mylifeof_love mylifeof_love

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Rachael  Diary of my life + wife + Mum to Mackenzie our shooting star + blogger + Genetic Carrier testing Campaigner. My Life of Love ✨✨ #mackenziesmission

Flash back to when we needed Kenzie to go to sleep in preparation for a photoshoot... But our sweet baby had other plans xx
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#mackenziesmission #mackenzieisbeautiful #smilingbaby #happybaby #isntshedivine #wishicouldcuddleyoumunchkin #photoshootprep

Thank you so much for all your love, particularly around my last post. It is such a sensitive and hard issue but ones that need to be discussed!
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Whilst I feel it is part of my 'job' to help raise awareness for testing and Kenzie's legacy, I sometimes cringe when I have to discuss prenatal testing. I have often heard parents say that they wouldn't do genetic testing or chromosomal testing because they would 'love their child no matter what'.
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This answer hurts me - does that mean I didn't love my daughter? They seem oblivious to the fact that of course you love them no matter what, every parent does. But there is so much more responsibility that comes with becoming a parent and sometimes love means loving them so much that you would do anything to stop your child suffering or have a life that is filled with heartache.
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When I hear parents saying those simple uninformed words I have to take a deep breath and realise that some people can't learn something or see different angles until they live it. Also not everyone will agree. That is our right as humans.
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Ok enough seriousness - let us all now focus on that face and those lips!!!!!!xx
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#mackenziesmission #hardposts #nextpostwillbehappyipromise #parentingisntalwayseasy #mylittlegirl #lookatthoselips

I recieved a comment/question from a lovely person that I wanted to share as it is important.
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"If the genetic testing was available to you before you had your Mackenzie, you may never have had her in your life. Do you ever wonder what your live would be like if she hasn't been in it. Through you and Jonny, she has left such an incredible legacy. You are an inspiration"
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Firstly, thank you your kind words and I totally understand your question.
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To answer this, no we actually never wonder what life would be like if Mackenzie hadn't been here. I never for a second think of life without her, I don't want to. I do, however wonder what life would have been like if she didn't have SMA. I dream of it, but it isn't real.. that isn't reality.
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We get asked sometimes whether our campaign for genetic testing means we 'regret' Mackenzie (not that this is what this person is asking). However, it is so much more complicated than that.
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If we got pregnant with another child and we knew they would have SMA, we would terminate, 100%. Not because we wouldn't love them but because we would love them too much to do that to them. In our opinion, it is not fair on a child, to bring them into the world knowing you are giving them that short life, that struggle.
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This may upset people but until you have seen your child struggle to breath you can't possibly know what we have been though. What it is like to watch but be helpless. You can never imagine the hard choices we have had to make.
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Selfishly, we would never ever ever take back our time with Kenzie. We got too much out of it. Not because of all she has achieved, but because she is our everything. Our memories of her are everything. We are better people for having known her. We were lucky to have her as our daughter. If it was all or nothing, we would chose all.
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But now we have the power of knowledge, so whilst Kenzie gave us so much and we love her so dearly we would never put her or another child through it again.
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Does that make sense?
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I would live the pain 1000 times but I wouldn't ask her to.
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#mackenziesmission #lifeisntblackandwhite #hardquestions #dontjudgeuntilyouknow #oureverything #ourlittlegirl

I am heading into the weekend tired just like Miss M in this photo. But that just seems to be my constant state whilst on this round of IVF.
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Today is day eight of stimulation. So far I still feel ok. I am super tired, the occasional headache and feeling quite 'full'. For those who don't know it feels like a constant period pain. You feel heavy and bloated which makes sense considering the average IVF round leads to say 10 eggs and each follicle before collection measure around 20mm each!! So you are mega full!!
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We had our first scan this morning. Everything seems on track but who knows what will happen. We have the usual 10-12 follicles but some may be too small to contain eggs. However, if we got eight eggs and all fertilised we'd be better off than we have been before...as you can see it is still anyone's guess.
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We have another scan and blood test on Monday. Feeling positive but scared.
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But for now I am on the couch, my feet are up, I am cuddling a hot water bottle, Jonny just organised a healthy protein dinner and the tele is on. Nothing planned for the weekend but relaxation and hopeful some smiles.
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Happy Friday beautiful people xx
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#mackenzieisbeautiful
#mackenziesmission #ivfjourney #ivf #pgd #tiredandbloated #happyfridayeveryone

Feeling a little bit rough today. Not emotionally... But physically. It must be the injections from this round but I'll take it all and more if I get her little brother or sister.
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In the meantime if I need to smile I look at her x
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#mackenzieisbeautiful #mackenziesmission #happyface #mylittlegirl #imisshersomuch

Photos can conjure up so many emotions. Some days I look at photos and they destroy me but then somedays, like today, they make me smile.
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Mackenzie loved being worn. She loved snuggling into my chest. On the day this photo was taken I was going on a walk down to the water with her. She was deep asleep on me as I took in the views until I had this feeling of being watched.
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Looking down this is what I saw.
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Beautiful girl xx
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#happysaturdayeveryone #mackenziesmission #sleepingbaby #mackenzieisbeautiful #cutenessoverload #babywearing

