Tag: fatigue

Things no one told me about pregnancy

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I’m 33 weeks pregnant exactly today and feel particularly agitated. To make things worse I haven’t had a pizza in two weeks because my ovens broken and i’ve just had an encounter with the post lady, i.e. Satan in a fluorescent jacket and the inability to close a gate. So I thought i’d channel my aggravation into a ranting little list of things I wish I had known about pregnancy.

*Disclaimer – This isn’t proven, this is my opinion from my experience. Everyone’s experiences are different.

The blooming period doesn’t exist.

No matter how many weeks you are, its lies, its all lies. For the whole three trimesters you will feel like a sack of potatoes with greasy hair and a pale complexion.

Hair Growth

People told me that I could expect a stunted body hair growth. Again, lies. My leg hair resembles that of a yeti and grows at an alarming rate, I also have a VERY hairy stomach and lets not even mention how fast the forest down there is multiplying. But, on the plus side the hair on my head is growing faster than I can book a hairdresser appointment!

Everyone thinks you’re disabled

As much as I appreciate being offered everything without having to move and the luxury of always claiming a seat even if i’m the youngest in the room (and therefore are normally downgraded to the floor). I’ve had an irritating amount of strangers using the phrase ‘in your state’ like i’m a disabled heroine addict who needs professional health.

Everything Itches

Speaks for itself. Itching. Constantly. Everywhere.

You could’ve potentially been an alcoholic

Before pregnancy I had not appreciated the sweet sweet taste of a strawberry daquiri quite like the way I’m glamorising it now in my head. The inexplicable need to just drink a pint of cider or even a shot of sambuca (my worst nightmare) is overwhelming and now im questioning whether before pregnancy I really was a functioning alcoholic? Also why does EVERYONE drink? It’s just pure cruelty to drink a G&T around me and if you value our friendship you better turn up with a drink at the delivery suite.

Your Partner is actually really annoying…

This one is in jest because I obviously dunno what i’d do without john but seriously, one more night of snoring and I swear to god I will go Freddie Kruger on you. With the spike in all the hormones all the annoying habits I have overlooked seem to have suddenly hit me, like, why you gotta use all the utensils and all the saucepans when cooking? Why do you fall asleep before me? What the fuck is that weird twitchy thing you do when you fall asleep? Just stop. Why does the football being on mean you need some beer? Why you drinking the vodka I got for my birthday when I am clearly saving it for a binging session after the birth of OUR child? Why do you go to work to early and come home so late, I need attention? Why cant you be at work longer, I need my space!? Why don’t you discourage my excessive eating? Do you want me to get fat? Why do you put your dirty laundry next to the basket and not in the basket? Why do you burp so loud? Why do you need the tv so loud? Why is everything you do the volume of an earthquake? Aww, you have a cold? IVE BEEN GROWING A CHILD FOR 8 MONTHS! I’m gonna stop before this ends in an argument…

Sleepless nights

For some reason i’ve developed the inability to sleep through the night. One minute im fast asleep dreaming of Tom Hardy and the next i’m wide awake wondering why I suddenly need to do some DIY. (Despite John’s horrific snoring which also wakes me up).

Every conversation turns into being about your baby

I don’t know why but I find myself physically unable to not mention my pregnancy or my baby when having a conversation. We could be having a discussion about onions and id still managed to link it to having a baby. So i’m sorry for everyone who has had to endure me.

Why cheese though?

I could just about live with having to give up patê on my toast, even not being able to have a runny egg or smoked salmon. But I absolutely draw the line at cheese. If I’d have known I had to give up camembert or brie, I would’ve opted out. That’s a deal breaker.

Isolation

Having a baby can be an isolating experience, especially when you’re the first out of your friends to be expecting. You find your whole paradigm shifts and it means accepting your social groups will change aswell as your whole lifestyle, you’re suddenly really busy and don’t have a lot of time for social interactions. But it is important to (at least virtually) surround yourself with understanding friends and likeminded people. If it means letting go of old friendships who just don’t get the place you’re at in life, so be it. There is a whole new world of similar people you are likely to meet when baby arrives.

Sex

Sex is great. Better in pregnancy. The only benefit of pregnancy that makes it worth it (besides getting a child at the end obvs).

The ‘Morning’ Sickness

Everyone knows one of the most common tell tale signs of pregnancy is morning sickness. They didn’t tell you however that ‘morning’ sickness is actually ‘every hour of every day for 40 weeks’ sickness.

