Family, life and thoughts….

Family, life and thoughts….

Hi all, apologies for the radio silence once again, days seem to just fly by and I can’t keep up. Things have been pretty hectic with one thing and another, but thought I’d pop in a post whilst I had a spare few minutes!!

So, today, I’m talking about family. Because just lately, I’ve felt so blessed to have my family. People who love and care about me, and I’d genuinely be lost without them.

Family isn’t always about blood relations. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Theres family by marriage, and family by choice too. Like friends for example. Those you’ve known for longer than you can remember, and are like family to you. They know everything about you, and you’d trust them with everything you have. I have several really close friends, who are like brothers and sisters to me. They’ve all got my back, and I theirs.

It’s a shame that certain members of my family by blood, don’t want to be a part of mine. But I’ve come to accept that, and living life to the full without them. I won’t chase those who don’t want to know me, as there’s just no point. It’s a waste of my energy, that I can focus upon those who do want to know me. Despite it all, I still gained 2 aunts, 2 uncles, and some cousins. So it’s not all bad. Ultimately, for those who don’t want to know, it’s their loss, not mine. I lived my life for 33 years without them in it, so there is no doubt I can continue to do so. There’s a vast difference between needing and wanting people in your life. I wanted them in my life, but I don’t need them. It may sound harsh, but it’s true.

I often feel kind of sad about it, because in the beginning it was brilliant. We all got on like we had never been apart. But it just wasn’t meant to be. I guess it’s true what they say about leaving the past in the past, and there’s no point dwelling on it. I succeeded in what I set out to do, that’s what’s important.

My immediate family (daughter and husband) are my everything. The reason I get up in the mornings, despite all the pains and low moods. They’re the reason I carry on fighting, day after day, because they need me, just as much as I need them. My daughter is growing up so so fast, and I’m scared I’ll blink and miss it. She is 3 in just over a month, and then off to preschool in September. I’m still struggling to really get my head around that, and still think back to the early days when she was a tiny baby, fully dependant on me for everything. Of course she is still pretty dependant on me now, but in a totally different way. She loves to be independent, and is constantly pushing and trying to be more so. If you try to help her, you often get told no, she will do it. She’s quite feisty and strong willed, and stubborn just like me! She makes me so proud every single day, of her, but also of myself. I feel so lucky to have been pregnant and given birth to such a beautiful little human. I may hate my body, and how I look, but it did a damn good job of growing a human. And for that, I’m proud. I feel sad for those who struggle or never even get to experience that, and can totally understand the pain and upset it causes. I thought it would never happen for us, and just when I’d about given up all hope, I was pregnant. The most terrifying and exhilarating feeling I’ve ever felt.

In some ways, I miss pregnancy, all those exciting times like scans, first kicks, hearing baby’s heartbeat etc. I miss my bump too, it made me feel genuinely beautiful, and I loved watching it grow. Although not so much the aches and pains that came with it! But it was all worth it, every part of it, to have my precious child.

I’ll leave you all with a few last thoughts for the day: Cherish every single moment with your family, never miss an opportunity to tell them you love them or give them a hug. You never know what tomorrow may bring, life is far shorter than you think. Don’t take for granted anyone, or anything. Because you could lose it quicker than you realise. While you’re wanting more, you’re missing what you already have. Live life for the now, don’t dwell on the past, and the future will take care of itself.
X

Worst 5 days ever.

Worst 5 days ever.

Hey everyone,

Huge apologies for not writing for a while. With one thing and another, its just not happened. I won’t recap on too much, as I’d be here all night, and quite frankly don’t have the energy to do so.

The last 5 days have utterly broken me. Mentally, physically, emotionally, I’m drained. I’ll start from day 1 –

Friday, 20th April: it was evening, and I was in the kitchen, washing up, and my nan called. So stopped to talk to her. Hubby and J were playing in the lounge, J was running around like she always does. And then bang. And an ear piercing scream. I hear hubby say ‘Oh my God’ and he appeared at the kitchen door, holding J, and she was covered in blood. I instantly panicked and told my nan I had to go and hung up on her. Took J from hubby as she wanted me, and checked her over. Thankfully no broken or knocked out teeth, but 2 big holes in her bottom lip. So much blood, and it didn’t seem to want to stop. Hubby called 111, and they said they were sending an ambulance. But then about 20 minutes later, ambulance control called and said there was a 3hr wait, and that it would be quicker for us to take her in ourselves. So off we went. Spent a good couple of hours there, eventually getting home around 11pm. J was asleep by 11.30pm and we collapsed in our chairs and had a cuppa, then headed off to bed too. Exhausted and emotional.

