I’m a Mum!

Well hello! I bet you’d forgotten about me, hadn’t you! I am sorry it’s been so long since I last wrote anything, but there’s a very good reason for that. Say hello to my beautiful daughter, Niamh Esmee Iris Campion.

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Niamh is Irish and pronounced like Eve but starts with an N. It means bright/beautiful/radiant. Esmee is French and means loved, and Iris was the goddess of the rainbow in Greek mythology. My family are Irish, my husband’s surname has French origins and she is our rainbow baby, so all 3 names are very fitting.

I honestly didn’t think the day would ever come that I would be able to write ‘my daughter’. It’s all still very surreal, in the most wonderful way.

I only wrote one post during my pregnancy. To be completely honest I was terrified I would have another miscarriage, so even the thought of writing about being pregnant felt like I would be tempting fate. Because of this, and my ever increasing anxiety, I didn’t enjoy being pregnant. I wanted to, but I also just wanted her to be OK, to be safe, healthy, and to survive. Add to that a not very empathetic consultant, and by the last month I was in a real state.

In the end it was decided that a Caesarian Section was the best option. I cannot say enough positive things about the delivery team in theatre. They really were wonderful and looked after us both so, so well. To anyone who thinks a C-Section is the ‘easy way’, and I’ve heard that more than once, let me tell you it really isn’t. I could write a lot about this, but it will only annoy me, and I want this to be a happy post.

So, I’m a Mum! It’s the hardest ‘job’ I’ve ever done, but the one I wanted more than anything. The hours are long, the pay is quite frankly criminal, but the rewards, well, they’re just everything. When she smiles at me I feel as though my heart might burst. I never thought I would be proud of someone for burping, but she does it with such style!

I haven’t found it easy adjusting to becoming a Mum. If I said I never thought beyond being pregnant to what it would actually be like when we brought her home from the hospital, would you judge me? Well, it’s true. For 9 months I simply willed my body to keep her safe, and so having her here with us has been amazing and completely terrifying. For the first few nights we just watched her sleep, mainly to make sure she was alive, but also to try and take in this beautiful little person that we made. She is the best thing to ever happen to us and we are so besotted with her. How I’ll ever do anything productive ever again I do not know, other than looking after her obviously!

So, I am back now, but please bear with me while I enjoy my time with my most precious girl.

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My Pregnancy, My Truth

So, it’s been a while since I wrote a post.
I found out at the end of November that I’m pregnant, a complete miracle! It was such a wonderful surprise. I still haven’t completely got my head round it all, and I think that’s why I’m writing this, so bear with me.

In the summer of 2015 I had a missed miscarriage, which means you don’t know anything is wrong. I only found out from an early scan when I was told there was no heartbeat. The worst thing to be told. I don’t think you ever get over such a loss, but you learn to carry on eventually. This loss was yet another reason why finding out I’m pregnant again was such a beautiful shock, but slightly heartbreaking too. There’s definite guilt that I’m pregnant. I will never forget my first baby. My husband and I talk about them often and like to think they are looking over this baby. I have a little angel on a necklace that I wear every day to remember our little angel. They will always be part of our family.

Being pregnant is overwhelming. I naively never thought it would affect me like this. It’s exciting, exhausting and terrifying. Truly terrifying. I worry every day. What if something goes wrong? What if the baby doesn’t make it? God forbid.
Then I think what if the baby doesn’t like me? What if I’m a terrible Mum?
What if something happens to my husband? I would be lost without him and I couldn’t do this on my own. He’s my rock, my everything. I feel closer to him than ever, which I love, but I worry about him more, which I hate.
I know there are extra hormones in my system right now, but everything just feels tough. Having anxiety doesn’t help, and as much as people tell you it will all be ok, there are times when it doesn’t feel like it will. Most days the anxiety isn’t too bad, but at the moment it’s kicking in a bit too much. I know how to control it, mostly, but I never underestimate the way it can catch me off guard and throw me off course.

I’ve always had an issue with my weight so this beautiful growing bump is taking some getting used to. I’m actually eating better than I have in a long time, and haven’t been craving naughty foods, but I feel very self conscious. I am proud of my bump but again it’s something new and different that takes some adjusting to.

This isn’t meant to read as me moaning as believe me I am so happy. I just don’t see many people saying they’re worried/overwhelmed/terrified. I have always been honest on here and I’m not going to change that now.

So, I have around 16 weeks to go until things truly change forever. By August there will be a little person here and I just hope I am good enough to look after them and be a good Mum.

Semicolon Slippery Pig

Great title, right?

