Sunday, 31 December 2017

Looking back over 2017

Happy New Year! Almost. Can't believe it's December 31st already. Where has the year gone? So much has happened this year. So many wonderful things that have made 2017 the best year ever!

Vala started infant school. 

January 9th saw Vala start her first day of infant school. A day I thought I was more prepared for but the tears at drop off time told otherwise. Suddenly she wasn't my baby anymore. She was my big girl. Looking so grown up in her uniform with a bag almost a big as she was. Even though she had no idea what was going on at first, she was still very excited and eager to get going. She stood close by my side at the gate. Nerves were obvious but excitement wasn't entirely gone. Her class was a lot bigger at the start of the year with 19 kids altogether including Vala. A lot more than the 9 that ended she ended the year with. She was absolutely fine when it was time for me to leave. Saying goodbye to me with a kiss and a cuddle before happily sitting upon the mat. She was completely fine. I was not. I put on a brave, happy face but was an emotional wreck inside. I waited until I got home to cry my eyes out. My baby was growing up too fast. Starting infant school was probably the high point of Vala's year. She has grown and developed so much and has made so many wonderful friends and has made some wonderful memories. She is eager for the school holidays to end so she can return to see her friends in the new year.

Jordan started a new job.


After working on the shop floor at a local Wilko's store for a total of 11 years, it was finally time for Jordan to move on to something new. Well, kinda new. He moved from his small store up to head office and exchanged his manual labour customer service role for a customer support role behind a desk. The job change was a big adjustment for all of us. Instead of working 25 hours a week, he was now working 39 hours a week. Instead of being a 5 minute walk away from work, he's now 50 minute drive away. He's out the house for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. The hours have been hard on him and his extended absence has been hard on us. Especially Vala in the beginning. We had all adjusted to the change but with him currently on paternity leave, I think we'll need to readjust in a few days time when he returns to work again. The job change has been a good for our family though and hopefully in the new year it'll open up more opportunities for him.

Jordan and I got engaged. 


It was only a matter of time before this became a reality but this year also saw Jordan and I get engaged. Marriage is something we'd been discussing for quite some time and we knew it was inevitable that we would some day tie the knot. Whilst neither of us are in any hurry to get married, we essentially considered ourselves engaged to be engaged. But come my birthday, Jordan decided it was time to make our plans more official. After a quiet day with Vala, followed by a lovely family dinner out, my birthday was made complete by Jordan getting down on one knee and presenting me with a ring. I couldn't say yes fast enough. I've never loved a man as much as I do Jordan and I'm so happy that I can officially say I'm going to spend the rest of my life with him. There's no one else I'd rather grow old with than this wonderful man. His proposal was the best birthday present I could have ever asked for and made my 27th birthday an unforgettable one.

The birth of our son Flynn.


Saving the best until last, the definite high point of this year was the birth of our son Flynn Victor. Born 11 days ago, just 5 days before Christmas, Flynn was the best Christmas present any parent could ask for. Life definitely hasn't been the same since he arrived but not in a negative way. Stress levels have been down, all the issues I suffered during the pregnancy (the tachycardia, SPD, gestational diabetes etc) have all vanished and whilst I'm still recovering from the c-section, I'm starting to feel more human again. Flynn being in the world actually feels easier than the pregnancy ever was. Life with a newborn is oddly calm. Maybe I only think that because Jordan being on paternity leave has given me a false sense of security. He returns to work in 4 days time and things won't be the same without him. I've loved having him and Vala both at home so we can enjoy being a family of 4. I'm still not used to saying I have a son or that I have two children or that we're a family of 4 but I've never been happier. I love my perfect little family so much and cannot wait to see what the new year has in store for us!

From our family to yours. 


So as 2017 comes to close, I want to end the year by thanking you all for stopping by and joining me through my pregnancy and parenting journey. My blog is now a year old and whilst I may not have been overly serious about it this year, next year things will be different. I've decided I want to put more time, love and effort into this blog and have created a schedule for myself. Post will become more regular with 3 posts a week plus a Sunday photo to cap the week off. Loads more content will be coming your way as I expand and try new things. I don't think 2018 can possibly top this year but I have a good feeling that big things are on the horizon not only for this blog but for my family as well. So from our family to yours, we want to wish you a very happy new year. May you have a fun filled and safe New Years Eve tonight! I hope 2018 holds some wonderful things in store for you all. We looked forward to seeing you in the new year!

Until next year,
Alli xo

Friday, 29 December 2017

Introducing Flynn! Birth Announcement

The moment I've spent the last nine months waiting for is finally here! I can finally announce the safe arrival of our son Flynn Victor.

Flynn was born via planned cesarean section on December 20th. Nine days earlier than his due date
and one day earlier than we'd originally planned the section for. I received a phone call late Tuesday evening from the hospital, informing me that all women scheduled for sections on the 20th had already had their babies. They had places available if I was interested in moving my section forward one day. Of course I jumped at the opportunity! Although we did have to get the ok from Jordan's work for his paternity leave to start a day early before we could accept the earlier section.

Everything moved very quickly then. We made final preparations, got Vala off to Jordan's parents for the night and attempted to get a good nights sleep. Jordan fell asleep within five minutes. Me on the other hand, I stayed wide awake until some time around 4am. I was very anxious. I couldn't wait to meet my little man finally but I was also really freaking out about the epidural. I finally managed to settle and get two hours sleep before I had to wake up to leave for hospital.

