You know that Mum who seems to have her life totally together all the time? She bakes homemade bread in-between taking her baby to swimming class and catching up with her NCT girls for coffee. She always looks polished and put-together (not a milk leak stain in sight), always has a fresh manicure, and all the while is raising a happy smiling baby. Oh and she’s casually working as well, because as much as she *adores* her maternity leave, work just can’t be without her and vice versa. Well, that isn’t me!

Days before I gave birth I had started a new online venture (which I can’t wait to share with you all), plotted out a whole plan for the future of this blog, and was busy planning where Mr. R and I were going to live once the baby was born. I basically had a hundred-and-one things going on but felt totally in control.

Then I gave birth…

Having a baby was the single most amazing thing that has happened in my life, but it was also very hard (shocker). The birth went pretty seamlessly (aside from induction hell which I will write about soon) and I was discharged just a few hours later. We headed out into the snow with our little bundle, and drove 20mph back to my parents farm where we were staying. All was well, until I was rushed back into hospital…

The next afternoon I suddenly lost so much blood so quickly that I had to travel back to hospital in an ambulance. After the initial worry, the unknown cause, and the examinations, I felt so crushed, having had everything go so smoothly to be landed with this. It was caused, in-part, by everything shrinking back suddenly in one big contraction whilst breastfeeding, and I had to remain in hospital until the blood loss stopped. Luckily I didn’t need to have a blood transfusion or surgery, as the midwives initially thought, but the whole experience made me realise how vulnerable women really are throughout childbirth and pregnancy, and gave me the shock I needed to just take it easy and let my body rest.

The whole time I was in hospital I was feeding Archer, what I thought was successfully, that was until the pain started…

Breastfeeding became the new nightmare. I developed a whole host of problems which amounted to a great deal of pain for me throughout every feed and in-between. I had dizzy spells, cold sweats, mastitis, blocked ducts, and nipple pain from hell. The only upside to all of this was that Archer was doing great and feeding really well, and so I just kept on going. Now when I look back at those three weeks of breastfeeding hell I am so proud of myself for not quitting, and can’t believe I didn’t. But the thought just never crossed my mind. My baby wanted milk, and even if it was causing me absolute agony, I was always going to feed him.

luxury backpack and baby

Back in hospital the day after giving birth

luxury backpack and baby

The most precious day of my life

The pain slowly went away, and things got a hundred times better. Archer continued to thrive, and we were able to start really enjoying being parents. The whole time Mr. R was an incredible support and I couldn’t have gone a day without him, as were my parents, especially my mum who brought us food and did our washing no questions asked. We slowly started planning our future, and were looking at places to rent nearby whilst we decided where we wanted to move to on a more permanent basis.

Until the day we went to see an immigration lawyer and everything changed…

I had it in my head that adjusting Mr. R‘s status from visitor to resident would be straightforward, but without going in to too much detail it wasn’t, and we are still in the midst of figuring things out. His visitor visa was about to run out, and we had to make decisions quickly. And so, to my absolute devastation, he went back to the states leaving me and Archer in the UK. You might wonder why we didn’t plan this better, but that was a whole other story involving hurricanes, moving from one country to another, and pregnancy in general. I’ll fill you in on that one day.

Then there was the hacking issue…

You might have read this post, which I wrote when I had just had enough of it all. Being the eternal optimist, despite my personal life being in a bit of a shambles, my blog and business was still a high priority to me, and I had missed being away from it for so long. The day I went back online to start writing again I realised there were a few strange things going on. It transpired that I had been hacked, and I just couldn’t figure it all out. If you have ever been victim to any kind of hack or virus, you will know how absolutely crushing it is. Especially when it involves all of your hard work and the investments, both time and money, going down the drain – pretty much like dropping a diamond earring down the plug-hole.

I was recommended a guy on Upwork from a blogging connection, and got in touch with him. Within hours he was delving through my blog’s files and had fixed the problem. (On a side note, if you have any technical issues with your own blog drop me a message and I’ll send you his details!) I was feeling good about things, that is until it happened again…

I was so frustrated. This guy was good but he didn’t come for free, and I wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of forking out again. Plus, I knew I needed to figure out the actual issue, not just continually pay someone to get rid of dodgy files. So I got my #girlboss hat on and did a load of research. I learned a lot about security plug-ins, core files, and hackers in general. I had my computer updated by a professional, and hours and hours of work later I managed to fix it myself this time. As much as I am hoping it won’t happen again, this experience has made me much more proactive about protecting my blog, now that I have seen how easily it can all go so wrong.

luxury backpack and baby

luxury backpack and baby

So you see, being that woman we mentioned, the one who has it all together, who is starting a new business, giving birth, and planning her next trip abroad. Well that life can quickly unravel in the space of just a few short weeks.

But there is a massive silver lining to all of this…

And that involves a new chapter of travel and adventure, with a big trip on the horizon very soon. So be sure to follow along with the blog and sign up to my newsletter (via the sign up bar at the top of the homepage) to follow along with my little family’s travels.

Whilst I was on ‘maternity leave’ I was interviewed for, where I went into a bit of detail about my novel, so have a read of that here.

I also recently published a post all about our first trip with Archer to Llangollen, North Wales. We stayed in an absolutely gorgeous spa hotel which was a real bargain… details here!

If you’re new to the blog and would like to know more about me, click here, or read about how Mr. R and I met on a boat drifting around Latin America here.

Thanks for reading. It has been fun writing a personal post and just being able to get all of this out. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!

luxury backpack

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