Worth the wait

As we see the summer flowers colours dull and the sumptuous caramel golden sign of autumn around us I am grateful.

I have been a SAHM, how I loathe that title, for over 5 years now. I have found that along with the daily madness of 6 children that my lifestyle brings I have so much time to think and reflect.

This time last year things were fraught, relationships strained and stress loads high as we dealt, as a family unit with ill health amongst us.

My husband had triple heart bypass surgery.

I’ve posted about the emotional roller coaster previously but am so proud of us all as a family getting through it.

As parents we worry about how things will affect our children and it is only now nearly a year down the line that I can truly relish in the super little human beings that I am raising.

Adjustments had to be made financially, socially and on a day to day basis. No one moaned about missed after school activities, or that what they had been excited and keen to do but wasn’t achievable.

With the new school year it has given me great joy to have signed my patient, thoughtful girl up for Brownies a movement which she will love. Her excitement about badges, team work and camp have made my heart sing. I stayed her first evening. Watching her smile with her friends and participate in something which she had longed to join for so long was very rewarding. Seeing her cradle her special books walking home in the evening- priceless.

Football after school classes are giving the boys at primary schools good physical outlet for their endless energy. I love the coach an older gentleman who is firm and fair. We are not a ‘football’ family but enjoying this weekly exercise and fun is having positive affects in both of them.

The elder has also joined Cubs and is experiencing all the fun which goes with that movement. Having time away from both little brothers and big brother to be himself. Do silly things which 8 year olds do and love life. He was full of boundless eagerness to go and I’m just a wee bit regretful I was unable to give him the experience of Beavers the year previous.

The almost youngest, whom I think was most affected by all the changes that ill health and stress brought, is still my absolute shadow. At times it is overbearing as you feel slightly claustrophobic,especially when awaking to find him snoozing right beside you in bed. But this amazing fellow who has just discovered letters and reading won’t always be small and I am so moved that during the time when things were rough I was there for him and in all honesty he was there for me too. The harshness of the situation brought about a wee connection and bond that I cherish.

My eldest, whom I admire every day has coped academically. He’s learned to cope with workloads of school, whilst dealing with major issues and provided me with a tea drinking compadre. I’m extremely biased but he’s maturing and growing in confidence and I just couldn’t be more proud of how he conducts himself.

The season of change has brought us as a family saying goodbye to the baby days, everyone is loving our toddler and her cheeky quirkiness she brings our team. She brings smiles to frowny faces and song to everyday life. It really is a great privilege to see this wee character unfold and develop everyday.

Then there’s my husband, this partner in my crazy roller coaster life. I’ve seen a man who faced his fears, accepted his fragility and has built himself back up from his time of woe. He’s grabbed life by the horns securing a new job, enjoying his musical scene and working so hard at both. We know he did this for us, the family and what we work hard at each day for -the kids. I’m planning a cracking birthday party for him to mark his 40th year and exactly a year since his procedure.

Then there is me who questions her ability at most things and who’s confidence is not always at its highest. But I coped, through tears and heartache and I’m ok.

It’s made me appreciate the precious gift I have of a fabulous family, supportive loved ones and friends. I’m aware that even without support I am capable of doing it alone.

So this year has been ‘worth the wait’ to see everyone thriving, healthy, happy and enjoying life makes me a very happy Mamma GC x

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Argghhhh no water

A house filled with children accumulates a lot of washing. I am sitting here washing basket fit to burst and last nights dinner dishes shamefully needing cleaned. But everyone is entitled to kick back on Friday night aren’t they?

Turn tap on – No Water!!! Few phone calls later two burst pipes in the area. Nightmare!!

Meanwhile, we are all getting ready to go for an afternoon out to soft play. Throw in teenage angst and pre five meltdown and our party has separated. I’m home with non compilers.

So what better thing to do don some red lippy and just smile!

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Reflection

Of late I have embarked upon a period of reflection. After a pretty scary end to last year involving my husband and major surgery I am glad of the calm pace 2014 has given us, thus far.

In life we are given choices, some decisions I have made have not been the best but I am not going to dwell on them. I will learn from my experiences and move on with my life.

From all my life experiences homelessness, loss, failure, success and achievements- all my decisions have brought me to this moment in time. I’ve been able to provide support to my husband in his journey post operatively back to health, keep my home life steady for my young brood and nothing gives me greater joy or satisfaction.

I’ve struggled in the past with self belief and my confidence levels could be improved massively. But this period of adjustment has highlighted my strengths. I am determined, capable, and fiercely independent. I could dwell on the sadness and stressful moments ill health has brought our family but I won’t. I am choosing to embrace each day and truly be thankful for all that I have.

Congenital heart disease I thank you- for giving us the signals of poor health which enabled us to get help to rectify the problem, for making ‘us’ thankful for what have in each other as partners/ a family unit every day, for starting a stirring of self belief in someone who had lost her way and is capable of so much more .

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Cry me a river

The past few days have been a complete emotional nightmare. Around a fortnight night ago we learned that my husband would need a triple heart bypass. A complete shock for us all as a family and a life changing event for all involved.Which has brought tears on many an occasion.

