My Heart, Your Home: October 2012   

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Am I who I always thought I was?

I always thought that I had myself figured out. I always thought I knew what kind of person I am. I thought I knew what I was willing to do and give to others, when I would say no and what my breaking point is. But lately, I have not been so sure.

I have always considered myself a listener, a person willing to sit and let you talk to me about all the things that you are struggling with, all the things that are making you stressed and sad. I always thought that I was good at that. But, over the last few years I have found that all of that listening and supporting and advising has really started to take a negative toll on my own happiness. Lately I have been feeling like I spend too much time allowing other people to share their issues with me, I spend too much time analysing and advising on their lives, that I do not take the time to focus on my own life. 

I came to this realisation just over a year ago when an old friend placed too much of her problems on my shoulders and my life became her life. I would take her issues home and I would stew and dwell on them. I tried to explain to her that it was affecting me and that I needed a break from this particular issue but she continued to share her worries with me. So I continued to listen, I didn't say 'no' again. That friendship came to an abrupt end because I just was no longer capable of giving her the time, the responses and the sympathy that she required. I especially struggled to give her these things when I knew that she was not willing to give me any of those things, always responding with 'lets not dwell on that' and changing my subject into her subject. The friendship ended and I questioned who I was.

Am I really a listener if I cannot listen for long enough?

Recently, I was told that I was doing to another, what that friend did to me. Now I don't know, am I really a listener at all? Do I have the completely wrong image of myself? Do I think that I am giving and supporting and listening to others when they think that I give nothing at all? I feel as though every day I take time away from my day to try and help the people within my life. Help by being available and by offering an ear. I feel like I do this. But do I not? I feel like I put my life aside, put my worries and my concerns and my stresses aside to help others. Recently I have actually felt like I have forgotten how to focus on my own life. I feel like this is the reason why life has built up and knocked me down so hard.

I have always thought that I was strong and honest and lenient. I have always thought that I am the person that people know they can call and I will provide them with the time and the support that they desire. I was always available. But recently, I have began to waver. I have begun to resent myself for making myself so available. I can feel myself pulling away. Trying to avoid conversations and situations that I know will be another session of "counselling". I am missing the light and the fun of having just a friendship. I am missing the laughter and the smiles. I am feeling as though my life is revolving around "helping" other's lives and I am no longer feeling any benefit. A life lived to support all those around me makes for a life without any time. I need time. I need laughter again. I need light again. 

Am I really what I always thought I was, when now I just want to run away from that image?

I want to eliminate the stress in my life, the negativity, the issues. I want for the only stress in my life, to be my own stress, not the stress of those around me. But how do you control the emotions you are exposed to? How do you prevent these issues spilling over into your own life? How do I teach myself to no longer hold those conversations? How do I train those people to no longer rely on me for that support? How do I change the perception of myself when this is who I have always been? 

Or have I?

Monday, 29 October 2012

The Bump ~ 20 Weeks

Last week as I sat down to write my 19 week post I felt calm and at ease. In only a weeks time, so much has changed. At 20 weeks pregnant my emotions have started to take hold, they are unravelling my every inch of sanity. Tormenting me with the knowledge that this is all hormones, but the inability to calm and control them. For the last 20 weeks I had taken pride in the fact that I was able to maintain composure and take these raging hormones within my stride. But these last few days, I have lost all composure.

I take solace in the fact that we are now halfway through this pregnancy. The first half has gone by in a flash and with any hope, the weeks will continue to roll on by. But for now, I will continue to approach each new day with a calm and relaxed attitude. I am making a considerable effort to try and eliminate most, if not all, outside negativity and influence as I am beginning to notice that I am taking on the stress of others as my own. With my inability to control my own emotions the best I can do is control the emotions of which I am exposing myself to. Im looking for my zen. 

With this in mind, I have decided that I will start ante-natal yoga next week to encourage myself to connect my body with my mind. I have missed taking that time each week to be at one with myself. To focus on my breathing and my soul. My soul misses that time and needs to be fed.

