Friday, 28 May 2010

New Life

We had our embryo transfer last Saturday for round 4 of this IVF caper to try and give Noah a baby brother or sister.  Yesterday I had my halfway blood test and everything seemed to be on track.

The thing that's really intrigued me this time is I'm so relaxed.  The last couple of times I've been frantic with stress during the dreaded TWW (Two week wait).  Last cycle I was doing home pregnancy tests daily and really getting myself in a twist looking for any hint of that pink line.

I'm hoping my state of Zen is some deep seated mother's intuition that this time it'll work.

Fingers crossed - 7 sleeps to go.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Bloggers Without Makeup

A couple of Fridays ago (May 14th) the talented Jodie from Mummy Mayhem declared International Bloggers Without Makeup Day.  Hundreds of Mummy (and other) bloggers from Australia and around the world decided to bare their bare faces for the world to see.  The theory is that through blogging (and in life) we tend to put our best face forward.  Whether it's Facebook, Twitter or Blog pictures they are usually nicely posed pictures of ourselves on some special occasion.

As I was very busy with my house guests from New Zealand and May Madness (see here) I have not had a chance to blog so did not participate.  It certainly made me have a think though and made me realise my problem goes way further than makeup or no makeup.  Although my blog picture is obviously me with a full face of makeup on my wedding day - I rarely wear makeup and so a picture of me without makeup would be me as I am every day.  The catch is there are hardly any pictures of me at all.  I try very hard to avoid the camera at all costs (with or without makeup).  I take literally hundreds of photos every week but dread being in front of the camera myself.  People who know me well may see the irony in this.  In my 20's I took the same hundreds of photos I do now but I was in them.  I loved having my picture taken and recorded every moment of my life - every new hairstyle, every new outfit (every new boyfriend!!!). I'm sure you can guess why things changed but just in case you're not sure - I"M FAT.

I'm not just carrying a little bit of extra baby weight - I'm 30 kilos overweight.  It makes me sad - really sad - as I'm typing this my eyes are filling with tears.  I want to fix it but I just can't seem to.  Last year I lost 10 kilos but over Christmas it started creeping back on and now I've gained 8 of those kilos back.

Around my late 20's and very early 30's I carried a bit of extra weight - I was in the low 70 kilo range instead of the mid 60 kilos!! (At the time I though it was a disaster - now I'd give anything to weigh in the 70 kilo range) After that my weight just crept up and up and up until I was in the high 80's at my wedding in 2007 (3 months pregnant) then by the start of my second pregnancy I was 93 kilos.  I only gained 9 kilos in that pregnancy and returned almost immediately to my (not so great) pre pregnancy weight.  Noah will be 2 in 2 months and I'm now 6 kilos heavier than before I had him. (That's 99 kilos for anyone trying to keep up with the Math)

I'm in such a cycle of depression.  It breaks my heart that there are hardly any photos of me and Noah and even the ones that exist I can't stand to look at.  I used to be very proud of the way I looked - I always felt attractive and liked to dress nicely.  Now I hardly care about myself any more.  In a group of people I feel like everyone is thinking how fat, ugly and disgusting I am.  It has stopped me from socialising and affected my life in lots of ways. Sometimes I'm in denial about how fat I am until I catch sight of myself in a mirror or worse - a photo (the camera adds 10 pounds you know).  Just getting dressed each day is a battle - everything looks awful. Even times when I thought I looked good I'm quickly brought crashing down if I see a photo of myself from that day.

I know my husband loves me and of course Noah thinks I'm beautiful.  My weight doesn't stop me from enjoying his life - in fact I'm really active.  We get out and about to parks and the zoo and we go bike riding and walking.

I'm in the middle of my fourth IVF cycle trying to give Noah a sibling so it's more imperative than ever that I get fit and healthy.  You would think it would be such strong incentive.  I have all the best intentions.  In my mind every night as I lay in bed I write menu plans and vow I'll do it but when daylight hits all my drive and willpower goes out the window.  I love food - I use it to relax, to comfort, to celebrate, to mourn. I know it can't fill me in the way I want it to but I keep trying anyway.

I'm not usually so soul baring on this blog but I think half the battle might by publicly admitting that I have a problem.

So anyway for better or worse here's the most recent photo taken of me.  I am without makeup as usual.  It was taken on my 36th birthday when we went for a family farm stay weekender.

Please feel free to pass on your weight loss advice or tips - after all isn't that what this blogging is all about?

A note about Bloggers Without Makeup Day.  A small idea from an Aussie mummy really took off and spread and was even featured in the media.  If you're a blogger I hope you join me next year when we can all be brave again.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Baby Banjo

Yesterday was International Babylost Mother's Day (website here) .  I never knew such a day existed until I stumbled upon this blog another in the thousands of stories of women just like me who gave birth to a stillborn baby.  It's so wonderful that women who have lost a baby are acknowledged in this special way because Mother's Day is so difficult after you have lost a baby. 

