It’s Hard To Let Go!

Today I finished sorting the last bedroom in our house – my baby girl’s room! As I placed each item of clothing in a pile that is too tiny for her now, I felt sick, sad, depressed that no baby of mine will wear those clothes again:(……I thought I was ok about moving forward but quite clearly I’m not!

In the past month Mia has gone from a baby toddler to a big girl toddler and as she discovers a new trick and speaks a new word or phrase, it reminds me more and more of how my days as a mother of a baby are slowly dwindling! A couple of months back I wrote a blog on ‘Knowing When You’re Complete’, I know in my heart (literally) we won’t be having anymore children but that doesn’t mean I’m at peace with this (like I thought I was)!

I’m really bad at the moment and can’t even bring myself to look through the kids baby photos! What’s wrong with me…I’m an emotional basket case!!!! Their baby photos bring back such powerful (and the best) memories just like they were yesterday! I still remember the minute each of them were born and placed on my chest, the instant bond that no one could come between. The baby smell oh how I loved thee, to the point I could have eaten their little cheeks off lol! The precious moments of breast feeding, having them smile and laugh at me for the first time and all the other special milestones that our babies reach! No wonder letting go is so damn hard!

As I see a pregnant women or a newborn baby I smile with happiness for them, but behind my smile are tears of sorrow. 6 months ago if you asked me am I done, I would of said hell yeah!! Mia was such a difficult baby and for a long time put me off having anymore. But now my sweet little pea is content and happy, it has shadowed all the hard times. Someone at work asked me yesterday am I done, this time my response was unfortunately:(

I would love a 4th baby to even our family up, but my life’s path decided it wasn’t meant to be the day I found out about my heart! I probably may not have had a fourth anyway, but there are times like now that the fact the decision has been taken out of my control makes me feel mixed emotions! I’ve loved having babies, it’s been the absolute best time of my life so far….but OMG how fast has it gone!!! After writing a piece last week about our wedding day 8 years ago and now we have 3 adorable children in toe….please time SLOW DOWN!!!!

I know I need to get over myself and move forward and I will. I don’t know what it is but it’s just not sitting right with me at the moment! Yes I feel blessed with my 3 beautiful babies and yes I’ve worked hard to regain the old me back and yes if I had a fourth their ears would be disastrous like their brother and sister’s, but I think no matter how I look at the situation I would always want another one if it was my 4th, 5th or 6th….because having babies is something I love and was meant to do which is why I’m finding it hard to let go!

I’m just so glad that I’ve cherished each moment through a photo, video or piece of clothing. Because it’s these memories that will always keep my ‘baby days’ alive for me….these are some of those special memories and things that I will never part with:
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Our first photo as a family!

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Mother and son:)

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Bailey meeting his sister for the first time…this photo brings tears to my eyes every time!

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I couldn’t believe my eyes when we saw the number on the scales….10 pound 2!!!

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Mmmwah!

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This photo of Mia still spins me out!

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Love this photo:)

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My miracle baby who saved my life!

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And then there were three:)

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I feel so blessed I have my party of 5!

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Mia at 6 months….my favourite baby age!

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Bailey’s outfit he wore when he left the hospital!

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Kane bought this sleeping bag for Sienna from the Mater fundraiser.

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One of the many beautiful wraps mum made for Sienna which Mia also used!

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Bailey’s dummy holder he wore to bed!

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One of many hand knits that I wore when I was a baby and my daughters have been able to wear!

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That’s how all my babies started….helps when their aunty is one:)

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This is the box where all the things I just can’t part with will live….I’ve also got Bailey’s first dummy, I kept a spare newborn nappy to show the kids when they are older how tiny they were. I’ve also kept their hospital bracelets, name cards and clamp from their bellybutton ….I know I’m a freak!!!! Lol!

I know I have so much more to look forward to as each of my children grow and develop….but there just isn’t anything quite as beautiful than a snuggle with your newborn….but I do think snuggling with any of my babies no matter how old they are sure is just as precious!

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xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

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Sleep is for Wimps!

