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Why ask me

7 Mar

I have experience with babies and my nieces and their friends find the information they are given is confusing or short on detail. This is frustrating and I want to help. If someone has told you something you don’t understand or not told you why, then ask me. There are no stupid questions and I have, at some in the last 20+ years, answered them all. 

Breastfeeding

28 Jul

There have been a couple of new additions to our family recently. They are my brothers grandchildren. As a midwife listening to the problems they are having with breastfeeding I find it frustrating that they are getting poor advice and hampered because they are not seeking my advice. I have no intention of giving unsolicited advice. One of them did talk to me when the baby was two weeks old. She was struggling because baby number two was not the perfect baby like number one. After some chat my conclusion was that mum’s let down was too much for baby. The symptoms were; feeding for no more than 10 minutes then 15-20 minutes later wanting another feed and lots of agitation due to wind. The fast let down is like sculling a glass of water and feeling full, thus not wanting anymore, only you are not full. Mum was getting only 2-3 hours between feeds especially at night which is hard to deal with. The solution is easy, posture feeding ie, Mum lies back and the baby is higher than the nipple thus having to work for the feed, taking an adequate amount at the feed and sleeping longer.
The other one, who I would be surprised to hear from, has a problem with sore nipples. The advice she was given was to express and bottle which I find annoying because it is more work that formula feeding and double the work of breastfeeding. She has also been told to feed every four hours. The baby is a normal healthy one and quite able to demand feed. My advice for the sore nipples is ice, apply before the feed and attach the baby. By the time the nipples warm up the baby is properly attached and it no longer hurts. This problem is more common with a caesarian delivery because Mum has a sore tummy and positioning is more difficult and midwives do not have the time to spend assisting with or even learning about breastfeeding. I could even help with these on Skype. It is not rocket science but some skill is of benefit.

Good catch?

19 Jan

That is what was suggested to me recently. I have also had other comments along similar lines. You know, do you have a partner? Why not? It has made me seriously consider how I should respond to these questions.

I don’t do intimacy, particularly the emotional kind. Some of this comes from my parents example. I could not name Dad’s best friend and while I could name Mum’s, there was no evident sharing of things that I would expect of that type of friendship.

I have had acquaintances that I have shared experiences with, I have even been married and had another 2 year relationship. What I have always found is that these people are not worthy of the trust required to have that emotional intimacy. I had it during my marriage but when things started to go wrong, he would raise these matters as reasons. This has been the enduring memory of all shared intimacy, when things get difficult, they are just thrown in my face. Therefore, why would I volunteer these things at any time?

So, how do you answer these questions without being offensive? No one is worthy? No one is to be trusted?

I see and have had relationships break down where assets are divided. Well, I have worked for and earned all I have and don’t feel inclined to share it in this way again.

Knowing all of this still does not help me to politely answer the question. I will just have to give it more thought.

My feeling, my responsibility

27 Jun

It is a strange thing to find that I have nothing to say. Having published 30 posts it seems I have cleared my mind of its logjam and my head is now clear.

Actually this is quite true. I am much calmer for having expressed myself. I sleep really well most nights and recognise that most of my feelings about my family come from jealousy.

Everyone was talking about my brother the other day and I realised that what I was feeling was jealousy and it always had been. It is interesting that the same brother feels that in the family he is nothing. He explains it this way, there are four of us; the oldest, the youngest, the daughter and him who is nothing. I can tell him he is the comedian.

This means I have to take responsibility for how I feel. Confronting such feelings is not easy, especially when you have lived with them, un-acknowledged, for many years. It colours all my interactions with my family, I have to think about how I respond to many conversations. Again i am in the positions of looking withdrawn/aloof from everyone because I am considering my reaction and adjusting it as per my acknowledged negative feeling, to be more positive.

This all goes back to where I thought I should be the centre of attention and if I am not then I am not loved. What a stupid thought! Reverse it, if someone else is not the centre of attention, I don’t feel less love for them than whomever is front and centre. Therefore I am back to my initial thought from when I returned home. Wait to find out where I fit in. Patience. Just being there and showing love will get me to where I want to be.

Death

29 May

I am of an age now that I am very aware of death. My parents are attending funerals as a regular social outing now. Some of these funerals are for parents of the people I grew up with. This is often the only time I see these people as we are not friends but acquaintances.

I went to one of these funerals last week, they are reunions of the only kind we get to have with these people we grew up with. It is good to see these people, how they have changed or not and share memories of childhood. It was a simple cheerful service too.

When I see the people who come from my childhood I am always reminded of those times and the fun we used to have.

I have thought about my own death, how it is to be paid for, where my ashes will go, will anyone come if there is a ceremony? This obviously depends on who of my parents and siblings survive me. As a single and currently without real friends I don’t expect many to attend although many more could out of respect for my parents who are held in high esteem in the community. I need to have it organised before I go so that no-one has to worry about it.

It is a reminder to have the will organised too, must get to that soon. Meanwhile I am enjoying being on earth.

Family dynamics

18 May

It is interesting how relationships within family change over time. I have lived away from my family for 20+ years, only coming back for special occasions. It seemed to work, I got what I wanted ,which was little expectation and a life away from their prying eyes. I long feared anyone getting to know me too well as my expectation is that they won’t like that person. I have never made friends easily and always suspected the motives of any who wanted to be my friend. Yeah, go see a shrink. Tried it and other self help stuff too.

Now I have returned home so to speak. I have my own place but am accessible to the family. What I have found is that no-one really cares. That is not strictly true but it often feels that way. I have only myself to blame of course.

They have had their family patterns evolve and I have not been a part of it which now leaves me feeling excluded. I keep telling myself to give it time, after all they never adjusted to my shift work demands so this is not going to happen over night. It is just that I am a little bit impatient.

The most interesting part being that one of them is antagonistic. I can’t talk to him anymore. Everything I say is wrong, everything he says offends me. The banter we shared as children doesn’t seem to apply anymore.

So, I am trying to carve out my own pattern, getting involved in community, being occupied, while still able to participate in family activities and help when help is needed. I need their help too and am trying to ask for it, something else I have to learn after always claiming I can do it alone.

My hope is that over the next few years I will find my slot in the family pattern and all will be peace and harmony. My parents deserve that in their twilight.