Sunday, 6 January 2019

I want to be Happy

My yearly goals are usually pretty generic. You know the type; to be thinner, to visit the dentist more often, to take better care of my skin, etc....but this years goals aren't like that. This year simply I just want to be happy and healthy. I want to feel good about myself and I want to put the past behind me and move towards a brighter future (as corny as that sounds)

The past 2 years have been the hardest of my life. Stews accident knocked me for six and yet, I had the boys to look after so I continued to put one foot in front of the other. I continued to live each day with a strained look on my face, but not one tear shed in front of others. The crying I did was done in the privacy of my own home once I had settled in bed. I refused to put any extra responsibility on anyone else to look after me. So, I sat by my husbands bedside and waited patiently for him to come back to me. I sat and held his hand and I watched helplessly as he slowly came back round. Each step he took was agonising and frustrating to see; he had to learn to do everything again. From talking to walking; eating to speaking, everything was a struggle and everyday tasks which we do without thinking were hard for him. 5 Months later after a lot of rehabilitation and stress, Stew finally came home. But this wasn't without its limitations. He was no longer able to play the same with the boys, not able to read and for a long time he was so frustrated with how life had threw us this curve ball. I changed my hours at work and was all of a sudden responsible for everything from the boys to housework to driving to doctors or hospital appointments. I love taking care of my family but after a while the strain begins to feel obvious, especially when work and finances are thrown into the mix. 

All of a sudden I was the only 'bread-winner' and I was solely responsible for bringing money in. It was me that did all the housework, me that did all the school runs and me that made sure shopping was always brought. I was the one who knew how much money we had and where it could be spent and when. I was the one who paid the bills and made sure we had enough for the boys for replacement uniforms, etc. I cant say that I minded doing this; I have always loved looking after my family but after a while the strain starts to show. And yet, I continued to rush around from school run, to job, to school run, to shop, to home - where I would sort tea, cleaning away, showering boys, putting them to bed, etc. By the end of the day I was exhausted and hardly had any time for myself at all.

In November 2017, almost a year since Stew had come out of hospital I went to my routine scan for my 3rd pregnancy. This was my 5 month scan and I was excited about seeing our baby again. We were due to find out the sex of the baby; and yet I had a feeling that something wasn't quite right. I hadn't felt much movement in a while and I felt like I was walking to my doom as I went into the scan room with the sonographer. They say Mothers Instinct is a powerful thing to possess. The instant the sonographer started scanning me, I just knew that something wasn't right. I knew that it had died before the lady told me. I could see her fighting to find a heartbeat; the strain apparent on her face. Losing my baby was maybe one of the hardest things that I have ever experienced. The days and months afterwards felt like I was living in a bubble. I struggled to comprehend how this happened. At the 3 month scan the baby was happily swirling around in my tummy; and now I had lost it. Did I do something wrong?

Grief I had was replaced with anger, then denial, then guilt. Every emotion ran through me. The day I had to go in to give birth to my baby was one of the most horrifying memories I have. I had not had any bleeding, my baby was still in there and as morbid as it sounds, I wanted to keep it. I wanted to keep it in there and not ever let it go. Up until that moment, I could deny that this was even happening. I could pretend that it wasn't happening; I could walk around and carry my baby inside me and half-pretend that it was still alive. 

But how long would that have lasted?

I gave birth on the 13th November 2017 to a baby that I was too scared to look at. A baby that was carried away in a 'sick-bowl'. A baby that should have been going home with me. 
I watched as they carried it out of the room and I beat myself up for not wanting to see it. 
I wanted to hold it, but I was frightened. Part of me was scared that I would be horrified by how it looked; what type of mother would I be if I felt like that? Even for a moment? 
But mostly? Mostly I was scared that I was going to not want to let go. I knew I loved it from the moment I saw it at the 3 month scan....No, I think I loved it from when I saw the red line on the pee stick.....and I was scared that I would never want to let it go and I hated the thought of having to hand it back over. 

I walked out of the hospital feeling lost and empty and I have pretty much felt like that all the way up until now. Days went by in the beginning where I was forcing myself to wake up; I was crying most of the time when the boys couldn't see and felt lost most days. Almost like when you lose an item and you don't know where you left it....even after the baby's funeral service, I didn't feel like I had closure. I collected the babies ashes and they sit inside the memory box on top of my wardrobe with mittens and bibs and first outfits that He/she never got to wear. I had a lot of bad days in the beginning. I wanted to hide myself away and not face anyone. I hated going up the school in case people wanted to talk about it; I hated seeing someone who didn't know in case they asked how long I had left, unknowing. 

And I hated knowing that the due date would be coming round and that I would have nothing to show for it. 

