A bad day

I’m not in good shape today. I’ve been doing so well, and I actually thought I was fine and then randomly out of nowhere the tears started and now they won’t stop.

I had a dream last night that woke me. I was in a hospital bed, unable to move, surrounded by scared children who I had to protect from some sinister figure lurking on the ward. I was meant to keep them safe but I couldn’t stop them from running off into danger, I couldn’t stop them from being snatched away. I was completely powerless. I suppose if that’s where my mind is right now it’s no wonder I’m having such a hard day today. I know it’ll pass, I know it’ll get easier. I know it’s just a bad day. I also know I have to live through the bad days to get to the good days, but that doesn’t make any of this any easier.

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Gone

It was confirmed this morning. The positives to take from this morning’s appointment were that no intervention was needed. My body has very efficiently done what it should. Not that it feels all that positive.

It was also a very different experience to the last time. A different hospital this time, and frankly, a much better one. We were treated with care, kindness and compassion which makes such a difference. The lady we spoke to after the scan gave us lots of good advice, lots of reassurance that despite having another miscarriage there’s no additional risk that it could happen again, and the fact that in between the two losses we had Arthur is reassuring in itself. The scan also showed that everything looks healthy and normal so as shitty as it is, this miscarriage was just one of those things.

I’ve been holding it together pretty well all week (or maybe just bottling it up, who knows) but I really feel it today. I’m sad. I’m angry. I want my baby.

Life’s not very fair sometimes.

Here we are again

7 weeks pregnant tomorrow, but not. I’ve been bleeding since Sunday. Mother’s Day. And my Birthday. Talk about Mother Nature being cruel.

More cruel yet is that I’m still suffering with morning sickness and dizziness. I still feel pregnant.

It doesn’t feel like last time. I don’t have that empty feeling this time, I don’t have the physical pain I had last time. It’s confusing and giving me what is likely to be false hope. I’m not a crying mess, I’m not consumed by the pain of it all. I don’t really feel anything but confused.

For now we play the waiting game until my scan appointment Friday morning. I only hope that it’s straight forward and unambiguous. I just want it done now. Gone.

Work/Life balance is hard

Helloooo! Firstly, I think I need to apologise for not being a great blogger since Arthur came along! I sort of expected that while he was tiny, but I naively thought that when I went back to work and things got back to normal that I’d find a routine that worked for us, and still have a bit of time for myself for things like blogging…oh how wrong I was! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

I was really lucky that I had a load of leave to take and my boss was happy for me to use it to work part time hours when I first went back to work, so from July until Christmas I worked part time which was such a nice balance between having time with Arthur and having time to be something other than just mumma, but since I went back after Christmas I’ve been full time and it has been a shock to the system to say the least! I love work and I’m really lucky that I work with a great bunch of people, but I’m up and out the door before Arthur wakes up in the morning and by the time I get home from work and sort dinner for us all I’m lucky to get an hour with Arthur before he goes to bed, and that hour is generally when he’s at his worst because he’s tired and grumpy! Then when the weekend rolls around there’s all the housework and washing and food shopping to do, and so I rush around like a blue arsed fly on a Saturday trying to get everything done as quickly as possible so that I can spend a few hours with Arthur before he goes to bed and so that I can then flop on the sofa with Paul in the evening, because I also barely seen him all week.

All in all, it’s a juggling act that I don’t feel as though I’m hugely on top of at the moment and it has resulted in a couple of meltdowns from me this week! Unfortunately going part time isn’t an affordable option for us so it’s not as simple as just working less hours either. So, this week I finally got equipment to be able to work from home. I’m really hoping that on the weeks that I’m really struggling with the work life balance and shitty mum guilt that having the option of working from home will help ease that. It certainly gives me a bit more flexibility which I think will help.

