The Loneliest Place in the World

The Loneliest Place in the World

When you have young children, you’re rarely alone. You are constantly taking care of them, perhaps feeling a bit claustrophobic at times. ‘Me’ time can be rare and you are spending all your time feeding, playing, clearing, preparing, cuddling, loving another human being(s).

So how comes at this time when I am never truly alone do I feel a deep, empty loneliness that I can’t shift?

Even surrounded by friends, school runs, playdates, family, your partner, I’ve discovered that being a mum can feel like the loneliest place.

I’m very lucky to actually NOT be physically lonely. I have friends that are also at home with little ones. But the loneliness I am describing is more of a deep rooted black hole I feel like I’m trying to climb out of. An internal void.

Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I am doing a very good job at any aspect of motherhood. I love my kids but I snap at them, I am pretty rubbish at housework and keeping on top of it all, I am a crap cook and make too many freezer dinners. The 2 year old watches too much TV and getting out with the 3 of them feels like such a moutanous task. It’s easier to stay in the safe confines of our home and then the loneliness kicks in even more. As well as all the housework jobs I have done badly… staring at me, mocking me.

In this age of social media, you can connect with everyone you’ve ever known by scrolling through a feed of highlights, making your shortcomings seem even worse. 

How did our mothers cope, without mobile phones and online support? They had to get out in the fresh air and make friends, speak to people, and wasn’t constantly comparing themselves to their friends’ highlights. It was simpler, and must have been lonely too.

Motherhood is hard, and surrounded by people and things, it can feel like you are alone in a dark room, screaming for help but no-one is listening.

To the mum’s who seem to breeze through, how do you do it? I’d love to know. Are you just good at pretending all is OK, or do you not feel this way? I’d genuinely love to know. I envy you! 

I KNOW I will look back on these times and long for the children to be young again. I know I am so very lucky.  I know all this and remind myself daily. I know the years are short. But being a mother is harder than I ever dreamed possible.

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15 things I wish I’d known about childbirth…

15 things I wish I’d known about childbirth…

After having three babies… 4 pregnancies (I had a missed miscarriage too) I don’t feel qualified to be lecturing people about childbirth BUT I do think it’s only kind to pass on those little nuggets of information that I wish I had known pre-babies. Because people don’t tell you lots of stuff about giving birth.

I have experienced a range of things during childbirth, including… 3 vaginal births with gas and air, one waterbirth, one high blood loss and High Dependency Unit stay, one instance of shitting the bed post-baby, one super quick birth that happened 12 minutes after arriving at hospital, 2 retained placentas, 1 third degree tear, 2 spinal blocks and theatre trips post-baby, 1 birth with no stitches (yay) 2 overdue births and one a day early and I feel like there’s a few things I wish I had known or been told before I’d had my first. Obviously this isn’t going to apply to everyone and everyone is different but this is my list of what I wish I had known.

So… here goes.

