Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Diary of an Incubator: All Revealed

Well, now it’s ‘public knowledge’, I can start filling in the blanks…

This is why we had to cancel our trip to Perth in February.
This is why I couldn’t attend a wedding.
This is why Rory’s tantrums over sleep times have been leaving me more drained than usual.

The morning sickness and fatigue have been a lot worse this time around.  With Rory I could still go to work, put on a smile, and eat a few things.  But this time I spent weeks 6-7 mostly bedridden.  Each time I got up I could barely stay awake for more than an hour before I’d have to go back to bed.  I felt sick pretty much every waking hour.  While I didn’t actually throw up with Rory, this time I’ve vomited a few times.  I couldn’t eat anything except toast, a few dry biscuits and the occasional green apple.  I was so dizzy I couldn’t sit upright for very long.  The tiredness was the worst I’ve ever felt.  The only time I’ve felt that tired was after I’d been pushing for over an hour with Rory, then passed out as I was about to have my c-section.  Then my arthritis started flaring up because I was spending so much time lying down.  The thing with Ankylosing Spondylitis is that you have to keep active.

All of this was coupled with Rory deciding he no longer needed to sleep, day or night, and each bedtime resulted in huge dramas.  Ever since he turned two, it’s like he’s had a surge of energy…and attitude.  I wonder if all of the energy I’ve lost has been transferred to him, if he’s been sucking it out of me like a little leech?

I am so, so grateful for Duncan, who has rushed home at times to help me, for his very understanding boss, for my mum who has come to stay a few times to hold the fort.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very, very happy to be having this baby.  We had hoped to have a second child around now.  I’ve seen the little bubba twice on ultrasounds and have felt such love for him/her.  I think I’m more excited this time around, despite what I went through last time, and even though I have more of an idea what’s in store.

But I also believe in being honest.  There is such pressure to say all the right things because there are others out there who desperately want a child.  Pregnancy really sucks sometimes…especially when you have other children to care for.  If this was my first baby I would just resign from my job early and spend my days at home, resting.  Unfortunately sometimes I just have to soldier on.  I’ve been immensely encouraged by mums who’ve admitted they’ve just let their children watch hours of TV when they weren’t feeling their best, that there’s nothing wrong with putting a DVD on for Rory, do what you have to do.  On the flipside, I’ve had to ignore those from the ‘older generation’ who’ve said, “You shouldn’t let him watch so much TV.”  Well, I don’t see them rushing over to help!  It’s very easy to criticise and throw stones from a distance.

I’m now 14 weeks and although the morning sickness and exhaustion are not as bad, they’re still hanging on.

Please pray they will pass soon.

Bubby at 13 weeks.

Monday, March 30, 2015

I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash

Today is the two year anniversary of the day I went to hospital.  Two years since I hit the bottom of the pit and began the long and painful process of recovering from the grips of postnatal depression.

Perhaps I shouldn't be remembering this date, but it's kind of hard to forget, especially since it's also a good friend's birthday.

This song reminds me of how far God has brought me since that time. I praise His name that I can see again, that He has cast the darkness and the fog away.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone.
All of the bad feelings have disappeared.
Here is the rainbow I've been prayin' for.
It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day.

Lyrics sourced from here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let's See Who's Still Reading This Blog....

I bought this book for Rory at an opshop while we were on holidays in Esperance.

What a bargain for 20c...and especially appropriate right now.

I'll be reading it to him a lot over the next six months, to prepare him for Saturday 26th September (AFL Grand Final Day...woot!)

That's why I've been soooo sick and exhausted lately. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rory Meets Esperance

I was SO looking forward to introducing my little boy to one of my favourite holiday destinations.  We had some beach weather (nothing like the couple of 45C days we've experienced on our last two visits, thank goodness), and some more typical windy Esperance weather.

Over the five days we were there we enjoyed swimming and wading, making sandcastles, fish and chips at the foreshore, a spot of opshopping (me), dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and generally trying to relax as much as anyone can with a toddler.  Unfortunately the holiday house we were staying in had aircon in the loungeroom, but no insulation, so the bedrooms were like furnaces.  Rory did not have an afternoon nap AT ALL that week, and we had some very disturbed sleep at nights as well.