My grief was all consuming and I felt like I was drowning in it. It was difficult to speak to other people about how I was feeling....I didn't want to be seen as though I was dwelling on it all, so I tried to bury it continuously and tried to not talk about how I was feeling. I went back to work after a month and just got back into the daily routine I lived. I wiped away threatening tears if there was any triggers and I cried at home most days. I thought I was coping; I thought I was moving forward.

Then sadly, in January 2018 we lost my Father in Law which was a huge shock and upset to everyone involved. The change of events distracted me from the grief I had about the baby and I felt the grief with the family of my Father in Laws passing. As time passed, I started to feel more like my old self and felt that I was starting to move forward from all of the 'crap' we had all gone through. And then in November with work pressures, school pressures, home, pressures, finances pressures and all of the buried stress and grief from the past 2 years, I started to feel less like myself. It started small with me having a few down days; not really knowing why I was feeling low...and then the anxiety started and I felt like I was drowning nearly everyday. Work became increasingly difficult and the pressures made me feel anxious and sick. I would sit at my desk and feel like crying; listening to the office chatter, trying to drone it out as I concentrated on NOT crying and looking like a fool. I haven't been much better since then. I have days where I can smile and laugh, but then I feel low again. I start to feel anxious and sick. My head hurts and I find myself crying over almost nothing. Maybe I didn't do myself any favours in the past by pushing away how I felt during some of the hardest times. I have been signed off work and that alone makes me feel guilty, which again causes me to feel anxious....and which makes me feel sick....which makes me cry....I find I am in a constant battle with myself to keep moving forward.

I know what some may say when they read this....pull yourself out of it! Get over it! Move forward! I would have said the same in the past when I didn't understand how mental health can affect a person. I tell myself everyday to shake it off and let go but I cant. I really do wish I could....

So, my aim for this year is to chip away at parts that I am unhappy with. I want to end 2019 with a smile on my face and to say I did what I could to be happy. Not just for me, but for my boys too. 

Tiny steps but I hope to chip away at my 'low moods' and bring out the hidden-away, smiley Steph. 

First step, lose weight, stick to slimming world and help to improve my self esteem. This alone should help with how I see myself, because at the moment I don't like myself very much. 

Maybe I wont be sleeping through the night soon; Maybe I will be low most days for a while; Maybe I will suffer anxiety attacks and maybe I will struggle to get myself through each day....but I am hoping that with every step I take moving forward then I can start to feel happy again. Because really that's all I want. 

'Just a little note to say that I am not unhappy with anyone in my life; I love my boys and Stew and our extending families. I have some amazing friends who I see as family....the person I am unhappy with is myself. I have to find a way to like myself.'

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

New Year, New Me....Or So I Hope.

New Year Goals!

Lose weight

Figure out what I want to do career wise and stick to it!

Lose weight!

Complete my GCSE Maths and pass with a good grade that I will be proud of.

Spend more time making memories with my family.

Take more photographs.

Try to stress less

Be Happier.

Lose Weight.

Stick to Slimming world and lose at least 3 stone!

Like myself!

Make 2019 my year.....

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Update 4th December 2018

Hi All

I have been a bit lacking on this updating lark...I do love writing still but I have had so much stuff going on that I have struggled to really sit down with my laptop. I am generally burned out by the end of the day so I generally go to bed. Come 9pm when boys are in bed then I don't want to do anything at all. :)

But tonight I sat and wrote a few chapters of my book, I updated my Twitter Feed which I haven't done in so so long and so, as I was on a roll, figured that I should update here too.

Not a lot has happened really, I have had a busy few months. I have just got back from a fantastic weekend away with my beautiful Best Friend, Claire. We went to Edinburgh and it was amazing. Definately somewhere I will look at going next year with the boys. Edinburgh is the only place where they house the UK's only pandas and as Oliver is a big lover of the black and white, bamboo munching bears then we figured it would be a good excuse to take the boys away...that is coming up next year.

The past few months have flew by and I am not really sure what I did with them if I am completely honest. I have been steadily progressing on my GCSE Maths course. I have hummed and ahhed about my career and where I want to be and where. I have stressed my little noggin out about it all. I am torn between a few different career paths and yet if I am honest I want to do them all...but I know that isn't possible. I would love to be a midwife; but I think about the time I will have to be away from the boys, so I have been soul searching. I would love to do that job and go through the training but the boys lives have been affected so much over the past 2 years, I really don't want to be away from them. Being a midwife will be demanding, as I am expecting it to be....I wouldn't expect anything else, but I am not sure whether I can justify doing it when the boys are still so young. I know people do go on and do it with kids, but I want to be here more, not less. So, I have been looking at what else I can do that I would enjoy. Sure, I love writing, but how likely is it that I can make money from it....even if I did make some money from it, then it would never been enough. I cant stay in my job forever, I am starting to feel less and less like myself the more time I spend there. It just isn't the same anymore; there is no progression. I have been stuck in the same role for 13 years and I always feel like I am never fully appreciated for the work that I do. So I want something else before I get bitter, I am generally smiley and happy but once I sit on my seat at work then I feel the life drain out of me. Does that sound melodramatic? Well....its as close to the truth as possible.