  1. Don’t rely too heavily on your birth plan.  It’s nice to have a birth plan but you can’t assume everything will go perfectly. Childbirth can be complicated, messy, scary, easy and you will never know each time how it will go. It’s great to have a loose plan in place, but above all, you need to plan for the unexpected. I planned a hypno birth for my first and it all went out the window as soon as I was made ‘high risk’ due to being ‘small for dates’ on arrival. (Baby was 8lb!)
  2. Leave your dignity at the door. You will go to the hospital with all the best intentions to ‘keep covered up’ and keep the gore to a minimum. But think about it. A human BABY is going to come out of you. Blood, wee, shit, sometimes sick although I was lucky to not be sick during labour, amniotic fluid, sometimes baby poo, it will all be there and once things get going, you will be concentrating on getting through each contraction, a bit of vomit or wee will not faze you.
  3. You don’t get any medals. If you end up using all the pain relief, so what? If you end up with an emergency C-Section – so what? As long as you and the baby both end up safe and well, that’s all that matters once the birth is over. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
  4. It’s normal to feel like you are about to shit yourself. This is the baby’s head ‘coming down’ and basically it feels exactly the same as a giant dump. The midwives will have seen it all and this is normal.
  5. It is not uncommon to have a vaginal ‘tear’ after birth. Some women are cut (episiotomy) either way, stitches to your vag after birth is quite normal. I had a ‘third degree’ tear after my first baby, meaning the skin, flesh and muscle was torn. BEAUTIFUL! Usually a first degree tear isn’t stitched, and a second degree is stitched with local anaesthetic.  After a baby has emerged, this will be a minor incident!
  6. Weird things can happen. They are all rare and it’s not meant to scare you, but I think women should be told. Complications can arise after birth that you have never heard of. Retained placenta (I had 2 of those!), haemorrhage, etc. It’s not nice but stuff does happen that you won’t have planned for or even heard of – keep an open mind and you will probably not experience it, but if you do – it happens.  Remember the midwives and doctors know what they are doing and will be looking out for signs of anything going wrong.
  7. If you do shit yourself, you really WON’T care. Giving birth is the weirdest thing ever. Before my first baby was born I was so worried about pooing during birth. Having suffered with IBS, I’ve had many poo-induced worries before. However I can safely say I really did not give any fucks if I shat in the midwife’s face. When another human is bursting through your delicate vaginal opening, you will really NOT give any shits, about shitting.
  8. You may change your mind. When the pain starts kicking in, you may have a fleeting moment of ‘I don’t think I want a baby now’. I remember thinking it was a bad idea and wanting my birth partner to cut off my arm instead.
  9. You can do it! You are a woman and you were MADE to do this. Your body knows what it’s doing. Stay as calm and relaxed as you can – slow 20/20 breathing really does help. If not, get an epidural and relax!!
  10. Don’t be worried if you don’t get the RUSH OF LOVE. Everyone and their dog tells you about the rush of love you get when baby is born. I didn’t have it with all 3 of mine. I felt numb, and a bit detached if I’m honest. And quite relieved that it was over. The love came on slowly and gradually for me.
  11. After the birth you will be shattered, but may be unable to sleep. I remember feeling so tired and so awake all at once, the endorphins of labour stay with you and can make resting tricky. If you are lucky enough to be able to sleep then please DO IT!
  12. Another poo one. Your first poo after a vaginal birth will be scary as hell. Especially if you are fearful of ripping your stitches out. Breathe, take it slowly and make sure for the love of God you don’t get constipated after the birth.
  13. It’s normal to feel a bit traumatised. Well I did. Having your first baby is scary shit. I felt a bit numb and zombie like for a good 2 to 3 weeks after having my first. Not to mention hormonal. Embrace help, staying in, and if you want to cry or punch pillows, you do what you need to do. Use the I just had a baby card until the baby is at least 2 years old.
  14. Nothing quite prepares you for your first birth. You can read all the books, get all the advice and speak to everyone who has been there, but it really is something that everyone experiences differently.
  15. Lastly. It is one of the most magical experiences, poo and all. Take ALL the photos, even if you hate them at the time because you can see your bum hole or you think you look swollen – because you will want to look back and have these memories for yourself. Time speeds up after the baby arrives and you will wish you had more photos/videos.
What NOT to say to your kids this Christmas… 

What NOT to say to your kids this Christmas… 

Christmas Day is nearly here. Here are a few handy phrases of what NOT to say to your children on the big day. 

If in doubt, just smile and breathe and sing a Christmas song loudly.

When they wake at 4am:

“Fuck off, I was up til 2am wrapping and making stuff look magical for you”

When they ask why the wrapping paper is the same as the gifts you wrapped for relatives:

“Stop being so nosey” 

When they want to play the same board game with you for the 26th time: 

“Hell no, you suck at this game and it stopped being fun after the 5th time we played”

When they want to sleep in your bed on Christmas night:

“Like fuck, I’m mildy tipsy and might want to have special cuddles with daddy, now piss off to your own bed and don’t get up til 9am!” 

When they tell you they are bored:

“Are you shitting me? You have new toys, gadgets and games. You don’t know the meaning of the word bored!” 

When they say they are hungry:

“Hungry? Hungry? You have eaten your bodyweight in chocolate, a thousand selection boxes, a big roast dinner, cake, and 12 packets of crisps”

When they have a tantrum:

“Listen, dickhead, we are all being jolly and happy because it’s Christmas, don’t ruin it with your stroppy temper in front of Uncle Bill”

When they want to try your drink aka ‘Mum Juice’:

“OK, have a big swig of that vodka and coke. Hopefully it will help you calm the fuck down for an hour” 

When they want to play with the toys you bought for them:

“Ahhh, for fucks sake, it takes an hour to get this poxy toy out of the box because some dickhead decided to nail it into the box with 389 tiny little screw nail twisty things. Why didn’t I unbox it before wrapping?!?!” 