Twilight Beach

Lucky Bay

Frenchman's Peak

I asked him to smile and this is what I got.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Funny


A mother was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school.  He didn't want his mother to walk with him.  She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence, yet know that he was safe.

She had an idea of how to handle it.  She asked a neighbour is she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn't notice her.  The neighbour said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbour and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another girl he knew from the neighbourhood.  She did this for the whole week.

As the two kids walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy's little friend noticed the same lady was following them every day.
Finally she said to Timmy, "Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week?  Do you know her?"
Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yeah, I know who she is."
The little girl said, "Well, who is she?"
"That's just Shirley Goodnest," Timmy replied, "And her daughter Marcy."
"Shirley Goodnest?  Who is she, and why is she following us?"
"Well," Timmy explained.  "Every night, my mum makes me say the 23rd psalm with my prayers, 'cos she worries about me so much.  It says 'Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my life', so I guess I'll just have to get used to it."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Church Camp 2015

I love my church family! Rory certainly had a lot of fun.

He loved the inflatable bouncy castle and slide.

Err I guess head first will do.

Watering the slippery slide for the big kids (a very important
job in his eyes).

Playing with his friend Allen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Dreaded Allergy Testing....One Year On

Yesterday, we made a flying visit to Perth for Rory's follow-up allergy testing.  Yes, it's been a whole year since that devastating initial diagnosis.

I'm very happy to report that the visit was a resounding success.  So, so different to last time!  It was the same doctor, but he had a much friendlier bedside manner.  Last time Rory screamed like he was being murdered, but this time he was calm and co-operative, and even giggled as the allergens were placed on his arm.  He NEVER usually reacts well at doctors' surgeries, so that was definitely a miracle from God's hand.

The best news is that he has outgrown all of his minor allergies to some fruit and vegetables (tomatoes, squash, strawberries) and his dairy and egg allergies have significantly reduced.  We can now start the desensitisation process of first giving him biscuits containing dairy and egg, followed by cake, then pancakes, and quiche.  He has a follow-up appointment in October, and if all is going well, we can proceed further with hard-boiled eggs, butter and cheese.

He wasn't retested for his environmental allergies (cats, dustmites and grass) as the allergist believes they will be permanent.  I was a bit disappointed.  I guess I was hoping for a miracle.  I may not be able to ever get Ebony back, but I was hoping to get another kitty one day.

But overall, I'm so thankful to God that my little boy can now start enjoying some new foods.  The hard bit will be convincing him it's ok to eat them now.  He's so used to not being allowed certain things; he knows which things he can eat and that's that.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Zuo Yuezi

Zuo Yuezi really needs to become a part of Aussie culture for new mums (and second, third, fourth etc. time mums).  The Chinese have definitely got the right idea.  Shame on Western individualistic culture that leaves new mums to flounder on their own.

I don't think I could stand not showering or washing my hair for a month.  I'd just skip that part haha.  Oh and I'd like to watch a bit of TV...and not eat offal, liver and kidney.

Mums of newborns need to time just to focus on them and the baby - not rushing around, getting back into life as if they'd never had a baby.  No housework, no paid work, no committees....  Just them and the baby and an army of caring friends and family.

Image from here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wedding 1 2015

It's wedding season again!  Here are some photos from the beautiful wedding of Mark and Michelle from our church.  They tied the knot in Albany on Saturday 31st January.  It was a lovely celebration and thanksgiving for the love they have for each other, their family, and the love of Jesus which they have both experienced.

Our friend Dallis (Mark's sister-in-law) doing a solo during the
signing of the registry....at seven and a half months pregnant
(amazing lady!)

Us at the reception.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jim Elliot

My plan for this year was to read more Christian biographies - stories of both well-known and 'ordinary' Christians.

I started with the story of Jim Elliot back in January.  Jim was a missionary to Ecuador in the 1950s.  He and four other men were speared to death on the banks of Curaray River in 1956, trying to reach the hostile Auca Indians.

To be honest, Jim Elliot's personality quite annoyed me. While I admired his seriousness about serving the Lord, he reminded me of some guys I met when I first became a Christian that scared me silly.  There is a bit about where he and some mates gatecrashed their friend's honeymoon suite and then decided to hold a Bible study there.  Instead of spending their first night alone, the newlyweds had to deal with a group of Christian friends in their room doing Bible study.  Later, Jim realised he was in the wrong and apologised.   Ummm, yeah, you reckon?

