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The reconnection of a relationship after babies

If you are a parent with newborns, or young children you will be aware that things can emotionally change between yourself and your partner. Those changes most likely began with the pregnancy. You may also be wondering if your relationship will ever be the same?

My wife and I didn’t sail into the pregnancy in a good place together. We had dealt with the stress of moving house a month before we discovered we had triplets. And we were also dealing with a couple of years filled with disappointment in failing to conceive. We did have the occasional spark of hope, which sadly turned out to be false positive tests. There was a building tension in our marriage that was reaching breaking point. Then BOOM! We were thrown into a high risk pregnancy and there was no going back.

From the first scan it was like we veered off in different directions emotionally. My wife consumed and struggling with the fears and risks involved with our situation. And me doing my best to remain conscious and keep my family calm and together. There was a disconnect between us throughout the whole pregnancy. We may have been under the same roof, but we weren’t together.

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The next time we would reconnect was in the NICU with the safe arrival ou our trio. We finally landed on the same page. Brought together by the love, relief and joy at the safe arrival of Ava, Blakely and Lacey.

As we brought them home my wife, and rightly so, became completely focused on the babies’. As I had stayed solid through the pregnancy, we now switched roles. As Stacey found her instincts as a mother, I began to sink into depression under the pressure of home life, work and sleep deprivation. My wife  was too focused on her job to hear my problems as I struggled with my sanity. I once again felt as far apart from my wife as we were during the pregnancy.

I became consumed with the fear that before she fell pregnant we were a couple unhappy. And that maybe we would never reconnect as the couple who were once in love. I felt on the outside looking in on our home life, even though I was completely involved as a father. tiredness can do horrible things to a mind. I became paranoid that our relationship was done. That It was now her and the babies. That I was no longer an interest in her life. self-pity was creeping in. And it wasn’t who I wanted to be, man consumed with myself and my doubts. I would be no use as a father in that place.

Looking back It took one thing for us to reconnect as a couple. Patience. My wife had been through the mill with the pregnancy and was finding her place as a mother to three babies. As I was finding my role. Which was just to support her and be patient. To not make my fears and anxieties an extra weight to put on her.  All I needed to do was to be of use, to my wife and stay involved with my daughters.

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It was only when I began to step back from pressuring her, and let go of my fears and doubts about our relationship that we begin to find each other again. We needed each other more than ever. And She needed all the space and support I could give her. Of course things have changed. But those massive changes have only bonded us closer as a family finding our way in a surreal situation.

My job a s husband has always been to support my wife. My job as a father in the beginning was no different. Be patient and you will almost certainly meet again. And discover the love you once had will have gone no-where,

 

 

 

Note as a step Dad

Eight years ago my step daughter Frankie lost her biological father to suicide. It is an event no child should have to experience. Or any parent should have to go through.

Frankie was turning six when I first met her. She was a quite little girl with a lack of confidence and a sadness about her. Although she didn’t remember the event, the emotional trauma surrounding it had stayed with her. All she wanted was a daddy like her friends had. She was aware of her difference.

Becoming a father figure in Frankie’s life was not going to be easy. It was going to take a huge commitment from me to step into that role. My relationship with Frankie was going to be as important as my relationship with Stacey.

There were times it was hard for me to hear her talk about her real dad early in the relationship. But it was only my pride being dented. And pride had no place in my relationship with her. I was the grown up, and she had every right to express her feelings toward her biological father. From me a show of patience and consistency would be all that was needed for our relationship to grow into a trusting connection.

As a result of my effort she slowly began to grow in confidence, in every aspect of her life. And I had the honour of being a part of her growth. She had a lot to get through emotionally and I had to be willing to help with that process.

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On my wedding day to Stacey I also had vows written for Frankie. I had a ring made and made sure she was included in the day. I made a commitment under God to do to my best to love and take care of her until the day I died. She began calling me Daddy from that day on. And I am incredibly proud of the kind and caring young girl she has become.

I feel no less love for Frankie than I do the triplets. They are all my daughters, they are all my responsibility. They all have an equal place in my heart. For the many mistakes I have made in my life, to now see the difference a loving father can make in the life of another is like finding one of the keys to life. But it takes work and a willingness to change and grow as a human being.

Her fears around the triplets arrival were understandable. I have made sure she has been loved and included, right from the start of the pregnancy. She is an amazing big sister and loves the triplets more than anything.

I am lucky to have met such a beautiful little soul. She has blessed my life more than I can express. And I am proud to be called Daddy by her.

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The triplets second Christmas

Back injuries and nerve pain aside. We have made the most of our time away. Even though I was back in hospital having an MRI on new years eve we still made it home in time to celebrate with the family and see 2019 in with a lot of laughter and joy.

