Unspoken Conversations are the topics that are often swept under the carpet, whispered amongst the closest of friends and bitched about by many. I want to create awareness about difficult things that people face in life; grief, mental health, money, illnesses, family troubles, relationship difficulties and putting yourself first. I want to tell the truth about things that really matter.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

What do Nudity, Buckets and Boost Juices have in Common?

Yup, you read right, nudity, buckets and boost juices...one sentence...3 random objects or experiences...what on earth is this crazy lady talking about?

A clue... It starts with first and ends in trimester...

Ohhhh that little egg...

So...now that we've answered our spike in curiosity - how on earth do these things combine to create a first trimester experience?

Well...are you ready...I mean, seriously, are you ready to hear about the oh so glamorous side of pregnancy?

Whelp...too bad if you're not because here goes...

There's only one thing that could possess a fully grown female adult cough cough to waltz on in to a town of 20,000 people dressed only in her knickers and bras...yup you heard right...her itty bitty teeny weeny, lacey spotted bikini (underwear), in a car, in a highly populated town...

And the answer is...drum roll... The biggest power chuck you've ever laid eyes upon... Just ask my grandfather...he kindy helped, toothbrush, vacuum cleaner and warm soapy sponge in toe, to remove coco pops from the ceiling, to the vents to window cavaties to the floor of our car...

And wait, just when you thought grandparent duties couldn't stretch any further, out waltzes my grandmother with a towel to wrap me up ohhhh feel the love ohhhh and hold me tighter to take me inside and pick out her most glorious clothes so that I could avoid rocking up to work in my underwear.

So wait lets rewhinde...how was it that I ended up at my grandparents house  with a four wheel drive coated heat to tow in a chocolate milkshake only crunchy?

Well, you'd think that i would've learnt after 13 weeks of power chucking to pack a bowl or bucket for my 45 minute commute to work but nooo someone thought surely this must stop soon, she'll be right...

And she was allllright until she came up to a big sweeping bend and felt the all too familiar urge to spew, in which in 2.5 seconds her hand to mouth reaction didn't quite reach and with no where to pull over and no hope insight...a violent spray of coco pops erupted from her mouth spraying the contents of the car with a brown hazy mist...

So what did I do?

Burst into tears of course...then pulled over at the safest opportunity...and sat covered in vomit while I dialed my husbands number in the hope he's offer some words of comfort...

He laughed...loudly...I sobbed...loudly...to hear down the end of the phone "if you don't laugh Kirsty you'll cry!!!"

"Buttttt you haven't seen the inside of the pradooooo!"

Then yes, I had to make the biggest decision of the day, do I turn the car around and head back home coated head to toe in vomit or do I strip off on the side of the road and hope like hell that my grandparents were home to come to my rescue???

And that my friends, is what nudity, buckets and boost juices have in common with my first trimester experience...always carry a bucket in the car, never fear some nudity and well, I can't help but think that the spew would've tasted a whole lot better and made my car smell sweeter if I had of eaten a fruit platter for breakfast and thrown up a boost juice instead...

Before I sign off I must say, if someone had of told me that I would've power chucked for 14 weeks before I fell pregnant then I would've crossed my legs and told my husband to let his spermies swim else where...but the truth is, despite the unpleasantries, pregnancy truly is the greatest blessing..nudity, buckets, boost juices and all!!!

Look after yourself and those around you,

Kirsty xxx

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Guest Blogger; Postpartum Anxiety Doesn't Have to be a Secret

I am so proud of this little lady who has bravely chosen to share her journey with anxiety after birthing her beautiful baby girl. I have always respected and admired Beej and when she reached out to me about her struggles just over a year ago my heart burst because I wanted to give her a big cuddle and say "that sucks". I knew nothing I could say or do could make it better and I didn't want to try and "fix her problem" or undermine just how incredibly difficult it would have been,so I listened and when the timing felt right, asked her to share her story in the hope that it'd benefit others as much as it would benefit her to be open and honest with that challenging time in her life. 

Anxiety is a horrible feeling that can consume you and can make you question every single little decision that you make. This topic hits close to home since I'm about to become a mummy myself and have suffered my fair share of anxiety in the past, and I'm so grateful to have friends like Beej who are willing to share their experience with tips to help you realise feeling worried about your little human comes hand in hand with the incredible love.

I remember writing my first blog post when I admitted that there was a time in my life when I really didn't cope, when 5 little words "I am one of them" carried the weight of my worry over what people would think about my confession, so I know how hard this would have been to write but I also know how freeing and empowering it can be to share your experience to help others and to realise how far you've come since.

And me oh my how gorgeous is her little girl, she never fails to make me smile!?

Take it away Beej...

This is my story about my postpartum anxiety.

When I did a first draft of this, I’d written two pages before I had even gotten to the ‘realisation’ stage of my journey, so I decided; 

a) It was too long winded and;
b) Everybody’s ‘why’ is different, and it wasn’t the reasons behind why I was feeling anxious that would resonate with people, it was the ‘how’ of realisation and beating it.

So the round about summary of some of my why’s (as I still feel I need to justify) – small baby – extra monitoring – high blood pressure – induction – lost weight – upset baby until treated (reflux)-  busy delayed seeding time – reading TOO MUCH – what I thought I had to do – contradictions – two daily weigh ins – needing to be perfect/correct – lack of knowing what comes next. ETC ETC ETC.

