Anxious Action…

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I wrote the below a couple of nights ago in the early hours, then debated whether to post it. But the blog is for my daughters in the future, and on the offchance they have similar fears or problems, I’m sticking to my ‘keep it all’ policy! 

Tonight was an important night. I haven’t spoken much about it and I didn’t talk to anyone but my husband about it, however dear friends; tonight I went out on my own. 
A year ago I was three months pregnant with Holly, and my health began to deteriorate, my kidneys got to a pretty dire state, and my epilepsy reached an all time high (in the worst sense of the word). So at around that time, I was advised to have someone with me I knew whenever I went anywhere. And we realised, that it wouldn’t be difficult because since being pregnant with Scarlett, I hadn’t been anywhere on my own. This at first sounds a bit mental, but I don’t drive, and so I used to get picked up by colleagues for work, and my husband and I go out together an awful lot, and since Scarlett, we’d had a lot of family and friends around in that first year. Without noticing, I’d started a nervous pattern of not going on my own places. The epilepsy had returned in my first pregnancy but not in a severe way, but it had been enough to mean I ensured I was always with somebody I knew.
However, the second pregnancy kicked off a whole new level of anxiety. By the time January came around, my Dad had moved in with us and my husband put almost all of the work he had on, on hold for three months so not only did I not go out on my own, I wasn’t on my own at home. As my seizures got so frequent, I had a few worrying falls, and I would have someone i with me almost all of the time. I remember very little of those last few months, it was very confusing at the time and I frequently didn’t remember what was going on. Post it’s adorned our bedroom, and my phone notes became my go to. I even had an album of people I saw regularly with descriptions of who they were that I would refer to if I found myself in a conversation with someone who was in my lounge but suddenly unfamiliar. This inevitably brought some humorous times as well as frightening. On one occasion, I read in my notes, “we’re having a Thai takeaway tonight and will order from…” etc, and by the time my husband got home from work at 10pm, despite having had dinner, there was not one, but two Thai takeaways that my bewildered Dad had had to answer the door to. An occasion that I’m often reminded of, and one I barely remember happening!!

Anyway, back to the point. Through this, I developed a rather severe case of social anxiety. I’d want people to come visit, but I’d panic that I’d have a seizure, or forget who they were and freak out. I’m ashamed to admit it but I can be a very proud person in the negative sense of the word. I don’t like being out of control of myself, and the thought that I might upset someone or embarrass myself was very upsetting. There were several social occasions I had to ‘get through’, concentrating so hard on not losing the conversation thread or not appearing vacant, that I’d be absolutely exhausted afterwards. The most heartbreaking was Scarlett, I never didn’t know who she was, and seeing her always made my face light up and made me happy even if I got a bit confused. But I wasn’t allowed to carry her, or be with her on my own, for her and my safety and THAT was the hardest part of it all. How to explain to a one year old that Mummy couldn’t be with her again. I look back now, and I realise that what everyone said at the time about her forgetting that stage and not being affected is absolutely true. We have an incredible bond and I love having time with my mini pea, and she knows she can come to Mummy and climb all over me whenever she wants (being gentle if I’m holding Holly of course!). But at the time, I thought she’d eventually hate me, not want to come near me, be scared of me etc etc, the list of paranoid worries goes on!!

Once Holly was born, the seizures almost immediately ceased. I still get a bit confused at times and have to just go over in my head or with my husband what’s going on; in Malta on holiday one morning when I’d had no sleep at all, my poor long suffering partner had to gently go through where we were and what was happening before I sorted it out in my head and could continue. So at my six week check and an additional 12 week check, I was told that the restrictions that were on while pregnant could be lifted. And I HUGELY enjoyed spending time with my two little girls on my own. Because all of a sudden I wasn’t a ‘danger’ to the three most important people to me, I could be ‘allowed’ to be with them by myself. After some time, I even took a huge (for me) step and took them both out on my own, and it was AWESOME! 

However, they were now a bit of a safety blanket. A few months down the line and I realised that although I do spend a lot of time with the girls by myself, even a day in London with them, going on a boat trip, attending an interview, regular jet setter(..!), I still hadn’t been out by myself by myself (if that makes sense?!). Clearly I wasn’t overly worried about epilepsy, or else I would feel comfortable out and about with the girls. So I knew from quite early on I’d been left with some residual psychosomatic anxiety. 

