Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok… A few social medias of many. Which ever one(s) you use you will know its absolutely brutal out there.
I’m quite lucky that the community I’ve been part of a Instagram has been one of those who live by a gluten-free diet or have disabilities or are friends and family. I’ve seen the abuse that influencers, those with a few thousand followers and celebrities receive. I’ve also experienced firsthand bullying throughout my school life and as a young adult. Never did I think that my safe community on Instagram would be tested!
At the beginning of December 2021 I created a reel, following the trend that shows you with your best friend when you first met and what you look like now. Over a period of 2 weeks I received numerous comments about my appearance, my weight and a few comments have been made about my friend. I started off trying to educate those that your opinion might not be wanted by the recipient etc. But im human, theres only so much before you get sassy back through a protective defense. It’s been hard, really hard.
I ended up disabling the comments on the reel, which even resulted in receiving a dm telling me to turn my comments back on and that I was a coward. After this I took some time away from TheUnluckyCoeliac, an instagram page i’ve put a lot of work into. Building my presence in the community, advertising my blogs of the years and even sharing insights into my life. It felt heartbreaking to step away!
I’m so glad I did, it was only a short time away but the feeling I felt when I came back was incredible! TheUnluckyCoeliac is my brand, it is my hard work and dedication, its me putting back into a number of communities that have helped me along the way. I am proud of what I’ve accomplished and I will not be drove away from that again. It gave me a boost of resilience that I wasn’t aware I was lacking. And for that, I will remain an advocate for anti-bullying, disability, new mothers and so much more!
One thing I think everyone needs to remember on social media is; you only see what someone wants you to see, all the hard times are hidden. Therefore be kind. Before posting it ask yourself these questions;
If it was you on receipt of what youve typed, how would you feel?
If it was your child, niece or nephew receiving comments like yours would you be happy?
Is that the character you want to be known for?
Is there something that you need help with, which is the reason behind this action?
To those who wrote those nasty comments on my Reel; I hope that whatever it is you’re going through, someone is there for you. I hope you never have to endure the feeling that you made me feel. I forgive you, and hope you can forgive yourself. And finally, please reach out for help if you haven’t. Don’t be afraid to!
Its no surprise that I, along with many others, feel completely mugged off by the government in light of the recent news. If you haven’t see it, a long story short is numerous parties were held and attended by our government when the rest of us were locked down…
I am full of so many emotions and didn’t quite know what to do with it all! After seeing numerous posts on instagram by influencers, speakers in the house of commons and your average joe, I have decided to write down why I’m angry in hopes of a sense of release and that someone else out that doesn’t feel crazy for being so angry too.
March 2020 we went into lockdown, I was 5 months pregnant with our first child. Our parents first grandchild. For a long time I was worried pregnancy wouldn’t be something I could do, as I didn’t think my body would handle it. I was so convinced I even brought it up in a pain management psychologist appointment, months into the start of my relationship with my now husband. I was scared that if things got serious and I couldn’t ever be pregnant he’d need to know before it was too late. So its safe to say this pregnancy was incredibly special and important to not just my husband and our parents, brothers etc. But it was incredibly special for me to be doing something I’d feared I wouldn’t be able to do.
Lockdown meant no visitors, pregnant people were considered vulnerable at the time so I couldn’t even go to the shops. Food shopping was done in turns by our parents and dropped off at our front door. Facetime was the only way to communicate with anyone other than each other, and I was working from home like the rest of the country. I found it really difficult to not be sharing key parts of pregnancy with our family and friends.
I have anxiety, pre-pregnancy is was heavily situation based; eating somewhere I hadnt before, meeting new people, travelling somewhere I hadnt been before and flying were my triggers. Pregnancy increased it massively and I continually felt anxious and being in a global pandemic where you’ve been told your vulnerable made it even worse! I was not in a great place at all, but I continued to work, told my colleagues (we are quite a small team which is really nice) that I was struggling and we all supported each other. Ted was great with it all, our parents were understanding and I have my friends being incredible too. My maternity cover had also just joined the team around April time, so I was able to focus solely on her and we began the handover process.