We got to hospital at 7.15am and went through all the formalities; speaking with the anaesthetist, having bloods taken etc. We were in theatre before 10am. Everything went very smoothly and it was a very calm experience. It was actually a very pleasant experience. Then at 10.06am the mostly quiet theatre erupted with the sound of a tiny human screaming. Flynn was here! Whilst we couldn't see him, Jordan and I could hear him and we both cried with huge smiles across our faces. Jordan was invited across to cut his umbilical cord and take some photos before finally Flynn was bought to me and I got to have skin-on-skin time with him. He was too close to my face for me to look at him but it was fine for him because it meant he could lick my cheek which seemed to calm him.

Another 20 minutes later and we were out in recovery. I got to have a proper cuddle with him and look upon his gorgeous face. Once Jordan's adrenaline  had eased he held Flynn for the first time. He was a little apprehensive and nervous at first but immediately the look of love washed across his face and he looked like a natural father. It's true what they say, you never think you could love your partner any more until you see how much they love your children. I fell in love with Jordan all over again seeing him holding our son.

The next day I was discharged and returned home feeling very worse for wear. I couldn't stand up
straight and getting upstairs was near torture. Lots of painkillers and agonising days later and here we are. I was able to remove my tape dressing across my wound this afternoon to reveal I am stapled together. Hopefully someone will tell me soon when the staples will be removed because until today, I didn't even know they were there. I'm starting to feel more human thankfully. I'm walking up right and haven't needed painkillers for the last two days.

Flynn has been a very easy baby so far though. He loves his sleep, just like his dad and doesn't scream for food. He grunts and grumbles to signal he is hungry but doesn't usually cry. He eats like a champ and spends most of the day/night fast asleep. I know it's famous last words but I am not suffering from sleep deprivation at all right now. Jordan's paternity leave ends next Thursday and I fully expect that Flynn will be an easy, well-behaved baby until Jordan goes back to work and then he'll become an absolute nightmare that will keep us up all night every night. Then I'll regret bragging about not being sleep deprived right now. That's future Alli's problem though. For now, I'm just gonna enjoy having my little family all together at home. With Jordan on paternity leave and Vala on school holidays, it's been a full house. I'm not complaining though, I love it!


It's hard to believe looking down at Flynn that he is already nine days old. Time has flown by, it's been like a dream. I am extremely happy though. Everyone keeps saying to me that now I have one girl and one boy, I'll be done having children. Whilst more children aren't currently on my mind and I am very happy with my little family, I still don't feel we're 100% complete yet. I think there's still room for Flynn to one day become a big brother himself. Until then though, I'm on cloud nine and so in love with my perfect little family. I can't wait for what the new year has in store for us all. I have some plans in mind for the new year but that's for another post.




Until next time,

Alli xo.





Sunday, 17 December 2017

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Countdown to Flynn - 1 Week!

It's incredible! To me, the last two weeks have felt like they have dragged on but when I opened my blog up today, I suddenly realized just how fast the time has gone. How has it been 15 days already?! But yes, as the title explains, Flynn is due to make his appearance in exactly 1 week from today.

Things have been chaotic and unbelievably stressful to say the least. I feel so unprepared for what is
to come but trying desperately to get through everything. I've been back to hospital multiple times with reduced movements and countless extra scans. Flynn has always been fine though. Just likes to keep us on our toes. Either that or he really is just lazy like his dad. I had my last appointment and scan on Tuesday and got all the paperwork for me c-section filled out and completed. Flynn waved to us on the last scan and showed us his winky on the scan before that. He's gaining weight nicely, though will be a big baby when he's born we're thinking. He was weighing approximately 7lbs 10oz at the last scan with his abdominal circumference still following the 97th percentile line. With 9 days between the scan and his due date, I'm guessing that he will be around 8lbs 06oz - 8lbs 10oz at birth. Vala was 8lbs 03oz at birth and she was born at 39 weeks. Flynn will be born at 38+6 weeks but I'm taking the gestational diabetes into account and assuming he will be bigger than his sister.

Final preparations are being made now and words cannot describe how excited I am for next week. We're moving all the baby things from Jordan's parents to ours and deep cleaning the house. We've got the car seat now and going to practice putting it in the car tonight. Mine and Flynn's hospital bags are packed and in the car ready, just in case he decides to make an early appearance. I've packed for a 3 day stay in hospital like I experienced with Vala but according to my consultant, if everything goes to plan and Flynn is fine, we'll get to go home the very next day.

It's all very real now and I cannot wait!
Until next time,
Alli xo

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Countdown to Flynn - 3 Weeks!

The date has been set! Preparations are being made! Baby Flynn will be arriving in 3 weeks and 1 day!

Yesterday I had another appointment up at the hospital. Another growth scan. Another visit to the dietitian. Another visit with the consultant. Was a long day but was filled with mostly positive news. Flynn is completely healthy and happy inside the womb. The placenta and umbilical cord are working perfectly and Flynn is growing magnificently. They estimate his weight to be approximately 6lbs 11oz. That means he's put on 1lbs 11oz in exactly 3 weeks. His abdominal circumference is still on the big side, measuring on the 97th percentile line. Everything else is on scale though. So all in all, he is perfect and there's no worries with him at all. First lot of good news.



Second lot of good news is my dietitian was so happy with my latest blood sugar levels that she doesn't need to see me again before Flynn is born. She has left me with an open appointment meaning I can request to see her at any point should I have concerns but she doesn't need to see me again. She's very impressed that I have been successful in managing the gestational diabetes with diet control only and that I've managed avoid needing any medication or insulin. So that was another win for the day.



