Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Nursing, Pregnancy, Sea change, Society, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Birth to Please Clean Your Room!

Nine months pregnant, second pregnancy, I was huge, my mum and sister nicknamed me little Buddha.......
Nine months pregnant, second pregnancy, I was huge, my mum and sister nicknamed me little Buddha…….

Hello beautiful people,

So it seems that I feel the need to return to the topic of birth, I think there has been enough talk of controversial topics of late. Today I’m on my day off work and instead of relaxing or pottering around the house I’m sitting in the lounge room with master (nearly) twelve listening to him, through snotty nasally snorts explain to me how to find out my pirate name, cause that’s actually really funny, apparently. Today I kept him home from school because he has been fighting the flu and although he rarely gets sick its been a pretty bad flu this time and so I thought he better stay home and recuperate. Also I’ve never been one of those parents that doses their kids up with Panadol, Nurofen and cough  medicine and sends them off to school to infect other poor children!! That actually drives me crazy!!!! I used to hate it when my kids were little and I took them to play group and another parent would say “oh we’ve been up all night with vomiting or fevers”, I would look at them horrified and say “well what are you doing here then” thinking to myself are you deliberately trying to spread your germs and make the rest of us sick?!!! Anyway, Marshall( master 12) is home so he can rest and get better quickly and not share his snotty germs with other people’s kiddies.

Marshall has been a healthy chap since he was born, as I said very rarely sick, we often joke that he has a cast iron stomach cause that kid could eat just about anything without getting sick!! Marshall was born seven years after our daughter, because of how young I was when I had her and the difficulties I encountered when I had her as told in Birth To Where Is My Courtesy Phone Call, I decided to wait until I had my second child.

Birth sometimes seems a taboo topic to discuss unless you’re sitting in a playgroup full of mums who want to share birth stories and even then it’s often the horror stories that get shared more frequently. I’m always surprised and saddened by how many women think birth is scary and disgusting!! My first birth was, I guess you could say, emotionally traumatic but physically, my baby and I were fine so that is the best outcome one could hope for. My second birth was AMAZING!!!! I love talking about it and love reminiscing about it!! However the response I’ve had from some women when I recount my birth story includes comments such as “are you crazy, why do it naturally when you can have drugs?” or “yeah but your one of the lucky ones, it rarely goes that good” I feel irritated by responses like this because its unnecessary to take away from the joy and pride I feel about my birth experience!! Especially because I don’t do pregnancy well, not very well at all!! With each of my pregnancies I have gotten huge!!!! I’m only five foot three and with each pregnancy I’ve roughly put on between twenty and thirty kilograms!!! Mostly in my tummy and arse……. I have babies weighing between 3.3kgs and 4.5kgs. I get morning sickness the whole nine months and the only thing that stops me vomiting is eating!! I get headaches, heartburn, nosebleeds, nocturia and insomnia….. I’ve also had miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies so I usually don’t tell anyone Im pregnant till well after three months….. Oh the joys of being pregnant!! So if I’ve been *lucky* enough to have good births, I say yay, go me!!!

My pregnancy with Marshall was probably one of my easiest ones, except the time I feel over when I was merely trying to walk or the time I vomited on my daughters back and into her school bag as we were leaving the house for school one morning….Sorry baby girl :}

Throughout my pregnancy I was calm, happy and stress free. My husband worked, my daughter was at school so I had alot of free me time once I went on early maternity leave. I attended creative birth classes run by a gorgeous woman, who created a safe space for women only. In the classes we did meditation, visualisation, yoga and creative arts. In one of our visualisation sessions I visualised my baby and drew a water-colour picture of baby which actually turned out to look just like him.

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I felt so well prepared for this baby that when the day came to head to the hospital, with my birth plan in place, to give birth, I felt like I could take on the world.

