I start back at work tomorrow and to tell you the truth, I don’t feel ready. I’ve spent near enough all of my maternity leave in hospital. Granted, 2020 hasn’t been a very normal year for anybody. I would have at least liked to ventured out and experienced new mum life a little bit more before heading to work.
I’m only going back once a week. To be honest, that’s all I have time to do. In between Jack’s appointments and surguries coming up and me deciding now would be a great time to start studying for my masters degree. It doesn’t leave me with much time. In fact, I could do with an extra day in the week. That would be fantastic.
My uniform is washed and is currently drying. I have my badge and landyard to hand. All I need now is a little bit of confidence, then I will be on my way.
I’m dreading saying goodbye to Jack’s little face. I’m going to miss him so much. I have so many scary thoughts going around in my head and they’re all telling me that he’s not going to be okay. Or that, the one day I do leave is the day he pulls his tracheostomy out.
I’m sure it will be fine. This is what I keep telling myself anyway.
How did you cope going back to work after maternity leave? What were some of the thought that you had? I would love to know in the comments below.
My journey home is such a raw, honest and inspirational story. It follows Hannah’s struggles with rape, homelessness, mental health struggles, and a journey to find her love of surfing.
From the moment I started this book, I knew that it was going to be a hard-hitting story. I was left feeling shocked and changed after finishing the book. It breaks my heart to think that someone has been subjected to things so cruel.
This book is a true testament to the strength and greatness that Hannah has. To overcome the struggles and challenges that she has is just remarkable.
Reading about how Hannah’s journey started and what started as such an innocent friendship that quickly turned, and I think it’s fair to say, destroyed and tore Hannah’s life apart.
Despite bringing tears to my eyes, My Journey Home is an inspirational read and I would strongly recommend it for people to give a read.
I have received numerous messages on Instagram recently asking why I share our story. I mean, after all, I post a varied amount of content, whether it’s positive things or negatives. Sharing our story was a natural transition from when I updated about my pregnancy over on my Instagram. Many people who followed there and read about the complications we had during the pregnancy wanted to know how we got on. After a discussion I had with the psychologist in the NICU, I decided to set Finding My Feet up. I wanted a safe place to discuss what was going on for myself and Jack. There was a lot of trauma and uncertainty when I was pregnant and it has continued since then.
I needed an outlet. Somewhere I could express how I was feeling about our situation. No one expects to find themselves in this situation and for a long time, I found it difficult to process what was happening.
Ten months on, I’m still struggling. I’m still having panic attacks. I’m still waking up after having nightmares. I still feel panic shooting through my body every time I hear an ambulance drive past. I’m still dizzy and have sparkles in my eyes.
Rest assured, I have been checked out, lots of times, the doctors keep telling me that it’s stress. I’ve also recently been told that it could also be a symptom of PTSD, I’ve not started my trauma therapy yet so maybe it will improve once I’ve worked through a few things.
I’m not posting this for sympathy or for people to feel sorry for me. I don’t need that! I’m sharing our journey because Jack is amazing. What he will go through, will be truly extraordinary. I want to raise Jack not be ashamed of who he is and what he’s been through. He is a fighter and I hope that you continue to follow our journey so you can see just how amazing he is too.
In the future, I’m looking into doing some kind of fundraising for Evelina, they saved Jack’s life and I will be forever grateful to them.
A few days ago Jack had a SALT assessment. It was a really positive appointment!
We tried Jack on blended pear with a little bit of green food colouring mixed in it.
The SALT team were confident they heard numerous swallows so this is great news! Jack didn’t need any extra suctioning and what we did suction out was of normal colour (not green – we put food colouring in to see if he was aspirating) there was signs of him swallowing the blended pear so we were very happy to hear that!
We have been told that he has to ingest 15ml of blended food orally to qualify for a fluoroscopy. We will be practicing every day with him. So hopefully we will be at that point soon.
We have been trying him on bits of pear everyday so he can get used to the textures and tastes.
Oh my goodness! I remember this day so so well. I remember wanting to capture a picture of my bump as I knew that any day from that moment I would be starting a new journey as a mum.
I loved feeling this pregnant, I loved my bump and the one thing that I loved each and everyday was sitting down and watching and feeling Jack move inside my belly. It’s amazing what a woman’s body can do! Every time I start feeling down about the way I look or overthinking about how much weight I’ve gained, I look back at those pregnancy photos and I remember how confident having a bump made me feel. I grew a baby and for that, I’m so proud of my body.
Happy 9 months baby Jack! He is doing absolutely amazing. He’s rolling over and trying to sit up by himself. He can mostly hold himself up but we are still working on it. We haven’t had a hospital trip for nearly 9 weeks. What an achievement! He is still on oxygen overnight and is still currently on preventative antibiotics and that combination seems to be working wonders for him. He also received the RSV jab over the winter which really gave him a boost.
He is doing amazing with his Baha hearing band! It’s honestly made the world of difference to him, and us!
Overall Jack is exactly where he should be and I’m loving discovering new things about him everyday.
I will check in again next week to update you on his progress.
Today I would like to share with you a book called The Smart Girls Handbook. I got gifted this last month by the team over at Trigger Publishing to write a review once I had read it. I knew immediately from the moment that I received the press release that this was a book I would love. I certainly wasn’t wrong!
I just love how motivational and inspiring Scarlett’s words are throughout this book. It truly is a testament of the use of positive affirmations and striving to better oneself to succeed in their chosen medium. She talks about anything from toxic friendships (I’m sure we’ll all been in one of those) building confidence finding your passion and things in life you really care about.
