Six Years

I know, I write something each year, but for me marriage is something worth noting, worth celebrating.

Mr Red,

I have been lucky enough that you have given me a second chance at being a wife, even more luckier that you are my husband. Our wedding wasn’t what dreams are made of, but the official part has been the key to a life of love and happiness.

Soppy, I know.

We’ve been thrown utter shit stuff during our time together, but it has only thrown us closer together. Crawling through the unimaginable, which should have torn us apart, forming a bond, which as we learned to put our lives back together, we were able to find the happiness, the joy between us we had in the beginning we only assumed that had been lost.

You really are the love of my life, I have said it many times before and I will say it again for always, I am so grateful to have you in my life, I really have no idea where I would have been without you. Although we took our vows six years ago, it certainly doesn’t feel like six. Actually it feels like no time, where one day it feels as though our love is brand new, but times where it is like it has always been us.

I just want to say a huge thank you to you for everything you have done, and  doing for us and for our children.

I’ve been struggling with mental health the past few months, times where I have felt so unbelievably alone and I guess fragile, you have made me feel like the only person in the world, you remind me I do matter, you are the one person who has never once turned your back.

You are my best friend, my person.

I love you.

Thank you. You make me the happiest woman alive.

 

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Looking forward to our next year of adventures

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xxx

Losing Weight

My husband’s blog.

The Hairy Dadder

I hate my body.

me fatty

I’m fat, seriously overweight even.  As I write this, I’m 138kg (2kg down already) which is considered bad unless I’m a bodybuilder, which I’m not!  My BMI is high, in the 40s.  I’m at risk for all kinds of diabetes (which I have a bloody blood test every year for), heart disease, not to mention the varicose veins I’ve had the last year or so, and now a sodding leg ulcer.  Fuck.

I’m writing this having been to the doctor today about the leg ulcer, and being told that I HAVE to lose weight.  I have been trying believe me.

Five years ago, it was a similar story, although not quite so many health risks.  I was 151kg when we lost Melody, having been living off takeaways and pies and such for the five weeks whilst she was in hospital.  Afterwards, not only did I finally…

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Hyperemesis Awareness Day

 

The title of this post states, today is Hyperemesis Gravardium awareness Day.

For those of you who have followed me during my pregnancies will know that Hyperemesis Gravardium isn’t “just morning sickness”.

 

I hate HG; I hate it with a passion.

It is a thief, an attacker. It doesn’t matter what security, what alarms you have to prepare. Nothing, absolutely nothing prepares you for the effects, it has on you and your family. Even previous HG episodes cannot prepare you for the level of severity of the next.

It beats your body, your mentality. It steals pregnancies, bonds, and happiness.

It eats you alive.

This may sound incredibly dramatic, but if I am honest, there really are no decent words to fully describe HG, and to give the listener an understanding.

 

I’ve had it five times. Five pregnancies (my miscarried babies, didn’t get cosy enough for HG kick in). Each one of them being different, my older children’s pregnancies not being as rough as my most recent ones.

I’d never heard of it until I walked in to the doctor’s surgery in 2004, I’d heard of Morning Sickness, goes with the pregnancy territory. I’d been sick in several public places, including outside the Post Office, and had sprayed our newly painted bathroom wall. It was manageable. It finally left at around 24 weeks. I’d still be sick on and off, but I was OK.

Next baby two and a half years later, again it only lasted a short time, 18 weeks that time, but that was enough.

 

When I remarried, we made the decision to have children together. I was expecting HG. After two miscarriages, we conceived our baby. Ropey start but she got cosy, and so did the HG, I could no longer do my agency job. The isolation started.

The boredom in friends, the expectations to still be normal, were high. The assumptions of hiding the vomiting were even higher. Because that was easy, right?!

 

The bond in the pregnancy, wasn’t strong it was difficult, antenatal depression hit. The pregnancy began to go wrong.

26+6weeks she was born due to HELLP syndrome a complication/variant of pre-eclampsia.

However at five weeks old she passed away. Find Melody’s journey here

 

We made the decision to have another baby; it was terrifying, not only due to her being a baby after the death of our daughter, but the HG contend with too. I desperately wanted to take a baby home to my husband.

Once again I spent my time alone, terrified of everything going wrong again and sick. Listening to people telling me I was damaging my older children. Guilt, because I couldn’t just have a normal pregnancy, after all we’d been through HG was still tormented us. We knew that HG didn’t mean a baby at the end of it. I could manage an outing a week with a friend, weekly trips to the hospital, were my limits. It was just that, limiting. I lived on Ice cubes, Yorkshire puddings and pie pastry. Ice Cubes was the top one.

