I had a baby!


So I just re-read my last blog post and I realised I promised to update my blog before my due date and that absolutely didn't happen, so if you care, sorry. 

After 20 weeks my pregnancy was a breeze to be honest. The second trimester was absolutely delightful and I had so much energy! 

I worked up until Christmas and then went onto maternity leave, which to be honest was probably a bit early as the next few months DRAGGED.

I got to the third trimester and wow my energy disappeared. I had soooo much to sort but all I wanted to do was sleep! I actually had naps pretty much everyday, which is something I never do. 

After Christmas my bump grew quite a lot! Before then I didn't feel like I had a bump but I noticed in photos from New Years Eve that I looked absolutely huge, which honestly felt amazing after ages of feeling like I was just a bit chubby!


The next few months were spent getting the final touches ready for the baby and just relaxing really. 

The only negatives about the third trimester was the fact that I got acid reflux every single night and also had ridiculous back pain. Oh, and I was constantly weeing. 

It got to 37 weeks which is when you're classed as "full term" and my midwife told me that the baby was engaged and she probably wouldn't see me again because she thought the baby was going to be a bit early. 

WELL, from hearing that I decided I'd try everything in my power to get baby moving and get her out before her due date. I just didn't want her to be an Aquarius so I was hoping she'd be born after the 20th of Feb. 

I tried walking a lot more, doing loads of the cleaning, eating curries, clary sage baths, eating pineapple, whatever I could think of to get her out of the womb. Would she budge? Course not. 

On Saturday 27th February, I woke up feeling constipated and was having pains as if I needed to go for a poo but I just couldn't poo. My mum told me that when she went into labour for the first time, this was the sort of pains she had, so I was convinced it was the start for me. 

I spent that morning bouncing on my birthing ball, breathing through these pains. I then took a nap because I thought if this was labour, I want to get as much sleep as I could so I had a lot of energy. 

Well, was it labour? Was it eck. I was just constipated. But I was still convinced this was the start of my labour and was extra cautious of anything that happened over the next few days. I had a curry that evening which did absolutely nothing and then I ate a pineapple the next day to try and speed things up. Still nothing. 

Me and Lew took a little walk out to see if that would do anything but nope, nothing. I also couldn't walk far because she was sitting on my bladder and I needed a wee pretty much as soon as we started the walk.

By Monday, I was quite tired and just spent some time relaxing and having a bath. I felt a bit deflated because I wanted to keep getting walks in to speed up the process but I just didn't have the energy which was so annoying. 

On Wednesday, me and my dad decided to take another walk and I managed to do 13,000 steps that day which is probably the most I'd done in a very long time. 

Now here comes the gruesome stuff so exit this if you don't want to hear everything about our child's birth. 

On Thursday 4th March, I woke up every hour of the night for a wee, which was SO annoying. At 4.30am I went to the toilet and noticed a pinkish discharge which I thought was probably me starting to lose my mucus plug. I got so excited but got back into bed. About 6:25am I woke up again as this is when Lew gets up for work and I went to the toilet whilst he stayed in bed. This time I had definitely got my "bloody show". I'd never been so excited in my life, I shouted Lew and told him and even though people have there's and still don't go into labour for a few weeks, I was so excited that this could potentially be the start. 

Immediately after the bloody show I started get pains that felt like period pains and I just immediately knew this was it. My baby was going to be here on her due date! 

Lew didn't want to go into work and he felt like I was going to call him mid-morning to say I needed taking to the hospital. The next few hours was spent having a bath, on the birthing ball and getting some food inside me ready for our daughter's arrival. 

The pains didn't really increase until a lot later in the day, approx. 4pm they were becoming more regular and I remember saying to my mum - oh I just don't even believe this is labour. 

It's only as Lew was getting home they really started to get intense. Lew had time to get a shower and then I was in need for him to ring the birth centre to see what we had to do next. By this point I was having 3 within 10/15 minutes lasting between 30-45 seconds so I knew this is what they class as established labour. I also was using the Freya App (from the hypnobirthing course I did) to track my contractions and this notified me that I was in established labour. The midwife told Lew that I needed to be having 3 within 10 minutes lasting 45 seconds over a 30 minute period before I needed to come in. 

