Day 6

I have been taking daily photos since my Bells Palsy kicked off. So I could see if there was any change.

I’m on Day 6 and there is no change at all. However, it hasn’t got any worse, thank god!

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I still slur my speech if I speak for any length of time and I get tired very quickly. I can’t pronounce words that contain B’s or P’s, which is frustrating.
I can’t talk quickly, I have to speak slowly to form my words, which often makes me feel incredibly stupid.

Yesterday I think I felt a small twitch on my right nostril, but I can’t be 100% sure if it was real or if I think it was because I wanted to be. However I’ve just felt it again, so I think it was real!

I am still self conscious, despite The husband saying “despite your wonky face, I still love you” yesterday.

Thankfully I have had no horrible experiences out in public.

It’s just a waiting game now. How long before it starts to resolve? How long before I can eat and drink properly? How long before I can speak without sounding like I’m drunk?

I’ll admit I am fed up of waiting. I want my face back, I want to feel better.

I have a review with the GP next Wednesday. My medication will be completed and hopefully something will have started to change.

If there has been no change at all, then I guess the GP will decide what else we do and when next we review.

Foothold

I’ve the last year I have really struggled with my mental health. Having a mental health illness like depression is hard work. It’s a silent illness and only those who have had it can really and truly understand how difficult it is.

When I became pregnant with Emma, I was on a high. I’d been telling The Husband that I wanted to have a baby for about 2 years. Eventually he agreed and well, 4 months later the blue lines appeared, well it was a digital “pregnant” that appeared, but you get the picture. A positive pregnancy test!

We made a doctors appointment, got a referral to the community midwives and away we went on our new adventure.
I remember the exact day I stopped taking my antidepressants. It was July 18th 2012. Having a baby on the way made me fiercely determined to beat my depression in submission and lock it away. (Note : depression never really goes away, it’s always creeping around trying to get a foothold back into your mind)

There were days that I struggled and days that I didn’t. I think my protectiveness over my unborn baby helped that.

Because of my medical history I had to be reviewed and my pregnancy managed by a team of consultant obstetricians AND the community mental health team. Having a history of depression means that I am more likely to relapse into a depressive episode during or after the pregnancy. This pushed me to fight even harder. I did not want to rely on tablets and monthly doctor visits when I had a baby to look after.

I don’t want my child to grow up with a mother that was constantly pill-popping or spending days in bed.

Emma is my world, my antidepressant. She is one of my sole reasons for waving the flaming torches at the blackness of depression, warning it away. The Husband is the other. The two most important people in my life.

I am struggling today. I struggled yesterday. I have Bells Palsy. The right side of my face is paralysed. I feel awful and I look awful, then I feel depression gleefully clapping its hands and looking for a way in.

It’s becoming harder.

This morning one of my twitter friends said to me “you’re allowed to be pissed”

She is right. I am allowed to be pissed.

Since Emma’s birth it has been hard. Even just before it. I caught a virus and my sciatica was so bad that I had to start my maternity leave 4 weeks earlier than I wanted. We were hospitalised, we had breastfeeding issues, I had suspected appendicitis and now this.

However I am not pissed. I am upset and disappointed.

Bells Palsy is temporary. Looking at myself in the mirror is fine if I have straight face, it’s barely noticeable. However the moment I make any facial movement only the left side reacts and I look freakish.

I can’t smile.
When I talk for a short period of time I begin to sound slurred. I can’t pronounce certain words. I sound like a drunk.
It’s very hard to eat and drink.
I have to express my breast milk and throw it away. The person who coined the phrase “there’s no point crying over spilt milk” has clearly beer had to throw away their own breast milk!

The actual palsy isn’t an issue. I know it will resolve over the next few months. I’m hoping it will resolve without any complications.

The psychological factor IS an issue.

I cry because I cannot smile at Emma. She however finds my lopsided smiles funny and when I try to smile at her she responds with gummy grins. They make my day but they also make me sad. It is a horrible feeling not being able to fully smile at your new baby.

I cry because I’m disappointed in myself. I feel like a freak and I look like one. The lady with the freakish face. I cannot bear to leave the house because I am worried that people will stare at me. Having been someone who is never bothered by what a person looks like and has never bothered about how I look (within reason of course) I am now painfully aware of my hypocrisy. How noticeable my shallowness is, that I am more concerned about how I look to others when really I shouldn’t be. I am now questioning myself.

I cry because the medication I have to take for the next 10 days means I have to express my breast milk and throw it away. This is the 4th time I’ve had issues with breastfeeding. I am determined to do it, but at what cost? Where do I draw the line?

I am afraid that depression is sat at my feet trying to claw it’s way up my legs.

Thankfully The Husband, being one on my beacons helps me stave off depression.

I am ever thankful for him and my daughter.

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Parenthood & Daddy

Tonight The Husband said to me “Shall I tell you how much of an impact Emma has made on my life?”

I looked at him and replied “go on”

He then said “I’m 4 episodes behind on Game of Thrones and I don’t even care”

At that moment Emma did the biggest smile.

She’s going to have daddy wrapped around her tiny finger I think.