Problems aside I can honestly say I have loved being away with my family over the last couple of weeks. The triplets developments in every aspect has come on leaps and bounds with so many others to help out and play with them.

Christmas day morning was special. We only got them a couple of presents each and to see how exited they got that they had more packaging boxes to sit in and some wrapping paper to play with was priceless.

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Three excited babies

Ava and Lacey have become much more confident, especially in interacting with others and wandering off to do other things. Grandad hasn’t had a moment’s peace, he is now followed everywhere by the two. For Stacey and me this is a good thing. whereas before we were the only one’s who could really pacify them when they were tired, now they are happy with anyone. To be honest they aren’t overly bothered with us as parents, they’d much rather be with other people, specifically following Grandad around, or dancing to the singing Christmas tree in the hallway.

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Ava and Lacey found in the dogs bed after another little adventure together

Blakely has even taken a few steps on here own. She is not far from catching her sisters up with walking and has now decided that getting dressed or having a nappy changed is worth a fight and a screaming fit. Our little firecracker has returned. And although the smallest is by far the strongest. She also has found new words. specifically ‘Whats that’? Followed by a look of aw. It’s hilarious. They have all become so animated in their characters.

Frankie has also had a break from the babies and had time away to play with her cousin. As a family, to get away this year has been much-needed in the scheme of things. A break from routine and extra help is always appreciated. And Frankie needs the break as much as we do.

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Blakely’s best friend Milo. He gets cuddle whether he likes it or not

We are blessed to have Stacey’s big family to be able to accommodate us and help us out. This weekend we will be heading back and the priority will be getting my health sorted. It won’t be easy on my wife as I am unable to pick up the babies at the moment but I am praying that it gets sorted soon and will do everything to get my strength back.

It’s been a great Christmas despite the problems that have arisen and we have made memories that we’ll cherish.

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Despite the pain and problems there is no place I’d rather be than with my family

 

 

 

 

 

Uncertainty

As a husband and a father of four I have a big responsibility to bring consistency to my family. Not only emotionally but also as far as my physical health goes.

Dealing with triplets takes a level of physical fitness, and on top of my full-time job I rarely get a chance to rest. As someone who is not academic my work has always been physical. From working on building sites in my earlier days to now working with metal I am not one to shy away from hard graft. In a way I pride myself on my work ethic.

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My lunchbreak office

Over the years I have had little problems that most in my line of work suffer from. The occasional back ache and the odd pinched nerve and in my chosen proffesion there is a get up and get on with it attitude. It may seem a bit stubborn but at the end of the day work pays the bills. No work – no money. I also want my girls to grow up knowing that a man works to support his family. That he doesn’t shirk from his responsibilities.

Over the last few months I have gradually been struggling more and more with nerve pain in my face and my head. And an angry bad back and hip pain that has slowly gotten worse. It has made physically dealing with home-life and work almost intolerable. I have had to give in to taking medication for the pain and am exhausted from my daily activities. I have not been myself and have had to keep myself in check. There has been constant temptation to get lost in fear in not knowing what is wrong with me.

An MRI scan before Christmas has ruled out MS as far as we know. But it has also revealed a number of problems at the base of my spine which could mean corrective surgery to fix the damage in the coming weeks or months. Problems that have been caused by nothing more than wear and tear from the job I do. I could be facing a long spell from work which will bring its own set of problems.

It has left me concerned about what we may be facing as a family. At the moment I am struggling to walk for any length of time and am run down by the pain. Everything is hard work. Thankfully we are away at my wife’s family over the Christmas period so we have plenty of help and I get a chance to rest a bit and take stock of our situation.

It seems the challenges keep coming our way. And I am having to stay watchful of the negative emotions that are arising from my situation. Negativity that could affect my family if I allow it.

But for now we will make the most of the help we have and enjoy the time away. We are blessed to have such a big family on my wife’s side to offer us a hand. And whatever the near future may bring we’ll deal with it. Because that’s just what we have do.

 

A time for forgivness – but how?

Christmas is a time for family, for giving in a spirit of love. No matter what you believe or don’t believe. It is a spirit that revolves around this time of year more than most.

Many say it is a time for forgiveness. Of those who have wronged or harmed us yet for most the ability to forgive has been lost. Exactly how do we forgive the people in our lives that seem to create conflict in us? those who drive us to react with bitterness and judgment for the injustices they cause.

To forgive is simply to give up anger. To not hate. Yet it’s easier said than done when the emotional negative pull of the memories of yesterday or even the events of thirty years ago still have the power to upset us. As the thoughts arise – so does the anger. We seem tied to our resentments through our thinking. And it is exactly  how we remain attached to the negativity.