It got to just before 8pm, the Liverpool game had just started, we was eating our tea and I really couldn't manage it. I was standing up eating because the pain was that intense I couldn't sit down. 

Lew called the birth centre again and they told us to come in, as we were 20 minutes away anyway. He got the car and my dad helped me to it because I had to keep stopping when a contraction came. 

I'm so grateful for the Freya app because I was needing this to help me breathe through each contraction. 

Lew put some calming music on in the car and helped me breathe through each contraction whilst he drove despite me telling him off and telling him to concentrate on the road, haha! 

We got to the hospital and went to the birth centre where they took me to a room. The room had no birth pool and I was immediately disappointed because I thought I might not be able to have the water birth I dreamed of having. 

We were left to it for a while and then someone came to see us to ask what type of birth I wanted, I said water birth expecting her to say that wasn't possible but she said she was just getting another room ready so I was so happy!

Me and Lew stayed on our own for a bit, he tried to read sky sports news but I kept needing him to help me breathe so he gave up in the end. I remember then being sick from the pain as I'd had no pain relief so far. 

At about 10pm I was given an examination and they discovered I was only 3cm so they said they could only offer me some paracetamol and (I think) codeine. I am awful with tablets so immediately threw these up so, still no pain relief. 

The next couple of hours were PAINFUL. I was still using Lew and my breathing to get through the contractions but they were horrendous. I remember I kept telling Lew I couldn't do it and he had to keep reassuring me that I was already doing it. 

By midnight I was allowed some gas and air and I was examined again, and my water broke. I remember saying I feel like I've just wee'd myself but she assured me that this was my waters which made me feel so happy that things were progressing. I was then told I was 5cm which made me feel a bit disappointed that I wasn't further on, however I was now allowed in the pool!

We were moved to a new room and I was put into the pool and I constantly puffed on the gas and air. It felt amazing. The next few hours were a blur. I don't really remember the progress, I just remember at about 2am I felt like I needed to push. I must've been pushing a while. Then eventually I felt like she was ready to come out. Within about 6 or 7 contractions her head was out and I could hear my midwife speaking to my baby whilst she was still half inside me, which was proper weird! Then within 2 more contractions the rest of her body was out and caught by midwife who then helped me turn around and placed the most perfect baby girl on my chest. Maria Chiara Emilia. I could not stop crying and even got some tears out of Lew. 

We stayed in the pool, for what felt like ages but was probably just a few minutes, whilst I gazed at our baby girl, my own little family, everything felt perfect.

I was then asked to come out of the pool and lie on the bed. Maria was placed on me for more skin to skin and that's when we were asked to try and give her a feed. I wasn't breastfeeding so we gave her a pre-maid bottle and she managed to drink 90ml - this was the start of Maria becoming a gannet. 

TRIGGER WARNING - 2ND DEGREE TEAR/STITCHES

Whilst having skin to skin the midwife examined me and told me I had a 2nd degree tear and would need stitches. I absolutely dreaded this. I was told that it wouldn't hurt - it would just be uncomfortable, which I believe was a massive fib. I was given a numbing injection and told I could use gas and air but I'm pretty sure they didn't wait for any of that to kick in because I could feel everything. I'm a dramatic person, but I think this was my biggest show yet - I had an absolute meltdown. I was having the stitches in the same room I gave birth so luckily Lew was there, holding Maria. He was so lovely and came over to me and calmed me down and made me look at our beautiful girl and helped me remember why I went through all this pain. 

Once this was done, I was able to enjoy being with my new family. I got my tea and toast which is as good as it's made out to be. Lew had a nap after being up for over 24 hours. I tried to nap but I was full of adrenaline so just lay there, sending my family photos of Maria. 

Considering I gave birth at 3:17am, I didn't expect them to let me out until that evening but after a shower, after me and Maria were checked over, about 1pm and we were allowed to go home! 

The first week of being a mum was a massive blur. I'm going to write about things I've learnt in the next few weeks (don't hold me to that - considering I started writing this post when Maria was about 10 days old and I'm not finishing the post until she's 7 weeks old, I don't get a lot of spare time)

I started this blog when I was 16 years old, pretty sure I'd just done my GCSE's. I've written about my family, relationships, heartbreak, holidays, my mental health deteriorating, my mental health getting better and everything in between. I didn't think I'd still be writing about my life (I know nobody asked to hear about it, but I see how many readers I get so it can't be that boring) 8 years later and writing about the birth of my own baby! 

lots of love

Jennie x 

Life update and 20 Weeks of Pregnancy


I swear when I last blogged I promised myself that I'd keep it updated more regularly than every three months...yet here we are - I haven't updated in fifteen months. 

