Life with the Ginger Whinger.

So it’s been over a year since my last post – my how things have changed…

In late March last year Nate and I found out I was pregnant! What an awesome surprise and what a journey it has been.

I breezed through my pregnancy…until the last 3 weeks. If you’ve been following my blog (or know me well) you would know I suffered pretty bad anxiety in my early twenties, which decided to pay me an unwelcomed visit come week 37 of pregnancy.

It hit me hard.

It’s been a very long time since I have been scared of my  anxiety. Which led to it sticking around much longer and more intense than it has in years.

Luckily – having an AMAZING GP (who is also an amazing mate) meant I got straight into a psychologist before bub was born to have chat.

Having been through it once before and struggling to ask for help for far too long – I knew exactly what to do this time.

Asking for help also meant when I arrived at the hospital in labour, the midwives were well aware of how I was feeling and were AMAZING.

A few days before Baby Wright was due Nate took me down to North Beach with some pizza’s and surprised me with a proposal!

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Lucky I dressed up for the occasion!

He replicated our very first date and I had NO idea it was coming. Yes, we had talked about and yes, I had dropped “hints” (blatantly sending him pictures of rings is hinting, yeah) throughout the pregnancy, but in all honesty I had resigned myself to the fact it would now happen after the baby.

Labour stared at 5am on 5/12/15 – pretty typical, just some mild back pain. Amanda had been staying for a week and we filled in the day with a walk and swim at the beach and lunch with Suz at the pub!

At around 5pm that afternoon things started moving and I asked Nate to start timing the contractions.

We played Trivial Pursuit to pass the time, pausing for contractions.

By 12am, several showers, massages, bouncing on the fit ball and stamping the contractions started coming in waves. Off to the hospital we went!

It took me about half an hour to walk from the car to the birthing unit as my contractions were non-stop.

We entered the birthing unit and the contractions slowed! Typical!

I was checked and I was 1cm dilated… oh dear.

The midwife was amazing, she gave us a room and luckily didn’t send us home. She let me know I would be having the baby tomorrow so try and get some rest.

True to form I couldn’t sleep!

In the morning contractions had slowed right down, however, I had moved to 2cm… ha!

The midwife suggested I either go home or get induced.

I chose to be induced – the anticipation had been killing me, particularly with my anxiety and I knew I needed this baby out!

I had read Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills book at around week 20 of pregnancy and had these ideas of how I would labour (or attempt to) naturally… as soon I knew I was getting induced I asked for the epidural.

Best. Thing. Ever.

I ended up with a fourth degree tear which needed surgery, so if I had felt that I probably would be scarred now!

Matilda Kate Wright made her entrance to the world at 3:09pm 6/12/15. On my Grandma’s birthday.

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The first 12 days were BLISS!

Then Matilda started to get really unsettled.

Off to the doctors we took her.

We were told it may either be reflux or colic.

We have been trying reflux meds but in all honesty I have NO idea if they are working as everyday is such a mixed bag.

I started reading about colic… it’s classified by excessive crying (more than 3 hours, for 3 or more days a week) and peaks between 6 – 8 weeks and is generally worse in late afternoon/evening.

The most frustrating thing about colic is that NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT CAUSES IT.

Some theories include overstimulation and abdominal pain.

Excessive crying for more than 3 hours, 3 or more days a week. LOLCATZ.

A typical day with the Ginger Whinger goes a bit like this…

Matilda will feed anywhere between 4am and 7am… sometimes if she feeds around 4am I can get her back to sleep for a couple of hours however, lately she has been starting her day around the 5am mark.

She then gets back in her swaddle (poor little thing lives in it at the moment as we are constantly trying to get her to sleep).

She gets burped, spews everywhere and then fights sleep until the next feed.

You can see how desperately she wants to sleep and sometimes she will crash out for 5-20 minutes before waking up for some unknown reason.

Sometimes, if I time it JUUUUUUUUST right I can put her on her tummy and she will sleep for an hour or 2!!

She also cannot sleep on her back for longer than 20 minutes.

