New year, new me? A guide to goal setting, planning and monitoring.

Who else started 2019 strong? With new goals, genuine intentions and renewed passion to succeed? Now that we are a month into the new year, How are you tracking with your goals? It’s time to check in on your own goals, track your progress and plan ahead to keep making progress so you don’t fall short by the end of the year.

When Finn was born in June 2017, I didn’t really plan to achieve anything other than survival. With six months of parenting under my belt I was ready to set some goals for 2018. I set goals that didn’t feel like too much of a stretch, goals that I thought were fairly specific and achievable. However, I made a couple of critical errors. I needed to invest more time into setting action items to help me achieve my goals, check-in regularly to track my progress.

I’m proud of all I achieved in 2018, yet imagine how I might feel today if I’d been able to confidently tick off all my goals. These two errors showed me how I can improve to ensure 2019 will be even better. Mistakes are wonderful lessons, as long as we learn from them. So, what am i doing differently to achieve my goals this year?

Firstly, I’ve set clear goals and established action items to help me achieve them. I’ve written them down in my organiser, to provide a place of perfect recall, what my goals are and what I need to be doing. For example, I have a fitness goal for the year. For me this is not a number on the scale or a dress size but a healthy and active lifestyle goal, I’ve signed up for Tough Mudder as a way to track how I’m doing. The tasks I have in place are; to complete four weights sessions a week and two cardio sessions. This is not always going to be possible so I’ve decided to have a mindset that will allow for and assist with flexibility.

Secondly, I have adopted the ‘No Zero Days’ approach for my Fitness, blogging and study goals. This means, if I am unable to accomplish what I have planned that I will do something towards these goals to make it a ‘No Zero Day’. For a fitness goal this could be something as simple as a brisk walk or a couple sets of body weight exercises like push ups. For my blogging, I will write at least one sentence everyday and before you know it I will have another post to share.

Finally, I’m keeping my goals in sight and at the front of my mind. I have a note in my phone and they are clearly written in my organiser for me to see daily. I’ve set periodic reminders to check on my progress and make any necessary adjustments throughout the year. Using these reminders I’m able to see what I have already achieved, chart my achievements against my initial goals and plan new tasks to achieve before my next check in.

Another tip for goal setting is to ensure you’re not over committing yourself. In my case, I’ve always loved exercising and being active. However, with a toddler to care for it is unrealistic for me to complete 4 to 5 one hour long gym sessions each week as a fitness goal. I have found the “no zero days” approach helpful in maintaining a positive mindset.

I’m definitely not perfect when it comes to goal setting and management. Towards the end of January, I’ve felt some of these good behaviours slipping. This is where checking in helps reset your mindset and adapt your approach. I hope my tips for goal setting are helpful to you. I would love to hear what goals you have set for yourself and how you’re progressing. Sharing these can assist with accountability and are a great way to check in. I wish you every success and I am always hear to listen.

I’m happy with how I look in both of these photos and I love that this shows how much work I’ve been putting in.


Mastitis, the ugly truth: My experience, managing symptoms, prevention and finding support

Mastitis is an issue I have been wanting to write about since I first started blogging. I’ve wanted to share the information I gathered through my experience, to hopefully assist others who may be affected by it. Although not currently relevant to my situation I can recall the details of my experience with almost perfect clarity. I’ve delayed writing this post due to concern that I would not be able to clearly articulate the severity of Mastitis, or achieve the exposure it deserves. I’m ready to share what I have learned through my own experiences.

I heard the term Mastitis long before I fell pregnant and never gave it much thought. As my pregnancy progressed, I heard about it more frequently and began to take notice of how often it appeared as a topic related to having a baby. During the later stages of my pregnancy, a good friend summarised her experience with Mastitis. This provided me with some clarification on the subject yet raised further questions. After listening to her story, I was terrified of it happening to me.

In a google of Mastitis, I found a description of the condition as ‘occurring when breast tissue gets inflamed and is a common problem during breastfeeding’ (healthdirect.gov.au). You can look after mastitis yourself, but you may need antibiotics if the tissue becomes infected. Although symptoms will vary from mild to severe and from person to person it is important to know what to be on the look out for.

Breastfeeding is a challenging task, in my early days of breastfeeding I managed these challenges to the best of my ability. Everything went pretty smoothly for almost 3 weeks. Without any obvious warning signs, I woke with a painful headache in the night and took two paracetamol before attempting to go back to sleep. Later the same morning, Nick and I took Finn to a child health nurse for his two week post hospital check-up. She routinely questioned us about Finn, including his feeding habits but did not provide any further information on my condition. I was feeling increasingly unwell as the appointment progressed and mentioned this to the health nurse. We were advised to attempt management from home and if we suspected Mastitis to consult our GP if there was no improvement.

After Finn’s appointment, Nick stopped at Bunnings and I waited in the car with Finn. In the short time he was away I deteriorated even further. I consulted with a trusted mum friend and decided to book in to see my GP. When I arrived at the practice an hour later, he took one look at me and said ‘you’ve got Mastitis’. A quick examination confirmed his initial statement. He sent me straight to the hospital with a recommendation of treatment letter to receive antibiotics via IV.

The usual physical signs of my Mastitis were so mild that the doctors in emergency were not convinced it was the cause of my illness.

