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. 

Halfway there

I am now 21 weeks pregnant! So infact I am over the half way point. Yesterday Dave and I had our 20 week anatomy scan. I always feel a mixture of excitement and nerves before scans. 

Our little girl has grown so much since our private gender scan 5 weeks ago. I am so happy that she is healthy and well. She was checked thoroughly from head to toe which reassured Dave and I. Especially with the whole issue with my medication. I was so relieved when they checked her heart and it was fine. As per every scan, our little girl decided to be awkward during the scan. I was asked to go for a wee in the hopes that she would move position (which she did). It made me laugh as I have had to do this during each scan. 

I am feeling our baby girl move so often now. Dave has yet to feel her. She stops moving when he talks to or rub my bump. But it is just a matter of time before he does. I am still having morning sickness. I ended up throwing up outside the house when we got back from the scan yesterday. The majority of the time that I am not being sick I feel nauseous. It is hard at times. But, I know that all this will be worth it by the time our little girl arrives. 

A few weeks ago, we took Walter to Dogfest at Arley Hall for the second year in a row. This year we also went with our friend and her dog Lola. It happened to be unbelievably hot during the week we went to Dogfest. We were frequently putting the dogs into paddling pools, pouring water on them and getting them to drink. 

We made the decision to leave early for Dogfest this year. It was a good decision. We had to queue to get into it, but the queue moved constantly. We got to hear the amazing Noel Fitzpatrick talk this year. He is such an inspiration. 

Noel had this tshirt on during his talk and I couldn’t resist one for myself

Waiting in the queue

Walter all ready for Dogfest

Walter and I did a selfie haha!


How much does Walter suit this flatcap?! 


The main man; Noel Fitzpatrick!

I am planning on going back to the gym tomorrow. I haven’t been for nearly a month what with my asthma being bad and then morning sickness reappearing. I am going to do Zumba and I can’t wait. 

Our little girl already has some lovely clothes thanks to her auntie, Nan and Grandad and her great auntie and uncle in Australia. My Mum is in knitting heaven. The baby already has a matching hat, cardigan and blanket that are beautiful. I also couldn’t resist buying her some things for Father’s Day for Dave. 

These clothes are from my sister


Dave’s Father’s Day presents. The books are so sweet and made me cry reading them. 

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

Stability

I’m still struggling to get enough sleep. Normally, this has a huge impact on my mental state. But, my mood has been quite stable this week. I am looking forward to having a much needed lie in bed on Sunday morning. 

Work is going well. Fortunately I get on so well with both Little Miss and Dom’s family. They are appreciative of me and this makes me feel like I am making a difference.  

Yesterday I met up with two people from a depression forum that I use. For a long time, I have wanted to meet others who have anxiety and depression. We met in a park and I took Walter with me. Walter really helped. Both people loved him and Walter loved being the centre of attention. It was strange being able to talk so openly and honestly about how depression and anxiety impacts me. I felt it went really well. We talked for about an hour and a half before we left. We have arranged to meet up again in two weeks. Hopefully, two other people from the forum will also join us. 

My appointment with the crisis team is a week on Monday. I finally received a letter in the post earlier in the week. I’m not expecting much from the appointment as the crisis team have been far from helpful. 

Dave and I are going for a meal tomorrow night. We have vouchers for the restaurant we went to for my birthday because we had such a bad experience. We’re both looking forward to it. I think it’s what we need after the upset last Saturday. 

Mental illness takes its toll

Things came to a head between Dave and I on Saturday. It had been coming. We’d been snapping at each other for a few weeks. It’s understandable given we have anxiety and depression to contend with every day. 

I went the gym on Saturday morning. I then rushed to get ready to go over to our friends house. We weren’t able to take Walter to our friends house. This meant us going out of our way to drop him off at my parents house. 

So we dropped Walter off and start heading over. We had no idea that there were roadworks which meant road closures. It’s important to note that my anxiety is always high before any form of social gathering. Dave was driving and normally he is quite cool, calm and collected. But even he found it stressful. Dave ended up snapping at me; I ended up in tears and having a panic attack which included me screaming how it would be better for everyone if I killed myself. 

Dave pulled into a quiet street as it wasn’t a good idea for him to be driving at this point. 

I think we both needed the blowout. We walk on eggshells because of my anxiety and depression. As horrible as it was to be arguing, we were both able to be honest about things. This included me admitting to Dave that I still have suicidal thoughts. Dave also talked about how difficult it can be for him. 

I wasn’t in the right place to be seeing our friends. So Dave messaged them to say that the traffic was bad and could we reschedule. 

