HS.

No not high school. This would’ve been far easier to write if it was just about that. This is about the HS in my life. Hidradenitis Suppurativa. This is a chronic skin condition and although it isn’t an autoimmune disease a lot of research has shown it has a clear relationship with the immune system. So anyway I’ve had this since I was 13 it’s basically like getting the most painful acne in your bits and pits. Luckily for me it’s stayed mainly in my armpits for the past few years. But, the boils are so painful that sometimes you can’t actually move your arms.
Unfortunately all female upkeep such as shaving, waxing and wearing deodorant can aggravate it as well. I mean come on I have to put on deodorant EVERYDAY so it’s really a never ending cycle.
According to the HS trust it’s affects 1 in every 2000 people, so it’s not that rare but there is a lot of embarrassment associated with it. I used to be very self conscious of it and I thought I had genital warts before I even lost my v plates  because I just didn’t understand what was going on. Once I’d seen a dermatologist he let me know what it was and how to treat it but he also told me there isn’t a cure. A good diet and healthy lifestyle can only alleviate the symptoms for a time and for a while that did work for me.
From around 4 months prior to getting pregnant and the whole way through my pregnancy it lay dormant. No flare ups, no twinges, nothing. However another factor that contributes to the severity of HS is stress. Obviously becoming a new mum is stressful no matter how well it’s going and my transition was definitely not smooth sailing. My labour was so traumatic I still can’t speak about the emotional effects and it’s my kids 11 month birthday today. I’ve had a flare up or two every month since I gave birth. So if I’m honest I’m only sharing this with you guys because I’m avoiding going to the hospital or conveniently forgetting and I have been for a while.
I get labour flashbacks in those places and it’s pretty grim. But I need to go because even though life’s gotten better now my HS hasn’t. What I do know is now I’ve told all of you lovely  readers I’ll feel like I’ve got to visit a Dr. While I’ve written this for you to read, I’ve also written it for myself to remember.

UNI + LIFE UPDATE.

The summer is nearly over and I can definitely say it’s been one of the best yet. I’m preparing to start back at uni in 5 weeks. So I thought I’d let you know what’s happening in my world.

Firstly my uni are being a tad uncooperative as some of you know I opted to resit the last academic year. A few weeks ago I got an email, saying that I needed to explain why I should be allowed to resit the academic year uncapped (meaning all my assessments and exams aren’t capped at 40% and it’s not considered a 2nd attempt). Bearing in mind my uni have a student maternity and pregnancy policy it’s like 20 pages I’ve read it cover to cover: nowhere does it mention being capped and it does say that you can opt to defer or resit the year at any time. So I guess this is just part of the bureaucracy of being a student mama and I’m gonna whack out a great explanation.

My relationship has been wild we’re new parents and I can’t say it’s been easy! We went through a VERY rough time I’d love to say patch but it was longer than that. I don’t enjoy talking about those sorts of things but my first ever post was called HONESTY and I will always do my best to be true to it. Ed and I love each other we’ve been together 4 and a half years but it was only a year ago we learned each other from the inside out.
As parents I think we’re bloody good and there’s always room for improvement but as a result of us focusing on Sans we neglected each other a bit. We’ve recently been taking active steps to ensure that things get better and so far so good. I will say a lady said to me a couple of weeks ago, “I questioned why I was with my partner a few times during the 1st year it’s normal”. Now their little girl is 5 so one can live in hope.

On Wednesday Sanaa and I are going to Berlin with my neighbour/friend/confidant/pushchair cover maker extraordinaire. Please send me places to go and things to do I’ve never been before but I’m very excited it’s going to be another BBB Travels adventure. After that I’ll have 4 weeks on the university countdown so I’m not sure how many more places we’ll go but this wouldn’t be a bad final stop.

Sanaa’s going into childcare I don’t know if it’s going to be a childminder, nanny or nursery yet I have my preferences but if I’m honest I’d just like to keep her with me all the time but mama’s gotta learn. It’s already making me feel nervous but also excited for all the things she’ll learn and friends she’s going to make.

