When Romance Comes To Stay

lovers

There have been many times I have pitifully sulked about how unromantic and unemotional my Husby is.  Sometimes we joke with each other about how he would cry over that…if he had tear ducts.  Or, about how he doesn’t do romance too romantically, if you know what I mean.  He is far from self centered, but somewhat lost in the doting department.

There was this one time we were out and I was having a great time with morning sickness.  We’d been out for a few hours when I went up to him feeling really sick and faint, and asked if we could go home.  I don’t know that it really sunk in because he instantly responded, “Sure, you take the kids, and I’ll get a lift with someone.” I think he started to understand when I gave him the, ‘Are you actually serious?’ stare, and quickly changed his response to, “Can I go get a coffee first?”  Sure lover, I’ll just go faint in the corner…enjoy your coffee, drink it fast, so maybe I can heave in the empty cup on the way home.

It’s ok, he was sorry, we laughed a lot about it after.  Some men’s skeletons are made with roses and soppy poems engraved into every one of their bones…some I think, only have that in one bone.

And it’s ok!

Because romance Is only sometimes your bedroom floor flickering with candlelight and rose petals.  It’s only sometimes strawberries and champagne in a love heart shaped hot air ballon floating over the meadows at sunrise.  It’s only sometimes surprise dinner on the 1000th floor of the tallest building in the history of ever, while you watch fireworks burst out the window below.  Romance is only sometimes in the things, sometimes in the explosions of Wow, and always in the heart of your one and only – whatever that expression looks like for them.

We had the most unromantic, romantic week the other week.  So much so, it opened my eyes (only after 8 years, haha!) to the fact, that sometimes romance dances under the surface of the most unromantic situations, and the way your dashing husband or wife bestows that upon you, may just not be how you envision romance.  So take a step back, and look deeper, because chances are, your lover has probably been romancing you a lot, maybe you just haven’t noticed.

I never thought in the face of pain and the unkown, that sweet romance could surface, but it did! And it turned a horrible few days into some very romantic ones.  How is this possible you may ask??!  Oh, the sweet mystery of love.

I was curled up on a chair in hospital late one afternoon a couple of weeks ago with an ache in my belly, waiting to be summoned in for an emergency ultrasound my doctor had organised.  He suspected, some kind of concealed placental abruption.  I was totally oblivious to what that actually  means…apart from the mild google search I had done early that sent me into a slight panic, so I had shut it down and told myself that google stories are bad, and surely this can’t be that bad.

By the time I got called in, it was past 5 in the afternoon and since my husby was at work, I figured he’d go straight home when he finished and I would meet him back there when I was done.  The ultrasound lady didn’t say a lot, but she was taking a lot of photos of my sore spot.  It had been a while, when suddenly my man came into the little dark room, sat down next to me and softly grabbed my hand.  He then helped my sore and sorry self off the bed when it was all over, and sweetly helped me hobble back to the waiting room.  I had plans!  I was going to go to the shops on the way home to buy him all his favourite things to cook for him the next day for his birthday.  I was going home to see our wilds and kiss them all over their little faces because I hadn’t seen them all day.  I was going home to light a candle for my Dad who had died 7 years ago that day, and I never missed lighting his candle dammit!  I was going to sit by our warm fire, having dinner with my love watching the stupid state of origin.

And then the midwife came in, sat down next to us and said what I wasn’t even expecting…”You’re placenta has started to lift and there is a bleed…we’re admitting you, are you ok with this?” To which I replied, “No I’m not,” haha, I was only telling Nic a few minutes earlier how much I was looking forward to going home…it had been long ass day.

So Wonderhubby pulls out a piece of paper and starts writing a list of food to buy for me because he didn’t want me to be hungry, and after much procrastinating because he didn’t want to leave, left to go buy stuff.  Only, not long after, my doctor came in to talk to me.  He explained everything again – a little more in depth – and concluded, “You need to decide if you want to keep your baby, because there are chances you could deliver, or may need to if this doesn’t heal.” I was only three days away from being 24 weeks – what they consider a baby as ‘viable’ for delivery, but with very high chances of severe disability.  From 23 weeks, they will offer your baby everything medically possible to help survival but do not recommend it.  Infact, they don’t recommend it until 27 weeks gestation which for me, felt like forever away.  My doctor went to leave, but as I would have to go to Sydney if we were going to try and keep our baby alive, he needed an answer within 10 minutes so he could organise a plane and a bed.