Third lot of good news came in the form of a book elective section date. I spoke with my consultant and asked to have an elective section at 38 weeks. Unfortunately they won't do an elective before 39 weeks but she bent the rules ever so slightly for me to ensure we'd be home in time for Christmas. Unless he decides to come into the world naturally first, Flynn will be born by planned cesarean section on the 21st of December. I'm still holding onto the hope he'll come early but even if he doesn't, at least I know he'll definitely be here for Christmas. If they keep us in for 3 days like they did when Vala was born, we'll be getting home Christmas Eve. Talk about the best Christmas present ever!



The only bad news I got yesterday was that I am suffering from a mild case of pelvic girdle pain, also known as SPD. It's why I have constant pain in my groin that makes walking, climbing stairs, putting pants on and getting in and out of bed extremely difficult and agonizing. I can take paracetamol for the pain and they've suggested I refer myself to the hospital physio. Something which I'm not going to do. I know I should but with 3 weeks to go, it doesn't seem worth all the hassle of getting an appointment, finding a sitter for Vala who can get her to nursery and spending a bunch of money on Uber's to and from hospital. So instead I'm choosing to live with the pain for the next 3 weeks. Maybe crazy but to me, it's the easier option.



Anyway, now that the date is set, things are ramping up at home. Flynn's hospital bag is packed (although I plan on re-packing it) and I made a start on packing mine last night. Jordan has plans to come home from work and get stuck in with deep cleaning the house. The tachycardia and SPD stops me from doing pretty much everything but I'm going to help out where I can. I'm putting together a list of jobs to do along with a timetable of when they need to be done by. I love to organize so I guess I can help Jordan get things ready by organizing his time and jobs for him. Really excited for Flynn's arrival in 3 weeks. The countdown has officially begun! 3 weeks, 1 day!

Until next time,
Alli xo.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Vala's 4th Birthday

Last Friday saw my little girl turn 4 years old and the lucky girl got to celebrate all week long.

First off we had her Paw Patrol themed birthday party the weekend before with all her family on her dads side. Her nanna did all of the planning for us which was a huge weight off our shoulders. She had a blast organising it too. She said she hadn't planned a themed party in years and had so much fun creating pup themed fun. We had 'Pupcorn', 'Rocky Road', 'Cheese Ruffs', and hot dogs to eat. Played Paw Patrol themed games and did plenty of dancing and laughing. Vala had the best time and never stopped smiling and laughing the whole time. Her aunt made her bithday cake and not only was it amazing to look at but it tasted incredible. I couldn't resist a slice despite my gestational diabetes. The whole day was a huge success and it meant so much to Jordan and I to see Vala have a day that was all about her before the arrival of her brother.



Her actual birthday felt a lot more normal. Like it was almost just an ordinary day. She still attended nursery so most of the day was routine as usual. With the exception of a skype call with my parents back home in Australia and several present opening sittings. Jordan had to leave for work at 6.30am so was gone before Vala woke. I didnt want her to wait all day to open her presents so I split them. She opened some before nursery and the rest once Jordan came home. After that we paid Jordan's parents a visit where Vala got to open even more presents! We had dinner, she was spoiled and of course, there was more cake! It was nice but not as amazing as the cake from her party.



All in all she had a great week, full of wonderful memories. I can't put into words how much it meant to me to see her so happy. Everything has been so hectic and stressful as we prepare for Flynn's arrival that I'm really glad she got to be the center of attention for a while.

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Sunday, 26 November 2017

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

27 and Engaged!

Good afternoon everyone!

It is officially the day after my birthday and I am now twenty-seven years old! But not only that, I'm now also engaged! Words cannot explain how unbelievably happy I am. I've never loved a man more than I love Jordan and to know we're going to be spending the rest of our lives together, just makes my heart sing. I've not stopped smiling since he proposed!

My birthday in general was pretty ordinary. So much so, it didn't even feel like my birthday. It was just another normal day with the exception of all the birthday messages. I woke up and Jordan was already at work. Vala was still asleep so I had to wake her up for breakfast. We skyped with my parents back home and I opened my present from them. I got a lovely shirt and a maternity nursing night gown. After the call, I got Vala ready for school and dropped off. I then relaxed all afternoon, talking to my best friend via text. Picked Vala back up and we had a small snooze on my bed whilst watching Tiny Pop. It literally was an uneventful day. Jordan came home with an orchid plant for me and whilst it hasn't got flowers yet, I'm hoping I can keep it alive long enough to see it bloom. It's my first ever house plant. He told me it was to symbolize "new beginnings". My first thought was, what new beginnings? I'm only turning twenty-seven and our son isn't due to be born for a while yet. I shrugged the thought off though and got ready to head out for dinner.



We went to our usual restaurant of choice; Frankie and Benny's for dinner. Amazingly, Vala not only ate her own dinner for once but she also tried some new foods which really impressed me considering she can be such a fussy eater who usually refuses to taste everything new. It really was a lovely dinner that took a slightly awkward turn at the end. Vala was so slow to eat her meal that we ended up being the only ones left in the entire restaurant. The waiters were cleaning up around us. They weren't closing for another few hours but since it was so dead, they just started cleaning so Jordan and I started feeling a little uncomfortable and got the rest of Vala's dinner to go.



