Tag Archives: love

Awareness for Kody

My names Brooke and I’m a mum of three from London.

I was 18 when I had my first baby, Jayden. I had a straight forward pregnancy only suffering with extremely low iron, causing me to constantly be tired. I had a natural, straight forward delivery, and Jayden was born at 38 weeks weighing 6lb 12oz.

I was 20 when I had my second baby, my daughter Lexxi.  My pregnancy was completely different from my first one. I didn’t feel pregnant. People told me I didn’t look pregnant, I was really small.  When I was about 6 and a half months pregnant a family member told me I looked like I had slept heavy, little did I know it was me starting to swell up. After weeks of constantly swelling I went doctors and was rushed to the hospital as my blood pressure was too high. I had pre eclampsia, something I’d never heard of. My daughter was born at 33 weeks weighing 3lb 1oz. She had to be tube fed for roughly a month and she came home before her due date. She’s now 5 with no complications.

In 2016 I had my son Kody at 27 plus one, again due to me suffering with severe pre eclampsia. Kody had a slight bleed on his brain but within a few weeks it corrected itself. Kody had extremely severe chronic lung disease and was put on various breathing supports, Kody also suffered with numerous infections as his lungs were too weak to cope with anything, even routine immunisations.

Kody made it to the high dependency unit a few times but always ended up back in intensive care, we were told numerous times that Kody might not make it.

Kody went to great ormond street hospital to see if there was an underlying problem but there wasn’t. He ended up going to a lung and heart specialist hospital in Chelsea.
As Kodys lungs were so bad they started putting pressure on his heart causing him to suffer with pulmonary hypertension. Kody was ventilator dependent so he had a tracheostomy to see if he could eventually come home on a portable ventilator. Kody was heavily sedated and muscle relaxed on many occasions. Kodys lungs were getting worse, he was on the highest pressure that the ventilator could give and his body still wasn’t receiving enough oxygen.

My beautiful baby lived until he was 7 months and one day. I’m now trying to raise awareness in Kodys name for these conditions. I have an Instagram account – @awarenessforkody.
Facebook/AwarenessForKody
I’m doing ‘Kodys story’ a little journey book for the hospitals and hospice we stayed in.
I have ribbons & hair accessories which if people donate money towards I’m giving it to either the hospitals or one of the causes close to my heart.  I also have many other projects I’m going to do to hopefully raise awareness.

Thank you – Brooke xxxxx
My baby Kody ❤️

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Guest Blog -Sharna  @jameshealthjourney

Hello all…

So Rachelle said, ‘write about something you’re passionate about’. Equality and inclusion for all!!! That’s it, that’s what I am truly passionate about. 

Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Sharna, my labels include wife, mother, ballet teacher and autism advocate. 

I am the mother of two beautiful little souls, James (4 years old) and Scarlett ( 2 years old). They are the apple of my eye, my greatest achievement!  I never thought that motherhood would ever fulfil my soul, I thought nothing could ever replace the passion of dance that I held so dear to my heart for many years. 

Motherhood has not only fulfilled my soul but it has given me a fierce perspective of what is right. 

Having a child with additional needs has made me loud, proud and determined to spread awareness for not only autism, not only special needs but inclusion for all.

You see we are all different.

We love different, we learn different, we see the world differently. Being different from another shouldn’t mean exclusion or disrespect. Being different should be embraced. 

Every single person regardless of religion, race, sexuality or ability should be embraced.

You see we all have something to offer the world we live in.

When my son James was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age 3 I was determined to show the world his abilities. The day he was diagnosed was the day my voice got loud. Not only for James but for all that need inclusion.  It’s really mind blowing the amount of narrow minds that still walk amongst us today. I encounter many, believe me. It gets me down it truly does. 

My son at age 4 has learnt all too well the disrespect of others, he is 4. He sees it and he feels it. He feels it deeper than us, he knows he is different but teaching him he is not less than when you encounter such ignorance is hard. It’s hard on him and it’s hard on my mummy soul. 

Ignorance doesn’t make me stop, it makes me fight harder…. louder and stronger. 

I wanted to ask you today to think about the world around you.  Embrace, encourage and include all of those that are ‘different’ around you. 

We are one world. One love.