When they ask for you to wipe / check their bum after a poo:

“In the name of baby Jesus, can I finish my delicious turkey dinner in peace without having to wipe someone elses shit????? Just for one fucking day?” 

When the baby shits during dinner:

*see above* 

When they are tired towards the end of the festivities:

“Lie down and go to sleep for once. Mummy would very much like to do that too but as Christmas is for kids, it would make me look bad to be asleep right now! Make the most of napping whilst you can child!!!!!” 

You are welcome! 

Ps – no children were sworn at in the writing of this fictional tongue in cheek post! 

50 Shades of Grey Hair.

50 Shades of Grey Hair.

Why do people insist on telling me that I have grey hair? I have a mirror, I have eyes and I am fully aware that I have a lot of grey hair for a 30 year old. I’ve had grey hair since my late teens. I found my first grey on the school bus age 12. I’m sure the kids have added a few (thousand) to the collection, too. Do these people that tell me think I haven’t noticed that my hair looks like someone’s thrown talcum powder over it?

I have naturally dark brown hair. I colour it regularly, to cover the greys. However lately within 3 or 4 days of colouring it, the greys are already re-appearing. I can’t really do much about it. I can’t dye it every 3 or 4 days and wouldn’t want to anyway. I don’t love it, but I don’t see it as a major big deal. I have a patch of grey and a sort of ‘salt and pepper’ type grey along my parting and at the front of my hairline. I’m going to invest in some magic colour root spray that my friend told me about, so I can touch up the roots without having to dye my whole thick mane of hair.

I just don’t understand why people feel the need to comment on it. I know it doesn’t look great. I wouldn’t chose to have it. It’s a natural ageing thing that we all will have to deal with, but clearly I have had early grey. People constantly comment on it, or keep glancing at my hairline whilst talking to me. I know it’s there. There is no need to tell me I’ve got a lot of grey. I know.

So if you are that person who has a friend, colleague, family member, or someone who has a lot of grey, please don’t point it out. It’s kind of like saying someone has a lot of spots, has gained/lost weight, or has bad teeth. It’s not kind to point out someone’s flaws.

 

 

 

 

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home mum

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home mum

I miss having a job.

I miss doing something that I’m good at.

I miss adult conversation that’s not centred around the kids.

I wish I embraced working when I was a working mum.

I miss commuting into the city and having time to read a book on the train.

I feel guilty that all I ever wanted to do be at home full-time with the kids, and now that I am, I’m still not happy.

I wish I could ‘make the most’ of this time.

I wish I didn’t feel resentment towards being at home all the time.

Every day feels like groundhog day.

I’m not sure motherhood is meant to be like this.

I love my kids but being with them 24/7 is draining.

I’m worried I’m not appreciating them enough because I don’t get a break.

I think I’m doing it wrong.

I really do love them so much.

I think they hate me 90% of the time.

I thought I’d be easier.

I bloody hate cooking.

I don’t want them to grow up.

I know I’ll want to go back to this stage when they’re older.

I would love to have the perfect balance.

I don’t know what the perfect balance is.

I’m sick of the sound of my own voice.

I would like to stay in bed for a whole day.

I miss work Christmas do’s, work politics, and all the things that irritated me when I was working!

I’m a really shit housewife.

I’m not sure I’m meant to admit to any of this.

Hannah Spannah
You Baby Me Mummy
Breastfeeding isn’t the same for everyone

Breastfeeding isn’t the same for everyone

Today I have a guest post from my good friend, I will call her ‘2 Kids No Formula‘ on how her decision to Breastfeed affected her as a new mum.  Her 2 sprogs are now 7 and 4. Over to you 2KNF: *Hands over imaginary microphone*

“I found myself in that camp… where you eat moss and breastfeed…..

Did you ever realise that by having a baby you were going to make huge statements about your parenting orientation? No, me neither. I thought you’d whip this baby out and watch on lovingly while it grew up. Oh boy, how wrong I was. I fall into a very elite camp!