Around 10-11am she is SUPER tired and this is when the first round of screaming really amps up.

The poor little thing is constantly overtired and it’s about this point in the day that’s she has had enough (and so have I).

She often gets bathed twice a day just to soothe her and see if that will help her doze off.

We also walk. A lot.

Somedays it works and she will have a snooze for an hour or so.

Other days the best we get is 20 minutes.

We bounce her on the fitball to get her really sleepy. And sometimes if I time it JUST right, I can actually transfer her to the lounge and she will sleep on my chest which means I can get a little snooze in too.

White noise is on a constant loop.

So is Nate’s version of “Waltzing Matilda” – which she LOVES. Even if she has been awake for 10 hours straight, Nate will be sitting there singing it to her and randomly she will just start smiling at him.

She loves her Daddy. Sometimes when I am holding her now, I have to get Nate to move out of her sight because she just sits there staring at him – when he moves, she will close her eyes. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes.

We have tried every over the counter colic concoction available, I have even given her a few bottles of formula which almost broke me as I LOVE breastfeeding and felt I had failed her if it was my milk making her like this. It made NO difference – except she stunk and struggled to poo!

She crashes out between 9pm-11pm and was sleeping through (with 3 hourly feeds) until 7ish am, however, as I mentioned before this has now turned into 4ish am…

We took her to the paedeatrician last week where she screamed the whole time!

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This photo is taken outside the Doctor’s office, as I had to excuse myself and take her outside to wait as I couldn’t stop her screaming. We had a five minute break so Nate snapped a pic!

He basically echoed what Loz our amazing GP had said – she is healthy, this is super hard, but it will pass.

As frustrating as it is I guess we also found some relief in that we have had her checked over. She is as they say, “thriving” and my milk is doing it’s job, the poor little thing is just an unhappy and challenging baby at the moment.

This is definitely not how I imagined motherhood to be.

This is really freaking hard.

I often have thoughts about whether my anxiety had something to do with this, but I quickly shoot that thought down because that doesn’t do anyone any good.

Most days I have a tantrum with Matilda and most days we manage to both crash out at some point from pure exhaustion.

But there are some positives:

1. I have a beautiful baby girl, who on the shittest of days still manages to coo and smile at me.

2. I now fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans (albeit with a bit of a muffin top) from all the walking and baby wearing as well as eating SUPER healthy to try and not aggravate her.

3. Nate and I are solid. Yes, I have my moments where I am a complete bitch to him and resent him for getting to escape to work. But dammit, we make a good team.

4. We have AMAZING friends who have started a meal drop for us this week. As well as a freezer full of food from Nate’s brother and girlfriend.

5. And amazing family – massive shoutout to Nate’s mum who came down and cooked and cleaned and took Matilda after almost EVERY feed for a week and sent me upstairs to catch up on sleep. 

6. The #gingerwhinger hashtag is quite possibly the best hashtag ever. Nate, you’re so witty!

7. She is SUPER strong because all that time on my chest is tummy time!

8. It WILL pass. I am SLOWLY getting my head around this. That no matter what we try (and we have tried it ALL so PLEASE I know you mean well, but no more suggestions!!) TIME is what will “cure” this.

So this is life so far with the Ginger Whinger – not exactly what I had expected that’s for sure. But we are having moments of pure awesomeness mixed in with absolute moments of hell.

And you know what – I’m OK with saying I’m having a shit time… and so is Matilda and so is Nate. Because it doesn’t have to be all rainbows and sunshines and happy babies… but we are going to be OK.

And for anyone who is going through this too – let yourself acknowledge that’s it’s super shithouse. But it’s also NOT your fault and (apparently, OH GOD OR BUDDAH OR ALLAH, PLEASE LET THIS BE TRUE) it WILL pass!

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I know my happy, bubbly baby is in there!

Brickie

xx

 

 

 

 

Mixed Berry and Muesli Muffins.

Muff!

