A++ would do again (a birth story)

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Ah Sundays. A day of rest – unless you’re the mother of a second born arriving to turn everyone’s lives upside down!

3am. Sunday. 17th of April. 2016.

There I was, fast asleep on the couch upstairs (because The Man was downstairs snoring like a chainsaw) and then.. I woke up to a contraction.

Shit. That was an actual contraction, not one of those fake “I think I had a contraction” contractions I’d been having for the past few weeks. Oh my god, what have I done, I remember this. This was NOT a good idea.

I was partly excited at going into labour on my own, partly terrified and partly horrified that my midwife was out of town and I had, as predicted gone into labour when she wasn’t here.

I waited to see if another one happened, holy crap it did. Holy crap I AM in labour. Waited another 6 or 7 minutes and it happened again, and then again..and then I went and woke up The Man. He got up and had a shower as you do at 4am..and then they started coming every 5 minutes instead of every 6 or 7. We decided to call Shell and have her come and join the 4am party. For funsies.

We rang the hospital too and they were happy for us to keep on keeping on at home. The contractions were still coming every 5 or 6 minutes so I got up and had a shower, then blow dried my hair, then got Shell to straighten it for me (all in between contractions).

Shell was meant to be coming over to look after Angus in case we had to go to hospital – or that was what I told her, really I just wanted someone to do my hair for me.

Hey I wanted to know my hair looked good in labour even if the rest of me didn’t!

After that I went upstairs and they fizzled out back to 7 or 8 minutes, even 10 minutes apart for the rest of the morning, and the pain was not too bad really – especially if its only painful once every 10 minutes! The midwife was still confident I wouldn’t have the baby before she got back. I just had to hold on until 2am Monday. Easy peasy.

I can’t remember when but at some point that morning Mum came and picked up Angus and took him back to her place so I could rest.

When I realised that Seachange was on Netflix, that was my day set. So Second Born, reminiscing about my childhood Sunday nights watching Seachange will forever remind me of being in labour with you.

Be thankful we didn’t call you Diver Dan.

The day went pretty quickly, or it seemed like it did. About 3pm things started to ramp up, and all of a sudden it wasn’t as fun anymore! I decided now was a really good time to re-read the ‘birth skills’ book I’d used last time with Angus. It helped! I also realised it was unlikely my midwife was going to make it to the birth. I just hoped the midwife we got at the hospital was nice.

Around 6pm things were getting quite intense and the contractions were about 4 minutes apart, with some more frequent and we debated about calling the hospital again..what if we went in and it fizzled out and we got sent home, or we went in and I was only like 2cms dilated, I would have been devastated!
We decided to call and while The Man was on the phone to the hospital I was pacing up and down the hallway and I heard him say “okay so maybe we should stay home a bit longer” when I had a bad enough contraction that I interrupted him and told him no we needed to go to the hospital – right NOW.

The trip over to Wodonga was awful, it seemed like The Man was taking the scenic route which is also the bumpiest. Why maximise time on the smooth 110kmh freeway when you can take the back streets. I expressed my displeasure. Repeatedly.

Then, instead of dropping me off at the front door of the hospital he parked the car and made me walk the interminable distance to the front door; I took many breaks in the couple of hundred metres it took to get there. It honestly felt like it took forever to get to the front door!

When we finally got inside they sent us down to a waiting room. There was this older man in there and I went to walk in and sit down but felt a bit self conscious what with being in agony and all, so turned around and hobbled out. Thankfully he must have felt sorry for me and cleared out very quickly.

Not long after our amazing midwife Megan arrived and took us down to the birth suite. Megan was the hospital midwife on duty. I knew she was going to be great right away, and I pretty well relaxed then. Even though our private midwife couldn’t make it I feel like I got super lucky to get Megan, she was terrific!

We debated about finding out how far along I was, did I want to know?? The contractions were every 3 minutes now. Nah, of course I did, my control freak mind could not cope not knowing if I was actually in active labour or not. So Megan had a gander and I was  already 6cms dilated! The man and I high fived, I’d done most of the work at home. Well, sort of!

If you been in a birthing suite before, either as a participant or spectator you know the rest of the story, and if you haven’t then trust me you don’t want to know.

We’d arrived at hospital at 6:30pm and at 8:49pm our amazing Eleanor Grace was born. And yes, that is a labour PB for me.

So here you go second born:

I am still on a massive high from your birth. It was an amazing, natural experience and exactly what I wanted. As I kept saying to The Man afterwards “I DID IT!, I DID IT”. I feel super lucky to have got the pregnancy and labour that I did. If I had to describe the experience as eBay feedback then this one was A++ would do again!!