As long as those negative thoughts have the power to affect us emotionally, we will never have the freedom to forgive. Because we cannot let go.

It took me a long time to discover a way to overcome the judgments, the anger and depression my thinking created. And whilst trapped in my own thinking I could never know peace, never know love or be of real use to those around me. I was a prisoner of my own mind. And hard as I tried to forgive and forget, something deep inside me wouldn’t allow me to. As the constant judgment and anger I felt towards others grew and turned inwards – so my depression took a stronger hold.

The problem was my thinking. It was simple. I needed to find a way to observe the relentless rising negative thoughts in my head without becoming attached and ovwewhelmed by them. To separate from them.

To be able to observe them from a neutral position. From a place of consciousness. It is also in that place of neutrality we become connected to a natural intuition. Free from emotion and free to act without anger and fear. To act with courage and grace. The ability to forgive exists only in the present moment. When we are connected to a supernatural force of love. It is real and available to everyone, no matter who you are or what you believe.

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There is a saying that light can overcome darkness. It is more than just a metaphor. And if you are willing to sit still for 12 minutes twice a day. You will have your own experience with a very special conscious awareness that holds the key to all of your problems.

This is not a sales pitch, it is a very powerful awakening exercise. And only you will know if you are ready to begin. If you do, welcome to the fourth dimension of existence. And welcome back to the lost conciousness you were born with.

https://schwarzhoffmedia.com/non-contemplative-meditation/

 

 

Winding up the year

As the year winds to an end, we look back on our first four seasons with the trio. From New years to another Christmas with a growing sense of achievement, and with a family stronger than ever.

We celebrated their first birthday’s back in July with style and celebrated their first steps not so long ago. We have dealt with the inevitable up’s and downs of adjusting to the changes they have presented us with a patience that resonates in their personalities. We are raising content happy babies in a spirit of love. It was our ideal to work toward right from their arrival into the world. All in all we are doing well as a family who were given a remarkable situation to deal with. And believe me – it isn’t always easy.

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Raising Ava, Lacey and little Blakely is as fun as it is exhausting. We never tire of watching them develop from week to week with new skills to impress us with. They are a beautiful little tribe. One we couldn’t imagine life without now as we move on in the stream of life.

This time of year also reminds me of the faith that got me through from the day of the first scan. Through a turbulent pregnancy to their safe arrival. As my wife struggled to come to terms with our situation it was down to me to keep a level head for my family. I believed with everything in me that the triplets were meant to be. That God had blessed us with three gifts to be entrusted with. I never once lost sight of the conscious feeling I had around the amazing event that would change everything for us as a family, and as a couple. And nothing has changed me more as a man.

Life goes on, and as I now face a little uncertainty around my future health I am reminded that a little faith can go a long way. That I really need not worry about anything. All I can do is take care of what’s in front of me a day at a time – a moment at a time with a spirit of love. It’s how we have come this far together, and how we will overcome whatever may be ahead.

So from our house to yours – a Merry Chrstmas and God bless x

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New shoes! A big milestone

After a week of illness we took the girls out to blow the cobwebs off and get them their first pair of shoes.

Now Ava and Lacey are both walking everywhere, the time came to get them fitted. Blakely is not far behind her sisters on the mobile front and we thought it may help them along a bit.

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The first of many shopping trips no doubt.

To be honest I’m amazed how far the trio have come on in their development, it was only this time last year we were still sleep deprived and the girls were still being breastfed. Now they are off in all directions and we need eyes in the backs of our heads to keep tabs on them. It’s literally like trying to herd cats!

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“Don’t rush me Dad, il let you know when I find some I like”

Ava is definitely the most confident of the three when it comes to putting one foot in front of the other, And she absolutely loves the fact she can get around on her own now. She is little miss independent in every respect. On the Sunday we went to a Christmas carol service and afterwards she trotted halfway up the street holding Mum’s hand and beaming with pride. I love how exited they get about the small things. To them it’s all great big achievements.

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Ava quite liking this style

Blakely is also benefitting from shoes as her little feet don’t quite sit flat, she now stands much better in them, and she got pink one’s so she’s made up! She does toddle about the sofa and is not far from standing unaided, but she’s in no rush. She’ll get there when she’s ready.

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Little chicken happy with the pink one’s

So begins a new chapter, of chasing babies around all over the house. We are looking forward to Christmas this year though. A long break away at Grandma’s house with loads of room for them to go mad in. And a chance for Stacey Frankie and me to relax a bit.

 

Ear infections & the edge of insanity

On thursday morning daylight finally arrived, my wife in tears and with a few rolling down my face we sat waiting for the doctor to call. Both almost broken from sheer exhaustion. Blakely still clinging to me crying in pain as she had been most of the night and Lacey & Ava the same. The screaming hour after hour was relentless. I felt horrible that I couldn’t just take their pain away.

