{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #9 – Drama, Drama, Drama

{The Ordinary Moments 2015} #9 – Drama, Drama, Drama

the ordinary moments, no more drama, mummy blog, dontcallmestepmummy, blended family,

Over the last few weeks we have made a huge transition for us, moving back to the church that I grew up in.  Church has always played such a massive part in our lives.  It is further for us to travel, but it is still only 10 minutes down the road, and here are the people I have known and loved for most of my life.  The friends I grew up with are still there and now raising their children there.  It is so lovely to see all these little mini me’s of the people that I love.  I have spent some time catching up with some of my nearest and dearest and trying to explain particularly the last four years of my life just feels like an episode of Eastenders.  It’s not that everybody needs to know our business but at the same time, these people know me, really know me, and they can tell that I am different as a result of circumstances that have occured.

My friend pointed out to me that James and I have been through nearly every major stressful milestone that life can dish out, aside from loss of each other of course.  We’ve had divorces, custody cases, two pregnancies (both of which I was extremely unwell for, pretty much bed bound), two miscarriages, facing homelessness, financial hardship due to James completing a social work degree whilst I was unable to work due to pregnancy related issues, work placements, depression, anxiety, TIA’s, blending a family, getting married, moving house TWICE, losing family members, family members being extremely unwell (heart attacks, falling off roofs), we’ve both passed our driving tests – wuhoo!! but it wasn’t easy, starting new jobs.  If you read the blog post I wrote ‘Our Complicated History‘ you’ll see that we didn’t exactly have the best starting point when we first met too.

It is fair to say that as a result of all of the above, who truly knows if I’m struggling with postnatal depression or just being overwhelmed by life in general?  As a family though we are striving to eliminate any sources of drama in our lives.  It’s not anyone’s fault that circumstances have happened, some things that have affected us have been consequences of poor choices.  We could maybe have paced things out a bit, but due to our history I think we were eager to get past all the hard stuff and try to pursue a life of peace, happiness and financial stability.  We don’t desire to be ‘rich’ per se… well we certainly wouldn’t have chosen the career paths that we have if that were our aim, we just want to be able to support our family without worrying about one or both of us having a near break down everytime the rent is due.  It is has been an interesting journey, but we finally seem to be coming out of the mire.

I have many friends who are going through difficult circumstances and my heart reaches out to them.  I want to be there for them, but we just don’t have the capacity or any room for any more drama in our lives.  Sometimes you need to strip everything back and only when you’re in a stable position of strength are you able to help those around you, that you see in need.  I’m not saying I don’t care, or I wouldn’t try and guide them to someone else better suited to help.  Recently I had a friend who literally had nowhere else to turn and so despite feeling overstretched we welcomed her into our home, because I knew she would do the same for me… I knew it would be short-lived and I would not sleep at night if I didn’t do what I could.  Sometimes, we need to stretch ourselves just that little bit further if there’s an end in sight and we know we can have a recovery period afterwards.  If we’d not had Martina with us, who knows how that would’ve turned out, but we did, and so we were able to stretch for a limited time.

We have resolved as a family to literally just deal with the basics, getting on top of the laundry, cleaning the home, cooking good healthy meals, keeping everyone clean, trying to stay well, and obviously James is working and paying the bills.  This is ALL of our goals for life at the moment.  We are not trying to add anything else into the mix.  I am aiming to rebuild my self-employed career when I have got into a routine looking after the family home (this is why we hired an aupair, to help us work from a position of strength) but by stripping back things – even such as the girls dance for a short season, we’re able to live simply, frugally and just work on being ‘us’ a secure little unit.  We may seem boring, but this is how it has to be for us in this season of life.

Once we are more financially stable we aim to put back in the girls dance, swimming lessons for the babies etc. but for now they’re not the priority.  Everyone being healthy and happy and trying to keep a loving home that is full of peace and not drama is all we are striving for.  I know this is a bit of a different twist for our ‘Ordinary Moments’ post this week but this pretty much sums up our week and the choices that we have been making as a family.

