Self-care and recovery

It has been two and a half months since my last blog post. For those of you who follow this blog, sorry for the radio silence. The last few months have been pretty awful, and I just haven’t really had the physical energy or mental headspace to blog.

This year I have had five miscarriages.

Four of these happened quite early, and didn’t have a very big effect on me physically. The fifth was only discovered at our routine 12-week scan, after two “good” scans had shown a healthy baby developing normally, and after I had been feeling horrendously unwell with pregnancy-related nausea, sickness, and exhaustion for over two months (never again will I feel reassured by well-meaning comments that “sickness is a good sign”). Following advice from the wonderful medical staff we saw, I then underwent surgery to remove the pregnancy remains.

Physically and emotionally, the last few months have been tough to say the least. On top of the sadness, I felt (and still feel) angry and cheated that I felt so ill despite the pregnancy not being successful. Swapping pumpkin carving, leaf crunching, and playground trips for dry toast, bed rest, and vomiting? Not much fun. Especially when there’s nothing to show for it.

I am physically feeling much better now – the nausea disappeared immediately after I underwent surgery – and although I am still tired and hormonal I feel “myself” again. I have been so lucky to have the brilliant support of my husband, our family, and my friends, who have all been rocks in a time of turbulence.

I also have felt incredibly lucky for Frida. She has been a lesson in how resilient children are. Even though her mummy was suddenly very poorly, and very boring, she coped marvellously. Yes, there was more screen-time than I would have liked. No, we didn’t go on exciting outings – there were many days when I couldn’t leave the house (let’s be honest, there were many days when I didn’t even make it downstairs). But she adapted so well to our total collapse in rhythm, better than I could have hoped for.

Focusing on self-care

I am now trying to focus on recovering and rebuilding my strength. Some of the ways in which I have been caring for myself after these difficult few months include:

  • Listening to my body. I am still feeling exhausted, especially in the evenings, so this means EARLY bedtimes (I’m asleep by 9pm almost every night at the moment; this works quite well as Frida is currently in an early bed, early rise rhythm) until my body lets me know that it needs less sleep. It also means letting go of guilt if we need to take a really slow day, or I have to turn down or cancel plans because I’m not feeling up to it.
  • Rebuilding my strength physically. I feel dreadfully weak and unfit at the moment, a culmination of months of significantly reduced activity and unhealthy food. I have booked myself a private session with a local yoga teacher who specialises in women’s health (with the aim of joining her weekly yoga class as soon as I have some more energy in the evenings), I’m slowly building up my activity levels again, and I’m trying to cook and eat more nourishing foods. I know it’s not going to happen overnight but all of this feels like a step in the right direction.
  • Cozying up. Candles lit for every meal. Hot water bottles laid in beds in the evenings. Hot drinks, all day. Warm socks and gloves bought for the whole family. Wool-lined boots purchased for Frida, and her yearly pair of legwarmers ordered.
  • Decluttering and deep-sorting. After a few months of not being able to do much around the home, this has been so satisfying. Old toys, books, and clothes of Frida’s have gone into the loft or been passed on to others. My husband and I have given clothes and objects to the local charity shop. I have sorted and rotated all of Frida’s books. I have even tackled the “kitchen drawer of crap” as it is lovingly known. I still have more to do, but it feels so good – and quite therapeutic – to be making progress!
  • Thinking about our seasonal health. It is certainly the time of year for coughs and colds, so I’ve introduced elderberry syrup as a daily supplement – it’s suitable for Frida too, and she is happy with the taste. I am also taking a vitamin C supplement, as well as oregano oil which is supposed to be a good antiviral.
  • Making time to talk to and see friends, and making plans as a couple, family, and individually. For me this is such a vital part of self-care, and one I really missed when I was unwell. It feels so good to have my calendar slowly populate again.

One of the things I missed the most whist feeling so unwell was having the energy and inclination to think about things to do with Frida. For months I had absolutely zero motivation to do anything – update her shelves, research new books, toys and materials, plan outings, cook together – nothing. At times the best I could do was sit up in bed and read a book or do stickers together. I am usually quite an involved parent so I found this heartbreaking, and I am really enjoying being able to parent again in the way that I feel happy. Just being able to sit in the playroom and play together, or walk to the library to choose new books to read together over a coffee / babyccino is bliss.

I have really missed blogging, too and I have lots of new posts planned for the coming weeks on books we are loving, how we plan to celebrate over the festive season, beautiful Montessori-friendly gifts for children, a home tour, and much more.
I hope you will forgive the long silence, and I look forward to being more present again in this little space of mine! I have started posting a bit more again on my Instagram account (which was similarly quiet for a while) so do come and say hello.

