Why I’m opting for risk reducing surgery at 22

As women we are constantly told to check our breasts… admittedly I try to when I can but normally it is at the bottom of my to-do list, plus I always wondered… at 22 do I REALLY need to check? I guess after recent events it’s safe to say, yes. Back in May, I started noticing some discomfort in my left breast but I dismissed it… after all one of the many perks of being a woman is that our breasts just hurt sometimes due to hormonal changes.

A few weeks went by and following the discomfort I began noticing some discharge from my left nipple, it was blood-stained but for some reason I ignored it, completely dismissed it. I had a little feel and lo and behold there was a lump, so after sticking my head in the sand for a little bit I went to see my GP who examined it. They advised me they were not too happy with it so referred me to the breast screening team as a 2 week urgent referral.

2 weeks of stress passed and I met the specialist, she had a feel, discussed my symptoms and my family history and said she thinks there may be something called a “papilloma” and wanted to arrange an ultrasound but reassured me it was nothing to worry about…after all I am only 22.

My ultrasound came and was admittedly the worst point of this whole situation. The sonographer was rude and blunt. She looked at me while laying there, (rather exposed) and said “right well where is this supposed lump?” She then proceeded to blame my nipple piercing… wrong… so wrong.

I then saw a consultant who spoke to me about the situation, and it was a bit like de ja vu. She advised me she she too felt there were maybe 2 or 3 papillomas causing the lumps and discharge. She discussed something called a “Hadfields procedure” and wanted to refer me to the breast surgeon.

I went away and did my reasearch.

“An intraductal papilloma is a wart-like lump that develops in one or more of the milk ducts in the breast. It’s usually close to the nipple, but can sometimes be found elsewhere in the breast. Intraductal papilloma is a benign (not cancer) breast condition. Some people who have multiple intraductal papillomas may also have a slightly higher risk of developing breast cancer. “

https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/have-i-got-breast-cancer/benign-breast-conditions/intraductal-papilloma

A Hadfields procedure is an operation carried out to disconnect and remove the major nipple ducts and some breast tissue. This will take approximately 20 minutes and is usually undertaken under a general anaesthetic (you are asleep). – https://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/patient-information-leaflets/Breast%20unit%20Hadfields%20procedure.htm

The day came where I met with the surgeon, 11/12/2019 and she agreed as a risk reducing procedure it was beneficial to do the Hadfields procedure, taking into account that there is a family history of breast cancer. Of all things to ask, I asked the surgeon: “Will there be a visible difference? Will people notice part of my left breast is gone?” She smiled sweetly and advised; “providing you wear padded bras then no, but if you were topless or intimate with someone it would be obvious, yes.” So I nodded, signed all the forms and left. It didn’t really hit me straight away, and I still don’t think the full extent of it has hit me.

24 hours on and I’ve been crying in random bouts. I have an untold amount of questions but obviously this is the best outcome, as it stands at present. Two lumps are benign and by having them removed it is reducing a huge risk of them ever changing which papillomas have a tendency to do. If there is one thing I have taken from all of this, it is the importance of checking your breasts, and reporting any changes to your GP.

I’m sure I’ll write the outcome of the surgery once I have had it, but for now it’s time to accept what is going to happen.

Have you been through anything similar? I would love if you could share your experiences with me

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How to survive sleep deprivation as a parent

Ahh sleep deprivation! Something all parents know far too well. My first experience was in pregnancy, especially during my last trimester. I was SO uncomfortable, with a mixture of heartburn and restless leg syndrome making it almost impossible to get sleep, not to mention it taking hours just to get comfortable. Of course I still had silly comments like… “Get the most of sleep, it’ll be gone before you know it” – incorrect! At 35 weeks pregnant I felt like I had already said farewell to sleep.

After my beautiful boy was born, I thought I had hit the jackpot. Oliver slept through, that’s right… SLEPT THROUGH! He would maybe wake for a breastfeed at around 5am, but would sleep back through until around 9am, and boy did I brag about it. Obviously karma got the better of me because at around 4 weeks old his colic kicked in and it was “Adios, sleep!” and “Hola, sleep deprivation”. To put it bluntly: The. Child. Would. Not. Sleep. Yet, still I had people making stupid comments like “You look tired, you should sleep when baby sleeps” – assuming that said baby even slept? I remember thinking to myself “f*****g idiots”

Now at 2.5 years Oliver is slightly better with his sleep, I say slightly because last Sunday he had me up at 4am (ON MY ONE DAY OFF). I think all parents have experienced sleep deprivation at some point, and it’s a whole new level of tired because, although you’re exhausted, you still have this little human to care for (and I’m convinced Oliver has this way of sensing when I am shattered).

