Category: sick

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.

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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