Tuesday, August 28, 2012

at our place...

*garden bread recipe compliments of Kate

last week was a week of soaring emotions, both irrational and justified,
a week of making the most of opportunities to get out into that fresh crisp ocean air, collecting treasures and playing make believe
a week of trying new things, learning new skills and playing with the new camera
a week of making and gifting and naps in the middle of the day
of fuelling our bodies with good nutritious food and baking lots of tasty treats
a week of immense pride in our big boys amazing talent for writing, and a growing personality that seems destined for the stage
a week of de-cluttering, buying fresh flowers, dinner guests and the odd tantrum
of nursing sick boys in the middle of the night, and sipping on good old fashioned cold remedies
and a week of decompressing and looking very much forward to Spring...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

this and that..and thank you

I want to thank you all so very much for your comments and emails on my last post.  Thank you to those of you who shared personal experiences, they were of great comfort and warmed my heart immensely.  A visit from my Mum and Dad did wonders too.  I think I needed to have my freakout to get to where I am today.  I feel happy, blessed and positive.  I've decided not to let statistics dictate this pregnancy and this precious new life, but mother nature and the the love we all feel.

My beautiful parents have just left us and are officially off on their travels around Australia! I'm so excited for them.  This trip has been a long time coming, in fact, I didn't think it ever would!  My mum and dad have worked so hard their whole lives, and like most parents I suppose, life was never about them, it was always about everyone else!  I didn't think they'd ever retire and just enjoy what they've worked so hard to achieve.  This is their time, finally (I hope) it can now be all about them.  Although, if there was even an inch of room in their car or trailer we would have done our best to stow ourselves away and join them, if not just til we found warmer weather!

For someone who typically loves winter, I have to say this year it has well and truly beaten me!  I'm longing for the warmth of sunshine on bare skin, shedding layers of clothing and getting that spring back in my step.  I never thought I'd see the day when I wished for winter to just be over!  Still, Spring is just around the corner, and although there is an icy cold wind blowing out there today, the sun shines, blossoms bloom and I am going to make the most of it while it lasts...

Thursday, August 16, 2012


There's a story I feel the need to tell.  I just have to get it out of my head.  Some might relate, some I might offend, and if I do I apologise. But this is an experience I want to share.  I just do.

For months I've been planning 'the announcement' post.  One filled with cheer and happiness and blissful joy. This is all of those things, with a touch of reality thrown in.

We are having a baby.  Yes, it is joyful beyond words! We are super excited about it and feeling completely in awe of such a blessing.

This is the story so far.  Please bare in mind that as far as we know all is perfectly fine, but I write this based on my state of mind throughout...

The day I found out, admittedly I was in shock.  Worried about the impact this new little being was going to have on our family, our life.  But it's a baby! How could I be anything but thrilled!

My husband hugged me so tight.  He was happy.  Shocked, a little anxious but happy, and so excited he was already picturing those squidgy cheeks and that new born baby smell, oh that smell..

Our boys embraced the news, almost expecting it.  Asking questions, preparing their little minds, setting aside toys to keep special and making sleeping arrangements.

Then came the Doctors visit, to make everything official.  In my mind, to make necessary appointments and discuss the pregnancy generally. I was still a little shocked, but joyful and excited.  What I didn't expect, and perhaps I should have, perhaps I was being naive, but what came next, to me, was a barrage of statistics and doom based on my age alone!  Things did not look good.

I was shown graphs and figures and given pamphlets to read because "we just have to make you aware of the risks.."  I was referred to speak with a midwife in pregnancy care who might be able to discuss this with me further and cover general concerns or questions I might have.  So I went along, hoping to be put at some kind of ease, for things to be made clearer, put into perspective.  But no, it seems the facts were clear, more doom and gloom and statistics.

When I got to my car I cried so hard.  I cried for this baby, who in my mind, we had little hope of having without abnormalities.  I cried for my breaking heart and for how sad this was going to be for our family.  I called my husband who tried to make sense of what these statistics were, where do they come from and upon what facts are they based?  The logical questions you ask, which I didn't.  It was really all very straight forward.  These are just the facts.