So I'll briefly give you an update on what happened after that last blog post

Summer 2019

Me and my mother travelled to Dubrovnik in Croatia, and then Venice, Rome and Naples in Italy and went  to visit our family whilst we were out there. It was the most amazing trip ever and you can see photos from that trip here

We also then spent the hottest weekend in August at Leeds Festival where we saw some amazing bands like Foo Fighters, ADTR and Enter Shikari and got very drunk. It was great.

Tattoos

Me and Laura decided to get friendship tattoos in September, we got our area codes on our ribs - she got 0151 and I got 0161. I can honestly say that 9 minute tattoo was the worst pain of my life. 

I also finished the year by getting my half sleeve started...which I'm still yet to get finished. 

Autumn 2019

I had an incredible October/November too. I got my hair chopped and dyed which was a change. I spent my birthday at The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool and the night in Popworld which I obviously loved.

I got to see Andrea Bocelli too, which was one of the highlights of possibly my life


A Magical Christmas and New Year

So, not only did I get to spend my Christmas with my mum and my dad, my life actually changed incredibly just before Christmas. I realised at the works do, that the lad I worked with who had been grafting so much for me to go for a pint with him, I actually fancied quite a bit. 

You know I post a lot about my past relationships on here, and it's mostly been about how I've been massively hurt or manipulated and how I never wanted to be in that position again. I was determined I never wanted to be with anyone again. But I realised I was batting away someone who could potentially make me really, really happy all because I was terrified of being hurt again. 

So after admitting how much I liked him over Christmas and him obviously feeling the same, we went for a Nandos in January and I finished the day with a BOYFRIEND. And he's a dish if I do say so myself (See below). 



A global pandemic

Fast forward a few months...the year I fall in love and actually want to spend time with someone, a global pandemic hits us and puts a spanner in the works (not for my relationship, just life in general). 

The pandemic helped me in a sense, because I started a side hustle and it really picked up during lockdown and helped me keep my mental health in a good place when usually it would have massively rocked. 

... and SURPRISE!

Me and Lewis (oh that's my fellas name by the way, forgot to mention) obviously got a bit over excited when we came out of lockdown and...made a baby. 

That's right. I am pregnant. 

I was going to write a post at 12 weeks but I kept putting it off...

 


Finding out

At the end of June I started to feel weird...usual symptoms of coming on my period but I didn't usually eat as much as I was. Like I was honestly just eating everything I saw. 

Me and Lew panicked so we bought a test - we took it and it came up negative. So we were like phew! 

A few days later, I still didn't feel right. Lew had cooked me a meal, steak and loads of other nice bits and I just really went off the taste, which if you know me - is weird. That man can cook so not being into steak was just odd. 

On the Monday I still didn't feel right so I told him I was going to go to my mums and do another test after work, just for the reassurance. So I did, I tried the Clear Blue one and well, I don't think I actually wee'd enough on it because the test just didn't work. So I tried the cheaper one. 

I remember sitting on the loo staring at it whilst my mum was outside with the instruction sheet in her hand. "Mum, I don't know what it means. I'm confused" I said. 

"Well is there one line or two Jennie". 

"Oh there's definitely two". 

"Two! Well you're pregnant then Jennie". 

"OH FLIPPIN ECK" 

I then ran to her room and got Lew to FaceTime me. He knew straight away really. His face was a picture. I still can't believe I had to tell my boyfriend we were having a baby, over FaceTime, sat on my mam's bed. 

Telling my dad was even funnier. I just ran straight in and blurted it out. I just have a way of doing things, don't I. 

I expected our parents to actually be like, you've been together five minutes what the hell are you thinking, but they've been so supportive which has made this whole situation so much easier. 

