Thursday, March 31, 2016

April fools pregnancy announcements are no joke

Every year there's usually a few people who post gushing pregnancy announcements on April 1st, only to denounce it as a joke later that evening. It used to be a huge trend, but thankfully over the years its dwindled down to just a few here and there. Hopefully its because this "joke" is no longer trendy, but it could also be because I'm no longer friends with people who've done it in the past. I'm sorry but if you create a fake pregnancy announcement for an Aprils fools joke I certainly won't find it funny and I'll probably have a hard time being your friend after. Harsh? Probably, but also understandable given our current circumstances.

For so many of us pregnancy is no joke. In fact its the one thing we want most and we think about it almost every moment of every day. We spend weeks and months {and sometimes years} working through emotional turmoil just trying to achieve the thing that others choose to joke about. Not to mention the thousands of dollars, countless tests and procedures. For many people this is their reality, whether you know about it or not.

I've been relatively candid about our struggle to conceive this time around, but the first time I struggled in silence, for a long time. Lots of people struggle in silence because its too hurtful for them to talk about their experiences. Chances are you know some of these people without even realising it. Please don't add more salt into their wounds by playing a cruel joke. 

In the past I've forgotten that its April fools and fell for these fake announcements. I've been shocked, happy and elated for friends I had no idea were even trying for a baby. I've congratulated them and shared their excitement, only to have that feeling extinguished and replaced with more shock, betrayal and then anger once the joke was revealed. It may have been funny to them, but it wasn't funny to me.

This april fools before you post your pregnancy announcement joke remember all the women who long to be mothers, who have dealt with the loss or death of a baby. To them it is no joke.


I know the hurt that infertility brings. I know what it feels like to struggle for years to try and reach a goal that comes so easily to others. I know what it feels like when achieving a pregnancy is the most important thing in your life. I also know how soul crushing it can be when others treat this with such insignificance. All I ask is that if you've never experienced this please don't turn pregnancy into a joke

Pregnancy announcements on April fools are no joke, they're cruel. 

Please consider other people's feelings..

Toni x



Click to read more »

Friday, March 18, 2016

Making the most of Family Health Insurance Cover

Now that we're looking to add to our family again the topic of taking out family health insurance has come up a lot. The problem is we really have no idea where to start and there are so many policies out there, so I've invited Health Insurance Comparison to guest post to help explain it all.

Family health insurance policies tend to be the most cost effective option if you have children as they include a lot of the services that are of most importance as your kids get older. However, not all family cover is the same and with the premium increases about to come into effect, this is the ideal time to look at your situation and see whether your family’s health insurance is really ticking all of the right boxes for you.

What is Family Cover and What Can It Cover?

In a nutshell, family cover is aimed at couples who have children or are planning to start a family in the near future. It therefore goes a step further than couples cover in also covering newborn babies straight after the birth and it’s also often designed to cover Extras services that the typical family is likely to use such as general and major dental, orthodontics, optical, physiotherapy, chiro, osteo and pharmacy.
Not all Family cover necessarily includes pregnancy and birth services as part of the Hospital component of the policy; with some health funds, you can choose for this to be restricted or completely excluded to keep costs down if you are not planning to have any more children.
Depending on your cover level, the Hospital side of things may include a range of services such as cardiac procedures, rehabilitation, psychiatric services, dialysis, joint replacements, cataract procedures and obesity services. For Extras services, broader cover may include the likes of podiatry, psychology, speech therapy and natural/complementary/alternative therapies.

How Long to Keep Family Cover for?

You might assume that Family cover will be redundant once your children are considered to be adults but some health funds will allow you to keep dependent children on your policy up to 25 years old - as long as they are in full time education until this point.
Once your children have left home or are better placed to buy their own health insurance policy, it can make more sense to switch to Couples cover for yourself and your spouse but exactly when you might look to do this will depend on when your health fund no longer includes dependent children on Family cover.