I am a hypnobirthing, breastfeeding, baby led weaning, front sleeping goddess who laboured for three days on no drugs. When I walk along the street my children glow full of my antibodies, a huge sign in neon lights above my head lights the moonlit after bedtime sky ‘hippy mother’. For miles around I am called upon to give my opinion on nipples and flow and whether your darling baby is getting enough milk, because I made it to that golden 1 year mark. But do you know… still no fucking medal in the post 7 years down the line!!!! I initially lap up the glory when we hit that emotive subject in the soft play, in-between shifting my darling child from one knee to the other so I can strain my teabag with one hand without shooting it across the table and scalding all the babies crawling around my feet; all because my sodding child wont actually venture into the soft child size boot camp.

Three other lovely mummies who I have found on my circuit of the baby classes sit round the table eagerly awaiting my input – how the hell did I make it to a year breastfeeding without my nipples dropping off??? Errr I don’t know… I basically persevered because I would rather my nipples dropped off in bed than actually crawl out of bed and venture downstairs waiting for bottles to ping in the microwave then spend 5 minutes cooling them under a freezing tap (this is pre Perfect Prep machine – like what the hell, has the inventor of this only just left school? All the inventors before him need to be sacked I think).

My story doesn’t have a very earth mother ring to it, and the three other mums smell weakness and pull rank on me, stating how unhappy their kids were until they shoved a bottle in their mouths. I am left feeling like a hippy again, one that starved my kids of thick yummy milk. But here’s the mental bit…. No matter your feeding orientation they still bloody alive, go figure!!!!

The problem with me is, I will do what I want, no health visitor pushing me to breast feed or lactation specialist being my best mate for the first month of my life will sway me, if my nipples had dropped off, that bottle would have been in my baby’s mush in a shot, but they didn’t.

My boobs however look like death, but I am planning to have enough children to save the money on formula to get them perked up a bit by a nice doctor….. and In that case I will take the drugs!!!”

 

For me, it was very different: I started by breastfeeding all 3 of my babies, but only for 3, 2 and 6 weeks respectively. I honestly found breastfeeding the worst part of having a baby. The pain from feeding was FAR worse than the pain of late pregnancy, childbirth, and recovering from third degree tears and infections afterwards (that’s a whole other post!)

With my first I had mastitis early on from a bad latch, really sore nipples because I didn’t know how to prevent it or help it, and I was too young/shy/scared to ask for help. Second baby had oral thrush and we passed it back and forth until I was so sore I couldn’t do it anymore. Third baby I probably had really bad vasospasm/raynaulds (so my breastfeeding guru friend told me!) and pain when feeding, he had minor tongue tie but with MAJOR pain. It was all over Christmas time and I didn’t want to ask for help, I thought he was my third baby I should bloody know better by now. I really enjoyed breastfeeding, the closeness the bond… but I just sucked at it. By 8 weeks all 3 of my babies were solely formula fed. I felt awful at first, but then I saw them thrive and develop and I’m happy with that. I still feel passionately about breastfeeding, but I just think every mum and baby experience it totally differently, no 2 babies or mums are the same. So I just say, feed your baby however you feed it, as long as it’s not Greggs sausage rolls (yet).

Breastfeeding.png

What are your experiences of the big Breast vs Formula?  Did you find judgement from the way you fed your baby?

The Weirdest Secret Santa Gift Ever…

The Weirdest Secret Santa Gift Ever…

After having child no 2, I worked part-time doing admin for a lovely charity in the City (of Laaandan). It was a really nice place to work, and I loved it.

One Christmas, we did the usual Secret Santa within my ‘team’. The team was mainly women and the boss man of our little team was, indeed a man. He was a nice man, maybe in his 50’s… very odd a little bit odd at times, but who isn’t. It was difficult talking to him sometimes, he seemed very quiet and a bit reserved. He was the sort of man I imagined stayed indoors a lot, didn’t own a TV and read old books all day. He looked at me like he thought I was an annoying child.

The budget for Secret Santa was really small, as it was a Charity, understandably. £2 per person. I found a really lovely gift for my SS recipient, as you do. I wrapped it up and wrote a label in bold handwriting so she didn’t know who bought it. On the day of the exchange, everyone looked at the little pile of presents to find the one with their name on it. We all stood in a circle and opened the wrapping simultaneously.

