The Last Days Of Pregnancy

Wow! 2017… What a year? I mean, in 2017, we completed our beautiful, crazy team and became a family of five… So it is definitely one of those years that will take some beating. It was a whirlwind though. A real knock you off of your feet, months in a bubble of loveliness, high on life, Holy shizzle kind of whirlwind. It started off feeling difficult. Well actually, the first half of it was really hard. Exhausting. Overwhelming. A struggle. I’m not ashamed to admit that being and feeling constantly sick during my pregnancy, wore me out. I remember the day that I made my pregnancy announcement video. I wanted it to be so beautiful because nothing that I went through affected the love that was growing in my heart for my baby. I felt like the luckiest person in the whole wide world and I couldn’t wait for this little life to be in my arms. But… once I started talking, the tears started to flow and it turned out to be so raw. I remember feeling so thankful that I could get everything that I was feeling out.

I have to say that as time went on, The relentless truth of feeling torn between my children was a much more excruciating pain to endure, than having hyperemesis gravidarum or the crunching, stabbing pain in my pelvis, every time I tried to walk or move. The way that my emotions fluctuated in that time were nothing less than savage. Brutal.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I felt that I was failing at everything in my world. I pushed everything to one side so that I could place my energy into being the best mama that I could possibly be at the time. Looking back, I guess I did okay. Noah and Ellenah weren’t late for school once in that time and they always handed in their homework done and on time. They receive countless praise for being hardworking, enthusiastic and kind from their teachers and I almost felt validated every time that they were awarded ‘Pupil / Reader / Most Improved Speller of the week or term’ certificates. I was determined not to fail them. I couldn’t let myself let them down. That focus was what kept me keeping on most days.

As Noah Turns Eight

My confidence took a knock as I struggled to walk, run and play with my children. I hate to say out loud that I suffered… because I know that in comparison to many around the world, I do not know the true definition of the word… but to me, every day hurt me. Every day started and ended, alone in my bathroom, a little heap on the cold floor, searching for strength to push past the restrictions of my tired, broken body. Pelvic Girdle Pain was truly horrific and I have the deepest sympathy and empathy for anyone trying to manoeuvre around life while struggling with the condition.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

My third pregnancy, was hard and long.

The Last Days Of Pregnancy

I mean, like most things though, there were some beautiful, magical moments along the way. Little glimmers of hope. Tiny bursts of magic. Finding out the gender of baby number three was kind of wonderful and the day that we filmed our gender reveal was one of the moments in life when I felt so beautiful. I was so proud to be carrying another beautiful boy in my body. It’s the one day that I felt like I had that pregnancy glow that people talk about. I felt like I was radiating all of the love that I was feeling from within.

More beautiful than how I felt that day though, was how excited Noah and Ellenah were about have a new baby to love. I watched them change a lot as the days went by. They talked about how they would love him, care for him and keep him safe. They bickered over who would change nappies and feed him in his highchair first. They both wanted to be the one to share a bedroom with him. Noah made a plan to put wax in his hair before school when he is old enough and to teach him to ride his bike without stabilisers. Ellenah spent her days drawing pictures of our little baby in my tummy and pictures of her holding hands with him. She was excited to choose his clothes one day and to read him bedtime stories. They both opened up their world to this new human who they already loved so fiercely and they invited him in with open arms. They made space for him and couldn’t wait to meet him. The involved him in every decision and game in the months leading up to his arrival. They wanted to know who he would sit next to at the dining table and came up with an agreement between them as to who he would sit next to, so things would be fair.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

So in the early hours of Tuesday the 4th of July, we were all ready and excited for baby Dexter to make his appearance in this world. To begin making his mark. He was born in the tiny bathroom of our home while Noah and Ellenah slept soundly in the room next door. His birth was empowering, intense and beautiful. It was the most perfect labour and the one that I wished so hard for. I gave myself permission to dream for it and to want it, after all that I had been through. I felt in control and I know this sounds mad, but I was so in tune with my baby that I felt like we were talking to each other, every step of the way.

And then he was here. My beautiful, sweet Dexi with his big blue eyes and his pure and innocent soul. And then nothing else mattered. I felt the struggle evaporate, like it was all just a dream. All I could think of in that moment was love and my family of five. I imagined our adventures, our new normal and all of the fun that we would have over the next year and beyond. Without hesitation, I lost myself in our baby bubble and our new family dynamics. It was everything that I could ever want. This was us. Our lives now. I remember feeling so calm, content and peaceful. Everything felt like it was meant to be like this. It’s an incredible feeling, knowing that you are on exactly the right path.

