Things I Know About…

…Pregnancy

I am pregnant. And it is weird. Of course, ofcourseofcourseofcourse I’m also over the moon. Chris and I are platsing over the whole thing. But also, pregnancy is a full-on, bodily assault. Essentially I am now America, because my body has gone from being run by a moderately competent adult, to being completely controlled, by a child.

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I am now 18 weeks, so well into my second trimester and it’s not getting any easier – yet. People keep telling me that the second trimester is when you’re supposed to get your mojo back – I don’t know where my mojo is. Also, where is my glow? Is it a myth? I want to know when I’ll start to glow!

I want to be a gracious, glowy, flowy, effortless pregnant woman!!!!

Alas, this is what I know – so far – about pregnancy.

  1. You don’t know exhaustion, until you’ve been pregnant. I don’t care how tired you think you are, if you’re not growing a human, you’re ALL GOOD. I look back on the me before I was pregnant, and laugh at that poor naive person who thought they knew what tired meant. I’ve had to apologise to my sister for not being sympathetic enough when she was pregnant. I didn’t know! Nothing can possibly prepare you for this feeling. I have spent four months getting home from work and going straight to bed. No dinner, no nap on the sofa and then pootling up to bed to for a proper sleep. Just sleep. Sleep disturbed by at least three wee wees. I am too afraid to take a bath, because I know I’ll fall asleep in it. And I will also need another three wee wees during any potential tub time as well. The only thing I could compare this feeling to is if you had five jobs, and then got hit by a car, and then had to go back to your five jobs the next day. Although, on the plus side – guilt free day time naps really are a beautiful thing. Cannot stress that enough.
  2. Everyone has an opinion – which they will tell you. And they won’t present it as their opinion, they’ll present it as fact. When it comes to pregnancy and birth, people become very open and vocal (and judgy) with their opinions, but they don’t always seem to recognise that what they believe is based on their own experiences and is not, indeed, a statement of fact. I’ve had people tell me what I should be wearing as a pregnant person. I’ve had people laugh at me when I’ve told them my birth plan – and then just say the word “no”. I’ve said I plan to have my baby sleep in a cot next to me for the first six months and been scoffed at in a most patronising manner (despite the fact that it’s recommended by every midwife, doctor, caregiver and the NHS website!). My advice (which please do disregard if you please!) to anyone else experiencing this onslaught of unsolicited opinions is to take anything you hear with a huge pinch of salt. Do your own research, all the information you need is out there. People who had children (and probably did a great job of bringing them up) 10, 20, 30, etc years ago will have amazing advice at times, but when it comes to pregnancy, birth and babies, we know so much more than we did, even up to 10 years ago. Ask for advice when you want it and ask lots of people the same question so you get a more well-rounded idea of what the actual truth may be. Some advice will be invaluable, some will be infuriating, and some will be offensive. I have a sneaky suspicion that this particular point might carry on into childrearing as well – YAY.
  3. There is no such thing as an alcohol substitute. Oh nectar of the Gods! How I miss thee! I’ve had a couple of people say: “Oh don’t you just not feel like drinking, because you know it’s bad for the baby?” NO. I don’t drink alcohol because I know it’s bad for the baby, this does not mean I don’t feel like drinking. I feel like drinking a bucket-full of gin martinis. Any mock alcohol drinks, or so-called alcohol substitutes are just as fizzy and sweet as each other. One glass is charming (sort of), after two my teeth are furry and I feel a little bit sick. We hosted a big, boozey 30th birthday party for my husband last weekend and my drink of choice ended up being water! If it’s not wine, it may as well be water, because there is no inbetween! My only non-alcoholic recomendation is Tonic Water, with a nice slice of lime. Veritable G&T. Preferrably Fever Tree, which always feels a little more luxurious.
  4. It’s good if you like your bathroom…you will be spending A LOT of time there. I go for a wee so often that I’ve invented (I haven’t) the ‘Double Wee’ which is basically when I finish my wee but knowing I’ll only be back in 10 minutes, I just end up staying there until the next one arrives. No luxury reading poo, just waiting for the next wee – the ‘Double Wee’. Some nights I’ve ended up going to the loo six times. Therefore, it would be helpful if my bathroom light worked! It tends to just turn off half-way through a visit, turning my ‘Double Wee’ in to a ‘Blackout Wee’ which isn’t half as much fun.
  5. Meditation and yoga is amazing. You know when you’re in those really weird moods where work was kind of mentally harrowing and you’re knackered and everything is a bit wrong including the way the wind touches your face and you know, you just know, that the only thing that’s going to level you back out to normal is two very large glasses of wine? As a pregnant person, I feel that way 85% of the time and clearly I cannot turn to wine for the answer, so for me the answer has become meditation and yoga. I don’t know if it would work for everyone and meditation was a pretty big part of my sanity routine before I got pregnant (as was wine) but I downloaded a pregnancy meditation app and it’s been a bit of a life saver. Pregnancy can be so stressful, anything you can find to relieve the pressure, do it, do it all the time, and if it’s good for your mind and body and baby then so much the better!

