Crazy at Home Mum (Formally “Stay at Home Mum”)

I wanted to quit today.
I actually messaged mark and mum that I quit. I couldn’t do it anymore.
I got 5 minutes of quiet while they were in the other room watching tv, or so I thought.
After cleaning up the pom poms, shells, pipe cleaners and feathers all covered in paint and paint spattered all over the floor (luckily finger paint so it came off easy), I then had to clean up the canvas Allegra used to paint on- Theoden. Yep all over his jumper, pants, hands face and hair. Then I saw that because there was paint all over the floor, odey’s socks were soaked and he had put adorably annoying paint foot prints all over the tiles.
Cleaned up all of that and mum and Dan came over for cards to try an rescue my sanity. (mum ended up smashing us fyi, no idea how that was meant to help lol)
Then I found Allegra had shit on the floor. Yes I don’t swear but by golly, this girl has basically been promised a million dollars if she would do one in the toilet but in stead she decides to take off her nappy and do it on the rug and cover it in toys to hide it.
Cue cat weeing on the rocking chair.
…and odey pouring Allegra’s drink all over the lounge room rug.
Where was I you ask? Cleaning up the previous friggin mess!
Then its finally lunch and bed time so I head out the front door to check the letter box in hopes of finding something to cheer me up, in my daggy grey trackies with marks oversized ‘accidentally-matches-my-trackies-like-a-loser’ hoody to have a Fit mum- you know the ones! With the hair up in a perfect bun, tight as heck tights and sports singlet with designer joggers and jogging pram running past my house. Feel like a loser much?

But I cant quit. because I love them too much.
I love that odey is finally starting to talk and call out “Mum”
I love that Allegra’s favourite thing to do atm is watch “soups” (soap making vids on YT, my latest fad) on the lounge snuggling with me
But most of all I love how they look out for each other. If I ever give allegra food I HAVE to give her some for odey. if they find each others toys they rush over to give it to them. If one cries the other often runs over and hugs them.

They might be literal poo-heads 90% of the time, but they are my poo-heads and I rely on the 10% of sunshine times to get me through the rest knowing its not forever and one day I will wish to clean up poo (ok maybe paint not poo) one more time!

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/kids/admit-it-being-a-stay-at-home-mother-sucks-a-lot-of-the-time/news-story/8f5ac1cd44843ec6c3a5df864c74a806

http://www.dailylife.com.au/life-and-love/parenting-and-families/if-i-had-my-time-over-i-wouldnt-choose-to-be-a-stayathome-mum-20160528-gp6e08.html

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Perspective

Life is fragile, we all know that, but we were reminded again yesterday.

I got a traumatic call from a man from counsel.

Counsel man: “Hi I am blah blah from counsel and I have your cat, we found her on the corner near your house and scanned her and you came up, would you like her back?”
Me: “Yes of course!”
Counsel Man: “ok I have her in a garbage bag, should I just leave her on your front porch?”
Me: ***confused*** “um yeah ok….” ***realises*** “oh I see what you mean”
Counsel Man: “Yes, ok bye”

Whilst I am so thankful they contacted us and let us have her, this man clearly had no idea how to break bad news as I thought he just found her wandering for most of the call.

She was our first pet and we got her from the pound as a kitten over a year before allegra was born. She comforted me through loosing my grandfather, through bed rest in both my pregnancies and PND. She was the sweetest cat.

But I did get a little perspective yesterday afternoon when I realised that we were lucky it wasn’t Allegra, there were a bunch of times she has escaped out the front door and we have had to run to catch her. We are grieving our little furry friend but I will reflect on our blessings with our beautiful babies who are healthy and safe!

Here she is in the photo we used to announce our pregnancy with allegra! She is the one Mark is holding 🙂

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year All!!

Allegra is now two and it still hasn’t sunken in! Theoden is 8 months and almost 6 months corrected.
Allegra is flying along in her speech and looking older by the day!
Theoden is becoming very mobile, rolling and shuffling around. He is now on solids due to weight issues and still struggling to put on weight but we will get there!

