Me time…

Yesterday I finally caved and made an appointment to see my chiropractor.  After a two-day long pounding headache I knew I couldn’t ignore my bodies signs to get myself sorted out any longer.  My awesome chiropractor worked me and told me that he’s never seen me in such bad shape chiropractically speaking.  And then he said something to me that really made me think.

He asked me why us mother’s found it so hard to take care of ourselves as well as our families.  His words hit me like a slap in the face.  Because aren’t we all as mothers guilty of this?  We put ourselves last EVERY time.

It’s a silly example but why on earth don’t I take better care of myself in terms of my chiro visits?  I’ve been a chiro patient for many years and I know that having my once a month alignment does wonders for my over all well-being.  Why then have I neglected to go for so long?  It’s not like it takes up so much time after all?  Leaving work once a month an hour earlier to get to an appointment just after 17h00 and meaning that I get home at my usual time anyway does not seem like too big an ask.  Yet.  It’s taken me 10 months to get my ass back to my chiropractor and only then because I could not ignore my body and it’s needs any more.

We love to martyr ourselves and moan that we never get time to ourselves and yet when push comes to shove do we take it?  I know it’s not always so easy to take your me time when your kids are babies and highly dependant on you, but are they really going to suffer if you go to the hairdresser/beautician/chiro/art class etc once or twice a month?

The simple fact is that we need to have this me time.  It helps us remember that we were more than just mothers before our babies came along.  So I am going to be making an effort to ensure that I get my me time a lot more often than I have been (read never).

Because in at the end of the day, having that time is going to make me a better wife and mother.

And I’m worth it…

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Social Conscience

This morning on twitter Anita tweeted that it broke her heart to see street kids sleeping on the street with nothing more than plastic and cardboard to keep them warm.  A sentiment that I strongly concur with.  As I said to her, we complain about being cold when we really have no idea what cold is – us with our roof’s over our heads, our heaters and our warm duvets.  It’s a wake up call for us all to remember how darn lucky we actually are.

At the beginning of this year I really wanted to ensure that I made an effort to get more involved with things that allowed me to be more socially signifcant.  I’ve increased my volunteer work and a few weekends back we visited a place of refuge for abused women and children in the heart of Jhb.

These women have had life hard.  Many of them arrive at the shelter in the dead of night, broken and bleeding with crying children in tow.  The kids.  How my heart breaks for the kids.  They are stuck inside the shelter day and night as their moms are too scared to let them out in case the people who abused them find them, take them away and use them as leverage to get the Mom’s back into the cycle of abuse.

These women – they inspired me so much.  When they shared how they came to be in the home with me, I was horrified.  And so sad for them.  But I was also inately proud of each and every one of them.  These women are taking the chance at a new life and they are trying to break the cycle of abuse for their children.

We talked and listened.  We huggged.  We served them a nice meal and put on a show for their kids.  We prayed with those that wanted prayer.  We loved on the babies.  We gave them a small pack of toiletries to tide them over for a while.

Anita said she wished there was more she could do for those street kids she saw this morning.  I think we all in some way feel that we wish we could do more.  There is so much lack in this world.

But I know from perosnal experience this year, that just doing SOMETHING can make a huge difference in the lives of  those who need it.  A small bit of love or prayer, a can of deoderant and a nice meal on a Saturday at a home/shelter/soup kitchen – a little of bit something goes a long way in the end.

If each of us just do a little something, we can make a difference in this world.  I’m grateful that I’m learning this as I go this year.

Time for a second?

When I found out that I  was finally pregnant, I found myself hoping that I was carrying twins.  My high beta’s fed my hope of a twin pregnancy.  I have always wanted three children and the fact that it had proven harder than I ever imagined to get pregnant, I really wanted (like most IVF patients) to have twins.  That way I would have my family in one shot and wouldn’t ever have to consider doing IVF again.

Then I experienced hectic bleeding.  I was terrified I was losing the only viable pregnancy I had ever had.  When we had our first scan at 7 weeks I was a little disappointed to find out that I was carrying a singleton.  But I was just so happy to know that I was carrying a live baby.  I had more hectic bleeding right up until 16 weeks into my pregnancy and then all of a sudden the bleeding stopped and I had a perfect pregnancy from there on out.

In 9 days time my son will be turning one.  I cannot believe that time has gone so quickly.  It feels like I was pregnant both yesterday and a lifetime ago.   As Kade draws closer to his first birthday I find myself wondering if it’s time to consider trying for a second baby.

I miss having a baby to snuggle.  I miss the littleness.  Don’t get me wrong I absolutely LOVE who Kade is becoming as he grows but I yearn for the small days.  The baby powder smelling tiny days.

I had secretly hoped that I would end up being one of those PCOS girls for whom pregnancy was the cure.  It would seem that I am not to be that lucky.  I have had exactly two cycles since I stopped breastfeeding Kade at 6 months.  My current cycle is sitting at 140 days and counting so I think it’s safe to say that pregnancy did not cure my PCOS.