They wanted to be certain and proceeded to conduct additional testing. This included a blood test followed by a nasal swab, which was very unpleasant. Once the initial tests had been taken, I was placed on IV antibiotics for treatment then transferred from emergency to a room for a stay in hospital overnight.

I was very fortunate that my mum was able to stay the first night in hospital with me, I was too ill to get out of bed or tend to Finn in any way. I spent the night in a semi lucid state which exhausted me completely. My temperature would spike to 39.6 and uncontrollable shivers would course through my body. As treatment, I was routinely given paracetamol to bring my temperature back to a normal range and calm my body’s trembling. In the brief hours of reprieve from the tremors I would attempt to sleep, although when breastfeeding 3 week old Finn every few hours it was far from peaceful. In addition to the fever I suffered from extreme headaches, nausea and muscle aches throughout my entire body.

After 24 hours my condition had not improved, my treating doctors commenced a stronger course of antibiotics and proceeded with further tests. I was sent for a chest and sinus X-ray, several blood tests and then finally a lumbar puncture. Once commencing the new antibiotics I began feeling better, however there had been some concern that I may have had bacterial meningitis which the lumbar puncture eventually ruled out. As a result of the lumbar puncture procedure, I experienced a most severe headache (which can be a common side affect) and could no longer sit upright or get out of bed. I underwent a blood patch procedure to assist in rectifying the problem and within a few hours my headache finally started to fade.

5 days of staying in hospital was required for my condition to improve enough to return home. Even after all the testing and observations they were still unconvinced it had been a case of Mastitis that had caused my illness, yet they did not have any further answers for me. I continued with my prescription of oral antibiotics from the comfort of home and with Nick’s support made a complete recovery after another week.

It was only 3 weeks before I got sick the second time, I noticed the symptoms almost immediately & acted swiftly booking into see my GP within an hour. He wasted no time at all prescribing me the antibiotics, then sent me with a referral letter to the hospital to have a dose of antibiotics administered via IV. Fortunately, Nick was available to mind Finn while I spent a couple of hours in hospital receiving treatment. I’m grateful that the prompt treatment prevented me from being as unwell as my first case but I still suffered with fevers, muscle aches, headaches and sore breasts.

Two sessions of IV antibiotics and week of tablets cleared me up again, only three weeks later I felt my third case of Mastitis developing. I once again saw my GP and picked up the script for my antibiotics right away. This avoided a need to go to the hospital, although I was incredibly sick and bed ridden for the best part of a week. Finn was around 10 weeks old at this stage and I was facing a dilemma, continue breastfeeding my son and possibly deal with a case of Mastitis every 3 weeks, or give up on breastfeeding and hope he took well to formula.

I decided to explore one final option in the hopes of continuing breastfeeding. I had followed all the advice from various lactation consultants, child health nurses and medical professionals. I had used heat packs, massaged and drained my breasts, took lecithin and breastfeeding probiotics, yet Mastitis persisted. The final option was to have ultrasound therapy. The ultrasound machine could assist with breaking down the material that was causing my repeated blockage and hopefully bring an end to the recurring Mastitis. So, I arranged for three sessions of ultrasound therapy with a physiotherapist.

The first ultrasound session was extremely promising, I felt a relief from some of the pressure I had come to accept as normal. Following the second and third sessions, there was a noticeable change to the way my breast felt. The treatment had worked, the offending blockage was cleared and I could continue feeding without getting sick every three weeks. Thanks to this treatment and continued support I made it past 9 months of breastfeeding. I overcame 3 further cases of Mastitis, repeatedly telling myself that enough was enough each time I became sick. Yet, I pushed through and allowed my breastfeeding journey to come to a natural stopping point, complementing the timing of my return to work.

There are many problems with managing Mastitis, symptoms that appear and escalate so quickly leaving you unable to function for a week. Constant drs visits, antibiotics, probiotics, vitamins and ultrasound therapy with a physiotherapist to manage we’re all part of recurring Mastitis for me. In addition, I lived with constant fear that it would happen again. These fears plagued my thoughts even when I was well, any slight discomfort would trigger severe anxiety.

Although Mastitis is common and individual experiences vary, this is something I never expected nor did I know it would impact me so servely. If you have ever experienced this before or are a new or expectant parent and have further questions I would love for you to reach out to me. I struggled with this a lot, and from my experiences there is limited information available.


If you’re experiencing mum/parent guilt you are not alone…

This year I returned to work after taking 10 months of maternity leave with Finn, I’ve really enjoyed getting a bit of my old self back. I’m sure my time away from Finn has only strengthened and increased his independence. Although it’s been mostly positive emotions I can’t shake the Mum Guilt I feel especially as things change. I’ve been asking myself why do we experience mum/parent guilt and why does it have to be so strong?

It’s obvious my return to work would bring this to the front of my mind yet I’ve thought about the other times I’ve had the same feeling and have started reflecting on the circumstances when it is most intense.

I think the first time was the day I found out I was pregnant. I remember thinking about how much I’d had to drink the night before (the answer is too much) and what damage that may have done. Although there was no way I could have known I was already pregnant it didn’t stop that guilt from rearing it’s ugly head. Thankfully my GP was very supportive and comforting when I expressed my concerns.

