Sunday, 22 December 2013

And we're off....

So welcome to my first ever Blog….I guess I should start by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about why I have started this little blog!

My name is Rhiannon and I live in a lovely little Cotswold village just outside the Spa town of Cheltenham with my husband and son, who at the time of writing this first blog is twenty two months, super gorgeous and a handful of trouble (aren’t all boys!!)

I work as a Project Manager for a company that design and produce cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances for many of the UK’s leading high street retailers. I’m sure I will go into more detail of my job as this blog hopefully develops over time, but for now I will just say that it is a job that I genuinely like, it is varied, often challenging and frustrating, but all the same one that for the vast majority of the time I enjoy.
2013 has been an eventful year for me, my little boy had his first birthday in February, I got married in June, turned the big 40 in August and got pregnant in October…more of that later….and of course I started this blog in December…

So why start a blog? Very self-indulgent I am sure you will be thinking, writing about yourself and your life and expecting other people to be interested in it…and this coming from someone who does not even post updates on Facebook!!! Well, I have always loved writing and for a time when I was a lot younger it was what I wanted to do for a living. But as I guess happens to a lot of us when we are young I never really pursued my ambition as I should have, and ended up after university falling into a purchasing job with British Airways, then the clothing company Monsoon, followed by a little stint in purchasing recruitment and then into my current role…now that’s how to sum up a career of almost twenty years in a few short sentences!!!   

Anyway, back to the blog...So as I said I turned 40 in August and following a few drunken nights out to celebrate with my husband and friends I also celebrated with a wonderful family holiday in Spain with my parents, my sister and her husband and of course Scott and Evan. Now for those of you that have  children and have a good relationship with either your parents or your partners parents, I would highly recommend a holiday away with the grandparents…talk about the best of both worlds, you get to spend great family time with your children, but then also get that magical grown up time of sunbathing, reading a book, snoozing in the sun or even a few cheeky nights out when the grandparents are in charge!! And so it was during one of those lazy afternoons in the sun whilst on holiday that I started reflecting on the fact that I had turned 40, and along with trying to figure out how on earth that had managed to creep up on me so fast, I also started to think about all the things that I perhaps still wanted to achieve, and writing was pretty much at the top of the list, along with maybe managing to hopefully have one more child in the very small window of fertile opportunity I still had left!!

Now, unfortunately I am not in the financial position to just be able to give up work and start writing a book, and quite frankly I’m not sure I would want to do that even if I could. So that started me thinking about other ways I could channel my writing efforts into, and I started thinking about the possibility of a blog. This seemed a viable way to write in a way that would allow me to write in small bursts whilst still allowing me to work full time and yet still spend quality time with Scott and Evan.

But what would I write about? I don’t have any specific talents or hobbies that I could channel into a blog and I knew I needed a subject matter that would engage people and make them want to keep coming back. Now, I’ve heard people say you should write about what you know …but what did I know?….Well I know about being a first time mum, and all the insecurities, anxious times and special moments that come with that experience. I know about how hard it is to be a full time working mum, trying to be the best you can be at work whilst also trying to always put your child first, and whilst needing and wanting to work, also experiencing the daily guilt when dropping your child off at nursery. I also know about how hard it is to maintain relationships when you have children, both with your other half and your friends. When I think back to the after work drinks sessions I had with Scott and friends, the spontaneous meals out and weekends away, the indulgent weekend lie-ins with your other half, and just the general quality time that you no longer get to have with these important people in your life. It really is very hard, and unfortunately some relationships do not survive the sacrifices that you have to make. I also know about how hard it is trying to keep up any resemblance of a beauty regime when you have children. What seemed like the simplest of beauty tasks pre children such as plucking eyebrows, maintaining a hair free body and keeping the grey hair at bay, now post children seem like a chore that quite frankly I could just do without. But if you’re anything like me you still feel the need to put on your face every day, try and keep your body in some form of acceptable shape and try and keep yourself as attractive as you can for yourself and the outside world.
So I thought how about I write about all of these things, as surely if all of the above affect my life on a daily basis then they are also all the things that will resonate with so many of you other mums out there, all struggling to keep all the balls up in the air, and trying to appear at least on the outside to be coping with life’s constant challenges.

And then in October came the pregnancy news….totally unexpected and out of the blue as we weren’t going to start trying until after Christmas. However, I’m sure many of you will know what can happen when your child goes to stay with their grandparents for a few days and you get that special grown up time back for a short period..!! So then it seemed like a logical next step to include the pregnancy as part of the blog , documenting all of the fun and games that come with being pregnant when you already have a child or even children…no more self-indulgent afternoon naps that came with the first pregnancy that's for sure!!
So whilst the news was a shock, and whilst it took me a number of weeks to get my head around the fact that I was going to have another child and to ponder about how chaotic our lives would be post June 2014, nonetheless it was still wonderful news and Scott and I started planning accordingly....bedroom arrangements were discussed and my husband’s famous financial spreadsheets came out and so on.

