It’s been a while


I’ve had some emails and messages lately from those who’ve discovered my blog and are wondering whether I am still writing. There’s a short answer to this and a long one. The short answer is yes, I am still writing blog content but lately I’ve been writing it in private mode since I’m just not in the greatest space and I am mindful that no one really wants to read 30 posts about how I am struggling with managing Levi’s health and the mum gig at the moment.

Yesterday I had a really honest conversation with another mum who is walking a similar journey and she mentioned that she finds it helpful to read the not so great posts, because that’s where we all find ourselves so often and it helps to know we aren’t alone. I know for me, despite the best efforts of everyone around me I am feeling quite alone in this currently.

I have found that when things all fell apart initially with Lily and also with Levi, there’s a stirring with people and they scurry to offer support. I am so thankful for the multitudes of people who have made meals for us, prayed for us, came and washed my car, mowed our lawn. It seriously made the world of difference while we were coming home on oxygen with a newborn and figuring out what all of this meant in terms of daily life. I’ve found though, that once the initial storm settles, there’s this silence that creeps in. Everyone goes back to their lives (rightly so) and then we have to work out this new normal that is our life.

The normality hasn’t come so easy this time around. Hospital appointments have been scattered, leaving some weeks with not even a day at home. Communication broke down between teams for a while there which meant that whilst everyone was able to see the issue, there was no clarity in the best approach to fix it. Fatigue has set in and I can’t quite work out whether I feel worse this time physically and emotionally because I’ve walked this road before and I have a fair idea of the forecast ahead of us; or whether I am just soo damn tired from getting the last kid healthy that I don’t have any steam left.

Isolation is a killer. I get it, it’s not a pretty picture here. Its hard, its messy, and often my house looks like a bad episode of modern family where people are crying, somethings on fire (okay I may have exaggerated there), chaos ensues and then at the end of the day we all just fall in a big heap and brace ourselves for another day.

I’ve been really fortunate to find a small but genuine group of people who have kids with medically complex needs. They too survive on coffee, catch ups with like minded mamas and the occasional stiff drink. And while its helpful to have these beautiful people in my world who can say the right things and just listen without batting an eyelid when I retell the story of my child vomiting purple all through my car; I miss the people who were a part of our village before my life went up in flames. I miss hearing about their lives, their jobs and all the things that I valued and appreciated in them. Just because I’ve had to create a new community to support a part of my life; it doesn’t mean I don’t miss the former one that existed.

I’ve had this post sitting here for just over two months. I’ve struggled with whether to share it. There is something in me that cringes at the core at the thought of appearing lonely, because frankly it feels uncomfortable; but it also implies that those currently in my world don’t do it for me, and that’s absolutely not the case. I am just grieving for the life that we used to have. I miss my work. I miss being Sasha.

I’m still working on the answer to all of this. I don’t have some shiny resolution to sign off with. But that’s where its at. That’s where my heart is.

Sasha Fierce


This beautiful mess

It’s been a really long time since I sat down to write anything, let alone a blog post. The past eight or so months have been one heck of a ride. If you follow me on social media, you would know by now that in August last year we gave birth to a little girl named Lily. Her arrival was quite different to Sophie’s in that she was born a month early due to her not doing so great on the inside. *There is a post about Lily’s arrival that I wrote a while back, but it was set to private until recently. I’ll post the link here

Last week Lily had surgery to repair the laryngomalcia airway defect that has been giving her so much trouble with breathing & feeding. So far I’m trying to stay optimistic but unfortunately we haven’t seen the sudden improvement that we had hoped for in terms of her willingness to eat or drink. I am hopeful that with time, & after a change to some of her treating team, we may be able to get some progress happening. We have agreed to give sleep school a go in the next week to see whether some rest & a better routine will help push her growth along, provide some relief to her current general miserable disposition & also get some eating happening.

Im learning that this is a marathon, not a sprint; & regardless of all of our well thought out plans & intentions we cannot force progress upon Lily that she isn’t ready for.

Lily is here!