As I peeled the wrapping paper off my gift, I couldn’t really tell what it was. It was something flat and light. As I pulled it completely out of the packaging, I felt confusion wash over me. Inside the festive wrapping paper was….. ……..wait for it……

No really…….. sit down……..  get ready……

A. Gift. Bag.

Like, you know, a GIFT BAG that you buy to put a gift into.  Someone had wrapped up a gift bag for me. Was this a joke? If it was, I definitely didn’t understand the joke. I tried to mask the confused look on my face by smiling and looking pleased. I peeked inside the gift bag, in case there was an ACTUAL gift inside. Nope. The bag was still flat and in the cellophane as it was in the shop. Everyone by now was holding up their gifts and telling each other what they’d got, laughing and joking. I stood silently looking at my Gift Bag, smiling still in case the person who bought it was watching me. All of a sudden it dawned on me that Odd Boss Man had clearly bought this for me. Who else in their right mind would buy someone a gift bag as a present?! To be fair, it was a very pretty gift bag. Very girly, with flowers or butterflies or something on it. It had a massive £2 label on the front, and was from M&S, which was the shop just outside the tube station. I pretty quickly worked out that Odd Boss Man had clearly walked into the shop, panicked at what to buy the irritating young female co-worker he probably despised. He probably clapped eyes on the gift bag and thought, brilliant, £2, job done. Maybe he thought it was a hand bag.

One of my lovely colleagues called out across the circle… “Jo, what did you get??” I didn’t know what to say… so I slowly held up the gift bag, smiling, as everyone in the circle turned to look at me. She looked confused too. Thank God.  I think she sensed my awkwardness so she changed the subject.

Afterwards we went back to our desks where Odd Boss Man sat opposite me. I couldn’t regale the team with the weirdness of the gift because he was RIGHT THERE looking at me. I popped the gift bag in my top tray and kept trying not to laugh every time I looked at it.

At some point that day he made a comment about me liking my gift. I said it was lovely. It was…  Very pretty. He looked pretty smug. I wondered if he really thought it was a hand bag.  Seeing his happy face at buying something I liked was sweet. Made me feel bad about it being so weird though, I never would have told him the error of his ways and burst his bubble. But it will always be the best Secret Santa buy ever. I often wonder if he ever bought anyone else a gift bag as a gift, because it went down so well!

I used the gift bag a month or so later, to put a gift in. I felt the bag needed to fulfil its purpose in life.

So anyway, I will always remember the time someone bought me a gift bag.

*It wasn’t this exact gift bag, this is a random pic from eBay. But you get the jist.

**I wonder if this post wins an award for the most uses of the words GIFT BAG???

gift-bag

 

CHRISTMAS REALITY WITH KIDS!

CHRISTMAS REALITY WITH KIDS!

So, it’s allllmost December. Up til now you would have been in one of 2 camps:

Camp 1: It’s not Christmas yet. Calm the f*ck down.
Camp 2: It’s the season to be jolly, ding a ling a long long, *vomits tinsel*

Anyway, even those in Camp 1 cannot deny that December is almost upon us and therefore it is ALMOST BLOODY CHRISTMAS YOU ABSOLUTE GRINCH!

For parents, Christmas is joyous, it’s the time of year when you get to see your darling children’s little faces light up at the magic and wonder. You get to feel the anticipation of the day and all the excitement over again from when you was a child yourself.

Sometimes, the reality of Christmas isn’t quite what we imagine when we plan it out in our heads. Especially when involving Toddlers. Please see list below. I write this to prepare you for the reality. You are not alone!

christmas

Expectation: Excited Christmas countdown
Reality: Hearing “How many more sleeps til Christmas?” every day for what seems like 87 days

Expectation: Old school advent calendar
Reality: Nowadays its Elf on the Fricking Shelf. Exciting for first few days, annoying after that. Especially when you forget to move the Elf and have to get out of bed to do it.

Expectation: Christmas wish list wrote by child
Reality: Christmas list wrote by child amounting to over £5,000 worth of gadgets. Erm, what happened to wanting a hula hoop and a board game?  Having to prepare child that Santa can’t get you a Playstation 4 for every single room in the house, sorry about that dear.

