Past

8th March 2017…

I’ve just been re-visiting some of my old blog posts… because, well, why not?!

I came across a post I made this time last year, on this exact date, and I feel like I need to respond to myself.

The beginning of last year/the end of 2016 was an incredibly tough time for me. Probably the toughest time of my life, in a way, and for certain reasons I am not permitted to discuss why.

That’s okay.

I’ve come to peace with a lot of it now.

I also refuse to delete/remove the blog posts from that time.

I was hurt and depressed and struggling.

My writing was my outlet.

It still is, but I am no longer hurt and depressed and struggling.

So here are some excerpts from my post (a letter to my baby who we were struggling to conceive) this time last year, and my responses to past me:

Dear Baby Mad,

You don’t exist, and perhaps you never will. You do now, at least in my tummy, and I cannot wait to meet you.

You don’t really have a name either, but in my head I call you lots of names. Freddy John Maddocks, I repeat your name over and over again on a daily basis. I hope it suits you! I hope when you arrive we don’t change our minds after meeting you!

I’d love to give you a middle name, either Joyce, after my beautiful Nan, or Frederick, after my wonderful Grandad. Surely it’s going to be obvious to you, little boy, that Freddy is a homage to my wonderful Grandad?! He was an amazing man, and I’m so privileged I get to name my miracle boy after the man who shaped my life the most.

I imagine what you’d look like. I think you already look like your Daddy! Everybody thinks I’m crazy, because, really, how much can you tell from a scan picture?! But you do look like your Daddy! Especially from the side! You have his nose and his gorgeous lips! Much better than your Mummy’s nose and lips! I hope you have your Daddy’s eyelashes too, because they’re absolutely stunning! One thing is for certain, Freddy, I know you’re going to be the most gorgeous baby ever!

I imagine my Dad, who would be your Grandad, holding you, the proudest he’s ever been. He can’t wait, Freddy, he really can’t! He’s retired now. He’s going to look after you when Mummy is back at work. He’s so excited to be your Grandad and wants to buy you a special hat so you can build models in his shed with him! He was there, with your Nanny, when we found out you were a boy! Everybody is so excited to meet you and everybody loves you so so much.

I imagine bathing you and dressing you and snuggling you silly, even when you wake me up at all hours in the night and I think I can’t take much more of your incessant wailing for food (because, let’s face it baby mad, you’re a product of me and your Dad, and our favourite thing is to eat!) Everyday I come closer and closer to this reality and I cannot believe how lucky I am. I don’t care about how exhausted I’m going to be, because you’re going to be here finally!

I imagine all of the adventures we’ll have, and that special Mummy time nobody else will get because I’ll be on maternity leave and it’ll just be me and you. I have so many plans already! And you’re going to be around others babies too! Some of Mummy’s friends are having babies and we can go on days out with them! You’ll be in your gorgeous pram rocking your cool outfits that Daddy has chosen for you and Mummy will look rough but she won’t mind! Up until you’re nearly one years old, we will be together and have so many adventures! I can’t wait!

Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you.

I already know that I love you.

Just like I always knew that I’d love your Daddy when I eventually met him.

If it’s even at all possible, I love you even more than your Daddy, because I know you would be a perfect blend of both of us. I still feel this way, Freddy, and now I know every single thing your Daddy and I went through; all of the pain, the heartache, the suffering, the sacrifices to get to this point, it was all for a reason. That reason is you my little boy, and I will never ever take you for granted.

 

So many times you have saved my life, when you aren’t a life yourself. I see it clearer now than ever before, I had to save myself for you to exist. I had to change my life. I had to get rid of every ounce of negativity and all of the awful things that were holding me back for you to exist. 

 

Why can’t I grow you and keep you safe until you’re ready to come into our little world? I’m doing it, my gorgeous boy! I am growing you. Against all odds, with my pathetic body that’s always failed me, I’m growing you. I’m petrified of doing something wrong and I’m petrified of losing you still. But with every kick, punch, elbow, wriggle and those hilariously cute hiccups you get when I drink cold water too fast or eat a bit too much sugar, I know you’re one step closer to being big enough to be born and here in my arms. You’re a true miracle, and I know you’ll get bored with me telling you that every single day of your life, but I’m never going to stop. Just like I’m never going to stop telling you how much I love you.

