Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Fog Has Lifted?


Oh Hai, 

Do you know how many blog posts I have started and not completed this past couple of months? Six. Six half written blog posts that started with the best of intentions and then either the motivation slipped away, I chickened out or I just felt it wasn't good enough. 


I wanted tonight to write a blog post just to say Hi, let you know how I'm feeling where I'm at, no big deal. Sometimes when you leave something for too long, it becomes a frightening thing that you struggle to get back into and I think that's what's happened here. I've made it a 'thing'. 

I'm un-'thinging' it. This is my blog, my space, my slice of internet to muse about crap and junk and not care too much. If I wanted to be super crazy serious I'd write a book....oh wait. That's not to say I don't think other blogs are serious by the way, I just think I need to stop placing so much intensity on mine. It's not a 'money-making' platform (I do the odd sponsored post but it isn't a main source of income), I don't currently heavily promote it and it's not my most current thing (you know, like how insta stories are all the rage). But, this blog was my first. My big step into the online world and the start of it all so it deserves some respect for that. 

I love this blog. Love tiptapping on the keys. I love the bones of it as they say up north. Does anyone here say that??

So, lately it feels as though a fog has lifted. I don't want to jinx it and am acutely aware that this could change any moment but for the past ten days or so, I've felt myself and that's felt good. I've been able to work hard, to arrange social things, to enjoy vlogging and to be more exciting as a Mum to my six year old.

Pregnancy is a crazy fox to tame. Your body is under strain, your mind is full of all sorts and your hormones are all over the shop. The first three months were fairly standard with nausea and exhaustion but what has hit me hardest has been the mental effects. I have felt so down, so flat and so lost. 

I'm generally a very chipper person, always looking on the bright side and always managing a bit of get-up-and-go but since finding out I was pregnant, that seems to have hugely dissipated and I've been left feeling like I'm loosing it. I started to suspect I perhaps had mild pre-natal-depression and spoke to some of my good friends about it. A couple (Jessica and Emma I'm looking at you) were fantastic and one, rather painfully, not to nice at all. 

A week later (after failing to bring myself to talk to my midwife at our appointment), Liam and I took Darcy to the park to collect conkers and whilst she played on the swings, I sat on a bench (with a hand bag full of conkers) and cried my eyes out. Full, snotty, heaving cry in a public place with no tissues to hand-yay and you'll be glad to know, my gloves were machine washable! I told Liam how low I felt, how shit as a mother and girlfriend and general human I felt and how I feared I would never recover. 

Liam said, 'I think you're really suffering and I'm here for you'. I didn't sit on that park bench and feel jubilant but I did feel like a weight was off my shoulders. 

It is very hard to admit you're not feeling well but when you do, it's such a relief. 

After bench-gate, I decided to take it day by day. I mentioned how I felt to my stepmum Tina and she was very kind. Emma was a constant support and Jessica showed great care. Liam let me take my problems and give them to him. I had a bit of a team. 

Emma and Jessica suggested I speak to my GP or midwife (as did Liam actually) but each day, I started to feel a bit more 'me'. I kept thinking, 'Oh wow it's nice to have a good day' or 'Oooh I haven't cried or obsessed or frantically fretted today'. I started to be able to watch programmes and not think it would happen to me or Darcy (I would watch something with any violence or trauma and couldn't get it out of my head that it was fiction), I stopped having nightmares. 

Now, it's been about a week and a half. It's not a 'oh hooray that thing has 100% gone forever' but just having this 10 days has reminded me of who I am and reminded me that even if that fog descends again, I'll be back. Having the support of my main people and being encouraged to reach out to the Dr if I need to has also been hugely comforting to me. 

There's no big hurrah to this update. No big life lesson other than to say, there were quite a few rubbish days but lately, the fog has lifted and it's been good. Long may it continue! 

If you have felt like me, for whatever reason (pregnancy related or not), speak to someone. I know that's so cliche and boring but after 24 weeks of not really saying much, when I did, it REALLY has a positive impact. 

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts on this post, I'd love to hear them. 

Big Loves, 

Toodlepip!

Louise xx





Thursday, 21 September 2017

Happy 8th Blogday!


Oh Hai,

This morning I woke up in a luxurious hotel in London. Not a bad way to start the day. I'd been in London the day before to shoot some footage for HelloWorld and had intended to attend a premiere that evening, so, booked a lovely hotel to primp and preen in before walking the red carpet in a floor length cream and sequined maternity dress. The. Glamour. 

