Where have I been? It's reasonable question, especially if you don't follow me on Instagram or Facebook. If you do follow me there (or know me In Real Life of course!) then you may have an inkling(!) - for the most part over the past 7.5 months, I have been very busy growing not one, but two tiny humans.
Finally, after almost 4.5 years, our babies are almost ready to meet us - not that I have had a 4.5 year pregnancy I hasten to add (quite frankly, the usual length has been serious hard work and troublesome enough!) but a rather series of fertility issues with me took a long time to diagnose and then help which meant that it has taken us a long time to get to this stage. IVF at the beginning of this year was tough but amazingly, successful first time, and for that I am hugely and inexpressibly grateful. I appreciate that in that way, I am one of the lucky ones. Infertility sisters and brothers - we go through so much, and you have my heart. Our struggle has been short compared to many, and you are incredible warriors - never forget that. Infertility is one of the hardest things I've ever struggled through - with a twin pregnancy being by far the most challenging thing I have EVER done physically! - and it seems almost unreal that in just over 5 weeks, we will become parents and we will become a family of four. Incredible. I almost feel like I'm jinxing it by writing that, with so many obstacles we've had to deal with over the past few years - but every appointment I've been told the babies are doing well and I am trusting that my midwives and doctors know their stuff.
As I inferred above, it's been a really tough pregnancy. The babes are doing well, which is by far the main thing, but for my part it's been a slightly complicated and continually physically challenging pregnancy, and I am more than ready for this part of the journey to come to an end - although babies, please stay in for a few more weeks! For this reason, work has been incredibly tough for me this year. I'm self-employed of course, and as most of you will appreciate, this means no sick pay, no annual leave, no work-supported maternity leave....thankfully, with a load of support from my amazing wife, I have got through this year with a limited but not too inefficient service (I hope!) at The Curious Bead Shop (now closed as I prepare for my maternity leave) but a woefully patchy presence in terms of my jewellery over at Songbead. And precisely zero blog posts this year! Well, I figured that I really should write something before my two babies make an appearance.
|My brain isn't up to working out the precise weeks but I think I've got these bump shots basically in order. The main one is the most recent of course - me 2 weeks ago, at 30 weeks. Where are these babies going to go?!|
I won't bore you with all the details of the pregnancy - suffice to say, I am still feeling nauseous at 7.5 months (and on 2 anti-sickness meds still), I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes 6 weeks ago, and I have been absolutely exhausted from beginning to - well, not end as we're not there yet, but I'm still exhausted and I don't see that letting up anytime soon! (Yep, I know I will be seriously sleep-deprived when the babies appear - but I won't be TWIN PREGNANCY EXHAUSTED, which is a blissful thought, honestly). And of course, with my enormous bump, I am seriously uncomfortable all the time too. But just a few weeks left to go - we can do it, little bugs!
Because I felt the bead shop really had to be a priority, as I said above, it's my jewellery that has suffered. There's been a serious lack of creativity in this pregnancy, aside from the obvious(!); heartburn and reflux put singing out the window even when the most intense period of nausea and vomiting passed around 4 months, and Songbead really took a back seat aside from 2 or 3 bursts of making throughout the year. I've missed it dreadfully, and whilst I'm hopefully going to have all of my outstanding Curious orders out by next week, I am hoping to give myself a week or two of making once they are all out. It feels like it's good for my brain - I can't imagine there will be a lot of beading once there's three of me, initially at least, so I would love to get a little more done now. Good for the soul, too.
This past weekend, my wife was working, so I took the opportunity to sit down with the beads and do a little creating. I have a bunch of overdue custom work - sorry folks! See above for Pregnancy Problems and energy issues... - which I managed to cover about half of, but I also managed to make a few new pieces for the shop. I find with custom work, that's the best way - my brain has to work in a different way so it's good to intersperse it with new work as well. Here are some of the pieces I managed to create:
|Drop of Honey (SOLD)|
|Woodland Walk (SOLD)|
|In the Hedgerow|
These are just a few I've managed to get into the shop over the past few weeks so do hop over to my shop and take a look. The plan is to keep Songbead open until the end of October but as there is every chance that the twins could decide that they want to become early, that's not a guarantee. So if you have any purchases in mind for now - or now that it's October it's surely safe to say, potentially for Christmas?! - then I'd get a shifty on.
And of course, watch this space for some teeny tiny baby faces coming soon........I honestly and truly cannot wait to meet them!