Fathers Day

So today in New Zealand, it’s Father’s Day. A day to honour the men in our lives who have taken on a fathering role in one way or another.

I am not just talking about biological fathers – I am also talking about the men who take a leap of faith and choose to love a child that may have come as part of a package deal.

For me, the very special man that chose to step up for my first daughter, is now my husband and the father of my second little lady. Almost 9 years ago, he chose to date a single mum with a 4 year old girl. 

I don’t know if back then he realised the huge responsibility he would be taking on or if he was even ready to become her father figure but one way or another that is how it worked out and yes, there have been small battles and at times we have waded our way through areas where we have had to trust our choices were correct, but knowing he wasn’t going to abandon us like her “dad” did made all the difference.

He has been there for her now through more then I think either of them could have imagined. He has watched her grow from a toddler, to a young girl and is now seeing her become a young woman, just as our second journey is beginning with our newest addition.

The thing that makes me proudest and most thankful about him – they are his girls. He doesn’t differentiate between the fact one is his biological daughter and one is not. They are both his and he would fight for them both equally as hard if the occassion arose. 

 I feel blessed to have met a man that took me and the small package that came with me – her dance recitals, the painting of toe nails, the rolling of eyes and the endless sleep overs, play dates, school assignments and more. And then chose me to be the woman that he would do it all over again.

The role of the father in a child’s life is so important. To all the men who are a part of their child’s life, who have  chosen to be a part of a child’s life, and who are fighting for their right to be a part of their child’s life. To the uncles, grandfather’s and family friends who have stood up and taken on being that all important male role mode for a child – Happy Happy Father’s Day.

12 weeks ago…

So 12 weeks ago, I gave birth to my second girl.  Towards the end of my third trimester I stopped writing as I had so much going on in my life personally finding time to write was just not possible.  Twelve weeks in – I am finally finding my feet, feeling more like me again.

I spent weeks 34 to 38 of my pregnancy in and out of hospital appointments, scans and of all things breast clinics.  On top of my gestational diabetes, my baby decided to stop growing and I discovered a lump in my right breast.  Of all the things I had been through the lump was the worst.  I couldn’t find it in me to write without bursting into tears and what my life had become – I was a ball of anxiety and fear.

In week 37, I got my lump biopsied and luckily it was a fibroadenoma which is a non – malignant lump.  This horrible lump will be getting removed when I stop feeding my baby as I hate it with a passion.  It needs to go.

In week 38, I got induced as my girl’s weight according to scans plummeted from the 90th percentile, to the 50th – in reality she was born in the 20th percentile which is all the more horrifying because how could all those scans be so so wrong?!

The labour was 2 hours long from start to finish once it started but my girls heart beat kept dropping to below safe levels.  There was no calm labour for this small girl.  She was pulled into this world as quickly as possible.  She was not breathing when she arrived – I saw her for 30 seconds max, before they took her away.  It was 15 – 20 minutes before they brought her back to me.

But my girl is here.  She is safe.  We are 12 weeks in, that’s right, 3 months and how that time has flown.  For all the stress, anxiety and health problems I faced – we made it.  Through the 4 days in hospital due to small miss having low blood sugar, the jaundice which nearly saw us hospitalised again, the anxiety around would I be able to breast feed or not and the many sleepless nights.  We made it.

So to all the mama’s to be out there and, well, to the all the mama’s in general facing their very own battles – I hear you.  I have your back.  We have to stick together.  Pregnancy, birthing, motherhood – what a journey it takes us on.

Oh and welcome to the world Isla Dawn – You are very much loved and adored.

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When your body rebels..,

So what you may not have got from my posts so far is that I am 7.5 months pregnant.  So far it’s been an easy journey compared to what some women go through. The hardest thing I have dealt with was 5.5 months of vomiting and nausea.

Picture1So then my 28 week blood tests came back…

Apparently I am not as healthy as I thought it was and maybe this pregnancy isn’t going as well as I had hoped or maybe it is and I am over reacting. I just don’t know.

I am anemic – this didn’t bother me too much it’s nothing some iron tablets won’t fix. What bothered me was that my glucose screening test came back slightly elevated.  Which means I have to go back for a longer test and that I may have gestational diabetes? I mean WTF?

I live a generally healthy lifestyle – I was active and have been active through my pregnancy – I mean I walk 4-6km every second day, run round after my family and still participate in as much as I can safely due to the stage of my pregnancy. Very rarely will you hear me say “I can’t, I’m pregnant”.  I generally eat well – not perfectly, but well enough that I have never had any health worries in my adult life up til now.

