Thursday, September 14, 2017

I got 'Pink Eye' and that's not the worst part of this story.

A few months ago I got shingles. I was under a lot of stress, barely sleeping and generally not looking after myself. Most people get shingles on the body or limbs. Not Me. Obviously. I got shingles in my EYE. MY EYE! I mean what the hell?

My GP couldn't diagnose it - he sent me to emergency for further tests. It took 2 trips to emergency in a matter of days before I finally got a doctor who suspected it might be shingles. I was sent to a specialist who confirmed that I had a rare diagnosis of shingles in my eye. Of course. If it's not rare it's not for me (please see a post from a few years ago about a rare disease I got during my pregnancy).

It took weeks to recover from - it was extremely painful and I was lucky to get away with with little bit of damage I was left with. But the Dr warned me that anything to do with my eyes going forward had to be taken seriously so last week when I felt like my eye had a bit of grit in it, I made an appoinment to see the GP.

By the time I saw the GP (24 hours after the first sgns), I was pretty sure it wasn't shingles. I was pretty sure it was conjunctivitis. AKA Pink Eye. (A little piece of me dies as I write the words.)

When I saw the Dr he asked me how I thought I'd gotten conjunctivitis. This was my response:

"Well it's either because Zach is going through a phase where he sit's on my head and farts on me or it's because my dog sleeps in my bed with his butt in my direction and he farts a lot."


Crickets chirping.


Finally he speaks "Um well that's not really how you get conjunctivitis...I meant, have you been feeling run down, like your getting sick, are you under a lot of stress...that sort of thing?"

Me (as I wish and hope for the ground to just swallow me up) "Oh. Yeah. Of Course. I was just kidding."

Extreme Awkward.

*Author will need to find a new GP as she can never see him again. Ever.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Why I have a can of Mortein in my car

I gave a friend a lift recently - the car was a mess - full of mini dinosaurs, bits of bark and sticks (Zach's latest obsession), popcorn, sultanas - you know the normal "I have a toddler" stuff.  But that didn't bother her - she did however curiously ask why there was a can of bug spray rolling around the floor of the car.

A few months ago I had dinner at a friends place. They're keen gardeners and offered me some plants for my new home. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner - homemade pizzas, good wine  (just one glass thanks!) and great company. When it was time to go my car was packed full of fabulous plants - Frangipani's and succulents.

The drive home was about 35 minutes and it was raining. I was in a great mood, singing at the top of my lungs to whatever was playing on the radio. But all was not right and a sense of dread came over me. I turned the radio off. I sensed something moving aboveme. I prayed "please don't be a spider, please don't be a spider". I dared not look up...and I didn't need to because 4 cockroaches scuttled over me and onto the windscreen. I screamed. Oh I screamed like a little girl. But what could I do? I was on the freeway driving at 100km/ph and it was raining. I kept as good an eye on those roaches as I could while they scuttled about the windscreen, taunting me, teasing me, threatening me. Little Fuckers. I can only imagine what the scene looked like - me screaming while roaches ran around owning the car. Every little itch or twitch I thought was another creature - I dont know, maybe crawling in my hair, down my back or worse in my ear!

I drove home as carefully as I could. Obviously I was stuck behind every slow driver that ever existed, stopping at every red light possible and I swear that garage door took twice as long to open! I ran into the house and grabbed the mortein and a fly swat. I then sprayed the shit out of the car...and the plants. I made sure I found those 4 litte bastards and killed them good and proper. I took the plants out the car as quickly as I could and sprayed the car again for good measure...maybe an entire can...maybe.

The next morning...after dreams of bugs crawling all over me...I tentativly went to the car. I couldn't be sure but I felt those 4 roaches weren't working alone. I opened the back passenger door behind the drivers set. It was fucking carnage - at least 15 dead cockroaches on the floor. I didn't know wether to scream, cry or laugh. I checked the rest of the car - another 10 roaches. It was traumatic to say the least.

I messaged my friend to say thank you for dinner, the plants and the cockroaches that attacked me. Her response? "Oh cockroaches, I'm surprised they weren't redbacks."

This is why I now ALWAYS have a can of mortein in the car.

*many cockroaches were harmed in the making of this story
*the author does not care - they deserved it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Im Officially the Worst blogger ever!

