Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Warning- Heavily pregnant lady rant

So here I am, week 39 of pregnancy number three. I'm not going to lie and say that it has been a bed of Roses but after the devastating and soul destroying hyperemesis I have had a pretty easy time. The nausea still gets to me at times and i have odd days where I really feel unable to do anything. As I'm so close to the end I thought I would note down a few things to remind me to never be tempted into another pregnancy!

1) The breathlessness. One of the first symptoms of my pregnancy was being out of breath, I have remained this way throughout...I'm even out of breath from sitting.

2) Anaemia. This probably effects number 1, low iron levels making a body under strain even more exhausted. Couple this with the awful tablets which mess up your insides and Anaemia really does suck.

3) Swollen feet. Yup, my right foot in particular is fond of pooling with water. At the moment the only shoes I can wear are flip flops and after wearing them solidly for a few days I've discovered they do more harm than good in not support the arch of my foot and I now limp.

4) Dry Mouth. Throughout the night I wake with cotton wool in my mouth, despite drinking plenty. By the time the alarm goes off at 6am I attempt to unstick my tongue from the roof of my mouth and crack..every day for the last 9 months I have had a split lip.

5) Drooling. As if the dry mouth couldn't get any worse? It does, thanks to the excessive drooling which leaves my pillows wet and rather smelly.

6) Using the toilet. Too much, too little, too often, swelling, hurting and in the later stages feeling that your bits are actually going to fall into the toilet. Owww.

7) Sense of smell. The nearest I'm ever going to get to actual superhero powers is my sense of smell. I can smell everything a mile off, smells linger under my nose and paranoia kicks in as I can smell my own singular beat of sweat immediately.

8) Blocked nose. Yup..to go with the dry mouth, excessive thirst and drooling is extra nasal mucous to ensure that you begin snoring.

9) My temper. Hot/cold/happy/sad/angry..very very angry. Usually over something irrational but those emotions are real. Watch out.

10) The inability to sit/stand/lie in any position for any length of time without everything hurting or cramping.

11) Cramping. Legs. Hideous pain which wakes you in confusion at 1, 3 and 5am leaving your limbs feeling bruised and tender.

12) Midwives. Urgh, they are particularly useless in my area. They can only help between the hours of 9am and 5pm and have a tendency to ignore, not listen and try to coerce you into all sorts of medical procedures that are not necessarily needed.

13) SPD. From month 6 I've been in pain which has become progressively worse. Now at 5 days 'overdue' my left hip feels as though it is dislocating, when it begins to spasm I am left unable to move.

14) People. People have a great knack for making you feel inadequate when pregnant. Yesterday I was asked on 8 separate occasions when I was having the baby and why had it not appeared yet- this was solely through walking down my high street (which isn't much of a high street really, in a village). Of course, then there's the helpful suggestions like 'have a curry,' or jokes about using tools, how experienced they are in delivering live stock and the suggestions of what would happen if your waters broke on their chair/floor/car etc.

This is baby number three, and despite the Hyperemesis and now SPD it HAS been a good pregnancy. I am excited to meet my baby, I'm nervously dreaded and longing for labour to begin and I have enjoyed some aspects of being this pregnant. I still think to myself that at 5 days 'overdue' I can officially class myself as being 'rather pregnant.' However, this post is to remind me to never, ever, ever, ever consider having #4.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Here's January...why it's one of my favourite months.

Delicious fireplace

What's wrong with plain skirting?
Ahh January, welcome back. For most January is a time of little money, half-hearted attempts at kick starting diets and fitness regimes, dark nights and cold days. I, on the other hand, love January. I breath a sigh of relief knowing that Christmas is over and look forward to being able to think about something else for a change. My feet begin to burn with an itching desire to do something drastic.. (ish) in the past we've spent every penny that we had (or didn't have) buying a campervan, decided to get a dog, made decisions about learning a new skill like playing the didgeridoo or dropped out of university/college/new job. This year and I've out done myself- firstly we got a cat (to prevent our resident mice which has since back fired slightly as our cat won't do anything but follow us from room to room looking cute) then I decided to rehassle my other half about home educating, then I restarted my writing and made some baby essentials out of old clothes and then last week we began the living room. As you can see, the room is somewhat lacking in anything other than neutral and slightly odd splashed of pale colour. The highlight of the room is the fireplace, of course, a 1970's fixed feature which completely covers the open fire behind it. This is what I'm looking forward to....taking a hammer and smashing out all of my lovely pregnancy hormones all over that ridiculous fitting. I don't think I need to mention how I feel about the oddly painted woodwork or the polystyrene tiles on the ceilings. There's also a funny smell in there, a bit like somebody smoked in that room for thirty years and never bothered to repaper the walls.

