The day the world changed as we know it.

I haven’t written on my blog for a long time, I guess life took over and it fell to the back of the queue. I’ve got loads to update about Charlie but I thought first I’d speak about the world today.

Today is, Sunday 26th March currently we’re on Day 7 of lockdown in the UK. Our Prime Minister announced national lockdown, all non essential shops are closed and the world has slowed down. Every day I wake up and wonder, what’s happening today. These last few weeks I’ve watched more of our news than I have in my life. Right now, COVID-19 is our lives. Right now we are living in uncertainty, how long will life go on like this? Will things ever go back to “normal”? I’ll be honest, if you’d had asked me about this 3/4 weeks ago I would have laughed and said I wasn’t worried in the slightest, now I find myself more anxious each day.

I suppose that I’m lucky in the sense that I am able to work from home, which means we will still have a monthly wage – at the moment Matt can still work too which is a blessing, just hope that doesn’t change. We are currently coming to the end of our isolation period, as Matt was showing signs of the symptoms, then me & Charlie developed a cough nothing more though thankfully.

It’s crazy to think we’ve scrapped all plans for the next few months as we don’t know where we will be, upcoming hen do in Marbella end of April has been cancelled and my friend has had to cancel her wedding. I really feel for everyone having to cancel their wedding days. We had a holiday booked for end of May, we haven’t actually cancelled it yet as we are waiting for our holiday provider to do that so that we get our money back. If we were to cancel now we would have to pay cancellation fees and we wouldn’t get our flight money back.

Now, every day is a worry. I haven’t seen my mum in over a week now, I pretty much saw her nearly every day and I’m really missing her. FaceTime just isn’t the same, and the thought of this going on for a few more months makes me really sad. Matts mum hasn’t seen Charlie in around a month now as she was on holiday before the lockdown was introduced. My uni has been closed, and exams cancelled so I don’t know where I stand with that either as I was due to resit my maths GCSE this summer.

I’m due to start work again on the 6th of April, I’ve been in regular contact with my manager since being off work and I have to pick up a desktop computer to begin working from home. Luckily I’m allowed to work flexible hours as we won’t have any childcare for Charlie so I’ll probably end up working in the evenings rather than the days. I never imagined life to be like this, and to think we’re not in “full lockdown” like other countries, people are still allowed out for exercise once a day. I wonder how people would cope if that was scrapped? I know we’d struggle for sure.

One thing I can say, is that being with Matt for the last 2 weeks 24/7 straight has definitely tested but strengthened our relationship. We still rub each other up the wrong way on a daily basis, but we appreciate each other more and we’ve been communicating a lot more mostly discussing the news. I definitely feel like our relationship has benefited by spending pure quality time together, we’ve really worked as a team. Giving one another a little break without even having to say a word. We’ve also laughed and had fun, only last night we stayed up till gone 11pm (this is so late for us!) trying to learn different dances, we ended up in fits of giggles and for once in a while now we didn’t think about what’s going on around us.

Charlie has been up & down, I think we’re through our second bottle of calpol now. He has a terrible cold and his cough is really not great and obviously with us not being able to take him to the GP it’s been a struggle. I think he’s been getting bored and as stir crazy as us being at home every day. We’ve been looking at trying to order in some new toys for him and recipes to do some messy play at home!

I know everything’s a bit mad right now and no one really knows what’s going on. I just hope everyone sticks together and follows the government’s guidelines so we can get this all over and done with. I hope this blog post finds you all well, stay safe everyone.

H x

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Happy New Year!

Wow how fast did that year go? Can’t believe we are in 2020 a whole new decade! A lot is going to change for me (us) this year. Firstly I’m officially back in work on Monday! After being off since September 2018 ahhhh I’m so not ready!

We are lucky enough that mine and matts mum will help with childcare, and that for the time being I’m only going back for 2.5 days a week. Talking about work, matts got a new job! Wooohoo! He starts on the 20th of January and I’m so happy he has wanted a change for so long!

So we’re looking at a good start to the year. We have a few things in the diary already, it’s Matts birthday today (33) I’m taking him out for dinner on Saturday and we are going to have a few drinks which will be lovely!

Me & mum are off on a girly spa weekend in Monmouth the middle of this month which I’m super excited for, we were going to go abroad but couldn’t decide on anything so, we booked a load of spa treatments for the whole weekend finished off with afternoon tea on the Sunday before we leave.

One of my best mates is getting married in May which is crazy! I’m a bridesmaid, so ive got then hen to look forward to in April we’re off to Marbella! Matts off on the stag to Liverpool in March so that will be good for us both to let off some steam!

We will book a holiday end of May/June time although we can’t agree on where to go, and we can’t book anything until matt starts his new job and gets his shift patterns through. I think we should book Dubai because we don’t have to pay for Charlie’s flight as he’s under 2, and it will be less expensive but Matt thinks we should go somewhere like Greece! So we are totally undecided.

I normally like to try and book a weekend away aswell if we can afford it and have the time too. We went to the log cabin in November which was lush, so whether we book that again or somewhere similar I don’t know I just like to have things to look forward to!

I’ve been thinking about this year and what I want to achieve. I’ve got a new diary sorted with lots of new little bits added. Some of my goals for 2020 are:

1. Get fit! Not fat – back in the gym from Friday and I can’t wait.

2. Take control of my finances – I want to really knuckle down on my spending and see how much more I can save from last year.

3. I want to start running again, I’d like to do at least one race this year even if it’s a 5k. But I’m going to see how much I can push myself.

4. Make memories! Do more together as a family and plan more days out.

They are just a few of mine I’m always thinking of new ones!

