I'm heading into 2016 much the same way I've been moving throughout 2015....straining.
It has been a challenging year. My physical health had suffered. The pregnancy with Flynn was just all round harder than it was with Rory. I was sicker, I was tireder (read: exhausted), my body was depleted of vital nutrients. Flynn just seemed to suck everything out of me, and I feel like all I have left is a withered shell. Next year I'll need to put in the hard yards at the physio if my abdominal diastasis has any chance of repair. I know it's normal for the body to not be the same after multiple pregnancies, but I've lost a lot of self-confidence since people have been commenting on it.
My respite this year has been my afternoon naps with Rory. Is it sad that these have been the highlight of my day? Around the time of his second birthday, Rory decided he was going to drop his afternoon sleep. I thought, Not on your life. So, I started having afternoon naps with him in my bed. He loved this and we'd both sleep for about two hours. It was the only way I could get through the day and face 'arsenic hour'. I was criticised by a few people for this who thought he should learn to sleep alone. But what was initially bothersome became a blessing. It was a wonderful time cuddling with my little boy. I'm a bit sorry it has now come to an end, and he's gone back to sleeping by himself in the afternoons in his new big boy bed.
Not only has my physical health taken a battering, but so has my mind. The two are connected and it's horrid what sleep deprivation can do. Most days, my mind feels like a scrambled egg. I'll remember someone's birthday, but can't remember why I opened the fridge door. People joke about mothers being forgetful, but it just shows why sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture during war time. Due to my postnatal suffering, Duncan and I have had to make some hard decisions about family planning. This has caused me more grief than I ever thought it would.
I'm not the only one who has found this year difficult. I know of marriages that have ended and, being pregnant and emotional, this has affected me quite deeply. My cousin and her husband of 18 years split in April (they have two children, aged 14 and 12). The director of the two plays I was in last year also had her marriage end and she moved to Perth. This meant the sequel to the World War 1 commemorative play I was in last year was in jeopardy, but a friend who was in last year's cast put her hand up to direct and the show went on.
This year I was limited theatrically. When the dates for the next play were announced, I knew I'd have to decline reprising my role (it was a month after Flynn was due). It was flattering that they wanted me so badly they found a way for me to be in it. My role was pre-filmed and shown on a giant screen. So, I was in it, but not in it. I was actually in the Mother Baby Unit for the show's entire run.
There were other disappointments - the Eagles losing the Grand Final, my book being rejected four times so far, the death of my hen, Gloria.
It was not all bad. I got my Flynn.
Still, I think 2016 will be a year of recovery.