So here are some of my tips for surviving sleep deprivation with a little one:

  1. Forget the house work, if you have had a bad night with your little bundle of joy IF they nap, you nap too.
  2. Lazy days are a MUST. If both you and baby have had a rough night, a day with blankets, snacks and films are essential.
  3. know your limits, say no to people ” popping round ” Unless of course it’s a close friend or relative who is prepared to help said sleep deprivation
  4. IGNORE any comments on how tired you look. There is categorically no such thing as a perfect-looking sleep deprived parent – they’re a myth.
  5. Caffeine (unless you’re breastfeeding) – I have had and still have many a day where I can be seen clutching onto a coffee first thing in the morning, followed by an energy drink at lunch time to stop me crashing. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, and a 7 hour shift with 3.5 hours sleep is no walk in the park, let me tell you!
  6. Accept any help. I’m fortunate that my sister is studying to be a SEN teacher, so she often offers to watch Oliver for an hour if I have had a bad night so that I can get some much needed shut eye (especially if I am having an endometriosis flare up/PCOS flare up)!

My final piece of advice is remember that sleep deprivation isn’t permanent. It does get better, and although you may feel like a complete Zombie right now, it will pass, and to put it bluntly (because I never have and never will sugar-coat parenting), you are not the only parent going through this. Anyone who says their child has always slept through the night is lying, all children go through a phase of not sleeping!

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Wonderful Women: Being a Single Mompreneur

This weeks Wonderful Women Wednesday is with Claire Middleton, a single mum of three who runs a popular salon based in Hythe which recently won two bronze awards at The Kent Health and Beauty Awards 2019

Claire was nominated for this feature because she makes being a business owner and a single mum of three look easy, no matter what challenges she faces Claire powers through them and is a true inspiration to others.

1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Claire I’m 42, single mum of 3. 2 of my children are autistic, 1 child has severe anxiety . I Have lived on the marsh all my life.

2. What challenges did you face when you became a single mum?

The challenges I faced were pretty much the same as any other day as I was always the supporting parent apart from the mental health effect that it had on my children as well as myself.

3. What did you do prior to running your own buisness?

Prior to running my business I had completed a course in beauty as I wanted to further my career also hair extensions. I love cooking so I completed my NVQ level 2 in catering too before taking the leap into opening my own shop.

4. What inspired you to run your own business?

I woke up one morning and thought to myself it’s what I want. I wanted to make my children proud of me and decided to take the leap to help with my anxiety and confidence.

5. How would you describe your journey to where you are now?

The journey had had it rocky roads not only in business but health issues too. When you’re self employed it gives you more incentive to get up and go to work rather than having a day off sick because if you don’t work there is no income.

6. What is the best part of your job?

Every part of my job is the best part. I deal with the best clients in a lovely environment and happy work staff means a happy salon

7. How do you balance being a mother and running your own buisness?

There are times it’s very hard balancing being a mum and working full time but you work around it and make it work to the best of your ability. I’m lucky my children are that much older and they are able to stay at home on their own.

8. Your salon recently won TWO bronze awards at the Kent health and beauty awards, could you tell us more about that experience?

I am very proud to be nominated for the awards and even achieving a bronze award in Kent is more than I would ever of dreamed of.

9. What advice would you give to new mums?

New mums be proud of yourself, make sure your child is your number one and never let anyone say you can’t do it . There is no such word as CANT

10. Is there anybody else you’d like to nominate for our wonderful women feature? Anyone who inspires you?

I think I will pass on that one I’m enough 😉

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Why my fertility is rock bottom at 22

Tweet to @mummykindoff

I have posted before about my gynecological issues (endometriosis & PCOS) but I’ve never posted about how it affected my fertility, and why at 22, I face the harsh reality that I probably won’t be able to have any more children.

