Looking to the year ahead

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. We decided not to do presents this year except for the children we know. It actually made the build up to Christmas more enjoyable. I wasn’t worrying about what to buy people. Dave and I didn’t buy Daisy anything either. She was just over 9 weeks and oblivious to the fact it was Christmas. We agreed we would rather buy Daisy thing as and when she needs them while she is so little. Daisy did get presents from our family and close friends including a play mat that she adores.

Daisy will be 11 weeks old on Friday. She is so much more alert now and smiles a lot. Daisy makes a lot of different sounds too. She had her first jabs the week before Christmas. We were fortunate that she didn’t seem to have any adverse reaction besides being more sleepy and cuddly than normal. We have got Daisy into a nice routine and for the most part she goes to sleep relatively quickly after her evening bath and bottle.

Yesterday I went back to the gym. Last time I went was 6 weeks before I gave birth. I was highly anxious beforehand. But I was glad I went. I did a Bodycombat class and really enjoyed it. It was hard but not as much as I anticipated. It was nice to catch up with people. I am aching a bit today but I was expecting to.

Dave and I have never done anything big for New Year’s Eve. This year will be no exception especially as we are now parents. We plan on our usual tradition of getting a Chinese takeaway and chilling out in front of the telly.

I am really looking forward to the year ahead. I am taking Daisy to a 6 week sensory class at a local soft play centre. My best friend teaches a sweaty mama class. It is an exercise class that you can take your babies to. I am planning on finding some sort of music based class for Daisy as she loves music and I want to do a baby massage class. I am looking forward to seeing Daisy grow and develop. I love being her Mummy.

I hope everyone enjoys bringing in the New Year. Here’s to a fantastic 2018!!!

Viability


Today marks 24 weeks pregnant which means from this point on, our little girl has a good chance of surviving if she were to be born. This made me smile immensely when it came up on Ovia, one of the pregnancy apps I use. 

For the most part, my morning sickness has gone. I have had the odd bout of it but nothing major. The recent hot weather has been horrible for me. I am finding it harder to get comfy in bed at night even with a pregnancy pillow. But it is so much worse when it is warm. As a result, my sleep has been terrible. I haven’t been the gym since Saturday and have needed to have naps on days when I am particularly tired. 

My bump is definitely more noticeable now. The past few weeks when I have had Dom, he has commented each week that my bump is bigger. 


Our little girl’s movements are becoming much more stronger. Dave, my mum, brother and best friend have all felt her which has been lovely. 

I had a recent spell of being super anxious about our baby. My biggest fear is something is wrong with her or will go wrong. I spoke to Dave and my Mum about it which helped a lot. It is nowhere near as bad now. 

We have booked a 4D scan for the end of August. We are going to where we went for the gender scan as they were brilliant. Plus, they had a great offer on and we couldn’t resist. We only have to wait another 6 weeks for it.

We have had so many lovely people giving us things for our baby. From clothes and books for her to maternity clothes for me. Our little girl is loved by so many already. 

Pregnancy aside, things are good. Spent lots of time with my family recently including a birthday meal for my Dad at the weekend. The times I have been able to go the gym I have thoroughly enjoyed it and kept up in classes. I am doing low impact moves/adaptations when needed. 

From tomorrow Walter’s BFF Lola is staying with us for just over 2 weeks. Dave and I are really looking forward to it. Walter enjoys having her here. Dave has some time off over the next few weeks which will be nice. 

The battle within

My head is in a strange place at the moment. Each day is like a battle that I am fighting to get through.

This is the third day of feeling really low and highly anxious. I thought I was having what is a ‘normal’ low for me. But I am also experiencing higher levels of self loathing than normal. 

I struggle to sleep when I am like this. It is getting worse each night. No matter how tired I am, I don’t fall asleep for hours and I wake up frequently during the night. 

I am trying so much to get through this low. The gym isn’t always helping. I am on edge and anxious in classes. I tried pilates on Monday night after doing Bodyattack in the hope that it would help mentally. It was the worst thing I could have done; I spent the entire hour with thoughts in my head telling me how fat, useless and a burden I am. At least now I know not to do pilates when I am struggling…

Deep down, I know this will eventually pass. But it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. If anything, I have days when I am mentally well that I fear the days like this again…

The black clouds have lifted

On Tuesday I managed to go back to the gym. I did bodycombat and bodypump. It was noticeable that I had a break from the gym. But even going to the gym was an achievement in itself. I was really sore for a good few days this week. 

I also managed to do a proper food shop. When my anxiety and depression are bad, I tend to eat whatever I can grab. I bought some veg, fruit and generally healthy food. I managed to start cooking healthy, filling meals too. 