We then came home and just before Vala went to bed, Jordan got down on one knee in front of me and before he could even ask me anything, Vala decided his bent knee was the best place for her to sit during this big moment. Jordan opened the ring box and Vala tried to take it asking if it was for her. I would've been tearing up had Vala not made the whole proposal so funny. Jordan did manage to ask me if i'd do him the honour of marrying him someday and of course I said YES! With Vala still trying to take the ring box, we managed to get the ring onto my pudgy pregnancy finger. It's just a stand in ring at the moment as Jordan wanted to let me choose my own ring. I'm not much of a jewelry wearer and when it comes to rings, he knows I'm very fussy. I don't like too much bling and certain cuts etc. He wants me to have a ring I'll love so we're waiting until after our son is born and my fingers aren't as swollen, to go out a choose a proper ring. The stand in ring is still beautiful though and seeing it on my finger makes me smile for ear to ear.



I had the best birthday ever and it was the best way to start my twenty-seventh year. I love Jordan so much. I love our family. Words cannot describe how happy I am right now!

Until next time,
Alli xo
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Monday, 13 November 2017

Last day of being 26!

Afternoon lovely readers,

Today marks the final day of me being twenty-six years old! It's hard to believe it's been a whole year already since I uttered the words "This is the last day I can say I am quarter of a century old." It honestly feels like yesterday. Like last year I chose to celebrate my birthday with partner Jordan and my 3 closest friends. Unlike last year, we didn't go out to a pub and get drunk of cocktails and shots. We went out to the most amazing Burger restaurant. Vala was at her dads last year but this year she was home with us. She didn't come with us out to though as sitting at a dinner table listening to five adults talking isn't really her thing. Instead she went and visited Jordan's parents until dinner was over. She then spent the remainder of the evening with us, playing with all my friends, singing songs and having a laugh until she passed out from exhaustion in our bed.



What was also nice is the fact all my friends live so far away and ended up staying overnight. It meant we had two days of casual birthday celebrations. We all slept in quite late, even Vala, and when we got up it was breakfast and stories until we could be bothered to drag ourselves out the house and into town to a cafe for lunch. We took the bus in which Vala loved! I wasn't a huge fan of my cheese and ham toastie because it had some form of chutney on it as well, which I didn't see advertised. It was sickly sweet and I couldn't finish it. So that was a downer. Jordan bought me a large hot chocolate as well which made me worry about my glucose levels but surprisingly, I stayed below the limit and didn't spike later.



As much fun as we were all having, the celebrations had to end, everyone had to go home and we had to get to reality. Jordan, Vala and I dropped two friends off at the train station and then drove my best friend home. I then spent the night choosing to get my life in order. I figured I'm nearly twenty-seven and I have no routine. My house is cluttered, my sleep pattern is non-existent, my eating habits are all over the place.... I just have very little structure in my life. That's not good for me, Vala or the baby when he arrives. So I spent the evening planning out a new daily schedule including everything from what time I get up, to what times I eat my six small meals as well as what chores get done on what days and at what times. But I didn't stop there. I then drafted up a daily schedule for Jordan as well to better coordinate his life. Now he can have perfect balance between work, family time, couple time, support work and him time.



We plan on printing both schedules out and creating a home command center in the kitchen. It'll include our schedules as well as a meal plan for the week, grocery list, to do list, calendar and an achievements board for when Vala does something good and earns herself a sticker. I cannot wait to get it all set up. I love getting organised more than I love actually being organised though so it's going to take all my discipline to keep to my schedule. I'm hoping that by the time baby is born, Jordan, Vala and myself will have a concrete, structured routine. No more having dinner at various times in the evening. No more going to bed a silly o'clock. No more neglecting ourselves and each other because we're trying to juggle everything else. I'm feeling really positive about what the future brings for us. Life should get so much better from this point on if we all keep to schedule and get everything organised. Just can't believe it's taken me twenty-six years to finally get my life together. I feel like suddenly I'm an adult.



I'm still silly and immature when the kids are asleep but now finally I'm starting to feel like a real adult and a real parent. I'm feeling really good about myself right now. What a great way to start my twenty-seventh year of life!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 23 October 2017

Gestational Diabetes.

Yes as the title points out, unfortunately I have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I was incredibly angry to have failed my second GTT after finding it much easier to cope with than the first. My numbers were quite high and as a result I was sent to the diabetic clinic and now have to follow a strict diet to ensure my son stays healthy inside me and doesn't grow too large. I had a scan done and he was looking perfect as always and they estimated his weight to be around 3lbs 02oz which is actually 2oz lighter than they predicted Vala was at the same stage in pregnancy (29 weeks).

I've been given a kit to test the glucose levels in my blood before and an hour after every main meal. Six times a day I have to prick a finger, draw some blood and record the results. My fingertips feel bruised and each prick hurts a little bit more than the last. Thankfully I'm having a little break from it at the moment due to the fact I have run out of needles and the doctors kept messing my prescription up. So my fingers get a short break until I'm able to collect my prescription.



After learning I had gestational diabetes my mood naturally sunk even further. The tachycardia had been getting worse and I was spending most of my days in bed unable to do anything. Even the 2 min school run was more than my heart could handle and I needed to get my best friend to come stay with us for a while to help me get Vala to and from school. I was feeling completely useless and miserable and things like chocolate and biscuits gave me that little ounce of happiness. Now I'm not allowed either. No chocolate, biscuits. cakes, donuts, sweets, ice-creams, soft drinks, fruit juices, jams etc. Basically anything that gives you any form of happiness in the form of a minor sugar high is off the table for me. I'm pretty much living off peanut butter on wholemeal toast, eggs, chicken and vegetables at this point. My diet is incredibly boring and most unsatisfying.

