Here we go again

I’ve toyed long and hard with the idea of writing about this and after a week of feeling a bit all over the place and talking it through with Mark, I decided it’s the right thing to do, so here goes…

I’ve been quiet on here for a while and that’s not because I’ve run out of things to write – trust me there are pages of blog titles in my journal just waiting to come to life! But my focus has maybe changed slightly.

Quite clearly 2017 was not our year. I spent the majority of it wishing away every single day, week and month 2017 had to offer and when December 31st 2017 finally arrived, something changed. I quite literally felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and the mental fog which had been scrambling my brain for the last 9 months disappeared. Despite the fact I’d spent a chunk of last year telling Mark I never wanted to get pregnant again, I was moving to Australia (no idea why Australia was so appealing) and doing my very best to convince myself and everyone around me that I was fine and life was coming together again, the truth was, it wasn’t. However, New Years Eve made me realise that almost everything I’d ever wanted I already had. I didn’t need Australia, I didn’t want to never be pregnant again and even though things weren’t fine and life wasn’t coming together – there was one thing we could take control of and that was the huge gaping hole in our lives.

Mark and I have made a good life for ourselves, we’ve visited some amazing places, eaten in some of the best restaurants, bought our first home together, attempted to start a family and ultimately we’ve made memories to last a lifetime together. We’ve been there for each other, we’ve supported each other through things no one else on this planet knows about or could even begin to understand and yet there I was still mentally trying to run away from it all. Mark and I both realised that the end of 2017 meant the end of a chapter and the need to start a new one. December 31st we decided we needed to do something to fill the void 2017 had created in our life. I took the last pill in my pill packet, focused on eating right, cut down on alcohol, threw myself into the gym and Mark and I went about trying to start a family all over again…And guess what? Saturday 3rd March 2018 2 people sat together staring at a pregnancy test with a positive reading.

When I was pregnant with the twins, I put nothing on social media, banned everyone else from doing so and I certainly would have never dreamed of blogging about it for all for the world to read. However, this time is different, I know that Home of The Little Something gave me a lifeline last year that nothing else could. Deep down inside, I know that if the unthinkable were to happen again, this little blog will get me through.

So as the title says ‘here we go again’ we’re currently 15w5d pregnant, had 3 scans, a ton of tests, there’s only one baby in there and so far everything is as it should be. I don’t know what 2018 is going to throw at us but so far it’s given us almost 16 weeks of morning sickness, exhaustion, nerves but most importantly it’s given us hope. We’re taking it one day at a time. Are we at the ‘we’re having a baby!’ stage yet? No absolutely not – those words are yet to leave our mouths. But we are pregnant and all being well November 2018 could be the month that gives us our little one, starts the family we’ve longed for and gives the twins a baby brother or a sister.

As always thanks for reading.

Lots of love and positivity,

A xx

 

Dear Life…

I wasn’t sure whether to share this or not because looking back on it now I didn’t realise how bad things had become. However, on the flip side, looking back on it now makes me realise just how far I have come and actually it’s something which should be shared and I guess celebrated. So here goes…

“Dear Life,

I’m grateful for you, honestly I am but the thing is some days I wake up like my head has been rammed up the arse-end of a swamp. The air, the people, the daily tasks and life in general is totally suffocating, relentless and never seems to end. The thought of going to bed at the end of the day knowing the only thing I’ll have do the next morning is wake up and go through it all again, seems like a pointless and meaningless task. I don’t think I want to do it anymore.”

Can I just start by saying this is certainly not a reflection of how I feel now but rewind maybe even just 6 months ago and it was exactly how I felt…every…single…day. I was tired of just about everything and as clichéd as it sounds there was no light at the end of the tunnel.  I can tell you now from the day the twins were delivered to the end of 2017, I had exactly 3 occasions where I truly felt happy, felt like me and our babies weren’t at the forefront my mind – which was needed.

If I’m being honest I knew at the time I was in a self-destruct, ‘screw you world’ kinda mindset but the things I found in my diary this morning actually made me sad. I could relate to what was written on the page but not the person writing it and I think that was one of the biggest issues for me. For a while, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be – a grieving parent, a new Mum, a heartbroken woman, a supportive girlfriend? In a way I think I was maybe a combination of all of those rolled into one. Except for the last one, the ‘supportive girlfriend’ I didn’t do that very well. Looking back now I feel quite selfish, I was so obsessed with what had happened and how Mark and I had dealt with things so differently that I don’t think I once played the ‘supportive girlfriend’ role quite right. If I could say one thing to the person writing that diary 9 months ago it would be this…

“To whoever you are,

Yes things are bad, yes you’ve been hurt and yes things are going to get worse before they get better. However, you’re not going through this alone, you’re not alone and YOU need to stop pushing away the people who love and care about you. Most importantly, you have to stop shutting Mark out. You’re selfish. You started this journey together, you’ve been through it together and now you think you can do it all alone and leave him to do the same – you can’t. Quit obsessing about yourself and be there for the man who’s been there for you through it all.