I’d been thinking (borderline obsessing!) about this for about 12 weeks. I kept finding opportunities to take a little trip out alone, and then changing it, or inviting someone to ‘meet me at mine’ instead or just cancelling for what I felt at the time were decent reasons but was actually, looking back, just an excuse because I wasn’t quite ready.

But tonight. Tonight I was going to see a friend in an event at a local literature festival, it was 15 minutes walk from home and lasted one hour. My husband and I are so busy in the next week or so that we were at the end of babysitting favours, and as he has a writing deadline coming up, it was decided that I should go and he’d take care of the kids. ‘No worries’ I thought, I’ll go with a mutual friend…who was busy. I text a few other people, but to cut a long story short (which I haven’t really done so far, sorry comrades!), I found myself at 5.30pm today, due to leave in just over an hour and sweating profusely. This was it, this was leaving the house totally on my own on my own. No husband by my side to squeeze my hand if we went through a busy crowd of people, no daughters to occupy me (and hide behind!), if I was going, I was going alone. To a place with a location I wasn’t 100% sure of.

Before I carry on, let me express to you how ridiculous this will seem to people who know me. My entire life I have been fiercely independent, ready for adventure, and due to my often crazy schedule, happy to go alone anywhere, my old housemates used to think I was a bit mad going to the cinema alone but I loved it! I’ve travelled alone, I’ve lived alone, alone have never been something that’s worried me before. Sorry…back to the narrative…

In my head I flip flopped between not going and going 700 times. I thought about various things; ‘my throats quite sore at the moment’ (but I’m definitely not under the weather enough not to go), ‘there’s that email I haven’t replied to’ (but I’m not expected to till Monday, the list went on. For someone who has supposed to have their crap together, I really am a mess!

Now I can’t do a dramatic reveal as in my first sentence I gave out an important spoiler, but after much psyching myself up and talking to myself in the mirror, ‘you have a PhD for christs sake, pull yourself together woman’! I went out. I arrived after a fifteen minute journey of jumping a couple of times because of a car horn or something stupid. I arrived and didn’t know where to go within the venue which threw me momentarily. But I did it. 

And I had a really nice evening, and then on the way home I remembered how much I used to enjoy solitary walks to clear my head (I still jumped when a motorbike revved ahead of me but baby steps and all that..!). I was SO excited to get home to my husband and tell him I’d done it, and I arrived back to a stiff drink, and the PS4 controller being handed to me to play Resident Evil (which likely sounds very strange but was a big treat!). And now I know I can do it. I won’t promise that if I’m going somewhere alone, I won’t falter a bit, or make an excuse to get out of something when I suddenly realise I’m going it totally alone, but that’s ok. I know I can do it, and I know it all fine, but on the occasions where I’m not quite there, I’m not going to let it set me back.

The lingering effects of traumatic events or difficult periods of our lives are often long lasting and silent. Long past the time when those around you actively thinks of it as a problem, which is understandable; we all have busy lives, and we simply don’t have time to remember each and every little thing that might effect everyone around us based o past events. We all get on with it as best we can. Which often means that leftover issues don’t necessarily get dealt with, which is how we all become so uniquely messed up in our own way!! Which I say with love because none of us get out of life alive, and we all have various scars and bumps and bruises along the way, they’re just all very different jumps, bruises and scars! So although some people’s fears seem strange to us, it’s not our right to decide they shouldn’t feel that way, we have no idea what journey they’d been on to feel like that. We should help each other, and be kind to each other, but always remember that we all have at least a few things that most people would probably deem ridiculous. And then there’s the common fears that we all understand like ‘my God what if Trump becomes president.’

Anyway, multiple tangents aside, tonight I conquered a nervous fear. I say conquered, I mean challenged. I won, but that’s not to say I’m totally victorious in general! But that’s OK. I’m happy with that. As pathetic as it may seem, I’m proud of that. In the future I’ll do more and more on my own. The girl who went to America alone, regularly joined OAP’s at the cinema on a Tuesday afternoon is a slightly different person now. Now I genuinely prefer doing things with my husband or my daughters with me, I find experiences more fun with them there and when they’re not I find myself wishing they could be there to enjoy those experiences with me. That said, the girl I am now was being held prisoner by herself. And I have started the rescuing process! 

