Saturday, June 30, 2012

Money, Choices and Consquences

For the past few weeks, DragonPapa and I have been stressing over money.

I mean everyone stresses to some point. We all do. But with our ill health recently and the knock-on effect of less money meant that we were really stressing!! 

Now I like to do our budget in advance - and by advance, I mean that I have done our budget right up to Feb 2013. So I know exactly what is what when it comes to money in this household. 

And, as many readers here know, I am currently incubating a little dragon egg. Our hatchling is due later this year. Now for us, it was a simple choice - we were home birthing.

For those that really do not understand this topic, and for many people it simply isn't something that you come across in their everyday lives, here's what Home Birthing means. 

It means that instead of going to hospital to birth a baby, the woman chooses to remain at home and birth there.

It really is that simple! :)

Now sometimes, the woman chooses to have trained and experienced labour & birth attendants. These can be hospital supported midwives, independent midwives or experienced birth attendants.

Other times, the woman may choose to have no one but herself and maybe her partner and/or a support person - this is sometimes referred to as a free birth.


For each individual person, they make their own choices and therefore accept their own consequences.


It is no more or less than the woman that chooses to birth at hospital - either vaginally or opts for a caesarean section. 

Each choice has its own set of rules, risks, choices and consequences.

I seem to be saying consequences a lot, don't I? There is a reason for that, which I will go into in just a minute.

At no point is anybody less than anybody else for the choices they make. Do I look down on the woman that chooses to use a hospital to birth her child? No. Do I think less of the woman that chooses to have an elective caesarean or a homebirth? Definitely not. We all do what we need to do to get through safely and hopefully with our lives and the lives of our children intact and healthy.


So, here was our dilemma.


We knew that a hospital birth just wasn't right for me. And what wasn't right for me, wasn't right for my babe. That just goes without saying. The other option was home birthing.

We have home birthed before and loved it. It was exactly what I needed.

But, it also costs money - a lot of it. Especially if you want to have support people with you. Friends can hang out and be supportive, but sometimes, you need or want to have an experienced birth person with you. If you aren't lucky enough to be best friends with one, it means that you have to pay.

Unlike hospitals in Australia, where you can have the birth you want or need paid for by our government, if you want to birth at home, majority of the time, you have to pay for it yourself. Often this also means paying for any antenatal care you want or need, like Ultrasounds, bloodtests, etc. as well. Expensive business giving birth outside the hospital system.

But, when you feel that it is the best thing for you and your baby, you pay.

Our dilemma was - we didn't know how we were going to afford to pay for our home birth. I need to have a support person other than DragonPapa, and I really want to have an experienced support person as well.

Why? Why did I feel the need to pay a LOT of money for this? Why don't I save the money for other things that desperately need it? This was something we had to work out - was it worth saving the money and using the public system? Was it?

I have a specific set of needs - I have face blindness, anxiety, panic attacks, permanently injured back, sensory issues, mild OCD, depression/PTSD, amongst a host of other things. So for me, birth isn't just about going to hospital, pushing out a baby, resting up and coming home with a lovely new squishy and playing happy families. When in labour, everything is heightened. Anyone can guess that it is a time of stress and pain - even if you have never birthed yourself. And as stress makes nearly all my issues extremely heightened - I think you can see where I am going.

Imagine this - you have just a few of my issues - lets pick the first few shall we?

.

You are fronting up at hospital. You are in the very first stages of labour - nothing stressy yet, a few twinges, maybe your waters have broken, maybe they haven't. They wheel you up to the labour ward. Now, you have probably been here once or twice in your antenatal classes for a visit. They pop you in a room with a folder of paperwork and a midwife comes in.

For this example, we'll go with the 'nicer' version.

This is maybe the first time you have met her. Not that it matters, you won't recognise her anyway unless she was a good friend. She smiles and asks a bunch of questions. You are a little nervous but doing okay. She seems friendly. She checks you over - most likely you have to submit to a vaginal exam and you are set up in your room. Hopefully your midwife stays with you.

It's a few hours and either they break your waters/stretch you or your labour kicks up a notch. Now you are feeling a little anxious - only in this case, you already have anxiety so it’s a little more than usual. It's been a while and your midwife needs to go check someone else/have a break/etc. Someone new comes in to watch over you (as I said, let’s go with the friendlier version- here there is always someone with you) You don't know this person, your anxiety is already a little higher than 'normal' for a birthing woman, combined with the fact that your face blindness is really messed up now, this makes your anxiety a little higher again. AND you're in labour as well. There is also nothing to do, nothing to take your mind off your building anxiety, so you sit, or wander the room aimlessly, always at the back of your mind, your anxiety is slowly building.

Another person comes in - you know it's a hospital worker as they are wearing a uniform, so you hopefully assume it’s your/A midwife and not a cleaner or janitor or whatever. The uniformed person who was with you chats with the new person and then leaves.

