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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Uncategorized

Moving on and letting go…

For reasons that can’t (or, rather, shouldn’t) be discussed on here, just in case, I have had a lot of thinking time the past few days. Furthermore, I’ve had a lot of time to realise sometimes (most of the time, actually) it’s good to move on and let go.

Elsa-Singing-Let-It-Go

I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent now (what’s new?!) because while I was downloading that image it sparked an amusing image of me at work… I often wear my hair in a side plait for work as I don’t really have all that much time to get ready in the mornings (I’d sooner choose sleep, then going in early to get my printing and photocopying done before the mad rush!). Several times this year my kids (not my kids, rather, the kids I teach, but all teachers call their classes “my kids”… it’s both a blessing and a curse of the job!!) have mentioned I look like Elsa when I wear my hair like that. It’s cute! I like the idea of being both beautiful and deadly at the same time! I often tell them I am embodying Elsa and that if they ‘cross’ me I will freeze them! (Please note, sarcasm only tends to work with older children/teenagers, year 7s in particular get very frightened when you talk about freezing them!!)

Anyway… yes…

My last blog post was very negative, but I won’t apologise, as I was feeling very negative at the time. I was feeling let down and hurt. I needed somewhere to vent and release my emotions and writing has always always provided that outlet for me. Nobody can take that away from me, especially now I have found my little corner of the internet with people who relate to me and understand me (thank you, lovely people, for sticking with me throughout this horrific, emotionally draining journey!!).

I’ve had time to reflect, because I am not back at work until Thursday (hooray, finally! I can have social interaction again!!).

This evening I went through all of the old backups of my old computers (I have a habit of keeping everything, even if it brings back bad memories) and I deleted every single trace of my crazy ex. Several years have passed since I lived with this moronic demon, and I literally have no reason to keep any ties to him whatsoever. The restraining order has lapsed, granted, but I doubt he will ever attempt to come near me again. For some reason (maybe sentiment, who knows?!) I was keeping hold of photos, little mementos, copies of messages/emails etc. This evening I permanently deleted them all. I need to let go of so many things in my past that have been holding me back, and for no good reason either. I am finally in a place in my life where I can say that most things are good. I need to remind myself of that, too. For a start, I have Mr Mad, and he is absolutely wonderful. Yesterday I also realised that I am incredibly lucky to still have my parents. My parents are wonderful. No matter what, they back me up and support me. After losing both my grandparents at a relatively young age (Grandad at 16 and Nan last year at 23) I have a new found appreciation for my parents, as I realise they will not be around forever (although I really really wish they could be!) Take yesterday, for example, I made the 50 minute drive to my parents’ house (also my childhood home) and I spent the day sitting in the garden with my mum, dad and brother, chatting, reminiscing, helping my brother set up his new iPhone (which was a birthday present from me, because he’s still a student and deserved a) bringing into the 21st century and b) a treat because he’s had a rough few years with his health). I spent so long with them in the garden that I didn’t even realise I was getting sunburnt! But I did realise something… no matter what, I will always always have unconditional love from my family, and that isn’t something to ever take for granted. I have wonderful parents and a wonderful brother. They have always supported me, despite the thousands millions of mistakes I have made, and they are always there when I need love and comfort.

This brings me on to my next ‘epiphany’…

This evening, I sat soaking in the bath (with my horrifically sunburnt shoulders well and truly out of the hot water!) and, for the first time ever, thought “What if teaching isn’t actually for me?” Don’t get me wrong, I love my job… well…. I love the in the classroom bit… making children’s lives better, introducing them to a world of literature and language and showing them everything you can do when you have a proper grasp of the English language, showing them that they can succeed, no matter what background they’re from and no matter what challenges they face in life. However, the British education system is gradually being torn apart and ruined. There are so many politics involved in teaching now, I don’t even know where to begin to explain to my international followers (so I won’t even try!!) It’s also a very very intense job. You have to commit at least 60 hours a week to it. Your work doesn’t stop when you get home – it carries on. I am concerned, majorly concerned, in fact, that when I eventually get my little miracle, I won’t be able to spend enough time with them, and they will grow up so quickly and I will miss out on so much. I don’t want that. I want to be a mummy. I want to be there. I want to witness all of the important moments. I want to pick them up from school and ask them about their day. I want to spend evenings with them and have a proper bedtime routine, bathing them and reading them a bed time story, without constantly having “I hope this doesn’t take long as I have a shit load of marking to do and resources to  prepare for tomorrow” in the back of my mind. I want to be. 

