Monday, 29 December 2014

Back to normality....

So tomorrow see's me returning to work since the end of September and I can't say I'm thrilled about it.

The one question asked by my line manager is "are you ready to return" and I don't think I will ever be fully ready to return. Not that I'm not ready to go back to work but I think it is specifically my current job I will never be ready to return to.

I have now applied for 3 new jobs all outside of my current organisation and I'm just hoping to at least get a response from them. One of them, I am especially positive about but I'm now concerned my sick record will hamper any role I go for.

Fingers crossed!

In the mean time, I need to concentrate on getting myself back in shape as I have a wedding dress to get into in the not too distant future!

We are almost at the 6 month countdown and also very near the stage of saying "we get married this year"!

This is all keeping me positive at the moment, as we are not completely out of the Crimbo/new year festivities.
I shall see how I truly feel come that first week of January.

Have a gooden everyone and I shall see you in 2015! :-) xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Time!

So yet again, I have left it an age to write anything and I thought I would do a little Christmas thank you post for all reading my blog posts when I publish them.

I don't know if anyone else feels the same, but I literally cannot believe that Christmas is almost upon us and another year has flown by! 

As you are aware, I've had a pretty turbulent year for emotions and mental issues, but I think I'm getting there slowly.
I am still awaiting counselling, but I think I am going to return to work on 30th of December. Crazy time of year to go back I know and I'm not sure I'm ready, but I don't think i'll ever be, so might as well just bite the bullet.

I have been applying for new jobs and have just completed another application form to send off. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed!

Obviously 2015 will mark the most important day of my life, which is becoming Mrs Sara Cottenden! I cannot wait for this day and as New Years Eve approaches, I'm just on countdown to be able to say "We get married this year" as I plant a smacker on Tony!

The way this year has gone, it really won't be long until that day is here and its going to be the best! Surrounded by all our family and friends, celebrating the day with us and dancing the night away; it will be the mark of a momentous occasion! 

So all thats left to say is, Merry Christmas to you all! Hope Santa brings you everything you have been dreaming of! And a prosperous New Year! 

2015 is going to be an amazing year for us and I hope it is for all of you too!

Speak to you all on the other side! xxx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Give an amazing gift this Christmas....

As you all know, blood donors saved my life.

I want to do a quick post just as a little reminder of why its so important to give blood, especially at this time of year.

Blood stock's hugely dip over Christmas and New Year, mainly due to people missing their appointments to give a pint of the good stuff!

So, if you haven't done so yet, please follow this link and register to give blood!

It is quick to register and you can book your appointment online too. 

Please, if you can, spare the time to give the greatest gift of all this year.........


xxx xxx xxx

The moment of realisation

I've been waiting for this to happen, but I never thought it would be so soon to be honest or the reason it has happened, to be the reason why!

I apologise if some of this doesn't read right but I feel slightly high as a kite still from the medication I was prescribed 3 days ago.

This is where things have changed for me. I went to the doctors on Monday evening and explained how I still felt no better and was really struggling sleeping. The doctor wasn't my usual doctor but he listened and said that he was going to change my medication. The new tablets would help with sleeping also. 
I couldn't take one of these new ones until Tuesday evening, so I looked forward to waking up Wednesday feeling recharged and refreshed. I had Wednesday all planned out. I was taking Noah to nursery, heading up to see my friend Noemi, we were going to hit the gym and I was going to help her decorate her Christmas tree.

Firstly I woke up at 10:30am with Noah next to me in bed. I don't even recall Tony getting up and going to work. I then got up and immediately realised I felt soooooo incoherent! I felt absolutely smashed!!! I knew straight away I couldn't drive and cancelled all plans for the day. I sat Noah in front of the tv and I slept, slept and slept all the hours I could. Tony came home at 5:20 and I went to bed.
Now, I wasn't keen on taking another of these tablets, but Tony said that maybe I needed to get them in my system. So I took another and was soundo for the night.

I woke up today and yet again feel absolutely out of it. I've not been asleep all day but I feel drunk, theres no other way to describe it. Its awful. I can't focus, can't trust myself to look after Noah and feel unable to make any decisions with this foggy head.

The fact that Tony has been calling me Kerry Katona for the past 2 days from her infamous "This Morning' interview really has given me the kick i've needed. I can't explain what has happened to me but I feel that if I don't sort myself out, then this is all that awaits me. A life of numbness, drugs and a lonely existence, which I really don't want.

These tablets have almost made me think I need to come off them altogether. I don't want a life where medication rules me and I need to nip it in the bud now! 

So my plan is, stop taking these ridiculous comatising type meds, throw myself back into my exercising and get myself back to normal. My exercising really will help and I've now realised how much I need it.

This is it, no more dribbling and rocking in a corner (which is what I have done the last 2 days) and back to health and fitness!!

Come on Sara, you can do this!!!!!!!! My aim is my work Christmas do! I want to go, I will go! Friday 19th December, Mumu, Maidstone........... I've got to be there!!! xxx

Monday, 1 December 2014

The impending doom....

I haven't posted for a while and Tony told me I should write one to tell you all how my mind works, especially at night when I can't sleep.

So my first mind wandering moment was when I went to check on Noah and bless him, he had stinky breath! He had his flu jab earlier in the day and he was displaying a snotty nose! So how did my thoughts train off to anything else? Here goes:

I then thought about my friend Lianne's new baby Jude and his little white milk tongue, which led me onto wondering if sucking a dummy would get rid of the milk tongue, to then thinking about my sister when she has her baby and wondering how soon a baby can have a dummy, then thinking about being at the hospital when she has her baby and rushing in to have a hold, then thinking about Noah's beautiful little face when he was born, to thinking about first holding him...... Oh no, thats right I don't remember the first time I held him. Then the thoughts of my trauma begin as though they happened yesterday and I start remembering everything.