Me & Matt have also spoken about looking for a new house at the end of the year, as much as we love our little house we are ready to move on there are things which we want such as a garden which just isn’t accessible for Charlie where we are. So we said we’d sit down with our mortgage advisor towards the end of the year and see what our next steps would be.

I hope you all have a great year and achieve lots! To love, happiness & health for 2020!

H x

Mental Health Awareness

Today is mental health awareness, and you know what I’m feeling pretty shit.

I’m a massive supporter of this, it is something which is extremely close to my heart having had to watch some of my closest family members suffer. It’s something which needs to be spoken about a lot more and I think there’s so much to learn and understand about these different illnesses.

I couldn’t tell you why I feel so shit today, whether it’s because I watched a super emotional episode of coronation street this morning, or whether I’m thinking about my last messages to my dad before he died. Or if it’s just because I’m having an “off” day but I’m really down in the dumps.

Charlie’s gone down for a nap, which means I can get an hour (hopefully) of just pure silence. I’m absolutely hanging today, I’ve been feeling really tired lately which is effecting my mood massively. I’ve also enrolled in part time Uni and it’s not easy so I think maybe I’m just feeling it more than usual.

I absolutely love love love spending my days with Charlie, he is an absolute angel 99% of the time, but it’s still hard work. I know I’m really going to struggle when I have to go back to work which isn’t too far away now. I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected lately, I don’t know why but I feel like I need to re align myself if that even makes sense?

Something which I always look forward too in October is my birthday 🥳 which is a bit weird because it was never a huge over the top occasion but it’s just something I’ve always enjoyed, maybe because I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas? But yes, 28 this year….ah! 28 in 10 days time 🙈 where are the years going?

Anyway enough rambling, I just wanted to say if your struggling today or any other day then it’s OK not to be OK! It’s fine to cry & be sad and have your off days. Just make sure you talk to someone, or at least do something to shift how your feeling. Me, I find this helps me – even if no one reads this it’s fine because I’ve got off my chest how I’m feeling today and I now feel better than what I did before I posted this!

H x

Life’s not always like Instagram

People only capture the good times. Imagine scrolling through your instagram feeds and seeing all the not so perfect things, the REAL life things. It wouldn’t be so pretty then would it?

Not everything can be disguised with a filter. Today was definitely an UNFILTERED day, from my side & Charlie’s! It started off a good day, Charlie had slept through he’s really good in the nights. We got up around 6:30am, came downstairs, Charlie played on his mat whilst I made his bottle & a cup of coffee.

Baby TV was on in the background, Charlie sat on my lap long enough to finish his bottle before he was squirming around. He just wants to be everywhere since he’s started to master the crawling. I put Charlie back on his mat to play without his nappy whilst I downed my now lukewarm coffee. I ran upstairs for a quick loo stop and to check Matt was getting out of bed.

I could see Charlie was sat in the same place I left him, only I noticed as I got closer that Charlie was bashing his hands down in a pile of his own poo. Amazing! I whipped him up quick as I held his hands away from his mouth I was just lucky he hadnt put them in straight away. Matt had come in just at the right time, he pulled out a load of wipes and started wiping up his poo whilst I tackled his hands.

Cleaned up and new nappy on Charlie was ready for his nap, I knew he needed to go down now as I had a gym class at 10am so we would have to leave around 9:30. Charlie went down to sleep around 8am and I had to wake him and get him dressed ready to go. I’d already sorted myself & his bag whilst he was sleeping so we were up and out in a shot.

I dropped him at the creche in the gym and headed up for my class. When I went back 45 minutes later I could see him happily playing away in the pen. I called him 3 or 4 times with no response he was too busy enjoying himself. The girls had said he was good as gold, as usual! Had a little grizzle but nothing major.

I had so much to do today so I scooped him up and off we went for the day. We’re in the middle of sorting out a remortgage plus we’re buying the remaining share of our house and only have until 25th September so it’s all systems go. I had to send back documents to our new mortgage lender & solicitors but needed stuff from the bank first.

As soon as we got into town Charlie has started grizzling. I couldn’t find his dummy, so it was a race to pay for my parking and see how quickly I could get to boots without an epic meltdown occurring – I failed. Charlie screamed from the car to boots, all the way around boots, whilst we waited in the queue for 10 min then after he had his new dummy.

I could already feel myself getting flustered, I offered him a drink and he batted it away. I offered him his dummy back – he still was not happy! I headed down to the bank, I tried one of their new machines but I wouldn’t give me a statement for the right account so I had to queue up. Oh how fun this was going to be.

Charlie carried on screaming and grizzling, the more I tried to comfort him the worse it made him. I could feel eyes on me. I could feel myself getting frustrated, it was finally my turn it felt like the woman took ages and it wasn’t until I rushed away with the piece of paper in my hand that I realised she hadn’t done what I’d asked her. The queue had doubled, Charlie was screaming louder than ever and I was ready to burst into tears. “Oh he’s not very happy” a woman said to me as I passed Charlie’s dummy back.

NO CLEARLY HE ISNT VERY F***ING HAPPY! I felt like saying, but I bit my tongue and left. My eyes burned with tears as I rushed back to the car, he whaled the whole way I knew people were looking over I just wanted to get home and fast.

I got Charlie & the pushchair back in the car in record time as soon as I closed my driver door I felt a tear trickle down my cheek. I find my car a safe place where I can let out all of my emotions. I knew there wasn’t anything I could do, Charlie was tired. Simple as that, but he just cannot cope when he gets tired he has these complete meltdowns. I couldn’t bare to hear him scream so I turned the radio up, we only live 5 min from town so it’s a quick trip.

We got home, I gave Charlie his lunch and put him down in his cot. It took him a good hour before he finally fell asleep. I did a few dummy runs but managed to have something to eat and a cuppa tea. I sat downstairs in the quiet and balled my eyes out.