The day before I went into labour I said to my husband, Sniper, I feel a bit tired and I have a back ache, I think I’ll go to be early. I called my mum and told her to be on standby because I wasn’t feeling great. She was straight over with my sister and they stayed the night to watch my daughter just in case. I went to bed and slept quite well and woke around 5am. Everyone else was still asleep. I went to the bathroom and had a ‘show’ , which in technical terms is a thick bloody mucous plug that covers the cervix and is shed from the body before labour, yep gross! I also noticed that I had a back ache and slight tightening in my stomach. I went back to bed to read for an hour until the pains started getting stronger. I woke Sniper and said “I’m pretty sure I’m having contractions so I’ll just call the hospital and see what they say”, the hospital said “we’re not to busy so come in if you like and see how you’re going” So I quietly told my mum and off Sniper and I went to the Birth Centre at Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick. Upon arrival we were met by a beautiful midwife named Tai, she took my history did a quick set of vital signs and asked if I wanted and internal examination. At this stage I said I didn’t mind and she did an examination and told me I was only two to three centimetres dilated, so there was action but it could still take hours, days even. She told us we could stay for a bit and monitor the contractions to see if they were getting stronger and if not then we could go home. It was roughly 7am. The birth centre room was big and had a double bed in the middle of the room, a beautiful cane crib, a wooden dining table with two chairs, a bean bag, a wooden rocking chair and a huge bathroom, with bath tub and double shower. We put on some relaxing music and burnt some essential oils and a walked around the room for a while and sat rocking in the rocking chair. We talked, my husband and I, we played cards and felt so relaxed with just the two of us in the room like we were on holidays in a nice hotel. Around mid morning I told Tai that the contractions were getting stronger and I wouldn’t mind if she examined me, she did and told me that I was nearly nine centimetres dilated and she couldn’t believe how calm and relaxed I seemed. I did internalize my pain a bit and finally spoke up and said I wouldn’t mind trying something to help with the pain, perhaps a bath or something? My husband was anxious about water births so he looked at me nervously and the midwife suggested it might be too late for that so we settled on a shower instead. I sat on a shower chair holding one shower nozzle on my tummy and Sniper holding one on my back and the pain was coming in waves getting stronger and stronger and closer together and sometimes I had to remind myself to breathe! The relaxation techniques and pelvic rocking I learned in creative birth class were coming in handy!! The more I tensed up with each contraction the worse the pain got!! So I had to remember to relax!! I stared at my husband who was smoothing my hair out of my eyes and said ‘I love you” and I squeezed his hand, he said “I love you too and you’re doing great baby”, “I don’t think I can do this much longer” “Ok honey, let me get the midwife and we’ll get you out of the shower and see how we can help with the pain”. With that he walked out of the bathroom to find Tai, as he did I stood up…….alone……kind of a bad idea lol I heard, I kid you not, a pop sound and even though I had put the shower nozzles down I felt an almighty gush of warm water running down my legs….. “I need to push right NOW!!’ I screamed and he came running back in and I felt the centre of my gravity shift as something forceful and beyond my control was pushing straight down through my pelvis. The regular rhythmical contractions had stopped and it was like one long tight cramping and burning sensation around my perineum. Sniper put his arm around my waist and said “its ok baby I got you, let me walk you to the bed” as he did he pressed the assistance button on the wall and in came our midwife! I didn’t make it to the bed and was gently lowered onto the bean bag on the floor. A few really good pushes, going with the overwhelming feeling that my body no longer had control of itself and out came this absolutely gorgeous squishy baby!! Tai caught him and placed him straight in my arms on my tummy. I was still naked and wet from the shower and I felt her place a blanket around us. I looked down at my gorgeous baby and thought how beautiful, not caring or even thinking to ask if it was a boy or girl. I looked up at Sniper and he was crying “he said good work honey look” and was pointing at our baby and I looked to see and realised he was pointing at a little willy!!! We just had our first son!!!! Marshall Stone was born at 12:oopm midday 🙂

One minute old, I was wasted and high on endorphines :)
One minute old, I was wasted and high on endorphins 🙂

Both of us coming from families with all sisters, we always thought we’d only have girls!! We were crying but Marshall didn’t cry when he came out, the first time he cried was about half an hour later when I handed him to his daddy because I wanted to get up and have another shower and get dressed!! I felt like I had more adrenaline and endorphins running through me than any athlete!! I felt invincible!! I had my shower got dressed and then we called everybody to tell them of Marshall’s arrival. Of course the first person we phoned was our princess Magenta (big sister) and that was when I was handing Marshall to his daddy and he cried because he didn’t like his sleep being disturbed (he still doesn’t like his sleep being disturbed to this day!) and his big sissy heard him cry for the first time over the phone which made her cry! There were a lot of tears of joy that day!!! We stayed one night in the birth centre and went home the next day on the early discharge program. The midwives came and did home visits for a few days, it was all very calm uncomplicated and lovely. All the midwives we had were kind compassionate and helpful, it was a completely opposite experience to my first birth.

