My daughter is now a whole 1 year old! I can’t imagine life without the little monkey and I struggle to remember what I ever did with my time before she crash, bang, walloped into my life!
Isn’t it strange how you can have the most amazing and most upsetting time of your life all at once. I struggled big time with HG during my pregnancy and thought I’d never go through anything so difficult again. Then PND paid me a visit. I had a wonderful family and beautiful little girl so WHY did I feel like I couldn’t cope? Looking back now I still don’t know why I felt like that. I had absolutely no control over it. I wouldn’t say I’m quite 100% but I’m not far off it. Simple things (well, as simple as anything can be with an active 1 year old!) like walking the dog and meeting friends, which I now do on a regular basis, at that time seemed absolutely impossible and could only be done by a Supermum with magic powers. I think I still have a bit to go but things are easier and I don’t recognise that person from a few months back.
When I was writing this I stuck “post natal depression” in to google. It amused me to see the following come up as one of the links: http://www.parents.com/parents/quiz.jsp?quizId=/templatedata/ab/quiz/data/80.xml
At the end you even get the option to take the quiz again! A QUIZ? 😳. I can see it now, Michael Barrymore will make his big tv return in a new gameshow called “Down in the Dumps”. If you win you will get a certificate saying you do not have PND and sent off with a new fridge freezer and a week in the Maldives. If you lose then you will obviously have PND and will be covered in gunge 🙈. What’s a hot spot not…? 😜
So, it’s not all doom and gloom. My daughters 1st year has been a whirlwind. Or more to the point SHE is a whirlwind! She resembles a wind up toy where from the minute she wakes up she goes and goes and goes until she burns herself out. She obviously gets her energy (and her temper!) from her father.
It’s a cliche when people tell you nothing can prepare you for having a child, but it’s true! What have I learned in my 1st year of being a mum? Come this way…..
Babies will fight sleep to the bitter end. They will regret this when they are older. I will make sure my daughter regrets it when she’s older! Long gone are the days of long lies, long long gone. My daughter is a very early riser and if she sleeps past 7am this is now classed as a long lie! When she is a grumpy teenager wanting to stay in bed all day I will remind her of my early morning wake up calls.
Awful and annoying cartoons like In The Night Garden are even more annoying when you have a child. However, if it’s the only thing that will keep a grumpy child from moaning then you’ll be happy to have it on Sky+!
When babies start talking they pick up the most random phrases! It doesn’t matter how many hours you sit staring at your child saying “MUM” or “DAD”, they, or Elle, will shout “Bye Pal” to her Dad when he leaves for work! This is what we say to our dog 🙈.
Eating out now revolves around which restaurants are ‘baby friendly’. Is there something on the menu baby can eat? Do they have baby changing facilities? Even if the food is awful as long as it’s child friendly then it’s classed as a meal out!
Golden Hour. Yes, this is when baby has gone to bed. But it’s not when we sit down, put out feet up and relax. My child ALWAYS wakes up within an hour of going to bed. So we know when she drifts off into a dreamy sleep we have 1 hour to have some dinner, do the dishes, make any phone calls and tidy up!
When Elle is being a madam and touching things she shouldn’t (we recently caught her eating the dogs dry food and also ‘playing’ with her Grandad’s golf clubs 🙈) my mother refers to it as ‘exploring’. Exploring? I’m pretty sure when my sister and i were little and we accidentally broke the head off of her favourite ornament, then attempted to superglue it back on but got superglue all over the wooden tv unit she didn’t shout “it’s ok girls, you’re just exploring”. Or when I was 3 years old, and my sister told me to jump off of the step ladder and she’d catch me, except when I jumped she stepped to the side and I fell and broke my leg, I doubt my mum said “not to worry, a broken leg is when happens when you’re exploring”.
On a non child note, I have a whole new found love for food! My favourite haunts in Inverness, Rocpool and The Dores Inn, are now even more tasty now that I can eat a meal without the worry of it coming back up later! I’ve always had a sweet tooth, ok an entire sweet set of gnashers 😳. Being pregnant i seemed to hate all food but sweet things made me even worse (to my horror!). So if you see me with more jolly cheeks than usual thank my good friends Ben & Jerry.