Ok. It's official - I am possibly the worst blogger in the world and I am completely fine with that title. Who has the time?!?! I work, I have a toddler, I have a life...oh wait - not much of a life, but I'm trying! But as the end of another year approaches I feel the urge to write and I honestly don't care who reads this and if no-one read it that's ok too because this is for me and I am no good at keeping a journal (no surprises there) so this is the format I choose.

2016 has been a massive roller coaster and I am looking forward to seeing the back of it. Roller coasters are overrated anyway. There have been so many noteworthy moments but so many I'd rather forget too. But here's what I have learnt about myself:

1. I'm funnier in person than as a writer (great, this blog is doomed). I'll work on it!
2. I am hard working (this could be read as 'workaholic, but whatever)
3. I am determined - to succeed, to be happy, to live an AMAZING life...and have a marginally interesting blog
4. I can't do boring or mundane - I can do relaxed and chilled out and they are totally different.
5. I want a life that is completely full to the brim, I want adventures and explorations and experiences - I may even go a tent...oh yes, this 5-star princess is challenging her own beliefs!
6. I want to be the very best version of me that I can be. I want my son Zach to grow up seeing a mum who loves life, challenges the norm but can also get on with the day to day things. I want to challenge his thinking, his ideas and his creativity so that he too can be his very best.
7. It's important to me that a portion of my time, of my life, is given to others in some way. This is not only fulfilling personally but is important in becoming the best version of me. When we do things for other, we aren't focusing on ourselves and that is a good thing. Outward thinking - it's a thing.
8. I am far too obsessed with how I look and not in a positive way. For the past 3 years, I have forgotten to look after myself, putting Zach and my family first. This is ok, but not at the expense of ones self. I am reclaiming me and getting my 'Shine' back... kind of like how Stella got her Groove back...hahaha...please refer to point #1.
9. Life is going to get harder before it gets easier and 2017 will be a big one. There will be huge changes and it won't be easy, but I am not alone and I am surrounded by love
10. I will often trip, but I always get back up... Always.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A shared journey is a great journey!

In my previous post I told the story of our journey to have a child - it was a long, expensive, emotional one. Announcing our pregnancy to our families was a moment of extreme joy, but with a little hesitation too - they had known about our previous 3 pregnancies and it was also heartbreaking for them when we lost them - because they are my 'village' and we all felt the losses.

Around the same time we started doing our IVF cycle for Zachary's pregnancy, my younger brother Roh and his wife Bec had started trying for a baby (I won't lie a small part of me hoped they would take a few months so that we could enjoy being the centre of attention for a while!). But I had a suspicion - I'd seen Bec at my older brothers house and I could have sworn she held her tummy - you know in that protective way pregnant women do... and she was being very cautious about what she ate. My spidey senses were tingling and I felt a small rush of hopeful excitement. Sure enough a week after our announcement, Roh and Bec announced that they too were pregnant!!! My instinctive reaction was tears - happy tears - I love them and this was amazing news! The idea of having someone I love travel the journey with me was awesome! Not only were they pregnant, they were due 4 days after us!!! I know that it would have been a little stressful for them during the weeks prior to the announcement - hopeful that our pregnancy would go the distance. When we reached the 12 week mark I am sure they let out the biggest sigh of all! They are sensitive and thoughtful like that.

Comparing Beautiful Bellies - I was HUGE!!!
Over the next few months of our pregnancies Bec and I bonded over the joys, the emotions, the cravings, the morning sickness (hers... I didn't have any but Bec had it quite badly), our ever changing bodies and the anticipation of motherhood. We spent time together, did Pre natal aqua and pilates together and we felt comforted by each other. When Zachary came early Bec was there to support me - especially emotionally! We'd been out of hospital a few weeks  and Zachary was 7 weeks old when Bec went into Labour - Isabella Helen was born on the 9th December 2013. A delicious chubby black haired beauty! It was love at first sight! I new that our children would be blessed to have each other and hoped they would become great friends!
Bec and the beautiful Isabella minutes after her birth I have SO much love for these two

Zach and Isabella Meet for the first time - already copying each other - born to be friends!
Over the past 9 months Bec Isabella, Zachary and I have spent most of our days together (we are in a mums groups formed from the women we met at Aqua, plus we live 3 minutes drive from each other!) And we have watched and marvelled at how our children grow and change daily. We discuss the latest issues and concerns and we share our babies everyday milestones. We giggle, we sigh, we cry together and we a united in our desire to be the best version of ourselves we can be for the sake of not just babies and our husbands, but for ourselves too. It had to have been God planned that we would take this ride together - he must have known that we'd need each other and I am so grateful for that. When we don't see each other for even just a few days we feel the loss!
I love the way these two are together - so loving!

