About Me

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Currently growing one head, two hands, and two feet inside me, I am a Mummy In Progress. I am a registered nurse and run my own (very un-busy) business providing health education and consultancy at a community and corporate level. This blog aims to chronicle the trials and triumphs of my journey as a MIP, and help me connect with other MIP's and mothers out there!

Our Monster is coming...

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The breast debacle...

On Sunday this article about breastfeeding was published in the Sunday Telegraph and on Monday it was published online, here at the Mamamia website.

On Facebook and on chat forums it has been both applauded and ridiculed. Some view it as an uninformed and misguided opinion while others praise the author for targeting perceived bullying and judgement by "lactavists".

One particular person who felt the need to correct some misconceptions that they felt Mia Freedman's article generated and perpetuated was author Tara Moss. She is an ambassador for the Australian Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI).

After reading Mia's Article in the Sunday Telegraph Tara felt it necessary to forward this response to Mia via e-mail, as well as post it on her blog.

On Facebook and on chat forums Tara's response was praised for coming from a place of information and education rather than from pure opinion. Many have also praised Tara's tact and eloquence in her response.

It got me thinking about the whole debacle debate, and I decided to post my two cents worth on here:

While I respect every mother's right to make an informed decision about what is best for her baby, I think people living in developed countries lose sight of the issues that Tara raises about formula and bottle use having the potential to increase infection and disease.

I live in a country where infants, children and adults contract illness, and can die, due to poor water quality. And where parents will spend hard earned money on formula only to mix it incorrectly and with substandard water to give to their babies because they honestly believe that a store bought "white man" product is best for their child.

I have seen sick, malnourished infants, and poor formula practices this with my own eyes, and it's enough to break your heart.

People in Australia and other developed countries mustn't lose sight of the fact that the BFHI is a GLOBAL education initiative, and not simply one facility or organisation being paternalistic. It is not about opinions. It is about evidenced based education.

The World Health Organisation has a global hand hygiene education initiative. It is an evidence based initiative which stems from research and proven theories that hand hygiene reduces the transmission of disease and rates of infection and illness. This initiative has been adopted by institutions and governments world wide, and is viewed to be the basis of good hygiene and disease prevention not just in medical settings but also in the home. Many of us wouldn't dream of not washing our hands after using the toilet, or before eating, because we have been educated as to the risks associated with poor hand hygiene. We don't view this as paternalistic, so why should a global initiative to educate about the benefits of breastfeeding and the risks that may be associated with the use of formula and / or bottles as being such?

Step 6 of the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as promoted by the BFHI, states "Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated".

"unless medically indicated" - Voila! There is the key phrase that people are overlooking in this whole "breast politics" debacle. If a mother is unable to produce enough milk, if cracked and painful nipples are inhibiting ones ability to feed, if a baby is not gaining weight as they should be... All of these are medical indications that complemantary feeds with formula, or exclusive feeding with formula would be appropriate interventions! It is up to medical professionals to get behind the BFHI initiative and identify when there are medical indications that may necessitate something other than breastfeeding.

It is not about creating a one rule for all scenario. It is about giving people the right information to allow them to make an informed decision about what is right for them.

What people chose to do with that information is then up to the individual, and that informed choice should be respected, even if it is not the choice that you personally would make.

Well done Tara for bringing some evidence and information to the table to help balance Mia's (less informed) opinions.

Mia printed an apology following Tara's contact, somewhere in the comments section of the Mamamia post. I do think a more identifiable correction might be in order in a more acessible place on the site!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Summary Sunday on a Monday

I totally missed a summary Sunday last week what with the flying back from Oz and the whole scare with the baby on Monday and all.

One might be forgiven for thinking that given all the bed rest I've been doing, I might've got my shit together and prepared for this weeks Summary Sunday. HELL NO!

I give up trying to be organised... I do better flying by the seat of my pants. My ability to procratinate is far too ingrained to be over ridden by the simple purchase of a diary, or the introduction of a to do list.