Three months old and always smiling, except when crying for food!! :)
Three months old and always smiling, except when crying for food!! 🙂

I sometimes wonder if this relaxed, laid back birth contributed to my sons personality today. He is kind, compassionate, artistic, a great singer, good with technology, good with little kiddies and animals and yet not that interested in sport and somewhat hard to get motivated. Always just wanting to chill….lol….

Six months old with daddy being silly :)
Six months old with daddy being silly 🙂

Marshall is the coolest (nearly) twelve-year-old boy I know!! He makes me laugh and makes me proud of him every day! He is the perfect mix of me and his dad, he has his dads talent for music and technology and my outgoing personality and passion for reading!

Marshall, you are a great little brother to your big sister and a great big brother to your little brothers! You’ve spent countless hours playing, growing and learning together and I’m sure you’ll all be great friends as you get older!

Ahhh whats sissy doing to me!
Ahhh whats sissy doing to me!

The day you were born my beautiful boy

Was a day filled with tears of joy

You make us proud everyday

And make us laugh in so may ways

Whenever you’re around no day is filled with gloom

But please oh please son don’t make me ask you again to please CLEAN YOUR ROOM!!

Birth stories are sometimes confronting I guess because people are grossed out about how we humans enter the world. I know my boy will read this story and squirm but he knows I’m a nurse and even the sweetest stories are tainted with gross technical terms!!

Love you so much Marshall Stone you’ll always be awesome cool to me 🙂

Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxoxoxox

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, Sea change, Spiritual, Uncategorized

I’m back…..or am I? PTSD or Controversy?

Iphone pics 2013 259

Hello beautiful people,

Well its been a long time between sharing and caring really, so where to start……… Lets see my last Blog was about a sea change and a whole lot of whining about waking up feeling flat and cranky for no obvious reason other than some petty challenges in life such as money and accommodation………or so it seemed…….. The last four months that I haven’t shared have seen me through some even more challenging times causing me to embark on a whole new level of self-reflection…….remember that notion, self-reflection, something I harped on about the importance of in a previous post, well I digress so back on track, the last few months have seen me deal with challenges such as having to go part-time at work due to family commitments (enhancing previous financial problems), daughter experiencing some challenges with uni work, sister tackling life changes, beautiful mother confronting and challenging the big ‘C’ and small boys dealing with learning difficulties…….Now I’m no super woman but am relieved to say that these challenges were tackled courageously, albeit with some tears, plans have been implemented and things are moving forward in positive ways. All these challenges got me thinking, how is it that when life was plodding along without any drama for me to deal with I was feeling more anxious and flat than I should have been, particularly in regards to where we were living? Yes the house was tiny and the kiddies had no backyard to play in and all the boys were sharing a room, however these things certainly weren’t enough reason for me to be having mini panic attacks every time I had to go home……….

On top of all these recent challenges I was lucky (truly, truly lucky) enough to secure the lease on a bigger house right across the road from the property we were last living in. I saw the house become vacant, applied for it and within a week had signed the lease and moved seven years worth of an entire families lives across the road into a gorgeous hundred year old cottage, at least twice the size of our previous house!!!! The first night sleeping in the new house I felt an instant sense of peace and happiness, calmness. I kept thinking how lucky and blessed we are to have such an amazing house and how happy the space made me feel………. I quickly realised it wasn’t the ‘space’ (size) that made me feel happy it was ‘the’ space, the nature or the essence of the space, it encompassed calmness and happiness and positive energy.

*Insert flashback here* Why did my old house not feel like this? Why did it promote feelings of anxiety? Had I always felt like that about my old house, how long had I been having those feelings?

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Its April 24th 2011 and I’m in my dining room with two of my best mates, Stu is at work and the kids are asleep….. We’re laughing, talking and playing a trivia game, the three of us are relaxed and having a cool time……. My mate stands up says she’s not feeling well, me and her boyfriend look at her concerned and say what’s wrong? She drops……she’s not breathing……no pulse……I look at him panicked, he doesn’t know what’s going on and he’s frozen…….. I ring triple O…… I do CPR for ten mins…….nothing…….I hold her………crying………first car crew of paramedics turn up……..nothing……….second car crew of paramedics turn up………. nothing……..I’m still crying…………..

