Friday, 29 May 2015

What has happened

I have tried over and over and over again to write this post these last couple of weeks. I haven't felt able to, and i still don't, but i need to. I need to get out everything in my head.

Me and Ashley have separated. 

I am in the process of moving out of our home.

It is something that needed to happen. We both know this. And i think we can both live with that. Sometimes things just don't go to plan, things don't end up the way you thought and desperately wanted them to go. 

But something i am struggling with is the guilt.

Our family is broken. We are no longer a unit. Betsy will never remember, never know what it was like to have her parents together. Her life from here on out is going to spent split between me and her Daddy. A few days here, a few days there. 2 bedrooms. 2 homes. Both separate from each other. 

Will she grow up to hate me, will she resent me for what has happened? Will she ever be able to forgive me?

Because it is my fault entirely. 

I have tried and tried so hard, but i have just fallen out of love with Ashley. It devastates me to have to type that. I have struggled with these feelings for a while. I have tried so desperately to push them to one side and carry on. Thinking it was just a phase, maybe its my depression, maybe I'm just having a bad day. But it hasn't been any of those things. I don't want to feel like this. I would do anything to change the way i feel. 

Ashley is my absolute rock, i cannot imagine how i am ever going to cope without him. He knows everything about me. He knows my little ways. He knows how to deal with me when i am in the midst of a horrible depressive phase, or when anxiety is trying to take over my life. He knows what to say. 

Even this last week, since we have separated, he has been amazing. Helping me to find somewhere to live, to work out how i am going to manage. Everything. He has been there. He is still there. And i have no idea why. It isn't something i deserve. 

We agree that the only thing that matters in all of this mess is Betsy. We are still getting along, and will continue to, because of her. We don't hate each other, i could never hate the Father of my daughter, never. We will do whatever it takes to ensure this affects her as little as possible.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Entering the unknown!

I have been referring to Betsy as being a toddler for a couple of months, but if I'm honest i am only just accepting that she is one. The realisation is slowly creeping upon me, especially as her fascination with 'Bebe's' (babies, don't you know) grows. Everywhere we see one and she chants the word like a toddler possessed, i am reminded. I'm relatively ok with this. Whilst i liked the newborn days, i have loathed the baby ones. Where most people say it gets harder when they can walk, talk, etc.. I think the opposite. Of course the tantrums and demands and constant no's get a bit irritating after a while, but overall she is able to keep herself occupied for a reasonable amount of time, meaning I'm able to stuff myself with chocolate in peace. 

So, yes, being in charge of a toddler is alright. 

However, with the acceptance of her being a toddler comes the entering into the unknown. The no mans land. The 'shit got real' stage. 

The stage where i actually have to think about what i am doing. What i am saying. How i react to things. 

I actually have to be a responsible person, a role model, an actual parent to Betsy. No longer just a mummy.

If i see a spider? I have to man up and deal with it. Gone are the days where i can run and frantically ring my mother in law to save me. I don't want Betsy to grow up with my intense fear of the ghastly things. Partly because it just isn't nice to be so scared of something that one is highly likely to come across on a fairly regular basis. But mostly because i hope to raise Betsy into a fine spider catcher. And in order for me to do that i need to refrain myself from mentally scarring her with my dramatic and if I'm honest unnecessary reactions to them. 

Mine and Ashley's relationship is based upon bickering. It is what we do all day every day. Mostly just messing around, although occasionally one of us will touch a nerve. Our bickering can to some seem quite childish at times, and there may or may not sometimes be some kind of physical violence involved (i should stress at this point that we do not beat each other. I'm talking horse bites and chinese burns). We like to take the piss out of each other and wind each other up. However, we are now having to think very carefully about how we behave in front of Betsy. She doesn't know we don't mean it, and to her tiny toddler mind i imagine it can all seem somewhat aggressive. And i definitely don't want to be bringing up a thug. 