 

Signs of Ironman blues.
The feeling of something missing in your life – Now time to do something different.
Unusual grumpiness – Tired not fully recovered.
Sadness – Like you have lost a best friend.
Bored -plently of time on your hands
Restlessness – still not ready to resume training.
Sudden mood swings – often as a result of procrastination.
Not Motivated – even to enter a favourite triathlon
The loss of any direction will result in feelings of aimlessness & despondency.
Missing the regular e mails, social support and group sessions that were part of the Ironman training culture.
Depression is a sign you have not fully recovered.

Taken from: http://www.ironmate.co.uk/post-ironman-blues#sthash.tvwBLJkH.dpuf

Legit.

Since Port Macquarie I have been lost, unmotivated, and downright depressed.

I had heard about the post Ironman blues before, but i didn’t think it would happen to me. Looking back though, I placed a lot of importance on this race, on this goal.

I wanted to push my bodies limits and commit to training to see what I could do.

Unfortunately race day didn’t go quite as planned but that’s racing for you!

For the past few weeks I have been feeling like I’m on the brink of tears or a tantrum. Nothing  seems to be getting me excited and the littlest problems feel like the biggest issues!

I can honestly say I haven’t felt like this in a very long time.

I think I have been in a bit of denial about it all. How can ONE race have so much influence over my mental health?!

When you focus on one goal, so intensely and for a long period – I guess it’s to be expected that once you have completed it you feel well, empty.

Motivation for every training session was drawn from the desire to complete this race. We suffered through freezing swim sessions and hours on the bike trainer and now it feels almost impossible to get out there in the sunshine! Makes no sense to me.

Coupled with this – the past week I haven’t even been able to run, even if I wanted to! I have been struggling with spasms in my calves  which I am hoping will sort itself out with some rest.

So what do you do when struck down with post race blues (or any blues for that matter – any goal you give yourself completely to is bound to stir up similar feelings upon completion)?

1. Remember that you are more than ONE GOAL (or race, event etc)

It’s important to remind yourself that you had other things going on in your life before, during and will continue to, after you have completed this goal. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Reconnect!

When you focus on achieving your goal – so much other stuff gets pushed to the side. Engage with this stuff again! Go out and catch up with friends, pick up the hobbies you had to set aside because you couldn’t justify spending time on them before. Not only will it help you distract you from yourself, it will reinforce the idea that there’s a lot more to life than ONE goal or dream.

3. Take some time out.

Regardless of whether or not you have set some clear goals for the future or you unsure of where to next – take some time out. Take the pressure off and embrace the fact your time is completely yours. It’s difficult but try to relish in the fact you don’t have a strict schedule telling you what to do or where to be – even if it’s only that way for a week or two!

And finally,

4. When you’re ready set some new goals.

These don’t have to be related to the initial goal or even as big. It could be a goal to rest, spend more time with friends or family. Anything you want!

So for me – I know I need to take some time to rest.

My calves are quite clearly telling me so. But more than that, my mind is telling me I need to.

I fell into this sport and have loved the challenge of it from day one and I want to continue to love it… at the moment I am bored running the same routes and have no desire to run for very long. This is super unusual for me. Instead of trying to force myself to regain the love I’m going to take the approach that it WILL come back IF I don’t force it.

So for the next 2 weeks (after a sneaky race this weekend) I am going to enjoy all the social sport I have had to miss due to training.

Then I am going to try my hand at some trail runs around the area to mix things up and then, when I get back into training I am going to see if I can find some groups to train with…

…oh and spend some more time cooking!!

 

The bits and pieces

photo 1

Make sure you make it a decent cup of berries!

1 C Wholemeal flour (you could use SR Flour, plain was all I had!)

¾ C brown sugar

1 C mixed berries

2 eggs

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

1 C good quality untoasted muesli

¾ C milk

1 tsp cinnamon

½ C olive oil

1 tsp baking powder

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Pre-heat oven to 150°C and grease a 12 muffin tray.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, cinnamon, muesli and baking powder and mix well.

Add in sugar and eggs and mix well.

Add remaining ingredients except for the mixed berries and stir until well combined.

