. the woman .

Where do I begin? Lets do a quick faq shall we, then we'll get into a bit of the nitty gritty...

Name: Nicole
Age: 25
Home: Australia
Occupation: Mum and wanna-be web designer
Marital Status: happily married for 4 years, partners for 10
Children: four - 2 girls and 2 boys.

I had my first child in my 17th year of life. I was young. Not as young as some but nevertheless, young.

Nathan and I met when I was about 14 or so I think, when I was in year 9 at school. A good catholic school for girls. His brother introduced us. We went out for a little while then I broke it off, badly. A couple of years later he sent me a Christmas card and asked me to call him, so I did. We have been together, for better or worse, since.

I got pregnant not long after we reunited. I miscarried shortly after. Nathan stood by me throughout. He came to the hospital with me, he held my hand through the internal examination, through the tears I shed when they told me I was no longer pregnant. He was the exact opposite of what everyone expects a young Dad to be. I think I fell inlove with him then.

My mother keenly pushed me out of the house when we expressed a desire to live together. Nathan has always said that she pretty much dumped me on him, which she did. I was never an easy teenager. I did everything in my power to buck the system, to go against the grain and be everything that everybody didn't want me to be. I think I succeeded well in this area and I have no regrets whatsoever.

We decided that we liked the idea of becoming parents so we actively tried to concieve. I stole a thermometre from our local chemist and would take my temperature each day in an effort to find the right time to concieve. We put it down to once every two days when I finally did fall pregnant.

In my second trimester we moved to another house. A house we both hated, in an awful suburb with awful people. We lived there for about 3 years or so before we finally had the money to move to a house that we could afford and that we liked.

When Aimee was born, we had about a dozen new things for her, the rest were hand-me-downs from my cousins, who were boys. Aimee wore the boy's clothes and did them justice.

Her birth was frightening, amazing, life-changing and full of the largest amount of joy and sadness that I have ever experienced. I was in labour for 3 days before she was born under a general by c-section. She was the tinniest baby that I have had, weighing in at 5lb 13oz. She hasn't grown much since. :)

The relationship between Nathan and I went through some seriously rough patches and at one of those patches I became pregnant with our second child. I seriously considered aborting him and it took me a long time to feel anything towards him. Jake was born by c-section also. Now I realise that I had PND. After he was born he could have been run over by a truck and I wouldn't have cared. I looked after him, I breastfed him (just like I did with all my babies), I never neglected him, but I didn't want him. It took me at least a year before I returned to my 'normal' self.

Our third child came along, again by accident and again by c-section, but she was and still is a precious gift from the Goddess and I wouldn't give her back for anything. I spent 3 months in hospital before she was born with placenta preavia. The placenta was completely covering my cervix, making it impossible for me to give birth naturally. There was a tremendous risk of me hemoraging and bleeding to death. I will never forget the doctor telling me that I could loose my entire body volume of blood and die in ten minutes if I didn't stay in the hospital. I stayed. I lost a litre of blood when she was born and had to have a transfusion. Victoria looks just like a little angel and she is the sweetest child I have ever met. She loves totally and unconditionally.

Phillip, our fourth and final child was born in 2000, three days before Aimee's birthday, again by c-section. This time however I was conscious for his birth. I was terrified and I hated every single minute of it. My heart cried when they showed him to me. After three children and three terrible births I had finally seen one of my babies born. I was awestruck. I still am. Nathan was there with me and without him I would not have been able to do it.

Having my children has made me who I am today. I would not be without them or my husband. They are my life.

Just a quick note: Nathan and I celebrated our 11th year together on January 26th of this year and I have no doubt whatsoever that we will celebrate many, many more anniversary's together.

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