I called Nic, who had an armful of food at the shops, which he abandoned and raced back up to the hospital and we looked at each other, making what felt like the worst decision ever.  Keep your beautifully healthy baby, who you feel kicking around inside you every single day, who, if born now, may never be able to walk or talk or speak or eat ever.  That, or let them go….

Impossible.

Like if the worst happened that they were preparing for, the decision we made in the next 10 minutes determined everything.

But everything within the both of us said Sydney and the choice was made.

So I was jabbed with my Anti D needle, bloods taken and set up with a huge cannula in my arm, while they arranged a bed in a Sydney hospital.  It wasn’t long before the doctors decided it was safest to keep me put overnight as there was no bed in Sydney and they didn’t want me stuck between two hospitals in case I bled out.  Glamorous huh.

So they prepped however many litres of blood they needed for me incase the worst happened overnight, and let me get comfortable for the night.  And Wonderhubby was right there, getting me extra blankets, passing me everything I couldn’t reach, sleeping in a chair the whole night by my side incase something happened.

He waited with me till we had some more answers the next day, and went to smash out some work while I waited for a plane to come and pick me up.  It was coming at 7:30 that night, and Nic was still at work finishing up with some customers when I let him know about an hour before.  I told him don’t worry about coming to say bye, just go home and have some rest.  I was in the ambulance at the airport waiting for the plane to land, trying to cure myself of clostraphobia within the next 5 minutes instead of freaking out, when the side door opened and Nic appeared inside, walking straight to be by my side.  He’d hurried up to the hospital when he finished work, ran up the corridors to see me before I left, got told I’d just gone, and raced out to the airport to catch me before I flew away.  Naaaawww.

He romanced my heart so much in all those little moments over the last two days.  And it was the most unromantic setting, the most unromantic scenes playing out, but the most romantic and sweet actions from my husband.

And I saw his romance in the rush, I saw it in the kisses on my forehead while I was strapped to a bed in the back of an ambulance, it was in the tears that came when he prayed his baby and his wife would be ok, it was in the sparkle in his eyes when he kissed me while I was wrapped in a hospital blanket with a giant cannula hanging out of my arm, I saw it in him standing at the door of the plane, blowing me kisses and mouthing, ‘I love you’, until the door shut.  It was in him opening the door for me every time I got in and out of the car after he picked me up from hospital in Sydney, and it was in his apologising for every bump he drove over because he didn’t want to hurt me.  It was in every little thing that I often overlook and everything I used to just expect of him but never saw the romance in.

It was no fancy dinner under the stars with violin players and fire dancers.  But every one of his actions made me feel so loved, so wrapped up in his fire, so treasured to him, so glamorous in the most unglamorous of places…(c’mon, the ward I was in, they called the leakers and bleeders…there ain’t nothing turn me on about that).  But he was there to laugh with me about it and hold me close…because that’s what you do.  (Insert bleeding love jokes here)

Now I think of it, he actually is romantic.  The way he kisses my forehead every night before he goes to sleep, even when we’re mad at each other.  The way he says I love you and does a kiss at the end of every phone call, even if the call is just to say, don’t forget the toilet paper.  The way he calls me lover 99% of the time, greets me with a big smile, hug, and probably some sort of grab whenever he sees me, or how he takes every opportunity we stay somewhere with a bathtub to fill it up for me and insist I relax for a while.  It’s the lots of little every day things that I often take for granted.

You might sit there thinking, well, anyone would be by there wife while she’s in hospital.  You’re right, and I’m glad he was there with me.  But I’m also glad my eyes were opened to see the beautiful glimpses of how soft his heart is, when so often I miss it.  I’ve found that looking beyond my own idea of what romance is, and see the unique way my husband expresses that to me, that I really appreciate his love for me.  It’s not how I want it to be all the time, and let’s be honest, that is important too (and a whole other story), but it’s just simply seeing your one and only how they are, and how they do things, and loving that.  You have to work on the excitement and mystery in love…always…but there is no place too unromantic that it can’t be done.

Get creative lovers!