So, what can I do that might make me happy....I have always liked the thought of working with children, always liked the thought of working in a school, so I have been looking at teaching assistant roles. Doing a teaching assistant role would suit the boys so much more; I would have the holidays off with them and I could work with lots of little people. If I end up liking it; or loving it, then I can look at becoming a qualified early years teacher. If I hate it and decide that its not for me, then I still have plenty of time to go back to Plan A. I am not settling really....its just a case of finding something that suits the boys and Stew. If it means me sacrificing what I want to do and doing something that is maybe not at the top of my list, then I will do. I actually feel excited about it at the moment. I have enquired about apprenticeship schemes, which yes...I wouldn't be getting the same pay I get now, but it would be so much better for me to have all of the same holidays with the boys. And I feel like I could actually be a good teaching assistant - I mean, I am a bit of a kid at heart myself ;)

Hopefully my next update will be closer to me saying that I am doing more of what I want to do....

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Its been a while...

Listening to: - Billie Piper - The Best Of (via Spotify)

What can I say? I like cheesy pop music...

Watching: Stew is watching Judge Romesh….that dude is funny!

- - - - - -

As many of you have probably noticed, I have been a bit quiet on here of late. I have had a lot of things going on personally, as well as trying to reassess what I want to do with my life.

I have spoke before about how much I want to write; whether it be a television programme script or a book and that is still a dream of mine, but I have dug deeper within myself and decided to reach for something that I never thought I could or would ever be able to do.

When I was younger and before I was a mother, I used to look on with appreciation and respect at nurses and midwives. I often wondered whether I could do this type of job and as with most things I beat myself down and told myself that I would never be able to do it. I told myself that I wasn't brainy enough, that I was too common, that I didn't have enough determination or that I was too 'emotional' for that type of work.

Then when I had the boys, I met a wonderful community midwife. A lady who was with me from pregnancy to birth; someone who I trusted and who I could rely on when I had doubts. She was such a lovely person; very down to earth and made me feel at ease throughout. I envisioned having a career like hers where I would help women to enjoy or at least 'get through' pregnancy. I played with the idea but still I put myself down and told myself that I would be able to do it; that it would be too much like hard work and I would fail at the first hurdle.

Then Stews accident happened; I lost our baby and we lost Stews Dad, all in the space of  years and I decided that I wasn't wasting anymore of my life. I decided that I was going to 'Try'. I still cant believe that I will be able to do it, but if I at least 'Try' and really give it my all then I can never say that I didn't 'Try'.

So, I started researching Midwifery as a job; started searching courses and joined groups on Facebook. With every bit of information I found out, I felt my heart race that little bit more, but not with fear but with excitement.

I still love writing and I hope that one day I can realise my dream of getting a book published, but like photography then I could be happy 'not doing it' if I couldn't or if it didn't happen.....with midwifery I feel like I really really want this. When people say that you have to have passion for something, then I know what they mean. I want to realise this dream, I want to help women through pregnancy; the good and the bad times. I want to help born babies into the world; and I want to help those that like me don't get to take a baby home with them.

I researched universities and chose Wolverhampton University as a place that I would like to aim for. I studied the entry requirements and felt myself doubt myself even more when I realised that I had a lot of work to put in before I could sign up for a Honours in Midwifery.

5 GCSES at Grade C or above - Including Maths/English and a Science qualification.
Plus Access Courses at 45 credits Merit/distinction - with some transferable experience within your career history.

I have GCSES at Grade C in English, although I do intend to improve this grade but Maths has never been my strong suit; mainly because I never paid attention in school. I have enrolled on an online Access to Nursing and Midwifery Course via Distance Learning Centre UK which looks daunting....Again, I found myself doubting whether I would pull it off, but I am determined to give it my best shot.

My confidence was knocked slightly yesterday when I went to Walsall College to do a GCSE Maths assessment - I agreed to sign up for an evening class with one of my closest friends, Claire. The assessment was hard with questions about fractions/Mean Numbers/Percentages and measuring. I was lost entirely and now wait to hear whether I have obtained a place on the course. The tutor told that I scored under what is required to access the course but if they don't get enough students signed up then they may be able to offer me a place.....I smile and said thankyou, my cheeks burning red with embarrassment feeling like a complete failure at the first hurdle and I went outside and berated myself before crying. Stew says that I am way too hard on myself and I know he is right but my confidence isn't great at the best of times and I have been telling myself for so long that I would never be able to do this in a million years....but I wont let it beat me. If the college decide not to offer me a place then I will continue with my access course and brush up with my maths skills via research/GCSE books and BBC Bitesize and then I will re-apply next year for Maths and English.

