Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Birth of Baby Nicholas

Nicholas turns 8 weeks tomorrow and it has taken me this long to come to terms with the fact that I have had him - that he really is here, this is NOT a dream, I will not wake up to find myself still pregnant and waiting with anxious prayer for the day I give birth to the baby growing inside me. Pleading with the Lord to keep him safe, keep him healthy, to let me keep him.

It was the night of the Closing Ceremony for the Olympics on 12 August that my account begins. Ross and I were having difficulty getting Ryan to settle to sleep, so we didn't start watching the closing Ceremony until later on in the evening. It was almost 1am when it ended and we crawled into bed. I was big, uncomfortable and shattered on so many levels. "I really need a good sleep tonight" I said to Ross with a big yawn. We kissed goodnight and I rolled over to cuddle up to my husband to go to sleep...Whoosh.

"Oh no, I think my waters are breaking!" I groan, in a really tired, we've-been-here-before-this-is-nothing-new kind of way. Ross shot up in bed with a "WHAT?" I think he was thinking - or hoping - that I was joking. But I shot out of bed and ran into the bathroom.

My waters have never broken on their own. They broke my waters when I was in labour with Ryan due to slow progression (Half an hour later he was born!) and Alexander was born in his waters! So I didn't know what it really felt like to have your waters break! At this point I still had a small wonder if I had finally lost all control of my bladder - but actually, when your waters break, you really DO know. Well, I did anyway. It just kept coming and coming and coming.

I also felt restless, anxious and there was just this "feeling" somewhere in my chest. I knew that I was on the brink of something rather spectacular and a massive change was about to be thrust upon our family. The water was clear but slightly pink - I remember it looking like that when I was in labour with Ryan.

I started to tremble.

Am I ready for this? After two births in recent years, the memories of which still painfully fresh, I knew what was to come. Will I have good midwives? Will I need a C-section? Will the baby get stuck? Become breach? Will the baby be alright? Will I be alright?

The anxieties of the later months of my pregnancy rushed over me like a tsunami. I had been so sick during my pregnancy, and I had not taken my prenatal vitamins as I couldn't swallow them, there were concerns over Choleastasis and I had a midwife sit me down and say that my baby could be stillborn.

As if I wasn't already paranoid enough. Due to recent events I was well-aware of how delicate life is. How easily things can change. I had two healthy babies that I brought into the world, they were good deliveries, surely now things would go badly. I was filled with thoughts of death. I was very convinced that I would end up in surgery and die. My babies would be orphaned and Ross would loose his wife.

Anyway, all these terrible worries and thoughts filled my mind and I decided that now was not the time to have a baby. I walked back into the bedroom to tell Ross that my waters had gone for sure. Ross was sat up in bed looking at google on his phone.He looked up when I walked in. "I've been reading, and apparently it can take a while for things to get moving, so even though your waters have gone, it can still be a long time". He said semi-confidently. I think he was hoping we could go to bed for the night and pick this up in the morning. I know I was hoping the same, but hearing Ross say the words made something whisper to my heart that this was not going to be the case for me. I was told, by this spirtual being that this baby was coming. Soon.

I texted Naomi, my sister in law. She wanted me to tell her as soon as things kick off as all of this baby stuff is incredibly exciting to her. I said something like "Hi Na, my waters just broke! We're going to try and get some sleep as it could still be a while!"

30secs later I received her reply "NO DON'T GO TO BED! 3RD BABY LAURA! THIS WILL BE FAST! GO TO HOSPITAL NOW!!"

By this point Ross had decided to get some sleep and I got myself changed for hospital. Then I mosied downstairs to find a phone and call the birthing unit. When I called and explained that it was my 3rd baby and my waters had broken, they were keen to see me immediately. I was not experiencing any contractions at all, so I felt it was a bit premature. I also wanted to let Ross get some rest - he would need it. So I texted Na and explained that I was packing my hospital bag and looking for my make up bag....(Na's replies were equally as dramatic as the first)

I went up to Ross and felt more hot and flustered and very panicky. I had mild period-like cramps, but nothing major. I just felt like I was all over the place. Pacing and huffing. Ross decided to get up and - Take a shower! - while I called Carla to come over so we could go to the hospital.

Just minutes before Carla arrived, the contractions started. WHAM. Heavy, long, intense and powerful contractions. They burned. Everything burned with each pain. Na was kind enough not to tell me, but had known that I was about to experience the most painful labour of the three. When your waters break, there is no cushion around the babies (hard) head on the cervix. They call it dry labour. It was - horrendous.

Carla got here and I was leaning against the wall in the landing and breathing deeply and acting very panicky. I just thought "not now, not now, not now, not now!" over and over. Carla was great at calming me down and rubbed my lower back with each contraction "You're doing great Laura! Well done! This is really good!" she said in the kindest, softest voice. She would make a marvellous midwife. I trusted her words. She was reminding me that whislt I am terrified, this was all good. It was what I was begging for! I'm having the baby! But in the moment I seemed to forget that. Carla was very good at bringing me back round to that idea.

Ross drove 100-110mph and got us to the hospital in record time. Just half an hour after contractions started, they were 2 mins apart and long and strong. I got out the car and had a contraction.....I walked a few steps and that brought on another contraction.....I hobbled a few more steps and the same happened.

I was bawling my eyes out at this point. I was very hot, I hadn't even taken a paracetamol as it all just happened too fast. And now I was having contractions just seconds apart. I thought I was going to end up having the baby in the carpark!

Ross was now acting panicky. He urged me on and on. We got through the doors of the hospital and I received some very disturbed looks from a couple of police officers. I wasn't screaming, but I was moaning and crying. I was breathless between each pain and my legs were weak and shaky. I was dizzy. The whole situation was so different to my recollection of my other labours.

We finally got to the birthing unit. the midwives were LOVELY. "Oh bless, it's okay love, don't cry" one of them said. They could tell I was close to transition just by looking at me. No need for the booking in hassle. They set up the birthing pool immediately while I had my blood pressure tested and they checked to see that there was not any meconium in the waters. And there wasn't. Thank goodness.

It was 4am by the time I was invited to sit on a mattress on the floor (which they made into some sort of bed) I was given gas and air, which I appreciatively inhaled deeply. I expected my senses to be dimmed and the soft glow that gas and air drenched me in during previous labours. To my utter dismay, the gas and air merely made me more confused and disorientated. I was registering everything in delay.