Let’s say that this happens a few times - for some labours, like my first, they leave for handover, go home because their shift ended and another person comes in and you have yet another new unknown face with you. For some labours, this can happen more than once. Or not at all - it is just the same person coming in and out - you have no idea! Add into all this the fact that medical professionals in labour wards seem to like checking you by sticking a hand up your vagina.......

Okay - let's recap - labour + anxiety + stress + lack of privacy + not recognising ANYONE other than your partner = a painful, stranger-filled, massively uncomfortable, incredibly scary situation.

And this is a 'normal' uneventful birth!!

Now add in all the other issues that I personally have and you can see that it isn't as simple as it seems for most women.

Let’s skip all the rest, as I'm sure that you can understand it is more of the same really.

Now, let’s go to a homebirth. - I use the experiences of my own home birth, as...well, that my experiences LOL - so this will be based on a supported home birth.

You go into labour at home. You call your midwife/partner/support people and let them know. You are at home, in familiar surroundings and smells. You potter along, doing your own thing. Your support people show up and as you are expecting them, you know who is who. You have spent the last 9 months, sometimes more, getting to know these people, and them getting to know you. Everyone is on the same page - all issues are known and shared. Your support person understands what you want from this, what you can cope with and what the 'rules' are. You are in charge.

Labour ramps up, your anxiety kicks in. But your support people are there and you can get reassurances. Your various issues may be kicking in as well, but as you have forged a relationship, your people know how to deal with this. You may not recognise those around you, but you 'know' that there is no one here that you don't already know, so you try to relax. There are no vaginal exams, no touching, therefore your sensory issues aren't as bad. You're able to relax a bit and trust in what is going on. You can 'be yourself' and not get worried that people will react badly..... you feel safe. Your issues flare up, you feel lost, but you 'know' that if it was serious, your people know what to do and how to help you - with both the birthing stuff AND the more personal issues.

Then once it is all over - instead of being moved to yet another room and more strange faces and more newness, you are at home, in your own space. You are surrounded by people you know, who know you. Your routines are YOUR routines, not the hospitals. Your support people remain your support people for the days, weeks, months and in my case, years. There are no changing shifts, no strange noises, no new faces you have to try to remember, just 'your life'. With added newness :D

It all comes down to where you feel safest. And in all honesty, that is actually a very important thing. All mammals, no matter what species, require the feeling of safety to birth with the best outcomes. Humans as well. It has been shown in studies that when women feel scared and unsafe, labour slows and in many cases stops altogether. A simple survival mechanism designed by evolution/God to help the woman by giving her time to get somewhere safe to birth.

I have spoken to many women about this. Some women have told me that they were terrified to give birth outside of the hospital and as soon as they were in their rooms, with their attendants, they birthed immediately! (Often this conversation has followed the "I would have given birth in the car if I had waited at home, you are SO brave to home birth!" lol) To me, it says that they feel safest in a hospital setting, therefore their bodies waited as long as it could until it felt 'safe'.

So, in the end, after all this talking with DragonPapa, with friends and with birthworkers, we came to the realisation that for me, I am 'safest' birthing at home. In order for me to feel safest birthing at home, I need my handpicked support people - so therefore, we will have to make the money work.

It is not a case of hippy dreams or earthy wants - for me, it is as simple as being able to get through it and out the other side in a way that means I can continue being the fabulous parent and person I know I am! :D



Friday, June 29, 2012

Coming to Personal Realisations

I was reading one of my online forums and an internet friend said this...

"Goddamnit, I WILL feel better and improve my life.No matter what, I'm taking my life into my own hands"

You know what? I came to this exact same realisation a few days ago. You might remember my "what to do now?" post?

Well, I came to this realisation...


I'm done feeling like crap - this is MY life, I only have one damn shot at it - screw everyone who wants me to be "normal" or "like them and everyone else" or any of that other shit!!


'Just Like Them' is making me miserable and depressed and filling up my "can'tgiveafuckitis" cup too much!


I am going to start doing what makes ME happy - Odin Damn It! and screw anyone who thinks that they can bully me into "conforming" just to make THEM happy with their crappy life choices....


/rant - lol - paraphrased from a post I made, but the sentiment is the same.


I am going to start living MY life as * I * need to live it.


Nobody has to agree with me, nobody has to join me, but I * WILL * demand that they respect/tolerate * MY * choices.


If you don't agree, that's fine, but don't be fooled for a second - I will no longer tolerate being bullied any longer!!


So, time to change, time to alter and make the choices that make ME and my family happy!
YAY!!

A Vintage Score

 

Okay, as per my last post, I am currently in a sewing mood - YAY!

So I popped into an Op Shop while waiting for friends and found some GORGEOUS bargains!