If you think you might be suffering from PND please talk to someone. I found my dog a good starting point! Half the battle is admitting that something isn’t quite right. The big danger is ignoring the issue and thinking it will just go away. You’re GP is there to help so don’t be scared to make an appointment and go along for a chat.
So I was done with this blogging malarkey. But, after recent events I thought it was only fair I did another update. My husband has taken a lot of flack for pulling out of a move to Perth this summer. As predicted, the media and social networks went in to overdrive meaning that the trolls came out of the woodwork. This was to be expected and we thought we were prepared for it. I escaped with relatively no abuse despite people assuming we stayed because of my awful pregnancy. My husband however has taken a LOT of stick and been accused of being offered more money and getting greedy. Most of the time he has kept a dignified silence, and I’ve bitten my finger to stop me replying to all the nasty tweets. Nobody wants to see someone they love bombarded with abusive messages. On many occasions we laughed. Not because we thought it was funny, but because we couldn’t believe most of these people sending abuse were grown men and women. Unbelievable.
Anyway, before this turns in to a full blown rant, let me begin…
My daughter was born in September 2012. My mum had warned me about the day 3/4 baby blues. They came and I cried for no particular reason. I remember phoning my cousins wife to apologise that she didn’t get in to see me and crying so hard I could barely speak! But this was normal, I’d just had a baby and it would pass….wouldn’t it?
After a horrific pregnancy I was looking forward to feeling normal again and enjoying life as a mum. Unfortunately as the days and months went on the crying continued and I got so low that I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again. It took me 4 months to admit that things weren’t right. My husband knew I wasn’t myself but maybe we both put it down to being new parents. I even kept it from my mum, who I saw most days. When people say that mental illness is an invisible illness they are absolutely right. It’s easy to keep people from knowing something is wrong when you don’t want them to. I didn’t have any bruises, marks or scars so I was obviously perfectly fine, right? Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Everything was a struggle. Sleeping, eating, everything. I had no idea how I was supposed to look after a little person and thought I was awful at it. Maybe I still am but she’s a happy, healthy and content little girl so I must be doing something right. Simple things like leaving the house to meet friends, go to the shop or even walk the dog seemed impossible to do with a baby. I convinced myself that it was just easier and safer to stay at home and avoid any kind of interaction with people. I mean, god forbid my baby cried, needed fed or changed!
In January the decision was made to move to Perth. At the time that’s what we all felt was best. I know what I signed up for when I got married and have always been prepared to have to move. When I met my husband I had been living in Glasgow for nearly 8 years. It’s his fault I ended up back in The Highlands! We quickly realised that a move, any move, wasn’t in the best interests of our family. I went to see my GP towards the end of January and she couldn’t believe it had taken me so long to go and see her. I completely broke down the minute I sat in the chair and was diagnosed with post natal depression. I remember getting a visit from my health visitor not long after I gave birth to my daughter. She handed me a piece of paper, a pen and sat in silence until I answered a questionnaire. My score would determine whether or not I had PND! Seriously, a questionnaire?! Funnily enough, not wanting anyone to know that something was wrong my ‘score’ gave me a clean bill of health. This was easy given that I ticked all the boxes that said “I feel wonderful” as opposed to those that said “I want to die” 😄.
The decision to stay in The Highlands was a family one. It was decided that was what was best all round in order for me to recover. Doesn’t everyone make decisions based on what is best for their family? The difference is others aren’t judged and criticised for it by complete strangers! I can understand fans in Perth being disgruntled, of course I can, but that doesn’t excuse some of the disgusting abuse they have subjected my husband to. Anyone who knows me knows that I can take a joke and often give as good as I get! But sometimes it just goes too far. One fan even made a comment on a photo my husband posted of my daughters toy. Too far.
The decision to stay was without a doubt the right one for our family. What other people think means little to me but it’s gone too far when the person who has been my biggest support is getting abuse on a daily basis. We made the right decision and maybe in time fans will realise this was a decision based on what was best for the whole family, and not a football/money based one.
