2017: What a year.

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It’s December (in case you hadn’t noticed haha) and we are fast approaching Christmas (yay!) and the beginning of a new year! People are starting to reflect on the year they’ve had so far. How has 2017 treated us? For some people it was a dumpster fire of epic proportions. Some years just suck. I totally get that. That’s how 2015/2016 felt to me a lot of the time. That’s why it’s been such a relief to be able to proclaim that 2017 has been hard work, but rewarding. A hard year is so much easier to take when there’s a reward – something that makes it so worth it, don’t you think? Slogging away for little to no reward got a bit old.

The Little Mister started and finished pre-primary this year. He was a completely different child in pre-primary, than he was in kindy. He was so ready for this from day 1. It was such a weight off my shoulders. I spent all of 2016 worrying about him while he was at school. In 2017 I felt relaxed and I looked forward to seeing him at the end of the day, where I’d get a very detailed run down on everything he’d done. The things that had inspired him, the amazing stuff he’d learned, which friends he’d played with. Watching him grow this year has been such a pleasure. As a school mum, I felt calm and confident at the school gate. I got to know a whole lot of parents and had some great chats that weren’t awkward at all! Like the Little Mister, I felt a lot more ready this year.

The start of 2017 also meant a new start for us in our quest to get me pregnant. We started seeing a new doctor at a new clinic and we found ourselves signing up for IVF really quickly. Finally, we had a tiny bit of hope again after a harrowing couple of years of unhelpful treatments and a year before that of confusion – why wasn’t this happening for us when it had happened reasonably easily the first time around with the Little Mister?

Anticipating the IVF treatment (and then undergoing it) was the single most nerve wracking thing I have ever dealt with. It was anxiety from go to whoa. It’s really full on to realise that your ‘last resort’ is finally underway. While you’re hopeful and so glad you’re trying something big, it’s horrible to think that if that doesn’t work, you may have to give up on your dream of growing your family. I was anxious before I started – terrified my body would do something that shut the whole thing down. I was anxious during – those injections – holy crap. I was anxious before my egg retrieval – WHAT IF THEY DON’T GET ENOUGH (luckily they almost got too many). I was anxious after the transfer of our first embryo – WHAT IF THIS DOESN’T WORK. I was anxious once I found out I was pregnant – WHAT IF THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

But it was true. It did really happen. I am now almost 32 weeks along (with a very wriggly and active little girl) as I write this and I am still pinching myself. I have not had the easiest ride – a first trimester full of spotting, a PUPPP rash that came on at 19 weeks, gestational diabetes (and now nightly injections of insulin – like I haven’t had enough injections already). I have found it challenging. My body is full of unsightly scars, I am rarely comfortable or as energetic as I would have liked to be. I am counting down like crazy to the day I get to meet my little girl. BUT…I am still in awe of how this miracle has happened for us. The key word for me right now is ‘surreal’.

How I could go so quickly from feeling utterly hopeless and depressed/anxious to ‘so over this pregnancy and wishing for the end to arrive’ just blows me away. I am so lucky to be able to take this for granted some days, which ironically, I do not take for granted. Does that even make any kind of sense??? I feel like a walking contradiction!

2017 has also been a year of doing whatever the hell I want and saying no to the things I really do not want to do. Because ain’t nobody got time (or the energy) for saying yes to stuff or people that make us feel like crap. I always thought that this might mean that I’d have the worst FOMO ever or that I might end up sitting on my arse feeling utterly lonely, but it turns out I am actually OK at conducting my own social life (who knew!) and I am quite happy working on my friendships at my own pace. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on much (even if it’s a little bit of a bummer not having the energy or physical condition to do certain activities). I realise now that some phases of my life I will be able to say yes to everything and sometimes it’s OK to have to pare things down. I just need to stop causing myself so much angst over it all and enjoy the things I can do, to the fullest. Since I made some changes, I haven’t felt guilty or bad about myself or scared of never being included again. I’ve surrounded myself with people who know that shit happens and who understand that I care. While I started this process last year, this year felt more peaceful inside my head. Nothing is turbulent and scary anymore.

This year, I became more confident and assertive when it comes to my health care. I let a lot of things slide with my old doctors because I was so overwhelmed and just fumbled through, thinking WHAT DO I KNOW. Now I ask for what I need and I am full of questions and a search for accurate information. Maybe because I have been through a similar pregnancy before or maybe because I feel more confident in those who are caring for me currently – probably both. I am glad I’ve found my voice again.

This year I watched Mr Unprepared experience a whole lot of growth, professionally. Risks we’d taken a few years prior started to pay off and I am so proud of him. I can’t say much more because I don’t want to embarrass him but it’s been a year of rewards in so many ways.

Other highlights besides the biggest, most obvious things, have been a trip to Sydney with my family, meeting Rosie Waterland, enjoying my most favourite Hottest 100 day (aka Australia Day – for the last time) on a boat with awesome people.

I feel like most of all, I went through some hard growth lessons leading up to (and into) this year. I had to get strong. This year I got to see that strength in action and I was fortunate enough to finally feel like it’s all been for something.

I am so excited to see what 2018 will bring. I am excited that I actually feel excited about it. I have so many things I want to experience and achieve. I might be passed out in bed long before midnight on NYE (or possibly waking for my millionth toilet break as the clock ticks over) but I think the new year will feel very momentous and joyous for me this year. I mean, I don’t want to jinx it so touch wood and all that, but I really do believe I will be entering not just a new year but a new era of my life. Bring it!

How was your 2017? Highlights? Low lights?

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