Hello Again!

Sorry I was away for so long. Im back, at least for this post. I can’t really promise any more than that.

First things first, I had a baby, 11 weeks ago. On the 20th March to be exact.

This is Luna Belle. She was 5lb 7oz when she was born and oh so perfect.

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This photo was taken when Luna was 2 weeks old by Georgia at Happily Ever Captured who took Luna’s newborn photos.

This is her today.

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She is beautiful although I’m a little bias on that front. She is a really content baby, loves to be cuddled all day long and really doesn’t like being on her own. She loves to “talk” to us and is so close to managing a little giggle.

It was a big adjustment going from this little family that was all centred around Sofia, our first baby, to being this complete family of four. Its taken me a while to get my bearings really which is why I have been so quiet.

Anyways I just wanted to say hi again to anyone who reads these and check in really.

Danielle xx

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Photo again by Happily Ever Captured.

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Time out

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Ive decided to cut myself bit of slack at the moment and I think, unless the mood strikes me to write or post, I will only be updating my blog with the pregnancy updates until I’ve had this baby.

Im really struggling and this is one thing I do enjoy doing but I am just too tired to put any pressure on myself to pretty much do anything above what I have to do at the moment.

I have to look after Sofia and keep our little family life ticking over but above that I’ve decided to try not to worry. I have 3 weeks left til my due date, so this baby could come any time in the next 5 weeks and I need to stop trying to keep up with everything. I wasn’t doing a good job of it anyway.

Im finding even the small every day things hard to manage to get done. If I’m honest I think my depression may be creeping back, I spent 5 hours in the bath on Saturday, I do like a long bath but it was a bit ridiculous even for me. I just didn’t want to get out, when I’m in the bath is the only time my body isn’t hurting and I’m really struggling to deal with Sofia needing me so much. I think thats kind of why I was in the bath for so long, when my husband is looking after Sofia its where I retreat to so that I can’t physically be needed. Thankfully I have an amazing husband who understands and tries his best to help me out however he can, I know he’s getting pretty exhausted too having to do more than his fair share with Sofia.

I didn’t realise how easy it was in my first pregnancy, you have enough time to just look after yourself. This time round its just not like that and right now I really need to try my best to look after myself and thats going to mean different things on different days but I have to stop pressuring myself to do more.

I still want to have the pregnancy updates to look back on so I will be continuing them. Once our baby is born I am hoping to manage to do updates and I will just take it from there really, I will get back to posting as I do enjoy having this for myself, its like my little memory book/mental health journal. It does help me but right now its not.

Danielle xx

The photo up top is from May last year, before I got pregnant. Its just a photo I love of me and Sofia.

One step forward 10 steps back

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Im finding everything really hard right now.

I have 4 and half weeks till my due date, I’m huge, exhausted and my emotions really are all over the place.

Im really hoping a lot of this is down to the fact that I’m heavily pregnant and that its not just me.

Every so often I manage to have a good day where things go well and I manage to push myself to do something I’m happy about like the other day when me and Sofia went out for lunch by ourselves, something I had never done before, but then there are so many days where I struggle to even get the bare minimum of anything done.

And then there are days like Saturday.

It was my nieces first birthday party. They had booked a church hall and set up a bouncy castle and little soft play for the kids and done a spread of food. There were a lot of people there.

I really struggle with these type of events.

I knew my anxiety would be triggered but I wasn’t prepared for how badly. I thought I was past that point, I thought I was a bit better.

Better at coping with it but ultimately better at concealing it.

Now being pregnant didn’t help me here, as soon as my eyes started to prickle I couldn’t stop.

Ive been crying for absolutely no reason all the time lately so I guess its no wonder I couldn’t keep it in when I was freaking out there.

Thankfully it was a short walk to outside to where I could hide. My mum was helping Sofia get some food at the time so I knew she was ok.

I can’t pin point what it is about these type of events that makes me like this, in most situations I can internalise it all and everyone is none the wiser apart from the odd person who knows me well enough to know I’m not ok, but at things like this its obvious.

