Tag Archives: mother

Guest Blog -Sharna  @jameshealthjourney

Hello all…

So Rachelle said, ‘write about something you’re passionate about’. Equality and inclusion for all!!! That’s it, that’s what I am truly passionate about. 

Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Sharna, my labels include wife, mother, ballet teacher and autism advocate. 

I am the mother of two beautiful little souls, James (4 years old) and Scarlett ( 2 years old). They are the apple of my eye, my greatest achievement!  I never thought that motherhood would ever fulfil my soul, I thought nothing could ever replace the passion of dance that I held so dear to my heart for many years. 

Motherhood has not only fulfilled my soul but it has given me a fierce perspective of what is right. 

Having a child with additional needs has made me loud, proud and determined to spread awareness for not only autism, not only special needs but inclusion for all.

You see we are all different.

We love different, we learn different, we see the world differently. Being different from another shouldn’t mean exclusion or disrespect. Being different should be embraced. 

Every single person regardless of religion, race, sexuality or ability should be embraced.

You see we all have something to offer the world we live in.

When my son James was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 3 I was determined to show the world his abilities. The day he was diagnosed was the day my voice got loud. Not only for James but for all that need inclusion.  It’s really mind blowing the amount of narrow minds that still walk amongst us today. I encounter many, believe me. It gets me down it truly does. 

My son at age 4 has learnt all too well the disrespect of others, he is 4. He sees it and he feels it. He feels it deeper than us, he knows he is different but teaching him he is not less than when you encounter such ignorance is hard. It’s hard on him and it’s hard on my mummy soul. 

Ignorance doesn’t make me stop, it makes me fight harder…. louder and stronger. 

I wanted to ask you today to think about the world around you.  Embrace, encourage and include all of those that are ‘different’ around you. 

We are one world. One love.

Much love, 

Sharna xx  @jameshealthjourney

www.jameshealthjourney.com

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

C-section – what really happens

When I was pregnant with Hudson and found out I was having a c-section I heard all sorts of horror stories. I also Googled (don’t do it). There were tales of staples, huge scars, excutiating pain, infections and awful recoveries. It was very hard to find anything that sounded like a standard straight forward story. I have since had two c-section’s  (one emergency and one elective) and I wanted to share what happened to hopefully put some people’s mind at ease and share something positive to cut through all the negative horror stories.

Firstly, I want to say that I complely understand that everyone has different birth stories, this is my experience only. I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else.

The process of c-section for me was just fine. Here is my experience:

As with any operation the nerves kick in just before you go in. I felt so much better once I saw my Ob/Gyn, the familiar face really helped calm my nerves.

image

Waiting to go in for my c-section with Hudson 

▫The spinal block – this worried me. In reality this is over super quick and both of my anesthetists were great and talked me through the whole process.

▫ Catheter – I have never had an operation before and the thought of a catheter really worried me. I didn’t even notice it. It’s inserted after the spinal and they take it out the next day. You are so happy to have your baby you really pay no attention to the catheter.

▫It’s quick – from the spinal to meeting your little one is a really quick process (probably 15 minutes).  Before you know it you will be stitched up and in recovery. For me, the whole process took about 45 minutes both times.

image

image

▫ Stitches and scar – Both times I had internal stitches and one large stitch closing the wound. No staples. I paid special attention to the wound care and now my scar is minimal. It’s very low (just above my pubic bone). I can still wear a bikini if I want to and it’s really no big deal. Contrary to some Google stories, my scar is horizontal, not vertical and is not across my whole stomach. My stitch was removed before I left the hospital.

▫Pain management – the hospital I was at were amazing with pain management. Pain meds were given before I felt pain and I left the hospital taking only Voltaren and Panadol. Ensure you ask for pain meds, there is no need to be a hero. Take them before you are in pain.  It makes recovery a lot easier.

image

Me and Scarlett – one day old

▫ Bleeding – you bleed after any birth and c-sections are no different. From what I hear it’s not as heavy as after a vaginal birth but yes, you still require the surfboard maxi pads.

▫ Driving – with my doctors approval I was able to drive two weeks after both my c-sections. I read a lot of information about not driving for 6 weeks, this wasn’t the case for me.

▫ Breastfeeding – I had no trouble with milk supply or breastfeeding. The c-section didn’t affect this for me.

▫ Physical activity – I was up and walking the next day. I was restricted with certain activities for 6 weeks (vacuuming etc) but hey, who wants to vacuum anyway. I was able to go for walks as soon as I got home and could commence normal exercise after my 6 week check up.

Overall, I had two positive experiences. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone. In a world of negative stories, it’s sometimes nice to hear everything is going to be ok. I now have two beautiful healthy babies and that’s what really counts.

image

image

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The perfect Bluetooth speaker is here….