April we received the news that Ted’s nan had covid. There was a wide panic and stress and worry spread through our families. She was in hospital, but restrictions meant no one could visit. No one did. She came home and still no one visited. Front door drop offs of food shopping and birthday gifts were made. We had a family quiz night over FaceTime and then the next day we received the heartbreaking news that she’d gone. Theres nothing more gut wrenching then waking your partner up to tell them that their Nan is no longer with us. I rung my head of department, told her what had happened and turned off my laptop. I rung my Mom and burst into tears. That day I left the house, my parents had done tests and came to get us. We went and sat in the garden of Ted’s grandparents to be together as safely as we could. Still keeping guidelines in our minds despite wanting to cuddle and comfort each other.
In May, at 7 months pregnant I stood (and sat as there was one bench that was taken in turns to sit on by many of us) outside the funeral with my father in law, whilst we supported our family at a distance still sticking to the rules. He couldn’t be with his wife, neither could the other husbands of Ted’s aunties, and I couldn’t be with Ted as they said goodbye to their mother/grandmother. No wake could be had, because we stuck to the rules.
July, I went into labour. Excluding our fathers going to work as their jobs meant they still worked (but were testing constantly and being extremely careful) our parent were isolating because I am the only driver and knew i’d need help getting to and from the hospital. With both sets of parents with us I went into hospital, went home and went back. They waited outside with Ted till he could come in, then they waited as long as they could. Teds dad had work so had to go home, my mom was struggling with her conditions so my parents went home. I dont think anybody actually slept that night.
Then when I gave birth via emergency C-section everything crumbled. Our baby was poorly, he needed additional care and the only hospital that could do that was the other side of Birmingham to us. I saw my baby for a minute before he was taken to NICU and then again for another minute before he was transported to another hospital. Ted left and then until I was discharged the next day on the afternoon I didn’t see my baby, Ted or anyone. I was alone in the hospital vulnerable, riddled with anxiety and fear. I wasn’t allowed a visitor because everyone was following the rules…
In NICU at the hospital our baby was in only one parent at a time could go in, which meant neither of us had the emotional support from each other than we needed. It also meant that until I was discharged Ted was the only one able to go in, so not only had he been up all night he was now getting all the information about our baby and was having to ensure I was told but also our parents. He was so exhausted but didn’t want our boy on his own for more than was necessary. Again all this was because of the rules and guidelines hospitals followed that were given to us by the government…
I was informed I was still considered vulnerable as I was coeliac and hadnt had a pneumonia vaccine. After having the pneumonia vaccine we thought we were safe to start integrating with a slightly normal life again. Just as I was starting to adjust, we then were told that our little one was considered vulnerable because of his medical history. So back into isolation we went… This time we did the food shopping but it was our alone time. One of our parents would have Lewis we would go food shopping, come home put it away shower and then have Lewis back. Then after months we were told this was incorrect…
After months and months of isolating ourselves and our little one, with very few walks in the park to at least say hi to friends we were expected to go straight back to “normal” because thats what the government said to do. Again we followed the rules…
We followed the rules consistently, even wearing masks longer than everyone else seemed to do. We put our son at risk of lack of social skills because we were advised to shield him. We had to suffer alone in turns trying to understand what was going on with our son in NICU and piece information together as we were updated on different things. We stuck to the rules religiously and all while they partied, laughed, joked about the right answers to give…
I never get involved in politics on my socials or on here and I will continue not to, but I will say I am angry, I am hurt and I feel utterly let down by our government. But I will still continue to do what I believe is best for my family, friends, colleagues and more! Like Gina Martin post on Instagram said, I will continue to be better than them who have made fools of themselves and let us down
As someone who is in their mid to late 20s and recently became a first-time mum it hit me the last few months how important it is to actually take care of your skin. I was definitely one of those teens the wore a lot of make-up and didn’t really think about the consequences of falling asleep with it on or not washing it off properly or using face wipes, cringed I know!!