The sheer terror of staying in the hospital overnight, brought flashbacks from our daughter’s time there.

The pregnancy was stressful, I refused ante emetics, I know I should have accepted, but the professionals I spoke to were always unsure whether they were safe.

I didn’t want to bury another baby.

In 2013 at 38 weeks she was born screaming via C-Section.

It was over; I never would have to endure the vomit again. Heartburn remained for months afterwards; certain foods caused me pain or upset stomach, like white breads.

But the stress was over. I could move on from the HG, people wanted to know again, I wasn’t so lonely.

 

Then it happened, seventeen months later…

Two little lines appeared on that white plastic stick, another brought the word “Pregnant”. These sticks which look so cheap, these throwaway items changed me in an instant. Fear came over me.

My final pregnancy began in 2014

HG didn’t appear for a couple of weeks, I’d obviously tested very early. At roughly five weeks, it began to creep in. The sickness bands began to fail, though I kept wearing them, just in case they worked a little bit.  The need for medication was fast becoming obvious.

I was offered Avonomine first. I reluctantly agreed to try the medication this time, everything felt different; there was intensity about the way I felt. None of it felt right.

Within hours the Avonomine made me really ill, I couldn’t move, I felt suffocated, I couldn’t leave the bed.

The GP advised me to contact the antenatal ward, which leading me to my first trip to the antenatal ward resulting in six litres of fluid and meds. They suspected either a Molar or Twin pregnancy because I was so poorly.

It wasn’t. It was just one.

 

The death of our daughter in 2012 was/is challenging and has changed our lives dramatically.

But this pregnancy, our youngest daughter’s pregnancy broke me.

I could barely lift my head from the pillow, standing was hard. It sapped the life out of me, I couldn’t even cry about it, because crying made me vomit. I was almost emotionless for months, even sheer joy made me feel queasy, not that, that happened often.

The bastard HG stole my final pregnancy from me. It stole friendship, 9 months with my children, connections to the outside world. I couldn’t use the community I had come so reliant on, because even screen time made me nauseous.

I had a couple of people assist with school runs, but only one would come to see me week in week out. My husband bared the brunt of it all.

It attacked my confidence, my heart, making me more sensitive.

Once again I couldn’t bond with my baby; once again I was terrified she’d die too.

The scans (12 of them) were hard because I couldn’t sit still, or bare the car journey. I gave up driving for 7 months.

It.broke.me.

Two to three sickness medications a day, Clexane, Aspirin, reflux medication, vitamin supplements, shakes juices and regular midwife visits, (I was lucky in that my midwife would do weekly home visits to me),hospital trips for IV medication and fluids kept me…alive. I lived on Twister Ice Lollies, and Bacon Sandwiches (made with Pitta Bread).

I’m not exaggerating, although I believe anyone who suggests morning sickness or ginger to a HG sufferer, probably think we all exaggerate. This proves people genuinely do not understand Hyperemesis to its full extent.

 

 

In 2015 at 37 weeks, due to our history and the HG, 37 weeks was agreed to be the best option to end the pain and the HG suffering.

She too was born screaming, loud.

Perfection.

I was sterilized at point of section. I couldn’t do it again.

It didn’t disappear on birth this time, it stayed for days, the nausea remained. I could barely eat.

Baby was an image of our lost girl. I could barely look at her.

She screamed. I spent time in the bathroom sobbing every time she cried. I felt weak, scared.

There was no let up on her crying, a sling with her saved my sanity. But she wouldn’t go with anyone else.

It was suggested to change my diet go dairy free for her. The screaming, my crying calmed.

It is thought it may have all stemmed from the HG.

 

To this day I’m still getting the odd flashbacks. Form of PTSD apparently.  I have had tummy bugs, which meant vomit since the HG, it has made me realise how terrified of vomit I now am.

A bit personal, but sex can scare me, although I’ve had my tubes tied and cut, I’m more than terrified of the prospect of a surprise pregnancy. It would be a disaster.

I still can’t eat certain foods, our daughter can’t either. I hate HG so much; it ruined my relationship with our daughter. We’re getting there, I love her to bits but it’s been bloody hard.

 

Hyperemesis is cruel, cruel disease. It should never be spoken of lightly. A lot more research is needed.

More HG friendly HCPs are needed.

Most importantly support is required.

Never assume it is just morning sickness or that the woman should hide it.

That woman is doing her best, to be a mother and protect her unborn child under the most impossible circumstances.