It's really hard to keep to when I'm around other people as well. Went out for dinner with Jordan, Vala and my best friend Adam and whilst my dinner was perfect for my diet, I had to stick to tap water whilst everyone else had pepsi or fruit juices. It doesn't sound like a big deal but when your tastes buds are desperate for sugar and your loved ones are all consuming it around you, it's gets hard to deal with. It's also been made harder by the fact that I won 52 free milkshakes a day before my GTT. I have the vouchers but I'm not allowed milkshakes. I cracked and treated myself and Jordan to one when we collected the vouchers and then ignored my tachycardia by shopping and running errands for 2 hours to burn the sugar off. It worked, I was able to keep my glucose levels below the limit so apart from my heart and body struggling, I managed to get away with that treat.



The diet isn't the end of the world, it's just another thing that's making life and the pregnancy a bit sucky at the moment. I want to be able to go out with my friends and have a good time. I want to keep going to the gym and exercising. I want to play with my daughter at the park. But my tachycardia stops me. Now I'm missing out on having a different kind of fun by having to be super careful with my diet. Jordan and I attended a friends birthday party at a pub the other week and of course I had to drink tap water all night because I can't have alcohol and I can have soft drink either. It was still a fun night but having to turn down food and drinks because of the sugar content did dampen it for me a little. I can't just enjoy a situation now, I have to analyse how every action could affect myself and my son. Not to mention having to drag my diabetic kit around with me everywhere isn't exactly fun either.

Anyway, it's how it is right now and I have to accept it. I'm counting down the weeks until my due date even more now. I'm due in less than 10 weeks but thanks to the gestational diabetes, I know there's a chance he could be here in as little as 8 weeks time. Then again if all goes well and i maintain my diet, he could also be here in just under 12 weeks. Either way, I'm ready for the pregnancy to be over and for my son to be here. I want to be enjoying the pregnancy but the fact that the rest of life has been put on hold because of it, just sucks all enjoyment out.



Ahh well,
Until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Tragic Wake-Up Call

Morning all,

As I start this blog post, it's currently 12.35am. I can't sleep. It's not because of pregnancy or the nerve numbing pain that's radiating in my spine right now. No, it's because I learned some tragic news today that has hit me in a way I wouldn't have thought.

An old friend that I went to school with has passed away. Now I admit, we were never that close. We were in two separate friends circles which from time to time would overlap. We hung out from time to time in a large group but she was always very warm and welcoming to talk to. She had an infectious smile and this bright energy. I don't think I know a single person back at school who disliked her. She just had one of those likable personalities. When we left school, I didn't have any more contact with her as our group of friends went their separate ways. After a couple years, I cleared out my friends list on Facebook and didn't think twice about unfriending her since we'd spoken in two years. She became just someone I went to school with. Someone I used to know.

Anyway, a few years later, after I'd move to the UK I learned that she had fallen very ill. Cancer. I couldn't believe it. She was always so active, healthy and full of energy. It was hard to believe she could ever fall that ill. She needed a bone marrow transplant and a lot of chemo to have a fighting chance. I wanted to reach out and offer her kind words and well wishes but it had been so long. It felt wrong. How do you just reappear in someones life, whom you've not spoken to in years, simply because you know they've got cancer. I couldn't do it. I didn't reach out. Instead I spoke to someone I'd been very close with high school who was still in touch and asked her to pass on my well wishes. I kept up to date with her fight via shared Facebook posts and articles in the local newspaper. I know her bone marrow transplant was almost fully successful and for a time she was in remission. I know that she fell ill again and had to have a second bone marrow transplant that was successful and her bone marrow was at 100% she was back in remission again. That was March this year. Her outlook was positive. Then this morning I wake up to see a post on Facebook that she'd passed. I was completely overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions. I cried. A lot. Cried for a woman I'd never been overly close with and hadn't spoken to in almost nine years. It's just too hard to believe she's gone. I spent the day angry at myself for not contacting her years ago like I'd wanted. Regret all the friends I've not spoken to in years. I messaged my friend, the one whom had passed on my well wishes years back. I apologized for falling out of contact and thanked her for always being such a wonderful friend to me. Turns out she and I were in very similar stages of shock and grief. We talked for a little while and after she went to bed, I carried on with life like I always have except this time with a heaviness in my heart.

Now here I am, writing this post because I can't shut off my brain. I've been so miserable lately. Feeling like my life has been falling apart in the process of building it up. That this pregnancy has taken so much away from me and out of me. But I have this pregnancy. I have my daughter. I have a loving partner and a home on the other side of the world to where I was born. That's so much to be grateful for. My friend had been ill for so many years that she couldn't really travel the world. As far as I know she had no boyfriend. I could understand her not wanting to grow an attachment to someone when she knew she might die. She never married, never had kids, never traveled the world or owned her own. She finished her university studies to become a nurse and instead of treating patients, she became one herself. From the moment she finished further education she was fighting for her life.

It sounds bad but her passing was a huge wake up call to me. I've been feeling so low lately and that I don't have much of a life due to being stuck at home most the time. But I'm alive. I have a wonderful family that's about to get even bigger. I may not have many friends that I see often, or a great job and degree but I still have a lot to be grateful for. I shouldn't be complaining about what I haven't got because I have so much less. My friend was the same age as me. Her life should've been beginning and it's cruelly been taken away far too soon. I want to stop being sad over what's missing in my life and just be grateful for what I do have. My family. I want to live for my friend. It may sound silly but her passing just reminded me how precious life is and to live it any way I can. I plan to do that. I plan to take the risks I've been to scare of taking. I'm going to appreciate every day no matter how hard it may be to get through. Admittedly it will be hard to do whilst I'm still pregnant but once Flynn is born, I plan on being reborn as well. Everything I'll do to improve me will be in her memory.