I threw my glasses at Ross and said "I don't need to see for this job", the midwives laughed. The contractions rolled into one. Barely seconds between them - but because they left such a sting that I never felt any relief. I sucked on the gas and air hoping it would start to make a difference. It didn't.

The midwife checked me for dilation. I was in so much pain, I was desperately hoping it was not below 3cms. "Well Laura, you're a 5" she said impressed.

I guess all the prelabour and false starts I had, really were doing something then! I knew it wouldn't be long then, because when I get to 5, I go to 10 very quickly.

Sure enough, half an hour later I felt "pushy". They checked me again and I was 9cms. The birthing pool was ready for me to get in, so I stumbled over to the big white tub and climbed in. The walk must have kicked up the contraction a gear. Because I reached the - I am going to die - stage. "Please.....please I beg you.....I'll give you whatever you want....please can I have an epidural" I begged. I was no longer on the gas and air, no painkillers in my system and no pethodine. There was no time for any of that. I was devastated to realise that there was no turning back, it was too late for pain relief, I was going to have to do this the natural way and I didn't know how I was going to cope, because the pain was so intense, and I was so exhausted that I really thought I was going to die.

Then something happened. I stopped panicking, stopped screaming, stopped crying. I set to work. I went onto auto pilot - I got up on my hands and knees in the pool. Then I felt something drop and instinctively reached down and picked up the baby which had just slithered out of me. I sat down and laid him on my chest - he was white, floppy and tiny. I just sat there, baby in my arms, in the water and shaking from head to toe. I didn't feel a rush of love, I didn't feel anything. I just felt exhausted, in pain and shaky. My whole body was in shock. " That hurt" I whispered. The midwives were praising me and speaking animatedly to each other "she didn't need us, she just did it herself!" they said. Ross was in shock too. It had all happened so fast. We couldn't believe it.

After getting out the pool and delivering the placenta, I just collapsed on the little mattress on the floor. Ross dressed Nicholas and cooed over him, taking pictures for family while I lay there shaking and feeling too weak to move. The midwives left me in that state - covered in blood, still soaking wet from being in the pool and freezing cold. I just fell in and out of sleep. Unable to hold my baby or even care. I was physically and mentally spent. I could not even register that the baby lying in the cot before me, actually came from me. He was alive, he was healthy and seemed to be doing a lot better than I was!

After a few hours of this, I managed to get up and shower myself and put some clean clothes on. The midwives never came back to help me! I was finally given some toast and that made me feel a little better. Then I was shown a proper bed! There I managed to get some real sleep.

I woke up and Ross was out in the hallway on the phone - or getting a drink - I don't really remember. And I looked over at the little baby in the cot beside me. He was awake, all swaddled up in a blue blanket and his big blue eyes were peeking up at me.


There was that rush of love. It overwhelmed me. I actually felt knocked backwards by the force of it. I wept silently as I picked up my little bundle of joy and snuggled him close. I smelled his hair and took in his sweet baby smell. I stroked his squashed nose and kissed the velvet skin across his forehead. "I know you" I whispered to him. Of course, this is baby Nicholas. This is the baby I faught so hard to keep safe and bring into the world. The baby I worried for and prayed for each second of every day. He moved in my arms - I recognised the movement that I would feel in my bump. He was my baby. All mine. He was here and I didn't have any recollection of birthing him.

The weeks that passed were surreal. I would wake up and be surprised to find this baby lying next to me in bed, or in the little moses basket. A rush of love and joy and wonderment filled my being every time I looked at him. My heart is forever filled with gratitude to my Heavenly Father.

I *Still* haven't completely come to terms with the fact that I have had my baby. It distresses me that I just don't remember birthing him. But I do love him. I do know him and I am grateful to have him here.

In my notes it says my labour was 2 hours long and my second stage (Pushing) was recorded at 5 seconds. The midwives and health visitors say "oh wow, easy labour then" and friends have said "oh you're the woman people hate, what an easy labour!"

I didn't think it was easy. I thought it was blummin' hard work and very traumatic!!

But there we go. That is the story of how Nicholas Alan Craig Burton entered the world. Nicholas is greek and means "Victorious". We did it Nicholas! We got through it all! We were victorious indeed!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Rambles and Shambles


I'm nestled down on the couch looking like a mother duck in a bed of pillows all around me on the sofa in a quiet lounge. My little ducklings are fast asleep (after much sqwarking and mischief!) and my duck companion is working. Again.

Ok so the bird analogy ends there...

Whenever my blog posts become few and far between, it is because I am going through a phase of never-stopping, always-hurtling forward, living in chaos and trying to survive each day at a time with no room or time to sit down and ponder, think or even breathe!

Story Time becomes rushed and tense, Prayers are short and pleading "Please help Alex sleep tonight...Please keep Ross safe at work, Please help [insert family member and issue here] Please keep baby safe....Please....please...please give me strength to carry on!" No time for TV, No time for dates, shopping, social ocassions and remembering birthings...No time for anything but pure instinctual survival.

This has been the theme of the past few weeks. I have had terrible, endless, debilitating nausea rear it's ugly head once more, obsessive and intense itching each night, complete fatigue and exhaustion, emotional outbursts and a rising number of panicky episodes (e.g. I have an elephant sat on my chest, I'm going to die, I just can not get a grip!) I have been consumed by making preperations for the impending arrival of our newest family member. Washing baby clothes, sorting the boys' old clothes, dressing the moses basket and placing beside my bed, purchasing a good sling for the school runs with Ryan, packing the hospital bag, choosing a welcome home outfit for baby, all of that, wonderful, anxious, Jazz. All the while I have been trying to keep up with the energetic monkeys that are my sons, Ryan and Alexander. They are constant all day long. From 7am til 7pm (though often more like 9pm!) they scream, jump, throw, play, splash, dive, cry, laugh, shout, eat, poo, wee, growl, run, build, destroy and fulfill the same goals as a mini whirlwind....I am constantly feeding them...and myself....filling up juice cups, changing nappies, bending (and grunting) to pick up toys, fasten shoes, dropped toys, clear up crushed crisps, pieces of paper...the dishes are endless, the laundry mounts higher and my feet and ankles swell as I am on my feet all day.