It’s not an easy thing to do, breaking a habit that’s formed. Especially a habit that’s formed under traumatic circumstances. Mine is really not bad compared to the struggles a lot of people go through and a lot of the trauma that other people survive. But it’s all relative, and we’re all entitled to go through these things. For those that have gone through and totally beaten their anxieties and fears, I salute you! It’s not easy and it takes incredible inner strength just to acknowledge those things are there, let alone vanquish them. To those of you that are still fighting, keep going, you’re doing great. And for those of you that feel like you’ll never be able to face it, please know that you can, when you’re ready. It doesn’t have to be today, it doesn’t have to be tomorrow. Give yourself a break and face it when you’re ready. And talk to those close to you, I tried to sort it all in my own head, as soon as I opened up to my husband it seemed like half the problem it had felt before! Greet the demons in your cupboard with a friendly grin, you know exactly where they are, you’re familiar with their form, in a lot of cases, you helped create them in your own design! Then when you want to, open the cupboard with a shotgun in hand (METAPHORICAL SHOTGUN! PLEASE don’t think I mean literally..!) and do those demons some damage!

Early Arrival Euphoria…

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pride and pleasure that I can happily announce the safe arrival of our second child; Holly Lily Kazimiera Jordan!
The full story of her birth (following in her sisters footsteps, it’s a dramatic one!) will follow at some point but for now I just thought I’d post the happy news! 
She was a very healthy 6lbs 11oz, born four weeks early, at 00:31 on 19th March, so we won our very own grand slam just before England won the Six Nations Grand Slam! 
As I type this, both Holly and I are still in the hospital but both doing really well and I’m hoping that this will be the last blog post when the two of us are in the hospital together! Over the last couple of months, we have fought together as a little team against infections, long standing ailments, as well as unsuitable pregnancy conditions and enough medication to keep us both rattling for years! Today should be our last night being woken up to have our temperatures taken, blood pressure monitored etc etc! Don’t get me wrong, I will have quite a few follow up appointments to ensure that post pregnancy; my kidney function starts to improve, my epilepsy calms down, and my iron levels pick up but that should hopefully be over a series of in eventful outpatient appointments instead of two, three day stays in hospital wards! 
For those people that have persevered through weeks of blog posts that keep starting ‘so, you’ll never guess where I am’ or similar, a big thank you. You, frankly make up some of the number of people in our lives that have followed our story, and even that seemingly simple act has got our little family through. Knowing that there are people there, cheering us on, following our progress.
I have mentioned many times that my husband is my hero, and he certainly takes poll position in the list of people who have got me through such a difficult time of my life. However; especially this last stretch where I barely knew who I was, couldn’t go anywhere without being told I have another flipping infection(!), it really has been a family affair! We’ve got through and been able to cope without our beautiful Scarlett being too negatively impacted (apart from perhaps wondering why her Mum doesn’t spend any time with her anymore!!) because of her four Grandparents. Whether it be living with us for a month to be an extra pair of hands in the household, regular meals being cooked and/or provided for us, or having Scarlett overnight, often at short notice to either allow us to try and get some rest or to head back to the hospital! 
It would take too long to explain the real value of their contributions but hopefully they all know how much we’ve really appreciated it. And as thanks…the gift of another new Granddaughter who already has them all wrapped around her little finger! (Which consequently is where she has us as well!) 
Anyway. My ‘short’ announcement post has turned into a much more substantial piece, my apologies! Our long awaited baby has arrived safely and we couldn’t be happier to have completed our little family of four!
The blog will continue as we take on our new life as parents of two young children under the age of two and muddle our way through the inevitable trials, tribulations, triumphant victories, spectacular failures and everything else in between! To all other parental teams, I salute you…and please send tips! 
Let the chaos commence!!

