Purpose

Purpose

This week I am really feeling like I’m just a Mum! I’m bored! So bored with being the everything to four little people to the point where there’s nothing left for me. I currently feel like one of those batteries with a strip down the side that shows the energy remaining . Mine is very much empty. I know every Mum goes through it and I am grateful I am not raising my girls on my own but, I am totally and completely depleted.

There have been times since having my little girl that I find myself in this ‘funk’. Do I think I have Depression or mental health issues since having her? No! I’m just being honest with how I feel. Fourth time around and you can freely say that it is ok that you don’t feel ok all the time. It is tiring. It is lonely. It is completely and utterly boring sometimes. There are times when I find myself singing the theme tune to Paw Patrol, even I have a spare 5 minutes to myself. It really is ok if you don’t feel like Mary Friggin Poppins all of the time. It is completely normal. It is hard to fight against it when there are times when you don’t even leave the house. This is where I am at today!

Its amazing how your heart can give just as much love without diluting.

 

When I was pregnant with my third daughter, I had the most incredible midwife. I felt like she was 100% there for me and only me whenever I was with her. She was quirky and she was a little bit bonkers. She was very much like Marmite, that was obvious but, that is exactly what I loved about her. If she liked you, you knew it and you felt akin with her. She would go on herbal retreats and stay on the side of a mountain for days, just for fun! I just loved her. I could have imagined that, should my labour had been a straight forward one, she would have advised me to have a bit of fruit tea and wave lavender around and all would be fine!Naturally, I would have ignored her and gone straight for the epidural anyway. Just as I had my daughter, she retired, which was fine with me as I wasn’t going to have any more children anyway…how wrong I was !!! Anyway, a couple of months ago when I was feeling particularly low and fed up, I spied her out of the corner of my eye leaving the supermarket as I was queued up (Yep, in Waitrose again!!-Other supermarkets are available). I more or less chased her to her car, as much as my saggy bits would allow that is! There was a brief moment when she caught sight of me and I was unsure if she was actually going to recognise me, thus crushing all my admiration and realising I was just one in a line of many. Thankfully, unlike a large number of exes, the flash of recognition came over her and she gave me the biggest hug ever. It really was a pivotal moment for my mental health. It was kismet that I had seen her, especially as she had moved away over a year ago. I instantly knew I could do this, just as I had the three times before.

I am fully aware that some may think that on my last post, I was talking about needing counselling following a miscarriage and now I am saying how hard it is to be a parent and how it can make you feel down. It just goes to show that one most definitely does not cancel out the other. I have friends who can’t have children but desperately want them and I have friends who have had one child but unable to have another. Some were given the gift of children after years of trying but, it was not all they dreamed of when they finally got it. Some don’t want children at all. It is not our right that because of our particular circumstances, we are unable to be unhappy with our own situation at times. It really is relative and we are all so different that I fully believe we should simply support those we love, respect and are friends with, in whatever ways they suffer.

One of the biggest regrets in regards to my children is that they will grow up never knowing my parents and my parents will never know them. When things are tough, I would give anything to have a parent to turn to, to make it all better. My Dad was the absolute best for this. I could tell him I was due to be sentenced for international espionage and faced either a life stretch or a stoning and he would still make me feel that everything would work out ok in the end. This is exactly what I try to do for my girls, so that they don’t worry about things. I am not sure it works with my 8 year old though as she hangs onto things, keeps them dormant until the truth pours out; like the time she was beside herself with worry that the head teacher would pull her out of assembly for putting Playdoh in her pants. It wasn’t even the action that was ridiculous, it was the fact it happened in Year 1 and she was now in Year 3!!! Yet ironically, her maximum capacity for holding onto negative situations is currently around 7.2 seconds. By the time she had slammed a door after an argument, she had forgotten why she slammed it.

Never take a parent for granted. Love you Dad xxx

 

Recently, it was apparent that neither of my older girls knew exactly why one set of their Grandparents were no longer here, the younger assuming that they had ‘just died’ which seems incredibly unfortunate! I felt like I had done my parents a huge disservice by not sharing this information but, when I thought more of it, I actually felt really positive about that. Their death really had no bearing on their lives and it was clear that the stories I had shared over breakfast, were the things I wanted my girls to know about them and not how they left me. When I struggle or feel down, it’s compacted by the fact that I can’t do what so many people can; go and see their parents or parent for a cup of tea or for dinner. I am always so jealous of anyone that can do that and find it incomprehensible that those people that can then don’t! I can’t visit my Dad to make it all better or borrow £10 because I’m worried about money again or needing something before the next pay day. He never wanted me to worry, even when he was dying and that is why he remained the most amazingly humorous and positive man. He dealt with that and I’m moaning about being bored! I just always want something to look forward to even if it’s a drink in a beer garden or a visit to good friends.

If you can, please go and visit your parents today, even just for a cuppa. Take them for dinner at ‘Spoons’ (I’m easily pleased) Maybe forget about the £10 bit!! Go for £20! 😉 Remember just how amazingly lucky you are and never ever forget it! Never!

Its good to talk

Its good to talk

It is absolutely not a mirage! It is me! As I was writing that, I was completely thinking; ‘It is I! L’eclair!’. Sadly, that would neither be funny nor make any sense to any other than a certain generation. Anyway, I can only apologise for my huge lack in supplying any literary stimulation for quite some time now. I am mostly on maternity leave, in my pants, eating cake but, in the reality, since I last wrote, I have made two babies (well, half made them) One I kept and one I could not. As I have come to expect from life’s little kicks in the fanny, my bodies ineptitude to do as I ask has been yet again a source of immense frustration. Subsequently, even the most hardy person’s physical and mental health could do little but, be affected.