Xx

Oh, and if you were wondering!  My placenta healed up super quick, our little baby is doing great, and every week is getting us closer to D Day!

The Bootifful You

13654266_10153812815357339_1198147839031635224_n

“You’re so sweet.”  I said to my three year old girl after she had ditched her dinner to run into my room where I was resting and planted about 27 kisses, one after the other, on my cheek.  She started twirling around on the spot and very matter of factly replied, “No Mum, I’m bootifful!” and continued twirling confidently with her cheeky smile, repeating, “I’m bootifful, I’m bootifful!”

I looked at her twirling next to me – in her pyjamas, hair half fallen out of it’s messy bun and smears of dinner on her face – and my heart melted.  I was so smitten by her, looking with love pouring out of my heart at how precious she is, and so captivated…she knew the truth…she IS beautiful.  But suddenly, part of my insides felt shattered…what if that truth gets stolen from her one day and she believes the lie that invades so many girls’ lives?

To be honest she has always challenged me…from the moment she was born, her slimy little body placed on my chest, and I heard the midwives say, “it’s a girl.”  I was petrified in that moment.  What if I didn’t know how to raise a girl?  I grew up being a tom boy.  I’d rather be trying to get my head around the mechanics of a car or chasing stinky cows around a paddock with their sloppy turds splashing up on me (ok, just kidding about the turds).  I used to show up the boys when we were ringing sheep nuts and trying to shear sheep, and was the usual instigator of mud wars.  I’d never had nails in my life until I started hair dressing and I snorted every time I laughed.  And while I loved being a girl, and despite guy after guy confessing their undying ‘love’ for me throughout my teenage years, I had fallen for that lie…I wasn’t beautiful.

After holding my sweet baby girl’s little body against mine that morning she was born, I pep talked myself in the hospital.  I can raise a confident girl…heck I can even raise a girly girl.

Lettie

I love her soul – she is sweetness to the core.  She sings her way through the day, and will dance to every ad break on tv, every time I sing around the house, every song that plays…she will dance and dance.  I caught her one day dancing to an ad on tv, when her brother changed the channel halfway through, she turned around and pointed her finger at him, narrowed her piercing, blue eyes down and said, “You let me dance!” Haha…she gets so mad at him when he does that.  She’s so abandoned, so unashamed, so confident and bright.

And I think that one of our roles as parents to our little ones is to daily build them up.  And Dad’s with girls…you take the lead with this!  To speak into them the truth of who they really are, before the world tells them otherwise.  To not just verbally encourage them and build them, but show them their worth through our actions, and our time we give them.

But on top of this…model it to them in your own life.  Walk your own life in confidence.  Challenge yourself to know and believe your true beauty and uniqueness – just like you want your children to.  Model to them not just how to treat others, which is so important, but how also to treat YOURSELF.  There are so many aspects to this.  Model it in your marriage…how you and your spouse treat each other – this is so important!  Model it to them in your relationship with your friends and your family.

Model it in your relationship with yourself.

Place value on others, but don’t forget to place value on yourself.  Physically, mentally, emotionally….

They watch us, their eyes are ever present soaking in how we do things – the big and the little.  And from my little girl who is only three years old…I am so challenged to better myself, and believe in myself, and be a role model that she needs and will continue to need as she grows up.

Because we all want our girls to know, that despite what the world may tell them…the TRUTH is that they are beautiful, they are valuable, they are unique,

and they are E N O U G H…

Xx

let

Loving Your Life When It’s a Mess

The last year and a half for us has presented truly challenging and unpleasant circumstances – which guys, happens to us all, am I right?  Like when I step back and take an overview of what our lives look like right now, I see smashed up Humpty Dumpty egg pieces fallen on the ground.

Relate?  Looks impossible doesn’t it.

And it’s really easy in those times to hate it (which actually, it’s OK to hate it) but I have never been one to be down about something and stay down about it, and I never want to be.  Because, what would you do if I said you can love it.  You can love the balls off your messy life and you can soar through your mess like a boss even when it hurts.

It’s possible…

How?

… BE THANKFUL …

And I have to say this is my favourite lesson I have learnt of all.

