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 💙.

A Valentine’s Night Like No Other

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day & it’s took me 7 years of celebrating it with my husband to finally enjoy it. I was reluctant to spend it in a overcrowded restaurant with the added pressure of eating dinner in under an hour, before the Waiter gently pushed you out the door for the next set of love birds to arrive. I was reminded of this mayhem as we drove past my favourite Italian Restaurant in Glasgow to see it queued out the door and onto the street!

Instead,we booked a private baby scan at Baby Scanning, Glasgow. I was a little disheartened after my 20 week scan as my little one was lying in an awkward position & we didn’t get any clear scan photos. More than that, I wanted to know my baby was healthy & doing well.

It’s only natural to feel anxious as a first time expectant mum & to put my mind at ease I opted for the 4d scan. The scan was 45minutes & it was great to lie back & watch it on the screen. Our little baby is 24+5 weeks now & our active little one was kicking about with their legs over their head. Time seemed to stop as I was lost in the moment of watching my little bundle of joy move around & was lucky enough to catch them yawn – it’s a hard life.

Not only did we get to see our baby but we heard their heartbeat & got a lovely little keepsake which was the heartbeat inside a teddy bear.

Perfect way to spend our 7th Valentine’s Day together ❤️.

Time To Talk

Having a mental health issue can make you feel lonely, isolated & worthless but Time To Talk encourages everyone to have those conversations about mental health & to open up about it.

I think back to this time last year when I was stuck in a bad place physically & mentally. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia alongside my Arthritis & medication was the first port of call. I didn’t realise the impact the medication would have on me & before I knew it I had spiralled out of control into a depression.

Living my life in constant pain was telling on me, I was exhausted & I felt trapped. Trapped in my body of pain & misery. Everything was out with my control, the pain, the low mood & anxiety. I didn’t talk to my husband about how I really felt & instead I turned to painkillers.

The telling point for me was when I was driving & the thoughts of not being here whizzed through my head & ways of ending it would become more vivid & harder to suppress.

I didn’t feel like Leann anymore, I was no longer a supportive wife, a daughter or friend. I was hiding things from my husband, I was storing painkillers everywhere for the just in case moments & I hated myself.

I finally plucked up the courage to say to my husband, I think I have a problem. Saying it out loud I knew I had a problem & I couldn’t hide from it anymore. My husband encouraged me to go to the GP & I shared my cocktail of meds with him & the harsh reality of the situation smacked me in the face. If you continue like this Leann, you will harm yourself. Right up to that point, that’s what I wanted, or at least I thought I did.

I had so many reasons to stay alive, my husband, Puppy, my family, my future. I had a future. Reaching out, opening up & talking about how I really felt was a big leap for me but it saved me from the depression.

My relationship with medication & painkillers was a toxic combination & I decided to come off everything. It was difficult, I couldn’t see the immediate benefit but I kept going & I looked for other ways to manage my pain & mental health.

The most helpful book I read was Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive. His words rang true with me & his experience helped me to see that I wasn’t alone & it also helped me to open about my mental health.

A year on, I’m more open about how I feel & I openly share my journey. I have a future. A second chance of life with my husband & our new beginnings with baby Kelly due to arrive in June ❤️.

As much as it was difficult for me to reach out, it saved me & I hope you can reach out too if you are struggling. You are worth it. You do have a future. Keep going.

#TimeToTalk

Life with an invisible illness

When you get diagnosed with a condition it doesn’t register at the time and you don’t fully understand the impact it will have on your life both physically and mentally. For me, getting diagnosed with Fibromyalgia was a relief. I was struggling with anxiety, muscle spasms, sleepless nights, fatigue and pain which weren’t related to my arthritis so I was relieved to finally get an answer.

 
A typical day for me is going to work and I fully understand that work isn’t an option for everyone but for me, work plays an important part of my journey with an invisible illness. Don’t get me wrong I am normally tired and sore after a day at work and I like to have a quiet evening with my husband but I still enjoy working.

 
I like to spend my weekends with my husband and nephew going to Celtic games and this has offered a life line to me and a place to escape my problems. It reminds me of the past Leann that played football and I miss that part of my life but I’m happy I get to enjoy it watching the team I love. Even just watching the games I come home with bruises and in pain from celebrating.

 

 

Life with an invisible illness is unpredictable and a good day could be followed by a series of bad days. It’s stopped me from being carefree and active but I’m learning new ways to adapt and to enjoy doing things. It’s invisible. Nobody knows that you are struggling and fighting each day. My illness is invisible but I’m not. I fight through the bad days and cherish the good.

 

It’s made me the person I am today and I am stronger because of it.