Rest. They tell me. This is your last chance to rest before the baby is here....don't you realise I already have two? Those days were long gone! There is not one fragment of time in the day that I can truly lay down and "rest". Why? Because even if: (Cue beautiful, idealistic rose-tinted glasses scenario)

- The house was spotless, organised and presentable
- The meals were catered for
- The laundry and ironing was complete
- The bedding changed and fresh
- The toys alphabeticalised, sorted and cleaned
- The baby's "stuff" all bought, organised and ready to go
- The gardens were trimmed, weeded and rubbish sent to the tip
- The walls freshly painted and the carpets professionaly cleaned
- The garage organised and tidied
- The cars washed and vacummed
- The house decorated with beautiful, up-to-date family pictures
- The outside of the house adorned with lovely hanging baskets
- The cupboards full of food and a plan made for the meals in the week
- The bills paid up-to-date, the files and paperwork accurate and full
- The business accounts and history up-to-date
- The children have been taken out by someone to the park, or for a play date

Even if ALL that were the case...I would still find it impossible to "rest". And the reason? Every parent would easily know the answer. Because no matter what, no matter how much help you get or how hard you try to get away, once you become a parent, you never, ever lose that title. Ever.

When you create a beautiful, perfect, innocent and completely made from you, little being...oh the love. The adoration. The simple knowledge that you could never ever stop loving them and thinking about them.

I thought I knew what love was when I married Ross. Then I gave birth to Ryan and held him in my arms for the very first time. It was the love I knew, but on a whole other level. This love, so deep, so instinctive and powerful, it made me feel strong enough to move mountains if I needed to. This love doubled and intensified when I birthed Alexander and clutched him to my breast holding him close. I know that when I bring this baby into the world, that the love I posess in my heart will grow yet again.

It is seriously powerful stuff!

And yet with this love, comes another emotion. Another instinct of which it is IMPOSSIBLE to rid yourself....Worry.

Oh the worry. The constant, never-ending, nail-bitingly intense worry for your precious creations. They are forever present in the mind and heart. A constant prayer is uttered for their welbeing, their blessings, their safety and happiness.

It doesn't matter how organised the house is....or how many friends and after school clubs they have. It doesn't matter how many maids, babysitters, cleaners, drivers, gardeners, councellors, and friends you have to "help", no one can take away that deeply embedded motherly instinct of love and worry for her children.

So laying down and getting rest? No. Laying down, perhaps. But the sleep is a restless sleep. I put my feet up on the couch and feel terrible guilt for this selfish "me time".

I am no longer Laura Burchell, the teenage girl who loved to get lost in a Harry Potter book or write her own stories in the torch light under her duvet cover in the early hours of the morning....I no longer sneak downstairs in the mornings, put on the headphones and dance like a loony person to music pretending to star in my very own music video....I no longer sit in front of the mirror and pretend to have an interview with myself discussing the success of my latest best-seller. I no longer consume insane amounts of sugar and giggle excessively and become hyperactive....I no longer play riddle games online for hours at a time, no more chess, Sudoku, word games...there is nothing I do single player, nothing I do that is just for me.

Everything I am. Every part of the woman I have become, is for my children and my husband.

You have to understand, Ross goes out to work before the children wake up for the day and he arrives home long after the children have gone to bed. His work is intense. Stressful. Demanding. Relentless. Unforgiving. Unbelievably Challenging and ultimately Agonising. Coupled with the stresses of a long commute using the insanely unreliable train system...I am welcomed to a stressed, tired-out and almost empty-shelled husband at the end of each day.

It's not a walk in the park for Ross, for sure. I would not want to swap places for him for anything. Sweat of the brow he does work!

However, I feel that my work is of equal measure. Infact, you could describe my job using the same words as the ones I used to describe Ross'.

I don't get sick days, lunch hours or breaks. I have no commute because I live at work. My hours are 24/7, 7 days a week. I am blessed to receive help from my partner between the hours of 8pm - 6am, though these resources are limited as too many wake up calls means no energy for working in London...

I am a wife, a mother, a cleaner, a housemaid, a gardner, a valleting specialist, a nurse, a cook, an organiser, a project manager, a carer, a teacher, a massager, a PA, a hair dresser, a retail therepist, a fund raiser, a party planner, lizard expert and carer, a spider terminator, a pianist, spider-in-the-bath-vocalist, a comforter, a disciplinary, a stand-up comedian and toy enthusiast.

My job requires endless levels of patience, will, determination, understanding, compassion, skill, motivation, love, forgiveness, repentence and humility.

So how, may I ask, would anyone expect me to "rest"?

Well the idea was nice.

36 weeks and 2 days along....and "resting" ;)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Day 2 of Potty Training

Potty Training: Day 2.

Blogger is being ridiculous at uploading pictures the wrong way round, then giving me no option to rotate the picture! This one is the only one that came out alright - so here it is!

Ryan is potty training, as you know. We have just completed day 2 and my goodness is this hard work! My poor friend, who came along to help me out and earn a few pennies, had a tough time when I had to go out for a few hours to do my Visiting Teaching. As soon as I left the house, Ryan (who had been dry all morning and even held it in when he needed to go on the way back from a little walk) threw himself on the floor and wailed "Where's mummy gone?" or something of the sort. He had 3 accidents, threw temper tantrums and even shouted "I hate you Lucy!". What a naughty, naughty boy!

When I got home, (feeling haggard and weak from hoovering and tidying one of my visiting teaching sisters' house) Ryan was far from impressed at my absense and continued to have a bad attitude. Still, Lucy and I kept at it with the toilet training and Ryan remained dry for the rest of the afternoon and early evening.

On the whole, it was only 3 accidents in one day and he was holding his bladder for larger periods of time too. This is a vast improvement on yesterday and I should hold onto that, but I can not help but feel just dreadful that I went out Visiting Teaching and disrupted Ryan's potty training! He could have stayed dry all day if I stayed! Who knows?

Alexander. Oh my little munchkin. He seemed to like the idea of this potty training business. He crawled up onto the toilet all by himself and I found him like this. (See picture above). Even Ryan would not sit on the toilet without some help. Alex jumped on and raised his hands above his head and shouted "YAY!" I guess he wont be far behind Ryan! (Then I will be the one shouting "Yay!")

The Nursery that Ryan will be attending this September onwards requires Ryan to be potty trained. They also want him to be able to put on his shoes, wellies and coat unassisted.

It's going to be a very, very busy summer!

Here's to round 3! (and this time I have no back up! Can't give up now though! He seems to be getting it!)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Potty Training: Day 1

I invested some money into bribing a very kind friend to come over and help me to potty train Ryan.

I have one week- possibly two, of resources from said friend and so the pressure is on! So how did day 1 go? Well...

The day started soon after 8am- We got Ryan out of his nappy and put him on the toilet. Barely any wee and he was done. On go the big boy lightening McQueen pants!