As we walked in, they had a bed display - usually it is something I 'aww' over and think "Oh, I would love that" but it is never enough desire to warrant actually purchasing it.

Today was different - it certainly helped that Dragonett Lass was with me and immediately begged for it.

A vintage Holly Hobbie (? or similar) bedspread cover and matching pillow case! In absolutely pristine condition!







We made a deal that we if we bought this, she would have to clear at least one of her other doona cover sets out of the cupboard - YES!!! (I know just the one I am going to chuck too - Bye Bye Barbie!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH)



As we were chatting to the staff - or as we were stripping the bed lol - one of the staff let us know that there was another doona cover in the racks, but no pillow case... SCORE!



In my mind, this doona cover would make the most adorable dress for Dragonett Lass! The back of the doona is the flower pattern - so that and the sides of the front would make up the bulk of the dress and the panel at the front would make an adorable apron/feature!

I apparently shocked a few people, lol! I am being awful by cutting up vintage fabric - but I figure better to upcycle and make it into something new and useful, than let it sit in the back of a linen press for another 20 yrs or worse - get destroyed and end up in landfill!!


 
Then, as I was looking through the rest of the linen rack, I came across THIS little beauty


 



Isn't it Stunning?!?!

And won't it make the BEST pants ever?!

 
(lol another "how could you?" comment arose from that exclamation - hey, if they felt that strongly about it, they should buy it themselves.... been there, done that, ended up with three linen cupboards of unusable fabric because "it's VINTAGE" pfft - I learnt the hard way - use it or lose it)


 
And to top it off, I found a skirt that MAY just fit me (after the baby's born of course) that will do simply lovely as a modesty petticoat for under my hoops!


 




All for the princely sum of $22! SCORE! lol


Can't wait to get started tomorrow night!!!
P.S. - Please forgive the weird formatting - Blogger is sucking the soul out of me and will NOT stay properly formatted, so apolagies to those like me who HATE bad layouts :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I ACTUALLY MADE A THING!!

I KNOW!! I can scarcely believe it myself!!

As regular readers and friends will know, I am NOT the world’s best seamstress - in fact, I would go so far as to say, that after 20yrs of sewing, I honestly couldn't be any worse!! My ** 6 ** yr old is a better sewer than me, Not A Lie!!

But, like all my endeavours, I love doing it, so I continue to plod along, mangling and destroying fabric where ever I go ;)

But, I have recently been re-inspired to hurry up and at least FINISH one part of my Victorian outfit - the skirt.

I figured that I should finish off some of the more important things first - like mending DragonPapa's work pants, making Dragonett Lad his long promised pants, etc.

So, I dug out the box of 'new' patterns I had bought from the Rummage Sale ages ago, picked out a long pants pattern and gave it another try.

Now, some MAY remember THIS post over a year ago - since then, I haven't had any success since.

But this time, I tried a NEW pattern and crossing my fingers, went for it!

And I made THESE...





BUT, being that I finished it at some ungodly hour AND gave myself a Swinging headache, I had to wait until later today to try them on Dragonett Lad - to see if they really WERE as fabulous as they looked...


What do you think...? 


 



Pretty damn EXCELLENT if I DO say so myself!!!

*happy dance happy dance*

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Starting a new ritual

We try to read to the kids every night - sometimes it just doesn't happen. Their bedtimes are so erratic sometimes that by the time we have gotten them to 'sleep mode', WE are just too buggered ourselves to face lying down...(there has been more than one occasion where the reading adult is fast asleep and the kids have snuck out to play LOL)

But we have been working on it and we are now at the stage where we have a routine set up for the most part.

Up until tonight, we usually get the kids to pick a quick book (quick as in we can read it in one night and in about 15minutes) Any longer than 15mins, and we would lose their interest. (they are only 6 and 2)

Tonight though, we started a new book. I had been trying to get Dragonett Lass interested in more 'grown up' books, but it was a real fight - she simply didn't want to know about them. Then she watched a bit of a Harry Potter movie and when I told her that the books were MUCH better, she wanted to read those. So, I thought of a compromise - the books ** I ** loved as a child.... Enid Blyton! She still refused. "Those books are BORING Mumma!"

So tonight, after talking it up a bit and negotiating a trial night, we lay down and started to read "The Enchanted Wood".



Dragonett Lass squirmed and wriggled, Dragonett Lad was happy to just lay there and play quietly with his new obsession - BumbleBee from Transformers.

I read chapters 1 & 2.

Still, Dragonett Lass wriggled and chatted, played with the cuffs of her nightie and generally messed about.

Then we hit chapter 3 and I noticed that all had gone quiet. Dragonett Lad was fast asleep, clutching his "Bee" and Dragonett Lass was laying still, eyes wide open, apparently absorbed. I ended Chapter 3 and went to close the book.... and Dragonett Lass begged for one more chapter... YAY!