I then had another night of thinking about Donna having her baby and it led on to thoughts of me being left at the hospital the day I was moved to the ward, whilst Tony went to get some food. I was thinking about the fact that all I wanted to do was hold Noah, so I kept getting up to get him and then sitting back down in the chair. I then started thinking what if I had of dropped him, I shouldn't have been picking him up, why did I do that, I could've hurt him and he could have died.

Again, the other night, I had struggled to get to sleep for a few nights, even causing Tony to not sleep very well. Our house phone rang at 3:45am waking both of us up but luckily not interrupting Noah. With a normal person, they would think 'Who the hell is that at this hour? I'll check in the morning". With me, this is what happened: I wonder who it was, there must be something wrong, I wonder if it was my mum, oh god what if something has happened to my dad, what if its my mum saying my dad has been in a fatal car accident, what would she do in that instance, would she just call me and ask me to come over, would she tell me on the phone, would we go straight to the hospital, how would we all feel, how scary would it have been for my dad. 
At this point, I decided to go and check the phone as I needed to know who had called. It was a witheld number!!!! Idiots! I thought that I would then settle back in bed and sleep. I thought wrong! By this point the thoughts had started of the what if's and I just kept thinking about what if it had of been my mum with that awful news. What about my wedding next year. I couldn't bare to have someone else give me away. Who else would give me away? 

I feel as though all my thoughts always lead to impending doom! Someone is always going to die and what if that person does die? How will it affect me and how will I feel? What if I was to die?

On the plus side, I've been to the doctors today and we have both agreed my medication isn't working. So I have had it changed and it contains a mild sedative! Fingers crossed no more sleepless nights filled with awful thoughts! 

My favourite bad thoughts though of the last week was a dream that Tony was cheating on me and it was so real I had to remind myself it was a dream when I woke up, so that I didn't have the hump with him. I could've quite easily have punched him in the nose otherwise! He reckons he asked me how I was during the night and I was humpy with him, so he thinks its because of that! At least that kept me amused during this whole ordeal! 

Anyway, another little insight into the craziness at the moment. Onwards and upwards it can only be, surely?! xxx

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Dammit Lilies.....

I need to share this somewhere so people can get some understanding, so where better than my blog?

I bought myself some beautiful lilies yesterday from the sale bucket in Tesco. I love saving flowers from their impending doom of the bin!

They are one of my most favourite flowers and being so fragrant, really do have an impact at doing what flowers are famed for.

Last night was fine. In fact I said to Tony that I loved the smell because they reminded me of when I first started at Whitbourne Hair Design as a newly qualified hair stylist. Ben (my boss) used to have fresh flowers delivered to the salon weekly for the front desk and they would often have lilies in them.

This morning, they are really playing on my mind and are taking me to a different memory and place.

Tony's work friends bought me a bouquet of flowers after I had Noah and they contained a lot of lilies which smelt identical to the ones I have sitting in my front room. My mind is taking me back to that awful time, when I was in so much pain, feeling very ill, learning my life had changed forever, and dealing with how wrong things went.

Its strange how a smell can do that to you. It is literally putting me back there in the room, trying to be happy about my new gorgeous baby boy and yet just wanting to cry. Wanting to hold my son, but knowing I couldn't sit up to be able to do that. Knowing how close I came to losing my life and having all those scared thoughts running through my head.

Now this is where it is weird, you would say "throw the flowers out, its not worth the mental trauma its putting you through", but I will not throw them out.

Its a bitter sweet feeling. 

Its as though I like this feeling. Every time I get a whiff of them, I hate it and like it at the same time. It's that I can't deal with. Why do I like it? Why do I want to smell something that reminds me of that time.

I think its all to do with my PTSD and the fact that still to this day I obsess over things that remind me of that time and have to physically stop myself continually searching for reminders.

The human brain is a weird one isn't it! xxx

Thursday, 20 November 2014

My child is psychic....

I've noticed that my posts lately are a bit doom and gloom, all about me being a nutcase!

Before people say "you're not a nutcase", I know I'm not, I'm just trying to put a comedic spin on things.

So anyway, in all the depressing stuff, I've forgot to tell you all about the weird goings on with Noah lately.

Firstly, I dropped him at nursery and went to Tesco to restock the cupboards. Whilst there I thought I would start getting some Christmas presents for Noah that I know he desperately wants. These involve a spiderman figure and a spiderman mask. 
I returned home and put them in a thick dark burgundy bag, which you cannot see through and put them on top of Tony's wardrobe.

I then went to pick Noah up from nursery and told him I have a surprise for him. This surprise was actually a chocolate apple, but his response was amazing. It went like this:

"Is my surprise my Spiderman mask that you bought me from tesco this morning and is now on daddy's wardrobe"? 


So thats one of the things.

The second is that he has an immense fear of going on the A249, which he refers to as the big road. Now we have used this road weekly since he was born as its our route to my parents. 
He's fine on the M2, but the second we turn onto the A249 he starts moaning "I don't like this road mummy. This is the big road, its scary".

Now, he stepped this story up the other day: 

"Mummy, I don't like this road, its the big road. Over there (pointing to the other side of the dual carriage way), the car slide and turn around and its scary".

I'm now worried this is some sort of premonition and this is going to happen to us!! Arrrrrrgh!!!

Why is he so weird?!?! 

Have you guys had weird things said by your children, or is it just my ginger boy thats slightly spooky? xx

Monday, 17 November 2014

A little catch up

I thought i'd just do an update of whats going on with me at the mo, just so everyone knows whether to stay away or at least approach with caution!

Ive been off work for a few weeks now and am not due to go back until after 30th November. Taking work out of the equation has certainly helped and has reduced my anxiety lots, but if i"m totally honest I don't feel much better at all.