Well, the shoot ran on, I missed the premiere, I got to my hotel tired and frazzled, they noted this, upgraded me to a suite, I put on my over sized asda pj's, ordered some tomato soup room service and was asleep by 9.30pm. The. Glamour. Ha!! 

This sort of experience is definitely the stuff of 2015, the year of glitz, but not so much of 2017. I'm enjoying the novelty.

Thank you @Amy_balabil, twitter.


2016/2017, my Sept-Sept 8th year of blogging has been blissful. I talked two years ago about my heart breaking and life crumbling, one year ago about building myself up and healing and now, life is good. Life is so, so good. 

I was in a taxi last night with a close friend and he talked about a great heart ache and how although at the time it felt as though the world was falling apart, it needed to to give him what he has now. That resonated with me because I can see that I needed to walk through those hard years to be in the year I'm in and I'm so crazy grateful.

Thank you Grumble Designs, insta. 

September is my favourite month of the year. Despite having been out of full time education for 11 years now, I still seem to run on an academic calendar and for me, September means a fresh start and new beginnings. 

Last September I was at the beginning of a new relationship and feeling great. My days were filled with getting to know an amazing man, making an effort (you know how at the start you try extra hard to look nice haha) and slowly introducing Darcy into the mix.

Thank you @bek_jw, twitter. 

Lucky for me, Darcy took to Liam from the off. He was and is great with her. We were quite strategic and made sure to never rush, never do gifts (I've had step parents buy my love and know it doesn't work) and never push and it worked. Liam was everything I had hoped I would find in a man and as you all know, it's still going very well. 

Professionally this blog year has picked up too. 2014/15 was amazing, 15/16 I needed a break but 16/17, I have found my stride again. I am loving my content, loving my slightly older audience, loving being in the 'mum crew' (ha, cringiest term ever) and just really enjoying, for the most part, internetting. As well as making videos and general social media, this has been the year I wrote and released my first fiction into the foray and it was received with rave reviews and a healthy spot at Number One in the Sunday Times Book Chart. Can't complain at that! Added to that I've had TV appearances, another stint on Radio One, worked with fantastic brands, articles I've written published in magazines and I'm currently working on the new and set to be incredible show, HelloWorld.

Thank you @DeelyBopper, twitter.

As well as internet life, my real-life life is looking pretty sweet. My circle of local friends has expanded what with a house move (the new neighbours are ace), I've started being more involved with things going on at Darcy's school (I'll never say no to a parent/teacher cheese and wine night!) and our never ending schedule of playdates has also been a joy for me as I grown so close to some of the parents. What's even more lovely is that Liam has too and we have a wonderful social group going on. 

Something I haven't written about in this post yet about my wonderful new life is the wonderful new life I'm growing! I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant with my second baby girl, expected January! Liam and I had talked quite openly about wanting to have children and were happily surprised to find we were able to have one so easily. So many of my friends try to conceive for so long and so it doesn't escape me how lucky we are. 

It's been a year of change. I'm in a new relationship, I'm in a new house, I've taken on new roles in lots of the things I do, but one thing that hasn't changed over all these years is you. 

Every single time I have asked for your support or needed a pick-me-up, one or more of you has been there. And I mean EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. To people that don't immerse themselves in this crazy world, they might thing, 'nah, it's just a stranger, it doesn't mean anything', but oh my God to to me it does. I have loved celebrating with you, sharing with you, sometimes crying with you. This community is one of my best relationships and I'm never unaware that without you, there'd be no us. So, as ever, thank you. For everything. Always.



Every year I finish with the sentence from the year before. 

In 2016 I said -

"Happy Birthday little blog! What a journey we've been on. First year a wedding, second year a baby, third year a business, fourth year friends, fifth year a community, sixth year, sadly, a broken heart and seventh year, strength. What do you think will come next?"

This year I will add - 

Happy Birthday little blog! What a journey we've been on. First year a wedding, second year a baby, third year a business, fourth year friends, fifth year a community, sixth year, sadly, a broken heart, seventh year strength and sixth year, love. What do you think will come next?

Love. I think the theme of this year has to be it. Love from Liam, the love Darcy has for our new family unit, our love for this new baby coming in 15 weeks, love for our growing social circle and the love I have received from you. Love wins. 

I want to also say a big thank you to all the people who submitted art work for this post. I couldn't choose all of it but have loved each piece and hope you do too. 

So on we go into our ninth year. Crazy. I'd love you to tell me in the comments when you found our community, what you like about it and a little about yourselves. Share the love!

Toodlepip!

xx

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