Category: breastfeeding

Good Riddance 2016

2016 – Definitely Not an Odyssey

Well, 2 days into the new year and it feels largely the same as 2016!

I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking that by some kind of divine intervention, the coming of a new calendar year is somehow going change them (new year, new me). Or that it may  bring them some kind of different life. As though there is some kind of divine being in control of their fate, a ‘Sky Wizard‘ if you will!

I’m not about to start waxing lyrically about how I’m a pessimist, or a realist (of which I am neither) or any other kind of ‘ist’ really. If I was forced to choose one like my very existence relied upon it, I would be somewhere between optimist and opportunist.

For me, I strongly believe that we are in full control of our own destiny. We are our own Sky Wizard, and as such, it’s up to us to get about fixing the things we don’t like. And let me tell you, there was a lot about 2016 that was not to like. I’m sure everyone has their own list of reasons that 2016 could fuck right of and your probably damn well happy that it has!

However, on the other hand, there was a lot about 2016 that was to like, a lot!

2016 was a year of change for us in the Edge household. The first half was pretty mundane. Work was pretty straightforward, Mel was plowing through her pregnancy (and bags of chips) with flying colours. Lucas was getting in trouble looking under the toilet doors as school (to see people wee), and we were fostering rescued Greyhounds. By all accounts, most likely an average 6 months in an average Australian family of 3.

The second half of the year was where things got interesting.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of my (our?) year was finally getting to meet Flynn. You can read the story of his Birth here. He is an incredibly sweet, calm and easy going little boy. He has brought a sense of calm to us both that we didn’t know before, both Mel and I love him dearly. As we do both of our sons.

Mel had made the decision to take a full 12 months maternity leave after Flynn was born. A decision that had (and still has) my full support. When Lucas was 6 months old, Mel made the tough decision of returning to work. Even though things have worked out fine, has always felt that this was the wrong thing to do.

And you know what, even though money is tight, we shop at Aldi, and no longer eat meat, things have been great! Both boys are thriving, Mel is a lot more relaxed (most days) and she has an incredible bond with the boys that is completely different to mine.

I reckon anyone that claims to be a perfect father is fooling themselves, but not fooling anyone else. Parenting is hard work! It’s the hardest bloody thing I’ve ever done. And it’s a heck of a lot of responsibility. I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel this way? It’s our job, to care for, nurture and mold this person into the kind of adult that will be able to function in an ever changing society. That’s some heavy shit right there! I’m flat out most days just getting myself to do the things that I need to to get through my day. Brush my teeth, shower before work, no sugar in my 4th cup of coffee for the day. And that’s before 8am.

For my brother and I, we grew up in a pretty typical household. Dad worked (a lot), Mum did the household stuff, and we went to school. Both my parents are fantastic. They sacrificed everything to bring us from the UK to Australia in 1989, so I’m not about to get on my soapbox about how my childhood was hard, and that it’s not my fault that I am the way I am. But it is you see. Yes, Dad was quite authoritative and at times dictatorial, but we were kids. Pushing the boundaries, testing the limits and creating chaos wherever we went.

Do I want to be that kind of parent to my boys? No. Am I? Sometimes, yes. And it’s not until it’s too late, that I realise that I am slipping back into learned habits.

I’m sure by now you’re thinking ‘Why the bloody hell is he banging on about his daddy and 1989 when this is supposed to be about 2016?”. Well, I do have a point, and I’m getting to that (Shush Mel, my stories are important, however meandering.)

Back in October, we had Lucas assessed by a pediatrician. A pediatrician that charged us $400 to have us and his teacher do all the work for her. (I’m definitely in the wrong line of work.) Long story short, she came to the conclusion that Lucas has symptoms that suggest he has ADHD. I say suggest because I’m still not convinced, or i could just be reluctant to label the boy. Nonetheless, he does behave different to other boys his age and has issues recognising boundaries and when Mum and Dad are feeling the pressure of a constant barrage of begging for the tiniest morsel of our own dinner. Coincidentally exactly the same as his.

He can be an incredibly sweet boy, and has an amazing zest for life that i think all adults forget. Life has a nasty habit of making us get way too serious about things, and we can sometimes forget to have a sense of humor.

And here it is, the point of the last few paragraphs is that coming out of 2016 and in to 2017, we’ve had a lot of changes in our household. Quite significant ones at that. Most notable is the obvious additional mouth to feed (good on you love, you’re boobs are doing a great job!), we’ve had a significant drop in income while an increase in expenses and lastly. We’re having to completely redesign the way we parent. And it is unquestionably more of a lesson for Mel and I than it is for Lucas.

So here I am, jumping on the bandwagon that is full of people that proudly chime “Fuck off 2016!”, as we launch into what I’m going to call “Fuck yes, 2017!”

That’s all for now. I’d love to hear what you have said goodbye to in 2016! I’m sure you’ve got your own stories to tell.

If I’m not back in 5 minutes. Just wait longer!

Mastitis Bites!

Breastfeeding mothers can understand the fear of getting Mastitis. When you are discharged from hospital, the midwife drills into your long term memory bank the side effects of mastitis and how can it become a serious illness. This is a bloody good thing as it’s probably one of the worst thing I’ve experienced postpartum.


So last week I woke up around midnight with a terrible ache in my right breast. The pain traveled from my nipple through to my armpit, and I could barely lift my arm above my head. So I decided to wake Flynn up, hoping and praying that he could unblock my clogged milk duct because I didn’t have time to get sick.Well… apparently I was a bit of a bitch that night because I snapped at Chris whilst he was soundly sleeping. He is probably right though, I don’t do well with sickness and pain. I am always quick to Google what’s wrong with me, which is a terrible habit and it induces my anxiety further.