Roh and Isabella

Together Bec and I are blessed with wonderful families  - between my family and hers we are lucky to have parents who are involved and interested and supportive of us. We have siblings who love our babies like they are their own and nieces and nephews who adore their new cousins.

It takes a village to raise a child. This is a story about one part of my village - but she's an amazing part!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Identifying my Identity

It's been a while since i last wrote a post for my blog. A lot has happened. Big things. Life changing events. I have a new identity. I'm a mum now.

Zachary Flynn Baker - Life: Day 1

After 5 years of trying to fall pregnant, 2 years of IVF, 3 miscarriages, many tears and lots of $$$ spent, Andrew and I had our prayers answered. On Friday 25th October 2013, at 2:05am Zachary Flynn Baker entered the world. 7 weeks early, weighing just 1.7kilos, our little man came screaming into this world after a what must have been a rude awaking for him! I was very sick, having developed a life threatening disease called 'Acute Fatty Live in Pregnancy'. After 4 days at St John of God Hospital Murdoch where I had been monitored closely whilst doctors tried to figure out what was going on with me, I was finally sent to King Edward Memorial, as it was clear that I would have to deliver our baby early (SJOGM nursery isn't set up for babies under 34weeks). At 1am on Friday morning the doctor woke me up and asked how long it would take Andrew to get to the hospital....Zachary was delivered by emergency c-section an hour later. Later I found out that my organs had begun to shut down and there was cellular breakdown occurring within my organs. The way to stop the disease was to deliver. We were so very blessed that Zachary was healthy - tiny, but healthy. 

So now I have a new identity. I'm a mum. This is what I yearned for. This is what I felt I was put on this earth for. I should be a natural...right? WRONG! It's taken me 9 months to finally be able to say that I am enjoying motherhood. Zachary was in hospital for his first few weeks - i visited him from 7am till 7pm every day. Then I went home at night and did normal things, like cook dinner, watch TV, sleep (with a little breast pumping thrown in).

Zachary Flynn Baker - Leaving Hospital

Then we brought our little man home, now weighing 2 kilos and wearing 000000's (6x0's) instead of 0000000's (7x0's). It wasn't till I brought him home, that reality started to kick in - I was now a mum and this little guy depended on me for absolutely everything. There were no nurses to get me his milk or tell me when he fed overnight or to help me try and get him to latch on to my breast. It was all up to me (and his dad of course!). What I wasn't anticipating was getting Post Natal Anxiety. This did not sit well with the picture in my head of what I would 'look' like  as a know - Perfectly groomed at all times, house spotless, baby happy, sleeping & feeding well, dinner on the table - the picture where I'm always happy and smiling and where motherhood is as natural to me as walking! For months I let that (unrealistic) picture of perfection cloud my reality, invade my confidence and take away from all the great things I was doing. It clouded my ability to see how amazing Zach was, how well he was doing, how despite being 7 weeks premature he was giving his cousin Isabella (born the day before Zach's due date!)a good run for her money. My anxiety was my dark cloud following me everywhere. I was so lucky to have a fabulous Child Health Nurse and a compassionate GP - both encouraged me to seek help and support and they sent me to St John of Gods 'Raphael House'. 
Zach and his dad
Zach - such a personality!

Zach meets his new cousin Isabella

Today was my 7th counselling session and we reflected on my first session where I was inconsolable, I could barely speak, I just cried. Today I was laughing and marvelling at my beautiful  boy who was making his way around the room looking for adventures. I identified my identity and it wasn't the (unrealistic) perfect image and I'm ok with that. I'm flawed, I make mistakes, I get it wrong sometimes...and that's what is going to make me the best mum to Zach. I've identified my identity. My identity is me.

Zachary Flynn Baker and his mum... Me.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Getting To the End of the 12WBT

Well it has been a fair while since my last post - it's been a busy time for me!

About 6 weeks into the Michelle Bridges 12WBT I began a 2 week stint working on MasterChef - I organised a two week filming schedule of fabulous challenges, based here in WA. So, I said farewell the husband and dog and moved into my hotel room at the Crown Promenade (no not the fancy Metropol, that's reserved for the talent and contestants - we plebs stay in the lesser fancy, but still lovely Promenade). 

