I’ve been absent, I know! I can’t really make any apologies for it, it’s a good thing for me. You see, I write when I’m in a bad place, so absence is a sign of positive things.
But I had to write today. Today marks one year since I made a change. A change that has hugely impacted my life, and the lives of my family.
One year ago today I had a Sleeve Gastrectomy. This involves my very awesome surgeon cutting away around 80% of my stomach. It is Bariatric surgery, performed on people who need some help to turn things around.
Sometimes I get told I took the easy way out. I didn’t. But you know what, even if it was the easy way out, does it actually matter? Bottom line is that I was once depressed, sluggish, riddled with health problems, and just floating through life, being a ‘bare minimum mum’. I am now excited, passionate, healthy, and full of life. So, does it actually matter?
The thing is, most people that say that either don’t understand it, or have witnessed someone post-surgery not treating their Sleeve with the respect it deserves. It is not a magic genie. It is not going to fix everything. You need to work with it, treat it gently, treat it with love – you’re in for the long haul together.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my before and after photos for the general public to see for the first time ever #terrified.
When I was asked to be a part of ‘We are the face of motherhood: A series on Postpartum Depression‘ organised by the amazing Jamie from Mommy in Flats I panicked a little. It was a no-brainer really, of course I will always say a big fat yes to raising awareness and ending the stigma surrounding postpartum/postnatal depression and anxiety but I got a little nervous that I wouldn’t have much to say because I realised suddenly that things were good. Things were finally feeling really, really good. In fact, I considered that perhaps I had bested the beast once and for all, and that I wouldn’t be lost in the darkness again. Ha! Life loves to remind me that when you have kids you don’t get to be in control of something like that, so after a while of living in blissful ignorance I got the sharp reminder that I needed and out came my post.
Love is perfectly rapping a completely inappropriate Eminem song from your teen years, totally in sync.
Love is letting your partner have the only towel left after you were too lazy to do a load or three of laundry.
Love is not asking where that receipt came from.
Love is sharing a smirk when a song with a private memory comes on.
Love is offering to change the baby’s nappy. The baby who is being reintroduced to lactose, and really probably shouldn’t be.
Love is going out into the thundering storm to save the pram from running away because you know your partner would sob if it was lost. It’s practically an extension of you at this point.
Love is cooking salmon for your partner even though you hate the smell and the taste, and you have no idea how to cook the little pink blob.
Love is having inside jokes that would sound absolutely ludicrous to everyone else.
Love is not pointing out how terribly mismatched the kids outfits are, because your partner is so proud of their styling efforts.
Love is accepting your partners family as your own, genuinely loving them and considering them just as important as the family you were born into.
Love is understanding that some days (most days) your partner makes zero sense. Their crying makes no sense. Their anger makes no sense. Their brain makes no sense. That’s ok, you’ll help them make sense of it.
Love is listening to ‘The Sound of Silence’ on repeat because it makes your partner smile. Even if it is making you want to shove something sharp and pointy into your brain just to get a break from hearing it.
Love is getting up in the middle of the night to hang the washing out because you know if your partner doesn’t have their ‘sucky-innny things’ clean and dry and ready to work hard holding in all those rolls they may just lay in bed in the foetal position and refuse to be seen by the general public.
Love is when your partner climbs into bed and snuggles into you and you do everything in your power to ignore your brain screaming ‘I just don’t want to be touched anymore today, I’m all touched out!’
Love is not pointing out that the number on the scales is going up, and instead making some smooth remark about it needing new batteries.
Love is telling your partner you’re totally into the sexy bald look and genuinely growing to love it, because you love them.
Love is letting your partner squeeze that huge zit on your back because you know they’re some sort of freak who finds pus fascinating.
Love is having late night showers in the dark together, no funny business, no talking, just enjoying the quiet and each other’s company.
Love is holding hands while you walk through the mall, reminding each other that you have a lifeline, an anchor. Even though your mind might be shaking with anxiety over how you’re possibly going to afford the new school shoes that are needed, you know you’re not in it alone.
Love is not always romantic walks on the beach, or long, latenight phone calls from under the doona where your parents won’t hear you.
Love is not always flowers, and chocolates, and jewellery.
Love is not always a handwritten note, sometimes it’s typed.
My story is not like everyone else’s. I know total cliché line to open with. It is something, that I have learnt to accept and I am very open with. To tell my story I need to also tell my mums. Read more ›
Firstly, we have some news to share. Our family has grown! Meet Zoey (the furry one, not the pyjama-clad one). Zoey is an 8 week old Staffy X and one of hubbies 30th birthday presents. She was a complete surprise, very deserved for my incredible husband. Just as expected, he is smitten – though I think Zoey considers Marky to be her main human.
Last night I went on a date with my bestie. We had pedicures, ate too much, smuggled perfectly innocent alcohol-free orange juice into the movie theatre… and bought onesies (from the kids section at K-Mart and they totally fit!)
We saw Beauty and the Beast and it was AMAZING. I couldn’t fault it in the slightest. The original songs were honoured perfectly, the new songs were full of heart, and Emma Watson has just reinforced her role as the star of my #womancrushwednesday. It was everything, do yourself a favour and go!