Much love, 

Sharna xx  @jameshealthjourney

www.jameshealthjourney.com

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Quick getaway for the family 

After a busy year we wanted to get away for a night with the kids so they could enjoy Christmas in the city. We took the opportunity to stay at Holiday Inn (Flinders Street). 

This let us experience all the Christmas action that Melbourne had to offer, we had a small break and we didn’t have to deal with screaming tired kids on the drive home in the car. Holiday Inn is so close to everything that as soon as Scarlett rubbed her eyes and Hudson complained of being tired we were back in our room within 10 mintues. 

We went to Crown Casino, walked up to Bourke Street and caught a tram to Docklands (it’s in the free tram zone). Kids stay and eat for free so that is a real bonus. Plus, when we arrived ay our room there were little entertainment packs for the kids that included colouring books, stickers, crayons and brochures. These were a fantastic distraction at dinner.  The staff were really accomodating and our room was made up with a porta cot and trundle bed. 

We stayed in a suite so once the kids went to sleep my husband and I ordered room service (including delicious cocktails) and watched a movie. 

I was never sure about just going to the city for a night or two with kids but we all really enjoyed it.  All the family rooms on level four have been renovated and look amazing. It’s  the second time we have stayed at Holiday Inn and if you’re looking for somewhere family friendly and close to everything give them a call. Hudson and Scarlett are already asking to go back. 

Perfect for a school holiday getaway.

Rachelle xx 

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Guest blog – It wasn’t love at first sight for everyone

When I fell pregnant with my second baby I was over the moon as my fertility specialist said it was likely the embryo wouldn’t take because it was the first frozen transfer and the success rates weren’t great. But during the two week wait; and some of us know how painful and anxiety driven that two week wait is, I experienced some pregnancy symptoms. I was feeling nauseous, I had tightness and was tired; I just felt pregnant. I was so tempted to take a pregnancy test but didn’t want to incase the results were negative and we would be heartbroken more than once. We waited and received the phone call from my doctor (with my clinic, I knew that an earlier phone call in the afternoon was a good one as they ring all the successful pregnancies first and leave the difficult phone calls for later on – I have experienced those phone calls too). The news was good. My husband and I were so happy. Thrilled. My doctor also couldn’t believe it given the success rates of frozen embryos. He was so happy for us.

My pregnancy went along pretty well. I had a couple of hiccups with bleeding and in hospital a couple of times on short-stay bed rest but absolutely nothing major like some women go through. I was really excited moving through the pregnancy but also wondered how my life would change with two babies and not just parenting my little Matilda. Matilda would be just over 18 months when the baby arrived and I was a little concerned about how I would cope considering I had a little PND after Matilda was born. I didn’t want to go down that path again and I was adamant about changing my mindset and the words I spoke about how I was going to cope and for me, I think that really helped alleviate some self-doubt.

The day arrived when Master Charlie came into our lives. He was the spitting image of his dad and was just delightful. My family visited and everyone was really happy about meeting Charlie and then Jason bought Matilda in. Being 18 months of age and not really understanding what had just happened she wasn’t so happy about Charlie arriving. She wasn’t loving, she pushed him away, she kept saying “no” and I thought oh my goodness, what have we done? Maybe we should have waited a bit, but in the infertility world, your choices of when you want to have a baby are pretty slim. My initial reaction when we first discovered what our infertility issues were, was, lets get things moving along and get this show on the road as time was not on our side.

The jump from one to two kids was big, for me. Even though I knew what to expect second time around, it was hard finding balance in caring for a newborn and a toddler. Thankfully Charlie was a great newborn; my anxiety was around giving time to Matilda and not getting frustrated with her little tantrums and outbursts knowing that all she really wanted was her mum. It probably took Matilda a couple of months for her to really show some affection towards her little brother. I noticed it once when I picked her up from childcare and the staff were looking at little Charlie and she was saying “my brother” and being super protective.

Jason and I had to be really conscious of spending one on one time with Matilda. He had already started taking Matilda out on breakfast dates when I was pregnant and that increased once Charlie had arrived to every Saturday. Daddy daughter dates were just the best. She loved it and was much happier when she came home and was more settled. Charlie and I joined the breakfast dates once Matilda paid her brother some more attention and we could both spend time with her.

