Erin Mc Luckie
The first featured mommy on my blog who also happens to be a fellow blogger and a good friend... The lovely Erin!
So what has been keeping this mommy busy besides the obvious?
I have a love for story-telling in all shapes and forms - theatre, music, film, digital platforms, radio, podcasts, marketing, advertising, blogging and writing.
If there's a story to be told, heard or read I'm there!
This makes for a very interesting household with a very stubborn toddler, and you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
I grew up doing a ton of TV stuff and come from a journalism background where I wrote some pretty serious pieces, and then went more into the entertainment realm by opening an online radio station (if anyone asks you if this is a good idea I'm here to set the record straight - I made like zero money on this, so while it checked all my creative boxes it didn't exactly put food on the table).
I then travelled and flitted about (eh, I'm a millennial - what can I say?) and found myself in the world of marketing (which I surprisingly love). And now? Now I'm trying to do that crazy dance where I balance my passions and still spend time with my kid.
Some days I feel like I'm winning, whilst others I'm surprised I remembered to put my shoes on. So now I mom, and blog (at The Blegh Housewife), and drink copious amounts of coffee. I have a 1 year old toddler boy, a parrot, a puppy and a husband.
And now diving into the beginnings of motherhood with pregnancy and birth, Erin shares her experience with us:
My pregnancy was awful. I had morning sickness from day 1 of finding out I was pregnant (actually, this is why I took the test), all the way up until the day Augusto was born.
I ended up being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This put me in hospital twice during my pregnancy.
I managed to control my sugar levels through a very strict diet - which was horrible, because I was pregnant and pretty much couldn't eat anything I was craving. But, in a weird way the diet was actually good for me, because while I wasn't eating EVERYTHING, I only ended up picking up 6kg throughout my whole pregnancy.
In addition to the diet, I had to do finger pricks to test my blood sugar levels after every meal - this was challenging because a) I kept forgetting and b) at the end of it my fingers were destroyed.
I also had to keep a food journal to ascertain what foods/brands were making my sugar levels spike. I was still working throughout my pregnancy with some crazily demanding clients, so this also put some strain on my pregnancy.
My birthing experience:
On the evening of the 3rd of November I started feeling incredibly nauseous. I had hot and cold flushes and eventually in the middle of the night I took a shower to try and cool down and feel a bit better.
I managed to get a bit more sleep in and then in the morning I went to the hospital (just to be safe). The nurses immediately checked me and told me that I was having contractions ( seriously?? - I didn't feel a thing).
My doctor was incredibly concerned because it was one month early, and with the gestational diabetes and taking the steroid injections that would assist with the baby's lung development was a dicey decision.
My contractions got so bad on the Friday evening (the 4th November) that you could see my stomach bunching up and then relaxing. By Saturday morning my contractions had stopped, but my baby's heart beat was dropping. And so, because Augusto was in distress, I was rushed into an emergency C-section.
Enrico (my husband) rushed to the hospital (he had left earlier because he thought that everything was okay and that I was going to be discharged later that day).
Within a 45 minute whirlwind experience we welcomed Augusto into the world. While the doctors were stitching me up, I watched as they weighed him, and listened to him cry.
The paediatrician then swooped Augusto under my face so that I could look at him and then rushed him off to NICU. I didn't even get to hold my baby. My husband spent the afternoon whatsapping me pictures of our son from the NICU.
That evening, when the feeling came back into my legs, I hobbled into the NICU to meet my little boy. For the next week I spent all the time that I was allowed to in the NICU.
I was allowed to hold him for the first time only on day three. In that moment all that mattered was my little boy. As he settled against my chest he started stretching and moaning, so I stood up to rock him, and my phone clattered to the ground. The doctor shouted at me saying that if I couldn't even keep my phone from falling then she wasn't sure I should be holding my baby. It's crazy how that one statement broke me. It made me doubt whether I'd be a good mother or not.
The NICU is a hellish experience, because you never know when you'll be able to take your little one home until the day you take them home.
And so, you have to just keep on going in faith. Augusto was discharged one week after he was born, while I was discharged 3 days after giving birth. Coming home without my baby was one of the most difficult things ever to have happened to me.
Erin is one of those super-mamas and has exclusively been breastfeeding little Augusto, one year in the breastfeeding journey continues...
So they say that breastfeeding is 90% determination and 10% ability, and for me this was totally true. While I was having my C-section, I pulled the paediatrician to one side and told her that I was committed to breastfeeding, and if my little boy needed to go to NICU I wanted everyone on board with my plan. And so, because Augusto was prem, he wasn't able to latch and suck properly, meaning that I had to express for him from the day my milk came in.
In addition, with a prem, weight gain is an issue (along with the suckling problem), and so for the first three months of his life, I expressed for most of his feeds, We worked the bottle feeding (with expressed milk) in stages: in a 24 hour period my little man had 8 feeds, and so I expressed diligently every time he napped (so much for napping when the baby naps).
After three weeks of this, I was able to express for 7 feeds and directly breastfeed for 1. Then a week later we were down to 6 bottles of expressed milk, and 2 direct breastfeeds. And so it went, until he was 4 months old and exclusively, directly breastfeed.
It wasn't an easy journey, but honestly, it was so worth persevering. Augusto is just over a year, and I have just begun the weaning process (we're down to just night feeds), and I don't regret a thing around this.
In many ways, I have been able to be a better mom through the breastfeeding journey. Bumped your head? Here's some boob. Teething? Here's some boob. Feeling restless? Here's some boob, Won't sleep? Here's some boob. Need some cuddles? Here's some boob. And so it goes.
And Erin shares some insight into the change that happens in a marriage when you welcome a little one into the mix:
A baby completely disrupts your relationship. You're moody, sleep deprived and all your mom instincts are zoned in on your little human, so the attention your husband (or mine at least) is used to receiving goes straight out the window.
In addition, I struggled to find my new identity as a mom, without letting it consume me. I didn't suffer from PPD, but grappling with this new identity that I felt so strongly was daunting, and left me feeling consumed by motherhood, rather than owning it.
This meant that I needed to put more effort into my relationship. Whereas before it just came more naturally, now date night's are important. Getting Augusto to bed at a decent hour so we can hang out became a priority.
Working through this has changed our relationship, but it has also brought us closer, with one of us looking at our little boy and saying, 'wow, we did good,' at least once a day.
In fairness though, as Augusto became older it became easier.
Now, did the family dynamic become easier because he is older and in more of a routine, or are we just used to the madness by now? I simply don't know, but family life (overall) can be pretty damn amazing.
So, Erin... since you seem to have a very diligent and positive outlook on the mom life, what are your thoughts on having more kids?
My initial reaction is YES. Yes, I want to see Augusto as a big brother.
I lost my mom when I was 13 years old, and I can't help but think that if something like that were to happen to Augusto, I would want him to have a sibling to weather the storm with.
So yes, now that the first crazy year is behind us I would love more kids.
How many you may ask? I'll answer that after the second.
Haha we’ll be awaiting that answer ;)
And any advice/tips/suggestions for new mommies or mommies-to-be?
The best advice I was ever given was to read your child. You can read a ton of books, download a million parenting apps, and listen to countless advice and stories from generations past. But, each child is an individual, and the best thing you can do is read your child - they'll tell you what they want/need. Trust those mom instincts and you can't go wrong.
See more of Erin, her mommy tips and reviews on: