Happy First Father’s Day

Father’s Day brings a whole host of emotions as my Dad left when I was 12 years old. It had a big impact on my life & my Mum stepped up to the mark to play both roles. I hated Father’s Day for many years with the soppy cards about amazing Dad’s & I felt left out when others celebrated it. I now have a better relationship with my Dad but it all seems too little too late.

Scott has shown me what a true Dad is. Those cards that describe the amazing Dad, the cards I once hated so much, I now I understand who they are for. For Dad’s like Scott.

I’m sharing with you a message to Scott, my Husband, best friend & Fantastic Daddy.

Scott,

Happy Fathers Day & the first of many with our son Caleb.

After many years of wishing & dreaming of this moment, I am filled with so much love that you are able to celebrate Fathers Day with your Boy.

You were the first to hold Caleb; cuddling, comforting & loving him from the moment he opened his eyes. It was a wonderful moment to witness & it filled me with so much joy, pride & happiness.

You stepped up to the mark from the moment Caleb arrived. Nothing phased you & you took everything in your stride.

Caleb is lucky to have a Dad like you; caring, kind, loving & selfless. All characteristics that Caleb will take from you.

We love you & Happy First Fathers Day.

Breaking My Silence

It’s been 3 weeks since Caleb was delivered by Emergency C Section & it’s been a hectic few weeks. I’m not sure what day of the week it is & days seem to fly by.

The first week was difficult due to the pain & I found it hard to process what had happened. Mentally & emotionally I was going through it all in my head, the induction process, 16 hours of labour & finally the emergency C Section.

The induction process sparked a Fibromyalgia flare causing additional pain which I struggled with. I felt like a failure during the process as my body failed me & continued to do so during labour.

People often describe that perfect moment of meeting their Baby & describe it as being the best day of their lives. I never felt this & I was plagued with guilt after having Caleb.

I lay there in the operating theatre feeling helpless & watched my Husband hold our son for the first time. I was so proud of him lying there in his Daddy’s arms but I was very aware that I was lying on an operating table & I felt somewhat disconnected from the situation.

I’m feeling more settled & in touch with how I’m feeling. I opened up to my husband about my struggles & together we worked through it. I am blessed with a beautiful boy & I am filled with pride & love for our family of three.

I’ve also been sharing my journey on Twitter & I’m thankful for the love & support people have shown me on there. It’s good to know I’m not alone.

Caleb Joseph, 22/05/18 💙.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

To mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week I want to share my story of living with Depression & Anxiety.

I’m rolling it back to early 2017, I was at my lowest & I felt this wave of anxiety & depression take over me. I had previously struggled with both but this time it creeped up on me without any warning & smothered me.

I was lost, miserable & angry. The anger stemmed from my frustration of a Three Year battle to conceive. Infertility Appointments which made me feel like a failure. The Specialists had no answers as to why I couldn’t have a Baby which added to my miserable state. Unexplained Infertility.

I struggled to deal with the situation I was in, I pushed people away, I lashed out & I hated myself.

A dark cloud was over me all the time, I tried to shrug it off or ignore it but I just couldn’t. My actions spiralled out of control as I couldn’t see a way out of the situation. I turned to painkillers to help me manage. Of course, they didn’t help but I had to take them.

One day I broke down to my Husband, he could see that I was in a bad place & had noticed I was hiding painkillers from him. He always reassured me that the Infertility issues were our problems, not just mine & we could find a solution to any problem. He encouraged me to reach out to my GP & seek help & that’s exactly what I did.

The hardest part was opening up & telling someone how I felt without covering it up with “but it’s fine, I’ll be okay” or “I’ll deal with it, I just have to”. I came off painkillers, spoke to my husband more about my inner battles & I acknowledged my anger & worked to change it into something positive.

A year on, I still choke up at the thought of what would have happened if I continued down the road I was on because I was desperately looking for a road out.

I opened up. I told someone how I really felt. I got help. Here I am, a year on, 37 weeks pregnant with our little miracle. I’m extremely lucky & thankful & I continue to battle my demons but I’m not alone.

Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out. My door is always open to others who want to talk.

The following links have useful info & support:

https://www.seemescotland.org

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk

https://www.samaritans.org

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day 2018

I’ve previous shared my experience of living with Fibromyalgia covering topics such as Managing Fibromyalgia while Working , 5 Things That Help Me Manage Fibromyalgia & Managing Fibromyalgia during Pregnancy .

In this post, I want to share what daily life is like with Fibromyalgia & the steps I take to manage life with chronic pain. From the moment my eyes open in the morning, I can feel the pain run throughout my body, my joints are stiff & muscles tense. It takes me a few moments to come around with the fatigue hitting me smack in the face.

I know that if I move my joints will ease up & as the day goes on it gets a little easier to move around & get things done. In January, I had to finish up work due to a combination of pregnancy problems & flare-ups. Having a routine is important, otherwise I would be stuck in bed all day unable to move which only makes things worse for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I have to rest or stay in bed longer because the pain is so intense.