I obviously haven’t made a concrete decision yet, as it was literally an hour ago that I opened my mind to the possibility that I could do something else. I always felt like I was born to teach, but what if that isn’t actually the case? What if I am actually meant to do something else, but I’ve never taken the time to explore other options, as I was so hell bent on becoming an educator?

It’s a lot to think about.

But something I do know for certain…

I am determined to be happy.

I am determined to make the most of whatever precious time I have on this earth.

I am determined to get to the end of my life with few regrets, and I hope those regrets are “I wish I’d done xyz” rather than “I wish I hadn’t done xyz.”

As a teenager, I was a geeky, weird, strange goth girl who nobody liked. As a (relatively) young adult, I am still that geeky, weird, strange goth girl who nobody likes… but, y’know what, I’m actually beginning to be okay with that. I like who I am, I am happy with who I am, and it’s people’s quirks that make them individuals and make them interesting. I will never be a sheep, and I will probably never fit in. But that’s okay.

I have decided, particularly as a middle finger to those who have tried to bring me down, both recently and in my past, that my mantra for life is going to be this…

don't let anyone dull your sparkle

I sparkle in my own way. And I like it. If you don’t like it, that’s your problem.

Post-operative healing

Chapter 1…

chapter 1 edit

These past few days have been days of “firsts”…

The most important “first” was my first period…

Obviously not my first period EVER (I wish!!) but my first period since surgery.

I was warned by multiple people who have had the same (or similar) surgery to me, that the first period after surgery would be hell on earth, and they certainly weren’t lying!!

Yesterday I woke up in absolutely agony, thinking, “oh god, my uterus is trying to kill me, AGAIN!”

It got progressively worse throughout the day, despite painkillers and another first (the first bath since before my surgery!)

However, I am really trying to be positive.

It’s difficult because I really thought surgery would help go a long way to solving my pain, and at the moment it is really feeling like it hasn’t.

But… having read countless stories like mine, this doesn’t seem to be unusual so soon after surgery, and I’m hoping next month (well, firstly, that it well actually be next month and not two weeks like it has been for the past year) I won’t be in as much pain.

As a result of aforementioned first period, I am not really feeling much better. I am also incredibly bored, trying to rest and relax at home, it’s much more difficult than I ever imagined.

Anyway… let’s loop back, because this post is getting both boring and tedious, rather like my day to day life at the moment!

Another first… I’ve just ordered a pair of maternity jeans off eBay.

Yes, you read that right… maternity jeans!

Currently I am still HUGE, or rather, my stomach is still HUGE.

I am supposed to be visiting beautiful Paris with my best friend and her family at the end of July, and I am concerned I will still be huge when I travel. I currently can’t fit into any of my normal clothes and am slobbing around in pjs for most of the day. The only times I have been dressed in relatively ‘normal’ clothes have been the handful of times I’ve left the house, and even then I’ve been wearing a maxi dress or loose joggers. I am really trying to not feel negative about the fact that I look like I have a pregnancy bump when it’s the absolute opposite, and rather try to embrace the fact I am slowly getting better and this is part of the healing process. That being said, I am so uncomfortable and so nervous about looking awful in Paris, that I’ve succumbed to maternity jeans in a bit to be comfortable and look relatively nice too. Any other suggestions would be much appreciated, as we have a charity event to go to on the first evening as well, and I have no idea what I will wear to that!

I guess the fact I am focusing on these kinds of things means I am getting better, as I’m not in complete and total agony all day everyday like I have been.

Now, time to watch some more White Collar and wish Matt Bomer was A) Not gay and B) My future husband!!

Neal_Caffrey's_moto

Fertility

It’s okay to have a wobble…

Before I continue with this post, please know I am quintessentially, unequivocally and indisputably British. With this in mind, when I use the term “wobble” here, I do not mean it in the literal sense, I mean it in the very British sense of “having a moment” or “being upset for a short period of time in amongst feeling positive.”

Anyway…

Today I had a wobble, not whilst purchasing baby clothes, but after I got them home.

I should expand, shouldn’t I?

My hairdresser, who is much more than a hairdresser, leaves for maternity leave the week after next. I have my final appointment with her next Saturday.

This long-suffering woman has been colouring my hair, and being a rather poorly-paid therapist (on account of her clearly fulfilling two job roles in one, not because I’m making a dig at her employers and the wages they pay her, just to clear up any confusion!!) for the last ten years. We originally met when I was a weird 15 year old who had dyed her hair jet black, instantly regretted it, then unsuccessfully tried to lift the colour out of it. She promised me she would make my hair blonde again if it was the last thing she did – and she managed! The miracle-worker she is!!

She has listened to the ups and downs of my life, and I have listened to hers. This woman has become more of a friend than a hairdresser. So, when she announced she was pregnant, I couldn’t have been happier for her.