Arthur’s starting at nursery next month 3 mornings a week so with a bit of luck that’ll mean Paul gets more done while he’s child free and hopefully we’ll get more family time in the evenings and on weekends as a result. It’s definitely a balancing act, but we’re doing our best and muddling through, and most importantly of all, Arthur is a lovely happy, confident little boy so clearly we’re doing something right! He had his first settling in session in nursery this week and it went really well! He thoroughly enjoyed himself, although he did steal a little girl’s sandwich out of her hand and scoffed it! ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚ they’re going to think we don’t feed him! I’ve felt so torn about sending him to nursery, but I feel like he’s the right age now. He seems to need that stimulation and to be around other kids his age so I think it’ll be really good for him even if it does scare the crap out of me!

And in other news, I’ve recently done an interview with Slimming World to be featured as a success story on their website which was such a thrill for me. After having Arthur, I really stacked the weight on (who knew that a diet of coffee, cake and take aways over six months adds up to a mammoth weight gain?!) and found myself feeling fat and frumpy and not at all the yummy mummy I wanted to be! So I joined slimming world online in Jan 2016 and by the time we got married 10 months later, I’d lost 3 stone 12.5lbs purely by following the slimming world plan. I don’t have time to go to a gym or a class so I walk wherever I can whenever I can, but beyond that exercise really hasn’t been a part of my weight loss. I’m so much happier and healthier now, and really glad I found a long term diet that works for the whole family. My article goes live on the slimming world websites next month, so if anyone out there reading this is a member, keep an eye out!

And that’s about it I think! Hopefully I won’t leave it so long next time…

Arthur around Christmas time. ๐Ÿ’—

Miss to Mrs!

So….last week we got married! It was a beautiful ceremony (I got ever so emotional and cried my way through it!) in an amazing venue in Cornwall called Polhawn Fort. (It’s well worth a Google just to get even half an idea of how beautiful it is there!)

It was everything I’ve wanted for so long (hence the crying!) and we had the best day celebrating with our friends and family. I don’t really have a huge amount else to say about it actually, but since you’ve all followed my life in recent years through all the crappy stuff, I always feel like I need to share happy stuff with you all too! So enjoy some wedding snaps and thanks for being here. Again. For nice news as well as bad. ๐Ÿ’—

Birthday Boy!ย 

Hello lovely people! Firstly let me apologise for not posting in a VERY long time. I think between motherhood, and then going back to work and planning a wedding (oh yeah I’m getting married in November by the way!) life just sort of got in the way a bit! 

So, a quick update on what I’ve been up to aside from being a mummy! We moved house. Again. This time to a much bigger house with a garden, much more suitable for a growing boy to play in and cause mischief. Then I went back to work after taking a whole year off. I’ve been back in work, albeit part time, for the last couple of weeks and I have to say that I’m really enjoying it. I love Arthur, and I’m so glad and so lucky that I was able to take a whole year off work to spend with him, but it is lovely to have adult conversation again and be able to use my brain for something other than planning meals and wiping bums! At the moment I’m working three days a week, which will go up to 4 days a week in September and then full time in January. Three days a week is a lovely balance between work and home life, but we just can’t afford for me to permanently drop my hours. I guess we’ll just see how we go when January comes. Paul is at home with Arthur now being daddy day care while I’m at work. Poor sod works in the evenings once Arthur has gone to bed, so it isn’t an easy juggling act for him, but he is enjoying it and at the moment it’s working for us all. If at some point it stops working for us, then we’ll revisit the idea of a nursery. But that’s a “cross that bridge when we come to it” scenario! 

And yes, we booked our wedding. We haven’t given ourselves long – just four months from booking it to actually getting married but it’s all coming together nicely and we’re all really excited! 

And finally, my now big boy turned one on Saturday. We celebrated with a party at home, and I made not one, but two birthday cakes so that one could be used for a cake smash! I must admit, the cake smash didn’t exactly go according to plan….Arthur cried. A lot! But we have some funny pictures of it that he will just love me for when he’s 18! 

So that’s about it really, I’ve added some pictures of the birthday boy – just look at how much he’s changed! He’s such a sweet, funny little thing with a really funny little personality now. People keep asking us when we’re having another one….my answer (after a visible shudder at the thought of the hellish newborn months!) is that we couldn’t possibly improve on perfection, so why try! We’re very happy being a family of three for now. 

xxx 

Is this normal?!ย 

In my experience when it comes to parenting the answer to this is almost always yes. In the 10 and a half weeks since Arthur was born I’ve learned a lot very quickly, but the biggest thing I’ve learned wasn’t about Arthur at all; it was about myself. 