How to Get More from Your Family Cover

Some health funds include a number of benefits that can help you to get better value for money from Family cover and reduce out-of-pocket costs, including:
  • No out-of-pocket expenses for kids on dental services
  • Covering dependent children until they’re 25 years old
  • No hospital excess for kids
One of the best ways to get more from your health insurance cover is to make sure that it’s right for your current and future health needs and taking steps to change this if you find that there is room for improvement:

Reviewing Your Family Cover

Your family’s health needs are likely to change as your children get older and this can be important if you’re on a budget level of cover that only includes a limited number of Extras services. It’s therefore best to review your family’s health insurance needs at least once a year so that you can make sure that you’re covered for the services that may become important over the coming year. Orthodontics generally has a 12 month waiting period and many other Extras services  can have waiting periods of up to 6 months.

Shopping Around for a Better Deal

If you’re not sure whether you’re currently getting good enough value for money from your current health fund, now is a great time to shop around and compare your options before the rate rises kick in. You might find that you can get additional benefits elsewhere or broader cover that better suits your family’s circumstances for the same kind of price. Shopping around doesn’t need to be a daunting or time consuming experience; using a comparison tool such as www.HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au makes it quick and easy to compare a range of health funds.

Focusing on the Most Important Services

Regardless of whether you decide to switch or stay with your current health fund, you can get more from your cover by making sure that it only includes services that you’ll use. On Family cover, pregnancy and birth services are an obvious one to look at once you decide that you don’t want to have any more children. You can then look for Family cover that doesn’t include pregnancy and birth services to cut your premiums. Depending on your health fund, you might just need to change to another level of Family cover or make an effort to shop around for a Family policy that excludes pregnancy and birth services but still includes other services that are important for you. Either way, taking this step can make your policy much more cost effective without affecting any other aspects of your cover.

Click to read more »

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dreambaby® On The Go Strollerbuddy® products review

Before I had bub I knew pretty much nothing about baby products. I mean why would I having never had a child before? Once I had her I soon realised which of the products we'd bought were relatively unnecessary and which things I still needed to buy. One of the areas I majorly overlooked was pram accessories. To be honest apart from a cup holder {which T made me buy so he'd have somewhere to put his coffee} I didn't even know that there were pram accessories. You just put the baby in the pram and off you go, right? It wasn't until I'd been using my pram for a little while that I realised a few accessories would make my life so much easier.

There are so many pram accessories available that can help with things like attaching blankets, nets, toys and nappy bags to the pram easier. Accessories that can increase pram storage and even accessories that can help secure your pram to eliminate theft. These are just a few of the new accessories Dreambaby® have added to their on the go range.

Dreambaby® Strollerbuddy® Stroller Clips


When bub was younger I used to go for walks all the time to get out of the house and to try and lose the baby weight. I wasn't a fan of covering her whole pram with a wrap, because I wanted to see her, but I did always drape a muslin wrap over her belly and the pram because she'd inevitably fall asleep {and she had to sleep with her blankie}. The problem was the dam "blankie" used to fall off every time the wind blew because there was no way of tucking it into the pram.

I had a brain wave and thought how cool would it be if someone would design clips to hold the wrap in place so I didn't have to adjust it every 5 minutes. I tried using pegs, but they were too thin and would just snap. I seriously thought this was the next biggest idea and I'd become a millionaire if I ever went ahead and developed it. Of course sleep deprivation and the demands of a newborn meant I never followed my entrepreneurial calling and developed this revolutionary product. Which in hindsight was probably a good thing, because I came to learn they already existed, I'd just never heard of them before.
Dreambaby on the go white pram clip
Dreambaby® have recently added Strollerbuddy™ Stroller Clips to their on the go range. The pram clips are made from sturdy non-toxic materials. They're big enough to secure items {wraps, blankets or toys} onto any pram and the scalloped edges create a strong grip. The pram clips are available in black, white and a range of new pop colours {purple, blue, green, pink, orange and grey} in packs of 4 for $12.95. Hallelujah, no more escaping blankie.