We had a great christmas seeing lots and lots of family, and it was Allegra’s first time getting all the excitement of presents and fun.

I am starting to get in control of my PND and PTSD so I am hoping to go back to posting more often, yay!

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{6 months} Happy Half Birthday Odey!

Can you believe Theoden was SIX MONTHS yesterday??!

It was also exactly a year since I knew I was pregnant!
I went to my specialist OB appointment to discuss future pregnancies (after giving birth to my first at 28+6) and decided not to tell her until the end that I had a faint positive that morning at 8DPO.
I wanted to know what she would have said if I wasn’t pregnant in regards to the surgery for my Bicornuate uterus.
She told me I couldn’t have the surgery and she would be confident that we could get the next pregnancy to go longer now that we knew my uterus couldn’t go full term.
So I obviously told her I was pregnant and pretty sure it was a sticky!

Little did either of us know I would make it less than 24 hours longer with complications much much earlier and much longer as an inpatient..

It was a difficult time but this smile makes it so worthwhile! he is the most gorgeous soul and will hopefully grow up to bless the world making all the heartache and risk worth it!

S

Odey6m1MMM

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Infant and Pregnancy Loss Day- October 15th

Today, all around the world, many women and men are reflecting and mourning their losses.

There are many different statistics on how many are affected by the difference types of infant and Pregnancy loss, but what it comes down to is that it is many more than you’d think and frankly too many!

When we started trying for our first baby I fell pregnant first cycle. I was stoked but after only getting a positive test when I was a couple of days late I was nervous. I got a blood test which confirmed I was pregnant and then had another blood test a couple of days late which showed my levels weren’t rising enough. I was devastated. I had to wait another week or so and then I unfortunately miss carried. 
The next cycle I fell pregnant again with only a faint test a day after I was late I knew it wasn’t going to be good news. I miss carried later that week.

It was “third time lucky” for us, falling pregnant the next cycle with strong positive tests well before I was due so I had my hopes up straight away!

I found out soon after that our little smoosh had a strong heartbeat but that I also had a severe bicornuate uterus. I was warned that those with bicornuate uterus have a much higher chance of late miscarriages than most so I was back to being nervous.
I gave birth to a big and considerably healthy 28 weeker who is now almost two and thriving.

When we started thinking about having child number two I started feeling nervous. We got pregnant first cycle but I only had faint positive tests after I was late so I knew it wasn’t going to go well. Later that week I miss carried.

We fell pregnant and with strong tests early things were looking good.
At 17 weeks pregnant we started worrying about my cervical shortening. The fear of loosing my baby was real again. At 19 weeks I had and emergency cervical stich put in. I continued to shorten and they left me alone saying their was nothing they could do until I got to viability at 24 weeks. I spent a grueling 5 weeks on bed rest scared for my baby and hoping to just keep him inside long enough to spare his life.
At 24 weeks on the day I was relieved that my baby would likely live but I was admitted to hospital due to be so high risk of giving birth any moment.
After almost giving birth at 27 weeks and constant contractions from then I gave birth at 29 weeks to a healthy baby boy who is now 6 months old.

I feel for all the woman who have late first trimester losses and especially those who have second and third trimester losses and still births.
I will never understand what they have gone through and I crying for them.

But I have always felt guilty for grieving my lost babies. I only knew of their existence mere weeks where as some women loose their babies after carrying them in their belly or arms for months!
But my babies were babies. Babies that I never got the chance to show them how much I loved them. Babies who I never even got the chance to lay eyes on.
I grieve for them and will always keep them in my heart and thoughts.
I will never feel guilty for that again.

Today spare a thought and some prayers for those who loved and lost babies whether they only knew of their existence for days, felt them in their tummy for weeks or held them in their arms for months. All have pain and all have a bit of themselves missing.

It is not fair, but only love and time can help heal (but not fix!) Their wounds.

Sarah, mother to two children and three angel babies.

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{4 months} Oh How Different Babies Can Be

My little man Theoden, is four months old today! Yep I know, crazy hey!

