29 July 2008

Ever wondered what happens when a disposable nappy makes it into the wash?

It ain't pretty. Little balls of that liquid absorby stuff everywhere. Ugh!

28 July 2008

Shameless plug: ibreastfed.com

The reason I haven't been around much for the last few weeks is, yup, my new website:

Please check it out and if you have an inspirational breastfeeding story to tell please use ibreastfed.com to share it with the world. Here's what it's all about:

I feel terribly sad for the many women out there who so dearly want to breastfeed their babies but don’t find the support they need when the odds are stacked against them. I created ibreastfed.com as a celebration for those of us who have battled through seemingly insurmountable breastfeeding problems and made it out the other side, and as a source of inspiration for those of us who are doing it tough right now.

Breastfeeding in special circumstances requires great dedication and perseverance. Unfortunately, we sometimes find it difficult to share positive breastfeeding stories within our parenting communities. There is often so much misinformation and guilt surrounding breastfeeding that is easier simply not to discuss it than to risk causing great offence by *bragging* about our own achievements, no matter how difficult they were to attain. The result is that many positive and moving stories of successful breastfeeding against the odds remain untold, when those exact stories are the ones that can encourage and inspire if heard by open ears.

ibreastfed.com aims to provide a safe but accessible place for women to share their breastfeeding success stories. As the collection grows, the stories on this website will include mothers’ experiences of breastfeeding babies who are small, sick, weak, sleepy, and who are unable to suck properly, digest effectively, and appear to be allergic to their mothers’ milk. I expect to include the experiences of mothers who have physical disabilities or conditions which have made correct positioning and attachment a challenge, who have had emotional/psychological/psychiatric hurdles to overcome, and who have breastfed through their own chronic or serious illnesses. I will have stories from mothers who have breastfed multiples, breastfed after breast surgery, breastfed despite never having quite enough milk, weaned then successfully relactated, breastfed adopted babies, and overcome many other challenging situations.

If you have an inspirational breastfeeding story to tell, please consider submitting it to ibreastfed.com. There are a few stories there already, but I need more of your stories in order to make ibreastfed the hub of breastfeeding inspiration that I hope it will become.

20 July 2008

"Eating Disorder Mentality" Part 2 (at last)

continued from Part 1

I continued drinking the foul formula for a couple of months while I was building up my food intake again. It was a slow process. I was often really hungry and depressed and every few days would go on a bad-food binge, then react, then regret, then be good or a few days, then binge, react, regret. etc. I was not in a good headspace, and my attitude towards food remained screwed up for a long time, the binge cycle continuing.

At around 7 months a naturopath recommended some treatments which helped Little C’s reflux and gut but he still had painful eczema. He started solids at around 10 months. I was too paranoid about food to start earlier than that and I knew that the elemental formula (which I chose to see as more of a vitamin supplement than a food) would provide him with any extra nutrients that for some reason may not have been available in my breastmilk.

We started very slowly with Little C’s food… mainly stewed (or tinned) fruit and oat and rice-based stuff. He appeared to react strongly to dairy (although didn’t show a positive RAST test) and a few other things.

By 18 months he was eating a decent amount of food, although not much variety. Corn, oats and rice, beef, lamb, chicken, sweet potato, apple and pear… I think that was about it. I took him for a follow-up allergy test and the immunologist told me I needed to wean him off the elemental formula and breastmilk onto cow milk. He tried to convince me that there was no benefit to breastfeeding Little C beyond 6 months and that cow milk would be better. What??? I still don’t understand why milk made for herbivorous ruminant babies would be more beneficial to my child (or any human child) than human breastmilk…

Anyway, I didn’t take the immunologist’s advice on the cow milk but did walk away with a referral to see his dietitian-buddy. He and I thought perhaps she could help me with some ideas on foods for Little C and me. My diet was still far from normal and by that stage I loathed even thinking about food, let alone cooking, and I just had no idea about what to try next with Little C.

The dietitian appointment might have been okay if the woman hadn’t been totally incapable of comprehending how much I hated thinking about food, and why I was still in this bizarre binge cycle that I couldn’t seem to get myself out of. She told me I had an eating disorder mentality and sent me away with some recipes. I never even looked at the recipes when I got home. I already had a shelf full of recipe books that also didn’t get looked at. Why? BECAUSE I HATED FOOD, silly woman! In hindsight, she should have referred me to a psychologist… or someone. Gosh, I hate to think of this woman treating someone with a life-threatening eating disorder like anorexia nervosa. “Here, these recipes will solve everything!” So, on I continued with my bad eating habits and wonky attitude to food.

As of late last year Little C (at age 3) has been eating an almost entirely normal diet (minus sesame and nuts, and with limited egg). His skin and gut are fine. He has behavioural issues after eating junky foods, but I don’t think that’s unusual in his age group.

As for me, I’ve had a really hard time not attributing every rash or vomit or weird poo of Little V’s to something I have eaten. I still fall into an obsessive frame of mind about it every now and then, but I mostly eat quite normally. I even ate nuts a couple of week ago!! *shock* It’s really only in the last few months that I’m starting to feel okay about food again and am slowly getting back into meal planning and cooking. Poor ANM has not only been the sole money-earner but also the primary family cook for a long time. Ah, he is so patient with me, lovely man.

So what were the triggers for the beginning of my attitude shift, besides Little C finally being able to eat most stuff without the sky caving in? Two big things…

1. In February this year I went and saw a psychic, which is not something I’d ever done before. Without going into any details which might make you think I’m even more of a loon that you already do, she attributed my weird love/hate food thing to some past life stuff and told me I could let it go, because it wasn’t relevant to this life. Whether or not this is true, it’s something that I can direct myself to think about when I’m feeling overwhelmed with foody stuff, and it tends to calm me down.

2. I discovered and was brave enough to read the lovely blog, You’ll Eat It And Like It, where Chrissy so beautifully describes the intertwinedness (probably not a word, I know) of her love for food, cooking and her family. It gave me a whole new perspective on food and meals and cooking, and it made me realise that food prepared with love is infused with love and will not do the same harm as food that has been infused with hate or other negative emotions.

Ah, I feel like I'm finally over the big hump now. Not absolutely, totally okay yet, but well on the way at least.

Glad I finally got that out!

09 July 2008


I was sure I already posted this note but ye olde memory must be playing tricks on me...

Aaaanyway, I promise the rest of the story is coming, and in a brand new somethingorother, which will be revealed very, very soon...

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