Childbirth Number Two

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First of all, he’s here – now 5 months and, I’m here. It’s taken me 5 months to start to feel a little more like myself so, here I am updating my blog. Just like old times.

If you recall the last entry into the blog mentioning all of the God awful symptoms I was experiencing through pregnancy number two, you’ll remember I mentioned having the fear.

Well… I was right to be fearful.

So, pregnancy continued to progress with the horrid symptoms I was telling you about – farting, sweating, slevering, cramping, peeing myself, constipation and restless leg syndrome and my due date got closer.

My last scan (which happened to be on my due date) showed a sudden decline in my babies growth so the doctor decided to take me in and induce me. So, 8am came and I got my first lot of pessaries (so much different to the first time round) and I waited… and waited… and waited.

It came to around 6pm and after the nurse examining me, I was given yet another pessary.

Oh bloody Hell!

In an instant and not a second later, the pain. The cramps. It was bad. Real bad. So they had me WALK to the labour suite to get the ball rolling and I had insisted I was wanting pain relief. The contractions at this point were making me feel sick and light-headed and it was night and day to what I had experienced the first time round… hellish.

I didn’t even reach the bed when I was wanting to push – two trainee nurses greeted me with their stupid, nervous/pity smiles and I wanted to eat them alive. Scott was by my side still, a constant anchor without whom, I would have never made it there.

Everything around me became a blur and I remember hearing the mayhem unleash around me… the frantic “help” from one of the trainees when putting in my Antibiotic drip for my Group B Strep. I suddenly sensed at this point, these young girls (younger than me) had not a clue what they were doing and I was their first live experiment.

I begged for pain relief as the mother of all contractions continued to relentlessly hit me like a tidal wave – there was no release from the grip it had on me… there was no space to breathe in between contractions. I was having one massive, prolonged, never-ending one that showed no mercy on me. And I remember holding on to Scott, whaling uncontrollably and telling him, “I don’t think I’m going to make it”.

This sounds so dramatic, yet my heart was palpitating and pounding so hard and fast, I was struggling to catch a breath, I was bracing stiffly trying to push the pain away… my pain relief never came.

My back and pelvis, I could feel crack under my skin as the nurses senselessly told me to bring my hips up, forward, round, back around the other way… it was impossible to me.

And amongst all the pain, the pushing, the screaming, the whaling, the grabbing and squeezing, I did shit myself. That was it – the ultimate fear every woman has nightmares of. It happened. I felt it and I did not care.

Have any of you ever pushed so hard that you broke your waters with every push? It’s a sensation I could never put into words….

1 hour 27 minutes from my contractions starting with a vengeance, I gave birth to Joey.

The trauma of the delivery forced me into a state of shock – I was freezing cold, shivering uncontrollably and didn’t have the strength to hold him. A couple of days later, I went into shock again.

They say that paving the way with your first, makes it easier the second time around, but I can honestly say that for me, this just wasn’t the case. I struggled, I genuinely feared for my life and I hurt myself so bad I gave myself a haemorrhoid.

Safe to say, I will NEVER, EVER put my body through that again.

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My top 10, 2nd Pregnancy Flaws -uncensored.

So after spending approximately 20 agonising and frustrating minutes in the toilet earlier it is safe to presume that pregnancy #2 is COMPLETELY different than the first and not easier as some might have you believe…

What I have been discovering over the last 7 months has devastated me in ways I had never imagined was possible – I feel, to put it mildly, disgusting and in no way, shape OR form, lady like.

Stephanie has well and truly, left the building!

Without further a-do, allow me to fill you in on all the gory details (this is not for the faint-hearted):

