The year of 2014… The beginnings of Seb, and a rocky ride with my RA into 2015

The year of 2014…
I know it’s a little late to be trying to recall all of what happened in 2014, but I thought I’d try!! As I’m just sorting out my diaries and calendars, and about to throw out the old calendar…. So here goes! (I guess if it didn’t go on the calendar (which many things often don’t!) it won’t get mentioned here…)

January…I can’t believe how long ago this journey started! I had my implant taken out in November of 2013… that barely feels like yesterday! And so, from then on Seb was part of our thoughts.
My friends Alison had her baby boy Ethan on the 14th January, and Jo and David had their twins Leon and Logan on the 18th January.

My mum and dad visited the Lake District, and we joined them for a walk around Ullswater:

Mum and Dad on the Ullswater Steamer

Mum and Dad on the Ullswater Steamer

Ullswater from the Steamer on a cold January morning

Ullswater from the Steamer on a cold January morning

I began my acupuncture course, and generally felt like I was working constantly, what with working weekends, and the course taking up two weekends as well…. What a contrast to this January!! I also attempted to do the photo-a-day challenge by Fat Mum Slim… but managed less than 10 days…. Excellent start to a New Years Resolution!!

Photo a Day Picture...

Photo a Day Picture…

February continued in the same vein as January, with acupuncture courses filling my weekends, working and being on call…

March brought Miranda at Manchester with Jan and Karen… Such fun! And a little break away, just the four of us to Ingleton for fresh air, good food, and walking (Seb was now more than just a thought, and was quietly growing inside me, and we had just found out!!)

Ingleton hol March 2014 118

April was pretty quiet, Zeus went to a fun agility show in Sandbach and did very well (of course!),

Zeus!!

Zeus!!

and Riva debuted in her first champ show (the HWVA)… she behaved very well and didn’t come last!! Zeus and Riva met up with their sister and half-brother there too…

The Family!! Happy to say our two are the ones not needing to be held in place!!

The Family!! Happy to say our two are the ones not needing to be held in place!!

May brought Daisy’s Christening, in which I did some photography, and boy did I feel it in my shoulders after that!

Ste and Daisy!

Ste and Daisy!

Jan and Karen came to visit, and Bill went to an all you can eat Chinese with the family… and ate steak and salad! Poor old Riva had her hysterectomy too, and we stayed home and cuddled that weekend, while Andrew started the first of his Lakeland Trail runs up in Staveley.

Staying at home in the beautiful springtime weather!! (Riva was hiding in a shady bush!)

Staying at home in the beautiful springtime weather!! (Riva was hiding in a shady bush!)

In June we had Sebs’ 20 week scan… and chose not to find out if he was a boy or a girl… best decision ever!! And then off we drove all the way down to Lands End with the dogs and camping gear for a brilliant camping holiday with beautiful weather… I’m just gutted I couldn’t eat much of the fresh seafood while I was there… or drink the local brew!! Bad timing really, but still a lovely holiday!!

Truely the best was to spend a holiday!! Camping, sun, sea and sand!

Truly the best was to spend a holiday!! Camping, sun, sea and sand!

By this point I had also started my blog… what a journey that has turned out to be!
July saw Andrew continue his Lakeland runs, and I went off to the big smoke with the family on the train to see Monty Python at the O2 Arena which was brilliant!!
We looked after Daisy in August whilst Ste and Annette went to Blackpool to watch Mamma Mia, the following weekend I went down south with Layla in her campervan to Boomtown,

boomtown-line-up-2014-webunfortunately my RA was getting really bad by this point and I had gone off sick once already. The pain left me feeling low and lacking the ability to fully enjoy the experience, as walking, siting, standing even eating was incredibly painful, add that to being 6 months pregnant and you get one unhappy bunny. So sadly, looking back, I left early with Lois and Tony, but all in all it was totally the right decision. Due to the levels of pain I was experiencing, I took the plunge and went Autoimmune Paleo, and cut out Gluten, Dairy, Sugar, Nightshades, Legumes, Pulses, Nuts and Seeds… And the improvements went from there!!

By September I was feeling well enough to return to work, albeit in a non-clinical role, but it was good to get back in to the work place and feel useful and able again. My Birthday came and went rather uneventfully, taking a walk in Goyt Valley with the pooches, and going for a meal with Andrew to the Hanging Gate before staying over at mum and dads.

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Taking a break at Goyt Valley

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My diet was so miraculous in its pain relieving, that I attended an open day at the College of Naturopathic Medicine on the 1st October, which was really inspiring, but due to Seb’s imminent arrival I decided to not go ahead this year… But it has really sparked an interest in learning more about this area of health.

36 weeks pregnant... 2 more weeks and Seb arrived!

36 weeks pregnant… 2 more weeks and Seb arrived!

The following week my Maternity leave began, and right on cue the little man was born two weeks later on the 26th October!! What an amazing experience!! The body really is a pretty amazing thing, and I am so proud of what I have achieved in not only growing and birthing the most perfect little boy… but also in continuing to feed him all the nutrients he needs to continue to grow into a gorgeous bouncing little blue eyed boy…. I love him so much!!

Just a few hours old... My beautiful baby boy!!

Just a few hours old… My beautiful baby boy!!

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November saw the last two of Andrews Lakeland Trails up Helvellyn and Ullswater at the start of the month, and we finished the month by going to the Stampers house warming do. In between I was obviously preoccupied with learning to look after my baby, and he was exceptionally well behaved at the Stampers! Here are a few lovely photos from this busy time… I’m just bursting with pride, so sorry about the over kill!!

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In December Seb attended his first wedding (well, evening do at least!)

