Possibly? No. Surely not. Maybe? Probably…?

Firebloke and I had a serious talk the other day.  He sat me down, put on his serious face and said, ‘I think you’re pregnant’. Huh??! I only had my coil taken out about two weeks ago, and he’s been working nights most of that time! Highly unlikely. 

He laid out the case for me. My period is due, yet my skin is crystal clear. Better than it has been in months, in fact (my rosacea cleared up last time I was pregnant). He’d been asking me to do loads of stuff for him, and I’d done it without telling him to eff off…and when he pointed this out I didn’t bite his head off…doesn’t really sound like pre-menstrual me.

Halfway through this conversation I asked if I could get him a coffee. OH GOD YOU ARE PREGNANT he joked. 

Hmm. So I’ve been feeling pretty sick the last couple of days. Last night the smell of the leftover dinner had me pretty het up and this morning I had to gag down my weetabix. Firebloke said surely it’s too early for you to feel sick… yeah because my body is known to react in a normal way to pregnancy hormones! The pelvic girdle pain, the prolonged labour, the postpartum psychosis…
Maybe he’s on to something. Exciting times! Just need both of us to be in the house and awake whilst toddler is asleep so we can take a pregnancy test. Don’t fancy her knowing just yet and blurting it out to everyone!

Firebloke will be mighty p’d off if I am pregnant already, he thinks he’ll miss out on all the sexy times!

Watch this space…

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Sisterhood of the World Award

I’m so flattered to be nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Award by the lovely Our Rach! I’m very new to the blogging world so I’m surprised anyone would really think of me for it.

Here’s how it works: she asks ten bloggers ten questions, I answer and write my own new questions for another ten bloggers, and so on. We spread the love and discover new things!

So here we go:

1. Why did you start blogging?

Peer support honestly changed my life. Medication was a leg up. Therapy was necessary. Hospital was life saving. But meeting other Mums who struggled with the same things I did? That brought me back to my old self again. I’ve written before about the ‘me too’ phenomenon, but I really do think it is so powerful for recovery. I wanted to give some of that back.

I had to write a few things during the course of my therapy, and my clinical psychologist asked if I’d ever considered writing a book about my experiences. I did consider it, and even started it, but blogging just seemed to make so much more sense to me.

There were so many perinatal mental health blogs out there I was put off for a while, thinking I had nothing to add. But when when my husband and I started talking about having another baby, it struck me that that was something I’d read very little about, especially where psychosis was involved, so I decided to go for it.

2. What things would you take with you to a desert island and why?

Earl Gray tea

A pen and paper, to write to myself and others, whether they’d ever read it or not

My little girl’s lovey (presuming she didn’t need it!) it smells godawful but it reminds me so much of her

Slippers, jammies and a blanket (I can’t stand to be cold or uncomfortable)

The Harry Potter books

I reckon I could eke out an existence on that lot…

3. What’s your all time favourite song?

Aargh too hard! I have never been able to choose just one. I’ll go with sentimentality and say ‘Beyond the Sea’, which my husband and I danced to at our wedding.

4. What was your worst Christmas present and why?

I can’t honestly think of anything I got this year that fits that criteria. I guess I’d have to say ‘nothing’; a gift I received for about ten years running from my brother. Anything is better than nothing. (He got his act together and got us all lovely gifts this year, so it has a happy ending!)

5. Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions? If you have, what are they?

To be nicer to my mother in law. She drives me absolutely bloody crazy, but I can’t change her so what’s the point in wasting my anger and frustration on her? I’ve already seen the positive impact being nicer has had on my mood and my marriage!

It’s a secret resolution though. No one can ever know *shifty side eye*

6. What are your hopes for this year?

Quite honestly, to come out the other side with another baby and (most of) my sanity. Maybe I should have loftier aspirations, or more selfless ones, but that’s it peeps, pure and simple. 

7. What’s your favourite memory?

Looking in to my daughter’s eyes for the first time. Seems a bit too obvious? Well it’s my favourite, because it’s a recovered memory. For roughly the first 18 months of her life it was overshadowed by the memory of almost bleeding to death, which was happening at the same time (though I didn’t know it then). With a lot of damned hard work, the terror subsided, and in its place came the blissful, serene memory of falling in love.