In the midst of a lot of hard, and let’s just say crappy stuff last year – when it actually felt like we had nothing,  I began to slowly look around me and at our lives and really, really realize what we have.  How blessed we are.  What amazing things we behold.  I could start listing them off and I can honestly say, it would be an enormously long list.  Yes, even when I wanted nothing more than to be removed from our goings on and set into a much nicer, lighter place, realizing what we have, and walking around every day, thanking God for all that we have, changed my perspective massively.  Like even when your girl’s third birthday cake was a pile of mashed banana with a candle in it…I learnt to celebrate HER LIFE without the extras (that do make it nice by the way) but I realized that there is something quite special about being stripped of everything and being left bare and raw, and simply left with what really matters… BE THANKFUL …

… BE VULNERABLE …

When your life is a bit of a mess, it’s really hard to speak up and authentically share with others.  But you were not meant to stand alone in anything, and having the strength and support of other’s loving arms around you, not just helps you get through, but helps you to keep a steady mind and a positive outlook.  And let’s not forget the all important shoulder to weep on and saturate with nose boogers…we all need that person.

… MAKE PLANS …

Everyone’s life messes look different and vary in time periods…of course!  But please don’t ever stop dreaming.  As long as there is breath in your lungs, you have a hope for your future.  I believe everyone has dreams, and while some may be crushed or completely destroyed by circumstances, it’s not the end.  Sometimes the end of one dream, is the beginning of another.  Yes, even if it wasn’t in your plan.  Life has a way of surprising us sometimes, and I am a massive believer in good things coming out of rotten situations.  Nothing is ever impossible.  So dream and make plans…because you cannot go anywhere if you’re not moving.

… LAUGH …

Ok, let’s not belittle the fact that when you’re a bit smashed, you may just need a big cry or yell or punch up session.  But it doesn’t help any to continually stay in that place.  It’s so important to laugh and not lose your humour amongst the mess.  Many do and it makes me sad.  It’s easy to not feel like laughing but when you do, it’s releasing and uplifting, and don’t get me started on the brilliant hormones it releases into your body and soul!

… PRAISE …

So this may not apply to us all, but I believe in God who is Love and bigger than any mess I face.  I was so challenged starting last year about praising God when I didn’t feel like it one bit.  Because sometimes it felt like He had forgotten all about us – and although I know He hadn’t, it felt like it, our situation felt like it, and sometimes feelings have a way of taking over and taking us on a trip to rock bottom.  I mean, we were there, but honestly, the one thing that helped us in a major way was praise.  Because God is good.  and He always is.  So every time I was disheartened, or frustrated, or completely distraught, I forced myself to praise God and it did amazing things.  Because suddenly my eyes were fixed on God – the one who holds my life and my future and who is bigger than anything I’m going through – and they were off my circumstances and crappy life mess.

Even though right now, things are still pretty messy, and we have some big decisions to make…I’m super glad that I default to these things now.  Ok, life, you look like a giant corn turd right now, but I’m ok with that, because I will learn, I will grow, I will move from strength to strength and I will rest in God who holds my future, even my tomorrow.  And that sits pretty well with me, because at the end of this…we’re not going to just be OK, we’re going to be victorious.

So can I please assure you that your life is not like Humpty Dumpty – who, poor egg – couldn’t be put back together when he fell.  Your life may feel broken and messy and fallen apart, but the truth of the matter, is that it absolutely is possible for your life to be healed and whole, even if right now, you’re smashed into pieces, scattered on the ground.  Your life and circumstances will be mended – because it’s not left up to the King’s horses and King’s men…it’s left up to the King Himself.

r

Why Does My Kid Smell Like a Pancake

Google.

I have to admit, I like google…a lot.  I use it…a lot.  It comes in second to my Mum because you can ask it A N Y T H I N G.  And no matter how storming outrageous your question for google is, you can guarantee that someone, somewhere has already asked the same stupid thing.  It makes you feel less stupid really doesn’t it.

So my toddler smelt like a vanilla pancake today…allll daaaay.  Every time I picked her up – it was like I was cuddling a fluffy pancake (quite nice really), and every time I opened her door after she had a nap, pancake smell wafted out.  It was so strange.