Sleep….what’s that? Or should I say what’s a full night uninterrupted sleep feel like? Pre-children I loved my sleep. I needed my sleep to survive each day and without it I would slowly turn into a crazy lady by the end of the day. I was one of the lucky ones while I was pregnant I slept and slept and slept. Then I was blessed with my first baby as he only woke for one feed a night and slept through at 8 weeks old!  Even with all of his ear infections he would only wake up every now and again! He is still our best sleeper to this day! Then our first daughter came along!!!!!

I was expecting her to sleep like her brother but for the first couple of weeks was having two night feeds….what’s up with that?? I thought Lol. She settled nicely into one night feed before long and at 6 weeks old slept through! I was feeling so blessed. That was short lived though. By three months old and still waking every night I started to get a little frustrated – why can’t every baby sleep through at 8 weeks old?? Anyway she finally slept through at 5 months old which is when she started sucking her thumb!

I was feeling fantastic again. It’s amazing how getting great night sleeps contribute to a huge part of your life in terms of happiness, self-esteem, energy and patience!!! We were blessed for two months and then our sleeping life took a turn for the worst! From 7 months old until around 3 years old, Sienna slept terribly! Between her bad ears and allergies it took its toll on her sleep at night which meant there were many a day where I felt like I was surviving on nothing! Those days were tough. Everyone use to say sleep when they are sleeping…it was a bit hard when I was working a couple of days a week and running around after a toddler and baby, plus making sure our house chores were done! But somehow I managed. I had to, I didn’t have any other choice!

By the time Sienna finally settled Mia was a few months old (who was our worst sleeping newborn baby, day and night) and we just went from one awake child to another! And of course the more children you have the greater the chance someone will wake up! It’s only happened a handful of times, but when all three wake up, you get to the point where you think why am I even bothering to sleep! Mia finally slept through at about 11 months old and by this stage I worked out I’d had about almost 4 years of broken sleep! But in all of this, we do expect as parents that for a number of years our ‘good’ sleep will be stolen from us. And you do get use to it! You have days where you cope and days where the exhaustion gets the better of you, but I keep telling myself, it won’t be like this forever!

Like anything it’s all about mind over matter. I only get about 3-4 good night sleeps a month at the moment and when I do I embrace those moments and relish in every bit of energy I get out of that. I make sure I go to bed at a reasonable hour at night and I very rarely sleep in the day, but I do make sure I sit down for a half hour to an hour while Mia is having a day sleep. When I’ve had a bad night now, I try and think happy thoughts or thoughts that I have had a good night, otherwise if you dwell on how much sleep you didn’t get, you make yourself feel worse! Exercising has definitely helped me overcome that real exhaustion and gives me the energy I need to survive on at 5pm when you feel like you could collapse! But the biggest thing I say to myself now is “sleep is for wimps!” lol. The more you talk to yourself in your head, the better you will feel….as long as it’s positive talk:)!

A peaceful sleeping baby or child is like gold for a parent:)

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Knowing When You’re Complete!

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I love this time of my life! In the past 10 years I’ve married my true love, bought a house that we’ve turned into a home and produced three of the most adorable babies we could have ever wished for! All while going through many ups and downs which is called LIFE! We’ve come to the crossroads of the reproductive part of our life when a decision needs to be made….are we complete yet?

For some people that question is very easy to answer, most people know while they are pregnant with a baby that it will be their last, but for me I always knew letting go of having any more babies wouldn’t be an easy decision. I feel like this has come upon me so quickly! It only feels like yesterday I was trying on my wedding dress and wearing it like a princess, now it’s three kids later and only feels like I’ve blinked my eyes shut for a second. For years I dreamt of the day I’d become a mum for the first time and I’ve absolutely loved every waking moment (maybe not every lol) and a part of me wishes this part of my life would just stand still for a little while. Call me crazy but I could cry at the thought of never carrying another baby inside, feeling it kick for the first time, watching my belly grow, giving birth and experiencing the moments after that, breastfeeding, being the only one who can provide a source of food, snuggling and bonding with a newborn….yep definitely brings tears to my eyes!

But then I look at the three little blessings we have and take in consideration my heart condition and I know that it is time to say we are complete! Ideally if I didn’t have a heart condition I’d love to have just one more, but like my husband says I say that every time lol! Four would be a nice even number. With Sienna at school next year and Mia home for another three years, it would be nice to have two older ones and two little ones, but that isn’t going to be the case for us. Most days I’m completely at peace with this decision, but a teeny tiny part of me will always wish we had of. I knew from the minute my first born was placed in my arms that being a mum was the job I was meant to do and from that moment I have embraced each day and captured all the wonderful moments that I’ve been able to cherish while staying at home with each of them!

