I’ve pondered writing a blog for some time, but for one reason or another the time was never quite right and it’s one of those things I put on hold along loosing “baby weight” and training to enter an ironman!
So here I am, the blogging newbie. Wanting to share my life, family and travel stories. I guess I should start by explaining the name choice.
For those of you that don’t know “Embrace the suck” is a military term meaning when the situation is bad, you deal with it. Basically being dealt a shitty hand but picking yourself up, drying your eyes and moving on.
This became very poignant to me in May 2015 when my second small person, Chester was born with a blocked bowel, a condition called Meconium ileus requiring surgery a few days after his birth. This condition is an indicator of Cystic Fibrosis and on 26th May 2015 I joined an elite club and became a CF mum. That was the day CF rudely entered my life, uninvited and most definitely unwanted.
For anyone unfamiliar with Cystic Fibrosis or CF, I’ll explain a little about it, CF is an inherited genetic condition which affects the lungs and the digestive system. I won’t go all scientific on you, but in short it is caused but two faulty genes inherited from each parent. Each CFer is affected with a different level of severity, there is no, one size fits all.
As a parent this was a massive blow, I won’t lie I was and almost two years in still am devastated. My biggest small person, Oakley seems to have been fortunate enough to have dodged the one in four CF bullet unlike Chester.
Chester’s condition has thrown all kinds of curve balls and as a parent second time round, hoping it would be a little easier because I should know what I am doing, I find myself completely clueless most of the time.
I have vowed not to allow Cystic fibrosis to define Chester or us as a family and although it seems to have become a huge part of our lives I will not allow it to take over. We continue with our lives as we did before, the medications and physiotherapy have slotted into our lives and have almost become routine, there are of course some restrictions that CF has placed on us and our activities, but I live by the rule that we don’t know how long we have Chester for so I want him to experience everything a child without CF would experiences without obviously putting him at risk. I guess ultimately if his life were cut short I would want to know I let him experience everything without restriction.
A Life with kids isn’t for the feint hearted at the best of times, it means endless sacrifice and a huge shift in priorities but throw CF into the mix as well and although it becomes slightly more difficult and complicated it is not impossible. There will be tough times, sad times and damn right angry times but that’s where I have learned to “Embrace the suck”.
Each time CF knocks me down I get myself up, dry my eyes and carry on in true military style, for what kind of example would I be setting my children if I didn’t teach them such values.
Life isn’t meant to be easy but I believe I was chosen for this life as I am strong enough to live it and I will spend every last breath battling for Chester’s next breath never taking anything for granted and grabbing every opportunity by the horns.
We never truly know how long we have our children for, so CF or not, live life to the fullest, let children be children, treasure every moment, make memories, laugh and when life throws you a shitty hand, Learn to embrace the suck and remember you got this.