Bambi on Ice

After Elle was born the hospital agreed to look after her and I went on a fortnights holiday to the Bahamas to recover from a tough 9 months. Then I woke up!

The day after I had my daughter the midwife tried to get me up and moving about. She put a seat in the shower and off I went for a wash. My husband was in the room watching Elle. I started trembling uncontrollably. In my head I was shouting my husband but I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. Luckily he popped his head in to see if I was ok. He saw straight away I wasn’t so went to get help. Two midwives lifted me out of the shower on to the bed and wrapped me up to try and get me warm. I lost use of my legs for 2 days and was like Bambi on ice! It was like trying to learn to walk again. The Dr’s and midwives were brilliant. I couldn’t have asked for any better care. They knew I couldn’t get up to get my daughter if she cried or needed fed so always came in to pass her to me and help in any way they could.

So, apparently when you’ve been on steroids for a prolonged period of time your body stops producing its own. If you have something like major surgery (I.e a crash section) then you would normally get a double dose of the medication so that your body can cope with the trauma. In my case things changed very quickly and there wasn’t time to give me more steroids. What happened to me was a result of not having that extra dose, and my body saying ‘I’ve had enough’.

When I finally left hospital I left armed with more boxes of steroids (that wasn’t the plan…I was to skip out pill and nausea free!). I had to be weaned off slowly over a few weeks to stop the possibility of something like that happening again.

On my last day in hospital my tooth broke (I must have done something terrible in a former life!!!!!!). It turns out you can’t even have an injection at the dentist without extra steroids so Mr Dentist patched me up best he could and told me to come back when I wasn’t on medication!

I am now medication free but have to carry a card around with me for the next year explaining that I have recently had steroid treatment. Hopefully nothing will happen to me that I need to use the card…please 2013 give me a break!!

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Effing Paracetamol?!

I thought I’d be pregnant/sick forever or at least 2 years, as long as an elephant. The closer I got to my due date I realised that my baby now had to head towards the exit 😳. I didn’t need a big hospital bag, just 2 trusty friends I liked to call prednisolone and ondansetron! Like Bumble Bee and Optimus Prime from Transformers πŸ˜„.

At every visit to my GP I asked “will the sickness go once the baby is born?”. I always got the same reply, “it should, it usually does”. I had been the worst case of pregnancy sickness my GP had seen. He always seemed hesitant in his reply so I was never convinced. I wanted a guarantee, something in writing, a gift receipt!

Saturday 22nd of September 2012. That evening myself, my husband, my mum and my dad went out for dinner for my husband’s birthday (which was 24th September). We went to The Dores Inn, a favourite of ours. The road to get out there is pretty windy and my dad can be somewhat of an eratic driver. I joked that his driving was enough to put me in to labour. Little did I know a few hours later I’d be bouncing on a gym ball in the maternity ward thinking “did that midwife really just offer me effing paracetamol”? I would have appreciated a tranquilliser dart much more.

The further I got in to my pregnancy I asked my mum “how will I know I’m in labour?”. Her reply was a blunt “you’ll just know”. She was right, by god I knew! Anyway, after a nice meal (well, me picking at something on my plate) the usual Saturday ritual commenced: Match of The Day for my husband, bed for me. A few hours later I went in to labour.

Lots of people had said to me that I’d had such a terrible pregnancy I was bound to have an easy labour. This has been added to the long list of lies I was fed over those 9 months! Things were going as they should. My husband watched the clock until the canteen opened and he could get a bacon roll. He needed his strength after all 😳. Give it another hour and she’d be here, easy as pie?

Hour after hour passed. In my delirious state I was apparently singing along to Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on The Ceiling” on the radio. I have no recollection of this but do know I was far from dancing on any ceiling. I do remember that I told my husband if I ended up mooing like a cow like they do on One Born Every Minute then he could hit me right between the eyes.

Anyway, missing out some details that don’t need to be shared things took a turn for the worst. They needed to get my baby out really quickly so had to knock me out (not with a club like in The Flintstones). Like in films the last thing I remember is a mask being put over my face. I’m guessing it was fairy gas, like when you were little and went for work at the dentist! When I was being wheeled in to theatre I saw my husband in the distance and thought “where the hell are you going, for lunch?!”. We both later found out that he wasn’t allowed in because I’d had to be knocked out. As far as he was aware he was waiting to be taken in to see his baby being born! He could have actually gone for lunch πŸ˜„.

An hour or so later, when I came round, I met my beautiful baby girl. Elle Dawn Brittain was born at 1531hrs on Sunday 23rd September. She was born the day before her Dad’s birthday, my birthday present to him if you will! I’m in credit for a VERY LONG TIME!!