There are so many amazing days we have, (which you’ll see on Instagram) but then there are days like today, where I haven’t been able to get anything done, and Charlie has been really difficult. And there will be many more days like today, but I think it’s important to remember that it’s REAL LIFE, and things aren’t always plain sailing.

Life’s not always like Instagram

H x

I let my dream business go

Today was a sad day, today I decided that I am letting my semi permanent makeup business go.

This decision didn’t come lightly, I have mulled it over for months in my head. These types of business need 100% commitment which I thought I would be able to give, but truth is I simply can’t.

The endless amount of money being wasted every month was keeping me awake at night. I battled with the thoughts of the fact I’ve already invested a lot of money in to not be getting anything back. I worked hard on my training, but with the semi permanent industry growing at rapid speed so do the competition.

There are some amazing artists out there, people who can fully commit to their businesses 100% of the time, and it shows. So, today has been a tearful day. I thought I would be able to do it part time, but I can’t. Now Charlie is here there’s so much more to think about. I realised I was travelling to do an hours consultations, to possibly not even get a booking. What a waste of my time, and a waste of a day.

A day I could have spent with my baby. Not to mention finding childcare for that time. It just doesn’t work for me. So, I called up my mum like I always do, and will always do no matter how old I am, and I sobbed down the phone as I told her my plans to close this chapter of my life. My mum understands completely and could hear how upset I was. She said she would support me 100% and understood why I was making this decision.

She offered to have Charlie for me so I could go and get my nails done and have some time to myself. Something which is very much needed. I text Matt a long message of how I was feeling and as always, he tried lifting my spirits and again said he would support me no matter what. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful support network around me. Today, is one of those days where I’ve really felt extremely sad.

Once I started crying I couldn’t stop, even now writing this blog I can feel a lump in my throat. I really wanted it to work, but it hasn’t and that’s just how life goes sometimes. When I look at Charlie beaming at me, and I’m feeling like a complete failure I know at least I have got something right!

So as this door closes let’s hope another one opens, onwards & upwards with my beautiful family.

H x

Otoplasty Review – Cardiff Spire Hospital. Dr Richard Karoo.

Weyhey! I’ve done it I have new ears! Woohoo! I’ve waited for this since I was a teenager. If I haven’t said already, I’ve always hated my ears. I got bullied quite badly in high school because of them. I would constantly avoid wearing my hair up, it was always down covering them as much as possible. This blog is pretty long FYI! 🍪🍿☕️

After having Charlie I knew being on maternity leave and having the surgery, would be perfect because I wouldn’t have to book any time off work. I had an amazing consultation with Dr Karoo in the Cardiff clinic so when I was given this date I was over the moon to be getting in so quickly. ( I’ve done a blog about my consultation)

I had a pre-assessment done over the phone Thursday and had to pop in for a few swabs. My admission time was 11am Friday, luckily Matt managed to get the day off work. We did some running round then popped over to my mums as we had some time to kill. It was lucky we did because Charlie had a massive poo explosion so he had to go in the sink for a mini bath! 😂🙈

We got to the hospital and I checked in at reception. I made sure my details were correct and took a seat in the waiting area with Matt & Charlie. It wasn’t long before we were being shown to my room. It was lovely like a little hotel room, massive tv on the wall and I made sure to check I would be able to get my fix of love island! Charlie dropped off to sleep In his pram, so me & Matt had some time to ourselves.

I met my day nurse Sarah who went through some forms and asked me to do a urine sample to do a pregnancy test. I was praying it would be negative and thankfully it was! She did the usual blood pressure & temperature. We met my anaesthetist who was lovely and again we went through some general health questions. Charlie starting stirring not long after and as we couldn’t settle him Matt thought it best he made a move. So after lots of kisses and cuddles off they went. 👋🏻🙁

Dr Karoo popped in to see how I was doing, I literally cannot recommend this man enough. He is the sweetest man I’ve ever met! So so glad I chose him as my surgeon. I filled out the consent forms and after he left, decided to try get my head down. I was badly dehydrated, I hadn’t eaten or drunk since 9pm Thursday evening. It had brought on the worst migraine. Just as I was dropping off a lovely nurse came in and told me to it was time to go the theatre. 😯

She left me to change into my sexy disposable knickers, gown and stockings. Then walked me down to to theatre and put a protective arm around me. She felt really “Mumsy” which made me feel instantly relaxed. I sat on a chair just next to theatre as they monitored my blood pressure and temperature. Then I met Kyle another nurse he went through my forms again with me and asked me to confirm my signature on the consent forms. I layed down on the bed and the anaesthetist came to say hello and put the needle in my hand ready to administer the general anaesthetic.

With 3 people buzzing around me I didn’t know where to look, I spoke to Kyle about Charlie and he told me his girlfriend was 27 weeks pregnant with their first baby. We got chatting and I warned him about the sleep deprivation! I got given the first dose of the anaesthetic and was told I’d start to feel sleepy, the second dose came not long after. Kyle popped an oxygen mask over my face and that’s the last I remember.

The next thing I know I can hear someone calling my name, I’m in a different room and a lovely nurse is smiling at me. She asked me if I was ok and I mumbled that I’d had a dream. What was your dream about? she asked. My cats! I replied and she laughed. I still didn’t feel with it, she called me a few times to take a few deep breathes to bring me around but as much as I tried I couldn’t keep my eyes open. “Helen can you take a few more deep breathes” I heard faintly again.