Baby Dexter's Birth Day

Three Months With Baby Dexi

Life as a family of five, I’m pleased to say, came quite easily to all of us. Loving every second, with all of us falling in love with each other more very day.

We took Dexi for his first trip out when he was just four days old, to a wildlife park and it felt good jumping feet first into making new memories. I still to this day can’t believe how alert he was, he was already taking in so much.

And then, at four weeks… We took him camping for the first time! Camping plays a big role in our family life. We adore our time living the simple life, being outside and dreaming by the fire. Noah and Ellenah are their most free when we have set up camp for a few days and make a home from very little. We had a bit of a shock a few days into this camping trip though. Noah was climbing a tree with his sister and cousins and he fell around six feet, plummeting to the ground. He landed on both hands as he tried to stop himself from falling but the impact caused his head to hit the earth with brutal force. I can still remember his Uncle running with him, in a little heap in his arms towards me and the blood in my body turning cold. I remember everyone crowding around him and because I was holding Dexter, I couldn’t get to him. Everyone was afraid because his stare was so vacant. He was so pale and his lips had turned blue. His body was rigid and he couldn’t move, stand or…anything. I remember screaming, with a shrill voice that I wouldn’t recall as my own, ‘GIVE ME MY SON!’… and I threw myself at his feet. I was terrified inside… so terrified. I went into auto pilot… trying to figure out how bad things were… needing my baby boy to be okay. I stroked his face and spoke to him so calmly, desperate for him to respond to me. I needed so much to hear his voice, I needed him to say something, anything. I needed hope, that my darling boy was going to be okay. For a moment there, I just didn’t know and it was one of the worst moments of my life.

His mouth was full of mud, from when he hit the ground so we tried to remove it and I recall him looking like he was going to be sick. I held water to his lips, begging him to sip. Begging him to drink. I was desperate for him to respond. Desperate for him to come back to me.

He finally started to come around and when he did, I saw fear in his whole face. He was so afraid and he was beginning to panic.

I acted so calm.

I held his beautiful head against my chest, careful not to hurt him. I asked him to listen to my heartbeat and to breathe with me. He kept trying to fall asleep and every time he did, I looked him in the eyes and said ‘Noah, Noah… I love you… wake up… you must not go to sleep… Do you understand me????!’ and then we continued breathing together.

He broke both of his wrists that day and thankfully, because I prayed with everything I possibly had within me… He is fine now.

Aside from the massive low that saw Noah properly hurt himself for the first time, all of the mama guilt that goes with it and wanting to turn back time so that I could change it… My three beautiful children spent the rest of the year, truly thriving. It feels amazing to be able to look back on them in 2017 and to feel this proud. Obviously a new baby in the family is big news, a big deal but honestly… It made me fall in love with Noah and Ellenah all over again. We were all in this glorious baby bubble and I had the time, while on maternity leave, to be present, observant and a part of this new chapter, right by their side. I think that is why they adjusted so well… because, I spent so much time with them one on one and loving every minute. I spent some much time letting them know how grateful I am for them, how much I appreciate them and how much I love them, every day.

Our happiness at home was having a positive effect on them both with their school work. They both soared and really shone brightly. They loved going every day, skipping through the school gates, always with beaming smiles on their faces. Always, happy!

Noah spent two nights away from home again with the Cub Scouts at the end of summer, early autumn. Again, he left me so easily (ahh my heart) and much to my disbelief, so independently. I watched as my skinny little boy, dragged and carried his bags over the swampy ground, saturated with rain. I watched as he set up his tent with his friends. I tried to help but he wouldn’t let me so much. I tried to steal a kiss goodbye when we left him but he pecked me on the cheek and ran off, laughing. I cried a bit, in the car on the way home. I wasn’t sad! It was still a high point of the year. Seeing how much my son, my first born…. Is capable of without me. Seeing how much the one who made me a mama, was growing up in front of my very eyes.

Noah's 8th Birthday

Ellenah participated in a Christmas dance show with her dance school in December. She did a ballet performance, a tap performance and she danced like an angel. I felt so proud of how she managed to keep up with an intense rehearsal schedule, school and her home life without feeling a little pulled apart… but she took it all in her stride. Watching her up on stage, finding my emotional face in the audience while she danced and all while looking so confident… It was incredible. The cherry on top of a stunning year.