My kids love music and watching movies on our tablets and phones. I have been on the hunt for a decent Bluetooth speaker for awhile now, after purchasing one that was terrible quality, with no battery life that eventually broke after just a couple of uses I discovered the Mini LifeJacket III  from Altec Lansing.

This little speaker is fantastic and so durable (very important with little sticky hands around). We have used it a lot;  out on our deck, at the park, the lake and when we have gone on picnics.  The 16 hour battery life is fantastic and it will hold up against the elements. The Mini LifeJacket III is even buoyant so if you are doing a spot of fishing  or hanging out at the kiddie pool and it gets dropped in the water it will float.   The sound quality is really good and if your phone rings the speaker will still work so you don’t miss any calls.

You can pick up one of these beauties at Ananconda,  The Good Guys or Target.

Check us out having a picnic at the Redwood Forest in Warburton (Melbourne, AU). We took our Mini LifeJacket III with us and had some tunes pumping while we relaxed in the forest. Such great place to visit with kids, have a walk and a picnic. Perfect!!! 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hypoxi update 

I’m just over one month into my Hypoxi journey. A lot of people have been asking me about results and if it’s working. 

I am extremely happy to report that yes indeed it is working. I have noticed my skin elasticity has changed and I have lost a total of 15cm of my tummy, hips, thighs and knees (yep, who knew, even my knees were a little bit chubby). I haven’t really changed my diet and still enjoy a glass of wine. 

When I was approached by Hypoxi to try it I was quite skeptical and didn’t have high expectations. I recieved a lot of comments about how Hypoxi doesn’t work, can’t possibly work and is ridiculous. I have discovered that it actually does work.  I was really just looking to tone up and feel comfortable since having my kids. I went into this not expecting much of a loss. 15cm gone is a bonus and I’m very happy with it. My stomach feels much flatter and toned and so do my legs. 

Each week I have been 2 – 3 times and I’m in and out within an hour. Hypoxi is certainly not taking up much of my time and I find it quite relaxing.  Before I had kids I used to go to the gym 5 times a week. I just haven’t had the motivation to return and always made excuses. Since starting Hypoxi I realise I do have time.

I really wanted to make the most of this opportunity. So this week both my husband and I have started working out in the morning before work (hello 5am wake ups).  Once I’m out of bed and going I actually really enjoy it. It gives me energy and helps me make better food choices throughout the day. 

The one thing I have also noticed is that staff at Hypoxi are lovely. They really know their business make you feel comfortable and are happy to help with any questions.

If you’re thinking about it give the Hypoxi free trial a go or phone one of the studios and ask about it.  The studio I go to is super busy and I have seen men and women of all ages, fitness levels and sizes. It’s a very supportive environment and not threatening like some gyms can be.  I just wish I knew about it earlier. Hypoxi is perfect for shifting that post baby weight and wobble. 

I will post again with further results and photos. 

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bringing in the bed

As your baby grows you tick a number of milestones of the list. Rolling, solid food, crawling, walking…….finally the day comes where it’s time to bid farewell to the cot and move to a bed. 

I was nervous about this change. How do they stay in? Will they keep sleeping through the night? Am I going to wake up to a two year old walking around the house or breathing really close to my face while I sleep? What if they hate it? Turns out all of my fears were in vain. Both of my children transitioned pretty easily. 

I’m no expert and perhaps I was just lucky. I thought I would share some tips for the transition.

Wait until they’re ready- I don’t think there is a magical age to move to a bed and there probably isn’t any rush. However,  we were in a bit of a rush with Hudson as we needed the cot for Scarlett. Hudson was just over two and handled the change fine. Scarlett has also just turned 2 and she has just moved to a bed. She is loving it. We knew she was ready as she kept asking for a bed, laying in Hudson’s bed and she had been transitioned to a little mat on the floor at childcare. 

Talk about it – before putting our children in beds we spoke about beds, read books that had beds in them (3 little bears, princess and the pea). When we were out at home stores we would go look at beds to show them how ‘cool’ they are. I think having them understand what is happening helped a lot. 

Get them involved – when it was time for a big bed we took our kids to the shops where they could pick out a doona cover or pillows to help decorate their new bed. They loved it and it also gives them a little control. Even now, I let Hudson pick which cover he would like on his bed when I change his sheets. I like to get something a little different and found that Shop Inside have a really lovely kids range (adults too, but that’s for another day). 

Don’t panic and stay positive – there may be times where your child will get up and down before settling, they may not love the bed at the start. Persistence and patience is key. If you’re positive about the bed they will eventually come around. Like every family we have requests at bedtime for drinks, toilet, more stories, itchy feet, scary things in the wardrobe. I let them go through the motions and if they continue to get up I just quietly pop them back into bed. 
As I said, I was dreading transition time as I thought my kids wouldn’t enjoy it and may spend most nights in out bed. Overall, we have had a pretty good experience. 