I was a mum ❀.

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My Big Fat Gypsy Bridesmaid!

For some reason the God of all things weddingy decided to punish me last year by giving me 4 to attend, 2 of which I had a starring role as bridesmaid 😳. I have never been invited to 4 weddings in one year but lucky me, I got 3 in a row (1st 3 weekends in June), then the last one was August….all with HG.

At the 1st 3 weddings I was 6 months pregnant. Wedding number 1 was the nuptials of Mr and Mrs Gardyne in Glasgow. Beautiful bride, beautiful venue, beautiful day. At this stage I was heavily addicted to Quavers and had a multipack in the boot of the car πŸ˜„. I had hoped to see a 3 course wedding meal of Quavers, Quavers, finished off with a dessert of Quavers but no such luck. I decided to get through the day I’d have to double my doses of steroids and ondansetron (self medication not recommended!). My make up looked like I’d mixed it up in a cement mixer and put it on with a trowel. I had to hide the peeley wallyness somehow! I made it to 10pm (practically the middle of the night to me!) then waved the white flag, got in to a taxi and headed back to the hotel. One down, 3 to go.

Wedding number 2 was the nuptials of Mr and Mrs Boyd in Bathgate. Beautiful bride, beautiful venue, very rainy day. Again I doubled my doses of medication and again there were no Quavers on the wedding meal menu πŸ‘Ž. I made it to 9pm.

Wedding number 3 was the biggie…my sister’s wedding – the nuptials of Mr and Mrs Hislop in Inverness. This I HAD to be ok for. Two days beforehand I was sick as a dog. My sister came to my house and commented how pale I was and that I didn’t look well at all. I told her I’d be fine (whilst completely panicking inside that I wouldn’t be). The day came, STUNNING bride, STUNNING venue, STUNNING day (with some showers!). My medication was doubled again and I made husband carry it in his suit pocket just incase I needed a top up. I also made him carry Bourbons in a freezer bag!!

It was really warm during the ceremony. Heat, having to smile AND HG don’t mix. I think you can tell from the wonderful photo below that I wasn’t feeling my best at that point!! I made it to midnight, a personal best! Most importantly my sister had a brilliant day and she looked absolutely beautiful. I would have been devastated to miss out on her big day.

Wedding number 4 came a few weeks later. The nuptials of Mr and Mrs Innes in Easter Kinkell. Beautiful bride, beautiful venue, beautiful day. Bridesmaid duties take two. Medication yet again doubled. At this stage I was 8 months pregnant and along with HG, had the general uncomfyness of the later stages of pregnancy. My dress was a gorgeous strapless, floor length dusky pink number. Gorgeous that is if it wasn’t for the fact I was 8 months pregnant and looked very much like a flump.

I made it to 10pm. I had to undo my dress in the car on the way home. Heat + HG + 8 months pregnant = your dress starts to attack you.

Wedding season 2012…..DONE!!!

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Man v Food

Strangely enough, for someone who couldn’t eat or drink much I became addicted to watching food programmes, especially Man v Food. For anyone who hasn’t seen this programme it’s worth a watch. The guy is a heart attack waiting to happen.

At the time I was sure that when I was well I’d be able to eat those ridiculously oversized portions. I’d treat myself to a trip to America and order a huge burger complete with Krispy Kreme doughnut 😳😳😷😷.

I also constantly watched music channels. Well two channels – 4Music and Viva (council telly in the bedroom you see!). I don’t remember overly listening to Rhianna but my daughter now strains her neck to see the tv if she comes on!

Songs I now HATE:

– David Guetta “Titanium”. This was
probably my vomiting theme tune. “I
am
Titaaaaaannniiiiuuummmm”….**runs
to the bathroom**. I need to turn the
channel/switch off the radio now when
it comes on. I can’t listen to it.

– Anything by Flo Rida. All that
bouncing in the car action in his
videos made me queasy.

– Carley Rae Jepson “Call Me Maybe”.
“Hey I’m still sick now, and it’s just
crazy, so what’s the end date, and
where’s my baby?”.

But there are also a couple of songs I loved and listened to on repeat:

– Kelly Clarkson “What Doesn’t Kill You
Makes You Stronger”. After all those
steroids I’m thinking of competing in
World’s Strongest Woman
2013….πŸ˜„πŸ˜œ.

– Beyonce “Run The World (Girls)”. I
LOVE Beyonce. I have hilarious
images of the #HGCrew starring in
that video πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„.

GIRLS….WE RUN THIS MUTHA….YEAH!!!!!

