Its been a while since I last wrote. I suppose a lot of it is because I’ve been having some down time to heal from the miscarriage alongside dealing with ANOTHER lockdown with my daughter at home as somebody in her year at school caught Covid.
But this post is in full devotion to a special boy in my life who I met in 2008.
At the time, had been having a bit of a tough part in my life with my moods out of control whilst living at my mums and the newest solution for me to “get over it” was to move to a whole new location to try a new start. As my dad had moved to Scarborough quite some time earlier, he had kindly offered to take me in. I was really grateful however I barely had any kind of a relationship with my dad only seeing him on the odd weekend since being a child. I remember it was quite an awkward time for a while, we awkwardly shuffled around each other not really knowing much about each others routine around the house. I think we both subconsciously were praying for a bit of a distraction.. que Billy.
I remember the first time I ever set eyes on Billy. My dad and I had visited a rescue home out in the sticks near to Whitby, I can never remember the name of the place I just remember it was somewhere near to where the ITV drama “Heartbeat” was once filmed! The noise in the kennels was deafening but one bark sounded more desperate than the others, more scared and I was drawn into it. There he was, a little shadow in the corner barking his head of, he had the head of an German Shepherd and body of a corgi! But even though he wasn’t the most attractive dog in there that day I instantly felt a bond and we took him home as the best distraction tool ever known.
To cut a long story short, alot of stuff happened in between then and now with billy being with me through thick and thin, various house moves and alot of emotional trauma but also some great times too. After a few years, I had to move into a one bed flat meaning Billy couldnt come so he ended up getting adopted by my mum! He lived with my mum up until yesterday when his old age finally got the better of him.
Its strange as Billy was around for such a long time that I almost put him to the back of my mind. He was like a part of the furniture at my mums. But he always came up with his wagging tail to greet you no matter how stiff his joints were or if he could even see you through his cataracts. Towards the end, I think we all were expecting Billy to go but he outlived everyone’s expectations to a grand old age of almost 20! but for some reason it still seems to be hitting me harder than I expected. I think it got me thinking of all those years ago when we rescued him and it actually made me think that at the time, he rescued me.
Dogs are emotional creatures and I think the bond you create with them can be unbreakable. I get really annoyed when people use the phrase “Its just a pet” because they aren’t just a pet. They are possibly the most loving part of our family.
If you have already read some of my previous posts you’ll know that I was considering whether or not to have a second child and the consequences that came with that, especially the mental wellbeing consequences.
Well, I did decide to take the leap and let things happen because remember, I’m a great believer in everything happens for a reason right?! Sadly it would appear the gods aren’t in favour this time of my decision.
Miscarriage – My own experience with a Blighted Ovum.
I just want to start by saying until something like miscarriage happens to you its so hard to visualize just how traumatic it can be. We all know the statistics and how common it is to suffer miscarriage especially in the early days however, I for one never really sat and thought about it. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always had huge empathy for those around me that have gone through it but nobody actually tells you HOW much of a long, messy, emotionally tiring and not to mention painful time it can be.
I’m still quite raw as mine has just happened in the last couple of weeks which is why I wanted to write about it now. To catch the emotions and hopefully help me heal and move on. Writing has always been good at helping me.
I had gone along for my first scan (12 week) last Tuesday alone as due to the covid rules partners sill aren’t allowed to come (I’ll try not to lose my rag over that situation) I didn’t mind as I thought I could video call him whilst inside if there was much to see. That idea went straight out the window as I entered the cubicle to be greeted by a very short and stern looking sonographer. “phones switched off in here please” she said. Although slightly disappointed I put my phone in my bag and got prepared on the bed.
After about 5 minutes of prodding and poking but no words the lady then asked me to go for a wee as she would need to do a trans-vaginal ultrasound (and yes, it is as bad as it sounds) I asked if there was a problem and why couldnt I see much on the screen but she turned the screen away and said she just needed a better look as I could be slightly earlier than we expected. I went to the toilet with a really bad feeling. I knew then something wasnt right but returned to the room with a smile on my face so not to look silly if everything was actaully ok!
