It’s A Boy!

So yeah as you can probably already see from the title. We are having a baby boy ❤

It’s been one hell of a rough pregnancy so far. We’ve had a fair few complications for the mere 23 weeks and 5 days that I am. From being told that I have low hormone levels, extra scans and appointments, an amniocentesis, and recently being told I might have to deliver baby as early as 32 weeks. It’s safe to say that I am well and truly stressed! As I’m writing this, baby is kicking away as he has done on and off all day. Honestly, it’s the best feeling ever. ❤

When we first started talking about starting to try for a baby. I cut down on the amount of alcohol I would drink (not that it was a lot anyway) I cut down on coffee (this was a challenge and a half) I started eating better and exercising more regularly. I took pre-conception tablets. I literally did everything I could think of to better our chances of getting pregnant. Once we found out in early October that we were indeed pregnant, I continued to nurture and love my body as much as possible. I would like to add, not that I regret any of this. BUT, I can’t help but feel a bit devastated that I’m having quite so many complications, even after doing everything to make the pregnancy go well. I kind of have this element of guilt, like it’s my fault, like it’s my body thats failing. I know it’s not, everyone keeps telling me that it’s just how it is and there is nothing I could have done to prevent these problems. I guess I feel responsible as it’s my job to grow a healthy baby.

The hospital will be closely monitoring myself and baby. My next scan is in 3 weeks so I’m hoping that baby grows on schedule. I’m just trying to stay focused and positive. Everything is just so uncertain at the minute and I’m finding that hard to deal with. I feel like I can’t focus on anything else. Right now, nothing else matters as much as bringing our little baby into this world safely.

But you know what, despite the stress, the heartache and the uncertainty, I can’t wait to meet our little boy. We are going to love him so much!

Much love, Hannah x

How I Really Feel Being Pregnant.

I’ll be honest I’ve been struggling to put this post into words. Feeling confident within myself before getting pregnant was difficult. Now that I am pregnant, I feel as though my body confidence changes quite drastically day to day.

On Friday it was Valentines Day, Josh made plans for us to have a three course dinner at a local restaurant that I’ve really wanted to go to for a while. I got dressed up, put some makeup on and I was amazed at just how confident that made me feel.

I feel like I’ve waited for the best part of a month for this “pregnancy glow” and energy that everyone talks about. I definitely feel as though I have more energy than I did during the first trimester though. (Thank goodness for that!)

I’ve been feeling as though I’m not as happy as I should be during this pregnancy. I feel guilty for not enjoying it as much as I think I should be. In my mind I should be ecstatic about the new chapter ahead. I should love my body unconditionally for the incredible thing that it’s doing. I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed about the prospect of becoming a mum. It’s a scary concept! I’m learning to accept these feelings of uncertainty as normal. I’m learning to understand that it is a scary but exciting new chapter of my life. I’m currently waiting on therapy to help with these thoughts.

If you’ve followed me for a while or you know me personally, you’ll know that I’ve struggled with my mental health for a large majority of my life. Before getting pregnant I decided that I would stop taking the anti-depressants that I had been taking for about 2 and a half years. I worked alongside my doctor for 6 months to do this safely. I’m so proud of myself for getting to a place where I didn’t need them anymore. I’ve had a lot of therapy in the past, and that really helped me too.

Getting pregnant happened very quickly for us which I feel so blessed about. During the first trimester my emotions were like a rollercoaster. Although I have to admit that my hormones have calmed down a bit I have been having days (mostly moments) where I just cry or I get so overwhelmed. I’m told by my midwife that it’s normal?

I feel as though people don’t talk much about how pregnancy affects their mental health as they’re afraid of being judged or that people will think they won’t be able to cope when the baby gets here. For me, although I do share those fears too. I’m really looking forward to baby’s arrival and I’m so excited to become a mum. There are however moments that are overshadowed by my mental health, and the doubts and fears that I have in my mind. Because I’ve struggled with my mental health in the past, those fears and doubts are somewhat exaggerated and overwhelming to deal with. But I think that it’s vital to establish that having mental health problems does no way determine the type of person or parent you will become.

I struggle with my mental health and whilst being pregnant I’m almost vulnerable to having more intense feelings about how I’m coping, but thats okay. It’s so important to reach out and ask for help. It doesn’t make you a bad person and it certainly doesn’t make you a bad mum.

I hope to talk more about my mental health during this pregnancy and I would encourage others to do so too. ❤

Thank you for reading,

Hannah x

I’m Pregnant

It’s been such a long time since I’ve written a post on here, I’ve really missed it! A lot has happened:
– I’ve changed jobs, (yes, again!)
– Josh and I decided that we would try for a baby.
– Josh and I found out we were pregnant in October.
– In November we moved out of our small 1 bedroom apartment to a beautiful house.
– We spent Christmas in our new home.