I have started telephone counselling, which is arranged through work. Now it sounds like they are supportive, but that has taken approx a year and half to arrange and I've only got it now because they have changed the policy and you can now self refer!
The telephone counselling isn't great and she has already told me I would be better with different techniques. 

I have today had an initial consultation with KCA who have gone through everything with me and are trying to sort out the correct support I need. 

I have finally, after 3 years and 4 months been clinically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! I didn't need diagnosing, I knew I had it, but to actually now be given the correct support to suit this, will be a step in the right direction. After doing all my questionnaire's today she said my anxiety/panic levels are moderate/severe but my depression levels are at the moderate level. This pleases me because I don't feel I have anything to be depressed about, yet my anxiety is out of my control at the moment. My PTSD is high in the marking so they at least know what they are dealing with.

They don't actually have any openings at the moment for CBT or EMDR therapy, but they will be in contact as soon as they can.

I have been trying to keep myself busy with wedding preparations and have finally sorted the bridesmaid's! I went from not having a clue with them, to buying dresses and shoes in one day.
I also went out for a friends birthday the other night, something I found hard getting out the house for, but knew I would be ok once I was there. Apart from being shattered for some reason, it was a lovely night and my cheeks hurt from laughing so much, so that had to be a good thing. Plus immense amounts of chinese food were consumed! Always a winner!

I was told the other day that people on depression/anxiety medication are not taken off of it unless they have been feeling normal for at least 6 months. My worry is that I can't remember what it is like to feel 'normal'. I have been feeling not right for 3 years now and before that just feels a blur. 

My take on it is to try and be positive regarding that statement, because really, what is normal anyway?! :-) 


Monday, 27 October 2014

Please sir, can I have a broken leg?

So I have been hoping to feel better lately having had some time at home & my medication upped, but I can't say that I am.

It's so strange, like I can't understand myself what's wrong with me!

I've been going out, taking Noah to things, because it is not fair for him to miss out because his mums gone weird, but in all honesty, I could quite easily not go to any of the events. Just to save on the embarrassing fact that I know I am not as chatty as normal & people may notice.
Noah has still been going to nursery as otherwise he will be sat in front of the tv all day & it gives me time to get the house sorted.

I said just the other day that I wish I had a broken leg because then I feel I would have a verified reason for not going out & especially not being at work.
I feel like a fraudster & I hate letting people down. Which doesn't help when trying to feel better. Everyone says don't worry about work & just worry about yourself, but when you are genuinely worried about work, it's impossible to not think about it.

I'm hoping the meds kick in soon, or that something clicks with me soon because I know that I must be a right drag to be around at the mo! Someone who usually finds lots of things funny, has not laughed properly for a long time!

Someone tell me a good joke?! xx

Monday, 20 October 2014

Striving for normality, failing at every hurdle!

Just a little update into how my week so far has gone with regards to starting to feel better.

The long and short of it is, that at the moment, I don't feel any better at all.

In fact, I feel that I could so easily become a recluse and never do anything ever again. I didn't leave the house for 4 days last week and it was lovely. I could have continued that for a week!

My mum and dad took me out shopping on Saturday and I do believe they were trying to buy me anything I wanted to make me feel happier, which was lovely of them, but there was no way I was going to let them do that! 
Also, I'd rather them save their money so when my mum is paying for lots of different bits for the wedding I won't feel as bad.

So I'm one week into taking more medication and at the moment I just feel shattered continuously. Whether thats because I'm not sleeping great or it is the change, i'm unsure, but I certainly do not want to feel like a zombie.

I need to get my spritely self back and quick! I can't stand feeling like this, its so not me.

We've ordered our wedding invitations and I cannot wait for them to arrive. I'm going to look into booking hotels this week for the wedding and gathering a list of places to let family know where they can stay should they want to. 

I also want Tony to start making a list of where he would like to go on his stag do. Whether it be abroad or here, I just want him to get organised with something!

Just under 9 months to go and I could really do with getting my head straight so I am fully excited about this countdown. I've waited far too long to marry my dream man, I will not let my own head ruin it for me.

I'll keep you all posted as time goes on! x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Mental again

As lots of you who read my blog already know, I'm a little bit mental and suffer with depression and anxiety. 

Whether this is leading on from my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after having Noah or whether I just can't cope with the hectic modern day life, I don't know, but either way I suffer with stress and have no way of dealing with it. 

Just recently it has hit me again, similar to when it hit me the first time. I have no motivation, keep missing things with friends (not helped by my 3 week long cold), don't really want to leave the house and even the wedding plans are not cheering me up. As long as I am with Tony and Noah, i'd be happy to stay at home in comfy clothing all the time. I really to have to force myself to do anything.

I finally got a doctors appointment today, and went to see her to discuss how I am feeling again. Luckily this time I was able to hold in the tears when going to see her, rather than being the blubbering mess I was last time. The first thing I noticed when talking to her, is that I am a complete idiot and haven't been taking the right amount of medication that I was previously prescribed anyway. So I have upped that! She has also increased my dose of the other medication I take, so not only will I hopefully feel better soon, I should also make a lovely musical rattling sound when I walk.

I have been signed off of work again for a while, so that I can hopefully get a grip again, as is expected of me. She has also given me some numbers to contact people for counselling sessions. I will definitely take this opportunity to do that, not that I am a great believer in counselling working. I'll certainly give it a go though, if it could help.

The doctor hit the nail on the head with something she said to me today. She said I am a perfectionist and that I want perfection in every area in my life. This is something that is not possible when you lead a busy life. I want my home, family and work to all be perfect but you cannot juggle all 3 to that high a standard.

So she said, "You cannot let work slip, this is something you get paid to do and you have to deliver to the expected standard. You can however change things at home. Get a cleaner, ironing lady etc to free up an hour or so and stop life being so monotonous".

