Having A Happy Child

Happy Monday lovelies.

I hope you all had a wonderful sunny weekend like we did. This weekend was all about family time for us. We spent the majority of the day with my mum on Saturday which was lovely as we don’t often get the chance to do this. Then on Sunday we had a quiet, calm family day in the house. Just my hubby, the tiny human and I. It was much needed.  Read More

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Thoughts Of The Day

Do you ever have moments of clarity, where you realise everything is good in life?

This is not to say that we don’t have difficulties, we do. But for once, in what seems like a while, all is good in the world. There are no family dramas, in fact I’d go so far as to say that all of my relationships within the family are perfect at the minute. There’s no issues in my marriage – not that there often is – but I am so in love and so content with the man I married. My son is health and happy, despite the ever-looming Autism diagnosis hanging over our heads. My anxiety medication is working and keeping me on an even keel with my emotions, something that I genuinely thought would NEVER happen. And despite everything not being 100% PERFECT 100% of the time, I am happy.

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These moments don’t come along that often, as being a serial over-analyser of every situation and scenario, I have grown accustomed to finding faults with almost every aspect of my life. However, in the last few weeks I have definitely found myself to be much more capable of letting the little things go and making the most of the positives, something I have been working on for a very long time. It’s not been easy, but it’s been worth it.

So that’s my thoughts for today, as random as they were. Do you ever experience moments like this? Are you able to let the little thing slide? Let me know in the comments lovelies, and have a fab day! 🙂

D x

 


The Women In My Life

Today is International Women’s Day and in keeping with what this day means, I thought I would take the opportunity to share a little about the inspiring women in my life. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by strong, independent ladies, who inspire me every day to be better and do better.
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My biggest inspiration is my mum. She taught me what it is to be mum. She has been my best friend for my whole life and has always done her best to provide myself and my  siblings with whatever needed, doing her best to keep us grounded at the same time. After struggling in a difficult marriage with my step-dad for over 20 years, she finally made the decision to move on with her life and make it better. She never judges anyone for their mistakes and would take your secrets to the grave. She is the best person I know and the first person I want to talk to when I’m sad or upset. I love her with all my heart and soul, and thank God for giving me such a wonderful mum and role model.
My sisters, like my mum, are all very important women in my life. Far left is my sister Jo. She had her first baby (my niece) when she was just 18, and another (my nephew) only a few years later. Despite being so young she has turned out to be the most dedicated and loving mum you could ask for. She has taken motherhood in her stride. She’s strong, stunning and makes being a mummy look easy. In the middle is my sister Claire. She is an ambitious, funny and a gorgeous young lady with a heart of gold. She’s never happier than when she’s giving to others. I am so proud of her. Lastly, at the far right is my youngest sister Aimee. She is beautiful, head-strong and just outrageously funny. She is the life and soul of every party and truly cherishes her relationship with her sisters. I love them all dearly and wouldn’t be the person I am without them in my life.
This is my husbands grandma Elizabeth. The reason I picked this wonderful lady is because she has overcome so much adversity in her life. From moving back home to Scotland from Australia when her mother fell ill, to fighting and winning the battle over breast cancer, to burying her daughter and my husbands poor mum when she died. She has been a solid maternal figure in my husbands and his brothers lives since they were born and has often put their needs before her own. Not only is she a genuinely good person, but she is also a well read and very articulate lady who can converse at length about a multitude of topics from the likes of art to politics, literature to football. She is just a wonderful person who I feel has made me a better person from just having had her in my life.
The above photograph is from my wedding day and to the right of the picture you can see 3 photo frames containing the images of 3 very special women in my life.
The first is my gran Marion. She was my step-dads mother and a women who over the years I grew very close with. She was a published writer, poet and a damn good cook. She had lived in New York & California and had an abundance of the most interesting life stories you have ever heard. She encouraged me to do well in school and helped with the majority of my English assignments. She was a fabulous lady & a very inspirational person in my life. I miss her dearly.
The middle picture is of my gran Rose. She was my maternal grandmother and was one of the most special women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Now when people think of their gran, they often think of an old lady, who likes to knit and play bingo. A lady who is old fashioned and set in her ways. This was not my gran Rose. She was the funniest, quirkiest, most outrageous gran you could imagine. She had a wardrobe full of clothes, shoes and coats that wouldn’t look out of place in a high end boutique. She was beautiful and never left the house without her face being made-up to utter perfection. She smelled of expensive perfume and she could party as long and as hard as any 18 year old I have ever known. She was just a brilliant person to know and such a fun lady to be around. She battled with cancer numerous times in her life and finally succumbed to the terrible disease at the very young age of 67. There is not a day goes by when I don’t think of her, and mourn the loss of her… even after 17 years.
The final picture in the far left is one of my husbands mum Julie. She was 38 years old when she was taken from us and it’s still one of the most shocking experiences of my life. She was an unconventional mum to my husband and his brother. She was their biggest supporter, their best friend and their confidante. The first time I realised how special she was, was when I had lost my gran Marion and I felt like my whole world had fallen apart around about me. She took the time to speak to me, comfort me and assured me with time that I would feel better. She was a wonderfully kind lady who we all miss very much.
So there you have it. These are the women in my life who inspire me the most, even if it wasn’t for as long a time as I’d have liked. I can only hope that everybody has women like them in their lives. I know for sure that my life has been a richer one for having had the privilege.
Happy International Women’s Day ladies… Keep inspiring us!!!