So we finished Chapter 4 and closed the book. She was SO excited to read the next chapters tomorrow night - SUCCESS!

So tomorrow night, we look forward to meeting the rest of the Folk and seeing the new adventures.... And hopefully the start of new adventures for us as well!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Unsatisfied.... but what now?

I am finding myself to be quite unsatisfied with my current life. I long for a simpler, quieter, slower time - one that reflects a much earlier time.

It calls to my soul, I can feel the unhappiness in my being.

But, where to start?

The life I find myself drawn to, doesn't exist here in Australia as far as I can find.

So I would be flying blind, as they say.

Everything would be untried, I would have no one to ask advice of or bounce ideas off. No-one to help lead the way.

I suppose that doesn't scare me as much as my personal limitations do.

The life I crave, is one of hard manual labour. A life that, quite honestly, fills me with fear, fear of the pain it will cause because I am not physically capable of that. Maybe 15yrs ago when I was merely a child, but not now.

So, where do I find myself now?

Praying to God, asking him why I have these desires and needs, but lack the ability to live it. Where is it He is wanting me to go. What are His plans for me.

But mainly praying for strength - strength to find pleasure and contentment in my life, strength to find the parts I can change, strength to do what I know is right for our family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Face Blindness or Prosopagnosia - What it means to me day to day

I have posted before about my face blindness. While I only have a mild case - meaning I can recognise you if I know you really well with no problems most of the time. If I am anxious, sick or stressed, the chances drop like bird poop from the sky LOL! If I only see you every now and then, probably not a hope unless you have some feature that I have remembered - a walk, scent, accent, tattoo, all sorts of things.

(Note - do NOT ask what your 'clue' is if I DO remember you, unless you will definitely NOT be offended by the answer - as some people have been! Not my fault if you have a mole on your eyelid and I use that to 'remember' you :) )       

But the reason for my post today, was that a friend linked an article on FB and I read it and a following one after that - I liked them and thought that Mary K Moore's described my day perfectly.

So here's Mary K Moore's article first - and a glimpse into my day to day life...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-k-moore/face-blindness_b_1543482.html

and the original article linked by a friend

http://riaus.org.au/articles/unfamiliar-faces/?utm_source=RiAus+Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9dd7971ba1-Newsletter_23%2F2012&utm_medium=email&fb_source=message

Some more reading thrown in

http://thebeautifulbrain.com/2010/06/the-country-of-the-face-blind/


Good Reading :D


Note - after you read these, take a moment to think about how YOUR life might be if you had some form of this :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Generosity and Giving.... to me that is.

I wanted to come on tonight and do a post on some favorite bloggers of mine - old and new.

You can see from the list << there on the side, I love reading other peoples blogs. I really do! Although Pinterest has taken over from that somewhat (the Perfect Mommie bloggers DO get a little depressing sometimes and Pinterest means I can steal ideas without getting the guilt trips, lol).

One of my favorites was shown to me by friends - Abby chronicles her farm in America and her day to day life - like all those 'home style' blogs, I find it fascinating to read. It would be something I would LOVE to do, and will do someday when I'm not so sick and lazy ;P.

But, she re-introduced me to a blog. I won't link it, I have spoken about it before, so those who 'know' will know whom I am talking about. But I recently was lead back by Abby's blog and all I can say is DAMN!! There's some GOOD money to be made by grifting  begging  being a spiritual leader  being a lazy assed MoFo  being ill and persecuted

:(

Those poor things.

Life really does seem to kick them around a lot!

When you start to read it, you sway between feeling sorry for them and headdesking a lot.

I have come to the conclusion though, that ** I ** should start asking for donations too!! After all, they 'seem' to have many of the same things ** I ** have!!!
Other than the IBS ( **coughbullshitcough** ) that is. I have a feeling that if you eat too much shit, shit is what's gonna happen..... (see what I did there? heehee)

Anyhoo, as someone with Spondylolisthesis (bad back), prosopagnosia (face blindness), social anxieties, panic attacks, recovering PTSD, depression, dermatitis, suspected fatigue-y stuff, sensory issues, some OCD-y stuffs, migraines, two kids, one husband, two rabbits, four lizards, one (sick :( ) snake, two cats and now pregnancy - I match her AND pass her, leaving her in my dust, baby!!
Oooh, editing to add that I ALSO have a heart murmur-y thingy AND suspected childhood dyslexia TOO!!!

I don't have the extra spouses that she has, thank God - I'm happy with my one and only deity!

So, as we are not rolling about in piles of filthy lucre (how DARE we not be??? It's an OUTRAGE, AN OUTRAGE I SAY!!) I decided that she is not the only one that can grift  beg  scam  ask for money.