I think that’s all I’ve managed to glean about pregnancy so far. In the coming weeks/months I intent to talk a bit about pregnancy and mental health, the things I’m doing to prepare for birth (apart from rocking and crying) and anything else that strikes me during this intense and weird but hopefully ultimately beautiful journey!

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How To…

…Sleep in This Heat.

The hashtag #toohottosleep has been trending for a good couple of days now and I am not immune to this. A solid night of sleep has evaded me for almost a week now. So, I’ve come up with a couple of tips on how to try and sleep during this pesky heatwave.

Continue reading “How To…”

Baby Steps…

…Back into the World!

The timeline for recovering from a breakdown is not a finite thing. It’s different for everyone. For me it’s taken a good two years (and by a good two years I mean nearly three) to get fully back in touch with the real world.

There is a buddhist saying that new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. In my last blog I mentioned that I had lost a contract. Whilst this was very upsetting at the time it prompted me to go out into the big wide world in search for new employment. For the first time in two (nearly three) years I found myself employed in a place that was not my house. I now have to leave my safe home office and venture into the real world at least two days a week and surprisingly enough, I’m loving it!

-New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.-- Lao Tzu (1)

I’m actually almost enjoying the days I spend not in my sheltered little office more than the ones I do. Well not all of them…

Last Monday I arrived at my place of work and had to open up for the first time. To make a short story relatively shorter security alarms AND panic alarms were set off, a fundamental piece of security equipped became irrevocably lost, causing two call-outs from two separate security companies, a whole recalibration of systems and the arrival of some mildly annoyed/amused policemen. All this happened on the same day that a kind passer-by informed me that my arse had been generously displayed to the park during my walk to work. My large M&S skin-tone knicker-ed bottom. Knickers that would put Bridget Jones to shame. Needless to say that when I got back home I had a very large sherry, a big cry and was in bed and fast asleep by 8pm. But the next day I was fine again.

So that was not a great day and one that wouldn’t have happened had I been in my home office. However, I’d take one terrible day like that if it means I get all the other perfectly lovely days I’ve had working in a place where other people are. I actually like being round people now. Even the ones that I don’t know! I really never thought this would happen. I thought that I’d be cooped up in my home office for the rest of my working life. That this would be the only way I’d be able to earn a living.

Despite all this I am glad that I’m not working away from home full-time, the days that I am working from home are really good recalibration days. The down days are as important as the up days. My advice to anyone else recovering from any kind of mental health breakdown would be to take baby steps. Sometimes it takes people two months to feel ready for the world again and sometimes it takes people five years. The important thing is to take your time and do it bit by bit. I’ve taken a couple of big steps forwards only to have to take several back again. This time I took some tentative steps and now I’m pretty excited about all my work! It’s a lovely, scary, odd, fun, tiring, but most of all hopeful feeling.

It all begins with one step

A Shit Day…

…To Look on the Bright Side

So this week has been a really shit week. It all started with cat piss. Cat piss is the worst kind of piss. Even after you’ve soaked (literally soaked) the whole area in pure bleach you can still smell it for about eight years after you’ve cleaned it all away. My cat, Nunney (I didn’t know that was a euphemism for vagina when I named her that btw) went through a phase of pissing on the kitchen surfaces, right next the cooker – hygienic. This has resulted in the cupboard where I keep MY PLATES smelling like cat piss for months on end. I finally thought we’d solved the problem by various different methods and have gone without pissy plates for about a month. But oh no, I went away for one night, ONE NIGHT on Friday and to punish me Nunney started pissing on the bloody kitchen surfaces again.

Continue reading “A Shit Day…”

To Medicate…

…or Not to Medicate.

Now that is the question. At least it’s the question I’ve been asking myself over and over again for the past two and a half years.

I wrote a blog about this when I first started taking anti-depressants. It’s interesting to read it now, I still have exactly the same concerns I had back then. These concerns have stopped me from being able to consistently take my medication. I’ve spent the past two and a half years coming off Citalopram and going back on Citalopram and then coming back off it again, but I think I’ve finally come to a positive conclusion on the subject. After spending the past three months completely anti-depressant free I recently made the decision to go back on them and, I think, this time for good.

Continue reading “To Medicate…”

What Would…

…Miss Fisher Do?

In my quest for mental peace and stability I have come up with many different mantras from many different schools of thought and whilst they have all helped me in many different ways, one is helping me over and over and over again.

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For those of you who don’t know what Miss Fisher is, go to Netflix. Go there now. NOW. And watch it. If you like 1920s fashions, strong female characters with gumption and tenacity, and some light-hearted murder, then this is the programme for you!

What Would Miss Fisher Do helps you answer questions when you either don’t know the answer or you do know the answer but feel weirdly guilty about the answer, mostly the latter, for example: Continue reading “What Would…”

#FashionFridays!

It’s been AGES since I did one of these! I spend my life dressing up as things/people and every now and again I like to record these dress-ups in the form of a #FashionFridays blog. This is one of those occasions! img_3958 Continue reading “#FashionFridays!”