With May being Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I'd give you a bit of background information on how Confessions Of A Mummy came to be...
Back in March 2013 I found out I was pregnant. I was over the moon to say the least, I had recently came out of a 7 years relationship which was going nowhere. I wanted to get married and have kids but he never so we ended things. When I first met Chris, my husband, I felt like I'd never felt before with someone and he wanted everything I wanted out of life. Yes we'd only been dating a little while but everything felt right.
We were on cloud 9, life was pretty amazing but then on our first scan our world came crashing down around us. We were told that jack had fluid on the back of the neck and this could indicate complications with my pregnancy and were taken into another tiny room, given a blood test and quite abruptly handed leaflets on abortion. This isn't how things were supposed to be, we were supposed to come out happy yet we came out of the hospital holding a beautiful scan of our baby in one hand and abortion leaflets in the other hand. This coupled with the fact that I knew I was going to be alone for part of my pregnancy and having to raise our son on my own for around 6 months with my parter being deployed in Afghanistan, I questioned could I actually do this... damn right we could, one step at a time. It was then when I started my blog so I could do more research into these conditions and to also speak to other army wives and girlfriends as it's very comforting speaking to others who are going through the same thing as you.
We got the test results back and we got the news we were dreading, we were told our unborn child had a 1 in 8 chance of either having Down Syndrome or Edward's Syndrome (which isn't compatible with life.) I was told I could have invasive surgery to further investigate but I decided against this as I was in survival mode, I couldn't get the thought of those abortion leaflets out of my head and went ahead with my pregnancy as normal, what would be would be. We would love our baby no matter what!
Other than the initial scare, my pregnancy was very straight forward. I didn't have any morning sickness and didn't have any weird cravings. The husband was deployed to Afghanistan when I was 6 months pregnant but had been away doing training prior to this so I was kind of already used to being on my own. My due date was getting closer and closer, it would have been nice to have the husband by myself for my midwife appointments and to hear the little ones heart beat but thank goodness for technology so me and my Mam recorded these for him.
A couple of weeks before my due date, I noticed the baby's movement had slowed down. I was rushed to hospital on my midwifes instruction as she was worried the baby hadn't yet turned and was worried a may have to have a C-Section as the baby may be breach. I was checked over straight away and given a scan, luckily the baby was in position and ready to make his way into the world.
I must admit, the thought of being by myself when I went into labour was very daunting. Yes I had my family and friends but it's not the same as having your partner around. This is when my mental health started to shift but a few days before my due date, there was a knock at my apartment door and who was standing there, none other than my husband. He had managed to come back home early for his RnR and low & behold, I went into labour the following day in Nando's... where I made him finish his beer and chicken as he deserved it after being away in Afghanistan. Our baby was born the following morning at 7.18am weighing 6lbs 6oz. He didn't have Downs Syndrome or Edward's Syndrome so my gut instinct was right, he was perfect in every way and I had the most perfect labour and birthing experience I could have asked for... we were back on cloud 9.
Chris was deployed again 2 weeks later but this was for the longest 6 month stint, this sucked. I'd never done this before, I was left with this tiny little human and I panicked. This was scary. My weight rapidly went, I was back in my size 8's after 2 weeks giving birth but a couple of weeks after that I went down to 8st, being 5ft 8in meant size 6 clothes hung off me. I got a lot of stick from other Mum's and so called friends saying I was obviously spending too much time doing exercise and not enough time looking after my child. Try looking after your baby by yourself constantly for 6 months and lets see what happens to your weight. I never once set foot in the gym and never once did any exercise, damn where was I supposed to get the time?! I actually thought I looked pretty amazing if I'm going to be honest, here I was with a new born baby and I'm rocking the size 6 jeans, when I actual fact I looked like a skeleton with a huge head who was actually quite sick.
I was trolled on social media, on my blog and in real life for quite some time, lost many a friend and this made me question if I was actually doing my job right and if I was a decent enough person. Yes, I went out with my friends for a night out and jack stayed out at least once a week but my God, these nights to myself gave me a chance to recharge my batteries. I love my son more than life itself yet I was made out to be a bad person and bad parent which I wasn't and am not. These where pretty dark days but also the best days as the bond between me and my son was unbreakable with the sheer amount of time we were spending together and I do not to this day regret him staying out with family members either, especially now as he loves having sleep overs and is not clingy in the slightest.
It's true when they say that having a baby shows you who your real friends are and this really was the case with me. I was even made to feel bad for looking after myself, for actually making an effort to do my hair and makeup but it's always been my mentality that a happy Mammy equals a happy baby and my little was has been no bother from day one. It's as if he could just sense that I was alone and his Daddy was away.
Chris came back when jack was 6 months old, it was amazing seeing our family reunited at last. Chris could obviously see I was exhausted so whisked is away to a beautiful hotel in Tenerife. It was amazing to see them both bonding. Everything was back how it should be and made me realise that you should never take your loved one for granted.
I'm one of those people to put my make up on, keep a smile on my face, the person everyone tells there problems too, the person who always seems so positive, the person who always seems so happy when sometimes that's just not the case. I really do wear my heart on my sleeve. If you know me, you'll know I'm very loyal and will do anything for my friends and family, even if I myself am having a bad day, I'll keep it to myself. Everyone has their bad days and with social media the way it is these day and how other girls can be so judgemental when they really don't know you or understand you or what's going on in your life, it's really hard to try and feel good about yourself.
But you know what, I may not be perfect but I've raised a bloody good kid. He's so polite, kind natured and I'm so bloody proud of him. Ever since I got married I've been asked many a time when we're going to have another child, my answer is... eventually but I don't know how my heart would cope loving two children the way I love jack. He makes my heart burst I love him that much!
My words to all of you other mothers out there who think you can't do it, guess what?! You can do it! Girl, you put your make up on, get your hair done, cry, have a drink... you do what you need to do! Your children will love you unconditionally no matter what!