I’m Pregnant!

I knew before my missed period. I could feel the extra fluidness of my vagina. I felt happy, I knew I was pregnant. I logged my “missed period” on day 1 into my app, knowing that I was going to have to do it again the next day. Sure enough a week after my entire missed period I took a pregnancy test to confirm and there it was, two pink lines.

I’m feeling very happy to be pregnant. I feel excited, and that something new and wonderful is happening. I can feel excitement and a sense of calm which is totally welcomed. The last time I had a child, my first child, it was utterly traumatic with lots of complications, and the funny thing is that I forsee this one to be a breeze. I feel so much more confident with the process and if things do go wrong, at least I’ll be prepared unlike last time.

I go in to the doctor tomorrow to take some blood tests and confirm everything, I’m not even 5 weeks pregnant yet, but want to make sure everything is as it should be.

Yay for life progressing. Yay for life! ūüôā

Finally I Saw Therapist

Finally I got some face to face help. Two sessions today after calling around yesterday to see if I could talk to someone. I felt the dark wave of grief and despair rolling over me yesterday. I know this feeling. I know it very well since having my child. It was a very traumatic experience for me and I haven’t felt confident to seek a qualified professional as I didn’t have Permanent Residency and didn’t want to jeopardise my chances of getting to stay with my family here in Australia. Now I do have PR and I am working through this now.

The first session was a woo woo style practitioner. She let me ramble and ramble, and that’s what I did. I cried a bit, told my story, described how I felt in creative ways, and at the end did some sand play where I just created what was circling in me and brought it to the surface. That was fun, I always enjoy these kinds of ways of bringing out creativity and to help gain insight. I described what I thought about each piece I chose to add from her shelves of figurines. I chose a mini pot of flowers to add beauty and symbolise the circular path that life seems to be. I chose a native woman carrying a child on her back and a golly wog doll which is an inherently racist black doll that is very kitsch Australian, and I chose these because I feel empathy for them, and in my own plight I understand theirs better. I chose Merlin with a unicorn to help represent how magic is all around, I just have to ask and see it. I chose a happy smiling buddha because I want more of that in my life, but am not sure how to fully detach to get to that stage these days. In the middle I drew out two big eyes, like that Grateful Dead song that goes “wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world” as it’s been running through my head for days now. All in all, it was a good session and I appreciated having that kind of very soft space to talk about things.

The second session was just a few doors down, also upstairs in this downtown charming historic town. When I walked into the stairwell it smelt like beauty parlour that specialises in waxing, and it took me by surprise. I guess that smell went with how I felt when I was in the session, very similar to when you are going in for a wax, you know you need to do it, you know you’ll love the results, but for christ sakes the process is painful, but some areas are strangely very satisfying and almost enjoyable in their pain. The psychologist was an older woman who I can only guess has hair that reaches all the way down her back, she had it piled up high on her head into a bun, she’s of retirement age, but so youthful and full of energy as soon as she opened her mouth with a bright sparkle in her eyes. She wore older woman nice clothes, you know the kind that were popular ages ago and they’re still in fine knick but not necessarily up to date. She also wore a beautiful broach that coordinated with her maroon pantsuit which gave me a sense of comfort thinking about how my grandmother used to wear broaches.

We got down to business after I sat in her narrow office. I had already filled out the paperwork, which thankfully my husband’s work pays for these sessions so we don’t have to pay out the $175 per visit as the contract had read. I get five sessions with her under his program and I will use them all. She asked me to give her a summary of why I am there and what I’ve been up to. So I backtracked to 2010 and mentioned that after a head on collision that happened just months after arriving in Australia, that I received counselling which was very helpful. I mentioned that due to a Medical Treatment visa I was able to stay here, and that’s in the timeframe that I met my husband. I mentioned about going back to University and finishing my bachelors. I mentioned that although my husband and I both had chosen in our earlier lives to not have children, that together we changed our direction and intentionally created our son who was conceived on our wedding day out of love, and that he is all love. I then talked about how that pregnancy went haywire, and I ended up in hospital for nearly three weeks until an emergency caesar where he was extracted from my body, and put into the NICU in a ¬†plexiglass box and that a couple days later I was able to see him and all of it was very disorienting. I told her that before I was put under with the gas that I made peace with my life because I thought I was going to die, and how I had just left my husband’s hand in this stark white corridor on the way to the surgery area. I talked about how I had been so straight during my pregnancy with everything I was consuming and then all of a sudden I was taking major drugs to help me cope with the pain, and how that along with having to inject myself with a needle to help prevent dissolve the blood clot that had formed in my groin, was the worst kind of self harm I’ve ever known physically, and all of it took me so far from my natural clear headed state. I talked about the uncertainty when bringing home our child, and being all alone in Sydney with my husband working shifts of four days on and four days off, and not having any additional help and those first months were the darkest of my entire life. I shared how when I think of the newborn phase I think of the smell of Aquim hand sanitiser, chords, beeping, uncertainty, pain, hurt, and grief. I shared with her out loud things that I have never shared with anyone else that went on in my mind during that stage and I wept so loudly and it all came out. I completely lost it, and it may have only been in the first ten minutes of me walking in. Progress was being made.