I have spoken previously about my complete fear of anything medical, when we were going through corrective foot surgery for my daughter just a small number of months ago. So it would seem that someone, somewhere is trying very hard to rid me of my fear.

I was a complete jumble of mixed emotions fearful for my husband to endure such a painful, risky procedure and heartache about the risks involved.

Once the harsh news was broken about the severity of my husbands condition all routines and life as we knew ceased to exist. To be honest a lot of our lives had changed to adapt to Alistair’s symptoms – tiredness, shortness of breath etc whilst tip toeing round irritability and worry on his part too. We seems to go from an organised, dependable strong family unit to a jumbled mess.

In among the mixed up happenings of life I was able to secure a babysitter (My wonderful supportive Mum)to enjoy a night just me and my fabulous husband – to celebrate his 39th birthday.
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A beautiful night full of laughter good food and even better wine was had, fears discussed and plans for dealing with our future put in place.This short evening had given us the opportunity to think collectively as a couple and in turn put each other at ease with the madness which had so quickly become our reality.

We were given a date for the actual operation and it was then that I began to experience insomnia. I would be dead on my feet after a busy day of dealing with 6 lively children and a poorly husband but I just could not sleep. My mind was in overdrive. I tend to over think the most trivial of happenings but this major issue looming in front of us in our not too distant future had me consumed.I admit crying myself to sleep on more than one occasion my husband asleep beside me unaware.

I wanted to go with my husband and show him the support he so rightly needed upon admission to hospital. Even though the smell and clinical atmosphere of hospitals make me sick to my stomach my place was to be right by his side, for richer, for poorer in sickness and in health.

It was a long and exhausting day full of many moments of extreme emotion. Worry, panic, fear, apprehension circled all of us involved as we meet various medical professionals who would be attending to my most favourite person on the planet.I had a low pulling feeling in my chest as if you had misplace or lost something and not knowing where to find it. The hardest thing I have ever had to do was leaving my strong, brave, precious husband behind that evening I was glad of the support from my in – laws that evening.
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The day of the procedure seem a bit of a blur to me, even though it was just a few days ago. I remember crying, crying and crying a little more. The fragility of my emotions lead me to just wanting to stay in my wee bubble in my house which I share with my wonderful family. Too frightened of the emotions breaking through during nursery / school runs I believed it was the best thing to do.

Once I was made aware of the success of the operation and that my soul mate was to be ok it was like a huge pressure had lifted off my shoulders and let me breathe a bit more easier. We had agreed that I would not attend the hospital whilst Alistair was in ICU as i think the visions of him in such horrific circumstances would have haunted me for the rest of my life. I also had to ensure the children were supported and at that specific time they needed their Mum just as much as I needed them.

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The next day we were reunited in HDU which I was petrified to even enter. I had to look beyond the wires and medical equipment which were connected to monitors and medicine and focus on the wonderful individual who had helped me learn to love again, made me a wife and given me the most wonderful gift of our beautiful children. Suffering from pain and still groggy it was amazing just to be able to hold hands and have that connection with each other again. I was also able to present him with our family homemade gift of a hug, made using all our hand prints and a piece of ribbon. This activity kept the whole family busy before dinner the previous evening.

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We were all delighted by my brave mans recovery and it was not long that he was able to join the ward and begin his road to recovery. I noticed my children were a bit out of sorts and the essential things needing done in the house were spiraling out of control. Mountains of washing and dishes needing washed. SO i chose to forfeit my visit to the hospital take stock of what needed done and get on with it. This was hard as obviously the only place I truly wanted to be that day was by his side.

This run of events and ordeals to cope with had in turn done something positive. I feel I have regained a large chunk of my self confidence which has been missing for such a long time. I had the faith in myself that I could do things and I will cope. Today our adventure was all 7 of us visiting Dad in hospital. Taxis and trains taking us to the head of family which is exactly where we all should be. Seeing the smiles of both my children and the man I love as they saw each other again was priceless. A truly wonderful visit full of positivity and family love.

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I felt full of good energy and relaxed as travelling home with my small brood. All was well – my husband was recovering and importantly I was coping with it all. We were lucky enough to catch an awesome sunset on the way home. Truly splendid and a sign I believe that everything shall be alright.

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My Brave little Girl

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Last time i blogged i was discussing the feeling of worry i was experiencing because my little girl was to undergo some corrective surgery to her foot. As parents we are programmed to protect our children and i knew this operation would be painful, but also necessary.

We set off a little party of three to the hospital – Lyra been nil by mouth in preparation for her operation. My little princess so unaware of the big events of today.

Upon arrival we were shown to a ward where a delightful nurse put us at ease – this still did not stop me bubbling like a baby myself. Our little star was full of smiles throughout. Once all formalities had been performed we were free to go and play yay!

There were two different rooms one playroom for before operations and one for after. The room steadily filled up with other parents and children here for other types of surgery. Parents looking anxious clutching at small overnight bags and children dressed in pj’s playing – as children do. 

