Monotony Woes

I feel the waves of sadness rushing in today. Thoughts or feelings? I’m not sure, they’re two sides of a coin anyway, right?

I’ve just put my beautiful little boy to bed for his afternoon nap after a morning of baby baths and housework and feelings I can’t quite get to the root of. Usually when I’m feeling this way I make myself a nice hot cup of tea, wrap myself up in a fleece blanket on the couch and watch a detective type TV show that takes my mind away from whatever is bothering me and into solving the fictional case. Solving someone else’s case, ironically. By the time the show is over I usually feel calmer but today is the amalgamation of a week of feeling this way and maybe, uncomfortable as it is, I should sit down with the sadness and process it.

I seem to go from extreme to extreme. When I was younger I expressed every thought and feeling I had to anyone who would listen, thinking that somehow getting it “out” of me would help me to feel better. I realised slowly that the thought processes generating each feeling we have don’t ever “get out” they reboot. The mind is  a server and the negative thoughts that create sadness are a virus that cant be cleared by repeating the virus. Talking about it all the time just built up the thoughts, added to them and the opinions of other people added more doubt to my own quiet inner voice. It took me a really long time to understand that talking about things excessively didn’t actually help matters.

Coincidentally I faced a circumstance at the same time as this epiphany that meant I would have to spend a lot of time alone for the following two years. At first, it was awful but then I adapted the above habit of burying my fears in that hot sweet tea and hiding under a fleece blanket in a make believe world of TV mysteries, conveniently solvable within the hour. My introversion became extreme, so much so that when the two years was over it took me another full year to learn to open up again. I was so safe in my hiding place, my mind refused to come out.

The problem with both of the above coping mechanisms is that neither attempts to solve the problem. Analysing it to death without focusing on possible solutions or ignoring it completely I am nowhere nearer to removing the virus from my server. Today I decided not to turn on the TV and to sit quietly with my cuppa. This was not fun! I have become so good at shutting out my thoughts, that now I just get a feeling of dread without knowing what it is in relation to. I decided maybe the best way to figure it out was to write every flicker of a thought I had before my mind shut them down. here goes,

Thought One: All the things I haven’t done , the path’s I didn’t take.

This is a reoccurring thought for me lately. There are so many things I loved and thought I would do with my life and I am now 30 working to pay the bills and hiding in my TV. Since I was a little girl I always wanted to be a singer (cue annoying reality TV sob story music as per every contestant ever on a singing show.) It is my truth but it is not a unique wish. I pursued a musical education from the age of 5 and I am thankful that I can play instruments and I have a voice but I am not performing. I am not living the dream of pouring my soul into the lyrics of a beautiful song, and sharing it from the safety of a stage with thousands who feel the same way and come alive in the moment. I got so broken-hearted by not achieving the dream that I cut music out of my life all together. It was too painful to let my soul dream. Is it too late? Or am I thinking about this constantly because some divine purpose is pushing me to stop ignoring it for all the necessities and bills and responsibilities of an adult and just try anyway.

Thought Two: I’m looking older.

I think all women suffer from this horrible thought in their 30th year at some point. It’s when you leave the beauty of 20 something skin and body behind and start to face the abuse you’ve given your body thus far in life. Suddenly you cant get away with sleeping in your make up or eating that extra sweet treat and you seems to have less motivation / energy to workout. I have always been tunnel visioned when I make up my mind. Again to the extreme, when I was younger, if I felt my body wasn’t good enough for me I would use any means necessary to make a change. Now it’s March and I had vowed in January to eat clean and work out 4 days a week and I simply keep failing. I start and stop and do good then fall off. It is exhausting and humiliating as I feel despicable for apparently not being the kind of person who does what she says she will. I thought I was better than that? And why do I feel so much pressure to be physically perfect anyway? In a world drunk on physicality… I feel hungover.

Thought Three: This reality is infinite and I will never experience enough.

I am an explorer by nature. My soul yearns to experience everything this short life has to offer and yet I am 9-5ing. I am experiencing the beauty of love and a family that was more important to my heart than anything else. But what of all the things I will never know, of this world as a planet as a place , of my mind as a maze, of my potential in diverse situations. While I may be lost in the system and it’s monotony, the core of me just refuses to conform. A void ever present in the pit of my stomach.

This all sounds very negative and I feel the need to explain, I am not living day to day depressed or particularly unhappy. I am blessed with a comfortable life, a wonderful family and a lovely place to work. I have achieve the best possible “system life” if you will. But I want more, as hard as I try to ignore the yearnings, my soul refuses to settle, it churns up these existential questions on the meaning and the point and I need to find the answers or at least soothe myself with a quest to try.