I’ve decided that I want to re-start blogging again. I’m kinda anxious about getting back into it but I’m sure I will feel right at home in no time.

So tell me, what type of content would you like to see from me?

Be sure to follow me over on Instagram too:
https://www.instagram.com/paint_me_a_smile_/

Talk soon,
Hannah x

Taming My Mind.

Dear Journal,

Its been such a long time since I’ve written in this section of the blog.

I guess in many ways I felt as though it was a bit redundant, irrelevant almost. Being in recovery brings thoughts and questions of “How on earth did I ever feel that low?!”

Over the past two months, I’ve been working closely with my therapist and my doctor to reduce my medication. There are a couple of reasons for this:

No.1: I don’t want to take medication anymore. I want to see how I can cope without it. I want to see how I am, unmediated.

No.2: the boyfriend and I have talked about trying for a baby towards the end of the year. There are too many risks during pregnancy being on these tablets. Plus, I want to breastfeed.

Anyway, back to the point, the medication has to be reduced twice more before I will be medication free. I’m told it will take another 3 months, which isn’t that long to be honest.

Recently, I have been struggling though. A lot more than I have done in the past year. Admittedly, there are many factors as to what is contributing to this. A couple of weeks ago I had an operation on my foot. I am unable to work. (Big big knockdown for me) and no gym. Also massive knockdown. I am stressed to the max.

Yesterday I admitted to my boyfriend that I didn’t want to be alive anymore. In that moment, I really did mean it. Although upon reflection, I know that’s not how i truly feel. I’m just struggling and drowning and I can’t seem to drag myself out of this pit that just seems to be getting deeper and deeper.

I know that its going to be okay. I know that when I look back at these past few days in a few months time I will congratulate myself for pushing through. I just know it! It’s just at this moment in time, I don’t see the light. It’s just dark.

But that’s okay.

Tomorrow, it’s a new day. New beginning. New things to achieve. And new goals to set.

Until then, enjoy the rest of your evening.

Much love,

Hannah x

# We All Have A Story.

After seeing this hashtag going around on Twitter this morning I just knew that I had to get involved. Created by The Blurt Foundation. I’m all about things like this, it’s such a fantastic way to get people talking about mental health. Raising awareness about mental health needs to be taken more seriously than it ever has done before. It’s important that people feel that they can reach out without feeling pressured or embarrassed.

I came across Me and My Mental Health Matter’s Blog and loved the questions they used so I decided that I would answer the same questions on here.

When did you first notice your condition?

I think I was first aware of my condition from the age of 13. I didn’t fully understand or know exactly what it was. I just knew that I didn’t feel ‘right’. I didn’t fit in, but not in a ‘normal’ typical teenage not fitting in way, as many people around me felt thats the phase I was going through. I knew something was wrong and that I didn’t feel right.

It wasn’t till the age of 18 that my doctors finally gave me the ‘depression and anxiety’ label.

When did you first get help for your condition? 

I first saw a school councillor at the age of 15. She helped me with stress management. That was the first time I was introduced to breathing techniques and meditation.

I saw three different therapists throughout my time at University. As well as a crisis team and sought help from the A&E department.

Do you take medication?

Yes. Over the past 6 years I’ve taken it on and off. At the moment I take two different dosages of Venlafaxine. It’s the only one I’ve been on that’s worked. Before Venlafaxine, no medication was working so my doctor referred me to a psychiatrist and they doubled my dose. I’ve been on this dose for the past year and 8 months. I will probably be on them for the rest of my life, but to be honest, if they help me live my life then I am okay with that.

What do you miss out on because of your condition?

In short, yes I do miss out on some things. But, as I get older I realise that my life is what I make it. Travel makes me anxious at times, but I take small journeys to challenge myself.

Would you get rid of your condition if you could?

No. I don’t think I would. It would have made my life a hell of a lot easier, but I wouldn’t have the acceptance and compassion for life that I have now. Yes there are many situations that make me anxious. There are days I feel like I can’t face the world. There are days where I feel like I can’t ‘do life’ anymore. But, I keep fighting. I keep living each day as it comes because I might feel depressed and hopeless one day but the next day I might wake up and be happy.

We All Have A Story. It’s your story and everyones is different. Keep fighting and pushing for what you want in life.

Life is so worth it.

Much love,
Hannah x

Be Your Own Best.