We had our 19 week scan this past week and were able to see and hear our beautiful baby Jelly again. All is as it should be and Jelly is growing perfectly. It was interesting to see that my placenta has wrapped itself around the uterine wall. It now sits on top, then thins out along the side, and bulks up again beneath baby. I worry that this may cause complications further along in the pregnancy but have been assured that it is perfectly normal.

We had the name of Jelly's gender written on a card and sealed in an envelope which now sits on our side board. Waiting for the day that we chose to look. I am still convinced that Jelly is a baby girl so I have no real desire to open the card but Anthony is itching to know. We will open the card once we have decided how we will treat the news. To keep it to ourselves or to tell it to the world?

Anthony has finally been able to feel Jelly kick and twirl. When pregnant with Evelyn it wasn't until well after 20 weeks that even I was able to feel her move so we are both so excited to be able to have the ability to bond with Jelly on a nightly basis in the way of touch. Before falling asleep each night, when Jelly is most active, we lay in bed with our hands on my tummy and we talk our final words to each other and to Jelly. Our special moment, to all be connected as one. I will forever cherish those moments.

Jelly, my bountiful and beautiful, little bump. We have become each others home. You are growing bigger each and every day and my body is growing to accommodate you. We have become a part of each other. These 9 months of knowing you, before meeting you, are so special to me. These are our months. These are our moments. This is when we form that tie, the one that connects us together, as Mother and Child, the unbreakable bond. I feel it forming. I cant wait for the day that it becomes more than a feeling. I cant wait until you become more than a feeling. Until you become a vision... my vision.

Its you and me babe, together we will see the world

Thursday, 25 October 2012

I Heart My Body

My body is a vessel.
It is what keeps my heart and my soul safe.  
My body is the vessel that gives my soul the ability to fulfil its destiny, to follow its path back to divine love. My body protects what is most important to me and it is what gives me life. My body is the vessel that carries my heart from one destination in my journey to another. 

My body is a haven.
It is where I go to rest and rejuvenate.
My body is what houses my thoughts and my dreams. My aspirations and my loves. It is what provides me with the courage to commit myself to life. It is where I come when I have lost inspiration from the world and it is where I find the confidence to begin a new day. 

My body is a canvas.
Born without a mark or scratch, but born to carry me through life and forever change, develop and grow. My body is a canvas, one to which I have added to, with markings that tell the story of my mind. A canvas on which life has added to, with scars to show the fights I have won, with sunspots to show the fun I have had, with stretch marks to show the life I have housed and with lines to show the life I have lived.

My body is a home.
A place where life was created. Where life was nurtured and nourished. Where little fingers and little toes were formed. Where a new body was made. A new body to be loved and lived in by someone else. Someone who was created by me. 

My relationship with my body is one of turbulence, never truly on solid grounds. I am always learning, forever changing and having to accept each new addition. Although my relationship has not always been stable I have always respected my body. It has walked me through a life of many successes and some great falls and yet it always provides me with good health and fortune, it is the most stable relationship of my life. I have learnt to love it for all that it is, 
because it loves me.

My body has failed me with some bad health. My kidneys have carried infections and harboured great pain. But it recovered. My breasts are full of large lumps. But they are benign. My gall bladder carried stones. But it is now gone. My bowels are irritable and greet me monthly, with blood. But it is controllable. With each bad turn, comes a resolution, and with each bad turn, comes a reminder. To treat this body the way it needs, with care and good health and it will return the sentiment.

My body has seen the worst in humanity and has the scars to prove its survival. Battle wounds. Marks to show that I am a soldier and that no matter what this life hands to me, I will walk through it with my head held high. This body can survive anything because the soul that it carries was made to survive.

This body has grown the most beautiful body of all, nestled deep within its warmth and now after such a creation, this body has created life again. Another baby sleeping soundly, within the safety of its womb. Two beautiful babies to add into this world. All because this body is magic.
I was given this one body. It is mine to do with as I need. I will treat it well. I will respect and cherish it, because this one body has given me life and that life is the most spectacular one of all.

