I’m sorry, my poor neglected blog

Please forgive me? I HAVE PHOTOS!

I’ve not blogged for a while. I’ve been a busy little bumblebee actually.

You see, I chose to take on an internship as part of my degree. I had considered it, but the logistics of juggling work plus three kids and uni seemed too difficult. I quite lazily put it in the “too hard basket” and forgot about it for a while.

But then I saw the advertisement

It was for a very big company that handles various magazines, newspapers, online publications and websites. It seemed too good to be true. I thought to myself that the chances of me getting something that so many others would be wanting at the same time were pretty slim. So I bypassed my uni’s”how to” instructions on resume building and threw something together at the eleventh hour.

My previous job with a workplace bully

My job before was in financial services. I worked in the same office as a monster, who was related (by marriage) to the wonderful business owner that hired me four times over the years since I had finished high school. This monster brought me down so low that I left and never returned when I suffered a miscarriage. That whole pregnancy was spent crying into my pillow until the wee hours of the morning, waking up and going to work a few hours later and feeling so beat down and useless that I lost my appetite and just wanted to cry again. I was sick with the flu and various other ailments. It really took its toll on my health. So I quit work and became a full-time student. That was it. Massive life-changing decisions in an instant.

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In a study room at uni with Miss 2. She loves watching Peppa Pig on the big screen!

Everything hit me again when I got the call for an interview

So everything was going really well for me. I’d managed to heal but I vowed to never forget the life that had been delayed. I was fortunate enough to get my baby girl almost a year to the day I miscarried. I wanted to raise awareness and normalise miscarriage and infant loss to make others feel like they were less alone. To remind other women going through similar that yes, it IS a horrible thing, but they are not alone.

When I got called for an interview for the internship, it all came rushing back. I didn’t want to go back into a corporate environment. I’d always had a thick skin but just couldn’t shake those feelings of being useless and incompetent. I knew in my head that I wasn’t, but after being belittled, abused, and beaten down for so many months, it’s a hard thing to forget.

I wouldn’t get it anyway

I told myself that I wouldn’t get the internship anyway. I had applied for a casual role several months earlier and froze when the interviewer asked me a question. I knew I had no chance at getting this one, so thought I may as well use it as a practice run. I bought a new navy slip dress, dusted off my pink heels, donned a black clutch (it was that or a nappy bag!), and in I went.

I sat down, looked at the interview panel and told them I was so nervous. I pointed out that my hands were sweating, I’d been a mum and student for so many years I’d forgotten how to talk to people without stuttering. I smiled and asked them to please be nice. And from that moment, I was back. They were so lovely and encouraging that all the tension and apprehension melted away. I sat there, pitched a story, answered questions, even cracked a few jokes. When the interview was over, they mentioned that I was among the first interviewed. I asked them to please not forget me and they all chuckled. One even added “We definitely won’t forget you”. And that was it. All the anxiety and negative feelings about myself and my abilities fell from my shoulders, bounced off my awkward black clutch, and onto the floor in front of me. I even stepped on them as I walked out of the boardroom with my head held high. They were dead forever.

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Me with Mr 8 and Mr 6. Walking in the rain – one of my favourite things to do.

So here I am

Here I am now. I’ve written several blog posts over the last few months, but before I upload them, I email them to my editor. I ask her if she can use them, and she always does.

Did you catch that?

I said “my editor”. It’s really exciting. From this mum of three (plus one angel), who turned a loss into a life-changer. I no longer have to work in financial services because that is what I know like the back of my hand. I get to write. It’s only a casual job and that is completely fine with me, because I’m still studying. I’m due to graduate in January and rather than feeling sick at the thought of returning to work, and looking for reasons to continue studying, I’m looking forward to possibly working some more. I never expected those feelings.

To those who have followed along, my study load has now greatly reduced for my last semester, so I’m hoping to blog regularly again. But thank you for sticking around. And thank you for following me in the first place. I always wanted this blog to be completely anonymous, but I’m not so sure I still want that. If I want to bring awareness to those things that people don’t often talk about, then I need to have a name to my voice. So here I am, in the form of a few pictures. It’s lovely to ‘meet’ you. 😉

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On a recent road trip to Dubbo Zoo. Mr 8 got car sick, Miss 2 slept for most of it, and Mr 6 rambled the whole way there. (Note: I was obviously NOT driving when I took this pic).