We didn't actually tell many other people until about 9 weeks when we finally told my sister's and Lew's siblings. Their reactions were brilliant. I'm actually gutted we were in the middle of a lockdown though because I couldn't tell them how I would have dreamed to announce it - it was all over the phone to my sisters and Lew's sister, Ellie :(


Sickness

I actually hate thinking about week 6 to week 16 of my pregnancy. I was sick first thing in the morning, then again during the morning at work and then struggled to eat the rest of the day and felt nauseous and then was sick again after my tea and sometimes in the night! 

No one warns you about it. Especially if you've never thought of being pregnant before. I thought morning sickness would be like a little bit of throwing up in the morning and then I'd feel good again. I thought it would pass after like a week. Wow, am I dumb. TEN WEEKS I HAD IT. 


The first scan

As we're going through this during a pandemic, being pregnant is a lot harder than usual. The biggest thing is being that your partner can't come to any of your NHS scans with you or be there for the beginning of your labour. 

With this in mind, me and Lew booked an early scan at 10 weeks, privately, so that we could both experience seeing our baby together for the first time. 

It was honestly such a relief to see that the baby was actually there and had a heartbeat. 



Twelve week scan

I had my first NHS scan a couple of weeks later. Lew wasn't allowed to come to this one so he just waited outside for me (for an hour and a half). 

It was amazing to see how much our little baby had grown in a matter of weeks. A proper little chubster. 



Finding out the sex 

Being the impatient person I am, and also wanting Lew to be with me when we found out, we booked another private scan when I was about 14 weeks to find out the gender. Seeing how much the baby was wriggling inside me was one of the cutest things ever and we even got a video of the baby giving us a wave. 

We decided to get scratch cards to find out the sex. We both wanted a boy to be honest. I think a lot of people have a preference and I always envisioned having a boy first because I always wanted an older brother, however I was going to be happy just to have a healthy baby. 

Well we did the scratch card and it revealed we were in fact having a baby girl. A little Jennie. God help us haha! 

Now its sunk in, I'm super excited to have a little best mate. I can't wait to watch Disney films with her and take her to Popworld when she's old enough. I'm buzzing to see how much she's going to love her dad too. I guarantee she will be Daddy's little princess. Her name's been chosen since right at the beginning to be honest and it's such a cute name. I can't wait to meet her.



20 Week Scan

I'm now 21 weeks and last week I had my 20 week scan at the hospital. Again, I was alone. I was worried about this because I was hearing a lot about how people were finding problems at 20 weeks and finding out alone and I just started to think the worst. 

The scan actually went fairly well. It took a while though. She had me rolling myself over, running on the spot and jumping up and down to try and get our baby girl to stop being awkward, but of course she is Lewis' child so she was going to be awkward and so I have to go back in a week or so to finish the checks as she wasn't able to view her bottom area. 

I'm currently feeling amazing to be honest. If it wasn't for my bad back and the little kicking flutters in my belly, I wouldn't even know I'm pregnant. Oh and of course the bump that's appearing. She's definitely already huge. With Lew being 6ft7 and me being 5ft2 I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing who she's going to take after size wise! 



I wasn't going to blog about all this to be honest, but I thought considering I've had my blog since I was 16 and documented massive milestones in my life - new jobs, break ups, losing loved ones - why would I not want to document the most exciting milestone that's yet to happen to me? 

Let's be honest, you probably won't hear from me for a few months. I promise to update it before my due date on the 4th of March (personally hope she's late as I don't want her born on an even number because I'm a big weirdo). 

Lots of love

Jennie x


Growing into myself and building friendships

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1lGChjCon1hN3CTHLD7xd_MvBdRM3WrWk

It's been nearly three months since my last post and although I should be feeling bad on myself that I haven't blogged for ages, it's an improvement from the last gap, so we have progress.

To say the last few months have been easy would be a lie, to be honest thinking about it I can't believe so much has happened so quickly. 