Today I can finally announce that Mackenzie is in this month's Marie Claire magazine (out today)!!
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A couple of months ago I was approached by a beautiful woman called Sarah Grant who is the Features Director at Marie Claire. She had fallen under our daughter Mackenzie's spell and wanted to help tell our story and raise awareness of genetic testing. Sarah introduced me to Cat Rodie who is an uber talent journalist for Marie Claire.
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Together their teams honoured our daughter.
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This morning @_jon_cas and I sat together to read, for the first time, the story @catrodiewriter did for us. It was a hard read, we had tears... But she did a beautiful job.
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Over the last year we have had the pleasure to work with many journalists. We are lucky that they have all been wonderful and kind, in fact many we now call friends. However, Marie Claire went above and beyond to be kind. And as you all know I strongly believe #kindnessrules
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Firstly, they were nice to deal with. A kind word here, a kiss on the end of a message there - it all counts.
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Secondly, after a hard interview they sent me for a little pampering at @christopherhannasydney which was lovely.
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Thirdly, @mssarahgrant personally went to @rmhrandwick with her daughter to donate toys in Mackenzie's name (I hope you don't mind me sharing that info babes but you are amazing and I like to share kindness around).
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Thank you honouring our daughter. Thank you for caring about us. Thank you for realising that what happened to us could have happened to anyone, we are not special or different. Thank you for treating us how you would want to be treated. Thank you for loving our beautiful Mackenzie. Finally, thank you for telling our story.
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You hold a place in our heart @marieclaireau xx
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#marieclairemagazine #mackenziesmission #kindnessrules #showerkindnesslikeaconfetti #mackenziesstory #thankyou #grateful #geneticcarrierscreening #genetictesting #sma #muchlove #mackenziesastar

My darling Insta-family.
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Our time away was spent relaxing as well as mentally and physically preparing for the next round of IVF. During this time Jonny and I also had some hard conversations about our future.
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Realistically we will most likely need more IVF or help to get our children... at the very minimum we will need to freeze embryos and do transfers. If not right now then in the future. But we know we are prepared to do whatever it takes to meet Mackenzie's little sisters/brothers.
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We have recently been inundated with some beautiful people asking us to set up a way for them to help us get our future children. In particular I would like to highlight one beautiful woman called @gabsebro who owns @jigsawhairandbeautysalon ❤️
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Gab has personally given us $1000. As well as $5 from every client booking as her salon. Gab said she will not stop until we hold Kenzie's sibling in our arms. Oh how we cried at this news. How can someone be so amazing???
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As a result of the reality of our situation and the desire of people to help we have reluctantly opened a Go Fund Me Page called 'Making Mackenzie's Siblings'.
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However, there is fine print... Which is we have been very very hesitant to set up this page and there are things people should know before donating..
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Mostly, we are uncomfortable because there are so many more deserving people out there who need help, we are partly uncomfortable due to our pride but finally because we feel like we have already recieved so much help. It feels greedy to get more.
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It is also important for you all to know that we have already received financial help. When Mackenzie was first diagnosed our friends did a Go Fund Me page to raise money for us to live life to the fullest while we had Kenzie. We used this money to remain off work and travel Australia with Kenzie. We used this money to create memories with our daughter for which we can never repay. They are priceless.
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So much more continued in comments!!!!!

Almost time to head home. Just one last quick massage...
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It has been a wonderful trip and truly amazing to spend some time with my husband not weighed down by the stresses of our life. I actually relaxed!!!
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Whether this time will influence our next IVF outcome we don't know, but it has been a much needed holiday. I am so grateful.
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Thank you to my parents who paid for our accommodation in Seminyak, thank you to AFP Legacy for paying for our accommodation in Nusa Dua and finally thank you to Jonny for the overtime he did at work to pay for our daily massages and cocktails.
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Also, thank you to Kenzie who let us know more than once on this trip that she was here and begging us to enjoy ourselves xx
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#mackenziesmission #thankyou #grateful #hibabygirlyesweseeyou #imissyouchicken #ivfjourney #pgd

Thank you just doesn't seem enough.
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When I am down I can reach out to you all and get lifted back up. I can almost feel each and every one of you holding out a hand and helping me stand each time I stumble.
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Yesterday sadly was a bad missing Mackenzie day. Every day is hard but some are harder than others. I know that is my life now. There will always be a hole in my heart. I can still laugh, I can still cry but a piece of me will always be missing.
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Jonny actually had a dream about her last night which he told me about this morning. It made me feel better, I wish she would visit my dreams but Jonny says she will when I am ready.
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For now I have you all, you will never know how even just being there and giving me the space to share helps.
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Thank you Insta-family xx
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#mackenziesmission #kindnessiseverything #spreadkindnesslikeconfetti #thankyou #missingmybaby #sadmoments #butseriouslylookatthatfacecanyoueven??

Today was a bad Mackenzie day for me. During our massage I almost had a panic attack thinking of her. I lay feeling like someone was sitting on my chest. Gasping for breath, willing myself to stay still, relax, be calm.
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We went for a beautiful lunch nearby over looking some rice paddy fields when I couldn't stop it, the tears flowed.
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I have tried to hold off emotions recently, afraid for the stress that will put on my body. But I can't help it - I miss my baby. I want her back. I want her to have the life she is owed. I want to feel her. I've had enough. Give her back to me.
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#mackenziesmission #iwantmybabyback #ivehadenough

Buffet breakfast: Check
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Massage: Check
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Hunky man: Check
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Pool bar: Check
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Good book: Check
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Cocktail: Check
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Oh hello holiday!
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#mackenziesmission #holiday #ivfholiday #ithinkwearedoingthisright #excusethemumbod #mackenziesparentstrytorelax

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