I never imagined myself as a mum, and still to this day I don’t see myself as a “good” mum, and once I was diagnosed with endometriosis and PCOS at 16/17 the reality sunk in that I probably wouldn’t be a mum. At 19 I was placed on a drug called Zoladex, an injection to induce a chemical menopause to help my endo. I still to this day can’t work out the logistics of how I fell pregnant whilst my body was in a menopausal state, but that was my blessing, as Oliver came along. It was a pregnancy and labor from hell, but he was so worth it. However, my complications didn’t end there… I suffered from postpartum psychosis which plagued the first few months of motherhood for me, and I guess still to this day I feel like I missed some amazing moments with Oliver because of it.

As months went by, my endometriosis and PCOS progressed, getting more and more aggressive. Hospital admissions went on, laparoscopic operations took place (8 operations to count as it stands), and still I was SO adamant I didn’t want another baby, ever. I can’t blame myself; I was still trying to get over my pregnancy, labour and post-labour events.

Then in November 2018 the decision to remove my right ovary came to fruition. It wasn’t a choice I took lightly, but after having an 8cm cyst on my “problem ovary”, enough was enough. My gynecologist and I decided it was time for the ovary and fallopian tube to be removed. After a recent admission, it’s likely that I will at some point lose my left ovary and potentially my uterus as my endometriosis and PCOS are aggressive and resilient, and continue to grow against treatment.

Months on, I can’t help but wonder if I made the right decision. After all, I am only 22. Maybe I do want more children one day. Maybe if I get another chance, my pregnancy won’t be awful and I can live the parts I missed. Just maybe. I’ve endured baby loss, I’ve endured a traumatic pregnancy and labour but it’s unlikely I’ll get the chance to do it again, and honestly it breaks my heart.

The real kick in the teeth is unfortunately if I was to try for another baby I would not be entitled to support from the NHS, even if the partner I was with had no children. Despite the fact I have two conditions that can cause infertility, only one ovary and Fallopian tube, in addition to my only successful pregnancy being traumatic, due to NHS guidelines they are under no obligation to support me should that time come.

I still can’t bring myself to terms with the fact that I might never get a chance to have another baby, to give Oliver a sibling. I guess in some ways it makes me feel like I’ve failed as a woman. I’m unable to do the one thing that’s expected of us. However, it makes me treasure Oliver so much, because in my eyes he truly is a miracle. He pulled through against the odds and made me a mum… Something that I might never have been if he didn’t pull through.

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Mental Health Monday: Being a high functioning mother with BPD

Tweet to @mummykindoff

So, I’ve always been pretty open about having BPD (borderline personality disorder) and how challenging it has been, but one thing I haven’t expressed is how hard it is functioning with BPD.

BPD symptoms vary from person to person, but the ones I suffer the most with are:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Impulsive behaviours
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Emotional mood swings
  • Feeling out of touch with reality

On top of typical BPD characteristics:

  • Poor financial control
  • Depressive episodes
  • Episodes of psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts

Living with a combination of those daily is beyond difficult, mainly because it’s like a really sh*t mix and match, will Monday be emotional mood swings with suicidal thoughts? Will Tuesday be chronic feelings of emptiness with poor financial control to comfort this? Who knows? It’s anyone’s guess.

Since being diagnosed I have come to live with the condition and gradually am starting to have a good level of control over it (far better control than I had in September when I had a triple suicide attempt – which I am not and will not be ashamed of). You see, by writing about it and talking about it, gradually we will end this ridiculous stigma we have developed on mental health, and my favourite stigma of all – the high functioning stigma.

People find it hard to believe that I work full time, I care for my son and provide for us both. I get up every morning, get ready, do my hair and make up and do an 8 hour shift at work. I’ve never really considered myself “high functioning” but the reality is that I am. Some people act shocked when they discover that I have a personality disorder, because it’s as if they expect me to be at home, or at a mental hospital, but there are tons of high functioning people with chronic illnesses, high functioning people with poor mental health, and even high functioning addicts.

It’s the classic “you can’t judge a book by its cover,” but with this comes the backlash, the people who think you’re faking it and attention seeking just because I have the sheer audacity to get dressed, leave the house and go to work. I’m still suffering, I just manage it differently to how others might.

You see, I benefit from being high functioning. Even at my lowest points I benefit from having structure and routine so, for me, being high functioning actually helps build my mental health up.

I want to leave this on a harsh reality to some people, a sweet note for mentally ill people. Other people’s mental health is none of your business, whether they’re high functioning or low functioning… it is literally none of your business. You do you, and let them do them.