This time I felt more awake, I looked around the room at the lady laying in a bed next to me. I tried to make out the time on the clock but without my contact lenses it was a blurry mess. The first thing I noticed was a raw pain in my throat from the tube. I couldn’t actually feel my ears, but quickly realised I had a hell of a bandage on. 🤕 I heard the nurse say that my blood pressure was too low for me to go back to my room so they’d keep me a while longer. It felt like ages! I asked for a glass of water and the nurse brought it over with a straw and I practically necked it in one go. Around 30 minutes passed and they called for someone to bring me back to my room.

The nurse Sarah came to meet me with a porter and they wheeled me back down to my room. She asked if I was able to stand to get back into bed which I was able to. I generally felt good – the worst pain I had was my throat. Sarah called my mum to let her know I was okay and when I felt upto it I got my phone and messaged Matt & my mum. It was funny because I’d been joking with Matt that was going to end up with a huge bandage and I did! I sent a picture to my mum and she couldn’t stop laughing she was shocked to see how big it was.

I FaceTimed Matt, the baby was in bed as he showed me on the monitor. We had a little chit chat I caught up on how Charlie had been and was pleased they had a good day. Dr Karoo and my anaesthetist came in my room before they left for the day. Dr Karoo said he was very pleased with the results and that he would see me the following Friday back here to take the bandages off.

My mum came in soon after and she had actually just passed them both on the stairs as she came in. It was lovely to see her, she brought me some snacks and we chatted and giggled. I wanted to change from my gown to my PJs but I was hooked up to the drip, so trying to manoeuvre it to change was a sight! We are literally like dumb & dumber when we have to do anything together,She never fails to make me laugh. The nurse brought us in both a cup of tea each and my sandwiches which I had ordered earlier in the day. I had a bit of trouble swallowing due to my sore throat but I was absolutely starving! We watched the end of Wimbledon which I had on the TV and mum left a little while after.

I settled down with my snacks as love island was just about to start, as soon as it finished I said goodnight to Matt and went to get my head down. At 10:30pm my night nurse Kelly came in to do my BP & temperature and offered me painkillers. I was actually still not feeling to bad at this point. She told me she would have to come in again around 2-3am so rather than wake me that if I woke up to buzz her.

I woke up around 3am and my ears were absolutely killing me. It actually knocked me for six! I didn’t expect it to be so so painful once the painkillers wore off. I buzzed Kelly straight away. She came in and did my observations and gave me some liquid morphine, she told me I could have it every hour. From 3am I was up every hour and it seemed the pain got more intense each time I woke. I tossed and turned back and forth in bed but no matter what position I got into every one was painful. I spoke to Matt briefly as the baby was wide awake, (obviously missing his mummy😂) totally out character for him as he usually sleeps straight through.

I tried my best to sleep but I can’t even describe the pain, the morphine just wasn’t cutting it. Granted it took the edge off but not enough to really help me sleep. 4/5 & 6am I called Kelly back and forth. I could see the sympathy on her face every time she came in. 6am she gave me co-codamol too which seemed to help. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep though. I spoke to Matt again and the baby was awake and he’d brought him into our bed trying to get him to sleep, as soon as we came off FaceTime he sent me a photo of him sleeping. (Clearly just needed to see his mum 😉).

Breakfast was brought in 7:30am I had a well needed coffee, special K & poached eggs on toast. I spoke to my mum and filled her in with last night, and spoke to Matt again. We speak a lot lol! My cat coco hasn’t been her usual self and projectile vomited in the living room early hours of Friday morning. Matt had woken up to more sick & the evidence of a bad tummy. She had her food this morning so we’re not overly worried we are going to keep an eye on her for now.

Sarah my day nurse came back in to say hello and brought me some liquid morphine again, it made me feel a bit queasy, probably because I’d just stuffed my face. She told me after I see my consultant I can go home 😊 I’m just laying in bed watching DIY SOS. I’m contemplating having a shower but I don’t want to risk him coming around to see me so I think I’ll have one when I get to my mums.

I’ll wrap this very long blog up with my overall experience.

Dr Karoo – has been an absolute dream. Such a wonderful man and I would highly recommend him to anyone for any surgery.

The nurses & staff at Spire Hospital have been incredible, my stay has been great there wasn’t anything they couldn’t do for me.

If I ever did have any other surgery in the future then I would not hesitate booking with Dr Karoo @ Spire Hospital Cardiff. So a massive Thankyou to everyone who has looked after me.

I will update with pictures next Friday when I have my bandages off and just give my reaction to my new ears and how the rest of my recovery went.

H x

KARMA after joking about this picture!!

Surgery Eve!

So it’s the night before my surgery, I’ve been feeling really excited all week but I’m starting to feel very slightly nervous. I’m due to be at the hospital at 11am tomorrow morning. I had a pre assessment over the phone today but ended up having to go there for swabs. I can’t even remember what for now 🤔 but anyway that’s done now! I can’t have any food past 10pm so I better cram some more down as I don’t know when I’ll be able to eat tomorrow!

Apparently my surgery is booked in for 3:30pm so that gives me some time to settle in and chill out. My consultant told me it usually takes around 1 hour and half and I’ll be under general anaesthetic, which I haven’t had before! The hospital which I’m going to is lovely, and I know I’ll have a really nice room and decent food! I’ll be staying over night and being discharged Saturday morning.

I’ve made arrangements to stay at my mums this weekend, it’s only down the road and I don’t know how I’m going to feel. So seems only sensible to have some quiet time (which rarely happens these days) I will miss Charlie terrible but I’ll FaceTime him as much as I can. I think it will be nice for Matt to spend some one on one time with him, and live a few days in my life!

Anyway, I’m off to stuff my face! I’ll definitely do an update after I’ve had my surgery as soon as I can.