What has helped make this decision and allowed me to be at peace with it?
Well Mia for starters lol! I love this little bear more than life itself, but man she is full on lol! I often say if she was my first I probably would have only had one lol! But I seriously look at things realistically. Our house is just big enough for the five of us so another child would mean a bigger house and car for that matter and along with that comes an added expense! Two out of three of our children will be in school next year and before long they all will be. It’s nice to go out now and watch the three of our children have fun together. Mia still has a day sleep but we manage around that and she is getting to an age where she copes with whatever we do! And the most obvious reason is my heart. Mia was a blessing for us, so I’m very much at peace with the three angels I have and being healthy for them.

So with all of this said my mind is now adjusting to moving forward. We have so much to look forward to and as the kids grow older and start playing sport and being involved in extra curricular activities at school, we will be busier than ever! Before Mia was born, I always saw a third child sitting next to Bailey and Sienna. Now when I see my three cherubs sitting together I see a complete picture and that my friends is why I know my family is complete!

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Life After Birth!

Having a baby to me is the most wonderful gift you can be granted. My 3 children are the most precious angels and my heart aches whenever I think of them! They are the best thing that has ever happened to us and my husband and I always say, if we haven’t done anything else right in life then we are doing pretty good with the 3 most adorable children we’ve created!

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When a husband and wife decide it’s time to take the biggest step in their marriage and have children, obviously things change! You go from sleeping an average of 8-10 hours a night to 6-8 hours sometimes less and often broken. Your bedtime is now 8.30-9.30 not 10-11. Breakfast is done and finished by 6.30-7am not 10am. Your day’s activities are often planned around children’s nap times, feeds or places you visit have to cater all their needs rather than getting in the car and deciding on the way – although we have done that before! It is a a huge adjustment, but when my husband and I decided it was time, I was so ready for all of that!

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From conception, to morning sickness, to scans, to feeling baby move, to baby shopping, to maternity clothes, to decorating the nursery, to a growing belly that everyone always admired…I just loved being pregnant! Then there were the celebrations of a baby shower and fitting in all the last minute things that you may not get to do for a while – dining out, going to the movies and what every women does…..clean, clean, clean!

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Then the anticipation you’d been waiting for for 9 months….the day you give birth and finally meeting the little person your body had been growing for roughly 270 days! What a surreal experience childbirth is! No amount of reading, watching DVDs or birth classes can ever really prepare you for giving birth as everyone’s birth is unique! Call me crazy but I also loved giving birth! After I birthed all my babies who ranged from 10 pound 2 to 8 pound 13, I felt so empowered like I could take on the world! Those first few hours after giving birth are so precious! The skin to skin bonding time, the first time you breast feed, and the first time each family member meets your new bundle of joy are memories that last forever! As the mother, you sit back and watch everyone ogle over this little baby you and your husband have created and feel nothing but proud!

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Then the day you’ve dreamt about since you use to play mummy and baby with your dolls finally arrives and you get to take your baby home and start your life as a mum! Being a mum is fantastic, I believe the best job you can do, but it certainly is one of the hardest, yet so rewarding! Over time you get peed, pooped and spewed on. You spend your whole time worry about things that haven’t even happened. You deal with tantrums, illnesses, children who won’t eat, refuse to sleep and some days you feel so overwhelmed you ask yourself….why?? Then your precious little one looks up to you and gives you a smile, says mumma, tells you they love you, squeezes you so tight, places a sloppy kiss on your face or tells you a funny story and instantly you know why!

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But after all of this, being a mum is not all that life has come to! Yes it is the most important part of life that absolutely comes first, but not the only part of life! Just because we as mums, have given birth, doesn’t mean we aren’t entitled to have a life after birth! After you have a baby, it can take the first few months, 6 months or second child to even feel as though you are ready to go out for coffee with a girlfriend, dinner with your husband, shopping day with your mum or sister and leave the baby/babies at home! Maybe not for everyone, but it takes time to be able to trust and leave your baby with even your husband, that’s just how us mums feel.

