Monday, 30 September 2013

Fifty is the new 50!

And so this is 50.
And what have you done?
Is half your life over?
Or has it just begun?
(with apologies to John Lennon)

That was then

This Saturday, 5 October 2013, I will turn 50.  I've been practising saying it for almost a year now. Fifty. Fiff-tee. The Big Five-Oh. The ol' half century.  Fiddy.  Nothing sounds right.  It's not a number I can relate to myself somehow.  Like an uncomfortable garment I'm supposed to wear and pretend I love, it doesn't seem to fit me.  It feels weird in my mouth.

So bear with me while I work my way through this.  I'm not 50. I can't be. Fifty is old. It sounds old. It's, well, it's not me. But of course it is.  The driver's licence doesn't lie. It's got 1963 emblazoned on it.  There's no getting away from it.

On the plus side, my skin is great, I still have a sensational set of boobs, I have minimal grey hairs, and very few wrinkles (thank you family genes!).  And I'm relatively healthy, the blood pressure thing notwithstanding.  So I don't have too much to complain about really.  But seriously. Fifty? Me? When the hell did that happen?

I'm having a party.  I didn't want one but various people nagged and hassled and said I had to do something to mark the occasion.  So I gave in, threw together an invite and sent it out into the ether (a sign of the times that I didn't post a single one - they all went via either email or a link in a DM on Twitter or FB).  I'm having it at home and the idea is whoever turns up, turns up.  There could be anywhere from 3 to 40 people.

I'm actually still smarting from my 38th birthday where I planned a big party and everyone I invited (from memory more than 30 people) said they'd come.  I put in heaps of effort, even catered a bit (and I don't do catering!) and five, yes, you literally could count them on one hand, five, people turned up. And one of them was my ex-husband.  It's no easy thing to do the walk of shame in your own place.  My workmates couldn't meet my eyes on Monday morning and it was never, ever mentioned.  The shame of that failed party still stings a bit and I vowed never again.  And let's not mention the bright blue vomit deep into the night as I drank anything I could get my hands on to try to blot out the embarassment.

Yet here we are, and if I'm really honest, I'm a wee bit nervous that it will happen again.  At the time I was single and my son was 6.

Only this time, I have my partner and my now 17-year-old son and even if absolutely no one else turns up, I have those two wonderful people who love me and I will be in our little house, in my party frock which I love even if I did buy it in a fat chicks' shop (albeit in the smallest size they carry but that's little consolation - my weight is at an all-time high and I'll blog about that after my party when I'm ready to deal with it properly), and I will dance alone to my YouTube party mix of music that evokes a time and a place for me - that means lots of 80s dance tracks, some rockin' 70s stuff and other songs meaningful to me in one way or another over the decades.  I'm my very own Rage guest programmer.

Of course it will be great if people do come - it's so much more fun to dance with others.  I'm sure they will.  I hope they will.

To make myself feel a bit better, I Googled to see who else is turning 50 this year.  Check this out, I feel a lot better!

  • Brad Pitt
  • Johnny Depp
  • Edie Falco
  • Phoebe Cates (what the? I always thought she was much younger than me!)
  • Lisa Kudrow (even Friends get old!)
  • Mike Myers (groovy baby!)
  • George Michael
  • Helen Hunt
  • Elle Macpherson
And me.  I'll be 50 this year.  This Saturday.  And actually, I think I'm going to be okay with that.
This is now

Saturday, 11 May 2013

11 May 1996 (or why I only had one child)

For many, many years I never wanted children.  I didn't play mummies and babies as a child and it was never my ambition to 'get married and have babies'.  I didn't hate kids, I simply wasn't interested.

As it turned out, I did get married.  My husband already had an 11-year-old son from his first marriage and didn't want any more. Fine by me.   For four or so years this state of affairs was acceptable and to be honest, I didn't actually give it much thought.