I’ve been trying really hard to be more relaxed this time around. Of course life has to throw challenges at us, like a surprise staph infection for you and a nasty bout of mastitis for me. We both ended up back in Albury hospital on IV antibiotics when you were 9 days old.

Being positive though it was a good opportunity to compare hospital food, Wodonga has much better food than Albury. Just so you know.

Since getting home things have just got better and better. We cannot imagine life without you, really we can’t – it feels like you’ve been here forever instead of just 6 weeks. Your brother absolutely adores you, constantly asks to hold you (well just for a minute and then he tries to shove you off his lap), and if you’re unsettled he’s always going in to give you a pat and say “its orright Ollie”.

Your first bath was a total disaster, you did not like the inflatable duck bath at ALL! The midwife commented in 20 years she’d never seen a baby scream so much. But just quietly I think the water might have been a tad cold.. sorry.

Since then you’ve had baths with your Dad and your brother and you love it, and they do too.

So to there you go, my wonderful second born. You have a lovely, gentle and happy personality – I can tell already! So please don’t turn out to be a serial killer and have my words bite me in the arse.

– Mum















#36 A thank you note to a ‘thing’

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// Over 50 days (or so) I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order.

Today’s post is #36 a thank you note to a ‘thing’ like coffee or trashy tv.

I could say thank you to coffee but thats a bit of a cop out. I say that every morning!

So my thank you is to Foxtel. Best thing ever getting it put on while I’m home all the time. There is so much great trashy TV to watch. When I’m so tired and just want to sit down and chill out without having to think there so many options!

My favourite by far at the moment is Million Dollar Listing (New York). Its so bitchy and trashy!! I think Frederik is maybe my favourite agent! But probably because he reminds me of Mugatu from Zoolander.

Check out this video of the three agents..

I also like the Real Housewives of Melbourne (I’m waiting for season 2), Seinfeld, Super Nanny, One Born Every Minute..too many to list really.

Of course then there are lots of educational shows too…like er well like Deadliest Catch.

What about you? What crazy thing are you thankful for?

– Jen


Interview with a husband

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I got the idea for this from another blog I’ve been reading – Mummy Wife Me . Thanks for the idea Renee!

But here he is, let me introduce you to ‘The Man’. We’ve been married for 5 years this year and together for 10. He is my almost exact opposite, logical and well..logical. I regularly wonder if one day he will divorce me due to my complete and utter illogical existence! Although as you will see, this is not what annoys him most about me!

Jen: Can I interview you for my blog?
The Man: (Flicking through Lego instruction manuals) Sure.
Jen: Okay. Ready??

Jen: What is the best part about being married to Jen?
The Man: I don’t like this interview, this is weird. Wait, Are you writing that? Okay, the
best part…I think Jen brings out the best in me. You do, you give me
confidence. Are you sure you don’t want to interview someone else? Are you writing this?
Stop it. Stop it. You’re being weird.

Jen: What is the worst part about being married to Jen?
The Man: You can beat me up hills…(on the bike)


Before I got too quick…

Jen: What is Jen’s most annoying habit?
The Man: Ummmmmm (still looking at lego manual) ummmmm leaving the dishwashing liquid on the sink instead of putting it away.
Jen: Really? That’s the most annoying thing?
The Man: Yep, really I’ve told you about it a bazillion times and you still do it. I’m not sure if you know Jen, I’m not an easily annoyed person!

Jen: What is Jen’s most endearing habit?
The Man: Endearing?
Jen: Yep
The Man: Ummmmm I don’t know how to say it…its like you are very, its not like you wear your heart on your sleeve…you empathise with people is maybe what I’m trying to say.

Jen: What was the first thing that attracted you to Jen.
The Man: The fact that you liked Futurama
Jen: Really?
The Man: No, just your personality. Easy to talk to. We had a lot of similar interests, although you’ve grown out of your lego interest..I’m sure that will come back.

Jen: What do you enjoy most about being a Dad?
The Man: Watching him grow and change and do everything for the first time. Its pretty cool.


Jen: What do you least enjoy about being a Dad?
The Man: Ha ummmm. Probably when he’s upset and you can’t do anything to help him or calm him down. I don’t like that. Its not logical!

Jen: What was your favourite thing to do with Jen pre-kids?
The Man: Did we do anything together before kids? I’m not joking. Did we? I used to like it when we went for bike rides together. Before you got too quick.