Gone are the days i can sit and eat chocolate and crisps all day. Whatever i eat, Betsy has to have. And she knows i eat rubbish. She knows that whatever i eat is something that she shouldn't be eating, which makes her want it even more. I can't even make a cup of tea without her clawing her way up my leg because she has learnt that with tea comes biscuits. I regularly hide myself away to gorge on all of the naughty food. But more often then not i am rumbled, and then i feel bad. I don't want Betsy to inhabit my unhealthy ways. 

When Betsy does something utterly hilarious but also a bit naughty, no longer can i laugh. For laughing only encourages her to continue doing it, and it quickly becomes something that is no longer hilarious, just naughty. And when i tell her no, she stares at me with her defiant little eyes, reminding me that i gave her the green light to do whatever it is she is doing by laughing. Or if I'm having a shit day whereby i want to let her do whatever she wants just for a quiet life, i can't. She won't understand that just because i let her pull out the entire contents of the kitchen today, doesn't mean she can do it tomorrow. It's all or nothing, this parenting lark. Shit days are no longer allowed. 

It's a tough old road. One that i am crawling along in a slow but frantic manner, keen to reach the end destination. 

Best of Worst

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The first baby

Back in september 2009 me and Ashley found out we were expecting. A pregnancy test, followed by countless others, confirmed it. We were having a baby. I was about 3 weeks when i found out, so very early. 

We were beyond excited. We told close friends and family. I told my work. There was something in the water it seemed, as i was the 4th lady to become pregnant at my work within a couple of months. I told the other 3, and we all shared our pregnancy excitement. It was nice having others to chat to about it, who knew how i was feeling. They were a few weeks ahead of me.

Around about 6/7 weeks, i started to feel different. The only way i can describe it is that i stopped 'feeling' pregnant. I hadn't had any major pregnancy symptoms really, but i had experienced nausea in the evenings, and my boobs were quite sore. This all disappeared. 

I began to work myself up. I began to google. I stumbled across a statistic that told me 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I thought of the three other girls, all of which had had their 12 week scans and knew all was well. Was i going to be that 1 in 4?

I grew more and more anxious as the weeks went by.

 Everyone around me reassured me that i was being silly, that i shouldn't get myself so worked up. The weeks dragged by but the closer it got to my 12 week scan, the more i started to think they were right. Maybe it was all in my head, and maybe my baby was growing perfectly well. I always think the worst, and this was a perfect example. 

A week before my 12 week scan i went to stay with a friend. She was having a night in and there were a few of us there. She had bought the baby a little present. A little plaque that said "Twinkle twinkle little star". I could have burst with happiness and excitement when i opened it. We all chatted excitedly about the baby, was it a boy or girl, who would it look like, what would we call it. For the first time in what seemed like forever, all of my anxieties about my pregnancy went away, and i allowed myself to believe it was all going to be ok  I was elated, over the moon. I imagined my little bean kicking away inside of me. It was perfect. 

The next day was Sunday 9th December. 

I usually worked an early shift on a Sunday, but i had swapped with a colleague so that i could go up to see my friend the night before and not have to come in early the next day. So my shift began at 2pm. Off i went to work. Ashley had a night in with his sister and his dad. Everything was as it should be. 

At around 6pm, i went to the toilet. And saw blood. A lot of blood. So much. 

I froze. I didn't know what to do. I just stared at it in absolute disbelief. This wasn't happening. 

I ran out and rang Ashley. I could barely speak through the tears. Couldn't bring myself to tell him what was happening. When i did, he told me he was coming to pick me up. I stumbled across the car park to the other side of my workplace, to tell the shift leader what had happened. I went to get my bag and coat, and Ashley arrived. This had probably taken no more then about 5 minutes to happen, but it felt like hours. 

I got back home and went straight into the bathroom. I could hear my sister in law asking if i were ok, and Ashley's muffled voice explaining what was happening. I knew he was trying to stay hopeful, trying to believe that maybe it wasn't what i knew it was. 

