Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Quality women and quality talk

One of the things I was determined to do before number two arrived was to go away on a girly weekend with some of my close friends. This is something I got into the habit of organising in the years BC (before children) but due to the changing seasons of life, it has been something I thought was in the past. But while I am pregnant, not breastfeeding or needed every hour or so, there is this window of opportunity. I always loved the fun of hanging out with a group of girlfriends where we could talk, and talk, and eat, and talk some more, without a deadline to stop in an hour or so. And now that we all have kids, it is amazing to even be able to have a conversation that isn't just a series of comments interrupted by nappies to change, arguments to referee and all the other normal kid supervision tasks.

So this last weekend it happened. I organised to stay at a bach with a gorgeous view, bought some yummy food and we all congregated at times during the weekend that worked for our families. I was very happy for babies to come along, as long as I had no responsibility for my own.

And it was so lovely. I think we all had years of unfinished conversations pent up within us and hours of adult conversation to be had to make up for the hours of preschool conversation we all have each week. Topics were wide ranging, honest and intimate. If it was on someone's mind, we talked about it. I am sure some of the hubbies would have loved to be a fly on the wall, but others may have needed therapy to recover.

During the weekend I was so grateful for the honesty and reality of my friends. Sharing the struggles, vulnerabilites and journeys we are all on is so refreshing and helpful. It reminds me that none of us have it sorted and that we are all wrestling. Life on earth is not perfect but there are also some many things to laugh about and celebrate. Most of all the fact that friendships and can grow and thrive through the changing seasons of life.

I am thinking about when to have the next one. Maybe when squirt is about 4 months old...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Why so long?

I have thought about writing this post. I have had a lot of things to write. But there has been so much going on that sleeping and breathing has been further up the list of possibilities in my day. But I have really missed writing.

So where have I been? And why the silence?

Well here is the short version...

September 2011 - move house and consequent chaos. Begin studying Childbirth Education Diploma which is supposed to require 20 hours a week. I was never good at Maths. Hence not really realistic and even though I loved it and totally recommend the course it meant no family time and all evenings studying. Not really sustainable.

November 2011 - find out we are pregnant with number two. I am very happy and have grand plans of continuing studying and finishing the first year before sprog arrives. Hubby has other ideas and after much talk I am thinking about quitting the course. By 6 weeks pregnant I become basically bedridden with the worst nausea and vomitting (hyperemesis). Family take over looking after Ella. By 9 weeks I am on anti-nausea meds and spend a couple of nights in hospital. Life is hell and I sincerely wonder what the heck I was thinking getting pregnant again. It took lots of courage to even consider having another child, with my continuing issues with depression, and feeling awful and unable to do anything or even look after Ella really took its toll on my mental health.

February 2012 - Work starts back and I am just starting to feel a bit better. Still on medication and have withdrawn from the course.

Now - I have been off the anti-nausea meds for 2 weeks and feeling much better. Even starting to have some energy and not just surviving each day. Enjoying our new home and feeling like I am actually settling in and celebrating being here. Feeling mentally well and strong and able to also give thanks for the fact that I am here. I don't regret this pregnancy and am so excited to meet our little one when he arrives (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

I credit my wellness and confidence with the fact that I am still seeing a therapist once a fortnight, am still on antidepressants after much research and thought, have a supportive and understanding midwife who understands my situation and preferences and a doula (birth support person) who totally supports me and give amazing massages.

When I think back to my pregnancy with Ella, I was full of grief, fear, and not able to listen to myself and take care of my own needs. This time around I have the skills to get through stress, and the confidence and love for myself and self acceptance to ask for what I need and not feel bad about it. I am able to live with trust in God, something which was absent when I was in so much pain after the loss of our first child.

The credit for all this first goes to God. His faithfulness and continual support, even when I have been so lost and confused has seen miracles happen in my life and each day and especially in the last couple of weeks I am celebrating that I can see how I have changed. I also give myself credit for not accepting a life of survival and pain, for wanting and expecting more and being willing to lay myself pretty bare to get there. The fact that I am pretty honest about me and don't pretend that I am okay. That has helped me stay with my situation and not deny it, even if I have felt embarassed or labelled by it at times. I also credit my hubby, who takes my mental health seriously, who accepts that I am me and that taking care of me requires both of us. For his strength and generosity beyond what I think I would be able to give. For always saying yes to the things I need to do for me and saying no to the pain and twistedness that can come with the baggage and scars we all have. And of course to all my friends and family who have supported me and I am sure have wondered at times about what I would "snap out of it" or cope better but have loved and helped me anyway.

So here I am. Here. And writing again. I hope I am able able to write more often because it really is such a joy and I hope you find something here to bless you where you are at.