On the screen I stared at the black hole on the screen. A black hole with nothing visible inside. No yolk, no fetal pole …nothing. To be honest i knew then that this was not going to be a successful pregnancy but to follow protocol the sonographer explained I would need to go for some blood tests to see what’s happening. I played along.
I had blood tests every 48 hours which kept consistently showing that my levels were high enough to be carrying a foetus…somewhere! Just not where it was meant to be. The stress of limbo and the unknown took its toll on me and by the Saturday my blood pressure had gone through the roof and I had started getting bad cramping. I stayed in hospital all day waiting for the doctor to tell me whether or not he thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy (foetus grows in fallopian tube) I knew this to be dangerous which added to my stress. I begged to go home to be with my partner. He had waited in the car for the whole thing. Not being able to be a part of it or grieve himself, not being able to console me when I cried and not even being able to listen to the doctors when I had zoned out (thanks a fucking bunch Boris..happy thoughts..happy thoughts…) That night in bed I thought I was dying! I was bleeding and cramping and crying and almost passing out with the pain. It felt like actual labour. I called the ward I had been on that day and they explained I was most definitely experiencing a miscarriage (yeah, no shit sherlock)
To be honest it was a relief. Not because my pregnancy was failing but because I’d had enough and I wanted it all to be over. After everything, the most likely diagnosis for the loss was something called a ‘Blighted ovum’ (see description below) My body had thought it was still pregnant even weeks after the egg had stopped growing. This made me feel strangely embarrassed. I felt awful that I had been telling every Tom, Dick and Harry my news even when I technically had no news to tell. It was also a harder pill to swallow as I had got myself over excited to the point I was googling baby names and planning the baby’s room. Silly me. I have had to spend the past few days re-texting those people telling them I’m actually not pregnant now. That in itself has been pretty rough.
Its clear to me now that I really did want another baby and the last two weeks have honestly been nothing less than hell. I had all the pregnancy symptoms and stopped all the bad habits i.e. caffeine and alcohol for almost 3 months. I had felt sick and tired with boobs that felt like boulders for 3 months. All for absolutely no reason at all. This is a type of miscarriage nobody talks about. The loss feels real but the baby was never there? So now, I sit here writing it all down hoping for a bit more clarity from the fog I’ve been in but its still yet to clear.
I know I will recover from this but now I ask myself whether I was only ever meant to be a mother to one? Whether this will happen again? Whether this is the clear sign I should take note of? Or whether I need to forget everything I ever believed about how things happen for reasons and try again. Time will tell I guess but in the meantime I will hug my daughter a little tighter at night and be thankful for her and her health.
The week I had been dreading was almost here. The Sunday night palpitations were setting in as I sat and stuffed my face with any chocolaty treats I could get my hands on to distract myself from impending doom. I laid awake a lot of the night tossing and turning with visons of angry customers queuing a the door, banging to get in! wiping coronavirus hands all over the window front and throwing insults at us…
The reality was obviously NOT this at all but my brain does like to be dramatic.
I work in a well know UK travel store you see and let’s be honest. 2020 has not been kind to travel so far, far from it. We were closed for months meaning the initial bedlam of cancelled holidays bypassed us personally (luckily) however, the shower of shit was waiting for us on our return. Mainly in a pile of letters and abusive notes posted through the door, most dating way back in April. Poor people who had no clue what to do and nowhere to vent their frustrations posted almost ‘dear diary’ type notes through the door begging us to get their holiday sorted immediately! Look, I’m sorry Mrs. Jones but we can’t just magic a boeing 747 down to Donny airport just for you to not miss your annual trip to Benidorm to get pissed up with ya gal pals now can we. Seriously.