Today is HG Awareness Day 2013. The more awareness that can be raised about this horrible condition, the better treatment women can receive. It amazes me that some women are still refused any kind of help and their pregnancy does not have the happy ending that every women hopes for.
Please take a minute to watch this video, put together by the lovely Emma at PSS – HG Awareness Day 2013
Elle and her HG friends make their big screen debuts!!
Remember, Pregnancy Sickness Support UK are ready to help if you are suffering from this horrible condition. Please do not hesitate to get in touch. I’m certainly glad I did!!
So, my daughter is now over 6 months old. I spent most of last year wishing I could press fast forward and now I want time to slow down. Elle has 2 teeth, she laughs all the time, she is rolling over, she has tantrums (she obviously takes after her father 😳)…she is amazing. If anyone had told me this time last year that when Elle arrived I’d go through HG all again for her I’d have told them to take a short run off a very high cliff! But I would, I’d go through it everyday for her. I am still in contact with my twitter #HGcrew and it’s brilliant being able to watch their babies grow up.
I am now a volunteer with Pregnancy Sickness Support UK – http://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/. This charity was an amazing support to me during my pregnancy. If you are suffering, or know someone who is suffering, then please direct them to PSS. Likewise, if you have experienced severe sickness during pregnancy and think that you could offer support to others, why not visit the PSS site and fill out a volunteer application form? 👍
I can’t sign off without mentioning a LOVELY LOVELY lady…Emma Gallie. I’ve never met this lady, but reading my blog has encouraged her to raise money for PSS. How unbelievably thoughtful!!!! Visit her fundraising page at
Go on….stick a £1 on her! My Grand National name for her is Generous Stranger 😜.
This is just a short blog of what felt like a never ending 9 months. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from a condition or illness without an end date. I may have felt like I was going to die, but my due date also became my HG free date. 27th September 2012, my official due date.
To all the women I know and do not know who have gone through HG and have lovely babies to show for it, I salute you. To all the women I know and do not know who have suffered with HG and not had that happy ending, my thoughts are with you and your angels. To anyone who is currently suffering keep smiling (even if it’s a fake one!), and remember, your due date is also your HG free date!
What’s that I hear you say? Baby number 2? Jog on! Well maybe…
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. If I’ve convinced one person who is suffering that the hell of HG does eventually end, or inspired someone to share their story (whatever that may be) then my job here is done!
OVER & OUT!
So, 2012 taught me the following:
- I am allergic to being pregnant. It’s a
bloody serious allergy!
- I am not a good advert for pregnancy.
- I never knew it was possible to get so
ill from being pregnant. I’d heard
about morning sickness, but like most
women believed that it would
completely disappear by 12 weeks.
Boy was I wrong!
- Pregnancy is longer than 9 months!
- A bag of IV fluids a day keeps the
- Ginger does NOT cure HG. From
what some Dr’s and nurses say you’d
think ginger would create world
peace. It will not!
- The above also applies to crackers.
- HG is NOT morning sickness, it is all
day and all night sickness. It is a
serious, debilitating condition.
- When your baby starts to move it is a
little bit like the scene from Alien
(minus the baby bursting out of your
stomach with a full set of gnashers
and wanting to kill you). In a nice way
- It still amazes me the difference in
treatment for women suffering from
HG from city to city/country to
country. When I eventually got
something that helped it was never a
problem to get it from my GP. Some
women are just refused medication
point blank 😳.
- I will never eat another bag of Quavers
The main thing that got me through HG was the support I had. Yeah I still got the odd “it’s just morning sickness” remark and the odd one or two people who were completely unsympathetic to my condition (I better not mention names!), but on the whole people were very supportive and I was very lucky. I heard from people I’d not spoken to in a long time, received flowers from people I only really knew in the passing and always had nice texts, Facebook messages etc. There are a few people inparticular who got me through the toughest days of my life:
My Husband – My husband is amazing. He spent countless days and nights sitting with me, listening to me crying, helping me in and out of the bath and up and down the stairs, dressing me and generally comforting me. I’ve lost count of the amount of times he spent all night with me at the hospital, then went straight to training or to a game. Fans criticise his commitment, trust me, you’d never get a more committed person to his football. I love this man with all my heart. He was and always will be my hero. I’d stop breathing without him.
