Monday, 1 May 2017

My Last Antidepressant!

Hi everyone! As you've probably noticed I don't really blog very often. It's hard work finding time to blog with a toddler. I don't know how anyone does it with more than one child!

This post is more of a diary entry to mark a big day for me - I've just taken my last Fluoxetine antidepressant tablet this week. I'm not saying I'll never need them again, but for now I'm done :)

Mental health is talked about so often now. But still the only people who know I've even been on my tablets are my husband, mum, sister and two close friends. The rest of my family don't have a clue. Is that bad? I guess it's an example of how the stigma still exists... but I just don't want everyone to know my business. Not because I think they would be mean about it - I'm just quite a private person.

Everything was too much for me last year when I had gone through a bad assisted birth, struggled to recover physically eventually needing physio, we sold our house and couldn't find one to buy, I started having flashbacks to the birth and got all shaky whenever I had to drive past the hospital (this was about 4 months after I had my baby), then we had to move into my mums house while we searched for a house, put all our stuff in storage, she has no spare bedroom so we had to sleep on the floor and sofa (we lived here for 5 and a half months).... then we bought a house that needed full redecoration as we couldn't find anything else we liked. I was so against going on tablets for my own reasons, but no wonder I ended up struggling.

After three months of sleeping on the floor in the box room with my baby J in a cot, and my husband sleeping on the sofa downstairs it was all a bit much and my mum took me to the doctors.

I felt that the tablets started to help me straight away, and after starting them in July I felt I was totally back to myself in October. Then the 6 month countdown began before I could lower the dose. I've been on a half dose (one every other day) for 4 weeks and that meant Wednesday 26th April was my last one.

I'm feeling positive about it and looking forward to properly moving on from what was a really difficult and totally unexpected time. I just never thought these things would happen to me...but they did, and I've learnt a lot from it.

More on that in another post!

Thanks for taking the time to read this :) x

Monday, 27 February 2017

Morning time Motivation

Over the last few months I've struggled to get myself up and motivated some mornings. I'm so lucky to stay home with J Monday-Friday and just work Sundays and one evening a week... but some mornings I find it harder to get up than I did when I worked full time.

J has always been a brilliant sleeper but now at almost 17 months old he's not so great. He often wakes in the night for dummies and has done for a while, but more recently we cant seem to settle him back and he ends up in our bed with me & my husband.

He seems to be a super light sleeper. If I go for a wee at night it seems to wake him without fail, even though I'm as quiet as possible and don't flush the chain til the morning (sorry too much info). Just the sound of me creeping past his room gets him awake almost every time!

This makes it harder to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I think it's also because I'm just going downstairs to sit around. I think I need to be busy all of the time. I find it hard to get dressed and do make up when I'm not going anywhere in particular.

This morning the weather was awful and we were staying in, then I realised right, I know what's wrong here! ...I need a purpose for today.

Of course my main purpose was to look after J, which I LOVE :-) but I needed something extra to do. Sitting around at home for too long seems bad for gets me in a bad mood!

So I made my aim for today to get the kitchen/dining room tidy. Nothing too exciting, but something to aim for. I also had to go out and get some food shopping with J from Asda this afternoon, so that was on the list too.

It was a realistic aim and I managed to achieve it! I knew that there was no way the living room would look tidy. That's where most of the downstairs toys are so we have that as our day time play room, but my kitchen is looking 90% perfect :-)

It's lovely to take J out on walks and to classes but the cost of groups adds up and the weather isn't great for walks or the park at the moment. So I've decided to give myself a little aim like this every day. I'm no good without some sort of routine!

Do you feel like me? How do you fill your week with your little ones? I'd love any tips xxx

Monday, 6 February 2017

Traumatic Birth - Moving on.

This is something that I don't talk to anyone about. I mention it to my husband as he was there when J was born and knows how my recovery has been, but even with him I don't feel that I totally explain how I sometimes STILL feel, 16 months later.

It's been bottled up inside me. Most days it doesn't bother me but I still feel that I have scars that I haven't recovered from. I like to give the impression that I'm always strong and fine on the outside. Maybe that's part of the problem!

Sorry if this sounds deep already, I'm just hoping to make things clearer in my own head...hopefully writing it all down will help?

Before I had my baby I used to think "oh a traumatic birth... isn't everyone's birth experience a traumatic one?" I mean all we hear is how much it hurts... how you might have a toilet accident.. all horrible things!

My own experience was none of those things. There was no pain thanks to an epidural, and no embarrassing poo... but the whole experience has left me hurting. I've been to counselling, I know I need to "get over it", I know how lucky I am that me & J were both ok in the end and he came out healthy... but there is still this strange psychological "pain" when I think about it, and I'm terrified at the thought of trying a natural birth again. Basically I won't be trying - I've already discussed a planned C-section with my consultant even thought I'm not even planning to get pregnant yet!