For those that first started reading my ramblings from the beginning, about 2000 years ago, you will remember why I started to write things down. I had been seeing a counsellor who suggested that I write a letter to my Mum. The letter was to act as a cathartic experience to tackle any anger I had towards her for her dying . A letter just seemed like a little too meagre an offering and that is exactly where and why my blog began. I really had wanted to write a book tackling child bereavement and dealing with grief but, I decided to have 24 babies instead. Ok! Four! Four that stayed anyway and so I have to jot down what I can, when I can. I never really have time but, I borrow it, like the fairy Godmother. Noone turns into a pumpkin, I just have a little more poo to clean up!! Anyway, the original admittance that I should see a counsellor was an epiphany for me. Just making the appointment made me feel stronger and more empowered. I never felt like a failure or that I was going mad, I just knew I had dealt with too many things and some of them still hung around me like a cloud. Ironically, it was not until I visited a different counsellor more recently that I really made changes. This time I really found the right one! I will not use her name so I am going to call her my angel.

At the start of last year, our life became unexpectedly more complicated with the knowledge that we were going to become a family of six. Quite out of the blue and unprepared, we found ourselves having to make an enormous decision; far larger than whether I would have to give up Pinot Grigio or not! Finding out that you are having a baby when you were convinced your life is complete is a hard journey to consider. Three children and you can make do with one car, the same house, less stretch marks but, four is a huge and megasauraus change to your already hectic existence. It is natural that when a women loses a baby, she questions every little thing; what she ate, what she drank, if she sat on an overly bumpy bus but, there are rarely any definitive answers. So, not surprisingly, I was fully convinced that the reason I lost that baby was the initial  ‘contemplation’ of even bringing it into our lives. There life goes; ‘well, you had to think about it anyway!!’ There is, in my experience,one thing a woman wants when she loses a baby and that is another baby. Regardless of whether our little one was planned, the minute you know that baby is there, you have changed the course of your entire future. And you want that back. I was not sure that my heart could cope with losing another baby but, could it ever cope with never even trying ?

I am very trying!!

This time was different. It was not just a weight of feelings that were burdening me that perhaps I should offload, it was a weight of darkness on me that was pushing me down to half the size (unfortunately not horizontally). Just because you already have one, two or three children, it has no bearing on the grief and emptiness you feel when losing one. If someone loses their Mum, would you tell them it’s ok because they still have a Dad?  No one ever has the right to try and make you justify a loss and no one can tell you that something was not meant to be either. I liken the feeling of early pregnancy to a crane toy you find in arcades. You pick up the toy and whilst you watch it travel through the air, you squeeze your hands and tighten your tummy, willing it to keep hold until you reach the trap door. Really, really willing it. That was how I felt for weeks, probably because I already had some sense of what was to come. Get to 12 weeks and you will be fine. That is, unless you get to 12 weeks and you aren’t fine! I knew my baby had gone the second I had the first cramp. Why did we take even a minute to consider whether we would go through with it because, in that moment and just like that, it was gone! That is when the complete darkness set in. A darkness that I felt I could never ever come out of.

Don’t get me wrong, my first counseller was lovely. She was kind and she was calm and she wore home made earrings that I always focused on. I felt positive after seeing her. I did not feel that my time with her was useless. It is only in hindsight I realise that she was just not right for me. When I finished my sessions, we just kind of ran out of runway. I had said all I needed to say and rather than feeling better, I just felt like I had exhausted all my depressing life stories. Plus, she made me do role play and no one enjoys role play!! Unless it’s in an ‘Officer and a Gentleman’ type way of course.

I found my ‘angel’ in the same manner as before, by going to my GP and being referred. My doctor is pretty fastidious with me after the whole complaint issue I had after my Molar pregnancy (for those that may remember and on a previous post) and I am pretty sure he was beginning to regard me as less of a bitch by this point. She, being ‘my angel’, actually first called me when I was at the till in Waitrose. I remember it so well as the lady serving had tutted at me so loudly, if she had worn false teeth, they would have shot straight out. It was well founded. Bloody rude when people do that! Naturally, I was worried about my bank balance and how my first session would fit in with my poor three weeks of the month (probably because I was shopping in Waitrose)! I really needed it though. As much as I joke about being out shopping, it had taken all of my energy to even leave the house during that time so I rarely ever did it, or wash my hair. In short, I was a mess.

Wood for the trees.

Confidentially, I can tell you everything we said, who she was and where we were but, she is unable to. I do not disagree with these rules but, it’s because of that and the respect I have for her that I will not divulge it either. I do hope she reads this though and I will do my utmost to ensure she does. In the weeks that I saw her, which stretched into months and subsequently into the beginning of the next pregnancy, I became a different person. That sounds dramatic but, I totally and utterly believe that is true. Anyway, I have digressed slightly: in that time, one woman made me feel like I was actually a little bit alright. She made me feel like I was interesting, like I was fiery and confident and of course, hilariously amusing. She had a way of empathising with all my idiosyncrasies and rather than feeling irrational, I was able to filter out the part that made sense, and forget the ridiculous (of which there were many bits). More important than anything, she gave me the ability to step back and see myself from the outside, how others may and it gave me the gift of rationality. I had to learn that if I wanted to live a life that had not been wasted in sorrow that I must realise what I was and not focus on what I had lost. It’s ok though, I will always be a bit wibbly around the edges and I fully accept that. I will use that as one of my positives. Everyone likes jelly! I will never ever get over some of the things I have been through but, I refuse to let them defeat me.

