30 things before 31

Somehow it is my birthday again tomorrow… a whole year has apparently gone by since I last wrote a post like this.  But this birthday feels different and I am not really sure why… usually I start my birthday blogs talking about how I don’t really feel ready to switch over to the next age… but this year I just don’t really feel that fussed about it, which is really strange.  It is super odd… since I was 17, I have had a love hate relationship with birthdays, but now as I turn 31… it suddenly doesn’t feel like such a big deal.  Maybe I have finally grown up? Maybe I am still in denial about being 30 at all… but either way its nice not to be upset about it.

Each year I like to take just a minute (although it seems to be getting longer as I add more and more years) to stop and reflect on how the past year has shaped who I am now.  Things that I have loved, learned or just lived during year 30… 30 of them, before 30 becomes 31 tomorrow.

  1. 30 wasn’t so bad… it happened and the sky didn’t fall, I didn’t fall apart… in fact it was kinda nice
  2. I finally feel like an adult… I know I have been one for a long time now, but I feel like I am actually living an adult life now… trying to save money, considering my long term health, fixing things at home and being more comfortable in my skin.
  3. My body is my body… it’s far from perfect, but it’s done some pretty great things, it may never be the body I want, but it’s the body I am most comfortable in.
  4. Sometimes the things you fear the most, aren’t the things you should have been worried about
  5. It turns out my boys like to come fast and very very early… neither traits they get from me
  6. We live in a country that is incredibly blessed with amazing health care and hospitals
  7. There is a place for coffee in my life, and after years of being an exclusive tea drinker… I am now partial to the latte… I would imagine it’s the sleep deprivation.
  8. Even when you think you have had all you can take… there is usually more, and you learn you are stronger still.
  9. God is good, all the time… and his plans are better, even when you think yours a pretty great.
  10. Isaac is the toughest kid I have ever met
  11. I will do anything to hear a baby giggle, especially if it is my baby
  12. Best laid plans are now a pie in the sky kind of goal… yet I continue to make them anyway
  13. I like making improvements on my house… but the greatest home improvements are when everything has a place in the room in which it belongs… it turns out I am a house micro manager
  14. Banana bread is from heaven
  15. Babies are hard to take selfies with
  16. Motherhood means getting to join a gang of incredible women who you can talk to about anything even if you’ve never met before
  17. You can sit in the same chair all day every day for months if it is with the ones you love
  18. Babies grow fast, sometimes they only wear clothes once, although you can get so much joy from putting a child in a seasonal costume.
  19. Tiny face-washers save many things at many times
  20. Life goes fast… you should always celebrate the small things
  21. Turkish delight milkshakes and pink donuts will forever be sacred
  22. People are good more often they are not, and we are surrounded by so many people who love us and truely do want us to thrive and succeed
  23. Being a mum is better than I could have ever comprehended, although it comes with its own bag of guilt and expectations that I am continually trying to work through and balance
  24. Breastmilk is magic… not just for the baby, but for the mum who can offer nothing else to a baby in NICU… even long after they have left… although not pumping today for the first time in 8 and bit months was acutally really nice.
  25. I am married to the most patient, servant hearted man I have ever met… he has kept us going, kept us fed and kept the house functional… he is also an epic dad and has actually been doing the majority (like at least 85%) of the overnight feeds solo.
  26. I can’t stop crying… everything pulls at my heart strings.  This week I cry at every happy story at the commonwealth games… so many tears it is embarrassing… and don’t you dare show my a picture of a baby in hospital, I will not cope.
  27. I am looking forward to a year of not being pregnant and eating all of the foods (in moderation of course)
  28. I am pretty sure I am addicted to my phone and social media… maybe 31 is the year to get this under control because real life is definitely more satisfying.
  29. Hail does a lot more damage than I had realised….
  30. Even though I am further away from a lot of the goals I had over the last couple of years, I feel like I am simplifying and making way for other goals which somehow now seem more significant, even though they wouldn’t have previously made the cut… I think this is another sign that maybe I have just started growing up.

