Sometimes I need a filter between my brain and my mouth.
This is not the way to get one.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Things I've Learnt - This Time Around

Well, it's been 18 months since I last posted. Not that I haven't had anything to say in that time - the motivation to sit down and type it out wasn't there.

At. All.

I have been doing things, and generally speaking my Facebook page reflects that. The most significant events? Surviving being a SAHM to 2 of the most headstrong girls on the planet, the eldest starting transition (2014) and now Year 1 and discovering the terrifying world of school pick-up and school drop-off. If high school didn't prepare me for a world of 'your body fat percentage is over 1% - you are therefore a lower grade version of a person', then holy cow has being a school mum opened my eyes! Personally I think all these women have shares in a spandex production company and are afraid that demand is falling.

The beginning of year 1, January 2015.

On the bright side, it means I still get to be the cool mum who volunteers in the classroom and who knows all the kids names. I did it all through transition. Brain food prep, listening to the kids read, helping with craft - I rocked the shit out of it all!! Miss H has a cult following, but is far less comfortable with the popularity than I am. The kids are also fascinated by my bump.

Oh - did I not mention my bump? Well, it's just one more thing I've been doing...growing a baby brother for our 2 girls while trying not to lose what little sanity I have left. That's a daily battle which isn't always successful -  but I have high hopes of rehabilitation once I'm no longer pregnant.

Bump Announcement!

This pregnancy has been far from easy. I look back on pregnancy 1 and 2 with fondness and remember the carefree days of being able to waddle my way around without a care in the world. Yes, there was the odd occurrence of nausea and I'll admit to eating my body weight in chocolate donuts during my first foray into the world of cravings. There was even a moment of disgust and horror when I realised I had been sitting at my desk eating watermelon coated in gravy without a single hesitation.

Truly, I figured I had already conquered the dark side of growing people and there was nothing left to be afraid of.

Cue pregnancy 3.

Holy mother of all that is truly fucked up on this planet, was I wrong. I had never really heard of Hyperemesis Gravidarum before - and mostly it was in relation to Princess Kate when she was growing George. It seemed like an exotic and high class way of saying 'Kate is spending most of her days face-timing with her gold-leaf toilet block and not having the strength to wash the spew from her hair'.

I was in this unenviable position from weeks 9 to 30. And this included Christmas. Christmas, people! The one time of year you won't be judged for the volume consumed at the table, and then on the couch and possibly later, while laying in bed.

The exhaustion following Christmas shopping.

Browsing for the Christmas menu.
It also co-incided with The Man taking a road trip to Queensland with his brother. For 2 weeks. While I alternated between trying to keep a 5yo, a 2yo, a dog and a cat alive with removing my head from the toilet bowl long enough to sip some water.

It wasn't pretty, and to all those Mum's out there that have experienced this and had the strength/courage/insanity to risk it again and again to complete their families - you have my unending admiration and sympathies. We knew this baby would be our last, regardless. After The Man got home, I was fully prepared to perform his vasectomy on the kitchen bench with a blunt knife and then check myself in to a mental institution.

Bump progression.

By week 30, things had settled enough that my stomach no longer rattled with the volume of medications I was on. I was enjoying spending less time with the toilet bowl, and more time outside with my children and re-introducing myself to a lovely thing called 'food' and another called 'life'. I should have relished it more.

She lost her first tooth!

A certain someone learned to swim.

And this girl just continued with her Hayley Lewis skills.

Bump progression in bathers.

Participating in her school swim carnival. Participation was a lot different in my day!

We enjoyed the rain.

Further bump progression.

Someone upgraded to a big girl bed.

Week 32+6 - CONTRACTIONS!! Initially I thought it was just Braxton Hicks, but memory served long enough to remind me that they weren't supposed to hurt. Or come at regular intervals, specifically intervals that grew shorter while the pains lasted longer. Or give you the familiar sensation in your nether regions of birthing your second the front seat of the car.

I remained in denial while The Man called the hospital. While the hospital issued orders to get my arse in the car. While my Mum came over to stay with the girls. I refused to take a bag, a change of clothes - I wasn't even bothered by the fact that I had left my phone on the charger at home because I KNEW it would all stop in the car and I'd be home from the hospital in under 2 hours.

Sometimes my reluctance to accept reality baffles even me.

Admission 1

I spent the next 3 days being pumped full of drugs to stop the contractions, hourly observations, regular tracings of bub and pain meds. Sleep had been a bit hit and miss, depending on pain, lack of comfort and general disturbance, but I really wanted to go home. I was released late on Mother's Day with threats ringing in my ears that if I didn't take it easy I'd be back in hospital. And as far as I was concerned I did take it easy!

Monitoring all those contractions and bubba movements.

2 weeks later I decided I was feeling awesome enough to take the girls to their friends birthday party at a local indoor playground. The Man had to go into the office, so made sure my Mum was with me 'just in case'. I told him he was being over cautious and I would be able to sit the whole time - what was the harm!?

The party started at 2pm and by 4pm I was back in delivery suite with some poor doctor trying desperately to find a vein that wouldn't collapse before he got the IV in. I was treated to another few days in hospital, regular hospital meals doing it's best to look like tasty, edible food and all the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest browsing time a girl could need. Except that between the contractions and the regular checks I was still getting almost no sleep. Even though they had given me pain meds to manage at home after I was discharged last time, I was reluctant to take them because they zonked me out and I've never been one to willingly lose control. And my reluctance was at an all time high knowing that I didn't want to be incoherant while my kids needed me at home!

Admission 2.

Panadol took some of the edge off, but never enough to really cut through the discomfort. So considering that sleep was still hard to come by after 3 and a half weeks, cue complete sobbing meltdown with the nurse. After which the doctor came in and stabbed me with pethidine. I knew very little of the next 12 hours. They told me it would offer 4 hours of relief. I view the extra 8 hours I got as a fucking awesome bonus.

Sadly, that meant they didn't administer it again. Bastards.

After another few days I was released home, yet again, and this time under strict instructions to keep off my feet, with horizontal being my main angle. 90 degrees was acceptable with elevated feet. Vertical, other than for the purposes of visiting the toilet, was right out. I was just relieved that I was still allowed to wipe my own arse.

Let's be honest, I was never, ever going to be their ideal patient. Not with 2 kids at home and a husband who has a demanding job. Have I been breaking the rules? A bit - not enough to be back in hospital, but just enough to keep the house running, the kids alive when The Man isn't home to help and enough to keep me sane. Perhaps because baby brain is the least of my concerns when it comes to losing mental functionality.

Day time TV - you have a lot to answer for. Seriously, how are Ridge and Brooke having the SAME conversation, in the SAME room, wearing the SAME clothes they were 15 years ago?! More to the point, how on earth do I even recall the conversation from 15 years ago?! I blame my high school friends - they were all into B&B and I reluctantly* joined in so I could understand what they were talking about. (*reluctant may be the wrong word. A more correct term might be 'enthusiastically' but I'm not stating anything outright.) And the token Australian you stole from Neighbours - absolutely bloody awful! She's a countryman and I can't listen to her without wanting to claw my ears off.

But to be honest, between watching ABC Kids (Miss 3) and endless videos of other people playing Minecraft (Miss 6), B&B is sometimes the only adult interaction I have in a day. Which is tragic. And worrying because I'm starting to think shoulder pads need to make a comeback.

So there you have it - my life* in a post. (*not my whole life...I may have started this post 6 months ago...)

Tell me, what have you been up to?

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