The following episodes were also during pregnancy, I really wanted to eat healthy and eliminate coffee from my diet the moment I knew I was growing my child. Instead my morning sickness and fatigue had me craving mostly heavy carbohydrates like pizza, chips and pasta. I found the fatigue made it necessary to keep coffee in my diet, although I would never have more than two in a day.

Skip ahead and I’m reminded of the day Finn was born. I had no intention of giving birth without an epidural but I had hoped to be able to give birth naturally. Having a c-section is not a failure by any means but I won’t lie that there was a little part of me that felt guilty I wasn’t able to birth him naturally.

Following the surgery I needed additional help from my husband, both for myself and to take care of Finn. This resulted in feelings of guilt for not being able to attend to my newborn baby without assistance from someone. As a new mum faced with the challenges of breastfeeding, I was also navigating the obstacles of settling my little one with very limited movement. On occasion I would long to just cuddle or rock my baby to sleep, then he would smell my milk and all hopes of cuddles without feeding would fade. I remember this being an extremely difficult time, post baby hormones were raging and the wave of failure was overwhelming. The thoughts in my head would repeat ‘Why cant you settle your own baby?’.

I received a gift voucher from a beautiful friend to have a massage post baby. It was an incredible idea, she even offered to take care of Finn while I went for my 1 hour appointment. I couldn’t stop thinking about him the whole time I was there. “I hope he’s not crying too much” that little voice would say as I felt myself beginning to relax. In retrospect, it was incredibly enjoyable and those thoughts were not too persistent, it was a most welcome and thoughtful gift.

I could go on all day about the things I’ve felt guilty over. To save time, here is a list of other things I have felt guilty over:

• Not getting the house cleaned

• Getting the house cleaned when I should be with my baby

• Cuddling him too much

• Not cuddling him enough

• Not doing enough to help his development

• Overstimulating him

• Trying to let him cry a little more (during the separation anxiety phase)

• Having a shower

• Washing my hair

• Taking the time to blow dry and straighten my hair (this was the driver for the mum lob)

• Taking too many photos

• Not taking enough photos

• Wanting some time to myself

• Having some time to myself

• Every time he gets hurt

• Every time he gets sick

• Picking him up too often

• Not picking him up when he’s throwing a tantrum

• Trying to get his nutrition perfect and failing

• Sending him to day care

• Increasing from part time to full time work

I’ll leave the list there, otherwise this post may never end. It’s ridiculous at some of the thoughts that cross our minds. Writing some of these down highlights to me that feeling guilty is both unavoidable and inescapable. It’s ludicrous that feelings of guilt can be caused by two conflicting ideas yet very possible.

It’s important to note that when experiencing parent guilt, it’s not about being able to stop these thoughts but how you manage them. My approach is to take a moment to acknowledge the thought then focus on any reasons to challenge it. Once you’ve been successful the first time it becomes easier to repeat this behaviour each subsequent time.

The reality is my son is a healthy, happy and very loved little boy and we are doing a great job raising him. Parents need to stop being so harsh on themselves. I know that every person reading this is doing the best they can, I want you to know that it’s more than enough. With parents supporting one another we can overcome the worst of the guilt. Reach out if you need help.


We made it through our first year

We made it through our first year

I’ve been very MIA from my page & writing lately but recently decided to focus some of my free time on creating more content to share. Our biggest milestone to date has happened since my last blog post so I thought I would start with an update from there.

Finn turned one in June and we celebrated the day doing things he loves and as a result some beautiful memories were created that we will never forget. In the morning he opened his presents from Nick and I (aka Mum and Dad), went to toddler time at the library, then met up with one of his friends at the park to ride their new bikes together. In the afternoon my parents arrived to babysit for the evening and one of his aunties stopped in for cuddles. Then Nick and I attended a friends beautiful hwedding.

It was a fantastic night out for us, though I couldn’t stop myself from getting a little emotional as the time of Finn’s birth passed and I remembered those first moments when we met our son. Everything that has happened since that moment has been the greatest blessing I could have ever asked for. It was wonderful to be out celebrating together.

The following two days were spent finalising preparations and hosting an amazing party. We were surrounded by our wonderful friends and family on the day of his party and everything was greater than expected. The day wouldn’t have been such a success without the incredible effort from everyone involved. It was a very long day, yet it was filled with so many moments of happiness and love as we mingled with our guests. We photographed as much of the day as possible; I frequently find this to be one of my biggest challenges with parties and I’m glad I gave up control and thankful to my friend who took over camera duties. Once the final guests parted ways we took a moment to appreciate the gifts that were left for Finn. Each gift was a little token of the love held for our special little man. We were all exhausted after a massive weekend, once Finn was asleep Nick and I commenced operation clean up.

The next day our little family started our new routine. Finn started daycare 3 days a week and I increased to full time work. Though returning to work has not been easy I have found the change from part time to full time an even bigger adjustment than the initial part-time return. Fortunately, Nick’s schedule allows him to care for Finn the two additional days I am at work and this has definitely continued to strengthen the bond my boys have with each other.

The whole of June continued to be busy yet fun with Finn’s other friends all turning 1 and partying each weekend. It has become quite the juggling act to work 5 days a week, get some quality time in with the family and enjoy our weekends together but we’re working on it.

As well as finding time to spend with my family I have also been finding time for myself. I’ve reignited my passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle and have found that by putting in time and energy into this area that I am being rewarded with twice as much back. I am excited to share more of this area of my life as it is something I have always been very passionate about.

