Dear Daisy-Mae…

I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while, and saw a similar one posted on social media this morning which reminded me… so here goes…

To my dearest Daisy-Mae,

You’ve asked so many times when you will be a big sister, when we can have a baby for you to play with and to look after.

And here is the truth: Mummy considers herself to be incredibly blessed to have you in her life and loves you more than you will ever understand. But, the simple truth is that you won’t ever be a big sister.

You see, when I was growing you in my tummy, it made mummy feel so very poorly. We both made it to the end, you came along and were relatively unscathed considering the trauma we had. And the very moment you were born, I looked at you with such love, and I knew there and then, that my baby days, whilst just beginning, were also very much finished.

Seven years on, I see you with other children – the same age, older or younger, and I see what an amazing sister you would have been. You’re the life and soul – everyone wants to be your friend, because you are so very special. You’re caring, loving, funny, clever, dippy, sensitive. You grab every single opportunity that is presented to you with both hands and make every single waking second (and most of the asleep ones too!) count for something. That kind of energy, determination and character attracts so many different kinds of people – young and old. And so I watch you, nurturing your relationships with people and I wish above all, that I could grant you that wish.

But, my darling girl, if it’s down to Mummy, you won’t ever be a big sister for one very simple reason. The risk of giving you that longed for sibling is too much. How could I ever risk leaving you, without me when I’m all you have? I just couldn’t.

So, I promise you right now that I’ll do anything and everything possible to help you build friendships so that your friends feel like sisters, and brothers. You have a very special bond with your gorgeous cousin, Isabelle, and as time goes on, I hope that you two just grow closer, that you have each other to confide in. You’re already a force to be reckoned with together – goodness knows what that will be like in 10 years time!

You’ll never know how much it hurts knowing I can’t give you that one special thing, but I think you’ll always, always know just how much I love you and just how incredibly special you are to me…

I’ll love you forever little lady – to the moon and the stars, and back again…

Much love,
Mummy xxx

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What does the future hold???

Again, this week, I find myself thinking about what the future may hold for me, and of course, for my little shadow.

Since the beginning of the breakdown of my relationship before Christmas, I almost wanted to throw myself into something new. I don’t cope well alone. I want to be happy with someone in my life. I can’t be happy unless I have someone in my life. Or so I thought.

The change of role in the day job, and my ever growing Tropic empire (!!! has kind of made me put ‘searching’ for a new relationship on the back burner. And the real surprise was that, for now, I feel quite happy (almost relieved) about being alone again.

I loved ‘the smooth talker’ with everything I had – and more. As I said before, we went through a lot to be together and I stuck with it because I believed he was the one. I know we’ve both struggled to adapt to life without each other, but I don’t think that we will end up living happily ever after, despite how easy it would be to go back to our stupidly happy times. I do however think I need to grieve for the end of something that I thought, and very much hoped, was forever.

And I suppose I need to do that alone. So, I’m not ruling a few dates out here and there, but I know now that my life for the next little while at least must be about surviving as a single mum with a couple of chronic illnesses, about being the best teacher I can be, and about taking over the world with my little Tropic business…

As always, I feel the need to tell you how lucky I am – I have the most supportive family a girl could ever ask for, and I have some fabulous friends who are there in my dark times to drown my sorrows, as well as being there in my lighter times to celebrate life with me!

And of course, my little lady is my reason for being – above all, I want to teach her about healthy relationships, about being financially independent. I want to teach her a strong work ethic and all about mental toughness. I want her to know how it feels to be loved and to know how to love. I want her to be confident, full of self-respect and happy in her own skin. And I know now that the best way for her to learn is to see her mummy setting that example!

So, that’s what my immediate future holds… 🙂

lots of love
Clair xx

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My little angel…

After the worst attempt at a holiday in recent history, Daisy and I ended up back at home on Saturday morning.