  1. Farting – I was always very proud of my ability to keep this natural bodily function completely private for the sake of my own dignity… in fact, my body was so well trained that I was able to disperse myself from any given circumstance to allow ample time to find the nearest toilet or “safe zone”. It was a talent to be proud of, for sure! That, along with being able to hold in my wee (personal best record pre-pregnancy – a whooping 4 hours!). Now, I fart constantly and what’s worse – I farted while trying to get my boot on in front of my parents for the first time in my entire adult life. I was mortified.
  2. Peeing – I’ve actually experienced the aftermath symptoms of a loosened vagina.  Unexpectedly, mid-laugh through an innocent conversation between friends, that horrendous pre-warning dribble breezed through the gaps and all I can remember thinking was, “I’m far too early for my waters to break”. Note: Buy and wear sanitary pads they may save you from the jeans-patch humiliation that I had to endure that day.
  3. Sweating – I just have to sit and speak to someone I don’t know particularly well and it attacks me like a plague and what’s more, I’ve never smelt B.O like it! And it’s leaking from everywhere – my bum cheeks, my inner thighs, my arm pits, even my upper lip for heaven’s sake! I am oozing in the stuff on a daily basis to the point I am getting sweat rashes that are now preventing me from shaving!
  4. Drooling – this is one of a singer’s WORST nightmare! Extra saliva in the mouth causing me to drool and blow bubbles when talking to anyone! This is particularly off-putting when I am trying to teach an ambitious student how to sing. On a regular basis throughout the day, I find myself peeling saliva skin off the face of my teeth – really, it is as revolting as it sounds!
  5. Constipation – I suppose this one isn’t as much of a shock. I had this the first time round and even before becoming a mum, I was always a nightmare with bowel movement HOWEVER, never this bad! I could cry. Take today for a prime example – 20 minutes of frantically trying everything to release the pressure – singing (to relax my muscles and take my mind of pushing), breathing techniques (the same used in labour), squeezing, manipulating my ass cheeks in hope to break it up slightly… (last time I had pushed too much and I was caught half way – the only thing I could do was scoop it out with a spoon and a knife – no word of a lie there!!). In a nutshell – I’ve already felt I’ve pushed out a baby a couple of times through the back door… so pushing one through the front, seems completely unfair!
  6. Stress – the stress this time round is almost unbearable. I was told the other day that I shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling so overwhelmed at times, with a 2 year old toddler running around, there’s no wonder why I’m constantly shattered! So, forget about “nesting” and making the most of your bump. There’s no special treatment during your second pregnancy – your husband knows you’ve done it before, so this time should be a doddle and besides, you are already a mum now with responsibilities that cannot wait 9 months until you pop the next one. What am I trying to tell you? Don’t expect to have it easy – your life is about to get doubly stressful but, you’re not alone!
  7. Cramp – I don’t know why I never got this the first time round, perhaps it was to do with having the time to rest throughout the day when needed? But, man am I suffering this time. I think they call it “restless leg syndrome” – whatever it is, cramp usually attacks my lower legs and feet at stupid o’clock in the morning when I’ve innocently went to stretch. It’s nasty!
  8. Back ache/Pelvis Pain – this has been my main problem throughout this pregnancy. Crippling pain that can be brought on with even the most subtle of movements… I seize up when sitting any length of time in one position, there are audible cracks as I walk or bend, the dull aching that shoots from my tail bone up to my lower back – it’s really uncomfortable. I see the chiropractor once a month and walk daily to try and keep myself as active as possible but I’ve had to say Goodbye to any form of intensive work-out. I’m trying pre-natal yoga tomorrow night, so we’ll see how that goes!
  9. Indigestion – I often feel like my baby is digging right into my gut, making me feel squeamish and bloated. I would say that from month 5, I’ve lacked an appetite – having mini-sicks’ for at least a couple of hours after each meal tends to do that to you!
  10. Fear – I had assumed that after going through labour the first time round and coming out of it alive and, for the most part, in one piece the concept of doing it all again wouldn’t be too frightening. I was wrong. Having foresight this time round has me worried. I mean, last time I had refused to push after the head was out thinking that, it was done (he was 5lbs!). Now I’m thinking, the chances of having another tiny baby is slim and therefore, I’m in trouble. I never forgot the pain of 12 hours in labour felt like, not to mention the epidural, the birth itself and the placenta to follow – it was horrendous and, this time could be a lot worse… and also, I don’t think my what’s-it down there can really cope with another baby attack – I’ve aged about 10 years already!

6 Reasons To Divorce

It should never be a decision you take lightly – marriage used to be such a protected and precious thing. It was the ultimate sacrifice any individual could make. It symbolised trust, honour, respect and most importantly, love for someone else.

There were far fewer divorce rates before our time – problems were resolved through hard work, persistence, compromise and the ability to listen

Listening with the intention of listening, not listening with the intention of replying!

Nowadays, marriage seems to be a fashionable decision – an excuse to hold a shindig, show how much money you have to spare and I suppose, tick the boxes when it comes to being with someone. Suddenly, the values aren’t as honourable for many people anymore and divorce is just paperwork like any other when things get too difficult. Society sees marriage now as a seasonal thing – it doesn’t have to be for a lifetime anymore.

Most of the time, I believe, a situation can be resolved and difficulties in marriage are merely down to miscommunication and a temporary forgetfulness to think about someone other than yourself.

But there are 5 reasons where divorcing may be the best step forward:

  1. When you are constantly (daily) having to think of a reason why you love your spouse

  2. When you are arguing every day over the same thing with no sign of compromise

  3. When intimacy becomes a conscious effort (and not because you lead a busy lifestyle)

  4. When compromise is situational only and not consistent (agreed terms change constantly to suit the individual requirements of one person depending on his/her current mood and desire at any given moment)

  5. When lying becomes a second nature to avoid a confrontation and being honest isn’t worth a conversation out of fear of not getting your own way

  6. When living together has a negative impact on everyone’s standard of living (more importantly children)

Divorce for me is a very serious subject and one I would never consider unless I really believed it was the best thing.

