given with sorrowful eyes.
I love that she dances to her own tune. She hangs out with the boys, climbs trees, loves collecting bugs and doesn't care to follow what others are doing.
I love that she cares deeply for every living thing. The way she cuddles a chicken like it's the bestest friend she's ever had. I love that she cried, big, heavy confused tears when Daddy chopped down a tree in the backyard.
"I loved that tree" she said.
I love that she knows that she is loved, beautiful, endearing and wonderful.
Happy Birthday Rachael.
You light up our life!