I’ve met some incredible people since I made the leap outside of my house after 4 months. We as a family have also had immeasurable amounts of support and love from friends and family. The way the past few months have gone I couldn’t have imagined and Sanaa won’t remember it at all. However, through one of the largest growth periods I’ve experienced I’d like to say thank you to everyone who’s been apart of it thus far. Without knowing so there’s been days where you guys kept me sane.

I’ll be taking time off of social media and blog as and when I can for a few weeks once I’ve started uni so we can navigate our new routine. At this stage in life I feel as though I’m just settling into the new normal and things are about to change again. This is also part of being a mum, a student and a person, so on to the next chapter.

FEARLESS.

It has never been my aim to be fearless nor was it to be brave. I just wanted to live in the most unrestricted way possible. I just wanted to live.

How do you do it they ask, weren’t you scared? ABSOLUTELY!Most of the time when doing something new I get all the jitters and bubble guts. But I’ve learnt how to direct that nervous energy. I find it focuses me because due to my state of mind I don’t have room in my brain for all the usual traffic. I knew that life would change tremendously after Sanaa was born and with university out for the summer I thought I have to make the most of it.
All the places I’ve wanted to see and all the things I’ve wanted to do. Instead of waiting until “next year” I chose to do them now. The idea of being as free as I have been over the summer, especially with a baby was alien to me before and I still wouldn’t call myself adventurous.
What I would call myself is gobby.

That’s been  the trick to my summer with Sans; to tell people my plans. Procrastinating is my favourite past time and chickening out of plans is a close second. However, if I tell people what I’m going to do I feel like it’d be embarrassing to say well actually I flaked out:  so I could have a duvet day. There’s an air of accountability I adhere to once I’ve solidified plans in conversation. My aim was to experience things now so I don’t regret it then. My aim was to lead by example and if you think it’s easier now seeing as I’m always doing something new guess again.
I perspire like a chargrilled hog at the thought of some outings. It’s a good thing though it means I’m getting outside my comfort zone and doing what I set out to.

But, it has never been my aim to be fearless I just wanted to live.

CATHARSIS.

I wish I could explain my methods, I wish I could immerse you in my systems.

Yet, I have no definition.
What I do know is between 2 and 5am is my creative window. When my art flows like wind on a clear day. All chaotic, free and untraceable. This is when I’m compelled to document all that comes to me, in the notion that something will stick. This is also when my flat is silent: not a she’s gone quiet is she okay type or a has he fallen asleep while we watch a movie type. It’s a I’m alone with my thoughts type.

At the onset of this blogging journey I only had one goal in mind. To positively inspire or affect someones life. I felt if a single person found comfort in my discomfort, I would have changed the world for better. I felt that like me your corner of the earth is significant and in times where one may forget, here reminder could be found.

The last time I wrote so much I was in school, I was about 15 or 16 I thought it was writers block but I didn’t write for at least 6 years. So imagine my joy at being able to write again.

 I hope it’ll last my lifetime but I realise that at this stage in my life it’s my purpose. Its my opportunity to bathe in my abilities, to absorb my talent, to refine my craft and cleanse my ego. The ease that these past few months have been creatively, can only be recognised as one thing.

My season.

Everyone has a period of time where things just fall into place, where nothing is perfect but everything makes sense. Currently I’m flourishing in my season.

I enjoy what I do however I’m always dubious to feel pride. That would mean I care in a fashion I’m yet to admit. It would also mean the belief in myself that was so fragile has become unyielding. My intentions were to name this piece inspiration but in this sentence I realise the narrative is therapy.

ADELE.

So I know in retrospective I shared with you how I found out I was pregnant and how it felt.

What I didn’t tell you about was the day after.
It was the most anticipated day of my year so far. I along with my boyfriends sister was off to see Adele, for my first ever concert.

In 2011 she released an album: 21. I was 17 I had just left home and had a pretty crappy break up (another story for another day).
On that album like 19 and like the rest of the world I was in awe, the songs resonated with me in such a personal way. It was her coming of age that struck me as so honest. Nevertheless, I was already a bit of a superfan not a creepy one though honest. When the day before the concert came, my life as I knew it changed.