Ellenah & Pregnancy With Baby #3

Noah and Ellenah had joined the Christmas choir around this same time also and proved themselves to be true ambassadors for the school. As always, Ellenah performed beautifully and Noah was praised for his kindness when they visited a care home, to sing for the senior ladies and gentleman, needing a bit of Christmas cheer. Noah happily gave his time to some of the ladies, while they waited for the school bus and I was told that he lead the way with such confidence and ease when talking maturely with them, striking up wonderful conversations and finding ways to spread joy. He made their day and probably some of their Christmas’. Obviously I am very proud for this.

It’s great when you are a mama and you have those moments, when you realise that ‘wow, I have raised really good kids!’

Anyway, along the same lines as the choir… One day, walking home from school in the dark, they were both singing ‘Silent Night’ together. Ever so sweetly. Not too loud but enough that any passers by could hear them over the wind. As we walked past one house at the end of our road, where the loveliest woman lives, they sang the part ‘All is calm, all is bright’ and we noticed how she had stopped, still in her front garden to listen to them sing. They both smiled at her as they sang their hearts out, their little legs carrying them ahead slightly. The lady looked at me, emotionally and with her hand pulled up to her heart, she told me that my lovely children had made her day and that they had just made her so happy. And with that, she said ‘Merry Christmas’ and blew them a kiss.

Aside from the odd grumble here, there but very rare… 2017 was oh so good to me. Like most new mama’s do, I lost a little of my personal confidence along the way. Triggered by losing myself a little, not having much in the way of sleep, throwing my hair in a bun a lot and feeling like I had lost my style and identity. I mean, I accepted this very quickly, forgave myself for it and tried to remind myself that life, myself and motherhood is not and will not be like this forever. I reminded myself to embrace the chapter and the blank canvas that comes with having a baby. The new beginnings and the chance to change and grow as we are all meant to.

I then steered my energy into being the best mama that I could be and into the breastfeeding journey that I had hoped for with baby Dexi. And just like that, any bad thoughts, any unkind ones that I would direct at myself… I turned them into something great.

I’m pleased to say that as much as I suspect that our breastfeeding journey may be changing soon…because my baby is so curious about food and EVERYTHING else… At almost six months, we are still in our little bubble of feeding time, comfort, sleepiness and all of the lovely cuddles. I feel so blessed that I get to have this and anything that happens beyond this point, will be because of Dexter’s needs. My milk supply hasn’t dried up. My baby isn’t hungry. My baby doesn’t need more from me. And I am proud of myself for not only trying this journey again after things not working out two times before… but for persevering with the demands from a hungry baby boy… and for finally being able to do it. This was a dream come true for me this year.

So much happened in 2017. It was truly my happy mess. My hopelessly devoted chaos and if the year 2018 is anything like the one that sparkled before it, I will be incredibly blessed and humbled by it. I know one thing, I’m excited to see what comes next… What the twists and turns of life have in store for me and mine. Saying that, as long as we have love, laughter, patience, respect, humour, kindness… but most importantly, each other… Then I couldn’t want for much more. Could I?

With Love,

Ria x

four months with baby dexi

 

 

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As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

As Ellenah Turns Six

Dear Ellenah, on the eve of your sixth birthday,

These letters are so much more than simply saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to you. To my best girl in the whole world. This is where I get to reflect on the past year, all of the changing you have done… All of the growing. All that we have been through together. All of the wonderful ways that you have become… You… As the most beautiful, clever, funny, charismatic, almost six year old ever.

There are absolutely millions of things that I could say about you from this past year… You have surprised me endlessly and shone so brightly… As you always do.

The year that you were five started so subtly, so calmly…

I was growing your baby brother, Dexter in my tummy and I didn’t find that the easiest time. Our days were spent getting from A to B, squeezing in the fun when I could manage it. I watched you a lot in those months. I watching you ever so closely. I was looking for signs that you resented our temporary pace. Observing your happiness… ready to pounce if it ever faltered from the smiley, energetic, slightly loopy little hurricane that you usually are. I’m pleased to say that you didn’t change and looking upon you in those difficult days made me feel such hope, happiness and strength… I will always be grateful that I was blessed with a little girl who is as cool as you are. Your smile is a healer sweetheart! As if by magic, you instantly make me feel better.