Now I’ve started taking care of my skin and I’ve seen the benefits of doing it, it is something that I wish in my teenage years I fully understood and would have done for a long time. Why, because now I feel so confident in my own skin that I very rarely wear foundation, where as before I would not leave the house without foundation on and would pretend that I was wearing no make up.
Back in April I was very fortunate that my mum purchased a skincare product for myself and my brother after using it herself, and to be completely honest the experience I’ve had with it I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!! Now I’ve unfortunately been subject to a bit of a scam and used a product, a little bit similar to the one I am referring to, so I was sceptical when my mum first approached me with it.
Now before I go into detail about what the product is I just wanna give you a bit of background on my skin and my skincare routines in the past, so that you do know that when I tell you what the product is that I am being genuine! You will see via pictures what my skin was like, how its changed as well as my honest opinion!
When I first started senior school, so in the UK that is at age 11, I didn’t really have too bad skin. Then when I became 12/13 and hormones really kicked in I noticed that my skin was oily and was very spotty. From then on it became a vicious cycle of trying skincare products that would work, that my skin would get used to and they would stop working. I’d give up, stop doing a routine for a few months and then start the cycle all over again. I honestly don’t want to think about how much money my parents have spent over the years helping to try and make my skin better! From products considered cheap to mid range in price to very expensive. We’ve tried products with Witchhazel and products with tea tree oil, or cucumber, eucalyptus everything you can think of i’ve used.
The biggest annoyance for me (and probably my parents too) was when we moved to Proactiv; this is a very expensive high-end product which you can’t just buy one of the products, you do have to buy the full package. My parents spent a lot of money for it to work for the first 2 to 3 months and then the cycle began again. My skin got used to it and it no longer worked, this was the breaking point I think for me! I just fully gave up, what’s the point was the biggest thought following close with “I might as well carry on wearing my make up to cover and hide the spots and I’ll just wash my face normally”.
So from here on I would just wash my face with a standard face wash, didn’t really moisturise regularly and continued to wear a lot of make up! This last a very long time, until I reach the age of 22. Makeup was becoming an annoyance as I was in the gym all the time and had got used to not wearing it when there, that putting it on felt a chore. This is when makeup stopped for me, I fell out of love with it and no longer felt the need for it unless I was getting ready to go out with friends and wanted to look more glamorous.
At this point I though maybe my skin will get better, and it didn’t because lets face it I still wasn’t looking after it! I was also drinking alcohol and eating greasy food nearly every weekend. So this was the acceptance stage for me, this was my skin and it was always going to be oily yet dry! The dry skin is very heavily weather related for myself but I am very pale skinned so it is quite hidden until it becomes flakey.
So that’s my background on skincare, thank you for sticking around and holding in there with me! Now the product my Mom kindly purchased me is the LumiSpa and I can hands on heart say it’s incredible! I use the wash thats best for my type of skin, use the moisturiser and eye cream (which I didn’t even know how to use, Ted had to google it for me lmao) as well as a toner for my skin type too! Now as I said I was still skeptical, and things got a bit stressing with fears of our ceiling falling down again (long story for another day)! So what did I do… I stopped my routine and low and behold the spots and super oiliness returned!!
To my surprise my skin isn’t as oily as I thought, as long as I look after it! And for the last 3 weeks I have been back on top of it and the results already are incredible! I have a natural glow, which lets not lie we all want one of them! I’ve also got such a nice feel to my skin and I am here for it!
For me what makes this product even better is it has eliminated leaning over the sink, which with my fibromyalgia and spinal issues this has made my life a little easier! Even more so that it’s lightweight, takes 2 minutes and I can do it sat down. I find this product quite disabled friendly, I wouldn’t say it is 100% as if you do have a disabled or chronic illness/condition that restricts you from grasping/holding something it is equipped to support you. But for disabilities, chronic illnesses or conditions that enable you to grasp and hold onto things this would work for you!