Staying awake all night in the early days to do the feeds brought a different type of tiredness. There was quiet in those moments. But this week has taken a toll. Being up the entire night with three babies in pain this week had left us emotionally drained. I’m talking frazzled!

A visit to the doctors confirmed that Lacey and Blakely both had nasty ear infections, and Ava was suffering from a virus. There have been moments when my wife and I look at each other and joke how much easier one baby would be to deal with. This week that comments arisen more than once. Thankfully now with the right meds they are much more settled.

Obviously it’s going to happen from time to time. And unfortunately for us there is no way out other than to try to comfort all three to the best of our ability and with as much patience and tolerance as we can find.

As for the rough times with triplets, I wouldn’t wish them on anybody. Because sometimes with three babies it’s just hard – really f*cking hard.

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Back from the doc’s after another long night

I’m never wrong!

As a recovered alcoholic I know what it is to defend, rationalise and justify my own mistakes. There was a time I would rather die than admit I was wrong – about anything.
It’s a prideful spirit that refuses to see past honesty in oneself. And I carried that spirit through fear and bitterness for many years.

In becoming a parent it was a spirit that didn’t have a place in my home. If I continued to refuse to take responsibility for my mistakes my children would grow up in my dishonesty. They too would learn that it’s bad to be wrong, rather than have the courage to admit fault from time to time.

We all know that person in our lives, maybe at work, maybe at home who refuses to hold their hand up when the light of truth is shone on them. It creates frustration and a distrust. They can drive us nut’s. Yet they refuse to admit there is a problem. Forgive them by not being angry, they are full of fear and something has caused them to be that way.

As a child I became that person from an early age. I would lie because I didn’t want to get in trouble with my dad. I would lie because I didn’t want to look stupid to my friends, I would lie because I was frightened. And eventually I lied because that’s just how I coped with my inferiority.

There are many things that had to drastically change when I became a parent. Behaviours that if ignored and allowed to continue would affect those closest to me.

I want my children to trust me, and see that it’s okay to be wrong from time to time. That there is nothing weak in having a humility, in fact – quite the opposite. It is how they will grow in a healthy environment. After all if we were never wrong, we would never evolve. Growth comes from making mistakes. And as a parent I will inevitably make many down the line. And that’s just how it will be.

 

 

A little message to all new parents

My wife was out with the trio yesterday and bumped into another Mum with twins. They got talking and the conversation turned to the unwanted comments that are unavoidable and create doubt. I remember well this time last year struggling with sleep deprivation and being told constantly by other parents that it was only going to get harder, Gee thanks!

Having being blasted into parenthood with three newborns, and also being in the place we are now with them. I would like to tell you a secret you may not know if you are a new parent adjusting to life with one, two, three, four or even five babies demanding your every moments care and attention.

It gets easier. Because you will adjust and get stronger.

I know I tend to write concerning the more trying aspects of coping with the pressures of life with multiples. Because I believe it is where I can be of most use to others with the life experience I have in dealing with stress. But I also want to let you know that if you are sat in the dark with a relentless routine that there is hope, and that life will improve. There were many fears and doubts rising in the early days that looking back were nothing to be concerned about.

Our house is still too small, yet we have made it work for us. We have had to both overcome dealing with the pressures we face together as a couple. Yet we have found a way. We both still struggle with tiredness when the babies are ill. But now it’s easier to deal with as we know from experience it isn’t permanent and the fun times will return shortly and teething hasn’t been the nightmare many folks liked to scare me with. And as the babies grow and develop together they are definitely fun to be around as they entertain themselves.

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Some days can feel like an uphill struggle, especially for my wife while I’m at work but she now deals with home life consciously. She is an amazing woman for all she gives to this family. I still take over when I’m home each day and at the weekends, it’s my duty and I love my time with the trio. It is not a chore that I resent in any way.

I’ve discovered that the only thing that can cause doubt about what’s in front of me are the fears and doubts that crop up within myself. Not those from other people. Only a father of triplets can relate to my situation. No one else has any authority to comment, so now it’s easy to brush off the remarks that are made seemingly only to fear monger, Folks tend to comments from their own experiences. Which may have left them bitter about parenthood. So forgive them. Or simply return a ridiculous comment as my wife has now become the master of.

And remember what you have achieved to bring life into this world has granted you super-power status. If you are dealing with multiples it’s because something in this universe believes you have what it takes to do it. You are a chosen one. So have faith in that knowledge and faith in your intuition as a parent. because no amount of silly comments can take that away from you.