Now, as I understand these things from reading that blog, I *can* offer to do several things

1) Make jewellery and sell it to you
2) Make said jewellery, bless it - or in my case, pray over it - and sell it to you for a little more
3) Say thanks
4) Do a Blessing - or in my case, pray for you
5) Send you some religious-y things that I have blessed/prayed on or over to you

Now, as people have informed me, if I follow the gist of this other blog, I don't ACTUALLY have to send anything out. I can simply claim that I'm too sick/in pain/that things occurred that prevented me from getting to the post office. I also don't have to thank anyone, but simply yell at them for not giving more - after all, I am entitled to this. Apparently.

So, as we need SO many things, I decided to set up my own donation request -

THINGS WE NEED

A Heavy Duty chainsaw - $400
A caravan - $25000
New Rabbit Hutch - $400
New reptile enclosures - $1500
The Entire Hellephant Collection - $600
My Hairy Frog Fish illustration - $80
New Car Seat for Hatchling - $700
New Mattress for Hatchling - $150
Spending Money to spend on Regretsy Artists - $1000+
New Hair Do - $300
New Fridge and Freezer - $1500
New Dryer - $600
The Assassins Creed Xbox 360 game - (I know, how could I not have this yet?) - $60
My long desired Preserving Kit - $400 (I need more bottles of course)
Bunnings Vouchers to do up garden - $200
Car repairs - $3000
Real Ugg Boots - $100
My Victorian Wardrobe - $15000
Sewing Fabrics - $500
A New Sewing Light - $55
Outside Climbing Frame and Cubby House for the Kids - $2500
Someone to put up Outside Climbing Frame and Cubby House - $500
Walkie Talkies for kids to go exploring on property - $200
Camping Gas Light - $30
Camping Gas Stove - $50
Camping torches - $50
Camping Mats for everyone - $500
A Rubbish Skip - $350
A Complete Pantry and Fridge Make Over - $2000
(I'm sure that there will be more, stay tuned for any more giving you might be able to do)

If you are feeling particularly generous, we could always do with the following - and if anyone does donate the following, I will send them thirty three necklaces and two bracelets - all jewellery will have been prayed over by me personally. I will also pray for you daily for two years (or until such time as I get bored) We will also send you photos of us enjoying your generosity..

A House deposit = $25,000
A House for keeps (in our name) = Eternal gratitude
A Million Dollars = Priceless and tears of joy will be captured and sent to you in a stunning little jar, suspended on a gold or silver (your choice) chain.

So, go forth and open your paypal accounts, your credit cards, your bank accounts. And know, that by giving us your hard earned, sweat of your brow money, you have given someone something really cool. And maybe a house. Or at least a caravan. Maybe a drawing or a handmade skirt...

:)

God Bless You

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Myth about Home Birthing

**Trigger warning  - discussed in this post are topics that may be upsetting or triggery for some people. Miscarriage and Child Loss are discussed**

What with the constant home birth bashing debates that go on, I have recently taken a break from my online world - the rage and stabbiness that I am sometimes pushed to, is not worth my mental health, so a healthy break is needed.

But, in my real life world, even avoiding this topic is not easy.

I came to the conclusion many years ago that all peoples have two exact things in common - an arsehole and an opinion. For many people, one is the cause the other.

What am I saying? I was recently talking to someone about my previous home birth (I will take this chance to say that THEY started this by quoting some 'facts' at me. All I can say is, if you are going to say something - either KNOW what you are talking about, or allow yourself the opportunity to learn something new. Standing there TELLING me that you know better than me about a topic I have studied will be a sure way to get your butt handed to you. And I will take even GREATER pleasure in it if you stubbornly refuse to learn - even when your wife is 'suggesting' you shut up. LMAO!!) who after our 'conversation' resorted to the tired old caption of "People who homebirth only care about the experience, NOT the safety of the baby" - to which his wife even looked horrified at him. I controlled my desire to A) roll my eyes and B) shank him.

But it did lead to this conversation. I thought this was a good time to share it on my blog, while it is still up. I will call him Stu for the purpose of this post.

I looked him dead in the eye and pointed to my stomach.

"Have you ever been pregnant, Stu?"
To which he rolled HIS eyes (made me wish I hadn't held back, haha) and merely huffed.
"Well, you say that if I birth this child at home (I guess he didn't know I was pregnant with the startled look heehee) that I am only in it for the 'experience'. What experience would that be? Can you please enlighten me?"

Again, silence. Then he replied that I and others like me only wanted to show how 'warrior like' we were and that the baby was merely a secondary occurrence.
"Ok. Well, here's MY take of 'The Experience'

I don't 'do' pregnancy well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. *IF* I do get pregnant, I have an extraordinarily high chance of miscarriage - In 8years, two children and three 'currently successful' pregnancies, I have had about 15 miscarriages. The last was the longest at 9.5 weeks and was only at the beginning of this year.