This blog is for our children, and to keep all our memories, so babies when you look back and read this, and this season may have seemed more boring, stripped back or maybe you enjoyed more family time and less activities, please know the reason was because we love you and we want you to grow in peace, joy and love, that this would be your normal, your beautiful ordinary, and when you have a family too, this is what you look for.  Our prayers are always that you would be able to take on the goals in your lives from a position of peace, strength and stability.  We love you all xxxx
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Hyperemesis Gravidarum – the Royal Baby

Hyperemesis Gravidarum – the Royal Baby

dontcallmestepmummy

Amazing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are going to grace us with another beautiful baby.  No doubt Kate will look amazing and have us all dazzling at her maternity style, but it isn’t all blooming and glowing.  This second early announcement leans towards the Duchess having hyperemesis gravidarum again.  I suffered with this throughout both my pregnancies and with the second it was so bad I couldn’t even keep water down at one point.  Also, with the second it continued up until I gave birth.

Poor Kate will have the best doctors around her and hopefully they will deal with the medical side earlier for her this time as they know what the condition is sooner.

So what is Hyperemesis Gravidarum?  It is a horrendous pregnant condition that affects about 3% of pregnant women.  Best described as severe morning sickness.  When I had it I panicked thinking it meant that something would be up with my babies, but it usually just means that the hormones are nice and strong.  The mum-to-be might not be feeling so great, but the baby inside is growing well upsetting the hormonal balance that causes this extreme sickness.

There are treatments out there, none of them worked for myself, but it did ease it I guess.  Please if you are suffering, don’t go through it alone, only now am I aware of support groups on various websites (cafemom, babycentre) that exist out there.  I couldn’t get out of bed as it was so debilitating, no energy to hold my 7 month old baby boy.  Infact, Judah barely knew I existed the first 3 months I was pregnant with Eden.  It tends to get worse with subsequent pregnancies, to the point that we decided that although we’d originally wanted 3 children together (giving us 5 overall), it would be extremely selfish on the children and soul crushing for my body to go through another pregnancy.  Also, now that we have four children, I am happy that we decided not to have anymore.  They are a massive joy, but hard work, and very expensive *winks.*

It can make you extremely depressed so make sure to keep your midwife informed with how you are feeling and gather a great support network around yourself if you are suffering, especially if you have other children.  I was fortunate that my second pregnancy mainly fell in my husband’s long summer break between his 2nd and 3rd year at University.  I don’t think I would’ve been able to cope without a carer had he not been around.  God’s perfect timing maybe?

Here’s praying that the Duchess doesn’t suffer as badly this time around or that they catch it quickly and can minimise the symptoms for her.

Congratulation Kate and Wills

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The Baby Diaries – Judah – week five to twenty (am I really pregnant?)

Baby Diaries

The Baby Diaries – Judah – week five to twenty (am I really pregnant?)

After you’ve had a miscarriage it’s really difficult to accept that you are pregnant. They call a pregnancy after a miscarriage a ‘rainbow baby.’

The urban dictionary defines this as :

A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage or still birth.

In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows a storm and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.

The storm (pregnancy loss) has already happened and nothing can change that experience. Storm-clouds might still be overhead as the family continue to cope with the loss, but something colourful and bright has emerged from the darkness and misery.

“We lost our last pregnancy, but now we have a rainbow baby.”

Judah's 1st scan
Judah’s 1st scan

Even though we had a successful 1st scan which showed that I had conceived only 10 days after I had miscarried I couldn’t accept that I was pregnant with Judah until we got to 20 weeks.  This was so bizarre as I had horrendous hyperemis  gravidarum all throughout this stage.  I would say that baby was reminding me by my extreme morning sickness that they were in there, but a part of me still couldn’t believe they would make it to the outside world.  I didn’t buy him anything, I stopped writing in the pregnancy journal. I was so fearful of losing him. My husband (then fiancé) and I attended a church in London (Hillsong) whilst we were down visiting family (we’d been to see ‘Les Miserables’ the night before). As we were singing along with one of the songs in the worship time the lyrics were ‘death has been defeated by love, You overcome’ I felt God speak to my heart. This baby would stick, this baby was not going to be allowed to die. This baby’s life was mapped out before them ready for them to step into. I began to have hope again for this child.

We got engaged in this season, this was pre-planned as we were waiting for James’ divorce papers (read my post on Our Complicated History to better understand), James was designing and having my engagement ring made. We were planning our wedding even though we weren’t engaged officially, as we had set the date, and wanted to go full steam ahead with plans as soon as we got engaged. I was still teaching at a Performing Arts Academy (that the girls go to now), basically, I had a lot to distract my mind in this season.