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

What motherhood means to me

Motherhood… Something I never imagined myself writing about at 22. After being told it was unlikely I would conceive naturally, I had gradually adapted to the idea of not having children, plus I never really saw myself as the maternal type. However the day that I had the positive pregnancy test, something changed… I felt different, physically and mentally.

I felt this overwhelming urge to protect my stomach, even throughout the pregnancy when people were feeling my bump or feeling Oliver kick, I had this need to protect my bump ESPECIALLY when my midwife would feel my bump. In my first/second trimester I was hit/pushed in the bump and that overwhelming sense to protect it got stronger. My mum would joke that it was my maternal instinct kicking in but looking back perhaps she was right.

When I was in labour, I was tiring very quickly. My blood pressure was low and Oliver was being starved of oxygen and the minute the doctor told me he needed to be out quickly something glazed over me and I had this burst of energy. I needed to get my baby boy out and I was prepared to do whatever needed to be done to get him out safely, even if it meant sacrificing my health to do that.

Then once he was born the definition of ‘mum’ changed. When the midwife called me ‘mum’ I almost forgot that, that was me now. My name had changed, and I was suddenly Mum. Despite being poorly with postpartum psychosis/PND after Oliver, I still felt like a mum, I just felt distant in a way, as if he was better off without me.

Looking back I realise now that the reality is nobody else will be Oliver’s mum and no-one ever can or will replace me in his world. He will never look at anyone the way he looks at me. Even now some nights I look at him in utter disbelief that I made him, I grew his little eyelashes and his massive feet…I did that. All 8lb 11oz of him.

I guess it’s true what they say, you do change when you become a Mum. I found myself looking at every way to make my son’s life better, he had colic so I was analysing every food I put in my mouth… If it had too much garlic I would avoid that in case it affected my breast milk and exacerbated his colic. Even now, I work as much and as hard as I can despite my physical and mental health to give me and him the best lives possible.

To me, I guess motherhood means protecting my boy, being everything he needs and more. I want him to grow up knowing he can talk to me about anything and that I will do whatever I can to help him. I want to have the relationship with him where he never has to worry about telling me anything in case I get angry. I want to be that mum who his friends think he is really lucky to have.

Finally and I cannot stress this enough… to me being a mother isn’t about whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, co-sleep or let them cry it out. Working mum or stay at home mum. None of that matters. We are mothers first and foremost and our children are our priorities, not our social beliefs or parenting styles.

What does motherhood mean to you?

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Reviewing 2018

Recently it’s safe to say  my life has been a whirlwind, after all…I wouldn’t be me if my life was drama free, and as 2018 approaches an end I’ve looked back at everything this year has thrown at me. Friendships, Relationships, Illness, Drama the list is endless.

Lets start with the friendships. I’ve lost some, I’ve made some. I’ve wrecked some, I’ve earned some but the loyalty of my friends this year has kept me sane. The ones that have stayed awake messaging me till late at night, the ones that helped me find me when I couldn’t. The ones who still messaged me while on holiday because they knew I was at a low point, or the one who drove 80 miles to pick me up for the weekend, how about the ones who visited me in hospital. They have helped me more than ever this year, and for them. I am eternally grateful.

Relationships? Pffft, after nearly a year of being single I’ve discovered so much and learned so much about myself, and the most important thing I have discovered is I do not need a man to define me. I never have and never will need a man to complete me. It’s safe to say I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly with men this year and looking back I don’t know why I allowed myself to pay any of them the slightest bit of attention. Not to mention getting hooked on a guy for the best part of 6 months, who really wasn’t phased by my existence *insert eye roll here* Maybe 2019 will hold a relationship for me, but I can honestly say I am not phased in the slightest whether it does or doesn’t. It has taken the best part of a year but I have finally come to acknowledge that I am better off without a relationship, and when the time comes, it will be with someone I deserve.

Illness…Well 2018 has seen it’s fair share. My step-father has become terminally Ill with heart failure and kidney failure. I was diagnosed with BPD alongside having endometriosis and PCOS, with the double suicide attempt back in September, this year has been insane. poor Oliver has endured measles, tonsilitis and hand-foot and mouth ( but he does go to nursery so he was bound to catch them at some point) so 2018 has been a bit of a weird one for Illness, and my recent surgery showed me that no matter what this life throws at me I can overcome it.