My first couple of days consisted of staring at my boss trying my very hardest to listen to my essentially new job role of ‘saving the sale’, encouraging people to amend instead of cancel upcoming holidays and helping to keep the company out of the shit. I tried my best to listen I really did but after approximately 1.5 hours of it I realised my face resembled that of the stupid seal from Finding Dory. Vacant. Bewildered. Dumb.
The other side of all this of course is that I’m feeling excited to be around people (colleagues, not customers obvs) again. I’ve missed my work gang and the normal talk of how much we hate customers and anything at all sex related. you know, all that mature stuff. That kind of stuff is good for the soul. Remembering who you are and not just being “mum” I don’t work many hours but its enough to keep me sane (ish) Although I’ve absolutely loved being off work and was dreading every aspect of going back originally. I’m so glad I’m starting to get ‘back to normal’
People I’ve spoken to are saying we should all expect a second wave in the winter. What do you all think?
If you’d have asked me six months ago whether I would ever consider another child, the horrified look on my face wouldn’t even need me to give a verbal answer. Me? with two children when I can barely manage one?!
Fast forward a few months and I found myself answering slightly differently than the answer I gave to the last person who asked. Whether the main change has been just simply having more time on my hands to ponder or its whether I’m watching all my friends who have two, three and even four kids just absolutely boss it.
This would be a good time to talk about one of my dearest friends who I completely admire and wish I was more like. Having her most recent little cherub at the end of last year she now has three children 5 and under! This girl can breastfeed, read a bedtime story, change a nappy whilst simultaneously putting a wash load in..all whilst baking a fricking cake! Serious mum goals there. Some people just have the knack, don’t they?
Then there’s me, who almost goes into cardiac arrest if my daughter gets more than one toy out at a time. I mean, I’m trying to get better but I have a major control issue in the house. If the house is chaotic, so is my brain.
One of the main things my therapist and I worked on was to try and let go and relax. Apparently, it stems back to keeping my bedroom such a tip when I was growing up, almost mentally scarring me of all the bad times and struggles I had when I locked myself in there for days at a time! Sounds dramatic but makes sense as I can’t relax if there are things out everywhere and I lose my temper unnecessarily.
Mess triggers me. But weirdly only at home. In my own little bubble.
So anyway, the thought of another, although still slightly scary, is enticing me more and more. Sometimes I watch my daughter talking to rocks in the garden and it breaks my heart. She asks all the time for a little brother or sister as all her friends have them and it stumps me… I’m full of um’s and er’s as I have no real excuse other than reminding her she would have to share everything and sometimes mummy wouldn’t be able to give her ALL the attention. She usually pipes down a little bit then. But still. I am wondering.
But my questions are –
Am I mentally strong enough to do this all again when I struggled so much first time around?
Am I letting childhood memories of having an extra three step-siblings pretty much torpedoed into myself and my brothers little broken home overnight affect my judgement?
Am I letting the collective family opinion of ” I think ones enough for you Jaz” shape me more than it should?
A banana skin just got a thrashing within an inch of its life as it landed in the recycling bin. “Stupid fucking banana skin” I mumble under my breath as I go to pick it up and launch in the correct bin (after slapping it against the wall a couple of times first). All of a sudden, I’m alerted to the fact that my period is well on the way and it was time to prepare.
From a young age even pre childbirth, I’ve always struggled with my periods. I remember suffering from Aura type migraines and excruciating abdominal pain when I was at secondary school leading me to miss out on fun social activities like smoking bongs and shoplifting keyrings and scrunchies from Claire’s accessories. Bummer. I cursed myself and thought there was something wrong with me for being that friend who kept bailing all the time. none of my friends had these issues so Why me?
More on “Why me” in my next post.
I’m 101percent sure I am a sufferer of PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) however when I once mentioned this to a nurse at my local health clinic she looked at me like I’d got two tits on my head. See below for symptoms.