Wish me luck! X

My Dad

I’ve thought long and hard about writing this blog. I changed my mind a few times whether I should talk about my father, but I feel if I can help one person then it’s definitely worth laying everything bare. Specially as it’s mental health awareness week.

It’s never been easy, since I was a little girl I always knew something wasn’t quite right, he wasn’t what we as a society would class as “normal”. I’m going to cut to the chase and tell you all right now – I was terrified of my father, always have been right up until the day he passed away. 

I never understood my father growing up, I guess I still don’t to this day. He had manic depression, bipolar, and me & my mum are convinced he had split personalities, the more we talk about our memories and the way he was. The memories I have as a child are the ones which were really traumatic – it’s true they do stay with you, I could tell you every detail on his face when he was in one of his rages like he was standing in front of me right now. Shit, it makes my heart jump a little when I think about those times when he really put the fear of god in me. Funny how he can still scare me and he’s not even here. I often question how my mum is still alive, you know I could tell you stories which you just wouldn’t believe, but I feel like some things should stay locked away as a memory where they belong. After all, I wouldn’t want to give any of you nightmares.

He was always having a go at one of us (me or my brother), nothing we did was ever good enough. We walked round on eggs shells constantly just encase we said something wrong, if we did that would be it, you would see his face change, this look. And you’d know oh my god he was guna blow, and it was time to get away – fast. Don’t get me wrong he wasn’t like it all of the time, Jesus if you met him you’d think I was talking complete and utter bollocks! This is sadly how he fell through the gaps with the mental health system, he could simply talk his way out of it and convince them there wasn’t anything wrong with him. And boy was he good at doing that. 

He was a manager, a well respected manager high up in the civil service. He actually could have gone even higher up had he not threatened to kill his brother (who happened to work at the same place). As I got older he got worse, this darkness which had been living inside of him was starting to take over with every year which passed. Me & my mum often spoke about it and she would tell me how she could see it getting bigger & darker over the years, and she was convinced had he not left when he did the he would have killed her. 

He left us, I remember that day. He’d left a few times before then decided after a few weeks he wanted to come back. There was nothing my mum could do he had control over everything, she was powerless & she just wanted to keep us safe. But this one day he packed his bag and he went, the front door closed, me, mum & my brother sat on the sofa and all breathed a massive sigh of relief. Then we watched a film. There was no big argument or us crying asking him not to leave, it was calm and what we’d been waiting for. That was the first time I’d felt at peace & safe, was the moment that door closed and I knew this time. He wasn’t coming home. 

I’ll never understand how my mum stayed so long, I’m still sure there are things she’s chosen not to tell me. I know a lot, we’ve sat down countless times and spoke in detail about him and their relationship. When mum & dad met he wasn’t the man he turned into. He was extremely good looking, he was a bodybuilder so in fantastic shape and completely and utterly charming. My mum fell for him straight away, she couldn’t get over how he wanted to date her when he had all the girls falling at his feet. (But she was lush!) she’d said at the start things were good, then she’d notice little things, he’d get more controlling and have these weird mood swings. Back then mental health wasn’t spoken about like it is now, so she didn’t really understand that he has issues rooting inside of him just starting to grow as their relationship did.

He was told he had to be on antidepressants for the rest of his life, my mum would tell me how he wouldn’t take them just to get to her because he would be in the most foul moods. He would stay in bed all day, but she would never question him because it just wasn’t worth it. If he was ever looking after us he’d often tell my mum we’d been naughty, she knew we hadn’t, we were good kids – angels in fact. (Her words) so she knew he was just in one of his moods again. I remember once, he was going off on one. Me & my brother we’re under the dining room table upset because he was shouting,swearing in the kitchen. He lent down looked us both in the eyes, spitting he was so angry. “I’ll give you both something to fucking cry about” he sneered – that memory stays with me – always. 

As we got older he would manipulate us, he was emotionally abusing us every time we saw him. He would slag my mother off the whole time we were with him, and get into our heads dripping his poison into our ears. My mum had met her partner my step dad, once my dad found out he would constantly be on our backs asking questions. I can’t really remember but my mum has told me, that we would come home and she’d know he’d been in our ears because we’d have stinking attitudes and be really rude to my stepdad. It makes me sad to think how awful I was to him, because I have the most wonderful relationship with my stepdad & I love him very much. 

Over the years as we got older we started to make our own decisions, and it was clear that we didn’t want to see him anymore. We understood more what he was doing and the way he’d act. We would go through this cycle of seeing him for a few weeks, then he’d kick off over something so then we wouldn’t see him, then he’d apologise and say he missed us so we’d go back again. That happened countless times over the years. When I was 18 I went off the rails, me & mum we’re constantly at logger heads, I was lazy, I couldn’t be bothered with anything and just generally not a nice person to be around. My mum threw me out, I ended up going to live with my dad. I was a dad’s girl when he was in a good mood, and believe it or not there were spells where he was a lovely father, but sadly the bad outweighed the good. And it was rare he was “nice” dad as we’d say. 

Staying with dad was short lived – I was listening to my iPod in bed one night, the next thing I know he came storming in ripped the earphone out of my ears, pulled me out of bed by my hair and punched me in the face. I was in complete shock. I’d had a slap now and again growing up, but never to this extent. He had a clump of my hair in his fist, and he just stared at me absolutely furious. I scurried along the floor grabbed my phone and legged it out of his flat early hours of the morning. I rang my friend and walked to her house & I stayed with her for a bit and eventually went back home.