Thanks 30, you have certainly been another challenging year, but you have also brought a lot of joy and wonder, lets hope 31 is just as joyful, but less dramatic… I feel like my 30s could be my best years yet.

Five Minute Friday: Privilege

Ok it’s been a long time since I have done one of these… almost a whole year… but I figured if I want to be deliberate about keeping my blog going with a baby… five minutes was a good place to start… and it comes with no other pressure than the clock… which is good… and necessary.  Anyway, if you want to know more about Five Minute Fridays you can click that link just a few words back, or you can look at the last one I did here.   Ok… 5 minutes here we go.

Privilege

Ok… firstly I don’t think I knew how to spell privilege before this… I am pretty sure I have been doing it wrong… thank goodness for auto correct.

Privilege is a word that has been getting a lot more air time than ever before… and I think it is one that I have been thinking a lot more, about my own privilege, the things I get to do just because of the circumstances I was born into… and I often find it overwhelming.  But that’s not the kind of privilege I really want to talk about… because as I sit here typing this my little boy is asleep next to me and he has me thinking about what a privilege it is to be his mum.

Privilege can be defined as “a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most”…. It’s a good thing, something enjoyable beyond the advantages of anyone else but sometimes I lose the enjoyment part because being his mum is also a huge responsibility.  I get to help shape this little man as he grows, teach him, guide him and help him.  There is a verse in Proverbs (Proverbs 22:6) that says “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” and that’s what I am aiming for… There are so many things that I would like for him, things that I hope to teach him, things I hope to show him and things I hope to watch him achieve… and in that sometimes I feel overwhelmed… because I want to do a good job, and lead him in the ‘right’ way.  But when I get caught up in the responsibility I lose sight of the incredible privilege it is… the fact that while trying to lead him in the way of the Lord, I also get to know him probably better than anyone else on earth ever will… I am his person… and while my role might change as he grows… it can’t be taken away, I am always going to be his mum and that, right there is the privilege.  I get to share in his joys, his sorrows, his challenges and his achievements.  His victories are my victories.  At least for the next little bit we will do it all together… and that is an amazing thought… that is privilege.

 

Our Curious Life: Week 5

Far out week 5, you have been busy… seriously busy!  This week has been full of people… which if you ask me is a great way to spend any week.  We started with the Thrive BBQ on Sunday, where we survived the crazy hot weather with 30ish other Thrivers swimming, eating and watching the tennis and we finished the week celebrating a beautiful bride to be. During week 5 we brunched and lunched with Mum, Lorraine, Clare, Jess, Dave and some of my work mates on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday… I love brunchy lunches the most, if my waist line and my hip pocket would allow all of my weeks would look like this. Oh and all that brunching meant no. 94 is off the list because I also love an iced coffee.

This week also brought some new ‘mum’ things for us… I went to my first mothers group (no.45), which I actually loved.  I had been so nervous about attending, because despite being fairly out going, I find new situations, especially new social situations quite unnerving.  I had also pinned a few local community hopes on having a good mum’s group.  When Dave and I moved house we moved to a suburb where we didn’t know that many people, and despite some intentional effort we have found that most of our life still exists back in blackburn… we have made some more local friends through Dave’s work, but this was my chance to find some more local community, which meant that mother’s group had a lot of pressure on it.  It had always been something coming… and now that it was here, I was really feeling it… it also didn’t help that they had given me the wrong date so I was joining on week 2… but now that it is done I am hopeful, it was good… and I think it will just get better.  My fellow mums were super lovely, and very understanding.  They were interested in how Isaac and I were going and hearing about his journey without making me feel different.  It was just really nice.

