Billy

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.

Rest in Peace my Billy boy.

Adopted April 2008- Died November 2020 xx

The pregnancy that wasn’t.

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.

Blighted ovum (anembryonic pregnancy)

Blighted ovum and anembryonic pregnancy are both words used to describe a particular type of early miscarriage. You might also hear it called an early embryonic loss or early embryonic demise.

A blighted ovum occurs when the cells of a baby stop developing early on, and the tiny embryo is reabsorbed. However, the pregnancy sac, where the baby should develop, continues to grow.

Doctors think that a blighted ovum pregnancy happens because of an issue with the early development of the baby – for example, a chromosome error. It is extremely unlikely to be caused by anything you or your partner did or didn’t do.

A blighted ovum is diagnosed by ultrasound scan The scan shows a pregnancy sac, which doesn’t have a developing baby inside. This is sometimes described as showing ‘no fetal pole’.

This kind of miscarriage is usually discovered between the 8th and 13th week of pregnancy, sometimes at a routine early scan.

In this kind of miscarriage, the pregnancy hormone levels in your body can stay high for some time after the baby has died, so pregnancy tests can be positive and you may still experience pregnancy symptoms such as sore breasts, nausea and tiredness. Because of this, you may have no idea that anything is wrong, and being diagnosed can come as a real shock.

The highs and lows of returning to the workplace after six WHOLE months off.

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?

Hi, could you jus….NO.

Sounds fairly simple doesn’t it the word no?

But actually, it’s one of the most difficult things to put in to practice. How many people can say they are proud to be assertive? Even if you’re quite good at putting it into practice it doesn’t always feel good. 

In 2018 I started listening to Fearne Cotton’s podcast “Happy Place” 

Fearne delves into the subject of Happiness through chatting to inspiring individuals who have either made a change in their own lives or who help people every day to find a different way of looking at life. Something about her interview style has sent my mind into a spin. If you haven’t already, listen to it immediately and thank me later.

One that particularly sticks in my mind is when she interviews yoga inspiration Zephyr Wildman who sadly lost her husband to cancer. In the interview, Zephyr speaks candidly with Fearne about dealing with her grief whilst managing to keep it real and gain self-awareness. She spoke about changing her friend circles and being accountable for her feelings. And most importantly knowing yourself and knowing when to say NO.

Her circumstances were, of course, a lot more extreme than my own but I still found her way of healing herself from mental trauma very helpful to my own issues. 

My upbringing was very unstable at the best of times with me often feeling let down and in turn leading me to become unable to know anything about myself and eventually losing all confidence in asserting myself in adult life. I was always a bit of a ‘sheep’ growing up and would just go along with whatever was asked of me. I honestly didn’t think that I minded.

You can imagine my horror that as I grew up I learnt that you are faced with all kinds of trials and tribulations that you really should just decline but you have no idea how to! 

I felt stressed and uptight attending parties where excessive alcohol and drugs were present knowing that I’d have to get fully immersed in at least one activity. I chose alcohol. All I actually wanted to do was go home and put my dressing gown on with a cuppa! The number of times in my teenage years I’ve ended up in the bed of some random that I ‘kinda knew’ just because all my friends were doing it and again, i didn’t know how to say no. 

All this kind of behaviour is damaging and it is only been in the past 4 years or so that I’ve learnt that I’m allowed to say “I DONT WANT TO” you can actually say that you know! crazy right? 

My friend circles have shifted back and forth over the years depending on my mood but I now realise the importance of needing to surround yourself with people that will improve your life and not drain it. Its been hard but slowly and surely I’ve managed to pull myself away from the energy drainers and swayed more towards the people that fill my life with happiness and make me feel good. I discussed this with one of my close friends recently who couldn’t believe she hadn’t tried the art of “NO” sooner. Seriously guys, it’s a great feeling. 