Positive Pregnancy Pain…

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My breasts are sore. That’s a normal motherhood pain. 35 weeks in, and after 8 weeks so far on bed rest or in hospital, it’s finally a pain that is for our baby! 
My temperatures high, and I’m getting quite a few bouts of fever. I’ve been keeping the lamp on at night to avoid seeing things because the fever from the epilepsy tablets tend to make me see things. I refer to post it notes around my room and on my phone a lot because the epilepsy causes a lot of confusion. My back constantly hurts because my kidneys are rubbish. And I’m on painkillers and a few other medications because the recurrent infections & epilepsy medication have some rather unsavoury side effects. In total I take ten tablets each day at the moment. The difficult part of all of that, is that it’s all because of MY weaknesses, my body letting me & my baby down. I’m currently the biggest danger to our child and that breaks my heart.
But my breasts hurt because they’re preparing for our baby, it’s natural and it’s normal. My body is finally doing something that HELPS our baby. I’m finally having some pain thats an ACTUAL motherhood symptom and THAT I can deal with. I am practically giddy with enjoyment because of it. I think it may be the best Mother’s Day present I could possibly have received.
Our baby. My husband and I made her. We created her and I am finally doing something that protects her. Milk is coming through ready to nourish and protect our new arrival. I’m in a ridiculous amount of tears at finally feeling a pregnancy pain, a motherhood issue, I honestly can’t tell you how it feels! 
My breasts are sore. I couldn’t be happier! 

 

Beating the blues…

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Having looked back on my last couple of posts, I’m aware I’ve been slightly doom and gloom recently! My apologies comrades, bed rest & not being able to get out of the house/get any sleep/relieve the pain/do anything to make sure my unborn baby is ok/spend time with my little girl…
…ok sorry so I’m not necessarily quite the shiny happy penny yet..! HOWEVER, I am trying to use my time slightly better and so one of things I’ve done recently is make a list of things I’m looking forward to after my hospital/house arrest status. Some are baby related, but some are just Danielle related, when women have a baby, that child becomes the most precious thing, but I also think that it’s important to keep a big part of what makes you you as an individual to be the best Mum you can be. So when I make the below list, I’m in no way commenting that I want to have a child free life or that I hold any negative thoughts for either of my children at this time! But for me, part of being a Mum is making them a part of our lives and who we are as parents. 
Anyway, before I blather on anymore (lots of time with my own thoughts at the moment, some of which rather medication addled but that’s another blog entry!) here’s my list;
Post Pregnancy Bucket List
1. Wear jeans! Or for that matter, any tighter trousers! A growing bump obviously makes tighter trousers relatively difficult but with all the other various things going on, I will be so relieved to be able to wear things pain free! 

2. Sign up to (& take part in!) a charity event! One of my ‘hobbies’ if that’s the right word, is hosting & taking part in charity events. In the last few months there were a few pregnancy friendly things like coffee mornings that I’ve sadly had to cancel, there’s an upcoming ‘sleep easy’ event for the YMCA that, had this last part of the pregnancy not been so tricky I would have been at to help (administratively not sleeping out this year!). However I also really miss the sporting challenges, my husband and I at Christmas time, enjoyed a table at a ball in Birmingham as thanks for raising £10,000 (not in one go I might add but over the years). That money was raised through music events, theatre events and also 5ks, 10ks, triathlons, sea swims, assault courses and charity netball tournaments. My schedule is always hectic and I’m looking forward to being able to get back involved, and involving my two children in them where appropriate!

3. Adventuring! My personal Twitter account (@ladeington if anyone wants to look for themselves!) is currently a picture of Scarlett in a backpack on my back at a famous Gloucestershire filming location. On the day in question, whilst filming was going on, my husband, Scarlett and I had some time to explore the beautiful area like we were explorers in middle earth. It was a fab day, and a day that was not unusual for us, we always prioritise adventuring and I cannot wait to be able to be able to do so again; whether it just being my husband and I, or with both our children.

4. Cocktails with my handsome husband! Neither he or I are big into large nights out anymore, but we do have a substantial collection of spirits and wine at home and we enjoy a tipple or two on special occasion or when we have a day off together. Something we also enjoy is going for a couple of cocktails, (ok so I tend to choose a cocktail and he’ll have gin or whisky!) it’s nice to go out a bit dressed up and get a bit tipsy together and just generally enjoy being a couple!

5. Trips to the seaside! My Dad is under a bit of a house arrest of his own at the moment! As I’ve mentioned, because of the epilepsy becoming more of an issue this pregnancy and more so since the kidney problems have come into play, I’m not to be on my own with Scarlett or on my own with our second child (which consequently means I can’t be on my own). My husband has got most of his work covered and is looking after Scarlett most of the time, in the meantime, Dads staying with us to be here when Tom has to work and to help with our little girl and myself to ease the strain on my husband. Normally however we tend to see Dad roughly once a month because we head down to Sussex where he lives, overlooking the sea. That’s also where a lot of my family live so it’s win win, family time and the seaside! Due to kidney problems at the beginning of the pregnancy and now all this at the end, we haven’t been down south since Scarlett’s pre birthday trip in June!! I look forward to our first trip down post baby, I only hope I recognise everyone…! 