One of the other major changes we have been through in the last few weeks is moving home. Whilst we didn’t have far to move it definitely took its toll with all the organising, physical exhaustion and adjustments of living in a new place. I was sad to leave our old unit as we made so many wonderful memories there over the past 4 years but I am excited about this new place at the same time. Moving with a toddler is not an easy task and cleaning our old place was an especially big challenge but I am proud of my family for pulling it all off and thankful for the help and support we received during this time.

It’s always an exciting time in life with a little person growing and developing. We love watching Finn master new skills and exploring the world’s possibilities. He has become extremely confident standing but is far too cautious to walk just yet. He shows understanding of conversation and tries communicating and mimicking our actions. He absolutely has his own personality and way of doing things and to me is the coolest person on the planet (sorry Nick).

As I finish writing this post Finn is just cutting another tooth or two. It feels as though teething is designed to be spread out enough between each tooth emerging that you forget just how horrible it is. Thankfully this will pass and we should be back to sleeping again sometime soon. In the meantime… coffee is my friend.

I’m learning so much and hope that by sharing my experience I may help others with their journey. Please send through any questions you have and I will do my best to include the answers in my posts about this. Thanks to everyone for continuing to follow my family’s adventures and I’m looking forward to more frequent sharing 🙂


Delivery by Caesarean

Following on from my previous post about my pregnancy I wanted to share my experience with childbirth or in my case an emergency Caesarean. At 38 weeks my Obstetrician decided it was time to be induced following concerns that I had a condition called Gestational Thrombocytopenia. I had a very low platelet count which impacts my bloods ability to clot and poses a risk when delivering a baby.

On a Wednesday night my husband Nick and I checked into the Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane to be induced. My only plan for Childbirth was to try for a natural delivery but I was open to anything (or so I thought) and Nick was on board with whatever I wanted. Neither of us had ever had much to do with pregnancy, childbirth or babies so we were putting all of our trust in the hands of our experienced OB and midwifes who were all amazing.

Sleeping in a hospital is always challenging, after a restless night we were taken to the birthing suite where my waters were broken at around 8:30 in the morning. It was at that moment on the 1st of June that it finally hit us that we were about to have a baby. Up until this point we had been pretty casual about what we were going to do when the time came. Once the moment arrived we both became mildly panicked and began contacting our families to inform them to be on standby.

The day was expected to be a long one, once my waters had been broken I had an IV inserted to administer Oxytocin which is the hormone that triggers contractions. I was hooked up to sensors to monitor both my contractions, my babies’ heartbeat, assist with the management of the IV and track the progression of my labour. My obstetrician advised he would be back in 4 hours to check on my progress and left us with our midwife.


Nick did his best to keep me comfortable and relaxed by putting on either music or cartoons to assist us in feeling more at home. My midwife kept checking in on me with my pain management as the contractions started and I attempted to keep my mind busy by messaging my friends and family on my phone. I did my best to rest as much as possible remembering the advice in our antennal classes to try and sleep in the early stages of labour. My contractions began to increase in intensity, I was breathing through them but finding it more and more difficult to do so.

Just after 4 hours had passed my OB came back to check on how my labour was progressing. The bad news was I was still only 1 cm dilated, the good news was I was offered the epidural which I made no hesitation in accepting. I’m grateful I did, the hormones through my IV were increased and so did the pain and strength of my contractions. I didn’t have to wait long for the anaesthesiologist to arrive, he administered my epidural in between contractions and I felt the relieving effects within minutes. With the epidural in place the plan was to get through the next 4 hours and see what was happening with my labour then.

During this time my parents arrived at the hospital, they checked in with us, then my dad went into the waiting room while my mum stuck around for a while. There was a lot of nervous excitement in the air and although everyone was doing well to remain calm on the outside for me I knew they were all eager to meet our little man. The epidural was working extremely well, I even had to be tilted on an angle as one side had become more numb than the other. Although I couldn’t feel the pain from the contractions I was starting to feel exhausted, my body was clearly working hard and getting tired.

When my OB came back to check my progress for the second time he let us know that unfortunately there had been no change. We agreed at this point that we would allow another 2 hours, check my progress and if there was still no change we’d proceed with a Caesarean delivery. After we agreed on this plan this Nick’s parents arrived at the hospital and came to see us in the birthing suite. We gave them an update and then they joined both of my parents in the waiting room so we could attempt to get some sleep.

The excitement had now worn off and the nerves were becoming more prominent. We started to mentally prepare for the high probability that we would be delivering our baby by Caesarean. The epidural was still working well so I did not feel the pain of contractions but we were both increasingly fatiguing from a very long day.

After 10 hours of labour my OB performed his final check and confirmed that I was still only dilated to 1cm, we were offered to continue with labour as all of our vitals were good but made the decision to proceed with an emergency Caesarean. This was not a choice we made lightly, our main reason was that we were all still doing well at this point and did not want there to be a concerning health-related reason to require a C-section.

The atmosphere in the room went from a somewhat relaxed environment to a flurry of activity. We were given a run down on what the next steps were and Nick quickly went to let our parents know what was happening in person. When he returned he was presented with scrubs and told to get dressed. My bed was wheeled into the hallway and down the corridor towards the operating room. Whilst the room was being prepared I was handed a clipboard with a consent form to sign prior to the commencement of the procedure. The next part of my story happened extremely quickly at the time but I can recall a lot of the details of my experience.