Expectation: Watching your child in the Christmas play at school. How magical.
Reality: Watching the top of your child’s forehead in the school play because they’re at the back and you can’t see their face because TALL STAN in the other class is in front of them.

Expectation: Yummy food to be shared by family – boxes of Christmas choccies, drinks, nibbles…. joy
Reality: Toddler doesn’t care if it’s Christmas and WILL eat all the celebrations before you get to even smell them. Lucky if any Christmas treats make it to mid-December.

Expectation: Buying all your gifts in the January Sales or throughout the year thus being very prepared for this yearly festive period.
Reality: Did I mention panic buying? Buying crap that they don’t need just for stuff to open, of course your child needs more marbles for their stocking!!!!!!!!!!!! BUY BUY BUY

Expectation: Buying perhaps a Festive Jumper for the kids to wear on the day
Reality: Child needs a costume for the school play, a jumper for jumper day, to wear red green, and a special shade of brown on another day, money for the Christmas party, snacks, and a heap of other crap that you could do without

Expectation: Happy days visiting friends and relatives
Reality: Tired kids, enduring Uncle Ian telling you a story that you’ve heard 34 times already, downing alcohol to make it all bearable

Expectation: SNOW… children frolicking and squealing in delight at the white wonder before them on Christmas day
Reality: Cold, soggy if you’re lucky. They want to go and play on their new bike/scooter/skates in the pissing rain. Beautiful!

Expectation: Buying gifts for loved ones and wrapping them with care
Reality: Panic buying in mass and wrapping in haste when you realise it’s the day before Christmas Eve and you still haven’t got your shit together!

Expectation: Taking kids to visit Santa in his grotto. A nice picture as a keepsake.
Reality: Standing in a queue for 158 minutes to see a man who doesn’t even resemble Santa… Kids are scared shitless and cry. Picture is laughable.

Expectation: A beautiful Christmas Tree and house decorated beautifully to fill you all with the season of goodwill
Reality: A tree that looks like a child decorated it BECAUSE THEY BLOODY DID and decorations that are all REALLY high up otherwise the Toddler eats them. Tree ends up on side quite a lot and you wonder if maybe it looks better that way?

Expectation: Waking the kids at 8am on the big day because you’re so excited and want to see them opening their presents already!
Reality: Kids wake you at 3:06am and you wonder how you’ll make it through the day

Expectation: Kids playing with new toys all day, happy, laughing and full of wonder and joy
Reality: Kids are over tired, excited, full of sugar, and ungrateful. Especially Toddlers.

Expectation: A fantastic dinner
Reality: Squeezed around a table, hard to eat without hitting people with your elbows. Kids would rather have a Happy Meal

Expectation: Children have lovely new toys / gifts
Reality: Where on God’s Green Earth am I going to put all this stuff????????

So from me to you on this chilly November day. Merry Christmas parents. Hang on in there 🙂 x x

 

www.theunsungmum.com

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“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat…”

“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat…”

The words ring in your ears. Everything around you slows down and blurs. The words feel heavy on your skin as they sink in. You can feel your heart beating fast and loud and your chest begins to hurt. Your eyes swim with tears. You feel a slow numbness creep up your body from your toes, until you can’t feel yourself anymore.  You’re hot and numb.

It seems like you are rising up from yourself and looking at the scene from above. You are laying on the bed in the ultrasound room having your first pregnancy scan. Your husband is sitting down to your side, holding your hand. You feel his grip tighten, he’s stroking your hand now. The sonographer with the kind face is talking to you with a sombre expression but you feel as if you’re under water, you can’t quite hear her, but can see her lips moving. You want to scream & shout, even shake her but you are numb. You can’t move. You are laying there, hot tears running down your cheeks as you slowly start to realise you won’t be having a baby in 6 months time after all. The crashing realisation of what is happening engulfs you.

Your mind is racing with questions. Why is this happening to me? Did I do something wrong? Eat something wrong? Was I too stressed… did I do too much physically? Am I being punished? You glance at your husband and the look on his face makes you want to sob. You see your disappointment and anguish mirrored in his eyes. He puts an arm around you as the sonographer explains the next steps.