He is 6.5 weeks corrected so we had his 6 week check up with his paed this past week.
It was a long time coming. We were seeing Allegra’s paed weekly at this stage with her due to her lack of weight gains. With Theoden, as I mentioned previously, his last check up was 39 weeks corrected so 7 weeks ago.

I was going well trying not to think about his weight or anything and enjoy him. The few days before his appointment I got a little anxious, just waiting to see how his weight is etc.

Well long story short, he is going amazing!
He weighed in at 4.01kg and 51cm
I couldn’t even remember his last weight, apparantly it was around 2.7kg but the paed worked out it was about 170-180g per week gaining which we were stoked with! (They are already stoked with 150 per week)

I was so relieved! He is just thriving!

He has 5 feeds per day with an 8 hour sleep at night. He has incredible head control, can hold his head up without putting it down for a rest for 10mins+. He has been smiling since one week corrected (yep just two days after my post saying it was hard waiting for it!), he also started cooing then.
He now smiles all the time and has little chats with us and his toys!

His big sister loves him so much and kisses him all the time. She has been known to chuck a tanty when I won’t get up to get her a drink straight away while I’m feeding odey, but other than that, no jealousy.

We are doing a whole lot of tests on Allegra at the moment. She has been upset and not herself for months on end now. She has also increased her fluid intake drastically (now drinks 1.5-2 litres daily). There are some big things we are testing for but also some small things there could be, so keep her in your thoughts! We’d really love to be able to help her get back to her happy self after 6 months of crying and upset all the time (and way more neurofen and AB’s than one toddler should have).
I’ve been in quite a long “down” with my depression lately, but after working on my sleep and things my psychologist wants my GP to look into my exhaustion a bit more just to check their is no medical reason causing it because the number one thing making me depressed and struggling to get going in the mornings is that I wake up absolutely exhausted and with no energy to even get out of my chair.

So whilst we have some things to pray for, we are feeling so blessed to have our little fam! Especially with how little Odey is doing, he is utterly thriving!

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{3 weeks corrected} Sleep Deprivation and the Premmie Mum

Odey is three weeks corrected today.
It’s hard to believe my little man is finally growing into a proper little baby.

Just two days after my post about waiting for his milestones my little man blessed me with the most beautiful smiles! At just one week corrected!
He has also been making some cute cooing noises.
I can’t believe the leaps and bounds this babe is making. He also has been having some 6-8 hour stretches, not every night, but I sure am blessed when he does.

My depression has been getting the better of me a bit lately. Mostly just in the mornings, but my psychologist and I worked out we think it’s mostly triggered by my sleep deprivation.

You see there are those of us that need 10-12 hours of consecutive sleep each night to function. So combine one of us with having a newborn and that makes an explosive combination. I have been taking a sleep diary (with a fab app on my phone) and it has done wonders for even just my awareness of how much sleep I’m getting with all the getting up at night. Its also helped marks understanding with how much sleep I’m getting and how it affects me so he has been so much more supportive of my sleep ins on his days off.

I’m going on 14 weeks of newborn level of sleep deprivation. Bring on the sleeping through the night.

I’m so glad of the support I have around me. It’s hard now that I have an awareness of when I’m depressed. It’s good because I can try to do something but at the same time it’s bad because it makes me more upset when I can’t seem to shift it.

I will never give up. I will never loose my positivity! I love my family and they need me whole.

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Happy Birthday to My Premmie’s Dad

Mark, My Husband,

Today is your 27th birthday!

A lot happened in your 27th year of life. You celebrated three years of marriage, you helped your wife through PTSD & PND, your daughter turned one (twice!), your wife fell pregnant (twice :|), she gave birth to your son and after seven long weeks you brought your son home.

When I was thinking about your birthday and all that it celebrates I knew I wanted to get you something special.
I thought through all of the things you want- TV box sets, xbox, cds, clothes- you did give me a lot of ideas.
But they all fell short.

They fell short of what I wanted you to know. I wanted to give you something special that would tell you just what you mean to us- your daughter, your son and your wife.