She arrived four weeks early and I find myself writing this post, two whole months into the stint; but she’s here! It’s taken me a long time to untangle my feelings around Lily’s birth, so I do apologise for it taking me so long to update this, but I needed to process things a bit before I put them down into words. What was supposed to be a calm, planned csection in September, ended up being anything but that. Regardless of that, she’s here and she’s safe and I guess that’s all that matters right?!

The day prior to her birth, I had an appointment with my obstetrician. Lily’s movements had began to slow a few days prior and I had popped into the maternity ward the night before just to check that everything was okay. I was reassured that she was moving fine and sent home to follow up if anything else came up. I mentioned to my OB that I had been struggling to feel her move for a few weeks now and she very quickly had me move over to the ultrasound table to check it out. It became clear very quickly that something wasn’t right. When the obstetrician literally starts tapping your stomach with the doppler trying to trigger a movement, you know there’s something up. So shortly after that, she scurried me accross the hallway to the Qld Xray suite for a more detailed ultrasound.

Shortly after I had the ultrasound, my OB called and asked me to conference Steve in to the call so she could speak with us together. I knew then, that something was about to go down. She went on to explain that there was a chance that Lily might be delivered with a deformity known as microcephaly. Her scans suggested that she had an abnormally small head due to poor growth and we had been told that she might have brain damage. They wanted to wait until the next morning to deliver so that I could have a round of steroids overnight, so despite being emotionally and physically exhausted from the day we had just had, I didn’t sleep a wink that night. I was so nervous about having a premmie baby, about what it would mean for our family if there was something seriously wrong with her when she was born.

The next morning, we went down to get our little fighter bright and early morning. It was one of the best moments of my life when they placed her in my arms and I knew that she was safe, but at the same time I could feel in my spirit that the struggle wasn’t over. Her doctors reassured us immediately upon delivery that her head appeared normal and that hopefully it was just an error on her scans.

Following her birth, things seemed to be okay initially. She was tired and feeding a bit slow but they reassured me that this was common in 36 weekers. The next day it all fell apart, she crashed hard. She was so fatigued that she would barely rouse and after a few hours of trying to syringe milk, drop by drop into her mouth; they told me she needed to go to special care. It literally felt like someone had ripped a limb off me. There I was, stuck on a maternity ward; surrounded by besotted new parents and their crying babies, visitors coming to meet all the new arrivals and glowing mothers walking the halls whilst I was, babyless. We hadn’t had a chance to tell many people that we were delivering Lily early, and since she wasn’t with me the visitors were minimal.

What I remember so distinctly was that it had been such a surprise to most people that she was delivered early, so a lot of people didn’t congratulate us the same way that they did with Sophie’s birth. I remember sitting alone in the hospital room feeling so hurt. Why weren’t people happy for us? Didn’t they care that we had just gone through the most stressful 24 hours of our lives? Why didn’t people want to visit? I wanted to scream from the rooftops that she was important too. That even though it was a rocky start that she was worth celebrating.

In special care they placed an NG tube to help her gain some strength and feed better. Every two hours I would go and feed her and then they would top her up with EBM through the tube. There were no allowances for cuddles. I was told that every time we held her, it exhausted her little body. So the nurses would see me finish feeding & literally whisk her away and send me back to my room, babyless. A week passed and she grew stronger with each day. Steve was spending a lot of time at work & home, trying to save his leave so that I would have support once Lily & I were discharged. It was the first time I had been away from Sophie for more than a night, and I was struggling with it big time.

We got down to the wire where I was due for discharge but they were unsure whether Lily would be ready to come home with me. The thought of leaving her there alone was petrifying. I dug my feet in and asked for a benchmark that we could aim for in order to be able to take her home.

40g. That’s what got us over the line to be able to take her home, but it felt like so much more than that. Little did I know that the battle was just beginning for our sweet girl with the abundance of hair.

Weekly wrap-up

This Week: was full of appointments, firmer nap times, house cleaning, coffee catch-ups and Mums group. I also helped my friend search for a new place to call home and today we have the concrete going down for the slab for our shed.  So overall, it’s been a pretty good week.