Social media was important for me during this time. It is impossible to have a completely even balance of how much you share and how real you portray your life. I know that some people would think that I share too much. I would not say that I share a lot of dirty laundry but, I am honest and if I only ever wrote the good things then no doubt, I would be acused of not portraying the real me also. At that time it was actually beneficial to share so much of my pain for all to see as, not only did it help me to release some of the hurt, it resulted in hearing from so many women, some that I knew well and others that I did not know so much.We all had the same thing in common though and one woman in particular went through almost exactly the same journey with me, even to the point that she also now has a baby of almost the same age. I will always be grateful for her reaching out to me too and I feel like we will always have a special bond. So Yes! This has been such a busy time for me: Making two humans, building strong friendships, meeting an incredible lady and gaining a confidence I never believed I could have.

New life does not replace old, it just changes the view.

So.. If you are lucky enough and I have finished my latest packet of bourbons, got bored of sitting in my pants and finished every single Real Housewives episode, you may get a new post much sooner than this one took to arrive. Depends how big the packet is!

 

Rescue me

Rescue me

Rescue me

Eughhhhhhhh! I hate driving! I hate it!

I have made no secret about my anxiety and panic attacks and how they affect my life. Actually, they had not really affected my life at all of late. Certainly not in the way they used to. But, I still have one thing that fills me with dread that brings back that clammy and ‘whizzy’ feeling which I thought I had said goodbye to long ago: driving to work.

I just cannot shift it at the moment. Not like I can with an ordinary panic attack. I have triggers that I use to eliminate them but, the art of distraction is not so easy to perfect when you are motoring along on the M5 motorway. As much as I have tried to listen to music, I find anything with too much base will set me off. If I have a bottle of water, I will worry that it will run out before my journey has ended and I will be too dependent on that as a solution. Even my long anticipated Rescue Remedy pastilles stayed in my glove box for the first few journeys as I was concerned that the ingredients may cause some adverse reaction, leaving me feeling even worse. Typical! Totally bonkers and irrational arguments for each possible solution but, isn’t this just the nature of Panic Attacks? I still find it so difficult to comprehend that this is my bodies actual way of protecting me as it certainly does not feel like it. The main and very pertinent difference with these panic attacks is that there really is no escape from my car. I am encapsulated inside my own little whizzing ball of anxious anxiety cloud.

Rescue me

My little nurse.

Ironically, on my drive this morning, I thought about exactly what I would write if I wrote a post about my anxieties. This seemed to help me. Suddenly though, something else would creep into my mind; remember the time I fainted after I had a tattoo….. cue; complete and utter panic that I am going to faint because I have thought about fainting. That’s it! I am going to faint! My car will veer into the path of an oncoming lorry and that will be the end of me. All because I did not pull over but, if I pull over, I have given in and will make things so much worse for myself. I absolutely and categorically can never pull over.

Then I start to worry about other things, ie; everything. I wish I had money, I wonder if I could crowdfund my life?  Can I afford to send my daughter to nursery? What can I buy for dinner tonight that is less than the £3.75 in my bank account? Oh my God! I am a failure. I have failed my life…. cue; foggy head, feeling sweaty and just a deep sinking feeling of impending doom in my stomach that lasts for one nano second. Then it is gone! It does not even affect the way that I drive (crap as my other half would say!) I mean, it is not the actual driving capability that worries me. It is the worry that I will get that awful low down dread and I cant do anything. Because I have to keep driving.

Rescue me

My life has been so much more colourful since I faced all my demons.

I have always had a nervous nature. When I was a child I can remember being worried about everything. It wasn’t just the death of my closest relatives that made me the basket case I am today. I was already one! So, I seek some solace in that. The path of serendipity and all that! When I was around 9 or 10, the age my eldest daughter is now, I saw a keyring in Clinton Cards that caused me to worry for months. On the front was a picture of a cartoon frog and each frog on each key ring represented a trait or premonition for each sign of the zodiac. The frog that represented mine had crosses for eyes and a knife in its chest with the title; MOST SCORPIOS ARE MURDERED! Who on earth designed these key rings? (This is my thought now) My thoughts then were, yes! You’ve guessed it! I would be next. A true Scorpio.

I spent weeks even months after, ensuring that whatever happened, I categorically could not listen to the news. It was easy at home as Mum and Dad were working but, In the car, Dad would always have the news on the radio, or so it felt like. So, I had to turn my Sony Walkman up to its maximum and ensure that my Shamen cassette tape (that’s right! I was cool!),  drowned out any news of any possible murders. If I heard about one, that would mean it would happen to me. Ironically, as my life got harder, I became much more rational in my thinking. Probably then, I realised that Life can be an utter bastard to you no matter what you do or what you happen to listen to.

Rescue me

Now I’m much more ‘well rounded’. Well I am in this picture anyway.

So! I shall continue to search for a solution to my ‘motorised mad moments’ in the hope that I can clear this chapter of negativity soon. As I continue to work and know that Nancy is in safe hands, I feel so much better about going , I even enjoy it. I will not be defeated again and nor will I feel so negative. There are plenty of people willing to do that for you and without explanation that its a wonder not all of us are a little bit mental (which of course we totally are).