We may have never been overly close.... but I'll never forget her.

Until Next Time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Saturday, 2 September 2017

A long overdue post full of venting.

Hello anyone who may be reading this. It's been far too long since I actually posted a proper thread. I think my last actual post was back around 8 weeks of pregnancy. Since then things have been chaotic, twirly, hormonal, stressful, weepy, draining, exhausting, demotivating and down right rough. As a result I find myself in a deep pit of self-loathing and mood swings. If I'm not crying and saying the worst about myself, I'm angry and flipping my lid over every little insignificant thing. It's at the point now where there is far too much weighing down upon me and I can't keep it bottled up anymore. I can't rationally talk to anyone about it either because their opinions and attempts to help just infuriate me with their lack of understanding. So here I am, about to bore you with a long and mostly negative filled blog post. Enjoy! Or don't. You know, whichever you prefer.

PREGNANCY:


Well thankfully all of my fears for my
unborn childs safety were for nothing. I am currently 23+1 week pregnant and I'm expecting a healthy baby boy in December. I do worry about birthing him though as his head is on the 94th percentile line. It's massive and probably going to tear me a new one. We've named him Flynn and I honestly cannot wait until he is born and my life and body can return to a new normal. I say this because the pregnancy has bought back the tachycardia I experienced when pregnant with Vala.

Literally with each passing day, the heart rate gets higher and normal every day tasks become more and more of a challenge. I am already at the point where I have accepted I cannot go out and do anything, like shopping, on my own. The walking alone sends my heart rate through the roof but you add carrying a single shopping bag to that equation and it feels like my heart is going to explode out my chest. There's nothing more degrading than the stares of strangers on the street when they notice an overweight pregnant woman struggling to breathe whilst walking along a flat road. It's humiliating. You add taking Vala with me and I have to stop a minimum of 4 times on the way home just to catch my breath.

Along with the tachycardia is the never ending onslaught of hormones. I seem to be
getting hit with wave after wave of them. I've lost all rational thinking at this point. I stress out about every little thing and break down crying at adverts on TV. It doesn't take much to tip me over the edge and send me screaming in anger into the bathroom where I end up crying in the shower. I can't even handle myself, I don't know how anyone else is coping with me. I struggle with wanting to be close to the people I love to make myself feel better and wanting to isolate myself from everyone because anything they do can piss me right off.

DAILY LIFE:

It's safe to say that I'm not coping with daily life at all anymore. The pregnancy induced tachycardia has made things almost impossible for me to do now. It's only a matter of time before the heart rate becomes so bad that I end up back on bed rest like I was with Vala. Every day I wake up feeling like I barely slept the night before. My sleep is full of messed up, back to back dreams that some mornings I even struggle to distinguish what is real. I feel like I have an energy meter internally wired now. Everyone has infinite amounts of energy whereas I wake up with a maximum of 100 energy. Each thing I do drains a percentage of my energy meter until I'm running on empty. I lay in bed stressing over which tasks I'm going to choose to complete today. Getting dressed takes 25% of my energy, doing the laundry takes 50%. Washing dishes takes another 15% and so on and so on. If I choose to do a load of laundry that means something like hoovering the floor won't get done because I physically don't have the strength in me to do it. My heart simply cannot handle it. What's worse is depending on what tasks I choose, everything could all be undone by the end of the day anyway. Like if I choose to use 75% of my energy and pick up Vala's toys and hoover the floors, there is no guarantee that by the time Jordan gets home, her toys won't be all over the floor again, with crumbs from lunch and another spilled drink. Leaving the house looking like I never actually did anything of use that day. When things like that happen, I feel a part of my sanity die a little and the next day I have the mental hurdle of "why bother" to jump over before I even get out of bed. I struggle every single day and no one can fully understand how and why I do.

Thing is, I didn't want everyone knowing just how much I am struggling because then they baby me and it makes me feel even worse than I already do. Of course I want someone to watch Vala for a few hours every once in a while so I can sit in peace a breathe for 5 minutes without a barrage of demands being thrown at me. Trouble is though, I only want Vala being looked after under my terms. When it's offered to me that someone will watch Vala, it's always worded that so and so "will watch Vala to give me a break" or so I "can have a break". Making me feel like everyone knows I'm not coping and therefore are doing me a pity favour. It's never "hey can we have Vala for a play date?" Or "can we take Vala out somewhere?" No. It's always to do me a favour and let me rest. I know I'm sounding ungrateful but when everything is literally getting on top of me, I don't like feeling that people are thinking I can't even look after my own daughter. But again, I am my own worst enemy because even if someone did ask the nice way, to have Vala, I'd still be hesitant because with Jordan out the house 10+ hours a day, it means I have to physically see the person looking after her. That means I have to shower, get dressed, have the house remotely tidy, have Vala showered, dressed and ready all before they arrive. If I don't do all those things than they'll realise I'm struggling more than I'm letting on and the babying intensifies and I have to stand there forcing a smile on my face whilst I cry inside. But of course once they've left, I've already used up my daily energy allowance and have nothing left to use on making myself feel any happier, like going to a cafe. Nope, once Vala is gone, I resume the fetal position in bed, attempt to lower my heart rate and either sleep or watch a livestream on Twitch.