This whole bed rest bizzo has messed with me too. I've been really flat and down all week and just can't get motivated to do anything, even the manual revisions that I should've completed for a client by now. I just can't get my motor running. :o(

I snuck out of the house this morning to go and teach my language class. I figure after no problems in a week an hour out of the house sitting on my arse wasn't going to hurt me! It felt good to do something kind of productive.

Anywho, here's a summary of the last fortnight of mad gestation.

  1. How far along?: 25 weeks 2 days
  2. How big is bub?: Our monster is apparently the size of a large sweet potato or an eggplant, measuring in at about 23 cms and weighing in at about 900 grams. A scan last Monday to check on things after the scare showed bubs weighing in at the 900 gram mark already, so we're growing like a weed!
  3. Weight gain?: I got on the scales this morning and hit the 90kg mark. That's 3 kgs over my prepregnancy weight and nearly 1 kg of that is baby, so I don't think I'm doing too badly. I seem to be gaining a bit less than a kilo a fortnight. Dear baby, please don't make me a total porker!
  4. Stretch marks?: No new ones. Cocoa butter is being used like it's going out of fashion in our house though!
  5. Maternity clothes?: A friend of mine has loaned me a big bag of maternity clothes that she bought when she was pregnant. Many of them are too small for me already given I was a size 14 - 16 before falling pregnant (damn you boobs!) and she was a 12 - 14, but some of them will be fabulous for kicking back in! My mum also bought me some comfy clothes the othe week when I was visiting her and they've been really good for kicking back on the couch during "bed arrest". Although it's hard to get the motivation to get dressed when you can't leave the house. :o(
  6. Sleep?: I am so sick of waking up at 2 or 3 am!!! It's not even because I have to pee or anything! I just wake up and can't go back to sleep. It makes me sad.
  7. Best moment last week?: There weren't really many good moments last week. But getting to see Our Monster on the ultrasound again was cool.
  8. Food cravings?: None.
  9. Symptoms?: Bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. Zits and sore boobs again. :o(
  10. Exercise?: Bed rest. Poo :o(
  11. Gender?: Dunno.
  12. Movement?: Heaps. Despite the panic, bubs has been rocking and rolling away like mad. And those little feet have spent some time hanging out under my ribs which has felt odd and uncomfortable.
  13. Belly button?: Shallow
  14. What I miss?: Alcohol.
  15. Labour signs?: None
  16. What I'm looking forward to: Heading to Melbourne next week for a check up with the clinic and my GTT and visiting my 95 year old grandma.
No belly shot today. I couldn't be bothered taking a photo of my gut.

But before I sign off, I thought you all may or may not be amused to hear that The Man has bestowed a name upon last Monday and it's madness. He swears he's going to tell the baby the story of "the day mummy's vag fell out" as a bed time story... God help us!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Bed rest day 5 - Photographic Phriday

I'm totes over this bed rest bizzo, but am doing what I have to in order to make sure Our Monster is ok!

My arse hurts from sitting on the couch!

Today's Photographic Phriday showcases my bed rest photographic project that I have set for myself this week.

As usual all the pics have been taken with the Instagram App on my iPhone.

5 days, 5 photos, all of the things I can see while on "bed arrest"!

Day 1
- Inkwell Filter

Day 2
- XProII filter

Day 3
- Earlybird filter

Day 4
- Toaster filter

Day 5
- 1977 filter

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Bed rest day 4 - Thankful Thursday

Today my three things be thankful for are:

  1. My body is healing well - I had another scan this morning which showed that the little abruption in my placenta is healing which is excellent news! Our Monster is kicking away like a trooper! Definitely more active this week since our little scare!
  2. My man is totally freaking awesome - The Man is always awesome, but he was especially amazing yesterday, putting up with my crap and tears and tantrums. I am the most freaking lucky human being in the whole wide world! I hope my baby is as beautiful a soul as it's daddy.
  3. My cats are beside me all day long - I can't imagine how lonely I'd be without my sweet kitkats! Given I'm sitting on my arse pretty much all day long in front of the telly, it's nice to have some furry friends to snuggle throughout the day. P.S. I have managed to see the funny side of the cat hanging from the tree while doing wees... I just wish I'd taken a picture!
What are you thankful for this Thankful Thursday?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bed rest day 3 - Happy Birthday to me!