Rachelle xx 

All bedding and pillows from Shop Inside

 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

How do you do it?

I’m a working mother, I work 4 days a week and have had my job for 6 years. After both of my children I returned to work relatively early (7 months). Working gives me balance and purpose. Plus, I like contributing to our household income and setting an example for Hudson and Scarlett. However, the older they get the more I am struggling. 

My work has a policy where I am meant to return to work full time when Scarlett is at school. This is still a few years away but it’s a concept that I struggle to get my head around. School isn’t like daycare. The hours are much shorter. I often lay awake worrying hiw this will work? How on earth is this managable? Can I be present for my children, get them to after school activities, help with homework and be the mum I want to be. All of this while working 40 hours a week (with a 2 hour commute each day)??? If anything this is a time where they really need me to be there for them. 

My husband runs his own business so his hours are long and ge can’t do drop offs or pick ups, he also doesn’t get paid annual leave. This means before and after school care with school holiday programs. I can get some help from family, but again I don’t want to be the mum that is never there. 

How on earth do parents manage? Working full time, children, homework, food shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking, activities, family time and friends. Is it even possible? Cost of living is expensive so its really just not as easy as throwing in the towel and saying ‘I quit.’ 

It appears in our quest to have and do it all we have found ourselves in some sort of crazy situation where it is impossible.

I’m so thankful for my job and healthy children. In no way am I whinging. I’m simply asking the question. Is it even possible? Will I regret these choices later in life? Will my children resent their mother who was always rushing around and busy?  I want to be there for my babies while they still need me. 

Other working mums, how do you do it? 

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Words I never thought I would say…..

I don’t drink coffee. Yep! I have two children (Hudson 4 and Scarlett 2) and I think I have stopped drinking coffee. 

I say I think because in the words of Bieber ‘never say never’. However, it’s been almost two months and I can’t see and end in sight anytime soon. 

In two months I have gone from having up up to 4 cups of black espresso to having none. 

I was the ‘hook it in my veins, don’t speak to me before I have had a coffee’ person. I could not function without it and I didn’t want to know what would happen if I stopped. 

So, why did I stop? I was getting headaches and my husband also said he was thinking of seeing if he could quit caffine. I figured I’d give it a go. 

I’m not going to lie, the first 2 days were hard. The headaches were intense and all I could think about was having a cup of coffee to make them go away. I felt exhausted……like sitting at my desk almost falling asleep exhausted. I thought I would be more easily irritated, but the reality was I was too tired and had such a bad headache I couldn’t care. In hindsight, I probably should have cut down and not just stopped cold turkey. 

After a few days started to feel better. I was drinking more water, had more energy, was not experiencing the caffine crash and I was sleeping better. 

My husband and I have decided to keep going caffine free and haven’t looked back. My skin has improved (probably from all the extra water) and instead of having a rush of energy and then a crash, my energy levels feel more consistent all day. I also feel that I am less anxious/stressed about small things and I haven’t had any headaches.  

I realise I used coffee to procrastinate, often thinking to myself ‘I’ll just have a coffee and then I’ll …..’. Now I just getting things done,  my mind actually feels clearer and I’m more focused. 

Overall, it’s been a positive change. I still adore the smell of coffee and I’m sure I will have one again at some stage. I just want to avoid going back to being so reliant on that little black drink. For now I’m happy sipping on herbal tea and water. 

If you’re thinking of giving it a go, just try it. Set a small goal of a week or two and see how you feel. Once you get past the first couple of days it’s smooth sailing. 

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

So long 2016

As we head into a New Year I can’t help but reflect on the past year. I have a slight apprehension about what a new year brings as 2016 hasn’t exactly been an easy one for me. I started 2016 at the beach with my family, full of hope for a wonderful new year. 

This year has taught me a lot and I have certainly grown. There were some low points. I delt with the gut wrenching pain of losing my father and explaining death to a 3 year old and one year old. Telling them they will never see their Pa again. A concept I still don’t think they understand.  I also had to watch my mother lose her husband and someone she has cared for, for over 30 years. 

Hudson broke his arm,  which meant 4 weeks off childcare and a little boy who is now very anxious about hospitals and x-rays. 

We also had our first experience with tonsilitis and hand, foot and mouth (oh the joys). Along with many other little trinkets from childcare, otherwise known as viruses. Which basically meant I stayed home with upset little children and copious amounts of snot.  All the time praying my husband doesn’t get man flu. 

While there were some bad things that happened. There were also many good things. Both Hudson and Scarlett have learnt so much.  Scarlett started walking. Plus, they now play and interact as brother and sister.  I am loving watching them grow into independent little people who are caring and so loving. 

Another positive was my new job, which allows me more flexibility and to work from home with the kids. It’s been great learning something new and working with new people.

