Thursday, 3 January 2019

2018 - My Year in Review

I'm going to start this post the same way in which I started my 2017 Reflection post; how quick has this year gone?!
So much has happened in 2018 that I don't quite know where to begin.

I definitely travelled more this year; from celebrating my 29th birthday in Las Vegas to having a girls weekend in Birmingham. I've had a blast and have plenty of trips planned for 2019; currently five trips booked and planned - who knows if there will be any more to add? Fingers crossed!
Babies were a big thing for 2018; the surrogacy (more on that later), two brand new nieces joining the family and friends becoming parents for the first time. I do love a squishy newborn, just not enough for me to have another one.
2018 also saw me step back into education. I attended a university open day to look at applying for Midwifery and it turns out that my previous degree is now considered too old and is not recent enough to use for entry requirements. Due to this I enrolled on a distance learning access course and am now doing my best to complete a two year course by June 2019. During this time I have also applied for university and am awaiting my course tutor to complete my reference. I have only applied for one university so fingers crossed that I at least get an interview.
Back in August I was nominated for, and won, an award for 'Surrogacy Champion 2018' at the National Surrogacy Awards. It seems that my blogging surrounding surrogacy helped people enough that they decided to vote for me, which I am still rather shell shocked over.
Blog wise hasn't been too bad either; my social media platforms have grown over 40% and my surrogacy posts were very well received. For the second part of the year, I did have to put the blog on a back burner and didn't get to post as much as I had wanted, but my access course came first and I am sure that everyone would have understood.
Finally, my 2018 highlight was being a surrogate. I've detailed my whole journey online and have received amazing feedback. In my 2017 Reflection post I mentioned that by Christmas 2018 I would have liked to have completed my journey or be in the process. I am so pleased to be able to say that I completed the journey on Bonfire Night and the beautiful little one is now almost 9 weeks old. How crazy is that?! I would love to go for another journey, preferably a sibling one if the parents want me!
For 2019, my aims are to keep growing my blog and social media channels, however I am happy where I am at the moment. I also don't want the added pressure of ensuring I post enough content when trying to juggle my course, work and parenting.
I was due to start back work this week, but due to a couple of issues, along with my access course, I have extended this until April. I am considering now taking the full 39 weeks to ensure that I can get the best grades on my course, but we shall see.
I am hoping that I will at least gain an interview for university; I highly doubt I will be given an offer for 2019 intake as the degree itself is very competitive, but who knows? If I don't get an offer I will be starting the process of job hunting in order to obtain a role within the NHS and hopefully progress over to maternity care. Once my access course is completed, it is valid for 5 years worth of applications, so I will keep applying each year until I get an offer. 
We have a good few trips planned for the year, including Orlando, Haven and Center Parcs. I literally cannot wait for any of them and they are definitely needed after this year. Pregnancy is hard enough, but with two kids under four, it's a lot harder. I'm looking forward to chilling out without a baby bump this summer.
So, may aims for 2019? Get the grades I need (30 distinctions and 15 merits to be exact), get a new job or start uni, and enjoy all of the adventures we are going to have. Oh and undergo a known egg donation journey - more on that in another post!
I hope that you all had an amazing 2018 and have an even better 2019!
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