Ending this super long post, again thank you for hanging in, I will say the top 3 things I’ve learnt and wished I had paid attention to when I was younger are; Moisturiser morning and night, don’t forget about your neck, keep up with a skin care routine and don’t lose hope!
If you would like any further information about the Lumispa please comment, message me on instagram or check out NuSkin’s website! I am now a distributor of the Lumispa, which I want to be fully transparent about, purely because I believe in this product and have seen what it can do first hand!
UK READERS; You can get the Lumi Spa Luxe Kit Special Offer using this link!! Be sure to take the skin type quiz before purchasing if you are unsure which cleanser to use.
This diary entry is a short one, as we were very much at home and that was it! Its also taken a very long time to come to terms with trimester 3 and what happened during birth. So much so that I am writing this whilst weeks away from Lewis’ 1st Birthday.
Trimester 3 was where my body started to slow down and things became very painful. Not just because I had a heavy pregnant belly, but because my already fragile body was pushed to its limit and was still having to try and carry on.
Queue the hip subluxations, the misaligned jaw, the increased back pain and the pelvic girdle pain! Oh and lightening crotch is not something to joke about, and definitely should be discussed more! I had no idea what it was until describing to a friend what I was feeling. Pairing all of these things together for a “normal” person is too much, throw in that I have fibromyalgia and am more sensitive to pain and boy do we have a fun concoction!
Trimester 3 for me was very much Groundhog Day! The same thing every day, the same feelings and the same routine. Lockdown was still very active in the UK, but we were grateful to have our parents near. DISCLAIMER: In case you missed it in a previous post; I am the only driver in our household, therefore we needed help from our parents as I still had growth scans and midwife appointments to go to. I was also considered vulnerable due to not having my pneumonia vaccine and having coeliac disease therefore they would need to either do or take Ted to do our food shopping. Under guidelines, we were allowed this bubble (and was verified by our doctors).
Trimester 3 was also where my anxiety peaked, I really wanted to meet out baby but still in the midst of a global pandemic I wanted to keep him as safe as possible. This lead to the ongoing battle of wanting to give birth ASAP to get out of pain, but also never wanting to give birth because how could I protect him from this still very unknown coronavirus.
At 35 weeks pregnant I could no longer manage with the pain, the pain relief I could have felt even more pointless now and I felt stretched to the max. At 36/37 weeks we had another telephone appointment with our consultant who was pushing to go until overdue for an induction, despite already advising previously we could have an induction if my pain became unbearable. After pushing it was agreed at 39 weeks I would be induced.
The few weeks leading up to the induction date I was spending most of my time on our bed, feet elevated and impatiently waiting to get out of this pain. Then the evening before our scheduled induction I went into labour naturally. The flood of emotions I felt when this happen was wild! I was excited, I was nervous, I was anxious, I was full of joy! All these emotions carried me forward into the hospital alone, and kept me going when I was sent home. They then gave me the push to get back in the car and go back and insist that this was happening and I need Ted to be allowed in now. We were having a baby, and what a whirlwind that was.
I’ll be sharing our birth story separate to this and trimester 4, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
How did you find trimester 3? Comment below to share your experiences!
So its no secret that I have coeliac disease, so when we found out we were expecting we knew it would be possible that our child would be too.
Disclaimer: I am no expert, I am not saying this is what you should do, and I definitely can’t give advice! All weaning related content is based solely mine and my fiancés Ted have experience with our own child following guidelines from the NHS.
When we started weaning Lewis it was more then ever important for us to ensure we did the gluten test as soon as possible. Now if you haven’t weaned a baby before this may sound a little odd; But when you start weaning your baby its important to ensure that allergy tests are done. Now these aren’t with a GP or paediatrician, but at home eating the allergen and observing what happens. It is advised to ensure they have no interaction with any other allergen for 3 days whilst eating the allergen your testing.