He rang NHS direct, who said there wasn't much that could be done. They said there wasn't much point going to the hospital. I didn't listen, i said i wanted to go. 

The journey was a blur. I rang my friend, one of the three girls from work who was pregnant, to tell her what had happened. Of course she said all the right things. She reassured me, she told me it might be nothing. I hoped she was right, but i knew she wasn't. 

We got the hospital and sat in the a&e waiting room. I felt so numb. I was back and forth to the toilet. I couldn't believe what was happening. Eventually we were seen. The nurse gently explained that they would need to have a look and see if my cervix was open. 

I was a mess. A hysterical mess. Ashley desperately tried to calm me down. I lay back and let her do what needed to be done. I was incredibly tense and just couldn't relax myself, so it hurt. She said my cervix was closed. Next she asked to do a blood test. Then she sent us home. We had an appointment with the Early Pregnancy Unit for a scan 9.30 am the next morning. Monday 10th December. My sister's birthday.

After the longest night of our lives, we arrived back at the hospital. We made our way into the EPU. We made ourselves known to reception, and we sat and waited. I looked around at all of the other people, wondering whether anyone else was in the same situation as we were in. I felt sick. We were called in. 

I was scanned. First an ultrasound. They couldn't see anything and explained they would need to do an internal scan. Like the night before, i was worked up and tense, and i tried to calm myself and take deep breaths. The room went quiet.

And then we were told what i already knew. We had lost our baby. My body had failed.

They told us the baby was only measuring about 6-8 weeks, not the nearly 12 weeks it should be. I had had a missed miscarriage. My body had deceived me, it had carried on pretending it was growing our baby. For the last few weeks it had led me to believe i was carrying a living developing baby, when really i was carrying a dead one. My baby had died inside of me. 

I will never be able to put into words how it felt. The emptiness, the sheer overwhelming devastation, the frustration and unfairness of it all. I felt like the crying would never stop. Nothing would ever go back to how it was. I would never recover from this. So absorbed in my own grief that i ashamedly overlooked Ashley in all of this. He hugged me and we cried, we cried so much, but at the time i wasn't able to give him any comfort. I was drowning. I buried and lost in a sea of despair and heart break. 

We were spoken to by a midwife who went through the motions of telling us how sorry she was for our loss. She was lovely. She told us what our options were, and we decided we would go home and wait for nature to take its course. And off we went. 

Of course it wasn't as simple as that. I ended up going into A&E on the Thursday in excruciating pain and being kept in until Saturday, to have an ERPC. Evacuation of Retained Products of Conception. That's what my pregnancy, my baby, was classed as. A retained product of conception. 

I hated my body. I hated what it had done to me, to us. To our baby. I felt so alone. I felt like a failure. Nothing was fair. What had i done to deserve this?

It will forever remain the most indescribably traumatic and devastating thing i have ever gone through. We have ever gone through. 

Though it was only for 6-8 weeks, my baby was alive. Though it was a tiny blob of cells, inconspicuous and invisible to all except a few, my baby existed. We might not have ever been destined to meet, but i was a mum to be for those few weeks. 

Monday, 18 May 2015


Something has happened recently that has made me question myself. I am not ready to share what exactly, so I'm very sorry that this is like one of those annoying cryptic Facebook statuses. To be honest, exactly what it is that happened is irrelevant. 

It's more about what it has made me realise. 

Sometimes life is a bit shit. No matter how hard you try, how much effort you put in, how desperately you wish things could be different, it continues to beat you down.

 Things don't go the way you wanted them to. 

They don't happen when you wanted them to happen.

Sometimes, things change. It isn't necessarily what you want, but it is the way things have to go. 

People have to be let down, angry, disappointed. 

I hate the saying "Everything happens for a reason". But actually, i think sometimes it does. 