Pop in mixed berries and gently fold through the mixture.

Spoon into prepared muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top.

These were so good!

These were so good!

Remove and let cool before devouring!

 

Enjoy!

Brickie

xx

Port Mac 70.3 – Race Report.

Ready and nervous!

Ready and nervous!

As of Sunday, I am officially a triathlete! I have always shyed away from this term leaving it for people much fitter and better looking in lycra than me! However, after Sundays effort I feel like I have now earned this title!

We headed into Port Macquarie on Saturday morning to scope out the bike course as I had read the roads were rubbish and the course quite hilly. On the drive in I kept saying to Nate it can’t be THAT bad, I mean we have ridden around Mudgee – how bad could it be?

ha!

There was one section of hot mix that lasted around 300m and the rest was dead road with a spattering of pot holes that had been filled and refilled.

It was going to be a bumpy ride.

My main goal was to try and stay down on my bars for as much of the ride as possible – I have never felt really confident on them so this was going to be a bit of a test. I knew the best way to approach it was to just not think about it.

We headed to registration and off we went to rack our bikes in transition – with me stopping at the Shimano mechanics to get them to check my tyre pressure. LUCKY – apparently my front wheel wasn’t done up properly and it would have most probably fallen off mid ride… I will ALWAYS stop at the Shimano tent.

Afterwards we jumped in the swim entrance and had a quick swim to get a feel for the water before heading home – sunburnt. Not exactly ideal but there was nothing I could do about it now!

I slept terribly on Saturday night, after tossing and turning for a few hours I bit the bullet and set myself up on the lounge so at least poor Nate could have a peaceful sleep!

I flicked on the TV, watched The Hangover and fell asleep about 12ish.

My alarm went off at 4am (VOM) and I jumped straight up. Coffee, breakfast, quick check of the bag and off we went.

Nate looking pro as exiting the swim!

Nate looking pro as exiting the swim!

Swim Leg (33:31 – 15th AG):

Nate headed off in the wave before me, as soon as the horn sounded we were hearded to the start line.

One girl yelled out “Goodluck Girls” then we all wished each other good luck. It was a nice way to start the race as we all encouraged each other.

Horn sounded and away we went.

It was a relatively uneventful swim. I found some space and just swam. Nothing flash (my swim is nothing flash!) focussing on controlled breathing and long smooth strokes. I have realised that I am better off swimming slightly slower for a lot less energy than expending a significant amount more for probably 1minute or so gain. I am putting this down to no  poor technique.

T1:

I exited the swim feeling fresh and relaxed.

I spotted The Meat Trays and my family and gave them a wave… downed half a gel, quick sip of water then Sirius and I headed on our way.

Bike Leg (03:07:03 – 3rd AG):

As soon as I jumped on Sirius, 1 of my water bottles came loose and spilled all over my foot  before eventually falling out completely. Not ideal!

Loving the bike leg!

Loving the bike leg!

My aim for the bike was to stick around 30km per hour. I knew I was strong on the bike but I had no idea how I would fair for 90km on a hilly course. I didn’t want to go too hard on the bike so I thought this pace was achievable while still leaving enough in the tank for the run (ha!)…

I was overtaking people on the hills and took a lot of confidence from this. I was being over taken on the downhills however, so I decided on the 2nd lap to not think about falling off unless it happened! I couldn’t afford to overtake people on the uphills just to have them come flying past on the downhills!

I hit the first turn around feeling good, keeping a nice high cadence and settling into a rhthym. I took my first gel here – well about 3/4 of it. I just can’t stand them. As soon I had it I felt quesy.

Heading back into town on to Matthew Flinders Drive AKA hill of death, where they lay out carpet so people can clip out and walk up. The first time up it took me by surprise – I had really underestimated just how steep it was. I grit my teeth and got through it though telling myself I only had to do it one more time.

Getting it done!

Getting it done!

Nate once again looking like a pro!

Nate once again looking like a pro!