Linking up with the lovely group of beautiful bodies over at 'We Heart Life'

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Bump ~ 19 Weeks

Last week as Evelyn laid down for sleep she had a moment where she just wanted to be held by her Mama. So I picked her up and sat in her rocking chair and we cuddled and talked, giggled and sang until she calmed down. It was time for her to lay back down, but instead I decided to stay a little while longer and let her sleep on me, with me. As I rocked in that chair looking down at my baby, who is baby no more, I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of fear and anxiety.

The inevitable fear that I can only assume every Mother experiences when she is carrying her second child. How will I spread my time and my love across two babies? The thought entered my mind, on a night that Evelyn needs a cuddle and Jelly needs settling, where do I go and who do I tend to? How do I give both my babies the cuddles they will both need and deserve? 

The idea of it no longer being just Evelyn and I, day in and day out almost makes me feel sad. I feel sad for her, because I do not know if she will understand why she doesn't get my full attention any more. I feel sad for her because I do not know if she will grieve the loss of my full attention and if she does grieve this loss, I feel guilty for making it so. The fact that it will never be just Jelly and I for days on end, makes me feel sad. Sad that Jelly will not know what Evelyn knew. Sad that Evelyn will have that, no more.

With the arrival of Jelly we will gain so much more than we will lose, I am aware of this and I wait for that day with great anticipation. But, sometimes, the things that we will lose, or rather, the things that will change so dramatically put me in a state of panic. Once Jelly is here I know it will feel as though they always were and I will look back to this post and laugh. But for today, I look forward with uncertainty.

My emotions have been running wild this week, crying over spilt milk to being in the best possible mood within moments of each other. It is tiring for me to keep up with myself, I can only imagine how it affects those around me. The difference between this pregnancy and Evelyn's pregnancy though, is that I can recognise that these emotions are hormones and mostly I can keep myself in check. Mostly, I have been as in control as a pregnant woman can be. 

My body confidence is rising. I truly do not believe that there is a more beautiful site in this world, than a pregnant woman's body. It amazes me that I actually apply that belief to myself. I am like most other woman, my own biggest critique. My body woes consume me. But when I am pregnant, I feel beautiful and I believe that I am beautiful. Because the truth is... I am beautiful. My body is creating life. It is building a body, from small cells to eyes and finger nails. Is there anything more beautiful than life? 

Jelly, there is nothing more reassuring and comforting to me than knowing that you are growing within me. That I am growing you. I am creating your life and then, once you are here, I will mould and shape your life. I will teach and show you life. Today I grow your hands and in time I will hold them and kiss them. Knowing that, knowing that soon I will see your face, smell your skin and hold your body, gives me the strength and the faith to believe that in the end, everything will be just fine.

Its you and me babe, together we will make the time

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My Best Friend

When I was studying at University I met a boy. He was outrageous and funny. He was gentle and caring. He was a little bit wild and a lot of free. He was everything, that I also was. We were instantly friends, from the very first day. We laughed together, we played together, we drank and partied together and we talked. Oh my could we talk! We were rapidly becoming best friends. But, as our world would have it, we confused that friendship for something a little bit more. Because a girl and a boy cannot be friends without it being sexual. So we explored that avenue. For just over three years. 

In our small relationship of three years we walked each other through some of life's greatest lessons and adventures. We grew together. From a boy and a girl, to a man and a woman. He was my rock, my constant and my stable, in the years where I was discovery myself. He helped me shape and mould me. He never influenced or pushed, he supported and encouraged. We went to University together and we left University together. We moved overseas and worked together, we created a life and a home in place where we had no roots. We moved back to Australia together and we moved in together. We watched my Step Dad die together and we grieved together. We were for each other, what everyone in this world deserves to have. He was my person and I was his. 

One day we realised that throughout all of those three years together, we were never boyfriend and girlfriend together, as hard as we might have tried. We were each other's person. We were each other's best friend. But we not each others soul friend. We are created for each other. We are built to hold each other's hands through life's triumphs and through life's sorrow's. We are built to applaud each others successes and to support each others failures. We are made for each other. To sit on the sideline of each others lives and cheer each on. No more involved than that and no less involved. We were created to be each other's best friend.