I usually naturally round my posts off with a conclusion, a cyclic crescendo, but how apt not to find the words when ending a post based on the existential questions that make my soul sad…

 

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14.02.2018

I thought I saw a falling star that night

A distant sign that you were mine to be

Fraught with nerves we whispered with delight

And swapped the lie for truths we could not flee

 

The years rolled by- storms in a floodlight

And you were my dendrite, my cordite plea

Oppress we shunned in retention of our life

As life bred life and brought our joy to me

 

Frustrate old words to manifest desire

On you depends my firetrap, my source

Always play me Sappho as your lyre

Accompanying you through this discourse

 

 You hunted and you found me my Orion

In all dimensions a hụrụ m gị n’anya

 

Hospital Highs and Lows

In the days after you give birth you are transported into the maternity hospital baby bubble. The outside world and all it’s strife dissipates entirely and each day slides into the next as you exist in a one-dimensional space of comforting hospital routine, wholly consumed by the smell, the sound, the tiny touch and the indescribable gaze of your newborn.

The doctor came to speak with my partner and I the morning after I had given birth. They had found an infection in my placenta and baby’s blood work had come back with an high white blood cell count followed by a normal count within an unusually quick time frame. The high white blood cell count would suggest he was fighting an infection but the sudden drop to normal was unheard of and suggested that he wasn’t! Long story short our little man seemed fine but both Mars and myself would be monitored and kept on antibiotics for five days as a precaution. At first I didn’t mind, I was tender from the surgery as would be expected and nervous so where better to be?! I had a catheter for a while as is the normal procedure (which I hated!) and doing anything that involved my abdominal muscles hurt and in turn scared me 😦 laughing, coughing, sneezing, moving in and out of the bed, walking, sitting, standing all included. The days weren’t so bad, primarily because my wonderful partner was by my side for every one of them. He came to the hospital at 9am every morning and stayed until he had to leave at 9pm every night. I was so blessed that we were able to do this and I am forever thankful for how well he took care of me in those early days. I have the utmost respect and admiration for all women who go through the recovery process alone, they are absolute heroines in my eyes, I don’t know how they do it!

My daily routine was breakfast at 7am, then a feed for Mars, my partner arrived at 9am , I went for a shower while he watched baby and by the time I managed to shower and change my nightdress (it was a very slow process) it was almost time for lunch (12pm) and then feed-burp-nappy change-repeat throughout the day with my partners help, dinner at 5pm, visitors between 6 and 8pm and the worst part, saying goodbye to my partner for the night time.

I found our hospital stay difficult because of the nights. The midwives and staff were all amazingly supportive and caring, especially the night staff and I honestly believe the hospital itself couldn’t have been better but personally I am quite the introvert. I like my space and my privacy, especially if I’m not feeling great, and neither can really be afforded to you on a public ward. During the day for example, I liked to keep my curtain closed because I was shy but one particular nurse kept ripping it open anytime she passed through saying that we needed to “let the light in!”. She was just doing her job, I understand that now but she wasn’t sensitive or perhaps aware that I was and it unnerved me. At night, I’m a fussy sleeper and can’t sleep with any noise or light at the best of times so on a ward of six beautiful babies testing their lungs and constant nurse checks , lights on and off, staff and patients in and out, I definitely couldn’t and even if I could have fallen asleep it wouldn’t have been for any length of time because I had chosen to breast feed and our little man, waiting for my milk to come in, was waking every hour with screams for food! (Yes, choosing to breastfeed made the first few weeks a little more difficult but it was worth it, worth it, worth it! The rewards of breastfeeding for mother and baby along with the sense of bonding are just incredible. I wholeheartedly encourage every mum to try it, just try it, for three weeks. Get through the wait for milk, the initially sore nipples and the routine of when to feed and how long for etc and then make your decision on whether to continue.)  The hardest thing was getting Mars out of his cot. I couldn’t lift myself out of bed and the cot was a lot higher than the bed so I couldn’t reach into it and lift him out unless I knelt up, which I couldn’t do either! I would have to call a nurse to help me out of bed and then carry my catheter as I shuffled around the bed to the cot, lift him out while still carrying my catheter (I couldn’t bend far enough to put it down and pick it up again), shuffle back to the side of the bed I could get into, while holding baby and setting down the catheter as I inched into a seating position. This was all while he was screaming impatiently for food and necessary every hour when he woke up which meant by the time I fed, burped, changed, put him down and got back into bed I had about half an hour before I had to start all over again. As the days passed I could get out of bed easier and easier and I didn’t have the catheter THANK GOD. For any mum having a c-section my best advice is to take it easy and trust that your body will do the work. You will be amazed at how much you improve day to day and though you may feel as if you can’t move on day one by day five you will be pleasantly shocked by your progress.