Whilst the first few months were tough having a baby second time around was much easier than having my first as I knew what to expect for most of the part and making sure I got enough sleep really helped. Jason was such a great support and helped with night feeds so that I could get uninterrupted sleep until the 4am feed. Looking back now I wouldn’t change our decision to get the ball rolling with our IVF journey and Matilda and Charlie are great buddies now and play so well together. I know there will be fights and arguing between them as they grow but I really hope and pray they will be the best of friends and support and love each other through life’s challenges. So it wasn’t love at first sight for Miss M but now she is one protective sister and wants everyone to know that Charlie is her little brother.

Sass.xo

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Baby, you win

It’s 1am. The house is dark, cold and you wake me from a deep sleep with your cries. I shuffle to comfort you, check your nappy, find your dummy, give you cuddles.  Baby, you win. 

I settle you and try to leave your room. As I leave, you cry. I give in and give you the bottle we are trying to cut out. Baby, you win. 

You drift into dream land, milk drunk and comforted. As I place you into your cot, you stir and begin to cry. So I sit by your cot and hold your tiny hand. Baby, you win. 

Everytime I try to let go, you get upset. I lay next to the cot on the uncomfortable floor just to keep you company. Baby, you win. 

In the silence of the evening, by the glow of your night light I see your beautiful eyes staring at me. Your little fingers wrapped around mine. In that moment I realise that I am actually the winner. I’m the only person that you want and need. The person you cling to when your frighted, sick or need comfort. I’m your mummy and I am the winner.

Sleepless nights with babies seem endless, but they are fleeting. Take a moment to appreciate the small moments……then pour some coffee and get on with your day. 

Rachelle xx 

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Our public health system almost ruined my wedding……

I have spoken about my experience with miscarriage in the past. Unfortunately, miscarriage is something that a lot of women experience. My first miscarriage was one week before my wedding. Yep, one of the happiest times of my life is also a really sad time as I lost my first little baby just a week before I walked down the aisle. One thing I have never mentioned is what actually happened. 

For some reason I felt like I didn’t want to share the way I was treated by a public hospital right here in Melbourne but I have decided it’s time to share. I’m sharing in the hope that other women don’t experience the same (especially right before their wedding). 

I was at work just over a week before being married. So excited and 6 weeks pregnant. It was early days so only family and close friends knew. I was shocked to find I was bleeding. I had never been pregnant before but I knew this wasn’t a great sign. I immediately told my boss (she was amazing and understanding). I left work and immediately went to the hospital ER where I met my fiancée. I planned to go private to have my baby but as it was so early I hadn’t booked a hospital or Obstetrician yet. 

I nervously waited in the busy ER, I advised the triage nurse I was bleeding and asked if there were any pads I could use. She bluntly said no and said I would need to go to a chemist or use toilet paper??? I was ushered through where I was given an internal ultrasound and blood tests. No heartbeat could be found but there was an embryo. I was told to go home and return two days later so they could check again. 

I returned to the hospital after two awful days of waiting. This time I was waiting in the maternity ward, surrounded by new  mother’s and beautiful new babies. All of this, while I waited to see my babies heartbeat. I was given another ultrasound and blood test and then taken into a small room where my fiancée and I were told I had a ‘missed miscarriage’. My baby hadn’t developed and had died. Yet, my body hadn’t expelled it. My body still thought I was pregnant. I was told I could wait for the miscarriage to happen naturally or I could have a D&C. Obviously, with my wedding coming up in a week I opted for the D&C so I could deal with the grief but still move on and enjoy the wedding. It was at this point I was told I would have to go on a ‘wait list’ that could be up to a week or two. I explained my circumstances, but they told me I had to wait or naturally miscarry. Now…..don’t get me wrong I wasn’t a bridezilla but I’m pretty sure no one wants to spend the days leading up to their wedding waiting to have a miscarriage or even worse having one at their wedding??  I was given a few pamphlets and we left the hospital. 

I rang another hospital and was again told I would be on a wait list. I literally had nowhere to turn. That evening we had our wedding rehersal. I was an emotional wreck, not excited and so devastated about how everything was playing out. The next morning I rang an abortion clinic, explained my circumstances and they booked me in the next day. 