The library has become the library/office/living room and our bedroom resembles a furniture shop with bizarre pieces all thrown together in one room thanks to our need to empty out the entire room. Still, at least I'm feeling motivated. One of those things that when you have it, life is fun and exciting but then one wakes and like a breath of fresh air it's disappeared. I don't remember being this mobile or productive in my last pregnancies. The first time I waddled as an obese whale with never ending cramps in my thighs, the second wasn't quite as bad although this may have been due to me having no time to focus on my ailments as I had a young baby to care for- I seem to remember insomnia, yes, I barely slept. This time, now that the Hyperemesis has eased I am feeling well. (Famous last words) I'm busy, productive, prone to severe emotional outbursts at times but mobile. It's all good. My baby is quieter too, this is probably due to my placenta being at the front blocking out some of the discomfort. Still, I am not complaining. I'm also cold,, my in-built Furness which fuelled me so well in my first two pregnancies is switched off. Even with my five layers, two scarves and hot water bottle I am still feeling the cold. Still, I do love January...with my swollen feet and everything.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Hyperemesis Hits

It's been an hectic Summer; aside from the usual beach outings, eating of copious amounts of ice-cream, picnics, walking and craft days things got a bit hairy about half way through. I'l take you back to the beginning of August; it was such a glorious day we decided to take our pooch Daphne, out for a sroll early in the morning and so set off at around 8am. By 8.45am I discovered that my house key had gone missing so after retracing our steps (a bit like the bear hunt, swishy swashy, swishy swashy) we headed back to the house to see if any of the three doors had been accidentally left unlocked. Ummm no. Not today. (Damn my obsessive door-locking behaviour.) Not to worry, I tell the children our next door neighbour has a key so we'l just wait for her to return and let us in.
  We waited- rather patiently  for a four and five year old in fact, for her return where she produced a set of keys, a set of keys which turned out not to fit any of the doors. Apparently, the old occupier had changed the locks without telling anyone. Joy. So, off we went to bug somebody we knew who lived near-by. Please note- that I was unable to call for help as my mobile phone and purse were inside the house, my husband being off-site that day with no way to reach him. Eventually, having out stayed our welcome by about two hours we toddled back home to wait for my husband's return. We waited and waited and waited. Finally, in the distance I saw a bike, a most welcome site to my ever-rumbling tummy (I'd been feeding the children canned rice-pudding from the campervan) and my rather numb backside from being sat on concrete for hours. As the bike approached, my heart sank, it was not my husband but my neighbour. Where was my husband?
  Panicking slightly, I asked to use their phone, and rang my husbands mobile- bearing in mind he had finished work two hours prior. My very flustered spouse answered the phone demanding to know where I was and why I hadn't answered my mobile or the house phone? After explaining (yes, I am aware of my idiocy, thank you) my situation I hear the news that my husband is at his parents awaiting an ambulance for my father-in-law who has pneumonia. What a blooming day!
  This was just the beginning; the pneumonia developed into sepsus which meant a gruelling 17 days in hospital for my dear Father In Law, most of them in intensive care. Thank goodness we had our fuel economic and nippy Citroen to run my Mother-In-Law and husband to hospital every evening. Oh no, wait...
  A few days after the locked out situation, and we had the happy occasion of a wedding to attend. After the church ceremony we returned home to prepare for the night do. On parking the car I struggled to get the key out of the ignition, calling my ever-handy Hubby over to help, he forces the key out, grabs some WD40 and smothers the key in it to prevent it from sticking. Much to the bemusement of ourselves, this didn't work. The key would not, under any circumstances, go into the ignition. It's a good job we had two vehicles I here you say; yes we do. If only I hadn't parked our now unusable car (with the steering lock, locked on too, rendering it unmoveable) in front of the closed garage- blocking our other vehicle in.
  Cancelled wedding, cancel trip to see my parents, cancel anything not possible on foot or on the bus and queue lots of extra problems getting to our local hospital (which is over 20 miles away). Two weeks later and the nice mechanic up the road moved and fixed our car and we even managed to spend a few days on the lovely Isle of Mull before the children went back to school. Aaaah.
  About a week later I'm greeted with a smell which completely turns my stomach, my husband walks into our bedroom having consumed a pickled onion about twenty minutes prior. I am asleep but that smell wakes me from my slumber, 'have you been drinking vinegar?' I shout, being most displeased that my nostrils are on fire with the stench. (I am very unreasonable when half asleep.) As I settled back down I am struck with a familiar feeling and the uncanny and disturbing reality that I am pregnant.
  As demonstrated in my previous two pregnancies, I'm a bit allergic to the HCG hormone which floods through your body in high quantities in early-pregnancy. Hello sickness, my old assassin who has reappeared to make my life a living hell for a few months. Let me put it plainly, Hyperemesis is not 'morning sickness', it's a debilitating and dangerous condition which leaves a pregnant woman unable to eat or drink for months. Thankfully, and perhaps in part to HRH Kate, awareness of HG has risen substantially since I was pregnant with my first child and the help, support and treatments for the condition has improved dramatically.
  I was looking forward to an Autumn of tackling DIY, decorating, marathon training and novel writing now that my youngest has started full-time school (don't get me started) however, now that HG has reappeared I'm lucky if I can even get the children to school, forget my lovely time-boxed timetable and say hello to days of constant sickness, where even lifting my head from the rim of the toilet is exhausting. I know HG is hard, I know I even get fed up with hearing myself complain, there are days where I tell myself I can't do it and at those times I wonder if it will ever end? However, it will and I can. By pushing myself through the next hour, till tea-time, till tomorrow I am bringing myself closer to meeting the tiny life that's growing inside me. My child. Come back to me in a years time and ask- is it worth it? The answer will always be; yes.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