Saturday, 21st April: J woke, and was obviously in pain bless her. So she had calpol etc and we got on with the day as best we could. Hubby’s parents visited in the afternoon, and we took J out to the communal garden for a run around. All was going well, she was having a great time with her nana. Then she fell over, on concrete. Grazing, cutting and bruising her knees quite badly, as she was wearing shorts that day. I had to put plasters on her knees to ‘make better mummy’, as everytime she looked at them she broke down in tears. Once they were covered she semi forgot about it. Another day, another worrying time.

Thankfully, Sunday and Monday passed without much going on. J went to bed as usual last night (Monday) and crashed out, as we had been for a play at the local park in the afternoon, which she had loved and had lots of fun. Now here’s where it gets even worse….

Today, Tuesday 23rd April: J woke up at around 6am, calling for me. Which instantly caused me some concern, as normally if she wakes she just comes through and gets into our bed. She was freezing cold, but wouldn’t let me put the duvet back over her. She then followed me to the bathroom, and I said shall we go have cuddles in mummy and daddys bed. She said no, and went back in her room, and laid on the floor. I called hubby, as I was getting more concerned as clearly something wasn’t right. She wandered around upstairs like she was in a daze or still asleep. Was sick a couple of times, just like phlegm really. She kept trying to hold it back, which was making her feel worse and prolonging it. We managed to get her downstairs, she didn’t want her usual bottle. She was still very much out of sorts, and was vomiting every half hour to an hour, the same phlegmy type stuff. At 8am, we called the doctors, as we wanted to get her checked out. Whilst hubby was sat on hold to them, I popped upstairs to get J some clothes, anticipating a trip to the doctors surgery. I then hear hubby running up the stairs, calling my name. He very rarely calls me by my name these days, its normally mummy. So I knew something was happening. He told me he couldn’t wake her. She had been sick again, then laid down on the floor, and fell asleep. He just had a feeling that something wasn’t right, so he tried to wake her. But couldn’t. Which was when he called for me. I came rushing down the stairs, and saw my sweet girl, lifeless on the floor. I felt sick with worry and panic, and it felt like my heart stopped and then hit the floor. I tried to wake her, shaking her, calling her name, all the nicknames I have for her, and was getting nothing. Put my hand on her chest and was relieved to feel she was still breathing, but she was so pale, almost grey. I told hubby to sod the doctors, just call 999 and I kept trying to wake her. It took a good 3 or 4 minutes to get a response, and then she kind of dropped in and out of sleep/consciousness. She then rolled on her side and vomited again. This time it was bright yellow. The first response paramedics arrived first, and started checking her over and asking us what had been happening. She was more alert by this point thankfully, but still obviously not right. A couple of minutes later, the ambulance crew arrived as well. Poor J looked a little bewildered as she looked around the room, as there were 4 paramedics, as well as me and hubby. The paramedics thought it was best to take her down to A&E for a full check over and to see the paediatric doctors. So I gathered what we needed, and went down to the ambulance with J. Hubby locked up and followed in the car, so that we had a way of getting home! It felt like the longest journey ever. On arrival, the paramedic booked her in, and we went round to the paediatric emergency department. I was so glad to see my hubby in the door way looking around for us. J was weighed, and we were shown to the room where she was going to be in. It feels like a bit of a blur for the most part, but she was constantly checked, and had to pass a fluid challenge (basically drink a full 200ml of Diaoralyte solution and keep it down). She also had some paracetamol too. As time went on, the more she drank, the more she perked up and began to be more like her usual self. After 3hrs of obs and keeping fluids down, we were allowed home. She dozed a little in the car on the way home, but then perked up when she was back in familiar surroundings. Over the afternoon, she grazed on things like crisps, cereal, crackers etc. And was thankfully drinking well too. And was more and more like her normal self. She had more calpol and went off to bed around 8pm, asleep by about 8.20pm. I’m keeping everything crossed, that we have a good night and she wakes up all good in the morning.

