DAY 2 -Mum Guilt

Mum Stuff, Pregnancy

In the throws of labour all I wanted was to go home to Isaac and give him a cuddle, I missed him so and wanted to feel him snuggled up in my arms. I had also hoped for a four hour discharge with Maverick so that our little family could be together in “our” space. Maverick didn’t get that memo and so him and I have spent the night together in hospital which was also the most amazing time with just him and I. Possibly the calm before the impending storm???

It was also fairly lucky for Mylo as Mav was on mission to bring my milk in and so we have sat up from about eleven last night until six thirty this morning feeding. What a wonderful way to usher in his second day on earth; watching the sunrise whilst feeling like your nipples might fall off because they’ve been attacked by a Pirana overnight.

Sleep is not on the cards for me yet though as if I want to get discharged today we need to get up and cracking so that the doctors can all give us the green light to go home. If we are asleep they’ll skip ahead to someone else and next minute it’s five pm and we are still here. So here I am awake thinking about the logistics of our new norm.

I thrive when I’m making other people happy, I am an extrovert through and through, my cup is full when I am with others and if I am helping them then we are dealing in my currency. Having children seriously hinders my ability to do that. I cannot be on the phone long because Isaac gets upset that my attention is elsewhere, I cannot drop everything I am doing to rush to the aid of a friend (naturally extreme exceptions would apply, but in the general sense) and I do not have unlimited time, energy or resources to give to people. Let alone the juggle to be a good wife and somewhere in there be good to myself.

This has been one of my greatest challenges over the last eighteen months since becoming a Mother.

Knowing this about myself I am aware that I am a prime candidate for “mum guilt” which I have expanded to family guilt because from any angle there is the ability to feel like you’ve fallen short. Look I know that every mum regardless of their personality type is a candidate for guilt but I’d be lying if I said that meeting every need of my two children equally was not of greater concern for me leading up to this birth than the birth itself. All I want to do in life is be everything to my kids and I know that this is physically impossible with one of them let alone once I have two; as is now the case.

Isaac loves Mav so much, he is beyond excited every time he sees him but he is a little like a big beautiful Labrador. He bounds round knocking things over with his big tail and paws not understanding the power he is wielding by his size alone in comparison to his baby brother. I know I’m going to have to be very diligent with their interactions as he is still such a baby himself and things could easily go sideways.

How on earth do I tag team with Mylo so we spend equal amounts of time with each child when Mylo unfortunately can’t breastfeed? Oh and he’s our bread winner as well so realistically I’ll be spending much more time alone with the kids than we will be as a family, as is the way our society has deemed it be with the cost of living and all. How do I make sure Isaac doesn’t get jealous of the hours and hours I will spend feeding and burping over the next twelve months. How do I make sure that Mav isn’t neglected unless he needs feeding?

How do I manage this guilt coupled with the sleep deprivation, hormone surges, physical recovery and everything else that comes with the birth of a new baby?

I’ll let you know I guess because whether I figure it out or not, it’s going to happen and I will one way or another make it through.

I guess the best thing I can do right now is try to remember that “Mum Guilt” is a joke and doesn’t deserve the thought space as it is impossible to achieve the standards we set ourselves as parents. I still believe we should set them high and try our darndest, but when we fall short we should take it as a lesson learnt and move forward without beating ourselves up over it.

DAY 1 – Love is a “Super Power”

Mum Stuff

What a wild ride birth was. The most intense and yet incredible experience I’ll likely ever have and one I already dream about having again; yet don’t think I will.

Born a 3:05am on Wednesday the 29th of January 2020 little Maverick came into our lives and has already left the biggest impression on our hearts. I honestly didn’t know how I could possibly love anymore after Isaac and my heart has shown me yet again what it is capable of; which is much more than I ever give it credit for.

We are buggered! Mylo is currently napping in my bed for what could be one minute or two hours depending on the needs of our new babe and I.  No one’s really sure but he will take what he can get  and I am on the biggest euphoric high, reclining in the chair in the corner of the hospital room getting very distracted from typing to stare at our littlest bundle.

But I needed to write, I needed to take these thoughts and feelings permanently out of my head before I forget them because as I learnt from my precious babe number one, the only thing that is certain is change and that change happens so fast. I never want to forget these feelings in these moments because they will never be again.

I’ve decided that love is in fact a “Super Power”. A power that we all possess, yet if we don’t learn to channel it and use it regularly, constantly even, we will more than likely never experience it’s true ability to transform our lives.

Children have the most amazing way of showing us and being to us exactly what we need to learn in the way of love without us even knowing that we needed it or realising that we were their students in the first place.

If only we could do for one another what we would do for our offspring the world would be such a wonderful place. Although I guess on the flipside of that, “hell hath no fury like that of a mother protecting her young” so I can see how it can turn sour pretty quickly. But what if we remembered that the fury we were directing was towards someone else’s child who many not have received the same love that we are showering on our own. What if we realised that possibly the very behaviours that are triggering extreme emotions in ourselves are actually just cries for help and desperation to experience connection and the person exhibiting them can sense that you could give it to them but they don’t know how to ask.