We were made dinner on plastic plates by a young girl and Lyra was chatting to a wee girl who was busy at the arts and craft table. As the morning went on names were called and the children filtered out of playroom one to have their procedure. We were given a rough guide as to when we would be taken and as the clock slowly ticked away I knew our time was nearly upon us. 

Lyra began getting very fractious missing her regular feeds and snacks of the day and general tiredness was overtaking her small frame. She was wanting the comforting milk from me and I was not allowed to give her any – heart breaking. She settled for a while in her daddy’s arms but her rest did not last long. I took her a wee walk up and down the length of the playroom and she let sleep win. 

A nurse came in and said her name. My heart jumped – it was time. Seeing her little tiny self held in her daddy’s strong arms I thought I would be hysterical but somehow i knew she would be ok. I found comfort in another mother who had been through this with her son on various occasions and her kind words of reassurance I will never forget.

She was sleeping soundly under the safe watch of nurses and the team looking after her. This gave us the chance to stretch our legs and get some fresh air and pick up a wee token   for being such a brave girl.Image

 

After some soggy sandwiches purchased in a garage on a way to the hospital that morning, a wee flick through a magazine and some banter with my husband to lighten the atmosphere and worry- which was so evidently spread across my brow she was in recovery- all was ok. 

Filled with dread of how she would be – screaming in pain etc I went through to my wee star. Lying in her Daddy’s arms a small whimper coping with everything around her- my brave little girl. Famished from fasting for her operation i was keen to feed her. Accomodating post operation equipment and a large bandaged foot was a new nursing experience for us both but such a rewarding experience – the nurse congratulated me that this was thee best medicine she could have 🙂Image

 

She was sleepy but within half an hour was back to her usual cheeky playful self. All that worry and heartache for nothing. It is amazing just how much that children can cope with, even better than their parents. I am thankful that she is ok and pleased to live in a country where she was able to get the corrective treatment she needed. 

I thank Mr Watson and his team at Yorkhill hospital for looking after my family forever in your debt X

Being wheezy, isn’t easy !

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The past week has thrust upon me a very difficult situation. I have been asthmatic for as long as I can remember- always my friend Ventolin Inhaler on my person 24hrs a day. But this week I had a terrible scare.

Well cast back to last year at roughly this exact time of the year I had a severe reaction to a nut, resulting in Anaphylaxis !!!!! Most scary experience known to man and I have lived through a few.  Since then I have been vigilant in the looking after of myself for me, but also for the family. As I am the main care giver and responsible for most goings on within the home. 

I have mentioned I always carry my reliever inhaler with me at all times. They are in every room of my house and possibly every hand bag I own lol! I also have to carry some epi -pens a bottle of piriton tablets and identification cards alerting medical care givers to my known allergies.Nightmare really -no small clutch bags for me from now on. 

Well last Tuesday I had a very busy day as hubby is off early to work but also had two other planned activities for the evening. I was delighted when I was able to get all younger 5 children bathed and in bed hooray single handed ( with a wee bit of assistance from older siblings entertaining younger ones whilst the neccesity of hair washing and the like were carried out.) I do admit that at the end of the day I was very tired but was still standing …just!

The following day we always try and attend our local toddlers group. I think it is important to escape the confines of your home and chat with others and it provides a wonderful setting for the kids to socially interact, build friendships and play freely. So that particular Wednesday was no different. Kids all turned out – I even had time for myself to get ready – which was more than a quick splash out the sink and some leave in dry shampoo lol!!

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Once there we had great fun dress up, role play decorating biscuits and having a ball. Towards the end of the session my youngest son was being mischievous running in and out of the main playroom and up a huge flight of stairs at one point. My tiredness from the evening before had caught up with me and I was looking forward to chilling out at home. So belongings gathered we made our way home. 

Its so beautiful at this time of year where I stay as the blossom in all in full bloom and petals scatter around you like small puffs of candyfloss dancing in the breeze. But it was this natural beauty which was to be the trigger for my down fall. My breathing became laboured I felt my temperature soar and tried my hardest to just get myself indoors , take my medicine and all would be well. BUT NO!!!!! I left the changing bag at the toddler group. Luckily my 5 month old was sleeping and the older two could sense Mummy was not well. I panicked!!! 

After a few bursts of my inhaler I remembered I had the organiser of the groups number was in my phone and got on the case of my bag getting to me. Hooray! Within minutes a few friends delivered my bag to me and almost instantly the overall feeling of dread and doom subsided, my heart stopped racing so much and I was calmer. So thankful to my friends Rena and Gillian you are stars!!!!

I think being responsible for so many people and their time tables, needs and wants makes me, even though I would not possibly admit it in any other circumstances, very controlling. I think that is why this past half week i have found so unbearably depressing and unnerving as I have had to sit  back and relax ( doctors orders accompanied with a short dose of wonder drugs steroids to sort my chest situation out.) 

So today, now in the wee hours of Monday morning I am beginning to feel like myself. I had a super better day today been able to cook and contribute to the day to day goings on in the household. I have wound down with the help of a few good movies Chocolat , The Hobbit and a large glass of red wine. Ready to face the next week rested and recouperated – which might be necessary as the youngest three have all started to display early signs of chicken pox grrrrrrr!!!!
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