Once we got the gluten allergy testing done, we continued with weaning and this meant he was gluten containing products. This is when we got Lewis weighed by the Health Visitor, to ensure we were happy he wasn’t reacting to it in ways we couldn’t see. Our boy is tall and slender so its hard to see physically if there is a weight issue, which is why we seeked the help of our Health Visitor and requested he be weighed for that reason. His weight was fine, he was showing no symptoms at all!
Fast forward to being 5.5 months old (we started weaning lewis at 4.5 months, which will all be explained in another post)! We decided that now was the time we wanted to incorporate BLW – Baby Led Weaning and not just purées. A big driver for this was that Lewis really wanted to feed himself, I mean he had been holding his bottle himself from 4 months old! After some research via NHS, Ella’s Kitchen and sharing my thoughts with friends who had already weaned their little ones, we decided this was definitely the right route for Lewis.
BLW meant pasta, bread, baby biscuits etc. All of which contain gluten. So how do I cope I here you ask?! By following the below steps I have found, for me, that this has made weaning a gluten eating baby the safest for me.
Naturally gluten free
I am the main cook in our household and a lot of the meals we eat are naturally gluten free, for example homemade meatballs, rice, vegetables etc. These meals we all eat, I just ensure the salt and sugar levels aren’t within a level that Lewis can’t eat.
Cleaning = happy tummy
Outside of these naturally gluten free meals Lewis does eat baby Biscuits, Toast, Crumpets, Oats and Pasta. When he eats these if Ted is at work and unable to prepare them then I will ensure that after preparing Lewis’ meal I was my hands thoroughly, clean the surface and any cupboard/draw fronts I may have touched.
I don’t sit too close to Lewis whilst his eating, but still close enough I am able to reach him in an emergency. Once he has finished eating and we’ve confirmed all done with baby-sign, his hands and face are wiped down before he is taken out his highchair. And then its time to go play with the water aka wash his hands! This means then I don’t have to worry about him touching my mouth or shoving his fingers in my mouth and gluten’ing me!
Sharing is caring
When encouraging to share food, such as when mommy has food and you just really need some, we make sure its fruit or veg. That way its consistent and Lewis learns that he can only share his food with mommy if it’s fruit or veg.
Like with when you make a bottle up and you pour some onto your wrist to check the temperature, I do this with food that Lewis is having thats got gluten in it. Mainly when Ted isn’t here I use this technique, as when he is he will do the heat checks!
These tips that i’m sharing have really helped me with ensuring Lewis continues to eat Gluten, whilst not making me unwell. I hope by sharing these tips it helps reassure anyone who’s in the same position, who’s maybe getting ready to wean or even has allergies (that they can be around) but their child doesn’t!
Thank you for reading, if you use any if these tips or even have ones to share please comment below or on my Instagram x
Welcome to my pregnancy diary introduction. Here I will be explaining what my pregnancy diary will consist of, why I am sharing it and how it will be shared…
Disclaimer… As I am writing this post my baby boy is currently 8 week’s old and asleep in his moses basket. Why has it taken so long to write this you ask, well being pregnant is one thing. Being pregnant with fibromyalgia and hypermobility syndrome is another, but then add in a global pandemic, lockdown and a state of vulnerability to covid-19 and you have a whole lot to deal with. Therefore, I feel it is better to reflect and share my experience now my pregnancy is over.
The reason why I am sharing my pregnancy experience is because I didn’t have another person to speak to who had been pregnant with fibromyalgia or even hypermobility syndrome, and there wasn’t much out their on the wide web I could find. That itself was a little daunting as I didn’t know if I was being too cautious, not cautious enough or even if what I was feeling was “normal” for me. Therefore I am putting my experience out there in hopes to help someone who is in the same boat, or is supporting someone in the same boat. But also to help any momma’s to be who are struggling with anything I mention such as Pelvic Gurdle Pain and Morning Sickness.
I will be splitting my pregnancy experience into the following sections;