You're never going to make me happy.

I endured my first diet at the age of ten after being told by a school nurse that I needed to lose weight. I must mention at this point that I was 5ft 7 inches and weighed a not unreasonable ten stone- however, the governments pathetic means of testing fitness go on age and not height. It was from this point that I began my obsession with weight, size, eating and counting calories. Twenty years later and I think I can safely say that my obsession with food is an unhealthy one.

I was brought up believing that there was 'good' and 'bad' food, that 'being good' meant that you stuck to your calorie allowance and 'being bad' equates in personal diet failure which would follow a pattern of binging on all food in sight, then spending a day starving to kick start your new week of dieting. As you can imagine, the more I tried, the more I failed and my bad days would turn into bad weeks, my kick starting escalated to more and more extreme methods of making up for the excess calories consumed. My weight rocketed up, then down, then up, then down- creating all sorts of health problems for me meanwhile, IBS, acid reflux, anaemia, amenorrhoea, skin breakouts and intolerances. As I finally reached my dream weight in 2012 I read the number on the scales- instantly believing that everything had changed- I had made it! I'd finally done it, I was skinny, I was slim, I could feel my bones and everything was rosie. Except, it wasn't.

Over the years I've tried every kind of diet going. I've counted fat as well as calories, I've eaten nothing but weetabix, I've tried Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Cabbage soup, 3 days of saltine crackers- I've starved myself with water fasts, I've popped water retention tablets like Smarties- all in the pursuit of a magic number on the scales. I reached that number and nothing changed, yes I could see my hips bones, yes I could fit into smaller clothes but the old mentality of binge, purge, binge, purge stayed with me. My new obsession began with making rules to maintain this perfect weight, here's a few
a) No wheat, gluten, dairy, grains or sugar,
b) No eating after 5pm.
c) No eating before 12pm.
d) 20% protein, 80% vegetables
e) Working out every day for an hour.
f) Fruit restricted to 2 pieces a day.
g) No caffeine

As you will be able to decipher, I am food obsessed. I have spent the last twenty years training my brain to eat like this- that one treat means disaster and that eating the wrong things should be punishable by extra workouts, fasting or purging. Seriously, as I ask my other half to remove the scales from our home, I wonder whether it is all worth it? What must it be like to live a life which doesn't wrack you with guilt every time you have a slice of toast or in which you can enjoy one biscuit without eating the whole packet?