If I felt my children were suffering because of a toxic relationship, if I felt like there was absolutely no resolution whatsoever, then I would consider divorce. If the reasons above were a resounding breakdown of my marriage, I would seriously consider the possibility that divorce may be the best thing to do. But only if I was sure that the reasons above dominated my days over and above the good ones.

Narcissist Survivor

He wasn’t entirely to blame, this I’m sure.

I guess, I had my faults (as does any other Tom, Dick or Harry) and sometimes when two people are put together with a load of issues between themselves, fireworks go off (and not in a good way).

But I’m not taking the entire blame for it all either (much as he would have people believe) because, that would be feeding from his hand, and I stopped doing that four years ago (almost five!).

I never knew what a ‘narcissist’ was up until my relationship with, let’s call him ‘Ted’ ended in 2012. I heard the term being used by my counsellor – the word itself doesn’t sound pleasant which made me slightly reluctant to accept that Ted was one (I was still under his spell at this point, seven years ago – I was 19 years old). Surely, it was all my fault – he said it was and I believed him.

So what was Ted like? First impressions, for me, weren’t too memorable, in fact I recall saying to one of my friends “he’s not my type”.

Ted happened to be the DJ at a pub my friends and I ended up going to one random Sunday night in December… or was it Saturday? I really can’t remember – like I said, not too memorable. I was just out of a 2-year relationship with my “childhood sweetheart” and not looking to jump into anything romantic (I was 17 years old at this point). But I do remember he asked me for my Facebook ID and said something about the shape of my lips in an attempt to flatter me.  

Alas, things change and fate intertwines. My parents were so worried that I would end up back with my ex-boyfriend, they practically forced me to go on my first date with Ted (they probably wish they hadn’t now!)

By February 2010, Ted had taken me out on a few dates and asked me to be his girlfriend more than once before I finally felt I should give him a chance. He seemed mature (ten years my senior to be precise), he was from a very religious background (his father was a Minister and he was also studying Divinity at University) and we had music in common. He took us on our first road trip up North where we stayed in a log cabin with hot tub and had a fantastic time. We never ran out of things to say and it seemed, I was falling for him pretty fast!

However, looking back, a much wiser version of myself would probably have noticed some slight oddities in Ted from the get go. He had confused and upset me a couple of times during our “honeymoon” days, silly things really

  • On our very first date, he asked me to rate myself out of 10. He went on to tell me what he rated himself and that he would only date girls the same or below him – I thought this was really strange!
  • He would talk of girls he used to date – high flying Doctor’s with nice cars and big houses, beauticians with (and I quote) “perkier breasts than me that were as big as mine and also natural”
    (I had always been very insecure about my bust, having had to live with 32G’s from the age of 13 often getting ridiculed in school for having “tissue down my bra” (which wasn’t true).
  • He made a comment once about me being his “trophy” girlfriend for his trophy car (I suppose this could have been seen as a compliment)
  • He didn’t allow me to go to the public toilet of a venue he was working at, he wanted me to use the staff toilets for my own safety

Those little signs seemed exactly that at the time – little, and insignificant.

His Graduation would be the first time he would publically display control over me in front of his family and business partner at the time. 

He would put his hand over my wine glass at dinner and go on to say to his dad who was pouring for the table,  “she has had enough wine” (this would have been my second glass).

Things started to get worse as the first year went on – I began working for him as a DJ and Karaoke Host which I absolutely adored! I was good at my job and venue owners began asking for me personally – he never would admit it, but he didn’t like this and would try to out-do me at karaoke events by singing over me (I am a singer and vocal coach by trade and his competitiveness never bothered or threatened me). Though on the flip side he would always appear supportive of my abilities and take lessons from me himself.

He took me on our first couple holiday to Dominican Republic which blew me away – he was one for nice gestures and a holiday seemed like a good idea at the time. He proposed to me on the first night – I said yes.

Another holiday came shortly after, when my parents decided to congratulate us by treating us to a week in Salou – an opportunity for them to really get to know their future son-in-law. Bar a couple of days, the holiday was an epic fail.

  • Ted would sleep in most mornings and we would miss breakfast with my parents
  • He would sunbathe in the shade with trainers and socks up to his shins (who does that!?)
  • He would have migraines most of the days and expect me to stay in the room with him therefore, miss out on all the evening outings and the group trip to Port Aventura Theme Park

There was a lovely Italian Restaurant situated at the base of our hotel that Ted had promised to take me to one evening – he would end up going himself the one evening I decided not to stay in the room with him and his migraine. I had returned early to make sure he was ok to find an empty bed and an empty room… unknown to me, he treated himself to fine dining for one. He wouldn’t say so, but this was my punishment for leaving him in the first place. 