After that, it didn't really matter what he said to console me, to help me see reason and focus on the possibility that there may in fact be nothing wrong, that we may have a perfectly healthy baby.  There was nothing I could do but hope and pray.  I booked in for the 1st trimester screening.  I just have to be strong and positive until I knew more.  But emotionally, I'd already detached.  I couldn't think about the future, imagine our life with this new baby, because what if it didn't happen.  I couldn't bare to think of the pain.  I would go through the motions of day to day.  My little people talking about the baby, thinking of names.  My husband touching my tummy so lovingly.

Being my 4th pregnancy, my body was already changing.  My belly was growing and at 10 weeks I looked close to 5 months.  So hiding it and keeping it to ourselves until we were certain was difficult.  We had to tell people, physically it was so obvious.  For those of my dear friends I haven't told, I'm sorry, I just haven't been able to make those calls.  I have been a bit numb to peoples congratulations, putting on  the happy   face I should have, the one I longed was real.  I'd agree it was wonderful and, yes, we are very excited.  But all the while my head was thinking about how to tell everyone when it all goes wrong.

I suppose what I'm trying to get across here is that the delivery of and emphasis placed on those statistics needs to be very clearly thought out.  You can't just share these facts and not expect some emotional turmoil.  Maybe I re-acted differently to most.  I don't usually see the dark side of anything.  This has been torturous.  Irrational maybe, that this has been my reaction to such information.  Maybe its because I'm older (40 by the way) and wiser and realise just how miraculous it is that I've been given 3 perfectly healthy babies already.  Who was I to expect this could happen a 4th time.  Who did I think I was to be so deserving.

After a couple of weeks waiting, and regular phone calls chasing the results to the 1st trimester screen, they still weren't in.  I had my first appointment at the pregnancy care unit (I've had all my babies in the public system, I've like it, it's always worked for me considering I'd never had any complications).  The midwife I was seeing was lovely.  She asked about the results and went to track them down when I told her I was still waiting.  She left me in the hands of her trainee to go through general paperwork.  My husband wasn't with me at this appointment.  I didn't even think of planning for him come.  From memory it was just a 'welcome', check blood pressure, urine and give you some information on what to expect when you're expecting kind of visit.

When the midwife came in with the doctor and the doctor's trainee (it's a training hospital, I'd forgotten that) there were 4 people in the room, and me alone without my husband.  After doing loads of my own research during the last couple of months I was bracing myself.  I understood that being 40 I may be at some risk, so I was prepared to hear this..I thought.  As soon as the doctor sat down, she went through the basic facts I already knew inside out based on statistics and told me that the chances of me having a baby with abnormality is 1:147....

I don't really know what she said in detail after that except that low risk was anything above 1:250 so I was thinking I was quite high.  When I burst into tears and uncontrollable sobs, she did say that I should keep in mind that I could be one of the 146 people who have a healthy baby.

As the results had taken so long, I had missed the opportunity to have a CVS to investigate in more detail early on, and if I wanted to go ahead with further testing I would need to wait until 16weeks to have the Amniocentesis. I then have to wait a further 2 weeks for those results, making the baby around 18 weeks and if anything serious is found and our decision was to terminate, if in fact we had that choice, I would need to go through a normal birth at this stage.

The doctor tried to be sympathetic and handed me back to the midwife.  She was kind, and doing her best to offer comfort.  She made appointments for my next visits and talked a little about their birthing suite, and how lovely it'll be to have my three little helpers and on and on. But all I could think was what does any of this matter? Why are we making these appointments and talking about the birth when it might not happen that way at all?!

I could hardly breathe.  I couldn't wait to get out of there.  I felt so hot and sweaty and I just wanted to cry out loud!  When finally I got back to my car, the crying was hard and loud and the ache in my heart was almost too much.  And all I could think was that I would never, ever have considered or allowed this baby to be conceived knowing that this could happen.  My husband had been trying to contact me all this time but I hadn't heard the phone.  I had to pull myself together.  I had to call him and tell him.  I had to be brave and change my mindset. Either way, healthy or not healthy, I have to enjoy this pregnancy.  It is the last.  I want to love this baby and give it every hope.  I need to be happy and positive and not stressed.

When I got home my own doctor called with the test results.  I said thank you but I already received them in my pregnancy care appointment that morning.  Fortunately, she wanted to go through them with me anyway and went on about this and that and 'so it all looks pretty good'.  I was so confused. She said my risk sat at 1:256.  This was above the cut off point, although she said the cut off was 1:300.  Still, better than before.  It turns out that the figure I was given earlier was only half of the test, it hadn't factored in the combined blood tests.