Grief is a funny old thing isn’t it? 

This was a post I never intended on sharing, but I’m feeling a bit emotional today thinking about the direction our lives are going in and I thought it might feel therapeutic to write it down, so to speak.

Our lives have been sort of in the air for a while now with my husband’s grandmother being ill. I lost both my grans as a teenager and there are still days when I just cry uncontrollably because of how much I miss them. I get angry at myself for forgetting things about them, and often have to remind myself that it’s been 16 years or so since I last seen or spoke to them and so forgetting some things is inevitable.

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My Granny Rose with me as a baby.

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My Granny Kane with my sister on her Communion Day.

The difference between myself and my husband is that he was raised by his grandparents. His mum died young and so his grandparents are the parental figures in his life.

It was a difficult journey helping him overcome his mums passing. In fact overcome isn’t the best word to use. Do you ever really overcome that kind of loss? Getting to a stage of living with it… that’s a better term. He went through therapy and our lives were upside down for a long time, but we got through it.

Things feel different this time.

He has so much invested in his relationship with his grandparents. He has fond memories of Sunday dinners (as do i) with an enormous dining table filled with food. His grandpa shouting in the wings at his weekend football matches. Having them sitting next to him at the top table in our wedding. All special moments in a persons life.

I spent many weekends staying at theirs when Michael and I first started seeing each other and they couldn’t do enough for us when we eventually moved into our own home.

There’s a lot of precious memories and love resting on this relationship, and I worry greatly that if the worst happens and his grandmother passes away, that he won’t come back from it.

My saving grace is our son Matthew.

They have a father and son relationship like no other.

They understand each other and get each others little quirks (probably because they’re so similar), and I just hope that their love and bond is enough to keep Michael whole.

It’s a real worry.

As a wife, all I can do is be there for him and help where I can, but to lose two mother figures in such a short space of time is something I will never understand. My own mum is happy and healthy and God willing will be for a very long time!

I think all we can do now is pray to whatever God there may be that life is kind and merciful, and maybe hope for a miracle.

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Michael with his Grandma on her 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2010.


Trying Trying Trying… Pt 3

Apologies for this follow up post taking so long. It’s been a crazy few weeks and time has quite literally gotten away from me. We have all been struck down with every sick and flu virus going and even now, I still feel like i’m at deaths door.

Anyway…

Michael and I were just going through the pregnancy motions. Picking up bits and pieces every time we were out shopping, and excitedly imagining  the amazing potential few months ahead of us.

I started showing at the start of August.

The tiniest little bump started to emerge and my clothes began to feel so uncomfortable that I resorted to wearing leggings with every outfit (one of the best parts of being pregnant)!

On the 14th of August I was attending my cousins Hen Party. I felt quite run down, but nothing out of the ordinary. Just tired.

It was later on that night, after going to the bathroom that I felt a bit strange. TMI moment coming here, but I had a funny discharge on my underwear and something just felt wrong.

I put it down to just feeling tired and thought I might have been coming down with the flu. My bones were aching and I just wanted to lie down. So I went home.

I awoke the next day feeling even worse, and I was still having a strange discharge.

It wasn’t until dinner time that night that I noticed something completely out of the ordinary.

I was having a tightening in my stomach, that kept coming and going. So after about 20 minutes I decided to pay attention and time it. They were coming every 10 minutes and were lasting around about 30-40 seconds. No pain as such, just a weird cramping sensation.

After speaking to Michael, I decided to call Midwifery Triage to get their opinion on the matter. The lady I spoke to was lovely. She said it sounded like i might have a urine infection but advised me to head up just for a quick check.

We casually made our way to the hospital, thinking at the very worst, I would be sent home with an antibiotic.

We were shown into an examination room and a midwife, along with a junior doctor came in and asked me to lay on the bed and prepare for an internal examination just to check everything was ok.

This is already an extremely uncomfortable thing to do, not necessarily in terms of pain but with regards to your dignity…

It is quite simply left at the door.

So i reluctantly got myself ready for examination and lay back counting the seconds till it was over… when I was frightened within an inch of my life by the shriek that came from the midwife.

“Stop stop stop”! She instructed the junior doctor.

“Do not go any further… Slowly and carefully remove the speculum”!

She then ever so calmly made her way to the top of the bed where Michael and I were waiting to find out what was going on. She gently pushed past Michael and pressed a red button on the wall behind him and an alarm sounded off in the corridor.

That’s when she bent down next to me and said, “Danielle don’t be alarmed, but we can see your waters and it would appear you are in pre-term labour. The room is about to fill with a number of medical staff, but they are all here to help so just try to stay calm”.

