From Surviving to (Almost) Thriving

The journey back from ‘Survival Mode’ is a bit of a tricky one.

Things you could overlook before or give yourself grace for avoiding now form part of a murky grey zone. A few weeks ago, a good day would have included getting up from the couch to stop Eli and Hudson from *really* hurting each other, and making sure they and I had some form of food throughout the day. Now, not quite back to normal but with enough energy to do most things, I have to make sure I’m neither cruising too much or overdoing it. This is not an easy tightrope to tread.

For what seems like a long while, night times have included not much more than crashing into bed after the kids are tucked in and watching Masterchef or The Voice episodes. Last night we had a surprise drop in from our neighbour, Natalie, which led to a lengthy chat at the front door. She had come to see if we had meant to have our garage door wide open for the past few hours! (Whoops!) When we finally said ‘good-night’ and headed inside, I felt energised and buoyed. Instead of heading straight to bed, I spent some time with Dave updating the Tribe website and Facebook page and was still buzzing by bedtime. It is good to know that when my limited capacity is stretched, it can lead to some good results.

Even now, after putting (and re-putting) both kids down for their naps, and feeling somewhat discouraged by the frustrating process, I glumly opened the computer screen and went to click on a show. Then I remembered the experience last night and decided to blog instead. So far I’m feeling much better than I would have with the first option, despite having to interrupt the typing to go and re-convince Eli it was still time to have a sleep. “But for how many minutes, Mum? One or two or three or four or five?” Try ninety, my friend.

It is interesting to think that we would have been meeting Frankie any day now.  One of my really close friends is about to give birth to her daughter, but the funny thing is that it is more triggering memories of Hudson’s difficult birth rather than mourning what would have been. In some ways, the recent intensity of life has left us grateful that we still have 6 months to go before we add a third child into the mix. I think that going through the miscarriage actually allowed me to deal more with the trauma of Hudson’s birth and gain confidence that the situation would not be repeated, thanks to my initial debrief with my new obstetrician.

In other ways, it is difficult to feel absolute joy this time around. Some of my naivete has been replaced by the grim reality of what a miracle creating life is and how it cannot be taken for granted. Though I wish I tended more to the appreciative rather than the defeatist perspective. We have started telling people that we are expecting and I realised that I have been almost acting like commiserations are being given rather than congratulations. Dave has noticed that he is only now starting to actually recognise the (joyful) reality of the pregnancy, rather than the ‘let’s just get through this and hope it isn’t for nothing’ attitude. It’s an attitude I really need to ditch too.

There are so many things that we take for granted in life. Just last night Dave and I got onto a tangent of talking strategies of what we would do if suddenly all the power and water was cut off and we had to go back to absolute basics as a society. It really makes you think how we have so much and life is so much easier than it could be. I don’t want to be guilty of living this way, especially in terms of the privilege of being able to raise two children with the expectation of another one on the way. We are truly blessed and (for want of a better word) lucky.

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