I noticed a lot about you over those months. I saw your imagination flourish as you played the most beautiful games with the tiny little figures that you had collected over time. You played alone quite often, content with your own company. You easily shut out the noise and lost yourself for hours in your world of make believe.

I saw you dance, even when I could not hear any music. I watched you leap, twirl and tell a story with your moves. I watched you twist, contract and lose yourself in the steps that you improvised so naturally. I smiled as you commanded your space to ‘Be You’. I held onto my beating, emotional heart as you did this. I saw a version of myself from years and years ago, except you are more expressive, confident and brave than I was back then. Probably more so than I am, even now. And I want this for you… To be better, to shine brighter… Than I ever could.

You made up songs too. Lots of sweet melodies. And the lyrics would always reflect your feelings…or just what happened in your day. Towards the end of the year, you learned a little something’ about rhyming at school and that became a lot of fun for you. Whatever the words though, the tune would always be bright, cheery, happy… Like you. Despite the fact that your songs were long, they would always make me still. They still do.

You learned to run even faster this year. People have commented in the years before, how fast and how far your body could take you and I would always nod and say ‘Yep, she never needs to stop!’ but in the year that you were five, You got extra speedy. Like Dash from The Incredibles. And I felt like I had to be even more like Elastigirl… always needing longer, quicker, more bendy arms to keep you safe. You won the running race at sports day. You left your classmates far behind. You made it look so easy and I will always remember your face that day, looking behind you, wondering where everybody was. It was amazing. It feels amazing… to have a healthy daughter, who loves to run.

On the 4th July, you became a big sister to baby Dexter. You finally got to hold your little brother, to look at him and into the eyes of this little person who you had already loved so fiercely in the months before. You crept in to meet him on the day that he was born and emotion washed over you, so intensely. You cried with joy as you smiled at him and you have helped me to keep him happy and safe ever since. Not a day has gone by when it seemed like the ‘novelty’ has worn off. You have done everything in your heart to make him happy. You have made me so proud of you. You handed over the ‘baby of the family’ badge with such ease and are practically bursting with love from within. You are a perfect big sister and it makes me so happy to know that your brothers have you in their lives. This strong-minded, spirited girl with the sweetest soul. We are all so lucky that you are ours.

You started Year One at school in 2017. Polar Bears class… With a teacher who resembles and teaches just like Miss Honey from Matilda. A teacher who thinks that you are wonderful too. She sees how you sparkle, just like the rest of us. In September, you were a little unsure of yourself and maybe doubted yourself a little too often. It is a trait that comes with being a perfectionist, which you are. You like everything just so, aren’t great with sudden change and you prefer your work to be neat and lovely… even if it means that you don’t end up doing as much. In September, you found reading and writing such a challenge. You were scared of getting anything wrong… Because one thing that never changes about you my darling, you hate to be wrong. By the time December rolled around though, you were flying. You had picked up so much confidence and everything seemed to click in to place so beautifully. Now you are thriving and have fallen in love with reading and story-telling. A girl after my own heart.

You were given the role of the wise lady in the Christmas nativity play too and this was something that you were very proud of. It still breaks my heart to know that I wasn’t there to watch you. Next year, I will try my hardest to get tickets for more than one performance, but this year, I dreamed that I would attend with Daddy and we would watch you for the first time together. Noah was poorly though andhad been sent home from school about thirty minutes before your show was due to start. He asked me to stay with him and even though it was the right thing to do… It was hard to watch Daddy get in the car and drive to watch you on his own. I cried the whole time that he was gone and only managed to pull myself together, seconds before you walked through the door. I asked Daddy to record your parts though and I watched them with you when you got home. You were fantastic… Such a star. It suits you up on stage!

Talking of the stage. You took part in your first dance show this year. It was at the beginning of December and you performed a ballet and a tap number. For ballet you danced to Winter Wonderland and wore a beautiful white tutu with a baby blue shrug. For tap, you were dressed as a little snowman. Olaf from Frozen actually because you danced to ‘In Summer’, a song from the movie. You looked so beautiful. You danced like an angel. It really was a big deal. You were so brave for dancing in front of so many people, with lots of lights blazing on to you and all while being so little still. You loved it that I let you take in my subtle pink blusher and a nude lipstick in your dance bag. Your face was beaming when you told me that you had shared them with the other girls when you were ‘getting ready’. It threw me ahead in time to when you will get ready to ‘go out’ with your friends in quite a few years time. I can imagine you and your girlfriends taking over our bathroom, music blaring and you stealing my nice make-up, the stuff for special occasions. I’ll pretend I don’t know what you are doing and giggle to myself as you walk out of the door, to have fun and to live your best life with abandon.