So naturally I went to bed wondering why on earth does she smell like this.  I mean, it’s bloody hot here…sweat smell, I would understand, poo, yea not really unusual.  Pancakes…it was different you know.  As I was laying in bed, the thought of googling did occur to me, just being honest.  But I wouldn’t do it because that is a really stupid question to ask google right?  Turns out it’s been asked before.  I know, because I actually did end up googling it.  Also turns out I shouldn’t have googled it, because there was some really nasty answers in there.  Like mutated, diseased answers.  Answers that, true to form of googling stupid stuff, leave you freaking out and more confused.

You know what else people have googled?  Ok, too much stuff to write in a blog, but have you ever googled, “Why does my toddler smell like fish?”  “Why do they smell like mud?” “Why does their poo smell like fish?” (Possibly because the ate fish for dinner last night…just a wild stab there).  “Why does my child lick me?”  I will not google that last question, but my child is a mother licker so please tell me if you know the answer to that. Or my favourite, “Where do lost socks go when they go missing?”  Yes Mr Google, where DO they go?

You know what, I almost feel sorry for google.

Getting overloaded with random, crappy, stupid questions every day.

Like, “Am I pregnant?”

Apparently google is a pregnancy test now too?  Pretty sure unless google had something to do with the insemination, google would clearly not know the answer to this.  But people ask this question, I know, because I googled it once.  Please don’t ask me why.  I don’t know.  Probably something to do with rash hormones and trying to self diagnose.  You know when you have every pregnancy symptom under the sun, but no positive test…It really does your head in.  Because google knows, that if you’re not pregnant than you must have some sought of awful uterine plague that is destructive and…..Wait…it must be menopause…20 years early.   You freak out.  You make plans to start your family now or complete your family now, because in a few years time it might be too late.

But we all do stupid stuff right?

Did you know that there is even a website dedicated to stupid google questions?  I kid you not guys….I know, because I googled it. Maybe even my questions have made it on there.

So here’s some advice from me.

R E L A X….Don’t do it.

Don’t google that question.  Because google knows, if you do, you will probably leave your web browser with an incurable disease, an iphone 6 that can’t bend and rubbing cow saliva on the bald patch on your head.

Xx

screenshot_2017-01-26-21-36-34

When Your Little Boy Turns 5

20170112_193048

Our little boy turned 5 on Thursday.  Or, not so little boy anymore.  5 just feels like such a big milestone in the life of a child!  It’s like they go from little preschooler, still totally dependent on you, in to all the little kid toys that you’ve had for years – to this school aged, overflowing with testosterone, alphabet reciting, independent, grown up boy, who seems to be so quickly edging away from the shelter of your Mumma wing, and diving into his own world of growth, discovery and adventure.

The night before his birthday, he called me in to his room where he was laying in bed, and asked me to lay next to him for a while.  He snuggled in to my side and, loudly whispered about all the things that were running through his mind.  It was the sweetest and weirdest moment – laying there thinking about how 5 years ago, he was this tiny little bundle inside my belly, about to come out and meet us for the very first time, and now he’s a loud little wild, full of compassion, and love, and energy unfathomable.  A boy totally his own with the most enormous imagination I’ve ever encountered.  He suddenly went from rolling on the floor, playing with rattles and chewing his dummy, to making his superhero figurines fight each other at my feet, while they save the world and ward off evils.

2012-01-13 18.55.44

I was so captivated by the moment with my little boy, cherishing his loud whispers, his stories, his excitement as we lay there snuggled together.  And when I got up to go, and he asked me to stay, “just a little bit longer Mum”  I couldn’t say no.  Because suddenly, I was engulfed in this sadness that in years to come he probably won’t want me laying next to him on his bed at night, while he snuggles into me and tells me his stories.  How much longer will he want me to sing him ‘Jesus loves me’ when he goes to bed at night, and make up a silly story about pirate mice who sailed the seas.  The big sloppy kisses he begs to give me, his mud coated arms wrapped around my neck, and his cheeky bum wiggles waving at me as he passes me.  All the running races, climbing trees together, hide and seek, monster fighting, skateboarding lessons, and following our enormous map to find the hidden treasure, will soon be a memory.  All too soon, I will need to say goodbye to this little boy – my little boy – and hello to a young man, as he inevitably grows up, has new interests, even more testosterone and eventually flies the nest.