Then, one morning when I was 31, I woke up quite literally on biological fire.  I can't explain it any better than that.  It was as if every cell in my body was on fire and screaming "GIVE ME A BABY. NOWWWWWWW".  I was shocked.  And I tried to ignore it. But I learned that these things will not be ignored. I nervously told my husband. If he said no way, then there'd be no baby. I am not the type of person who would deliberately fall pregnant and I vowed I would stay on the Pill if he said no. But to my surprise he said "oh alright then".  This was so significant that I actually remember the date I went off the Pill (I had been on it for 16 years).  8 December 1994.

And I promptly forgot all about it.  Until August 1995.  I was doing a play and had been feeling terribly tired and a little bit weird.  I thought I was just over-tired, working full-time and doing a long production.  The last thing I thought of was pregnant.  But I was.  What a surprise! And I had to remind myself of my past biologal urge which had actually subsided.  But I did want this baby so I decided to proceed with the pregnancy.

Being pregnant sucked harder than a Dyson for me.  There was only a brief window of time when I felt good.  And lots of things went wrong.  My waters broke at 15 weeks. I was rushed to hospital, expecting to lose my baby.  Amazingly a strong heartbeat was found, despite my losing so much amniotic fluid.  I remained in hospital for two weeks.  I had to have an anti-D injection because I have O Rh negative blood and that's when I learned all about Rh disease. Terrific.

When they sent me home I was told to stay in bed, with my feet up, for four weeks and to attend hospital once a week for a foetal heart check.  I was desperate to get back to work.  The day I was due to start back, I started to bleed.  Off to hospital again.  Placenta praevia! Yay. More time in bed, off work.  I was also diagnosed with borderline pre-eclampsia.  I constantly had some but not all of the symptoms so I had to have weekly blood tests.  My husband was starting to get cranky.  I didn't blame him.  This pregnancy caper was a joke!

I crept around for weeks, convinced I'd never complete this pregnancy and vowing never to try again.  I have always been prone to fluid retention so I didn't think too much about my increasingly swollen ankles and hands. But the swelling continued.  I had very serious oedema.  And I got bigger and bigger until eventually I couldn't walk. I was wheelchair bound or hobbled with a stick.  I had to have a heparin (an anticoagulant) injection once a week to prevent deep vein thrombosis. The baby couldn't be palpated as the oedema had crept up over my belly and almost to my armpits.  And I still had five weeks to go! It was an agonising and miserable time. Eventually, with three-and-a-half weeks left, my ob/gyn took pity on me and said he'd induce me on the Friday. I felt like I had won Tattslotto.

I was induced at 6 am on 10 May 1996.  I lay like a beached whale on the bed waiting for something to happen but nothing did.  They sent me back to the ward to wait.  Almost as soon as they left me alone I heard/felt a "pop" as my waters broke.  And off we went back to the delivery suite.

I won't bore you with the details of the next 19 hours but suffice it to say that the phrase "failure to progress" still rankles.  I went straight into Stage 2 labour but I never dilated beyond 6 cm.  My epidural failed and I had the intereresting (and by interesting I mean vile) experience of feeling labour on my right side but not on my left.  I begged for a Caesarean section but they wanted me "to keep trying".  At 22 hours the midwives were arguing with the obstetrician to take me to theatre.  All I wanted to do was die.  Eventually, at 23 hours the obstetrician relented and off to theatre we went.

Finally, at 5.45 am on Saturday, 11 May 1996, my son was born.  Tipping the scales at 8 lb 8½ oz (and three weeks early!), with all the right bits and pieces.  Absolutely perfect.  I passed out shortly afterwards and came round on 12 May, Mother's Day.  That was a nice day to meet my baby.

My son was an awesome baby.  Placid and happy from the start.  Very relaxed.  And breastfeeding was a breeze! Something I hadn't expected or even given much thought to (I still don't give a crap about the breast vs. bottle debate - a baby needs to eat. Feed it. I don't care how you do it and neither should anyone else).
3 months old.
He had such sticky-up hair!