Jen: What do you miss doing with Jen now you have kids and limited time?
The Man: Riding
Jen: *Eyebrows* Bike riding?
The Man: Bike riding yes.

IMG_4605Jen: What is your most hated household chore? Do you even do any household chores?
The Man: Whatever! Yes I do plenty of household chores! And its cleaning the bathroom..
Jen: Eyebrows
The Man: And yes I’m fully aware I never clean the bathroom

Jen: What is your least hated household chore?
The Man: Vacuuming, I find it very logical.

Jen: What’s your favourite thing to cook?

Jen: What do you think annoys Jen most about you?
The Man: Um. That I’m very logical and that I use logic in everything.
Jen: Yes, correct. That’s annoying.

Jen: What do you think Jen loves most about you?
The Man: I’m not sure she does! Honestly I do not know. I think maybe because I make her laugh. Everyone calls me ‘Hilarious ‘The Man’.

Jen: Why do you think Jen is lucky to be married to you?
The Man: Phhh. I don’t think I need to dignify that with a response. Its pretty self explanatory
Jen: Eyebrows
The Man: I mean, I think I’m lucky to be married to Jen, I definitely got the better end of the deal


Jen: What do you think is the secret to a happy marriage?
The Man: U
mmmmm. Being able to support each other when you need to. Oh and communication. Which I think we still need to work on.

Jen: Thanks The Man, that’s all!
The Man: Oh really, did I answer them right? Did I win?
Jen: Yep. You won.
The Man: How could I win Jen that doesn’t even make sense.
Jen: Sigh.

There you go. I think thats a pretty good insight into our banter. Yes, I do love the fact he can make me laugh most of the time, even when I think I’m cranky.

– Jen


#13 Your first kiss

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// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order


Today’s post is number 13 – your first kiss (and don’t skip the awkward details)

Isn’t just talking about your first kiss on a blog read by your parents and friends and complete strangers awkward in itself? Oh and by my husband?

Its totally awkward.

Well lets get it over with. My first kiss happened on our year 10 hockey trip to Bathurst. Tonsil hockey camp? Hehe.

I mean really, why was I even ON a hockey trip? I certainly couldn’t play for peanuts so how on earth I ended up going on it I don’t know.

I can’t remember if I was sweet on the guy before the trip but anyway there was a boy and girl team and we were all staying at a motel at Blayney just outside Bathurst. It was three or four girls to a room and I’m sure we weren’t supposed to be outside of our own rooms fraternising with the boys but being such a rebel there I was – locking lips with a guy named Ben.

If I recall he might have even been the year above me! Outrageous.

I don’t remember too much, but I do remember thinking “oh my god, he cleaned his teeth, his breath is so minty fresh”. I probably had garlic bread for dinner.


I think we went out for a couple of months, or maybe it was a month..but I could sense when it was coming to an end and he was going to break up with me so I just simply avoided him for a couple of weeks so he couldn’t do it.

He ended up breaking up with me over the phone. By then I was getting tired of hanging out in the library at lunchtime by myself so I wasn’t too upset about it.


– Jen



#7 Nine things you just can’t handle

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// For the next 50 days I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order.

Today is #7 – Nine things you just can’t handle!

1. The noise of people chewing/swallowing their food
2. Vacuum cleaners. It’s okay if I’m driving but if someone around me is vacuuming, I get
really edgy.
3. Being late. Sure, shit happens but ever notice how some people are ALWAYS
late, and not just 5 minutes late. It drives me insane. Also, ME being late. I
feel terrible if I am running late. I think the exception to this is if you have a baby or small children …then you are kind of ALWAYS going to be late even if you have the best intentions!
4. Clutter. How I am ever going to manage having more than one kid and a permanently
messy house I don’t know. At the moment the Lego spread in boxes all over our house
in no order is annoying the hell out of me.
5. My husband COUGHING all night. Just…take the medicine!!! Currently we’re a sick household, last night little man and big man were coughing all night. As the man says, Angus has ‘little man flu’.
6. Any movies/tv shows featuring ANYTHING happening to babies, children or animals
7. Science fiction. Except Back to the Future which I hadn’t seen until I met the man. 
8. Being called Jenny or worse Jenni.
9. Kraft (fake) parmesan cheese – the smell. Ugh.


Thanks Mr Postman

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Either I am super lucky lately or couriers have stepped up their service but the last few times I have bought something online it has turned up the next morning.

Yesterday at lunchtime I bought a pair of shoes online and this morning at 8am a courier delivered them to my door!