9 months is all we have until the wedding and once that is over we are 100% getting a cleaner! I just need to think, 9 months..... lets stay focussed on that and look forward to it. Its something I have been looking forward to for so long and I will not let these negative feelings ruin any of it for me! 

Here's to feeling better by Christmas! I'm determined!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Life just gets better at 30!

I yet again haven't blogged for far too long and now have far too much to tell you all. 

Slushy, lovey, dovey post coming up people, get the buckets ready!

Most of you who read this are friends with me on the wonderful Facebook anyway, so will be aware that Tony has just turned 30 years old this weekend. 
I can't quite believe he's 30 to be honest! My not so young toy-boy is now in the prime of his life and it just proves how quick the past years with him have gone.

He was 24 when we first met, with not a care in the world. Young, chubby faced, a bit of a lad and planning on buying a Subaru Impretza having just sold his Fiesta ST. Ahh, the days of not worrying about how much the petrol is going to cost in a car like a Subaru and living at home with the parents!
Most of our days back then were spent drinking, eating and driving from one parents house to another. How amazing those days were! 

Even now I feel a little pang of excitement thinking about Tony texting me the day after we had met on a drunken work night out. I really wasn't expecting it. In my mind, we had ended up randomly drunk snogging and other than work being extremely awkward the Monday after, I thought that would be the last of it.

When we spent the whole of the next day/night texting and him eventually asking me out on a date, I couldn't believe my luck! 
And thats exactly how I still feel now! Having just celebrated his 30th birthday with him, knowing we've so far had the most amazing 5 and half years together, makes me even more excited to grow old with him.

We've had our ups and downs, as has every relationship, especially the 1st year being slightly volatile! But do you know what, I'm kinda glad it was like that! It proved to me that he didn't want to take the easy route with things, and that he truly did want to be with me and make things work. 

The day after Tony's birthday also marks the day he asked me to be his wife! 4 years we have been engaged and considering Tony is someone who never wanted to get married, this means everything to me. I'll never forget we had been together just over a year and was visiting his sister in Yorkshire. We stopped to look at engagement rings and she couldn't believe what she was seeing! Her words were "my brother has changed so much! He really is serious about you"! 

I am still completely head over heels for this guy who makes me laugh daily, drives me insane most of the time, has the immaturity level of a 12 year old and makes me drool over his handsome face at every thought of it.

This makes me want to embrace getting older and make the most of the years we have together.
Roll on being 40 and having another 10 years of memories with this wonderful man.

Happy 30th Birthday Tone! Hope I made it one for you to remember. xxx

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


It's the eve of my blood donor awards speech & I'm feeling nervous!!!!

I've read the speech to Tony finally & I think I'm all set. Well as much as I can be.

My outfit is planned. Smart but not over the top for a lunch time do. Just painted my nails & waiting for them to dry, determined to not smudge them.

Arrrrrgh, I'm not a public speaker & yet tomorrow I'm going to be talking to 200 people who potentially saved my life just over 3 years ago! It's scary & exciting at the same time.

Hoping I sleep well tonight & don't feel too sick tomorrow. At last I get my chance to say thank you.

Wish me luck everyone! :-) xx

Ps one of my best friends, who is one of my bridesmaids next year has given birth to a gorgeous baby boy today. She called me to tell me at work around mid-day & it really cheered me up after having a really bad nights sleep.

Welcome to the world little Jude! Look forward to meeting you & giving you lots of cuddles! xx

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Mr Independant

Just a quick post about my finding tonight when I got home from work.

Tony had a PT client at 5 so Noah was without full on supervision for 5 mins! He had access to the garden where Tony was and had apparently been running up and down the garden minutes before I walked in.

When I opened the front door, I was greeted by Noah in the bathroom (which is downstairs), telling me he had been for a poo on the big toilet. I was all excited, saying "well done mate", whilst taking my bags in the front room. 

I noticed the bath was running and assuming Tony's PT client hadn't yet arrived, thought he must've been in the bathroom with Noah. I noticed a puddle in the kitchen, so I asked Noah what it was and he said "wee wee Mummy". 

I then poked my head in the bathroom to find him running himself a bath, his clothes thrown in the bath already and Noah lifting his t-shirt to show the streak of poo up his back.

I couldn't react quick enough!

Asking him what had happened, he said "I had an accident so did a poo on the big toilet mummy, now I need to wash my clothes as they got wee wee on them". 

Apparently he had started to go for a wee in the kitchen as he couldn't get to the toilet in time, managed to get on the toilet, do a poo, wipe his bum, begin to run a bath ,take his clothes off and throw them in the bath, all in less than 5 minutes!

You wouldn't believe this is the same kid that only 6 weeks ago was too scared to sit on a potty! 

Thats it, I'm throwing it out there........... he learns so quick, he's going to be an absolute genius! :-)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

One Born No More

For someone who is usually obsessed with baby programme's, I've made the decision to not watch One Born Every Minute anymore. 

I usually put these programmes on reminder and record, along with any other midwife programme that I can get my hands on, but I decided I think I need to give these a rest for my own mental health. Me and my friend Leanne used to message each other throughout every episode talking about the programme as we loved it so much!

As you are all aware from me beginning this blog, I can no longer fall pregnant/have babies, something that is heartbreaking to me. I have always been obsessed with baby/midwife programmes, firstly because I always would have loved to have been a midwife and secondly because I love babies. I have thought about it and discussed with Tony that I think they make me worse watching them as not only does it bring back all the thoughts of my disaster birth story, but also makes me so, so broody!

For me to see that these programmes are on t.v and yet I skip the channel, is similar to torture as I so desperately want to watch. But I feel that for me to watch them is more mentally damaging and something that I need to give a miss at the moment.

I have mentioned before that I'm slightly crazy :-) and am currently on medication which is seriously helping (something that I hate to admit as I have always thought they are a placebo), so I need to make other changes in my life which may aid my recovery even more.