First Wedding

First Wedding

He had also been attending baby groups since November, and had his first Christmas Party and met Santa on the 13th.

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Christmas celebrations!!

Christmas celebrations!!

Sadly, on the 21st December his cold got progressively worse, and we were admitted to Preston Hospital with Bronchiolitis and had a 4 day stay, getting discharged on Christmas day. Santa popped by to visit him and brought him a few presents on Christmas morning though so he wasn’t forgotten!!

Seb and Santa

Seb and Santa

Finally we saw out the year at our house with a few friends, and Otto!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

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The family portrait!

In summary… I’ve had a great year, not least because not only has the arrival of Seb been just the most amazing and perfect addition to our family, his conception has led me to get off my bum and do something proactive about my autoimmune condition!! I thought I was being proactive… certainly in a way I would have been pleased with were I a patient of mine… but since going off sick, and reading constantly about nutrition and healing, I have learnt soooooo much, and I have now realised that by taking the medication and going about my life without a second thought, was in fact insanely passive!! I have taken control of my body now… yes things aren’t perfect… yes I still wake feeling pain, yes I still can’t walk up Helvellyn, yes I still feel exhausted some days and want to just sleep… but those feelings are soooooo much less than they were, and the positive feeling I get from knowing that I am doing the best for my body and the best I can for my baby really does make it feel so worth while… and dare I say it? Easy!! Who needs cake when you can have health!!

Here’s to an ever increasingly healthier 2015!!

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We’re all going on a… Summer Holiday :-)

St Buryans, Cornwall

St Buryans, Cornwall

Evening all… Not posted much for a while. I’ve been on HOLIDAY!!! Much needed time for rest and relaxation. YAY!

So I decided to do a blog about my holiday instead of my RA today.

We went to Cornwall, and what a beautiful week we had. We took our time getting down there, staying over in a terrible B&B on the way down (just some chain pub with some very scruffy rooms), to break up the journey, but it did the job.

The next day our trip continued in glorious weather, we stopped off at about 10am at Lifton Farm for some breakfast, it was beautiful! The cherries and strawberries were sooo soft and sweet. There really is nothing like English grown fruit in season! Mmmm!

We then spent the week camping at Tower Park in St Buryan. What a brilliant camp site!! The fact that it was quiet was a big help, but it was so spacious I’m sure even in the height of the holiday season it would have been lovely, plenty of camping space, with trees for shelter and shade, clean and delightfully powerful showers (free too!). A play area, and best of all, doggies welcome! There weren’t any plugs about however, so we weren’t able to charge the phones, but I found it really quite relaxing to not have to worry about the phone. A true relaxing holiday!

The week was filled with gentle walks (although some not so gentle hills and cliffs!), lots of sunshine, reading, sunbathing on beaches with the pooches, a little shopping (for some shorts as none of my ‘bottom half’ clothes fit now!), and lots of cream teas, and Cornish pasties!

Pirates Cove

Pirates Cove

Me and Zeus Sunning ourselves

Me and Zeus Sunning ourselves

Zeus surfing his way in with his stick

Zeus surfing his way in with his stick

Lands End

Lands End

The worst things about the holiday… the fresh sea food… Being pregnant, the ‘advice’ out there is to avoid certain sea food unless it has previously been frozen to avoid listeria. My favourite sea food include: Prawns, Clams, Scallops, Crab, Lobster, Langoustines and so on and so on… and Cornwall have these in abundance, all fresh! Never seen a freezer in their lifetime. I am often dubious about this sort of advice, I’m sure my mother wouldn’t have had this advice regarding food when she had my sisters and I, so I’m sure that the majority of time I would have been absolutely fine enjoying these beautiful fruits of the sea, but equally, is it worth the risk? So… Cornish Pasties it was!! My food was still fine, but it wasn’t what I’d have picked normally… so I guess we’ll just have to go back next year!!

Lands End

Lands End

I particularly enjoyed The Kings Arms in St Just, a lovely little place, and a great pub, it did real ales (mmmmmm….. another thing I couldn’t enjoy!), beautiful looking seafood, and some excellent options of the non-seafood variety, it kept its ‘English Pub’ feel, had a welcoming knowledgeable landlord, and was doggie friendly!!

St Ives

St Ives

And finally on the last day, a boat ride with our salty sea dogs to see the seals setting out from St Ives at midday on the Isla Bea.The first time I’ve ever been on a boat in Cornwall and actually seen seals!! I absolutely loved it!! There’s nothing like being out on the sea!

Zeus patiently waiting to set off out to sea

Zeus patiently waiting to set off out to sea

The Seals!

The Seals!

Salty Sea Dogs!

Salty Sea Dogs!

We followed this with a leisurely drive back up the country, stopping off at the White Lodge in Cheltenham for an over night stay to break up the journey… to be honest, the journey was going pretty well, and we could have been home by about 10pm if we had kept at it, but I think Andrew was keen to get on to some wifi so he could watch Wigan Vs Saints on Sky Go!! We fell on our feet with this B&B, it was beautifully clean and well presented, with stunning gardens for the pooches to stretch their legs, wifi (obviously), and a really tasty breakfast in the morning. We were the only people in that night. I hope it does better trade at other times, as it was a lovely stay and I wouldn’t like to think they were struggling (hopefully not!).

A brilliant break away, with plenty of rest. Getting off the floor every morning was a little tricky, but in general, I was feeling pretty good (regular 5mg steroids did help to make sure I enjoyed myself), and the levels of rest vs activity were just about right.

 

Chilling!!

Chilling!!

Happy Holidays everyone… how long will this feeling last??!