You know the one, the one where you feel like you’ve had 15 minutes of sleep but you spent your 15 minutes of sleep in some crazy arse dream and you wake up feeling like you need to go back to bed? You know, the kinda day where no matter how much time you left yourself to get ready this morning, you still find yourself sitting in traffic trying to get to work an hour later than planned? Or you get to work and someones jammed the photocopier and you spend 20 minutes of your precious time trying to retrieve the crumpled bit of paper wedged down the back of the only draw you can’t remove? Or one of those days where you simply find yourself not wanting to talk to a single person because actually all you want to do is be at home, in bed, eating sushi (actually maybe a bargain bucket) and drinking organic herbal tea (I mean wine, definitely wine). Well today has been one of those days.
What started out as a “how the bloody hell is it Monday again?!” kinda morning turned into a “right I can do this” kinda day. I think it would be fair to say that if the last year has taught me anything – I’m speaking with my reflective teacher head on here! Then actually, the whole positive ‘I can do this’ attitude really does exist, it truly makes a difference and mind over matter is far more powerful than you think.
If someone had sat me down this time last year (I was still pregnant by the way) and told me what the future had in store for me, then first of all I would have thought they were insane, second of all I would have probably ran away but more than anything, I would have told myself “I can’t do this”. But guess what? I did, I’m here and I’m now having more good days than bad. The key to it is the strategy I’ve developed (although I’m yet to name it) and the fact I force myself to use it whenever a ‘screw this’ day rears its ugly head. And here it is – if it’s a dreaming of a bargain bucket, wine drinking, lounging in bed kind of day, then I break it down into manageable chunks – a bit like I do when my PT says we’re holding the plank for 2 minutes! And the best thing about it is; it works. So this morning at 7.30, post photocopier wrestling session, I set myself the task of just getting to 8.30. 8.30 comes, I know I have 15 minutes until the morning meeting and then at 9am an hour and a half lesson to get through…and so the day continues until I arrive at my favourite time of day – home time!
I’m not saying my strategy will work for everyone, in fact it might not work for anyone else in the world but it works for me, gets me through and turns my THOSE days into “I’ve got this” kind of day. Try it, it might just get you through tomorrow.
P.S. I’ve never actually had a day of feasting on a Bargain Bucket, downing wine and generally just lounging around in bed but maybe it’s now something for the to do list…
There are certain questions in life you should just quite simply know the answer to – What’s your name? Favourite colour? Where do you live? Do you have children? Errr yeah hold up! That question, that one right there – killer. So, here’s the predicament:
Been pregnant? Check – one pregnancy, two babies. Delivered said babies? Check. Mummy, Daddy and twins living happily together in their family home? No, not quite. See now here’s the thing, when we fell pregnant we did what I should imagine most pregnant couples do – we planned the nursery, went to the scans bursting with pride and excitement, shared the happy news with friends and family, discussed baby names, checked in weekly on the ‘how big is your baby’ app etc etc etc. We were set up and ready to go, in fact we’d even picked the furniture for the nursery and the day we found out about the TTTS we were due to go and order it that afternoon…Hang on I need second to just take a deep breath and recompose… OK where were we? Oh yes so there we were pregnant with our identical twins planning the future then within the space of a week everything was gone. You’d think that was brutal enough right? Oh no, at 20 weeks pregnant we found ourselves on the delivery ward surrounded by new borns, midwives & men on the phone updating friends and family on their latest labour news. Sorry, I’m starting to sound bitter. We stood at reception and guess what? I couldn’t even answer the most straightforward question of them – Hello, what’s your name? Blank. Mark took over from that point and then we found ourselves in a private room with a midwife and a single purple butterfly on the door. A purple butterfly on a delivery ward discreetly says to other midwives ‘baby born sleeping’ or in our case ‘babies born sleeping’ – just writing that breaks my heart all over again. We were induced, contractions began and with Mark by my side & gas and air in hand we bought our twins into the world.
Everything physically about the pregnancy was gone, actually part of the placenta remained but that’s a story for a whole other time. However, the hormones, the ‘mum feeling’ and the huge gaping hole in mine and Marks hearts and lives were very much real. In a weird way we were a Mum and Dad but our babies wouldn’t be coming home with us instead we took home the blanket they were wrapped in, a memory box and each other.
So when people ask me – do you have children? In my heart I say yes absolutely but my mouth words ‘no’. Why? Because the thought of having to explain the story of our twins to a new person in our life is too much to even think about. But more importantly, aside from the stock phrase ‘oh I’m so sorry’ and that ‘oh you poor thing’ look – I detest that look by the way, if we ever meet don’t look at me with that look – what else are they meant to say?
So coming back to the original purpose of this post – firstly thank you for reading, just writing that down feels like a therapy session (but not the kind where you head to the bar straight after and order nothing but a bottle of wine and a single glass – again story for another time!) I also just wanted to put it out there that sometimes the simplest of questions are the most difficult to answer.
I guess you could say finding out we were pregnant was completely unexpected, we weren’t even sure we could have children. I was told about my Polycystic Ovaries at the age of 18 and only the year previous had undergone surgery to remove my Endometriosis – needless to say we fully expected to have difficulties conceiving. But we figured if we didn’t start trying, we’d never know, so we came off the pill and got to it! Finding out we were having a baby (we had no idea it was twins at the time) and announcing it to our families went a little bit like this…
“So I still haven’t come on, do you think we should do a test?” The message I sent when I was 2 weeks overdue and the Christmas work party was only a few days away. Mark picked up the pregnancy test on the way home from work and no sooner was he home I was sitting on the loo peeing on a stick! Three minutes on the buzzer, test covered so we could both see it at the same time, we stood in the kitchen simply waiting for the seconds to pass. One minute left on the clock. Times up. The exact words that escaped my boyfriend’s mouth at the time I won’t repeat! But there we were, two future parents standing in the house we were about to make a family home. To say it felt surreal would be an understatement, everything about the situation felt like it was happening to someone else – we were going to be parents! Although just to ensure there had been no mistake we did another 4 tests that night and then set out about finding out what the hell we were supposed to do next.
With Christmas just around the corner we decided to wait and announce our news on Christmas Day. It was our first Christmas in our new home and both our families were coming. When the big day arrived, Mark prepared what we were going to say, handed everyone a glass of champagne and made the announcement – “I’d like to raise a glass to our first Christmas in our new home and our last Christmas as just the two of us” OK yes everyone looked just as confused as you probably are right now reading it – note to self, if you ever announce a pregnancy again just come out and say it! “We’re having a baby!” The reaction was overwhelming and actually a bit of a blur, I remember hugs, kisses, screams and my Dad’s face – his eldest daughter carrying his first grandchild, I could feel his sense of pride and emotion and his hug said everything his mouth couldn’t.
That Christmas I managed to over-cook the veg, under-cook the roast potatoes and served dinner an hour later than planned but none of that mattered – we were giving everyone the most amazing gift! We were making our siblings aunts and uncles, our parents grandparents, our grandparents great-grandparents and most excitingly of all we were going to be someone’s Mum & Dad.
The 25th December 2016 is a Christmas I’ll treasure, together we shared a precious moment and despite everything that (unbeknown to us) was due to follow, that Christmas night we went to bed with a feeling I’ll never forget.