40 weeks

40 weeks today!

I’m still trying to get my head round the fact that I’m carrying a baby. It’s a very surreal experience that every so often throws me into a wobble.

A magical surreal experience, with genuine Oh My God moments.

Flump is due today, however only 5% of babies come on their due dates.
When I found out I was pregnant on July 13th 2012, the first thing I did was tell The Husband and then I went on to the Internet and calculate my due date. The internets informed me 22nd March.

On July 18th we saw our doctor, who double checked, yep, still the 22nd of March.

We waited (impatiently) for our first ultrasound scan on September 16th and again was confirmed as an expected due date of 22nd March.

From the moment I saw/heard the 22nd March I automatically knew I wouldn’t be on time and instead instinct told me I’d go 2 days overdue. Flump would arrive on March 24th, which is my own birthday.
Just like instinct is telling me that Flump is a boy.

It seems we only have a few more days to find out!

Today was potentially my last midwife appointment. It was rough and brutal.
After all the checks were done, I had an internal examination, cheerfully known as a “stretch and sweep”. Does what it says on the tin people. Stretches and sweeps your cervix to get those hormones that trigger your labour to flow freely.

The midwife was surprised, as most first time mums aren’t quite ready on their due dates. They have firm and unyielding cervixes.

Mine? Well it’s soft and thin and stretching quite nicely. Hell, you could buy it dinner and drinks and it would probably let you take it home on the first date!
Its basically doing what it should, 1cm down and only 9cm to go.

The midwife also managed to get a feel of Flumps head. She double checked babies heart rate afterwards, and it was a bit higher, poor little bugger was probably freaked out that someone had touched his head! Flump hates been palpated during appointments so god forbid his reaction with someone physically touching his head. Surprised I didn’t get a few broken ribs.

My next appointment is the 28th, however midwife doesn’t think ill be attending that appointment, so we should have an actual baby soon!!

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38 minus 7

I took a bump photo today. The plan with all of the bump photos, scan photos, photos of us prepping for Flump will eventually be made into a book, along with a few of the posts I’ve written here whilst pregnant.

I think it’s a lovely idea of something Flump can look at as he/she grows older and will be a great keepsake along with the baby book that The Husband and I are putting together.

After I took my 38 week bump photo, I compared it to one 7 weeks ago when I was 31 weeks. It’s scary that I look ever so slightly smaller this week than I did 7 weeks ago!

Granted I’ve lost a bit more weight since, a grand total of about 17lbs has been lost since I became pregnant. Seriously, had I know I’d have lost weight whilst pregnant, I’d have done it years ago!!

A few of my pregnant buddies have said that I look as though baby has dropped slightly. Dr Google and his Cronies said that towards the end you start to lose a bit of amniotic fluid and your baby bump does appear smaller.

Who knows what it is, but all sources point to, baby will soon be here!

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The Cupboard

Flump is due in about 2 weeks time. (Sooner I am hoping)

We’re practically ready, although we still need to buy the cot mattress and bedding, yeah procrastinating at its best! We have pretty much everything else we need though.

The plan once Flump arrives is to breastfeed. The plan has always been to breastfeed and express my breast milk so The Husband can help with feeds. With that in mind my mother got us a bottle and sterilising kit by Tommee Tippee.

It comes with an electric steriliser, a single bottle microwave steriliser, an electric bottle warmer, 2 bottle insulators, formula mixers (??) a bottle brush, tongs, a dummy (soother) and 8 bottles.

Tonight we set it all up. It looks pretty awesome, if a little overwhelming.

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Impatient

With only 4 weeks to go (maybe less, maybe more) I’m finding myself very impatient. Not only am I achey and sore and so full of hormones that I could probably siphon off and donate some, but I’m also starting to experience that Pre-labour stage.

Lots of cramping and full aches that feel like Aunt Flo is on her way to visit. Constant bathroom trips, plus other delightful signs.

Not to mention that Flump is so low down into my pelvis, I’m pretty sure I could probably rub his/her head if I so wished to try (don’t worry, I won’t!)

Right towards the beginning of my pregnancy I wrote this post and it got me thinking about all the things I’m impatient for.

I’m impatient to see Flump and not be pregnant anymore.

I’m impatient for cuddles and kisses and to experience the first emotions that you get when you give birth.

I’m impatient to see what my baby looks like and sounds like.

I’m impatient for Sunday mornings, with the Husband, snuggled in bed with Flump.

I’m impatient to see that first smile, and I don’t even care if its wind.

I’m impatient to see the Husbands first moment with Flump, to see Flump snuggled up with his/her daddy.

I’m just impatient.

Seeing Flumps face at yesterday’s growth scan and the fact that Flump has chubby cheeks has made my impatience grow by 100%.

I can’t wait for that first skin to skin moment, that first cuddle, first kiss, the first time my baby looks at me and wonders “what the hell just happened”.

I can’t wait for the first time I see the Husband and Flump together, two of my most cherished people snuggled up.

I can’t wait to see Flump snuggled against daddy in our bed.

I just can’t wait.

So please don’t keep me waiting too long Flump, I’m impatient to meet you.