We are a funny little species, the human race, and how our unmet needs manifest into behaviours is downright bizarre sometimes if you ask me, but I pray that we would be able to use our “Super Power” to respond positively and heal each other rather than use is as a weapon against each other. I’m sure I’m way too tired to really think this through based on how my hands are shaking on the keyboard as I’m typing and I’m micro-napping every now and then but I believe the key to this, our “Super Power”, is by giving it unconditionally. The moment we remove, limit, restrict our love due to not liking or understanding the interactions and behaviours we are having and witnessing  with another our love becomes conditional and we lose all the “Super” out of the “Power” making it just a normal battle where really, there is no winner. By choosing to be unconditional regardless of the other party we soar above it all and we all win in the end. It may not look like a traditional victory but both of us would leave the situation forever changed for the better.

I’m not going to fight this next micro-nap, let’s ponder this more later.

Kel

xxx

38 Weeks – In The Waiting

Mum Stuff, Uncategorized

I made some lactation cookies yesterday for a friend whom just had a beautiful baby girl, I also laced them with a ridiculous amount of choc chips because, well… why the hell not?!?! It’s her first bub and she is absolutely killing it but as anyone who has already had a baby would know you don’t feel like you’re killing it in that first little bit. It’s a cocktail of emotions, physical torture and having no idea what the hell you’re doing but reading all the things to find out what you’re doing in the small windows when you’re meant to be resting.

We were catching up as part of our first ever little Mother’s Group. Actually, I won’t be calling it that, I’m going to call it a Survival Group. These two girls were my bridesmaids and it’s such an incredible blessing to be able to live and share this part of our lives together because we all know it’s hard AF and can be quite lonely so having people to do it with is pretty damn special. A non-judgey, non-comparative little gang where we can just cheer each other on once a week. Who would have thought that would become my idea of a good time haha!!!

In any case my other gal pal has clearly also had a delightful little baby girl and she too is killing the game (it’s her second bub). Now, clearly I am still waiting for my sweet pea to arrive earth side so technically I’m attending without yet meeting membership requirements BUT oh my lordy has it given me a gentle reminder of what is to come in the weeks that follow birth. Regardless of if it’s your first, second or third baby they are all so different and whilst yes, it is less of a shock the second time around, I also think our brains trick us and we forget. We only remember the highlights reel or something. Maybe we block it out because it falls into traumatic events/time in our lives? Plus, no two babes are ever the same so the training ground you’ve come from is useless on this new and unknown obstacle course you’re now on other than maybe some slight muscle memory.

The babes that have been birthed are both so wonderful yet different, which means they both present different challenges to their Mother’s. They’re different from each other, different to they’re sibling, different to their friends and as Mother’s we struggle with different things each time around or in my case, each new day. Some days the long nights wouldn’t bother me and other days the thought of night fall gave me heart palpitations. It’s pretty crazy how you could be a Mother of five and yet still be blindsided by the arrival of your sixth baby because it presents you with challenges you’ve never been faced with before. That coupled with the hormones, the sleep deprivation and the healing from birth and it may as well be your first time. Our bodies don’t ever know what’s coming or get used to it. How crazy is that???

So why do we tend to only think new mums need help? It seems to me that a Mother every time she births another babe is in need of the same assistance, love and nurturing of a first time mama. In fact maybe they need more help because they have other little ankle biters around the place demanding attention as well. If you know anyone having their “not first” baby please take them a meal, do some washing, check in on them and treat them with the same care and attention you would a first time mum. No matter where you are on the journey it’s a difficult road and community seems to be the only thing that helps. Having your people rally around you and knowing you’re not alone in this even if no one else can do it for you; just feeling supported and like you have a personal cheer squad is the best most uplifting feeling in the world.

I’ve tried to take the time to assist where I can before the arrival of my own little nugget but even that is limited due to the nature of toddler life with Bam, being heavily pregnant and on the vomit wagon still. Once I have the babe I will be even less able to help as I will be in the trenches with the girls. I will say though, knowing you’re not in those trenches alone, knowing that others are right there with you and knowing that other people have climbed their way out before you is a pretty powerful thing.

*Written whilst bouncing on a fit ball hoping that the tightenings of the night just gone turn into surges strong enough to birth a baby*

 

36 Weeks – Prepared to Birth

Mum Stuff, Pregnancy

This weekend marks 36 weeks of sheer bliss and pregnancy (haha or absolute exhaustion and torture). To say that I am excited to birth this little rascal is an understatement and I mean that in all seriousness. You see, birthing Isaac was a wonderful experience and I look back at the day fondly. This time around though, having experienced labour and birth once already, I feel less anxious about the things that consumed my mind last time which has made room for my feelings of excitement and anticipation of what my body is about to do to fill the space.

Since having my first child, as is the way with a lot of things in life, I have heard many stories, and learnt about the many different paths that birth can take. Like when you buy a red car and then all you see on the road are other red cars. I almost feel like there becomes this invisible attraction to all things baby and birth. Some stories were incredibly sad and devastating although, most were overwhelmingly empowering and ended with mother, baby and father safe and sound. Either way the one resounding feeling they all left me with was the desire to understand what my body was going to go through and to be better equipped to handle the different stages so I could have another positive, yet different, experience with this birth; different being the only guarantee I had.