By 9:30am, Ryan had already gone through spare clothes and a couple of pants. And I was feeling rather tired!

Still we persevered! Even after a really bad accident!

When Alex went down for a nap, I put Ryan on the potty and he sat there for nearly half an hour- or maybe more? -and hey presto! Massive poo and wee in the potty. We did lots of cheering and jumping around for that one.

Ryan loved the sticker reward chart, he chose a blue sticker each time and thoroughly enjoyed eating a sweet afterwards! (who wouldn't?)

Then at tea time he had another massive accident at the dinner table- he made a noise of frustration and said "oh not again!!"

Then he did another few trips to the toilet before bedtime. He also refused a nappy to wear to bed and said he should have a pull up- so that's good!

Too early to tell if it's going to stick or not, but I do know one thing- I'm wiped out and shattered!!! Time for bed!

Roll on day 2!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Trying not to Despair!

This picture is not altogether accurate in its depiction of me right now - ( I can't do this pose because I have a bump in the way) but it's fairly close, so I'm going with it.

After my previous blog post all about how I want to be able to measure up and do the best I can to make the ones I love proud of me...I feel like I really REALLY failed to measure up today.

You see, today was an unusual day to start with - and it started early! After a not-so-wonderful night sleep and still feeling the drowsy/semi-comotosed effects from the Avomine I took last night, Alex and Ryan woke up at 6:30am, completely awake and ready for the day! This is a massive shock to the system when you are used to getting up with them for 8am!

I fell asleep for a while on the spare bed in the playroom as the children (miraculously) played nicely with their toys.

When I woke up, the drug from the night before had worn off enough for me to feel more alert and less foggy. However, when the fogginess dissappears, a headache rises to the surface. I was still sore all over from walking yesterday and my little 31 week old baby was unusually active.

So today I learnt all about the wonders of "Round Ligament Pain" and how it gets more intense with each pregnancy. (Third baby = Round Ligament AGONY) Coupled with punches and kicks (not just from the baby either! Alex and Ryan have got a few shots in) I felt incredibly self-pitiful.

Oh woe is me! I am tired! I am in pain! I can't bend over to change nappies! These boys are now acting tired and it's only 8am! The house is a mess! So much to do! I've barely seen Ross! I feel so alone! Wah Wah Wah!

You know how it goes.

Well, it was dreadful. The kids and I lived off snacks, because I felt too poorly to get up and make anything - (until dinnertime, when I made TWO meals, both of which the boys refused to eat!) Cue: Look up at the picture of this blog entry.

I tried to crack on with the housework - I had let it slide the last couple of days, and I planned on a visit or two tomorrow and over the weekend. So I put all the rubbish away, gathered nappies, dirty clothes, scattered toys, books, magazines, nappies and all the junk that had been thrown around (as your toddler does when he is bored and tired) and I carried the hoover upstairs (THE PAIN) and hoovered the middle floor, the stairs and all the floors downstairs. I blitzed the kitchen and tidied the Dining Room, I put a load of laundry on, I cleaned one of the bathrooms and washed the paintwork (Skirting and doorway)....This was all while Alex was napping and Ryan was watching Disney Channel.

The house was looking (and feeling) so much better and as I was preparing the TWO meals I aforementioned, Ryan was (unbeknown to me) breaking into the baby box in the playroom and emptying an entire bag full of cotton wool balls and spread them all around the rooms. Cotton ball fluff sticks to the carpet like glue. All of my hard work was completely wasted.

Have another glance at that photo - it really is how my day was feeling.

Ryan started to act wild and uncontrollable with tiredness. He pushed Alex, rolled around, threw pens and pencils, emptied toy box after toy box, and smothered Alex with a large sofa cushion. I raised my voice on more than one ocassion and sent Ryan to the naughty step a fair few times. It was a wonder I didn't scream or completely lose my sanity.

Even during scripture stories, Ryan and Alex were running around, not paying any attention. As we said family prayer, Ryan started to beat Alex with a toy! (And he was the one saying the prayer!) We went downstairs for hot milk and Ryan just crumpled on the floor and gave up. Oh come on, please not now! I couldn't budge him for anything. So I CARRIED him up the 23 flights of stairs (and this was after I already went up carrying Alex!) he wailed. He sobbed. He screamed. He was totally passed it. But the poor, stubborn kid wouldn't nap in the day!! I got him into bed, got Alex down, blew them kisses and closed the door.

Then I felt my knees collapse and my eyes well up at the overwhelming feeling of - I can't do this.

Which is a silly thing to think - of course I can, I just did! I might have not done the best job at entertaining, teaching and nurturing the children today - but I kept them alive, I kept me alive. I did the bare minimum.

But I don't want to do the bare minimum. I want to look back on these days and think how much fun we had and how wonderful they were - I don't want to look back and think "Meh, we survived".

I raised my voice, the boys didn't eat good wholesome meals, they spent 60-70% watching TV/Movies.....we had a short craft session (which has left a massive mess in the dining room which I had previously cleaned and tidied)

I know everyone has those survival days. But I'm already in so much debt - in terms of how many survival days I've taken - I just feel pretty pathetic.

And back in the early days, I used to cry to Ross when he came home from work and tell him all about how hard my day was and how hard things were for me. But now I see him, pale and exhausted from being up in the night with Alex, and still going out to travel the 2 hour commutte to his work - the place where he is currently covering two senior positions (holiday cover) and his own project work, training, attending intense meetings and constantly fighting fires (as he calls it) only to travel back 2 hours later than usual, get called out to work some more and log into work when he gets home til he goes to bed. (and the cycle starts again the next day) He's not got anything left. So, during this time when he should be home, but is actually still at work, or finally on the train....I let myself have a cry about how crazy hard my life is (in my eyes, perspective is a funny thing) then I shower it all off, and prepare myself for a tired, stressed-out husband to come in through the door and support him and listen to all his woes about the day.

This time really does bring me closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I feel like I'm clinging on for dear life. Each day is harder than the last and I honestly do not know how I will cope....

...but I will. Because I've been through all this before. I just thought I would cope better this time!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

This might become a nightly routine....

The boys share a bedroom - did I mention that? The idea was that they would be better behaved in the morning and keep themselves entertained for a while so I could get a lie in.

Unfortunately, nothing much has changed. They wake up, they cry. Well, Ryan will come into my bedroom leaving Alex crying in his cot and the first thing I hear each morning is: "Wake up mummy, it's morning, open your eyes!"