Drama, Ah, the thing that makes me well…me. I am the biggest drama queen ( which I will admit with no shame at all) Drama follows me where ago, and 99% of the time I don’t look for it, it comes looking for me. 2018 kept up with tradition with drama surrounding me everywhere I looked. Fortunately I feel I’m at a stage in my life where I can laugh about it, and nothing really surprises me anymore. 2018 started with me splitting with my fiance and the father of my son, with court hearings, surgery and drama filled events continuing the year. Hopefully 2019 can be ” Drama free ” but, I don’t think that would be very me. It’s not that I enjoy the drama, it’s just there. Like a shadow- very dramatic description.

Last but not least, Mummykind. When I had the idea for Mummykind I never in my wildest dreams expected it to blow up the way it did, within a year we have worked with brands, expanded with new mums joining the team and our little ones have got bigger by the day and my love and pride for Mummykind grows daily.

So 2018 has been…well s**t to say the least, but it’s also allowed me to learn a lot, from not liking Sushi to discovering I have a determined personality. I’ve learned that Oliver is the most magical boy, and every day he warms my heart with his adorable personality ( also learned he has an incredible talent to make me want to rip my hair out in record breaking time and is far too sassy for my liking sometimes) but all this aside, I’m excited for 2019 – however I will not be doing a “new year, new me” I plan on being the same Sassy, drama filled Amy you all know and love after all…that’s why you all read my posts…right?

Midwives- The unsung heroes

It’s true what they say, you never forget your midwife. I remember nearly every midwife I had with Oliver. My community midwife was the most understanding woman I had ever come across. Even before I met her, I was texting her at 4/5 weeks pregnant, explaining I couldn’t eat or drink, and if it wasn’t for her care I wouldn’t have been diagnosed with Hyperemises Gravidarum as soon as I did, and I was extremely dehydrated when I was admitted the first time.

‘Before Labour’/Pregnancy Midwives

Throughout my pregnancy, my community midwife was there every step of the way. Hyperemises, bleeding, high blood pressure scares and just general hormones. Nothing was too much trouble for her, and honestly when the time came to say goodbye to her I was heartbroken. She understood me, the journey I had been on to get Oliver. She knew how much he meant to me and my family and she was a real angel. She knew how desperate I was to have a water birth, but she explained to me why I wouldn’t be able to have one and how I would have to deliver on the high risk ward, but she did it in the most empathetic way possible…she knew the fairy-tale pregnancy I wanted, that I never got. Even now, sometimes I bump into her and it makes my day, she is retired now sadly but I honestly feel she was one of the best things about my pregnancy.

‘During Labour’ Midwives

My “Labour Midwives” as I call them… I can remember them to this day.

Lorraine was there when I came onto the labour ward a day before my due date, tears rolling down my face. She greeted me with a sweet smile. Even when I wasn’t in active labour she didn’t turn her back. She could see the discomfort I was in and did her best to help me. Offered me pain relief (even if I did tell her exactly what to do with the initial offer of paracetamol), she gave me gas and air and got me moving to get me in active labour. My waters went over her hand (absolutely disgusting) but she was as cool as a cucumber, and was excited for me.

My waters went just at the end of her shift and she said; “Amy I’m about to hand over. If you carry on at this rate you’ll have a due date baby and he’ll be here early hours. Good Luck!” and she left, Emily took over. Who admittedly I judged… I thought to myself… She seems so young, so fresh… Lesson learnt, because that midwife who I judged practically saved my son’s life by noticing he was in distress and acting as fast as she did. She got a team of midwives and fast bleeped a doctor to get my boy out in time, who told me not to give up and keep pushing, the same midwife I thought was so young. A room of 6 Midwives, All focused on welcoming my boy into the world. All telling me to push and keep going, patting me down with a cool flannel, getting ready to check my baby when he arrived, so effortless…as if it was second nature to them.

‘After Labour’ Midwives


Now for the “After Midwives” – I was transferred to the mother and baby ward after having Oliver where we spent 2 nights. The first night was fine, Oliver and me were exhausted and just slept. However, the second night my baby found his lungs and boy did he use them. I was trying to stay awake but still had pethidine in my system, and this face peeped around the curtain, saw me crying while trying to breastfeed and said, “are you okay mum? Is baby okay?”

