Friday, March 29, 2013

Am I losing myself or finding myself?

I've always wanted to be a mum. Its been the strongest urge I've ever felt throughout my entire life. Never fading and never going away. Some people have definite plans for the way they want their life to turn out, including elaborate and well thought out career paths - the only one true plan I had for my life was that I needed to be a mum. It's literally what I have always thought is my purpose in life - the reason why I'm here. This is how I fit in. This is my place in the world.

I've been working towards this my entire life. Throughout all the awkward years when I thought I never fit in, when I didn't understand what the point of my life was and when I was encountering rejection from people around me, I always thought that one day it would all be ok. One day I would have a family of my own and I would belong. I would come into my own and I would know my place. I would be able to create my dream.

Obviously those of you who have been following my blog know that it wasnt quite that easy and my journey to motherhood has been filled with hardships, sadness and lots of waiting. But, finally I'm here, on the cusp of this incredible journey into the next stage of my life. I'm over half way and am learning to let go of my apprehensions and make room in my life for the excitement (infertility has a way of making you always prepare for the worst and always fear getting excited incase of disappointment).

Finding Myself Young - I'm teaching myself to breathe... am I losing myself or finding myself?

So, now that I'm at this point I seem to have been asking myself in the last week or so - does motherhood mean I've found myself or am I losing myself? What I mean is - am I going to completely lose my identity as Toni now, or, am I just taking on a new identity as mum? Can the two co-exist? Am I going to be able to act like a 20 something (ok very close to 30 something) woman or do I have to always be this responsible grown up person? Are my friends going to be the only ones who remember the person I was pre-baby?

I'm not for one second doubting that I will love being a mum, I'm just looking at it from a different perspective. It's like when you're a child you see your parents as these old, boring, out of touch strict people who you could never possibly relate to, like ever. Because you know parents are a totally different species and they have no idea how to have fun (or even act like real people). As you get older though you start seeing things from a different perspective. I think its once you've been through all your teenage angst and get to the point where you're settling down and realise that your parents would have gone through all of that at some stage too. Then, when your friends start having kids and they're your age you realise holy cow my parents were once my age AND they were my age when they became parents. They really were cool (ok maybe thats going a bit far), I mean normal at some point.

Is my baby ever going to realise that I was cool? Am I going to be this horrible unrelatable person to her for the next twenty years until finally one day she realises that yes, I was cool. I was and still am Toni, I just took a vacation into this weird world of motherhood for a few years. Is our real identity something we need to keep hidden from our children or is it just easy for them to overlook it and not notice? Will I completely cease to be me or will she just not notice all the subtle idiosyncrasies that belong to Toni instead of mum?

And finally, I wonder if our parents worried about the same things when they were embarking on parenthood?

Toni x
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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Personal space...? Ha, what's that!




Ive come to realise there is no such thing as personal space once you get pregnant. People become completely and utterly fascinated by your bump as it grows. The bigger it gets, the bigger the fascination and desire to touch it. It seems your body becomes public property. It is no longer part of you, but rather the exterior casing of the baby - and everybody wants to touch the baby. Too bad if you are used to enjoying your own personal space, because that no longer exists. I am now merely a vessel (I guess that's a step up from an oven? T has been calling me an oven for the last few months). It appears the invisible barrier that normally surrounds my body is no longer there. There is just something so magical about a pregnant belly and the little life growing inside that everyone is transfixed and wants to be a part of it.

The interesting thing is how people act when they touch my belly. The people who I am closest to, who I have no problem with, are the ones who are the most apprehensive. You can just tell when someone wants to touch your belly, they get that look. The 'I really want to touch your belly, but I don't want you to punch me in the face' look. My friends have been the ones who ask before they touch and then they stroke my belly ever so gently and for the shortest time possible so as not to be intrusive. This I can handle. They even have a conversation with me while doing it, which is always nice.

Strangers on the other hand, and people who I've met only once or twice, are less polite. They usually come straight up to me and just start frantically rubbing my belly. I mean like they think a genie is going to come out of there if they do it for long enough. They also usually forget that I'm even there and instead just talk to the baby. My bad, I forgot I'm just a vessel. I don't get why strangers are more ballsy than my friends though, shouldn't it be the other way round?

Lucky for everyone I am just so super happy to be pregnant that people touching my belly doesn't bother me too much. I'm so excited to have a belly I'm just like oh yea people want to touch it cos there really is a baby in there. Sometimes it still feels too good to be real.

I'm sure the touching will head into overdrive once you can feel the baby kick from the outside. For now the kicks are reserved just for mummy :)


Toni xx




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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Goodbye body image issues



Ive never had the best relationship with my body. Ive always had some sort of issue with it. When I was younger I hated my nose, my hair was too curly (or frizzy depending on the weather), my boobs were too small and my stomach was never flat enough. Pretty standard complaints for most teenage girls. These concerns followed me into adulthood and my self esteem was never really high. These physical characteristics (or lack of) never really depressed me though. I still knew I was beautiful on the inside and essentially I still loved myself and who I was.

Fast forward a few years to when I started trying to conceive the first time when I was 23 and that's when my issues with my body got a lot deeper. It is extremely hard to maintain a healthy relationship with your body when it becomes the one thing that is standing in the way of your dreams. At this point in time I had very low self esteem and a very high level of self loathing. The external physical parts of my body weren't letting me down, it was all internal. It was invisible (which made it harder). It developed into slight depression again a few months ago when I was finally diagnosed with PCOS. I knew my body was against me for whatever reason and I really couldn't love myself. I posted about it on I heart my body day, but loving my body was the last thing I could do at that point.

I am so happy to say that from the moment I found out I was pregnant my outlook completely changed. I love my body. I have never loved my body as much as I do now, both internally and externally. At first I was amazed by the physical changes watching my belly slowly (and now rapidly) expand. After seeing the ultrasound image at 12 weeks I was in awe that there actually is a tiny human in there and that I made it. I always knew there was a baby in there but it takes it to a totally different level when you actually see it. When there are arms, legs, fingers, toes and organs perfectly assembled together into a jelly baby on the screen in front of you. I cant believe that my body that I once despised has been capable of making an entire human being. Now that I have started feeling tiny movements I am even more transfixed by my body and its capabilities. As I sit here writing this post I can feel tiny little bubbles and it is the best feeling in the world. My humble little body has created a whole new life. There are not enough words to describe how proud I am of my body right now.


Our little jelly baby @12 weeks


Each day I learn to love my body a little bit more as this journey continues. Small things no longer matter to me. My flat stomach has long gone, and I am completely in love with the bump that has replaced it. I am not worried about the weight that I have gained. I don't worry about my frizzy hair anymore because really I don't have the energy to worry about hair. And my boobs, well they have taken care of themselves (finally). Each time I walk past a mirror instead of looking for flaws I am too busy checking out my pregnant body and smiling from ear to ear. Pregnancy really has cured my self esteem issues. I don't think I could ever have issues with my body again because it is in the process of providing me with the greatest gift in the world.

I wish everybody could love and appreciate their body as much as I do right now. Remember you are all beautiful on the inside and the outside.

Toni xx


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