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

Resigned

I’ve let my job go. In part due to truly feeling like I need to have the flexibility to be available in case my family, including my in-laws who have experienced very ill health as of late, need me, and more specifically if they need my son, the golden sun, around to help brighten moods.

It was bittersweet. I know it’s been coming, and I truly do want flexibility, but I also liked that I did have a team of people I was working with and I enjoy the feeling of being productive. I learned a variety of different real estate based systems in a short amount of time and even wrote some Marketing AdCopy, which I definitely enjoyed doing.

My son has just gotten up from his nap and is standing next to me with his hand on my leg, asking for my attention, so I have to cut this short.

Now, comes the entrepreneurial phase and I’m totally open to this.

Back to Work

What a glorious day it was. My very first day back at work since having my child. That’s not entirely true, I’ve been doing work for our own business, but this is the first time I’ve been back and working for someone else. I will actually get a paycheck too, and that feel really great.

It does feel like a very precarious situation. When the HR manager walked in, before she even sat down, she said she had received a call from the Director rethinking that the position needed to be on the weekends, rather than midweek. She said she told him that I wasn’t recruited for that and didn’t think I would go for the switch, which she is right and I told her I was not available to work on Saturday and Sunday. So starting the very opening of my first day back in the workforce, and first day in Real Estate this way, definitely felt uneasy. I made it clear that if that is what the business needs, then do that and let me know. The job sharing role that I have is to help out the other Admin who wants to transition into Sales, which requires her to work on the weekends anyway. I realise the company is growing at a massive pace, and this is part of that, and I am aware.

Nonetheless, I jumped right in, took notes, learned how to open and close, met everyone, and got oriented in my, potentially, new role. I still won’t know for another week or two if I even get to keep it. Since I’m a casual employee I can be let go at anytime, so there’s also a lack of security there too. I just need to roll with it.

It’s hard for me sometimes to roll with it though. I know I’ve signed up for a job that is two days a week, but sure enough all last night my mind was swirling with the day. I couldn’t even get back to sleep for hours in the middle of the night with ideas based on the meeting we’d had earlier in the day about the business. It’s also hard for me not to give my all, I am naturally a disruptor I’ve come to realise, and i don’t necessarily mean to be, but it’s so hard for me not to share my insight or opinion when asked, so I do.

Now, will I keep this job? Will I be let go? Shaking my head. I’d love a bit more stability please.

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.

One Child or More?

How do you actually know? How do you know for sure you want to have another child? How do you know for sure that the one you have is the only one you’ll ever want and need in your life?

Always torn between the longing of having a big family, I always think it will be different from my own, that we’ll get along, live nearby one another and be doing well in life. I don’t know this from experience, and I haven’t seen it modelled very much in my life, but I think it can happen, I feel like it can. I would love to see my husband be a dad to another child, he is amazing with our sweet two year old son. I would love to see our sweet toddler be a big brother to some one and teach the new baby how to do things, I can imagine he would be great at it, patient, kind, naturally sharing like he is with our mothers group kiddos. I think myself how lovely it would be to experience this kind of love with yet another person, having a son has opened my heart in entirely new ways, and has helped to deepen my relationship with my husband in so many ways too, it feels secure, it feels strong and I love that feeling.

There are parts that still get me tied up, the parts that make me keep using birth control and keep with our family only having one child. This morning we were having smoked salmon on croissants for breakfast. How decadent really and it’s in part because I am a stealth shopper, but also because it’s just the tidy three of us and our food money can go a lot further. When I think back over the weekend when we went to two different community style festivals, it was awesome for many reasons, including that since there’s only one child, the burden of looking after a child in a crowd is distributed, we can each carry him and still give him attention while we explore ourselves with a bit of freedom for each parent. I guess it’s freedom that is the part that always comes back to me when thinking of staying just with one child. The freedom of being able to quickly get up and go when we want, the freedom of a set sleeping schedule that allows my husband and I time to do other things at night that interest us. I like the idea of a large family, but for practical and slightly selfish reasons I think having just one is great, we can go on trips easier and for a lot less money, we can help educate him in so many different ways because we have the time and resources to do so.