I wanted something that would tell you how invaluable your support was whilst I was in the grips of PTSD, how I couldn’t have made it out the other side without you. You held me together.

I wanted something that would thank you for what an amazing dad you have been to our daughter both through her first year but especially whilst I was in hospital. It was 6 long weeks away from you both. You stepped up as her primary caregiver and she kept on thriving with such a loving and fun dad to rely on while her mum was gone.
Even after I came home, for the 7 long weeks while our son was son was in hospital , you continued to come home from work and take over so I could go to the hospital.
It often hurts when she wants you more than me, you truly are her favourite, but then I remember just how lucky she is you were and are there for her!

I wanted a token to thank you for holding me close through yet another miscarriage, reminding me of the hope God gives us.

I wanted to give you something to show how much I appreciated your support during pregnancy with our son- it was so much harder and scarier than I could have imagined, but you were right there with me. You helped me make it through the weeks of sickness, bed rest and hospital, not to mention the surgery along the way. You kept my sanity.  You came running when I went into labour at 28+6 weeks- again! Your presence was so calming when I was so scared.

I wanted a gift that would show you how much it meant to me that you would use all your time and strength to support our family while our son was in hospital, allowing me to grieve when I needed, rush off to the hospital when i needed and crash when i needed.

You are a loving, caring and devoted man both to me as a husband but most of all as a Premmie dad to our two children- a special and unique roll that is both taxing and rewarding, you take it on so humbly.

Then I realized. Never was I going to find a gift, a possession, that could ever hope to portray all those special messages and feelings. Never was there an item special enough to portray such a powerful message of thank you and love.
So I had to settle for something that might hope to show you an ounce of that.

When our daughter was a tiny vulnerable Premmie in nicu, our car was broken into. In all the stress and emotion of our fragile girl’s journey we didn’t think anything was taken. It was only months later that we realized that something  special we thought we had lost was actually stolen from us.

Yes, our wedding rings. I still had my engagement ring but you had nothing so we bought you a $20 replacement, we couldn’t afford anything else. I told you that one day I would get you a special one.

Well that day is today.

Last time I have you a ring it was in front of our friends and family, promising to be with each other through sickness and health.
Today I give you this ring to thank you for your promise. To thank you for being by my side through sickness and health. To say I truly love you.

I wanted this ring to be special. It is made from titanium, a light metal, not a burden carried around which I hope our marriage always reflects. Inlayed with wood, part of nature made by our Father.
And inscribed.
Sarah
Allegra
Theoden

Forever yours,
Your wife, Sarah.

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{1 week corrected} Beating Off The Blues- Starting My Day With Positivity!

Theoden is one week corrected today! (12 weeks actual) I can’t believe how fast time is going, slow down!

I have been pushing on from last weeks post, looking forward to all the exciting firsts that are coming up! Babies born early reach all their goals at their “corrected age”, this means their age as if they were born on their due date. This means parents of prems often have to wait much longer for the signs of development that not only ensure them that your baby is well but comforts and excites you on the tough and tiring journey of having a newborn.

A mother of a full term baby may be able to take joy in their babies first smile anywhere from 4-8 weeks from the birth, but mothers of extremely premature babies have to wait many months.

I remember the feeling of Allegra’s first smile! She was 17 weeks old! After 17 grueling weeks, watching her fight for life and fight to put on weight, she finally looked up at me am smiled properly! I burst into tears! The wait was worth it, she has the most infectious, beautiful smile that not only lights up any room but never fails to lift my mood when I am feeling down.

As I am in that period with Theoden, 12 weeks past but at least a few more to go before he starts his true developmental journey, it can be tough. I have had a tiny baby for so long I just want to see him develop so I know he truly is ok.

See that’s the thing, I feel so blessed that he is well. He has the same intolerance’s as Allegra (if not worse) but he is stacking on weight, quite the polar opposite from Allegra. I feel so blessed he is going so well, but it means he has drastically less check ups than she did. For the first 8+ months of her life we barely went 2-3 weeks between check ups and weigh ins. Its been only 2 weeks since Theoden’s last check up and weigh in (2780g!!) but its still another 5 weeks until his next one.