You achieved so much in the year that you were five baby girl and you should be so proud of yourself. I am… So proud of you. I could almost pop some days, when you are doing these amazing, incredible things for someone so tiny. I feel like that in our every day’s too Ellenah. When I see how kind, determined, courageous and lovely you are. When I see you smile sweetly with a glint of fire in your eyes. You are bold and you care… about people, the world, life.

You inspire me. All of the time. When I need to find courage and strength, I think of you, who you are… what you would do. And it’s almost as if I can feel the fire from your eyes, ignite a flame in my gut.

So you deserve this birthday, to be wonderful and everything that you could ever dream of. You deserve for everyone who loves you, to gather around you and celebrate the beautiful human that you are.

Happy Sixth Birthday My Little Bella-Rina,

I love you more than words could ever do justice!

From, Mama x

 

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To my beautiful boy, Noah – On the Eve of your eighth birthday

As Noah Turns Eight

These letters are becoming harder to write each year, without breaking apart. Some people say that you are most emotional as a mother, when your children are babies and the moments fly by so quickly. I find each year that you turn a new age much harder. Back when you were a baby, you needed me for everything. I was the centre of your whole world. You didn’t question me. You didn’t question yourself. You didn’t need much else, other than me and my time. The older you get and with each birthday, I can see the look in your eyes… that need for more. You want more freedom. You want to experience more. You crave life and you want to explore all of the things that you are capable of, all of the things that you can do. You are trying so hard to establish your independence… You need me much less.

As Noah Turns Eight

I know that you still need me. As always, you will cuddle me and show me affection, every single day. I really am lucky for that and for you. You are and I don’t doubt always will be a loving little boy, a lovely human. But in this past year, I have noticed that when I say goodbye to you at the school gates, you have started to run ahead, happy to wave a goodbye but will gently avoid a kiss goodbye in front of your friends. This past year, you decided to ditch your book bag with the school emblem on it, opting for a backpack which you tell me is much cooler. You’ve started to use wax in your hair some days and you care about which clothes you wear too. You know how to fix a puncture and you’ve recently learned how to cook an egg on a cooker made out of baked bean tins.

As Noah Turns Eight

You are not a baby anymore, are you? You don’t tend to play the role for my benefit anymore. You are growing up fast. You are changing in front of my eyes.

I often reach out to hold your hand as we walk together, wanting to swing your arms with mine like we used to when you were tiny. Every now and again, you will let me…but you don’t stay there for very long before you get itchy feet and feel that need to run or walk ahead. I watch you as you go, making up games, using your imagination. And I do love it. I love watching you have fun… it makes my heart and soul very happy.

As Noah Turns Eight

Last weekend, we went to a summer fair at your cousin’s school. I saw you watch your bigger cousin, running around with his friends, being that bit older than you. I could see that you were jealous. I could see that you wanted to go with him. I could tell you thought he was having a lot more fun, than you. I kept you close to me, not to stray far away at all. My heart panicked if you had fallen just steps behind and I couldn’t see you. I’m struggling to let you go at all. Struggling to let you grow up. I tried so hard to keep you… to almost tell you that you were having more fun walking around with me and your little sister. But you weren’t, were you? I could see that look in your eyes and I made myself be brave. I was shaking as I said it… but I told you that you could go off with your cousin but you had to stay with him at all times. I knew that everywhere you went in the school grounds, I could see you… watch you. It still felt difficult to let you be away from me though. When I said it, your eyes grew wide… you couldn’t even believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. You are so used to me being cautious, over-protective… possibly a bit of a control freak and an advocate of organised fun. You smiled at me like you never have before…and off you ran. I didn’t have to tell you twice. I did watch you though Noah. I didn’t take my eyes off of you. It was weird seeing you out of arms reach, laughing and being perfectly fine without me. So endearing though. This was you. This was how you socialised. This was you responding to other children, away from my watchful eye…or so you thought (baby steps, okay?)… And, you were absolutely fine. Sensible, free ¬†and so happy.