I guess it sounds rather cute, but when you've had barely any sleep due to self-pitiful tears in the night, aches and pains of third trimesterness and a teething toddler to deal with...well it doesn't sound so cute! What I'd love to hear is, "Keep sleeping mummy, I'll look after Alex for a while". Of course, I'm not going to get that from my 3 year old. :)

And bedtime. What do I write about bedtime?

I'll use tonight as an example;

Scripture Stories, Prayers, hugs and kisses and Alex went to bed at 7:15pm. Ryan came downstairs to drink his *CUP* of hot milk (No more bot bots for the 3 year old! Finally!!) Then it's the long slog up the 23 steps, finding blankets (Ryan has a white one, a blue one and his lightening McQueen duvet which he loves to take off his bed and take with him around the house) Dummy and saying good night to all the toys in the house. (I mean ALL).

Finally, after a 100 unnecessary questions ("Where did dinosaur go? WHy not mummy? Why? Why? But why? Where is snail? Where is worm? Where is water?) and crawling up those stairs like they were the last meters of Mt Everest...we made it to Ryan and Alex's bedroom.

"Now quiet Ryan, Alex is trying to sleep" I warn as we tiptoe across the landing and Ryan opens the door to his room.....There's Alex in his cot, his legs through the bars swinging away, and all his teddies and blankets on the floor outside the cot. Obviously they were thrown strategically so that I had to stoop down and pick them all up - a task that takes much longer than it once did without said bump. By which time, Ryan is running around the bedroom screaming like a banchee and Alex is squealing with laughter and clapping at his newfound entertainment. This is why he fought sleep. Somehow, the warm milk settling in his tummy failed to settle him down into a peaceful slumber...he had other things in mind. Ryan. Because Ryan is funny. I can hear him now - acting out various scenes from Cars or Bugs Life. Alex roaring with laughter and beating his fists against the bars.

Then there's the ocassional scream of protest as Ryan grabs a toy and hovers out of Alex's reach to tease him..."no Alex, bedtime, no car tonight".

Little imp.

So I hear laughter, then fighting, then more laughter, lots of banging and a host of other noises until finally one of them settles down to sleep. Usually this is Ryan. Alex then gets bored of being left alone in the dark and the lullaby had long finished its playlist, so he finally allows himself to enter the land of nod.

And it's usually not long before I end up going to bed too.


So anyway, now I go into the office (Alex's old bedroom) and log onto Blogger and type out a ridiculously random entry to pass the time - and stay in close proximity to the kids who require my intervention from time to time until they sleep.

Anyway, what happened today that is worth any note? Well, we enjoyed some beautiful sunshine, which motivated me to go out for a nice walk to Ryan's school and drop off his Nursery forms. He loved watching the children playing outside and kept shouting "Hello friends! They're my friends mummy! This is my school!" It was a tad embaressing but cute all the same. I said a prayer in my heart, thanking Heavenly Father for the blessing of getting a last minute place in the Nursery down my road. It was hell on Earth having to explain to Ryan that this school - which I had been telling him was his for the last year, was not actually where he would be attending Nursery.

I thought, the most awful form of punishment and feeling was the disappointment of your father. If I did something bad, like tell a lie or make a wrong decision - I would get these big sad brown eyes on a tired looking face peering sadly at me as my dad would say, "Laura, I'm so very disappointed."

I thought this was the worst feeling in the world! Until today.

You see, on the way back from the school I thought it was such a marvellous day that we should go on the bus to the shops and look at toys - one of Ryan's favourite things to do outside. (I know, the spoilt monkey)

- (Note: Just had to make another intervention as I heard the noise get too much and the laughter turn to tears....once in the bedroom Ryan had run back into bed and said "I hurt Alex - and he hurt me!" What a monkey...) -

Anyway, we were on our way to the bus stop and I somehow pulled a muscle - or maybe it was sciatica kicking in...I know that's common at this stage of pregnancy but I'm not sure what it feels like exactly. Basically, I had to start limping and was in excruciating pain. I limped the rest of the way and we went at a much slower pace as a result.

Well. As painful as it is for me to relive this tale and record it...I have to admit that as we rounded the corner to the bus stop, the bus was trundling along the road and passed us. Ryan saw the bus and said "Oh no! We missed it! We missed the bus!" and then he threw his hands to his face and bowed his head in shame.

He thought it was his fault. He felt ashamed and guilty. He even looked up at me with these teary blue eyes and said "I'm sorry mummy, I missed it".

Just recalling it brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat. The next bus was 20 minutes away, so we walked home.

I thought Ryan would soon forget about it after eating some lunch - his favourie, leftover Chicken Korma and Rice - Alex was sat happily munching his food, but Ryan; sweet, sensitive Ryan, bowed his head in his arms on the table and gave a sad whine. "what is it?" I asked. Ryan looked up, his little pale face, so disappointed. "Ryan sad. Ryan missed the bus."

Okay. That is the worst feeling in the world. To see the genuine disappointment in my 3 year old's face.

I think it's because, even though Ryan can be a little scamp, he is too young to be accountable for his sins. He really is so new from heaven and so pure. I'm his mother and I promised him we would make the bus and I failed. I just didn't measure up.

It made me think about the day when I am reunited with my Creator, and my Saviour. The day when I will face all of the things I have done in my life that were bad decisions and examples where I didn't measure up. To see disappointment in the eyes of my Saviour would be the single worst experience of my existance.

So today, I committ myself to dedicating my entire energy and life in doing the very best I can, Service, Charity, Hard-Work, Love, Sacrifice, Obedience - no matter how painful my life is and will be, I will hold onto the memory of little Ryan's disappointed face and imagine how much it means to me to make him proud of his mummy. How much it means to make the people I love, proud and happy to be related to me. How much it means to me to have my Saviour, Jesus Christ, know that I was worth saving. If I get to the end of my days and didn't try very hard, or lived my whole life in selfishness, greed and pride...I wasn't worth all that pain and anguish. The fact is, the Atonement is set in place. The debt has been paid and the blood has been shed.

I just need to make sure it was all worth it, and return with my Father in Heaven.

.......and somehow teach my children to get there too.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

31 Weeks Pregnant

I'm running incredibly behind on the whole week by week pregnancy blog thing. Remember, I used to be so good at updating my pregnancies...there's something about the third one...I don't know. Maybe the novelty wore off...

...or maybe I am so consumed by surviving and living each day to the next and somehow keep my children alive and happy that the last thing I have on my mind is "I would like to documentate this!".

