Sunday, 8 June 2014

Baby on Board

A common theme with me and my family is that just when we think we have everything figured out, something else comes along and shakes it all up.

After being diagnosed with PCOS last year, it hit me a bit harder than I thought. I was already in my late 20s and the pressure to start a family was coming in from all angles. I wanted to wait until I was at a good stage in my marriage and career. I also wanted to make sure I was healthy. I was on track for that, having lost a couple of stone by walking to work and going to the gym several times a week. 
But the weight wasn't coming off as quickly as I hoped - which made sense when the PCOS was confirmed. One of the symptoms is difficulty to lose weight and the ease of which it just pops on.

Wanting a family, myself and my husband had the conversation. Do we risk waiting longer and face possible heartbreak later down the line when It doesn't happen for us? Or do we start trying now and take any chance we have?
Yes I wanted to lose a bit more weight. Yes we were still paying my wages to his Mum for the money we borrowed for the house. But we had our own car, we had just bought a house and we are both in stable, OK paying jobs. 
I didn't want to miss any opportunity to have children and if that meant starting now and trying earlier then so be it.

We began trying in the December. I have to say, when my monthlies showed up, I was saddened but knew we were on a long, stressful road and the key to it all would be to not overthink it, not to stress out and to just take each month as it came. 

Trying was almost robotic. Planned to the day and entered into my planner. January came and so did my period. Then, to our surprise, my husbands youngest sister said that they were pregnant, having decided on trying for a second child that December and had fallen straight away. At the time I was truly elated for them. Excited for another nephew or a niece (later confirmed as another boy) and happy they had managed to extend their family. But behind closed doors I was a little upset. Why couldn't it have been me this time? 

I didn't want to resent them or feel sad. Not to ruin their blessing with my jealousy so I shoved it away. It would happen when it was supposed to happen but what we needed to do was to dial it back and relax. The regimented approach wasn't the way I needed to go so for February, we didn't try so hard and took a small break. We had sex regularly but nothing was scheduled and it happened because the mood took it that way. The plan was to dial it back up a notch for March.

Imagine my surprise when March's time of the month rolled around and nothing.... I didn't want to get too excited. PCOS can cause us to miss periods and in the year after I had my implant removed, my periods were sporadic. The last year and a half they had been regular, but you never know.
I left it for a week. I went out with the girls and smoked and drank, because I had a feeling it would be my last chance to do so. I was convinced after that. 
The next day, we went out and got a pack of tests and there was a faint positive line. The next morning I did the second one and another faint line appeared. 

I was still a little skeptical. Until I saw a blatant thick line I wasn't going to run away with myself. None the less, I stopped smoking immediately (I was planning to quit anyway. It doesn't help conception but I used to to combat the stress so it was a viscious circle!) just in case.

A few days later on payday, we went to the supermarket and got a ClearBlue digital - the kind that tell you how many weeks you are - and as soon as we got home, I whacked that bad boy out. 

That confirmed it. I was knocked up.

The first few weeks were touch and go. I wanted to remain open minded just in case. At my size, with my PCOS, ex-smoker etc I was well aware of the miscarriage risks. But time went on. I had the normal symptoms of sickness, fatigue, nausea.... I was rarely actually sick, but the feeling would hit me after lunch. Cravings weren't that weird but I still go through weekly bouts where I can't eat something and where I just want to eat the same thing over and over again. For example, this week I can't stand chicken and all I want is toast. 

And here I am. Week 18. 4 and a half months pregnant. I've had two scans as the first one was dated at 11weeks when we thought we were 13 so we went back at 16 weeks to be officially dated. My predicted due date was 31st October but its changed to 8th November now (which is a small shame as me and my husband are Halloween lovers!).

Affectionately known as 'Brat', everything is happy and healthy. 

This post isn't just to explain how happy we are at falling quickly but to show other people it can be done. Just because as plus sized woman we're perceived to be 'un-healthy' and are constantly scare mongered into thinking that we're being irresponsible and that we'll probably have problems and issues that may result in miscarriage or complications. So what? Some of the healthiest, average sized people can have extreme complications and some larger woman have breezed through it all with no problems at all! 
My own sister said "Its a shame you couldn't have lost more weight before...". So? I would have liked to but I've never been small. I'm big boned too so I'd never be whats known to be the "healthy weight".

To be fair, my midwife and everyone I've seen haven't been rude about it and haven't kicked the fact I've got a raised BMI in my face. I've got to see a consultant in a few weeks mainly because I have a back problem that might cause problems for me further down the line, and to air on the side of caution with my weight but its not been the main issue. I'm well aware its a pain in the ass for them with scans and holding up my stomach flab for them wasn't my finest moment but I think we need to keep the end goal in focus during these times. These encounters last only moments, hours, days. By the end of it, you will have a child and that child will be with you until the end of your days. Any condescending comments about our weight, or BMI or how were at risk will mean nothing in years to come. Seeing Brats little body and hearing the heartbeat just take it all away.

At just under half way I'm still open minded. Anything can happen at any time and I'm aware of that. I've known so many people who didn't get to make it this far, or made it further and still had complications. I'm just grateful.