I am trying Noah, to change alongside you. To keep up. This will never be an easy part of being your mama, please know that. Please accept that about me and understand, it is because I love you so very much. Protecting you, nurturing you… these are the things that I understand most about raising you. Everything else feels like scary territory. Like you once did, I have to learn to crawl before I can walk and walk before I can run.

As Noah Turns Eight

We are absolute best friends beautiful boy… but I am your mama first. That is a role that comes with a fierce maternal instinct to keep you safe, do what is best for you always and to love you unconditionally. The year ahead of us is going to push and pull me so far out of my comfort zone, it’s going to leave me dizzy. BUT, we will challenge the balance and all of the madness that comes with you growing up and getting older…and we will do it together.

As Noah Turns Eight

Tomorrow, you are going to be eight years old, I just cant believe it. It only feels like five minutes ago that I was writing the first one of these letters. I was gushing about how you had learned to pretend sneeze…and it was just one of the adorable things that came with having a one year old. That was a long time ago now. So much has changed since then. You have changed. I have changed. One thing that never changes though, is how much my heart expands each year, How much my love for you grows with it and how proud of you I am. You surprise me constantly with your charm, wit and spirit and you make me smile every single day. You really are my sunshine and you always will be.

As Noah Turns Eight

Happy 8th Birthday for tomorrow Noah, I hope your day is as special as you are.

I love you, more and most,

From Mama x x x

 

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Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

Dear Ellenah, my beautiful little girl.

This is long over due. On the evening before each of your birthday’s, I will write you a letter… but on the evening before your fifth birthday, I couldn’t make it happen. I’m really sorry Sweetheart, it wasn’t because I don’t care. It wasn’t because you are not important. It wasn’t because I had forgotten. It was the most important thing for me to do that day but the best I could do was to write down my thoughts in the notes on my phone, hoping that this day would come. This day when I would be able to string together the sentences to better communicate exactly what it is that I want to say to you.

And just over two months late, I have found the right day.

Turning five is a big deal. I can’t remember anything about my fifth birthday but I can remember the feeling of turning five. Your big brother was impatient to get to this age too. It’s the age where things change. It’s the age that you have really started to show the little girl that you are becoming. The petite, inquisitive and sassy little diva that storms through each day with that beautiful smile and sharp wit. You are our delightful chaos. Forever known as ‘Hurricane Bella Roo’.

You are bold and fearless. You are strong-willed and spirited. You are everything that I could ever want in a little girl. You are a pleasure to raise. You challenge me in ways that nobody else can. You question me and you make me question the world around me… Everything and everyone in it. You seem to simply know things that it takes some of us years to understand. You make no apology for being exactly as you are and I love that about you.

Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

Some days I look at you and I see so much of myself. You smile like me. You run like me. You perform like me and you believe in the world like me. Other days, I look at you and see someone who I want to be. Brave, certain and rambunctious.

This past year, you have started to show what matters to you, who you love dearly and how you like to go about your day. You like your space… Alone time is very important to you. It is part of what enables you to be creative which is one of your biggest strengths. You communicate your real feelings clearly and never try and adapt your mood to anyone else’s expectation of you. I respect that about you.

Dear Ellenah, You Are Five

To be honest, as with each passing year and the bigger and more charismatic you get… there never feels to me like enough words in the world that can fully sum up just how wonderful I think you are. Just how much I love you, from the bottom of my proud mama heart.

It has just been so much fun, getting to know each side of you with each passing moment. To see such beautiful sweetness to your sassy. To see such kindness in your heart that balances out your strong will. To see you shine bright and bring out the brightness and light in those around you, those who have fallen in love with you for everything that you are and for the blessing that you are to this world.

I love how much you love snails and how you will always move them if they are in harms way, no matter how much it’s raining. I love how conscious you are of protecting the planet and our daily conversations about throwing our litter away. I love watching you play, watching your imagination soar. I love listening to you make up little songs about the things that you find important. I love watching you dance like mama used to. I love your dirty laugh and how bright red your cheeks turn when you find something really funny.

I love the way that you make every day better.

I love the way that you make me better.

Love, Mama x

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On Monday 21st November 2016, I was taken into hospital.

It’s simple really… I needed help! I was in so much pain and hadn’t kept down food or even a sip of water in a long time. My eyes were grey. My lips were cracked. I kept crying. I couldn’t sleep. I was too hungry, starving really. My eyes wouldn’t focus. I couldn’t walk without help. I felt dizzy if I moved my head in the slightest. I was so thirsty. So much so, that when I cried I tried to keep the tears back in fear of wasting moisture. My skin was blotchy and sore from the tears. I didn’t feel human anymore.