Why can’t you be asleep in your cot in your bedroom, instead of it being a room full of pointless junk your mummy bought to try to make herself feel better? You should have seen it, little man! Maybe one day you will! I took lots of ‘before’ pictures of the state of your room! It doesn’t look like that anymore. It’s ready to be decorated in the colour scheme we’ve picked out for you (grey and blue with cloud accessories!) It’s clear of all of my junk. I sold most of my junk! I parted with 8 huge bin bags of clothes. I sold most of the things I’d wasted money on and I’ve used the money to buy the things you need. I’m proud of myself. You will never have to suffer or go without, because I will always ALWAYS make sure you have absolutely everything you need. Of course your room will be ready for when you arrive, but you’ll be in with Mummy and Daddy for a while first. I can’t wait!

Why can’t you distract me from writing this now because you’re giggling or whinging or snoring or crying because you need food or your nappy changing? One day, one day very soon, you will be, and Mama won’t be blogging anymore because she won’t have the time!

 

 

I’m so glad I stuck things out and got myself back on track rather than just giving up.

This time last year I felt as though I’d lost all hope and there was no coming back.

But I stayed strong, I got help and I fixed myself.

Without anti-depressants (not that I’m criticising anybody who takes them, it was just a personal goal of mine to not go back on them after coming off them in September 2016).

Without anyone else ‘fixing’ things for me.

Without the people who dragged me down.

I got rid of the negativity and I let positivity into my life.

I feel like a warrior now!

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pregnancy

Natural birth vs C-Section

So when I first found out I was pregnant, in amongst the excitement (and anxiety, obviously! That doesn’t change even though you’ve been waiting a lifetime for one of those little blue tests to read ‘pregnant’!) one of my immediate thoughts was “I’m not going to be able to give birth naturally.”

Now before anyone jumps on that… it’s not because I was (or am) being a wuss! I thought my medical condition would hinder my chances of giving birth naturally.

I know, I know, that sounds stupid, particularly now it’s written down, and particularly because I somehow, against all odds, managed to conceive naturally.

However, I assumed with the state of my insides (and the scars on the outside) that my body would simply not allow me to give birth naturally.

A few appointments with doctors/midwives and a discussion (albeit via email) with my normal gyane consultant seemed to confirm this too.

Therefore, the plan had always been, planned c-section at 39 weeks pregnant.

I’ve spent most of my pregnancy working on this assumption and attempting to, at least mentally, prepare myself for major surgery.

But, after meeting with a new consultant midwife a few weeks ago, the possibility of a natural birth opened up (pardon the pun!)

Now I’m at a total crossroads and have no idea what to do.

I am researching like crazy; watching videos on YouTube about hypnobirthing, ordering books left right and centre from Amazon, downloading apps, speaking to everybody I know who has had babies and asking them about their childbirth experiences! I’m still completely undecided.

I am 29 weeks pregnant today.

I have an appointment with the consultant midwife a week on Monday and I need to be one step closer to a decision by then.

HELP!!!

pregnancy

To my little blobby boy <3

Little Freddy ❤

You didn’t half scare your Mumma this week! When you hardly moved on Sunday morning I felt like my world was collapsing around me.

You see, little man, I love you incredible amounts already. It’s unconditional. I could never switch it off. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted and your Daddy and I have waited such a long time for you.

Today was so incredibly relieving.

Of course, I knew on Sunday after the lovely ladies at the hospital helped us and checked you using the monitor, and yesterday when they checked you again, that you were okay and your heart was beating wonderfully strong.

But today confirmed it.

You’re a little chunk ❤

Getting to see you today was amazing – something I didn’t think we’d get at this point.

Part of me wonders if you did it on purpose because you know how worried your Mama has been about growing you!

Even though the pictures are a little blobby, I know it’s you, and your Daddy will know it’s you when I show him later too. It’s the only scan he’s missed but he had to make sure he was at work earning those pennies for us! He works so hard for us, and I know you’ll look up to him and admire him as you grow.

Seeing your little heart beat, so strong and healthy, and seeing your little face, so much like your Daddy already, was the best part about this week. I can’t wait to meet you little man! Keep on growing in there and soon you’ll be here in my arms and not in my tummy!

I can’t believe you’re 3lb 7oz already with 11 weeks to go! My beautiful chunky boy ❤

The love I have for you knows no bounds. I can’t wait to finally hold you in my arms, look into your eyes and tell you how much you mean to me and your Daddy.

 

endometriosis, Fertility

So, it’s been a while…

I don’t really know where to start – which is incredibly unusual for me!

