Bubsandbeans | With a background in early childhood coupled with the hands on experience of raising four children, this Blog is about my day to day experiences, both in life, business and travels

Hyperemesis gravidarum, what the keyboard warriors don't see.

by sarah 24. June 2016 17:21

I have talked before about my struggle in pregnancy with Hyperemesis gravidarum, a real, debilitating illness in pregnancy. It is an illness and unfortunately one that I have noticed can often cause a lot of people to cast judgements and assumptions about on social media.

Just today I saw a post on Facebook from one of the big baby gossip sites, the ones with the great click bait titles, like my struggle with "Princess Kate disease" or why i want to abort my child! (Both related to HG by the way)

The comments on the article were just as extreme, Comments if you have more than one child it can't really be HG, as I couldn't have more than one with HG, comments like no sympathy for Princess Kate she couldn't have had HG if she was out in public at twenty weeks, real people with HG don't do that. Other comments saying HG is just in your head, most people get morning sickness they need to get over it.

I wanted to scream at the computer, my frustration building, do you know what sometimes, people with HG do actually go out in public, do you know sometimes they have more than one child, do you know that it is not Morning sickness! It is a disease that affects 0.3–2.0% of pregnant women, so it is more common than you realise. 

I suffered with HG for all four of my pregnancies, (crazy I know), I was sick with each pregnancy right up until I went into labour, often being sick 50 plus times a day. I tried all the drugs, the food tricks, ginger, fruit tingles, salty food, sweet food, no food, flat lemonade, and do you know what nothing really worked. I spent 34 odd weeks vomiting. Sounds awesome doesn't it. Do the maths that means i was sick over 6000 times over four pregnancies.  

But like Princess Kate do you know what I still had to do things, I still had to get older kids to school, visit sick family members, go to appointments, had to look after toddlers, and to the outside to all these keyboard warriors they would say. It couldn't be that bad you did your grocery shopping last week, you couldn't have it that bad if you travelled to Melbourne to see your new niece. It just bad Morning Sickness.

What they don't see is the buckets living permanently in the car, the random stops at the side of the road, the fact you walk into a room and your first thing to do is find out where the toilets are, they don't see the times you spend hours sitting on the floor of the bathroom, to sick to move anywhere. They don't see the trips to emergency when you are so severely dehydrated you can't see straight. 

They don't see the money spent trying to repair the damaged teeth, often too badly damaged from the acid that ate away all the enamel. They don't see the $1000 of dollars spent on drugs that don't stop you from vomiting food, but atleast let you keep down some fluids so you are not left sitting at ED with three other children in tow. 

They don't see the scales dropping in pregnancy, but then the scales rebounding so drastically after each pregnancy as your body has spent the last seven-eight months in starvation mode.

All they see is a few words on the computer, a random picture on the internet, and someones else's assumption of what is going on. 

What people who are suffering from HG need, what they want is understanding, not judgement. Everybody's pregnancy is different, everybody's HG is different, and we need to stop looking from the outside and making sweeping statements, and snap judgements.

 

 

 

 

Tags:

Health | Life as a Parent | Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

Parenting, It's all about respect!

by sarah 23. June 2016 12:55

Respect in Parenting what does it mean to you?

So many times we think that Respect is only for the children, children need to respect their parents, respect their teachers, respect their elders. But I believe it is just important that as Parents, as teachers, as adults in general we need to respect the children in our care, respect our children.

We need to teach them respect not just by our expectations, but also by our behavior. We need to learn to show our children positive respectful behavior so they in turn mirror that behavior. 

Something big happened in our house two weeks ago, our oldest daughter broke her wrist at Tae Kwon do, now this was a big thing in our family as it was our first real big injury. Yes we have had a few minor injuries before, cuts and bumps involving glue, we have had hospital visits from pneumonia, pleurisy, operations for tonsils, adenoids out but this was the first broken bone. 

Now in our family I am known as the Paparazzi, their is not an event, a holiday, a day really that isn't captured by a camera. But of Miss J’s broken bone, her emergency visit, her first cast we don't have any photos, None, something that is unheard of in our house. Why, because when we were sitting in the hospital room after the X-ray, before the doctor came to put on the cast, she asked me – please mum can you not take any photos of me at the moment. 

