The great sex-ed debate

Is rape culture  a problem in New Zealand?” – the words the news presenter used, introducing a piece on teenagers petitioning the government for better sex-ed in schools.

My first reaction?  <insert intense sarcasm> “Oh my god, I had no idea”.
My second reaction? <picture me with steam coming out my ears, and my face going red as I – as our kids would say – raged>.

Teenagers should not be the ones having to go to the government saying ‘Hey dudes, and dudettes, something really needs to be done about the shitty quality of sex-ed being taught in NZ schools’.  There are strict rules about what needs to be taught in English, Science(s), Math, Physical Education, History, Social Studies, Geography, Languages… and on, and on, and on.  Those subjects all need to be taught to a suitable level, to enable students to be able to pass their assignments and exams to an acceptable national level.  Why shouldn’t it be the same for sex-ed?

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The tale of the broken arm


Remember how I posted about Gabrielle having her tonsils out?  I am sure I probably said something along the lines of ‘hopefully it is our last visit to hospital for quite some time’.  If I did indeed say that, I fucking jinxed myself, didn’t I.

1.02pm, Friday 10 February.  Phone rings.  I see it’s school.  Briefly I think it’s Gabrielle’s throat, then I remember the whole having her tonsils out thing.  Crap.  I knew in my gut it wasn’t a case of ‘It’s blah blah here, blah blah is sick, could you please come and pick him/her up?’.  Nope.

a little bit of size difference...

a little bit of size difference…

“Hi, Emma, it’s Diane here from DHS.  Gabrielle has had a bit of an accident and hurt her arm, I think she needs to go up to hospital.”

As expected.  For a couple of weeks before that I just knew one of my children would have a broken arm.  I just knew it.  I really do believe I have psychic abilities, and this was another case of knowing what would happen before it did.

I freak out.  We drive up to school.  I go into the office, see my baby and start crying.  She has a sling, she is upset.  I don’t want to touch her in case I break her.  More.

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Tonsils be gone!

good-bye-tonsils-bookWell, Gabrielle is now tonsil free, and I’m glad to report we both survived the ordeal!  It was a long day, she didn’t go into surgery until 3.30pm, she was in recovery about 4.15pm and we eventually left the hospital at 6pm!

Seeing her going to sleep was – as a mum – one of the scariest moments of my life.  I had absolutely no control over what was going to happen, and all I could do was entrust her to the team in that operating suite.  Rationally I knew she’d get through perfectly fine, but between being taken from the room and being reunited with her in recovery, my brain went all sorts of places.

Mostly scary, dead places.

Her recovery has been pretty good, better than what I was expecting actually, but it was so hard knowing she was in so much pain.  All I could do was give her hugs and promise her she would feel better eventually, while pouring medication down her throat.

It was the one week mark that she began improving quickly, and she is no longer complaining about a sore throat, nor is she needing pain relief.  She’s back doing gymnastics in every spare moment she has, so I know she is feeling a lot better than she was a week ago!

Even better?  Now she can go back to school without the threat of missing days off school because of those pesky tonsils!

When you have to be the brave adult

This past Tuesday I received a call from the hospital, informing me Gabrielle had been 8b514e668d0c3cc266690713d2023b09scheduled for surgery (tonsillectomy) on Tuesday 17th January!  It is long overdue and is going to be of immense benefit to her…

… but god I am scared.


I know she is looking to me for reassurance that everything is going to be fine.  I know it will be, but that doesn’t mean I’m not needing the same reassurance for myself!  Of course Lauriel has given me all the support I need, but it doesn’t stop my brain doing its old tricks.

While Gaby was reading up about the procedure and was freaking out about the different complications that can arise, I had to reassure her that those problems are rare, whilst at the same time, freaking the hell out myself, at the thought of my baby needing a blood transfusion, or another surgery to stop bleeding, or having a reaction to the anaesthetic…

All I can say is that I’m so bloody lucky to have my wife here to support me, and reassure me… because being the so called ‘strong’ adult is hard.

So.  Freaking.  Hard.

Making it worse is the fact NZ junior doctors are going on strike for 72 hours, beginning on Tuesday.  Surgery day.  The media has made mention of surgeries being postponed, so right now I have no idea if Gab’s surgery will even go ahead, or if it will be postponed.  I hear from the hospital tomorrow about what time we need to be in on Tuesday morning, so I guess either way I’ll know tomorrow.

My sole resolution for 2017


Reading.  I am going to read.  Again.

Prior to starting my degree I would regularly read at night before going to sleep, and sometimes in the morning if I happened to be awake before I had to get up (let’s face it, this was usually the weekend).

In the past four years I’ve probably finished a total of 10 – maybe 15 – books.  I’m almost ashamed to write that, because I’ve always placed so much importance on reading!  I make sure my kids read, but when it comes to me?  As with most things it slipped by the wayside.

I sit here writing this on January 11th feeling almost smug, because I have already finished one book.  I’m 90% of the way through my second.  Not even two weeks into the year and I’ve read the same amount of books I read for the most part of 2016. Continue reading

Something new

I’ve mentioned on my facebook page I’ve been writing something new and decided it was time to share a little bit of that story.

The topic of this one?  Pregnancy with an anxiety disorder… something I know well, and something I know many other women know well!  This story isn’t necessarily my own personal experience, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t loosely based.

We’re heading out for a NYE BBQ so I won’t go into to much synopsis detail right now.

Enjoy, and I hope 2017 is a goodie for you!

anxiety be like...

anxiety be like…

The moment had arrived and Hayley felt sick. No, she felt more than sick; it was as if her stomach was curdled, like milk that had been left out in the hot summer sun for days on end. The thought alone added to the churning in her tummy and not for the first time she wished she didn’t have such an active, anxious brain.

Ah yes, her old friend anxiety. Friend wasn’t the correct term though, enemy was more apt. The nastiest, evilest enemy that could exist. Unlike an actual physical being however, this enemy couldn’t be cut out of her life. She couldn’t delete this enemy’s phone number or email address, this was an enemy who couldn’t be unfriended on Facebook, or ignored on the street.

Anxiety had been one of her closest – and most unwanted – companions for years, and no matter how hard she tried to cut off the bond they shared, nothing worked. She’d begrudgingly accepted anxiety would be in her life forever and hoped one day she’d at least find a way to mute it. Continue reading