It was still the most amazing experience of my life, which is what makes it hard to process. I LOVE being a mummy, and the whole experience was just surreal and special, as I'm sure most mummies feel. But I feel I need to move on from the panic I feel when I see anything about giving birth. Literally I even hate typing the word birth. Am I a drama queen?! The word makes me wince a bit.

And it's not because the experience was so awful, just that it came as a huge shock I think. And it took me a long time to recover physically. I've recently finished pelvic floor physio to do with the birth so maybe that is why this is on my mind. I had an amazing pregnancy with no problems except finding out I had Group B Strep and would need to have an antibiotics drip during labour. So when my waters were leaking when baby j was 11 days late off I went to hospital to have my drip put in.

They found that his heart rate was dropping every time I had a contraction. I was 2cm dilated and wasn't feeling any pain yet. So I didn't even realise I was having contractions. I guess that was good news!

They sent me straight to be induced on the drip because of what was going on with J's heart rate. They said he wasn't happy in there because he was overdue, and that it was time to get him out. The day was really relaxed. I wasn't feeling pains at around 4cm dilated, just a horrible pressure, but they recommended I have an epidural at that point as there was a doctor free to do it for me. If I wasn't being induced I wouldn't have taken it, but being induced on the drip, sat in one position with monitors and antibiotics attached to me I decided it was probably best to just take the epidural now rather than wait and miss my chance if things got a lot worse later.

Great... no pain, I sat around chatting all day. Very chilled - lucky me!!

I breathed some gas an air as a calming thing even though I wasn't in pain. The contractions still felt like a big pressure feeling and I didn't like it - it made me feel a bit panicky. Looking back I probably should not have had that gas and air. I feel like I sucked on it literally all day but maybe that wasn't the case?! It feels a bit blurry when I try to remember.

When they told me I was 10cm dilated and would be able to push in a while, I felt really proud of myself. That's where things seemed to go downhill...I pushed for 2 hours. I was trying SO hard and I really wanted to do this myself. My midwifes shift ended after I had been pushing for an hour and off she went and in came a stranger. I think that's where I felt things were going wrong. I'd been with my midwife for the whole 12 hours that I had been in labour and suddenly I had a totally different older lady who started putting my legs in stirrups :-(

After another 40 minutes of me trying so hard they started mentioning forceps. I said no please, I really want to do this myself. I'm fine, it's fine i'll keep pushing. And I tried really hard - I can honestly say I tried as hard as I could.

But it wasn't enough, they kept mentioning forceps and I kept panicking every time they said it.

Suddenly all these bright lights came on and the room filled up with people. I heard them discussing theatre but the consultant said she should be ok here. I went into a complete panic and was trying desperately to wriggle away from the stirrups and the consultant - having my legs stuck and unable to move made the whole thing 100 times worse. The complete fear and panic is the horrible memory that still haunts me now. Writing this has made me realise that.

I think the reason that it's taken me so long to start to move on from those horrible memories is that my physical recovery took a long time, and I still have some on going issues that will simply be part of me now - I have to accept that.

I had a bad episiotomy which got infected. I couldn't sit properly for weeks and so couldn't attempt to drive my car until J was 7 weeks old. A couple of doctors who saw my stitches weeks later said the episiotomy cut was "big and untidy". I was mad at the consultant for that for a while but I realise now it was probably my fault for wriggling and trying to move away from her so much. I guess I didn't make it easy for her to cut me with her scissors!

I still have the occasional stabbing pain in my episiotomy scar now, 16 months on. It's only occasionally, mainly if I exercise for the first time in a while. Its fine and doesn't affect me, but I think on the whole the experience came as a shock to me.

I was niave and thought I would be back on my feet feeling 100% me two weeks after giving birth. There I was months later seeing gynaecologists for the ongoing recovery problems.. just not what I expected at all.

I guess I'm quite a sensitive person and while some people maybe wouldn't be bothered by these things that have happened, it has bothered me. Counselling was very helpful. But I still want an elective c section next time. I really believe my recovery both physically and mentally would be better and shorter.

Everyone's experience is so different. I don't think we can ever imagine how different each experience is unless it's happened to us. I can't imagine what a peaceful water birth must be like and I don't think I'll ever experience one. I know some stories are just so much worse than mine but writing this down has helped a bit. My baby is healthy and that's the most important thing.

If you managed to read all the way to here you deserve a medal!

Thanks x

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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Wishlist #1: Dinosaur Clothes for my Little Guy

Here is my latest wishlist for my little guy - Dinosaur theme! Love all of these items from Next, especially the hoody and wellies. And how cute are those skinny jeans?!
Clothes are from the Next younger boys range and sizes are available age 3 months - 6 years.
Rachel x

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Those First Baby Steps...

