Hi everyone! My real name is Gaye, but practically everyone tends to call me Gayesy because I hate "Gaye". I have had one too many experiences of introducing myself "Hi, I'm Gaye" to be greeted with a smart alec comment such as "Gee, I hope not." Aaarrrggghhh...
Anyway, I am 34 years old, have been married to my darling husband Andrew for over 11 years now, and we have a beautiful little boy, Thomas, born on 15th February 1997. We live in Brisbane, Australia, with our two cats Pumpkin and Princess and our pembroke corgi (the kind of dog the Queen has!) called Possum. All our pets' names were actually nicknames of mine! My Dad still actually calls me Possum, which can get confusing at times!
I was born in Newcastle, a mining town in New South Wales, and we moved to Melbourne when my father was promoted in his job. He is a mining engineer and used to work for B.H.P (the "Big Australian"). I grew up in Melbourne, not moving to Queensland until I was in my late teens. I have an older sister, who still lives in Melbourne, is the Head of Mathematics at an Anglican Girls' school and has two little boys of her own, and a younger brother, who lives up here and is an Emergency Registrar (kind of like Dr. Mark Greene in the show E.R. - he even looks a bit like him, tall and a bit geeky! LOL!) It is so funny to think of my "baby" brother being a doctor, let alone someone who saves lives on a daily basis. My Mum is not very well these days, after having suffered a stroke and two heart attacks, and now recently being diagnosed with emphysema. In addition to all this, she had just broken her hip and had surgery to repair it. It is pretty worrying, and I pray that she will be sufficiently well to enjoy my baby when she/he arrives. My Dad has his own company and does mining/managerial consultancy work.
At school, I was what Andrew terms a "conch" (short for conscientious). I ALWAYS had my head in a book, and used to spend all my time studying. I had no social life, was absolutely perfectionistic and very miserable. The only exception was when I was involved in school music. I LOVED to sing, and took part in several school musicals and all the various singing groups available. I was even the Choral Captain! LOL! I also played in the orchestra. Don't ask me why they let me do that because I played VERY BAD violin! Oh well, I enjoyed being a part of it all and it took my mind off my studies.
I went to university, first in Melbourne and then completing my course up here when my Dad was promoted further in his job. It was VERY hard to move at that time in my life, and I actually sunk into a pretty deep depression for quite a while. Anyway, I finished my Bachelor of Arts Degree, receiving prizes along the way for Maths, and enrolled in a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (a "Dip. Ed.")
That was when my life really changed for the better! One day, across a crowded and smoke filled psychology tutorial room, our eyes met! Yes, it was Andrew!! Even though he did not go on to be a high school teacher, we are both (well, I am anyway! LOL!) grateful that we were brought together that year. That year was FUN! I finally had a social life, even used to have lunch with Andrew and several of his male friends (and have other girls stare at me with envy!) We had only known each other a few months when we decided that this was "it", although we didn't make an engagement official until the following February.
My first year of teaching, I was posted to a school which I can only describe as something out of To Sir With Love. A NIGHTMARE. The problem was that the kids did NOT respond to Sidney Poitier style teaching skills. LOL! That year, I got hit in the face, called every swear word I had even heard of (and some I never knew existed!), and basically had a rotten, rotten time. Trying to teach Maths and German to grade eight students who could barely read or write was asking for trouble I guess. It was really sad.
Andrew and I were married at the end of that year, on December 23rd 1989, in a traditional religious ceremony at a beautiful inner city church. I felt like a princess in my dress. It was a wonderful day!
The next year, I started teaching at an exclusive, all girls, Anglican school. Quite a change! I was there for seven years before leaving at the end of 1996, when pregnant with Thomas. Some of the girls and their parents were real snobs but at least I didn't get physically abused! I taught Maths to girls ranging in age from twelve to seventeen. I don't ever want to go back to classroom teaching again, but do have several students who come to my home for private coaching.
For the first 6 1/2 years of our marriage, except for one year in between, Andrew was a full-time student, completing his Masters in Applied Science and then beginning his PhD. I had wanted a baby well before Thomas arrived but financially it just wasn't feasible. Andrew didn't feel quite ready anyway, so it was probably good that we waited. Finally we were in a position where we both felt ready and financially it was okay! In June of 1996, I was THRILLED to discover I was expecting! It is probably safe to say that Andrew felt pretty pleased with his efforts too! We started excitedly making plans for our baby's arrival.
The pregnancy went great as far as Thomas was concerned, well until the end anyway. I suffered from several bad attacks of asthma and had to be hospitalised for several weeks on two occasions. On the second occasion I coughed so hard that I pulled some cartilage off my ribs and I spent the rest of the pregnancy in agony. Thomas was born on February 15th at 36 weeks gestation, and needed to be in the Special Care Until for several days. After that he picked up beautifully and has been pretty healthy ever since. I struggled with PPD for quite some time after Thomas's birth but am now doing just fine!
One thing which has brought Andrew and I even closer together has been our agreement on parenting issues. We are both very passionate about a style of parenting known as "attachment parenting" (AP). We LOVE it, and Thomas is thriving too. Thomas still nurses occasionally, and still sleeps snuggled up next to us. We feel very close as a family.
I even started writing a book about AP, collecting parents' experiences from all over the world and combining that with relevant research. I am at a bit of a standstill with it at the moment but do hope to finish it one day. I am also very interested in lactation and am hoping soon to be able to start up a La Leche League Group in Brisbane and eventually qualify as a lactation consultant.
Last year I fell pregnant with our second child. We were ECSTATIC! Very sadly, little Nicholas died somewhere around 15 weeks gestation. It was a horrible shock to turn up at my 16 week check up and find that my baby had died. No definite reason was found for his death but it is likely that a serious illness I had at the beginning of the pregnancy was involved.
I am pregnant again!! I am due on February 20th, which is five days after Thomas's fifth birthday. This time I know I will feel more nervous and guarded throughout the pregnancy, and sometimes probably downright panicky. I am still THRILLED though about this little Munchkin, as are Andrew and Thomas. Thomas is MORE than ready to be a big brother and I can't wait to hold another little one in my arms.