Those damned medications
Blog – She Loves Life Over 50
My first grandee
Plans for 2017
My life changed suddenly one day in June
…when my daughter, who was then 20 weeks pregnant, discovered she was at risk of losing her baby.
We’ve been in this situation before; 3 years ago when wee Connor was born at 21 weeks, and being too premature to survive, died shortly after. (Here’s my Tribute to Connor.)
But this time things are different
Once her specialist decided that everything had been done to halt the immediate risk, the next step to ensure bub’s safety was for my daughter to go on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy. That’s when my new job started.
So for the past 12 weeks, I’ve been her day-time carer. Her partner heads out to work and I turn up a couple of hours later. I do some housework, cook dinner and keep my daughter plied with nutritional, mini meals.
At first we were all very nervous about getting to the point where bubs had a chance to survive if she was born prematurely. But once that scary four week period was over, we settled into a gentle rhythm.
Each day passes quietly. A highlight as spring has come, is watching flocks of tuis plunder the kowhai trees on their property here in Upper Hutt.
The only thing to disturb our gentle routine is a visit to the maternity care unit at Hutt Hospital for a scan or an appointment. Often followed by a drive-through visit to McDonalds. (Pure luxury!)
I admire my daughter’s dedication to sticking with her specialist’s directions, as well as her ability to stay cheerful and positive. This baby is being given every chance.
A different sort of celebration
We congratulate ourselves every day – that nothing happens.
There’s a real sense that this pregnancy is a celebration for everyone involved. The specialist beams when we turn up to the 4-weekly appointments. And yesterday it was the midwife’s turn to show her delight at how well things are going. (We are so lucky to have such great maternity support here in Wellington.)
The excitment is building. As each week passes we are more reassured. Baby clothes are purchased, the retro bassinet restored and nappies ordered. Everyone is looking forward to welcoming this little girl in a few week’s time.
I can’t wait to meet my grand daugher. It’s been a long, painful four years for my daugther and her partner. I admire their courage and patience.
So what’s been happening in the rest of my life?
My mental health: Until recently I considered myself ‘in recovery’ from my major mental health melt-down three years ago. Recently I’ve decided, I’m now ‘rebuilding my life’.
Living on medication is something I’m still getting used to. I know that without it, life can be a very dark and lonely place. With it, I do okay. Sometimes really okay and sometimes just okay.
I’ve tried reducing my meds, but the result was more downs than ups. Instead, I’ve learned to cope with the fluctuations. That means I’m still limited in what I can do, but that’s okay. I have a extraordinary life – no matter what.
Blogging etc: I fit in a couple of hours each day to work on my new blog site – SheLovesLifeOver50.com.
By sharing my ideas I’m finding new ways to help women over 50 turn their setbacks into success. (And all going well, over time it will become the platform for a sustainable online business.) It’s a slow build but really satisfying.
Mentoring: I’ve also managed to maintain a few mentoring clients. I love seeing the practical difference I can make in someone else’s life. On this note…
Please check out the C U L T I V A T E Mentoring Lab. A social enterprise that matches female mentors and mentees. I’m excited to be a mentor in their latest partnership round.
If you are empathetic, generous & passionate about women building meaningful careers, they’d love to hear from you.
How lucky am I?
It’s been great to have the freedom to spend the past three months with my daughter. I don’t feel I’ve had to give up anything. On the contrary, I’m the winner during this special and unique time.
And you might think that spending all day, every day of the week, together has been difficult. But that’s simple not the case. We’ve always got on well and now we have the proof.
Oh, and did I say? I’m so looking forward to meeting my grand-daughter.
Back in Wellington, now what?
It’s been a few days since I got home from Te Moata Retreat and life is good. Some great ideas have come to me while at Te Moata, and since. One of these is that I spend far too much time trying to craft the words in this blog.
My previous blog post was written during three days when the rain never stopped. As a result I got stuck inside my head, working on that damn blog post continuously, until the sun finally came out again.
Some days I write, and then rewrite, the simplest of ideas. The problem is that I doubt myself, my thoughts and words. It is painful and I’m not sure it’s all worth it. At the same time, I know that writing is good for me. I also know that writing about my experience with depression and anxiety helps others.
People have shared their stories with me and I know I have made that easy for them. So, while I am feeling really great about myself, I still doubt myself and my ability to write this blog.
Enough of that. I’m going to write – no matter what.
Life at Te Moata – The Highlights
- Living and working with a small team of international travellers is great. I learn a lot from them about how the world should be run. There are always good ideas, especially if I listen carefully and do not disregard their ideas as emotional and naive.
- Working as a kitchen hand, with fantastic vegetarian cooks, is an awesome experience. I helped prepare really, really good food for the yoga teacher retreat students and wwoofers.
- Bathing in the Moata Stream, which is fed from cold spring water, was a body awakening experience. It is so cold that I have to shampoo my hair before I get in, so that I can’t back out of dunking myself underwater to rinse out the suds.
- I learned to sing. More correctly, I learned that I could sing. Anxiety has throttled my throat and cramped my breathing. In my singing lesson I learned to relax my throat, produce the sound from within my body and to open my mouth. That’s made all the difference. I can sing! And I can sing in tune when I listen really hard. Yeah!
- Spending time in my head, asking myself the questions that lead to the insights and empower my growth, is never wasted. I have come away with a new sense of purpose and am ready to get on with the next stage of my life.
- What’s stopping me? That was absolutely the best question I could ask myself. The answer that came was surprising but not really unexpected. It’s fear, fear of ever going back to that dark place that was my experience of depression.
This fear has been holding me back from getting on with my life, but just acknowledging it has helped. I am finding ways to reduce the chance of getting to that soul destroying level of depression.
Living in the Coromandel bush every day for 2 weeks was a blessing. Coming back to the inner city of Wellington has been an adjustment. I seem to notice, even more than usual, the people who aren’t coping; living rough or just getting by. It’s in their body language and how they look.
We live in a beautiful city but this doesn’t mean it’s easy. Life in the city, without a strong connection to nature, takes nature out of us and leaves a vacuum. I need to think about how I can fill this space better.
So what now?
I’m back home, enjoying my family and very excited about my projects. The next Heart Strategy workshop planning is underway and very soon I will launch my new coaching service. I still need to take care to manage my energy, but aside from that, I am ready to get out and try new things.
So what about this blog post?
This time, I am trying not to second guess myself and doubt my writing abilities. This blog is coming to you without the multiple rewrites and edits. Life’s too short and I have lots of things I want to do and people I can help.
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