We also tried story time at the library this week, which after my mothers group experience was the total opposite… we didn’t love it, which was super disappointing because I had really been looking forward to it.  I think that there were a couple of reasons we were disappointed…

1. Our expectations were really high… probably too high, it was probably unfair to expect them to be met.

2. I don’t think I had really thought about what would happen at story time and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to explain the fact that Isaac is well and actually really good… instead people would just see me and a baby with oxygen prongs and a tank… People meant well, but there were lots of looks of pity, which we don’t need… we are smashing this…

3. I didn’t have a buddy… I should not have gone alone… also something that I didn’t think about… but at the end when all the other mums found their friends and went and got coffee… the fact that we weren’t the same was really just confirmed… we were outsiders… sure I was probably being a little sensitive, but it was pretty lonely… next week we will story time with some buddies

4. It was also the first time we went into a group where people hadn’t journeyed with us, they didn’t know our story, where we had come from, what had happened… they just saw Isaac’s bonus attachments and filled in the blanks.  We have been so blessed to have so so many wonderful people surround us over the past 2 years, who have just taken us as we are, loved us through the good, the bad and the really hard and who haven’t pitied us, or made comments or made us feel different… so I guess I just assumed story time would be the same… especially after being so pleasantly surprised by mothers group… but I guess the saying is true… you should never assume.

So… we are not riding story time off just yet… but we will make some adjustments and try again… hopefully we will have weaned down the oxygen enough that we can leave it behind… we will find some story time buddies… and really even though it wasn’t quite what we had hoped it still crossed no. 12 off Isaac’s list and no. 18 and I think no. 26 off my list, as we did all of our outings this week with a tank attached (and we got an early delivery of tanks so I had to swap the regulator over before we left the house)… but I only have two pictures to show.. because Isaac and I have the same photo for no. 12 and no. 18.

In happier week 5 news… we survived a whole week with Dave at work and we started a new month which means January is over, here is what it looked like in pictures:

And… Isaac is now 6moths old… check him out… At 6 months he loves to smile and kick his legs.  He loves bath time and splashing with Daddy and he is slowly weaning down off his Oxygen and tolerating his hip brace like a superstar!  What a champion!

Thanks week 5

What happens once you get to Adulthood?

Today I have found myself thinking about my future and what my life might look like over the next 12 months and beyond… it’s a question that for as long as I can remember, I have always had an answer to… but right now I don’t…

To be honest, my life has run a pretty standard course in terms of life stages… but I think I might be in a gap… and the control freak in me is not sure how to do a long stage that doesn’t have a whole heap of direction…

Let me explain… When I was in primary school, the next step was high school, from there I went to uni, when I finished uni I got a job… then next on the list was moving out of home, then getting married, then traveling and then having a baby… which brings me to now… I think the next logical step in my life plan is retirement… which as much as I would love to tick of right now… would be a fairly miserable way to live, given my working carrier has not been that extensive and my ‘nest egg’ is pretty small…

I am guessing that for the next little bit Isaac’s goals will become my own… I will help him move through his stages of life… but right now, looking at just my life… I have hit a big chapter… where I can say I have reached it… but it will be a long time before it is complete.

It’s such a strange feeling… not really know where to aim, not knowing what I need to do, or how I will know when this bit is done… usually I would find a situation such as this stressful and unnerving, but I am hopeful… this ‘adulthood with kids’ stage will be long and I am sure as I start to journey through it, it will have its own goals, but it is also a blank canvas. Previously I have always been pushing myself forward… willing myself to be older and to tick all the boxes, so I had never stopped to think about what this bit would look like, what I would do, who I would be… I was just in a rush to get here (which in hindsight seems silly, because the chapters that came before were just as important and also very fun).  Yet, despite my lack of planning… here we are, with so much ahead… and it’s exciting.

Maybe I’m the only one that looks at parenthood and thinks like this… I am sure I am not… but over the past 5 months I haven’t had a heap of time to plan and dream for what it might look like, and I am sure once Dave goes back to work later this week, I will be totally focused on getting through one day at a time… but right now… in this moment, where my head is above water and I have the energy to swim… it’s exciting to dream about my ‘mum’ life and all that it will bring.

Our Curious Life: Week 1

Ok… a new year means a fresh start and a good opportunity to try something new… so this year on the blog I thought I would try a new method of weekly blogging, one that I saw on one of favourite bloggers, Shutterbean, and it seems super simple… although that’s usually a cue for me to totally over complicate it.

Anyway, it’s just a recap of sorts of the week that’s been… somewhere I could write about our listing adventures, share some pictures, and quickly recap. I am a little worried mine will start to read a little like a grade 5 diary entry… but hey, when it really all comes down to it, this is here for me… and if you love it too, excellent.