Dreambaby on the go pram clips in pop colours
* Remember: when clipping covers to your pram or stroller, always ensure there is adequate airflow and the temperate level is comfortable, and NEVER too HOT for your baby. Read on below to find out how you can win a pop colour set of pram clips.

Dreambaby® Stroller Hook


Have you ever been short of space in your pram, but needed to carry extra items such as groceries? My pram doesn't have a huge amount of storage in the underneath compartment so often when I go shopping I need to carry bags. I have to admit up until now I've been cheating and hanging the bags off the brake handle {the Bugaboo has the brake on the top of the pram, not on the wheels}. It's a bit limiting though because it can only fit about two bags at a time and if they're too big they keep hitting the wheels.
Dreambaby on the go stroller hook
The Dreambaby® stroller hook fits easily over my pram handle and is padded so it doesn't move around. It's easy to add bags onto the hook and it snaps shut so they can't fall off. You just have to be careful not to overload the pram so it tips backwards {although with a heavy toddler in there most of the time I don't have this problem}. The stroller hook is available in a single pack for $8.95 or a 2pk for $11.95.

Dreambaby® Stroller Hook with Combination Lock


In addition to the stroller hook, Dreambaby® have also released a stroller hook with a combination lock. This is ingenious as it allows you to attach your nappy bag {or other items} to your pram knowing they can't be stolen. Every time I sit in a food court I worry that if I leave my bag hanging on the pram someone could easily walk past and take it. Because of this fear I put my nappy bag under my feet, but that becomes a pain when I need to get things out of it while we're eating {aka bub's drink bottle, or wipes, or more snacks, then more wipes}. The Dreambaby® stroller hook with combination lock allows me to keep my nappy bag hanging on the end of the pram which is much more convenient for accessing all my things and it gives me peace of mind not having to watch my bag at all times.

In addition to securing items to the pram, the stroller hook with combination lock can also be used to secure the pram to a table. You may be thinking why would I ever need to do that {especially if the pram brake is on, its not like someone can quickly run away with it}. If you've ever been to a busy play centre and have a toddler like mine you'll understand why. I'm often up on the play equipment rescuing her from a terrifying slide or following her in and out of the many obstacles because she demands me to play with her, all the while my pram is sitting by itself with nobody watching it. In such a busy space it would be easy for someone to walk off with it long before I noticed, but not anymore.

Dreambaby on the go stroller hook with combination lock

The combination lock comes with a default pin which can be changed easily to your own custom pin sequence. The lock is extremely sturdy and would be a definite deterrent to would be thieves, they won't be getting it off any time soon. It would also be great for securing a scooter or bike when at the park or shops. The stroller hook with combination lock is available in large $11.95 or medium $10.95. You can win your own large stroller hook with combination lock by entering the giveaway below.

Dreambaby® products can be purchased online or at Big W, Target, Kmart, Bunnings, Baby Bunting, Toys R Us and a number of other baby stores and chemists. Become a Dreambaby® fan on Facebook and on Instagram to remain up to date with all new product launches. Check out DreambabyTV on You Tube.

Dreambaby® "ON THE GO" Prize Pack


To celebrate the addition of stroller clips and hooks to the Dreambaby® Strollerbuddy On the Go range, I have a Dreambaby® prize pack up for grabs for one lucky Finding Myself Young reader. The prize pack includes a large stroller hook with combination lock and a set of pop colour stroller clips {purple, blue, green and orange} as shown in the image.



To enter simply leave me a comment below letting me know which item you need the most and why? Please remember to also fill out the rafflecopter widget below {so I can contact you if you win}. The easiest way to comment is to choose the name/url option and leave the url section blank. If you're having issues leaving a comment, message me on my Facebook page or email me and I'll help you out.