My bed was wheeled into the OR, a stark white, bright spacious room with various pieces of medical equipment strategically placed about. The team introduced themselves to me one at a time telling me their name and what their role was. I was transferred from the bed I was on to the operating table and Nick was sat down next to me. Whilst my Obstetrician and his assistants prepared my lower half for surgery the anaesthetist and Nick kept me company. The anaesthetist’s assistant offered to take photos on my phone, in a daze I said yes, I’m so glad I did as we now have some beautiful images of those first moments for us to look back on.

Both of my arms were laid out beside me, another cannula was inserted in my second arm and the curtain was pulled up so we couldn’t see what was happening. My epidural was topped up so I couldn’t feel below my chest. I was told would feel some pushing, pulling and tugging but no pain. I was so incredibly nervous, I locked eyes with Nick and concentrated hard on the sensations I was feeling in my body. Within minutes I started to feel nauseous and was presented with a sick bag, I kept breathing steadily as I didn’t want to be sick while they were operating on me. The nausea passed quite quickly but was replaced by an incredibly strong pounding of my heart, in my fear and fatigue I could barely find my voice but managed to whisper this to Nick who repeated it to the anaesthetist.

As my heart palpitations faded out our attention was bought to just above the curtain where we were introduced to our son for the first time. Both of us started to cry with tears of overwhelming relief and happiness as we took a look at him and heard his first cries. Nick was directed over to the station they had set up for our baby where the Paediatrician and Midwife were taking care of our baby and recording his birth weight etc. The anaesthetist kept talking to me until Nick came back and then Finn was bought over to me for my first cuddle. I held him unsteadily and tried to take in as much as possible. After a short while I was told that the surgery was almost complete and Nick and Finn would head to the recovery room where I would join them shortly.


Once my Obstetrician had finished his work I was moved to a new bed and rugged up tightly. I was then wheeled to the recovery room where I was to remain for an hour. I was more exhausted than I have ever felt in my entire life. My body was wracked with shivers and I was so thirsty but not permitted to drink just yet. As visiting hours in the maternity ward had finished we were allowed to have our family come and see us briefly. Both sets of new grandparents walked in and were followed by my sisters who had a huge bunch of balloons in hand. They were all so excited to meet our newest family member but their attention was focused on making sure both Nick and I were ok first. This is a beautiful memory I now hold and I am forever grateful for the care they all showed. After a brief stay we said our goodbyes as they left for home and we were wheeled up to our room on the maternity ward. We were all in need of a good night’s sleep as I started my recovery from the surgery and we started practicing our new role as parents.

Revisiting this experience has been a challenge for me, it’s difficult to put into words the moment your life changes forever. Although it was traumatic, I have learnt so much about myself and my relationship with my husband and know that we are stronger than ever as a result. Whilst this memory holds some of my biggest challenges it also holds some of the happiest and most overwhelmingly positive experiences of my life. I’m grateful for the support I have both then and now and truly believe that it was all worth it for the wonderful little boy I am now mother to.

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My Pregnancy Journey


It was October 2016, I’d had a pretty big night out & woke up the following morning feeling unwell. I went into the bathroom while my husband Nick was still sleeping & decided to take a pregnancy test. We’d made the decision 5 months prior to stop taking the pill to see if we could fall pregnant naturally. We both had a sneaking suspicion that we may not be able to fall pregnant without assistance so we decided it would be best to know the answer to that question sooner rather than later. If we did need help then we would have plenty of time to try fertility treatments as we are both still quite young. We were surprised by the positive test result & just to be sure I took another 3 that confirmed we were indeed pregnant.

A visit to our GP & subsequent scans revealed that we were about 5 weeks pregnant. It was incredibly exciting and almost unbelievable even though I could feel changes to my body right away. When the morning sickness made itself at home it invited fatigue & baby brain to join. I was beyond happy to be expecting a baby but was not enjoying the way I was feeling.

I knew the guidelines about waiting until 12 weeks had passed before sharing the news however, we made the decision to let our family & friends know at around the 8 week mark. We decided if something were to go wrong we would want the support of our friends & family right away; also we were pretty damn excited. I decided to tell my boss as well, then I wouldn’t have to come up with excuses to attend doctor’s appointments or explain why I was away from my desk (taking additional restroom breaks) throughout the day. On top of that I was already feeling so sick & exhausted & decided it would be easier having someone at work in on the secret to help keep the cat in the bag.

Until I was around 8 weeks pregnant I was hitting the gym lifting weights up to 5 times a week & loving it. I was feeling extremely fit & happy with my body & was hopeful that I could continue a modified exercise regime throughout my entire pregnancy. From the moment the test came up positive I decreased the weight I was lifting & made sure to consult my GP before attempting anything in the gym. He was happy with me to continue my training doing anything I felt comfortable with.