In order to achieve this I decided that Mylo and I would attend a Hypnobirthing course. I had been listening to the Australian Birth Stories podcast for quite some time and a resounding commonality across a lot of the positive stories that involved couples who had completed this course and as a result had a wonderful experience, not all the same, some in hospital, some at home, some ending in caesarean, some ending on the front lawn . Now of course there were others and they were phenomenal too and there are many other courses out there but I just felt this was the one for us. Upon looking at the Hypnobirthing Australia website and searching a practitioner near us I actually gravitated heavily towards one woman Natalie Andrew on the Northern Beaches. For whatever reason I just felt that Natalie was the woman we would respond to well and that Prepared to Birth would be the place where we would learn more about how to remain calm and positive during birth no matter what turns it may take.

Before we go further it would be of value to note that Mylo was mildly sceptical about this course to begin with but once I explained to him the importance it held to me he was all in and ready to roll. Natalie was more than prepared for this and assured me that by the end he would be an advocate and she wasn’t wrong. You see, this birth I had chosen to leave the Private System (as wonderful as it was) and go to the local Public Hospital which is literally two hundred metres from our house. With only four rooms in the birthing suite it is similar to that of a country hospital. Given that Isaac was a pretty straight forward birth without complications (more or less) I was keen to be under the midwifery driven care and felt really good about where we would birth our next child. I did however, feel there to be a need for Mylo and I to be a stronger team, for him to be better equipped to “coach” me through things and for him to be able to advocate for me throughout the process. I also felt I needed to know what the hell was really going on during the whole thing so I could be less fearful of the experience.

We ended up with a private course, by absolute chance on our part, and some changes to client needs on Natalie’s part. Mylo and I appreciated this greatly, being small business owners ourselves we can sympathise with the possible financial implications of this situation. We felt so special and the genuine sense of care and passion for education and us from Natalie was further cemented. We talked at length about what a “positive birth experience” was to us, what our fears were around birth and everything in between. Mylo and I had the opportunity to work through some things that neither of us knew we each had concern for under the gentle guidance of Natalie and by the end of day two we felt both equipped, resolved and most importantly an incredible sense of excitement to birth our babe.

This course wasn’t about having a drug free, natural birth in the bush whilst wearing a flower crown despite even my own first misconceptions, but rather about knowing what it is that we wanted out of our birth, knowing the different options available to us and  understanding what it was that the female body goes through when it births. Most importantly we left the course having the same confidence in my body to birth this babe as we did in it to grow the little tacker. As was pointed out by Natalie, we don’t question our body’s ability to grow a whole human in forty weeks and yet we feel so nervous that we would be able to evict the little life we’ve created when the time comes (she said it much more eloquently than that but you get the point). We doubt our body’s ability to  know the right time to bring the babe out of the oven, we doubt our body’s ability to get the babe out safely.

Now, please don’t misconstrue what I’m saying as a stab at modern medicine, I fully understand that every day thousands of mothers and babies and saved from very dire situations originating from either the gestation period or birth of a baby and I am so thankful for the minds that study and explore these areas and are so able to do that wonderful work. I do however, believe that as a society we’ve begun wearing the births we experience as a sort of war story and possibly, that’s fair enough. Have we talked down the wonder of birth so much over the years as something that is just expected we should do and handle as women and lessened the both wondrous and arduous experience that is birth that. So much so that now we feel we need to remember and retell of the experience as one of pain, fear, suffering and trauma in order to gain the recognition we deserve for doing something that yes, we are perfectly designed to do, yet also the hardest thing we will likely ever do. That is unless you’re also climbing to the summit of Everest or running an ultra marathon in your life time, two things I know personally I probably won’t be doing. Even if you did, I still maintain that birthing your babe is in a league of it’s own. It is something that you can mentally prepare for yes, but essentially you have to trust in your body, have the right support around you who also know your body, can read you, know you as a person and believe in you and your said body. There are so many variables at play in a birth and it takes you really trusting that your body knows what it’s doing, trust it knows the baby it is bringing forth and working with it as well as giving it the time that it needs to achieve the end goal.

Anyways, enough of my musings… the point being that I don’t know how my birth will go but what I do know is I am eagerly awaiting the experience. I am pumped to feel more of what my body can do and even though I know it’s not going to tickle and it will be super intense I am looking forward to it. I don’t have a plan to avoid pain relief and I’m not opposed to whatever medical intervention I may need. I am going into this with an open yet strong mindset that my body will do what it needs to do and I will listen to what it is telling me and respond accordingly. I am beyond confident in Mylo and I as a team and cannot wait to tell you all the story of how it unfolds.

 

PS – If you’re keen to do a Hypnobirthing course I highly recommend Natalie, she’s a gun.

34 Weeks – The Home Stretch

Mum Stuff

I had the most wonderful intentions of documenting at least once a week throughout this pregnancy. Fast forward to what life actually looks like and here I am at thirty four weeks feeling like I’m barely hanging on to a cliff edge to get to the end of this pregnancy.