That being the case, if I want a second baby (and I do, I really, really do) that will most likely mean getting my feet wet in IVF waters again.    To be honest, I’m not really sure how that makes me feel.  I know I can physically face doing another IVF, I mean after six of them, what is one more?  I think I could handle another IVF failure emotionally.  I definitely know that the sense of desperation that I felt doing fertility treatments won’t be the same because I do have Kade in my life now.

What makes me unsure is this.  I’m in a good place mentally.  I don’t want to get sucked back into the whole ttc frame of mind.  I worry that I won’t be able to stop trying for a second baby if after one or two IVF’s we havent yet succeeded.  I really don’t want to get back to being that obsessive person that I was before we hit the jackpot with IVF number 6.

I guess I will bide my time and see how things pan out.  Cliff and I have discussed the “timeline” for heading into IVF waters again.  If I am not by some miracle (and it will be a miracle) pregnant naturally by next year, we’ll contact our FS and start looking at heading into our next IVF.

I can only hope and pray that I either manage to conceive by some miracle before then, or that if we do head into IVF again that it takes first time round now that I have already had a pregnancy and live birth.

Time will tell.  As it always does.

Expectation vs Reality

I learnt very important lessons this weekend in expectation vs reality.  Two very different but very defining events happened in my life that taught me that in life expectation is not quite what you get in reality.

The first event happened on Saturday afternoon.  We were at a family gathering at my Mother’s house – visiting with my aunt and uncle who live in Durbs and having a grand old time with my cousins – tanning some meat and enjoying some good company.  I was sitting on the floor of my mom’s lounge chatting to my aunts and my mom and playing with Kade when he stood up, used me to steady himself and just looked at me with this determined look on his face.  I scooted back two or three paces, opened my arms to him and said “come…”  And right then and there with all the hubhub of people laughing and chatting around us, my boy took his first two tentative unaided steps into my welcoming arms.

I expected that the moment he took his first steps would be awesome.  But reality was so much better than I could ever have thought it was going to be.  The look of pure joy and exultation on his little face as he showed me he trusted me enough to walk to me took my breath away.  The hearty giggle as he wrapped his arms around me neck wound it’s way into my heart and will be forever branded in my memory.

Lesson 1 : Reality can outweigh expectation in ways you could never imagine, if you just immerse yourself in the moment.

The second event was Mother’s Day.

For years I’ve dreamed about what it would be like to finally get to celebrate this special day with a child of my own instead of only as a child celebrating my mother.  Too many years I’ve cried as my heart broke cos my arms were empty.  I had built this day up to be something so special in my minds eye.

I don’t know what I really expected and imagined  but know I had images of the day being filled with appreciatin for me as a Mother and maybe some flowers and a nicely cooked meal and some time out to have an afternoon snooze or something… instead Mothers day was a very normal and run of the mill day for me filled with food shopping, washing bottles and making my family lunch.    I am hurt and disappointed but am working hard on moving past the hurt of having the image of what I expected burst.

Lesson 2:  Learn to not let your expectations get ahead of you – you will always end up hurt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about expectation vs reality and the lessons I’ve learned this weekend.  I guess the trick is to always be grateful and happy with the blessings you have in life and to live for each moment you get.  To find the joy and the celebration in even the mundane.  To temper expectation to be more realistic so hurts don’t hamper the joy you should find in the normal.

Reality is all we have in the end.  I want to ensure that I make the best of the reality I’ve got – cos when all is said and done, my reality is actually pretty darn awesome.

 

Celebrations

The internet and social media sites are afire with Mother’s day.   It seems that everwhere you look you are being reminded to Thank Mom and tell her how special she is.

In years gone by, Mother’s day used to be a time of such bittersweetness for me.  I would send out texts to my friends who were Mom’s wishing them joy on this special day.  Then I would sent out texts to my friends who were like me – sad and feeling totally inadequate – telling them that one day we too would be able to celebrate Mother’s day as Mom’s ourselves.

In the early years I would go to Church and stand there choking back tears and swallowing HARD against the lump in my throat.  In the latter years I full out avoided going to church.  My heart just could not bear the hurt it caused.  Because in the midst of my infertility as much as I tried to bolster the hearts of my fellow infertile friends, I got to the point where I didn’t believe my own rainbow fart messages to them.

And then.  It was over.  Last Mother’s day I celebrated in spectacular fashion – it was my baby shower and I was finally enjoying this day in a way I had never believed I would.

This year, I will be celebrating Mother’s day with a vibrant, funny, amazing little boy to snuggle with.  I am sure that my hubby will find a way to make me feel really special on my first Mother’s day with my baby on the outside of my body.

Yes I’ll be celebrating this day – finally, fully embracing it.

Yet, I know that come Sunday I will stand in Church and fight HARD against a lump in my throat as I remember my special friends who are still fighting hard against their own lumps.  I will shed a tear for those whose hearts are so wanting to embrace a day of celebration of Motherhood but whose hurts hold them back from it…

My prayers on Sunday will be with these special friends, believing that one day they too will be able to share fully in the joy this day brings.

To all Mom’s and Mom’s in waiting  – I wish you a very Happy and Special Mother’s Day.

Blown Away…

I am really blown away each and every day that goes past that THIS:

became THIS:

and continues to grow and become more and more of THIS:

So much of deliciousness!