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End of a dramatic year

As 2018 draws to a close its natural to look back and remember our favourite times of the year but I think its also important to address the harder times and challenges of the year so we can learn from them and move forward. So here I am sat eating the last of the Christmas chocolates with Bongo snoring next to me and Zak out for the count in his pram it’s a marvel how my life has changed.

This time last year I was enjoying a couple of weeks off work, binging on all the food and drink I knew I was going to have to cut out as soon as 1st January rolled round so we could knuckle down with fertility treatment. Tom and I were settled into our new house and had lots of renovation plans and a big holiday booked to keep us busy and focused through the hard times. Although we didn’t know exactly what we were facing fertility wise it was likely I was set to endure plenty of jabs, blood tests, pills and couple of operations. I was scared but prepared and ready for it, we could do this as all the support was behind us. Little did we know we would conceive naturally within 2 weeks!

My lows or challenges as I like to refer to them, include Zaks time in hospital, Bongo having more knee surgery, Tom being made redundant and subsequently struggling with his mental health. Although I feel it is not my story to tell, Tom’s mental health is definitely something we are still working through and have been for the last 6 months. All I will say is I am trying to support him as best as I can as patiently as I can. Its painful and slow but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Truthfully mental health is such a hard subject to talk about because you can’t see it and you can’t just put a plaster on it, but we could all make it a little easier by talking about it more and removing the stigma attached to it.

Bongo has pulled through his surgery and made a full recovery reminding us he will always be our first baby. Zak’s time in hospital was inevitably such a painful time and something I think I am still processing, I don’t know if I will ever fully come to terms with it. The euphoria I felt at giving birth and feeling like superwoman to knowing it was a boy and he was finally here to oh my god what just happened. There are parts of it I;m still remembering and some parts are still so raw you don’t realise. I find myself reminded at such random times – like when people innocently share their experiences of their births as mums so often do when they get together. More recently I find it a reminder when people try to offer advice on things we should try with Zak but aren’t necessary applicable because of his injury. Although we do our best not to wrap him in cotton wool and I think generally speaking we are laid back but that doesn’t mean we can forget his injury.

My highs of the year obviously include my pregnancy, our holiday to Canada and of course Zak. I so loved being pregnant and I miss my bump and now I know I can survive labour and actually feel empowered by it, I would do it again in a heartbeat, even with what happened to Zak. The irony is not wasted on me that 365 days ago I was questioning whether my body could do what it was supposed to and now I’m sat here drooling over my 3 month old feeling like I’m supposed to have lots of babies because I’m obviously good at it! Zak has changed me more than I could ever imagine, its soppy and sick bucket worthy but he showed me love I never knew existed. I thought the superwoman feeling would have worn off by now but I still glow when I look at him over 3 months later. The sense of pride I feel that I grew him and gave birth to him is unreal, is literally a part of me. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the kid and he makes me laugh every single day.

Although I think I’ll always have mixed emotions from 2018 I’ll be forever grateful for my boy Zak. Generally I think there were more good times than bad and no doubt I am tougher for it. The biggest lesson I have learned is surprise and patience. You can never make plans, life will always through you a hurdle but its how you handle it that defines you. Patience is not something I would ever say I have mastered and I’m definitely still working on it but its been an essential part of my development this year as I have had to be patient for things out of my control. I’m stronger than I knew, I’m a lover and I’m a fighter. So whatever may be in store 2019 I am ready for you.

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