Without sleep for so many nights and in discomfort, it was exhausting to have to keep getting in and out of bed all night and soul destroying when every time I got him to go to sleep a nurse would have to come in and do a check which meant waking him :'(. I was quite tearful and emotional by the fourth and fifth day. I was still blissfully happy and in love with the little man but I was completely exhausted from lack of sleep and missing the peace and quiet of my own home. On the day I was due to go home I had been so excited all night, I hadn’t even minded the no sleep and had missioned through knowing I was finally going home to sleeeeep! That morning the doctor came to tell me I had to stay another day and tears streamed my face, I couldn’t control them, I didn’t know how I’d do another night of looking after my little man on zero sleep. I spoke to the doctor and the midwife on duty and they assured me I could leave the next morning so I pushed myself through one more sleepless night, keeping myself going with the image of my partner, baby and I at home the following evening, firmly planted in my head. Morning came and I was told again that I couldn’t leave for another day because we needed one more dose of antibiotics. I wanted to collapse into a ball. The tears came and refused to stop, I had reached breaking point! The midwife on duty could see this and as I explained to her that I was definitely told by more than one staff member including the doctor in charge of administering our antibiotics that I WAS GOING HOME that day, she looked into it and confirmed that I could. I was elated!!

My mum collected us and came up to the ward to help with our bags. I had everything packed and ready to go as soon as possible! We checked out and walked as fast as we could out of those big old hospital doors with little Mars all wrapped up in a white snowsuit for his first glimpse of the outside world. He blinked successively as his eyes adjusted to the harsh winter sunlight…the hospital bubble had burst and not a moment too soon.

In the days after you give birth you are transported into the maternity hospital baby bubble. The outside world and all it’s strife dissipates entirely and each day slides into the next as you exist in a one-dimensional space of comforting hospital routine, wholly consumed by the smell, the sound, the tiny touch and the indescribable gaze of your newborn.

The doctor came to speak with my partner and I the morning after I had given birth. They had found an infection in my placenta and baby’s blood work had come back with an high white blood cell count followed by a normal count within an unusually quick time frame. The high white blood cell count would suggest he was fighting an infection but the sudden drop to normal was unheard of and suggested that he wasn’t! Long story short our little man seemed fine but both Mars and myself would be monitored and kept on antibiotics for five days as a precaution. At first I didn’t mind, I was tender from the surgery as would be expected and nervous so where better to be?! I had a catheter for a while as is the normal procedure (which I hated!) and doing anything that involved my abdominal muscles hurt and in turn scared me 😦 laughing, coughing, sneezing, moving in and out of the bed, walking, sitting, standing all included. The days weren’t so bad, primarily because my wonderful partner was by my side for every one of them. He came to the hospital at 9am every morning and stayed until he had to leave at 9pm every night. I was so blessed that we were able to do this and I am forever thankful for how well he took care of me in those early days. I have the utmost respect and admiration for all women who go through the recovery process alone, they are absolute heroines in my eyes, I don’t know how they do it!

My daily routine was breakfast at 7am, then a feed for Mars, my partner arrived at 9am , I went for a shower while he watched baby and by the time I managed to shower and change my nightdress (it was a very slow process) it was almost time for lunch (12pm) and then feed-burp-nappy change-repeat throughout the day with my partners help, dinner at 5pm, visitors between 6 and 8pm and the worst part, saying goodbye to my partner for the night time.

I found our hospital stay difficult because of the nights. The midwives and staff were all amazingly supportive and caring, especially the night staff and I honestly believe the hospital itself couldn’t have been better but personally I am quite the introvert. I like my space and my privacy, especially if I’m not feeling great, and neither can really be afforded to you on a public ward. During the day for example, I liked to keep my curtain closed because I was shy but one particular nurse kept ripping it open anytime she passed through saying that we needed to “let the light in!”. She was just doing her job, I understand that now but she wasn’t sensitive or perhaps aware that I was and it unnerved me. At night, I’m a fussy sleeper and can’t sleep with any noise or light at the best of times so on a ward of six beautiful babies testing their lungs and constant nurse checks , lights on and off, staff and patients in and out, I definitely couldn’t and even if I could have fallen asleep it wouldn’t have been for any length of time because I had chosen to breast feed and our little man, waiting for my milk to come in, was waking every hour with screams for food! (Yes, choosing to breastfeed made the first few weeks a little more difficult but it was worth it, worth it, worth it! The rewards of breastfeeding for mother and baby along with the sense of bonding are just incredible. I wholeheartedly encourage every mum to try it, just try it, for three weeks. Get through the wait for milk, the initially sore nipples and the routine of when to feed and how long for etc and then make your decision on whether to continue.)  The hardest thing was getting Mars out of his cot. I couldn’t lift myself out of bed and the cot was a lot higher than the bed so I couldn’t reach into it and lift him out unless I knelt up, which I couldn’t do either! I would have to call a nurse to help me out of bed and then carry my catheter as I shuffled around the bed to the cot, lift him out while still carrying my catheter (I couldn’t bend far enough to put it down and pick it up again), shuffle back to the side of the bed I could get into, while holding baby and setting down the catheter as I inched into a seating position. This was all while he was screaming impatiently for food and necessary every hour when he woke up which meant by the time I fed, burped, changed, put him down and got back into bed I had about half an hour before I had to start all over again. As the days passed I could get out of bed easier and easier and I didn’t have the catheter THANK GOD. For any mum having a c-section my best advice is to take it easy and trust that your body will do the work. You will be amazed at how much you improve day to day and though you may feel as if you can’t move on day one by day five you will be pleasantly shocked by your progress.