The use of the phrase ‘You’re gonna need it’

As lovely as your concern for how I will cope post pregnancy is, I HATE it when you only have to mention being tired and EVERYONE says ‘Get the sleep in now, you’re gonna need it and you’ll miss it when baby arrives’ Yes Barbara, I know I will be sleep deprived. I’m sleep deprived now despite sleeping 15 hours a day and I am fully aware it’ll get worse, you don’t need to remind me.

Why is everything so expensive!?

I’ve always thought that me and john live fairly comfortably, we are by no means rolling in it but we certainly aren’t eating 15p spaghetti hoops out the can. However, brand new baby products and all the necessary (or just preferred) bits and bobs is quite eye opening, ive considered taking out a mortgage on furniture for the baby’s room its so expensive and there’s just SO MUCH. I’d assumed things like cot sheets would y’know be a tenner or something but no, £50 on a couple of sheets for a cot!? Then just when you think you’ve bagged a bargain cot you’ve got to get the mattress which is another couple hundred, then the bumper and god forbid I want a mobile. Baby product design is where the moneys at kids.

Ignore everyone else

Following from the previous statement, yes baby shit is fucking expensive. But if you want it for your baby, you get it. I absolutely love getting advice and recommendations because its my first time and im a little clueless, but one thing I really dislike is people judging me on my purchases or passing judgement on them. If I want to buy something, whether it gets used or not, I obviously wanted it. So many people see what ive bought and be like ‘That’s such a waste of money’ or ‘You know you wont even use that’ and ‘I had one of those, never used it, you should take it back.’ While I appreciate the advice, it’s my first baby and so i’m going to spoil her, and i’m also going to spoil myself by buying all the unnecessary products for my child. Part of being an excitable expectant parent is buying all the crazy baby shit, whether its necessary or not. So, if you can afford it and you want it, who cares what other people think? Secondly, everyone has something to say about EVERYTHING. Yes im a clueless first time mom but I will figure it out by myself and with advice and support from those I see fit, I don’t need lecturing on what I should be doing or interfering strangers telling me i’m doing something wrong. I’ll parent the way I want to and the way it happens. Before the baby has even arrived people are giving me rules and lectures on how to bring up my child, and honestly, i’m gonna do it how I want to and how I think is best, whatever you say.

Tiredness

Despite the fact that I cant sleep properly or for a good uninterrupted period of time I am tired ALL OF THE TIME. Literally could wake up from a 5 hour nap and then need to sleep again straight away. Imagine being asleep and dreaming of being tired and needing to sleep. THAT.

You haven’t treated yourself in ages

One change that I actually enjoy is the fact that everytime I go shopping, I no longer even bother going to the women’s, its straight to the baby section and every purchase is now for said baby. I see everyone’s insta stories of their brand new summer dresses and designer handbags and have come to the realisation I haven’t shopped for myself in a long time, infact the only bags I own are underneath my eyes.

Maternity fashion is ugly

When I do try to shop for myself unless I go to a supermarket’s fashion section or a department store, nowhere seems to have a maternity section in store. When I do finally find a maternity section it is all the same. It is all stereotypical ‘pregnant-middle-aged-woman.’ Gone are the skinny ripped jeans, gone are the cute slogan tees, gone are the summer two pieces with matching accessories. Instead you can have stripes. If you don’t want to wear stripes you can opt for the second option of misshapen plain Tshirts, failing that your only other option is…more stripes, perhaps a different colour stripe? how about a vertical stripe instead of horizontal? Basically for 9 months you can wear stripes.

Becoming public property

Since the development of a bump (not that im complaining) but personal space seems to have been eradicated. Everyone, without asking, seems to want to touch my stomach. It’s become a kind of greeting, they shake John’s hand and then magnetise their palms onto my tummy. Secondly, every medical staff has now seen every angle of every part of my body possible and so I may aswell just be a public art expedition. If you’re shy, being pregnant isn’t gonna be a fun time for you, every inch of you will be exposed, even parts you’ve never seen yourself. One of the scans I went to the sonographer rested her hand on my thigh whilst probing me with an internal ultrasound and I have to admit for a second I thought I could’ve been in fake hospital but y’know, 8 months down the line, its pretty standard.

9 months is an eternity!

I swear to god ive been pregnant for years, I can’t even remember a time I wasn’t pregnant now, it goes sooooo sloooowwwwlyyyyy.

Where is my vagina?

