Some say, “you’re crazy” and “how do you find the time”. Others say, “wow that’s amazing Mel, better you than me”.
The greatest truth in my life is how my children have contributed to the woman I am today. These two beautiful gifts have helped me to see both the dark and the light that life can cast before you. I had a very easy pregnancy with my first little girl Aria. I took everything in my stride and was relaxed and excited to meet my little angel.
I had what was called a “text book labour” and in just 12 hours I had given birth at home in a birthing pool to a healthy little girl. She was so quiet and adorable. In my mesmerised state I didn’t even taken notice of the large amount of blood I was loosing. Rushed to the hospital with this little innocent soul where I waited a long five hours to have the ‘final stage’ of labour completed thanks to some minor surgery.
Now back at the comforts of home, it didn’t occur to me that I was suffering from postnatal depression until the day I found the strength to hang out the washing. I had lost so much blood during labour that I could barley get out of bed without feeling exhausted. I went outside and felt terrified! It was one of the darkest loneliest feelings I’ve ever experienced.
Once I started confiding to my friends and family about the way I was feeling it became instantly apparent that most of them had already sensed my feelings, long before I had even recognised them. That loss of self awareness and control hurt the most. It was like some dark force had assumed control of my life without my permission!
As I had witnessed my mother do all those years ago, I did the best I could as a mum. My reaction to the postnatal was to not allow anyone to help me, wanting to do everything myself. Returning to work when Aria was only 8 months old was when I truly started to take back what I felt I had lost. Me!
Aria loved her routine of day care some days and Nana on others whilst I had restored the balance of work and home life. Things were awesome. As Aria grew older it became clear that it was time to give her a baby sister or brother so one quick holiday to Perth later and we found out that we were going to have another baby.
Another girl! We were so excited to have Maia come into this world only two weeks after Aria’s second birthday. As the time approached and labour commenced I started to feel a sense of determination. This postnatal was not going to get me this time!
So as you do (in labour!) I got on-line and registered for the Tri-Women’s Triathlon, which was due to kick off in just eight short weeks. Maia came into this world at home in our birthing pool without a hitch. A quick, short, sharp labor. Our darling little girl arrived into this world but this time not so quiet, it almost sounded like a little Raptor! She was simply perfect.
One week after having darling Maia we all started our training. I wasn’t going to miss out on my time with the girls so they came with me. It wasn’t easy! Getting to the end of the driveway wanting to pass out or pee definitely put a sense of challenge into training.
Training in freezing cold seas – thanks Dad Mack. Walk/jogs on blustery cold evenings once the kids where in bed – thanks Mum. Cycling on a weekend around the local area. Behind it all was Eric – thanks for being such an amazing Dad to our girls!
Well the eight weeks passed and I did it! I started it in the 300 meter swim and did it without stopping. Got on my reasonably old bike and rode 7km then ran the entire 3km run to the finish line with both of my little girls waiting. Aria laughing and running with me and eight week old Maia ready and raring to go for a feed! Straight over the finish line to breast-feed my darling little girl.
I started it and finished it without once thinking about winning in-between. I won in my eye’s. I won the achievement of completing my first ever Triathlon.
Thanks to Treasures magazine my story was published for other mothers to see. If my achievement was able to reach out and help just one mum then for me that is a success.
So I have my little girls to thank! They are my inspiration. Through darkness and light they have given me the mental and emotional strength to see me through anything I wish to achieve and through anything that life has to throw at me.
Bring it on and live this wonderful life of yours I say!