So the plan is at the end of each week… probably Sunday (which is technically the start of the next week) I will write this… which will help my regular blogging, help me to record some fun things… and maybe the not fun things, and give me a little “me goal”… which I already have way to many of… but maybe a “me goal” that I might actually achieve.

So here we go:

January is a funny time… a new year brings lots of potential… a little associated pressure and some really really big plans.  It fills me with hope, but also stress that this is the year that I have to fix/complete/try/achieve x y & z… some of which I bring on myself with a little thing I like to call the list but also for those things that don’t make it on to the official list.  The lists in my head, the lists on our bench, and the lists I didn’t even know I was keeping.

But so far so good… it’s summer and lets face it everything feels better in summer.   So this week, I was glad I posted the new list… but a little disappointed that I never quite managed to finish my recap of last years list, blog thanks to my computer breaking down… I will finish it, but it turns out there is even less time to blog now that Isaac is at home.  But we did manage to cross a few things off the new list…

97. Fix my computer – completed: 02/01/2018
My computer had a moment on new years eve… and after a few hours on the phone to apple support it seems to be back… although it’s probably time I really start saving for a new one… I think it could be on borrowed time.

89. Update some photo wall photos – completed: 03/01/2018
There are still a couple more that need updating, and it is unlikely that this is the only time I change some of the pictures, but we have updated 3, and I figure that’s enough to cross this off.

92. See coco – completed: 06/01/2018
Yep, but I didn’t take the baby… I finally have a valid reason to indulge my love of Disney… but I left him at home with his Dad and went with some of my besties instead.  And unsurprisingly I cried like a little baby.

We started the new year at the beach, and I got my first real dose of fomo… (fear of missing out, for all of those who are playing at home, who unlike me have embraced their age and don’t try to keep up with the cool kids).  It turns out, that even though I knew life would be different with a baby, I hadn’t really thought about what that looked like on holidays.  It turns out going to the beach and spending hours in the ocean without a care in the world will probably never happen again… we may be able to spend hours in the ocean… but we need a few years and a few hundred swimming lessons… and I will probably always be worried about Isaac.  So this summer we just walked near the beach… because our pram does not like sand and neither does oxygen tanks or tiny nose prongs.

When went for a few late night family walks…

Swam in the pool at my Dad’s place for the first time in year… why I have I not been doing this more often?

And Isaac turned 5months old… far out… how did that happen?   So we celebrated with two little photoshoots.  One on the actual day, and one a few days later, because I forgot to take the milestone card to the beach with me.  But at 5months, he is super smiley, starting to coo and getting bigger everyday… right on track for being 8weeks corrected.

So there you go… week one.

 

Dear Isaac

Dear Isaac,

Today is the day we had planned to meet you… well on paper anyway. It was the day we were hoping for, the day that would have meant we had made it to full term this time round… but today you are 98 days old… 14 weeks… or 40 weeks corrected.

There are so many things that I want you to know, but the most important is that I love you and I am so super proud of you. Even though this isn’t the path we would have chosen, I wouldn’t give any of my 14 bonus weeks back. You are strong, brave and very clever and there is nothing that you can not overcome. You are a little warrior.

It has been hard to watch you fight these battles, but I have done it with confidence knowing how determined and stubborn you are and that you are fearfully and wonderfully made by someone who loves you even more than I do. I have also not done it alone… your dad is pretty amazing… and more tolerant than I ever gave him credit for. You have held us together when we thought our world was falling apart again.

Watching you grow has blown my mind… you are so great… I have never been more excited about someone gaining weight or pooping… but I guess that’s an unspoken joy of parenthood. I love watching you learn, get stronger and develop knew skills… I also really like the in built stuff… like hand holding and the best burps I have ever heard.

I love holding you, chatting to you and singing to you… and even though I though I had quite the repertoire, I have learnt that humming works just as well when the lyrics slip from your brain.

I love your little personality, your dramatic throat clearing, your extreme strain face, your skeptical looks, your sneaky peeks, your super wide eyes and your excellent wind smiles… I love it all.