6. Going for dinner and ordering a lovely rare medium steak! Maybe after a really yummy pate for starter. All accompanied by a good red wine! 

7. Zip lining! I was due to go zip lining a few months ago but had to cancel, so I look forward to booking another session!

8. Getting back into work without special measures! I love my career, I love my work. Last year we travelled to Paris, Glasgow and Brussels, and my writing work even took us to stay at Alton Towers overnight. Recently, I had to cut it all down to working from home and my duties were gradually reduced until I was finally put on bed rest. This has not been easy to swallow to say the least! I’m lucky that my children can often benefit from my work so it’s not that I don’t want to be at home with my children, far from it, I just want to get back to happily busy.

9. Spending time with my two children, outside of the house, on my own! After I’ve given birth, the expectation is that my epilepsy should go back to being a non issue which will mean I’ll stop being a higher risk and can be on my own with my kids without us needing to worry. Even better, I’ll be able to leave my house to do so, I’ll be able to take them to the park, swimming, even just into town! A small thing, definitely, but it will be so appreciated! 

10. Our first holiday as a four! It won’t be soon, it most likely won’t be particularly far away or fancy. But I cannot WAIT to not have to stay close to the hospital, and for days off work to be for leisure rather than from medical necessity. Even if it’s just a weekend with no particular plan, to be able to just pack up the car, have our family of four pile in, put on a cheesey mixed cd with no thoughts and worries other than what we might have for dinner that night and whether we’ll be able to find a tacky enough fridge magnet to bring home for our collection! Yes, the two of us have a little collection of fridge magnets from places we’ve been together as a couple, don’t envy how cool we are, you too can start your own collection with your own partner if you want to reach the dizzy heights of our rock and roll lifestyle!
As you can see I’ve not started with a hugely ambitious list. My husband and I have lists galore about the things we want to do in the future or the places in the world we want to go to but for now, when I have either my four bedroom walls or four hospital walls to look at, this list of ten things is keeping me quite happily daydreaming of fun times to come.
And with a maximum wait of five weeks before we’ll meet our new arrival (they won’t be letting me go to full term) although it’s not the easiest time, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter.