I didn’t understand how I was still breathing and I was being a terrible mama. Numb and empty laying in bed, afraid to move as Matt made sure that Noah and Ellenah were okay. My heart was breaking apart, bit by bit. I missed them so much. I missed the way we do things. I missed the motherhood that I had loved for the past seven and a half years.

I was in trouble. I was broken. I couldn’t remember when I smiled last, from a happy heart.

All I could focus on was someone helping me to get through this. Someone helping me get back to health. Someone giving me back to my children. We needed each other. There had to be someone who could help me.

It wasn’t just the sickness. I was in such traumatic pain. I thought I was losing the little person in my body. The tiny little person who I wanted to give life. The person who I thought my body was killing, rejecting. I thought something was seriously wrong. It hurt so much. I felt like i was being butchered from the inside.

So from a couple of phone calls, a trip to the doctor, a trip to A&E, a trip to the early pregnancy unit and an internal scan later… I was sent to my cubicle on the labour ward where after days of no food or drink, I collapsed on the bed. Unaware of the midwife attaching me to an IV and unsure what was happening.

I missed the first time that we got to see our baby. I was ridiculously weak and as much as my eyes were open, I couldn’t see as far as the screen and there wasn’t much behind my eyes even if I could have. As I said, it was an internal scan. I was being checked over for an ectopic pregnancy. If i’m honest, from the moment I was advised that this was the suspected problem, I had started to say goodbye to my baby. I don’t think it showed on the outside how much I was hurting, how much I was breaking. I could no longer imagine his or her face or the life that we were going to have, all together. Every happy thought that I had allowed myself about the pregnancy up to this point had started to fade. I didn’t think that I could be any more broken than I was… but, I surprised myself I guess. An ectopic pregnancy made sense to me I suppose. I had suffered terrible pregnancy sickness with my son Noah, for my whole pregnancy…but nothing this relentless. I think I thought deep down, ‘How could a baby ever survive this?’

sickness, dehydration & hospital

Our Beautiful Baby At 9 Weeks

But… My baby was as tough as old boots it seemed. Much tougher than me. Baby had a beautiful, strong heartbeat… And was growing in exactly the right place. And in seconds, I was a little less broken. A little more ready to start fighting again. For my baby. To get back home to my perfect, little family… Where this mama belonged.

And so I did my time ‘inside’. It was bad. My hydration levels were shot. I was on the IV permanently, for three days. When I needed to pee… I had to take the fluids with me. I couldn’t shower. And, after being starved further by the midwives due to anti-sickness injections for the first twelve hours, I had to be reintroduced to food. Very dry foods. Ever had to eat dry bran flakes after not eating or drinking for days? It’s a shit show, let me tell you! It was a hard slog and it took me all of the first day to eat them.

Going home was completely out of the question.

sickness, dehydration & hospital

My selfie to my mama so that she wouldn’t worry & could see that I was still smiling (on the outside).

I had to jump through the hoops, keep the food down, not heave and I lost all of my dignity in the process, by handing over every single wee that I did. Let me tell you, walking down the hallway, past the rooms with the mama’s holding their newborns, while holding onto my IV and my bed pan wasn’t nice in any way. It was always so cold and people stared at me. I just wanted to go home.

Matt and my children visited me on the second night but it was horrible. I didn’t like seeing them sat at the bottom of my bed. I didn’t want them to see me hooked up to wires with blood still dripping from my arm. I didn’t want them to remember this. I sent them away early and I cried like a baby. I cried myself to sleep that night. I cried a lot until I could go home if i’m being honest. It’s embarrassing. I wish I was more brave about it but I was so homesick… And the worst patient in the world.

Once I had started to feel better, was off of the drip and I had a bit of life about me… I begged anyone who would listen, to let me go home. At one point I got so desperate, I asked the lady who brought around supper and bless her, she was a petite filipino lady who couldn’t understand much english. She asked me if I wanted juice, tea or coffee. I politely declined and accepted more water with my head hanging low.

I discharged myself eventually. I couldn’t stay anymore. The doctor got held up and I knew I would be better off at home. So I left with a prescription of Cyclizine and returned home for some rest in my own bed, surrounded by my people, my backbone and the reason that I had to stop crying.

The Cylizine worked for a few days…

Love Ria x

 

 

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