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Turning 30 and a Trip

To celebrate my thirtieth birthday, my husband, son and I went away to Hamilton (New Zealand) for a few days. It was something I have been looking forward to for months.

Hamilton is an inland city surrounded by many farming areas with warm days and cold nights. I was born there and my family lived there for about two and a half years. It feels a bit like an anchor point for me. My Maori mihi grounds me in my land (Hamilton), my mountain (Taupiri) and my river (the mighty Waikato river).

Me at the Hamilton Gardens
Me at the Hamilton Gardens

On the way down we visited my Dad’s oldest brother and family. Once we arrived we explored the stunning Hamilton Gardens. My husband loves taking photos, so we posed for a fair few.

On our second day we were at the Hamilton Zoo bright and early, my son and I adore animals so we had a blast. With the animals fresh from a night away from the humans, we were lucky to see most of them wandering about. Nu especially loves birds.

Just Nu, me and some birdsTwo lovely ladies that I worked with a few years ago live in Hamilton now, so we visited them after Nu’s nap. I felt so special, they had prepared afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and a cake!

On the last morning, I did something very special, I made myself ride a horse. I have been scared of these giant, mostly gentle, creatures since an incident at a petting zoo in preschool! I met the most fantastic horse and his team at the Pirongia Clydesdales and we took a few turns in the garden. Me and my new friend

While we were away, we kept to usual (early) bedtimes due to Nu and I performed a body scan meditation each day. On the way home I was not feeling particularly well, so I performed a body scan meditation and sat quietly with my eyes closed for most of the trip.

The fatigue flared up and I had to leave work early on the first day back. Each day since, I have progressively become a bit less fatigued. It is different for the fatigue to be the most dominant symptom, though my neck joined in on the third day. I have mindfully taken it gently.

I am feeling spectacularly blessed, it was an ideal way to sail into my thirties. I look forward to many more experiments, more fun, more challenges and more love. x

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The Big Three O

I’m turning 30 this week.

I have no trepidation about it, because I feel like I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve come a long way. A lot of it was in the last two years.

I have accomplished some of my key life goals: I have a degree (and I’m pretty proud of that), I have amassed some great work experience, I have a home, a (hunky) husband, a delicious baby, a four-legged love and I have developed and followed my passions.

I’m still working on my health and wellbeing. But even that has come so far in the last three years alone.

I’ve been slowly embracing some big lessons this year, they are:

1. Being me is mandatory. We are not meant to fill an identical mould, differing experiences, skills and attitudes make a well rounded team. It’s perfectly OK that I am a voracious reader, prefer to meet people in smaller groups, need time alone, prefer walking and yoga to sports, prioritise my energy levels, protect myself from extra pain, love to know why and am obsessed with Nashville!

2. Let others be themselves. While you’re being you, respect others for who they are. And sometimes that means accepting that they’ll never accept you for who you are.

3. Passions are the foundation for a life well lived. As I look back on my journey so far and think of what keeps me going, it’s passion. I look forward to a lot. I have phases as well as some long loved passions such as reading and writing. Knowing the things that make me happy in ascending order of energy required has helped me get through many a flare up.PhotoGrid_1445107463651

So as I turn the big Three O I will be spending the day with my son and mum. I’ll have dinner with my parents, brothers, husband and son. My husband, son and I will be going away for the weekend for a tiny getaway. It’s a perfect way for me to celebrate, the only shadow will be that I won’t see my sister.

And I’m not the least bit sorry for not throwing a party (see learning one!).

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It All Goes So Fast

It is all borrowed time. He grows. I have to work.Noah March

My beautiful baby is rapidly approaching toddlerhood. I am loving seeing him fly by these developmental milestones; clapping, crawling, walking, eating.

As intense and hard as it was, it was precious. This delicious creature whooshed into my life (well, no whooshing, pregnancy and labour took forever) but he came bowling in. He taught me so much.

I love. I strive. I plan. I do. All for him.

It’s all for him, now.

And as he slides towards his first birthday, leaving babyhood behind, I’m a little sad.

It’s time.

I must work. And that will sap my limited energy levels.

So it has started to feel like borrowed time.

We have been turning quiet afternoons into mini dance parties. We savour the cuddles. I watch. I listen. I smile at his perfection.