Good Luck!

Toni x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS
Competition commences 12:00am March 17th 2016 and ends 12:00am April 1st 2016. Entry is open to Australian residents only, excluding ACT. One reader will win a large stroller hook with combination lock and a 4pk of stroller clips from Dreambaby®. Prize is not transferable. Prize will be delivered by Dreambaby®, Finding Myself Young takes no responsibility for prize delivery. This competition is a game of skill and will be judged as such. All mandatory entry steps must be completed to constitute a valid entry. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and excluded from judging. Winner will have 72hrs to respond or prize will be redrawn. This competition is in no way endorsed, promoted or administered by Facebook.

Disclosure - I was gifted a Stroller hook, Stroller hook with combination lock and a 4pk of white stroller clips for the purpose of review. I did not receive payment for this review. All stock images have been used with permission.


Click to read more »

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What it feels like to be infertile

I've written a lot about being infertile over the years, both when I was experiencing infertility for the first time, and now that we're going through it for a second time. For the first three years I battled infertility with my ex-husband I primarily kept quiet about it, except to a handful of friends who I knew were also going through it. Infertility was, and sometimes still is, seen as an extremely taboo subject to talk about openly with people. It's almost impossible for people to understand unless they've experienced it themselves, which I think leads lots of people to feel uncomfortable talking about it. Unfortunately that's never going to change unless more people talk about it.

Going through infertility is extremely isolating and emotionally arduous. Trying to deal with that behind closed doors while keeping a smile on your face in public is exhausting. Having to act like you're fine when you really want to break down in a corner and cry is challenging, but I did it for years. When T and I started fertility treatment back in 2012 I decided that I wasn't going to keep it hidden anymore. I didn't shout it from the rooftops, but I did start opening up about it here on the blog, and eventually in conversations with friends.

I think its important that we talk about our experiences with infertility. Yes people won't like it and people won't know how to react, but over time {probably a long period of time} people will become more educated and more accepting. Above all that, its important for those of us experiencing infertility to feel like we have a right to express our feelings. So with that in mind I thought I'd try to explain what it feels like to be infertile {for me at least}.
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.
It took me almost 4 years to conceive my daughter {I tried to conceive for 3yrs with my ex-husband and almost a year with T} and we've been trying to conceive again for just under a year now. Unfortunately it's not working again so I have sat with these emotions and feelings again on an almost daily basis for months now. Sometimes I hide them under a smile and other times I let it all out and break down {but only when I'm by myself}. This is what it feels like to be infertile.

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE INFERTILE


I feel like a failure. I'm broken on the inside, but nobody can see it.

I hate my body. My body doesn't do what its supposed to be able to do, I feel like I'm not a real woman, even though I am. I want to love my body, but some days I just can't.

My body is no longer my own. It now also belongs to a team of doctors who are trying to reach the same end goal as me. Unfortunately being a female that means numerous people have had their hands, ultrasound wands and other medical instruments inside my who-ha. There's no time to be embarrassed, I had to get over that years ago.

Trying for a baby is not fun. Everyone thinks we just get to have sex a lot and on the surface I agree that does sound like fun, but its not. There are no spontaneous, romantic liaisons going on around here. There is systematic, meticulously timed and often medically aided baby making. Making a baby is no longer a case of do it and cross your fingers, it becomes a very scientific process. After a while its not fun.

It's like being stuck in a tunnel. I have tunnel vision and it's hard to see anything except the goal at the end of the tunnel. Yet it seems so far away. Infertility sometimes impedes my ability to see the good going on around me. Some days all I can see, feel and think about is what I don't have, but desperately want. It can be emotionally debilitating, but I am dealing with it a lot better the second time around.

Infertility causes jealousy and resentment. Yes it's true, when I see a pregnancy announcement I usually get upset {for a little while}. I'm not angry or annoyed at the person who is pregnant, it just reminds me that others are moving on and achieving the dream that I haven't yet, and that hurts my heart a little. I'm happy for them, but sad for me, but in time that feeling passes and I can celebrate and get excited with them.