 

Work Work Work

Work Work Work

Work Work Work

I am so slack! It has been an obscene amount of time since I actually sat my rather large bottom down and wrote a post. I have been agonising over it slightly because I keep thinking that I do not really have anything to write about. Not that anyone would be interested in anyway. Then I realised; that doesn’t matter! This blog is meant to be cathartic for me and simply sharing last years Facebook CooeyMrShifter memories rather than writing again does not really cut it for me.

As I have always said, I never plan anything that I will write. I make a conscious decision to either go back in time or write about now and that is about the limit of my planning. I find it incredibly stressful if I start to write a post and I do not get a chance to finish it in one day. I am slightly OCD about this kind of thing. I could not go to bed knowing that there was a CD in the middle of the living room floor (for example) and this is the same. As I write, it clears tension out of my brain. A little like unwinding a knot. That is why I do it. Plus, I am not particularly good at anything else. Apart from possibility having children but, I did fail at that a few times too. Not from my own choosing.

I hate not feeling just quite good enough. I always feel like I miss the mark on everything really but, when I write, even though it is about my own life, I could be anything or anyone I want. Someone far more interesting than I actually am. Unlike the people that I Love the most.

My eldest daughter has the kindest heart ever and combined with her natural aptitude to literature, I am 100% that she will go amazingly far in life. Middle child (as I have three now. Don’t know if I mentioned it!) is so completely and utterly free from any anxieties and negativity that quite frankly, I find it hard to believe that I created her. I know that she will live the fullest life imaginable because with her attitude, she will take from it exactly what she should. Something that very few of us can say we really do. The 10 month old does very little yet but, she appears to have an equal measure of eccentricity and an obvious love of music so perhaps she will be the Artistic Savant.

Work Work Work

A bit of light reading for the girls.

My Fiancé is a man of much fulfilment and offering. which, considering that he would rather stay in the house all day every day is ironic. He decides to do something and then he just does it. No speculation, nothing. He just does it. An admirable and frustrating quality all in one. He thinks that he hasn’t achieved much but, he has achieved everything. Me! I write this Blog. Also, currently, I am watching aforementioned ten month old cover the floor in sweetcorn. I bet I shall still see a lot more of it later though.

FB_20150210_13_11_40_Saved_Picture

We have a great relationship. We are each as hard work as the other.

So, I digress! At lot has happened since I last forced my Life Story onto you. The very thing I was dreading since I left the Maternity Unit has happened. I had to go back to work! Yuuuuk!! I am not sure what aspect of it petrified me the most. but, I hated it all. The drive. Leaving my daughter(s). Having to get up early and be so much more organised. But, probably it was the reality that I had to return to ‘normal’ now. I had given birth months and months ago and the flowers were long dead, cards in the memory box and I had to accept that I had to be me again. I didn’t want to do that. For such a long time, you live in your own little bubble of being a new Mum, however many times you may have done it before. Plus, I got to watch as much as crap on Television that was physically possible. Good old Breast Feeding!!!

Getting in on the selfie action.

Getting in on the selfie action.

I have worked for the same company for 15 years. I am certain that my Boss (who also happens to be my future Brother In Law) has found me hard work from the start. I do like my job though. I wouldn’t have stayed there as long if I didn’t. Even if it would be a pain to find a new one. To be fair though, I have had three days off sick since I went back so I may well get fired anyway!

This is why I also felt so negative about returning to work; It was a job I enjoyed. I still had friends there. Although, as new staff were employed, I seemed to be becoming the older generation of staff. Who wants to be the elder of anything? For the first time ever, it did not bother me that I could have a hot cup of tea or that I could have ‘me’ time again. I did not want ‘me’ time. I wanted to be at home with my little girl. It was unfair that I had to miss things from her growth and two days each week is a long time when you look at how fast she will grow . I felt resentful that I had to do this. Resentful towards who, I don’t know! The Universe. Life. All those crazy invisible entities that have a lot to answer for when I am hacked off! I also felt sad because this is the last time I will do this. This is the last baby I will have and all those first moments gone are gone forever now. Which is an irrational way to think. Totally unsurprising coming from me.

But, actually, now I am back at work (when I am there!) I feel totally different. It took a little while and I will still always be just a little neurotic but, I completely become involved in it now and find that I can concentrate on what I am doing with little distraction.  I am hardly sales person extroardinare but, I think I am OK at my job and it is good to add something else into my Life which I may be OK at. Strangely, I do not really find it stressful like I used to. I enjoy that my brain still works the way it used to before I expanded my Uterus for a third time. I am hoping the stressful part of me has changed. In the same way that I won’t mind if I don’t finish this post today. But, hopefully I will.   More importantly, now that I know that I can leave my Nancy with anyone else and she has survived, I am OK with that too. Now I am a high flying executive and all!! In actual fact I really should be a little less selfish and let Daddy and The Grandparents get some of the cuddles also.

1958031_631377390306670_7994413915372849754_n

No More Babies!

Next step, an actual date with my Other Half before he remembers that I am just a bit saggy and not nearly as attractive as over 75% of Instagram. But, I do have my own eyebrows!

 

I'd do anything

I’d do anything

I’d do anything

Well! I expect you are surprised to hear from me again! Trust me, if I could type one handed then I would have written hundreds of entries by now but, breast feeding somewhat limits your computer abilities. In the last six weeks, I don’t think I have eaten more than one meal with two hands; fine if it’s anything but peas. Peas are tricky. I think I still have one in my bra.