And despite my mum's and my nanna's misgivings (which they cheerfully confided to me), and probably my own if I'm honest, I actually proved to be quite a capable mum.  And I never again experienced that overwhelming biological urge.  Odd, that.

And today he turns 17.  Tall, handsome, funny as hell, quirky and with a strong sense of social justice, I couldn't be prouder of him.

Beautiful young man
He was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when he was 9 and he's grown into his individuality and has a healthy self-esteem and doesn't suffer fools gladly.  He's got some very good mates, which is so good as for a long time he didn't have any and it broke my heart.

He makes me laugh.  And oh, how he's made me cry over the years.  But not too much really. Not in comparison to what some people go through.

The teenage years have had their moments for sure, but when I look objectively at his continuum I know we have all escaped fairly easily.

Happy birthday my darling boy.  The time has flown by.  You're growing up so beautifully and I can't wait to see the good man you are well on your way to becoming.  I love you more than you'll ever know and I'll keep telling you forever.

With all my love,

Saturday, 4 May 2013

And to think I thought it was Tony Abbott & Andrew Bolt!

I thought I was just getting madder than usual at the state of politics and media in Australia. The unchallenged lies, no policies, and running away from interviews of that great buffoon, Tony Abbott, enabled and encouraged by our media, with the strings of The Puppet Master, Rupert Murdoch jerking more enthusasiastically than a 16-year-old boy.  Thought my heart was racing due to outrage that Andrew Bolt, Ray Hadley and Alan Jones even are.  Thought my vision was getting a bit blurry at the mere thought of Christopher Pyne ever becoming our Education Minister and Joe "Eleventy" Hockey becoming Treasurer.  Thought my slight dizziness and overwhelming fatigue was brought on by trying to explain to my mum for the umpteenth time that her assertions about asylum seekers are just plain wrong and that just because she heard it on 3AW doesn't make it true.  And I thought that the fluid pooling around my ankles was just another thing of menopause.  So I decided a few weeks ago that it was time to go and see an expert in wimminz thingz because I had to deal with this stuff directly.

And boy, was I wrong. These things were not the reason for my symptoms at all.  Well, not most of them anyway.

It was a natural and logical choice to choose the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women.  Wimminz Stuff.  It's what they do. And they do it well. I was lucky enough to get an appointment the week after I rang. And doubly lucky to be introduced to a most excellent doctor, Dr Geraldine Edgely.  Geraldine was thorough, going over my family history, my symptoms, etc. and eventually pronounced me a walking cliche of menopause. Nothing like feeling individual!

A thorough physical examination, breast examination and Pap smear were done.

Then she took my blood pressure.  The reading was 170/100 mmHg.  She took it again at the end of the consult just in case I was suffering a bit of white coat anxiety but it was still way up there.  In case 170/100 mmHg means nothing to you, take a look at this:

Yep. Hypertension. Quite bad hypertension. Could-stroke-out-at-any-time bad hypertension.  WTF? I've always had quite low blood pressure.  In fact in my early 20s I was treated for hypotension (low BP) and my readings were always in the low-normal range.  So why do I suddenly have Stage 2 hypertension? I have no idea. Well yeah, bit fat, but not massive. Jeez.

Yep. This is pretty much how it is.
Geraldine said we'd put the menopause stuff to one side because I needed to deal with the BP issue urgently and for that I needed to go see my GP stat.  In the meantime, she gave me a script for Coversyl and told me that I needed to lose weight urgently and start exercising.  Exercising! I'm too busy to exercise. And besides, exercise!

But I filled the script, went home and immediately stopped eating all the things I love so dearly - no biscuits, lollies, chocolates, cakes - you get the idea.  And I dusted off the treadmill. Literally. It was covered in cobwebs!