She talked about the amygdala and how it stores all of our past experiences and how it’s like a volcano that has many layers and how when something gets triggered it then accesses every time I’ve ever had that feeling, and this made perfect sense to me. I had thought of it as wells of emotion within me, something I was holding, something I was internalising, something that was there always with me. She helped me to see that the release can happen by changing it to be a volcano versus a well, and to do whatever I need to in order to get the hell out of the fucking well. She didn’t say it quite like that but this was definitely how I heard it.

She talked about how this kind of trauma creates spikes in my cortisol levels and with that comes fight, flight or freeze. This was also an ah-ha moment to me. I know that my cortisol levels have been spiked from childhood due to having a very traumatic upbringing, and over the years it was clear to me what I was doing I was definitely fighting or fleeing the situation. This time around I have been full on in freeze mode. I hadn’t even considered that freeze was an option, and that’s exactly where I’ve been for the past three years. Adding on the waiting for Permanent Residency and that just created a stronger freeze feeling for me. So I’ve been on edge pretty much my whole life and in this last stretch, it has become freeze and now I get to fucking work it out so I can move forward. No more internalising. I see it, I understand, I have ways to move past this, and now that is what I am doing.

She talked about the importance of getting my levels checked to make sure all of my vitamins, thyroid and all other blood markers are normal in case that needed attention. Thankfully I’ve had those earlier this year due to the endometriosis. Oh speaking of endometriosis, she also said that by keeping all of this in my “well” rather that in a volcano, it would create disease in my body, and then I told her about the endometriosis, which completely makes sense. It came on strong and seemingly all of a sudden, and lasted about ten months. After using the Mirena IUD and getting PR, it’s amazing how it’s settled down, but not at all surprising as I’m not as on edge about everything.

She talked about the importance of deep breathing. 3 count in, hold for 3 and release for 5. She said that if I’m in freeze mode and I’m shallow breathing all of my cells think that they are also in survival mode. She gave an extra oomph to it by talking about Taming the Tiger, and with the breathing to clench my fists in the in breath, and release my hands completely in the out breath to signal to my body physically as well that it’s time for this to go. I loved this. I love that this is actionable and we did it in her office, and I could feel the difference. I will continue to do this.

Overall I feel completely drained from today. My eyes are so tired and dry from all of the crying I’ve done, by far more than I’ve cried anytime in the past couple years, probably not since my father died two years ago. Interesting that it’s also his birthday today, feels very auspicious. I don’t want to be that kind of parent and it almost feels like I’m honouring that by getting help now.

I see her next week and I really look forward to it. I am writing it out. I am moving past this. Thank fucking god. I’m so ready.

Qualifications, PR, and Studying

As I was finishing my final year doing my Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a focus on Marketing, I was asked by many of my professors if I would do the Honours Program, and then head into my PhD. They were so supportive, three different professors, all wanting me to be a part of what they were teaching and doing. Such an honour in itself. One of my professors even offered to have my teach Digital Marketing while I did my Honours Program, even allowing me to have full credit on my research projects, which isn’t the norm in academia. How incredible, a job that pays $100 an hour, the stepping stone program to PhD, and lots of support.

My husband had recently gotten a job in Sydney with a major global brand and was enjoying his work. I was soon to turn 34 and we had decided that having a child was on the horizon and it was in our sights to do that by 35 to reduce any risks. I personally could have waited, but having children wasn’t in my life vision so I hadn’t even heard about the 35 fertility myth or even thought much about it. Also I didn’t have Permanent Residency which was a nice bonus if doing the Honours Program because it would be subsidised greatly, and after paying International Fees to complete my Bachelor’s this seemed like a great idea. We were told by immigration that if we waited until after our 3 year anniversary, and then apply, it would only take six months and I’d have PR. Super. I could defer doing the Honours Program for one year, have a child, and then go back to it with PR and get the subsidised rate.

