You realise just how much sleep you did manage to get, after all. You realise that your older child has a HUGE HEAD You think your older child will help you, right? No. Even if the wipes are right next to them, they will tell […]
I feel more like myself now than I ever have. Before I had Nancy, I worried that I would lose myself, but to be honest I feel like by having Nancy, I found myself.
I feel more confident, more sure of my decisions and I am not afraid to express them. I think the first initial months with Nancy taught me that no-one has the “right” answer and that you need to go with your own gut instinct.
I like how I look like now. Yes I could lose a few pounds but I actually like what I wear and I’m confident in what I choose to wear. I wear the make-up I want to, and when I wear lipstick, I don’t feel stupid.
I’m starting to explore hobbies, interests, things that I can learn and grow and develop. Things I never did before. What did I used to do before? I had so much time yet I never did anything remotely satisfying with it. Now I’m crocheting, reading, gardening. I’m getting interested in politics and I’m interested in learning sewing, knitting and whatever else pops into my head.
And now, things are going to change. I’m pregnant and due in August. Now the ground will shift and we have to adjust to “normal” again.
Will I have to find myself again?
Maybe it won’t be as bad this time. Things won’t change as much, but things will shift. Being a mother to 2 will be different to 1. I will have to devote myself to another for as long as needed. I will have to forgo sleep and put my life on hold.
A part of me doesn’t want to do that. A part of me wants to just be me. The me I have found these past 3 years.
But this time, I will be in control. I will know what to expect. I don’t have to let go so much. I am looking forward to this time, I really am. Focusing on my family, a baby to love and be a sibling for Nancy. Completing my family and just taking time out to live in that delicious postnatal bubble.
The unknown is worrying, unsettling. But I have to see the positive in this situation and remember that I am stronger, more confident and more sure of myself than I ever have been in my life so far. Right now.
This baby is lucky in many ways because I know who I am now. Me and Nancy had to work that out together. We had to figure out what it was that made me a mother. It was tough, but what a journey we’ve had, and are still having and I’m looking forward to sharing that with someone else too.
After my Dad’s death in November last year, as well as sadness, a relief washed over me. The dark cloud of terminal cancer that had hung over my family for the best part of 6 months, was gone. I could start to look forward again. I don’t mean that in a horrible, I-dont-care-about-my-dad way, but the emotional and mental trauma of living in limbo was unbearable. Not knowing when but knowing it would happen sometime. I felt trapped, stuck in a nightmare. Whatever happened, the future was going to be different.
I had spent months grieving with my Dad. By the time he passed away, I felt like I had no grief left. I was glad that he was at peace, away from the cancer that ravaged his body and took away everything about him.
Around the same time as my Dad’s diagnosis, I was not feeling myself. I had changed jobs at work, and I was struggling with getting to grips with new processes. I wasn’t sleeping well and Nancy was waking a few times each night and bedtimes were a constant battle. I began to feel anxious, tired and worried. I was snappy and angry, very angry at the slightest thing. I became disengaged, not wanting to socialise and at work I was speaking my mind (which was a bit angry and ragey) which was raising eyebrows. I wasn’t myself. All this on top of my Dad diagnosed with a terminal illness. I worried about him, my Mum, my younger sister with learning difficulties. I felt duty bound to help sort it all out and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of burden, being my mother’s oldest child, of how I would get us all through this. I’d always been the helper, the one who sorted everyone else out. My fingers were gripping the edge of normality and I was starting to slip.
I went to the GP and was prescribed an anti depressant. However, I didn’t take it. I felt stupid, silly, overreacting. I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on until the day I walked out of work before a presentation I was supposed to undertake. I went home that day and was then signed off work for 6 weeks.
Medication alone, I don’t think, can help with this kind of illness. You need time to refresh, time to talk if you feel you need to, and you need space to be yourself away from the stresses of life. I felt that I had totally lost who I was.
I had mentioned I wanted to learn to crochet a while back. I had tried myself with you tube for help a few years ago, but I gave up pretty quickly.
For my birthday I received a gift voucher for crochet lessons. I was intrigued and wanted to give it a go. However, the next lessons didn’t start till the end of November, so I booked in and didn’t think much of it.
I had my first crochet lesson about a week after my Dad had died. The timing was not brilliant and I did contemplate not going. It felt a bit of a stupid thing to do given the circumstances. But the lesson was booked and having a few hours to myself sounded a good idea. I was nervous though.
The 2 hour lesson was a complete relief; I thought of nothing except about what I was doing right at that moment. We crocheted a granny square and the sense of achievement I felt was a new feeling for me. For the first time in 6 weeks I felt almost normal again.
Picking up the crochet hook meant that I could do something physical, use my brain and have time just for me to contemplate, reflect and relax. I felt that by making something, it was a positive coming from my negative mind. It felt healing. It felt therapeutic.
6 months on, I feel much better now. I still have some low days but these are manageable. Having a new craft, a new hobby has really helped me feel like I’ve moved on from all those negative thoughts. I miss my Dad and I always will. Crochet hasn’t cured me but it gave me an outlet I didn’t previously have. It has given me a love of crafting and a desire to try more things and be a bit more adventurous. Things I find interesting and engaging. Things just for me. And that was really what I needed.
There’s got to be some perks to this pregnancy lark….right?
Not having to pay for the dentist
Being able to get out of anything by saying you’re pregnant
Being able to sit down on buses or stare at people intently rubbing your belly until they let you have their seat. Or give you a sandwich.
Having naps at work
Being able to swim whatever time of the month
Not having to buy any tampons or sanitary towels! Take that VAT loving government!
Not having periods! For 9 months!
Just letting it all hang out. The freedom of not having to suck your stomach in.
If you’re a bit fat (like me) then you will get no annoying “are you pregnant” type questions as people are too afraid to ask
Wearing pyjamas all the time and no one telling you it’s wrong
Bring able to eat whatever you like! No Worrying about dieting….
Being able to fart whenever you like and that’s OK because you’re pregnant
Suddenly getting the energy to plan house redecoration, crafts, spring cleaning the house and pinteresting like a mo’fo
Crying at anything and everything but people don’t mind because you’re pregnant
Being able to get out of any kind of physical labour such as hoovering or lifting 3 year olds
Not being able to have any actual treatment at the dentist because you’re pregnant
Not being able to take Lemsip
Not actually being able to take some medication you can get for free
Not being able to reach and therefore manage your bikini line
Forgetting to wake up after a nap
Not being able to eat all the nice cheese. And paté.
Not having any alcohol.
Discovering how you dance sober.
Knowing the mother of all periods will await you in 9 months time
Feeling so sick you can’t do anything you’ve planned
Getting stuck in the car, wedged between the steering wheel. And always beeping the horn when you try and get out.
People assuming you can’t do anything because you’re pregnant. Like run. Or have a bath.
As soon as you get pregnant, you suddenly get invites to parties, weddings, hen dos, holidays and every social event on the calender. Which you then have to attend. Sober.
Bearing in mind the last 12 months your social calender looked pretty empty….
Being the designated driver.