I'm unsure as to if its working or not, but I'm confident in saying I definitely feel less broody than when I watch them, so thats got to be a start.

Small steps and all that, but hope I'm getting there, on my route to being 'normal' again.

Well as normal as I could ever be! xx

Friday, 8 August 2014

Coffee nightmare

This morning we woke to find Noah in our bed. Neither of us knew he had got in, neither of us know what time he crept up between us. But that means one thing, he'll be tired for the rest of the day as he obviously woke early.

I haven't seen my friend Leanne for a couple of weeks, so messaged her and we arranged to meet for coffee at the Village hotel.

We sat outside but it quickly began raining, so we moved inside to the small seating area. This is where the fun began. Noah would not stop whinging, moaning, crying, hitting me, dragging the chair across the floor making it squeak, generally annoying everyone in the coffee shop.

I think this went on for about 45 mins before he had pushed me to the limit. I think I had told him about 6 times previous to stop misbehaving and had even given him my phone to let him play with thinking he must be bored..... none of this worked.

The second he began to scream in my face, I decided we would leave the shop which sent him into overdrive. Screaming laying on the floor to the giggles of people around us. I certainly was not giggling. 

As any mum knows, this is the height of embarrassment. You look like you cannot control your child, people would be making remarks such as "she can't control him", "he needs more discipline", "what an awful child". 
Also as any mum knows, this is just children for you. Most of the time they behave, sometimes they don't, especially when tired.

So, we moved outside where Noah continued to cry hysterically for about another 20 mins. We struggled to chat through it, losing track of what we were saying numerous times and barely able to hear each other.

He eventually seemed to cheer up a bit, probably because he could walk around and not be constricted to a chair when he told me he needed a wee. So we went into the toilets, which unfortunately you pass a swimming pool to get to. As we came out of the toilet, he asked to see the swimming pool again, which I was ok with. He was finally happy, so I was not going to stop that.

We met Leanne outside again and he continued to be happy, until he asked to go back in again and the answer was no. The crying began again and he threw himself on the floor. I think we'd got to the end of what we could handle for one day and were going to get going anyway, when Noah announced he wanted to go to Leanne's to see the 'big dogs'. 

As this wasn't an option, I had the screaming child to deal with the whole way home. The picture below sums up exactly the extent of how my coffee date went.

Being a mum is the most rewarding thing in the world, but today has been hard work, all because he's tired. This is why sometimes a night off or a few hours out is nice, to be able to have you time and be able to concentrate on something properly.

Huge apologies for the stressful coffee date Leanne and thank you for not abandoning me, running off into the distance as fast as you could!! 

As you can now see, he's peacefully asleep and I have been able to write this post!

The joys of motherhood! 

Friday, 1 August 2014

NHS Blood Donor Awards

As some of you have read previously, I have been asked to be a guest speaker at the Blood Donor awards in September of this year. 

I have finally got round to writing my speech and I must admit, it brought back a few feelings I haven't felt in a while. Especially pulling my hospital notes out and making sure I was getting all of my facts correct. 

I have copied it below for you all to read if you have the time. It is quite lengthy!  I think it will be a teary day for me and I shall definitely have a packet of tissues to hand.

NHSBT Donor Awards Ceremony - Croydon Park Hotel - 18th September 2014

Good afternoon everyone. My name is Sara Miles and I firstly want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity to be a guest speaker at the Donor Awards Ceremony.
I am here with my fiance Tony and 3 year old son Noah, and I think I can safely say my speech today comes with as much gratitude from them as it does from me.

The reason I am here today, telling you my story, is because I feel I need to be able to say thank you in some way, and this is how I can do that.

In November 2010 we were overjoyed by the news that we had finally fallen pregnant! After a previous miscarriage in May of 2010 and then 6 months of trying, it was a welcome relief to finally see those 2 blue lines on the pregnancy test. 
After telling family, and booking an early 6 week scan to put our minds at rest, we had finally reached Xmas and were ready for our 12 week scan which meant we could sing our good news from the rooftops!

Everything with the pregnancy was fine and we hurriedly started saving a deposit for our first home, hoping to buy somewhere before the baby arrived. Nothing like leaving everything to the last minute and doing 2 hugely stressful things at the same time!

I was due in July 2011 and in the April we treated ourselves to a 4D scan as we were so impatient to wait another 14 weeks to see our babies face. We weren't finding out the sex of the baby, so we had lots of pictures of the little ones face, something I am now so grateful that we did.

We also found and bought a house at the end of April, completely chain free and we had exchanged contracts and collected the keys by the 1st June. This is when our lives first became hectic! We had a house that needed gutting, a complete refurb including re-wiring and central heating installing all in 4 weeks as my due date was 5th July! I think we knew we were pushing it, but we were certainly going to give it a go! I finished work on 25th June ready for a week and half of maternity leave hopefully before little one would make an appearance.

Regardless of being heavily pregnant, I was insistent on wanting to do lots of DIY myself. So much so that on the 4th July, me and my mum were painting the front room. I was up high on a chair, rolling paint onto freshly plastered walls, the day before my due date.

The plan the following day, my due date, was to go to the bank, buy some bedding to set up our bedroom and head over to the house to set it all up. My body on the other hand, had other idea’s!
I woke up feeling a little tender and realised quite quickly that things were starting! I rang Tony, my fiancĂ©, at work to tell him that I thought things were on the move, but obviously very early on and that I would keep him posted. 
My brother ran me into town as I thought it best I didn't drive and then I went back to my parents to relax. My mum finished work at around 5pm and we decided to still head to Dunelm to buy some bedding. Whilst walking around the shop, I was stopping every so often to deep breath through my contractions. It was like something you see in a film! When my mum suggested that we headed back to hers rather than me set up our bedroom, I was devastated, but in hindsight it was the best option.