They all seem pretty usual for anybody to experience before a period don’t they, except all are felt in the most extreme ways. The hot flashes are what led me to start looking for a second opinion (well, that was before corona took hold)
I can lose my shit over the tiniest things ranging from yellow fruits not landing in the bin properly to complete overreaction towards my other half asking me if I happen to know where his work clothes are. “AM I JUST A SLAVE TO YOU IN THIS HOUSE YOU FAT BASTARD?!” followed by the “escape” suitcase being brought down (again) from on top of the wardrobe and me throwing my things in angrily with no real plan of action of where I’m going or what the hell I’m doing really.
Originally I always put these mood swings down to the personality disorder but then I began tracking my periods using the “FLO” app (highly recommend) and quickly realised that the extreme rage and hot flashes tend to be viler the week before I’m on. They have been that extreme in the past that I’ve had to go and stay in a nearby hotel for a couple of nights for my poor partner and daughters verbal safety. Its bad guys.
It’s sad to me that it is not as widely recognised by health care professionals as it should be. The nurse I saw that said that I must mean PMS as she’d not heard of PMDD before. BIG sigh and eye-roll.
Even without any other mental health issues, PMDD alone can cause severe distress to yourself and others around you. My closest run-ins with attempted suicide have been around the time I was due on and this is a problem. It is so important to SPEAK UP if you feel like your experiencing something more than just one would expect from PMS. If you wake up crying in the middle of the night wanting to do yourself in but have no idea why then somethings not right huns.
Speak up. Get a second opinion and follow my journey getting the correct diagnosis because I know it is in there somewhere! jeez, being a woman is hard sometimes.
I’m trying to work out whether my newest obsession with wanting to become a cannabis smoking hippy is just a phase or the start of a mid-life crisis? Hear me out.
For the past year, whilst mostly being in a happy, stable place I have a little naughty voice in the back of my head who is bored out of her mind and getting little to no stimulation. We’ll call her Rita. Rita Rush.
Poor little Rita lives in my brain riding the wave of life quietly satisfied by my regular poor decision making and erratic or risky behaviour but I’ve really backhanded her down lately. Sensible money decisions, not wanting to run off from my whole family and start a new life with the random man that winked at me in his van and even refraining from putting my newest business idea of “mobile CAT groomers” to one side. (fuck I love cats)
I just feel like I want to get high. Not like smacked off my tits high or ruin my life high but high enough to relax and think a little bit more freely. You know the kind of high I mean right?
Back in my teenage years I probably gave myself a bit of brain damage from the number of bongs I’d puffed away on at such a young age. It all started when one of my more rowdy school friends asked me for a sleepover at hers and of course, being the attention-seeking, rebellious kid that I was, I had my bag packed before she even finished the sentence. Anyway, the long story short is that i puffed away on a buddha shaped bong in the family living room with my friend, her mum and brother like it was as normal as passing a Toblerone around. That was the start for me at the tender age of 13. I continued smoking weed until I was about 17 and haven’t touched anything since. I never did any other drugs other than the one time in a bar when I dropped an “E” but in hindsight, I’m voting it was an out of date smint as all it did was make me drool and fall over a lot.
I was around drugs a lot growing up but never tempted, which is quite a feat considering my personality traits. I can only imagine my self-control in this area was because I was mainly too pissed to feel any need to add on to it. But my teenage drinking is a whole other post. So Rita’s getting a little agitated, she needs some adrenaline-fuelled action and I can tell I’ve been keeping it from her too long.
So my question is.
Do I let her have a mini victory by getting a little pot to quieten Rita down (totally illegal in the UK by the way. BOOO) or do I ignore her in the hope she doesn’t make me regret it? This is possibly the longest space of time I’ve been without having some sort of dramatic meltdown crescendo after a slowly built-up shower of shit. The longest I’ve not had the suitcase down from the top of the wardrobe with my “escape clothes” in and also the longest I’ve not gambled for. Its almost as if Rita knows I’m doing well and she can’t handle it.