The second lot of signs came shortly into play upon returning…

  • I wasn’t allowed to see my best friends, Stuart and Stephen (though he would actively text his ex-girlfriend on a nightly basis, not allowing me to see what was said and accusing me of being jealous and paranoid), other girls were also contacted on a regular basis
  • I was to reduce time spent with my sisters and parents (they were “bad influences”)
  • I was questioned interrogated on a daily basis of things that had happened – past and presently and would often be told I was lying and that the story had changed (this caused me to doubt my memory and till this day, I struggle to trust my memory when telling a story and feel sick in case I get a detail wrong)
  • He would disappear for days and text to tell me “he needed space” or it “wasn’t working” and would reappear at my mums house days of sleepless nights later with flowers and pizza
  • He would text my mum telling her I needed “help”, I was emotionally unstable or that our relationship was over and I was coming home
  • He got his dad to have a talk with me about my family, mental health and feelings without my permission

There were numerous arguments initially as I naturally tried to rebel against his demands by going out with my friends without telling him or if I refused to accept it was all my fault – it never ended well and with it almost always resulting in a “break-up”, me begging on all fours for him to re-consider and (the inevitable) delivery to my parents house, I slowly learnt to not argue back. Isolation become my only other friend.

We went to Piperdam, Perth for another couples retreat – a chance for us to start again and for me to meet his God-Daughter and friends from up North.

Piperdam ended up being a retreat from Hell – not only did his “God-daughter” look his spit (he denies having any biological relation to her), he took me to his psychiatrist friend one night to be informally assessed during coffee! This resulted in a diagnosis of “Attention Seeking” and “Immature”, rather than what I was beginning to think I was “crazy” and “depressed”.

Needless to say I was in tears, traumatised and completely confused by the entire situation. Things got heated once more that evening when I had accused Ted of obviously not loving me which resulted in, you guessed it, another break up!

I spent the next two days in complete turmoil. I literally begged him daily for somethingthere was no intimacy and that really bothered me. I felt guilty for ruining his break away, I felt lonely and I couldn’t understand why this kept happening to us. The not-knowing made me physically sick on several occasions! I think we did play a few games of Monopoly Digital and shared a few brief laughs which of course, gave me false hope that perhaps things weren’t so bad and he was simply sulking.

He drove me back to my parents house (the whole 5 hour drive in awkward silence) and told me before exiting the car “he wasn’t sure what he wanted”. At this point, I asked him outright “are we over?”, he said “no”. I felt relieved at least for a little while…

I got a call at 3.30am to say that “he had been thinking and,  actually it was over”. Engagement off.

A couple of weeks went by and I was getting stronger without him. A part of me almost proud of myself for handling it so well this time. But then, I got a text asking me to come by the Manse and foolishly, I went, adamant I would be strong and not give in – the whole crap, each weak woman tries to convince herself.

We got back together again – I emphasised that it was on condition we made it work, no more breaking-up as it was killing me. We would actually do things together and would watch less Bay Watch and movies in our free time. He reassured me and insisted the engagement be back on, (much to my hesitation) I agreed.

Things were good for a while after that – he would have a bath run for me after college and make me dinner. It was nice, but it never lasted long until things were back to normal again.

Still, we pushed on and decided to move into our first home in the Summer of 2012 – a large farmhouse that we had both fell in love with almost instantly.  It needed a lot of work done to it and would eventually become my project and obsession to block out my sadness which at this point, was overwhelmingly unbearable.

Distance was his main weapon at this point. Now that we had our own isolated farmhouse home, I would be alone most of the day, every day when I wasn’t working at weekends. Ted would be sleeping, watching movies or away doing weekday and weekend gigs not getting home until after 1am. I would paint, clean, talk to our neighbours and play with their dogs.

Not having my family around was starting to take its toll on me and so, I began sneaking them into the house on Sunday’s when Ted was away the whole day. It brought me some comfort and I always remember the feeling of waving them goodbye from my farmhouse window, smiling so as to not make them suspect… but they all knew. I was sad and broken.

I started to suspect that Ted was seeing other girls when I had called late one Sunday night to ask where he was. He had whispered and reassured me he was working later as the pub was busy, unknown to him I had already asked a barmaid there how the night was going to find that the pub had shut early due to lack of punters. Where was Ted? I pretended to sleep when he finally returned at silly o’clock and woke the next day adamant I would find out what was going on for myself.

I did some digging in his office (I’m not proud) and came across a disturbing letter addressed to him from an angered parent of his ex-girlfriend. I had been told about her – she was a devout Christian girl with morals. They never worked out because she was always asking Ted to be intimate and he was very much influenced by his religion at this point and never wanted to break his faith. They parted and that was that.

But as I read this mini-novel, it all seemed eerily familiar to my life with Ted. This girl was completely messed up and heart-broken due to the mistreatment he put her through – Ted had broken up with her in PIPERDAM, wouldn’t allow her to drink alcohol, left her stranded and alone after a fight and her brother had to come and get her and she was knocked down by the things he would say to make her feel inadequate.