2nd lap – relatively uneventful, at the turn around we came into a headwind that made the ride a little tougher! I was still feeling good however, I had a feeling I hadn’t eaten enough… at about the 75km mark I started to tire and knew I had left it too late to get enough food in before the run. I told myself it was too late, if I ate now I would be sick on the run (oh Brooke – you have no idea!).

Climbed the hill of death 1 more time and made my way back into town.

T2:

Scored some bindies in my feet as I ran through transition and lost my bike rack… ugh! After a minute if searching I found where I was supposed to be. I had even taken note as I ran INTO T2 but for some reason I ran away from my transition area?!

I thought about popping a gel here but thought it would sit funny in my belly and hurt my run (oh Brooke – you have no idea!).

Out of T2 and into the run…

Run Leg (02:16:48 – 12th AG):

I knew coming off the bike I hadn’t gotten my nutrition right but I really underestimated how much this would affect me! I had underestimated just how much this leg would hurt too!

I started with a 5:08/km pace and very quickly that dropped to 5:45/km which very quickly hit about 6:02/km and walking through every aid station.

Nate passed me just after the first aid station – I told him I was struggling as he zoomed past. I thought he must’ve been on his 2nd and final lap and felt really deflated. Little did I know he actually got a flat at the bottom of the hill at Matthew Flinders Drive and I had beaten him home on the bike leg!

Struggle street shuffle!

Struggle street shuffle!

After this I knew I had to get fuel in – whichever way possible.

So I scoffed watermelon, electrolyte drink, water, banana anything I could get my hands on!

The irony is that I couldn’t stomach gels and I hadn’t wanted to eat solid food towards the latter half of the bike because I thought I would struggle to run with food in my belly –  and here I am on the run course having a bloody sit down meal!

I really struggled through the first lap. I passed a guy who was being helped by an ambulance and thought, I could just stop here and they would help me too. I had doubts I would make it, but I also knew I didn’t want to give in!

A little girl handed me Vegemite on a stick – life saver! As gross as it sounds, after so much sugar it was exactly what I wanted.

2nd lap – still struggling and walking through every aid station. I stopped to walk a bit further down the road and an older guy ran up beside me and told me we were going to run to the finish, we probably had about 4km to go. This was exactly the kick up the bum I needed! We ran together for a while until he pulled away as I just had nothing in the tank.

We hit the final hill and I caught up to Jan (the guy who told me to run) and he was walking. C’mon I said – you told me we were running until the end so that’s we’re doing!

I think the Coke must have kicked in at this stage, as I managed to run the last 2km (downhill) in a much more respectable pace of 5:33/km.

As I hit the red carpet I saw my family – gave them all high-5’s and shuffled over the finish line!

That’s when I saw Nate waiting for me – I gave him the biggest hug and cried tears of joy. Which I have never actually experienced before! It’s a weird sensation but kind of cool!

Finish Time: 06:02:59 – 8th AG

Our faces say it all!

Our faces say it all!

Not quite the time I had hoped for but for my first long distance triathlon I am still stoked.

I had a great, relaxed swim, crushed the bike and fell apart in the run.

I know that my nutrition (or lack of) had a big role to play in my awful run. After the race I realised I only had 1 bottle of sports drink, 1/3 banana and 2 gels on the bike and I know this wasn’t enough.

Aside from this I also need to get used to running on tired legs,  I know this is as much mental as it is physical.

Overall I am stoked with mine and Nates  effort and I can’t wait to see how much I can improve next race.

FYI Nate crushed it:

Overall Time: 05:34:45 – 31st AG

Swim: 00:32:26 – 40th AG

Bike: 03:16:45 (with a flat!) – 52nd AG

Run (SMOKIN’!): 01:40:37 – 14th (!!!) AG

The greatest cheer squad known to Ironman!

The greatest cheer squad known to Ironman!

I promise I will have more recipes soon too!

Brickie.

xx

I would also like to say a MASSIVE thank you to my family and friends for making the effort to come and stand in the sun just to watch us come past every hour or so! You guys made the day that much more special! THANK YOU!