Thursday, 16 March 2017

Fat Girl Casual

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I've been playing around with looks, splicing dressy things with casual things. I've a new-found love for casual wear that I've never had before, and it's because as a fat person I've had to PERFORM high femininity at all times. Fat girls don't get to hang out in sweats with messy unwashed hair in a bun and get called cute. People think we're lazy slobs who look like that all the time. So I've spent a looooong time avoiding wearing anything casual to avoid The Judgement™. Well fuck that shit because I'll soon be 43 and I'll wear what the fuck I want. I didn't even realise until recently that my avoidance of casual wear was a thing. It's weird to be socialised to behave in certain ways and not even realise it until one day BOOM - epiphany. So I'm messing around with femme + casual wear to get the feel for it before I jump into full-on casual wear with both feet.

Monday, 13 March 2017

My Fertility Story part 2 - my first ectopic pregnancy

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MY-FERTILITY-STORY-PART-TWO-MY-FIRST-ECTOPIC-PREGNANCY CHILD LOSS BEREAVEMENT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
It goes without saying but TW: child loss.

Only after I started writing this did I realise how much a toll bringing it all up would take, but like they say on Mastermind, I've started so I'll finish. I've had it better than some and worse than others, but everything I've been through has made me a stronger person. Here's the story of my first ectopic pregnancy. It happened 14 years ago but I'll recall it as best I can.

But first, what are ectopic pregnancies? From the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust: Ectopic pregnancy is a common, occasionally life-threatening condition that affects 1 in 80 pregnancies. Put very simply, it means “an out-of-place pregnancy”. It occurs when a woman’s ovum (egg), that has been fertilised, implants (gets stuck) outside the womb. The most common place for an ectopic pregnancy is the Fallopian tube but there are many other sites where an ectopic pregnancy can be located. It is, sadly, not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy into the womb to allow it to grow normally.

It was 2003 and I had no idea what an ectopic pregnancy was until it happened to me. James and I had only been going out for 3 months. I had just started using the pill and we were also using condoms in the changeover period, but little did I know that James's man-product was no match for contraceptives!

The first I knew something was wrong was when the worst abdominal pain I'd had in my life started. I was writhing around in bed all day and the pain was unrelenting, but I finally managed to get to sleep. The next day I woke up and still had a nagging pain (although less intense) so I got an emergency appointment at the doctors. Thus began my first of several internal examinations of the day, and the doctor said he suspected it might be an ectopic pregnancy. I did a pee sample but if I was pregnant it wasn't far enough along to show up on their test strip. I was told to buy a pregnancy test on the way home and if it was positive call them back straight away. I went to Boots absolutely sure I wasn't pregnant, but I picked up a test anyway and went back home to pee on a stick. It was a good job I was sitting down because when those lines appeared I might have fainted had I not already been seated.

I rang the doctors back to tell them yes I was pregnant and was told to come straight back. While I was in the surgery the doctor phoned the gynae ward at the local hospital to tell them I was coming in with a suspected ectopic pregnancy. I went to my local hospital and had more internal examinations, blood tests, urine tests and a scan. The tests confirmed I was definitely pregnant, but I don't think they could see a mass on on the scan (unlike my second ectopic pregnancy) so they told me to come back if my pain got worse. Sods law - as soon as I got back home the pain came back with a vengeance. I'd barely got in the door when I had to go back.

I was admitted, and it was a scary, confusing time - not just because I was likely losing a baby, but because I didn't even know I *could* get pregnant. Apart from the fleeting possibility of miscarriage I'd put out of mind years before I'd never really thought about trying to have kids. I'd never even done a pregnancy test before. It was all too much to take in and I shut down. I was in shock. I didn't ask any questions so I had no fucking clue what was going on, and no one was telling me anything either.

I was in a huge, drafty high ceilinged room which looked like something out of the Victorian age. I saw various doctors and nurses, none of whom seemed particularly warm or sympathetic (in stark contrast to my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011, where the staff were almost entirely fantastic). I was having regular blood tests to see what my hcG pregnancy levels were (which rise as a pregnancy goes on) and I was in so much pain. In the latter stages of my stay when they thought they were going to operate I also saw a surgeon and anaesthetist. None of my family live locally so I only had a visit from James and one of my co-workers while I was there. I felt very frightened and alone. My relationship with James was still really new and he was only 22 - ill equipped to deal with a suddenly pregnant girlfriend. He came down to visit me on the Saturday I was in there then told me he was going clubbing that night. It was totally surreal!

I was in there for 3 days in total, the second of which I spent nil by mouth as they were going to do a laparoscopy the following day. I had yet another blood test on the morning of the third day expecting my operation to be any time, but I'd started bleeding vaginally. A nurse came round and said "We'll take you off the drip and then you can have some breakfast and go home. You're losing it." Again I was in shock. I now know my bloods had shown the pregnancy hormone was dropping and thus the pregnancy was coming to an end, and that was a particularly brutal way to inform me. My aunt was coming to visit me from London, the first of my family to get there, but instead she ended up escorting me home. She said I was as white as a ghost and I remember being totally spaced out. 

I know now this is what's called a tubal abortion, where the foetus dies in the tube. No one bothered to explain this to me though. I was given a few leaflets and sent home. There was absolutely no follow up, no suggestion of counselling, and I wasn't the type to ask for help (or even acknowledge I needed it). I went back to work after a month because I was pressured into it, but I wasn't ready. I don't think you're ever ready after a thing like that. You're changed forever. Everything looks the same on the outside, but you're never the same again. I think I made things worse for myself by pretending it was for the best, that I was unaffected. In truth it affected me very deeply, but I didn't know how to deal with my feelings so I ignored them. I never really learned to mourn until my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011, the one where I nearly bled to death when my fallopian tube ruptured. That had been a planned pregnancy, but I'll talk more about that when I write the next post in this series.

