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.