Currently, I am a healthy weight- I eat wholesome healthy foods and I exercise a lot. Yet, this is not good enough. I am still desperate to maintain a weight- which for my height and body type is rather unrealistic but there it is- my unhealthy eating habits have become all consuming. It is hard to admit everything I've written today, it is a struggle. I would wish anybody who is reading this, who has struggles of their own to know that you are not alone. I've removed all weighing tools from my household and am repeating that mantra that a number will not make me happy. A number will not make me happy. A number does not make me happy. I am more than a number. A number is not beauty. A number is not who I am. A number does not define me.

It's taken me twenty years to get like this, I know things won't change overnight but with small steps I hope I can begin to normalise my relationship with food as well as my self-confidence as I try to accept who I am and be thankful. Step One- is eating three regular meals a day. Easy peasy, right?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Early morning DIY moan.

I woke up really early this morning. This may be for one of the two following reasons:
1) I did a double exercise class last night and my body is in shock.
2) I'm seriously disturbed by the d├ęcor in my new house.

I don't just mean that it's of bad taste, which to be fair, most of it is rather neutral so it remains kind of live able for the most part. It is more the annoying fact that it just doesn't make sense. It's like somebody moved in in 1969 and thought, hey I know let's just cover the whole house in wood chip.

I am aware that wood chip was very fashionable (by the way- if I ever find the dude who invented wood chip I am going to have very strong words with you.) in the 1960-80's and I admit that it does help to cover imperfections in walls. However, my bone comes from layering wood chip on top of five layers of paper. Yes, five. No exaggeration.

Not only are we faced with wood chip but the five layers of wallpaper underneath the wood chip are so embedded in the walls that the walls in fact crumble away when parting from it. Yesterday, I found myself knee deep in paper, plaster and dust- lots and lots of dust- and this was only from removing a loose strip of paper from the hall.

My kitchen is carpet. Why? Why dear God, why would you carpet a kitchen? Milk, cheese, beans, children all eating, husbands with wet crumbs, etc, etc. It's not just the carpet- it's the carpet on top of the beautiful wooden flooring. Mind you, in the hall way, the original black and white tiling was covered by a dark blue industrial carpet so I shouldn't be too surprised.

Anyway, today is another day. I'm off to the DIY store for emergency supplies of plaster and also a quanit cafe in Whitby, known as Becketts. A place to enjoy the nicest cakes and forget your woes of DIY.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Dearest followers and occasional dropper-byers,

I sincerely and whole heartedly wish to apologise for the severe lack of posting. I have no excuse other than moving house which somehow managed to capture my entire attention for the last few months. I have now moved (huzzah) and so shall endeavour to make writing another part of my daily routine.

Thanks for your patience. Speak to you all soon. :)

Thursday, 23 January 2014

So I lied..

I lied. One big fat lie which said I had lost all interest in running- well it turns out I am completely untrustworthy.

On Sunday, I ran another half marathon. With 6 days notice and zero training. Yup- I lied. Apparently I do like running, and although the 13.1 miles were slow (very slow) I ran them all. On finishing I cried (I like to be dramatic) then wee'd and then signed up for my next half in Sunderland. Sunderland is supposed to be fun, flat-ish and friendly so if you're sitting on the fence get signed up and I shall see you there. I actually intend to do some training for this one so I am hoping to beat the 2 hrs 20 minute barrier. (Told you I was slow)/

Do people not say that it is a woman's prerogative to change her mind?

The race itself was fine, I was deserted after one mile, the soldier left behind. Yet I relaxed into it and enjoyed it. Apart from the last two miles- they hurt! And the guy who shouted 'Only one mile to go' at 11 miles was not helpful- I believed you, you twit.

Still, one can only fail truly if one doesn't try.