I felt sick.

Why did Ted keep this letter? Was it some kind of sick trophy? I wanted to understand, so I decided to confront him and as expected, it was dismissed quickly and I was victim of abuse for breaching his right for privacy.

Sex wasn’t happening and hadn’t been for a good month or two – he would say I was making it “a chore” and that he was “too depressed”. So eventually I stopped trying and started crying myself to sleep at night thinking I was unattractive.

Then one night I finally plucked up the courage to ask him what was wrong (I think, knowing the answer deep down). It was around 4am – he sat in his office, pretending to work or actually working (who knows) and I leant on the radiator facing him. “Please, tell me what’s wrong?” I pleaded. He sat in silence – knowing that every long, lingering moment seemed, to me, like an hour had passed- finally, he looked me in the eyes (the first time he had in weeks) and with the blankest of expression’s, said four words – “my feelings have changed”.

I will never forget the feeling of those words hitting me – my tongue had pins and needles, my throat felt swollen and numb, my body was shivering uncontrollably and my mind was racing but I couldn’t catch a single thought. I dropped to the floor in shock and sat for what seemed like ages.

Eventually, I asked him “what do you want to do?” – his reply “I don’t know”.

My last spout of desperation (every ounce of dignity I had left) had me come up with one last attempt to save myself humiliation for the fourth time – I offered to move back to my mums for a few days to give him space to think.

The next morning I packed a few bags of clothes (almost hoping he would stop me – he didn’t).

It was Monday, his “day off” so I had naturally assumed he would drive me there (30 minute drive versus 60 minutes bus ride). He drove me to the bus stop five minutes away from the farmhouse, bags in hand like a homeless person and drove away leaving me in tears for all the world to see. I waited for the bus with all eyes on me.

His reason? He “didn’t want me to make a scene at my mums house and waste his day off”.

A few days became a week and suddenly he was at my parents house with his van full of all of my belongings. My mum wanted me to stay out of sight and let her and my dad deal with him, but I didn’t want him feeling he still had power over me (even though he did). I faced him on m own and without a tear in my eye, I graciously took my belongings. He hugged me tight and told me he loved me and then he was gone. (Mind fuck).

Whilst I was trying to get my head around what had happened, I had asked Ted to postpone changing Facebook until I had told members of my family the situation – he ignored and went on to publically announce his break-up with the “crazy girl who made him extremely depressed”. I watched as girls from his gigs commented their support and confirmed I was crazy because I had added them on Facebook to “spy” on him (these were girls who also attended my gigs frequently and therefore, were mutual associates I was trying to build rapport with). He was the injured party and I was suddenly the big bad wolf.

I cried for weeks – all night, all day, in college and out and lost two stone for good measure! My student advisor had advised me to postpone my studies till the following year which was the kick up the backside I needed to hear – I was failing Music!?

Ted would contact me the occasional evening for weeks after our break-up, I am ashamed to admit he still had a hold on me despite everything. He would tell me to dress up a certain way and meet him after his gigs where he would drive me back to our old house. There was more intimacy out-with our relationship in those short weeks that followed, than there was in 2 years with him! I remember asking him, almost trying to convince him that you can’t share a bed with your ex without loving them still, but he would assure me, it was “just sex” and “meant nothing”.

I stopped being his booty call when I realised that I was wasting my time on wishful thinking. I got a job working as an Events Manager at one of his resident venues and took over Entertainment through my own small business. As a retaliation, Ted would stage a drama by visiting me out the blue one day and presenting me with our anniversary present I had made him (a memory book). I tore it up and left it in front of him and with it, brought closure to my lingering turmoil.

I hadn’t seen Ted in two years after than incident, and would only do so again in desperation for a job and an escape from yet another difficult situation involving an older man (a story for another day).

He would give me the job and attempt to start things over – I would go on to date him once to realise that he hadn’t changed at all yet fate of having Ted in my life for that short space of time would miraculously lead me to meeting my, now husband, at one of the resident gigs he would put me in.

Life is a funny, funny thing!

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons To Cherish Your Marriage

Marriage – what does it actually represent?

Does it represent a bond that is only there for a season? Or does it represent a bond that is there for a reason and a lifetime?

I have taken my rings off on numerous occasions, adamantly sure that “this time, it’s for good”. I would think and re-think the reasons behind my (then) reasonable justifications and I would lose hours of sleep to then conclude that I completely over-reacted and despite all else, I love my husband.

It all comes down to reasons as far as I’m concerned and I mean, genuine reasons why I decided on marrying my husband in the first place. It wasn’t like it was a drunken night in Vegas – it was planned and executed without any alcohol consumption whatsoever.

