I often look back at those early days with Caitlin and then the arrival very soon after of Grace and wonder how on earth did I do it.
I have many memories of this time and a lot of feelings associated with them. The overriding feeling or memory is one of complete exhaustion. I was always so tired. I would be driving to the never ending appointments and fighting to keep my eyes open. I would wind the window down and turn the music up just to make sure I would stay awake. It wasn't because either of the girls were bad sleepers, to the contrary, they were both fantastic sleepers. I think it had more to do with the fact that I was at PMH 5 times a week for appointments or therapy. I would also drive to Nedlands everyday for acupuncture and to Bullcreek for CE. The appointments were hard, physically trying to get two babies in and out of the car and then entertain them for the inevitable hour plus wait to be seen, then to help Drs pull, prod and poke Caitlin while she screamed the whole time all,whilst trying to be a good, attentive and patient mum to a very tired Grace, it was exhausting and that's not to mention the emotional roller coaster I was for ever on!!
I remember feeling these incredible highs, I haven't felt these highs in a number of years and then some really low lows. I wonder now whether these huge fluctuations in mood were because I was struggling with a touch of depression. I don't know and it doesn't matter now but I have recognised that emotionally I am on a much more even keel today than I was years ago.
I do remember at the end of 2003 I think it was, everyone that was close to me being out at their works Xmas lunch and I was again stuck at home with the two girls. I was really upset because I thought, I have worked harder than I ever have before this year and no one is taking me out to lunch!! It felt like my hard work was not appreciated but so much was just expected of me. It wasn't long after this that I shut myself in the spare room for about a week and told Legs I didn't want to "do this" anymore. He was so understanding and gave me the space, love and support to help me get through it. Again I was "stuck in a moment" .
I did pull myself through somehow but I know I couldn't have done it without Legs holding my hand.
If I could rewind the time and give myself some advice I would tell myself to allow me time for me! I needed to exercise, to lose some weight, to think about something other than the girls, to see my friends. I think my head space would have been different if I could have exercised but the problem was I ran all day and when I wasn't running to appointments, I was trying to practice some of the goals and tasks her speech, OT or physio had given us. Poor Grace got dragged through it all and I carried guilt about that too. I always told myself that Caitlin needed my time and energy and that when the girls got older, the tide would change. Change it certainly has!!! Grace is a sporty spice and we now run all day everyday around after her and her sports! It is now Caitlin who is dragged all over the country side to support her sister. It has all evened out in the wash.