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Barthelonaaaaaaa!!!

In the early days of being pregnant/sick I fully believed that come 12 weeks I’d be fine. Spewing 24/7 would be a distant memory. So, I decided to book my husband and I a few days break to Barcelona for our 2nd wedding anniversary. The week before I sat in tears worrying that I’d be too ill to travel. But I was determined to go. It would be our last little trip together before Baby B arrived.

I was looking for travel insurance and to my complete amazement came across a policy that covered HG. I was petrified I’d end up having to be admitted to hospital when we were away and have to struggle with the language barrier…”spewey lewey, se?”. The Virgin Travel insurance policy stated: “In this policy β€˜complications of pregnancy and childbirth’ will include the following…Hyperemesis Gravidarum (excessive vomiting as a result of
pregnancy)”. Woo hoo, for the grand old price of Β£22 I was covered. Bargain.

Most of our 3 day trip was spent in the hotel room…and not in a good way! I slept a lot. I don’t feature in any nice photos, well apart from my feet! I was over 5 months pregnant when we went to Barcelona. I thought I was finally starting to show. Now when I look at the one and only full front on photo of me I laugh as it looks like I’ve just had a big dinner, and my face is still quite blown from all the IV fluids.

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“Don’t work so hard at making a living that you forget to make a life”

Week 18 was also the week I attempted a phased return to work. I’d had to attend a meeting at Occupational Health a few weeks before so they could make sure I wasn’t fibbing as I had been off for 13 weeks 😳. My mum had to drive me down and I sat in the waiting room with my (stolen) cardboard sick bowl! Safe to say the nurse was convinced I wasn’t at it.

My phased return involved starting on 4 hours, then adding an hour on each week until I was back to full time. I was nervous having been off for so long, and still feeling terrible, but looking forward to seeing colleagues. Surely work would take my mind off the HG? πŸ˜• Having things to do will miraculously cure me or make me just forget…😏.

At home the most I’d exerted myself was walking down the stairs to let the dog out in to the back garden. Now I’d have to get up at the same time and wash…EVERYDAY 😳. I’d have to speak to people. This terrified me as I’d pretty much lived like a recluse for weeks on end. What if the art of conversation made the HG worse?!

I went back to work and most people, especially senior management were really nice and supportive. One person in particular, was not. I don’t think this person realised just how sick I was. After all, I’d returned to work so I must be fine right? I was in town at the weekend and read a plaque that said “don’t work so hard at making a living that you forget to make a life”. It reminded me of said unsupportive person πŸ‘Ž.

I really struggled back at work, especially adding that extra hour on each week. Most trips to the toilet involved waiting an extra 10 minutes just to make sure I wasn’t going to be sick. In the end the stress of worrying if I’d be able to go in each day and the lack of support from the individual mentioned beat me. My husband and I decided it was best I take the earliest maternity leave possible (11 weeks before my due date), but I ended up being so unhappy I also resigned.

The week I was due to finish was also the week I was due to stop my course of steroids. As I mentioned before, anything below 10mg and my body set off alarm bells so I ended up not being able to lift my head off the pillow and didn’t make it in. I dragged myself out of bed on the Friday and crawled in to work to clear my desk and say a few goodbyes. Then I left, in an unwashed, see through state….I felt so sick that I didn’t even care.

And so ended my employment. Without all that stress i’d start to improve and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy, right?

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#monthestaggies

Week 18 in the Big Brother House. It was time to venture outside. I thought I might be a bit like Edward in Twilight and my skin would sparkle when the sun hit it. My complexion was certainly the same as his!

Ross County had won promotion to the SPL. It was a home game against Hamilton and the team were to be presented with the Division 1 trophy. My husband really wanted me to be there (health pending), so I did what any good wife should….I had a bath and washed my hair for the first time in ages πŸ˜„! Festering in my own stench for weeks on end I forgot what it was like to feel clean.

At this point I was on 30mg of steroids per day so the headaches were still pretty bad. I’d been using the Forehead roll on which basically made me look like I was rubbing a stick of deodorant across my face. I also went armed with a handful of Bourbons and some sick bags in my handbag. Sick bags started to come everywhere with me. In hospital I used to take home the cardboard sick bowls, just incase I didn’t make it to the bathroom on time, but it wouldn’t fit in my handbag 😜.

So off I went. Wait, I’d have to drive. I’d not done that in ages. Red for go and green for stop, right? I felt like I was on day release! I longed for my bed. I’ve never been one for napping during the day but I slept a LOT as sleep was the only time I got complete relief for a few hours.

Anyway, I made it and as Sir Alex would say “I was very pwoud”.

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