Maybe its the constant noise, or the fact that everywhere I look I can see people who vaguely know who I am but don’t really know me. I think its a combination of these coupled with my head which starts to panic because I feel trapped.

Once my head goes down that route my eyes start to burn and I fidget with whatever I’m holding, this time it was my bottle of Diet Coke, I could feel myself shaking as I opened it and closed it over and over again. This just made me more aware of everyone around me.

Just getting out of the building helped, I could try and calm down without so many people seeing me crying.

Chris quickly noticed I wasn’t there and I’m guessing he will have known where to find me from the last time this happened.

He was there by my side, not making me feel judged or guilty like most people do unintentionally but just there. He makes me feel so safe. I honestly don’t know how I would get by without him.

My side of the family have never actually witnessed this side of me, they knew about it but as far as I remember had never seen it. I think they handled it well, my brother came out and told me it was ok for me to go if I wanted, which was what I needed.

The problem with being a parent in these situations is that its not only about looking after myself and my sanity. Sofia was there at her cousins first birthday party having a great time and I didn’t want to take that from her or from Tahlia either.

Im a stay at home mum, I look after Sofia pretty much all the time, I find it so difficult to entrust that to anyone else. Especially when we were in a place I didn’t really know.

Me and Chris decided it would be best to leave her with my parents at the party so she could still have a good time.

Chris took me out for lunch so that I wasn’t sat at home worrying and waiting for them to get home. I really do have the best husband, I don’t have to explain to him these things, he just knows what I need.

Im worried for the future, I’m sure as my children grow up there will be more and more of these types of parties. Hopefully when I’m not heavily pregnant I will be able to get through it.

I really hope so, right now I don’t really feel like I’ve gotten anywhere with my anxiety. I thought I had but I guess it had never been tested like this.

I do believe its something I will always have to deal with, I just hope it gets easier at some point.

I hope no-one was upset by me leaving, its just kind of for the best when this happens, no-one wants a grown woman sat in some corner of a kids party crying. I wish I wasn’t like this.

Danielle xx

Not the best picture up top I know, I didn’t take any pictures of the party, I was a bit pre occupied while I was there. This picture was taken by my mum of Sofia and Tahlia.

This Weekend

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Its Monday morning and I am so so tired. I have a poorly toddler today, she is cuddled up on the sofa watching Team Umizoomi. It is so cold this morning.

We had a really nice weekend but to be honest this week I’m going to start this post on Thursday.

I went out of my comfort zone on Thursday, I’m really quite proud of myself for it. To most it won’t seem like a big deal but to anyone who has social anxiety as I do will know how hard these things are.

I had my midwife appointment in the morning and was having a good day, me and Sofia were both out of the house on and I wasn’t itching to get back home for once. I needed to go to the card shop on the way home but I thought that since we were already out we would walk up to M&S and get cards there and also look for some presents I needed to get.

It was midday by the time we got there and I knew it would be a while until we were home so I decided we would have lunch in the cafe. I have had lunch there many times but never just me and Sofia.

This was the first time we were going to be having lunch just the two of us. It was busier than I expected which I did struggle with but Sofia was such a good girl and ate her lunch nicely.

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It was nice spending the day just the two of us and I will do it again some time when I’m feeling brave enough again.

I know I’m a grown woman but I really struggle being on my own out of the house. I can push myself to do it so I do still function when it comes to things I need to do but its still really difficult.

Although I had a good day on Thursday it was the start of a few bad nights for us. Sofia has been waking up ALOT, we are all pretty tired. I feel like I have a cold and I think Sofia does too. Last night (Sunday night) she coughed so much she was sick all over her bed, I really hate seeing my baby poorly, I feel so helpless.

On Saturday we took Sofia to her dance class in the morning. She now has a little ballet outfit to wear for it and it is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

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She has only been going to class a few weeks but she has taken really well to it, she gets so excited to be going and to be seeing her Auntie Nia who teaches the class.

Its also really nice for me and Chris, we get to sit and have a drink together without Sofia there, I’m sure there will be a time that it feels normal but at the moment it feels really special to get 45 mins to just be the two of us.