To whom it may concern,

I opened my birthday this morning only to find a rather rank smell emanating from the packaging. I was very disappointed to find that it was rotten.

Today is a dud for the following reasons:
  1. This whole bed rest situation is for the birds... I can't go out for lunch or dinner, and of course alcohol is out of the question!
  2. The weather is gorgeous outside, yet I'm not suposed to leave the bed / couch, let alone the house!
  3. The power company had a scheduled 4 hour power outage this morning from 8:30 - 12:30... bed rest + no TV, internet, air con, or fan???!!! Are you kidding me?
  4. The pool is sparkling and cool and refreshing, a lovely escape from this heat... But I'm not allowed to even sit in that either!
  5. My mother rang and had a 6 minute conversation with me about how today is the one year anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake and then she hung up. An hour later she rang back because she remembered that she'd forgotton to wish me "Happy Birthday".
  6. It's now 4:30pm, and no word from my father.
  7. A bird flew into the house and shit every where.
  8. The house girl rang 20 minutes after she should've started to say she wasn't coming in today because she has a "sore knee".
  9. Therefore, there is no one to clean up afore mentioned bird shit that is decorating my living room floor, and given the previously mentioned bed rest situation I'm not allowed to pull out the mop and clean it myself.
  10. The cat decided to climb a tree and piss (from a great height) all over my verandah... while hanging from the tree.
For all of these reasons, I wish to return my birthday and request a brand new replacement one that functions in the manner which it is supposed to, i.e. full of birthday cheer, excitement, and attention being lavished upon me, rather than general suckiness.

I will happily accept any date available.

Please advise as to how you'd like me to dispose of the stinking mess that is today.


Monday, 20 February 2012

A panicked day...

So after flying back to Oz last week for a few days because my mum had been sick in hospital (all is ok now hopefully), I got back in one piece yesterday afternoon.

On our way home from the airport The Man and I stopped in at a public meeting about a chicken farm being built in a water catchment area (great for the health of the town... NOT!), and then we decided we were too lazy to cook so we got some take away and came home, had a feed, a dip in the pool and then went to bed.

Early this morning we were having some lovely "mummy daddy time" when all of a sudden we noticed that there was blood everywhere! Cue panicked wrangling of emotions!

Of course this had to happen when my usual doctor is overseas for 6 weeks and so we had to quickly come up with a Plan B that would mean the best possible care for our baby!

Plan B was implemented and another local clinic where I used to work was called. I haven't used this clinic during my pregnancy as the owners are good friends with The Man's ex-wife and I have concerns about confidentiality, and they were pretty nasty to me in the time after The Man and I got together, before I quit working for them.

The doctor at the clinic wasn't a doctor who was there when I worked there, but she was very kind, thorough and gentle and she did an ultrasound which showed that bubs wasn't in any distress and everything seemed ok. Our Monster's heart rate was thumping away at 148 beats per minute and s/he was wriggling around and having a grand old time.

I was sent home on bedrest and called to check in with the doc about the bleeding at lunchtime. Thankfully it had almost stopped.

Another, more detailed ultrasound this afternoon has shown a little placental abruption, where the placenta has come away from the uterine wall, hence the bleeding. Scary shizzle, I tell ya!!

Anyway, after checking in with the doc again this afternoon we now have a firm plan in place for medical evacuation to Australia with Careflight should the bleeding resume, and I've been prescribed a hefty dose of bedrest, which I have also interpreted as couch rest (as there's no way in hell I'm sitting in my bedroom all day with no telly to watch)! No getting up for anything other than going to the loo are my instructions!

This is my view from my perch on our two futons pushed together...