Claire. x

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Pokemon Go, oh no…

Today my son scored a goal at soccer. He’s been playing in the same team for two years and he’s now in the under 8s. He spent a few months as goalie where he rarely got to kick the ball but saved dozens of goals from being scored by other teams. He was the best goalie. Everyone would talk about how he’d throw himself onto the ball with such finesse and courage. But the whole time he’s played he’s spoken about how he wants to score a goal. So he begged to come out of goals but then his skilled defense meant he didn’t get much of a chance as striker from the back of the field.

Until today.

Today he scored a goal. He came up to the front from his position of defense up the back (excuse the lack of technical jargon). He dribbled the ball around a few players with ease, gliding in and out around their little knobbly knees. He gave the ball one final push and off it soared into the back corner of the net. His teammates all cheered and patted him on the back and the grin on his red face was worth the wait.

And I caught a Bulbasaur.

TWO YEARS we’ve all been waiting for this moment, and I’m catching Pokemon?!

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s not how it seems. You see, I downloaded the new Pokemon Go app the other day and I have enjoyed so many fun times with my boys. My husband has taken them out to the local shops and parks and gathered items and hunted for Pokemon along the way. It’s a real team effort and has been great for entertaining ourselves and coming together as a family.

But damn you, Nintendo, for dropping that red-eyed little green creature with the bulb on his back at just that moment in time. I’m just grateful I got to see his gleeful grin.

A Tumble In Paradise Leads to an Extended Holiday

I’ve not blogged much, but then I’ve never really felt like anything has been important enough to blog about. Until our recent holiday…

We went away for a short family holiday and to see my family last week. I had found cheap flights and snagged some reasonable accommodation at a hotel that was central to the beach and shops. It would be a total of four nights away. We swam in the pool, met up with family, had ice cream in the afternoons and pancakes for breakfast. The sun was shining and we were all relaxed and happy. We were having so much fun.

On the third day, I went shopping with my mum and sister. I took my little girl, leaving the boys to have a fun day with their dad. On my way to the shops my husband called me. He said “I’ve had a fall and it’s pretty bad”, then he had to go because someone from the hotel had arrived to help him up. He later explained to me that he had slipped as he was getting out of the spa by the pool. His leg went out in front of him and his body folded on top of it, then he fell down the four steps. A lady by the pool phoned the hotel reception for help and she had her fifteen-year old daughter get back in the pool to supervise our boys who are a little too confident in the water. My husband was finally able to put a tiny bit of weight on his leg and iced it for the rest of our holiday. It improved slightly with the help of the ice and pain killers and we saw the specialist upon our arrival back in Sydney.

After a few days of treatment the specialist was not happy with his progress and referred him for an MRI. That was when we discovered his hamstring was not simply pulled or torn, but had been ripped clean from the bone (“hamstring avulsion”). It is likely that he will need surgery to reattach it, and then months of extensive and painful rehab.

My husband is the sole bread winner. We have three children and live with his elderly parents. Thankfully we don’t have a mortgage to worry about, but we still have many mouths to feed and bills to pay. I foresee this Christmas as being a simple one. I’ve already started reading up on saving money and surviving Christmas on a small budget. It’s going to be a hard slog and I’m sure there are going to be medical bills coming out of our ears. But you know what? I’m really excited to get to spend the next 6-12 months with my husband. He has always worked so hard, taking on shift work and having a different schedule to the rest of the family. In the past, this has made things difficult for us as we have had to carefully plan for our paths to cross for simple things such as going for a run without a pram, or helping me with a big grocery shop. We have maintained Wednesdays as our kind of date day, but that still meant he woke up at lunch time and then I had to pick up the kids from school by 3.00. But now? Now he’s here beside me. Yes, he will be in pain. Yes, he will feel down about being less mobile, but we can do it together. We WILL get through this. And I’m looking forward to being blessed enough to spend time with my husband. This will be our second honeymoon.