We went a good year maybe longer of not seeing or speaking to him in my twenties, it was always on and off. He would text me the most vile messages, and ring me screaming abuse down the phone. He knew it was the only way to get to my mum, by upsetting us. But I was stronger, I was a grown woman he couldn’t do this to me anymore. So I fought back, I threatened to report him to the police for harassment to get him to back off. He probably had a police record as long as my arm, I know previous girlfriends had often called them as he’d harass them after the relationships ended. We’d spoken to police officers over the years for different things and every single one of them that met him understood how dangerous he could potentially be. He was living with my Nan (his mum) for the last good couple of years of his life. He looked after her, for that I will always commend him.

I’ll be honest he was a complete nightmare most of my life, yes he had his good spells and I’ll never take that away from him. He & mum took us to Florida Disney land 4 times, and I have the most incredible memories so for that I’ll always be thankful for. We did try and help him, I did countless times but my words fell on deaf ears. When he got suspended from his job I spent hours building a case for him to fight for his job and he threw it back in my face. He took early redundancy in the end, rather than getting the sack. I contacted the mental health charity’s and spoke to GP’s about getting him help, but as a new day came so did a new attitude and he was convinced nothing was wrong with him and it was the world against him.

Looking back I honestly do believe he was beyond help, he was so far gone. And he had so many demons in his head. He nearly had his happily ever after with his ex girlfriend, he’d proposed & they were engaged. Then it ended, I still don’t know why – when I contacted her to tell her of his passing she didn’t care. So I do often wonder what he did.

After my Nan passed away he really deteriorated, he turned to alcohol which only made things 10x worse. He was more aggressive and nasty, he would slag off Matt to upset me. But Matt will tell you, whenever he saw my dad he was nothing but the nicest man you’d ever met. But he saw what he put me through and the way he was with me & my brother. Before we moved into our house we’d fallen out again, he had text me randomly to say he didn’t want to be in contact with me anymore. (He did this a lot) if I’d didn’t text him back straight away I’d have 10 messages of him kicking off and missed calls. I was so over it, and used to it I just text back “ok no problem”. I had a few nasty messages which was standard, but I just ignored them. I couldn’t be bothered with it.

A week before he died he’d emailed me to say he missed me & my brother and that he had seen the doctor and they had told him he had liver failure. I remember I was in work when I read it, and I burst into tears. Strange seen as we hadn’t seen or spoken to him but I suddenly felt extremely sad for him, and scared for his health. I rang my mum and she was convinced he was probably lying to get my attention- he did it a lot. I thought about replying for a long time, but decided if I didn’t and something happened to him that I’d never forgive myself. So I did, I asked him what his treatment plan would be. He told me they were doing more tests but he felt seriously unwell and wished he would be admitted to hospital. He asked me to come visit him. I asked for him to keep me updated, but after a lot of deliberation chose not to visit him. 

That was the last time we spoke. He was taken into hospital on the Saturday morning, then died on the Monday afternoon. We didn’t even know he’d gone into hospital. When I had the news on Monday I instantly felt this overwhelming guilt. Why didn’t I go and see him when he asked me too? I beat myself up over it for a long time, I still do sometimes. But then what would I have said? Nothing would have changed. We would have gone round in the same circle of him wanting to see me, then not wanting to see me ever again – well I guess this time he got what he wanted. 

I guess now I feel like he’s at peace, with himself, the demons have finally gone and we can all move on with our lives. It was the biggest shock of my life, and I never thought I’d be burying my dad at the age of 26. When we spoke to the doctors they told us that he had contracted sepsis, he had an ulcer in his stomach which had burst & and perforated bowl. All caused by the alcohol. 

Mental health is not something which should be taken lightly, don’t get me wrong there are things have that happened that I’ll never forgive him for. But he was also a very ill man, and a part of me does feel for him. Out of all the bad, I have learnt so much about mental health and how to deal with people with a mental illness. I had some counselling and it was funny because she said to me she’d never met anyone who has such a huge knowledge on mental health and coping mechanisms.

If I can help one person or give someone any advice from my experience then something good has come out of it. The one thing I can say is, it’s okay not to be ok. To talk to someone, anyone. There is so much more support out there now then there ever has been and that’s amazing.

I hope this wasn’t to heavy, but like I’ve always said I’d rather be as raw & honest as I can when writing.

H xxx

After Birth & Recovery

The night I had Charlie I remember my phone buzzing and a picture message from my mum of her, my stepdad my brother & his girlfriend with a class of champagne, It’s one of my favourite photos to this day I just sat in bed looked over at Charlie and smiled, I text her back to say I loved it and to have a glass for me!

I stayed in hospital for the next 5 days, it was only on day 3 that I started to question the things going on around me. I was having my blood pressure taken every 4 hours religiously & I was on a drip, and Charlie was being wheeled off in the middle of the night for around an hour. I had wondered why until now, when one night at 1am one of the midwives came to take Charlie again. “Where are you taking him?” I asked. “To get his antibiotics” she replied. Then everything stopped, “What? why is he on antibiotics I asked?” I pulled myself up in bed, I suddenly felt very panic stricken and very protective. “We think he has an infection; well we think you both do” she replied placing a hand on my shoulder. “I don’t understand” I started to cry. “Let me go and get the baby doctor to see you, he’s okay” she said. As she wheeled him off, I sat there in the darkness and sobbed, how could I have not realised that there was something wrong? I defiantly hadn’t been feeling well the last 3 days, but I thought it was just because the ward was warm, turns out it was because of this infection. I picked up my phone and text Matt, he called me straight away and I cried down the phone – I was panicking big time!