Last weekend I couldn’t even face leaving the house at all. Today, I was able to take Walter for a walk with Dave. Tomorrow afternoon we are going round to our friend’s house. 

When depression rears its ugly head it robs me of all interest in anything. It’s like the world is bleak and grey.  Through this recent low, I had support from Dave and two awesome friends. They kept checking up on me, reassuring me and letting me know that they were there for me. I am so appreciative for them being there for me. 

Quiet weekend

For the first time in a long time, Dave and I are enjoying a quiet weekend. We took Walter for a walk in the woods near where we live yesterday. It was really nice being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. 

Last weekend’s dachshund walk went really well. Initially, Walter seemed overwhelmed. There must have been at least 20 other dachschunds. The walk we went on was lovely. At the end, Walter played with a handful of different dachshunds. It was lovely to see him so happy. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

The gym is still going well. I am really sore from it. It is a result of doing all the latest Les Mills Bodyattack, Bodypump and Bodycombat and another personal training session. The new Les Mills releases are fantastic. They are hard work but fun. There is a pull up and running challenge that my gym instructor friend has set. I am planning on starting them on Tuesday with a friend from the gym. 

I have a CBT appointment tomorrow which is the first for a few weeks. I am hoping to address the social anxiety that I frequently experience. Especially as my friend from the gym has invited us a few of us from the gym to hers next Saturday evening. I am already worried about it. 

I have a new post up on Defying Shadows. It is about 5 Ways to show someone with Asperger’s that you care. You can read it here.

New challenges

It was lovely to see my family on Saturday. My Mum, Dave and I took Walter to the park near my parents house in the afternoon.  Although it was cold, we had a nice time. In the evening, we went to a favourite Indian restaurant of ours. It was delicious!

My anxiety levels continue to be low and my mood has been ok. The focus during my CBT sessions is now on how I perceive myself. Incase I haven’t mentioned, I don’t like myself. This impacts on how I react in social situations. I regularly feel paranoid and continously analyse myself when out. I don’t like the way I look, I regularly engage in negative self talk, I am convinced that people don’t like me and I worry that I have made a fool of myself in social situations. 

Addressing these issues is proving more challenging than I thought it would. It is really pushing me outside my comfort zone. Due to my work commitments and my therapist having time off, I don’t have another CBT session until the end of the month. I have some work to be doing around the issues mentioned. I don’t feel confident in working on this without my therapist’s input. She has said to get in touch if I need to but I don’t feel confident enough to. 

On Tuesday, my latest blog post was posted on Defying Shadows. You can check it out here. I have another one due to be posted early next week that I am currently working on. 

A group of us from my gym are going to be doing an obstacle course challenge called Rough Runner in October. It looks like a right laugh. My gym instructor friend is going to do it with us, so I am going to ask her about the best way to train for it. I am also going to start being more strict with my diet too. 

As much as I love working with Faith, I do not love the early get ups. Next week she is off school as it’s half term, which means a week when I can get a few extra hours sleep 🙂 It will be strange though, as I will be going the gym in the evening instead of the day. But it does give me the chance to try the latest Bodyattack release. 

Happy 1st (blog) Birthday

  
So I came on here tonight to this lovely notification. I needed this after the past few days. As cliche as it sounds, it’s hard to believe I have been blogging for a year. 

On Sunday night my mood came crashing down. I cried so much my face hurt. My anxiety was in overdrive. I kept jumping to worst case scenarios about everything that was going through my head. 

I managed to get to the gym on Monday night. I thought Bodycombat would help. Unfortunately, as I had been ill between Christmas and New Year, I found the class really difficult. I was having to stop loads as I was struggling to breathe. This didn’t help my mood at all. It was really frustrating. 

I had Little Miss early this morning. My mood wasn’t great as I struggled to get to sleep last night. So I went and did an extreme abs class at 10.30am. It went well and I felt better for doing it. 

I have my first CBT appointment on Monday. This is my referral appointment after having my CBT stopped when I was under the crisis team. I think it has come at the right team given the difficulties I am experiencing. 

Apathetic

Thank you to all the supportive comments on my last post. They really helped. Dave is going to come with me to the assessment on Friday. He is going to wait outside so that I can speak freely and honestly. 

I did a Bodycombat class earlier. I really didn’t want to. For starters, my stomach was really hurting which is a sure sign that my anxiety is high. I am still not sleeping properly which doesn’t help at all. 