Unfortunately the buzz of last night had to end this morning when I ended up in hospital with #middlelittle after he managed to break into our medicine box. Thankfully he is ok. He had a rough morning, but it seems he got lucky and the only tablet he may have swallowed was a Cold and Flu. He was quite drowsy, and at the same time super silly so the Doctors were confident of the cause.
He’s had blood tests, power spews, and horrible charcoal medicine (which sure made the spews interesting!) He is now finally resting after a big morning. We will have to stay until 1930 because one of the tablets he may have had is a slow release, lasting 12 hours.
We’ve always been very careful with medications, I even clean them out 3 monthly and date the last check on a little slip in the box. Unfortunately it seems we need to reconsider our current practice and change things to increase safety. I hope that this urges everyone reading to run a safety check on theirs too!
Well, as my little man rests blissfully in dreamland I will take this opportunity to rest myself. I’m looking forward to our hospital visit being over so I can have a healthy bub, a long, hot shower, and a real cup of coffee.
This weekend marked a new experience for me – my very first ‘Staycation’. For those who aren’t familiar with the term it quite simply means you have a vacation but you stay close to the home.
When you’re a parent sometimes you just need to check out of reality and escape to a place of bliss and relaxation. Going away isn’t always an option so why not take advantage of what your home town has to offer?
My staycation was spent primarily at the Vibe Hotel near Canberra Airport and I spent my time with one of my very favourite people, my best friend Bec. Now let me preface this post by saying that I was not sponsored by anyone or anything mentioned (totally my loss!) everything I say is my honest opinion.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by the reception staff and they were quick to get us checked in. Thank goodness, we were obviously exhausted after our long journey (a 20 minute drive)! We were presented with two room key cards, a bottle of wine, and our parking ticket (parking was an extra $14 which is a bit of a bummer when you’re already paying for the room, but that was a tiny tiny negative that would soon be well and truly outweighed by the positive).
After we finished checking-in we took a moment to fully appreciate the stunning architecture and interior design work that surrounded us. I don’t think a hotel has ever blown me away quite like Vibe did. I mean, I have a sore neck from looking up in awe for so long!
We may have gone a little crazy with the camera, but we were power-hungry with no children demanding that we ‘take a photo of me mummy’. That, and everything was so incredible that we just wanted to soak it up and make those memories.
The first thing we did when we entered our room was run around like giddy teenagers. There were selfies, bed-dives, and toilet breaks without a single child handing us toilet paper. The room was incredible. The beds were inviting and super comfortable, the shower head could convince me to leave my husband and run away with it, and the view of the airport was awesome – and we did not hear a single airplane the whole time we were there so the sound-proofing worked perfectly!
I will say though, as beautiful as the bathroom was, the half-wall made it a little awkward at times. My friend isn’t obligated to put up with my post-childbirth, post-weightloss, melted-human candle body like my husband is. I’m sure she saw more than she bargained for.
After the reality of being alone (read: child and husband free) had sunk in we got changed and made our way to the gym. Oh my giddy aunt, I would spend all my time in the gym if it was that one. For the most part we had it to ourselves, and we took advantage of it, trying out all the machines, enjoying the view, and taking even more selfies because there were skinny mirrors everywhere. No Target mirrors at Vibe!
After we were finished doing the grown-up thing by working out we took the obvious next steps – showered, changed, and stuffed our faces with burgers at Treehouse. And I mean stuffed, they were huge. And delicious. It’s one of those meals that make me wish I could temporarily reverse the gastric sleeve surgery because it was just so delicious that I wanted to keep eating it! I don’t think Bec was hating the wine either, considering how quickly two glasses went down!
When we had sufficiently stuffed our faces (no really, I got the hiccups because I ate too much), we made our way back to Vibe and stopped in at the incredible bar on the ground floor. A knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful gentleman by the name Pawan served us, and while Pawan and Bec talked wine I succeeded in downing the first of (too) many perfectly mixed vodka and OJ’s – my first drink in four years (thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding)!
We honestly had absolutely no bad experiences when it came to customer service at Vibe. The staff were all super friendly, and efficient, and they knew what they were talking about. Even the room-service staff that delivered more drinks and a scrumptious Affetatti Plate to us later in the evening, a young lady who I affectionately nicknamed ‘Non-Steve’ (I was three drinks in, sorry!) was so lovely that I wish I had grabbed her real name! She was fantastic! We just can’t fault anyone!
The rest of the night was spent in our room where each of us were treated to a luxurious massage with the smooth sound of Michael Buble in the background, and then we channelled Shrek in our avocado and oat face masks. We even threw in some drunk yoga for kicks! Add-in a good old fashioned D&M and our evening was complete, and absolutely perfect.
The next morning after a quiet coffee in bed we ventured down to the buffet and let the amazing food wash away all the fuzzy feeling from too many drinks.
I sat and contemplated the incredible healing that the weekend had performed. Every parent deserves a break from the norm. A time to reflect, and relax, and rejuvenate. A time to act like a teenager with no responsibilities, a time to drink a little too much, a time to talk about the things that really matter, and a time to completely switch off.
A time to truly be themselves, and to have that be enough, because they don’t need to be what anyone else needs them to be.
A luxury resort in a faraway land may not always be an option, but luxury can be found close to home, so try a staycation and melt away in the moments.