I fasted from midnight and my fiancee and I attended the clinic, people were protesting outside and I was so upset.  I was given paperwork and had to see a councillor. I was then lead to a waiting room where other women sat. Some teenagers with mothers and other older women. I was given an ultrasound before the D&C to make sure 100% there was no heartbeat. The proceedure cost around $500, took about 10 mintues and within an hour I was out of there. 

The recovery was quick and I then had a couple of days before the wedding. My hormones were all over the place and I was not in a great place. The whole scenario was also really terrible for my husband. He lost a baby too and he was with me every step of the way. 

We pulled it together, got through our wedding and enjoyed the day. Our vows meant so much more knowing everything that we had just been through and I knew I was marrying my rock, who would be with me through good and bad. 

A week after the wedding,  my phone rang and it was the hospital. They advised that I could go and have the D&C as I was now at the top of the list. Ummm too late!  

Nothing could have  changed the fact that I had a miscarriage, what could have been changed is the way it was handled. I was told over and over how common it is. I understand this, but to me it was all new and scary. I felt like a number, lost in the public health system and no one wanted to help. I can only imagine how people must feel with ongoing illness. 

Miscarriage is common but it’s awful. I don’t wish what happened to me on anyone. However, we got through. We’re happily married and now have two beautiful children.

Rachelle xx  

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Embrace the chaos 

I have always been a very conscientious, efficient and organised person. I really don’t enjoy flying by the seat of my pants and I often struggle to relax.

Since becoming a mother I still had the desire to be organised. However, children are completely unpredictable so this made it extremely hard. Add working, my husband’s business, playdates, activities and birthday parties to the mix and I was becoming a hot mess. Being organised and feeling like I was being a composed adult was just getting harder and harder.

I wrote lists, used a calendar, meal planned and grabbed food shopping at lunchtime. I would spend Sunday afternoons prepping meals for the week or making meals and freezing them.

After a couple of very busy weekends and starting an extra day at work. I simply couldn’t find the time to be super organised…..I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t do everything, I couldn’t be everywhere and there was no way I could please everyone. It felt like my kids were being extra needy and wanting more and more attention.

I had no choice but to roll with it. No meal plan. I decided to just grab a few things at the shops and some washing done but it wasn’t 100%. Do you know what?  It wasn’t that bad.  Taking my foot off the accelerator and taking a deep breath has been amazing.  I say no to things if we have too much on or if everything is just too busy.  Also, I’m not so worried about little distractions like housework. My kids aren’t that worried about getting my attention, they know they can have it. They’re even helping with little chores!

Another bonus is my husband is also helping out around the place as he can see what needs to be done and has a chance to get to it. He puts the washing away and tidies the kitchen. Instead of constantly having meals ready, I keep a couple of brought pre prepared meals in the fridge.  My husband simply heats them and they’re ready if I’m running late home from work with the kids. I found the Woolworths family favourites are simple, delicious, ready in 45 minutes or less and only about $12 for a family serving (there’s also a good range of meals and my kids love them).  Having meals on hand makes everything so much easier. Sundays aren’t spent prepping meals and shopping. I have more time to play with my kids. We read books, go to the park and bath time is more relaxed. I’ve also noticed some nights we grab the dog and go for a family walk.

I’m still on top of things, just a little more relaxed. I keep lists and use my calendar but I just order as much as I can online and have it delivered (including birthday gifts). If something isn’t finished or I’m not 100% organised I embrace it and move on. I realised I’m only one person and can’t look after everyone. Especially if I feel like a mess and I’m not looking after myself.

Try it, embrace the chaos and take shortcuts. It’s alright!

Rachelle xx

 

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Ohhh you’re an only child

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase, especially with ‘tone’. I would be a very rich only child.  It’s often followed by a couple of ridiculous questions. Were you bored? Did you hate it? Are you spoilt? Well no, actually I don’t know any different.

I believe I have been brought up well, I was rarely bored and I had friends. Being an only child didn’t affect my social skills and surprise surprise….. I really wasn’t any more spoilt than my peers (all of which had brothers and sisters). I didn’t get everything I wanted or my own way and my parents taught me respect. They may have spoiled me with love but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.