Without sleep for so many nights and in discomfort, it was exhausting to have to keep getting in and out of bed all night and soul destroying when every time I got him to go to sleep a nurse would have to come in and do a check which meant waking him :'(. I was quite tearful and emotional by the fourth and fifth day. I was still blissfully happy and in love with the little man but I was completely exhausted from lack of sleep and missing the peace and quiet of my own home. On the day I was due to go home I had been so excited all night, I hadn’t even minded the no sleep and had missioned through knowing I was finally going home to sleeeeep! That morning the doctor came to tell me I had to stay another day and tears streamed my face, I couldn’t control them, I didn’t know how I’d do another night of looking after my little man on zero sleep. I spoke to the doctor and the midwife on duty and they assured me I could leave the next morning so I pushed myself through one more sleepless night, keeping myself going with the image of my partner, baby and I at home the following evening, firmly planted in my head. Morning came and I was told again that I couldn’t leave for another day because we needed one more dose of antibiotics. I wanted to collapse into a ball. The tears came and refused to stop, I had reached breaking point! The midwife on duty could see this and as I explained to her that I was definitely told by more than one staff member including the doctor in charge of administering our antibiotics that I WAS GOING HOME that day, she looked into it and confirmed that I could. I was elated!!

My mum collected us and came up to the ward to help with our bags. I had everything packed and ready to go as soon as possible! We checked out and walked as fast as we could out of those big old hospital doors with little Mars all wrapped up in a white snowsuit for his first glimpse of the outside world. He blinked successively as his eyes adjusted to the harsh winter sunlight…the hospital bubble had burst and not a moment too soon.

 

In the days after you give birth you are transported into the maternity hospital baby bubble. The outside world and all it’s strife dissipates entirely and each day slides into the next as you exist in a one-dimensional space of comforting hospital routine, wholly consumed by the smell, the sound, the tiny touch and the indescribable gaze of your newborn.

The doctor came to speak with my partner and I the morning after I had given birth. They had found an infection in my placenta and baby’s blood work had come back with an high white blood cell count followed by a normal count within an unusually quick time frame. The high white blood cell count would suggest he was fighting an infection but the sudden drop to normal was unheard of and suggested that he wasn’t! Long story short our little man seemed fine but both Mars and myself would be monitored and kept on antibiotics for five days as a precaution. At first I didn’t mind, I was tender from the surgery as would be expected and nervous so where better to be?! I had a catheter for a while as is the normal procedure (which I hated!) and doing anything that involved my abdominal muscles hurt and in turn scared me 😦 laughing, coughing, sneezing, moving in and out of the bed, walking, sitting, standing all included. The days weren’t so bad, primarily because my wonderful partner was by my side for every one of them. He came to the hospital at 9am every morning and stayed until he had to leave at 9pm every night. I was so blessed that we were able to do this and I am forever thankful for how well he took care of me in those early days. I have the utmost respect and admiration for all women who go through the recovery process alone, they are absolute heroines in my eyes, I don’t know how they do it!

My daily routine was breakfast at 7am, then a feed for Mars, my partner arrived at 9am , I went for a shower while he watched baby and by the time I managed to shower and change my nightdress (it was a very slow process) it was almost time for lunch (12pm) and then feed-burp-nappy change-repeat throughout the day with my partners help, dinner at 5pm, visitors between 6 and 8pm and the worst part, saying goodbye to my partner for the night time.