The fact that we have dated in the past and the fact that he is male while I am female is completely irrelevant. The world is full of two sexes and at no point was a law ever created that said a man can only date a woman and a woman only a man. Nor did it ever state a woman can only befriend another woman and a man, a man. There is no law against my friendship and yet I am judged for having such a friendship. I am misunderstood. I am talked about and stories are created. All because, somewhere along the way, we have blurred the definitions of relationships and friendships. Somewhere along the way we have confused ourselves into believing that when a man talks to a woman then the man wants to the bed the woman. Furthermore, we have confused ourselves into believing that if a man wants to bed a woman, then the woman will remove her knickers and take his hand.

I tell my story of my friendship with my best friend because I think that we need to be reminded of this beautiful little word - plutonic. It is not a fantasy or a myth. It is a real life word, with a real life definition and it does actually exist, in more friendships than just mine. I tell my story about my friendship because I want Evelyn to know no bounds. I want her to understand that a man and a woman can be friends. I want her to not discriminate against a certain sex when it comes to friendships, or relationships. I will teach her that you love the soul, not the body. In telling this story, I hope to remind others of this fact too.

At the beginning of this year I flew to Singapore to spend a weekend with my Best Friend who now lives there, instead of here. I flew over on my own. I stayed in his home. We went out drinking and celebrating together. We ate at restaurants and saw the tourist attractions. When I arrived he gave me a big fat hug and when I left I gave him a teary hug. I miss him dearly. I love him fiercely. Of course, this caused uproar in the minds and hearts of my friends. Of Anthony's friends and even of Aaron's friends. Because, for me to spend a weekend with Aaron, we must be having an affair. 

When I went to Singapore for that weekend, it was the first time I had left Evelyn for longer than just 24 hours. It was a huge decision to make, one of the hardest I have had made and yet one of the most rewarding and necessary. The truth is, I was struggling with myself and finding meaning to my new life as a Mummy. I felt like I had lost my direction when Evelyn was born. My dreams and my goals became her. I love that. But it was a difficult process to accept. So I needed some time to regather my thoughts and understand where my life was taking me. 

When I was at the airport to leave Sydney I started receiving emails and messages. Asking me how could I leave my Daughter and my partner to stay with another man. Asking me who this other man was. Asking all sorts of questions which instilled a greater level of guilt within me. Guilt that really was not necessary and questions that really were not appropriate, nor were the answers of anyone's business. But, people's minds are curious and judgemental by nature. So I answered those questions and I carried that guilt with me through the entire trip. 

Then I came home and I felt almost betrayed by the implications behind those questions. By the thoughts that those people were quite obviously having. By the distrust they had placed within me. The truth is, there was no affair. My best friend and I have been there once before, when we had our relationship, and it didn't work. The sexual connection that once existed, died months before the relationship died. It was our friendship that made us last the three years and it was our friendship that survived the death of the relationship. We have not once, since the moment we said our Goodbyes, ever had a moment of regret, a moment of wonder. We are friends, best friends and there really is nothing more to it.

The funny thing about all those assumptions and judgements made about me and what I was doing to Anthony and Evelyn and my family was that it was Anthony who suggested I go. Not only did he suggest it, it was Anthony who booked the tickets. And then it was Anthony who used his frequent flyers to pay for those tickets. Because, Anthony trusts me. Because he knows what I know and which is that we belong together in a way that we belong with no other. Which is that our love is strong and unbreakable and based on honesty and trust. From the moment I met Anthony, I had told him of Aaron. I had told him that my friendship with Aaron is one of the most important to me. I told him that I would not give that up. In that conversation, Anthony knew. He knew that it was no more and no less than a best friendship, one to cherish and embrace and nurture. 