8. What’s your favourite film?

Ugh, I don’t do favourites, I change my mind too often. Yep, just spent ten minutes staring at my double book shelf full of films, still can’t choose. Sorry to be a spoilsport. I’m just grateful I can now watch films again that contain any of the following themes: time distortion, an altered sense of reality, dreaming, dying, panic, ambulances, childbirth, bleeding, babies. I still don’t think I’ll ever watch Rosemary’s Baby again though.

9. What’s your guiltiest pleasure in life?

Tea. I’m that English, and that boring.

10. In your opinion, what’s the best blog post you have ever written? Link it here.

I’ve only written five! Not many to choose from, but I think the Guest post I wrote on stigma and peer support for #PNDhour is my favourite so far. Read it for a fuller answer to question 1! I’m hoping my best is yet to come.




My nominees, on the off chance they haven’t been nominated already, are:

 Tracey Robinson AKA @PPsurvivormum

PPSoup

Eve Canavan

Kathryn Grant

23 Week Socks

Emma Jane Sasaru

Katherine Stone

Pop Tart Mum

Beth Bone  

Laura Wood AKA @mrsjellybobuk
My questions to you lovely lot are: 
1. What’s your favourite kids’ book and why?

2. Who do you think is the most annoying kids’ TV character and why? (Obviously the correct answer is Peppa Pig, but you’re allowed an alternative opinion)

3. Which theme song gets stuck in your head the most?

4. What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

5. If you could say one thing to a pregnant first time mum, without the fear of offending or frightening them, what would it be?

6. What’s the funniest thing you never thought you’d hear yourself say before you were a parent?

7. We’re all human. Sometimes we lie to our kids to get them to do stuff, not do stuff, or just leave us the f*ck alone for 30 seconds. What’s the worst lie you’ve told your child?

8. What’s the most irritating thing a grandparent(/carer that’s not you) does whilst looking after your kids? (Eg asking if it’s OK as they hand them the chocolate, asking the kids questions that are intended for you, giving them a noisy shiny toy specially for grandmas house 5 mins before you & kids have to leave, etc)

9. What’s been your proudest moment as a parent? (Go on, brag, you have my permission)

10. If you could go back and talk to yourself at your lowest moment, what would you say?
And here are the rules!

1. Thank the blogger who gave you the award, and link back to their blog

2. Answer the ten questions given to you

3. Nominate a further ten bloggers for the award

4. Write ten questions for those nominees to answer

5. Display the award on your blog or post!

Aaaaand GO!

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New Year

Happy New Year!
It was quite a quiet one for us this year, a whispered party at home with the teetotal in-laws whilst FireGirl slept. She didn’t even wake up when all the fireworks went off. Despite the low key celebration, I was really happy; excited about the opportunities and changes this year will hopefully bring.

It wasn’t always this way. That first year, I was 5 months post partum, 4 months put of hospital and sunk well in to postnatal depression. When Jools Holland and co chimed in midnight, I allowed myself a tiny sip of champagne (I was still heavily medicated and not supposed to drink alcohol). I tried to hold it together but as I went round hugging and kissing my family, stinging tears betrayed me, welling up and over.

It wasn’t just the depression. New year is inevitably a time of reflection and review, and I was crushed by the stark comparison between how I’d started the year; excited and full of naive hope, with how I’d ended it; depressed, tranquilized and feeling like I was begrudgingly surviving motherhood rather than embracing it. How did I get here?

The following year was slightly better. I’d come a really long way. I was medication free, back at work (I’d thought my career was over once I’d been hospitalised) and felt like I was fairly content with life. I still had a way to go in trauma therapy though, and was still feeling a lot of shame about my mental health. FireGirl’s first birthday had come and gone, friends were announcing second pregnancies and I just wasn’t there yet, though I so wanted to be.

This time at midnight, the fireworks had woken my girl up and spooked her, so I broke with tradition and gave her my first kiss of the new year instead of my husband. We watched the sky light up out my parents’ spare room window, and as I watched her sleepy face light up, I whispered to her, “I’m really glad I’m here with you”, and I meant it. I love that girl so much.

New years can feel great, a time for new beginnings and a time for celebration. It can also feel awful. This natural time for reflection can leave us feeling like we’re not where we wanted to be and feeling disappointed in the year and ourselves. If, when the clock strikes midnight, you feel like crying instead of cheering, don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself the tears. Hold fast brave mama, better times are right around the corner.

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