After four days on the Coversyl I was feeling a bit weird.  I had a buzzing feeling all over my body (this is known as paraesthesia).  Not unpleasant, a bit like having 3 glasses of wine before you tip over into officially drunk. But I was pretty sure this wasn't how I was meant to be feeling. So I went to see my GP who decided I needed to do home BP monitoring for a week to see if my BP really was that bad.  He sent me home with one of these:
See that reading? In my dreams!
Readings six times a day (3 x am 3 x pm) for a week.  I did it for five days. My lowest reading for the time was 130/99 mmHg and my highest 165/115 mmHg. Bad.  So I rang Dr Steve again and told him. He said "hmmm". He says that a lot. Then he said "now I'm inclined to believe you. Come on in".  He put me on Micardis and repeated the lose weight and exercise mantra.  Yeah, yeah, I get it, alright? Sheesh.

So here we are.  Horribly hypertensive.  I've had a raft of blood tests, which have all returned normal, my vitamin D is horribly low at 24 and I'm taking a liquid supplement (liquid vitamin D! Tastes like sunshine!), and a women's multivitamin (Dr Steve recommended Swisse Women's Ultivite).  I got very excited in Chemist Warehouse at all the things!

I've also had a thyroid ultrasound, a PV ultrasound, and a MSU (mid-stream urine) - all totally normal. Cholesterol a little up but not alarmingly, and I'm not pre-diabetic.

Hypertension is generally a symptom rather than a condition of itself.

But it appears I have idiopathic or essential hypertension.  My blood is struggling to push through severely narrowed arteries.  It's not good.

So here we are. I'm getting on the treadmill for 30 minutes each day (it probably should be more but it's just really hard to find that time! I'm self-employed, remember? No work - no $$), I'm eating much better and, importantly, much less.  No snacks.  I had my first glass of wine last night - having gone three weeks without any alcohol.  And I probably should stop watching Q&A!

It seems that I've walked right up to the line. And I don't want to cross it.

Menopause stuff can wait. I'm too busy trying to avoid a total eclipse of the heart!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Someone else is writing about menopause in Australia!

My Twitter friend, the rather marvellous Robyn Oyeniyi, author of the blog Team Oyeniyi and e-book "Love vs. Goliath", has kindly given me permission to link to her recent excellent post on menopause and HRT.

Thanks Robyn, I already feel much better knowing that 80,000 of us are due for Club Menopause membership each year.  I was almost admitted recently (I probably violated the dress code) but had to go back to the end of the queue due to an unexpected period recently, however I'm sure I'll be crossing the club threshold in the next 12-18 months.

Here's the opening para of Robyn's post:

Being a woman is a bit weird at times. We are the gender that gives birth to the next generation and we have all this complicated plumbing to enable us to give the miracle of life.  To the men who are brave enough to read on, hopefully I’ve written this is such a way that you won’t be left feeling “yucky” and might give your wife, sister,  mother or female co-workers a little consideration! :D
I am not alone.

You can read the full post by clicking here

(I'm such an amateur bloggeur that I don't even know how to do one of those tricksy "read more" linky things so you'll just have to go retro with me and click the damned link the old-fashioned way!)

Friday, 22 March 2013

The Accidental Relationship

An Open Love Letter to My Partner on our 10th Anniversary

I'll never forget the first time I saw you in that pub.  It was 23 March 2003. Having chatted back and forth via email and MSN (remember that?) for a few months and forming a tentative friendship, it was so exciting to learn we actually lived quite close to each other! Remember that you bailed out twice then made a sudden "it's now or never - meet me in 20 minutes" decision? I know that on that night neither of us knew what to expect. We hadn't exchanged photos, had no idea of the age of the other - nothing to go on except a mutual appreciation for each other's posts on an internet forum.

And there you were.  All tall, slim and gorgeous in your black jeans and Doc Martens, complete with broody look, you could have walked off the page of a catalogue.  I thought you were the most beautiful thing I'd ever clapped eyes on. And I should know, I've clapped a few! And young! So young! Oh cruel, cruel universe.