Having a baby is a HUGE change in life. Uhhhh…..Duh, right? But in my life, it was like stepping into an alternate universe. I went from (mostly) knowing what was happening, what was due to come next, and how I would tackle it. I was productive, ticking off to do lists, active, and confident in my abilities – when I knew what was coming next of course.

Bringing Ellie home brought the opposite. Zero confidence and no manual to address when I needed some ‘how to’ tips. Or having zero confidence because everything I did read contradicted each other (and I read when I fed, so it was often!) which made working out the ‘right’ way to do things even harder. Throw in everyone’s opinions and your mind is constant swirl of what you’re doing right/wrong, what you should (allegedly) be doing, what other mothers are (allegedly) doing in their (allegedly) perfect lives on Facebook. It hurts my brain just thinking about how busy it used to be! Add on top of that there’s a lack of sleep, and the anxiety stopping me from napping during the day, and you’ve got one hell of a mess.

I questioned if I was dressing her right, and would spend a half hour working out what to put her in (what??). I would worry about what would happen if she woke up within that allotted 3 hours she was supposedly meant to be sleeping. I managed to get to footy (happily) but didn’t want anyone peeping into her pram, and kept the lid shut so they couldn’t wake her. I counted down the minutes until she was due for a feed, and considered waking her if she wasn’t waking at that time (what what what?!).  I jumped at the noises she made at night…worried…later attributed to her reflux. When I was feeding I was straight onto Google, forums, or the Midnight Mums page, wondering whether the questions people asked about their babies were an indication of what was wrong with my baby, or my parenting. Should she be having more tummy time? Was she doing the right things? Am I failing her? I basically questioned all of my decisions (or non-decisions), wondering if they were right or wrong. I worried that something I did now would affect her for life (of course it didn’t!!). I wondered if I was ready to have kids, even thought when we were taking about trying but were waiting, I would ache physically wanting to hold our child, so I knew she came at the right time in our lives. 

It got to the point where I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing, except feed, bath, burp and put my baby to sleep.

I cried a lot, though initially I put it down to baby blues. I now realise I cried because I didn’t have the confidence to make decisions for my child and I felt like that made me a failure and a bad parent. I KNEW that inside me there was a confident, intelligent woman who could take this on, but I was having serious trouble finding her.  I didn’t cry because I was sad, I cried because I was lost.

I went to the doctor a few times who talked things over with me (thank you to the staff of the clinic who had to stay late because of my last minute appointments). We talked about ways to cope and how all mothers worried about their decisions. But I still couldn’t find the confidence and I was having trouble bonding with my beautiful girl. It all finally culminated in me breaking down in front of my husband, and he said it was time we went back to the Doctor and did something about it. I couldn’t even face up to admitting I was ‘failing’, so I had him call the doctor instead. When we visited her again, she put it to me like this.

Imagine a ladder, usually you are up here (a high rung), but right now, you are down here (the low rung)…and we need help to get you to the middle rung, so that you can lift yourself back up to the high rung yourself. 

I bloody love our Doctor – she doesn’t talk down to me and tells it like it is, with comparisons to her own life. This explanation made total sense to me. I needed a little flashlight to help me in the search for the woman inside that can take on the world….or just a small infant. Getting the help to do that was not being weak, it was finding a different strength to be the best person I could.  

I was put on a low dose anti depressant, and the change was pretty immediate. To be honest, it wasn’t long before I was on half the tablet a day. I think I refilled the script twice, and then after talking to the doctor, gently phased it out. I had built my confidence back enough to not need it, to make those decisions and not sit and wonder about the suitability of a singlet for a full half an hour. I didn’t so much sweat the small stuff, and when Ellie decided she’d sleep 4 hours between feeds, I enjoyed an extra episode of the Kardashians instead of even contemplating waking her!

I wasn’t afraid to tell people I was dealing with anxiety – in fact I was quite upfront about it. I was never ashamed of it, and I didn’t wonder what people thought of it – but I did, and still do, worry that it people judge my parenting on that low period. That Ellie might one day think I didn’t love her because I didn’t have the confidence to take care of her. Because I got lost within myself and cried a lot when she came along. 

I know deep down, that none of those things are true. And as we’ve all heard before, ‘those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter’ – so anyone that does judge me on a harder period of my parenting journey shouldn’t be worth even a single thought in my day.

Sometimes I sit and listen to other mothers at different stages, talking about what stresses them at that time. This is why I am honest about the anxiety I dealt with – so they can identify the difference between a stress they deal with over a few weeks vs. one that’s part of a big group of stresses constantly weighing on them. So that they can seek help when needed, find their own inner confidence, and so I won’t have to hear again ‘I think that’s what was happening to me, but I never saw anyone about it.’ 

Don’t get me wrong – things still stress me out, but they don’t have the weight that they used to, and I just roll with it a lot more. I have thought about whether this might happen again when we have another baby. I hope that I had the anxiety because of this entirely different world I was thrown into that had no manual, because I definitely feel now that ‘I got this’. However, I know that if it is also a chemical imbalance that throws me off centre, I am not afraid to speak about it, to seek the help, and know that there is a light at the end of that tunnel – just like there is for anyone else in this situation.

Geeze, this is still bloody long winded, and I know I will wish afterwards I had said more, or put something differently. But this is just another chapter of my unedited life story that is still full of blank pages, and it doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be real.