With endometriosis seemingly popping up in the media more and more often, I felt compelled to return here. It’s not that I’ve actively avoided blogging… far from it! I have been incredibly busy since I last blogged (nearly a year ago!!) But I’ve also been busy doing exactly what I complained about not being able to do previously… living a quiet life!

For a little while, I was also a little frightened and hesitant to post on here. But, yesterday, I read an amazing post on Instagram (I only joined just over a year ago, but I’m literally OBSESSED! Is anyone else?!) by an amazing mummy to a rainbow baby who discussed the whole notion of ‘tempting fate’ and, well, I decided to take the plunge.

So here it is…

Here he is…

image1

Our beautiful little miracle.

From the little tiny dot he was at 8 weeks gestation, when I was suffering from hyperemesis (horrendous, and other mothers who have suffered with this, I totally empathise!) and severe anxiety over the possibility of losing him (obviously we didn’t know he was a ‘him’ at that point!) to him doing acrobatics with his little leg over his head at 22 weeks and 1 day (that was nearly a month ago!)

I wish we could have more scans to see what he looks like now – but luckily my doctors/midwives/consultants etc haven’t deemed that necessary at the moment, which means he’s as healthy as can be and making expected progress right now!

I’m currently 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

There’s a statement I never ever thought I’d be able to make! Not long now until I’m in the third trimester.

I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed that this little miracle appeared seemingly out of nowhere!

After all of the tracking, ovulation sticks, constant visits to my consultant, surgery and, finally, a referral to a fertility specialist to start IVF… he spontaneously appeared as a result of my husband’s birthday weekend celebrations! The one time I hadn’t tracked, hadn’t obsessed, hadn’t stressed myself out, he was created!

I am beyond excited to meet him. It’s been a really rough pregnancy so far, I won’t lie – it’s been far from easy. There have been times where I’ve felt so down and depressed due to being so ill and/or in so much pain that I’ve wondered if it was right to put my body through it. But I’m doing it, and I will continue to go through this to make sure this little boy is born as healthy and chubby as possible!

So this post is for you, Freddy John Maddocks, the little wriggly baby currently growing in my tummy and using my bladder as a bouncy castle in the middle of the night. I can finally, finally tell you, the real you, how much I love you, and how I cannot wait to be your Mummy.

endometriosis, Fertility

This illness is ruining my life…

So this week has been the worst week in a LONG time.

Only as recent as last week I was feeling the happiest and most positive I’d ever felt. I’m married, to the love of my life, I have an amazing job with absolutely wonderful colleagues and students, and I’m getting my own business off the ground.

I thought I’d finally ‘made it’.

Then, Monday morning hit.

I was in agony. The most pain I’ve been in since before my surgery (which, by the way, was nearly a year ago now!)

I struggled in to work and tried to battle on with painkillers.

Like I mentioned before, I absolutely love my job. I’ve been there just over 2 months now and it’s the most wonderful place to work. I have amazing, supportive, understanding, encouraging colleagues who are genuinely lovely human beings. The students I teach are also great – too often they are written off by society because of the area they live in/are from, but they are honestly wonderful characters and they make my job a joy and a pleasure to do! My lovely manager tried to send me home at Monday lunchtime, as I think she could see how much I was struggling. I refused. I wanted to make it through to the end of the day, as I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach that this stupid pain was going to keep me off for a lot longer than an afternoon.

I was right.

I’ve been off the past couple of days in the hope that some holistic therapy, pain meds and rest would help me to feel better.

It didn’t.

I’m worse.

I went to see the doctor this morning.

She was horrible.

I don’t ever remember having an appointment with her before and I don’t ever wish to again.

She didn’t know anything about my medical history and told me to “shh” while she spent 10 minutes reading my extensive notes (surely she should’ve done that BEFORE my appointment?!)

She continued to be rude and abrupt with me and told me she was sure my symptoms weren’t down to endometriosis.

knew they were because I know my own body and I’ve been dealing with this illness for the past year (probably longer, albeit undiagnosed).

I was then prodded and poked in all of the areas on my abdomen that were in agony, for her to tell her it was probably an ‘inflamed bowel’ then an ‘inflamed appendix’ before she finally put me through the humiliation and extreme pain of an internal examination.

She then changed her mind and decided that my scar tissue was probably infected, that I’m unfit to work for at least a week and need a double dose of strong antibiotics.

Great.

Just fucking great.

Here we go again.

She still wouldn’t refer me to my consultant and at one stage told me to put my phone away after she’d told me to check when was best for an appointment next week.

I’ve never in my life complained about a GP, even though I have had so many reasons to in the past 12-18 months.