Any suggestions for low budget meal planning and how to stop this shopaholic from going anywhere near any sales would be welcome!

How do you know when you’re done?

One year and three months ago I found out my baby had died inside me. I had a D&C as my body froze up in disbelief and refused to let go. I was then was advised to wait three months before trying again. I was supposed to be thirteen weeks pregnant but my baby measured ten weeks plus five days.

One year ago today, my third post-miscarriage cycle was complete and a new one had just begun. We were getting ready to have a few friends over for New Year’s Eve, and I was going to have a few drinks as I wasn’t ovulating until around the fifth of January. I had a bender that night and although it was still shadowed with sadness, lots of cuddles with our two boys, time with good friends, and a few laughs it was really good for me. That night was the last time I felt tipsy.

I’m happy to report that this year, I still cannot have a heavy night on the Strawberry Daiquiris because I am breastfeeding our four-month-old baby girl (she was conceived in the first days of 2014 and arrived four weeks early for those doing the maths). This year though, I’m filled with sadness and uncertainty. I always wanted four children; my husband was happy to stop after our two boys. Our baby girl was our compromise. But how do I know we’re finished? When I was pregnant this last time I vowed I would never go through it again. Every scan terrified me. Every symptom had me worried, every lack of symptom had me picturing that still lifeless figure of a baby on the ultrasound screen … I just never wanted to go through it again. We also just do not have the room for another child. I thought I was OK with that, but now I’m not so sure.

I know I should be grateful for even having the choice to try again. Many people are not so lucky. Some have one child but run into roadblocks on number two, and many don’t even have that chance. I am eternally grateful for the three beautiful children I have and I feel like I should just listen to hubby and stop pondering another … but I can’t help wonder if I’m going to regret not having that one last baby when I’m old and wrinkly.

I’ve googled and even good old Mr Google doesn’t have the answer. The internet is just flooded with many more women asking the same one. How do we know when we’re done? Will I ever know?

A GRATEFUL POST

Since posting the story about my miscarriage, I’ve had a read through some other experiences which have floated across my WordPress app and I feel the overwhelming urge to do a grateful post. What happened to me is nothing compared to what many people face every day. Infertility plagues approximately 15% of Australian couples of reproductive age. I am so lucky not to ever have tried to conceive for more than six months straight. I found it hard enough to deal with symptom-spotting and peeing on sticks waiting for a line to come then imagining lines when they’re not there, etc for a measly six months. I found it mentally draining and I really had nothing on the many people who go through this for months and even years. Kudos to those who are still chasing their dreams of conceiving after extended periods of disappointment. You must possess such a strength to keep fighting and I am in awe of you.

There are also major life-threatening issues like congenital heart disease which gives a set of loving parents their dream, only to yank it back in such a cruel way you wonder how they could possibly get through it. I’m not sure if I could have said goodbye to one of my babies shortly after they were born. I struggle even imagining it.

So anyway, don’t let me get sidetracked. I am so super grateful for my three healthy kids. Having children is a blessing, not a right. I am so blessed to have been chosen as their mother. Through sleepless nights, sore nipples, the unrelenting screams through “witching hour”, and countless spew-adorned early morning school runs, I am always grateful.

I am grateful for my angel baby who grew wings last year when I was thirteen weeks pregnant, because without her, we would not have our little ten week old princess now. Our third child was always going to be our last, so if last year’s pregnancy had gone full-term we wouldn’t have Miss O. I couldn’t imagine a world without her now. She has given me perspective and understanding while making me truly appreciate everyone around me.

I am also hugely grateful for my husband. Above all, he is my perfect partner. When we’ve thought our love could not grow any more, it has. We’ve been married for almost eleven years and they have been the best years of my life by far. I like to think we have so much love for our children as they were born from the love we have for each other. He takes such good care of us and works hard to feed our three children, myself and also help out his parents. I’m grateful for his patience and understanding when I decided last year that I couldn’t face my workplace any longer and started to pursue a university degree. I wake up every morning and smile because I get to do what makes me happy (even when there’s a poosplosion and subsequent nappy leak) with those that mean the most to me, all day, every day.

I am blessed. I truly am.