So the all-important twelve week scan was booked for December 16th, and the plan was to wait for the all clear so that I could safely announce the news to work and then I could publish my first blog over Christmas.
However, as so often happens in life things don’t always go to plan, and a week and a half before our 12 week scan I started bleeding, and a scan a few days later very sadly showed that I was carrying twins, but that neither of them had developed as they should have. Very frustratingly I had to wait a further ten days for another scan as the foetuses had not grown big enough to detect a heartbeat, and whilst I absolutely knew that my dates were correct and that if they had stopped growing so early then nothing would develop, I did agree with the hospital that it was best to wait to make absolutely sure, as I knew I never wanted that horrible thought to enter my head of what if….

But sadly Monday 16th the day that was meant to the happy day of our twelve scan became the day of confirmation that our babies had not developed, and the inevitable discussion of options and next steps needed to be decided upon.
Anyway, I guess to cut a long story short, I made the decision to go into hospital to have the operation and I am currently writing this first blog whilst at home recovering. Whilst reflecting on this experience and other sad experiences that us women sometimes have to endure, I started thinking about what marks us out as women and makes our reactions to these situations so very different from our men folk….and it came to me whilst having a restless night before the day of the operation whilst thinking about the horribleness that no doubt lay ahead of me that day.  I suddenly realised with a mild panic that I was going to have my feet, legs and nether regions on display to complete strangers, and in no way shape or form were they in an acceptable state to be exposed to the outside world…my toe nails were chipped, my legs were full of fuzz and I won’t even go into details of how out of control other areas were!!! So as I know most of you ladies would have also done, I calmly picked up my mobile, set my alarm for a half an hour earlier and then drifted off into a deep sleep knowing that I had given myself enough time to sort myself out before setting off to the hospital. 

Now I appreciate that some of you reading this may be thinking that surely this should have been the very last thing that I should have been worrying about, and in the grand scheme of what was happening that day of course it was completely insignificant. But isn’t that what us women are all about, a little bit of practical thinking during tough situations, and of course no doubt a little bit of ridiculous vanity even in the worst of circumstances. What funny creatures we are sometimes, and I guess it makes sense why men find us so incredibly hard to understand and predict on occasions. 

I was watching the X Factor final last weekend and watched the lovely Sam Bailey win the contest, and as Dermot was telling her that she had won a recording contract and would be touring with the amazing Beyonce, she was shown a copy of her single that will no doubt be the Christmas number one, and you know what her response was…..”Oh My God, don’t I look thin on that picture!!” Now if that response doesn’t sum up us women I don’t know what does!!

So whilst this last week has been a really tough and sad time, as my mum quite rightly says that is part of the whole motherhood package, and what you sign up for when you embark on the incredible journey of trying and hopefully succeeding in becoming a mother….and for the few horrible experiences that we sometimes have to endure, it is more than made up for by those moments when you think your heart will literally overflow with love for this little person that you created, carried and delivered into the world. For that first smile, first steps, first words, first “I love you mummy”, all of which more than outweigh your occasional longing for your old life. Yes its incredibly hard, but in reality we wouldn’t change a single minute of this wonderful life changing experience and journey all of us mothers are on, and whilst the waters of my journey have been decidedly choppy this last week or so I’m still in no hurry to jump ship..!!
But whilst being reflective I really don’t want to end this first blog on a sad note, as that is so not what this blog is meant to be about, far from it. It is about the joy of motherhood, the sometimes hilarious and ridiculous situations that we sometimes find ourselves in, but also about the challenges and frustrations that we also often have to face on a daily basis, along with all the other stuff that is still important to us, like our jobs, fashion, holidays and spending time with our loved ones.

And so not to end on a depressing note and to show how you really can find humour in even the saddest of situations, I wanted to share with you a little extract of a conversation that was had in my post operative women's ward between myself, a nurse and an amazing 86 year old bundle of joy called Doris Lovesy:
Nurse to me…”I love your wedding and engagement rings they are really unusual, how long have you been married?”
Me to Nurse…”Not long I only got married in June this year”
Doris from next bed to me…”I got married in 1948 to a wonderful man but he’s dead now.”
Nurse to Doris and me…”I got married in Turkey on an all inclusive holiday, it was lush.”
Doris to Nurse…”Oh, do you like Turkey then?”
Nurse to Doris….”Well I don’t mind it but to be honest I prefer lamb…”
Doris to Nurse…”oh, I’ve never been there, where’s that then???

Now I don’t know if it was one of those you had to be there moments, or maybe it was the drugs that were clearly still circulating around my body but it did make me giggle.
Thanks for reading and hope you come back soon.

I hope you have an amazing Christmas with your loved ones....

Rhiannon xx

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1 comment:

  1. Great first blog post Rhi. Hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year. X