You were 30. A loner, a stoner and as wary as a wild animal.  I was nearly 39, divorced, with a 6-year-old son. We lived in a rented unit as I'd lost my house in my marriage settlement.  I thought if I could get you into my bed and keep you there for even a week, it would be worth it.  Because of course, neither of us expected in a million years that this would ever be 'a thing'.

And that's how it started. Any time you were at my place was a delightful bonus and when you were not, I didn't give it much thought, so confident was I that this was never going to amount to anything but an occasional 'friends with benefits' arrangement.  There was no pressure, no 'where are you? why haven't you called me?'.  I had no idea what you were doing when you weren't with me. I didn't care and that went both ways. We both just got on with our own lives. I was also seeing a couple of other guys at the time - I used to refer to you to one of them as "the beautiful boy" and we'd joke about how long I could keep you.  All very casual.

First photo together 2004.
Note my body language, hanging on!
And strangely, on the basis of that very casual, no hassle/no expectations style, you found yourself choosing to visit me more and stay longer each time.  Sometimes you'd disappear for weeks. Other times you'd be at my place for four days in a row.  Pretty soon it was time to clear out a drawer and put a spare toothbrush in the rack.  Yet still neither of us thought we were in a relationship. I didn't want you to come to my son's 7th birthday party because, well, there was no need was there? It wasn't like you were my boyfriend or anything - why would I introduce you to my family and in particular to my ex-husband, the father of my son? Yet you were insistent so I relented.  Remember how my mother took me aside and whispered "He's very good looking isn't he? Better not get too used to him being around for long"? The implication was quite clear. You were far too good looking to want to stay with me for very long. And to a certain extent, I agreed. But I didn't care because we weren't in a relationship.

It would be another three years before you introduced me to your family.  You always did like to take things slowly.

So we drifted along, realising how much we enjoyed each other's company. You surprised me constantly with your intelligence and how much you knew about stuff.  I rather arrogantly had you pegged as just a pretty face so it was quite a shock to learn that you were both beautiful and smart! Before we knew it, two years had passed. I was no longer seeing anyone else, just you. But we still weren't in a relationship. Oh no!

Then my father died in September 2005 and unexpectedly left me some money.  Not quite enough for a deposit on a house but pretty close. And you were eligible for the First Home Owner's Grant. If we pooled our resources we could buy a house.  How confronting! This was real stuff and required real thought and, worse, discussion. I think we were both pretty scared. But we're both pragmatists and we realised this might be our only chance to get a house.  So we struck a deal for 12 months and that at the end of that time, if we couldn't bear the sight of each other, we'd sell the house, each get back our initial contribution and split any profit 50/50 and walk away with no regrets, each better off than when we started.  So we took a deep breath and found a little house.  We moved in on Melbourne Cup Weekend 2005. And we're still here.

In that time we've had holidays in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, countless weekends away around Victoria, camping and motel stays, travelled to New Zealand and Malaysia. We're planning a motorcycle tour of North Vietnam next year. You finally got yourself the motorbike you'd always promised yourself and, to everyone's astonishment, at the age of 44 I got my motorbike licence! You taught me to ride offroad in the forests. We hired a Suzuki V-Strom 650 in Queenstown, New Zealand in 2009 and hurtled around all day on it. You loved it so much you bought one when we got back and we've had so many adventures going 2-up on that bike!

You also stepped up to the parenting role of my son in a way I never could have expected. Even though he sees his father regularly, you were the one front and centre day to day in those crucial years. You came with me to Parent/Teacher nights, you taught him (with remarkable patience!) how to ride a bike. You took him camping and we went away together many times.  You volunteered as a parent on his Grade 6 camp - I couldn't imagine anything worse but you really wanted to do it and you did. You held me close when I cried inconsolably when I thought I'd lost him in 2011. And you were as relieved and happy as I was when he came back in 2012.
Launceston 2012.
Look at that body language!

So here we are in 2013.  It has been ten years.  Ten freaking years! I know neither of us can quite believe it.

