I think it’s fair to say that 2017 has been the strangest year of my life so far, containing some of the highest highs – and the lowest lows – I’ve ever experienced.
Style-wise, it’s also been the most challenging year of my life so far with my constantly-changing shape meaning a large part of my wardrobe was out of commission for most of the year, and I was forced to try my best to dress an ever-growing baby bump instead.
Here’s what my year looked like…
January was cold and miserable, and I was pretty damn miserable myself, if the truth be told: I’d finally gotten the all-clear from the hospital following my ectopic pregnancy in November/December, but although I was physically back to normal, mentally I was the most depressed I’ve ever been in my life. I apparently tried to combat this by dressing in bright colours, although there’s every possibility that I was just doing that to take advantage of the snowy backdrop, too: you can never really tell with me…
February brought more of the same, both from the weather and my mood. By this stage of winter, I’m always absolutely sick of the cold and dark, and feeling totally un-inspired with my winter wardrobe, and that seems to have been the case in 2017, too, because I hardly posted any outfit photos this month. Looking back, this was such a dark, depressing time: I was still feeling really fragile after everything that had happened the previous year, and we were also very aware that our little dog, Rubin, wasn’t in the best of health, either. If I thought February was bad, though, it was nothing compared to March…
Don’t be fooled by the fact that I’m smiling in these photos, folks: this was the month we lost Rubin, and I honestly couldn’t have felt worse. The days were finally getting warmer and lighter, but I genuinely felt like everything was ending, and that all of the good things in life were behind me now. Cheerful stuff, huh? Actually, now that I look back at the photos, I can see that every one of these outfits was posted due to sponsorship obligations: don’t get me wrong, I loved the clothes (I only ever accept items I’d wear even if I wasn’t being paid to do it), but I’m not sure I’d have been able to muster the enthusiasm to put together outfits if I hadn’t been effectively “forced” to. (In retrospect, this was probably a good thing: I feel better when I’ve made the effort to get dressed and do my makeup, and if it wasn’t for the blog, I’d probably have spent the entire winter in PJs…)
Speaking of sponsorships, although last winter was a real low point for me personally, professionally things had never been better: the blog was going from strength to strength, I was getting tons of offers of work, and, behind the scenes, I was quietly having a nervous breakdown while working on my ‘Closet Essentials’ book, which was released in October. So, it was a really busy month, and I guess at least that helped distract me from how bad I was feeling all the way through it…
(Er, this post does get a BIT more cheerful, I promise. Only a little bit, though…)
In April, we started work on our kitchen/downstairs reno, which ended up taking up the whole month – and then some – as well as destroying my last remaining shreds of sanity. I spent most of the month in paint-spattered jeans and an ancient top, so I was actually quite surprised to see how many outfit posts I managed to squeeze in! It was a good job I made the most of those spring clothes while I still had the opportunity, though, because May was to be the month that changed everything…
Right at the start of May – and while we were still effectively living in a building site – I found out I was pregnant again, for what was the third time in eight months, at that point. The next few weeks were super-stressful: because I’d had an ectopic pregnancy just a few months earlier, I was considered to be at higher risk of another one, so I was really closely monitored, with blood tests every couple of days, and then scans every couple of weeks. Thankfully, my first scan (at just over five weeks) ruled out another ectopic, but because I’d also had a miscarriage the previous year, I was still absolutely terrified that the same thing would happen again, so although the pregnancy was planned, I felt I couldn’t possibly allow myself to be excited or hopeful about it, just in case it all went wrong again.
By the end of the month, I was also suffering from some pretty bad morning sickness, so there weren’t too many outfit posts this month either: in fact, I feel like I spent most of the month in bed!
In June I had my 12 week scan, told our friends and family about the pregnancy, and finally started feeling a bit more human again. Unfortunately, though, this was another real low point in the year for us: the same day I announced the pregnancy on the blog, Terry’s mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and our world fell apart yet again. When I look back at this month, I mostly remember feeling absolutely furious with the universe, which seemed determined not to EVER let us have anything good: so the photos may be sunny, but my mood was anything BUT…
July was a bit of blur, to be completely honest. Terry’s mum started chemo, but ended up in hospital not long afterwards, having had a really bad reaction to it, so things were still pretty bleak all round, really. Fashion-wise, it actually makes me laugh to look back at these photos – my bump was still tiny at this stage, but I remember thinking I was absolutely HUGE: oh, you sweet, summer child…
Another complete blur of a month, really. I wore the black dress in the first photo to a meal out right after Terry’s mum’s second round of chemo: things seemed to be looking up at that point, but she once again ended up back in hospital, where she spent almost the entire month. We later found out that the chemo HAD been working, but she was just too ill to be able to continue with it, and seeing her struggle in hospital for weeks was absolutely heartbreaking for all of us.
In happier news, I had my 20 week scan, and we found out we were having a little boy – cue much excited shopping and planning: luckily for me, my second trimester was pretty textbook, really – I still thought I was absolutely ENORMOUS (Which, HAHA, LOL, just you wait!), but the morning sickness was a distant memory by this point, and, despite the extreme anxiety I had for the entire pregnancy, I was feeling more or less like my usual self again. I was, however, quickly running out of clothing options, which is why my outfit posts started to get pretty sporadic at this stage!
Er, yeah: REALLY sporadic. Honestly, I barely even remember September, now. I know there were a fair few hospital visits, both for myself (all routine stuff, thankfully), and for Terry’s mum (Not so routine, unfortunately…), but for the most part we pretty much just slipped into a holding pattern this month, just desperately trying to get through every day, while worrying constantly about Terry’s mum, and – in my case – the approaching birth. I still thought I couldn’t possibly get any bigger. I was still wrong.
October was actually freakishly mild this year, and, for the first time in my life, I was actually ever-so-slightly disappointed about it: don’t worry, I still hate autumn with a fiery passion (I know, I know, I’m a bad blogger for saying that…), but I was just so sick of wearing the same few maternity outfits on rotation all the time, and I’d identified a couple of autumn/winter dresses that I thought might still fit me, so I was desperate for the weather to cool down a little, just so I could wear something different for a change!
The month itself, meanwhile, was a fairly uneventful one, although, now that I’d reached the 3rd trimester, I was starting to get even more anxious about childbirth, and the possibility of something going wrong with the pregnancy. Terry, meanwhile, was working hard on the nursery, which turned out to be one of those DIY projects that you think will be pretty quick, really, but which ends up taking WEEKS. It also created almost as much mess as the kitchen reno did – and that’s saying something – so I was REALLY glad when it was finally done!
November was the month of All the Appointments. By this point, I was seeing the midwife every couple of weeks, and had also started having counselling for my anxiety, plus regular appointments with my doctor, and various other medical professionals. I was so uncomfortable at this stage that I was having trouble sleeping, and my anxiety was off the charts, with constant worrying about the baby, and about how the hell he was going to get out of me. I was, however, starting to feel a little more organised on the home front: our nursery furniture arrived in the middle of November, and the house was finally back to normal again after all of the decorating we’d been doing, so that was a big relief to me.
November was also the last month I bothered taking outfit photos: by the time December rolled around, I was so huge that nothing really fit me any more, and it was too close to the end of the pregnancy to buy anything new, so I spent most of the month in leggings and tank tops… which I’m still wearing now, actually, as I recover from my c-section (and still look at least 6 months pregnant!).
What will 2018 look like in outfits, I wonder? Well, I suspect it’s going to be another challenging one, with my body still changing, and my wardrobe having to adapt to “mom life” – but I guess I’m about to find out!