I'm obsessed with babies. Despite the initial hurt a pregnancy announcement can cause, babies set my ovaries on fire and light up my world. I adore babies and could cuddle your baby all day long. In fact I would babysit your baby whenever you wanted me to. Seriously.

In the end infertility ruined my pregnancy. When I finally got pregnant the first time I was too scared to get excited and feel happy. I kept thinking something was going to go wrong and I would lose the baby. Infertility, and knowing all the things that could go wrong, robbed me of the joy of pregnancy. However, if we get pregnant again, I'm determined to try and enjoy and celebrate that pregnancy a lot more.

I wouldn't wish it on anybody.


It can be an extremely emotional rollercoaster, and occasionally we may lash out, withdraw or breakdown. Unfortunately that is par for the course with the journey we're on. If someone you know shares with you that they're experiencing infertility problems please don't dismiss it or tell them to relax, it's taken a lot of courage for them to let down their walls and let you in. Please just continue to love them and support them and appreciate the fact that they value your friendship enough to let you into their private world.

Toni x
Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.



Linking with Jess

Click to read more »

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Baby sisters

I have it in my head that I want 3 children. I think mainly because growing up as one of two kids I always wished there was another one {probably because I hoped the next one would be another girl so I could have a sister}. To be honest if it was possible, both physically and financially, I'd probably just keep going and have a bunch of kids. T always jokes that I could totally be someone who ends up with a reality tv show for having 10+ kids because I love them so much. He's totally right, well he would be if I didn't value sleep so much.

Of course it doesn't really matter how many kids I want. I don't really get to control how many I have. I've never been able to just decide I want to have a baby and then have one. Infertility has taken that choice away from me in the past and continues to do so at the moment. It doesn't stop me from wanting more children though. If anything it probably makes me more determined to have them. Especially since I've been able to have one. The fact that I know it's been possible once gives me more hope that it'll happen again.

For the past few months its just been T and I who've been obsessed with having another baby. Bub's been totally oblivious to it {apart from visits to our fertility doctor, but she doesn't understand them}. However, as our friends and some of the ladies in mothers group have been adding to their families she's understanding the concept of babies and siblings a lot more. She swings between wanting a baby girl and a baby boy, and then no babies at all. She's never really asked about it specifically, just mentioned it when answering our questions, until this week. The last couple of days she's been asking for baby sisters. Apparently she wants two, at the same time. No pressure on me at all.
I desperately want to give her those two sisters. At this point I don't even mind if they come at the same time. I'll probably change my mind on that if I'm waddling around pregnant with twins later on, but at the moment it seems like killing two birds with one stone and that sounds quite appealing {especially if it means no more fertility treatment in the future}. To be honest I don't even mind if she gets brothers, although that might be a hard sell to explain to her at the moment, but I'll take what I can get.

But what if she's an only child....

I've never really considered that she'd be an only child. I certainly never planned for it to be that way and I still hope it won't be. But at some point I have to come to the realisation that it might actually end up being that way. But not today, today I still believe she'll have siblings. I still believe she'l have those sisters. I'm not ready to give up hope, so I'm going to daydream of her two little sisters right along with her.

Because I want those two little babies just as much as she does.

Toni x


Click to read more »

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Breaking all the blogging rules

I've never been much of a rebel, in fact I'm probably more of a goody two shoes who sticks to the rules, but when it comes to blogging it appears I'm breaking all the rules.

There are a number of blogging experts out there these days {trust me just Google, you'll find loads} and there are heaps of blogging courses, conferences, e-books, planners etc which will all give you an abundance of advice about how to become the next big blogger. I've attended conferences, bought planners and done quite a few online courses and webinars about blogging in the bid to improve my knowledge and try to be a better blogger. Sometimes I come away motivated and full of ideas, and then other times I come away disheartened.

