32 weeks

Today marks my 32nd week of pregnancy. It is hard to believe that Jellybean is due in 8 weeks!

I really feel pregnant now. I regularly experience sore hips and pressure in my lower pelvis. Last week when I was nearly 31 weeks pregnant, I had to stop going to the gym. I am proud I managed to keep going until I was nearly 31 weeks. I am continuing to walk Walter each day. I am struggling to sleep a lot now. I am frequently having to switch sides in bed or get up to pee.

It was found during my 28 week blood test that it was found that I am slightly anaemic. I am now on iron tablets. The past week I have developed what I think is carpal tunnel syndrome. I have a physio appointment next week so hoping this will help with this and my hips.

My bump is now huge. This was taken on Sunday:

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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.

One Love

I had wanted to post about the bombing at Manchester Arena when it happened. But, I felt I couldn’t put into words how upset I was. It is bad enough to hear of terrorist attacks happening, but to have one target an event that had so many children, young people and their families is something of pure evil. 

Manchester Arena is somewhere I have been to dozens of times to see some of my favourite bands. I have so many fond memories from nights there. It breaks my heart that an event that children had looked forward to could be at the heart of such carnage. 

I’m not much of a crier. But since becoming pregnant, I find that I am more sensitive to things. I shed a lot of tears over the Manchester Arena attack. I can’t begin to think how the families of all those killed are coping and all those injured. 

Right now, I am sat watching yesterday’s One Love concert. I have cried for most of it. Music is a powerful thing. I just can’t get my head around the world we live in. 

Within the past two weeks we have had two horrible terrorist attacks in the UK. It makes me worry for my little girl when she is born in 5 months time. 

I don’t want to live my life in fear. All this has made me more determined to make the most of each and every day. There is too much good in the world to give up and let these terrorists win. 

Fighting Back

Before I start this post I want to thank all the people who have taken the time to get in touch with me. It has been a huge help. I would especially like to thank Matt, Vicky and Amelia for your emails and texts. You have all been such a lifeline when things have been so bad. 

I am now on new medication. That makes three different medications in just under a year. It was really useful having Dave with me at the GP appointment a few weeks ago. We were able to talk candidly about the situation with me and we were taken seriously. The doctor said that if this medication doesn’t help I will be referred to a consultant psychiatrist. I have had a phone assessment for my referral for talking therapy. The woman was lovely. I am now waiting on an appointment to restart CBT. 

As always, I had my reservations about switching medications. I worried it was going to impact me to such a degree it was going to hinder my ability to work. However, I feel that I am in a much better place. I am proud to say that I went back to the gym last night and enjoyed it. There is a new class I am trying out tomorrow thanks to a recommendation from a friend at the gym. It helps that she will be doing it too. 

It is nice to feel like I am living again. The past few weeks I just wanted to hide in the house. All I was doing was going to work and taking Walter for a walk and even that was a massive effort. Dave’s uncle is over from Brisbane and it was lovely seeing him. We are seeing him again on Friday along with my immediate family as we are all going out for tea. I also have plans to see friends over the next few weeks. 

Walter’s operation went fine. It was awful leaving him at the vets. The house was eerily quiet without him. The day after his operation, Walter was back to his usual self. The hard part was keeping him calm when all he wanted to do was play. He had his last checkup at the vets yesterday and they are happy with how he has healed. 

So for now, I am enjoying the reprieve from anxiety and depression. Right now, I have the strength to fight it. 

Hopes and Dreams

Living with mental illness has made me rethink my hopes and dreams. 

Before I became ill, I wanted a career. I worked full time after I graduated university, aged 21, until last year. I had dreams of being someone really high up and influential in the field of autism. I pushed myself so much. My job defined me. It was on my mind constantly. 

Before I became ill, I was always socialising. Weekends and evenings were filled with plans. I was a social butterfly; always arranging plans and spending loads of my time at different places. 

Before I became ill, I thought I would end up having children. From a young age I wanted my own children. I couldn’t envisage my life without them. 

I have had the title of this post saved in my drafts for the past few weeks. Over the past 24 hours, my sister in law gave birth to my second niece and a good friend had a little girl. It has made me think of how different things are in my life compared to a lot of other people. But I also realise that comparing my life to others is not productive or conducive in terms of my recovery. 

Living with mental illness has made me realise that I need to work to live and not live to work. Being in a highly pressurised and stressful work environment will only lead to high levels of anxiety and low moods. 

Living with mental illness makes socialising really difficult. It sometimes means passing on invites to social events that will be busy or have lots of people there. Quality over quantity; surrounding myself with a few good people rather than lots of people is better for my well being. 

Living with mental illness has made me rethink my view on having children. I would never want to have a child if they were to inherit my anxiety and depression. It is not something I would wish upon anyone, least of all my own child. I struggle almost every day with anxiety and depression. It would not be fair to bring children into the mix. I worry that I would be a terrible mother because of this. I will sound selfish now, but my anxiety and depression tell me how hideous I am; that I am fat, ugly and disgusting. Having a child may potentially make this worse. 

Living with mental illness makes me value the little things in life; health, love, family and friends. So my hopes and dreams are simply:

  • To be able to manage my anxiety and depression
  • To continue to have good relationships with my husband, immediate family and friends
  • To have a job that makes me feel worthwhile
  • To be happy