I'd do anything

She’s here! I am not in the pub yet!

I can almost hear you all groaning from behind your computer screens but, I can assure you now that, although I have now had my beautiful little girl Nancy, I will not be writing about her today. Or my perineum. You can jolly well wait for that! Although it is about Mums. My Mum actually.

It isn’t until you become a Mum that you realise what your own Mum went through. When I was 14 and an absolute bitch, My Mum would tell me all the time that when I had my own teenage girl, I would realise how horrible I could be. Now, I will have three! I understand now just how fantastic my Mum was, particularly as at this time she was having pretty horrific Chemotherapy. But, I will not be able to laugh with her about it or relive stories from when I was young and as I get older, I struggle to remember the things we did together. In truth, the main thing that I attribute to my Mum; is that she died. If that was the legacy I left for my three girls, I would be devastated. So, I am going to try my hardest to remember this as an adult, not with the brain of a 16 year old girl. That’s who I revert to when I think about my Mum as that is when she left us.

The majority of times that Mum and I talked the most were when we were in the car together. That sounds bonkers but, as my Mum and Dad were working in our café a lot, My Mum and I had time on our own when she ferried me around to various activities (as most Mums do ) I moan about it frequently!! Otherwise, we were all together as a family. Horse riding was on a Sunday morning and I always used to love it when she picked me up as we would visit a random garden centre or fruit picking farm before we went home. I didn’t really take to horse riding even though I did it for such a long time but, because of Mum’s background in the stables, I did it because I knew she wanted me to. But, I never loved it.This time in the car was when, as I mentioned before, that I can remember all the music Mum would play. When I have a bad day or need a pick up, these songs can take me back there. For example: Curiosity Killed The Cat – Down To Earth was a firm favourite and I have it on my special playlist. I felt safe at these times. This was when my childhood was as it should be. Before, it became about loss.

Our car had a certain smell; almost hot, whatever the weather. We had a dark Maroon Volvo and the seats were almost carpeted, as they so frequently were in the 80’s. My Dad never allowed us to have any other car because he always said that we would never be safer. That was true actually: Mum and I had a crash once on the way to school.Well, I say crash but, our car never actually moved from its stop position. Someone drove into us from behind and their car crumbled in half almost. We weren’t hurt and we didn’t need to be checked out but, I had the day off school anyway. I had toast and tea when I got home, in Mum’s beloved Willow pattern china and watched musicals all day. I collected them! Should have been on the stage really. If I hadn’t just become a ‘normal’ person.

I'd do anything.

My gorgeous girl is now the same age as I was when my Mum would take me Horse riding.

I was fascinated with my Mum’s life as a teenager. It always seemed so glamorous. Sneaking out of the house with my Godmother Ro to the latest party. Stories of her boyfriends and working as a waitress in a beautiful country pub. Of course, the side she never talked about when telling me these stories is that she never actually wanted to be in that house. She wanted to avoid a beating and not have to hide under her bed when her Father came home. This was her childhood but, she never told me stories about that: just of the fun she had. That was the type of person she was and that despite her childhood and the horrendous things she saw, she always remained loving, elegant, strong and fun.I knew from her stories that she was definitely a little wild and who would blame her.. Naturally, I did not follow in these footsteps as an adolescent.

She had a few notable boyfriends, always older than her, much older in fact but, who treated her like a Princess. Based on the father she had, this was unsurprising. Her relationships with men were always for replacement father figures who cared for her which, was really what she craved. Thankfully none of these relationships resulted in a broken jaw, only very beautiful jewellery. This was until she met my Dad: Tony. He was her savour. I know what that’s like!

I'd do anything

I try to teach my girls to enjoy every minute as a child and fill it with love.

The reason we were always milling around those garden centres and flower farms was because of my Mum’s passion for flowers. She loved them. Her interest didn’t really start until later life and after she was diagnosed as I guess she found it therapeutic. I say ‘later life’ but, she was three years younger than I am now when she was diagnosed. I never found these places boring, unlike my girls do now (until they realise that there may be cake involved) Instead, I loved listening to her talking about all the different flowers and what she was going to do with them. Always such beautiful colours and smells. Naturally, we would have cake too and I always ended up with something to bring home. A glittery butterfly or fury rabbit which were on a stick and ordinarily meant for a flower arrangements. The health and safety on buying a child one of those bad boys now would be unquestionable.

Mum ended up arranging flowers for our local church. There wasn’t the massive conglomerate of florists that there is now who simply arrange the flowers and deliver them ready. Mum would design them, buy them and trudge up to the church with her basket and her oasis and spend hours making the most beautiful accompaniments for a wedding or funeral. Most of these times she would take me with her and there was always some kind of adventure with it. Also, I would sit and watch and she would talk to me, sometimes about the flowers but, mostly about other things. The smell of oasis brings those times back to me. And that church, although, having both her funeral there and my Dad’s a few years later, the memories it held became slightly different for me. I still felt her there that day though. The day she wasn’t really there anymore.

I'd do anything

Rocking them socks..

Once, the vicar said I could take the tiny windy stairs to the steeple if I wanted and look out over the town. It was amazing. I wouldn’t do it now though! As a child you have no idea of your own mortality. As I grew up and more people left, I grew fearful of everything. Plus, I’m really claustrophobic so would probably poop myself! Ultimately, Mum would come up and find me so, she wasn’t fearful of that either. Thinking back, this was a gift of time together that most Mum’s don’t always get. For that I am grateful and when the memories of my Mum are taken over by simply remembering that she left me, I shall try and replace it with the times when she was there. When she was my beautiful, beautiful Mum.

