But what’s changed?

As I’m sure your aware in August 2017 I was told the news that I had a rare but life threatening pregnancy complication. I faced my ultimate fear, death!

I vowed in the days before my surgery (and afterwards when I had a twisted bowel and then later gallstones) that I would be a better person, I vowed to change, to live life better.

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So we are now a year past my last operation and what’s changed?

Well I took the kids out of school for a bit. Looking for a life of travel and life education. But when your solo parenting 4 its just not that easy. When you have a Aldi lemonade budget but want to live a Waitrose Prosecco lifestyle it was never going to work. Besides Jake struggled with the fact he still had to do “school” work.

I ate better for a bit. Then as the fear of the pain eased the chocolate & fish n chips creeped back in.

I returned to swimming and after a short break have now returned again.

I’ve took up doing a 20 min walk 3 times a week. (Up until we all got sick & the cold snap hit. It’s no fun walking up a steep hill with a pushchair when it’s like a skate rink.)

Unfortunately as a family we seem to have drifted further apart lately. Chris works long hours and travels away quite a bit with work.

Don’t get me wrong we had some amazing trips in 2018 but him working the hours he does and only living pay check to pay check is tough for us all.

So what has really changed?

Well

I’m still feeling lost with who I am. Where I want to be.

I had such plans last year maybe it was the adrenaline from the fear of dying that spurred me on.

It’s like we’re stuck in a bit of a rut waiting for a better life. Waiting for the kids to grow. Waiting until we’re in a better financial place.

What’s next?

Well I want to figure out what I can do as a career. I have often said in the past that I want to make this blog and social media a way of making income but I all honesty I don’t think I’m cut out for it.

I think I’ve lost my passion for blogging a little because I’m trying to hard to make it work as a business. I’ve lost sight of my ‘why’.

I need to crack on with my #fitfor40 because that big number will be here in a flash.

I need to figure out a way to get our family living a better relationship. Stop the fighting and negativity.

Make the most of life. Breath in every second.

Outlook.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll be back here in a year with the same post wishing I’d lived better for the past year. Maybe this time is the time. Our time to find a better way to live life!

I just want to say thank-you to all of you that have supported me over the past year and a half or more.

To those that live in my phone and take the time to comment, ask how I’m doing, and support from afar. You help me each and every day.

Those that are there in my real life I don’t know what I would do without you.

So thank-you from the bottom of my heart.

Until next time.

Nina x

Crisis Point, Identifying Areas of stress.

Over on Instagram last week I said that our home had reached crisis point.

I just wanted to elaborate a little and make some plans to fix it.

I feel like certain parts of our life are getting out of control and I think it’s affecting us all.

I know my wellbeing is suffering.

Things need fixing before it gets to the point of no return.

I thought if I say my plans out loud here it will make me more accountable.

There are a few areas of our life that need some attention.

I’m going to split them in to categories to make it a little easier for me to deal with.

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Clutter

Problem

So this I think is by far the biggest thing that we struggle with and that causes the most arguments!

I dont want to become a minimalist as I do enjoy stuff and I enjoy shopping (What women doesn’t!)I just need to minimise what we have. There is that old saying if it isn’t useful or beautiful get rid if it! This needs to be adopted more into our house.

Plan

Writing down all the different areas that really need decluttering. And working out which ones are high up on the list of places that stress me out! The places in use and every time I curse because I can’t find something.

Organisation & cleaning.

Problem

To follow up from decluttering,  I need to a better way to be organised. Paperwork, clothes, toys etc. Although we have great storage in our play room we never seem to tidy properly.

Plan

The plan is to create a better schedule so that organisational jobs get done throughout each day!

Fitness & Health

Problem

Since having my gallbladder out it was like I was given free reign of food again. so I’ve slipped back into old habits of eating processed rubbish, take outs and too much naughty stuff in general. This has not only made me put weight back on but its affecting my mood and is contributing to my fatigue!

Plan

So in July its my 38th Birthday which means I’m only 2 years away from hitting 40. My plan is to get #fitfor40 . I have spoken to my doctor who is helping me to see what areas i need to change. I obviously know what I need to start with so creating healthy meal plans for each month, and making sure I am active each day are on my to do list.