I found our hospital stay difficult because of the nights. The midwives and staff were all amazingly supportive and caring, especially the night staff and I honestly believe the hospital itself couldn’t have been better but personally I am quite the introvert. I like my space and my privacy, especially if I’m not feeling great, and neither can really be afforded to you on a public ward. During the day for example, I liked to keep my curtain closed because I was shy but one particular nurse kept ripping it open anytime she passed through saying that we needed to “let the light in!”. She was just doing her job, I understand that now but she wasn’t sensitive or perhaps aware that I was and it unnerved me. At night, I’m a fussy sleeper and can’t sleep with any noise or light at the best of times so on a ward of six beautiful babies testing their lungs and constant nurse checks , lights on and off, staff and patients in and out, I definitely couldn’t and even if I could have fallen asleep it wouldn’t have been for any length of time because I had chosen to breast feed and our little man, waiting for my milk to come in, was waking every hour with screams for food! (Yes, choosing to breastfeed made the first few weeks a little more difficult but it was worth it, worth it, worth it! The rewards of breastfeeding for mother and baby along with the sense of bonding are just incredible. I wholeheartedly encourage every mum to try it, just try it, for three weeks. Get through the wait for milk, the initially sore nipples and the routine of when to feed and how long for etc and then make your decision on whether to continue.)  The hardest thing was getting Mars out of his cot. I couldn’t lift myself out of bed and the cot was a lot higher than the bed so I couldn’t reach into it and lift him out unless I knelt up, which I couldn’t do either! I would have to call a nurse to help me out of bed and then carry my catheter as I shuffled around the bed to the cot, lift him out while still carrying my catheter (I couldn’t bend far enough to put it down and pick it up again), shuffle back to the side of the bed I could get into, while holding baby and setting down the catheter as I inched into a seating position. This was all while he was screaming impatiently for food and necessary every hour when he woke up which meant by the time I fed, burped, changed, put him down and got back into bed I had about half an hour before I had to start all over again. As the days passed I could get out of bed easier and easier and I didn’t have the catheter THANK GOD. For any mum having a c-section my best advice is to take it easy and trust that your body will do the work. You will be amazed at how much you improve day to day and though you may feel as if you can’t move on day one by day five you will be pleasantly shocked by your progress.

Without sleep for so many nights and in discomfort, it was exhausting to have to keep getting in and out of bed all night and soul destroying when every time I got him to go to sleep a nurse would have to come in and do a check which meant waking him :'(. I was quite tearful and emotional by the fourth and fifth day. I was still blissfully happy and in love with the little man but I was completely exhausted from lack of sleep and missing the peace and quiet of my own home. On the day I was due to go home I had been so excited all night, I hadn’t even minded the no sleep and had missioned through knowing I was finally going home to sleeeeep! That morning the doctor came to tell me I had to stay another day and tears streamed my face, I couldn’t control them, I didn’t know how I’d do another night of looking after my little man on zero sleep. I spoke to the doctor and the midwife on duty and they assured me I could leave the next morning so I pushed myself through one more sleepless night, keeping myself going with the image of my partner, baby and I at home the following evening, firmly planted in my head. Morning came and I was told again that I couldn’t leave for another day because we needed one more dose of antibiotics. I wanted to collapse into a ball. The tears came and refused to stop, I had reached breaking point! The midwife on duty could see this and as I explained to her that I was definitely told by more than one staff member including the doctor in charge of administering our antibiotics that I WAS GOING HOME that day, she looked into it and confirmed that I could. I was elated!!

My mum collected us and came up to the ward to help with our bags. I had everything packed and ready to go as soon as possible! We checked out and walked as fast as we could out of those big old hospital doors with little Mars all wrapped up in a white snowsuit for his first glimpse of the outside world. He blinked successively as his eyes adjusted to the harsh winter sunlight…the hospital bubble had burst and not a moment too soon.

Welcome to Mars

On the 15th of November 2016 my partner and I welcomed our first beautiful child into the world. I sit here lost for words as I contemplate how to accurately express the wealth of emotion and pure joy that overwhelmed us that night and indeed every day since. My heart tells me it’s not possible to put this love into words but I will attempt to give you a glimpse of it as I outline the moments that led to the best moment of my life :).

overdue by eight days I slipped into bed around 1am on the Morning of Tuesday the 15th of November. My growing daily impatience had given way to exhaustion as it had the seven nights previous and I settled in ready for a long sleep but baby had other ideas! Not more than ten minutes after I lay down I felt a strong kick followed by a seconds pause before my waters broke. For me, the Adrenalin immediately took hold and I started shaking with anticipation as I called my partner to the room. I shakily stood up and dressed waiting for the contractions to start, wondering how sore they’d be. We called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and set upon the hour drive to Holles Street Maternity Hospital, Dublin. I remember staring out of the car window, quiet with a mix of nerves, excitement and wonder at the unknown. It was that proverbial calm before the storm moment when time seemed to stand still as I sensed I was on the verge of something universally life changing. My contractions started in the car as we bounced over city centre road ramps and before I knew it I was in a room on the labour ward, changing into my nightie, focusing on my breathing and experiencing intensifying contractions as my partner held my hand. A few hours passed and with constant contractions I thought “the birth must be soon!” I was so wrong! The midwife examined me and explained that I was not dilating and therefore not considered to be in active labour and would be moved to the pre-labour ward until I was deemed ready. I started to get scared, I was in so much pain already, how was this not “active” labour and did that mean it was going to get worse?!?!