All for the best…

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I’m very down today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be home (
I was let home yesterday with a bag of painkillers, antibiotics, stronger epilepsy tablets and instructions on how to keep our baby safely inside for at least a few more weeks). However, one of the biggest things, for the safety of my toddler and our unborn child at the moment with the increased epilepsy risk is that for the remaining weeks while the risk is there, although the risks are small, I’m not going to be on my own until the baby is safely here and everything else has calmed down.
Now I understand this. There is nothing in the world that would make me put either of my children at any risk. 
But hands down, as a Mother, it’s the hardest thing to deal with during this process. I KNOW the logic, I KNOW the reasons behind it. I don’t need to hear that it’s ‘for the best’ or ‘for my own good’. I understand it all. But for a Mum to hear that you are not the safest person for your child to be with is heartbreaking. Devastatingly so. And at the moment because we’re seeing various different health practitioners as we get passed through triaged, wards, back home etc etc, it’s been a sentiment emphasised to us several times. Which only really makes it more difficult, by the time I’ve spoken to 4 health professionals, I feel like screaming, “yes I get it, I am not suitable to be looking after my own children. Please stop ramming that down my throat.”
Now I know I’m being somewhat irrational. I know that they’re not questioning me as a mother in general. The additional strain of this pregnancy has had an unfortunate knock on effect on my underlying epilepsy; which means that while the (amazing) NHS treat repeated kidney infections and deal with the medical things that go hand in hand with that, my brain is starting to struggle to keep it together. The lack of sleep makes it worse. The increased risk of falling whilst holding my beautiful little girl or simply while carrying my unborn child, or the increased risk that confusion may lead to any kind of accident or even just me not realising if my waters break or similar because I’m not ‘with it’ enough are not risks I’m willing to take. My husband and I have dramatically changed our normally hectic timetables to accommodate this including help from family and friends. We are doing that so we do the best for our children.
So I’m not in any way fighting the plan. I’m in full support of the plan. I will do whatever is needed. The part I’m struggling with? Saying goodbye to my little girl as she once again goes off with somebody to be looked after. Nodding numbly as a health professional asks us to confirm that we have things in place to ensure I’m not on my own with the children. Having other people tell me about things my little girl has done. 
And, needing other people to organise or rearrange their lives around me. I am normally someone who happily lives around ensuring other people are ok, I usually have a busy and hectic life which suits my family and myself and I love being involved in lots of different projects and other peoples projects. It’s what my personal and professional life revolves around and is based on. In Scarlett’s early days, we travelled all around the country and it was fab. Life is busy, life is manic and life is great. But now when I’m at home I suddenly need help with simple things, and have to answer seemingly ridiculously easy questions to make sure I haven’t lost any time. My husband ensures I take all the various tablets I need to. The busy, independent woman filling her days and taking her daughter along with her, has turned into a useless shell who, chances are if you call round, is in the middle of a half nap because a combination of side effects and pain means I can’t sleep.
Once our second child is here, all these things will be much more easily sorted. There will be of course a period of recovery and my kidneys and epilepsy won’t be 100% solved overnight. But it really won’t take too much time once everything isn’t under so much pressure from each direction. I’m also more than aware that becoming parents to a second child will not quieten our schedule. We are not naive enough to think that post birth, life will become easy. But take away constant trips to the hospital to clear up infections, the additional risk of worsened epilepsy (which is not anticipated to be an issue when the other health issues are resolved) and we can just concentrate on sleepless nights, and the regular trials and tribulations that parenthood brings! 
So today I am very down. I missed saying goodbye to my little girl as she went to be looked after again because I was half asleep, half awake and I don’t remember her going. 
She will have a lovely day, without me. She will pick up more words and phrases in a highly active stage of her development, without me. She will be safe, without me. 
I know all the logic, I know that it’s for the best, and I’m happy to do so to ensure the best for my children. But for now, at the moment, my heart is broken. 

Valiant Valentine…

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I’m back in the hospital, having had steroid injections to help baby’s lungs develop and on antibiotics for a new infection that brought on some contractions (which will hopefully be managed so we don’t have a premature labour). Although if premature labour IS on the cards, I’m already being monitored and prepared with aforementioned steroid injections and painkillers so I’m in the best place and lucky to be being looked after by our wonderful NHS. 
That’s the quick summary of the situation so I can get to my main point.

Today is Valentines Day. A ‘holiday’ that my husband and I don’t celebrate apart from in a jokey way (St Valentine is also the patron saint of epilepsy, the plague and beekeepers amongst other things so we like to choose an alternative to honour each year!). However, this year, I feel very lucky and I feel like we have absolutely celebrated it. 

We didn’t go out for a fancy meal, we didn’t exchange pricey or extravagant gifts. Instead my #ValentinesDay Instagram post was a picture of my hospital bed. (@Ladeington for any interested readers!) The reason I still ‘hashtagged’ it as Valentines Day is because for the entire day, while I’ve been poked, prodded, handed things to pee into, injected with things and hooked up to various machines; my husband has been by my side. Holding my hand, making me smile, stroking my hair, telling me everything’s going to be ok, as well as co-ordinating Scarlett being looked after again for the next couple of days and updating family members on the situation. I have spent the day, in pain, yes, but being shown the purest, most honest and truest sense of romance all day.

When I was taken up to the ward and he had to leave, I was incredibly sad to see him go, he is my absolute rock. And although it sounds ridiculous, it has, in some ways been the most wonderful Valentines Day I’ve ever had (obviously once we knew there was no danger to baby!).

It’s now gone 2am and painkillers have helped at least reduce the pain slightly, and my ward companion only snores gently so I’ll hopefully get some sleep, I feel much better knowing my comrade will be back with me tomorrow and with a bit of luck I’ll be home soon to be with my little girl who I miss terribly, and with Scarlett’s younger sibling still on the inside! 

So although I’m not normally the soppy romantic type, Happy Valentines Day to you all, wherever you find love, whomever it may be with and in whatever form you cherish it!

Varied vocabulary…

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With everything going on during this last trimester, I’ve found it difficult to sum up how I feel, I keep finding myself using made up words in an attempt to express it as realistically as possible. 