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Is it controversial to allude to the fact that I have self diagnosed with PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder)? Yes I’ve had counselling, who wouldn’t when they lose a close friend like that…… I suppose quite a few people really……..however nobody ever suggested that I may have PTSD because I’m and ED nurse I deal with death all the time……… Hhhmmm actually it really is easier to detach yourself from someone you don’t know. Death at work is hard but nowhere near as hard as losing someone you really care about. My recent months of self-reflection in my cosy beautiful new house have made me really consider the possibility that I have been dealing with a bit of PTSD. That’s even if its possible to have just a bit of PTSD and not a lot of it…..it seems only fair that it comes in different degrees depending on the trauma experienced by the person and how resilient or not the person is. The old house holds so many good memories, of kiddies first steps and birthday parties, and sadly all I see now is pain, gut wrenching heart-break……… Mini anxiety attacks about walking through the front door or being alone in there………. Nonsense really or completely warranted or maybe even controversial……….

Its coming up to two years muffin and I miss you like crazy……. I know your bf does too……….We still always talk about you……..And spending time with your family always gives me a great sense of peace and happiness……..I know what you’re thinking……. Suck it up princess……..But don’t forget……. I know the sweet you…….the one that sent me msgs at night, saying hug a baby for me Nooshie………I don’t think about you as much as I want to cause it’s still too painful………

I’ve been waking up feeling grateful to be living this wonderful life, despite all the recent challenges we’ve faced as a family. I’ve had great support from friends and my family have really pulled together to support each other. All the new challenges and the move into our new home have really helped me reaffirm that I am a really strong resilient person. I know me and enjoy being me, PTSD or not! The things in life I’m most grateful for each day are the wonderful moments I get to spend with my loved ones and the amazing moments I experience frequently at work, through helping others!

I think I’m back to being me without the worry and anxiety…….or am I ‘back’ to being me? Maybe I’ve become a stronger better version of me…….. Oh of course I have, no controversy about that……

Sooooo remember what we used to say when we went shopping and complained about the clothes not fitting us………lol

Lets fake it till we make it baby 🙂

Never take anyone you care about for granted people because one day it might be too late to tell them how great they are!!

So for now, again I send a big shout out to all the amazing people in my life you all know who you are!! However in particular my kiddies, Stu, my mumma, Brennos (always and forever here for ya!), my sisters and all my beautiful mates!!

And if you haven’t seen my new house yet, it’s definitely worth a visit!! So beautiful, warm and happy!!

Today and for as long as it takes, I’ll be wearing my poker face 😉

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Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxox 🙂

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Death, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, schools, Sea change, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Sea Change Anyone?

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Hello beautiful people,

I have woken up cranky for the last three days. It’s not really like me. I’m on my days off from work and had lots of things planned, things I wanted to achieve. However I’ve spent the better part of the last three days feeling sorry for myself, chasing kids around and tackling never-ending mounds of housework.

The tribe and I live in a teeny weeny pocket-sized town house in the trendy (and ridiculously overpriced!!!)  Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The hubby and I are both in government employed jobs, receive average wages with no benefits……. Yep that’s right I said government jobs with NO benefits!! No dental, no medical, no rent or mortgage assistance, nothing!! And yes tax payers dollars pay our wages but we pay tax too, and a lot of it, so technically one could say we are paying ourselves too. If Peoples taxes didn’t pay our wages who would do our jobs? Yes we do our jobs partly for the love of them but we need to survive too!

So I think I’m waking up cranky in our poky little house because I’m exhausted from working so hard for an average wage and not even being able to afford to live somewhere I am happy to be or that actually fits my family. We have three children sharing a bedroom that you couldn’t swing a cat in (no offence to our fury loving friends) let alone make their beds or put their clothes away comfortably. Decision made after much debate about whether or not it was okay to expect teenage daughter to share with younger brother, conclusion no because apparently boys stink!

The area itself is surrounded by beautiful beaches, we are fifteen minutes away from Sydney’s infamous Bondi Beach, and parks designed with great play equipment to keep kids entertained for hours.

Not five minutes up the road from us is a hospital campus with some of the best Children’s, Women’s and Adults Hospitals in Sydney.

We are only a fifteen minute drive from Sydney’s central business district, including the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, Hyde Park and Centre Point Tower.

We are spoilt for choice with both public and private, Primary and High Schools and have several excellent Tertiary education facilities around!!!

All these great things within half an hour of where we live!! So why would I wake up cranky?

