What a journey each and every one of you have had! I hope you and your families are all well, safe and happy!

This blog feels a little self-indulgent given what everyone is going through, but it’s my story and I feel a pull to tell it. So allow me to celebrate myself a little here …

On the 24th February at 1.22pm we had our Flo.

If you’d told me while I sat swollen and sleep deprived desperately awaiting her arrival that two of the things I was most afraid of happening during my second birth were definitely going to happen …. and following that I would spend three nights alone with Flo in NICU counting her breaths. That her brother was going to have the most difficult adjustment to her arrival I ever imagined. And shortly after arriving home we would go into isolation and lose all daycare and kindergarten escapes. Along with all house visits, support and cuddles from my people. If you’d told me I was going to have breast feeding issues so painful I couldn’t feed Flo for two weeks. That I would need to pump every two hours, while managing a newborn and her raging brother. And that the entire restaurant industry would close and my husband would be stood down from his job …
I would have laughed … then cried … then run away … far, far away. Further than Forrest Gump ever ran.

But we survived. And we are stronger for it.

My second labour was not all I dreamed it to be, but I did it! VBAC success story right here. I got to reach down and pull my baby out and for a few moments hold her on my chest. No cold theater for me this time, no strange conversations behind covered mouths chatting about their daily events, or loooooooong waits to hold her. That was the ultimate goal and we did it!
The next three days in NICU were not ideal but they were quiet, and in my little 2 by 2 curtained corner I forgot about the world and held my baby tight.
Her big brother came back to us, in small glimpses at first but is now almost back to his wild, vibrant self. There are still rough moments, but not rough days.
The daycare, kindergarten and visitors stopped but so did we, and although I wouldn’t have chosen it, our little family seems more deeply connected for it.
I got through my breast feeding drama and after two weeks of bottle feeding, Flo jumped straight back on like she never left. A moment that still brings tears to my eyes.
Pez got a new role within his company, not ideal hours to start but then really great so we actually have him home more than we ever have before. The family time has been precious … as has the food!

I am so grateful for my family and our health. And I have never felt so proud of us.

Thank you to you! My lovely clients and friends. You bowled me over with lovely messages and kind thoughts. Messages in my inbox, gifts left on our doorstep and cards arriving in the letterbox. You made some pretty dark moments brighter! For all of my family, not just me.

So here’s to getting through this COVID-19 beast together and starting this new, greater life they keep telling us about. I can feel the change, can you?

Photography by the brilliant Capture by Karen.