We decided against going swimming after dance as both me and Sofia are full of cold. We went over to the white rose shopping centre to get Sofia’s feet measured at Clarks. Turns out she is still the same size at the moment but will probably need the next size up soon. So no new shoes for her just yet.

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We also went to Harvester for lunch on Saturday. I think its quite a nice place, Sofia loves their kids meals, its not super expensive and the food is nice and the staff at the one we go to are always lovely.

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On Sunday we needed to pretty much have a day inside as the bad nights have really taken their toll on me and Chris lately. So we didn’t do a huge amount, got some tidying done and Chris went for a run. Then in the evening we went over to my brothers house for a roast dinner.

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Its always nice to see Sofia and Tahlia playing together and the roast dinner Darcy (my brothers partner) made was really yummy.

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It was a nice weekend, just a shame me and Sofia aren’t too well. Sofia doesn’t seem too bothered by it during the day but its definitely affecting her on a night.

Danielle xx

Another difficult week.

I feel like crap and there is no real reason for it.

Its been a bad week but again for no real reason.

Im very sorry that I always seem to be complaining about one thing or another but I want to be honest and this is where my head is at the moment. Being honest is the only way this blog will help me process things, which is really one of the biggest reasons I started it, I need something to help me process now I’ve stopped counselling and writing to myself helps me get it out of my system and helps me reflect.

I can’t seem to pin point why I’m feeling the way I am, there could be lots of little reasons and maybe its just the combination of these things thats making things hard right now.

Im 33 weeks pregnant and my body aches, it’s winter, always cold and grey out, I’m very tired and never seem to catch up with anything.

Or maybe I’m just at a point in this being a stay at home parent thing that its getting on top of me. Ive been doing this for just over 2 and half years now.

Being a stay at home mum is what I want and I don’t want to change it. I’m 99.9% sure it is what is best for Sofia and what will be best for our baby on the way too.

But it is so hard.

In 2 and half years I’ve not had a break from Sofia for more than 24 hours. I’ve only ever had 2 nights away from her, once for our wedding anniversary last year and once for a spa night away, both of which were just under a year ago. I love her more than anything but if I’m totally honest I need a break. Its not even that I exactly want a break as such, I don’t like to be away from her, I feel selfish, I just know it does me good.

I don’t like to ask for help even when I need it so its not overly often anyone other than my husband looks after Sofia, sometimes my parents or my sister in law but only when we have something to get done, not exactly for down time. I have an amazing husband who lets me have an hour or a couple of hours here and there where I lock myself in the bathroom and have a bath and try to shut out the world.

Another problem I think I may have brushed over the topic on here is that I have awful social anxiety which stops me from going out of the house. We go out on a weekend as a family and every so often I may go out with my mum for lunch during the week. But that is it. I hate admitting thats the case because I know how weird that makes me sound.

I wish I could enjoy being out on my own but I just can’t so I don’t do it, I find it so hard to even push myself out the door (I know this is not healthy behaviour from a grown woman). Over the years I’ve somehow managed to isolate myself from pretty much everyone, I seem to find it very difficult to connect with others, its only family I see, I don’t really have many friends at all and none that I see in person or even talk to on a regular basis.

I realise a lot of this is my fault. Theres a huge part of me that doesn’t want friends because I find it like this mine field of how I should act or what I should say or how often should I be texting etc etc… its exhausting but thats just part and parcel of life with social anxiety. Its this big contradiction, not wanting to see people but being desperate to at the same time.

I think maybe this is why everything is getting on top of me right now, before I became a mum I had these mental health problems which are hard to deal with, I now have a toddler who is hard work (no more than any other but all toddlers are hard work) and then theres the pregnancy, I think its this that is pushing me over the edge at the moment.

I want to be a few weeks in the future when my baby is here and I’m not pregnant anymore.

I don’t really know the reason why I’m not right at the moment but what it comes down to is that I’m not ok at the moment. Im just really trying to persevere and hopefully things get better. I’m sure they will, they always do.