I called Tony at work on the way back to my parents, as he wasn't due to finish work until 8 and informed him that my contractions were approx 7 minutes apart. His words were “I’ve got time to finish my shift though haven't i”? Typical!

The next few hours were a pretty long night of pain and breathing through contractions and after going to bed for half hour and listening to Tony sleep, I had to get up and pace the front room. At around 1:30am on 6th July, I called the hospital and they told me to come in and be checked. We eventually made it to the delivery suite at Maidstone Hospital at 2am and I was checked immediately. I was 2-3 cm dilated and was told I could stay on the ward but Tony had to go home. Luckily his parents lived 5 minutes from the hospital but it still meant a long lonely night on my own at the hospital on a extremely quiet ward, trying not to be too noisy through my contractions. I didn't sleep and at 8am when Tony arrived back, I was checked again and was finally 4cm! I was transferred to the delivery suite and the birthing pool was filled ready for me to get into.

I began gas and air, amazing stuff, which made me giggle lots at first and then I submerged myself into the warm birthing pool which eased the pain so much. Gas and air blurs a lot of the next few hours for me, but having read my notes, my labour was progressing normally and I reached 8 cm before my waters broke. I kept asking the midwife if they had broke, but it soon became apparent that I certainly didn't need to ask because when they did, the noise I made resembled a wild animal fighting for its life! I was then 9 cm and I was on the home straight!

This is when things started to go a little wrong with the labour. The midwife needed me to get out of the birthing pool to check me properly and I stated that if I had to get out, I didn't want to get back in. I ended up having an edpidural, my cervix had swollen back to 8 cm and the babies heart rate was dropping. They noticed that the baby had pooed and was showing signs of distress. After trying to get me to push a few times, it was decided an instrumental delivery would be best in theatre. I was so tired and worried, I just wanted to know that the baby would be safe.

Within 5 minutes of deciding on a forceps delivery, they had changed their minds and I was going down for a caesarean section. I had my epidural topped up with a spinal block and Tony had donned his gown. Very George Clooney in his ER days!

As far as I am aware, the C-Section went well and baby Noah was born at 20:16pm on 6th July 2011 weighing 8lb 1oz and adorning a head of ginger hair!

45 minutes later I was back up in the delivery suite but if i’m honest the rest is information I have been told by Tony, family members and my hospital notes as I don’t remember much.
I was not really with it, quite dozy and felt sick. My blood pressure was quite low but that is to be expected after major surgery.
Within 15 minutes of being back in the room, my stats had become worse and the medical team started me on a drip to increase my blood pressure. I instantly felt better after I had received this fluid but this cycle happened another 3 times. Me feeling unwell, almost unresponsive, fluid given, felt better. My uterus was being checked the whole time to make sure it was contracted and my blood loss was being monitored. 

At 10:40pm my hospital notes state that my blood pressure had dipped to 101/15 and I was very pale and lethargic. The registrar was called and I was examined as they knew something wasn't right. I had a brisk blood loss of 2.5 litres there and then in the delivery room, in front of Tony, which must have scared him so much. By this point, I have no recollection at all of anything that was happening. I had my bloods taken so that they could send for blood and 4 units of cross matched O negative was requested urgently as I am type A negative.

The decision was made to return to theatre at that point.

I believe they tried everything that night to stop me bleeding, but regardless of any procedure they used, they couldn't stop me losing blood at a fast rate. I was told that I bled the hospital dry of A negative and they had to have more biked in especially to keep me going! 

After a little while in Intensive Care where they believed they had stopped the bleeding, they soon realise they hadn't and took me back to theatre to perform a life saving hysterectomy, which ended the bleeding immediately. 
In my notes it states that I lost 8 litres of blood that night  and received 12 units of blood to keep me alive.

As I look around this room, and see all of you who give blood, I cannot ever explain fully how eternally grateful I am for what you have done for me. 

Because of you, blood donors, I survived and have seen my little boy grow up to be the cheeky ginger 3 year old he is now. My son, Noah, has a mum and doesn't just get shown pictures of me to explain who I am. He knows how my voice sounds, how I smell, and how much I love him, something he wouldn't be aware of if it wasn't for you amazing people.

My beloved Tony. He went through hell and back that night, as did my parents and siblings. He truly believed I wasn’t coming back and If it wasn't for you heroes, he would be a single dad, bringing Noah up on his own whilst grieving for the loss of his fiance.

I cant ever repay you all for the gift you have given me, but by telling you all how your selfless good deed helps save lives, I hope it gives you a sense of pride and worth that you all deserve.

You are my knights in shining armour, my Superman, my Wonder woman…….. my heroes.

Thank you.

Danson Park

I've been meaning to do a 'day out' post for a while now & since receiving so many questions about a park we have visited a few times this summer, I thought it was time to give you all some info on it.

Danson Park is in Bexleyheath and is a beautiful park, not far off the motorway. You need to take the second exit for Bexleyheath off of the A2, and it should be signposted from there. If you like to plan ahead, google it and the directions are easy to find.

It is free to park Monday to Friday, but on weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays, it is £2. This is all you have to pay for once there. 

There is the splash park, which this summer has been a godsend for us. Noah absolutely loves it. 

The playground is amazing with things for all ages. There is a part for small children, with little slides and sit on toys. Then there are the big slides and climbing frames for the older children.

If you go to Danson Park at the weekend, you will be able to hire a rowing boat and take to the lake with oars in hand! Life jackets are available! The rowing boats are at an extra cost but they are something a little different if you fancy giving them a go!

There are extensive park grounds that you can choose to picnic on, play football or frisbee and generally laze around. Dogs are welcome in the grounds so you will be sure to find a pooch sniffing around your legs at some point through your visit.

The Danson House is a very impressive looking building which serves as wedding venue now. You can also stop there for cream tea if you fancy it, whilst sitting looking out to the lake.