Sometimes from something bad can come something utterly amazing. What looks like a bad decision to people on the outside, is the absolute best one for the people inside. 

Sometimes we reach a position where we have to stop, and look, and listen to what is happening. 

We have to regroup, dismiss everyone and everything, and focus on ourselves. 

I have realised that sometimes you just need to do what's best. You need to not worry about what other people will think, or what they might say. What presumptions they may make. You need to do what is right. 

  Above everything, what is right for me and my family will always be the most important thing to me.

Monday, 11 May 2015

A letter to a mum like me

Hello you.

You're a mummy. Can you believe it? 

And it's nothing like you imagined it would be, is it? I know. I so understand. Hide yourself away for a minute and read this. 

I know you find it hard. 

I know sometimes you get annoyed, sometimes you are short tempered, sometimes you are impatient. You feel guilty for being too busy to play, for letting your child watch too much tv just so you can get a moments peace. You have days where you literally do not believe you will make it to bedtime. You get worked up when your child cries at you because you just don't know what to do, what your child wants. You stand there wishing you were anywhere but here, here in front of this screaming, whining child. You get so upset when your child won't sleep at night, waking every hour, every two hours. Not caring how you feel, how tired you are, whether or not you have to get up for work. You feel so angry at your child in the mornings, which then leads to guilt because you know it isn't your child's fault. You sit in floods of tears, unable to stop them. Tears of frustration and exhaustion and guilt. I know this. 

I know that when you muster up the courage to venture out into the big wide world on your own with your tiny tot, you soon wish you hadn't. You go to baby groups, full of so many other mummies. You wonder how they do it. How do they manage to look so wonderful? How are they so confident? How are they so happy and upbeat? How have they taken to motherhood so well? How do they not find it such a struggle? What is wrong with you? 
You go to soft play, or cafes, or parks, or just a walk round the block. You pray that your child doesn't kick off over something. If this happens, you feel like no matter what you do, you have handled it wrong. Like anyone that is watching you thinks you are a bad mother. Thinking you can't control your own child. They tut under their breath, or look at you with judgmental eyes. They are all judging you, you think to yourself. You and your shit ability to parent your own child.

I know you feel like a frumpy mum. Everywhere you go you see mums who have it together, they have nice hair and nice make up and nice nails. Baby weight gone. Smiles all over their faces. You compare yourself to them. You look at your scraped back hair, your make up free, dull, grey face. Your bags under your eyes. Your flabby belly. Your flat, empty boobs. Your plain clothes. You feel like an embarrassment. You feel hideous. You feel like a disappointment to your partner. You wonder what they see in you. 

I know you feel forgotten about. You see status updates from people your age, people who used to be your friends. You see what they are getting up to. You stop hearing from people. People who you thought would always be there. You feel lost and left behind, in a bubble of milk and nappies, while everyone else moves on with their lives. You feel isolated, unable to accept how things are now. Wishing you could still be the person your were before, then looking at your child and feeling guilty.

You struggle to adapt to your new life. The pressure it puts on everything. The pressure it puts on your relationship. You wonder how you will both ever get through this. You feel like an awful short tempered nagging witch all of the time, yet you cant seem to do anything about it. You feel angry that they get to go off to work while you are stuck at home. They get a break. You resent them. And you feel ridiculous for being like this. 

You sit there wondering why you are feeling like this. Why did no one tell you it would be like this? Maybe its just you. 

Well, guess what? It isn't 'just you'. Those mums you see who look like they have it all together will have absolutely felt like this too at some point. Being a mum is so incredibly tough. It is such a massive thing to happen to us. How can we adapt to it just like that over night? Finding things hard at times (or even all the time) does not make you a failure. It doesn't mean you are doing it all wrong. 

And all of this? It will get easier. I promise. Don't give yourself a hard time. Don't tell yourself you are a bad person. Don't compare yourself to other people. You are the absolute best you can be. 

