The Unmarked Road

Life On The Other Side Of Mental Illness

Tag: pregnancy

Why Having A Baby Is Not Always An Easy Decision

We all know this scene: a pregnant woman crying over an advert on TV or threatening murder because she has run out of her favourite pickle and jelly flavoured ice cream. Every media outlet we come across shows a scenario in which the pregnant woman behaves in a ‘crazy’ and unstable way due to the hormones raging through her body and we all laugh because it’s just a small snippet in a woman’s life where she can truly become unhinged and no one will say anything.

Everyone but me. Having gone through hormonal imbalances in the past that ended with me taking an overdose, I was terrified of being pregnant. If women with no history of anxiety and depression went ‘nuts’ during pregnancy, what hope was there for me?

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Anniversary And Birthday – Photos

The last week has been absolutely wonderful! Not only did Mr J and I celebrate our very first wedding anniversary, we hit full term in our pregnancy (37 weeks) and it was also my birthday weekend!

Wedding Anniversary – Monday 4th July

Being very close to popping out our mini Batman, Mr J and I didn’t want to go too far away from home or the hospital. Also these days emptying the dishwasher feels like running a marathon so our usual adventure plans were impossible, and so we decided instead to go punting down the River Cam in Cambridge, eat lots of ice cream and generally look around a beautiful city. We were lucky with some gorgeous warm weather,  and learned a bit about the history of some of the incredible buildings.

Here are some pictures:

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I didn’t last more than 3 hours! And on our return home we ordered too much takeaway and watched Lord of The Rings – since Hobbiton, New Zealand was our first date 3 and a half years ago. Perfect day. <3

37 Weeks

My hands and feet are swollen and I’m well and truly carrying a watermelon under this shirt! My lower back is almost constantly achy and broken sleep through needing to pee has become the norm. But I can honestly say I will miss being pregnant. I’ve enjoyed many parts of it and as I prepare for the final few weeks before labour, I am anxious about the next stage; a new phase of my life that will change it more than anything else before!


I AM looking forward to steak, pate and Brie!!

My Birthday

This Saturday was my 31st birthday. While originally I’d had planned a BBQ for family and some friends, the weather had other ideas so I booked a table at our local family-friendly restaurant.

Apart from hubby telling me the night before that we would probably not make it in time as he’d messed up the timings  with picking up his best friend from the airport (dog-house!), and my poor sister getting food poising the night before, it was a truly wonderful day; low key and chilled out. Exactly what I wanted.

No photo’s I’m afraid because I’m actually a bit rubbish at taking pictures when i’m organising something, but I couldn’t have asked for any more this weekend. I even got cheesecake!

I did spend all of yesterday eating leftover pizza and cake and nothing else, so I saw am extra few length this morning,

I hope everyone else has had a great weekend and has as many wonderful people around them as I do. I have felt truly blessed for a while now and can never quite believe how lucky I am, made evident again this week.

Dani xx

Are You Living In The Moment?

Are you living in the moment or are you waiting for something? A holiday, the weekend, or in my case a baby? I tend to find I am always looking forward to something, wishing the time I have right now away. I don’t think this is generally always a bad thing, but sometimes we are so focused on the future that we are completely missing out on the beauty or the positives of the present moment.

In 5 weeks my due date for having our first baby arrives. If I go overdue, which as a first time mother is statistically more likely , I could be pregnant for another 7 weeks. It’s gotten to a point where I’m just ready. The nursery is done, we have bought clothes for the next 6 months and actually, I’d quite like to stop feeling 90 years old! Women all around me are having their babies (I have joined a July birth board online and my NCT new mummy friends are all due within the next few weeks) and I am getting impatient and jealous!

I want to meet this incredible little human being I’ve made!

I would go as far as saying I’ve become a bit blinkered in my wish for time to go quicker and all I can see is that date: 29th July.

But then during my morning swim, a thought occurred to me. Last month together with my husband, brother-in-law and his girlfriend, I had one of those really enjoyable spontaneous evenings out. Nothing special, just a meal and the cinema but it was great! I thought about how nice it would be to maybe go again this month and then it hit me:

This might be the last month I can do anything ‘spontaneous’ again. It might be the last time for a while I get to go to the cinema even!

This is also the last time in my life that I will have time to just chill out have some me time AND eat whatever I want without feeling too guilty!!

Be it watching the box set of Girls on NowTV or putting together photo albums, baking cakes and even my swimming; once our little angel/devil is here, EVERYTHING we do will involve pre-planning and there will be no time for selfish endeavours. Sleeping all day on the sofa, which has started to occur more often, is also something I can kiss goodbye.

Also, pregnancy has been pretty good to me. Certainly the second half of it. I’ve been the most happy and chilled out I have ever been. Truly content and at peace with myself. This is not something to just wish away! Not for someone who usually suffers from anxiety and intrusive thoughts.

And so I have decided to try and see the positives in the present moment. Because you will never get this time back. I’ve made a list of things I should be enjoying right now:

  • Food
  • Sleep
  • Spontaneous outings with friends and family
  • Peace and quiet – both inside and outside of my head!
  • Food (again)
  • Swimming
  • Selfish me time
  • Time for my marriage
  • Non-sore boobs due to breastfeeding!

So go on. What is it you’re currently unable to stop thinking about? Make a list of pros as to what is good in your life RIGHT NOW and share it with me, I’d love to know what everyone has going on! Might make the wait more bearable 😉


Back To ‘Reality’

So my dear Mr J took last week off work as a last little holiday for us before the little bundle of joy/terror arrives! It’s been so wonderful having some quality time just the two of us. We didn’t plan much, meals out, days in the sun, organising baby things, bit of shopping etc.