On the plus side according to today's ultrasounds bubs is weighing in at 937 grams and , despite the fact that based on LMP i'm 24 w 2 d, is measuring in on the ultrasound at 25 w 6 d! My EDD based on ultrasound is the 29th of May, although the last time we were in Oz the scan said that we were right on target for a June 9 delivery... this could get interesting!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Photographic Phriday

Over Australia.
Ready to go home now.

Anywho... Here is my favourite Instagram pic that I have taken this week! If you use Instagram you can follow me by searching for missyaeli.

I took this picture last Sunday when we went out to the beach for a BBQ with friends. This beach has always been a special place for The Man and I.

Honeymoon Beach
- Sierra Filter

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Thankful Thursday

So I made it to Sydney unscathed, despite my realisation that airplane toilets are not made with fatty fatty boombahs, or growing pregnant bellies in mind.

Note to self: When flying as my girth continues to expand, go wees before getting on the plane. If using the dunny mid flight is absolutely unavoidable, then reversing into the cubicle may be a better option than trying to turn around in such a tight space!

Mum is all good, out of hospital, cheerful, and recovering well! Hopefully we now have a nice clear run to recovery!

My three things that I am thankful for this Thursday are:
1. My mum is ok.
2. I can still fit in an airplane loo with some room to spare.
3. I have e-mail on my mobile phone so I can incessantly e-mail The Man to tell him how much I love and miss him.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Warning, warning, warning!

So tomorrow I'm off for a few days to Sydney to visit my mum.

Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a relaxing birthday fly by has now become a bit of a mercy dash after mum has suffered a complication following some surgery last week.

Hopefully they get everything under control and sorted and mum can have a few days of relaxation and TLC with me.

Cross your fingers for us!

As a result, Thankful Thursday and Photographic Phriday will be dependent upon health circumstances and internet access, so we'll play it by ear!

Hope you all had a fabulous Valentine's Day!!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Summary Sunday (On a Monday Again!)

The dog ate my home work. That is all I have to say about missing Summary Sunday AGAIN!

  1. How far along?: 23 weeks 2 days
  2. How big is bub?: According to What to Expect, Our Monster is the size of an ear of corn at 22cms long and 680 grams... That's some heavy corn!!!
  3. Weight gain?: Still lingering at about 1.5 to 2kgs above my pre-pregnancy weight.
  4. Stretch marks?: No new ones.
  5. Maternity clothes?: SO COMFY!!! A friend of mine has offered me a big bag of her maternity clothes to borrow rather than spending big on new stuff.
  6. Sleep?: I want more. I struggle to get comfortable and I toss and turn. Once again I was awake a 1 am this morning. Me want sleepies!!!
  7. Best moment last week?: My mate C arriving from Australia for a visit and asking before he touched my belly. I LOVE people who ask!!!! Note to others: Just because I'm gestating doesn't mean my belly is public property!
  8. Food cravings?: Chocolate, although I don't need it.
  9. Symptoms?: I'm starting to get really sore feet and ankles on super hot and humid days... not everyday, just some. But on these days, by the afternoon my ankles are looking a bit puffy and my feet feel like I've been standing all day!
  10. Exercise?: Yoga.
  11. Gender?: Still don't know.
  12. Movement?: More in cooler weather and lots in the evening before bed.
  13. Belly button?: Still threatening to pop but not following through.
  14. What I miss?: Being comfortable. A good night's sleep. Vodka.
  15. Labour signs?: None
  16. What I'm looking forward to: Heading to Sydney on Thursday for a quick visit with my mum. Hopefull shouldn't be too stressful! Cross your fingers for me!
Bumparama! Rocking da belleh!!!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Photographic Phriday

Once again Photographic Phriday is upon us... the day when I choose my favourite of my Instagram photos taken during the week on my iPhone.

I couldn't pick just one photo this week, so here's 3.

The first two were taken on our impromptu drive around the island last Sunday, and the third was taken from my local cafe the morning after Cyclone Jasmine passed us.

Which one is your favourite?