There has been tears, tantrums, laughter, guilt, cuddles, more tears and more laughter. I guess this is life and especially life as a mother.  There will always be curve balls and low points but they are balanced with good. It’s important to aknowledge the negatives but dwelling on them and letting them consume you will not help anyone. 

So again, just like last year. I’m going into 2017 with a positive outlook and I’m excited to see what the new year brings. 

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Speak up

I’m a capable woman, organised, driven and a fast learner so being a mum should just be a breeze……Well that’s what I thought.  That was until someone with 10 little fingers, 10 little toes and a little button nose came into my world and flipped it upside down. 

I knew that motherhood has it’s ups and downs but nothing could have prepared me. 

Hudson was born early and had reflux so we were off to a rocky start. He screamed in the cot, he screamed in the car and he screamed in the pram. I had never been so tired in my life and I felt completely out of control. 

I was an absolute mess, I didn’t want to leave the house, breastfeeding wasn’t easy as I was expressing and trying to feed. 

My new little baby was so loved but how on earth was I going to cope. Of course, looking back now I realise this is a small time and at some point your child sleeps. However, when you’re in a hormonal, emotional, sleepless haze there seems like there is no way out and you will never sleep again. 

I had days where I didn’t get out of my pyjamas, I would cry and I was incredibly jealous as my husband was able to leave the house to go to work. I had people around offering all sorts of advice and help but I didn’t hear them. 

My husband was helping and being very supportive. The reality was, he was just as tired as me and running a business.  I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t coping. It seemed like eveyone else around me was loving motherhood, had it together and I had no clue. I felt alone. 

One day I was crying on the phone to my mum and I said ‘ I’m not good at this. Why can’t I do this?’ She simply replied ‘it will be ok, you will be ok’. Immediately I felt better. I felt like I had admitted defeat and just it saying out loud felt better. 

From that day on I vowed to always be open and honest about my feelings. I love being a mum more than anything, but motherhood is hard. It’s stressful and there is guilt….oh boy is there guilt. Even four years down the track with two children I still stress about tantrums, sleep schedules and health etc.  I don’t think this ever changes, it just becomes different. I’m sure my own mum is still worried about me. 

I want to be the best mother possible. In order to do this I need to take care of myself.  If you’re not coping, unhappy or depressed speak up. I always thought people would judge. No one is judging as we have all been there in one way or another. 

www.panda.org.au 
Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , ,

Stay at home mums. Take a bow!  

There are all sorts of mum’s. Working mums, stay at home mum’s, work from home mum’s, some work part time, some volunteer and some travel for a living and go days without seeing their babies.

For some reason there seems to be a constant battle between working and stay at home mums? I don’t get it, but it exists. I work 4 days a week. On the day off I have I catch up on chores, go to appointments, cook, play with my kids and try to catch up on life. It’s stressful yes, but being a mum in any form is stressful. I believe it comes with the job. However, after being home a lot the past few weeks with Hudson who broke his arm. I can honestly say that I believe stay at home mums have it super hard. 

Firstly, they can’t go out to playdates or spend money on activities everyday. Going for walks and to the park only lasts so long and you have one (or more) little people who are looking for constant attention and entertainment. Stay at home mothers are in the trenches all day everyday. They can’t just pop up the street at lunchtime to grab something for dinner. They must load the car with little people, nappies, snacks, toys etc……their houses are in constant play mode with toys and books being played with all day everyday. Not to mention the craft supplies or play-doh that is probably crowding every inch of bench space.  

Stay at home mums work around nap times everyday and probably watch the clock until their partner walks through the door just so they can have 5 mintues without little hands pulling at them. They don’t get credit for what they do, they don’t get paid and I guarantee a lot of their partners don’t really see what they are doing as hard work. Well I’m here to tell you it is! 

I love my children dearly but by working I get a break outside the family home. I interact with other adults, eat my lunch without having to share or kiss boo boos, I have personal space for a few hours and can enjoy going to the toilet alone. I often pick up something for dinner at lunchtime and while my house isn’t clean, it’s not constantly being pulled apart as we are out for long days 3-4 days each week. Working requires me to be really organised and my job is busy. I have stressful days (especially when I have sick kids) but all mothers have these moments.

Now, before anyone comments about they are our children, we chose to have them, things could be worse and this generation of mothers are whingers. I’m not saying anyone needs a trophy. I just believe that working mothers get a lot of credit in the media and in society. Stay at home mum’s don’t always get the pat on the back they deserve.  This is my opinion only, but I really think it’s time that stay at home mum’s get credit where its due and they all deserve a high five for just getting it done. 

The working/stay at home debate needs to stop. There are positives and negatives of whatever you choose. In reality the only thing you should be worried about is what suits you, your family and your circumstances. 

In the meantime…….Well done stay at home mummas, from a working mum who can appreciate how hard it must be.

Rachelle xx 

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: