There have been many times over the past few months that I have missed you and wished we could have coffee, chat and catch up without the tyranny of distance. To share our stories - triumph and tragedy - without the awkwardness of Skype or phone. But mostly, I've just missed the companionship and comfort of being surrounded by people who know me as well as I know myself.
But I have been lucky, there are people on this side of the Pacific that have provided me with unconditional love and support while I have been here. This was most recently evident at my baby shower.
My baby shower was wonderful. One of the (few) advantages of Zac's early arrival was that I was able to indulge at my shower - blue cheese (I craved this so much during pregnancy); red wine (always a requirement on a chilly day); and skinny jeans (no one wants to wear a moo moo to their own party). The games we played did not involve chocolate in nappies, but rather how many pegs you can take off a clothes line with a glass of wine in your hand - classic! But the best part of the day was the company. It was the first time that I felt like I had just sat around and hung out with everyone. It was exactly what I needed and I was so grateful. I truly felt the love.
A few days later, Tristan surprised me with a trip to the mountains. It was the babymoon we had planned months ago, but I thought we would never get a chance to take. It was only an hour or so away, so we could visit Zac in the morning and go spend the night in the mountains, then see him again on the way home the next day. It was perfect! Of course there was another motive - there was a heap of powder and Tristan wanted to get in a few runs each day. But I didn't mind in the least - it meant I could hang out at Starbucks and read (or sew). The best part was that we got to spend some real quality time together. We had a spa out in the snow, a wonderful dinner at a cute little Italian restaurant where we got to drink Aussie wine, and a lunch at a "bakery" (I think someone needs to advise America that to call a cafe a bakery you actually need to bake something...).
I can't describe how relaxed we were after those few days away. And HAPPY. We knew there was light at the end of the tunnel and we had survived this tumultuous adventure.
The theory of jumping country and spending three years starting a family was fabulous in theory. But, as the cookie crumbles, we were given a less than perfect pregnancy, an extremely early delivery, and an extended stay in the NICU. Without the support network that we take for granted at home, this was difficult (...might be a slight understatement). But the truth of the matter is that without the wonderful Aussies, Brits, Canadians and the odd local, this chapter might have been completely unbearable.
Everyday we get a little message from home sending us love, luck, prayers and support. It has meant a lot. We feel the love.
Everyday someone here will do something that will make us realise how lucky we are, and even though we are far from home, we aren't alone. It means so much. We feel the love.
And, lucky for me, everyday I get a cuddle from both of my boys and their love buoys me though another day. I am always feeling the love.
It was a week where I felt the love so strongly, that I feel the need to thank you all. Mwah!
I hope that you can feel the love too ;-)