The baby doctor poked her head round the curtain in the darkness and came and sat on the edge of my bed, she explained that whilst in theatre both our temperatures had spiked, and I had told the nurse I wasn’t feeling well. She told me that Charlie had what they called “sticky blood” to they were keeping a close eye on him. They also thought that I may have passed the infection onto him, so we were both on an IV drip, and that’s why he was being taken away every 4 hours to have his antibiotics. I was so overwhelmed, I cried hysterically couldn’t breathe. The doctor calmed me down and assured me we were both going to be fine, but they needed to keep us in until we were well enough to go home. I rang Matt and told him what the doctor had told me, and we felt better, but he & my mum both felt awful for not realising there was a problem. But to be fair, none of us did. Apparently, I was told all of this in theatre about the infections, but I can’t remember I must have been out of it.

Recovery was painful, some days I felt ok if I had been topped up on tramadol, but if I’d forgotten to take it then it felt like I’d been hit by a bus. I could hardly walk! The midwives were amazing, I found It hard to breastfeed Charlie, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I felt like a complete failure. One of the midwives told me I needed to hand express, I sat there and thought how the f* am I supposed to do that?! It was all completely alien to me. I asked her to explain and she did, but I still didn’t quite understand – in the end I was getting so flustered and confused she milked me like a bloody cow. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable in my life! I was getting next to nothing from hand expressing maybe 0.5ml it looked ridiculous to me. Every time I would feed Charlie it was a huge struggle; I didn’t know how to get him in the right position and how to be comfortable myself. My boobs were so swollen when my milk did eventually come in after a few days, my mum had told me how painful it was, but I never really understood until it happened, it was agony.

After the first day or so my nipples were red raw and so painful so I had to stop breastfeeding I honestly couldn’t bare it, I think it was because I couldn’t get Charlie to latch on properly every time. I was bottle feeding Charlie for the next 2 days until it was bearable to try again. The midwife showed me how to feed him with a cup so he wouldn’t get confused with the nipple & the teat of a bottle. Matt was coming in every day; he didn’t stay with me in hospital there was no point. My mum came in most days, and on the second day my stepdad & brother came in. My brother came over and hugged me and burst into tears, I couldn’t remember seeing him so emotional, and it instantly set me off.  I sat in bed and watched them all beaming from ear to ear it was the best feeling ever. Matt brought his mum into see him the day after and she brought me loads of cards from his family which was lovely. God he was so tiny, I look at him now 5 & ½ months and wonder where my baby has gone! It really does go so quickly.

My mum was bringing in things every day, I honestly thought I’d packed everything and more, but I was so wrong! I remember she brought me two more nighties in, I was passing her washing. Knickers galore, I thought id packed a 100 but I was still texting her asking her to bring in more of my Bridget jones’s. By the way they are hands down the most comfortable knickers on the planet!! I still wear them now ha-ha mostly because they tuck my kangaroo pouch in which I’ll talk about more. Matt brought my laptop in which was a life saver because I could watch Netflix when I was on my own, I had loads of magazines too. It could get quite lonely in the evening after everyone had gone.

I don’t think it was until day 4 when I had my first shower, this was complete and utter bliss. I had practically been bed bound; I did have a few sponge baths mind! Trust me your dignity goes out the window completely after having a baby, I hate to think of how many people have seen my “nunny” (vaj,vajayjay,flower) whatever you want to call it. I remember the day I got told we were going home it was funny because I was so used to being in hospital, I’d forgot that id eventually have to go home! A few different midwives came and spoke to me about the usual things, breastfeeding, safe sleeping, the general do’s and don’ts. Charlie had a hearing test which was all fine. Then I had a run through of all my medication I had to take home, I had to inject myself with antibiotics for another week, so was shown what to do and had to show I was able to do it. Then finally I was told everything had been signed off and we were both well enough to go home! I called Matt and gave him the good news, I think he was relieved to be having us both home.

Me & mum got all of my things together I had accumulated loads over 5 days. Matt arrived, and they started to go load it all in the car and I got Charlie ready to go home. I don’t think it really sank in at that moment that we were going home. I remember we said thankyou & goodbye to the midwives who had looked after us over the past week, Matt had to lead me out because I didn’t have a clue where we were. We walked out through reception and it was filled of people, loads of pregnant women, a week before that had been me in that reception. Now I was walking out with my beautiful baby boy. We stepped outside and it was absolutely freezing, I had a shock I couldn’t remember feeling that cold! We struggled to get Charlie into the car seat, and as the cold set it it caused a heated dispute between us both. I ended up sitting in the back with Charlie whilst we googled what to do. We really should have been more prepared! We finally worked it out and off we went, I sat in the back and suddenly felt really scared.

Driving home I sat there thinking oh my god what do I do, I didn’t have a button I could press and have 5 midwives around me telling me what to do anymore. I could feel my eyes welling up, my stomach was turning into knots. What would I do if I couldn’t get him to stop crying? How would I know when to feed him? What if I still couldn’t breastfeed him? All of these questions whizzed through my mind. We got home and Matt took all of my things in and carried Charlie in his car seat. We put him on the sofa and our two fur babies came over to have a nose, we sat and watched as they tried to work out what this alien was! I gave them lots of cuddles Id missed them so much, they’d been my only babies before Charlie came along, now it was all going to change.

When I said you think you don’t know what you’re doing it’s a bit crazy because I couldn’t tell it what it was or how, but when it came down to it, I just knew what to do. Yes of course everything is a learning curve, but you do get that mothers instinct!

Mum, stepdad Terry , brother Sean & his girlfriend Alex
Mum & Charlie
Terry & Charlie
Sean & Charlie
Going home!
Charlie’s first car ride

Finding out we were pregnant!

It’s a long one…again! Grab your cuppa teas & biscuits!

I can still remember the day like it was yesterday. I had cried the day before, Sunday evening as I’d done a pregnancy test which had come back negative (or so we thought) I threw myself into Matt’s arms and sobbed.

I could tell he was disappointed, “it’s okay babe it will happen” he said. 