Now guys this isn’t an attempt to get heaps of people to feel sorry for me, in fact I would say a major part of the reason I am hesitant to write often is because my experience of pregnancy is not the best and I don’t want to appear ungrateful, or negative for other people currently on the road with me or wanting to get on the journey of motherhood. I’m just being real about my experience because this is what it is. I have friends that make this S%#t look good and I love that for them. It’s not always like this I just got lucky so please don’t take my experience for gospel.

In fact I wrote to a friend of mine this morning saying

“Things I’m not good at”:

  • Dancing (although with a few drinks under my belt I think I’m bloody awesome)
  • Pregnancy (the way I spew you’d think I had more than a few drinks under my belt)

Last pregnancy I was much, much more ill with the morning sickness until the very moment Isaac emerged into the world and then it just disappeared like it was a bad dream, never to be thought of again. This pregnancy whilst still being sick every day and having some days worse than others there has been respite as well which has been life giving.

The kicker however, caring for my sweet boy has meant that despite having a cheerleader who claps beside my head every time I throw up followed by an ever shocked and amazed “Whoooaaa!!!!” we also have to go straight back to the sand pit, park, bike run, book club, animal sounds, lunch, nappy change, rocking to sleep, tantrum, swing, hot wheels game, colouring in or whatever activity it is that we had so rudely interrupted immediately afterwards. This goes on from sun up to sun down and then if I’m lucky a few sneaky times during the night when he decides he needs a little extra cuddle from mama. It’s one thing being tired from growing another human but it is a whole other ball game having your body refuse to let you fuel it for a large part of nearly each and every day. It becomes a bit of a sick joke (no pun intended, but a good one right?) after a while.

I wanted to capture each week in a photo, document my body growing and becoming so full with child it’s barely recognisable to it’s former self. Reality… looks like me seriously contemplating whether a shower is necessary at the end of each day. A large part of this is attributed to chasing after my hurricane of a toddler and all the other second, third, fourth and beyond (legends!) time mums can attest to this I have no doubt. Being a mum is tiring, growing a human is tiring, doing both is intense. I’m trying my best to be the real MVP though because these are my last weeks and months with just me and my boy before he has his world totally and utterly rocked by an imposter he never asked for (although will be eternally grateful for in the years to come). I want to treasure every moment we have together, I want to remember every facial expression and never forget the way he holds my hand to fall asleep. I know he will seem so big once his sibling arrives but he isn’t! He’s my tiny, little, baby boy and without being a crazed mum I want him to stay that way.

The only thing that is certain now is change and I know it is in the air. I just don’t want to forget these days that we are living in because they, along with this boy of ours, have shaped me as a woman and made me a mother. I am a better version of me (although much more haggard) and I feel like I can and will do anything for my family. I am a better wife, albeit marriage looks different now; Mylo is a better husband and a rock solid Dad. I would go into battle for these people, my people. I feel so fiercely protective of them, kind of like a pitt bull. Such a strange feeling to have a love so earth shaking it can make you this way.

Reading that last paragraph back it’s no wonder Isaac has such big feelings. I wouldn’t change my boy being the wild child that he is as much as it tests me. He challenges me in so many ways and is so similar to me, the difference being he doesn’t yet have the ability to manage those emotions as I do, although sometimes I doubt that I am as well equipped as I think I am haha!

 

The point of all this being that, Mylo, Isaac and I are beyond excited to meet our little sweet pea and although I know that with the birth of another member of our little Field Family will come all the challenges. Splitting my time between all of my greatest loves, newborn sleep deprivation, sore nipples, sore bits, organs that have been homeless returning to the promised land, peeing when I laugh, sneeze, weep or push the swing too hard and if I thought showering was hard before baby number two I’m sure it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

I am however, looking so forward to feeling like me again. When I’m Kelly Field I can handle life, right now I feel like my body is out on loan, which is SO fine. I wanted this and it is the most amazing experience (next to birth) that I’ll ever get to live and I thank God every day that I was chosen to be the mama of my babies but I do miss me. I do miss being more upbeat and positive. I miss being able to do a deep squat with Isaac in my arms without sounding like I’m going for a Cross Fit Nationals title.

This too shall pass people and in the final weeks I do hope to document more about this little adventure that is short lived, character shaping and life giving; no matter what it looks like. This is my path to walk and whatever it looks like it is without a doubt making me a better version of myself and shaping me for the season we are about to enter as a family and for that preparation I am eternally grateful.

So here’s to the wonder that is Motherhood!!!

PS – Just want to give a shout out to Mylo who has been an absolute legend through all of this. There is no doubt in my mind that we were born to be together.

 

 

 

 

R U OK?

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I feel a little, ok very silly that I don’t know a lot about Depression, Suicide or Mental Health in general. I mean on days like to day people seem to know a lot more than me, but I don’t want that to be a reason I steer around the topic.

If I’m honest, it’s not something that I’ve ever had to battle with a great deal personally. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my moments but generally speaking I’ve not had to look the black dog in the face “so to speak”.