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Generations ago, it was solely the mother’s responsibility to take care of the children and men went to work and had a beer at the pub on the way home! Now society has changed and mothers are encouraged to go out to work or to become apart of play groups and fitness clubs….and I say why not! I think it is important not to forget the people we were before kids and the things we enjoyed to do! Obviously this can take time to fit into the busy schedule of a mum’s life and no one can tell you when to make the decision to start enjoying some time to yourself, you’ll know when the time is right!

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It took a long time for me to let go and enjoy time to myself without feeling guilty! For the first few years of being a mum, one of the only times I’d leave the kids was when I went to work. We’d go to weddings, engagements, hens nights and I’d always make time for our mother/daughter outings or friends birthdays! But it’s really only now that our 3 kids are 6, 4 and 1, I feel ok to go out and have time to myself without feeling guilty. I think as mums we are the the glue that holds our homes together and when we are not there things become unstuck! The truth is most times it does lol, but it’s ok because when we return things all fall back into place again and we are able to move forward because we have had the time to breathe, debrief, regather our thoughts and hopefully have a good laugh!

These days I absolutely enjoy my half an hour each day of running or walking. This is my time to debrief to myself about things that are happening at home, thoughts for my blogs or planning in my head what I need to do for the day. I still love getting lost in my craft work and love baking and decorating birthday cakes and of course having girls days out. But my newest adventure is my blog. It allows me to express my feelings and put into words things I’ve learnt in life so far, in the hope to help others. It’s so important to have a balanced life as life after birth goes on for so many years. For me it goes: being a mum and wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend and then finding time for me!

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The Battle of the Bulging Belly!

If you could change one part of your body what would it be?

Mine would be my belly!

I’ve always been smaller up top than the bottom and if I put on weight it always goes straight to my thighs and butt. Throughout my pre baby days I had a flat stomach and never had any troubles with putting on weight in that area and then I had one baby, two babies and before I knew it 5 years had past and I was cradling my 3rd baby!

When I first fell pregnant with my son almost 7 years ago, I never once worried about what it would do to my body. I was so thrilled that I was growing a little life inside my belly. I am one of those people that start showing early on in my pregnancies, so by 20 weeks I always had a decent size belly, that would just seem to grow and grow by the second! I first gave birth at 38 weeks to my beautiful baby boy Bailey Kane Trew, who was 9 pound 5 – ouch much! Again even though I still looked like there was a baby left inside of me two days after he was born, I was happy and content with our new bundle of joy and our new little family that we created!

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Days before giving birth to my 10 pound baby girl!

Because I was less than 60kgs when I fell pregnant and ended up carrying close to a baby elephant at the end, I ended up with a 4cm stomach muscle separation….but trust me I can push them out lol! After seeing a physio weeks after giving birth and taking good care of myself and following the physio’s exercise plan, my muscle separation went back to normal and by the time Bailey was one my belly returned to its normal flat state:)

Then a whole new world began for me when I fell pregnant with my second baby! Where I craved not much other than slurpees with my first pregnancy, I craved anything fatty, juicy and sugary the second time round! And milk, I couldn’t get enough of the stuff….frappes by the dozen!! When I think about it, I really ate myself stupid! Which is why I put on over 20kgs and alas gave birth to a 10 pound 2 precious baby girl Sienna Lynette Trew! She came out running and looked 3 months old compared to most other babies lol!

At this point the state my belly was in didn’t even cross my mind. I’d just given Bailey a little sister and we now had a bigger family to enjoy, but i was sore!!! Sienna was so big that she left my insides hurting for a long time! My stomach, ribs, kidneys, it felt like I’d been in a boxing ring.This time round I ended up with a 5cm stomach muscle separation, but that didn’t phase me as I was confident things would go back to normal just like it did after having Bailey….not so easy!

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6 months after Sienna was born, belly still ‘pregnant’ looking!

I went to the physio again, who like last time gave me the same exercises to do, but having a 2 and a half year old in toe this time round, life was far more challenging and of course things like myself got pushed to the side. Things were different this time too. I had to wear a support compression belt for 6 weeks after having Sienna and when this time was completed, I had to wear those belly support undies. After 6 months my belly had gone down considerably, but I was left with a bulge that had so much loose skin hanging from it, as my skin was stretched beyond repair!

