What were you doing a year ago?

Can you remember what you were doing a year ago?  If you had stopped and written a letter to your future self, what would you have said?

This is special week for us, this time last year, we were down in Victoria celebrating my sister’s wedding, and entering the second week of the dreaded two week wait to find out if our latest round of IVF had been successful.  Then this same week two years ago, I was 24 weeks pregnant with Liam and admitted to hospital until he arrived… this time three years ago, we were finding out we were pregnant with our twins – but that’s a story for another time.

Going back to last year, it was our seventh embryo transfer, so unfortunately we had become all too familiar with the process, and knowing what signs to look out for that may indicate a positive or negative result.

Aiden's first photo - 5 days 'old'

Aiden’s first photo – 5 days ‘old’

During the early days of the two week wait, I’d allowed myself a rare moment of positivity and checked what my due date would be, if the transfer was successful.  I knew it was going to be late July,  what I was not prepared for was a due date of the 21st of July 2013 – Amber and Riley’s due date had been the 20th of July 2011 – I admit to having mixed emotions about that, but tried to take it as a positive sign.

Throughout the second week I’d had my suspicions –  I’d had the day of nausea, and a huge wave of exhaustion had began to overwhelm me, both of which happened early on in my previous two pregnancies.  Always the pessimist I kept telling myself it was all in my head – because then if it wasn’t successful it would be easier to deal with if I hadn’t gotten my hopes up right?!? Even when three home pregnancy tests were positive, and I received the phone call from our nurse confirming positive blood test results, the news didn’t fully sink in.  Whilst we were extremely happy and excited to be expecting a baby (why else would we have gone through IVF?), there was a sense of apprehension and even fear, about what was going to happen next, would I have similar complications as my previous two pregnancies, would I need to be on hospital bed rest again, would we have another premature baby?

Twelve months on and instead of over analysing every twinge I have, and praying each time I give myself another injection that it’s helping our baby grow, I am instead sitting here  listening to our happy and healthy (and not to mention gorgeous – biased I know!) five month old chatting up a storm.  Upstairs our equally gorgeous 21 month old is still fast asleep.  If someone had of told me this time twelve months, or even two years ago that we would be in this position, I would have never believed them! Throughout our journey into parenthood there have certainly been times when I felt like we’d never have two healthy babies at home with us. I feel incredibly blessed to have our two beautiful boys..  It’s amazing how much can happen in a year – and how fast it can go!

Out for lunch for Melbourne Cup

Out for lunch for Melbourne Cup

What were you doing this time twelve months ago?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

To my sister

To my Sister,

It’s been so much harder to come home after my last visit than in the past. After spending five days together, our first time together both as Mothers, it has made me appreciate the special relationship that we have all the more.  We’ve been through a lot together over the years.  Yes, we haven’t always gotten along (there was a lot of arguing when we were kids!), but as we’ve gotten older I feel the dynamic of our relationship has changed from that of siblings to best friends.

sisters

You have been the one that I have always turned to first for comfort and advice during the roller coaster that has been the past five years.  Your support and compassion has always been unwavering, and you have been my greatest cheerleader as well as ‘keeping it real’ when needed.

Now that you are embarking on your journey into motherhood, I can only hope that I can provide you with some of the support that you have so selflessly given me.  Watching your face light up with love every time you look at your precious little man (even when he is having his crazy time) brings me so much happiness.

It’s a tough gig being a mum, especially in those early weeks and months.  It can all feel like a blur of crying/nappies/feeding/clothing changes (both yours and bubs)/ pumping… the list goes on.  On top of that you are also adjusting to having a new little person in your life amidst an influx of visitors, appointments, and the never ending advice everyone feels like they should give you…  all whilst you are physically and emotionally recovering from the birth!

I know you sometimes have your doubts about what you are doing/what you are meant to be doing – and believe me everyone does, but as we’ve talked and laughed about before, no matter what we do there is always going to be someone out there who thinks we are wrong (and maybe a little crazy too).