So, take me for example – I’ve been twice. The first time round I had a lucky escape and honestly thought I had went off the idea of marriage altogether (my ex was from a Church background and is now a Minister himself today). The point is, I am married now and that could only have happened for good reasons, therefore reasons are pretty significant in my marriage to my husband.

So now, we’ve established that there are reasons behind certain marriages (some bad, some good, some out-with our control), but let’s assume you married for the right reasons… if it was right to take that step in the first place it is important to truly consider the following things before divorce:

  1. Why did you get this far in the first place? – the lead up to a marriage is a lengthy process. Even before you meet the guy and decide he is “the one”, you first have to prepare yourself to be open and accepting of love before you can even allow him close enough to be considered husband material. You then have to date him, build mutual trust and respect and finally, grow to love him above all others. It can seem like a whirlwind at the time but think about it truly;

    how long did it take you to ready yourself for one of the biggest life commitments an adult can ever make, in the first place? 

    Once you consider the amount of effort it has taken you to get yourself to this point in your life, ask yourself is it really something you can throw away when things get a little bit tough.

  2. What are the attributes that make you love him? – Once you are content with the idea of settling down with someone (one day), you meet the guy of your dreams and he is that guy for a reason. You fell in love with him because there was something in him you couldn’t see yourself without.

    What separates him from the rest of the guys – what made him “The One”?

  3. Are you right all the time? some people believe winning means never admitting your wrong and winning is more important than losing. But aren’t you losing if your need to be right is damaging your marriage? Sometimes being “wrong” means you are being unreasonable, not compromising, not listening correctly or simply misunderstanding.

    Have you always been right at everything, and I mean EVERYTHING? Were you the top student in every subject at school? No? Well, how do you automatically assume you are right, right now?

  4. Do you want to be alone? I remember the feeling I had when my first long-term relationship ended- I cried for months and I almost failed my HND (love is so dramatic!).

    If you think you would rather go out and party all night long, by all means, do it! But trust me, when you come home with a bit of drink in you to an empty house (more specifically, an empty bed), it will hit you harder.

    Everyone needs space – if you want alone time, then work at a compromise with your hubby. Arrange a holiday with the girls once in a while and allow him to go away with the lads… you can still enjoy alone time and come home to a not-so-lonely bed!

    Does being alone seem like a better alternative than being with your husband?

  5. Do you think the grass is greener? We often assume that what we don’t have seems better than what we do have.

    With access to social media and glimpses into everyone’s lives, it is easily mistaken that others are happier than you. They take more photo’s, they have more friends, they go on holidays (bla, bla, bla).

    Social media is the devil as far as I’m concerned and although I have it, I don’t allow it to consume my life and my dreams. If you are feeling like this, chances are everyone else is or has at some point too!

    Don’t only think about what could be good without your husband but also think about what could be bad. What would you miss if he was no longer in your life?

  6. Will you be stronger without him? – Marriage is the hardest journey you can take because it tests you all the time.

    You don’t have a choice with your kids – they are your dependents and only death will stop that. So having children may make us strong, but it can never test us as much as a marriage can.

    Marriage is constantly a choice – we have to nurture it and look after it. It allows us to use our skills and it makes us more resilient people for it. You can be strong just as you are, but you can be stronger when there’s two of you, on the same page, wanting the other to be happy and doing everything to make that so.

    Marriage can make you strong or it can make you weak… the great thing is, you are completely in control of what you want it to be to you, at any given time.

    Someone once told me that “every lady has the exact love life she wants”.  

    nelson-mandela-got-a-divorce-meme

Pre-Workout Introduction

Hey girls!

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This is the marking of my second positive (and active) step forward in my journey to a healthier and much fitter lifestyle. I’m starting a little later than I had hope, being 4 months pregnant now HOWEVER, I am doing this!

I hope that you can join me on this journey, support and share with me your own thoughts, experiences and journeys too, as motivation to keep going no matter how tempting it is to give up and make do with feeling adequate, but not great all the time.

I don’t want to be that mummy who has no energy, no drive and no interest in being an active part of my kids’ lives – I want to be the fun mum. The go-out-and-explore mum. The mum who can go on amazing adventures and lead my children away from the use of technology at least most of the time. The mum who is creative and builds things with her children. The mum I always thought I would be.

And sadly, I’m not that mum…yet!

My son is approaching three in November and I have another due in January 2018 (thank you, thank you very much) and what has been constantly resounding in my mind lately, is how much I could have done already to make Jack’s lone-child life with mum and dad more fun… I could have lost the baby weight for a start – I didn’t. I could have taken him to the park more – I maybe take him once every couple of months. I could have allowed him to splash in puddles – I maybe did so, once! I could have play fought with him and built dens and baked instead of watching Disney films on a Sunday afternoon! I could have done a lot of things and the fact is, I didn’t because I neglected myself. I neglected myself and I lost my energy. I lost my energy and I became lazy!

