8 months 18 days 1 hour 37 minutes and as I start typing this 49 seconds !!! and a nan

Well what can I say, I haven't been on here for ages but to be fair I haven't really had a lot to say which yes it quite unusual for me. I had this whole drama going on with Meg having puppies..... and now I think about it there were a few definitely a few occasions where I could have had a glass of wine....... no scrap that, a bottle but I didn't. I managed to get myself into the most awful position where I had people that wanted puppies and not enough puppies for people and sadly all of the people that wanted puppies were friends, which essentially meant that had to choose between my friends. The whole thing was horrible and it didn't help that originally I started off with 6 puppies but that number went down to 4. It certainly hasn't helped that I want to keep one of them as well. Yes I know I am mad, yes I already have 5 dogs but this one, was the first one born and it such an experience and I revived her that I feel she is meant for me. The whole night to be fair was such an experience, I had known that the puppies were due, it was day 63 and quite frankly I felt so sorry for Meg lugging around this huge belly and not being able to jump up on the settee or the bed. It was a Friday and I was so prepared...... except I wasn't. We had spent Friday afternoon Meg and I cuddled up in bed having a nana nap (this i have justified as I had been working late the night before) anyway my friend had been over and was due to come back later on the evening. I had this whole scene set out in my little head that the puppies would come at around 9pm and i would have candles lit, the kids upstairs and Suzanne and I would quite happily be sipping coffee, chatting and out would pop these wonderful puppies all cwtchy and lovely and Meg would look at me adoringly and all would be well with the world. In fact, in reality it was quite different. I came home from the school run in the pouring rain and Meg looking uncomfortable and restless I figured she wanted to come out for a walk with the other dogs. So off we trudged. We got as far as the end of the front garden where Meg releived herself and quite flatly refused to go anywhere. I didn't blame her quite frankly and so I put her back inside the house and trudged the mile or so walk in the pouring rain with the other 3 dogs. I had prepped tea and immediately upon my return I turned it on, checked on meg who was in her little pen in her whelping box and went down to bed the chickens down for the night. I fed all the dogs and was just coming into the kitchen to change out of my soaking wet clothes when Meg started messing with her bedding. Matthew was sat on his phone at the kitchen table and I remember commenting to him and saying "ooh Matt, look she is nesting " I didn't actually beleive that the puppies would come on precisely day 63" Anyway, Matt looked over looking slightly bored and then said "really". Anyway picture the scene, I had soaking wet jeans, there were chips in the air fryer, the kids were all playing in the living room and I was desperate for a cup of coffee. Next thing I know, Meg let out a yelp and I knew!!! Grabbing my phone I rang Suzanne with a quick " the puppies are coming get her now !" and then ran into the living room to tell the kids they would have to wait for tea. Matt being a typical man shot out of the house saying "see you later not hanging around for this!" . I went back into Meg who had already let out a motionless puppy onto the floor ! Omg! I remember thinking to myself omg omg omg what do I do. The first thing I did was ring my friend Debbie would was vet nurse and she very gently and calmy reminded me what to do over the phone with regards to breaking the sack which was quite gooey and swinging the puppy to get it breathing. This I did after asking her to get to my house as quickly as she possibly could. Fair play, she arrived in about 4 minutes by which time little puppy number one was breathing and moving his legs and thankfully she took over and was amazing. Suzanne arrived shortly afterwards. Tea was burning slowly and steam was coming off my jeans however I had my first puppy.

I stayed with Meg and sat with her for the next 3 puppies. I even managed to change out of my Jeans and into some pj bottoms. Suzanne was amazing and rescued some semblance of tea and brought coffee and my Debbie my friend sat and talked me through the birth of the next 2 puppies. Puppy number 4 I did all by myself and was feeling remarkable calm. Still absolutely amazed that the puppies arrived as predicated on day 63. Debbie at this point had gone home but said she was the end of a phone if I needed her. And all was right with the world.............. until puppy number 5 got stuck. It kinda came out and went back in again despite me trying to manipulate it and asking Debbie to come back and check. Debbie popped up and after a quick examination suggested I take Meg to the vets as she thought that puppy number 5 was stuck and perhaps coming out the wrong way.