I have been incredibly fortunate to have married my best friend. It probably helped that we were friends for a while before we got together thereby establishing a genuine connection based on mutual values, likes/dislikes and core beliefs; something that can be bypassed when sexual attraction and infatuation takes priority. That’s not to say I could have married someone I wasn’t attracted to or wasn’t sexually compatible with! Just that in our relationship, friendship has always been our glue and it was through getting to know each other in a platonic way, that my admiration, respect and love grew from a much deeper place, catching us both completely off guard!

As clichéd as it sounds, I honestly never really knew what love was before I met Mr J and I look back at old boyfriends and realise that infatuation and loving the idea of love was what drove those unions. But genuine, lasting love is actually…well it’s quite boring! There’s no drama, no ‘reaching’ for love constantly. No waiting for the day that things will be way you imagine. It’s the everyday with an injection of a lot of fun and some frolics 😉

My decision to marry was based on the knowledge that our foundation wasn’t built on something as fragile as his job/wealth (that he could lose) or sex and good looks (which can be lost through age, illness or physical trauma). It feels like nothing else; like a true soul mate and life partner. Your forever team-mate.

Through the pregnancy we have not been able to have sex from about my 22nd week. I wasn’t worried it would affect our relationship because we are open and honest and quite simply, I married someone who puts my wellbeing over something like this. We haven’t lost the intimacy, in fact if anything we’re more nauseatingly lovey-dovey than before (sorry to those who know us!) Don’t get me wrong, we miss it but there has been no detriment to our overall feelings for one another.

Pregnancy is difficult for both partners involved and it only ever highlights existing issues. It’s a risky test for any couple, and, as I have found out through my babycentre forum, one that many don’t get through still being together at the other end.

I’ve only been married for 11 months so am well aware we’re still in our honeymoon stage. I won’t pretend I know the answer to a lasting marriage or that I know everything about making it through the trials and tribulations of every day life together over the next 50 or so years.

But I think friendship is a pretty good start.

Anyway this wasn’t supposed to be a post dedicated to my marriage! Funny how things can just take on a life of their own.

Swimming after a week off was hard but also wonderful. I’m starting to feel like very laboured with the extra weight and the feelings of weightlessness in the water is glorious!

Other than that, I have no more news. Probably because over the past few weeks I have been in some sort of weird hormonal pregnancy high.

Or is this just what deliriously happy feels like?

NCT Antenatal – First Class

Last night we went to our first NCT antenatal class. We literally had no idea what to expect and I have to say I was a little anxious about meeting loads of new people. But mainly I was excited as meeting new expectant parents was one of the main reasons we joined up!

While my natural curiosity and research nerdiness meant there was a very real chance of me doing a Monica and answering ALL the questions that our teacher would be asking, and even trying to take over the class, I genuinely felt there was information that really benefited us as first time parents. It was also nice to do something with Mr J and to have him more involved in pregnancy related matters. It was rather fun to watch the men try and figure out where the placenta was on the drawing of a pregnant women and have them bond over general new-dad syndrome.

And I soon got over the embarrassment of my husband shouting and pointing out that he knew which part the ‘breasts’ were, to which I responded;

“Very good dear, because if you didn’t, I can guarantee you we wouldn’t be in this situation now!”

My Week Of Swimming

As part of my general fitness but also to make my pregnancy and labour easier in July, I’ve joined my local pool and intend on swimming 5 days a week, mainly in the mornings software task management.

So how did last week go?


I forgot my towel. They didn’t hire them out and my plan of buying one in the local JD Sports failed. But I did officially sign up (and for half price too!) and managed to buy a new swimming costume that didn’t make me look and feel like a Weeble! Result(ish)


Managed to get my sister 5 free passes so went swimming with her and my adorable niece. I did some minor league swimming but enough for a good start!


Early morning 8am, half an hour proper swim! Yes! This was awesome. I felt like a new me. A better me. A healthier me. Apart from the BLT. And the cake. Yeh maybe I shouldn’t have eaten the cake as well.


Another day for a family swim. Only I forgot my goggles. And pants…


I’m such an eager beaver I forget there’s water polo unit 8.30 and have to wait to go in! But I get my full swim in and am home by 9.30. Crisp sandwich doesn’t count does it?

So there you have it. An eventful week, but I can honestly say I feel fantastic. My diet needs a bit more work, granted, but the cravings and exercise induced hunger are hard to conquer!

I will keep you informed of my progress.

Dani xx

How To Deal With Life Changes

Last week I wrote about how my life changing news threw me into disarray. This got me thinking about big life changes in general and how many of us, not just those suffering with anxiety, find it difficult to cope with being thrown into the abyss of the unknown. But should we avoid change because of fear of failure? Is it really better the devil you know or is there a way we could learn to deal with life changes in a more constructive manner than our minds often revert to?

life changes

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How My Big News Threw Me Into Disarray

I am working on a more general article on how to deal with huge life altering changes, but for today I thought I’d share some of my own personal feelings.

On Wednesday I shared with you all some of the best news of my life. After 12 long weeks, the emotions of finally being able to see that little face on the ultrasound and meeting our baby for the first time, were truly beautiful and overwhelming. But it doesn’t always start off that way.

Before the scan you don’t have much in the way of proof that there’s an actual baby growing inside of you, and there is this huge part of you that, despite all the sickness and mood-swings and weight gain, is terrified that you’ve made it all up in your head! It is an agonising nearly 3 months, and it is usually during the first trimester that you feel your worst, so not being able to tell everyone to explain why you’re being a tired, temperamental and pretty pathetic lunatic is pretty hard.

On top of that, it doesn’t really sink in that you’re having baby because, as mentioned above, there’s no proof: there’s no bump and you just feel rubbish. It can create an array of mixed emotions and fears.


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