In that moment I had a choice, a choice to take a photo and play the mum card, or to give her the respect she deserved, at a time when she felt most vulnerable, when she was upset at the thought of no monkey bars, no badminton, no swimming, no Tae Kwon do, to treat her with respect and say O’k. That's ok, we don't need a photo, we can take one when your ready. 

Two weeks on, she still isn't ready, apart from one photo she took herself to send to her Auntie (the cast only- no face, nothing to prove its her. There is no photo proof, and that’s ok. As I understand it is her body that is in a cast, and as it’s her body she has a choice, and if she doesn't want a photo to remember it by that’s ok. 

We need to show our children respect, so they can learn to show others that same respect. 

They need to know they have choices, they need to know they will be supported in their choices, some might say it's just a photo, and maybe it is, but to our daughter it is so much more than that. By saying that it’s ok, I won't take that photo it is telling our daughter, we respect you, we respect your decisions, hopefully as she grows older she will show that same respect to others. Respect that when her friend says please don't post that photo on social media, she will say Ok, when her younger brother says, please don't tease me about that, she will say no drama, as she has learnt firsthand how important it is to respect others.

 

 

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Reflecting on the moments that shape us? What will shape your children?

by sarah 17. May 2016 10:58

Recently my mum had an operation, a fairly serious one she got through the operation well and is beginning to recover however it has really got me reflective, reflective on my Mum and the amazing mother that she is, reflecting on my childhood and all the events that have shaped me as a person, and as a mother.

I think back to the events, the memories that are imprinted in my mind and I wonder when my kids grow up what memories are the ones that are going to shape them.

As I get older the words that are spoken fade, the Good and the bad but what doesn’t fade is the feelings... The feeling of joy, love that mum showed us as kids, the home cooked food, the way she tucked us in at night. The way that she supported us in all our endeavours, the way she would meet us at the end of our shift at Safeway and walk us home. My mum worked whilst I was growing up but I never thought of her as a working mum, its only now that I am a mother myself with my own business that I realise the hard work she put in, heading off to work nightshift whilst we were sleeping, arriving in time to make us breakfast in the morning. I never realised the sacrifices she made, but I do remember her teaching us Cards, I remember weekends spent doing puzzles, going for long walks together along the beach. Her instilling a love of reading in us. 

I remember her gentle rebukes when we did the wrong thing, not in anger but in love.

I remember thinking that I could be, do anything that I wanted as Mum believed I could, but I also knew that it took work and she made sure we did. Homework was a priority, but family came first.

What will my children remember?

Will they remember me playing with them, teaching them cards, going for walks around the lake, doing puzzles, or will they remember me sitting by the computer tolling away.

Will they remember the way I walk them to bed, the cuddles in the morning, the way I make their lunches with the fun notes, the useless facts about Australia and the world around them.

Will they remember the way I am already a taxi service running them from swimming, Badminton, Guitar, Tae kwon do. Teaching them to be part of the community around them.

Will they remember the fun holidays, the impromptu trips interstate? Will it teach them a love of travel as I have, the desire to learn more about the world around us, and the different communities within it.

Will they remember the moments of frustration, trying to get them to clean their room, unstack the dishwasher, feed the dog? Or will this shape them into people with good work ethics, the drive to get the job done. Will they feel like I did, as being gently rebuked in love, not anger!

 

Or is it more than that….. Will they remember the way that I love them, treasure them, each as individuals. When the music fades and we are left with our memories what will they remember, what will they treasure?

 

 

 

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It's a Mum's life

NAPLAN testing? How accurate is it?

by sarah 10. May 2016 12:20

For those of us with children in Grade 3 or 5 this week we would know that we are in the middle of the NAPLAN test. Now the level of stress, anxiety your child is facing can be significant or non existent depending on the schools approach to this test.

For some schools their is a huge emphasis on the test with most of the year focusing solely on the skills required to "ace' the tests, where for other schools they are seen as a small part of the overall learning process.