I wanted to be honest and clear about this straight up because I think there are quite a few people out there who are like me and ignorance is not a defence, nor is it an excuse. I know a lot of people around me whom have a lot of personal experience with the topic, both incredibly close and some whom are merely acquaintances and the only thing that all of them have in common is that there is no sure-fire way to tell what is going on for them on the inside. Some are so good at covering it up, some appear overtly happy and then plummet when left with the quiet of their own company and some just flat out wear their heart on their sleeve.

The only thing I do know is that “R U OK?” is not just a great slogan for a campaign, it is a legitimate conversation starter that has sparked many catalyst conversations for me with friends who actually desperately needed to make genuine connection with someone over their internal battles.

I haven’t needed to have the answers and at times I’m not required to even speak. It’s about being seen and then heard by the people around you. About breaking down the walls of isolation and feeling like there is someone there with you in your own personal little prison cell.

The point of this little ditty is to say that as a society we should be investing more into each other and each other’s lives. I believe we were meant to do life in community and in the world we live in we have never been more isolated. We build our three bedroom houses, drive into our automatic garage and don’t even know our neighbours. We live closer together than ever before and yet are so distant from one another. We know more about someone we follow on Instagram than the people in our own workplace.

(massive sweeping generalisations I know, but you get what I mean).

As a mum this topic is all too hot because it is something so real and tangible. We spend years building a career and an identity as an individual and overnight after one of the biggest experiences of our lives we lose every sense of identity and self for a little while. For some of us it’s longer than others. This isn’t a bad thing and it’s nothing against becoming a mum. I wouldn’t change it for the world. But I went from being Kelly Field to Isaac’s Mum is a split second and I’m yet to see Kelly make a comeback. Some days that’s harder than others but either way it isn’t easy that’s for sure. We feel guilty for not loving every second, we feel ungrateful for whingeing about the harder days and we feel selfish for wanting (God forbid we should actually ask for) a little time to ourselves.

So mums let’s make sure we are checking in with each other because whilst feeling a little down, in my opinion, is a perfectly normal reaction to the situation, let’s remember that feeling is harder to shake for some people and sometimes it becomes more then that. Let’s make the space of “Motherhood” a safe one for people to be open and honest about where they’re at and let’s remember that we can all wear crowns, it’s not a competition.

Have the awkward convos and offer an awkward hug if you need to. Remember that you don’t know what that person is walking through and you might just be the reason they stay the path.

 

Our First Scare in Pregnancy…

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So a couple of nights ago we had a little bit of a scare… I’m already deep in the rubbish sleep trenches with this pregnancy so everything started out kind of normal. As the night went on of me tossing and turning trying to get comfortable Mylo finally said “babe, are you ok?” I sat up and said, “no! My back is killing me!” It was the early hours of the morning by this stage and I was getting SO annoyed.  The back pain was getting worse and wasn’t just aching in my lower back. Eventually the pain moved into my stomach; not just my lower stomach but up the sides and right up under my ribs. It go to the point where I couldn’t lay down anymore and so I sat on the edge of the bed for what felt like an eternity. At one point I was on the floor on my hands and knees just trying to breathe through the pain. I was desperately trying to work out how much of this “pain” was actual pain and how much of this “pain” was confused with fear. I was trying so hard to remain calm but in the dead of the night everything seemed quite dramatic and with nothing else to distract my thoughts my mind was winning this battle.

So much so that I picked up my phone and started googling (palm to the face)…

As it turned out it wasn’t the worst thing I could have done. I was a little confused as I couldn’t compare what I was experiencing to a contraction in labour with Isaac. I had an epidural from the moment they broke my waters for goodness sake! In any case a suggestion was to take a bath which I did for an hour and a half until Bam woke for the day. This totally helped and allowed me to breathe and maybe even catch a couple of minutes sleep. I was nervous and sore and didn’t really know what to make of it all.

I sent Mylo to work as per normal because I figured that even if something was wrong there was nothing that could be done about it at this early stage and other than the pain which whilst alarming, was accompanied by no other symptoms.

I called the hospital and they told me to take two Panadol and call back in an hour if the pain hadn’t changed.

Alas, the pain did subside back to the regular dull aching “period like” pain in my back and we went on with our normal morning. Up to get coffee, catch up with the gang, eat our porridge and say hi to the locals. All seemed well and the day went on. Mylo and I are currently the parents of 4 children as we are in charge of the whole “community” whilst my sister and her beloved husband are away overseas for three weeks. The days are wonderful but full and in all honesty I can appreciate now how it doesn’t matter what’s wrong with mum, “the show must go on”.

My mum decided she was quite worried about the situation so once she appeared at our house with dinner and to save the day. I did in fact take the opportunity to duck down to the hospital (200m) without Bam and have a sneaky listen to the heart beat. The midwives were delightful and reassuring. They did not make me feel silly despite the fact that I felt so and they took the time to reassure me. As it turns out this is totally normal when you’re pregnant for the second, third or fourth time as your muscles and ligaments are already so stretched and you’re chasing after and picking up constantly a decidedly large toddler.