On Monday we had to get an ultrasound for Sophie as she had some digestive issues last week. A few hours after her ultrasound, the plumbing started working again. It’s always the way, isn’t it? Kudo’s to our tiny human though, she didn’t cry once for the whole 30 minutes. The ultrasound tech was really impressed, as was I.

I’ve been working on being a lot more disciplined in implementing Sophie’s routine this week. It has paid off wonderfully. Every night I have made a conscious effort to keep the routine before bed exactly the same, so she knows what to expect. It has made such a difference to the amount of time it takes to get her settled. We have also been working on allowing her to self settle, this has been a little testing in that I needed to learn the difference between noise and crying. Sophie will let out almost a little yell of protest, but within about 3 minutes she puts her head down and drifts off.

We had my Mum’s group on Tuesday. It was such a nice morning. There are a few women who have recently had babies and they made it for the first time, along with some other women who haven’t been in a while. I really look forward to this time being able to connect with other mums and drink fantastic tea. Also, I forgot to get a photo of them but my friend made the most awesome biscuits. I am going to hound her for the recipe and I may even share it.

The ladies at Mammas & Babies. There I am trying to slam dunk my child. No Sophie’s were injured in the making of this photo.

Sophie & her bff Skyler

She was genuinely shocked after waking up from a 4 hour nap during the day. So was I.

I also managed to fold that mountain of laundry that I’ve been avoiding about for a week.

So tell me, what’s been happening in your world this week? What household chores have you been avoiding?

Bye for now

Darling, it never goes away..

We are out of the newborn phase and heading into milestones, solid food and crawling. Whilst I am sad to have lost the squishy baby phase so soon, I’m loving the constant changes that our tiny human gives us. I’ve noticed that with all these exciting changes, brings so many questions about what is ‘normal’, what she should be doing at … months and how the choices we make now will impact on her as she grows.

Some days I feel like we are doing fine and I am so in awe of our daughter, but if I’m really honest, there are others when I feel so consumed with worry that I wonder if it will ever go away.

My latest concern has been that Sophie isn’t yet rolling over from tummy to back. She somehow manages to achieve it when she’s in her bassinet, but put her on the floor & it’s like watching a dolphin waving its tail at SeaWorld. There’s a whole lot of head lifting and moving from side to side but not a lot of rolling. Yesterday I watched about 30 YouTube tutorials on how to help a baby roll over. I’m not kidding, and I did attempt to implement various techniques and subsequently manage to confuse our tiny human. She was fine. She forgot about it moments later when I showed her some flashing lights. Works every time!

I was chatting through this with an older and wiser woman who I sometimes bounce ideas off. She’s been a major support since I was a teenager and it seems no matter what season of life I am navigating, she’s always got some pearls of wisdom for me. After I told her all of the above & then some about feeling completely bombarded with concern, she calmly responded with these words: “Darling, it never goes away”.  How I wish she had lied to me. Could the woman not tell a fib for the sake of my sanity. There was no sugar coating, no softening the blow; just a promise put rather bluntly that I would never stop worrying about my Sophie.

What she said next has stuck with me and  allowed me to ease up a bit. She asked me,  “why do you think the worry won’t ever leave you? Because the unrelenting love that you feel for your daughter won’t”. Well, that had me in a pile of watery mess on the floor.

Maybe I will never stop worrying about this tiny human of mine. I guess the things I worry about will change and evolve as she grows. I only hope that I will learn the art of trusting the process and not giving so much time to worry. I’ve learnt this week that we can choose to be intentional about what goes on in our mind. I’m working on applying that idea more. Instead of worrying so much about whether she can shake a rattle at three months, I’m going to to focus on worrying about the example I am setting for her in the way I treat others. I will worry about how I speak in front of her and I worry about how much time I invest into teaching her how much she is worth. Those things deserve all the time.

What worries you as a parent? Did you get better at dealing with it over time or does it still consume you?


Weekend Wonders

We had a great weekend in our little family. It was father’s day on Sunday so we decided to declare ‘family time’ to give Steve a break from all the work he’s been doing around the house (more on that to come).