My visions of a fit pregnancy quickly faded away as I found myself struggling to find the energy to continue training. It turns out it takes a heck of a lot of energy to work full-time & grow a small person & that doesn’t leave much left over for exercise or anything else. My 5 weekly gym sessions reduced to 3 times a week for a little while. Soon I was happy if I could complete two sessions a week & eventually doing something active once a week was cause for a huge celebration. Fitness has always been incredibly important to me, I love it for both the physical & mental benefits that it provides. It was tough not having the energy to exercise anymore & a huge adjustment to my lifestyle but it also taught me a valuable lesson in being flexible with my expectations for both pregnancy & parenting. At this stage in my pregnancy I needed to conserve my energy & focus all my efforts on working Monday to Friday.

My full-time job while pregnant was at an office in the city, for me to get there it’s a short 5 min walk followed by a 30 min bus trip. I liked my job & the people I worked with but as my pregnancy progressed I found it difficult to get up & go in each day. What used to be a leisurely trip to get to work became a harrowing ordeal that left me feeling exhausted by the time I sat down at my desk. It is in my nature to work hard, so this was difficult for me as I felt like I didn’t have a lot left in the tank to do my job as well as I could. The positive side of things was that I had an extremely supportive work place that accommodated me however possible & I felt genuine care from my colleagues & managers. It was a relief to be able to share the news at work after the 12 weeks had passed, no more secrets and a chance to celebrate with everyone.

During the second trimester I had a slight improvement with my morning sickness & fatigue but it was short lived. It arrived around 20 weeks & I was happy to take any improvement I could get. The downside to moving further into the second trimester was I started to grow more uncomfortable as my body began to grow & change further. I hated the thought of buying pregnancy specific clothing so kept squeezing into my current wardrobe as long as I could. Too soon I found myself shopping for new clothing, I bought new underwear first & then casual items that could accommodate my growing bosom & bump. I found wearing bras uncomfortable & resorted to wearing seam free sports bras that I picked up from Kmart. I actually managed to get through my pregnancy without having to expand my wardrobe as much as my belly. A couple of ASOS dresses got me through the rest of my time at work & old trackies paired with band t-shirts were my attire the rest of the time.

The various side effects & symptoms of pregnancy can be found in many books & now also through apps on your phone. Even after doing my research I wasn’t prepared for the extra pimples, hair growth & sweating that accompanied my fatigue, swelling, heartburn & insomnia. I experienced all of these things at different stages and to different levels of severity throughout my pregnancy. In my case the fatigue & morning sickness were the two biggest challenges, I felt them from the moment I discovered I was pregnant until my son was born. It’s incredible what the human body is capable of & I wanted to make sure I documented the changes happening as I grew my son.

I purchased an organiser to record my thoughts & feelings during my pregnancy & since having Finn I have kept recording events & milestones in it as well. It helped to keep me organised as I struggled with the effects of baby brain & I plan to keep recording this way for his first year at least. I’ve already enjoyed going over my notes & I hope to one-day share this with him. In addition to this I took photos of my growing belly each week & posted them to social media, this was a lot of fun but occasionally felt like a big effort. I’ve found the key is keeping things simple, it needs to be something that is easy to maintain so you can keep up with it. I’m really glad that I have recorded so much, I struggled with being pregnant but now that it’s over I like being able to revisit what I went through to get my baby here.


In the third trimester whilst my body was preparing to bring my son into the world, I started to mentally prepare to meet him. We completed our Antenatal classes over one weekend which was almost an information overload but it helped us answer a lot of questions. I started nesting & getting the house ready for my bubs arrival by completing the checklist I’d made to ensure I was as prepared as possible. I was excited to start maternity leave and enjoy some time relaxing before life became hectic. I made the decision to start my maternity leave early as I really wasn’t up to working anymore, although the weather was no longer hot I was still feeling drained. I used my time off to complete the tasks that are difficult whilst working, things like getting the car seat installed & washing all the clothes & blankets. These finishing touches around the house were getting me extremely excited to meet my baby.

At 36 weeks I visited my obstetrician & had a routine blood test. The results came back abnormal & following a call from my OB we were advised to meet him at the hospital for further testing & observations. Our OB was concerned I was developing pre-eclampsia based on the results & took every precaution possible to ensure both my baby & myself were not in any danger. I was given steroid injections to assist my baby’s lung development if it was decided they would need to deliver early. After a 5 day stay in hospital they ruled out both pre-eclampsia & HELLP syndrome as my blood pressure was never high & diagnosed me with Gestational Thrombocytopenia. I was permitted to go home as long as I completed daily blood tests to monitor my platelet count (this affects blood clotting). With this diagnosis it was decided that I would be induced at 38 weeks, bringing my baby to term but not prolonging the chance of my condition deteriorating. With the added drama in the final weeks of pregnancy it finally hit home that our little man was about to arrive, this was just a taste of things to come. The battle to get Finn here safely was far from over…


Happy Holidays! How time flies…


The last couple of months have flown by! Finn is past the 6 ½ month mark and growing so much every day. I wanted to share some updates on what’s been happening with us while I’m working on some other material.

Riding Solo – Nick had his first couple of nights away when he went to stay with a friend interstate. We made Facetime calls every day and kept busy with lots of visitors while he was away. It really was the most beautiful thing seeing my two boys reunite after a couple of days apart, I don’t know who missed who more. It was great having Nick back as we have established a good routine, I didn’t have to do it on my own while he was gone but I appreciate him even more after his short absence.