How awesome is that!! Three weeks ago the same thing happened, I bought a new bike light online and it turned up the next morning!! Gen Y’s like me constantly battle the need to have something immediately vs having to pay more it than if we bought it online and now it’s not ‘quite’ immediate but it’s good enough for me!!

How good is that!! Tell me, is it just me or is this the norm now?

– Jen

Deep impact

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Ever since I became pregnant I have become overly sensitive to anything involving babies or mothers. Deep Impact was on tv the other night and it was too much for me. The girl and her parents about to get on the bus to the ‘ark’ and they aren’t on the list and her parents are going to get left behind! And then that scene where Frodo and the girl are on the motorbike – with the baby which they had to take away from her parents! Ugh. Awful! 

It doesn’t even have to be human babies, animals too! Puppies, kittens…lambs. I even felt bad eating lamb the other night.

The movie on after Deep Impact was ‘Dante’s Peak’. Which is even worse, that scene with the Grandma and the lava?

And the dog!! Oh my gosh. Too much. 

Interestingly there is a ‘thing’ that the action movie genre won’t let a dog die, made me feel a bit better. 

Sheesh. Hopefully over time I get better otherwise this is going to make watching any movies other than comedies very difficult!

– Jen


My guilty pleasure…

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For some people their guilty pleasure might be eating tim tams, or watching the real housewives of Melbourne.

I like both of those things but my real guilty pleasure is listening to Aussie hip hop. Yep. Aussie hip hop.

I enjoy ‘regular’ hip hop too, but there’s something about prolific use of the word ‘mate’ and rhyming ‘footy’ and ‘hoodie’. 

– Jen

Winter is coming…time for an update

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Its been more than a month since I last posted! Life with a five month old was keeping me pretty busy and now life with a six month old is just as busy! I’ve also been busy watching the real housewives of Melbourne (#teamgina), oh and trying to get some bike riding in. 

So whats news? 

Well little man has just turned six months old and he’s starting to be a lot more fun. Not that I didn’t enjoy those hazy newborn days…er well no, I actually didn’t really! Having said that I’d give anything to go back, knowing now that it does get better for a cuddle with him as a teeny tiny baby. I can’t believe how small he was! And he grew so quickly! 

He’s well and truly on solids now, tonight he demolished a pre made baby food version of a beef and vegie puree. Turns out he likes vegies if they have some flavour in with them. Other than that its pumpkin, pear, apple and rice cereal as his favourite foods. Yesterday he tried some weetbix but hated it. 

I also have a freezer full of pureed vegies which he refuses to eat. I’ve done zucchini, squash, sweet potato, regular potato and broccoli but he won’t open his mouth for anything except pumpkin! Also tried avocado which he wouldn’t swallow. And he had some banana today which he spat out. 

He’s had a bit of eczema lately and some bad cradle cap which combined with the reflux made one of our child health nurses suggest an intolerance to ‘something’. Since I put some paw paw on the eczema its virtually gone and some shampoo from the chemist is clearing up the cradle cap. The reflux is definitely improving as he’s getting older. He’s still quite pukey but its more of a dribble than a waterfall! So I think we’ll just hope that it all clears up as he gets older.

He’s also starting to sit up pretty well! You can’t leave him sitting up alone yet but he’s getting better all the time. Refuses to roll over but getting better at tummy time too. Although he will occasionally roll from tummy to back – to rapturous applause!

We bought some formula to try him on so the man can feed him while I’m out without me expressing. Pretty much a convenience thing and more of a ‘handy to have’ thing than something I plan to use that much as I don’t want it to impact my supply. But it would be good for him to get back to being able to have a bottle. For all the initial pain I went through, and the odd occasional challenge – breastfeeding has been amazing and I am so happy I stuck with it. Although about once a week I still curse it and think ‘right thats IT’ you’re six months now – on to the bottle for you…until its 4am and time for a feed and breastfeeding is soooooo easy!

In any case we made it to six months of breastfeeding! Whatever happens now I’m okay with!

He’s still only sleeping for 45 minutes at a time during the day and it drives me bloody NUTS. I am also flipping OVER people saying “oh well at least he sleeps at night”. Thank goodness he does yes, but the fact he is permanently overtired makes him pretty difficult during the day. Yes, I know when you see him for 15 minutes and give him your undivided attention that he is adorable and you couldn’t possibly imagine him to be any trouble!! Just have another 45 minutes sleep mate! 

What else? We finished our ‘baby bond’ classes at Seal Swim School and Angus has graduated to be a ‘seal pup’ now. We are starting lessons on Tuesday with his little friend Pip, they are birthday buddies too.