So I have devised steps to follow, three to be precise. These are the stepping stones that will get me feeling sexy, confident and the best mum that I can be for my children. Here goes!

Step One – mental preparation – I know what I have to do. So now I make a solid plan on how to do it.

Step Twopublically announcing a change. Here I am right now, telling the world I’m gonna do it simply because, I probably will if people are watching and waiting for something to change – people want to see the proof, they aren’t going to make excuses for me the way that I would and I need that kind of tough love!

Step Three – Do what physically and mentally needs to be done to look, feel and be the ultimate yummy mummy for my kids. It definitely is easier said than done, I don’t know about other pregnant ladies out there, but the thought of putting myself through anything vigorous sounds less appealing than licking a strip of sandpaper but I am only thinking this way because I have no energy.

So, I have joined the Chakra Challenge with Yoga Guru, Allie @JourneyJunkie and I’m due to commence this as of 4th September – mental. spiritual and physical growth here I come!

Along with some home pregnancy work-outs curtesy of my husband and personal, personal trainer – marriage might be a bit rocky from now on but hey, I’m all about challenges right now!

Wish me luck!

Phanny xo

The Truth About Your Second Pregnancy

  1. It isn’t any less frightening than the first just because we’ve been through labour once before doesn’t mean we are a lot less petrified of the idea of going through it again. Let’s face it, labour was not fun the first time round – it was very, very painful not to mention completely undignified. And all this “you forget the ordeal as soon as you hold your baby for the first time” nonsense, is just that – nonsense!

    I remember every part of labour from the contractions, to the pushing, to the deciding I wasn’t pushing anymore, to the having to push again, to the stitching up at the end. It wasn’t nice and I’ll admit for a brief while I resented my baby quite a lot for the entire thing much as I loved him too.

  2. You still don’t know what to expectsome would assume that if you’ve been through it once you’re completely prepared for it a second time. Not the case. Each of my pregnancies have been different. It varies each and every time and you can never predict what’s around the corner but one thing I have came to expect is the unexpected. I mean, who would have thought that skin tags would be a common symptom of pregnancy, talk about disgusting!

  3. You don’t save as much money as you think you will after you’ve had your first little monster you get wise to all the ways you can save money. We have it all planned: keeping all neutral coloured clothing for hand-me-downs and hoarding baby toys that will save us expensive trips to Toys ‘R’ Us. But unless you have a massive house with ample storage, you’re going to sell on most of the baby items that are hindering your much needed space – bottles, bottle warmers, baby seats, prams etc., to make room for other necessities as your toddler grows.

    Then there is the invention of other ingenious baby things – my sister bought herself a milk maker that actually mixes formula to the exact temperature required in minutes (amazing!). 

    Lastly you have legislation which is constantly changing – the most recent one being car seats! It’s a joke – parents don’t have it easy and no matter how much you try to save money, you are going to have to dip deep into your pockets whether you like it or not.

  4. Your husband still hasn’t a clue – there is a part of you the second time round that feels confident that if anything, your hubby is going to be on the ball this time. That he knows how tiring it is for you and that housework is the last thing you need to be doing when you’re carrying extra weight and feeling the pressure on your lower back.

    Doesn’t happen – wishful thinking ladies!

    Men actually go the opposite way and think that we’ve done it before, so it’s like a second nature to us now – a nice thought but a stupid one!

    We need the extra help around the house, we need the extra patience when our hormones get the better of us, we need time to relax without the toddler prodding you with his foam sword and asking you a million questions and it would be nice to come home to a bath and glass of non-alcoholic prosecco after a busy day, just because.

    But if you want these things, you’ll have to moan for them and after all that energy has been consumed, you will be too fed up to even care.

     

     

A Damaging Phrase To End All Relationships

Well, it’s no surprise that generally, women need a lot more reassurance than men in relationships (it’s the whole ‘Venus vs Mars’ theory that women need to feel listened to and men, respected) but throughout my several years of ‘serious relationships’ (that is, longer than 1 year but can also be defined as 6 months if we ask my husband for example…). I have came to feel really, rather touchy towards one particular relationship-destroyer phrase.

It’s three words (not ‘I love you’ or ‘you are right’ (which it probably should be to save a drama) – can you guess what it is?

Here it is:

Just leave then

(which simply means, “I don’t love you enough to stop being an ass for 1 minute to tell you, whatever the case, I’m sorry for hurting you even though I didn’t mean it”). 

 

This has been a big catalyst of fights in my marriage, due to cause divorce one day I’m sure!

It usually creeps up when a man feels attacked and his authority and righteousness is being questioned (usually by the modernised lady – that is, a lady who realises that she is indeed equal to any man and that relationships are built on two people believing so with all their heart).