In short, I spend most of my time now, either sleeping or fighting to stay conscious whilst my daughter tells me "I want" for about the 100th time each day. I can't eat breakfast alone without her demanding a second breakfast. I can't take a crap without her insisting on banging on the door because she wants to hug me. I can't shower alone for 5 mins without her bursting in an demanding a 10th glass or orange cordial. I get no privacy unless Jordan is home and when he is home, I get no peace as those two together are louder than a heard of elephants. I have become so dependent on Jordan to save what little sanity I have left but even he has no understanding of what the hell I'm going through.

RELATIONSHIP:

I want to say Jordan and I are solid but
honestly, my head is doing everything it can to force a gap between us. I spend the day whilst he is at work convincing myself that he is meeting someone better for him and reminding myself that I don't actually deserve him. I tell myself he doesn't make me feel special or important anymore when in reality I reject around 95% of his attempts to do just that. Telling myself he's only saying or doing those things for some other reason besides trying to make me feel loved. I'm convinced he thinks less of me despite him telling me over and over again that he doesn't. Convinced he loves me less and less everyday despite him saying he does several times a day. My head just won't let me be happy. Most part I believe it's because he doesn't understand what I'm going through so how can he really care?

I love him with all my heart but tell myself every single day that I am no good for him and that I am useless and he deserves so much better. I put the wedge between us because I'm too scared he'll stop loving me and caring about me like Vala's father did when I suffered the tachycardia during her pregnancy. I put up so many defences, trying to stop myself getting hurt again when all I want is for him to understand and support me. I opened up to him about how the tachycardia was making me feel and he kept offering solutions he thought would help and not understanding that I've tried them all before and they don't work. We argued, he said something hurtful that he didn't mean and next thing I know, I have his mother at my house to come take Vala out so I can "have a rest" because he'd told her everything I'd told him in confidence. I feel like the more I try and open up, the less he understands and as result it leaves me feeling like I can't talk to him at all. My head is so messed up though that I can't tell if it's all me or if part of the problem is him as well. Like, is my struggle really that hard to understand or am I just so incompetent that I can't even explain it clearly enough? He keeps telling me to exercise more, never understanding that I really want to but the tachycardia stops me. I want to get out of this house so badly and go for a walk, or to the gym, or for a swim etc but I can't. I feel like I can't breathe when I try and I die inside when I struggle. Telling me to do something I really want to do but physically don't feel I can, doesn't help. I just end up feeling worse.

I know he's going to read this so Jordan please understand, I want to take Vala to the park. I want to play with her the way you do. I want to be able to have fun with her and exercise with her the way you can but I just can't and it breaks my heart that I can't. Reminding me every day that her being cooped up in the house doesn't help. I feel guilty enough that I can't do the things you do. I spend every single day feeling like the worlds worst mother because I am only half the person you are. Our son is taking so much from me that I use what little energy and strength I have left just to make Vala food and to get her 11 hundred drinks and to take her to the toilet every 20 minutes. I'm doing everything I can and I know it's not enough. I know I'm failing. It's why I keep making you do everything for her when you're home. Because by resting while you do everything gives me the slightest chance that I'll be able to go to the park or for a walk around town. Doesn't mean I feel good about you doing everything. I feel completely selfish all the time. But soon I might be on bed rest and won't be able to do anything so please understand I'm doing everything I can (as little as it is) now to ensure that I to do those little things on the weekend with you both. Just please understand you can't help me. You can't make the tachycardia go away. You can't stop the raging hormones. You can't stop our son draining everything from me. I know you want to help but you can't. Being the stronger parent and a rock for my sanity is the only way you can help. Don't tell me to try doing <x> or <y> because chances are I really want to but have no energy or I've tried and I can't. I am physically, mentally and emotionally weak and I know I am asking so much of you but I need you more now than I probably ever will. Please know I appreciate everything you do. EVERYTHING! I am so grateful I can't even explain how much. Just know that those car trips out, the unnecessary trips to tesco, the park visits where I just sit and watch, all mean more to me than you realise. All I want is to be out of this house with my family and I don't have the strength to cope with it. So any time we do go out, no matter where it is, I'm really grateful you took us. And know that no matter how hard I push you away over the coming weeks/months, that I really do love with all my heart. My head is just so messed up right now and it's not your fault. I love you.

INDEPENDENCE/MOTIVATION:

This post has gone on for far too long and at this point, I'm going to start repeating myself. But naturally as the tachycardia gets worse, the more dependent I become on other people. I feel less and less like a human adult every day. But to make it worse, with Jordan earning more money now, it means I get a lot less. I didn't get paid at all yesterday and I don't know if it's because of a system error again or if he earned too much that I'm entitled to £0. Either way, without any money coming into my account it means I have to ask Jordan for money to do anything. I can't afford to buy Vala's school uniform without him giving me the money. I can't treat us out to lunch on the weekend. I can't pay my own bills or debt anymore. I'm essentially going to have to ask for an allowance again which I don't want to do. Yes I could try and make money from home but answering online surveys for £5 a week will only make my depression worse I fear. And it's not like I didn't try to start making money from home.