I was really quite upset because I’d saved and hoped that this break would be lovely for Daisy, and would allow her to forget about her perceived responsibilities of looking after me for just a few days. For those of you who know Daisy, you will know that she’s a pretty special little girl. Of course, everyone thinks that about their own children, I know this. But Daisy is especially precious, because of everything she deals with, and the manner in which she deals with it.

Last week was her 7th birthday. She desperately wanted a roller skating party. She is the most physical, active little lady you’ll ever meet and so I explained to her that whilst I was happy to organise and pay for the roller skating party, Mummy wasn’t really well enough to do it with her. “It’s ok, Mummy – as long as you’re there, I’ll be happy” was her answer…

On Friday morning, I woke up and could hardly move – the last few weeks had really caught up with me – so unlike most 7 year olds, she packed up her things, my things and anything else she could think of!! On the way down, she told me that “as long as we’re together Mummy, it’ll be ok”, when we discussed whether it would be nice there.

The average age of a young carer is 12. Daisy has been looking after me from the very beginning. There are more than 175,000 young carers in the UK, some as young as 5 years old. Everyone talks about what a sad life that must be, but as a parent, I still do anything I possibly can to let my little madam live the normal life of a 7 year old – often to the detriment of my health. Yesterday, we went to her beloved Chester Zoo – today, I’m pretty much sofa bound, watching her make her own fun. She’s happy though – I yet again feel like I’ve failed her, but she just understands – she never complains or feels like the world owes her something. Not many 7 year olds you can say that about!

That is such a tiny snapshot of why Daisy-Mae is so special – until you meet her, meet us together, you’ll have no idea of the bond we have, of just how special this little lady is.

Please don’t feel pity or sorrow for us though – we have the most amazing relationship and I feel very lucky every day for what we do have, whilst knowing our limitations. It’s really only ever been the two of us – probably always will be…

Love you monkey, more than you’ll ever know…

C xxx

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Trust – leopards with spots, smoke with fire…

Recently, I talked about trust and how that had been completely obliterated in my previous relationship.

And of course, I’m now left wondering how I’ll ever trust anyone again.

I mean, when you’ve put everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) into making something work, only to be let down so incredibly badly, how do you begin to find a way through that???

I’m an ‘all or nothing kind of girl’, it’s how I live every part of my life. So, as I move forward, I find myself pretty scared thinking about meeting someone else and trusting again… I want to be with someone new and I want to have a 100% committed relationship. Like everyone else, I deserve a little bit of happy, I think?? But I now find myself questioning my own judgement – after all, I completely believed everything I was told previously. I believed all the things I was told about the future, the past and was sucked into the promises. I believed it because I wanted to believe it… So, why will the next time be any different?

And at the same time – why should I let one ‘smooth talking bullshitter’ spoil any future relationships? I guess the answer is that I won’t. But it’s going to take a VERY patient man to take me on and help me deal with the insecurities I have now about so many parts of who I am. But in return, I have so much to give and I’ll be the most truthful, faithful partner ever!!! So, let’s hope I find the one and don’t need to become a crazy cat lady, because I really hate cats!!

Much love,
Clair xx

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Light at the end…

It’s been a tough few months for me, both on a health and a personal level. My health didn’t cope well with yet more surgery and I think it just decided to go into meltdown. I’m usually a really positive person, but it’s been a tough climb back out of this black hole this time. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to this ‘life sentence’ – sometimes I feel so bitter that it’s happened to me. At those times, I just have to remember that I can’t do anymore than I’m doing to change it and that I am doing my best, although others don’t always see that.

On a personal level too, it’s been incredibly tough. I met someone two years ago that I believed was my forever person. We went through absolute hell to be together and when we finally got there and had the chance to be happy, it turns out he wasn’t. Those of you who have known me for a while will know how hard it was for me to trust someone new and to let someone in, especially with the baggage that he came with.

I gave up a lot for him and made a lot of changes in our lives – because that’s the kind of person I am. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl I guess.

So, when the lies started, I really believed it was because he was in a bad place in his life and that with support and love, we would get through it. Well, I did support him, I did give him way more chances than any normal person would but the lies got bigger, and much more hurtful. Looking back now, I was naive. But when you want to find the best in people, it’s sometimes what you do.