I think from now on I need to listen to myself more often. All week I had been struggling with the idea of going to our friends on Saturday. Yet I tried to ignore it which ended up making me feel even worse. 

We ended up enjoying the rest of the weekend instead of letting our argument spoil it. Next Saturday Dave and I are going to go for a meal. I think it will do us both good. 

Wedding Success

I had mentioned in earlier posts that I would be supporting Dom at his Mum’s wedding. It was on Friday and Dom exceeded everyone’s expectations.

When I went to pick Dom up from his Dad’s house on Friday morning he was so excited about the wedding. He couldn’t wait to get changed into his suit and to wait at his Mum’s for the wedding cars. When I first saw Dom in his suit I got a lump in my throat. He has real sensory sensitivities with clothes; he hates wearing jeans and shoes with laces. Yet he managed to wear a bow tie all day, his morning suit jacket until the wedding breakfast and his shoes until the start of the evening part of the wedding. 

Dom loved talking to all his family and friends of his Mum when he arrived at the church. He was incredibly sociable for most of the day. I could tell when he was getting tired as he frequently asked me if I would sit outside the venue with him and didn’t really have the energy to talk to anyone. He was able to tell me that he was tired and wanted to go back to his Dad’s. I love how self aware he is becoming. 

During the months leading up to the wedding, Dom insisted that he would not be sitting in church for the wedding ceremony. The plan was for Dom to walk down the aisle with his niece (flower girl) and nephew (page boy) and he would then wait outside with me during the ceremony.

Dom sat in the church for the entire service and saw his Mum get married! I had a Mary Poppins-esque bag full of things to help Dom remain calm and address his sensory needs. Favourites of the day included a bendy man and a small kaleidoscope 🙂 When Dom saw his Mum outside the church before walking down the aisle he told her that she looked beautiful. He also whispered to me, “this is the best day ever!” when we were in church. 

With any wedding there is a lot of waiting round; especially when you are part of the wedding party. Dom coped so well with this. I was able to distract him with humour or talking about Katy Perry (yep, Dom is back into her music in a big way!) Dom loves his food and becomes quite irritable when hungry. My bag of tricks proved useful when waiting for the food to be brought out when we were sat down during the wedding party. My small tin of magnetic beads were a big hit!

Another thing Dom repeatedly told me during the build up to the wedding was that he would not be dancing. Well, he danced and he loved it. His Mum and Step Dad had one of those light up dance floors and Dom absolutely loved it! Combine this with him asking the DJ to play Katy Perry and it was a truly winning combination for him!

Before Dom’s Mum and Step Dad had their first dance, they got up to say thank you to particular individuals. One of them was me. Dom’s Mum told the entire room that they don’t thank me enough, that they don’t know what they would have done as a family without me and that they love me loads. I was also given this lovely bunch of flowers:

  
I was understandably emotional over this thoughtful gesture. Throughout the day a number of people came over to tell me how much progress Dom had made since I had become his personal assistant. According to his family, Dom is now more sociable, talkative and generally much more settled. I was told how much of a good job I am doing and hugged. 

Of course it is nice to be given recognition for doing something well. But I don’t work with Dom for the praise. I am his personal assistant to help him and it is a privilege. 

Up and Down

I have continued to be up and down throughout this week. I don’t know which is worse; knowing why you are feeling anxious or unexplained bouts of anxiety. I’ve felt on edge a lot this weekend which has been frustrating. Especially when I have had such a chilled out time and managed to catch up on sleep. I have talked with Dave about it. I wonder if I am anticipating something going wrong and that’s why I am anxious if that makes sense. 

On Wednesday I have an interview for the job I applied for! I (well, my depression) convinced myself I wouldn’t be shortlisted. I have to travel to London for the interview. Dave has taken the day off work to come with me. I told him I would be ok but he insisted. He is so sweet. We are going to travel to London by train. My parents are going to have Walter for the day. I have sorted out all the documentation I need and what I will wear. It’s hard not to think about the interview. It is an amazing opportunity. All I can do is try my best. 

Walter continues to do well at puppy class. We did a recall exercise yesterday. One of the trainers kept hold of Walter’s lead. Dave and I were asked to stand opposite Walter some distance away. We then had to call Walter’s name. Our little dude did amazingly. As soon as he heard us shout he ran as fast as his little legs could carry him. This week I am going to work on teaching him to turn. 

   
   
Walter with his new teddy. We have to take a favourite toy of his to puppy class next week. I think this will be it!