I put Isaac to bed that night and included in our normal prayers was the most incredible thank you for the healthy, happy family that we already have earthside and the growing addition in my tummy. It’s amazing how situations like these really remind you that even though you (try to) live a thankful and grateful life you do become complacent. Saying the words and understanding them can be different things and I think I had a huge check about how easily things and go wrong and/or change in an instant and how lucky we are to have not actually encountered anything serious thus far on our journey to growing our family. If something was wrong and my body started labouring nothing could be done to stop it other than bed rest and the reality of saving a baby at 20 weeks is not a bright one. I’m in this grey area and for the first time in this pregnancy I found myself “keen as mustard” to reach 24 but preferably 28 weeks so that should my body decide to evict my little mate the wonders of modern medicine would be able to support us through the early arrival of our sweet pea.

We know the perils of miscarriage and have watched many friends go through this and much, much more so it’s not lost on us the risks involved in this incredible miracle for both mother and baby. So for now we are just glad and grateful that all is well and that we are lucky enough to have a strong little heart beat growing steadily in me.

To all the mums out there living the same thing, I feel you. The awareness of every single thing your body is doing and the guilt about everything that you might be doing or not doing to “support” your body and baby through this time just remember as a wise person once said to me; “babies are born every single day in war torn countries and if your little one is going to make it, it will and in all honesty there isn’t a lot we can do to actually effect the final outcome”. So if you’re stressed at work, ate too much cake, had a second coffee, didn’t get enough sleep, woke up on your back, lifted something heavy or enjoyed a sip of wine; whatever it is don’t be too hard on yourself. The baby has got this more than we know!!!

20 Weeks Down, 20 To Go…

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Just like that we’re half way there. Twenty weeks of growing this sweet pea has come and gone and I can’t believe how quickly it’s happened.

Being pregnant with Bam was potentially the longest time in my life. I was champing at the bit to get to each week milestone. Keen to know what a baby the size of a sweet potato would look and feel like in and on my body. Desperate to feel him kick and even more desperate to know if the morning sickness would pass. Sadly it didn’t although feeling him kick was as incredible as I imagined and then some.

Carrying this little snow pea I have barely had a chance to think about the fact that I am with child, often even forgetting until the overwhelming urge to throw up arises in me. Chasing after our already earth side babe is all consuming and something I want to treasure because soon it will be forever different and this time will never be again. At the same time I want to savour every day of me carrying life inside me, we know this is more than likely our last hurrah in the baby making department and I sit in awe of what my body has done already and is now doing again. Considering I don’t particularly do pregnancy “well” I can’t believe I’m coping the way I am. Given, I am nowhere near as sick with this babe as I was with our little Baba ganoush but still, vomiting daily and multiple times at that is rough on anyone. Isaac thinks it’s the best thing he’s ever seen, watching on in amazement and often clapping and squeeling and I appreciate the encouragement if I’m honest.  I’m just not one of those people that glows and that’s ok.

I’m finding myself desperate to press pause and to take each day slowly. The baby will kick and I will feel it when the time is right. I didn’t hold on to hope that the throwing up would pass (which true to form it hasn’t) so there has been no need to rush to the sixteento twenty week milestone of change. Whether it’s a blessing or a curse I look heavily pregnant (70% sausage rolls, 30% baby) and have since about sixteen weeks and I’m nervous as the growth doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

I thought I was all organised with clothes and then Mylo and I had the realisation that we had a baby in the dead of winter first time around and this time around we are having a baby in the peak of summer. I figure given the family that we are it’ll simply involve a lot of nudity (and with that a lot of judgement and mum shaming) but whatever, that’s how we roll. I can’t wait to see Isaac’s perfectly sculpted pot belly dancing across the beach in summer in all its glory as he slaps it with his pudgy, little, dimpled hands.

I’m looking forward to having the confidence that only comes with being a mum the second time round. I cannot wait to breastfeed again as arduous and taxing as it will be at times. I’m barely able to contain my excitement at seeing my two children growing up together so close in age. The thought of seeing Mylo dive deeper into his role as a Dad and Husband makes my heart smile. He’s such a natural and has done nothing but excel in this role since day dot. I think he’s an incredible builder and carpenter but that talent has nothing on what fatherhood has brought out in him.

My ankles haven’t started swelling despite the fact that I’ve been flying around the country for work and on my feet for incredibly long days; yay!!! My hair has thickened up, yet turned incredibly dry and attempted to gain some curl back which was swiftly removed when I was pregnant with Isaac. If I’m honest I look like a wildling that breeched the wall but hey this too shall pass. My skin has turned to absolute rubbish and looks like I’m halfway through a serious sunburn peel based on the pigmentation differences on my face. Skin tags are appearing everywhere and aren’t thrilling me but, such is life. I feel as dry as the Sahara and need to drink so much water (then pee five minutes later) and bathe myself in a combo of Bio and Coconut Oil twice daily to try and maintain any level of hydration. I’m emotional and have a tolerance level of zero, so watch out. My boobs are sore and swollen and my nipples need a postcode. Secretly, I love that I can see all of this unfolding as much as it is irritating, because it gently reminds me that the hormones are raging and consequently the babe is thriving; something we didn’t’ get to experience with our very first pregnancy.