Around April I became friends with a lovely guy called Danny, who I knew through mutual friends, and to be honest who used to just give me football abuse on Twitter for supporting Liverpool. Unfortunately our friendship was cut short due to a tragic accident and I still can't believe he's gone. 
From this he's managed to raise awareness for men that struggle with their mental health and raised over £15,000 for a charity who focus on this and I think that's absolutely incredible, that he's still helping people even when he's gone. The fundraiser has now finished but if you want to raise awareness or look into this incredible charity, visit Andy's Man Club
Losing someone that's so young has really made me want to clear any bad energy I have with people and focus on the people I really want in my life. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1NTTI5nnEaA2cyYOClxqWn8l8fcE0eFww
I've made some incredible friendships this last six months and I want to specifically mention Reece and Jonny who have picked me up and probably not even realised it. Two of the most genuine lads I've ever met with hearts of gold and are always there for their mates and who always make me laugh. I used to find making friends so difficult and thought at my age it would be even harder to build friendships, but with them it's been so easy. I’ve actually known Reece for years, since I was about 12 and I never thought we’d be as close as we are now 10 years later to be honest! He has been so good for my mind and whenever I need someone I know I can count on him.
I've also built a close friendship with Mary who I've known a while now but got really close to the last few months. Finding girl  mates I used to find hard because I don't like the bitchy mentality that a lot of girls have, but luckily Mary isn't (too much of) a bitch. 
I think just cutting off toxic friendships and building new ones, or re-building old ones, is actually so much easier than it seems if you have the right mentality. I've just been trying to enjoy every moment I have, whilst also enjoying time on my own.  

Not sure if I've mentioned this on any of my social media but, on the 1st of June, Liverpool won the Champions League and made me a very happy girl. The day after Reece rang me up and said if I can be ready in 30 minutes I could go with him and Jonny to the parade in Liverpool - obviously I went. To say it has been the best day of the year so far would be an understatement - it was incredible. I've never been in such a friendly, happy atmosphere in my whole life. I also met a dog which I'm never forever friends with, Hank. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dYOFN2OjVEWWh3iiIIASQpLjvO5VEsJQ

I would say my mental health has been rocky recently. Not terrible, but not great. I haven't seen my therapist now since mid-May because my June appointment was on the day of the funeral and I couldn't get one in July before my holiday, so I don't think that has helped. I don't think my sudden love for beer has helped either and I've started to cut it down a bit. I think I've started to understand my anxiety a lot more than ever the last few months. I get incredibly anxious when I don't know full details about a situation. I get incredibly worked up and need loads reassurance when I'm meeting new people and going to new places. Everything that makes me anxious could be avoided, I could become a recluse and stay at home and have no friends but I'd rather not so I'm just going to battle through the panic attacks. 

In all honesty I think I've got so much more confident - within friendships, with my body, with my appearance, with my job, with boys. I don't know about you but I think I maybe beginning to love myself??? 
I've been working out a lot the last few months - focusing more on my abs, because although I'll never have them all the time because I eat like a pig, I enjoy the few minutes after a workout where I actually look like I have abs, it's brilliant. 
I've been getting into the holiday spirit and trying on bikinis recently, and after trying on one last week I compared it to the image of me in a bikini from when I was in Barcelona two years ago. I'm genuinely so proud of where I've got myself and I actually think I look alright which is something I would never really say about myself in a bikini. 


On the topic of bikini pictures, I'm genuinely baffled by the taboo around them, specifically by women older than me. I've heard people describe them as cheap and trashy and it's laughable if I'm honest. How a girl can suddenly become cheap and trashy for showing off hard work and body confidence I really do wonder? If anyone knows me personally, they'll know I am not cheap and trashy and that I'm just proud of how hard I've worked on my body. I've had messages off more girls asking me for advice on body confidence and workout tips than I have boys complimenting me, and if I'm going to be helping someone I'm going to do more of it! 

I've been single now for nearly 7 months and it's probably the longest I've been single since I was 14. I'm absolutely loving it though and I really don't see myself getting back into dating any time soon. It's actually a little scary enjoying being on your own this much because I just don't want it to change and I like being selfish with my time and my heart. What does really annoy me is how if I reply to a boy on social media they think I want to date them. We're in 2019 and I just enjoy male friendships, what's so hard to grasp about that. If I say I enjoy being single and I'm not interested, please don't see that as a challenge because I'm not playing hard to get I'm genuinely just enjoying life ridin' solo. 


On my last note I want to mention my number one best friend, Laura aka Psycho Susan. I would not have lasted the last six months in the state I am without her by my side. It's hard having a best friend that lives so far away but it's also a blessing too because we put so much effort into our friendship and when we do get to see each other the memories are the best. She puts everyone before herself, every single day, and I bloody wish she'd start being selfish. Everyone I've introduced her to have loved her straight away because she has the kindest heart ever. Laura, if you bothered to read this - you got this, you're strong, you're powerful and you're an inspiration to me. 