I didn’t get even a hint of stretch marks with Bailey, but with Sienna I did! I mean I really should be grateful to only get what I did….she was 4.6 kgs born!!!! I remember approaching Sienna’s 1st birthday and my belly was no where near back to its flat state that it was pre baby and post Bailey! But I came to accept that this is how it would be now and if that was the result of being able to conceive, carry and give birth to two beautiful precious gifts, then I was ok with that!

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At the races for my 30th birthday, nearly 2 years since Sienna was born and still sporting a belly!

The kids loved my belly. It was like a big bowl of jelly that they could mush their little hands around in. I still remember Bailey coming into our bed in the mornings and lifting my pj top to play with my belly. I wasn’t phased by it at all! They would always ask me “why is your belly like that mummy?” and I’d reply with telling them how they grew inside my belly and everytime they grew my skin would keep stretching and stretching and eventually it stretched so far that it didn’t go back anymore! They loved that story!

My support undies became an essential to my wardrobe and I never would go out without them on. I know it sounds stupid but I lacked confidence without them. Things I use to wear nicely, didn’t look as nice anymore and I always had an overhang whenever I bent over or sat down! I was often asked if I was pregnant or not, but all I kept thinking of were my two precious babies and how blessed I was to have them! Then I did fall pregnant with Mia. By now my thoughts were more focused on crap 3 kids how am I going to manage this as apose to how will my belly look now!

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Hours before giving birth to my third and final baby….my belly had reached its peak and will never be like this again!

Mia’s pregnancy was a cross between my first two so I didn’t put as much weight on as I did when pregnant with Sienna, but more than I did with Bailey and I finally got my wish for a baby in the 8 pounds lol! At 38 weeks, weighing 8 pound 13, Mia Natalie Trew was born and completed our beautiful family! Mia’s birth was very bittersweet as I was diagnosed with a heart condition a week prior so the last thing I was thinking about was my belly, I was happy that I got through it without any complications to Mia or myself!

It’s amazing how different your body feels after giving birth to an 8 pound baby as apose to a 10 pound baby! But third big baby in 5 years, it was always going to take its toll and this time I ended up with an 8cm stomach muscle separation:( Between my heart and my belly, I wasn’t able to do any heavy lifting for the first few months, bit hard with 3 kids under 5! I saw a really awesome physio this time and within 4 months of having Mia, my muscle separation was back to 2 and a half cms, which meant it didn’t need to be surgically fixed….I was stoked!

20120511-142148.jpgBailey and Sienna meeting their baby sister for the first time….my belly is like a shelf in this photo!

Again the excess skin and bulge was as bad as ever and the kids thought it felt as squishy as ever too. As much as I was beginning to miss my lean flat belly, the belly I had now was a beautiful reminder of the three precious babies I carried and nurtured while they were growing inside of me. But something was changing, I was starting to feel a strong urge to reclaim my original body shape that I’d given up hope on, while I was getting use to being a mum of 1, then 2 and finally 3 children. Knowing Mia was our last, the time had come for me to put myself first and do something about my bulging belly!

It’s been 7 months now since I started my weight loss journey and I can happily report that it is possible to win the battle of the bulging belly! It takes time, but with patience, determination and perseverance, the battle can be won! I haven’t spent hundreds of hours at the gym, nor do I spend hundreds of hours exercising each week! I simply walk or run for half an hour each day and follow a healthy eating plan. It took a long time for me to finally put those running shoes back on to reclaim the person I once was, but the timing was right and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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15months after giving birth and 7 months of exercise and healthy eating, my belly is close as it will get to pre baby:)

I feel like I have a new lease on life now. I’m so much happier, fitter and healthier, which reflects on every aspect of my life! The kids love me exercising and join in with me whenever possible. I have thrown all my belly undies away and feel as confident as ever! When I tell people I have 3 children, they look at me and say “you!” and I think “why not me!” People stereotype mums and what we should or shouldn’t look like or wear. At the end of the day we are humans and should be allowed to do things for ourselves that make us happy! Losing weight hasn’t affected my mothering duties, I think I’m an even better mum now. My belly will never be back to its original state prior to having children, but it’s as close as it will ever be and I’m so satisfied with that!

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