One of the words I’ve been using most often (sponsored by a combination of sleep deprivation, pain, epilepsy and general baby brain) is ‘floopy’. A word that is not currently in the Oxford dictionary, so for the benefit of you all, ive defined it as best I can:

Floopy

[floo-py]

Adjective

1. Reduced brain capacity and state of lesser understanding ‘By 3pm each day, Danielle’s brain checks out and for the rest of the day she can only be described as floopy.

2. State of mind, hazy understanding of the world immediately surrounding one. ‘Danielle could see her husband was talking to her but couldn’t quite work out what he was saying, or when it was she’d entered that room, or why’

I’ll of course let you all know how the Oxford dictionary definition application goes…!

Trickier times…

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Let me hide us away in a safe warm caccoon,Let me protect us all safe from this storm.

Let me take any hurt and send it away,

Let me keep us all happy and warm.
It’s out of my hands, so the Dr’s all say,

Just rest up, we’ll keep a keen eye.

So we take some time off and ‘relax’ like they say,

And watch as the days tick on by.
We know that our chances are good by all counts,

We know that we’re lucky, us three.

Things could be much worse, so much harder than this,

There’s much more traumatic things that we see.
But a parents job is to take care of their kids,

To keep them from getting in harm.

So with nothing to do but so much to lose,

It’s tricky to stay upbeat and calm.
Hold on little one, Mummy’s doing her best,

I’m fighting as hard as I can,

Not long to go now, till we can meet you when safe,

I’ll do my best to see out that plan.
Our two girls are our world, to my husband and me,

There’s nothing we both hold so dear,

So they say just relax, but with no power to help,

It’s really tough to abate all our fears.
I love you, my rock, my husband, my friend,

I couldn’t do this without you, you see. 

Hiding away from the rest of the world,

Until our baby’s safe with Daddy, Scarlett and me.

Realistic Resolutions…

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My ‘pregnancy resolutions’ for this second pregnancy were as follows, (with accompanying success details next to them!) :
1. Don’t worry so much about every little twinge and feeling – which I have to say I’ve mainly been successful in, I’m quite laid back in general so now I know a bit more what things feel like from the first time, I’m managing pregnancy pain paranoia much better this time.

2. Eat all the best foods – HA! Well, our diets are pretty healthy as everything is home cooked from scratch & I enjoy experimenting but a bit like last time, especially the first trimester was plagued by really bad sickness and so when you know you can keep down a McDonalds Apple pie, it’s difficult to opt instead for a homemade smoothie! I have been eating well in the majority but the number of McD’s Apple pies have definitely been more frequent than I would normally eat them!

3. Relax more in the run up to the birth – pre New Year I can safely say I totally failed at this one! Work wise, we’ve had the busiest 12 months of our careers so far and it hasn’t remotely slowed in the last 6 of pregnancy (a hospitalisation paused play for a couple of weeks but otherwise it’s been very full on) it’s difficult because I love being busy and find it hard to say no to doing things. However, I’m currently sitting in the bath with a bath melt soothing away aches and pains with a magazine and I had similar last week with a bath bomb. After Christmas I’ve been left well stocked with products from LUSH (which I love!) and my husband has been enforcing baths at times when I’ve said I don’t have time. I also have a pregnancy massage voucher to cash in and the watchful eye of said husband who is determined I slow down in the last 13 weeks! Last time, I failed at relaxing, but this time, at least in the third trimester I think I’ll succeed more!

4. Have more control over my emotions – what a ridiculous resolution to have made. (Obviously done so when I wasn’t pregnant and had tricked myself into thinking it was something I had control over!) I still cry because I think someone has said something to imply I’m not a perfect Mum when they’ve only actually asked me to pass them their drink, I still leave the house and then realise I don’t have my bag/phone/coat/keys/shoes that aren’t slippers (which generally leads to more tears) and I still snap at my family when I mishear what they’ve said and think it’s time for a row (usually followed by a confused look on their face, followed by more tears as I get upset over upsetting them..!) 

All in all, I’ve done about as well as I would with the stereotypical New Years resolutions. My intentions were good, they’re all good ideas, but I’m only human, and running on pregnancy time!! 

I decided to make more realistic resolutions for the last trimester of this second pregnancy and we’ll see how they go :

1. Relax as much as possible…maybe to be rephrased as try and keep well stocked with LUSH products and then use when my husband tells me to!