I've missed blogging. There's something about sitting down in a quiet room and just unleashing whatever thoughts have been racing around in my mind all day. I suppose it is a little like an online diary. Though I make a point not to post anything I wouldn't feel comfortable anyone knowing. It is still providing a window into my family's life. And since making this blog somewhat public again (It still has restrictions) It is my desire to share my story. I don't know, leave my mark I suppose.

I have been back and forth deciding whether or not to write this book about Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It was designed in my mind to be a write-up of all my pregnancies, my research and understanding of the dreadful illness and non-medical advice on survival and how friends and family could be more supportive.

The real driving force of the book was the idea that it would RAISE AWARENESS. Then I had a long think about it. I'm several chapters into the book before I realised something.

Writing a book about Hyperemesis Gravidarum is NOT going to raise awareness. Who would buy it? Who would actually take the time to read it? If you have not had any history of the condition and it doesn't run in your family...then the odds are: You're not going to go and google "Hyperemesis Gravidarum".

Don't get me wrong. I want to help raise funds for the Hyperemesis Research and Education organisation.I desperately want them to find a cause and a cure for this debilitating and sometimes life-threatening condition. I do not want my grand daughters having to suffer it. I don't want my worst enemy to experience it. I just don't think writing a book is the way forward.

So how do you raise awareness? You SHOUT. You SCREAM. Repetition Repetition Repetition. I don't care if the world becomes sick to death with my spouting out the words HYPEREMESIS GRAVIDARUM. I'll say them over and over and over until my voice is heard in the deepest darkest crevices of the Earth.



Anyway, enough of that for now.

31 Weeks pregnant today. 9 Weeks to go. We are finally in single figures! And oh, it feels So good to be saying that.

This pregnancy has dragged. And dragged. And dragggggggged.

I feel like I've been pregnant for years!

Oh that's right - sorry - I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding for most of the last 4 years!

So Ross and I have been married for 4 years and 4 months. Of which I was pregnant for 41.3 weeks, then I was breastfeeding for 32 weeks, then I was pregnant again for 38.4 weeks and breastfed for 36 weeks, and now I have been pregnant for another 31 weeks.

52 weeks in a year x 4 years + 18 weeks = 226 weeks of marriage
41.3 + 32 + 38.4+ 36+ 31 = 178.7 weeks of pregnancy and breastfeeding

SO 226 - 178.7 = 47.3 weeks of not being a baby making/feeding machine.

Okay so really, I HAVE been pregnant for years. It is no wonder that my body feels weak. I feel aged and slow. Everything aches. Everything hurts. Everything takes so much more time to do!

I miss being able to pick things up the floor without losing my vision! I miss being able to snuggle Alex on my lap without the protests of a kicking baby in between us. I miss feeling like normal Laura! I miss feeling healthy! I miss running up the stairs! I miss doing my Jillian Michaels' Workouts...I miss rollercoasters! I miss my old pre-pregnancy shape. I miss the days where I knew exactly what I wanted and knew how to get it! I miss the feeling of control!

You see, when you become a parent. You live. Breathe. Walk. For your children. They are the source of constant worry and heartache. Yet at the sametime, they provide the deepest feelings of joy and satisfaction. It is glorious to be a mother. I LOVE my family, more than life itself.

I can feel my baby rolling around in my bump as I type. I admit, this stirs feelings of love, awe and contentment. No kicks these days, he's too big. The movements are tired, relaxed and lazy rolls. A arm sweeping across my tummy, a foot slowly emerging out as he has a little stretch. Quick rythmic beats from hiccoughs. There is a deep bond between a pregnant mother and her unborn child. Spiritually bound. Knowing the emotions of the other. Accepting each other completely yet also fighting for the same space.

That bond - an unexplained miracle - between a mother and her child, does not break. Never. I still feel it with Ryan and Alex. I still experience it with my own mother. No one can take away the fact that for a time, we shared everything. Body, spirit, Life. Nothing can take that away.

I often think about that, and wonder about mothers who have experienced stillbirth. I can only think, that amongst all the sadness and feelings of detachment....the miracle of that mother and child bond still stands. Perhaps even moreso, when the child is in spirit.

Knowing this and knowing the deep and eternal responsibility that comes with having a child. I feel overwhelmed emotionally, with humilty, gratitude and awe that Heavenly Father has trusted me with three sons to raise in these Latter-Days.

Three Missionaries.

So whilst I may moan and cry and tear my hair out with frustration at my woes and ailments....deep down, I recognise and appreciate the massive blessings in my life.

When the days get hard, and the nights get even harder, I hold onto the Song "Count Your Blessings".

"When apon life's billows you are tempest tost, When you are discouraged thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings name them one by one and it will suprise you what the Lord has done."

Never truer words spoken. (Sung or Read....just had to add that.)

Well that's a strange blog entry! Can you tell my mind is just all over the place today?!

Guess my roundup points are:

  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum sucks and everyone needs to know about it.
  • Being pregnant for over 70% of your marriage sucks
  • Despite all that, I have never felt more blessed in my life
  • When it all feels too much - count your blessings. I did, and it really HAS surprised me what the Lord has done for me and my family.
ps, I've just been prescribed more Zofran. Ding Ding that's not just a blessing...that's a MIRACLE. So grateful.

Monday, 11 June 2012

A Mother's Work...

A mothers work is never done. I woke up this morning feeling wide awake despite a dismal night sleep. There is something about Mondays that makes me feel motivated. New week, fresh start and all that. This week I WILL do better. I will not let the washing pile exceed the limit of the laundry basket. I will keep the house tidy and clean I will take the children out every day for some fresh air I will not be sick this week I will spend less time on cleaning and more time playing with the boys I will stick to a schedule and be consistent in discipline. I will budget better and be sensible in food shopping I will teach the boys something new every day I will get up early so I can be ready for the day and wake the boys myself I will keep my blog and diary up to date I will get back in touch with a few old friends I will feed my children nutritious and healthy food I will not moan about being heavily pregnant I will..... I will.... I will drive myself insane with all these expectations of myself. I have hoovered the bottom two floors, taken the rubbish out, sorted the recycling; folded clean laundry and put a load of washing on. Tidied the toys. Polished. Cleaned the kitchen. Teach the boys the letter A and what words begin with A. The list goes on and on...yet my house still looks like a bomb has hit it! I also feel that I used up a lot of my energy planning everything I was going achieve. So here's an idea. Forget "To Do" I am goin to write "I have done" lists. That way I can tick everything off and feel a sense of achievement! Okay, kiddies need some tea. Chicken korma and rice tonight! And no,,,,not from the curry house! Ha.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Pregnancy, Trials, Thoughts...