On Saturday I pulled some muscles in my chest. The pain was nothing I have ever experienced. Anything I did resulted in sharp pains in my chest – eating, lying down, picking Walter up. I ended up taking a co-codamol at night as however I lay in bed I was in agony. It eased up a lot when I got up on Sunday. I thought it was best to skip the gym on Monday night. But as usual I felt guilty for not coming. Looking back, I wonder if my anxiety was making my chest pains worse. 

Dave and I took Walter for a walk to somewhere we have never taken him before on Saturday. I felt on edge most of the time. On Sunday I felt totally apathetic. I could have just stayed lying on the couch staring at the ceiling. Dave didn’t give me much choice and we took Walter for a quick walk. 

I spoke to my therapist on Monday during my CBT about the mental health assessment. She could see how much I was struggling. I was on the verge of tears during the entire session. She thinks that my medication will be changed and that I might be under the home team. My therapist has referred me to a charity that can help with volunteering and vocational qualifications who have mental health issues. I think this would really help me. 

Back on the horse

After a chilled out weekend I managed to get myself in a better headspace about the gym. It helped that I talked to my friend from the gym via whatsapp. The conversation wasn’t about my mental health. It was just a typical conversation between friends. One of my big worries was facing her after what happened at the gym on Thursday evening. 

The anxiety was still there today. Dave was messaging me words of support and encouragement. But I went to the gym with the mindset that I wouldn’t let my anxiety win today…and it didn’t! I did the entire Bodycombat without anxiety rearing its ugly head. 

Gemma 1 – Anxiety 0

I also didn’t let the current low I am experiencing stop me from taking Walter to puppy class with Dave. This week we asked to bring something that your puppy sleeps on. We took one of Walter’s blankets that he sleeps on in his crate. We were then shown how to get your puppy to go on his bed. Walter already responds to “in your bed”. He has a routine of going out to the toilet and then going straight into his crate ready to sleep each night. It is something Dave and I have instilled from the beginning and it was evident during the class. Walter was definitely one of the most responsive dogs. I was so proud of him! 

The last half hour of puppy class is a chance for all the dogs to socialise. We let them off their leads and they can do what they want. The puppy class we take Walter to is on a huge secured field. It has taken weeks for Walter to get more confident socialising, but he is definitely getting there. At the beginning, he would sprint towards the gate to leave the field. I don’t think he will ever be as lively as the labradors in the class. But considering he is the smallest dog in the class by a lot I can understand his hesitation. This week I managed to get some photos of Walter socialising:

   
The lovely Tilly

    
 
One of the trainers brought her 12 week old minature labrador called Wibble. Walter loved her!!!

   
 
Betty the black lab

   
    
    
 
Walter did so well considering he has been out of sorts. He is teething and lost a tooth on Friday. As you can imagine, he hasn’t been very keen to eat. He was also sleeping a lot more than usual and generally being more cuddly (if that’s possible!) more than usual. 

   
This is Walter’s teddy Jesse. Yep…Walter is named after Walter White from Breaking Bad. We had to call his teddy Jesse. This is a kong teddy and it is fab! It has minimal stuffing and has rope inside it. 

    
    
   
I am happy to say that Walter is much more himself. He has eaten all his food the past two days and has been playing a lot more. 

Tomorrow I have Dom. On Friday his Mum is getting married. Dom is an usher and I am going to support him. I am worried about how I will cope with the day. But the most important thing for me is ensuring that Dom is ok. It means one less thing for his Mum to worry about and I am so glad I can help. I will post about how it went. 

The Starlight Blogger Award

Rebecca has nominated me for the Starlight Blogger Award. This award was created to help highlight and promote Inspirational Bloggers. Thank you so much for nominating me! 

  

Rules:

Thank the person that nominated you and link back to their blog.

Answer the 3 questions that are given to you.

Pass the award on to 6 or more other bloggers of your choice and let them know that they have been nominated.

Include the logo of the award on your blog, please never alter the logo and never change the rules

Rebecca’s questions:

What keeps you inspired?

My family and friends, Dominic and the community here on WordPress inspire me. Music also inspires me. 

Your favourite place to be?

I love chilling with Dave and Walter whether that is on the couch or out on a walk. 

Any hobbies or sports that you’re passionate about?

I love the Les Mills classes I do at the gym (BodyCombat, BodyPump and BodyAttack). Exercising is a great escape for me. I am passionate about music and reading. 

My questions:

  1. If you could travel back to any period of time in history, when would you choose and why? (Currently watching Gladiator with Dave and I asked him this question :P)
  2. Favourite Disney film?
  3. Favourite chocolate bar?

Nominees!

 Amber Keeps Breathing

The Rabbit Hole

 Voyaging Voyager

Ask a Teenage Aspie

davesoapbox

By Lauren Hayley

Bipolar Whispers

Nicky’s Day with Autism