2021- it really was the best of times and the worst of times.
I want to share with you a summary of the last year behind the scenes for me personally. It really has been a roller coaster and a year that has changed me forever.
2021 started out with the exhilarating promise of change.
Although the prospect of moving back to family was exciting, the reality of trying to buy a house to move into was super stressful.
For us, the Adelaide property boom hit just at the wrong time and we missed out on a huge number of properties that we had offers in for, so feel fortunate to have eventually secured something at all.
In fact we came to within days of being homeless and ended up purchasing a house off market after just one FaceTime walk through. Even that call in itself was stressful, as it was just between the real estate agent and myself (Liam being away at training) whilst I tried to tame a screaming toddler at my feet. I even overlooked major details like the bathroom not having a bath, because by that stage all of the video walk throughs had started to melt into one. The scary thing about purchasing off market is that there weren’t even any photos or a floor plan for us to view before submitting an offer and going under contract.
Fortunately, we are growing to love the house and especially the neighbourhood we moved to. One of the perks is definitely being how close we are to a beautiful beach.
Little did I know there was going to be next to no time to settle into the new house though. In fact, the day after moving in, I spend in bed nauseous and soon after confirmed the reason was pregnancy hormones.
From that point onwards, life was TOUGH.
On the way to the dating scan (which I nearly bailed on because I was vomiting), I actually joked that we must be having twins if I was this unwell. Hilarious right…?? After the sonographer confirmed there was not just 1 but 2 foetuses in there and both had heartbeats….things went a bit hazy and a whole lot of anxious laughter followed…(why us?!?)
From there, I ended up with hyperemesis gravitium and lost so much weight that I was under the care of a dietitian and probably only avoided hospitalisation because my GP was less than interested and I wasn’t under the care of an OBGYN yet. I seemed to have reverse ‘morning sickness’ ie however nauseous I woke up… things only got worse over the day. The vomiting was traumatic and then there was the crushing fatigue (sleepless nights with twins has nothing on the fatigue of their pregnancy)
Add in constipation, haemorrhoids and the rest of the glowing happy pregnancy stuff you don’t hear about ……. Fun right??
All together it was a pretty soul- destroying time and took s heavy toll on my mental health. On top of not even being able to care for myself, the weight of caring for an energetic toddler was just too much and I had to ask family to help, which isn’t something I find easy to do.
I’m not sure if pregnancy PTSD is a thing, but I am definitely now triggered when I hear one of the TV shows I used to put on to occupy Hugh while I occupied the bathroom floor.
As you can imagine, I was in no shape physically or mentally to work, which is one of my usual coping strategies when life becomes overwhelming. This made for a pretty epic downwards spiral.
Once I was finally past the worst of the pregnancy symptoms, the twins started to threaten to arrive super early. So from 30 weeks until they were born at 36+4, I spent more time in hospital than at home.
I’m incredibly thankful to the medical team for helping keep the twins onboard until so close to term. It meant that we avoided any time in the special care nursery and they were able to room in with me right from the start. All up we only needed to stay in hospital for 6 days before heading home to our new crazy. (Those 6 days are another story in themselves).
The relief of giving birth was indescribable and recovery was relatively straightforward from there. Even with a lack of sleep, my mood improved dramatically.
Settling in at home was filled with equal parts love, exhaustion and dirty nappies. Hugh is smitten with his siblings and relishing his new role as a caring big brother. 3 children under 2 and a half really is as tough as it sounds, but it is also filled with more love and joy than I knew was possible.
The year ended just as it had begun, with a sense of hope and promise. My family is now complete (although there may be another dog and some chickens added down the track) and I can start to reinvest in myself again and find that elusive balance between mumming and spending time on the things that make me me, including Heartbeat Handicrafts.