I can’t wait to be a mum or two although I have no idea how I’m going to actually execute that. I know many women have gone before me and I just need to remind myself that if they can survive so can I. So for now here we are, halfway through the most miraculous thing the human body can do and we are fortunate to be experiencing it twice.

Here’s to the next 20 weeks and a safe , healthy, happy, cherub (with a great latch) at the end of it!!!

 

There’s a sweet pea in my belly…

Pregnancy

And so here we are… filled with joy, butterflies and a touch of fear of the unknown.

 

We somehow managed to conceive a baby whilst I was still weaning Isaac and yet to gain my cycle back. Mylo and I were just two kids rediscovering life and each other once their little boy had finally decided to sleep through the night and then next minute BOOM we’re “knocked up”. It took us a considerable amount of time to work this out given that we

  1. Weren’t trying so it wasn’t on our radar…..and
  2. I didn’t have a cycle so we had nothing to tip us off that this might be the case.

One Monday morning I took a trip to the doctor to ask some questions around why I had recently been vomiting, feeling rather faint and my vagina was on fire!!! I had taken a pregnancy test the night before (so kindly gifted to me at Bambi’s baby shower) and it was negative so I assured her I wasn’t pregnant. Firstly, she informed me I had thrush which having only ever had it once before (when on antibiotics) I was confused because this was like I’d sprinkled chilli flakes down there not all weird white discharge. Anyhoo, she assured me that this was easily fixed with a tablet and that we should run some blood work to ensure I was in good nick for when the time did come for us to try and conceive again. She told me that until six months had passed we wouldn’t be going down the “infertility path”. These words horrified me because thus far on this parenthood journey we have been incredibly blessed, albeit one miscarriage, but still so incredibly blessed with our ability to conceive with ease. Having had so many friends that for one reason or another had struggled to conceive and to have their bodies hold onto the baby I knew it was much more common than people often thought and not off the cards. Perhaps watching so closely and being involved in some cases as dear friends lived out their days of infertility had left me with an absolute sense of knowing for what may lie ahead and it was not a path I wanted to go down.  I left the doctor that day hurriedly as Isaac “linked it” in the surgery I had no referral for blood work, a flaming “hoo-ha” and a deflated heart at the notion of potentially facing an uphill climb to bring Isaac a sibling.

All those emotions are to be unpacked at another time but for now on with the story.

I took the tablet and my bits did not recover, they were still on fire and I was not happy. Sunday night rolled around and I couldn’t even tell you why but I did another pregnancy test. The fainest, pink line you’ve ever seen showed up on that stick. So faint I kept thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me. I looked, looked away, looked again, squinted, held it close, held it far, moved to better light, used a spotlight, went to less light. It seemed to still be there…

The morning came and I woke to my usual alarm clock of Isaac at around 6am. I didn’t wee. We got ready and went out for our morning coffee and on the way stopped at woollies waiting not so patiently for them to open, I was busting and I was anxious. I bought a pregnancy test and went straight to the public toilets and peed on that stick. An incredibly strong pink line appeared almost instantly.

We went to coffee that morning with our usual dates Mara and Isla and life seemed normal. I went to the doctor to finish the appointment from the week previous which as we know had ended in mass evacuation due to the ticking time bomb known as Bam detonating. I walked in the door and said, “I’m pregnant” to which she swiftly responded, “I told you so”. What I heard next wasn’t my greatest moment. “Sit tight for a bit because the tablet you took last week can cause miscarriage and so we want to make sure it’s out of your system before we get too far ahead of ourselves”. This pregnancy was by no means unwanted, unexpected? Yes, but not unwanted. I instantly felt so disappointed and guilty that I might cause myself to go through what I had already endured previously. I felt for my heart, how heavy it would feel, how painfully it would ache and for my body, to have to experience something that yes is only natural yet still taxing, and for it to be not of natural causes but of my own interference.

I had a blood test to try and work out how pregnant I was and so that we could take a referral to the hospital. That afternoon the doctor called and said “you’re somewhere between two and five weeks pregnant but I am erring on the side of two. Get through the next seven days and assuming all is well then come in and we will organise ultrasounds and get this ball rolling”. This confused the hell out of me as given my recent fire crotch episode, which as it turns out is caused by being pregnant, Mylo and I hadn’t had sex for two weeks.

I told Mylo that afternoon by dressing Bam in a onesie which said “BIG BROTHER BAM” on it. He said “where did you get that from? What does it say? What does that mean? WHAT? HOW? Well this is sooner than expected!” His reaction was about on point for how left field this was for us and yet I burst into tears anyways (pregnancy hormones???) Not sure what I expected his reaction to be honestly, I feel like in that moment there wouldn’t have been a right one. I had been desperate to tell him all day and there was so much build up for me that the come down was rough haha and this poor guy was on the receiving end of that.

Sport training was on for the other kids and dinner needed to be made so “on with the show” and we would talk about it later. One of the many differences between first and second babies that I was yet to discover.

Mylo called me from the car at AFL training and said, “babe obviously I’m excited that we are having another baby, I just didn’t expect it to be this soon, the odds were not in our favour but I should have known this would happen based on how easily it’s happened before. Don’t be upset, I love you, I just need to process it all, we will talk tonight in bed”.

