My Heart, Your Home: December 2014   

Friday, 12 December 2014

2014 ~ The year that was

We find inspiration in many corners of the world, wether it be from fellow Mothers, world leaders, teachers, volunteers, friends or the woman next door. Inspiration is all around us. It is humbling to be told that you inspire another human, especially by another Mother. I have been overwhelmed by being given this title recently, an inspiration. To be the source of someone's inspiration is unexpected. As I am no-one special, I am not extraordinary, I am just a regular woman, an ordinary Mother. I spend my days balancing along the same line as we all do, walking the same roads as the rest of the world. There is no great divide between you and I, I do not consider myself a Mother above any other, I do not consider myself special, superb or overtly unique. I parent my children according to my core values, I have some areas in which I excel in and then I have others in which I fail miserably in. I do the very best I can do, and I give the very most I can give.

I began writing this blog and sharing stories of my parenting adventure as I had found myself living in Sydney with a very young child and totally isolated. I had not yet created myself a group of support, friends, people I could trust and rely on. I had only been living in Sydney for such a short while when Evelyn was born, I was suffering severe social anxiety and I was terribly lonely. So I built myself an online community and although they were not here to call upon on the days I struggled to shower, or I didn't eat until 11pm at night, or the days where all I wanted to do was cry. They were here, cheering me on and supporting me from the sidelines. I began to feel connected to other women, other Mothers and I learnt that I was not the only one who was having those days.

As my life evolved and my family grew, so did my community here. I have connected with more Mothers online than I actually did not expect. We have shared stories, we have supported each other, we have offered advice. I have been thanked, continuously for sharing my stories. But my reality is, I am no more deserving of your thanks, than you are of mine. 

Over the years I have shared some of the biggest struggles that I have been faced with. Evelyn's hair pulling, her lack of sleep. Zalia's reflux. Asher's sleep. My depression and anxiety. I have shared some of the most memorable moments I have been faced with, my pregnancies and my births, the story of my love with Anthony. I have shared childhood stories, dreams and goals, my grief and fears, my happiness. This blog has been a safe dwelling, a place I know I am able to speak freely, openly and honestly. It has surprised me to know that I have people who choose to listen, choose to read and to respond and I have been forever grateful for that open communication. I have grown so much over the years, this blog is testament to that.

This past year I have been unusually quiet here. This past year has been a monumental year of my life. I have been faced with many challenges and I found myself coming here and only writing about the negative. So I decided not to share all of those stories. I decided that I needed to find a place where I could accept those negative moments but also recognise the positives in the year. Because there have been many. So while I have been told, many a time, that I am inspiring some of you, I have not been inspiring myself. This year I have been trying to survive with my head above water. It has been a balancing act. It has been a dance. Two steps forward and one step back.But, as it is the end of the year, it is time to recap on what has been, both the negative and the positive. 

Having found out that we were pregnant with our third child at 11 weeks gestation at the end of 2013 was an unexpected discovery and one that took me by huge surprise. It wasn't that a third child was not in our plans, but rather that I was battling a very young child who was suffering awful reflux and I was still reeling from that. We had planned a third child, just not so soon. But once Zalia had begun to sleep, once I began to sleep, I could see clearly that this pregnancy was a blessing. If not then, than when? 

I took Evelyn to Tresillian as her sleeping was completely out of control. They tried to help. They suggested forcing a day nap, which in turn had her awake until 2am the next morning. They suggested no day sleep (der!). They sent us on our merry way saying there wasn't a thing they could do to help.

Not long after this I had to rush Evelyn to emergency as she had swallowed a $1 coin. She was gagging and was pale as a ghost. She ceased her dancing, her singing, her happy and in her place I had a child who was too scared to move for every time she did she began to vomit. We waiting in the hospital for hours and were finally taken to ER where she was put under general and had the coin removed. Watching my baby go under was very traumatic. A month later and she had to return to hospital to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. 

We found out that we were having a baby boy! We were both excited, for many different reasons!

Evelyn started Kindy. It has been one of the best decisions I have made for her to date, She has learnt, grown and evolved completely in the time that she has been there. 

I re-enrolled in Uni, studying a bachelor of social welfare. I received two credits and a pass this year. I have felt accomplished, successful and proud. I have taken the past 5 months off to focus on getting some sort of sleep in my home and plan on returning in the new year.