Please read all about ectopic pregnancies here - especially what symptoms to look out for, but I will say this - if there's any chance at all you could be pregnant and you've had sharp, insistent abdominal pain for a number of hours, get yourself to a doctor or early pregnancy unit at your local hospital ASAP. Ectopic pregnancies can and do kill. I'd been in hospital care for over 12 hours with my second ectopic pregnancy when my fallopian tube ruptured. Had I been at home I wouldn't be here to write this today. I would've bled out in the ambulance. You cannot take any chances with suspected ectopic pregnancies.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

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A Wednesday (Addams) state of mind

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FAT WEDNESDAY ADDAMS GOTH OUTFIT // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK Well I had lost my outfit mojo but I've found it again. This is one of those outfits which came about in a flash. I had to go to the post office and some other errands and my hair was greasy so I needed to do something quick. Buns or plaits? Once I'd plumped for plaits the rest of the outfit came to me. It was well overdue I got my goth on again as I've been wearing a lot of 'pretty' outfits recently.

I dress so seasonally - when it's cold and grey I need colour in my life to keep the misery at bay. But once the world comes alive again in spring I can haul out all the dark shades because life has enough colour without me having to add to it. I've tried to mix up the textures a bit to add interest to an almost all black outfit, but the light was fading a little so it may not be clear that I'm wearing leather look leggings.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Mustard and rust

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MUSTARD-AND-RUST-A-PLUS-SIZE-OUTFIT-POST // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

As well as my ongoing fascination with pink and grey at the moment, I've also got a yen for earthy colours like rust, mustard and dark greens. Here's a very simple (and inexpensive!) outfit I wore recently which cheered me up with its burst of colour.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Current fave colour palette - pink and grey

Hello lovelies! I'm in a proper funk with regards to outfits at the moment. I can't put my finger on what it is exactly, but I keep finding fault with everything I put together. I've deleted about 6 whole sets of photos in the last month. Waaahhh. I'm loving colour at the moment, especially pink and grey together, so let's focus on happy things. 😊 Spring is just around the corner, so there's a lot to look forward to.

James and I went to some local woods to take these photos and there were so many people coming past. I was feeling very grumpy about interrupting my posing mid-flow until I realised all of them had dogs. It's worth being constantly stopped in my tracks to say hello to inquisitive doggies. I'm less keen on meeting their people, though. 😉

Life lately

LIFE LATELY FEB/EARLY MARCH // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

Hello lovelies! I thought I'd do a catch up post as I have a few things going on.

It's been a rough month or so for me but hopefully things will be much sunnier soon. Many of you will know that I really struggle with life in the dark months, and that's been especially true recently. Everything has been an effort, even the most simple things like self care. I've been living out of my bed. I've been spending at least 12 hours a day asleep, trying to sleep or trying to find the strength to get out of bed. I've been having really bad troubles with my sleep recently - taking hours to get to sleep, waking up multiple times in the night, never sleeping through a whole night. I've had all kinds of things going on on top of that - a lot more gynae issues than usual, far heavier periods and a lot more ovary pain. Well, I had a routine blood test last week (just in time!) and it turns out my thyroid has gotten worse and they've had to increase my medication. This happened a few days ago and I should hopefully start to feel the benefit soon. Your thyroid controls the behaviour of every cell in your body. It affects how you process food for energy, your hunger/satiety levels, how you sleep, your mental health and even your periods. No wonder I was struggling, but better days are coming!

Another thing that's been happening is I've had a lot of my blog posts stolen/borrowed by another site (depending which way you look at it).

Thursday, 2 March 2017

My Fertility Story - Part 1

MY-FERTILITY-STORY-REPRODUCTIVE-HEALTH // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK
I've heard it said before that bloggers shouldn't share too much of their personal lives, but I think that's complete bollocks. Yes, people might come to my page for the outfits, but how you connect with people is through sharing stories of your life. I have a lot of stories in me and I want to tell them - I have a burning desire to do so at the moment. Sometimes I'm obsessed with doing outfit posts, sometimes it's makeup, but at the moment it's opening up my heart.

This series will talk about my reproductive health in general, my two ectopic pregnancies, the reproductive health issues I've had since I had my fallopian tube removed, and also the decision for James to have a vasectomy, thus making us a childless couple. This is quite a lot to tell, so I'm going to break it up into at least a few parts. These posts will obviously deal with child loss, so please don't read these posts if they'll upset you.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

When plus size models aren't plus enough

I've recently become a contributing writer to Indie Bomb, whose purpose is: Independent Plus Size Bloggers and Designers promoting innovation in fashion and journalism. Expect articles about the fashion industry, blind product reviews where the tester only finds out who made the garment after they've shared their opinion, and interviews with independent designers.

My first article for Indie Bomb - click to check out the site.

When I first heard that a lot of plus size models pad their bodies to fit the clothing they model many words sprang to mind but most of them are far too rude to share here. As a UK size 28 woman my thoughts on plus size models are already complicated. It’s galling that clothes sold by retailers for women up to UK size 32+ are modelled on someone who’s at most a size 18. Discovering that these size 18 women are actually size 12-14 and padded out to resemble an impossible standard is even more of a smack in the teeth. So common is the practice in the fashion industry well known plus models such as Iskra Lawrence are open about the practice of packing shapewear shorts with 1.5 inch thick foam pads which widen the hips and round the buttocks, and using chicken fillet bra pads to enlarge the breasts.

WHEN-PLUS-SIZE-MODELS-AREN'T-PLUS-ENOUGH // WWW.XLOVELEAHX.CO.UK

[Image source: Refinery 29]

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