This post gives me such a pit in my stomach to post and I know why, its because I’ve touched on my anxiety, its not something I talk about completely openly about with everyone but I can’t just leave it out on here, it would be too difficult to talk about how I’m feeling as it effects me every day and in every decision I ever make so it may not always make sense when I talk about it, this is because I don’t really fully understand why I am the way I am myself.

Danielle xx

This Weekend

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It was an up and down weekend for me, pretty much thats usual though. Id like to say its a pregnancy thing, and it definitely doesn’t help but its not that, its just how I am. I have the worst mood swings, I think my husband must be a saint to keep up with me some times.

We had an earlier than normal start on Saturday but hopefully soon it will be our normal as Sofia has started dance lessons on Saturday mornings. Its a class just for little ones and from how its been explained to me its more about getting them moving around and learning movements than actual dance techniques which to me sounds like a good thing as she’s only 2 and half!

My sister in law teaches the class and I think that helped in making Sofia feel comfortable and enjoy herself as she hasn’t ever been to a class before let alone one where you leave them to it. I never did mummy and me classes due to my awful social anxiety.

While Sofia was having fun dancing, me and Chris got a rare 45mins just us so we went across the road to the Costa to have a coffee which was really nice, I had a hot chocolate as I don’t drink tea or coffee though. Unfortunately hot chocolate doesn’t wake you up like coffee does!

Once Sofia was finished she came out with a big smile on her face and holding a feather that she had been playing with in class. Ive tried to get her to show me what she was doing with the feather but she won’t. I think a class like this will do her a lot of good, she spends all her time with me and we don’t know many other children so she isn’t around a lot of kids. Thankfully she doesn’t seem to have any problems with socialising from what we have seen but I just don’t want it to be a complete shock to her when she starts nursery.

We then went to go swimming. This is something we do most weekends but have been very lax on it recently. Basically I got ill over the Christmas period so we didn’t go for a few weeks but that carried on after I got better.

Swimming is something we all enjoy but once it gets out of the routine I have to push myself to start going again. I think before this weekend we had only been once as a family since Christmas. Chris goes to the gym there each week and is a lot better than me at pushing himself to go. But it has been freezing and swimming seems to be the last thing I want to do when its cold! But I’m glad we went.

Things went a bit downhill after swimming though, I felt good about the morning so when we got home and the momentum stopped my mood fell. It happens every time, I go from being really happy and feeling really good to like I’ve just face planted the floor and its not because anything bad happened it just seems to take for me to stop for my mood to fall off a cliff.

The same happened on Sunday. We had a good productive morning of going out to get a Chicken for the roast that evening and some bits for my hospital bag for when I have this baby.

The fall wasn’t quite as bad as on Saturday but it was still there. I don’t think it helps that its so cold at the moment. Sorry to keep winging on about the temperature, I just constantly feel cold and it helps to put me in a bad mood!

I really want spring to arrive. I want the grey dreary sky and the cold to go away, I’m sick of feeling down. I do seem to be effected by the seasons a lot when it comes to my mood.

My parents went on holiday to the Caribbean on Saturday so we have the house to ourselves for 2 weeks which is nice. Things just seem to run smoother when theres only one household living here, I’m sure they feel the same when we are away. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for what my parents do for us but it doesn’t mean its a perfect situation.

But with my parents away I made the roast dinner and WOW am I out of practice. It was a right flop. Well by my standards anyways. My mum does an amazing roast dinner and I used to be able to make a good one but I tried to make it as healthy as I could for my husband but it just didn’t work out as well as I would have hoped.

On a good note I made a slimming world friendly version of roast potatoes from a recipe which were really nice.

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I managed to pick myself back up on Sunday evening by having a nice hot bath with one of the scented candles I had treated myself to while we were shopping and listening to some relaxing music, its about the only way I can really wind down at the moment.

Sorry for the lack of photos from this weekend, I was bit crappy at getting the camera out.

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The above photo isn’t a great photo, It was just Sofias reaction to dropping an egg after she had been told not to play with it. She wasn’t expecting it to smash!

