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From Lion Fox & Co

Babes + Picnics Mandurah | Supporting WIRF & KEMH Op Shop

A beautiful Mama with her blue eyed Babe. Image taken by Lion Fox & Co.

“When you find something that gives you meaning and purpose, you must continue to pursue it as it may just change your life. ” – Melanie Edge Babes + Picnics Mandurah Ambassador

Discovering Babes + Picnics

After the birth of my second child Flynn, the one thing I truly longed for was a community of Mothers. I have always felt a bit socially awkward and introverted. So when it came to taking the plunge and approaching other Mum’s, my heart would race and I would stumble over my words. The thing that didn’t really help my position was always being ‘sorry’ for the craziness of my eldest son (ADHD diagnosis in 2016). When instead it.. I should have been finding the right crowd who showed acceptance for children who were just that little bit more than average.

When Lion, Fox & Co first came to life twelve months ago, I threw myself into the world of Instagram. And all I can say is… THANK YOU INSTAGRAM. The huge difference that I find between Facebook and Instagram is one of positivity and acceptance. Now this is solely my own opinion, but I think people choose to be on Instagram because they feel safe to share their achievements without the fear of being judged. Also, people are generally kinder (there is still the occasional troll) in the way that they communicate with others.

So it wasn’t long after creating my account, and following a large number of Perth Insta Mums, that I discovered Babes + Picnics Australia. Founded by the beautiful soul Lucia De Mello, I approached her at the beginning of last year to become an Ambassador for Mandurah. I won’t deny that at the time I was shitting bricks, fully understanding the responsibility that followed such an integral role. But.. I threw on my big girl panties and not a day goes by that I regret that email.

“Love yourself and be proud of everything that you do, even your mistakes. Because even your mistakes mean you’re trying.”

Sassy: lively, bold, and full of Spirit. Cheeky too. Image taken by Lion Fox & Co
Sassy: lively, bold, and full of Spirit. Cheeky too. Image taken by Lion, Fox & Co

 Babes + Picnics Mandurah Today

It was decided that the WIRF (Women & Infants Research Foundation) Opportunity Shop at KEMH (King Edward Memorial Hospital) would be our chosen charity. Why? Well WIRF has conducted and supported research to help improve the health of women and infants in Western Australia. This is what makes their mission so important to our community. It provides them the ability to raise funds for equipment, initiatives and offer support to facilitate essential research studies.

After eight months of coordinating picnics, supporting charities and backing local businesses.. it is a first for me to be lost for words from our most recent event. With the help of my beautiful friend and co-ambassador Siobhan Barwick, I believe we have successfully formed a Mama Tribe. How? Firstly, that feeling of complete awe by the love and generosity from each and every member who donated precious items. And finally, smiles are contagious and there is plenty of them at these picnics.

Claire from Maggie Moo Music Mandurah tagged along to the event too. It was a great, fun and interactive music session for the babes (AND she caters to the bigger babes too). Music is an essential part of every child’s development and the songs used at the sessions are positive, uplifting, fun and educational. The interactive sessions will help your child gain confidence and develop memory, language and coordination skills in an exciting, enjoyable and multi-sensory.

“Be part of something bigger than yourself.”

Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. Image take by Lion, Fox & Co
Be Silly. Be Honest. Be Kind. Image take by Lion, Fox & Co

Next Month

The Kmart Wishing Appeal is Australia’s largest and longest running Christmas gift Appeal. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Australian community, the Appeal has raised more than 8 million gifts which have been distributed to those in need over the Christmas period.

Not yet a Member, please come join our Facebook Group Babes + Picnics Mandurah for all future event details.

 

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The Third Child

Finding out that I was pregnant with my third child, left me feeling deflated and a little lost with my identity to a baby who had just turned one. The thought of having two under two (with an existing 5 year old with ADHD) frightened the shit out of me. This little baby wasn’t planned for, we were twelve to eighteen months too early. But I guess that is what happens when you play with fire.. you will get burnt.

I guess you could call me Fertile Myrtle, I could probably easily fall pregnant by sitting on a dirty toilet seat. I don’t know if it is the combination with my husbands super sperm, but honestly, all it took was one Wam Bam Thank You MAM. Especially with my last two pregnancies. I remember after sex, fear would grip me, reminding Chris that this could make me pregnant. And you betcha, before my period was even due I had two little pink lines confirming that I was pregnant. Each time I can remember the shock on his face, informing him that he is going to be a Dad, again.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am elated to be pregnant because I get to experience the newborn fever again. Those snuggles, the smell, it’s all extremely intoxicating.. It’s just, like I said, a little too early for me and the family. You see, I am currently enrolled in a course that I have been wanting since forever. Something I am passionate about as it allows me to be creative in my own way. After being in the human services field for 10 years, I was done, dusted. I needed a change. So off I went to try and rebuild a new career in something completely different. I guess it can go on hold.. Right?

“First child eats dirt. Mother calls Doctor. Second child eats dirt. Mother cleans out their mouth. Third child eats dirt. Mother wonders if she needs to feed them lunch.”

I think the biggest single factor of having a third child is the conversions. No longer can you have a standard family car. We currently own a Mitsubishi Outlander and I can guarantee you that a third child seat will not fit in the back row. So, our options will include a people mover (sorry but that is a no from me; no offence) or a four wheel drive. Obviously we are going to opt for a four wheel drive, but lets face it, they are not exactly a cheapish option.

The next exhausting thought I have is the idea of purchasing some kind of pram that could fit a newborn and a toddler, or do I just baby-wear until Flynn is old enough to walk to stroll by my side? I remember a little while ago whilst scrolling through Instagram, my favourite fit mum Chontel showcased her newest pram and it looked amazeballs. My only concern is, is it really worth the money? Flynn will be shy of two years old by the time this baby comes along. The real issue is that I truly dislike being disorganized. So I’m likely going to have to wing it.