Only at the 20 week scan (which was on my 29th birthday) did I fully accept this pregnancy and begin to plan accordingly. I had scheduled our apartment with the registry office to apply for our marriage license for later in the day just incase of any problems, and we had a holiday booked for the next day. We had a week in Paphos, Greece which we then treated as our babymoon as we knew all was ok.

20 week scan
20 week scan

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Eden’s pregnancy

Eden’s pregnancy

Trying to find a picture of my baby bump for this post made me sad.  I forgot how low I was feeling.  There is literally not one photo of me anywhere in existence showing off my baby bump.  There is only one photo of me from the entire time I was pregnant with Eden in existence and it was from the day I passed my driving test at 30 weeks pregnant.

Bump_2.JPG

The pregnancy with Eden was awful, I had severe hyperemesis gravidarum from the beginning until the end. As it hadn’t been long since I’d had Judah SPD decided to rear it’s ugly head from 9 weeks pregnant. I have hypermobility and am super flexible, was always great as I was a dancer growing up but a nightmare whilst pregnant. My hips would click in and out of joint (not good when you’re trying to walk around with a pregnant belly and you could collapse in pain at any time). For some reason my hormones were off the wall with Eden. We had an awful time as a family and I was on antidepressants the week I found out I was pregnant (had literally just started them as I didn’t know what was going on, and then found out I was pregnant, *aha* light bulb moment.

The combination of all of the above had me severely depressed for all of my pregnancy. It got worse as I was bed bound and gaining weight even though I couldn’t keep food down. What is all that about? (Actually there are scientific reasons but it still seems very unfair *groan*). I am setting the scene so you can understand why, at the end, I practically begged for an induction. I had heard all sorts of horror stories about inductions, and kept thinking I had come this far surely I should wait. The idea of going overdue and resulting in an induction anyway was just torturing me as I was torn between my emotional chaotic state and trying to do what was best for me and baby. When my hormones were so off the wall I was having thoughts like ‘if I throw myself down the stairs they’ll have to get baby out’ (I know, horrendous, I feel awful putting it in writing but this is where being pregnant took me this time) I decided having an induction was the safest thing to do for my sanity and for baby.

It was totally hormones, the moment she was out I was like a different person, from the moment I became pregnant till the moment she was born I suffered horrendous anxiety and depression. I managed to go all of my pregnancy without medication (aside from the first week when I didn’t know) but this was a fine line, I constantly kept in touch with the GP to weigh up what was best and had amazing support from my husband and some people in my church.

I hated being pregnant the whole time, I felt so guilty that I wasn’t able to be there for Judah properly.  There were times I could barely hold him.  I had to stop breastfeeding him at 10 months as he could take both (my husband had been supplementing some of his feeds with the bottle on days that I could barely keep down water) and decided the bottle was quicker, or that my breast was just a chew toy, as he stopped really drinking from me and was just biting.  I had wanted to feed him until he was one and just felt like a failure.  I believed he had rejected me because he hardly saw me, and all the other thoughts that go through hormonal mum’s minds.  I couldn’t get down to his level to play with him, I was just always sat down on the couch, led in bed, too unwell to take him to the park.

I always tried my hardest with the girls.  Isis was just doing better at school and I didn’t want to mess around contact, or throw any inconsistencies into the mix because I was so ill.  This is a difficult part of having a blended family, as the fact is, if we had the girls full-time on the hard days they would’ve gone to stay with Nana or friends, but they needed their contact with Dad for stability and indeed with Judah and I too.  We are a family unit and I was determined for them to feel we were all one and not two separate units, or to feel pushed out by new babies.

Anyway, that’s enough of my depressing pregnancy.  There is a reason I ended up stopping blogging whilst I was pregnant with Eden, my mind was in far too negative a place.

I do want to encourage anyone who reads this though, if you are feeling low, depressed, or irrationally hormonal, make sure you speak to someone.  You are not on your own although you will definitely feel like it at the time.  Get some help and educate yourself with the local services that can serve you as they are set up to.

Thankfully with Eden, as soon as she was out my hormones settled and I was rewarded with the best baby ever.  She is so easy, and so beautiful.  I guess I had super strong hormones, because I was making such an amazing baby *gush*
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