This has been the best relationship of my life. It's lasted longer than my marriage and has been so much better than anything I ever hoped for myself.

You have loved me with an intensity I never expected. You still make me laugh and I still think you're the most beautiful man I've ever seen. We still prefer each other's company to anyone else.  My mother still remains baffled as to why you'd want to stay with me (thanks mum!).

As you know, we only have one regret. That I couldn't give you a child. In that area, your being very slow to come to major decisions had a very real cost and by the time you realised you wanted a child, it was too late for me. I told you to leave. Told you to find a young woman and establish a relationship and have your baby. It's the one thing I can't do for you.  Yet you have chosen to stay with me. I can't tell you the depth and mixture of feelings that evokes in me. I literally can't. I don't have the words.

I love you so much. Small, inadequate sentence as it is but perhaps in its very simplicity it says all I need it to mean.

I'll be 50 this year.  You'll be 41 this year. Wow.

Happy Anniversary, Matt. It's been an unexpected and brilliant ten years.  I'm incredibly lucky.  Every single day you tell me you love me at least once (just last night: "do I tell you that enough?". Yes. Yes you do.  I could never have dared hope to have such a functional, loving relationship. I hope we have many more years together but even if we don't, 2003-2013 belongs to us.

Thank you my darling.

UPDATE: May 2014. 
Completely unexpectedly, out of the blue, my partner - the love of my life, left me.  There's not much else to say really except that I'm still in shock as I write this and wonder if I will ever fully recover.  At the moment I don't know who I am or what my life looks like.

A word of warning to you: don't EVER get smug or complacent. Don't EVER think you've made it in the relationship stakes. Things lurk under the surface, ready to pull you under, even if you're not expecting it. Always be on your guard.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Hot Flash Havoc

Never say I don't look after my readers.  All three of you.

Look what I found via Twitter - someone has made a doco about menopause!

The trailer looks pretty good - take a look here:

I'd love to see something similar done by Australian women.

What do you think? I reckon it's about time.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Goddamit! Now I have to start again

If you have been following this blog (and quite frankly, why wouldn't you?), you would know that I last had a period in around April of 2012.

I have been getting quite excited (and by excited I mean vaguely depressed) at the approaching 12 month point which would apparently mark the moment I truly entered The Big M.  Supposedly going 12 months without a period is the milestone you need to reach in order to truly claim membership to Club Menopause.

So there I was with only a few months to go when what should happen yesterday? A period arrives.  Well hello there, red stranger! I remember you and I never thought I'd see you again.  But here you are, bigger and bloodier than ever.

It's like getting the band back together.  All the old crew are here: the bloating, the scraped-out-with-a-spatula-from-the-inside feeling, the sudden twinges of pain, and of course the blood.  Copious amounts of it.

Lucky I bought two packets of Poise pads last week.  Except that I bought them because I've been coughing continuously since New Year's Day after a bout of bronchitis (yes, I've been to the doctor, he says it will just run its course, thanks Mum) and my poor pelvic floor just can't cope and lets me know in no uncertain terms...let us speak no more about that other than to say that I'm way too young and fabulous to be smelling of wee just yet.  I'll save that particular delight for my extreme old age if you don't mind.

So now I have to ride the red horse until it leaves town then start counting again.  

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

In which I get my ranty pants on

I am an invisible, breastfeeding, hysterical, rape obsessed, feminazi who isn’t a “real” feminist, with a chip on my shoulder and a skewed body image.  At least I think that’s right.  It’s a bit hard to tell sometimes and frankly lately I am more than a little confused.  Come to think of it, I sound a bit like that hideous new Kia ad.  Currently I have no idea who or what I am because the media is sending me more mixed signals than a 23-year-old commitment-phobic guy.  I am clearly not a "woman of now", whatever the fuck that means.