Today I picked up some gorgeous clothes, bibs etc for her little bundle’s imminent arrival.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed picking out the little blue sleep suits, hats, tiny mittens and socks. I thought, given my current circumstances, I would be really upset doing this. I wasn’t. I was still filled with some of the hope I had yesterday.

Normally this is the point in the story where the author would be dramatic and change course. I’m not going to do that. Things didn’t all come crashing down around me. I just had a wobble.

And that was all it was. A wobble.

I brought the clothes home, and I sat looking at them, coming to the realisation that, yet again, these gorgeous baby clothes were not for my baby, they were for someone else’s. That there would not be a baby in my household to wear the clothes. It would not be me waking up in the middle of the night, eyes bleary, completely exhausted, to experience those tender moments feeding my baby.

But it passed.

The wobble passed.

I didn’t spiral into huge hiccupy sobs.

I didn’t even shed one single, tiny tear.

I took a deep breath, I pushed those sort of thoughts to the back of my mind, and I wrapped the presents.

Out of sight, out of mind.

So to speak, anyway.

Just because I don’t have my bundle of joy yet doesn’t mean everybody else isn’t allowed to have theirs.

Just because sometimes I am unhappy because I am yet to have a successful pregnancy doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for those that do. Particularly those people closest to me who deserve happiness and a healthy baby.

One day it will be me, one day Mr Mad and I will have our mini-Mad and the last thing we would want is for somebody to feel sad because of that.

 

Fertility

We are not living in eternity…

begin

It’s a week and one day since I had my op to remove endometriosis from most of my abdomen. Of course, if you’ve been following my mumblings and musings you’ll be more than aware of that already!

This morning I woke up and realised I still have a long way to go.

Yesterday I left the house for the first time since before my op and went for a short walk. It was difficult, but I managed. Then we had some lovely friends visit in the evening which ended up turning into a late one because we got talking and lost track of time! I don’t think this late night helped me much, as I had a very broken sleep and, as a result, have felt shitty all of today.

My fiancé is also back at work today, so I have to fend for myself! I am coping, just, but more than anything, I miss him! I thought we were at the point in our relationship where we didn’t have the longing to see each other and missing each other incredible amounts when we’re apart, because we’ve been together for so long! But today especially I am really missing his company and his humour! I am not normally this much of a sap, but apparently the events of the past year or so have turned me into one!!!

I am still clinging on to the hopeful feelings I felt at the start of the week. I am trying to remind myself of all the positive changes I decided to make, waking up from surgery. I had my first reflexology session yesterday, which was amazing. I have another session booked for next week. I am reading a book on the holistic methods to fertility and conceiving. I am also reading another book called “f**k it therapy” which is helping me to balance out my life and let go of all the negativity I seem to unwittingly harbour.

Slowly but surely I feel I am not so much on a new journey, but on a new section of my existing journey… a new path, if you like.

Many people, when asked what their dreams are and what they want, money being no object, they talk about travelling the world and going on crazy adventures. All I want, all I have ever wanted, is to bring up my own family. I am happy and grateful that I am on the path towards realising that dream. I may still have a long road ahead of me, I may not. Who knows?

But what I do know is, I’ve survived something massive.

Just now I received a copy of my consultant’s letter to my GP with regards to the surgery I had. Reading through it and seeing the words there in black and white really hits home to what I have been dealing with inside of me for all of this time. I now understand why I was in so much pain. I now understand why I couldn’t conceive.

“This patient had laparoscopic excision of endometriosis, adhesiolysis and hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy today as planned. The operation was performed without incident.

The findings on hysteroscopy were a healthy cervix and normal cervical canal, regular uterine cavity with normal appearing endometrium. Both tubal ostia were seen. Laparoscopy revealed a normal uterus and normal tubes and ovaries bilaterally. There were significant amounts of endometriotic deposits in the ovarian fossae bilaterally, the pouch of Douglas and the utero-vesical fold. These were all excised in their entirety. The ureters were identified prior to excision. Her sigmoid colon was adherent to the left pelvic sidewall and these adhesions were released to facilitate safe surgery.”

I am so proud that my body has been through all of that and survived. I will be even prouder when my body creates a life and brings it into this world.

As women, I think we are fantastic. We are heroes. We are warriors.

I know most of my followers, as well as the people I follow on here, are lovely ladies who are struggling to conceive. I want to tell you to not give up hope. We will get there. We are strong and beautiful and we are fighters. We are not giving up. One day, we will hold our beautiful babies in our arms and we will realise all of this heartache, struggle, pain, pressure, lack of understanding from others, suffering and agony will all have been worth it.

Trust me.