I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I would sit down and do a blog post.
Something I’ve got a lot of messages about recently is anxiety and mum guilt so I thought I would touch on the subject.
Anxiety….well well well no one likes the word anxiety or the words mental health but as a matter of fact more people suffer with it than you think.
I’ve always been quite an anxious person, my mum told me as a child I used to get anxious if I was ever late for school, I wouldn’t let her take me in I would cry and be sick until I got to go home just because I wouldn’t want to walk into assembly late and have people staring. As I got older my anxiety was still really bad, my confidence has always been an issue too! I used to even whisper to my mum “ask nan if I can have a bag of crisps” just so I wouldn’t have to ask. Not sure why as my Nan is the most kind lady you would ever meet, it wasn’t just my Nan I was like this with, it was everyone. I feel like in my late teens my confidence came back, I felt confident in myself and my anxiety seemed to have disappeared which was a result!
However, starting our fertility treatment really triggered my anxiety again, not knowing whether we would ever be parents or if we could even have children. We used to go to appointments on a regular basis and just have so many unanswered questions after!
I don’t think until someone has had a fertility issue they will ever understand how hard it is. The feeling of not being able to just fall pregnant isn’t a nice feeling at all
We didn’t have the easiest pregnancy, I spent 7 months thinking everyday “I wonder if my babies are alive” There were times in my pregnancy I would say to my partner “I just don’t want to be here anymore, it would be so much easier if I was gone” I look back at it all now and realise if that would have happened that would have been the easy was out.
The boys were born at 29+6 by emergency caesarean, we went into the operating theatre at Portsmouth hospital 70 odd miles away from home not knowing whether our babies will be alive or not when delivered. The boys were only 609g and 1.42kg when born, they had such a traumatic journey when I was pregnant and when they were born this was just the start of so many more ups and downs as a family.
NICU….any mother who’s child has spent time in the neonatal unit will understand what this does to you mentally. You see parents leaving the hospital with their babies on the same day and then there’s you, you don’t know whether your baby will come home in days, weeks, months or will they even come home at all!? NICU was full of more downs than ups. Blood transfusions, operations, intubation, needing oxygen and even their saturation’s dropping so low that all of the staff would surround your child to resuscitate them. Regardless of how long you spend with your child in the neonatal unit it will get to you, it will make you down there is no other way to explain it.
When you get your babies home, the panic doesn’t stop there! The boys got home at different times so we had one baby at home and one baby still in intensive care. The struggle was real. Trying to juggle twins in two different places was a nightmare. Having to take Ronnie to the hospital to visit Teddy (not that I wanted to take him out but I had no choice) Ronnie then fell ill with bronchiolitis – he stopped breathing twice, he went blue twice. We kept being sent home from hospital until finally they realised how sick he was and he needed to be intubated for a week. Mum guilt really set in then, I had one baby in neonatal at Frimley Hospital and one baby in Oxford in a coma. I began to blame myself for Ronnie falling ill and me taking him out but I had no other choice because we had to be there for Teddy too.
Just keep going, when times get tough talk to someone. Admit you are having a bad day and think tomorrow is a new day
Going back to work – I remember being pregnant and saying I want two years off I don’t want to work. But after 14 months I decided it was time for me to go back to work part time. It gave me my independence back and it’s allowed me to have some ME TIME. The boys Nan owns the Nursery they go to, they are treated like royalty and have the best time ever, but here again the mum guilt kicks in of me having to the leave them.
Since having the boys my anxiety has been sky high, I’ve opened up to my followers about this a lot as it’s not something I want to hide. I run my Instagram page to help other parents going through difficult times and to also share the boys crazy journey!
I get messages on a daily basis asking how I coped in my pregnancy and how I cope with my anxiety now. The truth is Instagram isn’t always what you see. I try to be as open and honest as possible but really behind the scenes I am breaking. I didn’t cope well with my pregnancy, I didn’t want to be here but I kept going for my family and my two warrior boys. If I ever felt unsure if the babies were alive or not I would call the hospital and get seen straight away just for my peace of mind. My anxiety is still here now, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I don’t think it’ll be an overnight thing that will just go away it’s something I am working on fixing. We have a lot of amazing things happening this year and also next year we get married.
Not everything is perfect and not everyone is perfect.
You keep me strong and you keep me going, you are the reason I always reach for the stars