The sick pain in the pit of your stomach remains as you walk out of the ultrasound room. You’ve been asked to empty your bladder for an internal scan, just to be sure. You leave the room and it seems though everyone in the waiting room knows, they can see on your face that it isn’t good news. You look around at the happy, excited and expectant couples, all waiting for their own scans. You wish it was happening to them, not you. You’re jealous of their happiness. Why don’t they realise it’s not always a happy ending?

The vaginal scan confirms the same, as you knew it would. You see the consultant to book in your follow-up scan. The sheet of paper you are clutching in your hand reads ‘missed miscarriage?’ and you wonder how you missed this happening to you? Did your symptoms change? You question yourself over and over, and blame yourself for not being a good enough mum to this baby. Your body failed.

You leave the hospital, feeling exhausted, drained, and your head hurts from crying. The numbness remains. You’re walking and talking but you’re empty. Your husband doesn’t quite know what to say. You feel bad that he feels bad.

You find yourself waiting around for a week waiting for the next scan to double-check, just in case your dates were wrong. You know deep down that they are not, and that the next scan would not bring a miracle. You feel sick a the thought of living for a week knowing the baby inside you is not alive.  The plans you’d been making for this new baby have all been snatched away from you, in that one minute that you heard the words. You feel as though your whole life has changed now. This isn’t what was supposed to happen. It’s not fair. Why me? Why us?

In the days following, everyone tells you the same things over and over. It’s not your fault. It’s nature. It’s ‘one of those things’. It happens to lots of people. 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Some people ask if you will ‘try again’. You don’t want to try again. You want THIS baby. The baby you’re carrying. They don’t understand.

But the more you talk to others, you hear the comforting words: “It happened to me too” and you suddenly share an understanding with other women, who have been there, and had their hopes and dreams crushed too. You can’t believe how many women this happens to. You take comfort speaking to these women. They get it. They understand your pain & they have been in your shoes. You feel like people expect you to be ‘over it’ quite quickly and you feel bad that you are most definitely not over it, and won’t be for a long time. If ever.

Now, 3 years on. I still remember. I’m lucky to have my rainbow who is nearly 2. I feel lucky every single day that I have had 3 healthy babies. I’m grateful that my loss was very early on, so grateful, words can not explain.

I’ll always think of the baby I didn’t have though… it’ll never leave me.

For anyone who has been there, hi, and I’m really, really sorry that it happened to you.

For anyone who is experiencing this right now, please please talk to others who have been in your shoes. It’s completely OK to feel how you feel.  I personally found lots of help, advice and support on this online forum on a website called BabyCentre…  please go and take a look and talk to others who have been there.  It will help:

http://community.babycentre.co.uk/groups/a180235/coping_with_a_miscarriage

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best things in life are free!

The best things in life are free!

I am the first one to moan about the downsides to being a mum. It’s bloody hard work and it can downright stink sometimes. However, I also realise that sometimes, when things are good, my kids are very easily pleased.  The simple, easy, and free of cost things really do make them happy – and help keep me somewhat sane.

At the grand ages of (almost) 2, 6 and 7 years old, they still enjoy the simple things in life….

  1. Bubbles, chasing, blowing you know the drill
  2. Walking in the woods, collecting sticks/leaves etc
  3. Painting and drawing
  4. Watching a film together under a big blanket
  5. Chasing each other around the park
  6. Singing, dancing and acting silly
  7. Having a ‘sleepover’ together (sleeping on the floor!)
  8. Feeding ducks
  9. Playing ball games
  10. Reading books
  11. Hide a small item in the house and all hunt for it…
  12. Being ‘animals’ – get on all fours and do your best roar/growl/meow!

Playing in leaves.jpg

I feel like kids these days are so bothered about their gadgets and an iPad serves more interest than anything else, but actually, they do love all the above and more. I need to remember that when they are older, it will be a lot harder to entertain them with the simple things, and I will long for the days when they were this age. Time goes so fast, in the blink of an eye your baby develops into a child. I need to stop and slow down every day to watch them and embrace their innocence and everything that makes them brilliant.

Fresh air is the best medicine for feeling low, having a bad day, or just the usual crap that comes with being a mum. Getting outside, letting them run around a burn off some energy and take in the beautiful colours of this lovely season… it really does help.*

*Just mind the dog poo. Oh and brace yourself for the toddler face planting the floor over and over.

**When you return home, a nice hot cuppa tea is always in order. Or wine. Up to you 🙂

”chasingnature”/