And then there were three…

Seeing as I have just been advised that it is ‘blogtober’ it seems like the perfect time for us to get started!

My name is Joanna and I am a first time mummy, to a wonderful little girl called Lily Bernadette.

Lily came into my world on Wednesday 21st June 2017 , at 1.01 am , by emergency C-section and nothing has been the same since. My world has gone from revolving round the busy 9-5 office life, to being filled with dirty nappies, sleepless nights and milky smiles and I  wouldn’t change a thing!

My pregnancy came as a HUGE shock, as I had just gotten engaged my childhood sweetheart and had thrown myself right into the chaos of wedding planning. I had also just started my dream job so babies were not in our plans for at least a few years. Our plan was possibly to follow the IVF route as I have a genetic neurological condition called Neurofibromatosis and although my situation is a very mild case, I did not want to pass this on, but here we are.

Whatever the outcome of Lily’s assessment, we will get though it together as a family.

No amount of reading or shopping could have prepared me for motherhood but I am slowly finding my way.

Come back soon to hear about my mummy mishaps and see more of my cuties face ❤

 

 

 

We have been nominated for Blogger Recognition Award!

 I was delighted to find out that Lily and Me has been nominated the Blogger Recognition Award by the wonderful Misisblog

The Blogger Recognition award is a fabulous award by bloggers for bloggers,to recognize the dedication,hard work and efforts it takes to be a blogger.

 

How it works

To take part in this award the rules are very simple.  If you choose to accept your nomination (Let’s face it, who wouldn’t! ) just follow the below easy steps.

  • Compose a short post about your nomination for the award and give thanks to your fellow blogger who has nominated you, providing a link to their blog.
  • Tell us in a short summary how your blog came to be.
  • Share two pieces of wisdom you would give to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 of your fellow bloggers to nominate.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

Simple!!!

 

How ‘Lily and Me’ came to be

I have always wanted to write, but always thought no one would want to hear what I had to say.

Like many others I have encountered many hard times in my life, and of course great times too. Getting older and having my daughter has given me confidence and comfort in myself that younger me never though I would have so I decided to bite the bullet and put myself out there because rejection is better than ‘what if’

I hope that speaking about my experiences publicly can help others, like younger me, who may be going through similar things.

Of course I also hope to raise awareness surrounding issues such neurofibromatosis, pnd and depression.

 

Advice to new bloggers

  • Just do it – Don’t worry to much about what, where, why etc..once you get started you’ll be surprised how easy the writing comes.
  • Carry a notepad. – Ideas can come to you at the most random times. Keep a small notepad on hand to jot these down, as you may not remember it later.

 

My Nominations

I had the pleasure of choosing 15 blogs to nominate and have come across some pretty fantastic reds in the process!

The 15 I have chosen to nominate are

  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

 

 

 

Me, myself and I – When there’s too much inside your head.

Today is World Mental Health Awareness Day, so it’s as good a day as ever for this.

Today I feel great. I spent the day with my daughter, went to the park and in general had a good time, aside from some incredibly stinky nappies I had the honor of changing! I haven’t always felt OK though. In fact I have had times where I felt so down, I questioned whether I wanted to live or not.

Four years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable genetic neurological disorder called Neurofibromatosis, that can affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves and skin. In general I had always been quite healthy, but did suffer from migraines that were so bad I would lose vision, balance and as they were so exhausting I would need a full day after they had subsided to recover. I have a very mild case and am mostly unaffected.

At my appointment, I was given very little information about the condition but also given some highly inaccurate information surrounding my future and having children. That combined with my own online research about NF1 ( I highly recommend not to do this! ) terrified me beyond belief. I worried about every possible scenario that NF can cause. Cancer, brain tumors, scoliosis, loss of sight or hearing and much more. It led to one of the worst years of my life where I alienated myself from my friends and family and used drink and sleeping tablets as a coping mechanism.  I was too afraid to talk about how I felt, and knew that I would struggle to keep myself together if I was with people so I hid away. This only led to further unhappiness caused by loneliness and paranoia.

Eventually I started to get back to myself a little bit, after moving home and spending time with family but I never dealt with the underlying issues, and it came back to me worse then the first time round. My work and home life suffered immensely as I experienced terrible anxiety attacks and struggled to get through the day. Again I was using the wrong methods to cope, taking over the counter painkillers as soon as I felt slightly anxious.

I knew I had to get help when I needed to take something to even get through the day, and when it be came a daily thought that if I died, my head wouldn’t hurt anymore and I would have some peace. I ran into a colleague on my walk to work and as they approached me to say hello, I broke down in tears and ran away to hide in the nearest toilet but knew I couldn’t go about my day as normal so my fiance called PIPs who are a charity that deliver Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Services, Counselling and Therapies across Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland, and arranged for them to see me right away.

I spent 4 months doing one to one therapy and 6 months taking Sertraline and strongly believe that talk therapy is the best although I know that every one responds to treatment differently. My counselor helped me to deal with and accept my situation and to focus on the positives on my life. I am quite healthy and have a very mild case of NF1 . I have a very supportive partner, family and friends.

The first step towards my recovery was asking for help, and there is plenty of help out there, whether it’s help from family, friends or members of the health service.

I will always be grateful to those who helped me get to where I am today.

If you are affected by a poor mental health, or are concerned for the mental health of a loved one you can contact PIPs here

If you have NF and are looking to connect with a wonderfully supportive community for advice come join ‘Faces of Neurofibromatos’ on Facebook  here 

If you aren’t yet ready to talk about dealing with NF but want some inspiration from two strong positive young women thriving through life visit Katie and Charlotte here