Solids – We were all excited when Finn was able to sit in his high chair, although we stuffed towels in for padding at first it was still unbelievable to see him sitting there on his own. This also marked the start of his experience with solid food. We started with Rice cereal then pureed fruits and have now even tried various versions of meat. He absolutely loves food and grabbing the spoon to feed himself with each mouthful is a joy to watch. We’re moving onto lumpier food and when possible are giving him finger food in the form of fruits regularly.

Swimming – Finn has now completed his first term of swimming lessons. With weekly lessons over the past two months he has improved a mammoth amount. His first lesson we had to get out of the pool half way through as he wouldn’t stop crying. We persisted with practicing his water conditioning every night at home which made the world of difference. By his final lesson he was splashing the water in between his submersions and even singing during the goodbye song. He’s a totally different baby in class and I can’t wait to see what the next term of lessons has in store for him.

Sleeping – This is still a little all over the place. At 4 months he went through a sleep regression where he would take forever to settle at night, although he’d still sleep somewhere between 7 and 10 hours a night. At present he goes down pretty easily after his bedtime routine but wakes often. If I get to him quickly to pat his tummy he will usually fall asleep again with ease, otherwise he needs cuddles and sometimes have a feed to get back to sleep. This happens every 2 to 4 hours and by the early hours of the morning I am so tired and sore from leaning over his cot that I give in and bring him into bed with us for cuddles. He’s also waking earlier in the day and needs a nap in the morning to make up for this.

Fitness – My fitness is slowly progressing and improving. I started participating in the free council run active parks sessions especially for mums and bubs. I’ve been able to use the motivation I’ve gained from this group to complete my own sessions in the home gym. I’m loving Finn’s reaction to Nick and I exercising. He has a bouncer we set him up in to watch us exercise and always gets so excited when we lift weights and move for him.

Travel – Finn had really started to dislike being put in the capsule & some of our trips before his car seat conversion even had me in tears. We installed his forward-facing car seat so our trips are no longer as painful. Our first family holiday was a weekend in Sydney, I was incredibly anxious about flying with a baby but he was so well behaved. Even sleeping in a port-a-cot proved to be no challenge at all for him.

Date Night – During our Sydney trip Nick and I had our first date night while Finn’s Aunty babysat him. I had prepared as much as possible and even left a shirt I had been wearing that day out just in case, as it turned out he slept the whole time. While at dinner together we had some great adult conversation, after a couple of espresso martinis we both realised how much we missed him and decided to head back around midnight. I’m looking forward to more of these in the future… And making a post about travelling with a newborn/baby soon!

Development – Finn has now mastered rolling from his tummy to his back and after a few additional weeks back the other way as well. He’s not crawling yet but can turn in circles when on his tummy. He’s also become quite great at sitting on his own but he can be lazy at times and prefers to lounge on me when that’s an option. He’s also so much more aware of his surroundings, his face lights up when he sees our cat Nova and he clearly recognises people he interacts with regularly. I’ve started using a walker and a Jolly Jumper with Finn. He loves standing, so these items give him maximum enjoyment. Until he can crawl on his own the walker is helping him get mobile the way he wants.

Teething – What is this nightmare? They go up, they go down. The poor little things are not happy, especially when dealing with the dramas caused by teething. We still have no tooth but over the past two months up to 5 teeth had pushed through his gums at some point. I give him cooled teething rings and rusks to try and ease some of the discomfort, and occasionally some Panadol or Nurofen at night when he is really uncomfortable.

Health – Only a few weeks ago I had a trip to the hospital with Finn as he had a sort of seizure as he was falling asleep, it only lasted a few seconds but we made the trip to the hospital to get the all clear. Although this was a little scary it was resolved really quickly and we’ve had no repeat which is great. More recently he’s had his first runny nose which I’m thinking may be teething related. It’s so hard to see my little man sniffle and struggle to breathe through his nose while trying to sleep but I know it will pass soon.

That brings you up to speed with where we are currently at, thanks for letting me share my story with you. I’m working on some more content at present and will share this in the New Year, that is one of my goals for 2018. What are your goals for the New Year?


My Take on the First 4 Months of Parenting

IMG_1643I’ve always considered myself a positive person & still do. I like to see the good in everything & firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I want to share my parenting journey through my writing & videos & I’ll aim to bring that positivity whilst being completely real & transparent about my experiences. In this first Blog I’ll aim to share a brief overview on some of the moments that standout for me during my first 4 months of parenting.

Let me start by saying that becoming a parent is the greatest thing I have ever done in my life, but these first 4 months have not always left me feeling this way. I’ll start at the beginning, not my pregnancy experience just yet but the day I became a mum.

On June 1st 2017 my husband Nick & I welcomed Finn into the world by emergency caesarean. My pregnancy seemed to drag on forever, then all of a sudden, we were in labour and I couldn’t believe it was time. We were excited, nervous & exhausted already but he was finally here! What do we do now? I’m sure you’ve heard that nothing can prepare you for parenthood which is actually the biggest understatement, but there is nothing like being thrown in the deep end to learn how to swim. I’ll never forget the moment we first saw Finn & heard those cries, the overwhelming feeling of happiness & relief brought us both to tears.