12734168_10153453292117339_6294937243823988253_n

All in a moment, I feel so excited to get to see him live his life as the warrior I know he was born to be.  I feel sad that these moments will all too soon be gone.  I feel frightened that it’s not enough time.  Enough time to build him up, let him know his uniqueness, importance and value, and the fear of failing him sometimes sneaks in.  I want to scream at him to STOP!  Stop growing so fast!  But every part of me just wants to embrace every day with him, even the things that annoy me – because they may soon be some of the things that I miss.  The time for him to fully slip out from underneath my wing, will soon be here, but right now, I’m learning to release him slowly into all he is made to be.

14142069_10153940227317339_7315086277017317920_n

To my wild little Chadd, the outrageous boy, with the biggest heart of compassion, who stole my heart, made me a Mumma, and never fails teaching me life lessons.  I love life with him and I’ll hold on to these moments with you forever.

Xx

20160507_134659

To The Mumma Who Lost Her Baby

october-infant-loss-month-2013-e1381334172751

To the Mumma who lost her baby

I see you, bravely showing up, smiling despite the whirling thoughts and questions churning in your mind.  I see the love, yet grief in your eyes as you look at your friend’s little baby and you wonder what your baby would be like if they were here with you now.

I know that those thoughts will never ever stop – with you every single day – what would their voice sound like, their laugh, would they be cheeky, or sensitive, or would they remind you of yourself.  Would they love the dirt squishing between their toes as they help you in the garden, would they have a love for music or art or sport.

What would their arms around your neck feel like, or their little lips on your cheek.  You can only imagine waking in the morning to their wild bed hair in your face and their little body jumping on top of you with contagious joy that it’s a new day.  You imagine their spot at the dinner table and what they would be chatting about if they were here with you, or would they be a fierce competitor and smash you in the family game of cricket on Christmas day.

And it’s hard…it’s so hard to face the reality every day, that you cannot hold them in your arms, or sing them a bedtime song, or kiss their rosy cheeks.  And that reality slaps you even harder when it would be their birthday, or the day that they slipped away from your arms of unending love for them.

But I want you to give yourself permission to mourn, and to grieve the life that you carried, and held dreams for, and nurtured and loved with your whole entire being.  And I want you to give yourself permission to celebrate – to celebrate the life that you carried and held dreams for, and nurtured and loved with your whole entire being.  And I want you to give yourself permission to speak to those who will listen, about your grief, and celebrate with others their life.

I know you feel mis-understood and I’m sorry that not everyone gets it.  My heart hurts for you that not everyone sees your pain or understands what great and unimaginable loss you have experienced.  Because your baby cannot be replaced by another.  Your baby will always be a part of you that you will never forget.   Many times you feel so consumed by the empty whole that is left in your heart, that you wonder if it will ever heal.  Your heart matters dear Mumma.  Your hurt matters.  And while it’s so hard to see beyond the pain some days, there will come a day where your heart will be made whole again.  Not because you have forgotten or moved on.  No.  But because you’ve allowed yourself the space to grieve and to wonder, to let the tears roll down and to let yourself be raw.  It’s ok to be desperately sad.   God is holding your heart, softly healing, love flowing over.

You will always be their Mumma, they will always be your baby, and one day, may you see them again, and what a beautifully exquisite meeting that will be.

Xx

The Year I Hoped Would Never Happen

1010358_10153350676567339_2550358892856285333_n

It’s birthday week this week – Our little Squish is one.  I know, I’m finding it hard to believe it myself.  Where did the last year go?  What did we do?  Since when was it October again?  Like always, I reminisced on the last year of our lives since Aracely was born, and the only phrase swirling around in my mind, shouting louder than anything else, was, “We survived.”

And Oh, I felt awful for thinking that…but all truth be told, we survived and that is exactly how I felt about the last year.    Not to say that it wasn’t beautiful and magnificent and a joy and a delight…it was all that, but it was more.  It was rough, it was horribly sleep deprived, emotional, hard, draining, it was lonely…it was everything I never imagined it to be and everything I hoped it wouldn’t be.

And while I stand on the other side, well and alive and full of hope and strength and joy, I can’t brush off everything that happened.  I can’t push it aside and forget it, because too many others are out there going through the same thing I just came through, and too many others are doing it ALONE.