We are really lucky that our children's school has a balanced approach, the children have gone into the test without anxiety, without pressure.  Sure their teachers want them to do their best however they know that this is not the be all and end all of their education, their grades. It is a small part. They have done a couple of practice tests so they are aware of what it is, but not to the detriment to their other learning.

My friends daughter on the other hand has lived, breathed Naplan all year, she at the age of 8 is under so much pressure to do well, and as a mother it is heartbreaking to see a child (even not your own) feeling stressed and anxious at such a young age.

These huge difference in focus has got me thinking, how accurate are the NAPLAN results. Realistically if a school spends the best part of 5 months focusing solely on skills that will help their children "ace" the Naplan tests, compared to a School that has a more balanced approach to learning. Which school has "better learning results for your child" Yes the first school might get a better results on paper but does that really mean the child knows more than others? Which has the better academic result the school with one focus, or the one with a much rounder education?

Do I want a child who has a great understanding of English and Maths, but has no idea about geography, sports, music. 

Looking at these two schools totally different ways of appraching NAPLAN has made me rethink the way that I choose Primary school, and Secondary College.

Our daughter is in Year 5, so this year we need to choose her secondary College, when I started looking around I was focusing on NAPLAN results, but then realised that depending on the schools focus it on its own is not an accurate result, I now focus on the difference between the Year 7 results and the year 9 results. Is their education growing or staying stagnant? I focus on their programs, what do they offer the children, what classes are available when they hit VCE, Can they do Year 12 classes in year 11, can they do VET courses through school. What does the school 'feel like" are the front desk staff approachable. All of a sudden NAPLAN becomes such a small part in the bigger picture.

What are your thoughts on the NAPLAN testing?

Are your children participating? Do they feel pressure? Did you use it as a tool when choosing primary school. 

 

Tags:

It's a Mum's life | School related

Can we really have it all?

by sarah 3. May 2016 05:35

Having it all has been seen as the aim for women everywhere since Cosmopolitan editor Helen Brown famously talked about them in her book from the 80s Having it all, Love, success, Sex and money. Ironically Helen Brown never had children, her “all” didn’t include Motherhood, however it has now become the “catchphrase” of our generation of mothers.

 

You see whether we can have it all, comes down to our perspective, what do you think is your all? For Helen Brown, success was not motherhood, it was success at work, success at love, financial independence.

In the new age of feminism we have decided that women need to have it all, right now. However for some we can have it all, just not at the same time. Having it all doesn’t mean the same thing to different people. Having it all doesn’t mean that we have or want the same things as men, or the same thing as others. It’s about having the choice, having the same opportunities.

Having it all is more than what society expects of us, it’s more than what our family or friends expect of us. It is purely our perspective and ours alone.

Having it all often means that your life won’t be Pinterest perfect, it won’t be being able to be at every event, having the perfect children all the time. It’s about having the right balance getting to the end of the day feeling fulfilled in whatever you are doing.

 

For some people it is being that Pinterest mum, being the best mum, wife, partner they can be.

For others it’s the balance between work, family and relationships.

For others it’s our own businesses, blogs and motherhood.

For others motherhood doesn’t enter into the equation.

We need to stop judging others choices, comparing ourselves and realise what the real question is.

The questions isn’t what is everybody else doing, it’s what are you doing? Do you feel balanced, do you feel complete, and do you feel like you have a purpose a reason to get up each morning.

If you feel that you need to juggle motherhood and work at the moment how can you find that balance? Do you need to look at outsourcing getting someone in to help with your washing, cleaning your bathroom those jobs that get pushed aside. Do you need to sit down with your partner / husband and have a real talk about how you need to be a team and both pull your weight in and outside the house. Do you need to organise childcare, a nanny, and au pair to help with the children. Do you need to get up earlier a couple days a week to exercise, to make you a priority? Do you need to organise a babysitter occasionally to have date nights with your husband to make your relationship a priority? Do you need to put the iPad, iPhone down a couple of nights a week to spend time with your husband? We need to write lists and priorities what do we need to do now, what can wait? We need to learn to say No! So important to learn. But we also need to learn to say Yes, yes to help! We need to know our limitations, and work within them.

 

Do you feel like you “Have it all” are you balancing your life right now?

 

 

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