When Finn was born we were in hospital for 5 days, although to us it felt like it was one big, long day. When you’re only getting about an hour sleep at a time it tends to make the days merge into one. The combination of exhaustion, sleep deprivation & pain relief made it difficult for me to remember the most basic of tasks like “What time did he last feed again?” & “which boob am I supposed to start him on this time?”. I’m sure the baby brain was still in full effect, but with the support of all the midwives on duty I got the hang of breastfeeding & Nick mastered how to settle & get Finn to sleep. Our days were jam packed with visitors which was both exciting & exhausting, being the first grandchild & nephew on both sides of our family is a huge role but our little man nails it. Everyone was in love with him before he was even born & couldn’t wait to meet him in person.

The idea of bringing him home was something that we were both looking forward to but I was also secretly terrified. If something goes wrong while you’re in the hospital you have professionals on hand to respond immediately, they can also tell the difference between something normal happening to your child & something serious. We had a small scare in the hospital, after dressing Finn in a brand-new outfit that had not yet been washed. His skin broke out in red lumps, he was constantly crying & almost impossible to settle. The midwife quickly assured us that this was a natural reaction for his immature skin to have when exposed to an unwashed outfit & the crying was a result of cluster feeding. Without the confidence she showed us from her wealth of experience I can only imagine how hysterical I would have been seeing my baby like that. After just 5 days of parenting we were sent home with our totally dependent, mini human.

Once we were home we experimented with our own way of doing things in an attempt to find our new family rhythm. However, total sleep disruption from our newest recruit caused Nick & I to almost stop communicating completely & the result was severely frayed nerves for us both. We have always been great at communicating with each other so this was unchartered territory that we were not prepared for. Everything Nick said to me felt like a personal attack, it wasn’t, but I constantly felt that way. I remember him saying “I think he might be hungry” to which I responded with a look that could only be described as daggers. I thought “I’ve only just finished feeding him” was exhausted at the thought of having to feed again (breastfeeding is hard!). I still don’t fully understand why that question made me feel so angry but I suspect the feeling of complete & total exhaustion may have something to do with it. As my body started to adjust more to the new lack of sleep structure, my mood swings gradually evened out & I found I was able to better communicate my thoughts & feelings again.

When Finn was almost 3 weeks old I suffered my first case of mastitis (more on this in a future post). I spent another 5 days in hospital being extremely unwell & this was a pretty big upset to our barely established routine. At this point coming back home from the hospital was something we all couldn’t wait to do. I had three infections of Mastitis before Finn was even 10 weeks old, two of those times required hospital visits & each time I was prescribed strong antibiotics as well. Thankfully I have an incredible support network to help me through the tough times & aside from the Mastitis I have not had any trouble breastfeeding since.

For the first 6 weeks following my c-section I was unable to drive which meant I was pretty reliant on Nick taking me anywhere & also needed his help with almost every other task in my day to day life. With so many sudden changes to my lifestyle I found myself facing another new challenge I had not personally experienced before, Anxiety. Every day I was getting upset & extremely stressed out over little things. If I had plans to leave the house I would feel physically sick and occasionally even cancel, especially if I could justify a reason to stay home. The doctor’s clearance to drive was so important in gaining my independence & really helped me start working through the anxiety. I also stuck a monthly planner on my fridge & used this to schedule one reason to leave the house per day, these were things that gradually helped me overcome the most severe parts of my post-natal anxiety.

Finding a routine for Finn’s bedtime assisted us in getting him to sleep more at night, this really helps us deal with what the days throw at us. In those early days I did a lot of Googling & would spend my night time feeds reading anything I could find to help manage whatever we were going through at the time. Every baby is different but I’ll share what works for us in the hope that it may help even one person. Nick takes care of the bath, when he’s finished I take bub to his room for a mini massage & change him into his pyjamas, then I’ll read to him while he feeds which usually sends him to sleep. Occasionally I may have to rock him to sleep after his feed & I’ll play some lullabies to help. Since about 6 weeks of age our boy really only wakes up once or twice per night. I am convinced that I have been incredibly lucky to have such a good baby & that his sleeping is not entirely as a result of the routine but I can’t say that it doesn’t help.

We’re still working out this parenting gig & the first 4 months been such a whirlwind. I’m so grateful for the support network that I have in my family, friends & mums group. I’m gradually feeling more competent as a mum & I’m making progress on what the new normal is for our life. It’s a nice feeling to accomplish more tasks every day, just like starting a new job I feel like I can do the basics & am ready to keep challenging myself. I value the down time more than ever and try to remember to embrace the moments that I get a break from parenting. Whether it be a date night, a couple of hours to unwind on the couch before bed or even a trip to the dentist. I underestimated how busy I would be and didn’t realise that everything I do would require a lot more planning, preparation & ultimately just take longer with a baby. So don’t be afraid if you don’t quite feel like you’ve got it together just yet, I’m not even close to where I want to be. I can see how far I have come already & that gives me hope. In future posts I’ll share in more detail my experiences on the topics I’ve touched on here & the many other things that I’m yet to face.

I’d love to hear about your experiences as a new parent, what were your first thoughts when you met your baby for the first time?


A little introduction

I started this blog to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences with others. Being a parent is challenging but incredibly rewarding. I know how hard it can be and I want others to know that you are not alone. My hopes are that by sharing what I have been through and what I am currently dealing with I can help.

I never saw myself as a blogger nor have I done anything like this before, but I’m excited to share myself and my family life. I’m proud beyond words of my son and husband and although I am nervous about this project I know that with these two by my side I will be able to create something fantastic.