They say that leopards never change their spots, and they say there’s no smoke without fire. I guess both of those phrases are true. It’s a shame that innocent people have to be dragged through the crap with these lies.

It’s hard to be lied to and to have your control taken away, but it’s harder to live with a liar and to always be wondering what the truth is. And so, walking away becomes the only option. To quote Taylor Swift (!!!), ‘she lost him, but she found herself, and somehow, that was everything’…

And now, with Spring around the corner, I’m looking forward to the future. I’m looking forward to healthier times, to prosperous times, to happier times – and you never know, I’m still holding out for my very own Prince Charming too… 🙂

lots of love
Clair xx

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Have you tried a ginger biscuit..?

People believe that pregnancy is a blessing.

And whilst I’m not disputing that, my pregnancy has defined every day of the almost eight years that have passed since.

HG changed my life in every possible way. HG robbed me of the person that I once was. HG taught me who cared, how strong I could be and that complete strangers, working under almost impossible conditions, could show such a wide range of compassion.

As a young woman, I’d dreamt of a glowing, healthy pregnancy. When I found I was expecting, I already knew, because the sickness had begun. I was first admitted into hospital at less than six weeks pregnant, and the following 33 weeks consisted of trying to stay alive, whilst looking like a heroin addict. I lost more than four stone, all my dignity and any confidence that I once had. I was robbed of my healthy dream.

I was asked several times if terminating the pregnancy would be a better option – especially as liver failure took hold and the already stretched emergency doctors tried to restart it, whilst trying not to harm this unborn ‘thing’ inside me. I resented this ‘thing’ (and that’s exactly how I regarded my unborn child), but I was stubborn and didn’t want to be beaten, so I carried on regardless.

The following months involved trips back and forth to the hospital, the unknown of whether the incredibly strong drugs I was taking to keep me alive would affect my unborn baby, watching my relatively new marriage fall apart right infront of my eyes. I felt more alone and more scared in those few months that I’d ever felt in my life before. And still, I felt cheated.

Everyone said once she was born, all signs of HG would disappear. And they did. Or at least I thought they did. My health never recovered completely – still I suffer every day with what I believe to be the after effects of that pregnancy. My marriage broke down pretty soon after the HG ended. I was eventually diagnosed with post natal depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
But, amongst all of this I was so lucky. I learnt so much about being strong. I learnt who cared, who could look after me and who couldn’t.

And more than anything, I was blessed with an almost perfectly healthy little girl, who knows. She knows that she’s special. She knows that the bond between us is unbreakable. She knows how much we’ve been through together. I’m her best friend. I’m her constant parent, she’s the reason I keep getting up every morning, even when I see no real reason to.

So, yes, my pregnancy was a blessing.

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It’s not all bad..!

I don’t want you to think this blogging malarkey is all about me being miserable and woe is me…

Being diagnosed with hyperemesis almost eight years ago changed my life forever.  I believe that the CFS/fibro came as a result of those awful, awful few months – although the medical professionals don’t necessarily all agree!

But all of the above have taught me so much about who I was, who I am and who I want to be.

I don’t think I was a very nice person before all this – I know some will say differently, but I think I was selfish, lacking in compassion and negative, amongst other things.  Obviously becoming a mum changed me – anyone who says it doesn’t is lying, but it’s much more than that!

Who am I now?  I try really hard to be positive – it’s not easy because I’m grieving for the life I no longer have, but I also know this is how it is.  I might not always feel the best, but I do wake up every morning, ready to see the smiling (sometimes!) 6 year old – and for that I’m grateful.

All I want for the future (apart from the obvious miracle cure! #wishfulthinking) is to be able to help other people in similar circumstances.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m never going to be a shining example of living life with a chronic illness – I swear too much for that for a start..!  But I do want people to know that life as they know it may be gone, but life isn’t over – not by any means…

Much love,
Clair xx

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