I don’t even know what to make of this – I did some research online and I don’t meet any of the pre-determining factors for this particular pregnancy issue – I wasn’t overweight before I fell pregnant, there is no history of family diabetes that I’m aware of, my last baby was not large, and I don’t have a history of high blood sugar.  Oh wait, I meet one – I’m over 30. This could be it. My age.

To be honest, I’m terrified – I know it’s manageable. I know that it’s not likely to effect me or baby long term but even though my midwife has said that the amount I was elevated was barely enough to worry over, but we have to do the second test just in case. But it doesn’t change the fact that something is not quite right in my body. I still feel guilty – it is my job to protect my small alien and I feel like I may be failing.

I am aware of the fact that it could just be because my body cannot keep up with the amount of insulin it needs to produce right now to keep me and baby healthy, and that there is nothing that I could have done to prevent this happening but it am still upset, this is not something I expected  and I have spent a lot of time questioning what I could have done differently – perhaps not had that ice cream at the beach over summer?

I have read and re-read medical information on what this could mean for me and baby and it has made me angry because it talks about managing my exercise and diet. I do both of these already. Again, I have to remind myself it might just be something I cannot change about this pregnancy, there may have been nothing I could have done to change these blood sugars being a tad high and again I know compared to some women I don’t have much to worry about it, but I do.

It bothers me that I have kept myself healthy, fit and well before and during my pregnancy but my body feels like it can betray me a bit by doing as it pleases. It bothers me that I have basically no control over this and it bothers me that even though I know this isn’t my fault, I still blame myself.

Oh and to add to the mama bear guilt – my oldest small girl was in the car when I spoke to my midwife so heard everything and saw my reaction but that is a story for another day on how do you comfort your child when you are struggling to comfort yourself?!

So yesterday, became a mental health day as I was feeling pretty darn emotional and fragile over it all. I spent the day curled in bed watching movies and snuggling my dog and husband. Who has tried his best to comfort me, saying all the right things and just being there but who will also freely admit he doesn’t understand my concerns. I still have the second test to go, why am I worrying? It’s probably nothing?

But dear sir – it could be.

So in typical me style, I have over thought the whole issue. I have made myself meal plans to follow, I am exercising every day (sometimes twice a day) rather than every second day and I am slowing down a bit to focus on my needs a bit more.  Even if this stinky second test comes back negative, there is nothing wrong with a few more lifestyle changes, right?!

So wish me luck for my second test – I have every part of my body crossed that these slightly raised blood sugars were because of something I ate that morning before I took the test and that maybe I can have a slice or two of pizza next weekend…

Information from: http://www.diabetes.org.nz/about_diabetes/gestational_diabetes

The First Time

Today, I have taken the plunge into blogging for the first time.  I am sitting by myself, in my house and for the first time in I don’t know how long, I am alone.  My husband is away and my daughter is at camp.  For the first time, in years I will be by myself not just during the day but for the night as well.

So I figured why not take the plunge and get started.  This is my first post ever.

I have contemplated the idea of writing a blog for a long time but for I found it a very daunting task.  The idea of putting who I am and what I believe on certain topics onto the world wide web for others to comment on was something I struggled with but moving on from the fear, I feel that a lot of women struggle with trying to find balance in their lives.

Through sharing my thoughts, feeling and ideas on where I am at with my identity as a wife and mother but also as an employee, a friend, a student and an individual with needs of my own I am hoping to create a supportive, encouraging forum for women of all ages to be themselves and discuss the challenges they may face themselves.

I am well aware of the struggles that come with keeping balance in life to prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed and allowing yourself time for you in this hectic world.  I know first hand the guilt that can come when you have hefty decisions to make, and how sometimes just making simple day-to-day decisions can feel too much.

But I also know the fun and amazement of when it goes right.  When everything comes together and you sit back and smile, or look on in wonder as the people you love make you so proud you could burst.  It’s why we stick at it right? To see the end results.

I am intending this blog to be an open, honest account of my successes and failures as a mother and wife.  I want to share with you the good, the bad and the ugly and believe me there are times when life gets ugly!

The other side to the blog, the “Martinis” as such, gives me a chance to encourage and write about making sure that fun is apart of life also.  Fun without kids and husbands occasionally.  Making time for friends and yourself.  I truly believe that putting yourself first occasionally, is a good thing for everyone that is in your life long term.

Putting yourself first makes you a happier person – this is something from experience I know to be true.  I am a better parent, wife and friend after having some time for me and it is an area that I think we all forget about sometimes in the busy nature of our lives.

You may be asking what makes me qualified to speak about this stuff, well to be honest

  • I am a wife
  • I am a mother (of an almost teen and a baby due in June)
  • I am a teacher.
  • I am a woman trying to balance her life

I feel this makes me, like many of you, qualified to talk about life from our perspective.

So here are to first times around the world, whatever they may be and a positive future for my posts to come.