It’s not always going to be easy, and you may ask yourself what you have gotten into, the best advice I can give you when it feels like this is to sit down, cuddle and stare at your little man.  Just absorb every tiny detail of his face, his tiny little fingers and his smile.  It’s not always going to be this way, in just a few short months you will look back in amazement at how quickly the time has gone, and how big your little man has become.

I will always be there for you – even if it’s just for a rant during the middle of the night. And remember when you are up for the fourth time in one night, or you are sleeping in the lounge room on the recliner – you are an awesome Mum….. just like I knew you always would be.

xx

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Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

October Reflection

If there was a theme for October, I would have to say it was family.  We started the month in Bendigo on baby watch and we’ve ended the month back here again!  It’s been an amazing time for us being able to spend so much time with our family, and the fact that we were here when the newest member arrived was incredibly special.

We've clocked up a few frequent flyer points this month

We’ve clocked up a few frequent flyer points this month

Highlights of our month have been:

* Of course the arrival of our new nephew/cousin Flynn. I’m so happy to have another healthy baby boy join our family, and I know our three boys will grow up best mates (and no doubt will get into all sorts of trouble).

Troublemakers already

Troublemakers already

* Aiden started solids, finally reached 5kg, is now 5 months old (3 mths corrected) and is trying his hardest to roll over (Liam does try to help)

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* Liam has moved into a big boy bed and after a few false starts, he seems to have sorted himself out now

Seriously?

Seriously?

* We’ve been loving the gorgeous spring weather and have been spending a lot of time at our local park. Liam just loves going down the slide

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* We love our coffee dates, whether it’s catching up with friends, or just a date with my boys, we have a great time getting out and about (most of the time anyway!)

Concentrating hard

Concentrating hard

Even Aiden loves to go out too!

Even Aiden loves to go out too!

* I completed the full month of the FatMumSlim photo a day challenge.  I am still really enjoying this, and look forward to capturing a photo which represents the daily prompt – come and join me!

October

October

 

* Looking back at the photos I’ve taken last month, there are quite a few ‘sleep’ themed ones. Here are a few of my favourites

baby Liam

baby Liam

 

Someone is getting a bit big for their bassinet

Someone is getting a bit big for their bassinet

 

This doesn't look comfy!

This doesn’t look comfy!

* One of the best experiences from the past month has been the increasing interaction between Liam and Aiden. Whilst it’s not always positive – especially for Aiden, watching Liam cuddling his little brother and Aiden smile back at him just melts my heart… that is until Liam then starts trying to pull him along the ground!

Liam loves his little brother

Liam loves his little brother

I hope everyone has had a wonderful month – bring on November

xx

 

 

 

 

 

What’s next?

We met with a financial planner last week who put the questions to us – where do we see ourselves in 5, 10 and 20 years? From a financial perspective we were able to rattle off a plan… but from a personal perspective I was stumped.

This is a strange feeling for me.  I will admit I may have some control issues (ok, if  you were to ask Scott he will say I have a LOT of control issues), and in the past I have always needed to have a plan – whether it be in regards to career, health, financial or personal goals.  Generally I have been able to achieve most of these goals – albeit some have taken longer than others, and have taken a greater toll on me personally than expected.

To be honest, I’m exhausted…  Our five year journey to start a family has been tough.  Now that we have ‘achieved’ this (hmm, there is probably a better word than this?), we haven’t really thought about ‘what’s next’??? In fact, does there have to be a what’s next?  It seems as though we are expected to have plan in place – we are asked if/when we will have another baby (seriously I was asked this by a midwife when Aiden was less than 24hrs old and in NICU), when am I going back to work, what school are the boys going to, when are we going to toilet train Liam, when are we planning a trip to visit family…. and the list goes on!

It seems to be a constant question throughout life – when you start a relationship it’s’when are you moving in together’? Once you are living together – ‘When are you getting engaged’…. ‘When are you getting married? When are you having kids? When are you having another baby??  and so it goes on.

Is it a ‘bad’ thing to just stop and enjoy life for a little while without having a plan in place for our next life goal?