For the third time in as many years, I am 30 weeks pregnant! So, hello week 31!

Each pregnancy is unique and full of new challenges and experiences. When I carried Ryan, my time, energy and focus was spent on building a beautiful home and environment for my precious one to be welcomed into. Each kick was met with feelings of awe, overwhelming love and gratitude. All of the new sensations, whether pleasent or not, were facinating and all part of bringing my baby into the world. You can read back in my early blog entries and see for yourself that despite suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum and receiving poor medical support or treatment, I retained a positive attitude. I certainly cried a lot and had times of despair and sadness. Yet I always managed to pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on.

My pregnancy with Alexander was a little different. I already had a beautiful baby to love and nurture. Suddenly my sickness was an enemy to my little one. As I lay in bed listening to the cries of my 9 month old baby, completely unable to get up and see to him. I promised myself I would not get into that situation again. Friends and relatives gathered round and provided a lot of help and support in looking after me and more importantly, my baby Ryan. The sickness subsided immensly by the time I was half way through the pregnancy. The sickness was not as severe, yet the nausea was dreadful. I worried about how I could possibly love the baby as much as I loved Ryan. Did I possess enough love for two babies? I carried so much resentment for missing Ryan's 9-12 months. I feared that my resentment would become a barrier between me and this new baby I was to birth. Despite all this, I will never forget the profound moment when I birthed my little 7lb Alexander and cradled him in my arms. My heart grew three sizes in one second and I felt my ability to love expand dramatically. Now I can not imagine my life without my cuddly squidgy Alex.

Ryan and Alexander are 17 month apart. They do almost everything together - including wrestling, laughing, building (and destroying) train tracks and watching TV. Their love for each other creates this unbreakable bond which makes them inseperable and when divided they are not as happy or complete.

This third pregnancy, another beautiful surprise, came with a whole new set of challenges. It is one thing for people to take a 9 month old baby for a few hours so I could sleep in the morning. And another thing entirely, to expect someone to take a 2 year old and a 1 year old. My illness (HG) was far more severe than my previous pregnancy with Alex. It was very reminicient of my early pregnancy with Ryan. The vomiting, the room spinning, fainting, trembling, dehydration, malnutrition and sudden and severe weight loss. I had two precious and treasured little boys to nurture and raise. I live in a three storey house, with the kitchen on the bottom floor and the bedrooms on the top. I had a toddler who was enjoying his newfound freedom of walking and scaling the stairs. Windows were a target - sofas, bookcases, tables and chairs were exciting climbing frames. This child needed constant supervision. My older toddler, was entering the inquisitive, eager to learn phase. He needed to be challenged and given activities to do. He was also aware of his surroundings and who his constants were. Being away from mummy - and Daddy - unsettled him.

I was 7 weeks pregnant on Christmas Day 2011. We woke up, opened presents, enjoyed watching the children play with their new toys and I nibbled on a bit of Christmas Dinner. Then I crawled into bed and stayed there. A violent sickness bug swept through the household during my Birthday, so celebrations were put on hold. I have no memory of New Year. I was unable to go up and down the stairs. At best, I staggered down to the middle floor and collapsed on the sofa and watched TV for a few hours before finding it too nauseating and crawling back upstairs to bed again.

We hired a family Au Pair. Kira. A lovely 19 year old Hungarian girl, who came to live in our spare room. She got up with the children, and cared for them until they went to bed. Then she cleaned the kitchen and tidied all the toys away making the house clean and tidy, ready for another day. I tried to at least make an appearance to my boys once a day. It was usually around tea time. Kira would make me food, sometimes I ate it, sometimes I couldn't. But soon, the energy and excitement of the boys would exhaust me to such an extent that I would have to kiss them both and crawl back up to bed to be sick and black out again.

I was desperate to function. All I wanted, was to be able to do the bare minimum; get up with the kids, lay on the sofa while the kids watch TV, feed them snacks and change their nappies. Keep them alive. Unfortunately, I was not keeping myself alive very well. Let alone my children. I made several visits to the Silver Star Unit in Oxford Hospital. They specialise in High Risk pregnancies and have an extended amount of experience in treating patients suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Dr Lucy Mackillop became my medical confidant, companion and beacon of hope. She took my illness with great seriousness. She understood and appreciated the condition of which I suffered. So much so, that she would move her cup of coffee away from me when I walked into her office, knowing that even the hintest of coffee smell would cause me to gag and my stomach contract. She was quick to try me on medication - a combination of 3 different types of tablets, to be taken multipal times a day. Even under the massive amount of medication, I was still unbareably nauseated and unable to eat. When I did eat, it rarely stayed down. I became dehydrated too easily. There were many ocassions I knew I should have gone into hospital and put on an IV for fluids. Yet I couldn't bare to leave my children. So I used a water bottle to sip tiny amounts of cold water. After trying many different forms of treatment, I was put on Ondansetron. Tablets which were routinely given to patients undergoing Chemotherepy to combat the nausea and sickness. These tablets stopped the vomiting, but did nothing for the dizziness and insane nausea. Yet I was able to drink and eat a tiny amount of food - and keep it all down. The Ondansetron kept me alive, but little more.

Dr Lucy wanted me to contact my local GP and request a repeat prescription for Ondansetron so that I did not have to make the hour long trip into Oxford to pick up the tablets from the Hospital. Unfortunately, the telephone call to my GP was not as helpful as I hoped. "Ondansetron? No, I don't believe you, that's a cancer drug" a gruff, old man barked down the phone to me. Dr Lucy had faxed a letter on my behalf requesting that they prescribe me the tablets I forementioned. "No, I'm not doing it. Do you want your baby to be deformed? Or it could die. I'm telling you, that this selfishness is going to screw up your life and you'll sue me for it" I said I was more than willing to sign a declaration that I would not sue him or the surgery should anything go wrong with the Ondansetron. Dr Lucy said there was more than 15 years history of Ondansetron use during pregnancy with no ill side effects to the fetus. This man knew nothing of the drug. It is NOT a cancer drug! Yet his hurtful words continued to attack me "My wife took tablets during one of her pregnancies, and the baby died. Do you want that? You're not even that ill! Just get on with it. My wife had Hyperemesis 6 times and just got on with things." My throat clammed up and my eyes stung with tears. I responded curtly and promptly hung up. Then I threw up.