A week today I'll be in Croatia on my mad adventure with my mother and I cannot wait. So I guess the next post you'll see will be about that? If not, see you in 3 months when I bother to post again! 

Ciao for now. 

Jennie

P.s join my Premier League Fantasy Football League, the code is ncgveh, I'm not begging but I kind of am. 

On another note, yes that is unfortunately Etihad Stadium at the top but it's a pretty picture of when I saw Muse so I had to use it. 


Building a relationship with yourself


Here I am, back again. After Facebook pages told me I haven't posted for a while for the fourth time I thought it was about time I took the hint and post something.
I suppose a quick update is in order, seeing as I haven't blogged since last October. Well, I am ridin' solo once again. This time there's no dramatic back log to the split like my last one, so no juicy blog post to come in the future with all the details because I respect that person a lot, sorry!

A lot happened last year, and my feelings towards life in general changed, and with that my feelings in that relationship left too. If it gets to a point where the person your with is doing everything they possibly can to keep you happy and to keep the relationship going and you're still not happy with it or feeling the same, it's a sign that you don't want to be in the relationship anymore.

My problem in relationships with anyone whether it's my boyfriend, my friends or my family, I would always put their needs before my own. So trying to find happiness for myself whilst also trying to please the person I'm with is great difficulty, and when I do try and put myself first I do it all at once so it seems like I'm being selfish - there just wasn't any winning.

I had to remove myself from a relationship so I could build a relationship with myself.

Initially being single again was so weird. You leave this relationship and with that you kind of have to remove contact with your ex but then you're significantly a lot more lonelier so when you get some attention you use that and speak to new people but when you tell them you're not after anything, they stop talking to you and you're lonelier once again.

The key is to learn to enjoy being alone and your own company. The benefits of being on your own? There's no time limits, no boundaries and nobody waiting on you or planning around you. You have complete freedom to do whatever you want. Have a few mad nights out. Go and get a tattoo you might not have got if you were in a relationship. Go to Bongo Bingo on St Patricks Day at midday, go to the after party, get home 6 hours later then you should do, drink loads of gin and go to work hungover - (true story, don't recommend going to work hungover though, that isn't fun).

Limit the time you spend on your phone. If you think about it, it's a waste of time really. Scrolling through your feeds, lusting over other peoples lives whilst not living your own. Use it to inspire you but then go out and enjoy your time instead of wasting it on wishing you were doing something somebody you don't even know is doing.

I mentioned having a few mad nights out, but don't go off the rails. The last time I was single, I went a bit mad. I went out three times a week, got stupidly drunk, spent most of my money on alcohol and made most of my memories drunk. It wasn't actually fun looking back at it and that's why I don't have any intention of spending my time doing that now. I couldn't imagine being like that now, I'm a proper old woman. Two gins and I'm done for the night. Despite being on a better wage now than back then, I'm a girl with responsibilities (bills). I'm also a lot vainer now and spend a fortune on my outfits, tan, make up and nails every time I'm due a night out so I'm lucky now if I get a trip to Popworld once a month.

The sole reason I needed to be on my own was to make myself better, or at least try. I needed to improve my mental health. Sometimes I get told that I don't need to share this with people, but I'm absolutely not ashamed so I will. Last year my mental health took a turn for the worse, although I believe it's not been great since I was quite young, it drastically went worse and there became a point where I no longer wanted to be here anymore.

At the time I was lucky enough to have incredible people around me. It's crazy how you can have such a close family and nobody has any idea what you're going through in your mind unless you actually have a breakdown. I'd usually hide away during a breakdown for my dad to find me in a state, or I'd breakdown in front of my mum. But one night I broke down and reached out to my big sisters and I think that was the start of realising I'm not actually okay and I could do with some help. It wouldn't be fair on my family and friends though if I just relied on them to sort me out, they have their own problems to deal with they don't need another thing to deal with. So after some help from my dad I decided to get myself a therapist, and it's the best thing I've done so far this year. I won't lie it's expensive but it's so worth it. The way I see it, I was going to spend stupid money on a personal trainer to help me improve my physical health but how was I meant to push myself to attend PT sessions if my mental state wasn't the best? So it was a no brainer to invest in someone to help my mental health. I currently go once a month for an hour, I've had three sessions and she's helped so much already, I strongly recommend seeing someone if you can.

