Time for a change

 

I guess this is a bit of an update, a message to introduce the next chapter so here it is…

Today is the first day of the summer holidays and for those of you who have read the blog or know me well, you’ll know this is generally my least favourite time of year! Why? I hear all the non-teachers out there scream! Well because as I explained in Apparently times a healer, school holidays are usually the time when you’re home alone, with too much time on your hands and somehow those ‘black hole’ emotions find a way of creeping back into your life and take you back to a place you don’t want to go. But not this holiday. See I’ve made a conscious decision – one that I think needed to be made – I’ve said time and time again that aside from Mark and my need to lift heavy weights at the gym and punish my body with all sorts of physical workouts! The only other thing that truly got me through last year and mentally helped me to rebuild myself was this little blog. In a strange way, writing things down meant they were no longer floating around my head. As much as both Mark and I have an extremely supportive network of family and friends, sometimes, you can’t say things as well as you could if you were to write them down and if there’s any proof in that, it’s the number of people who have spoken to me after reading a post and said ‘I had no idea you felt like that’. But that’s the point, I didn’t want people to carry the burden of my emotions as well as their own, so Home of The Little Something carried them for me and together we’ve made it through this far.

But back to this year’s holiday plan – so I’ve got 6 empty weeks ahead of me, we’re not going away as we’ve got a few bits left to do with the house before the baby arrives in November, I didn’t want to fly or leave the country (yes I’m a crazy pregnant lady) plus Mark’s new job means annual leave is pretty much non-existent over the next couple of months. But for the first time in what feels like forever, I’m ok with that. The thought of being at home for 6 weeks is actually alright. I plan to write, finally launch The Little Something Company, write some more, eat carrot cake, meet up with friends and family, drink decaf coffee and make the most of what could be the last ever summer holiday on my own. And with this change of mindset comes a change of tone for Home of the Little Something too. Both Mark and I have come a long way since I started this blog, we’ve started our next chapter and with everything else in life, I think the blog needs to start the next chapter as well, evolve a bit and catch up with where life is at now. The story of the twins will still very much be a part of my writing – there’s still so much of their story to tell but so will this pregnancy, where we’re at now and what got us through.

If I were to update you with where things are as of today – mentally I still have my moments, only last weekend pregnancy anxiety crept in, negative thoughts and freaky dreams took up most of our Saturday! But Mark and I are the strongest we’ve been, we have more of an understanding of each other, we’re supporting each other through this pregnancy and we’re together, a team and whatever life intends to throw at us we’ll tackle it head on and work our way through it. We will forever be the twins parents and they will forever be a part of our family, our hearts and our story but it’s time to start focusing on what’s to come for our little family. The twins will have a baby brother in a matter of months and right now focusing on him and his pregnancy story feels like the right thing to do and I’ve already got the title of my next post ready to go.

Lots of love as always,

A 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!

We’re having a baby!

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.