The pub within the grounds is lovely for a spot of food or somewhere to retreat to if the weather has changed. It is a lovely family welcome pub, and also allows dogs to enter. The price is standard for pub food and a huge car park is available directly out the front.

I cannot recommend this park enough. It is a great day out with fun for all ages readily available. Even us big kids enjoy the splash park really! 

Thursday, 10 July 2014

General life & all that jazz....

So since I last wrote a post I've been down in the dumps, had time off work, been back to work & am now on annual leave with my little family. The 'happy pills' have started to work, I think! I managed to sit in the doctors waiting room without having a panic attack which is an improvement.

I've had a few social gatherings to attend. One being a BBQ for our friend Noemi's birthday. This ended up quite a drunk affair where we were sipping champagne & cassis 'darlings' as well as drinking beakers of wine! Always a classy affair! Then being such a spritely young thing, I was out drinking again the next night.... Bleurrrrrgh! 
This was a Kisstory 90's night, which had me singing & dancing all night long! Old school garage music is my thing & I was devastated when it finished at 2!

Our annual leave began with me going to see the Libertines at Hyde Park with one of my best friends Lianne. We used to have a thing for Pete Doherty & I must admit I still love him a bit even with the dirt & grime!
This event was slightly different to how we used to go about attending an open air music festival, in that Lianne is 7 months pregnant & we're both old! Still, we had a brilliant time & I managed to have a row on train! So rock 'n' roll! 

The next day was Noah's 3rd birthday, and as we raised the blinds, the rain was falling and our idea of a bbq was feeling a little down the pan. Luckily as it has every year, by the time people started arriving, the sun came out. We had decided against a party this year and so only invited the grandparents and Noah's friends from his baby group. I didn't do party bags, there were no games, just the kids running around like maniacs and 'Spiderman' (Noah) saving everyone.

These 2 weeks off work are for us to potty train Noah and so far this isn't going well. He has been naked all week and still holds in his wee until bursting point before he will let it out. Hopefully by the end of the second week he will be ok with going on the potty but we can only get him to stand above it rather than sit on it. That will be fun when trying to aim a poo!

We had our engagement photo shoot done with our wedding photographer this week too which surprisingly we enjoyed! We're waiting for our photographs to come back now and I am so excited to see them. If anyone is looking for a wedding photographer, please consider Yolanda. She is so lovely and made us feel completely at ease. 

Something we are attending at the weekend is a fun day, arranged by my friend Dawn and a committee of people, for a young boy from Sheppey who was injured when hit by a car a few years back. If anyone is at a loose end with no plans on Saturday, please think about attending the fun day! There are lots of activities to take part in, stalls and general good fun. It's called 'Smiles 4 Miles', 12pm at Sheppey Rugby Club.

And last but most certainly not least me and my friends Keeley & Bex are taking part in the Race for life at Mote Park on Sunday. I was planning on running it, but as Keeley decided to get herself pregnant (so happy for her!) we have agreed we will all walk it together and have a gossip on the way round. 
This is something as most of you are aware, means a lot to me and my family, so want to raise as much money for this cause as possible. You can donate via our Just Giving page and every little helps!

I cannot wait to have 'Eve - Survivor' written on my race number!

Bit of a long post, but felt I had lots of catching up to do! Must post more often and do more informative blog posts for everyone. You guys must be bored of reading my diary!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Anxiety blah blah blah....

A few of my closest friends know I've been having a hard time of late, but as I am not one to keep things to myself, I thought I'd do a little post on how I've been feeling.

Stressed out doesn't come close to how bad I've felt. Any little thing that has annoyed me has almost sent me over the edge. Silly little things & I'm off ranting, having heart palpitations & having chest pains. 

It's not been any one thing in particular, but an accumulation of lots of things. My job is fine, certain aspects of my role are not. My life feels like it's 100 miles per hour every day. I've been doing too much hair after work & now that Tony does private PT sessions, I feel like we have no quality time.

Then there's the whole "I'm so broody & yet there's nothing I can do about it" saga. This is going to be a lifelong battle when it comes to dealing with my anxiety/depression. 

I finally bit the bullet & went to the doctors. After having a mini panic attack just sitting in the waiting room (I know, I'm weird), I was wondering how I'm going to get across to her how I feel. How am I going to make her realise I'm serious about how I feel & that I don't want to feel like this anymore? 
I realised the second she asked me how I was & I cried the entire appointment that I didn't have to try & get anything through to her!

So she's helped me out, really the most understanding doctor ever & I am grateful how much she listened to me. 

I can't go without saying just how great Tony is with me too. If there's any two people who can make me feel better, it's my two boys. 

I'm glad I went to get this sorted now though as three years is a long time to have left it I think & it's just getting worse.

Hopefully now on the road to feeling good, without worry & stress dominating my life!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Feeling broody.....

So this happens every so often, especially when I have seen a new born baby, that I feel very broody again! 

We wouldn't have been trying for another baby until after the wedding next year and when Noah had gone to school (we couldn't afford it otherwise), but I just see a little baby or see Noah playing on his own and have a real urge for another baby at some point.

I have these moments where I'm happy with Noah being an only child and can't imagine loving another child as much as I love Noah, but then I worry he's going to be lonely and bored growing up with just us. 

My mum was an only child as is my best friend and they both assure me he will not be bored and its quite nice not having to share things, including us as parents! Plus Noah could end up with a best friend which takes the place of a sibling (like me, ay Bex)!

Tony always knows when I'm broody again as I mention the fact that if we were rich we could afford surrogacy. He must think "here she goes again, I thought we'd moved on from this and were going to get a nice car instead" :-)
He's good with it all though and is more than aware its going to be a constant emotional battle for the rest of my life. 

I just wonder if there will every be a time when these sort of thoughts are not at the forefront of my mind? Its becoming exhausting! Almost 3 years now I have been battling the thoughts of the second child I will never have and I do a good job of hiding my true feelings. 
I've almost started to kid myself!