I won’t go through the hours of contractions in detail but lets just say yes, I absolutely felt every minute of them but it’s true, you forget the pain so quickly and it’s worth it!  Eighteen hours later still with constant crippling contractions and no pain relief (as no pain relief options could be administered until I was in “active” labour) I had dilated just 1.5cm (I needed to reach 10 before I even started to push!) I was moved back to the labour ward as my waters had now been broken for an undesirably long time and it was important to monitor baby and I for infection. The doctor came to speak to my partner and I and explained that as my temperature had become very high and baby’s heart beat had slowed, he felt we needed to proceed with an emergency C-Section immediately. I was so exhausted I was happy to do anything in that moment to finally meet my baby but my poor partner looked worried as we had not planned for this. As first time parents-to-be we had attended all the classes, read all the books but somehow I had managed to overlook the possibility that I would need a c-section. We had no idea what to expect other than a few tips we had overheard in the classes such as “don’t be startled when there are twelve people in the room for theatre, it’s normal.”

The wonderful doctor reassured my partner that all would be fine as he waited in a separate room while I was prepped for theatre. I’m not a fan of needles at all but thankfully I didn’t feel a thing as the spinal injection was administered and I lay back dazed as the wonderful nurses, doctors, midwife and anesthetist buzzed around me. They were all so friendly and upbeat, they kept me calm. My partner was brought in and I focused on his eyes and his voice as we chatted about things I can’t remember while the surgery progressed. I was so afraid of the idea of the c-section and I have to reassure any mums out there who may have one that you feel absolutely no pain. It’s just a sort of tugging sensation as if someone is pulling at your tummy but it’s nothing I promise. When baby left my tummy there was a rush of people over to the baby table to check him over and I called out “Is it a boy or a girl?” We had waited soooo long to find out! Someone eventually answered “Boy, it’s a boy!” and a silence that felt like an eternity followed as we waited to hear our baby boy make his first sound. The midwife put a call out over the autocom for the pediatrician to come immediately and I got a serious fright, why couldn’t I hear him? I couldn’t see him. Was he okay? Thank God, a few seconds later he let out a cry that we have since come to know well and likened to the sound of a pterodactyl :). I heard the nurse call time of birth as 10.05pm. The midwife informed us that he had had a little mucous blocking his airways but they had successfully removed it using suction and he was going to be fine.

Our midwife brought him over to us and my partner held him up to my face as I was all tied up with various tubes etc. I kissed his cheeks and forehead and we cooed and laughed over him as he appeared extremely angry at having been disturbed and exposed to the bright lights of the theatre. His angry expression was hilarious! After a few minutes he was whisked off for checks and I was wheeled into the recovery room, with my partner at my side, to regain the feeling in my lower body etc. (I had been afraid of the numb feeling too but honestly it’s not so bad, it really just feels as if your legs are heavy and it wore off slowly but substantially enough that I felt a continuous progression and felt confident that all was okay.) Our midwife let us know that due to the slowed heartbeat during labour our little man would be kept in ICU over night for observation. I yearned to hold him but as I was recovering I wouldn’t be able to until the next morning. My partner went down to ICU to sit with him and take photos and videos for me :). It was 3am by the time I was settled on the post natal ward and my partner slept on the bottom of my bed as I sat wide eyed all night, excitedly waiting to see and hold our baby boy!

Early the next morning my partner and I walked down to the ICU and lifted our little boy from his incubator for cuddles and feeding. Words fail me when I try to type of the feelings that flooded my heart as I held him for the first time. He was the most beautiful, warm, innocent, perfect, pure representation of humanity that I had ever faced. It felt as if, after a lifetime of soul searching, I suddenly understood the purpose and meaning of life in an instant.

We had looked at various names while I was pregnant and had two or three girls names that we liked but there was only one name for a boy that I had fallen in love with as soon as I’d heard it. It was unique and strong and out of this world just like our little boy…..

Mars.

