Better To Be Safe

Back in May Matt mentioned to me that he noticed one of my freckles on my back had a dark circle in it. I shrugged it off and said it had probably always been like it, but Matt wasn’t so sure and told me to speak to my GP. Again, I brushed it off as I said they weren’t seeing anyone so I would wait.

He kept nagging me and said it was important to get it checked especially given family history. So i relented and filled out an online consultation, my doctor emailed me within an hour asking for a picture of the freckle so he could have a look. I sent it over to him and thought nothing more, he then called again and said whilst he didn’t think it would be anything suspicious (why they don’t just say cancer I do not know) he was going to refer me to dermatology under a 2 week wait. I know from work that a 2 week wait is the cancer pathway.

I would be lying if I was to tell you that I didn’t have a meltdown. I managed to worry myself silly, thinking that I had cancer, I was going to need treatment and be unable to care for my daughter, lose my hair and worst case not be around to see my little girl grow up. Honestly I was a mess, Matt really had to work hard to talk me down and keep me grounded.

I was booked in for an appt a week later, Matt was working and they said I couldn’t take my daughter in with me, initially I didnt want to tell anyone what was going on after just losing my grandad to skin cancer BUT I needed someone to have our little girl. So I told my mum and she agreed to sit in the car with her whilst I went for my appointment. Just overjoyed she could see her granddaughter!

The day of the appointment came and I told Matt I didn’t want to go, I said that I would just leave it and what will be will be. He was firm and told me that I was to go and that all it would be was an examination and a chat & to call him straight after.

So I went, reluctantly, they were running half hr late, which made me even more nervous. The Doctor was great, he talked to me about my health and our family history and the history of my freckle which was limited! Given my recent pregnancy and the fact that we didn’t know how long it had been like it, he took a closer look under some sort of telescope thing. He then said to be safe lets get that removed, my heart sunk – did he then think it was bad?! I said ok, when will that be? I was shocked when he said they would do it there and then! Bloody surgery twice in 3 months! My face must have looked worried, he was quick to tell me that it was precautionary and he was sure that it wasn’t cancerous but we needed to be sure & if it was that we would have caught it early. He reassured me that he would do a telephone consultation with me after 6weeks.

So in I went for a little more surgery! Nice and easy this time, all I had to do was lay still and chill out. If I am honest I enjoyed the rest. It was over and done within 20minutes and I was back in the car, mum and Matt both shocked they removed it that day.

On the outside for the weeks after I must have looked really chill about it all, worried more that my scar was healing nicely and there was no infection. Underneath I was so anxious about my results, petrified that it would be bad news. How would I tell people, what if my hair fell out, I needed to write a will, I needed Matt to know what I felt was important for our little girl as she grew. I had written myself a life sentence before I had even got the results.

Everyone that I told and spoke with about it was amazing, so positive and kind but inside I was thinking, they dont bloody know if its going to be ok! Of course they are being like that, I would be saying exactly the same thing. So in the end I just kept my thoughts to myself and waited patiently.

Tuesday I got a call, my heart sunk it was a week earlier than my scheduled call. I thought this is it, I am going to find out I have cancer – they wouldn’t call early if it was good news. I asked the Doctor if I needed to sit down for the chat but he said no you have nothing to worry about. It wad a harmless freckle and we removed it all, you are fine. Just keep using suncream and try to stay covered in the sun, check your moles and freckles and speak to your GP again if your concerned.

I won’t lie, I had a cry, relieved more than anything & frustrated that I had got myself so wound up and scared.

For me, it was tough and I know that not everyone gets the same outcome I did. Now, I feel like I have got a lucky break, but it means I am more conscious about wearing suncream, being more covered up and checking myself regularly. Not just my moles and freckles but my boobs too & ensuring I keep up to date with my smear tests. Losing anyone is HARD, so if you can be cautious and check yourself regularly you may just be able to prevent anyone having to lose you.

So if you do nothing else this week, check your boobs (or balls if your a guy!), look at your body and know what is normal for you. Speak up and don’t be afraid if you have any concerns.

Its better to be safe than sorry.

Emma xx

Normality

I am laid in bed TV on, watching my partner & baby girl sleep – life couldn’t feel more normal if it tried.

This weekend has been the first weekend in a long time that things have felt normal. We have spent time with friends & family, ate good food, had a sneaky glass of wine or 2 and enjoyed life as a family of 3.