I started sobbing through exhaustion. “Do you want us to take him to the nurses’ bay? He’ll be fine and you can get some sleep,” the offer seemed beyond kind. “But what if he needs a feed? Or changing?” I asked with an underlying panic. “If he needs a feed we will wake you, we can change him. You need to rest,” said this woman who was like a guardian angel at that point in time. Just like that I was able to get some sleep. She would wake me every now and then just to say, “Baby is fine, I’m just checking your blood pressure. You lost a fair amount of blood in labour so we’re just keeping an eye, do you want a drink? Snack at all? If you need anything just buzz.”

I know some people might argue that this is their job, but it isn’t. The care, compassion and willingness midwives have… The patience they have, while a heavily pregnant woman is screaming, is insane. Our midwives are some of the most underappreciated people and I honestly am so, so, so grateful for the midwives I had, and I will never forget them. They saved my son’s life and without them my labour could have been very different.

Midwives of the NHS, I salute you.

Having an ovary removed at 21 – My Story

Laparoscopic right salpingo oophorectomy – I believe that is the “medical term” for it, and on the 08/11/2018 the NHS gave me my very own experience of it.

I should probably take this time to say how grateful I am for the NHS, and how amazing the staff who work for the NHS are, from the paramedics to the porters, HCAs to surgeons… 
every single one made my journey bearable and I am eternally grateful.

I’ve posted previously about my battles with endometriosis and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and on the 18/10/2018, my consultant and I came to the mutual agreement that it was time to say adios to my right ovary and fallopian tube (the worst out of my two ovaries, as over time my left ovary has been rather kind to me over the years).

However the week of the 01/11/2018 I had a pretty aggressive flare up, it was starting and stopping but I dismissed it, after all… I have no time to be ill, between work and my son, a trip up A&E would never fit into my schedule, as the week progressed friends urged me to go to hospital but in my stubbornness I declined (because I was clearly handling the situation so, so well). I think I mentioned to the mummykind girls all week how the pain was p*****g me off and I didn’t have time for it, as well as to Char and a friend by the nickname of Moody.

Saturday the 3rd came and I was on a half day at work, I remember going into work snappy, tired and with barely any energy where the pain was getting worse. Char and Moody had both had enough at this point with Char taking on the maternal role and telling me I needed to call someone and I believe Moody’s words were ” then stop f*****g moaning about it and go to the hospital” – bit harsh but had a point. Looking back perhaps everyone was right, If I listened and dealt with the situation properly rather than sticking my head in the sand, I might not have needed my elective surgery brought forward.

That afternoon I got home and the pain had got so severe I was on the sofa crying, I couldn’t sit up was just scrunched up with a hot water bottle (this was after taking my oramorph – oral morphine). I rang 111 who sent an ambulance, then after a trip to A&E, the on-call gynaecologist did an internal examination of my ovaries.

Worst.
Experience.
Ever.

I remember letting out this high pitched yelp as she said “hmm well it doesn’t feel twisted but I think I can feel a cyst, your ovary felt very bulky” she patted my arm and said she would admit me and book me for a scan.

The pain got more intense and more severe, and my blood pressure dropped as a result. I had an ultrasound the next day with two sonographers who did both an external and internal scan but wouldn’t tell me much, they just said there was lots of free fluid and that my right ovary was bulky. As they spoke in hushed tones I was left unsure of what was going on.

The next day I was greeted by a familiar face, my consultant. The man who had carried out all my gynecological procedures since I was 16. “Hello Amy, how’re you,” he greeted. “I have reviewed the scan, and I think the best thing to do now is bring your surgery forward, I have scheduled it for Thursday, however if you get worse it will be an emergency procedure.”

It became a waiting game, friends from work visited, mummykind friends visited and kept me entertained with gossip and laughter. The night before the operation Harriet even came up to help me wash my hair and shave my legs, and I put my new nighty on from Charlie… I was ready. My ex had brought Oliver up to see me, as we agreed he would have Oliver for the next week where I wouldn’t be able to  lift and needed to recover.

The day of my operation arrived and I was a bag of nerves. A friend visited in the morning with knickers and pads for me but after she left the reality hit me, I was on my own.  I would have nobody holding my hand as I went down to theatre and nobody waiting for me when I was out, this was something I had to face and deal with on my own.

As I got wheeled down to the prep room by two theatre assistants, one who was a very bubbly man and could tell I was anxious. I could feel myself panicking, the anaesthetist who I had met previously greeted me and the first thing he asked me to do was to slow my breathing down, I could feel myself going into a panic attack but I couldn’t stop it, I had no control.