2. Apologise when I’m being unreasonable, attempt to stop apologising for things in my head like, I was sitting down and thought my husband wanted me to be doing something more productive. Or making a cup of tea that I decide isn’t in the nicest mug. If I tell someone they’re a waste of space for not knowing I wanted a tiny bit of raspberry jam of top of a well buttered but of toast, an apology is due. If someone walks in the room and I apologise for not having handmade them a three piece suit because they mention they could do with a new jacket…I’m doing it wrong again!

3. Enjoy the bits I can, and try not to feel bad for not enjoying the sickness, pain or other downsides to pregnancy. When a baby kicks, people talk about it being a miracle and how lucky you must feel. When it’s at 3am and you can’t sleep because your miracle is practising Kung fu on your bladder and moving so much you feel dizzy – it’s ok to not be inspired to write a poem on the miracles of being pregnant. It’s tough sometimes and that’s ok. It doesn’t reflect how much I’ll love my children. It doesn’t even disrespect pregnancy. It’s just admitting that it’s not 24/7 wonder and amazement. The kicking thing, yeah it’s exciting, but it’s also kind of strange and painful and I’m determined to hold no guilt for thinking so in the 3rd and most active trimester!

So there we go, updated pregnancy resolutions that are slightly more achievable and all that I’ll probably break! I’ll try and remember to write a post when I’m finishing a 12 hour working day, yelling at one person for not giving me my favourite fork, apologising to another for not giving them a house deposit, whilst feeling guilty over being bothered by my unborn child’s internal attacks (sorry I of course mean, little kicks of joy..!).

A New Baby, The Sequel!

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Good afternoon dear friends and comrades! I hope your week is going well and you all have exciting plans this weekend (and I count things like zip lining AND things like sitting on the sofa in pyjamas with a takeaway as equally exciting!). For myself and my husband, we both have some work on, a family meal to attend and we’ll try and get in some sofa slouching as well at some point.

I am feeling much better, and am starting to re-emerge back into the real world. The antibiotics have finally done their job and I in the meantime am waiting for my kidneys to be put through some more tests to get them sorted on a more permanent basis. Now a few family members and close friends guessed. After all, a kidney infection is something I’ve had before at quite a specific time. Likewise, it seemed odd to some of my friends in the medical profession that I was given such weak antibiotics when clearly a stronger drug would have been a better option. 

I thought it would be harder to keep a secret, and as we were high risk and going through a difficult time health wise, I was worried about people guessing and then heartbreak following. HOWEVER, the ‘benefit’ of being so poorly is that I’ve barely seen anyone over the last month and a half! Much easier to keep a secret!

So what is this secret I’m alluding to? 

Scarlett is going to be a big sister!

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Yes indeed, our little family of three is expecting a fourth player at the beginning of April next year and we have recently had our 12 week scan to confirm that baby is healthy and strong, if anything, significantly healthier than I am at the moment!!

We are extremely excited and after a worrying first trimester, we are looking forward to a *fingers crossed* smoother ride from here till delivery day although I’m sure it will have it’s own ups and downs to provide! 

And I have a confession to make, when I blogged to say I was continuing my blog…we knew we had a little bun brewing in the oven! So I’m looking forward to seeing how this pregnancy compares with my last, how having number two compares to having number one, and how Scarlett will react to the new addition! One things for sure, I won’t get as many nap times as I did last time!! And when I was younger the idea that I would one day run upstairs with a toddler under my arm to then sit her in an empty bath whilst I vomit was not something I pictured! However, luckily Scarlett not only isn’t bothered, she finds the visual hilarious! If only I could find it quite as entertaining! 

Like last time we’ve managed to be moving house when I’ll be roughly four months pregnant again, only this time we’ll also have a toddler to negotiate! Unlike last time, I’m not due to be on stage at seven months pregnant but I do have a couple of work trips abroad! All in all, I’m sure it’ll be chaotic, fun, ridiculous and a wonderful roller coaster! 

As with the last time, any tips of having a second child will always be welcomed, as well as your stories and anecdotes! It is not true that having a second child means you’re a more experienced parent, you’re an amateur all over again about to embark on the journey of multiple children! So it’s back to square one on the learning curve for us and we look forward to everything this time has to offer!