I still can’t believe how much motherhood alters your existence. Your priorities, your time, your energy, your wishes, dreams and goals, your everything changes. And it’s such a gift.

So I’m thankful, in addition to sad, that this time in our lives is coming to a close. But I’m so excited for what comes next.

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Six Months of Awesomeness

I’ve had my precious boy for six months.

So I think it’s time to take a minute and recognise how awesome I am for getting here.

I survived pregnancy with symptoms wildly exacerbated by the fibro. I also got married and found out I was severely iron deficient at week 28. The entire third trimester in which my back hurt so much that I couldn’t sit down for long periods of time.

I endured the labour and delivery, which included 20 hours of the worst back pain I’ve ever known. And the physical recovery that spanned further months afterward.

At week three, when my boy went back into hospital with an unknown problem that ended up requiring a minor operation, I coped. The nights that I stayed with him, not sleeping because he was vomiting so forcefully and so regularly. The nights that I stayed at home and expressed every three hours so that I would have food for him when he was ready.

Everything that is part of the new mama experience, not sleeping and not resting enough.

I’ve done it. I’ve conquered it. For many of those days I had a sore neck, headaches, nausea, aching legs and back and shoulders. For more still I was tired right down to my bones. For some I had an upset stomach,  if my neck was super bad I’d also be dizzy.

I am so unbelievably proud of myself.

I’ve also learnt so many things and developed as a person.

If you’re in that battle that is a new baby or pregnancy, know that you can do it. One day at a time, one step at a time. You will get through it. Remember to look after yourself, you need your strength to look after your beautiful baby.

Mama’s who have done the baby journey with additional issues are AMAZING!

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God Gave This Baby to Me

If you could articulate just what is involved in having a newborn baby, people would think it’s impossible. The sheer amount of hours spent awake, the guessing games, trying to feed this being, trying to guess what the crying means, the laundry it creates…it’s a lot.

But it is one of life’s odd paradoxes. For me it was the worst and best time of my life.

I’ve always been honest with how hard it has been for me, especially with the additional pain and fatigue. But at the same time, I am so in love with this little guy.

It has been the most amazing learning curve.

God gave this baby to me.

That’s a huge responsibility!

I have been looking back at photos and there are some taken on the second, third and fourth days. These are days I couldn’t sleep, baby struggled with getting enough food and then the wind it caused. I had tremendous amounts of pain. Yet in these photos I am transfixed by the little guy. I am absolutely in awe of him.

That’s what people tend to remember years later.

I’m unsure if I could do it all over again. If I could handle the physicality of having another child and if I could manage everything plus the little guy I already have been given.

He’s my blessing. He’s been a lot of work and it’s still going. But he was given to me. And I thank God for him everyday.


This is an old post when I was first blogging, if you would to see more posts, search the Category bar for “baby” and “parenting”. You might also like my Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia resource page.

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Delivered

We were blessed with our beautiful baby boy on 19 April, born after 37 weeks and 3 days.
I awoke with a shock at midnight on Good Friday with severe back pain and contractions. To cut a 19 hour story short, the extreme back pain lasted the entire labour, the epidural failed, he was the wrong way round and had his head in an awkward position. He was born weighing a healthy 7 pd 7oz.

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Unfortunately he had a problem with wind from the beginning, which degenerated into severe vomiting by his 18th day. On his third week anniversary he was admitted into hospital for tests that eventually revealed he had pyloric stenosis. An operation to trim the muscle in his stomach that had gotten too thick (a problem for about 3 in 1000 babies, predominantly in first born boys) enabled food to pass from the stomach to the intestines again.

At last, just before his fourth week begins, we can take him home and effectively meet him and learn all about him again. He’s like a new baby.

I am so in love with this little being!

My pain and fatigue levels were doing rather well up until our second hospital stay. With the stress of my precious baby being sick and sleepless nights ensuring he didn’t choke on his vomit, a flare up has ensued. But, thank God for my husband! He has done most of the night shifts at the hospital so I can sleep and express breast milk for baby. I never could have survived if not for him. He has been AMAZING!

The combination of my husband’s help, choosing to express and then feed via the bottle and my mother-in-law cooking our meals has enabled me to survive and enjoy my baby. I am so thankful, so blessed, so happy.

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