We should have spent at least 1 day this weekend at Southsea Food Festival, it wasn’t meant to be this year. We did manage to have some quality family time at Southsea today though. We took Bella to 10th Hole, sat outside and enjoyed some lunch – it felt normal, even though there was social distancing measures in place (which I want to assure you we adhere to). We then took a stroll along the seafront, again keeping our distance but it felt GOOD. It felt nice to be out just us 3, in the sun, without a care in the world.

My friend asked me yesterday if I felt back to myself yet? I thought it was a strange question, but its played on my mind since and I wondered what that feeling of being back to myself was. Something has definitely felt different this week, I have felt more settled, more organised and a bit more in control of our weekday life. I have come to terms with the fact that my maternity leave isn’t going to be the way I thought, I am starting to soak up and enjoy it for what it is. So I don’t feel back to myself as myself is someone new, my priorities are different, my needs and wants are different, my body is different. I am however happy with the new me and what I can do, who I am and how my life had changed.

Our lives are different now, not just because we have had our gorgeous little girl, but because the world is different now. So for anyone going through big life changes at the moment, be a bit more kinder to yourself. You not only are having to learn how to live differently due to a global pandemic but you are also learning how to live differently due to life changes that are happening to you.

Emma xxx

Being A Mummy

So if you caught up with my recent blog posts you will know that I recently became a mummy (read all about it here). Its something that I thought I may never be and always wanted. However I won’t lie it hasn’t been the easiest, mainly I think due to the current pandemic the world is facing. It had left Matt and I with little to no support especially for the first couple of months which I know as a first time was really hard, in fact I think I will do a separate post on that.

Anyway! This blog post was birthed in the shower, where I think we all have our brilliant ideas. I was there, showering away thinking that I really need to do a deep clean of the bathroom & as its raining I could do that tomorrow as well as sort out little bear’s clothes she has grown out of and I just started creating myself a list. Then it struck me, hold on, I am expecting myself to be able to do all of that AND feed, play, nurture, basically keep my baby alive – what am I superwoman?!

That’s when it struck me; I am on maternity leave. I am off work to take care of my newborn baby, keep her safe and nurture her for the first year of her life. I am not a lady of leisure who doesn’t work and has all the hours to keep the house immaculate and have tea on the table each night, my job for 12 month’s is to look after our baby & anything else I can achieve I should see as a bonus.

For the past 2 months since Matt has been back to work, I have seen it as my duty, as I am home most of the day, to ensure; dinner is on the table, the washing is up to date, the washing up is done, the house is tidy – basically all the housework AND look after the baby. Do you know why? Because if I didn’t and I saw him doing the hoovering or washing I felt guilty like I wasn’t doing my fair share and had done nothing with my day. How ridiculous is that, looking after a newborn is hard enough as it is, but to put that expectation on myself too – no wonder I had felt useless on days where I could only manage to feed and change little bear.

It then made me wonder, what would I have been like if I could go to baby classes, take her swimming, just basically live a life with no covid. Would I be even more stressed, wanting to do all the things with her, then wanting to be the best housewife & beating myself up when I couldn’t do it all? Who knows, that life isn’t mine to have unfortunately, or fortunately!

I made the decision then, in that shower that from now on, I am going to ENJOY my maternity leave with my baby. I very much doubt that in her lifetime I will ever be able to spend a year solidly with her again. So I am going to soak up as much as I can, make the most of what we CAN do and not grieve any longer for what we CAN’T do. If I manage to do house work too then that is great, but if I don’t then it will have to wait another day. The important thing is to take care of our little bear, teach her things & help her grow.

So for all you other new mums out there, don’t think you have to be superwoman. You have got this time off to care for your baby NOT be a live in cleaner & nanny. Don’t set expectations that are unrealistic, enjoy spending time with your baby – you won’t get this time back, they are only little for so long – the washing will always be there!

Emma xxx

Happy 4th Of July

6 years ago I was sat in Carmel Indiana watching an independence day parade before going to a demolition derby and fireworks. I have such fond memories of celebrating July 4th and if I could spend every year in America celebrating I would. I hope one day Matt & I can take our little bear out there to celebrate so she can enjoy all the fun things – its such a shame we don’t have any celebrations like that in England.

Anyway! I thought this would be a great chance to dig out the photo album and reminisce of memories of all of my trips to the states over the years.

I have made so many great memories, I can’t wait to make more over the years, there are still so many places I can’t wait to explore in America!

Where are your favourite places to visit & where would you recommend? You can check out all my blogs of America by clicking here!

Emma x