There has always been a clash of philosophy in my home.

The point of discussion is around whether we have control in our lives or not. One side is that we have none and that all actions and results come from a pre-ordained fate and destiny. The other is that we carve out our future and make things happen.

I’ve always believed the latter and seen the former as a cop out for my husband.

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Since much of my life has been about trying hard, training more, furthering myself and along the way, beating myself up, this is what I’ve known to bring results. He on the other hand believes it will either happen or it won’t and that it’s simply our perception that makes us think we’ve pulled it off ourselves. For so many reasons I just cannot buy that.

Then again I remember being confused when I had my first born. I was fit, healthy and, according to many, should have given birth with ease. So we set up the birthing pool, filled out my ‘No drugs for me!’ form and then battled a three-and-a-half day labour culminating in an emergency c-section and kilos of medication!

It was a slap in the face for my understanding that we exert control over our circumstances.

Sometimes that just isn’t true. And come to think of it, it probably wasn’t my first slap, I probably just missed the previous cues. So come the next pregnancy I went a stage further with my preparation and focused on Hypnobirthing, I read about it, wrote about it in some magazine pages and lived it – foolproof this time! Now I would be in control of this birth and my body. Everything would happen ‘easily and effortlessly’, baby and I would work together in a wonderful harmonious experience.

taking the reins of life

I’m comfortable in life by giving it a go, gritting teeth, taking the falls and climbing back on for another ride.

To take my husbands opinion (he tells me it is fact not opinion…) and sit back and wait for your calling, leaves me feeling nervous, lazy, passive – out of control basically. “What will be will be” might be a nice notion when everything is falling in your lap and life is good. But when things go wrong it suggests you can’t change the course of anything, mend situations, alter the nature and consequences of events through will, belief, love, desire or whatever. And if that isn’t a dispiriting concept and a recipe for despondency I don’t know what is!

Luckily for most of us exercise and sports enthusiasts, that isn’t our make up.

For us it is unsettling to think that whatever we’ve gained from our health and fitness efforts isn’t to our credit. So for yours and my sake I put up a good argument to defend our workout and dietary regimes. I point to my abs whilst prodding my doubting husband’s like a pudding and say smugly, “So you think this is an illusion then?”

Admittedly things do go wrong in life and tragedy happens beyond our control, but we spend enough time in the driving seat to make a difference, surely?

Well, after my second pregnancy it was me with the pudding tummy.

While we were by the lake in our swimming costumes I was pinching more than an inch. No wonder really nine weeks after a second baby. I can’t say I was too bothered about what people see or thought, even if they are bothering to look at all. To me it was perfectly obvious I’d just had a baby; my muscles were soft, my tummy not quite contracted and then once again there’s a huge sausage like lump where I had another emergency c-section.

But as I played with my 4-year-old Oscar in the sand there was no evidence of an even younger toddler to account for my ‘condition’.

In Part 2 tomorrow Joey Bull opens up about the heartbreaking chain of events around the birth of her second child and how she was able to repair and rebuild physically and mentally.

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