Don't dwell on the bad days. There are good ones too, even though they may seem few and far between. And one day, you will realise that you haven't had a bad day for ages. Your child will give you the biggest grin, a kiss or a cuddle. And suddenly, it will blow you away. 

You are an amazing mother. The best. There isn't anyone else in the whole wide world who could be a better mother to your child. 

Don't forget that.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Dermocare plasters - Review

I am always needing a plaster. Whether its for a cut or a blister, they are very handy to have. I usually have at least 50 loitering about the bottom of my handbag, for emergencies. And i don't know about you, but when summer approaches, i feel an urge to stock up. Blisters for me are rife in summer. Sandals and flip flops always give me incredible ones. It is annoying, yet inevitable! 

So when i was offered some DermoCare plasters to review, i was very happy! These beauties aren't just any old plasters, oh no. They are ocean life and safari  plasters. Thats right friends, long gone are the days of the boring old same as everyone else browny beige things. Now i could cover up an unsightly blister with a shark! Or a panda! Perhaps an orang-utan?! The possibilities were endless! 
For the first time in my life i found myself actually wanting to have a minor plaster required accident. 

When you buy these, not only are you getting the most amazingly patterned plasters, you will also be supporting WWF UK (find their website here!), which is nice to know! 
 I have a major plaster allergy, my skin swells and becomes all red and itchy if i use a normal one, and i had no reaction to these whatsoever!

The plasters are hypoallergenic and latex free, and can be used for all ages from birth. They are super easy to remove, unlike normal plasters they don't weld themselves onto your skin! The ocean-life ones are waterproof, and especially fabulous! I managed to do the washing up whilst wearing one and can confirm that it was still entirely in place afterwards!

There are 18 in a pack and they come in three different sizes:
6 4x7 cm
6 2x7 cm
6 2x4 cm

Betsy was absolutely obsessed with them. She ended up with a lion one one her arm, much to her amusement. She spent the whole time roaring!

So, when stocking up your first aid box, why not pop some of these beauties in? 

For more information have a look at the DermoCare website:

You can also find DermoCare on Twitter:

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Things I wish I had done before I became a mum

Obviously i have no regrets about having Betsy when i did, she is the best thing to ever happen to me (apart from when she is mid-strop). However there are a few little things i wish i had done before she came along. 

Learnt to drive
This is probably my biggest thing. I really really really wish i could drive. I feel like it would make life so much easier, there are only so many times we can walk to the same high street or park. I am able to get to places, i can go out with people who drive, of course. But it would just be so nice to have that independence. 

Gone to University
This doesn't have anything to do with Betsy really. It is something i have always regretted. I want to do social work, particularly with families and children, and to do that i need to go to Uni. I went to sixth form after school, but only completed 3/4 of my first year before i dropped out. As my tutor had warned, i regret it massively. I don't really know why i dropped out, i was just young and stupid. If i could go back in time i most definitely wouldn't have dropped out, and i would have gone on to Uni like i had always planned to!

Gone on a girl's holiday
I'm 25, and i have never gone on a proper girls holiday. Does that make me a bit sad?? Maybe! I feel like my anxiety would hold me back too much to go on one now, but when i was a bit younger and more carefree i definitely should have done it. 

Bought a house
It doesn't bother me massively that we rent, particularly as the house we have just moved in to is so lovely, but i would love to be able to call a house our own. For Betsy to grow up in the same house, same bedroom. To create memories in that she can relive in years to come. It's just the slight uncertainty of renting that bothers me a bit i guess. I am a massive pessimist so always think the worst and worry that we would suddenly have to move out and struggle to find somewhere.

Gotten married
We were due to get married when i fell pregnant with Betsy. She was born less then 2 weeks before what would have been our big day! Obviously i didn't care about any of that when i found out I was expecting her, i was just totally over the moon. But as there was no way we could have brought the wedding forward, we had to put it back two years to this December, which has just caused a whole heap of aggravation! I also have hated that i have had a different surname to Ashley and Betsy. 