3 things in 5 days, is quite enough!! I honestly don’t think I can cope with anymore.

Right, time for some chilling and then hopefully sleeping…. X

My favourite tiny human….

My favourite tiny human….

….Is of course, my daughter. Who is officially 2 and a half years old as of yesterday, (7.1.19).

When I realised this yesterday, whilst out and about, it made me so emotional. I really had to fight with myself to keep my emotions under control in public!! To comprehend the fact that in 6 months, I’ll have a 3 year old, is really hard. I’ve been a mother 2 and a half years, and I’m honestly still winging it every single day 😂 I doubt I’m the only parent to say that either. Parenthood is a crazy ride, where you’re constantly learning and it’s often quite a wild adventure. But, I honestly love it. Yes, there’s crappy times of worry and stress (illness, misbehaviour etc), but the good, amazing and happy times, far outweigh the crappy ones. Making memories, having fun, laughter, and so much more, make life so worthwhile.

I’m so very proud of my sweet girl; she’s learning new things literally every day, her vocabulary seems to expand daily too. She’s such a character, literally makes everyone she meets smile, and lights up the room wherever she goes. She’s funny, crazy, stubborn, determined, brave, fierce, strong-willed, and super smart. For 2 and a half years old, she’s pretty bloody amazing!! I know I’m biased, but so many people tell me what a great kid she is, and how cute/beautiful/gorgeous she is. My heart literally bursts with pride every time, and I look at her sometimes, and think just how lucky I am to be her mummy. To me she is totally perfect, I just know she’s going to do amazing things as she grows up.

Our world flipped upside down the day she was born, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. She’s worth every minute of lost sleep, every grey hair, every stretch mark and wrinkle. I can’t remember or imagine life without my precious girl in it. She’s my world, and always will be. I waited so long to become a mother, and I feel genuinely blessed to now be one. When I was pregnant, we didn’t find out the gender at scans, we kept it a surprise. I had such a strong feeling though, that I was carrying a girl. Not sure why, but I just knew. A mothers instinct perhaps? Right from the beginning. Obviously I would have been just as happy to be the mother of a son, but there was a huge part of me that was glad we had a girl 😀 I guess I’ve always wanted a daughter, and to have that mother and daughter bond.

Having my daughter, totally changed my perspective and outlook on life too. I honestly think she saved me. I still have rough times, and super tough times, where I battle my demons and the negative thoughts. There’s still even times where the suicidal thoughts creep in and consume me. But, my daughter is and always will be, my protective factor. I couldn’t leave her. I couldn’t leave my husband either, of course. Every time that I feel low, or have those negative thoughts, I just look at my daughter. Even at the worst times in my head, I couldn’t and wouldn’t act upon any of those thoughts. My daughter needs her mummy, just as much as I need her. She’s my mini me, my side kick, my best girl and my favourite tiny human ❤

^T.U.M^

My First, My Last, My Everything

My First, My Last, My Everything

As soon as my daughter turned two, that inevitable question from people started cropping up in conversation; oh it must be time for another baby?! Or, when’s the next baby due then?

Initially, the plan had always been to have 2 kids. My husband and I had always had that idea, that we’d be a family of 4.

But, that was back before we’d even started trying for a baby. As I’ve written about in a previous post (Who is The Unfiltered Mum?), it was a long and emotional journey trying to conceive. Followed by a bit of a tricky pregnancy, and a rather eventful and slightly traumatic birth.

Those 3 things combined, did change things a little bit for us to be honest. Life with a newborn was certainly challenging too, but as we adapted to this new life as parents, we did start talking about when we’d like to try for a second. Obviously it wasn’t going to be immediately! We set a rough plan of when our daughter turned 2, that we’d start then and see what happened. Over those first 2 years though, my mental health fluctuated from good to bad a lot. I had PND (Post Natal Depression) when my daughter was about 6 weeks old. Thankfully as I was already on medication for Bipolar Disorder, it was quite brief as it just meant a bit of a tweak with my current meds and things went back to normal fairly quickly. But of course, there’s been several relapses for me to battle through.