We live about an hour from the Gold Coast so it’s not a far drive for us to go down and enjoy the beach whenever we get a chance. After Steve had a morning of mountain biking, we set off for the coast. We chose to have lunch down there as there’s this great little greek place called Greek Street Grill that we like to go to. They do the most amazing tasting plates and we always leave feeling well fed and happy.

After that I had planned to take some photos of Sophie on the beach with my SLR. Unfortunately she has been a little off this week and she had finally fallen asleep so we decided to let her stay in the land of nod for a little longer. We did cheat and take a nice shot of her in the Ergo on the beach.

The water looked amazing and I was half wishing I had brought my board down so I could have a paddle, but there wasn’t much out there and I was so happy to have some time with Steve.

After we walked on the beach I had planned to go to Donut Boyz, but we came across this cool Belgian chocolate café and Steve insisted we go in so he could have some waffles. I saw fondue and caved. I was slightly annoyed at the size they cut my strawberries for the fondue. It made it nearly impossible to keep them on the skewer. The mocha frappe made up for it though.

Sunday was jam packed with church and extended family Father’s day celebrations. Our church bought 300 Donut Boyz Doughnuts and served them up with Ginger Beer after church, we had a great BBQ with my in-laws for lunch. Sophie decided that the celebrating was all too much and took a large nap on the couch. She had a tutu skirt that went with the outfit but the poor little thing has been rather bloated so I took it off her so she was more comfortable.

I’ve been seeing so many photos of Father’s Day celebrations on social media. Tell me, what are your family traditions for days like this? Did you do something special for your other half on his first Fathers Day?


It takes a village

It’s been rather quiet around here lately. For our little family & some others close to us; life just seems to be throwing a few curve balls. I don’t know whether it’s a half year hiatus that arrived a few months late, or that we have been floating on baby cloud nine for the past three months and I’m finally coming back down to earth. Don’t get me wrong, every day is amazing with our tiny human. It’s just that life happens, & I can’t just take a break from parenting you know?

Last fortnight my dad had a fall in the front yard and cracked his head open. He’s okay, other than being less than impressed that I’m now calling him Humpty Dumpty. He had to stay the night in hospital & due to a prior arrangement my Mum was unable to collect him the next morning. Humpty uses a wheelie walker & has poor mobility so it would have been rather difficult to collect him with a tiny human. My mother in-law kindly watched Sophie while I went to pick him up. After retrieving Humpty from hospital; I went to collect my tiny human and started the drive home. As I was driving, I got thinking about this quote:

“It takes a village to raise a child” – African Proverb

It made me realize that over the past few weeks I have seen the above proverb, lived out through the people around me. I don’t know how I would have gotten to this point in motherhood without the support network that I have around me. I am blown away at the support from my husband, my parents, my in-laws & my amazing friends. It’s the little things that have made the biggest difference to our little family.

Little things like: having someone offer to cook us a meal, my mother in-law watching Sophie for me, my Mum coming over to clean my house, & my friends texting me to see how I’m going. I feel for those who don’t have this kind of community around them. I can imagine that it would be really difficult.

There was a time when I didn’t have a lot of people around me. I didn’t have a child, but I had managed to build a proverbial brick wall around myself in some twisted attempt at self preservation. It sucked. A lot. So after a few months of wallowing in self pity, I pulled myself out of my funk and found ways to connect again. I got online and found some groups that were running in my area. I love photography, so once I found a group of people who had something in common with me; it wasn’t so hard to get talking. I also got connected in my local church. The amount of times that my church community have been there to lift me up when I’m feeling heavy have been too many to count. It also means that I now have a resource pool of many generations of mums who have gone before me to bug with questions about tiny humans.

I guess the point I am trying to make is: life is hard & parenting is even harder. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. If you don’t have friends or family around to support you, branch out and find some people who can. I came across this site a few years ago and I tell people about it all the time. is a website with a group for every interest you can imagine. There are groups for web developers, introverts, knitting, mums groups and extreme sports lovers. You can narrow down the search to groups that meet close to your home or city wide. Another way you can branch out is to check out your local play group. If all of these options are still daunting, then please feel free to drop me a line and I can try to help you look at options near you.

I hope whoever you are & wherever you are that you’re having a great week.

Keep living the dream
Sasha Fierce