Sleep is such a big deal. Maybe it wouldn’t be if I were in my early 20s and am considering having another child, but now in my late 30s it is a consideration. I like sleep, I need sleep, and when I get enough sleep, everything else feels better in my life. I also like to have independence and now that our son is a toddler, it’s great because he can play on his own and then we can play together, and it allows me a bit more breathing room, especially compared to early on.
Speaking of early on, those newborn weeks, and months, were the darkest, hardest, most gut wrenching and challenging time I’ve ever had. It was compounded by the fact that my body was in such poor repair after the emergency caesar, slipped disc, sciatica, and DVT in my left leg, but also emotionally from having been in the hospital for nearly 3 weeks straight, having to take pain medication when I had set out to have a natural pregnancy and natural birth, and then not knowing if either of us were going to make it through the delivery, then the 5 weeks in the NICU never knowing if he is going to die, or if he can come home and all of it being so emotional, so bizarre, and so surreally horrible. I know I had, or perhaps still have undiagnosed PTSD. I have so much fear wrapped around pregnancy and birth and when I allow myself to really think about the whole process, I don’t want to go through it again. Even now thinking about how horrible, isolating, and confusing that stage was, brings tears to my eyes and my stomach goes in knots. I don’t know if I can actually do it again.

Then, and I know what ifs aren’t so good, but really, what if… what if the next baby has something that needs special attention too, what if it’s special attention beyond just the newborn phase, like a disability or something else? What if adding another child to our very cohesive family messes it all up and we really struggle? There’s no guarantee of who will come next and I know from my mother’s group that they really are their own person, a fine mixture of nature and nurture and sometimes it feels so very much like we just totally lucked out to have such an amazing, well behaved, kind child. He really is special, I mean, it’s like we have totally won the jackpot with our son, I’m thankful all the time. It was such a tremendously challenging start, but gosh, he’s really great. We’ve all started to really find our groove and I don’t know if I want to rock that boat.

The other part of this, which is a huge part, is that I am in my late 30s… and that means a deadline is looming. Maybe it’s not really by the end of the year, but I keep getting fooled into thinking that I have to do it now or never… that if we are going to have another child, if I am going to give birth to another child, then I need to fall pregnant by the end of the year, before I turn 38 and hope that my eggs are still nice and healthy to produce a nice and healthy baby.
I go back and forth with this decision. Having endometriosis just adds another dimension to it because the doctor said that if I have a baby then it puts the oestrogen on hold until after… so if I get pregnant, sooner than later is a good choice, because I *may* have to have a surgery again, this time to remove some of the endometriosis cells, and if it all goes south, then even more would need to be removed. I also have found out that the endometriosis cells have pretty much covered over my left ovary, which is likely why I get so much pain on that side, especially around my cycle time.

So it’s my body, it’s my mind, and it’s my emotional health that all needs to be in consideration ALONG with my own family dynamics. It isn’t a straightforward thought, and honestly since I was deadset against having children when i was younger, I didn’t have the whole dream of a big family after a big white wedding, that simply wasn’t me and wasn’t my life plan, so it’s not like I can just fall back on some projection that I’ve already made. Well, expect that one image that came out of no where when I was living in Brazil… it was so far away from where I was in my life, but I knew it was what I was needing in my life… and in that there was a house on some land with veggies, fruit trees, animals, a natural water source and the ocean nearby, with me, my husband and two little people… two. I don’t know where it came from, it had shocked me at the time… so part of me feels like I need to fulfil this. Maybe I just need to focus one step at a time on my health and well being and then worry about whether or not to have children after that… Gosh I just don’t want to miss that boat, if that’s the boat we really do want.

 

Shaking my head. Still not clear.

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.

Imaginary Play

Today I witnessed my darling toddler who is now two years and a couple of months old doing some imaginary play! Over the weekend I bought him a second hand IKEA kitchen and he has been playing with it every single day this week. Today, he stirred the mini ladel in the mini pan and poured it in the cup and drank it. It was the cutest thing!

