Well...conference in Christchurch was amazing! I work for a large real estate company (Harcourts) and each year they do it better - this year was no exception. Some 1100 attendees, some amazing speakers and workshops, Stan Walker (winner of Australian Idol) was the opening act, and Li Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer) was the closing. If you ever get the chance to hear Li - take it. A beautiful story and a wonderful message. It was great seeing friends from other branches and head office, and making some new mates! And just such a good feeling - there really is a nice culture of teamwork and friendliness in the company.
I managed to get to most things - Rupert and Grace had a good time hanging out and her wee Harcourts onesie went down a treat (a gift from friends when Grace was born). Daddy also bought her a Crusaders (Chch rugby team for my overseas readers) top, which she looks really cute in. She was just very happy the whole time we were away - fell asleep on the plane there and back, and in the taxi, and she was great for the nanny while Rupert and I went to the big Awards dinner. The franchise I work for did very well, and a very good time was had by all! A few glasses of wine (don't worry, I expressed and chucked it) and I could have danced all night, but fortunately the nanny was only booked till 1am which saved me being too sore headed. As it was, we only had 3 hours sleep before we had to get up, pack and get to the airport. It was so fun having a night out with Rupert though - and a bit of boogying!
The only bad thing that happened was the hotel had lent us a portacot - which was very low, and had high sides. It started to hurt my back almost immediately, so I had Rupert getting Grace out but the damage had been done and one morning when I got out of my chair at breakfast I felt my back go. Ouch! Those who know me well will know that my back and I have had a long and difficult relationship, and it was one of the things I was most worried about when I was pregnant. So...I was taking painkillers and they weren't doing anything, and it was really time today to make the tough decision to go onto anti inflammatories and stop breastfeeding. Or have this kind of pain for a month or more and not be able to do what I need to as far as work and home stuff and caring for Grace.
Grace has been taking a bottle of formula in the evenings for quite a while now - and I was finding that even though I tried to express when she was getting a bottle, I wasn't getting much. And, over the last couple of weeks I've had to top her up with formula during the day and it just seems like my supply isn't keeping up with her demand. Added to all that, she starts daycare in a week (for 2 days a week) and with my lack of success expressing it would probably have been time to stop feeding her anyway.
Sensible decision. I am really sad though, and have had a few tears. The first time I fed Grace I felt like I finally knew what my body was for. I was so very lucky - never any pain or problems, and I so loved the closeness and the quiet time we spent. I guess motherhood is going to be a whole series of these kinds of things - the letting go of each stage and letting her go on to the next. And we've done it for 18 weeks, and that's pretty good right? And at least with all formula we'll be able to keep a close eye on how much she is taking.
So. I'm having a wine right now. Just because I can!