Within 4 months of graduation, I fell pregnant, literally on our wedding day, and things went full speed ahead. 10¬†months after graduating we applied for PR as we had met the 3 year requirement for de facto from the beginning of our relationship. I had to apply in between hospital stays, as the pregnancy was very difficult. I had too many things going on, I know it. We were trying to start up a couple of businesses, trying to settle between houses in Sydney and at the farm, and me trying to understand the flow of hormones in my body and to be at peace with the exhaustion and full time nausea. It was too much. I had no idea what I was doing, and truly hadn’t had conversations around the gestation process and thought my body would just do what it needed. Things went sideways, and eventually baby came very early due to complications via an emergency caesarian. We then went through the horrendous process of the NICU and the uncertainty and all of the emotional pain, along with the physical pain I was still dealing with. It was a crazy upheaval of a time. One year after graduation, we were able to take baby home for the first time, after he had been in care for five weeks and was strong enough to come home. Things were not going to return to normal, there wasn’t going to be an Honours Program and teaching at the University, it wasn’t going to be any time soon, that was absolutely for certain.

I nursed my own Post Partum Depression, and Post Traumatic Stress, I nursed the baby, and he became my focus, completely. I was still trying to figure out how to be a mum, and my husband was away four long days at a time for work, which then followed by four days at home, but those four days away were long, and isolating. I lost myself in it. I had the darkest days I’ve known. Permanent Residency didn’t come, and then it kept not coming, and everything seemed to be in this state of grey.

It took me a while to get through it, I formed a Mother’s Group based on a community education program for new mums that I went to, and they became the guiding light that I so desperately needed. A group of women who had children all the same age as my son, all of them new, and all of us going through the same thing at the same time, and everyone living nearby. We don’t have any family here, so I had to create one myself.

So time continued to pass, my son got stronger, I got stronger, and life started to normalise. I continued to think we were going to be moving back to the farm area, but alas it didn’t happen. I didn’t choose to become a single parent, and it has been on purpose that we’ve stayed together and I know it’s been the right choice versus having my husband fly back and forth to the farm. In this time, I’ve also looked briefly at taking courses, but without having PR or citizenship, the costs are quite high, like astronomically high. I even for a moment thought that when PR was coming, which again it hadn’t, that I could do the medical program that was highly subsidised and become a doctor. What was I thinking. It would have been a great route when i was younger and didn’t have children, but now it’s not a practical choice, although i did get caught up in the fantasy and forecasting of it all.

Honestly I do want a source of income that doesn’t tie me down to one spot, and that doesn’t require me to do a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. I don’t see how that fits in with being the kind of hands on mother that I am, and I don’t see how that allows me the flexibility for us to go to the farm, or make a trip, or the like when my husband has time off. I want the flexibility and the freedom of location and time, plus money. A career in academia sounded great before having children, maybe it would be great when he is older, but we may very well have another child and I don’t want to put my children right into daycare, I want to be that guiding influence for them when they are young, and then when they get old enough and want some diversity, then offer the option for them to go to daycare or other play programs.

Australia is very much a country that requires qualifications and certifications for everything. My husband says its because they are risk averse, and I get it, it’s easier to make sure everyone is doing what they should be doing if they all are on the same page as to what exactly that is. So when looking back at reskilling, looking for courses that offer a qualification at the end makes the most sense. Also when looking for practical courses, it would make sense to learn about something in the direction that we are heading. So I looked into Financial Planning, and then into Real Estate. I had looked into Real Estate before I had PR, but again due to costs, and lack of time with having a very young child, it was shelved. Now, I’ve found a course to get a Real Estate license that I’ll have by completed within four months or less, which sounds very appealing. We now live in a high growth sector of Sydney and my thought is that if I wanted to pick up something casual in a Real Estate office or do something else in that field over here, then this would be a high demand area. Also, more specifically, i want to learn the ins and outs of Real Estate as I do want to start investing in that sector. Soon we’ll be buying our own home, and I want to understand the process, and better yet, if I can help us maximise our money, and save money, that would be amazing. So this is the direction I am heading.