Most weeks consist of hubby and I having opposite rosters, he works days I work nights, yes the old analogy of ships passing in the night fits us perfectly.

School fees, rent prices (that are through the roof, average 3 bedroom house between $600-$1000 per WEEK, which would pretty much take up one of our whole incomes leaving us the bare minimum to live on) food bills, utilities, soaring petrol prices and just general constant increase in cost of living is making it harder for us to stay living in the area that we grew up in.

To buy a house requires a 10% deposit, average house price in area is $700000-$2million…..hhmmm paying the rent we do with all other expenses I would like someone to please explain to me how we are supposed to save a deposit that is more than our annual income?

Someone said to me just start by saving $10 a week and in my head my really mature subconscious said “derrrrrrr $10 a week would take a bazillion years to save the deposit I need” Yes my subconscious is also good at maths!

I have pondered on how my friends that live in the area have afforded to buy properties here. It occurred to me that several of them have inherited houses. Inherited money for the deposit, had family help with the deposit, had some kind of windfall for the deposit. Or lived with family until they were nearly thirty so they could save, buy and rent the property out to pay it off. All of these options not available to me. Besides I’d rather have family around then lose them to inherit money or a house (not saying anyone was cheering about their lose when they got their inheritance, so don’t get your knickers in a not!! And I was independent when I was a teenager so there was no living with my mum until I was nearly thirty!)

I’ve talked about the beauty and the benefits of the area so it only seems fair to point out some of the pitfalls, other than the ridiculous cost of living here!

For a small area it is grossly over populated on a hot summers day you are hard pressed to get a towel sized patch of beach without awkwardly rubbing against the leg of the stranger next to you who is just trying to catch some rays too. For a largely overpopulated area having grown up here, there is pretty much nothing you can do or say that someone who knows someone will be talking about you the next day. The crime rate is increasing at an alarming rate, believe me!! The property sizes for the price you pay are ridiculous. The peak hour traffic can see you at a stand still in your car for an hour on a journey that should take you no longer than ten minutes!!

Yes people can say why didn’t you save before you had kids to buy a house, well plain and simple I had kids before I was prepared to have them and I grew up in rental properties and wasn’t really taught about the great Australian dream of owning my own home, until the realisation dawned on me that renting is dead money!!

Phewww that’s a lot to think about, no wonder I’ve been waking up cranky. Note to self don’t ponder on what you don’t have before you fall asleep!

So options to overcome this, include put my blinkers on and ignore the desire to own a home, one that actually comfortably fits my whole family or…………….move!!

One small word with so many complications………move………

This effectively means looking at suburbs outside of Sydney, trying to choose one that we like, one that we can afford, one that has all the benefits of the area that we are currently in.

It also means addressing the issue of how far away are we willing to move? What about the grandparents and Aunt that we will be leaving behind, that we love so dearly? What about leaving behind all our friends? What about new schools?  What about our jobs? Will we have to find new ones? If we do will the new rosters be worse or any better? Surely they can’t be worse!

People say to me, just move away, have a sea change if you don’t like it you can always come back, ever so casually. It sends my mind into a spin thinking don’t they realise the difficulty surrounding their statement? Don’t they realise that if it was that easy we would have done it by now!

Then there is one of the biggest obstacle of all…………..The teenager!!

Noooooooo you can’t make me move to some small crappy town, I’ll have no friends, I’ll be bored forever, How will I be able to have any kind of life, Why would you do this to me, I wont come??????

And that’s it right there!!! Those three little words that stop all this process in its tracks!!! I wont come….

So, never leave a man behind, no daughter moving with us, means no moving. Yep I am that overly involved in my children’s lives, no I am not yet ready to let any of them go.

I dream of a sea change, where I can wake up relaxed and not cranky and enjoy the view from MY living room!!

I dream of a sea change, a small coastal, partially rural town, with a one man lock up and a little local hospital. A beautiful lush green headland for never-ending picnics above the deep blue ocean lapping at the shore. A little local school that has a great community feel, where all the teachers know the students by name and all the mothers are friends.

I dream of a sea change where the Australian dream is real and a piece of land with a quaint family home on it is a steal……………………..

Have you had a sea change?

Where did you go?

How did it turn out?

Is the grass greener?

Or should I just stay and battle it out with the over crowded streets, over flowing bedrooms and wardrobes, paying nearly all of one wage to live in a house that is too small that we don’t own?

Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxox 🙂