Fletcher the dog – Yes that’s right, my dog!! My husband worked most days so I was alone in the house a lot of the time. If I was on the couch, Fletcher was beside me. If I was in bed, Fletcher was in bed with me and if I was lying on the bathroom floor Fletcher was lying on the bathmat at my feet! If i cried he licked away my tears. He was my loyal HG companion ❤. He is my loyal companion.
Mum & Dad – My mum and dad were a tremendous support. They would come up to the house and sometimes sit downstairs all day, even though I was in bed, just incase I needed anything. They took me to and sat with me in A&E many times when my husband was working. When my husband was away with work I stayed with them and they looked after me.
My Sister – My sister phoned me everyday, even though most days I was too ill to answer. She knew this and knew it was more than likely I wouldn’t pick up, but called everyday nonetheless. I remember her visiting from London one weekend. She sat in bed with me, in silence, all day on a Friday. I was admitted to hospital that evening. She sat with me all day in the hospital, near enough in silence again, on the Saturday. She was so understanding that she would have completely understood if I’d been unable to make her wedding. I did make her wedding…..there was no chance I was missing that. Sod you HG!! Unfortunately for my sis I did ruin some of her wedding photos! Elle’s middle name is Dawn, after her favourite Auntie ❤.
Kythie – My beautiful friend Kythie. Someone I can say absolutely anything to and am never ever judged. She listened to my daily moans of feeling ill. Yep, I complained daily to a girl who has MS. She will live with that forever and there is no cure. She never compared my situation to hers and always had so many words of encouragement for me. She is an incredible person. She is an amazing friend. I love her.
Tania – Yes, I also moaned to the cervical cancer survivor who at this point didn’t know if her and her husband could have a family. She was always full of sympathy and asked near enough everyday if there was anything she could bring me. Tania and her husband are now expecting their 1st child and I can’t wait to meet baby Dash! You can follow Tania’s blog at http://taniadash.wordpress.com/. The definition of a true survivor.
Heather – There aren’t enough words for me to describe this lady. When i was pregnant I called Heather my HG guardian angel. Heather IS an angel. I will forever be in her debt. I contacted Heather via the Pregnancy Sickness Support UK Charity (PSS) website looking for some help. Heather is a volunteer with the charity and was assigned to me. I’m so glad she was! Heather went through HG with her son so knew exactly how I was feeling but spurred me on to the finish line! Despite having a full time job and a toddler, Heather gives up so much of her own time to help women suffering with HG. If Esther Ransen still did the programme Hearts of Gold then Heather would be nominated time and time again!! I’m hoping to get involved with the PSS Charity in the near future – http://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/.
Mikaela – If there was a job title called “Goodie Bag Maker For People in Hospital” then Mikaela would be the best in the business! She should be a professional hospital visitor. Her goodie bags are amazing: sweeties (but not just any sweeties, sweeties you’ve not had in AGES), magazines, mini toiletries. Ok I confess, I had myself admitted all those times just so Mikaela would bring me some treats!
The #HGCrew/ladies from the closed HG groups on Facebook – Without these girls I thought I’d never laugh again! They are the only bunch of girls who can have the most tragic yet hilarious stories at the same time!
Mhairi, Heather, Laura, Moira and Stevobob – Work colleagues (new and old) who kept in touch all the time to see how I was doing. I was very very fortunate to have such a good support network around me.
My favourite restaurant is Rocpool in Inverness. If you’ve never been to Rocpool you HAVE to go. The food is amazing and the service is fantastic. Stephanie (😜) is the most wonderful host. I managed a couple of times in the later stages of my pregnancy but I had it written on the calendar that when I was HG free we would all go as a family to Rocpool for my 30th birthday. We went, baby slept to let us enjoy our meal and I ate 3 delicious courses…HG FREE!