Danielle xx

This Weekend

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We had a really nice weekend this week.

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On Saturday we drove over to see my grandad. My parents, brothers and my brothers partner and little one came too. Its not too often that my family gets together and this isn’t by any means the whole family but it was lovely to see my grandad none the less.

I think he really enjoys seeing our little girls. My grandads partner was there too and I think she was smitten with Sofia and Tahlia!

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They were both so well behaved all day even while we were out at Gusto for lunch.

Sofia got to make her own pizza and she was so proud of herself. I think she actually ate more of it because she made it herself!

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After lunch we went for a walk along the seaside but it was absolutely freezing and with me having a baby sat on my bladder, we ended up cutting the walk short and went back to my grandads house for nibbles and some pudding.

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Sofia was fast asleep in the car and just went straight to bed once we got home. Me and Chris were shattered too so we went to bed pretty much as soon as we got in too. It was a long day but a really nice one.

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Sunday just had to be a fairly lazy day as were tired from Saturday.

Kindly my mum and dad looked after Sofia for us for a couple of hours while me and Chris nipped up to IKEA to get some bits and bobs for Sofias new bedroom. It was really nice to have a couple of hours to ourselves out of the house, it doesn’t really happen very often. We try to have a date night/afternoon once every couple of months but it probably ends up being every 3 months or so. I always feel bad asking people to look after Sofia, I think its because I see it as my “job” as such.

The room Sofia has moved into is painted white so we decided to get lots of colourful bits. I can’t wait to have it finished for her. Her bed is being delivered today so I can start to get on with it once we have put that up.

We got a small Kallax unit for some extra storage in her room with some yellow boxes to have in it. I spent Sunday evening putting that together, I had a little bit of help from my dad but it was pretty much by myself! Im not exactly great at the building type of DIY so I think I did pretty well.

My brother, Douglas, and his partner, Darcy and my niece came over in the afternoon and Darcy cut Chris’s hair. It was looking a bit long. They brought their puppy, Lola over with them too. Sofia loves the dog. She is really cute but so so energetic, I much prefer when dogs get a bit older and they just want to cuddle on the sofa.

I think Sofia wishes we had a dog, she seems to have an imaginary friend pet dog which she likes to pet and play with. When I took her to the park the other day she was throwing sticks for her imaginary dog!

We have a couple of things coming up this week, for me its going to be a fairly busy week. We have Sofias bed comping today, then on Thursday I have a dentist appointment and a growth scan for the baby.

Ill be having a growth scan at 32 weeks and 36 weeks I think just to make sure the baby is growing ok as with Sofia I was induced at 39 weeks because she seemed to have stopped growing. Theres no reason it should happen again but its a just to keep an eye on things type of thing.

Danielle xx

Getting back on track

So yesterday was apparently blue Monday. The day we are all supposed to be down. I think I had more of a blue Sunday. I can’t say I was 100% yesterday but I felt so much better from how crappy I was on Sunday and today I feel pretty much back to normal.

We’ve just had a grocery delivery from ASDA and I’ve just reorganised our kitchen cupboard and fridge and my back is now killing me. We live with my parents currently but we sort out our own food minus 2 evening meals a week (Wednesday and Sunday) which we all eat together to make sure we still do eat together, I think family meals are so important. We are lucky that my parents have a big enough house that we get our own space while we are here but space in the kitchen is still tight as we have two of most things around.

Chris has decided he wants to be healthier and try to loose some weight. We aren’t overly bad with what we eat, we could just be better about the way we go about our cooking. Like not using so much oil and butter etc. So I have decided we will try to adopt some of the slimming world principles into our diet. My mum did it a good while ago and it worked really well for her. I don’t want to loose any weight as I’m pregnant so for me and Sofia we will just stay pretty much the same but our evening meal will be bit better for us. Chris will be trying to stick to some of the slimming world rules or guidelines along with upping the amount of exercise he gets in an effort to try and loose a bit.