Debt

Problem

Money is not something anyone every talks about. I really think this doesn’t help when it comes to getting in debt.

We as a family have debt, just like alot of people however they never seem to shift. for too long we have just moved our money around and around, we dont have an emergency budget and live pay date to pay date.

Plan

We need to get our head out of the sand and start budgeting. We need to take hold of what we earn and pay off those niggling little debts.

Home School

Problem

I feel like I’m failing and unorganised. Im living week to week with no real learning goals or plans.

Plan

Although I know I need to chill out a little when it come to how much the kids need to learn I also know that we need to tackle certain things especially when it comes to Jake. So I want to create some kind of learning plan. Setting different tasks up maybe each month. and

Being a couple

Problem

The littlest twins are now 8 Month but they are still in our room and they are still having moment where they need settling through the night. This coupled with the fact that most of our time lately has been focused on my health issues and raising two sets of twins means that arguments have crept up, date nights have pretty much been non existent.

Plan

We need to fit in dates more often. Even if that just means a coffee one morning at the coffee shop – (No Phones) Or an afternoon at the cinema.

 

They are some of the areas I need to work on. One other big issue is the kids behaviour. The past few days have been horrendous. I haven’t  got the energy to talk about it here It has to be its own crisis category suffice to say there are issues with going to bed, jealousy issues with the babies, sibling fighting with each other.

 

Please feel free to offer me any tips on the above categories. I appreciate your comments and encouragement.

Nina xx

May Word Of The Month

April’s word of the month was Dare. Dare to say yes, dare to take on home schooling.

Well a month has passed and we have been so busy home schooling.

I have said yes more and I have taken on things to improve my confidence

April felt like a busy crazy month.

It has taken its tole on me I think.

So this month my word of the month has to be actually two words – Self Care

I will write in another post ways I can practice a little self care in another post.

I have many many symptoms throughout my body that have come and gone since the babies came along.

Most of them are anxiety and stress.

I need to work out throughout the next month how I can self care more.

One of the things that will help is our upcoming trip to Norfolk. Our First Adventure as a family during our gap year!

Join me on instagram following the #spencersarcselfcare throughout May to see what I get up to to boost my wellbeing, eliminate my symptoms and hopefully reclaim my mojo!

What is your word of the month! do you have any plans throughout May?

Nina x

Spa Membership V’s Public Swimming Pool.

A couple of years ago I became a member of the local spa, I only really use it for the pool. Towards the end of my pregnancy I let my membership lapse. After Christmas I decided to renew it.

A six month membership at Clumber Park Hotel and Spa is currently £225 for 6 months.

If I went to the local pool 3 times a week which I aim to do it would cost £343 for 6 months.

With the added bonus of being able to use the gym facilities and children being able to swim for free from 4pm – 6pm.

The spa pool as a member is open to me from 7am – 9pm 7 days a week.

The public pool has set times that you can swim due to school using it and lessons happening.

I love going swimming at the spa, when you arrive you are greeted by the delicious smell of essential oils, and the sound of relaxing music playing in the background.

I grab a towel. As a member I get to borrow their freshly laundered fluffy towels.

Head to the changing rooms that have under floor heating and again has relaxing music playing in the background.

Once changed I head to the pool take a pool side shower and head for my swim.

I never commit myself to timing lengths or counting lengths. I just swim. Sometimes I swim with no thoughts. Other days I swim and plan my perfect day or plan my week / day.

I went yesterday and after my swim I decided to have 10 mins in the outdoor hot tub.

While I was there a squirrel sat about 2 meters away from me eating.

It’s great at Clumber surrounded by trees with just enough gaps in them to let the sun beam down on sunny days.

There is also a sauna & steam room but I’m not really a fan of those.

On a weekend I often take a little more time when daddy has the kids and have a cuppa in the cafe bar after my swim. I Sit in one of the sofas in a snug area.

I’m totally the spa fan. It’s great for my wellbeing.

Nina x

Pictured is MGM – Clumber Park Hotel & New Leaf Spa

Relieving Anxiety – During an MRI Scan

Having just got out of my 3rd MRI scan in 5 Months for 3 different conditions I thought I would write a little post on what I found helped keep me calm during the scans.