Now, after complaining, I magically have a referral letter that will be ready for collection tomorrow morning, along with a follow up appointment with the Senior Doctor next week.

Totally and utterly ridiculous.

I’m sick of the total lack of understanding for my condition and I’m sick of having to battle for help when I say I’m in pain.

I’m so scared of not being able to work when I’m finally in a job I love and in an amazing workplace with wonderful people.

I’m scared that I’m going to get worse and never be able to work again.

Just when I felt things were going well for me, and I was truly happy, my body gives up yet again.

I feel like I always complain when I come on here, and I’m sorry for that, as I’ve had a really happy few months.

Sometimes, you just really need to vent, don’t you?!

Uncategorized

Baby Mad…

Dear Baby Mad,

You don’t exist, and perhaps you never will.

You don’t really have a name either, but in my head I call you lots of names.

Lately I’ve really been liking Amelie. Or Noah, if you were a boy.

I’d love to give you a middle name, either Joyce, after my beautiful Nan, or Frederick, after my wonderful Grandad.

I imagine what you’d look like.

I imagine my Dad, who would be your Grandad, holding you, the proudest he’s ever been.

I imagine bathing you and dressing you and snuggling you silly, even when you wake me up at all hours in the night and I think I can’t take much more of your incessant wailing for food (because, let’s face it baby mad, you’re a product of me and your Dad, and our favourite thing is to eat!)

I imagine all of the adventures we’ll have, and that special Mummy time nobody else will get because I’ll be on maternity leave and it’ll just be me and you.

For most of my life, little one, you’ve been my priority, and you only exist in my mind.

I get up and go to work for you.

I bought this house for you.

Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for you.

I have never met you, you don’t exist, but I love you.

I already know that I love you.

Just like I always knew that I’d love your Daddy when I eventually met him.

If it’s even at all possible, I love you even more than your Daddy, because I know you would be a perfect blend of both of us.

It’s very hard at the moment, baby Mad, because it feels like you will never exist and it feels like we will never get to meet you.

It feels as though I will never get to hold you in my arms and tell you, the real you, not the you that exists in my mind, how much your Mummy (and Daddy) love and adore you.

So many times you have saved my life, when you aren’t a life yourself.

How can something feel so real when it doesn’t exist?

I already know I love you.

I already know I’d go to the ends of the earth for you.

So why aren’t you here?

Why do you have to exist only in mind?

Why can’t I grow you and keep you safe until you’re ready to come into our little world?

Why can’t you be asleep in your cot in your bedroom, instead of it being a room full of pointless junk your mummy bought to try to make herself feel better?

Why can’t you distract me from writing this now because you’re giggling or whinging or snoring or crying because you need food or your nappy changing?

Baby Mad I love you, please become a reality

Uncategorized

When there’s no hope left…

I am writing this whilst sitting in my (parked) car in the Trafford Centre car park sobbing my eyes out and wondering when my life went so wrong.

I have completely lost all hope and have no idea when or if I’ll get through this.

Throughout everything that happened last year and the year before I held on to the hope that 2017 was going to be the best year ever. I mean, why wouldn’t it be?! After all, our wedding is in 2017 and that’s supposed to be the happiest most amazing day of your life.

Only the wedding is a week away and I’ve never felt so lost, hopeless and miserable in my entire life.

I didn’t think I could ever feel this low.

I always liked to think I was a good person, but for my karma to be this bad I clearly can’t be a good person.

I’ve always tried my best. Tried my best to be a good friend, daughter, sister, cousin, partner. Tried my best to fight the good fight. Only all that the world throws at me is shit.

I saw something online the other day that said when the world wants to give you a happy life it first makes you strong. Well I call bullshit on that.

and I’m also saying I give up. The world has thrown literally everything it can at me and now I officially surrender.

This year, so far, I’ve had to deal with a HUGE issue that I’m not even allowed to discuss, leaving my job (which, for the most part, I loved and actually gave me a purpose), trying (and failing) to care for my chronically ill fiancé who now, a week before our wedding, is in so much pain he can’t get out of bed, infertility (only been going through that for a year and didn’t realise how much of a failure it makes you feel), getting into an almighty scrape in my beautiful car and gouging the whole left hand side of it, endometriosis and pain returning, being manipulated and fucked over by so many people I’ve lost count…the list goes on…

I made that post last week in the hope that my message to the universe about wanting a simple, happy life would be heard. So much for that…

tell me, what do you do when there’s no hope left?