You see it can be really overwhelming receiving loads of advice in a short period of time. Plus then I realise that no matter how much I want to implement all the ideas, I have a 2yr old at home with me 24/7 and she demands my attention about 95% of that time, so try as I might I will never be able to implement all the things {and will probably never make it big as a blogger, but that's totally ok}. Even though I'm not a big blogger, I do still have a relatively successful blog {if I do say so myself} so as much as its good practice to be super organised with blogging, it's also totally ok to not be. 
Finding Myself Young: Breaking all the blogging rules, you can still have a successful blog.


1. I don't have a specific niche


One of the most important things to have as a blogger is a niche, apparently. Because without a niche nobody will find your site and nobody will value your opinion etc, etc. You see the idea is to pick a specific interest category and become an expert in that topic then blog about it til the cows come home so the right people keep coming back to read your really informative posts. I don't doubt that would work well, especially if I was a food blogger or something, but I'm not.

I think its super hard to have a niche as a personal blogger, because in essence the only thing that all my posts have in common is me, and I'm multifaceted so my posts will naturally cover a number of topics. I write about what interests me or what's going on in my life at any point in time. Right now that involves posts about my daughter driving me crazy, cute things she says, our infertility journey the second time around and my photography challenge. If I happen to get pregnant again I will most likely write new pregnancy related posts as well. My interests are diverse and ever changing and not everyone is going to like everything about me and that's fine {thankyou to those of you who love me enough to keep coming back}.

2. I don't solve problems


Apparently before I write my posts I should ask myself if the topic is going to solve someone's problem. If it does it's good, if it doesn't apparently nobody will read it. My problem with this is that I don't know how to solve people's problems, because I'm not a psychologist. While I do occasionally write posts about my experience with traumatic situations, such as post natal depression, leaving my narcissistic husband and living life as a child of suicide; I write them so others who may be facing the same situations feel less alone. I don't write them to solve their problems. I write them to say hey I went through this shit experience and came out the other side and you most probably will too.

3. I forget to write down post ideas


I frequently come up with awesome post ideas and forget to write them down. Bad blogger. My problem is that I usually get post ideas as I'm falling asleep or when I'm in the shower, neither are the ideal time for creative genius to strike. 

4. I don't batch post


One of the most efficient ways to blog is to batch post and write a number of posts in one day. I really think the experts forgot to factor in the tiny human effect when coming up with this plan. I agree it makes total sense to knock out a bunch of posts in one sitting and then have free time for the rest of the week. I'm actually totally envious of people who manage to do it. I probably won't be one of those people until my small child goes to school. You see small children like being the centre of attention most of the day, and on top of that mine doesn't like to sleep until late at night, so the chances of me ever getting a decent block of time in which to sit down and write is pretty much zero.

5. I don't have a publishing schedule


Last year I had a publishing schedule and I published 4 blog posts per week, with certain posts scheduled for certain days. I'm not going to lie it was good having a plan of attack and knowing which posts to publish on which days, however, life caught up with me. I got burnt out and I was spending all my spare time trying to keep up with my schedule. That's when I knew it wasn't working for me and I had to cut back.

6. I don't have a dedicated area to blog


Obviously if I had a harmonious, well organised, quiet, bright and airy office in which to construct literary genius as I saw fit then my blog posts would be amazing. However, I have two major things going against me on this one, a toddler and a townhouse. The toddler ensures nothing is ever harmonious, well organised or quiet and the townhouse just means I don't have enough space for all my stuff, let alone an office. At the moment I blog on the couch with my laptop, usually late at night. It works for now.

***

Sometimes you don't have to follow all the rules the experts tell you to follow and you can still be successful doing things your own way. Most of all its important to do things in a way that works for you and works with your lifestyle or you'll burn out. 

Do you follow a set of blogging rules?

Toni x


Linking with Jess
Click to read more »