From then on, Dr Lucy proceeded to prescribe me the Ondansetron herself and my Mother in Law picked them up every month for me. She and my sister in Law came over weekly to clean the house, provide some friendly company and see the children. They contributed to saving my sanity during a very dark time.

Kira stayed with us for January and February. She became a surrogate mother to Alex - who would reach for her and snuggle into her arms when he was sad. He loved Kira immensly. I remember one day he called her "Mama". It pierced my heart a thousand times. I learnt a little Hungarian to communicate with Kira - who knew little English. As I improved enough to get up for an hour or two in the day, and slowly build myself up to being up for an afternoon. We did a lot of charades and laughing. She was perfect company and took great care of the children, the house and of me. She did more than her job. She became part of our family, and for a time, she was doing my job. She was mum. Admitting that and allowing it hurt my pride greatly and I struggled to know what my purpose was during those months. Who was I? What was I doing? Will I always be this useless? How could I be so easily replaced? I felt that my children no longer needed me. They had Kira. And she did a better job at keeping the house clean and the laundry done than I ever did.

I sank.

Depression is a curious thing. It appears that it is not simply mental. In fact, it is a very real and physical condition. It felt like I was surrounded in a very black cloud - everyone seemed so far from me. I was isolated, sick, weak, I had no purpose or use and I felt humiliated, beaten-down, and completely and utterly worthless. I also felt hurt and anger at being so ill. I felt pain in all my body. I was tense and short-tempered. I had little attention span and seemed unable to think about anything positive. I just wanted to be able to look after my family and serve the people around me. I wanted to help people going through trials, had I not gone through enough already? Did I not deserve one pregnancy that was not so full of sickness and hardship? How could my role as a mother and housewive be so easily filled by a 19 year old girl working 7am - 7pm? I dwelled on the "injustice" of my situation making myself blind to the miracles I was blessed with at that time. I had help. Medical support, understanding friends, a loving family and daily help. All I had to do was focus on enduring to the end and getting better.

I look back and realise that there were so many times, often during my darkest hours, where the Saviour had his arms tightly around me. He truly carried me personally through that trial. Yet at the time I had never felt more alone, more abandoned. My blessings were so perfectly designed to my needs, yet I did not see them for what they were. My pride, my ignorance and anger completely blindsighted me.

Now I understand what it means to be humble. What it means to be as a little child and trust the Lord, listen to His teachings, Follow his Counsil. I am learning to take His hand and trust that no matter how difficult the path is, I can get through it. My anguish was nothing compared to the anguish that my Saviour has endured. My trials were so small in comparison to others.

My close friend was 6 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy. We were both expecting boys and talked about how excited we were to have them grow up and become friends. It was her first baby, and despite terrible nausea and sickness and suffering from undiagnosed Hyperemesis Gravidarum, she maintained a beautifully positive perspective. Each day brought her closer to her precious little boy.

Kira had left. I was improving enough to get around the house and we planned a holiday to Florida and New York to "get away from all the sickness and sadness". The day after we left, my close friend lost her baby. For reasons unknown, her much-loved son's spirit left his little body and she birthed him only to never hear him cry. As other mothers left the hospital carrying their newest addition in a carseat, my friend left the hospital with a little box. And instead of a new cot to dress and let her son rest, she buried her baby and decorates and maintains his tiny grave.

This is the true meaning of anguish. This is what Injustice really is.

I was immediately snapped out of my sorry, self-pitiful state. I needed to be a healer. I needed to comfort, to support, to cry with her. I needed to make everything better and protect her from going through such tragedy again.

Suddenly my Goliath shrunk to the size of a dwarf. A lot of my physical symptoms had diminished enough to leave me feeling something that represented a human. We did manage to enjoy our holiday, but I was deeply devastated and the nights were the worst. Sleep filled with nightmares and the horrible feeling in the morning that perhaps I had dreamt it all about my friend and her stillborn Seth. The realisation that it was real. It had happened. I had to keep going through the emotions - disbelief, hurt, confusion, anger, complete devastation. I could only imagine the mental, physical and spiritual torment my dear friend was experiencing each day.

Stunningly, my friend has done exactly what anyone should do in such circumstances. She is clinging onto her strong belief in her Saviour Jesus Christ and in Eternal Life. She is allowing the Atonement to heal her wounds and help her find her purpose, as an eternal mother. She and her new husband are hurting. It is apparent to anyone. Yet they are both griefing in such a poetic and beautiful way. It really testifies of the healing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I feel ashamed at my response to my personal trials with HG when I look at these two wonderful people and the tragedy they have endured. I just pray I can be better at holding onto faith in His great plan for me. Because there is a plan. For each of us. The greatest healer is service. The more we think of others, the less we dwell on ourselves. Serving my dear friends in their time of darkness, has healed my wounds. Tragedy does bring people together. And it is through our sorrows and trials that we find our truest and closest friends. If there are lessons to be learned from the last 6 months. It is that I have found my true purpose. My divine duty and deepest pleasure. It is simply to love my brothers and sisters. To serve them. To cry with them, laugh with them, care and strengthen them in times of need. Ross and I have a unified goal in our life, not to focus on career, holidays or Gucci bags...but serving our fellowmen. Loving and helping our family, building strong friendships and being there for others. It's not a duty, not a "I should do this", it is a real desire. We have been on the receiving end of so much love and service. There are so many angels on this earth who constantly bless our lives and teach us the true meaning of happiness, it is only natural to want to give back and be more like our Saviour. It is through our darkest and most lonely days that we have learned what truly matters. So whilst it has been horrible and almost unbearable, I realise how important it is for us to suffer tribulations. We learn so much more from our bad experiences and our mistakes. I suppose the point I'm trying to put across is, it doesn't matter how many blessings we are given in life, we are defined by our hardships and how we overcome them. So I'm still sick, still feeling horribly nauseous and I have many times In the week where I feel utterly overwhelmed and exhausted but Im trying to hold onto the hope that even in my compromised condition, I have worth. I have a purpose and it has eternal value. I will let this difficult time shape me into the person heavenly father wishes me to become.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Blogging on the IPad

This is mainly a test to see if I can update my blog on the IPad... It has been months since my last update- I do apologise, but blogger does not like me. I have made several attempts at posting a new blog entry, only to find it would not let me press publish! I had half a heart to go over to word press. I will do so if this doesn't work! If this does work, and I can upload blog entries on my iPad, then expect many more updates from now on! Laura xx