And so, Neil was called home and Suzanne and I rushed Meg and 4 puppies down to my vets in Langstone. Here it started to go wrong. I had rung the vets before we left. It wasn't my usual vets considering it was 9.00pm which did kinda put me on wrong foot to start off as they didn't know Meg and this covid thing didn't help as we all had to wait in the car to gain entrance into the vets. This is where it started to go wrong. Now picture the scene, both myself and my friend in the car me holding a tired Meg and four puppies on the back seat. We called the vets and out came a nurse (after making me hold Meg outside in the rain for what felt like forever before she sauntered out. She then asked for the whole story (me while I was still holding Meg in my arms. Now I admit, I suppose both myself and Suzanne were a bit frantic and were getting more frantic by the second as this nurse didn't seem to be hurried at all. In fact she was annoyingly unperterbed which greatly frustrated me and my friend. Anyway eventually she took Meg off me and went inside leaving Suzanne and I to sit in the car and wait. What seemed like forever a vet appeared ( i hated the fact that I had to leave Meg with, essentially strangers) anyway this vet appeared and to cut a long story short basically told Suzanne and I that were panicking and that she didn't feel that Meg was stressed at all. Me being me with my best friend backing me up insisted that a puppy had shown itself and then gone back in, I also explained that a another friend who is a very experienced vet nurse had said that she thought the puppy was stuck. The vet then said that she would scan Meg for me to put my mind at rest. Another 20 minutes past which seemed like forever and the vet reappeared with the information that a puppy was in fact stuck and unfortunately there was no heart beat. She also said that she could hear a heart beat of another puppy but that it was low and, in her opinion we should prep for a caesarian. I agreed immediately but this is where it gets annoying. They agreed to prep Meg for a caesarian but not until I paid half of the fee. To be honest she did have the grace to look slightly embarrassed before telling me that the fee would be 1800 for the whole procedure. After swallowing my shock I agreed and paid the 900 (to be fair I would have paid anything at that point as I was so worried about Meg) The puppies at this point were also in with Meg so Suzanne and I went back to the car to wait. Some 30 minutes later I said to Su that I needed a wee and as McDonalds was next door we could both go there, grab a coffee. At this point I didn't want to leave Meg without telling the vets so again I rang through to speak to the nurse. When she answered she seemed surprised that we were still sat in the car and basically said that we should go home. "Meg will be another 3 or 4 hours and so we will call you with any news" I had already spoken to Debbie who told me that I would definately be able to bring Meg home after the procedure and frankly I was so happy that I could bring my girl home I didn't care. And so, out came the nurse with my puppies and Suzanne and I proceeded to go home.

It was about 10.00pm now I am thinking. At 11;00pm the vets rang to say that Meg was out and okay and that she had two live puppies and two dead puppies for me. So that was 6 puppies in total and very excitedly at midnight I went to pick up my baby girl and bring her home (after paying another 700 before they would release her to me)

So......... my nice relaxing planned birth of puppies had gone ever so slightly wrong however by the end of the night I had 6 live puppies and my Meg at home and......... I didn't have a bottle of wine.

The next few days were very lovely and stressful. I lost two puppies which is something that can happen and made me very concerned that all my puppies were going to die but 3 weeks on and a few sleepless night I have 4 very healthy puppies that are now just starting to be weaned onto solid food and I have not had one glass of wine the whole time. That in itself is a miracle.

I also have a new recruit. My other best friend, my sister. She, like me, constantly worries and justifies and worries and justifies her drinking of alcohol and finally decided to see if she could give up around the beginning of September and she is now flying her way to her 3 month milestone. The struggle is hard. She messaged me yesterday to tell me that she had caved and sent me a lovely picture of a stunning glass of white wine, I think and a sad face. Now, I never want anyone to think they are a failure and so I sent her 3 kissed with the text "who cares?" but guess what happened? About 30 minutes later my elated sister rang me and said she tipped the whole thing down the sink and the rest of the bottle ! How amazing is that?

This made me think. How many people (women especially) are out there, secretly justifying their drinking and therefore secretly worried about it?

I never ever want to be that person that judges anyone, ever. I just appreciate the struggle is hard. There have been countless times the last 2 weeks that I have wanted to give up, desperate for a glass of wine to take the edge off, or even just to appear normal. Everyone enjoys a glass of wine right? And I would justify it............. I mean, surely I don't have a problem, I have not drank a single drop of alcohol for so long now....... I never got drunk ...... I hate being drunk...... so therefore I don't have a problem.

As time has gone on, with the exception of the last few weeks, I can go a long space of time now without even thinking about it. So there is an improvement right?

Physically, I am fatter. But I don't think I am fat. I have a pair of boobs now (never had them before) my anxiety has almost disappeared and I am now the last few weeks, calmer, I don't feel in that fight or flight mode which I constantly did. I mean, don't get me wrong, I still have my off days, I am still on my tablets, but I feel calmer, happier, and more relaxed and I don't need the wine.

Overall, I really do think my health has improved although if I am honest it has taken a long time. Now some people see the benefits of giving up alcohol immediately, for me it has taken a bit longer. The only immediate thing I noticed was the nagging voice that berrated me at 3;00am in the morning while I got up for a pee and some squash. That has disappeared totally . I don't feel guilty at all anymore.

I am now looking forward to my year anniversary. I want to celebrate. How can I mark this occasion ? A new tattoo, a piece of jewellery ? I definately need to mark this massive milestone for me. Until then though I have Christmas and New Year to get through.

But, I will. And one day, it will be something I just don't think about anymore. ...... and when that day comes, I know I will have won.

If there is anyone out there that wants to talk then please feel free to get in touch. It doesn't have to be alcohol it can be anything, its just nice knowing there is someone out there and we can help eachother whether it is just wanting a friend , alcohol, anxiety, anything. Contact me on my email or via this page ; lets help eachother. Especially during these strange times.

Anyway that's it for me today. I will try not to leave it so long next time........

Still going strong ....

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