We’re led to believe that when we have a baby it’s all lovely and perfect. Maybe for some families it is, but for me it wasn’t that instant. Those first few days you’re so exhausted and hormonal that its all a bit of a blur really, and then you just go on a never ending roller coaster of emotions that challenge you in ways you never even knew possible. It’s only now, that I feel like we’re understanding each other. Now it’s starting to get a bit easier. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat crying and wondering if what I was feeling was normal. Is it normal to not like your baby very much some days? Is it normal to seriously contemplate leaving and never coming back? Is it normal to be so sick of being vomited on that you just want to scream? Is it normal to be so tired that you can’t think straight? Is it normal to 100% believe that you’re a terrible mother? 

In my case the answer to all of these questions was a resounding yes! Thankfully, I have some mum friends who verified that yes, that’s all normal, and yes they’ve felt the same thing (and that list isn’t exhaustive by any stretch by the way) and you know what? That made me feel better. Sleep deprivation is no joke and really can make you feel like you’re losing the plot. Couple that lack of sleep with a constantly screaming/puking/feeding baby and it’s little wonder you feel frazzled. 

I’m extremely lucky to have a very supportive fiancรฉ and family and that has been a huge help, but it doesn’t stop you being hard on yourself or beating yourself up. 

The biggest thing I’ve learned so far in this motherhood lark is that it’s really bloody hard. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? You go in to it knowing it’s going to be hard, and yet somehow it still doesn’t prepare you. I think because “hard” is an abstract concept. Motherhood is 100% harder than you think it will be. It’s still totally worth it, but when it’s so much harder than you expected you do then find yourself thinking it must be you. You must be a crap mother, you must not be able to cope with the sleep deprivation. Let me tell you something; all of us feel the exact same way. 

There’s also a lot of pressure on mothers. Pressure to lose the baby weight, pressure to breastfeed, pressure to have a clean home and look nice all the time. Those pressures don’t necessarily come from outside sources though. Nobody puts more pressure on me to lose weight or keep a clean home than myself. People kindly say “go easy on yourself, you’ve JUST had a baby” and although that’s true, I do not like being this big and no amount of kind words from supportive friends and family will change that. Equally I don’t like having a messy home, so whether you as a visitor to my home expect it to be messy or not, I want it to be clean and tidy. 

The breastfeeding issue though I do feel comes from other people. I’m still breastfeeding Arthur, and it’s really hard. I can’t say I especially enjoy it, I do it because I think it’s what’s best for him; something that’s reinforced by every person who tells me how great it is that I’m breastfeeding. But when the sleep deprivation peaked at about 9 weeks during another growth spurt, and I started to come down with the lurgy a few days later I was all set to give up. I cried A LOT. Paul was, and always is, loving and supportive of whatever I decided but I felt torn that if I quit breastfeeding then I was a bad mother, and if I continued breastfeeding I’d be a bad mother because I was so frazzled and ratty. What nobody tells you about breastfed babies is that they don’t sleep through the night like formula fed babies do, and at 9 weeks Arthur was still waking every 2 hours or so for feeds. It was killing me. Eventually by 10 weeks we decided we had to try something different, so we started giving Arthur one bottle of formula at night. The 1am feed that Paul’s always done with expressed milk has now become a formula feed…the result is that Arthur now wakes every 4 hours for feeds. I feel like a new woman, and Arthur is still predominantly breastfed and still a happy little dude. I am however, terrified to admit this to my health visitor. Why? Because breastfeeding is pushed on pregnant women so much and the health visitor always tells me how great it is that I’m breastfeeding, and how well Arthur is coming along. 

At the end of the day though, a happy mother makes for a happy baby and this mother is so much happier with a little more sleep! 

So the thing I’ve learned is that I’m not a bad mother, I’m just human. It is sometimes really hard, it’s sometimes frustrating, but it’s also worth it all when you see your little one giggling and smiling back at you.