The whole issue of how God guides is prevalent in the book.  Personally, I think Jim was overspiritualising things, wanting God to give him signs all the time about where and when he should serve overseas.  I'm not saying we shouldn't pray about these things, but come on, make a decision!  Also, I was quite disgusted about how strings his future wife Elisabeth along for years, saying that he wants to remain single to serve the Lord, yet he keeps stirring up love in her heart.

His story is both inspiring and confronting.  I had to ask myself: Am I willing to do that?  Willing to go and reach a hostile group of people, risking my own life, so that they may hear about Christ?  Would I be willing to live without my modern creature comforts?  While the mission to reach the Aucas seemed to be a failure, years later many Aucas became Christians.  This book was a timely reminder that the gospel of Jesus Christ is unstoppable.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Quote of the Day

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
- Jim Elliot

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Personal Question Etiquette

Seriously, what's with people I barely know thinking they have the right to ask me personal questions?!?  It's like I'm a magnet for these sort of rude people! Is it just me, or does anyone else have this problem?

Thou shalt not ask people about physical flaws
I've had mere acquaintances and even strangers approach me and ask about a scar, a pimple, a mole or something else they've found odd about my face. "How'd you get that?", or, "What's that?" they ask goggle-eyed. Ummm none of your darn business! Yes, I'm quite aware that I have lumps and bumps, marks and scars.  I do own a mirror.  It's called life and many of these flaws may have personal stories attached to them which I do not want to share with you. I see people with warts, scars, birthmarks and burns all the time. I don't ask them how they got them, or what they are. That person is probably already struggling with self-consciousness and doesn't need my nosiness making them feel worse. Unless you're a close friend of that person, or they volunteer their story, you don't ask - ever!

Thou shalt not ask unless thou are prepared to answer thy same questions
If someone asks a personal question, they must also be prepared to answer that same question if it is thrown back at them. I get that all the time from older women who ask me my age, yet are very coy or indignant about being asked to reveal their own. You ask me, I ask you.  That's the deal.

Thou shalt not ask about family planning
This is a deeply sensitive and private topic.  It's amazing the number of people who see no harm in asking when someone is going to have a baby, or have another.  Maybe that couple have been struggling with infertility or had multiple miscarriages.  Just because you can pop them out like there's no tomorrow, doesn't mean everyone else can.

Thou shalt not ask in front of a group
If there anything worse than being asked a private or embarrassing question, it's when they do it in front of a gaggle of onlookers.  It's like they're deliberately trying to humiliate me.

If you notice someone's flaw,
Remember their pain may be raw.
Leave your questions on the shelf,
Think of someone besides yourself.

Don't expect someone to share,
Unless you show that you care,
By being gentle and discreet,
And sharing your story with those you meet.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Friends of Friends

It has been said that often when you marry someone, you marry their friends and family.

The same can be true for friendships.

Inevitably you are going to meet your friends' other friends at some stage.  Sometimes this is fine.  Sometimes this is very uncomfortable.

Mostly I've got along with my friends' friends quite well.  But sometimes I've been left wondering just what my friend sees in them.  I've been to friends' birthday parties where I've TRIED to be friendly to their other friends, only to be looked at like I was a vile slug needing to be squished.  This is usually among really glamorous, trendy people, who I would never fit in with in a million years.  They've looked at me like they were wondering why our mutual friend was friends with someone like me.

I quite enjoy catching up with friends of friends at our mutual friend's birthday or whatever.  While I've never actually struck up a firm friendship with them where I would see them individually, it has been nice to chat to them.

The hard side is watching from the sidelines while my friend's friends lead them astray.  I've wanted to say something, to tell them that their wonderful new friend is not a great influence on them.  It's horrible watching friends with strong convictions suddenly being negatively influenced to drink too much, stop going to church, see a non-Christian guy, be influenced by worldliness and materialism because of a new friend who has come into their life.

Have you become good friends with a friend of a friend?

Monday, March 02, 2015

Quote of the Day

We find comfort among those who agree with us; growth among those who don't.
- Unknown