There are articles telling me that I am apparently invisible because I am close to 50.  Yet today I have on a very basic summer dress (bought at daggy old Millers for $13. I know, right?  $13!  Bargain. High five!) and I got a wink in the street from a bloke, and an out and out perve from a young guy in a ute, so clearly I am not invisible (and not a covergirl either - a healthy size 16 with big curves).  And the fact that I actually felt really good about this appreciation (and not in a pathetically grateful way either, in an entirely deserved "yeah, I am looking pretty good today" kind of way) apparently in some quarters would also mark me out as not being a “real” feminist because apparently to be a real feminist you have to reject the patriarchy in ALL THE THINGS.  And I do not. So sue me, sisters.

I don’t deny that the superpower of invisibility certainly does creep up on a woman as she gets older but I can’t help but wonder if this latest reminder is just another media dig, because ladies, we need constant reminding that we are ageing don’t we, because if we should forget it then an entire massive industry breaks down and civilisation as we know it will grind to a halt.  And we can’t be having that. You're getting old, right? So don't you dare forget it!

I went searching for a picture of an invisible woman to illustrate this post and all I could find was this (using the search term "invisible woman")
Is it just me or does she not look particularly invisible?  Not just me?  Good.   

So then I went searching for a picture using the search term "middle-aged woman" and I hit paydirt.  Go on, do a Google image search using that term and you will see hundreds of pictures of gorgeous women who are not 25 or 30 or 35, possibly not even 40.  They are older and they are most certainly not invisible.  So just who is telling us that we are invisible in society?  I don't have any trouble getting served in shops, and if I do it is more likely because I am only 5’ 1” and not because of my age.  I have a spent a goodly portion of my adult life on tiptoes waving my hand in the air like an extra from the What About Me film clip so I am noticed in a crowded bar or shop. It's height, not age, that makes me hard to see!

Don't get me wrong, I know how to be invisible. I perfected that superpower some time ago. I simply go out in trakkies and a manky t-shirt, with unwashed, pulled-up hair and old trainers, I keep my head down and don't make eye contact with anyone and I create an aura of "don't even think about speaking to me". Very effective.  And when I don't feel like wearing the cloak of invisibility, I don't. And I don't do anything different (the clothing was a red herring!) other than to have my head up and make eye contact with people. I am a random smiler at people too.  This alone is a guarantee against invisibility if you're concerned that you may be disappearing from view.

Trust me, you're not and bugger the meedja who tells you that you are.

And breastfeeding.  TITS! What century are we living in that this is still even a thing discussed in the public square?  That a dinosaur (his own word) like David Koch on the execrable breakfast television show Sunrise should purse his lips in a prim little moue of disgust as he urges breastfeeding mothers to be discreet in 2013 says as much about who is on our television screens as it does about attitudes (speaking of outdated and irrelevant).   

Discreet is a funny word.  Like art, I believe discretion is entirely subjective.  One person's discretion is another’s flagrant flaunt.  I know that when I breastfed my son (from birth to 13 months), I often did so in public and every time I did, I tore my top off so I was entirely naked from the waist up and everyone around me was in no doubt whatsoever as to what I was doing.  In fact if people did not notice that I was breastfeeding, I would go right up to them and thrust my boobs and babe into their faces to make damned well sure that they did. 

No wait.  That never happened.  That never happens. That's the prude's fantasy.  No breastfeeding mother ever does that.  Yet men like David Koch, and women (oh yes, there are women who still hold the quaint view that breastfeeding is something to be hidden away, something to be just a little bit ashamed of) like Pru Goward tell women that they must "be discreet", whatever that means in their Little Johnny Howard 1950s utopian world.

Funny how boobs are so revered in our culture yet attach a baby to one and they suddenly become disgusting.  Wouldn’t Freud have a field day with that!

Discretion be buggered.  Breastfeed your babies anywhere and any time you need to.  You don't need anyone to tell you to 'be discreet'.  You need to tell them to STFU.

Yep, I think that pretty much covers it.  Any questions?