You're not really sure whether it's a cause for celebration or sadness (particularly if you have no other living children).  I felt like a fraud - I knew I had conceived a child and I had brought him into this world from my body but I had not truly had the experience of motherhood.  I know other people may feel differently but that's how I felt.  When people would ask me if I had any children I never knew how to answer.  If I said no I felt I was dishonouring Banjo's memory but if I said yes then I had to explain to people that my child had died and that was awkward for me and them.

Discovering this blog made me stop and think about my sweet boy Banjo born nearly 3 years ago at only 26 weeks.  It's been a long time since I've blogged about him or that time in my life because I am lucky to have my Noah to fill my heart and my days. 

At the time it felt like I could never recover from losing my precious baby and I feared that I would never have a child of my own.  Having Noah was an enormous step towards recovery.  I fully expect that if I was still childless the loss of Banjo would have a far bigger impact on my current life.  I was also blessed to have fallen pregnant again by the time the first Mothers Day rolled around otherwise I'm sure it would have been a much harder day to celebrate.

Obviously that whole experience is a huge part of me but now that I have Noah I don't really dwell on it all.  I certainly had a lot of fear through my pregnancy with Noah that the same thing could happen again and I expect I will feel that stress through any subsequent pregnancies - especially since no-one really understood the definitive cause. I still wonder about him and what he would have looked like and what his little personality would have been but I know that Banjo made room for Noah to come into our lives and he is such a treasure.

My heart breaks for every mother (and father) who has lost a child whether it be at birth or any other time in the child's life.  It's an awful tragedy I wish no-one had to experience. 

Happy Mother's Day to you all.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

May Madness

Being that today is the first day of May it seems as good a time as any to apologise in advance for what I expect will be a lean blogging month.  I know I'm only just getting back on track and posting regularly again but May is kind of a crazy month for us at the best of times - and this is not the best of times. 

Firstly we have all 4 of our parents birthdays this month as well as my sister's birthday and several other peripheral birthdays and of course it's Mother's Day.  Just to add to it this particular May we have moved out of our house to allow some friends who were stuck between settlements to stay there.  We also have house guests arriving from New Zealand for 10 days as of the day we move back home.  I'm sure you're starting to get the picture.

Here's the thing if you join up to 'follow' my blog not only will it make me feel special and loved and beautiful and a little bit like a celebrity it will mean you will get notified when I add a new post instead of you looking all the time and cursing me when I'm a bit slack (come on I know you do it).

Happy May - wish me luck.

Let there be play.....

Following on from my commencement of studying teaching last year (currently on hold due to IVF) I've been doing lots of reading and become really interested in effective play for Noah and the other children I share my days with.  I'm not taking it too seriously but it mostly already fits in with ideas I had about how I wanted to raise Noah and the kinds of activities I wanted us to share as a family.

We already spend such a large amount of time outdoors in many different environments (beach, park, camping, gardening, bike riding).  We try to keep TV time to a limit and we provide him with healthy food 99% of the time.  We feel really strongly about these issues especially as we are bringing our child into an era filled with sedentary technology.

There are so many wonderful experiences to share with your children but I really think time spent in a good playground is such a simple pleasure with so many great outcomes.

Time in the playground gives children the chance to gain mastery over new physical skills, develop coordination, strength and flexibility.  Being able to learn a new skill gives them self confidence and pride in themselves.

The social interactions in the park are important too - kids learn how to wait and take turns, share, make friends and co-operate.  These skills that children develop on the playground become lifelong skill sets that are carried forward into their adulthood.

Independent research concludes that playgrounds are among the most important environments for children outside the home. Most forms of play are essential for healthy development, but free, spontaneous play—the kind that occurs on playgrounds—is the most beneficial type of play.

Best of all it's really fun and it tires them out so they are easier to handle at home for tired Mummies!!

The park is nice for parents too - it often allows us to meet other parents or to relax and have a coffee while supervising our kids. Obviously depending on age and temperament some kids need more supervision than others.  I always scout out a new playground for potential hazards or fall zones so I know how to manage Noah;s play safety.

You can look HERE to find information about wonderful playgrounds around WA and best of all it lets you know where nearby you can buy a coffee.  If you are not in WA I'm sure you can find something similar for your area or if not why not get one started.

Last Tuesday on the final day of our four day weekend we headed with Noah and Pa and cousin Finn to Rotary Park (I think it's actually officially called Opportunity Playspace).  It's a relatively new facility in Wanneroo (Cnr Church Street and Scenic Drive - Perth ), It is enormous and full of such perfectly planned playspaces which cater to all ages and abilities. It is shaded naturally by beautiful big trees and nestled in lovely native gardens. It is to the east side of Joondalup Lake so there are also opportunities to get away from structured play and explore the wetland habitat.


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