Also, we’ve had a few troublesome times with our little lady being poorly, resulting in a couple of A&E trips. So in a way, the stress and worry of that kind of put a negative feel to having another. Could we honestly go through such things again? Worrying about one is hard enough, to double that would be so much harder. Plus, the vaccinations have always upset me, as I hate seeing my baby in pain. I’m thankful she most likely won’t remember them, but it’s something I just can’t forget. Especially the first lot. That scream/cry she did was heartbreaking, and I can still hear it in my head if I really think about it. I couldn’t go through that again.

Financially, we’ve never been rich, and we’ve seen the black hole of debt too (regretfully, more than once!) Children are pretty expensive too, and we quickly learnt that it was going to need some pretty good budgeting and money management in order to keep our heads above water. We did have times where we struggled, and we had to ask for help. We were very lucky to have some great family supporting us, and a lot of the expensive things like pram/pushchair, cot etc etc were bought for us. But I couldn’t ever expect them to do that a second time, and honestly, with a toddler, and a lot of number crunching, we just couldn’t see how we could make it work if we had another baby. The fact that we’d had to resort to using the local food bank on more than one occasion, made me feel so rubbish.

So, taking all of that into account – my mental health, physical health, money, the space we have at home (not really enough for 1 child, let alone 2!), the long journey to have our precious girl, and what followed during pregnancy and birth – early this year, we had another conversation about a second child. But this time was different; we were being realistic, rather than trying to “live the dream”.

Our biggest wish for our daughter, has and always will be, that we could give her the best life possible. As many opportunities as we can, experiences and fun times. In order to do that, we just couldn’t manage if we had another child. So, with heavy hearts, we made the difficult decision, to just have the one child.

It still plays heavy on my heart sometimes, and I get really overwhelmed with emotion too. Especially when I sort through clothes that our daughter has grown out of, or things we no longer use like the steriliser and next2me crib, and we pass them on or sell them to people who need them more. I try to look at it as memories that we’ll always have, rather than placing too much sentimental value onto things. They’re just objects at the end of the day, our daughter is worth so much more than them. When people collect things we’ve sold/passed on, it is hard for me to see them go. I don’t think it’ll ever be easy, but ultimately it helps others and that’s important. There’s no point holding onto things that we just won’t use anymore, no matter how hard it is to let go.

As our daughter grows, learns, develops and changes, my heart swells with pride, but there’s always a slight feeling of sadness. Mostly that she’s not my little baby anymore, but also that she won’t have any siblings. Although, I grew up as an only child, and don’t think I turned out too badly haha! I just hope, when she’s old enough to understand and may ask about a brother/sister, she’ll be able to appreciate why we didn’t have another baby. But I guess we’ll cross that bridge as and when (or if) we come to it.

I find it hard too, seeing friends around me having 2nd children or more. I get jealous sometimes, and upset that I won’t experience pregnancy again. For all the stressful times, I’ll always remember the wonderful times. Like seeing our baby on the scans, or feeling those little kicks. Whilst I was pregnant, I felt truly beautiful and proud of my body, for finally doing what we’d wanted it to for so long. The female body is pretty incredible really, with the way it can create another life within, nurture and grow them, and give birth to them and bring them into the world. I loved my bump, despite being so uncomfortable and in pain by the end! Also, when people say you forget the pain of childbirth, don’t believe them! You may forget temporarily, but there’ll always be a lasting memory, deep within, that never goes away. I can still remember it like it was yesterday! But that too makes me proud, that I did it. I coped with the pain of bringing life into the world, and for that I’ll always feel like superwoman! 😀

I hope, as time goes on, I’ll deal with the emotions and it’ll get easier. I suppose it’s just a natural thing for most women, to want to have babies! I’m so thankful though, for being able to give my daughter 100% of me and my time, and to be able to give her the best life possible. She truly is my first, my last, and my absolute everything. My love for her grows every minute of every day, and it’ll never stop growing either. I’m a really proud mum, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the amazing things my little girl will do.