While I feel enormous relief and legitimate hope, I have serious concerns about how women are given this list of 'facts and stats'.  I know they have to make you aware, but shouldn't this be approached with a certain amount of care and council.  And perhaps before blurting out all these figures, they should also have some background information on the mother to be too.  Her health status, history, something??

I do not take for granted that this baby will be perfect, we still don't know for sure, who ever does!  But what I do know, and have to take some comfort from, is that I come from pretty good stock.  I'm not kidding myself, I know this doesn't count for everything and things can still go wrong, unexplained, whatever will be will be.  But, yes, I come from a good line of breeders (my family is huge!), we were born to do this.  Mothering and having babies is in our DNA, we're good at it.  We love pregnancy, we don't get sick during pregnancy, how lucky! Several women in my family have had perfectly healthy babies after 40, my beautiful mum included.

I'm fit, I'm healthy, I rarely get sick, I've never abused my body, I've never suffered illness and I've only ever been in hospital to give birth.  What about those odds?  Surely it's got to count for something..

I have to believe that it does.

Monday, August 13, 2012


When life gets busy and a little (a lot) overwhelming, I find myself eliminating the things that would normally occupy my daily thoughts and 'to do' lists.  I tend not to run around fraught, trying to cram in the zillion too many things to do, even though those things exist, they unconsciously get pushed to the back in some kind of manageable order of priority.  Some I suppose never get air time and just fall by the wayside, not forgotten but not done.

The part of me that deals with the 'busy' kind of shuts down, or maybe takes control is a better way of looking at it.  I think it's a strategy for coping with the big stuff.  My brain switches into survival mode and this way I can manage the most important things first.

So much of the big stuff is consuming me right now, yet ridiculously I find myself extremely calm and sometimes even with hours to spare, but I don't start something new to fill in the time.  I've eliminated the not necessary so that all I'm focusing on is keeping this little family and home running.  This is the most important stuff after all!

Helping little people to navigate their way through playground politics.  Being aware of the individual needs of three very different little boys, they all have their own big stuff going on too.  Making time to hear them, nurture their bruised spirits and share their triumphs is not always an easy feat with so many other life distractions.

Then there's my man.  Big is almost an understatement for whats going on in his world at the moment.  As much as I try to be available to him, to listen, support, love, I'm sure I'm not doing enough.  He's strong and capable and I take for granted that his own coping mechanisms are all in check.

What keeps us both positive, for the most part, is knowing what is just ahead.  We are coming to the end of a chapter and preparing to begin a new and very exciting one.  In just a couple of months more, we'll be working together (eek!) running our own business and following dreams.  Things will be very different.  I'm sure it's going to take some time for us to find our feet, but when we do, life is going to be pretty darn great!

My hubby will be saying goodbye to corporate, a life of travel, of playing the game, of forever feeling compromised.  I'll be filling those spare hours working pretty much full time from home where I will still be available if the boys are sick, or to help out at school on all those special days.

So until then, I make time to breathe, I eliminate the not necessary and brace myself for the future...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

handmade treats...

I visited our local market this morning, very happy to find my lovely and super talented friend Mandy was there with a stall full of her beautifully handmade pieces...
  so I treated myself to this pretty as a picture wrap skirt, LOVE!
the big boy keeps taking my hottie to bed so I bought him one of his own.. 
It's nice to have mine back, I have it on my knee as I sit and type..

You can visit Mandy's blog here, and her online store here.  Also keep an eye out for BOB & MABEL at some up and coming markets in the near future.  You'll love her work, her style..gorgeous!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

my creative space...soft

I've been going through my cotton stash with plans to start on something light and soft, getting the feel for Spring which is not far away now.  As much as I love winter, I'm feeling a bit drained from the cold and ready to feel warm sunshine on bare skin once again..
I've been feeling the need to crochet but not really feeling the inspiration, until I stumbled upon these soft cottons in my overflowing yarn case, and just made a start...
turns out it's a perfect knee rug, and feels so gorgeously silky and decadent draped around me.  A little chilly for this time of year, we still need those big robust woollies to curl up in for now, but later, perfect!

more creative spaces here...