I’ve learned to pace myself when doing daily tasks. Before I would push myself to do something quickly, over do it & then suffer later. Now I do a little bit at a time & most importantly I rest. If I have a busy day planned it takes days of planning making sure I don’t over do it the day before & that I get plenty of rest & sleep.

My top tips for managing my Fibromyalgia are:

1. Pacing; breaking tasks into smaller chunks.

2. Plenty of Rests with time to recover.

3. Keeping a routine.

4. Keep moving. No matter how bad I am, I have to keep moving.

Fibromyalgia isn’t just pain. It’s a combination of symptoms from IBS, depression, anxiety, brain fog & widespread pain. I’m raising awareness of what life is like with Fibromyalgia & how I manage daily life.

You can find more information about Fibromyalgia here:

http://www.fmauk.org

https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions.aspx?gclid=Cj0KCQjwodrXBRCzARIsAIU59TIrfOTqqzP4E8tWYyPyRiehC_81haaorEErQ43AVWgVwUdMjRiY6t8aAhuLEALw_wcB

It’s Going To Be A May Baby!

April was a quick month filled with Consultant, Midwife & Physio appointments alongside Feeding workshops, Baby First Aid & Antenatal classes.

I’ve known for some time that Baby Kelly will be delivered sooner than his due date of the 2nd of June but it was confirmed at our recent Consultant appointment that he’ll be here in a few weeks. The reality of it all is sinking in, I’m excited but nervous with a whirlwind of other emotions & anxieties buzzing about my head.

Growth scans have shown that Baby is doing well weighing at 6lbs & still on target to hit his weight of around 7lbs. The only thing concerning me is that he is back to back but we still have enough time for him to turn.

I have a feeling May is going to be a quick month, a bit of a blur & overwhelming but I can’t wait to meet my Little Guy ❤️.

Babymoon – Perthshire

Before I was pregnant I didn’t even know this was a thing. A last romantic getaway before the baby arrives. The romantic scene of husband & wife cuddling up in front of the log fire & embracing each other before life changes. Well, that’s certainly the image I have painted in my head.

Let me set the scene for our babymoon. My husband, I & Chewie! We couldn’t possibly go away without taking our puppy.

We booked the Whitemoss Lodge B&B in the heart of Perthshire for an overnight stay with a different feel to it. We stayed in a Pod which was a wooden cabin looking much like a hotel room inside with all its luxuries & central heating & ensuite bathroom but felt more like the adventure of camping. Without the sore back, cold weather & creepy crawlies!

Our pod overlooked the beautiful Perthshire Hills surrounded by green fields as far as the eye could see. Sheep roamed the fields & the rabbits darted in between them. Soon to be replaced by little bundles of joy, with the sheep due to have their lambs. The long windows in the pod gave a great opportunity to sit back in the comfort of the pod & enjoy the wonderful views of Perthshire.

The air was still as we walked Chewie in the fields while he jotted about like the happy pup he is with a watchful eye on the rabbits & sheep. Being pregnant, I tried to keep up & was left feeling jealous of my pups energy levels.

In the Morning, we had a lovely breakfast made by the B&B owner who delivered our hot meal with a selection of cold items in a wicker basket. This was the perfect end to the overnight stay.

Whitemoss offers the peaceful getaway in a perfect location to explore the countryside & local towns with the option of visiting the City of Perth. Free WiFi, parking, breakfast included & dogs go free!

Things people say to you when you’re Pregnant with a Chronic Illness

People love to give advice & impart their wisdom as soon as they know that you are pregnant. Even when you don’t ask for their advice, they give it anyway & the same goes for their opinion. It’s not just your family or friends hitting you with their fountain of knowledge but strangers also like to pipe in & get their voice heard.

There’s been some strong opinions on my Vegan/Vegetarian lifestyle & suddenly people are concerned about my protein in take & the lack of meat in my diet. Will that not affect the babies bones? Will the baby grow OK without meat? Just some of the opinions that have been shared with me on the matter of diet.

The most challenging views are from people who think that having a chronic illness means that I have lost the right to have a baby. Some of the following views were expressed at Chronic Pain group, needless to say I never returned after that session.

 

1- How have you managed your pregnancy when your in constant pain?

2- How will you manage when the Baby is here?

3- If you’re struggling just now with fatigue, just wait until the baby is here!

4- What if your Baby has the same health conditions as you? Do you really want that for your child?

Firstly, having a chronic illness I’m aware of what I can & can’t manage & I have great support from my Husband. I can’t look into the future, so I’ll have to wait until the baby is here until I know how I’ll manage. Fatigue is a big part of my Fibromyalgia & Arthritis so I’m well aware of the impact it has on me & the things I need to do to manage. And last but not least, of course every Mother wants their baby to be healthy & we don’t know if our Little One will have any conditions, let alone any of my conditions.

I never blamed my own parents for my diagnosis of Arthritis & Fibromyalgia & never been hung up on “why me”. I’m a stronger person for living with a chronic illness, I’m proud that I’ve overcame barriers & I hope to bring my own child up as strong & resilient, regardless of their health.

People just love to share their opinion. I’m glad I’m not easily offended.