Talking of physical health, getting fit and working out has been a huge mood-lifter during hard times and it's now become one of my favourite hobbies surprisingly. I try to workout three times a week at home to build that boo-tay and try and get those abs I probably won't ever get.
I have actually started to run,  which is a massive deal seeing as the idea of running has always made me feel sick. I literally used to fake an asthma attack in school in order for me to get out the bleep test at Level 4. Me and my sister are doing the couch to 5k and it's actually not bad but I've only done week 1 so far so I can't properly judge it. Working out (at home) and running are both free hobbies which is great when you need something to do and you're skint (me, 3 weeks of the month) but they both also release endorphins which is what you need to keep smiling.

Things that have kept me going the last few months are things like self-help books, I particularly recommend Vex King's - Good Vibes, Good Life is incredible and a very easy read. I also strongly recommend having a social media detox, removing yourself away from the digital world and enjoying the real world (I'm still working on this). I've become slightly more confident and meeting new people or just meeting up with people you haven't seen for a while has been really enjoyable, reminiscing but also being able to find out things that they've done whilst you haven't been around.

Also, chill out. Allow yourself days inside, days where you just chill. Nights where you don't train, where you just get home, put your fluffy PJ's on and then scream at your TV when the footballs on (can you believe I actually enjoy football now? Mental).

Remember, life is about learning and living and making mistakes. Your life is what you make of it.

The longest relationship you will ever have is with yourself so master that before you create a relationship with someone else.  

lots of love

Jennie

To the older generations, from a Millennial



The other day I over heard a comment, 'the younger generation are too sensitive'. This comment made me think about how oblivious the older generation are to us and why they really ought to just stop being so in denial about our mental health.

We are told and told to speak about our problems, to let out how we're feeling and not keep ourselves locked away, however when we do speak about it we are told 'you have nothing to worry about', 'you're too young to feel stressed', 'don't be so sensitive' or 'if you're that bad why have you not seen a doctor for it', causing us to want to keep our thoughts and feelings locked up.

I don't think it is 'normal' to feel awful all the time, and if it is, why is it normal? We weren't put on this planet and given a life to feel depressed, we should be able to live a life.

I feel like the older generation are so closed up on these ideas, especially some parents, because they feel if their child does suffer from something within their mind they think they've failed at raising them when it could have actually stemmed from absolutely anything.

I think they're so old-fashioned and were raised to just be strong that they think that our generation can be the same, but there's so many factors now that impact our lives.

I broke down on Friday night and truly felt at my lowest point, so this could get a little deep but I find writing my blogs helps me feel better and I feel I'm myself here. It saddens me that our thoughts are only taken seriously when we reach this point and people finally realise that maybe it isn't so normal after all that we're feeling this way and maybe we do need a little help and maybe we're not too young to feel this way and shit really does happen in our lives.

So, I'm 22 now and I just feel low. Like really really low. And I'm exhausted of feeling so low. But this is what has happened in my 22 years that I think have triggered how I am now.

When I was 7, my mum and dad split up and my mum and sister moved out. What had been my family home for my childhood was now my 'dads' house. I no longer had my mum or my sister around me all the time (my other sister had already left home) and for the next 14 years I felt like the messenger between my mum and dad and felt like I was always treading on egg shells. I know this is so common now that parents do separate and people do cope more than others and others just don't but I believe this affected me a lot more now that I'm older than I initially thought.

I started to get bullied when I was 11 by a couple of people in primary school, and then I moved to high school and got bullied some more for most of my five years there due to a really small inperfection that I still feel insecure about today. The thing is though, bullying has happened for generations but when you got bullied when my mum and dad were kids you could go home, in your room and feel safe. Not me. Social media had just really took off when I was getting bullied and so I was coming home to abuse online. Facebook statuses written about me, MSN chats victimizing me and there was this awful website called Formspring where people could send you anonymous messages and a lot of mine called me fat, called the imperfection I have and told me to die on a few occasions. Then when my dad contacted my school about it, my head of year said 'girls will be girls' - the thing is schools don't really do anything unless someone dies and that's the sad truth.