But there is a reason there is a well-known saying from ages old that states, “It takes a village.”  Not just to raise well to do children, but to rise up a Mother, a warrior, a unique individual that will soar above everything Motherhood brings.  It takes a village…of support, of love, of trustworthy humans who stand beside, and if nothing else, listen, smile with them, cry with them, console them, hold them up and then, pull them up and equip them to use all that they have been through as steps to further herself and her family…

For me the first part of the last year was endless days of crippling anxiety that would taunt me almost daily. It was week after week of barely being able to function normally, of being a wreck consistently in front of my husband and children.  It was gathering up every bit of anything I had within me to go to church on a Sunday and keep myself together because I was too afraid I would be seen as unfit to be a Mother.  It was one time driving down the highway, hoping I could crash and go into a coma so I didn’t have to endure the constant swirling in my mind.  It was wanting desperately to escape, and wanting desperately to stay.  It was countless times of driving around in the car trying to conjure up something within me to walk into the hospital and ask for help, but backing out every time, for fear that our children would be taken off me.   It was considering how to adopt out our baby girl at 3am in the morning after months and months of no sleep because, I couldn’t see a way we would get through as everything continued.  It was feeling fine for days – even weeks – alternating with feeling completely overridden. One night I went in to my other children’s bedroom while they slept, to say one last goodbye because I didn’t think I had the strength to make it, and honestly, I thought that they would be better off without me.

Now I know that reading this sounds so dramatic and out there and crazy and many other things.  Call it what you will, but it was my reality for a large part of our third baby’s first year of life.  It was savage post natal depression and anxiety, and it was all that too many other Mother’s experience, and experience alone.  And they experience it alone because as much as we don’t want to be alone in it, it’s so very hard to bowl up to someone and say everything I just wrote.

It takes a village.

When I started my blog page – Wonderlands of Grace – it was my distraction, my outlet that let me put my thoughts on paper, to refocus on the greatness in my life, it was even somewhat healing.  All along I thought that I needed more grace to parent our children, to deal with the ins and outs of the day.  Until I realized, it wasn’t them, it was me.  It was me who needed that grace, it was me walking through my own wonderland of Grace that I didn’t even realize until later through the year.  It was a year of discovering, uncovering, and keeping my whole self planted in what I knew to be truth, while the waves tried to consume me.  It was being peeled back to utter rawness, and exposing the night season to eliminate its power over me.  And I won.  Not because I fought, but because I learnt to rest, and let go and trust, in my God who I knew was roaring over me – even when I felt like He wasn’t.  It was a year of seeing beauty in the ashes, of living from a place of abandonment and intimacy on my Father’s lap, close to His heart.  It was a year I am grateful for, and year that I will use as a step to my future.

So here is something I have wanted to start since not long after our baby girl was born.  Something small – an interactive support page for all Mother’s in their fourth trimester and beyond.  It is a page where you can go and blurt and other’s can encourage.  A page free of judgement.  A page of mother’s banding together to support each other so that No one ever has to stand alone in this season of Motherhood.  A page where you can meet and greet and swap contacts and stand beside other like-minded mother’s, whether you’re in a rough season or a great season. Where you can jump on at 4am after being up all night with a screaming baby and know someone will answer you because they’ve been up too.  Where you can vent your frustrations because you’ve been stuck on the lounge feeding your newborn ALL DAY and you’re so numb, you’re not sure if you can do it anymore.  Also, any older Mother’s who have been here and done this, please jump on! We would love to have you on board to equip and encourage.  I will also begin to release a fortnightly podcast in the coming weeks (but please be patient, I’m extremely un-technological here!).  This is in the hope that for anyone who was in the same position as I was this year, will have the opportunity to find support and encouragement and not for one moment feel alone, because we are created to be Joyful Mothers of children.

Follow this link to find out more! https://www.facebook.com/4thtrimestersupportandbeyond

So here’s to our little Squish.  Our beautiful, brilliant little baby daughter.  I love everything about her – her crinkled ear, her amazing, enourmous smile, her infectious laugh, and the way her nose wrinkles up when she grins, but most of all I love her heart and the way she loves people.  She has taught me so much in her first year of life and I love living life as her Mumma.

Love and Blessings all!

Felicity

Xx