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what party

Pete Everett said it so well on The Celebrity Apprentice this week, the two loneliest words in the world are… “what party?”.

leftoutWe’ve all been there. Being asked by friends if we’re attending an event we never heard about and were quite possibly deliberately left off the guest list for. It’s happened to me countless times and I try not to take it personally. Everyone knows I’m a home body, with no feelings of FOMO to motivate me, happy to sit on the lounge on a Friday night with a packet of crisps and some Allens lollies, catching up on my week of Bold and the Beautiful episodes. Most of my friends know I will say no to going out so tend not to bother inviting me anymore. I get it, and it’s OK, I don’t take it personally… much.

But then there’s the times when it’s something everyone you know is invited to, a New Years party perhaps, and somehow your invite got ‘lost in the post’. It’s then, when it’s so clear that you have been deliberately left out, or just completely forgotten, that you start to wonder who your friends really are and what they truly feel about you.

For most of us our group of friends tends to get smaller the older we get. Our priorities change, we have kids, we move away, we’re busy with our career… it just doesn’t leave much time to maintain alot of close friendships.

When was the last time you needed to reach out to friends in a crisis? Who responded, who came to your aid? Was it the ones you expected, or were you surprised to see who stepped up and answered the call? Sometimes you find out who your true friends really are in the most unexpected of ways.

I chose a long time ago to stop wasting energy on people who never returned the favour. I learnt I don’t have to be everyone’s friend if they weren’t willing to put in the effort to be mine. It occurred to me that it was far better to have 5 close friends than 50 acquaintances you never have any hope of truly knowing.  Your worth is not measured by the number of friends you have on your Facebook page.

I suppose in the end, all that’s really important is that we feel valued and respected by the people we choose to spend our time with. If the people you call friends do that, you should never have to utter the words “what party” ever again.

the light at the end

I’m back in the land of the living! I suppose I should provide some sort of an explanation for my sudden departure from this blog, and the world in general, over the last 3 months. It’s all very simple and easy to explain, though alot harder to live through…

Pregnancy my friends. I am expecting my first child in October this year and it has been a rocky start to my new life as an expectant mum. Fear not, this blog will not morph in to a pregnancy or mummy blog. After this post I will do my best not to mention the nausea, anxiety, aches, insomnia, heartburn, weight gain, constipation, headaches, cramps or even any of the nice pregnancy symptoms that appear few and far between. This blog will remain my escape from the everyday monotony of life and pregnancy.

hyperemesis-gravidarum-alternative mamaSo why the absence you ask? How did getting pregnant put a sudden stop to my normal life? A rare pregnancy condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Some of you might have heard of it but for most of you it will be a mystery, and for 98% of you who intend on getting pregnant you will never even know about it. It’s a very rare condition that causes 24/7 morning sickness, and when I say morning sickness I don’t mean waves of nausea every so often, I mean violent and constant illness all day, every day and mine lasted for 10 weeks. When most women are enjoying their early pregnancy glow I was bent over the toilet bowl every time I even tried to take a glass of water. 8kgs lost in the first 3 weeks, hospitalised and medicated, bed ridden and totally dependent on my husband, mother and in laws.

As I lay in bed day after day in a haze of illness my mind would often wander. I finally began to understand the suffering of people with chronic pain or illness and people with addictions. There is no darkness like that brought on by the feeling of utter hopelessness and helplessness. You must understand, in the depths of my illness it wasn’t about the excitement and miracle of being pregnant. With no outward signs and before scans or tests, it was only sick. That was my reality 24 hours a day, every day.

I imagined that if someone came to my bedside at that moment and offered me a magic pill or a drink that could take away all that pain and hurt, I would have gobbled it up. Even if I knew I’d be hooked for life or end up having to go through some horrendous treatment and withdrawal to get off the stuff later, I would have happily given my last dime to feel better.

This pregnancy has already taught me an incredible lesson in control, or living without it. I have already learnt that now I have stepped off the cliff of free, single life there is no going back. As soon as that embryo was formed, I had no control over what was going to happen to my body, my mind or my life going forward. Children are indeed a wonderful miracle but they are also a terrifying, nerve wracking, nail biting mystery, long before they even make their entrance in to the world (and that entrance is causing a mountain of anxiety all of its own, seriously, a baby has to come out of there!!). For a self confessed control freak, it has already been the most terrifying journey I could ever have imagined.

But as the haze clears, and that little smudge on the ultrasound screen gets clearer, light appears at the end of the tunnel. I survived the worst of it, and until I have to push this thing out I can enjoy the fact that safe inside me is a growing life that was created out of the love between my husband and I, and isn’t that just a trip?!

I have to say thank you to my amazing family for getting me through this, to my husband for putting up with me at my very worst, my mum who moved in to take care of me and my in laws for  being there for whatever we needed no matter how absurd, Janet you know what I’m talking about!

And now, back to normal life… whatever that means for me in this brave new world!

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