Rather than judge offer to help, research ways to help.. Be a friend, or family member to see through this awful condition.

 

 

For more information or support here.

 

I am still recovering mentally and physically from her birth, I would have loved to have sailed through any pregnancy, but I didn’t. The one thing I was put here to do and I couldn’t with ease, but I am grateful to have taken 4/5 of my children home. But I will always feel guilty.

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My HG Heroes

Thank you for reading

The Red Head Diaries

 

 

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April 2017

April as always begin a little on the heavy side for us, with the anniversary of the death of our daughter on April Fool’s Day, the remembrance dates of saying goodbye, the start of our new lives as parents to a baby who died. It’s never easy, it hasn’t gotten easier, and we’re ok with that, pain only reminds us that she was here, she is real.

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We were quite lucky with the weather for the first few days of April, I truly thought the nice spring sunshine was finally moving in. (As I write this in May, there still is no real sign of days filled with glorious weather). We were able to get to a Car Boot Sale, which we probably do 2-3 times a year, we forget about them a lot of the time, and a couple of walks one side of our town to another, as well as a walk around our local nature reserve, we’re incredibly lucky to have the countryside around us.

 

April saw Biggest Red turn 12, I cannot believe we’re one year away from being officially a teenager, I have no idea where the years go. Looking at the two little Reds I can’t quite believe the biggest was once like them. It is wonderful and scary at the same time, because it has gone so quickly, I fear I have missed something, or that I’ve not done my best at times, blink of an eye and she’ll be an adult.

 

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Where does the time go?

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On her birthday, the weather took a turn for the better, so took a trip out to one of our local National Trust properties, Barrington Court, it is lovely there. Beautiful place to just sit and take in your surroundings. DSC_0595

Returning home to have a slice of her birthday cake

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We took her and a friend to Zaa Zaa Bazaar in Bristol (an all you can eat food hall), it is one of biggest’s favourite places to eat, we’ve been a couple of times now

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Whilst in Bristol we stopped and added a padlock to Padlock Bridge, which is just outside Zaa Zaa Bazaar, we’d of course placed it there in memory of Melody and of all babies taken too soon.

 

Easter fell in the middle of Easter, we did our Easter hunt, visit to Barrington again and to Nine Springs in Yeovil on Good Friday, whilst the Saturday was a Majorette Fundraiser, Easter Sunday the biggest two went to their Dad’s whilst we took a trip to Exmoor Zoo. Although terribly cold, it was a lovely day out. Baby Red absolutely loved every single minute visiting the animals, her favourites were the Meerkats.

It was lovely to be able to spend some time with Mr Red’s family.

The month brought my first family session that is connected to the Baby Loss group, it was so lovely, I’ve written a little here.

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Majorette Competition season begin this month too, has been lots of fun and wonderful to watch he routines.

I was able to collect a rather large cheque from the Mayor for the charity Towards Tomorrow Together, it was a lovely thing to be able to have done, and to raise much-needed awareness for both the charity and Little Daffodils, feels like such a privilege to be able to work alongside Mel from Towards Tomorrow Together, it makes me feel less useless.

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Which brings me briefly to April bringing an incredibly dark cloud over my head, I am in the process of writing it out, (because writing it out helps me..) particularly as it is Mental Health Awareness month. I am finding it a lot harder to write it out for this, a lot harder than any of my posts about Melody, I feel somewhat embarrassed for feeling so awful. I am trying very hard to turn things around, it really, really isn’t easy, as they say one day at a time, it is a good job I am excellent with hiding skills…

April has brought snow, would you believe? Although, I’ve really not the evidence as it didn’t settle, my phone couldn’t quite pick it up, Mini Red was disappointed that we couldn’t build a snowman.

People are amazed by the snow in April, but it isn’t that rare, I think if I recall we had a small flurry last year, and the year I left school in *cough* 1999 it also snowed in April, and not just a light flurry, it settled rather well too. I remember getting ready to go to a party, as you do at 16 and having to wear trainers with a dress rather than the nice shoes I had planned. I don’t remember much about that night…

But I also remember my Nan falling and breaking her hip in the snow too that April. 18 years ago, it doesn’t seem possible, again.. Where does the time go?

Completing April 2017, we had a surprise party for Mr Red’s Dad, it was his 60th a few weeks before. It was of a 50s theme, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, we had a lovely time. We even slipped into the 60s nicely and snuck in “Macarena” for a bit of floor filling at the end of the night.

 

Thank you for reading if you have gotten this far.

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Here’s to a hopefully fun-filled May