I wonder how many other women who have children completely change their career paths because they have children and need the flexibility of time.  Thankfully I do like to study and learn, so this will be an enriching experience for me. Ideally one where I can help others and myself along the way.

The Present Baby

Today I had the pleasure of holding a brand new baby. A new life that is not even a full week old, and I got to be there, holding her, supporting her, allowing her to rest and sleep in my arms. She was so peaceful and just emitted this feeling that everything was wonderful in the world. I haven’t held many babies prior to joining my Mother’s Group, and I am trying to recall if I’ve ever held a baby this young other than my own, and I don’t have any distinctly clear memories of it, and maybe that’s why today felt so big.

She was dressed in a pearly white knitted dress with a pearly white ribbon bow to tie it together, matching little knitted booties, and a matching knitted bonnet. The outfit had never been worn before and it was so fitting for such a brand new little being, this pearly divine white knitted outfit for this divinely serene baby, truly a perfect match.

She mostly slept while I was holding her. When it came time for her meal, she had to be undressed a bit to cool down and wake her up for her feed. So I had the pleasure of slowly taking off one tiny little bootie at a time, then her bonnet carefully from the top of her head, and then slowly I untied the little waistband pearly white ribbon and opened up her little dress jacket, and took her little delicate arms out of each sleeve. I was like opening the best present on your birthday, or the best present on Christmas when you’re a kid. I was completely filled with joy in this process, and that I was able to do it.

There are other ways of having newborns, and I experienced one first hand myself today, and it gives me hope that if we ever do it again, that it can be different, and I welcome that wholeheartedly.

Reproducing Thoughts Out Loud

I am a curious person by nature, it’s an integral part of what makes me who I am. I love learning new things, I love the getting the opportunity to explore and experience life in new ways. I love asking questions that go deeper, I love getting to know people.

When talking to a mum in my Mother’s Group recently and discussing whether or not we will have another child, I explored within myself why I am sometimes very much for it, and then again also not wanting to go there again. A major reason that came up when diving in to find why I do want another child was rather beautiful. I hadn’t put it into words quite like I did that day, but I’ll try again now. One of the most amazing parts of being a parent is that I have this incredible privilege to get to know someone else on such an intimate level, to know all about them and to really hold that sacred space. It’s such a beautiful experience that comes with a lot of emotions and overall it has brought a depth to my life that I hadn’t known quite like this before. It’s very different from getting to know a lover, it’s different from any other kind of relationship I’ve ever experienced. The parent aspect of the parent-child relationship is all about being there for someone else, and helping them, guiding them to learn and grow, helping to set up their foundations for their lifetime and it’s such a huge role, and so ordinary and so extraordinary at the same time. It’s so everything.

I would love to get to know another person the way I have gotten to know our son. I have really enjoyed getting to know his personality, getting to know how he thinks and how his mind works, to understand his emotions, and to see his process of becoming. He’s an incredibly special person and I don’t take that for granted at all, he’s such a gentle and kind person by nature. He’s intriguing and happy, and has the most infectious laugh. He tries and he likes to perfect what he does alone without my husband or I watching so that then he just does it when he’s ready in front of us like it’s not a big deal. He isn’t showy, he isn’t proud like that, he’s just someone who does what he does and takes his own pride in what he does. He loves to be around people, but even so, sometimes he’d much prefer to just play on his own, even within a group, and he chooses to do both on his own. He’s such a fascinating person and an absolute blessing.

It has been amazing to see my husband develop into the man he is as a father, as a husband, as a really strong role model who is gentle, kind, and supportive. He was made to be a dad and it’s such a blessing to see that happening in his life too. He would make an incredible parent to more children, absolutely and that is also a big reason why when I feel “yes” is the feeling, this is in that mix.

