Thursday, 26 January 2012

This blog is my therapy

My Mum said to me this week "Don't be slow on asking for counselling if you feel you need it".

I have had counselling twice in my life before. Once in my early twenties for an eating disorder and associated depression and then again when I was pregnant with Will for antenatal depression. I am not sure that either time it made a notable difference to me but it was good to talk. I think, it is always good to talk.

My fiance has cancer. Our second baby is due in just over 5 weeks time. Our son is only 20 months old.

This has undoubtedly been the hardest week of my life so far.

Over the past few years, as you will probably know from my blogging topics so far we have been through a lot. There has been burglary (Jan 2010), miscarriage (Jan 2011) and now cancer (Jan 2012). The pattern is not lost on me. I am giving up Januaries. In between there have been traumatic births, post traumatic stress, hearing deficiency diagnosis', MRI scans, ECGs, dead grandparents, broken bones, ceilings collapsing.

Anyway, my point is that despite all of this, I do not feel like I need counselling. I don't think that talking to a stranger is going to help any of these things. It certainly will not make them go away.

And yet that is exactly what I am doing. I am talking to you, perhaps you are a friend but there is a chance you are a stranger. And it does help. It doesn't make anything go away but it makes me feel so much better just to put out there what I am thinking and feeling.

Since the diagnosis on Monday all of our friends and family that we have chosen to share the news with have been fantastically and unwaveringly supportive. But so have so many strangers. For Yeah Write #41 I wrote this post and the comments have brought me to tears on more than once occasion. I feel so lucky to have people that listen and empathise, both close to me and far away.

So thanks. Thanks for being my counsellors, my therapists and for not charging me a penny for the privilege. You honestly do make the dark days lighter.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The C word

The thing about the C word, is when you hear it, you only think of one thing. I only think of one thing. I cannot even bring myself to write the word, the one thing down. I did it but had to delete it, it was too much.

When you are told that someone you love, someone who means the absolute world to you, someone you cannot, should not, will not live without, has the C word, the world stops. Then it speeds up, you fast forward, make plans, prepare for the worst, figure out how you will cope. Then it goes backwards, tries to find answers, blame, guilt. How did this happen? What did I do wrong? What should I have done differently?

Then there you are, back in the present. With the information you have been given. Not enough but too much, all at the same time.

And you realise, that all that matters is today. Getting through today, having today, appreciating today. Doing the best you can do with today. Because you don't know what tomorrow will bring other than another today.

I have been skulking in the background of lovelinks for a few weeks now, reading and commenting rather than writing and while I have been away it's changed! It's now called Yeah Write and has a shiny new badge to prove it. Click on it and spread the love.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A conversation

Last night, on the way home from his child minders, Will and I had a conversation. An actual, two way, conversation.

It went like this...

Me: (talking because I was carrying him and couldn't sign) Did you have a good day?
Will: Nodding, yes
Me: Did you go to the park, see the ducks?
Will: Nodding, yes
Me: What shall we do when we get home? Shall we have kisses and cuddles?
Will: Shakes his head, no
Me: Well what shall we do then?
Will: Signs 'TV'
Me: You want to watch TV?
Will: Nodding, yes, signs again TV. Then signs Daddy with a quizical look on his face
Me: Daddy?
Will: Nodding, yes
Me: No, Daddy is still at work, but Mummy will watch TV with you
Will: Nodding, yes, OK.

Freaking AWESOME. Our first ever conversation.

Friday, 13 January 2012

If I could turn back time...

Today I am over at Chosen Chaos talking to my 18 year old self about what life in the next 10 years will hold.

Come over and take a

And while you are there read the rest of Jamie's stuff - it's awesome! Apart from the Dorito Chicken, that's just weird.


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Am I the only person to have a second child?

Okay, rant time.

Am I the only mother to ever have had a second child? I am honestly starting to feel that way!

It is a little over 7 weeks until baby 2 is due to make an arrival and we are starting to panic. We don't have cot, a double buggy, enough storage for clothes, a change bag...essentially nothing that really matters and we wouldn't be able to cope without. But none the less it feels like it's coming round a little bit too quick.
But we are excited. Really, really excited.

Other people, it seems, are less excited and also starting to panic. Or perhaps scaremonger is a better word for it.