During high school I did have a few friends and I was part of a friendship group that were a lot prettier than me and a lot more fun. I was pretty much the fat, ugly, small friend. Boys didn't like me. I never took risks and so I got called boring and annoying a lot and that kind of stuck in my head. Now whenever someone calls me boring or annoying, even as a laugh it hurts me and I genuinely start to believe that’s how I am. Sounds so stupid.

In my fourth year of high school I got to quite a low point, but again, it was 'normal' apparently. I developed problems with eating after being so chubby for years I lost a lot of weight because I was barely eating. I've already written about this and so I won't go into it but yeah it wasn't a very good time for me.

I then got into a really toxic relationship, which really broke me as a person and I forgot what being free was like.

After getting out of that relationship, I finally saw the light. I made friends, I fell in love, I started to love myself, I started to live.

Unfortunately, like a lot of girls my age, I became majorly obsessed with social media. With keeping up my appearance and how many likes I got on my photos. It sounds incredibly stupid doesn't it? But unfortunately this is the pressures of society these days.

Then about a year ago the world crashed on me. I lost my Nonna Maria and my world really did make possibly the worst turn. I saw her die and I still cannot get that out of my head. I saw her last laugh, her last smile. Losing my Nonna was one of the most difficult moments of my whole life. I didn't really take any time out of work after that I just kept going and pretended I was okay but really I was hurting a lot.

The month after she passed, my step dad Stanley got diagnosed with lung cancer and was given months to live. Watching someone I cared about go from this strong, big bloke to this weak, frail man was heartbreaking. My whole families life changed. My mum was always running around taking him for chemotherapy and not being able to work normally. My sister spent a lot of her time being his carer and seeing him in his worst states. And I really felt for my sisters because they had the constant worry of how my nieces and nephews were going to cope with losing their granddad Stan.

That day came on the 27th February. It was one of the snowiest days of the year and I had almost reached work when my mum rang me and told me Stan had took a turn for the worse and the hospital had asked to gather his loved ones to be there. I didn't know what to do but I got into work and broke down straight away when one of the lads asked me if I was okay. I was driven to the hospital and it brought back the awful memories of seeing my Nonna pass away.

We spent the whole day there. I just watched him and felt so sad. We didn’t want him to pass in hospital, we wanted it to be at home where he was comfortable but that wasn’t possible so we tried to make it as peaceful for him as possible. He loved the band Elbow so I created a playlist full of Elbow songs on my phone and as we all held his hand we played Elbow to him as he peacefully passed away.

I didn't take any time away from work then either. I just continued on.

I didn't ever give myself time to mourn and I think now I've realised that I should have done and I'm not at all okay.

During Stan being unwell, my dad got really unwell too and I saw him at his lowest and instead of my dad looking after me and suddenly I saw myself looking after him. He developed photosensitivity and so he’s been wearing sunglasses everyday since last December. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but I haven’t seen my dads eyes since last December. 

I bet some of you are thinking why am I posting this all over the internet? Well I think some people need a reality check and I think they need to know that to be honest I might only be 22 but a lot has happened in my life and my mind is pretty damaged. Maybe nobody is thinking that and it's just my over-thinking mind going off on one again.

I really am lucky though. I'm lucky I have my boyfriend who lets me cancel Nando's and let's me cry to him for 3 hours straight. I'm lucky for my dad who brings me hot water bottles and a cup of tea. I'm lucky for my mum who meets me for coffee so I can let out all my problems. I'm lucky for my sisters who protected me from those people who bullied me in high school. I'm lucky for my best friend who messages me every single day and helps me feel better. 

Some people don't have anyone. Some people are battling inside their own head with not a single soul to confide in.

So my message to the older generation who say I'm too sensitive and tell me how I should feel, my mind doesn't listen to me so it most definitely will not listen to you. We don't just wake up everyday and want to be sad. We may not have battled through wars, or beaten at school by our teachers but we have fought our own battles and we continue to fight battles in our heads everyday. Life can be really hard whether you’re 22 or 62.

Next time you see someone get a little 'touchy' over something you said, why don't you just take the time to ask them how they are instead of pushing them to feel worse.

The people I see sharing mental health awareness posts are some of the same people I hear telling people to man up. The sad reality is a lot of you only begin to care when it’s too late. Be kind. 

Lots of love

Jennie

p.s I'll be okay :-)