Friday, 14 July 2017

Getting serious for a sec - Anxiety in early pregnancy

TRIGGER WARNING: If you suffer from anxiety – especially anxiety about medical issues/ fertility/ pregnancy – I would not recommend reading this post, or if you do please be aware that all the issues described were my own anxious thoughts and not a reality and I give advice that worked for me on how to ease these anxieties.

I have been slowly working on and adding to this post from around pregnancy week 15, I am now 23 weeks and feel like it is a good time to share - I may add / edit later!

I wouldn’t really consider myself an anxious person (tense & emotional yes), I definitely experience anxious times, as many people do, and occasionally my thoughts/ fears can be overwhelming, but compared to people I know/ know of I definitely don’t suffer from anxiety. And I am able to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or know that good times will roll around again. So whenever I found out I was pregnant, I was surprised to find exactly how anxious I suddenly became.

Of course, pregnancy, perhaps especially a first pregnancy is an anxious time for most parents to be, and I expected that I would be a little preoccupied and maybe more worried than normal about things, but I found my anxiety in the first few weeks almost suffocating.

I was convinced that things were too good and something had to go wrong, almost ‘this happened to easily, there needs to be a twist’, ‘most things in life aren’t straight forward, why is this?’ and those types of thoughts.


The Laparoscopy/ Endometriosis Fear:

I have experienced on-again-off-again pain near my left ovary for a few years now, and last year (2016) I had an investigative laparoscopy operation to find out whether the cause of this was endometriosis.
This was the last time that I experienced this type of overwhelming anxiety – I became convinced in the weeks leading up to the op that there was something terribly wrong with me that ultrasounds hadn’t picked up, amongst these fears; 'I have cancer', 'a ruptured ovary', 'a twisted ovary', 'a growth', 'an ectopic pregnancy', 'no ovary at all'… all these thoughts went round and round in my head, and on top of every one of them was ‘You might not be able to have children.’
– these thoughts really took over my head for weeks, every time I saw a child/ baby/ pregnant woman/ baby advert etc. I felt like crying or going and curling up in a dark room. And despite all of this fear about what else could be wrong I was 100% convinced I had endometriosis – which sadly can also affect fertility.

The GREAT news for me was that they didn’t find any evidence of endometriosis, and that my ovary ‘looked healthy’ which I was totally shocked about. The consultant said she believe the pain is caused by a digestive problem (perhaps an intolerance or mild IBS) and while they couldn’t totally rule out endo there was no sign of it.

I still experience the pain occasionally, but a lot less frequently and severely than before, which makes me wonder whether some element of it was psychosomatic, or stress/ anxiety related (writing about this experience and rethinking the feelings and thoughts, I can now feel the mild pain around that area niggling at me)


Finding out I was pregnant - Anxiety, Sleep and Early Scan

 After I found out that I was pregnant, we were so happy and pleased, but I was also SO anxious and the ovary pain reared its ugly head… I sat awake most nights for the first 5-6 weeks thinking about everything that could go wrong, pregnancy problems in my family history, the ovary pain, and became sure that the pregnancy was ectopic. I honestly slept less than 3 hours a night for about 6 weeks. I spoke to my GP and she was very understanding and immediately offered to send me for an ‘early scan’ – which I had read can be very hard to convince a Dr to refer you for, even if you had previous pregnancy problems or miscarriages – and we had the scan at around 8 weeks. Of course the baby was miniscule at that point, and we knew they would only be able to tell us the bare minimum information – but we saw that it was in the right place and I felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off me, a real almost physical wave of relief. The midwife then told us she could see a teeny tiny heartbeat and we couldn’t believe it. I've never felt so lucky in my entire life, and I doubt I ever will again.


My one biggest piece of advice on anxiety in early pregnancy is – if you are anxious, really worried or concerned – ask your Dr to send you for an early scan – no matter what happens at least you will know and not have to wait until around 3 months for your first ‘proper’ scan. If your Dr is reluctant to send you for an early scan, in many places here in the UK there are private clinics you can go to and pay for a one off scan. This usually costs less than £100 – if you can afford it, do it, just for your peace of mind.

That's all for now, I plan to blog more throughout my pregnancy butI felt like now that I am further on I should share just how anxious I was in those early weeks, because others might be feeling the same way and I know that reading a post from someone feeling similarly to I did would have helped me a lot in those sleepless nights and nauseous days!