He was also wearing a Santa romper which just added a whole heap of adorableness to the scene. When it happened, and even now, i just felt this sense of wonder and awe. How incredible to witness his first imaginary play, one that hopefully will be a part of his life in some way forever. How incredible. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to experience this beauty. How special it is to be a mum. How special my little son is.

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.

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.

Why do I think it needs to be hard?

Somewhere deep inside of my programming there is something that has encoded that in order for me to justify what i am doing, it has to be hard, it has to be hard earned, it cannot be easy, it has to be something that I overcome in order to succeed at.

It’s like I stifle myself in the chapter I am in by making it harder than it needs to be. Even when I was healing after the head on collision, sure it was a challenge, but I probably made it harder than it needed to be. I do look to the bright side and maybe it’s because I put myself into places that need that outlook? It’s an interesting thought to dive into.

Even when I was travelling like a nomad, I wasn’t happy in it, not really, yeah there were moments, but overall, there was a sadness about me, I notice it looking back. I even made that foot loose and fancy free stage of my life harder than it needed to be searching for a place to settle down and create a new version of my life, when of course in hindsight, that stage was just a nomadic stage that wasn’t meant for roots, or at least I didn’t allow those roots to form.

I wonder if it also has to do with my ambitious nature, of wanting to be someone who is recognised, of wanting to be someone who is making a positive difference in the world, of wanting to be someone who really is helping others be their best selves. I wonder if all along I’ve been doing that, but have overlooked it because it didn’t fit what my version of success based on other people’s version of success, looked like. I wonder if my grass is always greener approach has actually taken away from the life I have been in, in favour of the life I have been searching for, or have been aiming to create.

Even now, living in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, I make it harder on myself that it has to be. I look at bad side of this area like the crime, graffiti, the fast food eating people not taking care of themselves culture. I do focus a lot on the Mum and Bubs that I have become close to here, and that is the bright spot, along with living not too far from the Blue Mountains, but beyond that I have been having this strong feeling for almost two years since being here, that this is not where I belong, this isn’t where my family belongs, and have been pinning for a move back to the lush land of the Northern Rivers where we were living. It’s like I have made this stage harder because of that, because up until recently I wasn’t as grateful as I could have been about being here, and that definitely tainted my view and my experience.

Now as a stay at home mum with my son, I know I have made that harder than it needs to be based on the feedback loop of sharing how challenging it was. I’m still sitting with that because it was liberating to say that it was challenging and that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I wonder now if it’s also part of the fact that I was feeling a bit helpless in it all, that I hadn’t taken a job and done that route and put bub in daycare, or had a live in demi pair the whole time. It’s almost like at this stage of life, I really really should have only focused on being a mum. Not focused on trying to start a business, trying to do anything other than learn how to be a mother, and learn how to be a wife and a mother. It’s a big deal, a really big deal, and like anything I want to do my very best at it, and by side tracking with these other things, it hasn’t helped me along. It was me trying to grab at things to help save myself from myself or something, I’m not really sure, but it didn’t stick, so there must’ve been a reason behind it all.

As long as I ease into being a stay at home mum with my bub, life is good. I am happier, I am more content in my life, I am a better partner, I am more creative, all of life is better. When I try to add on too many things, I get out of balance, and that makes me frustrated and those feelings come out in various ways that aren’t so great and that sucks.¬†I want an easy flowing life. I also want to have all the resources to have an easy flowing life so that my husband isn’t worked to the bone. I know in time, it will all be okay and I will do other things, but for now, I really do want to focus on being a mother and being the best woman I can possibly be. The rest will work itself out, I know it will.

This all feels very revelatory for me. It feels like I am uncovering truths about myself and how I operate and they can make a difference in my overall happiness and the happiness of my family, which is highly important to me. I really hadn’t planned to have a life like this when I was younger, so I really am learning a lot as I go, in every moment. Plus my growth game is strong and I value that I am always evolving into a better version of myself.

So what can I do now? Be easier on myself. Allow the flow. Really focus on the goodness in life, right here, right now. Be grateful. Create. Rest. Love. Allow things to happen as they will. Be present. It’s all happening now.