#husbandoftheyear

We talked and it was wonderful and we would sit tight until we knew the external factors for miscarriage had passed.

The week went by and I was still with child, relief flooded my body and I started to accept that this was real. I feel like I wasn’t investing in it until we survived that week for the obvious reason of protecting my heart.

We booked an ultrasound to find out how far along we were and I booked it for later rather than earlier given that if we went too early the little tacker would be too small to detect and get a heart beat on. So off we went some time later (what I thought was seven weeks) and low and behold there the little rascal was, just hanging out at the dayspa, staying all warm and snuggly. “Nine and a half weeks” they said, “you’re due Australia Day”.

Ok, so further along than we expected but that was excellent news because I felt like I’d been keeping this secret far too long already. A few people knew because I was already well and truly vomiting and off food but for the most part it was on the down low.

This did make more sense as to when we quarantined my hoo-ha though so all seemed well in the world.

So there you have it, I’m having a baby which will make our babies roughly nineteen months apart. We had planned on about a two year gap, although I would have been happy to try once I got the all clear at six weeks postpartum (crazy I know). I don’t know when would have been a good time to try again if it was a conscious decision because once you have a child, forever more life is more difficult to coordinate and quite literally the thought of fitting more in is thoroughly overwhelming. In saying that we are absolutely wrapped at the idea and reality that Bam will have a sibling and are beyond stoked with our latest little creation busily growing away inside of me.

 

So here’s to the next chapter in the “Fun Field Days” ahead of us and to the adventures they will bring. I can’t wait to share it with you all along the way. The ups, the downs, the good the bad, the happy, the sad. I’ll share it all because that’s what I do, and to be honest I can’t wait!!!

Transition…

Mum Stuff

This kid lights up my whole world and I am eternally grateful for him. I would say the last 11 months have been nothing short of a spectacular whirlwind and yet suddenly in the last few weeks things have shifted into what is clearly the next season of our life together. It’s a little too early to call it but we are nearly through the “worst of it” so to speak and it’s now I find myself struggling.

What does life look like now my sweet babe doesn’t need me 24/7?

What is my purpose in life beyond the wonderful one of being a mum?

Could I manage to maintain our home front if I was to return to work?

So many mums have navigated all of this and more before me and so for this reason alone I know that the dust will settle and we will find our groove again but that doesn’t change the feelings that wash over you during the turbulence.

I remember a few months ago thinking that every day was so full with people, catch ups, tasks and yet seemingly overnight I feel like everyone has gone on about their lives and we suddenly have nothing on EVER. (Dramatic Licence Exercised Wildly)

It’s like we hopped off the life train to live out the wonderful season of raising a baby and as you would expect, everyone else kept on going. Now we are getting ready to hop back on and I feel like the train is going faster, people have moved carriages, the timetable has changed and stations are different. I almost feel like it’s the first day of school and I need someone to hold my hand as I take my first steps back into the school yard.

It’s no one’s fault that things are like this, everyone has a family or a career or particular goals that they are focused on and it’s not through lack of want that they aren’t around but rather for the exact same reason that I am where I am. The momentum doesn’t ever slow and if you take your eyes off the prize you might just fall off the treadmill. I’ve done it myself, desperately wanted to help a friend who needed a babysitter, a meal, a tea and a chat and just not been able to offer any help because my resources are at capacity.

Now this is not a “woe is me” attempt but I promised that I would only write about the real things that are happening and the real feelings that are going on and right now this is what that looks like. It is only a small part of a whole big picture that makes up our lives but it is thoughts that I am pondering on currently and so I shall share them.

Friends and I have resorted to delayed and random texts at odd times to let each other know we are thinking of them, birthdays get forgotten, dinners have become lunches and lunches have become tag team meal eating and a thousand half conversations. The amount of grace being exercised for each other is tremendous and thank god for it because otherwise relationships would not survive.

I’m nervous of what work will look like for me now and how best to transition Isaac into day care as I never want to let him go but at the same time can feel that I am needing a little more stimulation for me as a grown woman in my week. I don’t know how to find time to work on my own projects, they always seem to fall to the back burner to every other task around the house and after more than 12 months of not working other than a little bit of freelance stuff we need me to jump back on the horse a couple of days a week which means even less time.

Now like I said many have survived this before me and so I know I will also but that doesn’t remove the fact that change is hard. I feel more comfortable in my role as a mum than ever but the relationship between Bam and I is so fluid currently as his immediate dependency levels decrease what feels like every day. They’re moving from necessity to want and that is both lovely and devastating. When it’s your most important purpose followed closely to being a wife and you feel like you’re becoming redundant it’s a little humbling.

I’m sure in the next month or so all will be revealed and I am so so thankful that I have had this time with Isaac because we will never get it again.

My dear friends; If I have missed things, appeared absent, fallen short in any way I apologise. I am doing the very best I know how to right now and I guess at the end of the day that is all I can do. Here’s to the next adventure and beyond and I cannot wait to see where the path takes us next.

Love always,

Kel xxx