And so, I am targeting the cave man rebels of the Millennial race who are stuck between a rock and an easy place really, who for some reason are still trying to fight to keep their ancestor’s primal instincts rather than embrace their modernised, more realistic culture – it’s the whole “women belong in the kitchen” outlook versus, “women make the best entrepreneurs” debate (or so I think) but it’s about giving up your ego and meeting us halfway.

Here’s something to consider: Ego is a state of mind and the mind, can be controlled through Mindfulness! 

Feeling the need to always be right and to get our point across despite hurting another is just another example of how destructive it can be.

So how do I deal with this kind of “If you don’t like it, leave” attitude”?

I practice patience, compassion and I seek understanding – so, I understand that my husband is acting on Ego. I learn about it, I look up ways to practice Mindfulness myself and I try to be a positive influence by letting go of my own need to be right.

However, let’s cut the crap isn’t about putting up with crappy behaviours – it’s about facing the harsh realities…

If my husband doesn’t begin to express through his own actions that my feelings and our marriage are his number one priority when it matters most (when he wants something for himself and isn’t willing to compromise), then I walk away with dignity and a clear conscience.

Everyone, man and woman, is entitled to a compromising relationship, especially in marriage. If there is no compromise, there is no hope to satisfy the needs of two people, just one – so, it’s time to satisfy yourself and be the person to show yourself compassion. 

Being Mummy – the things we don’t expect.

I’ve been part of this whole motherhood circus now for 2 years… two emotional, long, agonising, exhausting yet all-of-a-sudden, FAST years!

Motherhood is not blissful but it is occasionally pleasant (when the kid is sleeping and you can look down in awe and think, this is why I work so bloody hard every second – ha).

So what didn’t I expect? Apart from everything, here are a few:

  • What respectable, young woman would really ever expect that she would allow the hair on her legs to grow for at least a month without touching them?!

    I’ve never understood the whole man and ape theory, but after seeing for myself what a certain amount of neglect can transform me into… 

  • I didn’t expect that the “I’m away to POWDER MY NOSE” cover for women needing a shit would officially be blown, when my needy little toddler finally decided that toilet time was no longer just a me thing…

    Be prepared for the dreaded outty he gives you in public, too (“mummy did a poo poo and it was stinky!” – I’m just waiting for it…)

  • Did I expect that I would have to shower with my eyes open and be prepared for an emergency exit? Eh – nope!

    Boobs and arse running around the house in search of the little brat (whom I love with all my heart) when I’ve suddenly taken my eyes off him to shampoo my hair. Please say someone out there has done this too?!

  • How could I have possibly predicted that after having a baby, I would never look at my mother the same way again… like, a massive respect for what she went through to have me (obviously) but wait a minute,

    I actually did pop through my mums vagina, I didn’t just appear here and this is all suddenly, way too disturbing to comprehend! And don’t even mention breastfeeding – ignorance, in this instance, is definitely bliss! (Ewww!)

  • I didn’t expect to have an objective perspective when I first saw my baby after delivering him –

    he wasn’t the “most beautiful thing I ever saw! – he was wrinkly, gooey and ugly and to be completely honest, at that point, I bloody well hated him… albeit, those feelings quickly passed – (Oh God, I can’t believe I’ve actually said it out loud!).

  • I didn’t expect to have to say goodbye to myself – I am constantly saying “motherhood doesn’t define all that I am“, but it actually soooooo does!!!

    Nothing you do is for yourself for the next 16 years of your life – whether you like it or not.

  • I didn’t expect to “lose it” as much as my parents did (I thought I would be a cool parent, no rules, laid-back, blah blah blah) –

    I “lose it” every. single. day! Over everything and anything and afterwards, I feel stupid and over-dramatic and terrible and ugly and fat, but that doesn’t stop me from doing it all over again tomorrow!

  • I didn’t expect to revert back to having sex in the dark because I don’t recognise what body parts are what and I certainly didn’t expect to make sex into a business – scheduled into my mental diary to then postpone for a week or two or, until further notice.

    My honeymoon (after child) was spent sleeping in bed for 10pm each night on a Caribbean cruise, we were that shattered! Tip: Get married first and wait a year!

  • I didn’t expect to have that much stretch marks! And they say, “be proud of your stretch marks (even though they cover your entire stomach, boobs and arse)”

    NO! I am not proud of my stretch marks! I hate them and I’m sorry I do!

  • I didn’t expect giving birth to be that traumatising and not just physically but emotionally too! The head alone feels like the entire body, the placenta is like its evil twin and the internal stitches? Probably worse than the birth itself! The epidural – having to push your bare-naked arse out towards a young male Doctor, while contracting and trying to breathe is bloody hard and completely destroys all dignity even before the chance you may shit yourself.

    They tell you that shitting during delivery is inevitable – it’s better to believe them. They also put the fear of life into you when it comes to your first poop after… don’t worry, you don’t feel like your arse is going to collapse, because I’m pretty sure it already has!

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