The further along in my relationship I get with Anthony the more amazed I am by him and his tolerance and understanding and acceptance. It takes a real man to be ok with this sort of friendship. It takes a man of confidence and a man of honesty to be able to never question the boundaries of this friendship. Anthony, is one of the most applaudable men I will ever know. He is the most supportive boyfriend that could ever exist. He has not once ever questioned me and my decision to maintain this friendship. He has encouraged it. He cherishes it. He embraces and he nurtures it. 

Anthony and Aaron have become friends. They share a beer together. They cook for each other. They talk of sports, family, politics and beliefs. Aaron stays on our lounge, he hugs our Daughter. He hugs me. He shakes Anthony's hand and then we all wait patiently until the next time Aaron can be here to do it all again.

My Best Friend, Aaron, is the best friend you can ever have. It does not matter that he is not a woman. It does not matter that we have a past. It does not matter because what matters is that he is here and he celebrates my life with me. He cheers my successes, he nurtures my falls and he encourages my dreams. What matters is that he is here and that we are friends. There isnt, any more.

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Bump ~ 18 Weeks

I feel like this last week, from 17 weeks to 18 weeks, has been an incredible week. It was full of emotion, both good and bad. It was full of firsts. It was full of love. It was a journey. A journey from misery to triumph. 

At the beginning of this week I was feeling very sensitive and emotionally negative. About myself and my life and my direction. I absolutely adore being a Mum and it is what I see myself loving for the rest of my life. It is not what I ever planned my life to become and it certainly is not what I ever saw myself committing myself to, to such a high degree. But here I am, fully committed and completely in love. But, at the beginning of this week I realised how much I gave up on myself and my goals and beliefs when I became a Mum. I have realised, to be the best Mother I can be, to be an inspiration to you, my children, I need to be the best person I can be. That means focusing some of my time on myself and my future outside of my family. This week, I decided that when Jelly is born, I will be re-enrolling in my University degree and I will strive to reach my dreams and my goals that I had always had set out for myself.

At the very start of the week my self esteem and self regard had plummeted. I am not sure for what reason, I really couldn't say. I began to feel lonely and sad and very un-like myself. But as the each day ended, I made more decisions to improve my own self worth and I have tried to find a cause to commit my time and effort to. I think I have really started to feel like I have let myself go to waste, my passion and fire has dimmed. So this week, in the wake of my low, I made decisions to light the fire within me again. The passion of good-will, of creation and self love. And I am excited!

With all these personal discoveries and self improvements I have had what I could say has been the best week in this pregnancy so far. My migraine has become a distant nightmare, soon to be forgotten. My body has really begun to transform, from a woman to a creation. My tiredness is beginning to really lift and all of a sudden the days feel warmer and brighter. Not only that, but this week, Jelly and I had our first moment of physical connection. I felt you move. It is amazing to me that in a matter of hours, only minutes, I can go from wondering how you are doing down there in my belly to knowing exactly how you are. When you are awake and active, when you are asleep. What you do and what you don't like. I am in awe of just how strong your tiny little body really is. With each kick I feel calm and relief. I feel connected and close. I love those little butterfly kisses that you have been giving me each and every day. I cannot wait for you to be able to kiss the palm of your Daddy to let him know just how much you love him too.

This week we took you to your first live music show. It was the final tour of one of my all time favourite Australian bands - The Beautiful Girls. Your sister came with me to another of my favourites - The Waifs. And also to - The Vampire Weekend. It was only fair that you get to experience such a thrill too. However, you did not agree that this was a thrill. You went wild in there, and not in a good way. You had Mummy doubled over in a public toilet cubicle waiting for you to calm your nerves. After which, we made a hasty exit. 

Jelly, you and I have had a big week. Both of us growing, stronger and wiser. Our hearts beating with reason. When I was struggling to find a meaning to it all, you let me know what the meaning really is with your gentle butterfly kiss kicks. You reminded me that the reason is you. It is Evelyn. It is family. In that moment, you gave me the direction that I have been looking for. This week has been our best week yet, you a constant and subtle reminder to live in the now and not in the past, or too far in the future. 

Its you and me babe, together we will always find the way