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Before I start I just want to tell you that the first scan was while I was pregnant and was suffering from reflux. Obviously, in an MRI scanner, you are laid flat. Something that I’d not done for months. So I could feel the acid coming up and panicked. I ended up pressing the panic button twice!!

If they take you out of the scanner they have to start again from the beginning so if you can keep calm it is beneficial.

When you are sent for an MRI they will ask you a series of questions keep you safe.

They will include but not limited to:

  • Have you ever had metal in your eye
  • Could you be pregnant
  • Have you had any operations in the past 3 months?
  • Do you have metal pins anywhere in your body?
  • Do you have medicine patches – e.g. stop smoking patch or a pain relief patch.

The scanner works by using magnets which is why there is so much emphasis on the metal in your body.

When you arrive depending on where they need to scan you will be asked to remove your clothes and put on a gown.

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Normally if you have no metal on your clothes you may be able to leave them on.

Those that wear a bra I would opt to put on one with no fastenings that way you could leave it on.

Remove all jewellery and hair clips.

If you can, keep your socks on it can be chilly in the scan room.

The scanner is noisy but the operators will give you some ear defenders to put on.

Some of the noises and vibrations can range from

  • When you walk past workers, digging the road with a heavy duty road drill
  • A washing machine on the highest spin.
  • A thump like if you were to slide downstairs on your bottom.
  • Buzzing like a smoke alarm but duller

They will give a squeezy button in case you panic or feel you need to get out.

How to keep calm during the scan

  • Firstly ask what’s going to happen and how long the scanning will take.
  • Ask them to talk you through each step. And countdown each scan. The MRI is usually made up of a series of scans each lasting a few mins each. The first one I had they didn’t talk to me at all which made me panic. On the scans since I’ve asked for them to count down and talk me through each scan.
  • Some mindful breathing is a good way to pass the time and stop you getting into a full-blown panic. There are some great apps out there to practice beforehand. Otherwise just breathing in for a count of 5 hold for 2 out for 6. And repeat. Also, concentrate on the breath. Where you breathe in where the breath goes in the body and then where it leaves the body.
  • Mentally plan, this could be what you’re having for dinner, your next holiday, a shopping list. I find this always passes the time for me.

I took to Facebook to ask other bloggers that had been through an MRI what their top tip would is to calm them down during an MRI.

  • I had one last year. I just took deep breaths and kept thinking every time one scan is done I am closer to it finishing. after about 5 minutes though I was fine and actually nearly fell asleep. Jo – The Knight Tribe
  • I had one just this week. I had brain surgery in August so this was to see if they got it all out (the tumour not the brain😂). It was only my 2nd one and I must admit I’m not too bothered about them. But I’m full of a cold and was struggling to stay still so I visualized a luxury beach holiday – I was snorkelling, swimming, eating great food, lying on a giant bed etc. It was quite enjoyable! Told hubby this is the holiday we are having when I get the all clear! Claire – She Eats
  • I’ve had MRI Scans on my Pituitary which was damaged following the birth of my child. Having a MRI can be a little nerve-racking. My advice would be to read up on what to expect. For example, I didn’t know how long my MRI would be or that the machine makes a loud noise and knowing beforehand would have better prepared myself. Angela – The Inspiration Edit 
  • I highly recommend hypnosis. I’ve used it on so many occasions now including scans and it works wonders. There’s some brilliant hypnosis tracks in iTunes you can use to prepare yourself for it. Hollie – Thrifty Mum
  • This sounds weird but I always count the sounds that the MRI makes. Recently I’ve been so relaxed I’ve started to drift off. I have both MRIs where my body is outside and where I’m right in the ‘tunnel’. This has helped both times. Katy – Katy Kicker
  • I’ve had 12 over the last 3 years and spent 1.5 hours in there just last month. I play games while I’m in there, just silly things like I go through the alphabet and think of an animal for each letter, or list as many foods as I can think of starting with the letter S. Anything to focus my mind and pass the time. Laura  – Five Little Doves 
  • When I had mine quite a few years ago now they said I could bring in a CD to listen to… Though they forgot to put the CD on and played Christmas Carols instead, which I hated, but the thought was there! Sophie – Life As Mrs D 
  • I had an MRI this week actually. I closed my eyes, meditated and practised slow breathing during it and found that it kept me very calm and relaxed during the entire thing. Emma – Our Fairytale Adventure

If you suffer from claustrophobia they can give you some sedation to have a scan. Obviously during my first one while pregnant this wouldn’t have been an option, however. This time I was also offered an eye mask to put on. The lady before me said it really helped her. I have always just shut my eyes during it.