My physical health isn’t all that great at the moment, having lots of tests etc to see what’s going on. So that too is a big factor for not having a second baby. The results of the tests etc, may well cement the decision we’ve already made anyway, and take the choice away. More on all of that in another post!!

I have been judged, called selfish even, and other such things, for making the decision to have an only child. But at the end of the day, every parent has the right to decide what is best for them and their family. Whether it be 1, 2 or 3+ children. It’s totally a personal choice. Sometimes, that choice is taken away from people too. I honestly had begun to give up hope that I’d ever be a mum. Sadly for some, it’ll never be a reality for them. I feel truly blessed and lucky to have my daughter, my rainbow baby. She fills my heart with joy, and totally completes our little family unit. I couldn’t actually imagine throwing that into chaos with another baby now. Things feel perfect, just the way they are. We’re happy, content and living life the way we want to live it. We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.

So to finish, I’ll say, always do what is right for you, your family and your situation. Never feel pressured by others, or social media even, to do or be more than you feel capable of. You don’t have to do what everyone else does. What’s right for them, may not be right for you, and that’s okay. Always, always, just be you. Sending you all lots of love and a massive hug, especially anyone reading this, who has been or is in a similar situation. Whether by choice or circumstance, I understand. Be kind to yourself, and if you ever need a listening ear, I’m always here. ❤

 

^T.U.M^

 

My top 3 sleep related baby buys!

My top 3 sleep related baby buys!

Good evening!

I’m rather sleep deprived tonight, as our little miss decided that 3am was a great time to wake up and point blank refuse to go back to sleep! We had her in our bed for a bit, in the hopes she’d settle, but no such luck. So, by about 5am, we gave up and all got up. Safe to say that it’s been a very long day! She had a nice 2-hour nap this morning though, and I had planned to do the same, but with one thing and another, it just didn’t happen. I’m feeling utterly wiped out now and been on auto-pilot I think for most of the day!

For tonight’s post, I thought I’d write about my top 3 sleep-related baby buys, that I’d recommend to any new parent! There are so many products out there for babies and children, it’s often like a minefield trying to work out what is worth it and what isn’t! But these 3, are things that I couldn’t have lived without!

So, here are my top 3 best buys (Click on the titles to go check them out on Amazon!) –

The Chicco Next2me Crib

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This, for me, was my ultimate favourite product! Having my baby right there next to me, was both reassuring and amazingly convenient for night feeds. It meant I didn’t have to get out of bed to get to her, especially great in those first few days and weeks when recovering from birth! We formula fed (will write about feeding in another post), so hubby used to get up and get the bottle, while I held her close and reassured her that food was coming! There are a few different colour options for the next2me, we had a grey one. I absolutely adored it, and rate it a definite 10/10!

The Sleepyhead Deluxe

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We had the first version of this, just known as the Deluxe. We didn’t have it from the beginning, but purchased it shortly after our daughter was born, as so many people recommended it to us. Our daughter absolutely loved it and slept so well in it. It made her feel safe and snug, and really helped us all get some extra rest! Being portable, it was great as we could move it from room to room, so she was always with us. To know she was safe and comfortable was great too. Another 10/10 rating for this one!

Ewan the dream sheep

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Last but not least, our pal Ewan! It’s a multi-award winning sleep-aid and was really effective in helping us settle our daughter. It has a soothing pink glow in its chest, and 4 different sounds (each foot plays a different one). There are womb sounds, rain, vacuum cleaner and a harp music lullaby too. All of the different sounds have a heartbeat sound mixed in with them as well. Sounds and light play for 20 minutes, and the comforting sound is great for newborns, as it mimics the environment of the womb. Our daughter loved her Ewan, and still has him now at the age of 2!

I hope that you found this post useful, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more like it coming soon too!

Right, I’m going to go collapse into bed and keep everything crossed for a good full nights sleep! Thanks for reading, and I’ll be back soon 🙂

^T.U.M^