Once I AM pregnant - from the second that little cell embeds itself, I am sick. Not "Oh morning sickness, I'll just have a bit of dry toast and cuppa tea, bit of a lie down and everything will be hunky dorey" but more of a "OMG!! WHEN WILL THIS END?!?! NINE MONTHS???? KILL ME NOW!!" sort of reaction. From fainting almost daily, to puking constantly - until the back of your throat is raw and you are begging hospitals to drug you for the next nine months. Feeling faint and shaky, muscle cramps and migraines - and knowing that you can't take anything other than mild pain relief. The inability to think straight. The thought of getting out of bed makes you want to cry. And that's just the first few months! Add on to the the terrifying fear of "Will this one be a sticky? Will God bless us with a child at the end of this?"You loathe the very thought of having to exist with this feeling of drained and energyless body for the next however many months.

But you wake up one morning to find you don't feel as bad.... where's the horrible 'morning sickness'? Oh no... you wait to see if you are still pregnant. You know from past experience that peeing on more pregnancy tests won't tell you anything and there's no point in going to get an Ultrasound, what will be will be. You live in terror - terror that you will not be growing a new soul, but in fact waiting for it to pass and quiet fear that you are still pregnant and that this is merely the eye of the storm and the Morning Sickness will return any second to crush you more than before. Do you race around and do everything you haven't been able to do or simply recommence your 'normal' life.

So you  wait... and hope. Sometimes I feel the return of the MS, sometimes I don't.

Then sometimes, for me more times than I want to remember, the soul crushing discovery of waking up in a pool of blood. Or doing something 'normal day to day' and feeling that feeling you get when  you menstruate...

Was it that experience you were talking about?

But if the feeling returns, you quietly praise God and brace yourself for the return of feeling like you have had a huge night out and are now suffering a nice dose of hangover and alcohol poisoning - without the night before.

Adding here that I have a few sensory issues normally - I can't touch certain fabrics or eat certain foods, the feel makes my breath catch and my skin crawl. When I am pregnant, these sensory issues are heightened quite a bit. Things that normally don't worry me, are now added to the 'Can't Touch List'. Folding clothes can be daunting - will I come across something that makes me vomit? Or makes me need a shower to rid my skin of the feeling? Will the kids accidentally brush something against me that makes me cringe and hurt their feelings? sigh

Then, for many women, myself included - pregnancy not only doesn't agree with us physically, but also fucks with us mentally. I find that when I am pregnant, my mental health nosedives. And I mean nosedives like a seagull divebombing a chip floating on the water - only my mental health doesn't have water to slide into, but hard ground that can hurt if I let it slam into me. I can be perfectly fine one minutes and black and sad the very next. (Hence my isolation when pregnant - I prefer to surround myself with positive, happy people during this time) This wasn't caught in my first pregnancy - hospital caseload midwifery, but thank God I had a caring, loving, Watchful midwife for my second! Now I know what to look for - so many other women don't and are left struggling on their own.

Maybe that was the experience you were referring to?

So let's say that I still have a few months left. My body hurts, it's tired and sore and I am OVER taking pills and potions, liquids and rests. My house looks like squatters live in it because I chose to spend my limited energy where I can. My kids are feeling the strain - a lethargic mum can be no fun sometimes. Money has become tight due to Hubby having to take some time off here and there to catch me as I fail and need to retreat to bed or bath. My breasts hurt badly ~ "DON'T touch!" becomes a catchcry in this house to all - hubby, children and cats alike. But I also have to live with the knowledge that even though I am 'punished' with this, the chances are extremely high that they won't work as nature intended and another dream dies. We have to go to the inconvenience and expense of formula. So another decision - do we formula feed from birth, try for a little while, use donated expressed breastmilk? Another heartbreak for me."

Stu interrupts to tell me that IF that were true - A) why stress, FF is just as good as BF and B) that would be regardless of hospital or homebirth.

I explain

"Yes, that second part is true. But with my homebirth support/midwife, I didn't need to explain WHY it was important to me. She just knew that it was, so it was. I was explaining the added stresses I personally have and some other women have too. I am explaining 'The Experience" for you

Moving on from that. Just to remind you that I am still feeling that awful 'morning sickness' only now, I have heartburn and pelvic pain added to it. The baby has now been kicking painfully and rolling about like two mud-wrestlers - a feeling I can't stand. My body is now not only painful and sore, sick and tired, but now I can truly feel the presence of the alien being inside me. I am now fully taken over by it's presence. I can't be more than a few feet from the loo - I need to go all the time, and to add to it, I am thirsty and know that I need to keep my fluids up, to help with the feelings of yuckiness as well as maintaining mine and the baby's health. But I know that every mouthful will need to leave in a a very short while. I lie down, only to feel alien movements. Many women love this time... I hate it. It looks cool, but it hurts and with my sensory issues, makes me extremely uncomfortable and most of the time, it HURTS! I hate being pregnant - have I mentioned this? And what's worse... when people tell me that pregnancy is a beautiful thing.
STFU is all I can hear screaming in my head.