I have grown so much as well as a parent, as a woman, as a human being, man, so very much. I realised recently that a part of my letting go of social media in the past couple of months has been because it made my mind too confused. Seeing so many different lives of people whom I’ve shared life with at some stage or another, all converged in the same room, when truly they should be separated, they are meant to live in their chapters, and not be jumbled together. I’ve always looked at my life as having very distinct chapters, and by having all the characters, and all the chapters essentially open at once, I found it to be subconsciously, stifling to my growth. I am fully in my motherhood stage, but seeing other women my age that I know doing other things, like having careers that they stress out about, or vacations they take because they are still single, or even the ones who are single and putting their posts out there like that, it was just too confusing for my internal compass. I am not sure I like this part of myself, and I am trying to let this come out without judgement, but I am the kind of person who needs to know rules, the kind of person who needs to know what the standard is so that I can surpass it. It’s like I have to know what the benchmark is so that I can not only meet it, but create a new one. With social media blending it all together, it became entirely too confusing because I am not that, I cannot be all of that and still surpass all of it. I cannot be a newlywed couple anymore, I cannot be a single business owner anymore, I cannot be or live any of those old lives at any stage, because my own life is in a new chapter. My own chapter was getting muffled and I had to pull back and refocus on this current chapter with all it’s beauty, with all it’s glory, with all it’s life, with all it’s physical presence. I am here, I am here right now, in person, living my life, and this is where I want to have my headspace, not in some other world that I just happen to be able to access because I have the internet. I want to live the life I have and I find it so much easier to do that, and to appreciate it, when I unplugged from social media and really began living inside of my own life again. Even though I wasn’t actively comparing, subconsciously I was, and it wasn’t healthy. I wanted to be the most genuine or the most “real” because that’s what I know. There will always be people who are prettier, or smarter, or richer, or whatever, but I felt that my area was in being the most honest about what my life is and what was going on in it, so I went that route, but it didn’t really feel good, I looked for the confirmation via my “peers” who aren’t really my peers anymore, and that also became confusing. I definitely needed to clear that out and I have and am starting to see things in a new way, which feels much better. It was like all of a sudden my benchmark for everything came from the internet rather than from my real life. It was the same kind of thing that happened when I grew up in a small town and everyone who was popular copied the magazine look, or what was being shown on MTV. It wasn’t authentic, it wasn’t self generated, it was imposed by some outside force and we just followed along. I found I was doing that too, but that isn’t healthy, at least, it isn’t congruent with the way I want to live my life, with the creative and spontaneous way that I like to lead from within. It’s taken me a bit to step out and see this, and it’s still crystallising. From looks, to way of being, to everything… social media in all it’s guises became some big marketing machine and I really don’t want to be a part of that because it doesn’t feel good.

Wow. Okay, that was a bit of a tangent, but in essence, by cutting out social media, living in my own physical life, it becomes a lot clearer to me what I really do want in my life. Will we as a family every travel around the globe and be “that” family? Only if it happens organically. Will we be the family that is self-sustainable living on our own land and inviting our friends and family to enjoy life with us? That sounds more likely and more congruent with who my husband, myself and our son are as a family, and it’s been happening organically, it’s been happening because that’s how our life has been unfolding based on what we value and what feels the best to us. Wow, that feels great to get out. It’s so true too. This is who we are. Will we be the family where the mum is a corporate woman who puts here kiddos in daycare, no. Will we be the family who has our own business, that ends up supporting our lifestyle, quite likely yes. Will we be the family who everyone wants to be around because we are good, kind, gentle, fun, loving people? Yes, yes we will.

So will there be another person added to our family? I said recently that if my body was willing and we had unlimited resources then I’d love to have a big family with lots of kids. I would love that. It would be a lot of work and I’d need help, and it would be wonderful. If we had just one more, how great would it be? It would be great.

So when I think of “No” its because our life is really really good right now. Our son is really such an amazing person and we all mesh so well together. A part of me doesn’t want to rock the boat. I also have a fear in there regarding the pregnancy and birth, and if anything is wrong with the child, and if my body can successfully go through another pregnancy. These are all valid fears, and risks, and I’m aware that with having children so many variables come into play. Am I willing to go through the experience again of a NICU? Am I willing to go through the experience again of injecting myself with blood thinners twice a day for months? Am I willing to risk getting stretch marks? Am I willing to have a child with a disability? That last one scares the living hell out of me. Am I willing to have twins if that happens? That’s crazy but so intriguing. What if, what if, what if… what if the child is not like our son, or is like our son… I could play this game for ages… but it’s such a wild card… do we risk what we have for someone possibly even greater? Do we risk what we have with our small little family of three and allow someone else in?

Is one enough? Will we add one more to our family? I’m going to allow this to still simmer in my mind, and allow it to form… it’s becoming clearer… I hope…

Restoration

I’ve been going through a lot lately with my health and well being. My body has been in a lot of pain and it now is pointing to endometriosis.¬†My post isn’t about that but it’s the reason I needed the break.