 I was 6 weeks past a mess and didn’t even want to go to the corner shop, much less to see Adele. I ended up going after all, my boyfriends sister is visually impaired and wouldn’t have been able to go without me. The news was so fresh I definitely wasn’t trying to tell her but she knew something was up.
I would have managed to keep it together for those few hours. However, Adele opened the show letting the audience know it was the 1st show on the tour her son had seen her perform. Along with talking about why she took a break from music. Her words were I had a baby.

She then went on to talk about how her start was wobbly, she had baby blues and had to figure some stuff out. I literally burst into tears. Can you imagine that, you’re finally getting to watch someone you idolise and their life experiences make you feel even more despair ?!?!?!? The water works continued on and off the whole show which was still as amazing as I knew it would be but my news had me preoccupied. That was only March 2016 and now a year later, with bundles of life experiences myself.

I get what she was trying to say. Life happened on a very primal level but because of that encounter I know myself better and I’m okay now.

I get it because famous or not some things are a rights of passage that you come out the other side and reflect on how much you’ve grown. Somehow, again with my boyfriends sister tonight the universe has given us a do over. We’re off to see Adele woohoo, I’ll probably cry again because of how moving her music is and because of how incredible the past 15 months have been.

Particularly because that night, I thought my life was about to be over when truly being a mum has been the making of me.
I can proudly say I’m okay now.

GRATITUDE.

How much thought do you give to being thankful? I mean seriously carving time out and basking in the ambience of gratitude. Personally speaking, I can say I’m acutely aware and appreciative of all the good in my life. I can also say that I’ve never sat down and taken a few hours out of my day to focus solely on them.
Well that all changed last month! I went to an event and the best description I could give is, if meditation, happiness and gift swapping had a baby it would be Gratitude Circle!
The premise of the space is that you come and share all you are thankful for, along with all you want to be thankful for. Directing all of your energy into those thoughts through meditation under the soothing guidance of Aziza Francis.
Sharing such a pure and sincere experience. With people who had all come into the space, with the same positive intentions was a powerful thing. Particularly when living in London right now has so much caution attached it’s calming to pinpoint the rhythm of your own thoughts. Finally as a further thank you for being there you do the (surprise)gift swapping, I got some art work from Pearl Ivy and I gifted a leather bound journal. In the hope that preserving the words of someones life, will aid in the reflection upon their journey. I left feeling all radiant and full of optimism, it was the best 2 hours I’ve had in a while.

 

This was an independent review by booksbabyandback.com

 

FATHER: PART 2.

Now we’re adults and we understand the world just that little bit more. Experiences have allowed us to feel and love with belief tantamount to happiness. Our little girl gets the most refined versions of us because we know what it meant when we were less. The days you’ve  spent nurturing your individuality, so she knows and has an example of the good person you are is telling.

You wanted children more than I did, I always knew you’d be a good dad but you’re more than that. You’re the best dad and it shows how much you care. Getting up in the middle of the night to check she’s alive so I can sleep is something my dear. Taking a job that let’s you work from home so you’re around for all the firsts was so endearing. The logistics of how our madhouse works aren’t important because of our efforts we manage it.

As you always remind me when I’m having a “let’s plan the next 10 years so we’re sure life will be alright” moment, we have the rest of our lives ahead of us and we’ve come so far already.

The days after we got home from the hospital shell shocked and unsure of what to do. You said to me it’s fine we’ll figure it out together and boy we did. With the support from our really helpful family and friends we cultivated a family. May the idea that this is forever always remind us of the value in our jobs as parents. The responsibility we have interpreting the world for her young mind to absorb is one you take seriously with pride. In truth you’re not doing anything out of the ordinary.

You’re doing what you signed up for.
You’re being a man I respect and following through on your promise.
You’re doing the only task for which no preparation is enough.
You’re being her one and only.
You’re being her dad.