On the 15th of November 2016 my partner and I welcomed our first beautiful child into the world. I sit here lost for words as I contemplate how to accurately express the wealth of emotion and pure joy that overwhelmed us that night and indeed every day since. My heart tells me it’s not possible to put this love into words but I will attempt to give you a glimpse of it as I outline the moments that led to the best moment of my life :).

overdue by eight days I slipped into bed around 1am on the Morning of Tuesday the 15th of November. My growing daily impatience had given way to exhaustion as it had the seven nights previous and I settled in ready for a long sleep but baby had other ideas! Not more than ten minutes after I lay down I felt a strong kick followed by a seconds pause before my waters broke. For me, the Adrenalin immediately took hold and I started shaking with anticipation as I called my partner to the room. I shakily stood up and dressed waiting for the contractions to start, wondering how sore they’d be. We called the hospital to let them know we were on our way and set upon the hour drive to Holles Street Maternity Hospital, Dublin. I remember staring out of the car window, quiet with a mix of nerves, excitement and wonder at the unknown. It was that proverbial calm before the storm moment when time seemed to stand still as I sensed I was on the verge of something universally life changing. My contractions started in the car as we bounced over city centre road ramps and before I knew it I was in a room on the labour ward, changing into my nightie, focusing on my breathing and experiencing intensifying contractions as my partner held my hand. A few hours passed and with constant contractions I thought “the birth must be soon!” I was so wrong! The midwife examined me and explained that I was not dilating and therefore not considered to be in active labour and would be moved to the pre-labour ward until I was deemed ready. I started to get scared, I was in so much pain already, how was this not “active” labour and did that mean it was going to get worse?!?!

I won’t go through the hours of contractions in detail but lets just say yes, I absolutely felt every minute of them but it’s true, you forget the pain so quickly and it’s worth it!  Eighteen hours later still with constant crippling contractions and no pain relief (as no pain relief options could be administered until I was in “active” labour) I had dilated just 1.5cm (I needed to reach 10 before I even started to push!) I was moved back to the labour ward as my waters had now been broken for an undesirably long time and it was important to monitor baby and I for infection. The doctor came to speak to my partner and I and explained that as my temperature had become very high and baby’s heart beat had slowed, he felt we needed to proceed with an emergency C-Section immediately. I was so exhausted I was happy to do anything in that moment to finally meet my baby but my poor partner looked worried as we had not planned for this. As first time parents-to-be we had attended all the classes, read all the books but somehow I had managed to overlook the possibility that I would need a c-section. We had no idea what to expect other than a few tips we had overheard in the classes such as “don’t be startled when there are twelve people in the room for theatre, it’s normal.”

The wonderful doctor reassured my partner that all would be fine as he waited in a separate room while I was prepped for theatre. I’m not a fan of needles at all but thankfully I didn’t feel a thing as the spinal injection was administered and I lay back dazed as the wonderful nurses, doctors, midwife and anesthetist buzzed around me. They were all so friendly and upbeat, they kept me calm. My partner was brought in and I focused on his eyes and his voice as we chatted about things I can’t remember while the surgery progressed. I was so afraid of the idea of the c-section and I have to reassure any mums out there who may have one that you feel absolutely no pain. It’s just a sort of tugging sensation as if someone is pulling at your tummy but it’s nothing I promise. When baby left my tummy there was a rush of people over to the baby table to check him over and I called out “Is it a boy or a girl?” We had waited soooo long to find out! Someone eventually answered “Boy, it’s a boy!” and a silence that felt like an eternity followed as we waited to hear our baby boy make his first sound. The midwife put a call out over the autocom for the pediatrician to come immediately and I got a serious fright, why couldn’t I hear him? I couldn’t see him. Was he okay? Thank God, a few seconds later he let out a cry that we have since come to know well and likened to the sound of a pterodactyl :). I heard the nurse call time of birth as 10.05pm. The midwife informed us that he had had a little mucous blocking his airways but they had successfully removed it using suction and he was going to be fine.

Our midwife brought him over to us and my partner held him up to my face as I was all tied up with various tubes etc. I kissed his cheeks and forehead and we cooed and laughed over him as he appeared extremely angry at having been disturbed and exposed to the bright lights of the theatre. His angry expression was hilarious! After a few minutes he was whisked off for checks and I was wheeled into the recovery room, with my partner at my side, to regain the feeling in my lower body etc. (I had been afraid of the numb feeling too but honestly it’s not so bad, it really just feels as if your legs are heavy and it wore off slowly but substantially enough that I felt a continuous progression and felt confident that all was okay.) Our midwife let us know that due to the slowed heartbeat during labour our little man would be kept in ICU over night for observation. I yearned to hold him but as I was recovering I wouldn’t be able to until the next morning. My partner went down to ICU to sit with him and take photos and videos for me :). It was 3am by the time I was settled on the post natal ward and my partner slept on the bottom of my bed as I sat wide eyed all night, excitedly waiting to see and hold our baby boy!