Seriously, I haven’t been able to see my vagina in about a month, Ive forgotten what it looks like from my POV. The only way to try to tame myself was by propping up a light up mirror between my legs and go by touch, which was 100% more terrifying than any horror film ive ever seen.

Heartburn is literally Satan climbing up your throat

I’d had heartburn and indigestion before but I was not prepared for the trauma that is pregnancy heartburn. I’ve thankfully only experienced it a handful of times and I honestly think I need therapy to get over it. It is what I can only describe as a fire in my chest that was trying to creep out, and when it finally did (after hours) it was the most horrific vomit ive ever had, it was pure foaming acid. If I wasn’t used to weird occurances from my body, i’d have thought that I was about to spontaneously combust, my mouth was literally foaming. So if you can, stock up on Gaviscon or other pregnancy safe remedies.

You dribble like a baby

Never in my life have I dribbled in my sleep, but all of a sudden I wake up with a snail trail and a wet patch on my pillow. Apparently during pregnancy your body produces excess saliva, but I didn’t realise the amount i’d dribble would be enough to quench the thirst of Africa.

Weird leaks

One thing no one mentioned to me was the amount of discharge that comes out throughout pregnancy. Discharge is completely normal for most women but during pregnancy it is like double the issue, so make sure you’re stocked up on pantyliners! Same goes for wee. One minute you feel fine, the next baby has kicked your bladder and you’ve pissed yourself. It’s fine, its normal, don’t worry.

You have an alien growing inside you

One of the most magical feelings is feeling your baby wriggle around. Although it can be absolutely terrifying when their pattern changes or slows down it is incredible when you can relax. I’ve recently learnt to chill a bit when it comes to baby’s movements and just enjoy them when they come. I’m actually feeling and witnessing limbs moving across my stomach and at times you can feel bones and little feet through the skin. It makes you think how absolutely crazy it is that there is literally a human, with arms and legs and nails and hair inside your stomach. But they don’t half hurt sometimes when they are big enough to get under your ribs!

I could go on complaining but Come Dine With Me is on and recently its been my go to napping program.

Remember these are all in jest and everyone’s experience is different, i’m not a medical professional just a first time mom-to-be moaning and being angry hormonal.


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What I Actually Do – Day in the life of a Crohnie

Last week when I was having my 10am trip to the sick bowl, I was watching an interview, or rather a ‘debate’ on This Morning involving two women. One woman was a full time stay at home mom and the other a 9 – 5 working mother, and as much as I applaud the efforts of the working mom she caused a lot of uproar with branding the other as ‘lazy’ and questioning what exactly stay at home mom’s do.
This is a close debate to me because very often some ignorant person slides into my dm’s to ask me exactly ‘what I do?’ and yes I am a self proclaimed lazy arse, but I also work hard and do not do “nothing.” After talking to a lot of other Crohn’s sufferers I find myself telling them to not feel guilty about doing nothing or achieving nothing more than a 6 hour nap on a day they aren’t feeling great and yet I feel myself having to justify what exactly I do still.


