28 weeks and 32 years

I am actually nearer to 29 weeks now. I had my 28 week midwife appointment last week. It went really well. My urine sample was clear, my blood pressure was normal, my bump is measuring spot on and Jellybean’s heartbeat was great. I love hearing her heartbeat.

Pregnancy wise I am doing well. The midwife was shocked at how active I am but said it goes to show how it is helping. I still cannot eat loads of food and heartburn is more of an issue now. Jellybean is super active and I am feeling her move right up by my ribs a lot now.

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. I have had a lovely weekend. On Saturday, my friends, Mum and sister threw me a surprise birthday party. I was really not expecting it and was so touched. They had been planning it for ages.

There was a theme to the party to do with the name we have decided on for Jellybean…

Yesterday we went for a curry with my family. It was delicious. Today, Dave and I are round at my best friend’s. Her two little girls have made me birthday cards. Tomorrow, Dave is treating me to a day out. We are making the most of being baby free!

Things can get better

Sometimes I find it hard to believe how much progress I have made over the years since being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I have two things that have happened over the past few days that I want to talk about.

Dave received a Facebook message from someone I have not been friends with for nearly 3 years a few evenings ago. I have spoken about this person. She was one of my bridesmaids when Dave and I got married. But when I was at my lowest, she made my life even worse. She made me feel guilty, didn't respect my boundaries and only cared about herself.

I made the decision that I did not want or need this person in my life. So I was surprised to find out this person messaged Dave acting as if nothing was wrong, asking how we were and congratulating us as she (somehow) knew I was pregnant.

Dave worried so much how I would react that he got in touch with my sister. She reassured Dave that I am stronger then a lot of people realise.

My first response when Dave told me was to laugh. I can honestly say that I have not once missed the friendship. I questioned the motives behind her getting in touch in the first place. Plus, the message acted if nothing had happened when it was quite the opposite.

Dave and I both agreed to ignore the message and that he would block her on Facebook. I am so happy with the people in my life. My family have always been amazing. I have the nicest and supportive friends. I didn't see the point in trying to be friends with someone who made me more ill and turned out to be an awful friend when I needed them the most.

I know for a fact that this message would have triggered my anxiety and depression when I was still struggling. I would not have been able to stop ruminating about it, quite possibly had a panic attack and it would have made my mood come crashing down. I would have brought it up continuously with Dave. It has been quite the opposite. We have not talked about it since Dave received the message.

Yesterday I went for afternoon tea for a friend's hen do. In the past, I would have automatically said no to something like this. I used to actively avoid situations like this; too many people, being with people I didn't know, a busy place etc. The only person I knew was the bride. But I went and had a good time. I chatted away to people I didn't know and they were all lovely.

To think there was a time that I was suicidal, struggled to leave the house and was constantly anxious and my mood was low is hard to believe right now. I am proud of how far I have come. I want to stress how it has not been easy to get to this point. There have been a lot of tears, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and being honest with myself and others when it is not always easy. I can recognise if I am starting to struggle and do things to help myself feel better.

27 Weeks

I am now 27 weeks pregnant. My pregnancy feels like it is flying by.

Last week, I didn't think Jellybean was moving as much. She just seemed a lot quieter than usual. I decided to phone up the hospital that I am giving birth at. They were amazing and said for me to come in so they could check everything was ok.

I ended up not telling anyone at the time and went the hospital on my own. I messaged Dom's Dad as I was due to pick him up for 10am and he said to collect him whenever I was ready.

Looking back, I have no idea why I didn't tell anyone in my family. I just calmly phoned the hospital, had a quick cry and drove myself to the hospital.

Jellybean was and is absolutely fine. They put a doppler on me and gave me a clicker. I was asked to press it whenever I felt Jellybean move. The midwife went and got me a drink and as soon as she left the room, Jellybean started moving! I was given tips on how to get Jellybean to move in future if I feel like she isn't moving as often.

So I did eventually tell Dave and my family that I had been to the hospital. Not surprisingly, I was told off by them all as they felt I shouldn't have gone on my own.

Since I have been into the hospital, Jellybean has been making up for having a brief quiet spell. She has been moving so much! I love feeling her move. It is one of the most incredible experiences.

I finally got round to doing yoga last night. I absolutely loved it. I have been continuing to do this pilates, zumba and bodycombat. I also continue to walk Walter each day. I really believe staying active will help me during labour and after Jellybean is born.