The anaesthetsist said to me “How old is your son Amy? Who’s with him at the minute?” As I replied I didn’t realise those questions were him calming me. He made me talk about the one thing that could shift my focus, then he said, “okay Amy, I’ve just given you a strong painkiller so you might feel a bit drowsy but that’s fine,” and I felt myself sinking, and no matter how hard I tried to fight it… I lost.

I woke up in recovery and completely freaked out, I tried pulling things off and sitting up, then started crying for literally no apparent reason, however my previous surgeries had taught me anaesthetic makes me really emotional and
teary. The recovery nurse was sweet, she helped me sip water and gave IV morphine where I was tender.

A week on and I’m back at work, I’m still sore and not completely over the mental side of it, whether it was planned or not the reality is my right ovary and tube is gone and over years it is likely my left will go too. The reality has hit me that Oliver is likely to be my only child, and I lost so much time with him as a newborn due to postpartum psychosis that I’m scared I won’t get that chance again. However, if having my right ovary removed gives me a better quality of life then that is something I need to be grateful for and come to terms with. I’ve also discovered that phantom pain is so real and so, so weird. I can feel normal period cramps on my left side however my brain still associates pain with the right hand side, despite the fact there is nothing there, but I am only 1 week post-op so prehaps I need to give myself some more credit as I am already back at work.

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

Dear Fellow Mama… We all NEED to let our hair down!

One thing I always feel really strongly about is when mums get criticised for going on a night out. Obviously, I’m not saying every week, but once in a while, I think it’s really important that mothers are given the opportunity to go out and let their hair down.

I recently got criticised for going out once/twice a month with friends, and my argument to this is I work full time (plus overtime), as well as having ‘mum duties’. I honestly believe Mums need a night out once every now and then for their wellness – they need that time to switch off and just have a night off.

I really feel for celebrities, stuck in the lime light, who get harshly judged for going on a night out when they do, because as if being a mum isn’t hard enough? God forbid they go out and let their hair down.

I definitely feel that over the years society has almost gone back in time when it comes to motherhood. There is this barbaric idea that we’re stay at home housewives… As if it’s 1950 again, as hard as it is to believe, guess what? Mums are perfectly capable of holding down a career, a home, a social life and raising children.

It’s no secret that I love a night out. I love my job, my friends and most importantly my son. Under no circumstances do I ever sacrifice time with Oliver for that, I work my social life around him. Of course, I link my social life with Oliver wherever I can. I have friends with children and friends without. It was only recently that I went to a garden party arranged through work and my friend Lucy and her fiancé Liam came… They were AMAZING with Oliver! Oliver loved wearing them out and I loved watching them entertain Oliver (side note: cannot wait for them to have a baby because after watching them with Oliver, it’s obvious they’re naturals). Plus there’s my friend Charlotte who recently came to the funfair with me and Oliver, and Oliver loves her to bits, not to mention my mummy friends such as the mummykind girls and Jacey who was even coming on days out with me and Oliver while heavily pregnant! Of course not forgetting Sarah, Oliver’s godmother, fellow mummykind girl and practically my life coach, who is getting mentioned here at her own request 😉

I love having two different groups of friends and being able to have the best of both worlds.

Anyway I’m straying from the topic, where was I? Yes, mums NEED time off. When I was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis one thing my doctor said to me was, when do you get time to yourself? I sat and paused. “Well… When I’m asleep I guess,” and he stressed to me the importance of having time to myself.

Whenever I go out it’s with one of two groups of friends, and each have a different agendas!

Work friends/friends without children

Pros:

  1. Baby free
  2. Always about
  3. Know how to have a good time
Cons
  1. Sometimes cannot understand why I’m not always about
  2. Have a way better alcohol tolerance/stamina than me, leaving me to play catch up
  3. there is usually a drama on a night out
Mum friends
Pros:
  1. Rarely go out so appreciate a night out more
  2. Have the same alcohol tolerance so I’m not feeling like playing catch up
  3. Completely understand if I can’t come out
Cons:
  1. Rarely able to arrange a night we’re all free
  2. When we are all free we’re all too shattered
  3. Mum life – need I say anymore???
So to any mum reading this, sit and ask yourself when was the last time you let your hair down and just had a night off from it all? If it was longer than 3 months then you’re 100% due a good night out with your mates.

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