Tomorrow is my first mothers day and I am pretty excited. I’ve seen a lot of ‘mothers should be appreciated all year round not just on one day’ kind of posts on social media . I am firmly in the ‘lets get excited about it’ camp. I am sure tomorrow morning I will be cursing my ‘loving breastfeeding’ stance when I forgo a sleep in to feed the little munchkin. We are going for brekkie out at one of my favourite places with my Mum and Nan so that will be nice too. 

Thats about it for now – its well past my bedtime!! 

– Jen


Jentopia and the best day ever

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Little man is 5 months old today and like all the other months that have passed I’m not sure where this one has gone. Its been a tough few weeks. Or has it? Being a Mum is tough pretty much all of the time! I keep waiting for things to get ‘better’ but am finding now that its how I’m feeling on a particular day rather than anything getting easier.

The days where I get out and about are significantly better than those where I’m stuck at home. Wednesdays in particular are always awesome. I’ve been very very very lucky to get a great mothers group and I always look forward to Wednesdays.

Yesterday (Monday) was bloody terrible! Could not put little man down without him crying, and I was at my wits end by about 10am when a text message appeared from a friend “want me to take little man for an hour so you can go for a ride”? I could have sobbed with relief. Not because I could go for a ride, just so I could have a break.

But instead of riding I used the break to go and hire an industrial vacuum cleaner to start cleaning up downstairs. After I got about a quarter of the way through that it was time to go and pick little man up. Upon returning home I tried to put him down for a sleep so I could keep cleaning, bring in the bins, get the mail and hang out some washing. Little man had other ideas. After trying for an hour to settle him it was 5pm and no point due to the late time. Well maybe I could just hang out the washing? Oh the screaming. Well and truly fed up with him and spying some neighbours with free hands I marched next door and hand balled him for 10 minutes so I could at least hang out the washing.

Brought him back after 10 minutes and attempted to feed him his dinner (rice cereal) he took two mouthfuls then cracked it in the highchair. Attempt to feed him spoonfuls while balancing him on my hip. Cracked it. Right. Bath time. Put him down to undress him. Cracked it. Put him in the bath. Cracked it. Take him out of the bath. Cracked it. Dressed him. Cracked it.

You get the picture.

Could be the adjusting to daylight savings, could be teething. Could be WHO THE HELL KNOWS.

I was that frustrated by the time I put him to bed I cracked (haha) a beer and collapsed onto the couch.

Today was different.

He woke up at 5am – OMFG was my first thought. Awake two hours early. Put the dummy in. Stumbled back to bed and I thought no point actually getting back under the covers as I’ll be up in another 5 minutes. TWO HOURS later I woke up cold but well rested! To hear him chattering to himself and a very happy boy. WOO HOO!!

Then he played happily while I made myself breakfast and a coffee. He also played happily on a rug on the floor of the bathroom while I had a shower – a bit of nappy free time for him while he creepily watches me in the shower (at what age does this become weird?)

Lets recap. Thats a sleep in, breakfast, coffee AND a shower.

Then we headed over to one of the Many Matt’s for an AMAZING coffee. Also he held little man while I got to drink the amazing coffee. Then I returned the industrial vacuum cleaner to one of my OTHER Mat’s and little man had a nap. He had a nap for a good hour.

Lets recap. A sleep in, breakfast, coffee, a shower, ANOTHER coffee, nap for little man.

Then I had a physio appointment. Little man was well behaved-ish. Physio has kids so she knows the deal. Have game plan for treating my sore shoulders & back – leave appointment feeling wonderful.

We returned home where I ate some lunch while little man played happily. Then attempted to put him down for a sleep. Decided to try no swaddling and letting him put the dummy in himself. He did all of those things and went to sleep.

While he was asleep I tried to get our occasional lawn mowerer around to do the nature strip and backyard as the man is arriving home on Thursday and I’d prefer him to look after little man on the weekend than mow the lawns. Lawn mowerer was booked out – boo.

Woke little man up to take him to get car seat checked and re-fitted. Now he is sitting a lot better in it and actually looks secure. Then he went to sleep again while I went out to Mum and Dad’s to feed their menagerie.

Return home. Nature strip has been mowed. My next door neighbour just took it upon himself to help us out.

Let recap.

A sleep in, breakfast, coffee, a shower, amazing coffee, nap for little man, awesome physio appointment, lunch, a nap for little man, car seat fixed, front lawn mowed by neighbour.


Ahhh. And tomorrow is Wednesday!!

– Jen

ps How awesome are my neighbours?