Zalia had high temperatures for over a week and there was no obvious reason for them. I took her to and from the drs and they were unable to tell me anything. Once it hit the almost two week mark I decided to take her to the hospital. While we were there they need to get a urine sample from her so attempted to insert a catheter. She was highly unimpressed and I was having to pin her on to the bed while they kept trying. In the end we took her home and I managed to catch wee in a bag and we found that she had a bladder infection. 

I started to build a great foundation of friendships and support and in doing so I have been able to manage my social anxiety, limit bashing myself with doubt and angst and boost my confidence in standing my ground in this world.

I began to a lot of babysitting work, which unexpectedly boosted my self confidence and helped me to believe that I was a likeable person.

Asher was born. He was incredible and beautiful and swept us all of our feet. His birth was beautiful and his introduction to our family has been seamless.

When Asher was 3 weeks old, Evelyn and I decided to bounce on the trampoline. While we were bouncing she took a stack and didn't get up. I knew it was serious, I suspected a dislocated knee or a torn muscle. I did not expect a broken femur but that is what we were presented with. She spent 7.5 weeks in a full leg cast and she blew me away with her resilience, strength and bravery. 

My Sister was married. It was a beautiful and romantic day. I was proud to play a part in her wedding and I am blessed with a wonderful Brother In Law.

I took up some casual waitressing work with a local catering woman. I look forward to those nights of work more than I expected I would.

Zalia decided to stick a small plastic bead up her nose. Which I thought was hilarious, until it disappeared. I had to rush her over to emergency and have them show me how to blow it out of her nose. Weeks later Zalia was playing on a friends trampoline and she ran full pelt at the open gate of the net, not realising, and she fell head first out onto the ground. I watched helplessly and seriously believed that if she hadn't have snapped her neck and died that she was going to be severely paralysed. She walked away with a chipped tooth and a scratch on the head. 

On the same day I was diagnosed with pneumonia. 

Evelyn continued her battle with sleep, only very rarely falling asleep before 10pm at night. Asher began to wake every 40 minutes and only be fed back to night, always sharing the bed with me. I was severely sleep deprived, completely sick and found myself on the way to the Drs to check my lungs as they had become worse, I had only Asher in the car with me and managed to walk inside without him. 

On that day I called tresillian, I called my therapist and I told my friends just how bad things have become. I decided to become more open with where I was so that if I wasn't sound of mind, clear thinking, then everyone around me would be which is when I started sharing openly here (and on Facebook) about my depression and anxiety. 

I took Asher to tresillian. It was amazing, I walked in there and felt like the world opened up and gave me a big warm hug for an entire week. We came home and Asher slept faultlessly, until he became sick with ear infections and he is now on a downward spiral.

I was clinically diagnosed my a psychiatrist with severe anxiety and moderate PND. This scared me to have an actual diagnosis.

I had a beautiful community of woman turn up on my door step each night for two weeks delivering hot, home cooked meals. I spent most nights afterwards in the most joyous tears at just how kind the world can be to a perfect stranger. It blew my mind. (Thank you Sonja!).

Zalia has been seeing an ENT and today was booked in to her grommets in and adenoids removed mid January next year with pending removal of her tonsils after she is two.

I am stronger, braver and more courageous than ever before. I am more honest and open about my feelings, my struggles and my happiness. I have more best friends than I actually ever realised was possible. My relationship is healthy, even though we live on barely any sleep. I am happy. I am overwhelmingly happy. The year has been huge and I have struggled, I will continue to struggle. But I have leaped and cleared each and every single hurdle with my family in tact, my friendships stronger and a clear mind. I have proven to myself that I am a wonderful Mother, I care about my children more than I knew. 

I love hard, I live honestly and I am forever self evolving.
I am living a successful life, I am excelling and I am failing but I am learning.
I am pretty okay with that!

Happy 2014 and may the next year be bigger, brighter and bolder,
thank you for sharing your lives with me and allowing me to share mine with you

Monday, 8 December 2014

What is anxiety?

It is waking up without tolerance. 
It is anger without a reason.
Its being lonely, surrounded by people.
It is fear without boundaries.

Its doubting your friendships and connections.

It is questioning the unanswerable, answering the unquestionable. 
It is living without living.
It is breathing without peace.

It is sleeping away the days.

It is laying wakeful at night.
It is believing you are unworthy.
It is punishing yourself with criticisms and guilt.

It is in the middle of the night,

or random throughout the days.
It is a pain in the chest and stomach,
constricting, panicking and exhausting

It is worry and nervousness.

It is isolation.
It is misunderstood and inexplainable.
It is not your friend.

It is a lack of self belief.

It is a missing piece.
It is a constant battle.
It is always with me.