And finally, the babies room. Eeeeeeeeeek. Do you know that the “baby room” is actually our spare/junk/hidden room of our home. Currently it is so disorganized that I don’t even know where to begin or declutter. We (meaning me) haven’t even thought of what colour to paint the walls, or if the room will have a theme, and I am currently 20 weeks pregnant. Does this make me a bad Mum? Or this just real life?

“Congrats on your third child. You are officially outnumbered. Way to think things through…”

So putting all these things aside, one big thing that excites me about falling pregnant for the third time is that our family will finally be complete. Flynn and Lucas will have a little brother or sister to dote on. I will begin my breastfeeding journey again, and Chris can finally be on his way to getting the snip.

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We are the Face of Motherhood: My Story on Postpartum Anxiety

Generally when people think of Mental Health, they think of the stigma that’s attached to it. “Insane, Incompetent, Pity.”   So, I reckon it is fair to say that Mental Health is something that you never like to admit to having.

“Living with Anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room and the only one you can hear.”

I have always battled some level of anxiety, even from a very young age, that was caused by a situation that was out of my control. Growing up, it’s safe to say that I had a terrible dysfunctional family who exposed me to terrible things like alcoholism and violence. So typically with any form of family violence, it would come in waves of good and bad periods. But what always remained the same was the continuation of the cycle. Looking back, I never really thought that I had anxiety. I was just conditioned to feel that what I experienced was normal. I never approached a general practitioner or psychologist, and my parent’s probably just thought I was an oversensitive child.

So when I found out that I was pregnant with Lucas, the thought of having a child terrified me. I was 27 years old when the pregnancy was confirmed, so I thought I was mature enough to be able to manage becoming a Mother. I was in a stable and solid relationship, content with where my career was heading, and I considered myself a responsible person. But for some reason it did not sit right with me. I remember being told by my Dad to never have children, so there was always this self doubt. Also, I had never been around babies, never changed a nappy, never burped a baby, never taught how to hold them the correct way. So I felt out of my depth!

“More than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads experience postnatal depression each year in Australia.” ~ Panda

By the time Lucas was born, he absolutely without a doubt terrified me. I didn’t know what to do with him. I kept asking myself, “when am I going to love him?”, “why am I struggling?”, and “what is wrong with me?” In all honestly, I just didn’t know how to be his Mum. I was living day to day, with the hope that something might just click. Around ten days postpartum, I developed an extremely high fever, body aches and heavy bleeding; so I instinctively knew that I had developed an infection. I ended up being readmitted into hospital with a bad case of endometritis, which is an infection or inflammation of the inner lining of the uterus. Plus to top things off I had a bladder infection and mastitis. After a consultation with the ED gynaecologist, I was going to be administered a high dose of IV antibiotics and was advised not to breastfeed Lucas. I was told that it would be unsafe and harmful for the him. I was devastated!

My husband remained brave through it all. Even though I was struggling,  Chris was amazing. He just got stuck into parenthood, and kind of carried the load. He managed the task of nursing a ten day old baby on his own whilst I was recovering in the hospital. I remained there for about three days recuperating, and once I finished my course of antibiotics I could start breastfeeding him again. So for about a two weeks I was pumping and dumping and it had a huge effect on my supply, and this caused my anxiety to spiral. In the end anxiety drove me to quit breastfeeding, which is my biggest regret because breastfeeding is something I have such passion for now. A part of me was crushed and I accepted that I had failed as a Mother.

“When you find yourself locked in the bathroom, sobbing on the floor because you’ve just had enough, that does not mean that you have failed as a mother. Being a mother is hard. That is not failure. This is fact. Remind yourself of that.”

When I returned to work, Lucas was about 6 months old, I was unable to fulfil my role. I would spend the morning crying when it was time to drop him off. I remember when I was having buddy training, I ended up bursting into tears because of my inability to cope with the changes. It was pretty embarrassing! Things began to calm down when Lucas became a toddler, but I was still a helicopter parent. Forever holding him back for fear of him hurting himself. Whenever he got sick I mollycoddled him. I was taking him to the doctors for the smallest things. I was just constantly under duress, my poor brain must be fried by the constant arousal of neurons. I constantly doubted myself as a Mum.. But.. I need to remind myself that there was a few challenging factors that most (term used loosely) families don’t face. My husband was away.. ALOT! Most of Lucas life he was absent, which at the time was awful but we had to create a means to an end. We also live in a state which is thousands of kilometres away from family, so being able to reach out for support was impossible.

But it was only within the last 18 months where I have been formally diagnosed by my GP. There were days where I was barely able to function. My worst symptoms were heart palpitations and panic attacks. Honestly, it would literally stop me in my tracks. It was truly an awful experience, but I am so thankful that my husband came with me as support to speak with my GP. These days I manage my anxiety with medication, and blogging has helped ease my stress. It can be very healing.

“Recognising the signs of anxiety is not always easy, as you can have anxiety without the symptoms of having depression. Some symptoms that stood out to me was. Heart palpitations, irritated easily, nausea, difficulty sleeping, dizzy spells, trembling, dry mouth, sweating, feelings of dread.”

So.. let’s stop the stigma of mental health and start supporting each other. If you recognise these signs of a friend or loved one, talk to them about it. Make it apart of conversation, because you never know.. they may have been reaching out to you but never had the courage to start the conservation.

Much love

Melanie xoxo

{Do you or someone you know may be struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder? Please contact your health provider including your obstetrician or family doctor. Need more information? Visit PANDA for great information on maternal mental health disorders and more. If you fear that yourself or someone you love may be contemplating suicide or facing a mental health emergency, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 and/0r visit your nearest emergency department.}

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