I’m making the decision to enjoy our family and life right now.  Instead of worrying myself about what I should or could be doing, or what I need to do next, I am going to give myself some ‘time off’ and LIVE life for awhile.

What do you think, do we always need to have a plan?

Let's stop and enjoy the view

Let’s stop and enjoy the view

Linking up with the Essentially Jess for IBOT

My Happy Place

Sometimes just thinking about your ‘happy place’ isn’t enough – you need to take action and go there.  This week I’ve felt myself getting frustrated quite a few times, and my usual technique of thinking about what makes me happy has just not cut it – mainly when I’ve been dealing with a tired cranky toddler who refuses to sleep…  oh yes, it’s been fun times at our house this week!

Although I’ve felt selfish and guilty for doing a few of these things (especially when I was upstairs in the bath and could hear both the boys crying with Scott) – they have certainly helped turn my mood around quickly and bring me back to a better place where I appreciate what I have and the challenges associated with it.

This week I’ve gone to my happy place when:

* Sitting down with Aiden for smiles and giggles – this always perks me up!

* Going to the gym for time by myself – I always feel so energised afterwards

* Treating myself to a bubble bath last night – it was bliss!

* Baking (what a surprise!)

* Catching up with friends for Coffee (another huge surprise there)

* Going on ‘dates’ with just Aiden… we have lots of smiles and giggles

What do you do when you need to go to your happy place?

This ALWAYS makes me happy!

This ALWAYS makes me happy!

Keeping it in perspective

It’s been a chaotic morning.  We headed out to meet a good friend for a catch up and both the boys decided not to co-operate (the signs it was going to be a crazy day were there when we were getting ready to leave).  Aiden was easy to sort out: feed, wrap up and he will drift off to sleep.  Liam on the other hand……  In all fairness, the chocolate fondue platter my friend and I were sharing was VERY tempting for a toddler, however I was hopeful the babycino I had bought for him, and his trucks and books would keep him distracted….  this was not the case.  We had a lot of crying, cuddling and chocolate ended up everywhere – the plans for our peaceful morning went out the window.

Too tempting for a toddler!

Too tempting for a toddler!

Thankfully this is not the norm for us when we go out – if it was I don’t think I would take the boys anywhere!  I’m still not sure what the cause of this mornings crankiness was, however they both slept for 3 hours when we got home and I’m not complaining!!

It got me thinking how 12 months ago, if I had been in the same situation I would have freaked out, and probably left as quickly as I could and gone straight home – possibly in tears!  Now with the two boys and a bit more experience with this whole ‘mothering thing’ whilst slightly embarrassed that I spent the majority of the time consoling Liam, rather than talking to my friend, I’ve bounced back pretty quickly (and the iced latte I bought on the way home helped!)

I know it was only yesterday that I listed the things I am grateful for, however after this morning I’m doing it again to keep things in perspective!!

* I have two healthy (and normally happy boys) that I get to spend all day with

* We still got outside and to enjoy the beautiful sunshine

* I am blessed to have wonderful, understanding friends!

* Both boys slept for three hours when we got home

* I’m now watching Liam lining up all of his cars to show Aiden

* Did I mention I got an iced latte on the way home? Coffee fixes everything!

What do you do to unwind after a crazy day?

 

He is here!

When I woke at 3am Thursday morning I immediately saw a message from my sister asking if I was awake – fast forward several text messages and a phone call later – and we had determined she was in labour.  After a long day of updates, a quick trip to the hospital to drop off a phone charger (because how could she not be without her phone during this big occasion!), handsome little Flynn arrived early in the evening, weighing a health 3.16kg and just shy of 38 weeks gestation.

I feel incredibly blessed that I was able to visit with both little Flynn and my sister just a couple of hours after he was born.  I also reminded again how incredibly lucky we are to live in a country where such excellent health care is available. I am also incredibly happy that I was able to introduce my two happy and healthy boys to their special cousin this morning and I cannot wait to enjoy watching them all grow up together xx

Our boys meeting for the first time xxx

Our boys meeting for the first time xxx

Our two baby boys - just 18 weeks apart x

Our two baby boys – just 18 weeks apart x