I hope that my story, so far and ongoing, serves as an inspiration for others who think that having PCOS, being overweight or both can stop you from doing it. I know not everyone will be as lucky as I was falling in 3 months. But I too thought Id be trying for a few years before It happened. Just be relaxed, eliminate the stress from the situation and have fun with it. 

I'll continue to report on my progress. Next week I have some lush maternity clothes coming and at the end of the month I have our gender scan, followed 2 days later by my birthday so there will be lots going on. 

Keep trying x

Monday, 10 February 2014

Wardrobe Cleanse

To say I've been out of it with the blogging is a huge understatement. Whilst I've been on the quiet side, it has had its advantages. I've read tonnes of books, I'm a good chunk of the way to catching up on the few programs that I like and I've managed to collect some new items for my wardrobe.

I think the most important and slightly more obvious change is my health. At my heaviest I was horrendously unhappy with my body and myself. Those of you who have read my stuff before know (or may remember) that I have a degenerative back condition and with all the extra weight, I was in constant agony. So I quit smoking and hauled myself to the gym. 
I needed to keep my work outs low impact to avoid injuring my back so I took the plunge (literally) and signed up to water aerobics....and holy moly, how much do I enjoy it! 
At first I was crazy nervous and really had to pluck up the courage to take my towel off and get in the pool but I'm glad I did. From being the newbie, to now being recognised as a regular I've built up my stamina and confidence. 

On top of two visits a week, I try and squeeze in a few low impact gym sessions which I go to with a friend. It defo helps having someone else there to pass the time else I clock watch. I also walk to and from work everyday (2miles).

So anyway, I've lost two stone so far and have built a great deal of muscle mass (more so in my legs). Feeling pretty good. The only downside was that after a holiday in Kefalonia with my Nan and Mum, I slipped back into smoking so I am back on trying to quit again.

The up side? I dropped two dress sizes so bring on the excuses to shop!! I added a few items to my ever growing wardrobe so now I'm going through all of my clothes and trying to wear each piece at least once over the next few months to justify keeping it. What better time to rejoin the blogging community and showcase my new outfits and how I'm putting a spin on my old ones.

First up is todays work outfit. I bought this dress from New Look just before Christmas in the sale. 

 I've tried to show the pattern and the sleeves. Its elasticated around the waist for me, but I assume its really supposed to be elasticated around the chest. I have no boobs so I have to adapt. 
I feel in love with the pattern straight away and paid about a tenner for it. I paired it with black leggings, my black boots and the trusty green cardy.

After buying it I wore it for a girls night out with the same boots, but a black cardigan.

Me and the 'Laura' Cocktail

Then again for Boxing Day with the family, but with my grey cardigan.

Me and my little sister.

I love this dress and probably wear it once a week. Not far off my knees, its a nice length and the material isn't overly thick making this a good one for summer as well. 

Dress - New Look
Leggings - Very (South)
Boots - Very
Black Cardigan - Hand-me-down
Grey Cardigan - New Look (old and sequins removed)
Green Cardigan - Very

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Facebook - Swearing included.

Is it just me or has Facebook turned into a gigantic bullshit fest?
Once a place I went to find and make friends, keep in touch with family, plan events, share pictures of my life, have banter and follow the goings ons of my favourite teams/bands/clubs etc.

Now my news feed is 90% pictures of babies, 5% game requests and 5% utter nonsense.

Whilst I am happy for my friends who - unlike me - have managed to conceive and are proud of their offspring, I don't really want to see 17 pictures of little Jimmy in the bath every day or know what he's done in his nappy. I also don't need to have tri-daily updates on what he's eating, playing with, doing....

I also don't need the gratuitous "My little baby is 3months, 17 days and 4hours old right now, where has the time gone?" - well, just check my newsfeed, I'm sure you'll find it there, along with 964 pictures of your spawn in varying stages of his/her life. 

Don't get me wrong - I like kids, I'm more than happy for my friends and family who have them. One of the reasons I kept Facebook so long is so I could keep up with my nephews and friends kids. I like seeing the cute pics - within reason. This is purely aimed at the people who apparently have nothing left in their life to talk about. I think kids today are over exposed as it is, without 4 pictures of its nappy being changed every 3 hours appearing on my feed. 

If that wasn't enough to set me over the edge then the game requests certainly did. No, I do not want to play Bubble Saga, or Sweet Shop or Farmville or anything similar. NO. I even went so far as to publicly request people not to invite me to these games (cue trolling from my colleagues and husband) but was met with a resounding chorus of "Well, why don't you just block the game request?"......why don't you fuck off sending them to me? I DO block them, but as soon as I've blocked one lot, another batch of irritatingly addictive and equally time wasting games comes out. I'd be forever blocking them.
I even went as far to say I'd delete people who invited me to them, and held my end of the bargain.... but they still came.

Add all of this to the fact that I can't speak my mind on their because most people on there can't be trusted. That, my friend, is the white icing on the big blue Facebook cake. 

I can't remember the last time I used it for connecting with people, had a decent conversation or read anything remotely interesting on there. 

So, for the meantime, I'm on 'hiatus'. I'm cutting away all of the nonsense in my life and re-focusing on the stuff I enjoy. Back to swimming and the gym, more time writing and blogging. 

Hopefully in a few months it will either A) have become interesting again or B) It won't bother me so much.

Well, we'll see...