So finally the day comes. The day I have been dreading since that second line appeared nine months ago. The day that has been haunting my sleeping and waking life.
Labour.
That time that nearly every western woman is terrified off, in some way or another.
Water breaks, muscles cramp, pain.
I am terrified. Terrified of the pain, the feelings, the loss of control. I try to control my terror. In the previous nine months, I have tossed up having a Caesarean section to avoid this time, but know, deep down, that it is better for my child, that they will benefit the most from this way of birth....but can I face the pain? Can I cope with the sensations? My heartbeat picks up just thinking about it. I calm myself as best as I can.
Muscles tighten and relax
My head starts to pound
Things feel 'off', sensations make me nauseous
It's too noisy, too bright
It's too quiet, where is everyone?
oh, the pain! I can't DO this!
Someone Help Me!!
Retreat into my mind, try to find that quiet spot.
Screams and tears, moans and sobs. Struggle to catch my breath.
It Hurts! Oh God! It HURTS!
I don't WANT this! Make it stop! STOP!!
More gut wrenching sobs - my throat feels raw, my chest aches
My body feels like it's going to shatter, shatter into a million pieces and dissolve.
Screaming agony and excruciating torture
Tired, so very tired
No more thoughts - just never ending pain and agony and I can't see any end
I'm trapped here, forever, never to escape...
Utter exhaustion

But Push... just push and end it.

I'm going to die. I give in, I give up.

Push once more then I will let myself die.

Emptiness.
My body is empty.
It is over, I am done.
..."

I looked at Stu, his wife was wiping her eyes. I find my hand has crept to cover my unborn child.

"That was it? Was THAT 'The Experience' you were talking about?"

He looked away, unable to meet my eyes. But I find I cannot finish yet, I still had words to say.

"You said, at the beginning of all this, that people who homebirth are only in it for 'The Experience' and that the child is merely a second place prize. I can assure you, Stu, that every single thing I go through to have this child, is FOR this child. Everything I do, I do FOR this child. This child means more to me than anyone or anything on this planet. I would kill for this child. I would die for this child. Millions of dollars are not worth nine months of Hell, culminating in a fight with the Devil. And for me, it doesn't end with the birth - I then have to struggle with PND, inability to breastfeed, I struggle to bond with my babies, so many more things that make this process so incredibly hard, so incredibly heartbreaking.

Yet, everything I go through, everything I suffer, is because I want this child more than anything else I have ever wanted. I want to offer this child the very best start I can. I want to be able to look my child in the face and say with all my heart, that I did everything I could to bring to you safely here. My comfort, my needs, were placed second to yours. My Child, you are so incredibly precious, so incredibly wanted, you are Loved.

So no Stu. People who home birth are NOT just in it for 'The Experience', they are doing what they feel is best for their child, just as every mother does, regardless of her birthing room.

And Stu, I want to end my conversation with you by saying one thing. But it is the most important thing about this whole topic.

When you say that homebirthers feel that the babe is not important, that they are only wanting to have 'An Experience', what I and others like me hear is that you feel that we don't care if our babe lives or dies. You are saying that we don't care for these children. Stillborn or dead, that we don't care. That having "The Experience" is worth more than what we went through to bring them here. That it is more important than having a child to hold and love and watch grow up.
Empty Arms and Broken Hearts, all for 'An Experience'.

...

No mother wants that, Stu. Ever.  I truly believe that we as mothers would trade our own lives for that of our children. I would NEVER wish what you say on any living creature. And my heart breaks to think that anyone truly thinks that. "


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I just wanted to add a little something here.

After I wrote this and before I posted it, a friend sent me a link that had come across her Facebook page. It was about Heartfelt - an organisation of Volunteer Photographers who offer their time and services for those who have suffered the loss of a child.

Taken from their website


Heartfelt is a volunteer organisation of professional photographers from all over Australia dedicated to giving the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature and ill infants and children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals, as well as children with serious and terminal illnesses. 
Heartfelt is dedicated to providing this gift to families in a caring, compassionate manner.

All services are provided free of charge.

After the birth of both my children, we have asked "please no gifts, but if you so feel, please donate to Bonnie Babes Foundation". They sadly closed their doors last July. But Heartfelt will welcome any donation you feel to give. Take a moment to read their site and maybe find it in your heart to donate to this very worthy cause. I am blessed in that I have never had to call on these services, but I thank God that they are there for those who need them.