Actually it turns out I am so glad that I didn’t have to wait until today, I am glad we have already spent three months together! I can’t wait to take you home, show you off and just be able to hang out with you all the time… I can’t not wait until I don’t have to leave you behind each night… but I know it will be soon enough, because you are such a mini champion that you will be out of there in no time.

Happy due date buddy! You are a superstar! Thanks for my bonus three months!

I love you,

Love Mummy

One

Dear Joshua,

Hi mate, it’s mummy here. It’s been a long time since I wrote you a letter but today would have been your 1st birthday, so I thought it was time to write again.

To be honest, it’s been really hard to write to you, losing you has left a huge hole in mummy’s heart and while it has been mending slowly, it will never be quite the same again. Since knowing and losing you, I am now afraid of things I had never thought were even possible, but I know how to love deeper and with a fierceness that I didn’t know I had.  As I sit here at Monash Medical Centre writing this from the same place we met you one year ago, it’s overwhelming.  I miss you so much and really wish you could have stayed.  I wanted to watch you grow and to see what kind of man you would have become. I am pretty sure you would have been a champion, with your defiance and determination… you would have been unstoppable!

For a little while this year I have had to try not to think about you for too long, because a lot has happened in the past 12months… and remembering has made it scary and hard… You now have a baby brother, Isaac, and even though he has helped mummy heal, he isn’t you. I know that there is no way I could have ever had both of you on earth at the same time, but I really wish it could have been possible somehow.  That you could have stayed, and that you and Isaac could have grown up together.

While mummy was carrying Isaac she couldn’t look at pictures of you, or wear the necklace she had made with your hands and foot prints because they reminded her of how hard it would be to lose him too.  I’m sorry I couldn’t wear my reminder of you all the time… but now that he is here I think about you a lot. I think about how similar the two of you are, what you might have been like if you had stuck around and how much I have learnt from knowing you.

You, my dear boy, have taught me how much I wanted to be a Mum. It took me a little while to get there and you were a big price to pay, but losing you made me realise how ready I actually was, and how much I had wanted to complete our family.

You have taught me that life is hard, but even in the darkest times there are beautiful moments, like holding you, singing to you, and kissing your tiny nose.  That we are loved by so many, and that even though your wider family is very large and a bit messy, this family of ours is supportive and reliable and even more important than I had ever realised.

You have taught me to be stronger, to hold on, and to hope even when it isn’t easy. You have taught me to trust and because of you my faith is deeper and more real. I know I will see you again and I know there was a purpose for you coming and going… but I just have to wait, heaven is not so far.  You have taught me that I can get up in the morning, even if I need daddy to help me… and that the sun will shine and I can get through the day… even when it is really hard… thanks for the beautiful wether today to remind me.

Because of you I got to watch your dad become a great dad and an even better husband. He is so much stronger, more faithful and loving than I knew before this.  You have made us an even better team.

You have taught me I am not alone, since losing you I have spoken to, heard from and read about so many other women and families that have been through this grief of losing something so precious. That as ugly as it is, 5 babies are born sleeping everyday in Australia, a country with the best medical care and resources… and this is a stat that still breaks mum’s heart.  You have made me advocate and encouraged me to speak out about heartache and loss so that hopefully no other babies have to go too soon, and no other mummies are left with empty arms.

But most importantly my sweet baby boy, you have made me a better Mum. Because I loved you first, I hold Isaac tighter, I speak up when I am worried and I don’t take any of it for granted.  You have taught me that I could do it… that I was made to be a Mum.  Of course because I now know that precious little boys can be taken away, I am scared, but I am holding on to him with all that I am. I tell him all about you and I know you have been watching over him, because there is no way he would have known to go limb first without your cheeky influence.  You two would have gotten into all kinds of trouble together.

Today daddy and I will visit Isaac, but then we will go and have some pink donuts and a Turkish delight milkshake and think about you… how you made us parents, how you taught us to love and together we will try to work out how we go on without you for another year.

I love you little one and I miss you,

Sleep well precious boy,

Love mummy.