Food allergies be gone.....

As some of you know, Noah suffers with eczema quite badly and there was a list as long as your arm of foods he couldn't eat as it brought his skin up in blisters.

We had a hospital appointment for his skin prick test so after the worst journey of my life, encountering donkey hill in the rain due to the main route to Leysdown being closed, we made it to Medway. Albeit it 20 minutes late, but we made it.

With the appointment letter, I received a story to tell Noah about what happens during the skin prick test. All about how it doesn't hurt because of the special water and the nurse is so nice etc.
Well the nurse was nice, but there was no special water! So all 12 needle pricks on his spine was followed by an immediate scream and complete sobbing. It was awful! I hate seeing Noah cry like that and it takes me back to when he had his operation 2 years ago.

We then had to wait for 10 minutes, the whole time Noah still crying and moaning that he wanted his t-shirt on. That was hard work!

When we were eventually called back in, I could see that he had only had a reaction to one of the tests! I couldn't believe that only one thing had come up.

So it turns out he's not allergic to the strawberries, tomatoes, fish, oranges, chocolate etc that we have always thought and instead just has a nut allergy! Nuts were on the list as when I gave him nutella before, his skin was the worst it has ever been, but he has a proper nut allergy! Not just because of his eczema!
Now, I was thinking this opens up a lot more options for what Noah can eat but nuts are in everything! Vegetable oil being one and that really is in every list of ingredients.

So its going to be a new learning curve, but seeing him munching on pizza with me yesterday whilst watching Harry Potter made me smile. Its so good to see him eating more than just chicken! 

Monday, 5 May 2014

Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Rail

I'm often trying to find new things to do with Noah, places we can take him, especially now the days are getting warmer.

Luckily one of my good friends (Lianne) husband works the same weekends as Tony, so we often find ourselves and our 'darling' two year olds at a bit of a loss together with what to do with them to keep them entertained. Theres only so much Toy Story I can watch! 

Lianne came up with the idea of the little railway that runs in Sittingbourne. We didn't have a clue where it went from, how long it was, how much etc, so I googled it and we decided we'd do that on the sunny bank holiday Sunday.

To find the station, park behind KFC on the business estate. There is a free car park for the light rail and it is well signposted where you need to walk to find the platform.

It was such a lovely little trip! Its an old steam train and at the end of the line there is a cafe, picnic area and play ground for the children. The kids can do a little quiz and there is the station cat ready to scare the kids.... well scare ours anyway the wimps! It really is a quaint little place.

Under 3's go free, over 3's is £3 and adults £6.

Bargain day out, with lots of lovely like minded people and their children.

A little catch up.....

Yet again time has flown by and I've not updated my blog for an age.

I honestly feel like if life doesn't slow down soon, I will internally combust. Its crazy that we are already in May and all getting ready for the summer.

So, what has happened lately? 

Tony has set up a gym in our garden so that he can start offering PT sessions to anyone who wants to lose a few pounds or change their body shape. I know he's my other half and I would sing his praises regardless, but he truly does know his stuff. He has helped me no end, although lets face it, I find it hard to listen to him. Its the equivalent of being taught to drive by your significant other! 
Its his true passion though to do PT work for a living, so he really does enjoy it and fingers crossed it pays off for him in the near future. As I said to him, you need to take these chances in life, for it to ever work. His company is called Top Condition Personal Training and if anyone want to check it out he's on Facebook, Twitter and has a website.

We booked an impromptu holiday to Portugal, 5 days before we went! It all began with me saying that work was really stressing me out lately. I feel I never have enough time with Noah and with saving for the wedding, a holiday was out the window. Tony started looking for a 2 night stay at Euro Disney, something which costs an absolute fortune!!! I told him that Noah can wait for Florida when he's nine! Instead, we started searching for a week away somewhere sunny. The prices were amazing, so before we knew it, we had booked it and was packing our cases. Sorry...... did I say we?!?! Let me rephrase.... I began packing our cases.

The holiday was everything we needed and more. Us three, together, in the sun, no work just the beach and swimming pool. I couldn't thank Tony enough for booking it and we did not want to come home.

We have been home just over a week and already the holiday feels forever ago. I'm trying my hardest not to let work stress me out, but thats never going to happen. I don't know why I let it bother me, but I do, because ultimately its something I don't want to be doing and it is taking me away from spending time with Noah. As well as the job is actually really stressful! 

One of my bestest friends recently went back to work and was finding the process really difficult. I told her the way I think of it is, what do I remember from being 2, 3, 4, 5 years old? Not much to be honest. In fact I don't even remember my first day at school, let alone a fun day I had at home with my mum. I do however remember things I did when I was older, say 9, 10 years old. By going to work now, ensuring we have a good salary coming in, means we can make their memories when they are older, even better than what they would be. Holidays to Florida, endless days out, all the things we need to work now for to make happen.

I know some people say that its not all about money, but when you have NO option but to work, you have to try and put a positive spin on it some how. We don't qualify for any tax credits etc, even with me not working at all, and me not working is not an option. I would not put that stress on Tony to have to earn a certain amount, to have to pay for us as a family all the time when it would be a struggle. I always think he would love to be at home as much as me, so why should I get that perk if he doesn't? 
I don't mean to offend anyone who is in a position to stay at home, but as a working mum, you often feel you have to justify why you work and how you could possibly leave your little cherub to go to work, like we want to do that. Don't get me started on the subject because when I'm on my soap box I won't get off!

Unless of course his PT stuff takes off and he's a successful business man...... then stuff that crap, i'm not working :-P

Life just seems very busy at the moment as always and I could probably cry when I talk about it. But there will be a day, not too far away the speed with which these years are passing by, that we sit back and say wow that was a lot of fun........ we're bored!