I have my 28 week midwife appointment next week. They will start measuring my bump. The week after we have our 4D scan. I can't wait to see Jellybean. I am doing a hypnobirthing course through the hospital which starts on Sunday. I have heard good things about it so hoping that will be beneficial when I am in labour.

Besides pregnancy, we really enjoyed having Lola here for two weeks (as did Walter). We managed two dog play sessions and loads of nice walks.

Still spending time with my family and friends regularly too. It is good to spend time with good people. Jellybean will be so lucky to have these fantastic people in her life.

My hero

We all have people we look up to. People who inspire us and make us want to be better people. 

On 26th November 2006, my sister’s best friend and a friend of mine was murdered by her ex boyfriend and the father of their then one year old son. She was just 17 years old. 

Laura lived opposite where I grew up. I was lucky to have grown up in a quiet suburb with a number of children of a similar age. Laura had such a sense of fun. She was forever smiling and laughing. Laura was kind, caring and thoughtful. 

Even though it has been 10 years since Laura tragically died, a part of me still cannot believe I will never see her again. Sometimes when I go to see my parents, I picture her walking down the road with a big grin on her face. 

I thought I had known all the details surrounding Laura’s death. On Saturday, her younger brother did a Facebook live post at the place where she died. He wanted people to know that his sister is a hero. 

I was unaware that Laura’s ex boyfriend also tried to stab their one year old son. She suffered six stab wounds that should have killed her. Laura had the strength to protect her baby. She made sure that her son was given to a couple who happened to be nearby. The male tried to help save Laura as she was bleeding profusely. Laura calmly told the man the full name of her ex boyfriend who had stabbed her. While Laura was as I now know dying, she was still so caring and thoughtful. She asked the man trying to save her if he was ok. Eventually, Laura told the man she was going to go. She closed her eyes and died. 

Even though Laura probably knew she was dying and in a great deal of pain, her first thoughts were of others. For her little boy and a complete stranger. 

Some of your heroes might be footballers, singers or actors. But my hero is Laura Bailey. Her actions throughout her life were heroic. She always put other people first and paid the ultimate price for this. I am lucky to have known such a thoughtful, kind, caring, considerate and funny person. 

If you would like to see the live Facebook video that Laura’s brother did on Saturday, please click here.

Restless

It’s 6.50am. I have been awake since 5.40am after another restless night. I went to bed exhausted after two classes at the gym. Yet I am still not able to sleep all night without sleeping tablets. 

After the gym last night, my friend asked if I was ok. I told her I wasn’t. I went on to tell her about the assessment, the suicidal thoughts and just the general struggles I am going through. It was probably the first time I have ever said some things out loud; how I would rather be dead then feel like this, that I am just a burden to others and how scared and worried I am. I was on the verge of tears and so was my friend. That was not my intention. She said she would care if I killed myself and that it would have a huge impact on her. I said that she’d get over it and move on. She told me that I am important to her. 

My friend said to message her about how the assessment goes. She said I can talk to her whenever I want. The gym has a booking system for classes. My friend told me that she checks if I am booked on for classes. She thought I had been struggling and knew I would talk to her when I was ready. I thought I was good at putting a mask on when I was struggling. Or my friend knows me too well. She has suggested meeting up for coffee with her and her Mum. Her Dad struggled for years with depression and he has made a recovery. She said it is totally up to me. His depression sounded as bad as mine; he would frequently say he wanted to throw himself under a bus. 

The blame game

Walter was really sick on Saturday. We don’t even know for sure what caused it. It was awful. He was throwing up for an hour. He stopped and has been fine since. But me being me, I blamed myself for it. This triggered a low which made me ill. I cried so much my face hurt, I had a terrible headache and I struggled to snap out of it. I wore myself out to the point of exhaustion. Yesterday I woke up to a terrible headache. 

During this horrendous low I ended up telling Dave that I experience suicidal ideations. He said that he thought that I did which is why he really wanted us to get Walter. The tremendous levels of guilt I felt when I did calm down were overwhelming. I was repeatedly apologising that I get these thoughts. I was insisting on cancelling plans on Sunday afternoon for our friends and their 4 year old daughter coming round to meet Walter. Dave suggested that I make the decision in the morning after sleeping. 