While I like to say that my parents didn’t have anymore children after me because I am perfect. The reality is that it was a struggle to have me and just after I was born my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (at 30 years old). My mum has often told me she would’ve liked more children,  but they didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t even know if they could have more. When I was younger,  I often asked for a baby brother or sister, but the reality is that I didn’t really care. I was happy.

The only time I wished that I had that extra support was when my father was quite unwell a couple of years ago. He was in intensive care in hospital and I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure both him and my mum knew I was there for them. I am lucky though as my husband is very supportive, I am close with my aunty and we shared the load.

People need to stop with ridiculous comments about only children.  I believe couples are extremely lucky to have one healthy child, if they have more it’s a wonderful blessing. Yes, I now have two children, it’s not because I feel I missed out as a child. It’s simply because my husband and I wanted two children. If I hadn’t been able to have anymore children after my first I would have also been very happy. Decisions shouldn’t be judged, especially if you don’t know the back story. Next time someone tells you they are an only child or they only have or want one child let’s try to keep the ‘oh are they bored’ or ‘they must be spoilt’ comments to yourself.  One, two or ten children they are all beautiful and the number you have doesn’t need to be justified. Especially to judgemental strangers.

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Rachelle xx 

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To my children……

I want you to grow, but not too fast. Don’t wish the time away. Cherish the small moments. Take your time.

I want you to be strong, but able to show weakness and admit when you can’t cope or need help.

I want you to be successful and determined, but don’t forget people along the way. Always offer a helping hand. 

I want you to be healthy, but not obsessive, have balance. Treat yourself, eat amazing food and feel good about yourself. True beauty comes from within. 

I want you to be wise, but not a know it all. Teach others and always be willing to listen and learn.

I want you to find love. Always be yourself and find someone who loves you the way you are. Don’t change for love.

I want you to be happy, laugh, sing and dance. Never let anyone dull your sparkle.  

Most of all, I want you to be exactly what you want to be. I will support, love you and always be here for you. It’s your life and I want you to live it. 

Love always and forever your Mumma xxx 

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Dad….. I Love You

‘A father holds his daughters hand for a short while, but he holds her heart forever’ – This is so true and now that I have a daughter of my own I can see the father daughter bond between her and my husband.

My father is unwell, he has battled Parkinson’s disease for over 30 years, in the last two weeks he has lost the abilty to move his arms or neck and is now losing the ability to speak.  It’s heart breaking. An awful, cruel disease. His mind is still fine and he is aware of what is happening to him.

My father hasn’t always been sick, he taught me to sail a boat, took me to the beach, played tennis and golf. Our trips to get lollies on Friday nights and morning teas on Saturday were lots of fun.  He is determined, a fighter and an incredibly brave man in the face of a debilitating disease. I always loved listening to Roxette, Johnny Farnham (he was still Johnny back then) in his car and he had a car phone. That’s right, as a six year old, this one fact instantly made him the coolest man around.  Any child who grew up in the 80’s knows that car phones were the best.  I used to watch him get ready for work and remember telling him ‘I can’t wait to shave my face everyday’…..a phrase I’m sure every father would just love to hear from their little girl.

I grew up, became a teenager an adult and now a mother. He is a wonderful Pa to my children and even though he can’t run around with them they love crawling around and playing with him.  I am so thankful that they have had these moments.

My mother has sacrificed so much to look after him. Even though they have had up and downs (as any relationship does), I truly know the meaning of  ‘in sickness and in health’.  The hardest part of having my father so sick is seeing someone I love suffer. I admire him. I struggle when Hudson asks ‘when will Pa get better?’ and ‘Why can’t doctors help him?’. I try to be strong but I’m not. I cry, I think too much and I just want to make it all better but I can’t.

Disease or disability is something that could strike anyone of us at anytime and does not discriminate. So many things go unsaid. Today’s world is so fast and there are so many distractions it’s easy to lose sight. People are important, memories are important. Say what you feel and make everyone feel special. Don’t sweat the small stuff, see your friends, tell people you care about you love them, make memories and have fun.  Don’t wait for the right moment as this moment may never come.

I love you dad. Always and forever, your daughter….. Rachelle xx

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