I'd do anything.

Miss you Mum.

Tony

Tony

Tony

I have never really had much problem with sleeping. I am one of those people that can awaken during a dream and pick up where I left off if I want to: depending on who is in it that is! This week though, I have suffered a little: probably because of Rusty deciding that he/she is not a child but actually a jumping bean! At one point, in Lidl, I thought that Rusty might even be coming early. Other supermarkets are available obviously.

One night this week when I was struggling to nod off, I began thinking about my Dad, as I normally do. I know I am 35 and I have my own family but I sometimes cry into my pillow and think that I really want my Dad! Not much shame in admitting that, I do. My Dad had the ability of making everything alright, as all Dad’s do of course but, it was almost like he could inhale your worries and bury them deep inside of him: like that massive bloke in The Green Mile (if you haven’t watched it, you should have). There are times when I need him to do that for me: not just because I want him to make me feel better but, because he gave my life light. It was only when the light went out that I realised I would have to live in darkness for a while.

Tony

My boyfriend sent me this once: if you had met him you would know what a grand gesture that is (he’ll moan at me for that)

I have thought to myself on many occasions: what is the point in being such a fantastic human being and then not having anything to show for it when you are no longer around. This is part of the reason that I started this blog and part of the reason that however small my effort, I will always do my best to ensure people know what happened to my Dad so they can make sure it does not happen to their loved ones. I wish I could go back. By that, I mean that if you have read my blog, you should be nagging your Dad to have his Prostate checked. It’s not just an ‘old man’s’ disease, just like Breast Cancer does not only afflict woman over 50. My Mum was younger than me when she first found a lump. Just because you don’t have any symptoms, does not mean diddly squat!! My Dad was born in 1945 and he died in 2005. He never went to the doctors for 25 years but, there was no prize in obtaining this milestone, in fact, it was the opposite. He most definitely got the wooden spoon.

I recently visited a local Prostate Cancer support group to talk about Travel Insurance for people with pre existing medical conditions (because that is what I do as a day job) and of course, my own experiences. My Dad would not have been the youngest one there, I would! I would have given anything to find a group that we could visit together and talk to. Although, it may not seem much, I felt like I really achieved something that day, like I did something about it, instead of just feeling sorry for myself and questioning why the Universe can be such a terrible bastard sometimes. And I know I am not the only one, there are people that have suffered much worse but grief is very inward and its hard to think of others. I do think of others now though: knowing my Dad made me a better person. I hoped that my Dad would have been proud of me too.

Cancer leaves a massive trail of destruction and not just to the one it affects. My Dad said to me once that he had the easy job because, I would be the one that was left behind to deal with it and he was right. My Mum never said a lot towards the end, she couldn’t talk and so had to use a magnetic sketch pad to tell us things. Hard to convey all your final wishes in a matter of sentences eh? So why do we not do it when we can.

Tony

My Daddy! Make sure you hang onto yours tight: with both hands.

I know that I am a bit bonkers and those who know me will know that my brain and mouth have no connecting off switch. But, whatever you think of my Blog, whatever you think of me, just remember that you have a chance to change things: before it’s too late! And so why wouldn’t you?

Multicoloured

Multicoloured

Multicoloured

Pink or blue? This week we find out! Actually though, this one is Rainbow! A Rainbow baby is a baby that has followed a loss and my little Rusty really didn’t fancy hanging around in the ether for long before he was given to me.

We are not going to tell anyone what we are having, but I will find it incredibly hard. For purposes of clarity I always refer to Rusty as a boy and so will continue to do so: I would like a boy, purely because I don’t have one. Naturally, I just want everything to be OK and this is the first concern.As a mother you worry from the moment they start to grow but, I will not be disappointed with a girl. After all I know how to deal with girls: I am an old pro at it really (OK! maybe not so old….shhhhhhh!!) I just have a horrible horrible feeling that as both of my daughters were just so amazingly good (in hindsight), that this one will be a terror. Completely in a good way of course! When they are 17 and staying in bed all day, I am sure I could then look back and laugh. Whatever happens, I have been blessed with Rusty and he is my (I should really say our) Rainbow that’s for sure!

It happened when I was at work. If I am honest, I had a niggling feeling from the moment I woke up but, I tried to put it down to wind! Sorry that was bad taste! I started bleeding and I remember thinking, ‘Please just let it be a blip, they say it happens, I have read it in magazines’: but, really I knew that this was no blip. I left and I drove home, worrying because I had left work early.I tried to focus on what I would cook for tea and what the evenings viewings would entail.Anything other than focus on what I knew was really going on in my body. I didn’t make tea and I didn’t watch the television, I just went to bed. I did this to try and forget for a bit, not breathing too heavily so as to keep it all inside. Keep it safe. And I willed everything that was there to keep growing, to hang on like a limpit with rigamortis. But, of course it didn’t and by the next day, it was pretty much completely gone. My baby had gone almost as quickly as it came.

Multicoloured

I didn’t feel like a real person again until I was given Rusty.

It was a small comfort that I could indulge in one of my favourite hobbies again: Pinot Grigio! However, it was nice to go back to the gym and work off some frustrations and of course concentrate on my flabby bottom. Which, coincidentally is now flabbier that Pavarotti’s bicycle seat! There was however, one major hindrance concerning the gym and basically moving/walking/cuddling and this was that my boobs felt like they were in a juicer! Three weeks this continued to the point where I was genuinely worried. Given my Mum’s history and the fact that the surface area of my boobs was ordinarily so small that I barely knew they were there half the time anyway.