I hope this helps if you’re off for an MRI. It can be daunting.

Good luck!

Nina x<<<<
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Gallstones Diet Plan

If you’ve read this post you will know that I have been told I have gallstones and I am currently awaiting minor surgery to remove my gallbladder.

I’ve said a million times that I need to be healthier let’s face it most of us have.

When I was faced with the worst scare of my life ( My cesarian hysterectomy with an unknown amount of blood loss) I prayed and told whoever was listening that I promised to be a better person, I’d eat better, exercise more and try to just be an all-round better person If they just could let me get through the op!

Now I’ve survived I have not much choice to but fulfil my promise as I have had to revamp my diet due to the gallstones!

I now have to follow a low-fat diet!

It’s one thing to be told low fat but what does that mean?

Well from talking to several people and using the knowledge I have from doing a healthy eating course years ago I have devised some rules for my new healthy eating lifestyle.

  • Low Fat –  Under 10 Grams of fat in any 100g
  • Low saturated fat – Under 5g in any 100g
  • Low Sugar – Under 10g in any 100g
  • Less Processed Foods – Wherever possible Home cooked foods with fresh ingredients
  • Hydrate – Drink 2 litres of water per day
  • Plenty of fruits & Veggies – A least 5 portions
  • Protein – As I’m still rebuilding muscles from my last op protein is important to aid them rebuilding
  • Carbs – Should be whole grain, Like brown, rice, pasta, bread.

So that is my diet plan

I’m going to print it out and stick it to the fridge!

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Feel free to do the same.

Leave in the comments if you have any tips for gallstone diets?

 

Nina x

 

The amazing moving placenta & the waiting game

It’s 6am and I’m laid in an unfamiliar hospital bed. You see I went into my local hospital with a sharp lower back pain on and off and a few cramps like period type cramps that Werner really regular.

The pains came on on Wednesday 16th but as they Werner regular and I had an appointment already on the Thursday I just waiting until then. Where they sent me round to the maternity ward to be monitored.

I spoke briefly about about my placenta being low in a previous post. However while I have been monitored and babies have been monitored I have had a few Drs and my consultant unbeknown to me looking at my previous scans and notes.
They decided Friday afternoon that I should have an MRI scan to check the position of the placenta fully. As non of the photos were clear enough.
They are worried Incase it’s attached to organs or my previous section scaring – this could cause major bleeding
So while I had breakfast lunch & dinner at hotel NHS they went off to try and book this.
Unfortunately they came back and being a weekend with several bigger hospitals staff to do the MRI on leave (as I’m not actually in labour or bleeding I’m non emergency) we have to wait until Monday. But because there is a high risk of placenta bleeding if I go into labour I have to stay in.

Well not only stay in but be transferred to a different hospital over an hour from my home & my children where if I do happen to labour or bleed they have more measures in place to cope.
So at 6am I lay here in a bay in a ward by myself. Hubby left at about midnight as he just couldn’t get comfy.

I am laid here on a Saturday morning in the quiet not the normal mummy can I have my I pad. Mummy can I have breakfast at grandmas. Mummy can I watch telly in your bed.
And although family & friends keep saying make the most of it. I can’t help laying here anxious about what’s going to happen Petrified of worst! And laid here missing my big babies and feeling guilty that we chose to have more and now I’m having to be away from them.

Drs will be due after breakfast and I think they are going to tell me that not only do I have to wait for Monday for a scan but when I go for it I will have to got to yet another bigger city hospital for it!

Let’s hope it’s all ok and not attached and I can go home and rest for a week and a bit while I wait for my planned section that I had only just started getting my head around.

Is much rather wake up to these two. Noise or no noise.