Dear Reader,

I wanted to start this post off as a dear journal post, however as I thought more about what I wanted to write I thought that a lot of you would relate and be feeling the same too.

Its so easy to get caught up in pushing yourself to do more, or do better. I am also very guilty of this.

I have just finished a at home yoga session with one of my favourite yoga instructors on YouTube. The session was aimed for times when you might be feeling stressed. I guess its not secret to those around me that I put a huge amount of pressure on myself to do more and be better so this session seemed appropriate.

I’ve made it my daily mission over the past week or so to try and not stress the little things and OMG has it been difficult! Its so easy to allow myself to fly off the handle about bits on the floor, and washing left on the side and don’t get me started on the time I thought we had ran out of mayonnaise. I’m on a bit of a tangent now though, the point is, life is too short.

All of the stress that we carry around on a daily basis ultimately causes us more emotional and physical pain in tbe future.

I like the saying, live for today…

Because its true. Just do your best and remind yourself that you’re doing your best and you deserve to be loved.

Keep being you and I will see you in a video I’m currently preparing to put up tomorrow.

Much love,

Hannah x

I’ve Come So Far.

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It has taken me years to be brave enough to walk around comfortably in a t-shirt.
I walked around Calais last weekend in shorts and a t-shirt.

It was such an achievement for me! 👍🏻💛

⭐️ Your mental health does not define you.

⭐️ Your scars do not define you.

⭐️ Your struggles are a sign of your inner strength.

Keep being you and you will go far. Work on accepting who you are and where you want to go. Make no apologies for who you are and just do your best!

Much love,

Hannah x

Why Building Confidence Has Become My No. 1 Goal!

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Confidence is always something that I’ve struggled with. Over the past year or so I’ve been trying my upmost best to build up my confidence.

I often feel like I am trying to prove to myself that I can do things. I can go to the shops by myself. I can get on that train by myself. To be quite honest I feel a bit strange writing this down because if you’ve followed me for a while you will know that I moved away for university. I also went and lived in South Korea by myself.

So for someone who has lived alone and managed to move halfway across the world, how can they struggle with confidence?

Well to tell you the truth I go through phases of being confident and then being withdrawn. Some days I feel like I can do anything. Then other days it’s like I don’t have any confidence and I just want to hide away.

It’s very frustrating, I want to be confident.

To build my confidence I have tried to make myself do small things. Maybe I will walk to the shop by myself. Maybe I will go and sit in a coffee shop for an hour or so. or maybe I will get on a bus and go to a nearby town for the day. Like I said, some days all of those things are so easy and enjoyable to accomplish and I quite often don’t even think about it. Other days its a chore to do those things.

One of the things I learnt whilst doing CBT was to reward the things that you find difficult. I try and set myself goals of the things I want to achieve. Once I achieve a goal I make sure that I reward myself for doing it. My CBT therapist always emphasised the importance of this technique as it trains the brain to recognise the goal as a positive thing rather than something to be anxious/scared about.

Over the coming week I’m going to be working on taking walks by myself. You might be aware that I’ve just moved to a new place so I’m working on making myself feel more comfortable here. I think this is a very positive step for me so I’m looking forward to achieving this goal. I think that it will do wonders for my confidence. 😀

What techniques do you use to build your confidence?

– Hannah ❤

Love Yourself.

I feel like I spend a lot of my time reminding people to love themselves and I find that I neglect to love myself.

Today I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Its going to be a very emotionally changing next few months. I need to remember to not be too hard on myself. Maybe once in a while I need to cut myself some slack.

✨ I am doing my best.

And if I have a bad day. I need to remind myself of this:

✨ Things WILL get better.

I’ve also been asking myself this (it’s also a quote btw)
“Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?”

I’m so guilty of writing off an entire day as a bad day when in fact, realistically it was probably just a bad couple of hours.

Here are a few things that I have tried to remind myself of today:

✨ Always make time for yourself.

✨ Be brave.

✨Be bold.

✨ Value yourself.

✨ Celebrate the things you love.

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic day! 

–  Hannah ❤

I’m Moving to Kent.

I'm Moving

So, I’ve been keeping this quite quiet for a little while now. I’m so happy that I can now tell everyone about it!

At the beginning of March I will be moving in with my boyfriend. It’s going to be so great to see him everyday rather than just once a month. I can imagine that going from being long distance to living together will present a few issues, but I’m so confident that we are both going to love it.

I’m so excited to start this next chapter of our lives together. I’m looking forward to sharing this new part of my life with you all.

Do you have any advice for moving in with your boyfriend? It would be greatly appreciated.

– Hannah ❤