So first off I’m going to state that I don’t feel I have to justify myself but there are a lot of you who are non-maliciously, genuinely interested in what a week is like for myself as a Crohn’s sufferer, work from home, M.E diagnosed, pregnant, student.
Already, my illnesses are a type of job, they are something I live with everyday and they can determine the path I go down in my life. A year and a half ago I gave up work to focus on my health and have not returned to a career since, and I do not regret that, nor do I feel like I am lazy or a ‘doll scrounger’ because of my choice to focus on being mentally and physically well over the 9-5 grind. I work hard to do normal tasks some days, sometimes getting dressed is an exhausting task or even a walk with Luna (despite the fact she’s pop-eye on a leash) can tire me out for the entire day and with the build up of my exhaustion comes a flare up, with a flare up comes a debilitating change in life, days in hospital and watching loved ones suffer the thought of what will happen to me this time. So when I say I do not work full time or have a ‘proper career’ I am not ashamed or feel guilty for being a stay at home person and any other chronic illness sufferer should not feel guilty that they too cannot work or cannot pay into the state like many other people in society can and do.
With that said this is what an AVERAGE day (there are obviously days I lie around in a vegetative state with one arm round my sick bowl and the other in a pic n mix tub watching Netflix) looks like for me.0001
I wake up when my natural body clock wakes me up, because if I don’t, boy do I know about it. On the days I have to set an alarm I fight a battle of morning sickness and body fatigue as my digestive system hasn’t clocked in yet, my body has awoken before my functions have and so they work at dysfunctional time differences. So majority of the time I let myself wake up naturally to avoid any premature trips to the toilet and alleviate the chances of a midday nap. I go down to luna, who has already attempted her prison breaks and escapology routines in which she somehow manages to escape her cage even with cable ties and a padlock on (I don’t even know how she does it but I can earn big bucks from her skills, Houdini is shaking in his grave). Feed her some goop whilst trying not to gag and then have a cup of tea, or on a bad sickness day, a cup of boiled water (wild, I know) and then run to the toilet and sick it all back up again…
“Welcome to the second trimester” they said… “Morning sickness will be going now” they said…
Well my stomach and my toilet disagree. So once ive gotten my vomiting out the way I go get dressed, which I think is the actual hardest part of the day. It’s the part where you mentally make the decision that your day is beginning and you mean business, despite feeling like its time to go back to bed already.
0003If it’s a work from home kinda day, then ill be lucky to be arsed to do my makeup cause that is commitment usually only saved for leaving the house. Joggers on, messy bun (that looks more like a sparse turd on my head because my hair is too thin to do a proper messy bun) and eyebrow-less. Our post lady (despite being half blind and unable to tell what number our house actually is) delivers my ‘blogger mail’ (again this is NOT something that happens EVERYDAY) with the same astonished expression that Michael Jackson really hasn’t died and is living at number 11 in her home town when I greet her. I spend a couple hours doing the house work and talking to the dog like a mad woman who has had no human contact in years whilst debuting my new album at top volume and a well-choreographed cordless vacuum dance to accompany it. Then by lunch time I have finished boring mundane chores and sit down to go through my emails. I argue with a few collaborators about how I deserve to be paid for advertising their brand or products and write up briefs or ‘pitches’ to them with my set fee in the hope they accept and delete all the spam about how I need a penis enlargement for my non-existent dick. Then if I have Instagram or blogging jobs to do I try to do them whilst its still light outside, setting up the brands product in some shitty layout and blab on about what I think of them in painstakingly unnecessary detail that the company are happy with. Although this proves to be a lot harder than anticipated because there are only so many flat lays or backgrounds I can use for variety within the four walls of my house (and yknow, eyebrows off means I ain’t leaving the house unless for emergencies).
If I don’t have any blogging or insta jobs to complete then I log onto my student account and do some of my uni work, or rather, I pretend im doing uni work but actually got side tracked by the latest serial killer documentary that I have on in the background and then come deadline day I cry into my laptop until ive finished and then repeat the whole cycle again come next assignment. The great thing about Open uni is its so flexible, if im having an ‘ill’ day, where I don’t get anything done, I’m not reprimanded or lectured, instead offered extra support should I want it. You get out exactly what you put in, and there’s no in-between. If I only do an hour a week of uni then I’m not in trouble for missing online lectures or activities, I just notice a decrease on my own ability come the next marked assignment. You are given your assignment due dates for the whole year when you start so there isn’t really any excuse as to why I could miss my August 2018 deadline because I knew it was coming from October 2017. Still, im a pro at leaving it to the last minute.
When I’ve finished work there is usually only an hour or so before john gets back from 0004work so I usually just chill, watch some shitty American tv show and sleep because by now im exhausted. Im exhausted every hour of the day thanks to Crohn’s but when my tasks are done that’s when I reward myself with a nap (it’s the best part of everyday). When john gets home and ive awoken like someone having a nightmare in a horror film, wondering what year it is and where ive been for the last decade, we take luna out for a run. She has developed a keen talent of finding any way possible to get into the River Trent and swims around for a little bit providing the current isn’t strong. If the current is strong, I turn into a crazed mother running after her screaming like she’s the kittens in the ‘Aristocats’ about to be swept away but she never is because y’know, shes a dog, shes a good swimmer. When ive finished having heart palpitations and accusing john of not caring or getting in the river after her, we head home and argue about what we want for tea. The system is fairly simple, ‘Did we have pasta yesterday?’ ‘No?’ ‘Pasta it is’. If the answer is yes its, ‘Okay think of something today and we’ll have pasta tomorrow’. I cook tea and we watch some shit tv before retiring like an old age pensioner to bed at like 10pm where I kid myself into thinking im going to finish my book tonight but instead end up falling asleep to family guy.
Like I said previously, days differ, sometimes I meet up with friends for a drink, sometimes I have to go to venues for various things, sometimes I am at doctors or hospital appointments or tests, some days I check up on the Etsy shop (full feature coming soon) and some days I do absolutely nothing.
So yeah, I do do ‘nothing’ but I don’t do ‘nothing’ at the same time and I’m not ashamed to not have a full time proper job. Of course on a bad day I think badly of myself, chastise myself for not being stronger or having the motivation to push through and get a 9-5 job and feel guilty that some people don’t have the choice but to work. But everybody has their own guilt battles, mom guilt, breaking a diet guilt, work guilt, not going to the gym guilt, spending money on irrelevant things guilt. It’s a natural part of mental health to feel guilty for things we have or do that we know others may not be as fortunate, but it doesn’t mean we are in the wrong. If you have a chronic illness and cannot work, if you are mentally effected by work or if ‘work’ is deteriorating your own health, there is no shame and nothing wrong with taking the back step. It doesn’t make you ‘lazy’ or a ‘doll scrounger’ or a ‘freeloader.’
In July I will be adding to my list of jobs, I will be a full time stay-at-home mom, and I have no shame in being just that. My life aspiration was to be a mother. So I am proud to be able to achieve that and focus all my energy into being the best full time mom.

