Well, where do I start!? The last two weeks since deciding to join this amazing challenge have been organised chaos in the Turner household and nearly all of us are running on empty in terms of sleep. Jessica has started school, making us wonder where on earth the last four and half years have gone, a feeling that is not helped by Samuel turning eight in a couple of weeks. Eight?! Seriously? How, just how... (not to mention myself ageing another year too - shhh).
I was very good on Jessica's first day - I didn't cry at all. I didn't even take tissues to school with me, although I did feel so guilty walking away watching Jess wipe her tears and bogies away on the sleeve of her nice new school jumper, trying to 'be brave'. Okay, so 'new' is perhaps stretching the truth a little seeing as her jumpers are all Sam's too small ones as I refuse to pay £9 a jumper for nice crisp new ones. You can't tell, well, as long as you don't stand her next to the children who are sporting newly purchased jumpers that are 3 shades darker than those of the children with older siblings! Anyway, even if you can, the slightly smug feeling that those parents shall have learnt their lesson by the time they are returning to the 'first day in foundation class' scenario for a second time overrides any feelings of shame or embarrassment.
Anyway, Jess survived her first day and came bounding out of the classroom at the end of the day full of smiles and giggles and bursting with pride that she had finally got to go to school (she spent the previous week complaining bitterly that Sam was 'allowed' to go back to school a week before she started, and was totally bewildered when I laughed and said it would be the first and last year she would be moaning that Sam had returned to school before her), and whilst I had refrained from the soppy mother stuff in the morning, now I couldn't help but tell her how proud I was of her. Her little face lighting up whilst she told me about the many things she had done that day, even though the majority of her tales extended far beyond what the laws of physics determine possible. Her energy and eagerness to learn (and elaborate!), a direct reflection of what having children is all about. A heart jerking reminder as to why I fought bitterly to get through the darkest days whilst in the grips of HG. What made me chuckle most of all though, was her sheer audacity in not admitting defeat - asking whether we could go to the sweetie shop on the way home, she didn't allow me time to process the request before adding 'because I was very brave this morning. I didn't cry [pause] It may have looked like I was crying, but I wasn't. It was just my eyes. They were watering. That's all.' Rather perceptive for a four year old I thought. Needless to say, we stopped at the sweetie shop on the way home!!
So, going back to the challenge I am undertaking - converting my blog nine months of smiles into artwork I shall be starting by exploring the emotions and characteristics that this important day in our little girl's life elicited in all of us as a family. First thoughts are things such as courage, over coming anxiety and the unknown journey - all things which are so very relevant to suffering with HG, helping to highlight that the qualities and strength of character we need to get ourselves through HG (alongside an endless supply of antiemetics and IV fluids) are the very same qualities that we go on to see in our children, making every second of that endurance have a true purpose. Nothing is more fulfilling than watching your children develop and grow before your eyes knowing that only your strength, your true strength - the sort you never even contemplated yourself as having - allowed for such beautiful, insightful and outrageously funny little people becoming part of your life.
Next week's blog shall be looking at the close and loving relationship Sam and Jess have, hopefully being able to reassure those ladies suffering with subsequent HG pregnancies that whatever they feel HG is stealing from their elder children right now, what you are giving them will more than compensate - keep strong girls, every second done is one you do not have to repeat :)
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