I am SO fed up of people telling me how badly behaved William is going to be once the baby arrives. He has just reached that age where he is, more and more often, testing his boundaries. And so I am spending more and more time having to reinforce those boundaries and at times if I'm honest, I am finding it hard. But do you know what is not helpful? What is not helpful is if I am telling you that I am finding it hard if you say things like 'It's just going to get harder when the baby comes' or 'He will only get worse when the baby comes', especially if you laugh while you are saying it. Not. Helpful.

Another thing that is not helpful is if you tell me why you are going to buy Will a million gifts when the baby comes to help him cope with the emotional trauma that is a younger sibling. I am certain that material gifts are not going to go far to repairing any emotional uncertainty he may feel and would even go so far as to say that they may even make the situation worse. Guilt gifting anyone? No?

So please stop it. Stop telling me how awful it is going to be. Stop going on about how tired I am going to be. Stop telling me how bad William's behaviour is going to get. Stop telling me about your friends son who turned into the devil as soon as his younger sibling arrived and has never gone back to the angel he once was. Stop making me feel guilty for giving William the GIFT that is a younger sibling.

Because I have a sister and I know my life is better for her. And Shaun has a sister and I know his life is better for her. And I know plenty of people that have had plenty of children and none of their eldest seem to have any long lasting damage. And I KNOW that William is going to make the best big brother ever because he already dresses, feeds and reads books to his teddy bears.

OK, I'm done.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

It's the small things

We are going away this weekend. To Scotland. To look at wedding venues. Without Will.

I am VERY excited. But not about the couple time, or the wedding planning, or the sleep ins. Although those are, of course, all exciting.

I am excited about not having to share my breakfast

I am excited about peeing being the first thing I do when I awake (naturally) in the morning, rather than change someone else's pee filled nappy, fix his milk, get him settled and then remember at some point that I need the toilet.

I am excited about having a shower, getting dressed, putting make up on, drying my hair...all without 'help'.

I am excited about going to the bathroom alone and taking as long as I like to do whatever I like.

I am excited about napping when I like and for as long as I like.

I am excited about being able to eat chocolate and sweets and other hypocritical parent favourites in the car and on the train and randomly throughout the day - not in secret.

I am excited about falling asleep without that 'how many hours do we have until he is awake' feeling.

I am excited about all of these things but mostly I am excited about missing the small person that means I cannot do all of these things and about coming home to his cute smiles and welcoming arms and appreciating them for how lovely they are.

It's a much needed break and I cannot wait.

A bumpalicious New Years Eve

As you may have noticed I have been in a bit of a grump over the festive season. Some reasons are unknown even to me but one of them has definitely been trying to find something, anything to wear to all the events that have taken place in my current state of 'round'.

So, when I got the offer to review a dress for a company called Bumpalicious Maternity I jumped at the chance!

Outside of pregnancy I am a size 10 with very little shape and no bust. It's taken me a lifetime to come to terms with this but I at least know how to dress for it. In pregnancy I have these boobs I have never seen anything like before, a giant ass, some seriously chunky thighs and not to mention the big old bump sticking out the front of me. So I need all the help I can get!

Amanda at Bumpalicious Maternity was amazing. On their website they have what they call a Personal Profile Form which made a massive difference. It asks for a lot of information and I have to admit I was reluctant to a) get off the sofa to actually take my measurements and b) acknowledge the higher than I would like numbers that were reported. But, it does mean that they can recommend a dress that will actually fit and look nice. They also ask about fashion preferences which is good because I can be quite fussy about what I like.

Anyway, all the form filling in ended in this...

It is a simple black dress, about knee length. It is a lovely soft material with a satin ribbon helping to cinch it in below the bust. The top was really pretty lace and has a built in bra which I love and meant the back, which was sheer lace, wasn't spoiled by bra straps showing through. 

My only negative is that the bust bit was a little too large for me and so the dress would have looked better if I had time to pin it at the sides to bring it in. Turns out that even my new giant boobs aren't big enough!

I would definitely recommend them based on the service alone. The dresses, I thought, were quite pricey but lovely for special occasions. And they also claim that the dresses can be worn after pregnancy as well, giving them a longer life span and therefore more value. For me though, even if it did continue to look nice, I am not sure I would necessarily want to wear a pregnancy dress post pregnancy. But that doesn't mean that you won't!

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