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38 thoughts on “Self-care and recovery

  1. I’m sorry that you’ve had a rough time and so sorry for all that you’ve lost – your pregnancies, your health and your he past few months. Thank goodness Christmas is just around the corner! Such a great time for holding loved ones that bit tighter and remembering all that you have to be thankful for. It’s great to see you blogging again (your blog is such an inspiration!) and I look forward to seeing what you have planned for the festive season. Best wishes – Amy @scribbles_and_twigs

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  2. Oh dear Eloise, I find it hard to choose the words right now…

    It sounds like a utter nightmare. It truly does! I am in awe of your strength and resilience when faced with such a difficult time in your life.

    Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It can’t have been easy to open up about such personal issues. You are a remarkable woman. Your family is very lucky to have you.

    I can relate to your pain as I have been down this road once before . So once again, thank you for sharing. Your honesty is beautiful and it makes the topic less of a taboo. It is truly devastating and the road to recovery is a long one, but I believe you are doing all you can to rebuild yourself up again.

    I am glad to see you sharing your journey with us here and on Instagram again. We have missed you so much! Take as long as you need, we’ll be eagerly waiting.

    Looking forward to hearing all about what the new season will bring.

    All the love in the world to you.

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    • Thank you so much Joy. I’ve missed you guys too! It has been a nightmare but it’s already getting easier and I’m so happy to feel well enough to enjoy Frida again and make plans xx

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  3. You have absolutely no reason to apologise. I’m heartbroken to hear what you’ve gone through, especially as much as you have. I’m happy that you have Frida. Take care and be well 🙂

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  4. It’s hard to describe how I felt when I read this. Sheer sadness for your losses – both physical and mental. Overwhelming admiration of your bravery in sharing. Complete awe of your strength and ability to mend yourself. I wish you all the best in your recovery. X

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  5. Eloise, I’m so sorry for your loss! I have been checking your blog and missing your words, and hoping that your absence was due to a baby. I’m sad that these are the circumstances you’ve been going through. I’m so glad that you are taking care of yourself, and that Frida is so resilient, and that you have good people supporting you. I’m looking forward to your writing again, and praying that all goes well if you pursue adding more children to your family!

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  6. Eloise! Your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine your overwhelming feeling of loss at that 12 week scan. After having one pregnancy and one baby myself I know how completely attached you are to that fetus from the instant you realise it is there. You are an inspiration on so many levels and an absolute powerhouse of a mother. Hang in there! How lucky your family and friends are to have you, and you them. Sorry for asking you if you were still blogging. Lots of love!!!!! x

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    • Don’t apologise!! I feel so lucky to have people reading this blog – and even luckier to read all these lovely comments. Thank you so much for your kind words. It has been a crappy time but I’m looking forward to making exciting plans and seeing what’s in store for the future. Xx

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  7. Hi Eloise

    Thank you for your courage. And your example of deliberate determination to plan for the future full of beauty and gratitude. Not letting the hard things have the last word. My friend is writer and one of her poems that touched me has a line in it that says “There are good things, always there are good things and there are hard things.” To me this speaks of the reality of accepting the hard things of life and our power of choice as to what to focus on. To me you embody this mindset of acceptance and empowerment. Thank you for your example. Freda is blessed to have such a mother as you.

    Demelza and Ralph

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  8. I’m so sorry to hear of your losses and sickness. I hope your recovery is gentle and good. You write and photograph so beautifully – I’m glad you are back.

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  9. Hi Eloise,
    So sorry to hear what a tough time you’ve been having, I’ve missed your lovely posts too and had been hoping it was because life was too busy, not for a sad reason like this. I had two miscarriages before my daughter was born, one of which was also only picked up at the 12 week scan and I had to wait until 14weeks for surgery to end it, the entire time having very strong pregnancy symptoms, so I know what a cruel and desperately unhappy situation it is. So impressed with your courage and strength in finding the things you need to do to heal and move forward. Hang in there, you’ll never forget, but it gets slightly easier with time. xxx

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    • Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I’m so, so sorry you had to go through that awful experience. It really is just horrific – with the symptoms it all just feels pointlessly cruel. Thank you for sharing your experience with me, and for your kind and wise words xx

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  10. I was heartbroken to read you have experienced such devastating loss. You are so brave and write so eloquently. Thank you for such an honest post. Please continue to look after yourself. Sending much love and good wishes to you and your wonderful family.

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  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have so much admiration for your courage and strength in the face of such overwhelming experiences. Thank you for sharing your journey. My best wishes to you as you continue to heal.

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