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*As you may have noticed some of the photography is 100% better than any of my own, including the main header photo. These photos were taken and are owned by HND Photography student, Hayley Leaver. Click on any of her photos (Watermarked) to check out more of her work and show support. More of her images will be featured in upcoming posts.

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16 Things you didn’t know about Crohns (18+)

Besides the general definition of Crohns Disease which I’ve gone on about and had to describe a billion and one times before I thought I’d make a more cheery (dunno if cheery is the right word but nonetheless its better than putting f*cked up) list of things to expect when you’ve been diagnosed with Crohns or Colitis.

For those who don’t know though here is a quick summary. Crohns disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which causes inflammation anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract – from the mouth to the arse hole, so pretty much anywhere, as well as creating numerous other conditions that can come and go throughout time like anaemia, arthritis, fatigue, etc. Crohn’s is most known for being a “bad stomach ache” which is completely wrong and if you do think that you’re probably one of the idiots that think man flu exists or that Queen Elizabeth is a reptile, so (politely) fuck off.

But anyway, here is my list of things you’ll most likely encounter/have (and probably wont admit to) when suffering with IBD:

 

1.       The most obvious being you shit yourself A LOT.

 

2.       You’ll have done a grand tour of your country’s hospitals, testing each out like a celeb and mentally composing your trip advisor review.

 

3.       Getting drunk is fucking awesome because not only can you be a lightweight, forget all about how you hate your life or be the first to vomit at a party but you can get rid of your constipation by doing a huge vodka shit.

 

4.       Be a twenty year old grandma with arms and legs that don’t bend.

5.       Be wheeled everywhere in a wheelchair when you have a bad flare up and experience what pure luxury is watching someone else suffer pushing you up a hill whilst you chill.

6.       Have a seriously wide knowledge of toilet comforts. (Still waiting for Victoria Plum to respond to my product tester application)

7.       Mastered doing a boss winged eyeliner whilst having an explosive shit.

8.       Not give a fuck about contraception because getting pregnant is FUCKING HARD. (Disclaimer: I’m joking kids, you should always be protected…Alex if you’re reading this, you should just avoid sex altogether.)

9.       Farts probably aren’t just farts but it’s cool cause you wear three pair of granny pants out anyway.

10.   MI5 could hire you for your fast and sly (running to the toilet) exits and skills at convincingly blaming other people for your vile smells.

11.   Prepared with extra coverage foundation for when your face flares and looks like a baboons behind.

12.   Sleep all day everyday.

13.   Having stuff shoved up your arse is just the norm and not a wild Friday night.

14.   Your pet will love you more because you can’t go to work and have to stay with them 24/7.

15.   You have so many pills to take you don’t need breakfast cause they’re practically like a meal.

16.   You’ll probably be a mentally fucked up psycho with no filter and zero fucks given to embarrassing situations but you’re a boss and will slay whatever circumstance life throws at you.

  dont be like the rest of them

 

 

*Disclaimer – [1] these are meant in jest with no harm or offence meant to anyone suffering with or sharing particular similarities to those mentioned in this article. [2] I do not own the ‘don’t be like the rest of them darling’ photo, credit goes to Etsystatic.