After Flynn was fed I went back to sleep, only to wake up feeling worse and it continued to progress throughout the day. It wasn’t until the afternoon that I developed a large red lump and then the fever set in. The aches and pains were horrendous. I called the Australian Breastfeeding Association, and we both agreed that I should begin my antibiotics. Thank God, because I woke up later that night with a high temperature and a chill had set in. I was chattering away whilst trying to encourage Flynn to feed, and then once he had finished I was trying stealing some warmth from Chris’s body.

I still didn’t feel any better the following day, I was actually worse. I could barely stand, fever over 39 degrees Celsius, dizzy spells and even some nausea. I spent my day laying on the lounge or in bed. Thankfully by that night, the symptoms eased and then I woke up the next day feeling more like myself. I was out of it for three whole days and I even considered taking a trip to the emergency department so I could get the intravenous antibiotics.

So what really helped me through Mastitis was hot and cold compresses. Also feed, feed feed and pump, pump, pump! The process that I developed was to warm my breast with a hot cloth, feed, bump and then place a cold pack over the lump. I even pumped on my all fours, which made me feel like a bloody cow. But hey.. it worked and I’m thankful that I’m better. I’m now also taking a tablet called Lecithen, which apparently helps with the stickiness of the milk and prevents the milk ducts from getting blocked. I’m willing to try anything to prevent that from happening again.

So mums and mums to be, don’t sit on mastitis. Act fast, otherwise you may end up in hospital and it can end your breastfeeding journey.

Much love

Melanie xx

The UGLY side of Postpartum

One thing that has come to my attention since giving birth to Flynn is the real ugly side of postpartum. Of course there is a lot of focus on your pregnancy progression and what to expect with your newborn, but why is it so hard to find information on what to watch out for when you have given birth. I am Googling (I know, terrible idea) these different symptoms and can only find information relating to threads created nearly 10 years ago, and it really doesn’t help. So lets talk about it!!


Here are some of the postpartum symptoms I am referring too…

Excessive hair loss…

With my first born I did lose a bit of hair, particularly near my temple. It had receded pretty badly, so I ended up taking a fair amount of supplements to assist better growth and strength for my hair. Once I was pregnant with Flynn it grew beautifully and thick, and it didn’t need daily washing caused by excessive oils like it does today. Now I am pulling out clumps of hair each time it is washed. My hair is just past my shoulders and so far I am able to roll the fallen hair into a golf ball sized clump. I can feel it shedding in strips and it wouldn’t surprise me if I have bald spots on my head. I live with a mum bun everyday and I also put off straightening my hair with a flat iron otherwise I will lose more hair.

So why does our hair fall out after birth? During our pregnancy we produce larger amounts of the hormone estrogen and progesterone. Both play a large part with the development of the baby, making milk and to assist the transformation of our uterus to sustain a growing baby. Whilst we are pregnant fewer hair follicles goes through a resting stage, meaning that the growing stage is prolonged and why our hair looks so voluminous. So when we give birth, our hormone levels drop significantly resulting with a lot more hair entering the resting stage. Hence the shedding, and why my drain gets clogged each time I wash my hair. Apparently it can 6-12 months for your hair to return to its original glory. Insert sad face.

Aching joints…

There are days where I struggle to walk from A to B. I honestly hate to think how people with chronic pain live with the daily struggle of getting up in the morning. I don’t have a choice to sleep in or stay in bed, and to wait for the pain to settle after taking pain relief. I have two children that constantly need my attention. So after a bit of reading I found that it is common complaint after birth, and it has a name. Arthralgia. This condition can be caused by hormonal changes to help prepare your body for birth, and unfortunately for some it can continue once the baby is born. For me, I have developed joint pain in my feet and ankles and it can cause me to hobble particularly first thing in the morning and when I go to bed at night. However as each week goes by it is slowly improving.


Leaky boobs…

All breastfeeding mums understand the importance of a good breast pad. And I don’t mean the disposable one, because lets face it they are rank! Thankfully I discovered a brand called Bamboobies. On their website they advise that are made from materials including bamboo, organic cotton and hemp, which makes them the most absorbent and soft nursing pads around on the market. I agree wholeheartedly. Before I discovered these gems I was using an inferior brands which has caused permanent stains on my clothes. I would have a let down during a feeding session and my shirt would be drenched in breast milk. It would be so embarrassing walking around like I was just involved in a wet t shirt competition. People do not want to see that! You need to commit that to spending that little bit extra on quality.

Teeth grinding/clenching…

So I am into my second week of wearing my mouth guard since being diagnosed with Bruxism. What is that? Well essentially it is a condition which causes you to grind or clench your teeth. Mine was not too bad, however it has caused a slight crack in one of my canines. My dentist informed me that it is a very common condition for new mothers because of the stress caused by lack of sleep. He advised that usually the symptoms tend to soften when you reach the age of 40. I’m 32…


Yep! I have a prolapse… It was discovered when I was having my very over due pap smear. The doctor was having some difficulty putting in the speculum, and randomly asked if I suffer from leakage. I awkwardly said yes. She divulged that I have a prolapse, meaning that apart of my vjayjay has weakened to the point that my rectum wants to join the party in there. It’s still a shock to admit because I ‘used’ to have a nice tight little package, but since the birth of Flynn I feel so different. There are three possible prolapses that women can develop, and I thankfully got the better one of the three. The other two are bladder and uterus prolapses, and they generally require surgery. All need to do is do plenty of pelvic floor exercises, and my lucky husband can get more sex. That’s still something that I am working on. Insert laughing.

So ladies, I guess that’s it for now. Sorry if it TMI, but it’s the reality of having a baby.

Much love

Melanie xx