I have given my doctor some real ‘stick’ in the past but, to be fair! After the whole Molar Pregnancy debarcle, he deserved to be prodded with it, very hard and in his nether region. He was very kind to me now though and he humoured me as no doubt he remembered me as the nasty complainant who had wanted to poke a stick in his nethers.( He did not know this of course, mainly because I have just said it now) He is my hero now though. I weed in a pot and went on my way to indulge in my favourite hobby again I expect. Incidentally, straight after,we met my Boyfriends old friend (again, he’s not old) and wife for coffee on their way down to Cornwall.They told us of their unexpected pregnancy and how they were also given one that was slightly more challenging than their others. This is course does not still play on my mind…no no no!!

Multicoloured

I am pretty sure my brother was the troublesome baby and I was the good one!

I suppose he called me around three hours later. ‘We had discussed your fertility earlier following your miscarriage Shushanah’, ‘I don’t really think that is an issue any more’. Blimey! That was quick!! I have absolutely no comprehension how it did not even cross my mind that I may be pregnant. I had tried to stay away from the internet regarding pregnancy after miscarriage but, what I did read was all pretty woolly. This bit is scientific: I must have ovulated exactly 11 days after and Rusty was given to us pretty much on the next love in. I know exactly what day it was too! I know! I don’t get out much!

And so to the pressing question: how are the hormones? Well, they are still having a party like its 1999! I continue to try and explain to my beloved what it feels like to be pregnant.Mentally I mean, not physically. Obviously, I am over the moon and incredibly happy with our Rusty. I do not, like some, feel like I am carrying an alien and despite the wobbly bottom, love showing off a growing bump. I do however continue to be frustrated with the feeling of sheer irrationality and irritability and what’s even more frustrating is that I do not care when I act this way because it comes from so far within the depths that if it did not come out, I would surely spontaneously combust. I am sure that most of the time, my boyfriend would prefer this option greatly.

Like a lot of people, I moan on Facebook sometimes and it helps for a while but, really I want to have a regular rant to the person closest to me. His obvious avoidance of any such instances merely compounds the feeling and not only do I get in a teenage strop but, I also feel like he does not actually want to know and does not care. I understand though that I probably would not want to talk to me either. I have to though as am kind of attached! Being pregnant can make you feel vulnerable, like you want to be looked after and anything other than 100% attention 24 hours a day just feels like the total opposite. And so I remain, horrible, selfish, unreasonable and absolutely no fun to be around but, I am doing quite an important job at the moment and it is easy to forget that. I am still me and I still have a big heart, which I want to use to its full capacity on a daily basis. It is also easy to forget that I will do anything for those I love and give everything I have for them…right the way to the end of that rainbow. I just might kick a few leprechauns on the way…..

Reflection

Reflection

Reflection.

The only way I can describe it: imagine that you were stood in a beautiful field, lush and green and full of all the most beautiful flowers that you could ever picture. This would be (in theory) how I perceive my life as I live it day to day. I have two amazing children, a job that I have had for many years, enough decent people in my life, although few, that are worth hanging on to and a Man that I love with all my heart and thank my lucky stars for every day. Then, imagine that further beyond this field and all around is nothing but black and a never ending pit. However happy I continue to be, this will always be the same for me: nothing maudlin or self pitying, it is just a gap that a will never be able to alter.

The problem with hormones (and boy do I have a lot of them at the moment!), is that you realise that you are being totally irrational, yet every action that you take, you can’t control but, quite frankly, you don’t particularly care either. I want to feel wanted and I want to feel special and let’s face it, carrying a child is quite an important job and it can sometimes feel like you are the only one in the world doing it! Its lonely sometimes and I do not have the support network that I wish I did. I have said a thousand times, that I know when I am being particularly horrible but, I just cannot do anything to control it. Nor do I feel it is my fault and boy do I feel I have justification.

Social media causes a lot of issues for me in my current state. Do I want to be reminded of my Man’s exes or past dalliances, most of whom do not have a hair out of place and spend their time doing things which make them look amazing. Does it annoy me when they like every status he posts to a particular social media site apart from when it contains mention of me….ummmmm yes! For however much I try, I shall always be just a little bit normal and just that little bit not attractive enough (if that’s correct grammatical language). I am sure they are all very nice and I have no doubt that they would think that I was an utter cow. Which, at the moment, they would be correct. But, that is how I feel so I am saying it.

Mainly, I think, I just feel sad a lot of the time! I am not so much angry anymore but, think about what I am missing and how I wish things were different. But, they aren’t and no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to change that. But, I have a realisation with it and I accept it: it does not mean I have to like it though and it is because I feel so cheated that my life can sometimes get complicated. I just require extra work, extra love. Now! Any of you that have met my beautiful man will know that he is not the most tactile of human beings to say the least! I am almost positive that currently, living with me is no different to sharing a tent with Sadam Husain at a One Direction concert but, he knows me and I know him! There are occasions when his patience runs thin but, so does mine. He loves me in his own way and I am not expecting a dinner date on a hot air balloon any time soon but, I need a constant drip of love and reassurance: akin to a Tamagotchi I like to think! I will never change but, my capability of love and showing love is as deep as the hole I envisage around me everyday. This is because I have the gift of experience. We all know life is short but, we never embrace this every day. We just get caught up in living.