Around the island 1
- Inkwell filter
Around the island 2
- Amaro filter
Angry sea
- Hudson filter

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Thankful Thursday

Well, we got lucky!
With cyclone Jasmine heading right for us, we battened down the hatches and put up the cyclone shutters and prepared for the worst!

The Kitchen all boarded up...

The rest of the house...

Only for her to do this...

As you can see she became a category 4 cyclone, but managed to slip past between us and Noumea, leaving Port Vila a little wind battered but unscathed.

Some of our southern islands weren't so fortunate though and the category 4 cyclone passed right over the top  of them. For a couple of the islands this is the 3rd time in 13 months that a cyclone has passed over them and crops have been damaged. It'll be a few days before we know the extent of the damage down there, and it'll probably be another week or two before relief is coordinated to get down there!

So this week on Thankful Thursday I am thankful for the following three things:
  1. I am thankful that cyclone Jasmine didn't hit us.
  2. I am thankful that i don't live in a bamboo hut (like many of the villagers do in Vanuatu), and especially not on one of the islands that Jasmine did hit. And,
  3. I am thankful for The Man and for all the wonderful things he provides for us, including food in our fridge, and a sturdy house with a strong roof over our heads.
It's Valentine's Day coming up next week and I'm looking forward to being able to show The Man and the world just how much I adore him. My awesom friend C is arriving from Sydney tomorrow and hopefully he will be able to help me pull off something special for my sweet honey!

What are you thankful for this thankful Thursday?

Monday, 6 February 2012

Circling the wagons...

So, this morning's language class went well! Hopefully I can pull of the challenge of getting the seven participants to be able to converse confidently in Bislama (an English based form of Pigin spoken as the lingua franca in Vanuatu)!

I'm supposed to have another class of six on Wednesday evening, but thanks to Tropical Cyclone Jasmine, it looks like that may be postponed and I'll have to run a make up class next week... not such a good look for the first week of "term"!

Speaking of old TC Jazzy, it seems we're getting conflicting reports about what to expect. (When looking at the maps, please note that we live in Vila, the Nation's capital.)

At midday today the Vanuatu Meteo was predicting this...

The Australian Bureau of Meterology was predicting this...

And the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre was predicting this...

Whichever way it plays out, it's going to get pretty darn close and we're in for some wild weather! Hopefully we won't lose comms, but this cyclone does have the potential to pass right over the top of us, so it may be best to expect a Tropical Cyclone Uma situation and hope for the best!

TC Uma took out much of Port Vila, along with electricity, water, and communications in February 1987. It also wiped out an estimated 95% of housing in Port Vila!

Fingers crossed we don't have that happen again!

The Man's visiting staff member is incapable of listening to reason and still reckons that he's going to be able to fly out to Australia on Wednesday... Hahahahahahahahaha!

Just what I need... A cyclone lockdown for days with my sexy man, a doberman, a retriever, two cats, and a whining staff member!

I told him to start swimming!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Cyloney Summary Sunday

From earthquakes, to severe weather warnings, and now we have a tropical cyclone on its way for a visit. We expect TC Jasmine to reach us late Tuesday or early Wednesday, unless it blows itself out or dramatically changes direction between now and then... Actually I wouldn't mind locking down for a few days with The Man and avoiding everyone, although it shouldn't take a cyclone to get some alone time!

Onwards with today's Summary Sunday (please note it's actually on time this week)!