Calm???

Not possible!

The next few minutes, hours and days were a blur. I was medicated to the max with steroids, antibiotics and all other sorts of drugs to try and slow down the labour. I managed a further 4 days holding onto Matthew before he was born, breech and weighing a mere 1 pound 9 ounces.

My angel was laid onto my hip for a full minute before being whisked away from me, for what would turn out to be the most difficult 4 and a half months of our lives…

But that’s a whole other chapter…


Trying Trying Trying… Pt 2

In April of 2015 I had a minor meltdown. 

I was home by myself and felt an overwhelming rush of emotions that resulted in a good 8 hours of self-loathing and depression. 

It was a culmination of years of failed attempts and getting pregnant and crazy hormones. 

My husband came home from work and spent his entire evening trying to console me. It did eventually work, but it was definitely a dark day for me, and was a stark realisation of how I was really feeling on the inside. 

I should also mention that I had been suffering from Gallstones as a result of my weight loss and my attacks were becoming more and more frequent. 

On the 2nd of May 2015 I was blue lighted to Wishaw General Hospital with a sever Gallstones attack. I was admitted to the Surgical Receiving Ward and was being prepped for emergency surgery. 

The nurse Lynn came and took some bloods from me and I had to provide a urine sample, just to make sure that everything was all in order before they started the procedure. I was told it would be an hour before I would get my results back, so I sent my hubby away to get himself some food. 

Minutes after he left, my nurse and the registrar came over and pulled the curtains around my bed. I remember feeling incredibly nervous after seeing the serious look on their faces. 

“Danielle we have the results of your urine sample and it would appear you are pregnant”

Well…  Of all the things I expected to hear, I can honestly say that was not even on the list. It was so surreal and so unexpected. But when I began to think about it, I had been having some pregnancy symptoms, including nausea in the morning and sore boobs, something that I hadn’t experienced any of the other times. 

However, my nurse advised me that the urine sample isn’t always 100% so they would have to wait on my bloods coming back to make sure. She advised that this would show my HCG levels (pregnancy hormone), and we would be looking, based on my last period, for them to be around 500-600 mlU/ml.

So while waiting I called my hubby and told him he had to come back,  I didn’t want to blurt it out over the phone.

When he returned I told him our news, as all of the surgical nursing staff hovered nearby to watch his reaction. It wasn’t the fairy-tale setting by any means, but it was a moment in our lives that I will never forget.

While we sat and chatted excitedly about the potential pregnancy, Lynn came over with the results of my blood test. My HCG levels were 32,000 mlU/ml. Significantly higher than the minimum levels Lynn told me was required to confirm the pregnancy. I still have the paperwork with the results on it in our memory box.

So no surgery… And home to celebrate we went!

The next few months were pretty normal. I had my 12 week scan and saw my little button on the screen for the first time. It was wonderful watching our baby grow throughout each different scan. We found out on our 20 weeks scan that we were having a boy, a feeling I had felt since we found out we were expecting.

We were over the moon. We would soon have a son… In fact it would be sooner than any of us would ever have anticipated.


Trying, Trying, Trying…

My husband and I have been together (off and on) for 16 years. We were High School Sweethearts. He is the best person I have ever known. Kind, considerate and everything else in between.

I knew, despite the many fall-outs, that he was my person. By that I mean, even on the occasions where we had called it quits, I still wanted to tell him everything I was going through, even if that were about another (I say it loosely) “love interest”.

It was then that I realised, there is nobody better than this man. He’s as good as it gets!

We were married in 2011 and immediately began trying to get pregnant (something that we would have happily accepted even before marriage).

It was the most frustrating period of our lives, and despite doing everything right (buying ovulation kits and working out all of the nonsensical mathematics of it), it just didn’t happen.

In fact, we just struck out, time and time again.

On one occasion I woke up in dreadful pain. Bleeding heavily and doubled over with cramp in my stomach. Michael being the angel he is, took me to A&E and there I was advised that I may be having a Miscarriage.

This happened again.

And again.

It was heartbreaking.

My doctor advised me that we were to keep trying. It can take time. He didn’t want to even consider IVF until I was 30.

By this time however, we had given up. We spoke at length about whether or not we would be enough for each other. Just us two.

I felt strongly that Michael and I could have a wonderful life on our own. He did too, but he clung on to hope that one day it would happen for us. He’s like that. It’s one of the things I love most about him, but also one of his most annoying qualities. I just wanted to put an end to it and enjoy our lives as they were. For at least a short period of time we did this.

However, in my head I needed a distraction from it all.

I joined my local Weight Watchers and began a healthy eating/ exercise regime. It was a great focus for me and I found that I simply forgot all about our baby making woes.

I lost a great deal of weight within a very short period of time, and backed up this weight loss with a pretty rigorous exercise regime.

I felt the best I had in years. I was happy and I was content.

It’s amazing how looking back you realise how much you were in fact kidding yourself.