Today I was able to lay down, while someone else whom I trust was looking after my child in the next room. I was able to lay and just relax and I did. It was so incredibly good and exactly what I needed.

I need more help like this. I need more time when I can just rest and know that my child is being well taken care of. It’s part of me taking good care of myself. It’s necessary. It’s not a want… it really is a need. I am better when I feel better, it’s that simple… now it’s up to me to make this happen. To make sure that I am giving myself a priority so that I am well.

Overwhelming Sense of Love

It can be and usually is in the most mundane and ordinary of moments when I feel this overwhelming sense of love for my child.¬†This feeling of love and warmth and sparkle just sweeps right over and through me in a big wave. It’s amazing when that feeling happens, and it happens regularly. It can happen when I’m giving him a hug, or picking him up out of his crib from his nap, or when he’s eating in his high chair, or as today, doing imaginary play. I never expect it and am always so happy when it comes. What a beautiful gift to experience.

It’s a different kind of love than I have for my husband, which is also a love I have never known before. It’s a special pure love that permeates my being. I love my child. I am very happy to have this role as his mum. Really what a gift he has been in my life.

Discipling Someone Else’s Child

I just disciplined someone else’s child. I sat back down a bit shaken from the event after I checked on my own child and ensured that he was okay. He didn’t even cry this time and surely he would have wailed if it had happened at any other time. There’s even a huge purple mark with clearly defined teeth indentations in a round circle on his wrist. How did it even escalate that quickly? Those two weren’t even the ones who had the toy in the first place. My head is spinning.

One toddler boy had the toy shopping cart, and the other two wanted to play with it. It’s something that always happens, naturally but usually isn’t a big deal, everyone wants the fun toy. Within a minute it all changed. All of a sudden I see the little toddler girl bending over with her mouth clamped down pulling upward on the skin of my toddler son’s wrist. I was very nearby less than a meter and I intervened by urgently telling her to stop and by smacking her right on her jaw and neck which caused her to release her teeth grip¬†from my son. I proceeded to discipline her as I would my son. I told her “do not bite”¬†along with a series of similar statements that we do not bite people and that it wasn’t okay. I put my hand on her shoulder gently and told her she had to sit down with me for two minutes and I kept repeating that it was not okay for her to do what she did. She was crying and shocked that I had disciplined her and was still doing so for the next couple of minutes. At the end of the two minutes I asked if she needed some water and offered her a cup of water. She remained sitting there and I tended to my son. We had only been there for a short time and in that visit she had already made him cry¬†and he was noticeably fearful of her coming to stay with me when she was coming near him. She has been pretty full on for a while now but I wasn’t expecting that to happen, nor for me to be the parent to discipline. If her mum had been there, she had quickly went to pick up some pizza less than 5 minutes away, I wouldn’t have disciplined her daughter myself, I would have just tended to my son.

I was really shaken up by it, I still am. When her mum returned and saw her daughter still sitting down she knew something was up and asked “what did she do?” and we told her. Another mum was right next to me during the entire thing and witnessed every moment of it, and she was in full support of what had happened. I was still a bit shocked. I told her I did the exact thing that I would do to my own son if he was harming himself or others. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t discipline in that way, under normal circumstances I don’t smack my child, we have a time in and that usually does the job. The only times when I do something physical is if it is something he is doing that will physically harm himself or someone else, and it pretty much works because it isn’t something that happens often.

I can only project at this stage, but I think my son wasn’t visibly upset because he was witnessing me in that very focused disciplined mode and it wasn’t aimed at him, so he kind of went on quietly playing nearby while I was with the girl.

We had a conversation about it as mums and the mum of the daughter said she was fine with what had happened and the main point of why, other than trusting me as we’ve known each other for nearly two years, so almost the lifespan of our children, and we have met up on regular basis sometimes twice a week, and she knows how I am, but specifically because we are a community and because of that part she said that it was okay. A community in the respect that we are all in it together and we look out for one another. I really appreciated this view.

Also noticeably the girl was not as aggressive after that incident and she very clearly stayed away from my son, which was just fine by me and I would think just fine by him. She did avoid me for a little bit but then seemed to move on.

What an evening!