Lindzi x

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Books for Baba - The Most Beautiful Children’s Books

UPDATE: we did it!

I'm so in love with it! Details to follow soon! 😊

When I found out I was expecting (ok… maybe slightly before then…) I was getting very ‘nesty’ as I often do and wanted to start buying bits and bobs for future baby. Baby clothes to me then felt a little too optimistic with the anxiety I was feeling (more about that in a future post) but books seemed like a good thing to start to look at.

Of course it will be years until Baba can read these books for themselves, but in the meantime I've chosen some of those with the prettiest design and pictures to entice them, as well as to be a design feature in their room!

Years ago I’d ‘pinned’ ideas for a future kids room and had several pictures of front facing bookshelves saved, and I love the idea of beautifully illustrated, brightly coloured books being a key feature in a child’s room – perhaps in the hopes of passing my love of reading on to them!

And so with this in mind, one of the first thing I purchased for our nursery (as well as a big comfy armchair for nursing) were these Ikea front facing shelves, although I’ve seen lovely wooden/ Perspex/ DIY versions out there too!

Below are a couple of my favourites from other sites which I have used for reference – sources tagged

Such pretty colours and perspex shelves! From Chronicles of Frivolity

A DIY version from A Beautiful Mess

Soft Colours and GORGEOUS Chair

I began collecting some beautiful books early this year mostly bought from Wordery, Amazon and a couple of vintage ones from eBay, I looked on Pinterest, on my favourite blogs (A Beautiful Mess, The Band Wife, Chronicles of Frivolity etc.) for inspo as well as trailing through book sites and googling ‘beautiful children’s books’.

These are what I’ve got so far (all books and authors plus more tagged below!)

And these are on my wishlist;

I also have a small collection of vintage children’s books that have been passed on to me by my mum or granny, and a few from charity shops and car boot sales I bought years ago which I plan to display too.

This one is my absolute FAVE! It was my mum’s and I loved it when I was little too (it never did teach me to tidy my room though…)

 I feel that keeping the nursery pretty muted neutral colours (we will probably not even paint the room - just keep it the off white colour it is now) and using fun accessories; chair, rug, lamps, cushions and of course BOOKS, to add colour, is a really nice way of designing a relaxing but fun space for a child. I can't wait to really get stuck in to 'doing up' the nursery! :)

When I actually get round to decorating the nursery and putting up the shelves I’ll share the final look with you!

In the meantime, what do you think? What do you think is the most beautiful children's book? And what was your fave as a child?

Love, L x

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Happy, Happy, Happy, News!

In February this year, Ross and I received some exciting, a bit scary, but very happy news, we are expecting a baby!

I took this pic at about 8 weeks, although I had the idea years ago! It's our wedding shoes at the beach I grew up on :)

While this baby was planned and hoped for, I found the first few weeks of the pregnancy extremely anxious, and I'm still finding it difficult to express exactly how I'm feeling - which is a new thing for me (as well as the hatred of all sweet food!)

We waited until after our 12 week scan to tell our families - even our parents, and told our closest friends that weekend.

I told work and shared the news on facebook after 15 weeks as I felt the 'keeping it a secret' thing was making me more anxious and therefore more nauseous - and I have felt quite a lot better since then!

FAQs (what everyone seems to want to know - which is lovely!)

When are we due?
 I'm around 16/ 17 weeks, so due end of October/ start of November ( we will be given a more definite date at our 20 week scan next month)

How have I been?
 Everything seems to be going well, and I feel OK, pretty tired and I was very nauseous for about 15 weeks - although not actually very sick - I always assumed 'Morning Sickness' meant actually throwing up, but apparently not!

Things I've been asked that aren't so lovely 

"Are you married!?"
To the woman in my office who I only know to see but who felt the need to let me know she heard I was pregnant (not actually congratulating) and then briskly asked me if I'm married - WHY does this matter to you? It's 2017 woman!
- For the record my response was "Did you just ask me if I'm married?! Sorry my hearing is bad but that's what it sounded like?"

"Was it planned?" 

"Were you trying for long?" 
This wasn't asked in a mean way but a caring way, but that it VERY personal information, and something that many people wouldn't want to share, and it's not a question I would ever ask someone, just be happy for their happy news!

Anyway, I'll share my POV and thoughts and updates as I can but for now I just feel like 'how do I deserve to be so lucky?!'

Any questions you have or advice (yes please!) please feel free to ask in the comments!

Love L x