Early the next morning my partner and I walked down to the ICU and lifted our little boy from his incubator for cuddles and feeding. Words fail me when I try to type of the feelings that flooded my heart as I held him for the first time. He was the most beautiful, warm, innocent, perfect, pure representation of humanity that I had ever faced. It felt as if, after a lifetime of soul searching, I suddenly understood the purpose and meaning of life in an instant.

We had looked at various names while I was pregnant and had two or three girls names that we liked but there was only one name for a boy that I had fallen in love with as soon as I’d heard it. It was unique and strong and out of this world just like our little boy…..

Mars.

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” (Leo Buscaglia)

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I cannot believe it’s been three years since my last post!!!

Time has swallowed me up and spit me out. It has transitioned me from the things I used to dread to the things I worship the most. Scrolling through some of my old posts to refresh my memory, the undertone of sadness reveals just how much I have grown, learnt and, dare I say, awakened over this period. I am balanced and positive and a new mum! Becoming a mum was certainly the climax to my happiness over the last few years but my transformation began long before the pitter-patter of tiny adorable feet…. 🙂

In my post “True Love Waits” I touched upon the fact that my partner and I were separated for two years in 2013. We had known each other in passing for a number of years but only had the bliss of ten months as a couple before he had to leave. This was when time became my enemy. I counted each and every day and marked them off a calendar as did he. For the first year I existed in an empty shell. Work, TV, Sleep, Repeat. but as time progressed my mood slowly lifted as the imminence of his homecoming increased and I saw enough light at the end of the proverbial tunnel to enjoy myself again, little by little. Whatever small happiness I found in those cruel years my life truly restarted in April 2015 when my love came home.

It is astounding how we are forced to be thankful for the little things when they are all we have. Being separated for such a long time, my partner and I learnt to cherish our love in a different, in fact in hindsight, a more profound way. We wrote hundreds of letters to each other expressing our deepest thoughts and fears. Getting to know the levels of each soul unabated by any distraction. Our phone calls were deeply focused on the important happenings of the moment and the positives (no matter how few they seemed) so as not to upset the other, so far away and when we visited each other, every second was acutely precious in the awareness that soon it would end and we would be apart again.

When we finally came back together every tiny blessing was instantly apparent and blissful. Waking up together, falling asleep together, sitting together watching a show, cooking for each other, brushing our teeth together at the sink in the morning, just being able to walk hand in hand to the local shop and buy milk, felt like we were incredibly lucky! I couldn’t halt my snowballing mental transformation from negative to positive. Every tiny thing made me smile. Even the things that used to annoy me (like how loudly he potters around the bedroom when I’m trying to sleep!) made me grin with delight. This gratefulness transferred in to all areas of my life, I was thankful for a sunny morning walking to work, thankful for a kind client, thankful for the challenge of a difficult day in the office and the feeling of achievement I gained from pushing through it. Suddenly everywhere I had once seen problems and felt overwhelmed , I saw challenges with real solutions and felt full of love and thanks. Somehow in my desperation and loss, I had stumbled across the secret to happiness and it was so simple;

be loving and be thankful in everything you do.

 

 

 

 

Endings…

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” (Frank Herbert)

I got thinking today about the endings life gives us. The end of a century, the end of a year, the end of a relationship, the end of a life.

I recalled how after the ending and all its constituting grief and loss comes an in between state where the world begins to open up to us again and creativity revels in the expression of that loss.

Then how comes the new beginning. The yearned for start that seems to take all too long to come to pass when grief stricken. It feels like a whole new life, the rare conscious moment of turning a corner or taking a less travelled road at the proverbial fork in each of our lives paths.

Things happen that we didn’t expect, little joys emerge and life as we knew it becomes a life renewed. The wonderful thing is even if we don’t want to let go, even if we wish to disappear into the loss, nothing can stop life from renewing and joy from eventually piercing grief’s walls and re-entering our hearts.

Having lived the cycle time and time again the losses become easier as we are acutely equipped with experience and aware that life will go on no matter the gratitude of our emotional state at ground zero.

Knowledge becomes a gift, a comfort. A seed of wisdom that instils, inevitably, whatever the tide, we will be okay.

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The Year of Resolve not Resolutions!

Another year has come and gone. January 12th 2015 is upon us and I, I am still unfulfilled. Not completely, not irrevocably but unfulfilled nonetheless. I want this to be the year. The year I start my PHD and in turn my career in Literature. The year I take the chance and find the balance between a creative mind and a creative bank balance! The year I refuse to give in to the hum drum drone of in-between and forge on upon the unknown path of discovering who I am and who I am destined to be. The year I love my body as well as my mind. The year of nature, of poetry, of family, of recognising what is truly important in this transient life.

The year my love comes home..

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