Discipling other people’s children is not something that I would have thought I would do, I guess I hadn’t thought about it at all in general, but now that I have, it’s the only action I can think of that would have worked. She didn’t stop when I told her to stop, and if I would have pulled her off of him, with the grip she had of his skin in her teeth, it may have actually broken skin off, and what I did and how I did seemed like the only way I could have. I still feel weird about it though. I sure hope she doesn’t bite anyone else in the future, how great would it be if she just never bit anyone else again after this incident. I can only hope.

PTSD Triggered

Yesterday I got the opportunity to visit a new mum and her now two week old baby girl. They are both healthy and getting to know one another. Mum has plenty of milk, baby is sleeping as newborn babies do, in little spurts, and they are in contact consistently.

When I held the baby yesterday I had the strangest feelings. It wasn’t a feeling that I wanted to have another baby, in fact it was the exact opposite. I felt uncomfortable holding the baby and really tried to get into the warm loving mood with the newborn, but it didn’t really come. I marvelled at how new she was and how perfect her little features were and was able to almost objectively enjoy the situation, but deep down it wasn’t what I thought I would feel. As most of the mums in my mums group are “clucky” I excepted that I may feel like that too, but no.

The interesting thing is that I could feel the feelings of trauma, of hardship, that I associate with that stage of life. They felt incredibly real, and even moreso today for some reason. I came home and told my husband last night that I was officially over that stage of life and that we will not be having any other children. He was agreeable as he usually is, I think he was rather relieved, because it was also quite a traumatic event for him too. The son we do have is an incredible person and I am thankful every day that he is ours and that we get to grow and learn with him. I certainly don’t think we will be missing out by not having another child.

So all day, I’ve been really sensitive. I read a children’s book online earlier to vet it before reading it with my son and I started full on bawling. I mean sobbing and had to lay down, which was good timing since my son was down for a nap. It was a story about a mother who has a child and goes into the childs room at night, no matter how he’s been in the day, and rocks him and says she will always love him. It goes through the different stages of life and at the end, she needs him to come to her house, and she is too frail to pick him up and hold him, the next scene is him picking up his own daughter and singing the same song about loving her forever. I am crying now thinking about it. I feel this strong lump in my throat and my stomach feels upset and a headache is present. Whoa. What an emotional response I’m having.

So this experience of holding a newborn baby has acted as a trigger for me, bringing back the helpless and challenging feelings that I experienced after my son’s birth, when I was fully in a post traumatic stress disorder scenario. I really had thought I had moved past this, but apparently not. It’s eye opening, and I’d like to move on from this wholeheartedly, and acknowledge that I have these feelings.

Navigating the Waters

In the last week, I have turned a corner, a major corner. I have started to allow someone else to look after my child in a maximum of 2 hour increments. This is a big deal. He’s now almost 22 months, and prior to now, I pretty much count on one hand the number of times someone else has looked after him besides my husband or myself.

I have so many feelings that are arising from this. Perhaps this is what primary carers of little people go through with this transition. Simultaneously wanting to have freedom and independence, but at the same time wanting to make sure that my little person is completely taken care of. The feeling of, YES FINALLY, I’m Doing Something For Myself, AND the feeling of guilt that someone else is looking after my most precious being, who is completely defenceless, completely incapable of articulating with words anything that goes on.

Exhale. I am doing that a lot, deep breathing. He is going to the day care option that is available at the gym I have joined. It’s all super new, totally customer oriented, and really top of the line. The classes are incredible, the machines are the newest available, the instructors are top notch, the child care is incredible. Even in the baby area, they have a huge play section that rivals the places you have to pay to go into for $12 for 2 hours where you have to buy an obligatory coffee as well. The carers are so lovely, so friendly, so very obviously kid people with big hearts and huge smiles.

All of this is good, I know it. I do. Me progressing forward by moving my body and getting back into shape, along with allowing the next stage of our lives to happen by me letting go and accepting help with my child. I know all of this, I know it’s truly all good. There is still a fountain of feelings coming up and I can’t ignore them. I even invited a fellow Mum from my mum and bub group to come over and watch a tear jerking movie that left us both sobbing, just so we could let the emotions out in a safe place.

The new chapter is beginning and I am grieving the last one. It’s normal, and it’s okay. I have loads of self compassion for myself and am being as gentle with me as I possibly can in this transition. I am also doing my best to be there for my son while he transitions, because it’s also a major shift for him as well. Such a big deal.