We had decided that I would come off my contraceptive pill the end of December 2017/ start of Jan 2018. I’d been trying to track my ovulation but didn’t really have a clue whether it was accurate or not. So we just winged it.

Fast forward to Monday 19th March 2018, I was feeling awful still after the negative pregnancy test the day before, and me & Matt had been wracking our brains all night questioning whether the test was definitely negative. I was starting back in the gym determined to shift some weight. It was an early one, I was meeting my friend Natalie for a 6am body pump class before work.

Just before I left I decided I’d do another test just encase, this time I swore I could see a second line. Was I going mad was it there, was it not? I paced the bathroom holding the test right up close squinting waiting for the results, then there it was the faintest second line we’d been waiting for! I remember this wave of euphoria coming over me, it’s funny now because I didn’t run in screaming to Matt. I simply grabbed my gym back and left because I didn’t want to wake him, but left the test on the side in the bathroom.

After class I decided to pop into Asda and get a clear blue digital test (just to make super sure it was positive) I got to work had a shower and locked myself in the cubicle with the test.

It seemed like I’d waited ages, I mean AGES! My heart was beating fast, I could feel it in my ears then after some time it happened….the screen showed “pregnant 1-2 weeks” I jumped up and down with a huge smile on my face, I couldn’t wait for Matt to wake up so I’d text himto check the bathroom HA!

I floated into the office, I was in this bubble that no one was popping. I sat at my desk daydreaming waiting for Matt to reply then ping my phone buzzed. I think he said something along the lines of “oh wow! Congrats mummy!” We were just both buzzing! 

I called my manager for a chit chat, we are super close and he’s been a great support to me. The first thing he said when we sat down we’re “your not handing in your resignation are you?? Please don’t H” 😂😂 No I laughed I’m pregnant! I’ll never forget that look on his face, he threw his arms around me and gave me a big hug he was so happy, so was I. It was the best! 

But little did I know, my whole world was about to turn upside down In just a few hours….

I was looking at the clock at my screen willing it to be 4pm, 3:55pm I couldn’t wait to get home to see Matt I was on top of the world! And then it happened…my phone buzzed in my pocket “Mum” calling. I ran over to the side of the office and answered, “Hel” this weary voice said – my heart instantly sank I knew something was wrong. Then the phone cut off…

Text message “Hel come home – urgent xxx”

I rang her back, “Mum, what’s wrong?” In my head I thought something had happened to our cat she was 16 and hadn’t been well.

“Just come home Hel” she sobbed 

“What is it mum tell me” I pleaded my heart was pounding I could feel my eyes tearing up. 

Then just two words and my whole world crashed down.

“It’s Dad”

Boom just like that I could feel my head spinning I felt sick, I slid down the wall to the floor head dropped between my knee’s.

“He’s dead isn’t he” I whispered through my sobs

“Yes babe, come home” she sobbed back

I hung up the phone and could hardly pick myself up I was like a dead weight, my mind was going 100mph, how could I go from being on top of the world a few hours ago to rock bottom. Next thing I know I’ve bolted over to my desk trying to log off my computer and pick up my bag, completely frantic uttering nonsense. Then my friend called me, she looked at me confused, and I just blurted “my dad’s dead I have to go” and I swear the whole office stopped. Talking back about it she told me I screamed it out loud, makes sense why everyone just stared at me. She got her things grabbed me and said “come on love we’re going” I ran over to my manager with tears streaming down my face “ I have to go I have to go my dad’s dead” I remember he just grabbed me, gave me the biggest cuddle, a kiss on the top of my head and said “go”.

I couldn’t breathe as we bolted through the office I was only my phone trying to text Matt, then my friend stood in front of me with her hands on my shoulders. “BREATHE” she said. And I took in what felt like my first breath. Matt called me as I was driving to my mums, panicky from my short blunt text for him to ring me ASAP. I told him what had happened and he just went silent on the phone, I think he was more shocked than me. “I’m so so sorry babe, call me later when you can I’ll see you at home. I love you” he said.

When I arrived at my mums house I flew through the door to see her & my brother in floods of tears, I fell into her arms “ I’m pregnant” I whaled. They both stopped looked at me, what? She said still sobbing, “I’m pregnant mum” she gave me the biggest squeeze, “I’m sorry it’s not the reaction you wanted” she smiled through her tears, my brother then leant over and grabbed me “congratulations” he whispered. 

I don’t know why I blurted it out, it was like word vomit I didn’t even realise what I’d said until after I’d said it. 

That day was and will forever be the most surreal day of my entire life. I found out I was pregnant at 7:30am (for sure), my dad passed away at 1:30pm & I had the news at 3:58pm I’ll never forget that day. I feel like I should talk more about my experience of loosing a parent at a young age, so for the rest of that day I’ll leave for another blog. But trying to leave it on a light hearted note that’s how it all came about us finding out we were going to be parents!

They say when one light goes out another lights up – and that couldn’t be more true for that day. Charlie truly was our biggest blessing.

We were extremely lucky on how quickly I did actually fall pregnant. If you are out there and trying to conceive, then all I would say is don’t put to much pressure on yourself. I had been on the contraceptive pill religiously for over 10 years so stopping that, your body has to adjust. I think we did just have sheer luck – I was using the app called “Ovia fertility”, you basically put all of your details in, when you have your periods etc, and it works out your most fertile days. Maybe it did work? Maybe I was super fertile I don’t know, but it wasn’t like a military operation lol! We just had sex more regularly, and on the days it told us we had the best chance and here we are!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog! If you did then please feel free to follow me for notifications of new posts and I’ll also link my Instagram below!

H xxx

Instagram

This was the first test which I’d edited to see that second line! 😂
The next morning! 🎉