Anyone who has ever worked on a show as big as MasterChef ( or anyone who's stayed in a hotel for 2 weeks!) knows the difficulties of eating right, exercising and staying focused on personal goals of any sort. To start with, as part of my job, I was invited to many dinner meetings - I have to attend and often the host is the chef so I must eat politely what is put in front of me. You trying saying no to the very suave and lovely Mr Guillaume Brahimi with whom i dined several times!

I was able to get in a bit of early morning exercise at the beginning of the week, but once we started filming, I was simply just exhausted - 12 - 15 hour days (and 1 x 22 hour day!) takes a lot out of a person - especially one who is doing IVF. However, I was more active than normal, just by being on set and I felt slightly better about the situation.

We had an amazing 2 weeks and I loved being back in the game - but it did not help my 12WBT journey. I didn't put any weight on, but I didn't lose any either. When I saw my husband at the end of the 2 weeks however, he looked AMAZING! He'd lost more weight and was really starting to look a whole lot slimmer - he seemed to have coped with his short stint as a bachelor just fine! I am so proud of him!

We've reached the end of the 12WBT program now and we are definitely better for having done it. Healthier, Happier, Positive, Motivated, Educated. We highly recommend the program and if you're a couple, doing it together is totally worth while.

Stay tuned for a final wrap up of my 12WBT thoughts, coming in a few weeks.

Monday, April 1, 2013

WK4-7 12WBT The Harsh Truth

It's been a while since my last blog entry - it's been a very 'full' few weeks. So here's the bare truth of the situation...

When I signed up for Michelle Bridges 12WBT i weighed in at 78 kilos...yep you read that correctly at just 153cm tall, I weighed 78. I am embarrassed to say it out loud and i know i am not alone. However, whilst there have been some ups and down, at week 7 I weighed in at about 73's not much change since week 4, but it's not more and that's a win. I'll take those 5 kilos and gladly kick them to the curb. Whilst I'm a little disappointed it's not more than 6 kilos yet, I am not going to be too harsh on myself and here's why...

1. I am doing IVF - pumping ones self full of hormones has many side effects. 
- Emotionally: I have no control over emotions - i can cry at the drop of a hat, be completely irrational and be down without having a reason - none of which I can control or change. Plus i want to have a baby - and not being able to is the most emotional situation I have ever been in.
 - Physically: During certain points in the process I am under instruction not to do anything that will increase my body temp - this means walking not just workouts. for a period of about 4-5 days I pretty much lay low and try to do nothing. Also, the drugs can make you retain water, feel bloated and without doing anything can completely exhaust you. 

These are genuine medical situations and are not excuses. Here's what I was able to do: I was able to stick to the diet and that is the reason why my weight has not gone up. By maintaining good eating habits I have been able to stick by my goals and wishes for a healthier life.

2. Now splattered into the past few weeks have been some extreme situations. I am back working on MasterChef - I'm just consulting for a couple of months, but I found myself pulling 60hours in 5 days - which normally I could handle but with IVF on top of that I was tired - workouts were put aside, but I was very active during that week and made sure I walked as much as I could.

Working on MasterChef can be directly related to eating of fabulous food. But here's the thing - whilst i did eat out a fair bit, my stomach had shrunk and I only ate small portions. I was so aware of of what I was putting in my mouth, that I when I walked away from meals not feeling stuffed, not having overeaten, I felt so proud of myself.

3. It seems I have a social life after all: all these months I thought my social life was over - but it's not...and part of that has to do with how good I am feeling about myself! My business partner Eamon opened his new restaurant on Thursday and the party was fabulous - I wore a slink dress, had my hair done and I felt a million bucks - it totally helped that I got loads of compliments too! 

Getting dressed up is something I am starting to love again - so is my husband. He's looking AMAZING! He's lost almost 8 kilos, he's riding his bike much more often and even rides with a group of friends on Saturday mornings. He just seems a lot happier too. I am  so proud of him!

So here's the harsh truth of the situation - I haven't lost any weight for the past 2weeks, but i haven't gained any. Circumstances have affected my ability to exercise, but I am monitoring my food. How I eat, exercise and my health are always on my mind. The 12WBT has changed me already - In mind body and spirit!