If you remember I signed up to become an
Acti-Ambassador! I became a Slimbassador and decided to try and make money off my weight loss journey. I was so pumped and excited to do that and then less than a month later we found out I was pregnant. How can I be a slimbassador when I can't even use the products I'm trying to sell? Sure, I could try and sell the make up or beauty products but in order to do that, I'll have to learn to be someone I'm not in order to sell myself and the products. I don't know the first thing about make-up and barely wear any myself. And I certainly don't use any beauty products, my dry and cracked feet can attest for that. I can't sell something I'm not interested in. There's no passion or excitement and so with the slim products out of use for now, I gave up on being an Acti-Ambassador. I fully intend to try again when Flynn is born though. After the first couple of months, when the tachycardia is gone, the milk has come in with regular feeds and I have my energy back, I plan on going back to the gym. I plan on losing all the baby weight and more. I will use the Acti products as soon as it is safe to do so and I will promote the hell out of them and my journey. But that's still 5-6 months away and I somehow have to cope with being physically and financially dependent on other people until after Flynn is born.

I want to contribute as much as I can to the household and to the family. It's just getting harder and harder for me to do it. I want to finish my novel and hopefully sell it and make some money from it but I can't write it. Every time I try I'm interrupted five minutes later by Vala wanting something, even if she just wants to say hi, and it blows all concentration and thought process out the water. I lose my place and therefore lose motivation immediately. I've been interrupted countless times already just writing this blog post and it's only my desire to not cry in the shower again that has pushed me to get this far.

CONCLUSION: 

So to sum up this extremely long and negative post, I'm struggling. A lot. I know the pregnancy is completely worth all this suffering now but it is taking everything from me. It's taken my independence, my sanity, my motivation and put a bit of strain on my relationships but I need to hang in there. Less than 4 months now until Flynn is due and after he's born the hormones and tachycardia will be gone. I'll start to get my life back again and my sanity! I'm pushing everyone away because I don't feel it fair that they should have to put up with the horrible, lazy, selfish person I've become. I need a lot of help but I'm too stubborn and proud to accept it because it just makes me feel all the more weaker in everyone else's eyes. It's not weak to ask for help, no. That's why I ask Jordan for help. But I do feel weaker and I have to ask someone else to come and clean my house for me because I physically can't do it. Or to come and take Vala out because I'm one tantrum away from irrationally screaming my head of at her thanks to my hormones. I love my family so much and I'm being so horrible towards them lately. Some days I don't want to be around them and it's not their fault. It's because I don't want to get annoyed at them or snap at them over little things. I can't control my mood swings, I can't control my emotions. I see myself being this horrible person and I have no power to stop it. It's like I'm a passenger in my own body, helpless to do anything but watch and hear the nasty things I say and do. I can only hope that my family will still love me as much as I love them by the end of this pregnancy. Hopefully my next blog post will be a lot shorter and more positive than this one has been.



Until Next Time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Pregnancy Update: 8+6 weeks

Writing this literally on the borderline of the 9 week mark but oh well, I'm getting a short update in for you.

I had my midwife booking appointment yesterday and that briefly made the pregnancy feel real. It was all just standard, questions, blood tests, medical history blah blah blah. I expressed my concerns about feeling like something was wrong with the baby and she just fobbed me off as expected saying it's completely normal to feel this way and told me that because the genetics are different this time (different father), that my body will react very differently from last time. I still feel baby isn't ok but with the NHS systems still down because of a cyber attack last week, I have to wait on snail mail to find out when I'm due for a scan.

The midwife also gave me a different due date. Instead of being due December 31st like I've calculated, she's given me December 28th. That would technically make me 9+2 weeks pregnant now BUT she is going off me having a 28 day cycle instead of my actual 31 day cycle so I'm sticking with my dates until told otherwise from the scan. My symptoms are fading too which only feeds my worry about baby's wellbeing. My breasts are still tender but not as bad as they used to be. Morning sickness has gone and I only feel nauseous in the afternoon/ evening. Fatigue is still present but again not as badly as before and my skin has cleared up.

Just anxiously awaiting on this scan now to find out if baby is indeed ok. Only time will tell.

Until Next Time,
Alli xoxo

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Friday, 19 May 2017

Pregnancy Update: 7+5 weeks

So it's been a little longer since my last pregnancy update and that's because I feel absolutely terrible! And that's not because of the pregnancy. No, I'm full of cold and have been told that I cannot take anything for it. Being pregnant means most of my antibodies that would be used in fighting the bug and making me well again, have gone towards keeping baby safe. So I'm actually sicker than Jordan and Vala were when they had the cold. It also took them less time to recover from it. So I'm sicker than they were and I can't take anything for it. Pregnancy is just a never ending cycle of suffering really.


Anyway, cold aside, I am feeling more connected to the pregnancy now. I took another pregnancy test last week and another one today and both immediately turned positive, even before the control line had appeared. Symptoms have been harder to tell because of the combined cold symptoms but fatigue is definitely still lingering as is the mood swings. Face has cleared up quite a bit but nausea is much more prominent and I even suffer from morning sickness some nights. I feel hungry and thirsty all the time but can barely eat or drink anything without feeling like I'll immediately throw it back up.


We've had a friend staying with us for the last week and he's been a real life saver. He's done the housework whilst Jordan has been at work so that I can sleep and get plenty of rest to fight off this cold and Jordan doesn't have to worry about it when he gets home. He's also been taking care of Vala in the mornings so Jordan and I can both get sleep ins. I can't say how much I've appreciated having his help this week. I just feel really bad that he's done so much he didn't need to and I've practically just ignored him by spending most of his visit in bed and sleeping. I'll make it up to him at some point when I feel a lot healthier and stronger.

But yeah, feeling like death but feeling a lot more connected with the pregnancy now which makes both me and Jordan happy. Got my booking appointment with the midwife next week, things are definitely going to feel a lot more real after that. Exciting times ahead!

Until Next Time,
Alli xoxo