Hense me needing to reorganise a few things in the fridge and cupboard as this weeks food shop was a little different to our normal ones so everything wouldn’t have fit! Its bit like Tetris when putting food away each week, trying to make sure everything fits.

I don’t know about anyone else but I get really excited about the weekly shop, I’m not really even sure why. I think its a little bit of a fresh start each week, I clear out everything that needs getting rid of and fill it up with lots of nice fresh fruit and veg and other bits too of course but I think its the fresh stuff that makes me really happy.

Im actually feeling really good today, Ive taken a step in the right direction with getting organised over the past few days. I used to be good about doing meal planning, then I got pregnant and I felt so sick at the beginning that I wasn’t able to keep to a plan, it was more of a case of we just made whatever I felt I could stomach that day. That only really stopped around 20 weeks and I haven’t picked the ball back up really since.

Recently we moved Sofia into a different bedroom, she was in a tiny room and me and Chris had a slightly bigger room as a dressing room. So we have switched them over, the dressing room doesn’t need to be big and its better for Sofia to have the space. Its very bare as we hadn’t planned any further than the actual move so I had been trying to decide what to do with her room.

We knew she would need a new bed at some point as she is using a toddler bed which changes into a cot which once our baby is born and slightly older, she will use. It seems silly to buy a second cot which would never be used again after our second baby grows out of it. Originally we were going to get Sofia a new toddler bed to save space but in terms of price it seemed better in the long run to get her a single bed which she will use for many years to come. So we have ordered her a big girl single bed which will come next week, then I can get on and get her bedroom finished and looking nice again.

There are still things I want to change/get back to but I feel like I’ve done something towards the goals I’ve set and I’m feeling so much better for it.

Danielle xx

This weekend

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Its been a bit of an up and down weekend for me really.

We had a lovely Saturday.

We went to golden acre park near us to have a nice walk and for Sofia to feed the ducks. It was freezing, thankfully Sofia didn’t fight me on wearing her hat and gloves. We also managed to get to the bank before it closed to put some cheques in that I had been meaning to put in but kept forgetting until too late in the day, I always seem to remember things at the worst possible time.

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It was a good day all round but then today I’ve just not been feeling my best at all.

Its one of them days where I’m on the verge of tears all day for absolutely no reason. We’ve had a pretty lazy day mainly as when I get like this I really struggle with motivation. I feel a bit empty and like everything feels slightly off kilter.

Im sorry if this doesn’t make a lot of sense and is very rambley, Its one of the times I need to just get it out of my head and maybe at the end I can put it behind me and feel a little better.

There is absolutely nothing wrong, no one did anything to upset me, I’m not ill, Sofia hasn’t been too bad behaviour wise. I just feel really down, but I’m not sad, its difficult to describe, its a little bit like a heavy and slow feeling. Usually my brain is always going, always thinking, I have many nights where Im unable to sleep as it won’t shut off no matter what I try. But on days like today its slow and I zone out constantly which is not normal for me. I sit and stare a lot, its difficult to make myself move and I keep crying but with no reason or feeling behind why.

Sorry for the odd post and I know theres no real conclusion to it, I’m still feeling this way and I really don’t know how to change it but tomorrow hopefully I will feel normal again.

Danielle xx

So over the cold now.

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Bit of a pointless post but its the only thing on my mind today!

Its freezing! There was even a light sprinkling of snow on the ground this morning. Sofia got excited but it was gone before we could have breakfast, get ready etc to then go out and play in it. There really wasn’t a lot here where we live.

I just want the cold to go away. I’m the type of person who even in the height of summer will find themselves cold and in need of a jacket. But I’m a stay at home mum, I try not to put the central heating on during the day, so I live in layers during the cold months.

Im sure its not just me but I feel like I become so unproductive on days when its especially cold, I’m too busy wanting my bed or a hot bath or being curled under a blanket to actually make myself do anything useful.

I kind of find the cold nice and fairly festive before Christmas but afterwards I’m just so over feeling like freezing all the time. Roll on spring time!! Please!!

Danielle xx

Picture was from last January I think or whenever we had snow last year. She’s grown up so much in just a year!