Whoever you are, get your shit together.”

Sounds brutal but needed saying!

The fact is men and women deal with things differently and the fact that Mark and I dealt with things so differently became a real issue between us. I couldn’t understand how he could go back to work, leave the house without having some sort of complete internal meltdown and basically just appear to function. For some reason I didn’t expect us to be so different which was exceptionally hard to accept.

So if anyone reading this now has been through something similar and maybe you’re not quite mentally where you need to be, there are a few things that need to be said:

  • It’s ok that you feel like shit (and you will by the way, there’s no escaping that part) you’ll more than likely feel completely lost and that the world would be a better place if humans had the ability to just hibernate. All of that’s ok; don’t beat yourself up about it.
  • It’s normal (I hate that word but it’s true) for men and women to deal with things differently – I wish I’d actually listened to the midwife when she told me that, things would have made a lot more sense earlier on.
  • Now these are probably the most important words so read them, read them again and then stick them in a place in your brain where you can readily access them – be kind to yourself.

And there you have it, a one page explanation and my top 3 tips for getting your act together and learning to function like a human being once again. It will take time and there will be some really rubbish times but if you hold on to the good days or the occasions that make you feel a bit like you again, then my friend, you’re making progress.

Oh and remember my 3 good times? Well they happened in May, August and December and in between each of them I kept thinking back to the last one and holding on to the positives. You will get through it just let yourself be and remember to share, celebrate and treasure the good days.

Thanks for reading – off loading that little lot felt like online therapy! Remember if there’s anyone out there you think might benefit from my random writes then please feel free to share.

Love as always,

Amanda xx

Apparently times a healer

So I decided towards the end of 2017 to do something to fill my time. Working as a teacher, I have a chunk of time off about every 6 weeks, which I used to love – lunch with friends, go visit the parents, a chance to catch up on sleep and generally have some time to myself. But to be honest, it had started to become something I’d fear rather than look forward to – OK I can feel all the non-teachers out there glaring at their screens and seething at the fact I should be nothing but grateful for my hard earned 91 days off. But here’s the thing – they say times a healer but when you have too much time on your hands it does far from heal. Let me explain…

October half term started the same as any other half term, dinner and drinks with the girls, hangover the next day and a week to do whatever the hell I wanted. So what was the plan? I was going to go to the gym, cook great meals, finally get my haircut, catch up on some mind numbing TV and generally chill out in our newly decorated house. Perfect! What actually happened? Well, on the Monday, being in the house by myself triggered all sorts of emotions and anxiety and melted just about every last functioning brain cell I had left. I wasn’t expecting it. I distinctively remember sitting on the sofa and looking out of the living room window, a magpie* was sitting on the roof opposite and that was it my brain decided to rewind 6 months previous and I was back in the ‘black hole’. The thought of leaving the house, getting up in the morning or just having to do anything, felt like an impossible task all over again. I was back to a place I couldn’t handle. The pins and needles in my hands and fingers started again, my extreme tiredness, my racing heart and my overwhelming desire to hibernate for the rest of the year kicked in once again. It wasn’t good.

When we lost the twins I took a few months off work, I didn’t necessarily want to but I literally couldn’t function. I didn’t sleep, I had an immense fear of leaving the house and the idea of having to be around people or interact with anyone filled with me with dread – try teaching a class whilst balancing that little combination! Throughout that period of time, the hardest day of the week was a Monday, it was the realisation that there was another whole week to get through, another whole week of not being pregnant, another whole week of watching everyone around me going back to their normal lives and then there was me. I was ‘stuck’ in this spiraling, bottomless pit of…actually I don’t even know how to describe it…But I was definitely stuck both mentally and emotionally, I had no idea how to go back to normal and to be honest I didn’t even know what normal was anymore. I was supposed to be a Mum to identical twins but I wasn’t, I was this mess of a human being just trying to get through each day 10 to 15 minutes at a time and 6 months later, October half term took me back to that place.

After several conversations with my Mum where the words depression, postnatal depression, anxiety and counselling were thrown into the mix, I decided to give in and pay the GP a visit. It was the conversation with the GP that triggered something and I realised I had a choice – I could either dwell and obsess on the past or distract and refocus on the future. I chose future. So in October 2017 I decided to find a new focus, a something to get me back on track and weeks later I found myself setting up an online babygrow boutique otherwise known as The Little Something Company. It’s still in its very early stages but I’m pleased to report that February half term consisted of nothing more than sourcing stock, building a website, writing for my blog and planning a fundraiser for the Tamba TTTS Appeal.

So back to my original muse – the whole ‘time’s a healer’ thing.  As much as it may help some people, for me I’ve found time alone can be a lonely and self-destructive place. It’s not time that’s the healer, it’s what you do with your time that heals so spend it wisely, focus on something that you love and slowly but surely,  in one way or another, time well spent will start to heal.

 

*I developed an obsession with magpies by the way – story for another time!