This isn't going to be a easy journey and there may be many more times when I sit in my car and cry, but I am prepared to give everything to get into this career....and if I get there and realise that I don't like it?? least I can be happy in the knowledge that I got there!! And if I can do that then I can do anything. :)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

The Love Islander!

Last year I never got the buzz from the popular, twisted love reality show.

I didn't even give it a try if I am honest, I seriously could think of better things to spend my time on and found the constant babble about it annoying, but this year I have caught on to how addictive the show is! I wouldn't say I was a fan girl or anything, but I do go glossy eyed at the mention of a contestant!

I don't completely hate the heavily made up, greased up, scantily clad people that walk around the 'love island' as much as I thought. There is a part of me that finds myself staring way too long at one of the sexy males thighs or even the many pairs of boobs....(seriously, they have underboob out any can one even look away?

I mean, yeah...I am not a fan of Eyal...he talks way too much! And reminds me of Ramsey from Game of Thrones with his annoying drone! And I don't really like Adam, who seriously loves himself WAY too much..... does he realise that he looks a bit of a numpty at times...but I am enjoying watching the 'Big Brother' style show. 

To say that I look forward to watching it each evening would be the GODS Honest Truth! :D 

I was disappointed to find that Niall had left though, he was my favourite! I loved how he spoke, he wasn't too 'muggy' at all. 

The coupling and re-coupling of the males and females does my head in a little....I know its a show, but I just cant get my head around someone snogging one person one day and then spooning someone else the next...but maybe I am getting old and boring!

What I would like is a big old drunken punch up! I would love to see DR Alex kick off and beat the shit out of Eyal....That would be entertaining to see! That Dr has took way too much shit already. Nobody fancies him! Nobody wants to pair up with him, except for Somali who is kind of in the same boat....and he is already second best to the other 'knob-jockeys'.

What is wrong with those girls? Alex is probably the best looking guy in there! Are they insane??

DR Alex is hot to trot!

S x

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Love Island

Last year I missed all the hype about Love Island.
I have never really been a fan of Caroline Flack and she helped to steer me clear of the show. As the popularity of it took off then I wished I had followed from the first episode but there was way too much to catch up on so I just gave up.

This year, I told myself that I was going to give it ago.

Yeah, sure the annoying Flack woman is presenting it, but so far I have only seen her once.

And Yeah, the girls make me want to slap fake tan on and saunter around in a bikini (If I owned a bikini).

Sure, the boys make my eyes pop out of my head as they flex their pecks, which are always shiny! The type of shine which attracts the eye and has you following the contours of the many muscles they are harbouring. 

And yeah, the romances are as fake as 'knock-off' perfume from a market seller...

...But I still find myself switching in to see what is happening, everyday. 

I already love Dani - She is Danny Dyers daughter and she is charming and funny, reminding me a bit of Stacey Solomon. 

I find it funny to watch the couplings; those that are forced and those that seem to be moving towards a more serious nature. 

Tonight 3 new people came to the island to shake things up a bit! 2 Guys and 1 Girl!

It may sound sad.....but I am looking forward to tomorrows episode!

I am a Love Islander Groupie!

Driving me Mad

It has been almost 18 months now since I started driving and little by little my love of it is waning because people are such JERKS on the road!

When Stew drove (before his accident) I used to laugh at his 'road-rage' moments. You know the ones! He's driving along, someone cuts him up or doesn't give way and he swore and called them all the 'colourful' words he could think of. I used to laugh, I put it down to him being hot-headed and I even commented that he should let it go over his head and ignore them....just concentrate on driving, I said.

Man, I was a knob! Because I now understand the anger from having a 'rubbish' driver around you...and little did I know that there are SO many of them.

I never remember noticing the 'pillocks' too much on my driving lessons, but I notice them now.

If they aren't overtaking you because you aren't going quick enough on a 30mph road or not giving right of way on an island; or reversing at you and checking their blind-spots enough then they are driving so far up your arse, they are almost in the car with you.

My biggest bug-bear is when they don't give right of way though, especially on an island. Not the usual moments when they don't see you come round the bend on an island, I have enough time to see them and slow down...that doesn't bother me too much, even if I do huff a little, but I have had people pull out at the last second and I have had to pretty much STOP on an island as they saunter past, always looking straight ahead, never looking back at the car they cut up in case they get the ever needed 'Wanker' hand gesture.

When I first learnt to drive, I enjoyed it a lot more than I do now. But the 'bumholes' on the roads kill my love of driving.

Lets not even get started on the kids on bikes who ride right 'smack-bang' in the middle of the road whilst looking back at you smugly as you are forced to drive at 5mph!

No...lets not mention them!