Dear Mummy…

Mother'sDayThank you for the nights you spent awake with worry be it due to my first cold, difficult relationships or worry for upcoming  exams and tests.

Thank you for enduring the constant pulling at your leg wanting a cuddle or wanting to play when you were already multi-tasking a thousand and one tasks.

As a mother I now realise that sometimes it is a struggle to just get through the day and that sometimes things really are sent to try you. I understand now that when you used to lose your patience, it was not a reflection of your feelings for me but your frustration at the world outside our little mother-daughter bubble.

Thank you for still kissing me even when my growing independence meant I no longer always wanted kisses from my Mummy.

Thank you for everything you did for me, from changing nappies, to putting food on the table that I refused to eat. From waking up in the middle of the night to tidying my toys that I scattered around the house.

Thank you for all those hot cups of tea and coffee you missed or that just simply ran cold.

Thank you for those times you had rough, callous hands because you forgot or simply did not have time to massage cream into them.

Thank you. Thank you for everything. I may not have seen it all then but I see it now.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

 

Opening image: www.sugar-beach.com
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Thalassemia in Pregnancy

As you have probably guessed by the altered tagline of my blog and previous post, I am pregnant. In approximately 12 weeks time I will have another little person in my life that will need my undivided love and attention. It’s an amazingly, exciting yet scary time. I’m now in my second trimester and everyone and all the literature  I have read tells me that the second trimester should have me feeling my best. My most energetic. In fact I am at my least best. My least energetic. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying this pregnancy and I love being pregnant. I love hearing my baby’s heartbeat. I love seeing my baby on the scan monitor. I love feeling my baby kicking inside me. I love the changing yet deeper relationship I have now with my husband.

What I don’t love so much is the tiredness. The exhaustion. The Beta Thalassemia Trait/Minor I inherited from my father. I always usually joked that all the ‘unfortunate’ aspects of my physical make-up I inherited from him: my height,wide hips, my frizzy hair, blood disorders. Thalassemia Trait is a blood disorder that results in a reduction of haemoglobin or in other words a lack of oxygen in my blood.  People with the trait also have pale skin, weakness, tiredness and are also prone to breathlessness and mood swings.

Thalassemia Minor is the fortunate kind though, the kind that you do not suffer from any great symptoms – except when you are pregnant. The oxygen in my blood is now low enough for the doctor to have signed me off work until my maternity leave starts. For the first time my iron levels are also falling and I’m sitting here now, stubbornly trying to write this blog entry while fighting the desire to sleep.

The trouble with Thalassemia Trait is that apart from perhaps looking slightly pale, there are no other outward signs to others. In fact, this past weekend I was told on several occasions how well I looked.Other people play down the severity, others play it up while it is clear that no one really understands what it feels like unless you too have Thalassemia. My haemoglobin and iron levels have fallen suddenly which has caused me to faint or to feel substantially dizzy. I am now scared to drive and am nervous of travelling alone. Each time I go out, I worry – even when I am with others. I feel I can’t plan anything as I don’t know how I am going to feel from one day to the next, even from one hour to the next.

Since becoming pregnant, I have researched countless times for information and details of being pregnant with Thalassemia, even Thalassemia Trait. The only information I have been able to find is the effects of Thalassemia on the unborn child. I have been constantly told babies are like parasites and they will take all they need from the mother. I hope that my children do not inherit Thalassemia, particularly if I have a daughter. Even if they do though, I truly believe I am best placed to understand than most what it means to have Thalassemia and what it actually feels like.

The care I have received has been such that I feel like I’m constantly fighting for someone to listen to me. Constantly fighting for the head consultant in the hospital to monitor my haemoglobin, to reassure me that there are actions that will taken should my iron and haemoglobin levels fall even lower. I have been faced with misdiagnosis and thank goodness I stuck to my guns and did not follow the medical advice I received for the sake of both myself and my unborn child.

I don’t understand why there is no information out there or at least information that is readily available for those suffering from Thalassemia, whichever group the individual has inherited. It was only today while conducting research for this post, that I discovered people with Beta Thalassemia are prone to changing moods while all along I thought and was always told I was just being moody. Now I know there is a reason to my mood swings. Not only that but it is well-known that pregnancy causes a mix of emotions so a question for you: does this mean my emotional rollercoaster ride during pregnancy is twice as fierce?

So many changes have taken place recently. One day I am working, the next day I’m not. Reading and writing once grounded me. It was what used to drive me. Although the baby and thoughts of the baby ground me, the written word provided the stability I needed. Both reading and writing remained the only familiarity I had in what has sometimes been an unfamiliar world.  Now I feel my mind is so crowded, I am so exhausted that I have lost my passion and drive. I feel I have at least three books inside me just begging to be let out to play but I won’t let them. I just can’t help but wonder if I had been forewarned about the possible side effects of Thalassemia on pregnancy, I would be better prepared. Still, Alphabet Games remains my constant outlet, my familiarity in an unfamiliar world. I’m hoping that in clinging to the WordPress cliff edge, I will eventually have the strength to climb to the top and in some ways to safety.

Do any of you suffer from Thalassemia or know anyone who does? Do feel free to get in contact with me through my blog. I think perhaps it is about time a support group was launched for Thalassemia sufferers. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Title Image from ineedmotivation.com
Last image from Eric-Cristenson.com 

My 100th Post: When I Grow Up…

When scouring my blog  prompts looking for inspiration for my 100th blog post, I wanted to write about something that truly strikes a chord with me and something which I have thought about for some time now… or for at least 17 weeks. In 5 months my priorities will completely change. I have to admit that quite often I have worried of what others think of me and although I had previously stopped caring, right now it seems to me more important than ever.

I. Am. Pregnant.

Yep – in 5 months I will have a baby and what is now most important to me, is what my baby will grow up to think of me. I’m doing everything now to build the best home for my child even to the point of considering Godparents before I was even pregnant. I remained in a job that is not ideal, so I was able to provide for them before they were even born. Everyone deep down wishes they could look into the future and see how their lives turn out. Already I worry for the safety of my child and have so much love for the little person I think I am beginning to understand the meaning of unconditional love.

We all want the best of our children, we all want them to be what we never were but yet wanted to be. We all want them to have what we never had but always wanted. So besides from the Mousetrap game, I want my children to have the courage to follow their dreams, no matter how far-fetched they may seem. I want them to be selfish sometimes, to think of and do things for themselves and not always for others. I want them to have the confidence and belief in themselves to speak their minds. Most of all, I want them to be happy and to know that life does not always work out they way they wanted or hoped but that sometimes that is not always a bad thing and other times it is getting through those hard times that make us who we are.

As for me, I want my children to think of me as always there. As someone who is not necessarily all sacrificing but someone who works hard for what she wants. I want my children even at the age of eighteen to look at me and still see their Mummy; their safety. I want to be the Mummy that my children can run to when things go wrong. I want to be the Mummy that will build a home for them that will never leave them. That no matter how far they roam, Mummy’s house will always be home. I don’t want to be a perfect mother and I don’t expect to or even want to do everything right. It is in making mistakes that we learn. What I want is to be the person that they are proud to call Mummy in front of their friends in the playground. I want them to not be ashamed to run to me when I pick them up at University.

These might be a lot of things but to me it’s doesn’t seem too impossible. If you take after your parents in your own parenting style, I have no worries at all, even if I have still to unwrap the coveted Mousetrap game.