  1. How far along?: 22 weeks 1 day.
  2. How big is bub?: This week Our Monster is about 28cms long and should weigh just under half a kilo!
  3. Weight gain?: I'm about a kilo (give or take) over my pre-pregnancy weight now, but I feel super porky, especially now that some of my clothes, particularly my jean shorts, are being less accomodating of my growing gut!
  4. Stretch marks?: None yet. Yay cocoa butter!
  5. Maternity clothes?: I am totally in love with my Bonds maternity singlets. They make my boobs feel so comfy, although people seem to look more at my boobs when I wear them. Less accomodating wardrobe items are falling by the wayside (like the afore mentioned jean shorts) in favour of stretchy, light, non-clinging items.
  6. Sleep?: Patchy last week. Some days I feel like I could sleep forever and others I just can't sleep no mater how hard I try!
  7. Best moment last week?: Having been so caught up with work it seems like that is the only thing that has comprised my whole last week. It was nice to feel bubs tumbling and kicking away as I spent my days knocking over lesson plans for my new language course.
  8. Food cravings?: I'm struggling with food again. Seeming to gravitate towards potato chips and the occasional chocolate, everything else is hit or miss. Although I had a very nice piece of toast with Vegemite and avocado on it!
  9. Symptoms?: I'm reflux central this week!
  10. Exercise?: Still going with th yoga, but I kinda feel like I should be doing something else...
  11. Gender?: Still a surprise.
  12. Movement?: Still rumbling and tumbling, although Our Monster gave me a bit of a scare this morning when we weren't up and kicking at our usual time! At least one of us got a sleep in!
  13. Belly button?: Shallow.
  14. What I miss?: Goats cheese.
  15. Labour signs?: None.
  16. What I'm looking forward to: I'm looking forward to the start of my Bislama language courses this week. I'm going to be running two a week for 10 weeks. Tomorrow morning we'll know whether or not all the effort on lesson plans etc will pay off! Hopefully too I may get some cyclone induced downtime with The Man, which would be really good, especially considering he has once again worked  much of the weekend!
Here's a picture of my rocking pot belly! I'm looking rather portly!

Have a great week everyone!!!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Quaking in our boots... and Photographic Phriday

Well, nothing like a 7.1 earthquake in the middle of the night, followed by multiple aftershocks over 5.0 throughout the night, to set the cat amongst the pigeons! Everyone in town is banging on about it!
I slept through it and woke thinking I had dreamed the whole thing!

Earthquakes are very common here in Vanuatu as we are situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire. According to Wikipedia, 90% of the world's earthquakes occur on the Ring of Fire!

Not sure it's what Johnny Cash had in mind when he wrote about falling into a burning ring of fire...

Anywho... It's Photographic Phriday = that awesome day when I share my favourite photo of the week that I have taken on my iPhone using the Instagram App! You can follow me on Instagram by searching for missyaeli!

This week my favourite photo is one that I took in the late afternoon after cleaning the pool... It doesn't look so serene now after half the water sloshed out last night!
- Kelvin filter

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Thankful Thursday

Almost forgot!

Today my three things for Thankful Thursday are:

1. My bedroom door: Which I can close at night to keep my cats out. I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep no longer playing cat mattress! Little buggers think sleeping on me is a great idea!

2. My friend Kez: Who cracks me up completely and is just a wicked as I am. Her insanity keeps me sane(ish).

3. My language course: Although the set up and course material creation is a hard slog, I'm really looking forward to having a bit more purpose and a bit more money each week! Yay for me! I hope people like it!

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rain, rain, go away...

Today is a poo day! I'm over it already!

Crappy grey rainy weather, a long term client dropping me via e-mail at the last minute with very little explanation and even less apology, lack of sleep, potential cyclone advisories, snotty-ness and incessant sneezing, inconsiderate smokers, The Man's stupid staff invading our home, looming deadlines, lack of patience... Today everything seems to be too much!

This made me sad...

So, I baked to take my mind off things for a bit.

I made apple muffins from my Edmonds cook book that my mum sent me a couple of years ago.
From Mummy with love...

Instead of regular oil, I thought some locally produced Coconut Oil would make a nice difference so added a 1/4 cup, which I kind of regret. It doesn't seem to have affected the taste too much, but they don't smell like yummy apple muffins... even through my blocked nose all I can smell is coconut oil, and the delicacy of the cinnamon flavour is lost!
Product of Vanuatu
The final product is passable and reasonably tasty, but I don't think I'll use the coconut oil so much in my baking in the future. If I do, I'll use half/half, rather than substituting coconut oil for the whole required amount.

Anyone want one?
Muffin Madness