I am so thankful for Dave. I was ready to text my friend on Saturday night to cancel. Looking back now, I am glad I didn’t. We had a nice few hours with them. My friend asked what I do with Walter when I am at work. I used this as an opportunity to tell her about how things have been since December. My friend was shocked. She said had no idea, especially as I had seen her when things were really bad. I am glad I told her. This friend lives nearby and I said to her to get in touch whenever she wants to meet up.  As she has a young child, this has always been the way I am with this friend.  

My mood is quite low. I would rather just sit in. However, Walter needs to go for a walk later. It would be easier to not go to my usual Bodycombat class later. I am going to go though. I came across a pattern colouring book that I bought during my last breakdown. I am planning on buying some new felt tips. The ones I found have dried out. Colouring in helps my brain to switch off. 

I am supposed to be spending the day with my sister at some point this week. I am also going round to my parents on Friday. They have been on holiday and are back today so I didn’t see my Dad for Father’s Day. Part of me doesn’t want to see them but I will fight through the negative thoughts. I haven’t seen them for a few weeks so a catchup would do me good. 

Walter is perfectly fine now. He is back to his usual self. This was him last night chilling on the couch with Dave and I:  

 

That makes three

Today confirmed that someone who was my friend for 10 years doesn’t want anything to do with me. I will explain further. 

This friend has been in a relationship for a number of years with an absolute dick. I have no idea why she is with him. I have thought for a long time that he is abusive to her. I never voiced this to her in the hope that she would one day discover this for herself. 

To see a good friend change so much because of said boyfriend was hard to see. These changes were not for the better. My friend went from being outgoing, bubbly, confident to quiet and unsure. She now drinks to excess as her boyfriend does this. This was someone who didn’t drink much until she met this loser. 

I sat back and kept quiet on so many ocassions  She told me about the countless arguments, his excessive drinking and the fact she checks his texts and facebook account behind his back. My friend seemed scared of her boyfriend. 

This friend was one of my bridesmaids. She knew the date of the wedding 19 months in advance. The night before the wedding I found out through another bridesmaid that she was intending to leave after the wedding breakfast. The reason why? Her boyfriend had work the next day. Surely he could book the day off after our wedding since we gave over a year and a half notice? Apparently not!

I found this out when I was attempting to get some sleep the day before my wedding! It was a complete curveball. Least of all as she didn’t have the decency to actually tell me. The amount of time and money I had spent on her being a bridesmaid and she wouldn’t be there the entire day. 

We got married at 2pm. I stayed at the wedding venue the night before with my mum and bridesmaids. Considering my friend’s boyfriend had work early the day after our wedding, I was shocked to find out that by the time our wedding ceremony had started he had drank 3 pints of beer! On all our photos he looks completely miserable. He was sat on a table with the bridesmaids, their partners and my brother during the wedding breakfast. I was told he had a face on and didn’t attempt to join in conversations. 

My friend and her miserable boyfriend left at some point after our first dance. The most upsetting part was they didn’t even say goodbye. They just left. 

I let all this go even though I was furious. Dave and I met up with her at the end of October after we had got back from Reykjavik. It was really awkward. Nothing was said about the wedding. Mostly because Dave didn’t want a fuss and felt it wouldn’t achieve anything. I have not heard from this friend since. 

When I had my breakdown in December, I didn’t see much point in seeking help from this friend. She made it abundantly clear in March 2013 that I didn’t need to be on antidepressants and I was letting the person who was bullying me in work win. This impacted me for a long time and still does. I struggled to acknowledge to others how unbearable and overwhelming my life felt back in December. To this day only a select number of people know about my depression and anxiety. I don’t want to push anyone else away. 

Today was my friend’s birthday. I sent her a text wishing her a happy birthday. This has been ignored. This is not like this friend. I know for a fact she will have received it as she was on whatsapp two hours after I messaged her. 

I had written this friendship off even before I had my breakdown in December. So why am I feeling so hurt by all of this? I have now lost 3 close friends in the space of 6 months. I feel as if it has highlighted how isolated I am. My circle of friends seems to be dwindling. Maybe all of these broken friendships are all down to me. I find it hard to forgive people. I guess living with depression and anxiety has made me want to shut out people who are a potential threat to my mental wellbeing. 

My anxiety is telling me that my friend who I stopped speaking to in January has played a part in all this. I wouldn’t put it past her to try and sabotage my friendships with others. 

I feel ridiculous for letting all this bother me. I live with the constant fear that I will end up alone; without Dave, my family or the friends I still have. I am clearly too much hard work. So why would anyone want to be there for me?