The passing of a child is something that a parent never recovers from. Let us never wish this sadness on anyone and pray for those that are living it.

The Link that was on Facebook - I sobbed when I read this, so grab a box of tissues or a roll of TP before you read it. Using Photography To Make A Heartfelt Difference

At the bottom of that post, are links to both Heartfelt and it's American version Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.


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I didn't know how to add this without taking away from either message, I felt that it followed what I was trying to say and at the same time, allowed me to share something I feel strongly about, that we all feel strongly about.  I hope that I have done this in a way that is sensitive and gentle.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Thankfulness

After my whinging whiny post, I felt it was important to do one on Thankfulness.

I am thankful for the good friends we do have. I am thankful that God has blessed us with them.

Yesterday, we had a dear friend call and offer her husband and his petrol chainsaw and they all came up and had a lovely cup of tea while the kids played and the Husbands hacked up some wood.


Aaaaahhhhhhhh!! Heat, blessed heat!

A HUGE warm thankyou goes out to F and her wonderful husband S for their gift of warmth! :D

Then today, after my late rising (my lovely dreams have turned to nasty nightmares, yuck - then combined with finally getting sick myself) I was trying to get my fuddled mind to think of lunches for everyone, when a friend showed up bearing the gift of chicken and potatoes,
with bananas and mandarins.
Was SO tasty and exactly what was needed.


So thank you E and your gorgeous family for your gift of food and love <3!

And to our Dear Friend A - who always reaches out to help, whenever he can. We don't often take up your offer, but know that it is always warmly received :)

And to my Regretsy Friends - I recently posted about our stresses, long before I posted here and two people reached out and kept tabs - to you I thank. It means much when even strangers take the time to care.

We are thankful to you all. May God bless your hearts and lives.


Edited to add - I have had DragonPapa change all my passwords to my regular forums and Facebook so that I HAVE to take a break. Things were getting to me and affecting my Rage-o-meter so we deemed it a perfect time to get away from it all. So please excuse my absence from the 'net for a while.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Update from the Jolly Dragon Household

Just to update the few friends that keep an eye on this blog.

Yes, Hubby is sick - quite sick. At the moment, we are dealing day to day. Both kids are also sick (I think/hope it's just seasonal coldie stuff) and I am feeling the yuckiness of this pregnancy a bit as well this last week or so.

I guess it would be easy to say that we are not coping real well.

If friends remember, DragonPapa got very very sick last year. He got an infection called Cellulitis in one leg that required hospitalisation, then Hospital At Home on IV drugs for over a month - overall it took well over three months to cure it and get him back to complete health. At several points, there was the very real threat of amputation of the infected leg discussed.

It was not a great time. As it followed immediately after my bedridden few months due to damaging my back, whereby hubby had to take time off then, lets just say that it was a very tough time all round.

Anyway, right now...

DragonPapa hadn't been feeling well for a little while, when we noticed that both his legs were looking very red and swollen. Long story short (as there have been many a drama between then and now) he has finally been diagnosed with Cellulitis in BOTH legs. Some days we think 'crap, hospital' then the next we think "oh, maybe looking better" - it's a real seesaw going on right now.

And both the kids are sick - Dragon Lass more than Dragon Lad. You are supposed to keep all contact to a minimum with the infected person, etc. Try telling two co-sleeping, attachment parented children that they can't hang with Daddy while he's home from work or not to crawl into bed with him! :( So I have all fingers and toes crossed that this sickness they both have is simply the seasons changes Cold and Flu's.

We also have had some frustrations on the home front. We have tried to get several different people over to chop up some wood for us. I can't, for various reasons, DragonPapa has tried, but simply doesn't have the strength in his hands (health problems with his hands), so the other option is getting help. We have several people offer to help, but then never show, we have even tried to pay tradies/outside workers/etc (money we simply DON'T HAVE, but we really need heating) they either charged waaaaay too much ($200 for an hour of chopping wood?? GTFO) but most agree, then never show!! Makes me wonder how people can say that we have a work shortage here. I can never get anyone up here to do any work!! :'(

I was going to post a bit of a Woe Is Me post here, about isolation and loneliness and feeling empty and forgotten. I reach out to so many people, yet only a few ever reach back, if any. But in reality, that's a 'Suck It Up' part of life. People simply take what they want or need and then move on. It's Human Nature. So I deleted it and hopefully I will move on soon enough.

So in conclusion = everyone is feeling poorly, stresses are raising their heads and things are just feeling a bit bleak around here presently. Praying to God that things look brighter soon.

On the Blog front. I will be closing this blog soon. I am waiting until I can get some money to turn it into a Blog Book, then I will be retiring it for good. Thank you, anyone who reads this, for reading my ramblings. It has been fun while it lasted. Ciao