The doubts start to set in. What if things have changed and he isn’t putting on much weight? What if, what if, what if. I am confident he is ok, but its just a mothers instinct to worry and stress over your babies well being and after the arrival and fight for life a premature baby has, it magnifies that worry and stress a great deal.

I have started a new habit to try and help me beat off the blues that I so easily fall into and to feel positive, focus and motivate me each morning instead. Its not hard to fit in- I sit and feed Odey for 30-60mins of a morning, plenty of time to think!
I love lists so I started my “5 to 1 lists”, not a very creative name but this is the first time I’ve shared it with anyone so until now it was just a name for my subconscious to remind me to do it hehe
So what I do is I reflect and list to myself; 5 things I am thankful for, 4 people I am going to pray for, 3 things I want I want to get done around the house, 2 things I want to get done in my business and 1 thing I want to work on in myself.
The answers are often similar, especially if life’s challenges (like a toddler with ear infections) delay projects and cleaning, but it has really helped me get up and going, not only motivated to get things done, but positive about the day and our awesome life!

Here is a family photo my amazing mother took in honour of Theoden’s birthday! I am so blessed to have such an amazing woman in my life to help support us through some tough times and rejoice with us in the good times. She is a very wise lady looked up to by many so I feel honoured to be able to call her my mum. So mum, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! This little family loves you more than pigs love mud 😉

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Theoden’s Due Date- The Premmie Journey Doesn’t End

Today is Odeys due date.

Realising I hadnt updated my blog yet I had planned a big happy post to let everyone know our little man arrived safe and updating you all on our NICU, SCN and journey to home. But I cant.

Theoden Timothy Jackson arrived on the 23rd of April at 29+0 weeks a healthy 1486g and 39cm long. He had his ups and downs but he fought on and came home just shy of 36 weeks corrected. Since being home we have had a rough time with colic and reflux but he is stacking on the weight and fits into our little family perfectly.

But today is raw.

Today is a stuggle.

Today is invisable.

Sitting here thinking about the fact I was due today but instead there is an 11 week old asleep in the room next to me is heartbreaking.

As a premmie mum you never stop asking “why me”. Even armed with reasons its still a question we often dwell on. We feel like we failed our child leading them to have to fight for their own lives. We know we didnt fail them, we know we did the best we could, but it still hurts.

It is ingrained in the very nature of motherhood to want to do the very best for our child/ren and when reality doesnt match with “normal” or what we hoped, feelings of sadness, anger, jealousy and depression are almost unsupressable.

We learn how to cope. We learn to deal with the surges of sadness and the urges to scream at those who dont realise how lucky they are. We learn how to move on and be strong for our baby’s. But most of all we heal.
But healing takes time and a heck of alot more of it then you probably imagine. It takes time and perspective to look back on our journeys and accept them. With support from those around us we will start to live again and we will move on stronger with thickened armour ready to fight any battle that presents itself to our babes.

Today is a big rock in my shoe reminder of what would, could and should’ve been. Today I grieve. Grieving all that was, all I missed and all we had to go through. Those that know me will tell you I have a strong exterior, that I am going well and ultimatly I am, but the premmie journey is not one that ends, it is life long. I have to learn to let ourselves have bad days and for me- today is everest.

Not everyone thinks to remember and realise that days like today will be hard, for me no one did, but that is what I want to change.

I want every premmie mum out there to know that grieving is ok, in fact it is good! Take time to grieve, let yourself cry and ask all the impossible questions for without the grief its almost impossible to heal. Lean on each other.

I want everyone who knows a premmie parent to know that the journey doesnt end when the baby comes home. There are many battles inside our hearts and minds as we face days where it dawns on us our fragile baby is now relying on us alone to keep it alive, as we see reminders around us as people walk the journeys we imagined for ourselves. You can help. [Continue to] Offer an ear, offer a hand, send a peice of love, let them know your thinking about them- but remember to allow them space to grieve.

It takes a community to raise a baby AND support the parents.

 

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