I do sometimes get a little “No” happy at times though, almost like a big fat middle finger up to all the times I didn’t say it. And obviously, I don’t always say it. I would help my friends and family out in a heartbeat but I also know when someone’s taking the piss i.e. going to do the weekly big shop for someone AND paying without the balls to remind her to pay me back just because she asked me to… ahem… Interestingly, my new found confidence has lost me ‘friends’ over the years…

And i couldn’t be happier.

I vote Furlough 4 life.

I’m a little unsure what’s quite wrong at the moment. I don’t have much to report.

Furloughed, spending heaps of time at home and getting paid for it. Win win right?

Hmm I’m not so sure anymore. I think one thing I’ve always needed is to feel like I have a purpose and whilst being a mum is one of life’s greatest gifts I do tend to have a habit of spending too much time in my head if I don’t occupy it. I’ve fallen into a comfortable way of life where there isn’t a rush to do anything and things can always wait until tomorrow. When I do go out I’ve started becoming anxious and wanting to get back to my safe little “bubble” again so I can eat cake.

I can relate.

I remember being like this a few years ago and whilst it felt nice to not feel obliged to be in contact with the outside world I’m well aware that the long term consequences do in no way benefit me. I’m now petrified of being asked to go back to work and the reasons are NOT pandemic related. Its having the pressure on again and having to be nice to be people! May I just add, my job will in no way, shape or form be easy when and even if, I do go back. Customer complaints and problem solving on a daily basis all whilst going back to juggling mum hood and home-life alongside the little mental health issue.

Most the people I know have now gone back to work or are due to do so in the next couple of weeks. Me on the other hand…well I’m still waiting and that’s almost worse! I know I’m lucky right now to live in the UK and receive payment for not working as I know not everybody is so lucky however I cant help feeling like I’d do anything not to return back now! And this was one of the many jobs I’ve had in the past where I’ve actually made an effort to get it! The travel industry is not easy guys!

I need to overcome this or I can see myself falling into a little pit of despair but I’m unsure how to begin. I like being anti social, I like being that flakey friend nobody relies on. I like being….lost.

Just an observation in regards to mandatory facemasks in UK from 24th July.

Pretty much exactly the same as taking somebody a pack of condoms to their baby shower isn’t it. Well done England. You did it again.

The Electronic Athlete.

Xbox Widow
A girlfriend or wife who is denied sex because of video gaming addiction
I’ve become a Xbox Widow because I offered David head, sex or even ass sex and he refused sex with me because he was gaming to many times to count and I need some sex badly.

Quite a funny description from the good old Urban dictionary there. Funny. but horrendously relatable.

I’ve just completed my 3,457th argument with my other half about putting our daughter to bed. Usually, I get her ready for bed and do all the teeth brushing, toileting and storybooks and then he will come in to sit with her for 5 minutes as she settles much better for him. This evening apparently was a massive inconvenience to him as he was just waiting for a “Gulag” what the hell is a Gulag when its at home? I’m pretty sure its some kind of Labour camp the Soviet Union created back in the 1930s.

My boyfriend is leading a double life as a gaming addict enthusiast.

During daylight hours he holds down a normal job. By night, he is a Call of duty soldier who spends his time running aimlessly around the battlefield and getting killed every two seconds leading to…Gulag (sigh).

It wasn’t always like this. The living room hasn’t always been a mass of cables, controllers and consoles. He used to actually go out and speak to humans face to face but then it all just changed. More so since having a child and even more so since this bloody lockdown! Now he sits in front of the TV for hours at a time, while exhorting his clan-mates to “come over here mate!” or “back me up, ah fucks sake! and the ignorance doesn’t end there. As he wears headphones (obviously) its rare I can get him to even look at me. Now and again I’m treated to a grunt or more rarely a smile but usually, I might as well talk to the cat.

I should point out that I know how easy it is to be seduced by the winking white box in the corner, having myself had an intense yet brief infatuation with games in the past. I once completed Final Fantasy 8 on the PlayStation 1. It was a proud moment of my life…but I was 11..not 35.

FUN FACT

In 2015, a 24-year-old man collapsed and died after playing “World of Warcraft” for 19 hours in a Shanghai Internet café…

I guess it could be worse.