I actually wrote this blog post way back at the end of October 2016 but never got round to clicking "publish"! I wanted to add it to my blog to remember the early days of J walking and taking his first steps alone. 

I'm constantly running around after him now. He's 15 months old and doesn't stop til bedtime. He's super busy! And I'm one very tired but happy muma! 

October 2016

...Baby J has been walking around the furniture for a little while now. He always looked a little wobbly but has recently taken the brave steps away from the tv stand in an attempt to make it to the sofa!
He did it! A huge grin spread across his face and he turned around to give it another go.
Now he's toddling here there and everywhere. It's so fun to watch him. He has a few little falls but doesn't seem too bothered.
J has always hated wearing socks - he pulls them off as soon as I put them on. So I went on a little trip to Clarks to buy him his first pair of shoes.
I got him some super cute navy pre walker shoes. I love seeing him in them and it also means he can't remove his socks once the shoes are on - a bonus with the winter weather getting closer!
I can't believe how much I LOVE holding his hand for him to walk across the living room. It's such a lovely feeling. The amount that babies change in such a short space of time is just crazy. It's so hard to believe he was a new born this time last year - now he's eating, drinking his milk from a cup instead of a bottle, starting to walk and loves going to soft play.
They change so much.
That's why I'm really appreciating seeing these little steps. He will be running before I know it! x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Entertaining Babies on a Budget #1

When my maternity leave ended, I decided not to go back to my old job. I loved it there, but J would have had to go into childcare full time and I just didn't earn enough of a wage to justify paying £38 a day for the nearest day nursery. I wouldn't have been bringing any money home at the end of the month!

It worked out better to leave, look after him myself all week and then get a part time job where I now work in retail on Sundays and a couple of evenings a week.

Money is definitely tight as my husbands full time wage covers all the bills etc, but with Christmas coming we have been running a bit low on cash.

It has been quite tricky to adjust to this as we had never struggled before when we were both working full time... going out for food was totally normal and we didn't really have to think about money - we were lucky!

It's definitely tricky to keep a baby happy all week on a limited budget - when he was smaller I would wander around the shops but now that he can walk he doesn't want to be stuck in the pram for too long! Days out can be expensive and it is so easy to call into Costa or buy a sandwich at a café... it's fun but the costs all add up!

I've been trying out some cheaper alternatives and luckily we have had some nice dry weather recently to get out and go on some walks. Today we went to a local park where there is plenty of room to stroll around and a huge duck pond.

J was not too interested in the ducks today as he was tired, but ten minutes later when we let him out of the pram to have a little walk in his first shoes he had a sudden burst of energy!

He just loved toddling along and was drawn to all the mud and crunchy leaves. I should definitely get him some wellies soon :)

We took snacks and drinks in the bag so that we wouldn't need to spend money. It was a lovely couple of hours out of the house!

I also have recently been to a soft play with a toddler area which he also enjoys. It's only £1 for a one year old to enter so a great place to keep him happy for a few hours with the costs staying nice and low. But while we have this last bit of nice weather I'm hoping to make the most of him being outdoors - more soft play when they nastier weather starts!

I'm also looking into a well priced baby gymnastics group - it's some little exercises and some free time to explore the gymnastic centre. They have trampolines too - I don't know what he would make of that but I'm interested to try!

The thought of showing up to a new group on your own can be a bit daunting but now that J has such a personality (age 13 months) I feel I could happily take him to something like that on my own - he's plenty of company!

I will keep you updated with another entertaining Baby J on a budget post soon as I try out more options :)

What is your favourite thing to do with your little ones?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Living Room Toy Storage


Now that baby J has had his first birthday he's been slowly building up a nice collection of toys and books. Last week I noticed that they were starting to take over the living room!

I wanted to find some storage that wouldn't take up too much room but that would hold a lot of Baby J's favourite things, keeping the room tidy.

Lots of his toys are in his bedroom, but I like to keep some things downstairs to entertain him.

I went online to have a look for something suitable. I wanted a shelving unit with boxes or baskets to put the toys in so that they wouldn't look messy once they had been put away.
I found a 4 cube shelf unit on the Argos website that I thought would be perfect. We reserved one at our local store and picked it up that day. It was easy to put together and is great for Baby J's toys.

The unit fits nicely in the corner of our room and I bought a set of three canvas boxes to put on the shelves at the same time. They are currently on an offer which meant the whole unit and three boxes came to less than £29!

I chose blue boxes for J but there are other colours available. You can also get different coloured cube shelf units. We went for white. Find them here.

There are bigger units with 6 cubes, or smaller with 2 - lots of choice making it easier to find one that suits your room!

I'm happy with my latest buy :-) How do you store your little one's toys?