Overcome my mental health issues
Readers of my blog will know all about my struggles with depression and anxiety. As much as i try, it just doesn't seem to go away. And anyone who has experience of this will know how hard it is, especially with a child thrown into the mix. I am full of guilt about how it might affect her, I worry she will grow up and have the same problems as me. I desperately don't want that. And actually it might be bit over ambitious of me to think i could have shaken it off before she was born, maybe that would never have happened even if she wasn't here for another 10 years. I know that i just need to accept and deal with it. But its always in the back of mind, wondering what motherhood would be like if i hadn't  of entered it with this over my head. 

Of course i can still do all of these things. Having Betsy will in no way prevent me from doing them, yes it might be bit harder to do, but i can still do them. Having her isn't a hindrance upon my life. It just means i will have my little mate at my side throughout it all. 

Friday, 1 May 2015


Since having Betsy I have found that I spend less and less time on my appearance. Although I have never been a massive make up girl, I would tend to stick to what I knew; concealer, foundation, blusher and mascara. Nowadays if I slap on a bit of BB cream and brush my hair then it's a good day. This doesn't massively bother me, as to be honest I feel like the time it would take me to apply some actual make up could be better spent doing something more worthwhile like drinking a hot cup of tea! However, i feel that the situation might need to be addressed.

Since I live in a tiny town, I tend to stick to brands that I know I can find in my high street. We have a little Boots and Superdrug, so it's usually along the lines of Rimmel, Maybelline, Barry M etc. All the brands you find down the make up aisle basically. And while these do the job, i decided i wanted something a little more long lasting.

Knowing nothing about make up, I decided to visit a Benefit make up counter. My sister in law booked me a make up lesson, and her and my mother in law came with me. I was a bit apprehensive, as I always imagined the staff who worked on these counters to be a bit pushy and intimidating, however the girl who was doing my make up was anything but. She was so lovely and friendly and make me feel so comfortable. She asked what I had in mind for how I wanted to look and I had no clue. All I knew was that I didn't want to look caked in make up. She cleansed and moisturised my face and got to work. She used some fabulous concealer and under eye cream to cover up my humongous bags. I don't really have spots or anything but do have problems with redness and dry patches. She introduced me to the wonder that is powder foundation. I was shocked by the coverage I got from this, I tend to stick to a liquid foundation and then a setting powder. The powder foundation felt amazing on my skin, really light as if I was wearing nothing, and was super quick and easy to apply.  

As I tend to just wear mascara and sometimes eyeliner, she didn't want to do anything to much on my eyes. She applied a subtle shimmery light coloured eyeshadow, then a light golden colour along my lash line and in the outer corners of my eyelid. I never ever wear eyeshadow so I wasn't sure at first but the more I looked at it the more I loved it! She used a brown eyeliner which again is something I never use, I always stick to black. I loved the brown though, it really complimented the eyeshadow. Next was my mascara, which I hate applying. I make the most ridiculous mess of my face, i shock people with the amount of mascara i end up covered in, and as i like to use waterproof stuff it then has to be scrubbed off... total nightmare. I tend to push the wand up against my lash line and then zig zag it all the way to the end of my lashes. She showed me a much less aggressive way of applying it!

She applied my blusher, and used a pinky/gold shade to go with my eyeshadow. Then highlighter, and I realised I had been putting it in totally the wrong place my whole life. She explained everything to me as she went, and answered any question I had, regardless of how silly they were!

And that was it! I was so impressed! She wrote out all of the products she had used and left me to decide what i wanted to buy. My lovely sister in law treated me to the eyeshadows, and i bought the powder foundation and the under eye concealer. I had a voucher for John Lewis so ended up only paying about £20 for it all! I still have the list incase i decide to go back at any point and buy a few more bits.