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.

One lump or two?

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?!

No way.

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?


Answers on a postcard boys and girls.

PMS or PMDD?

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. 

Complete psychopath.

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. 

Download immediately

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.

Top tip – One natural remedy that can help to lessen the physical pain of periods is Evening Primrose oil.

I take this daily throughout the month and although it doesn’t completely cure the symptoms it does seem to calm the period demon ever so slightly, not to mention the silky smooth skin I now seem to have! winner winner chicken dinner I say.

Rita wants a bong.

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.

That Bitch.

Go away, don’t leave me.

I want to be left alone, my brain is too fuzzy for all the questioning, the voice from outside too much for my ears. But as I see them walking away I immediately feel fear. Abandonment. Why would they walk away when I’m feeling like this. What if I were to lose control ? Come back. 

The Cyclical Nature of the Fear of Abandonment
People with EUPD may simultaneously fear abandonment and have symptoms that create conflicts with others, such as volatile moods, distress intolerance, extremes of anger and withdrawal, and impulsivity. People with EUPD often engage in self-sabotaging behaviour such as oversharing, misplaced anger, impulsivity, lashing out at loved ones, and poor self-image, which leads to greater relationship disfunction.
These behaviours within personal relationships often lead to relationship instability and even abandonment, which then reinforces the fear.

Sound familiar? Its sadly very familiar to people who have abandonment issues or maladaptive coping mechanisms. The need of comfort yet not being able to accept it or feeling as though you don’t deserve it. One particular example of this for me was late 2015 after a pretty stressful year of running a pub. The chaotic atmosphere and anti social working patterns alongside the management of unruly casual bar staff (although extremely funny bar staff and some of the best mates I ever had!) alongside trying to maintain a relationship with somebody who wasn’t 100percent sure we had made the right decision took its toll and caused my first major “Episode”

I don’t remember a great deal towards the beginning, only a fuzzy memory of being sat in my car staring into space for a considerable amount of time, I know it was a long time because it had started to get dark and it definitely wasn’t dark when I pulled up there. I casually rang my partner and told him that I thought I might like to walk in front of one of the lorries passing by as I’d had enough now. My worthlessness had literally come out of nowhere but I was serious and worryingly, not afraid? He came to me as soon as he could and took me to my mums which was nearby. I remember them both talking to me but I continued to stare. Completely shutting out anything that was being said. All I was thinking was “I just want to be alone, in the quiet, why are they still talking to me? I want to go to bed” There voices were a massive inconvenience to me but at the same time I had called them to be there. I knew I needed them and I knew I needed help. 

It was after this that I started to take things a lot more seriously.  I realised that it was possible I didn’t deal with stressful situations very well but couldn’t understand why. I couldn’t understand why until I went to visit a counsellor who tipped my version of the past 31 years on its head. What followed, was a rough ride.

 

 

Corpse’s or Craft?

I recently decided that I was going to change career paths (again) and find the real me (again) I think the recent situation with the lockdown has maybe triggered my search and my curiosity away from travel which is what I currently do.

So one evening, I thought id look at what its like to work in a mortuary. I’ve always had a strange fascination with death even going as far as spending time in cemetery’s when I was younger reading the headstones and imagining the people who were below my feet. I know, extremely morbid.

I trawled research articles on peoples experiences of working within this role and what things would be involved. After approximately 72 minutes down this rabbit hole even so much as finding a local advert for such a position I managed to get all the way down to the “Apply now” button before the realisation of the possibility of having to perhaps ever deal with children could arise and that was it. The phase passed.

I remember once I had convinced myself that I was about to become rich on the back of selling homemade crafts. I spent hundreds of pounds on scrabble tiles to make quirky box frames along with sheets of material, a glue gun and other odds and sods. I wrote in an old journal of all the ideas I had and how I was about to make it big, maybe even being the next Kirstie Allsopp! I made a Facebook page along with a questionable logo and went about starting my work. The general reception was good. I sold a few , made most of the money back that I spent but then my inspiration escaped me. One day I just stopped. No rhyme or reason, I just didn’t want to do it anymore.

This is the problem with an Impulsive mind you see. The obsession comes but is almost always swiftly followed by the wall. the mental block. Catching my interest is easy, keeping my interest is harder.

 

 

What is Impulsive Personality Disorder?

“A person who has impulsive personality disorder is charming and good at being the centre of attention. In fact, this kind of person thrives on receiving attention. He or she might be highly adventurous – even to the point of engaging in dangerous behaviour – but this person is often also superficial”

The above is Google’s answer. To be honest, this description could be said for a lot of people I know without needing any kind of special diagnosis. Its very true, but very simply described. The reality is a lot more complex often with similar symptoms to that of Bi-polar. Highs and lows that switch like a light. The impossible feeling of needing somebody but at the exact same time wanting them to leave you alone. the phrase “Go away, don’t leave” is horrifyingly relatable to me and my poor partner.

A short background story

There have been many tell tale signs over the years leading to this diagnosis which I will go more into in other posts but one thing that stands out to me is the little pity parties I have for myself and how I rarely take accountability for my actions. I wallow in self pity and dwell on past events that cant be changed. I am MASSIVLEY manipulative to make things go in my favour and sulk if they don’t. Bad traits I know (sigh) but on the flip side my mind is a hive of activity, I overthink everything but this also lets my mind delve into areas not everyone else’s does. I consider details. I am OBSESSIVE.

Regular brain – I see the bird in the tree. nice.

My brain – I see the bird in the tree and now I need to know what species it is, what habitat it usually lives in and what sound it makes.  (This is this followed up with online investigations to get the answer)

I’m not even entirely sure this is even connected to the disorder or whether this is just how my brain works but I think it mainly boils down to the busy brain. The cogs going round constantly.

Impulsive personality is actually just a subtype of Borderline Personality Disorder which in all honesty is a massively under researched illness. It makes me sad when I read or hear of stories of people that clearly showed all the signs and were ignored or misdiagnosed.

if you already feel like you can relate to the above here are some more signs and symptoms –

  • Flirtatious with others, sometimes without even realizing it.
  • Captivating, able to act with a natural magnetism.
  • Elusive and mercurial.
  • Superficial, easily entertaining others on a surface level but avoiding more meaningful interactions or relationships.
  • High levels of energy and easily bored.
  • Thrill-seeking and risk-taking behaviour’s without regard for consequences.
  • Attention-seeking behaviour’s.
  • Charismatic and charming.
  • Dramatic.
  • Highly manipulative of others, particularly in order to position oneself as the centre of attention.
  • Complaints of chronic or recurring illness.