As you may know if you’ve read any of my posts over the last week or so, I have had a bit of a major flare up with my anxiety and have struggled quite a lot. At the moment I feel OK, but I never take that for granted as unfortunately my anxiety can strike whenever it feels like it.

I saw my therapist yesterday and had a really random, but good chat about things. I told him I feel as though I’m on pause, like I’m waiting for something to happen. I don’t know what or why, but I’ve felt like that for a while now. He was talking about different stages in life and how they can relate to meaningful periods. For instance, 50 is often considered as mid life and people can make rather big decisions about their life as there is still plenty of time to make changes if they feel they are needed. At 80 it can be seen as though acceptance has been reached as it is rare for any big changes to be made at this point. I am apparently at the other phase, the ‘is this it’ time, but I know this isn’t it and there is plenty of time to find out what else life has to offer. We talked about it in terms of punctuation marks, so 80 can be seen as the full stop, 50 is the colon and 25 – 35 is the semicolon.

It was serendipity that he mentioned the semicolon as that is something I had been talking about the day before in relation to mental health, and my potential desire to have a tattoo. As the semicolon has become a worldwide symbol for mental health I was looking at incorporating it into something as a reminder that although anxiety can feel like the worst thing ever, it will pass. Also as a reminder that you can survive it. Just to say that I am the world’s biggest softie and HATE needles. I mean really hate them. I have no pain threshold whatsoever, but for some reason the idea of having a tattoo that holds a real meaning for me feels right. I also think the pain would help make me more aware of what I can tolerate. I don’t mean that to sound big headed or cheesy, it just feels right for me.

So, the slippery pig! Well, because there isn’t one specific trigger for my symptoms, my therapist called my anxiety a slippery pig that couldn’t be contained. Makes perfect sense when you look at it like that, right?

Don’t worry, my tattoo won’t be a semicolon on the back of a pig, promise!

 

Anxiety is definitely Physical

For the past week I’ve felt pretty dreadful: temperature, earache, stiff neck, shaky and tired. I put it down to being a virus as everyone catches them at some point. However, once the crappy feeling passed, the shakiness increased, my sleep pattern became really messed up and my concentration went the same way as my motivation, on a permanent holiday.

I haven’t really felt like me for so long that I’m not sure what’s real and what’s part of my well rehearsed act. I do know that over the last few days I’ve been overwhelmed by anxiety, and am exhausted from the physical symptoms that come with it. I have been shaking pretty much constantly for a week. It feels as though I am shaking internally as well as my hands shaking and legs feeling like jelly. My heart is racing to the point that I can hear the blood pumping in my ears. I’m tired, really tired, but can’t sleep as my mind is racing in conjunction with my heart.

I have been to see the doctor, one I haven’t seen before, and he was wonderful. He didn’t rush me. He let me fall apart without judging. He was straightforward and empathetic, exactly what I needed. As someone who is always happy to listen to others, I often forget how much talking to someone about how I feel helps me. I bottle it all up and keep going as I’m terrified that if I stop it will all come out and I won’t know how to deal with it. However, that then causes all of these awful physical symptoms I’ve been experiencing. For someone who has been dealing with anxiety for years I can be a right dumbass sometimes!Β 

Right now I feel calm. Yes, I have a raging headache. Yes, my neck and shoulders are so tight that it hurts to move. Yes, I feel like I could sleep for a week. But, the shakiness is subsiding, and the overwhelming urge to run away is lessening, and that is such a bonus that I’ll take that as a mini win. For now I won’t worry (as much) about tomorrow, I won’t even worry about whether I’ll sleep tonight. I’ll just concentrate on breathing and being grateful for what I have.Β 

Vanilla Monday

I’m getting the distinct impression that Monday doesn’t like me. I don’t know what I’ve done to offend Monday, but it wasn’t intentional, I promise.

Monday used to be good to me. We got along really well, but as quickly as we had something, it stopped. For no reason, as far as I can see.

I might have said that I thought Monday was pretty vanilla, you know normal, but it wasn’t an insult. I happen to like vanilla. Plus, it’s a great starting point to build on, isn’t it. No one wants the finished thing, all bells and whistles straight away. You have to work on that, put the effort in, be creative. Then it’s something special as you’ve created what you want. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but does that really matter?

I’m aware that this is not my usual type of post, but I’m not feeling like myself too much at the moment. Everything feels off. I can’t really say what or why as I’m not sure myself, but I am certain that all is not right. I just wish I knew how to fix it. I hate not knowing. I don’t deal well with feeling like I can’t sort something.

I suppose the only good thing is tomorrow is Tuesday, and so far we seem to be on the same page. Hopefully I’ll be back to my version of normal then.