Her discussions about overcoming anxiety and dealing with the fear of failure was something that really resonated with me. I myself struggle with anxiety and often find myself in a downward spiral of anxious and intrusive thoughts. This book not only offers a first hand experience of these types of occurrences but offers strategies in which to help deal with these events when they occur. For instance, the 5 sense rule which includes sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Acknowledging items and activating those senses can really bring your mind and body back to the present. Anxiety has a way of throwing you into anxious thoughts of the future and tearing away at parts of your past. I’ve been using this 5 sense rule method over the past few weeks and it’s been working wonders for my anxiety.
The concept of the 5 rule exercise presents not only a way of relieving anxiety but as Scarlett writes about in this book it’s also a way in which to dream big! I don’t know about you but from about the age 13, I knew I wanted to do something I truly loved. Although I’m not quite sure if I’ve found that something yet, this 5 rule exercise is a great tool for making that first step to understanding what’s important.
There are some really great sections within this book regarding comparison in relation to confidence, she also goes on to talk about the importance of celebrating yourself. This truly is a celebration of womanhood within a book, it makes me so proud to be a woman in the 21st Century, knowing that I can do and be anything I choose to be.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better themselves whether that’s their mental health or been a bad ass boss!
A couple of weeks ago I had an assessment with one of my local trauma therapists. I will be starting trauma therapy in April. One of the reasons I wanted to set this blog up was for me to have an outlet to talk openly about motherhood and about being a first time mum to a medically complex little boy. Through starting this blog I do feel that I’ve managed to help myself heal from some of the trauma I suffered when Jack was in intensive care.
I’ve also started bullet journaling and this how changed my life so much. I’m the type of person that loves to be organised and this new way of organising my life which means I feel in so much more control of my life.
Wish me luck! I’m hoping to document each session on here as a way in which to reflect on the session.
One evening last week Josh and I had a conversation about the way we are utilising our rooms upstairs and came to the conclusion that we could make more use out of the space that we have. We don’t want to be moving house any time soon so we thought it would be a great idea to move Jack into our room. At the end of the day, we never really spend much time in there and the room is much larger than Jack’s room. With Jack having so much extra equipment and medical stock it made sense to give him the bigger room as there is more space and storage.
His new room is not only bigger but it’s much brighter and I for one feel so much better when a room has more natural light. There is plenty of room for Jack to grow into this room too. We’ve talked about getting Jack a car rug when he gets a bit older and there is a huge space to put it. Downstairs we are very limited for space for toys (although we’ve crammed as much in as possible) so this will be a great space that we can all enjoy as a family.
Everything in the room has it’s set place. Jack has nurses that look after him overnight as he needs to be watched 24 hours a day so it’s even more crucial that everyone knows where things are especially if there was ever an emergency.
We have a small fridge to store Jack’s milk in for his feeds overnight. We measure all the milk and meds up during the day so that the room is all ready to go overnight. We also have a sort of hour by hour whiteboard which we update regularly so that the nurse is always aware of Jack’s routine.
I’m so happy with how Jack’s room is looking. I love spending time in here. It’s a great space to have playtime with Jack. I’m just so glad that we decided to go ahead and do the move.
Of course we can’t forget his favourite teddy. It’s from the book ‘Guess How Much I Love You’
Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you enjoyed this post. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.
I love reading and I wanted to include reading to Jack into his bedtime routine. We’ve started taking Jack up to bed earlier. At around 7:30pm we take him upstairs and change his nappy before picking out a few books to read. I like to sit on our rocking chair and have Jack sat upright so he can see the pictures.
The books I mostly read to Jack are Winnie The Pooh and Tigger, The Snowman (which we bought for Jack as an early Christmas gift) and Guess How Much I Love You. He loves being read to, he looks up at me as I read and I can really tell that he’s listening. Other times he tries to grab hold of the book and is more interested in hitting the pages. Either way it’s nice to spend a bit of time before bed reading stories.
I can’t wait to buy more books for Jack to add to his collection. I’m really hoping he grows up and loves to read.
What books do you love to read to your little ones?
Happy 8 months old baby Jack, what an eventful 8 months it’s been!
We are really seeing Jack’s cheeky personality come out now. He is a very determined and curious little boy. He can be very sensitive at times and isn’t afraid of letting us know when he isn’t happy about something. Whether thats a wet nappy, or whether you’re stood in the way of a programme thats on TV, or you’re on the phone and not playing with him.
I’m loving getting to know Jack more and more. He changes everyday and I’m really trying to be mindful of being present as much as I can be throughout the day. I don’t want to miss anything!
He is rolling over so quickly now and constantly tries to get away when we’re changing his nappy. It’s become a game to him. He also loves to yank my glasses off my face at every chance he gets.
His new favourite things to do and play with are his hearing band which he often pulls down and wears as a necklace, or occasionally tries to eat it. He loves to pull on his feeding tube as well as taking his socks and foot probe off which is really not helpful. The latest thing we’ve discovered he likes doing is taking his Swedish nose off and pulling on his tracheostomy to make himself cough.
We always knew that Jack would be keeping us on our toes right from when I was pregnant. I’m loving seeing the little boy that Jack is turning into and I can’t wait to celebrate more milestones with him.
The older he is getting the less time he wants to nap during the day and the more time he wants to play. We are discovering what Jack’s favourite toys are and how he likes to be read to before bed. He loves cuddles and foot massages. He is constantly smiling or pretending to cry (which turns into a cheeky smile) he really is my world and I couldn’t imagine my life without him.
Thank you for reading and I hope that you continue to follow our journey as we conquer more milestones.