Reflection

Reflection. We all feel a little stuck sometimes.

I am lucky enough to have a very good doctor and of late, he has kept me in check. I have been having some problems with my blood pressure in this pregnancy and am having to rest a lot of the time. It is difficult to rest completely  with two children and I do feel this baby taking its toll on my body. After all, I am no ‘Spring Chicken’! (or at least this was suggested to me by a midwife I spoke to at the beginning of my pregnancy) She will go far!! As for avoiding stress: I get stressed if I can only find one of a pair of socks in my daily wash. Apart from recommending compression stockings (which has mortified me beyond belief: coupled with being fat, hormonal and moody, I am hardly feeling like Cindy Crawford as it is), he suggested that I may be suffering with some Depression myself.

Being an A Level Philosophy student, and having a little experience in dealing with Depression, I firmly believe that as I can comprehend that I am not in a Depression then this must surely mean that I don’t have it! I am just sad. I am also just a little more complicated than some. Oh, and my hormones are currently having a party that I did not really want to be invited to. Nor, does anyone that currently has the fortune, or mis, however you look at it, to come into contact with me. But, I continue to be grateful for my life and look forward to my rainbow baby. I wish my Mum and Dad were here to see all of my children and be proud of me. Probably not so much for my attitude today but, that I continue as best I can, without them and I only hope that I could do half as good a job as they did.

*I apologise to anyone that is a fan of One Direction or one of my other halves exes (or dalliances) It really is not personal (unless you are both and then I am afraid there is no hope for you)

A Diary For Rusty

A Diary For Rusty

A Diary For Rusty

All the relevant pregnancy applications and baby magazines suggest that at this time, I should start writing a diary about my pregnancy. In true defiance style, when anyone suggests I do something, I usually do something different. I also thought, if I wrote how I was really feeling at the moment and you by any chance saw it in later life, you would think I was a horrendously mean Mummy!

So, I will just get that part out of the way: how one tiny tiny thing can make you feel so utterly wretched is mind blowing to me. I have spent the last few weeks with my head pretty much wedged down the toilet, apart from the time I was sick on myself in the shower that is! I have gone off all food, nothing holds any interest to me and the idea of cooking tea for my family is comparative to Chinese water torture. Especially as there is no way I will be eating it. Most days, I have barely been able to lift my bottom from the sofa. Ironic really as mostly I have been watching ‘Come Dine With Me’.

Regardless of this, and however many times I have chastised you for sapping all my utter being, I wanted to make sure that you knew that we loved you. That we loved you already. You were a big surprise, and not because you were not wanted: quite the opposite. You see, your brother or sister had left us just a month before you started to grow and we could not quite believe how quickly you were sent to heal our hearts after they had been unable to stay.

I have never really considered my skills as a mother, I just am one. I don’t know if I am a good Mum or not. I can only love you and your sisters with all my heart and fight with everything I have for you, every day. That is all I can offer you: me. Know that I will always be here for you, even the times when you and your sisters are making me shout at you for painting the walls or shaving the dog but, through all these times I will always be a constant. Heaven forbid that I could not be around for you for as long as I want. As your Mum, in whatever form, I shall always love you and watch over and protect you forever.

You are going to be lucky enough to have one of the most amazing Daddy’s that you could ever imagine existed. Your Daddy is without doubt, one of the most spectacular people to ever walk the planet. Even if he chastises you, even if he disciplines, you cannot help but realise that he will always remain, loyal, strong and protective and although he would never admit it to anyone, he is one of the most sensitive souls and with one of the hugest hearts that you could ever find. As soon as you meet him, you will be lucky enough to see everything in him that I do and feel utterly blessed that you are able to end every day with him as part of your life. He will be strict and funny in equal amounts. Embarrassing you sometimes with his silliness but making you proud to call him your Daddy. I am utterly sure of this. I apologise in advance for the fact that he may well pick you up from school dressed as a banana! I have no control over him!

A Diary For Rusty

Our Rusty

As for your sisters, they are both completely bonkers! One more so than the other but, you will work out which is which when you meet them. Lani is the most thoughtful child, caring and sensitive and sometimes overly nervous but, with a heart as deep as the ocean. Flo is on her very own planet but, cannot stay mad or upset for long and will fill your life with cuddles and laughter. I wonder if you will have a little bit of both of them in you. They will be so proud of you and if they had half a chance, they would no doubt dress you up in their Build a Bear outfits. I will probably discourage that.

Unfortunately, you will never meet one set of your grandparents, as your sisters never have but, I will make sure that you know everything about them. They look out for you from somewhere else I can guarantee that. You will however have the pleasure of a Grandma who, like Mummy, will always be honest with you. She is strong but, kind and caring and you know that she must be pretty fabulous because she has made your Daddy who he is. You will share your secrets with her over cake (which she will make) and giggle with her as I have done many times over the years. She will be one of the strongest people in your life and be a huge influence in your growing years. Grampa will tut a lot, wear bright socks and moan about politics but, however much we all joke that he is old and miserable, his eyes will light up when you enter the room and contrary to what he says, he will always be sad to see you leave. As he shows with your cousins now. He will always be there for you: and smile when everyone else leaves the room!

So, until we can all meet you in person, we will continue to play you songs that we hope you will like and even though I love you madly, I will continue to grumble at you for making me sick. Particularly as I should now be enjoying spoonful’s of mustard and grated (only grated) cheese sandwiches.

Love from Mummy xxx