It’s safe to say that my university journey has been a rough road. You might be thinking, “yes isn’t everyone’s?”. But mine was definitely hard going; a toddler, a baby and two pregnancies to be exact!
So I started my first year with an 11 month old Leo and I cried all the way to university because it was the first time that I had been away from him! Yes, the whole 35 miles I was sobbing like a baby.
Things were going well and my grades were good, then three months into the course I found out I was pregnant with baby number two! I was hit again with Hyperemesis Gravidarum like I was with Leo so I ended up taking more time off than planned. Thankfully I wasn’t admitted into hospital this time round.
But I powered through and got my head in the game. I finished the year and felt happy with myself. Mylo wasn’t due until October so I had the summer to ‘relax’ and organise my time for the upcoming year at university. I decided against deferring the year and I wanted to just get it done so after a long talk with a few of my tutors and the head of the faculty it was decided that I would take the first term off but continue to work from home.
I had Mylo in early October, a week before Leo’s 2nd birthday and 4 weeks later I had an assignment due. Here’s how we welcomed Mylo:
It was chaotic to say the least and I often worked with Mylo lay on me or whilst I was breastfeeding him.
The wrap was my saviour because I could still do everything whilst keeping Mylo upright because of his reflux.
I couldn’t have gotten through that second year without the support from Kevin, he really helped me so much and I actually managed an extra couple of hours sleep now and again by expressing some milk.
Obviously it was still very important for me to spend 1:1 time with Leo too with the introduction of a little brother. The transition is hard for them so we had to still keep a bit of me and him time. We made homemade pizzas, went on park visits, did face painting, went on special mummy and Leo days out, made a halloween pumpkin out of paper mache, we basically continued with the norm!
The rest of the year continued and I found myself taking a lot more time off because Mylo was suffering terribly with acid reflux. It was horrendous to say the least. He couldn’t sleep, he cried all day and night, and it was just terrible to witness. It really does put a huge strain on you when your child is poorly but you can read more on our reflux journey here and here.
I won’t lie, it was hard going back to university when Mylo was 11 weeks old. I was lucky in that I had very good tutors who understood my circumstances. Personally I work better from home anyway, so reading the lectures on my university portal was perfect for me.
After my persistence with the GP we eventually got referred to a paediatrician where we finally found out that on top of the acid reflux, he was actually suffering from a dairy and egg allergy too. It wasn’t until I cut it out of my own diet (due to him reacting through my breastmilk) that we seen a huge difference in him. He was a different baby and so so happy! We then (and still have) regular GP, paediatrician and dietician appointments so to say it was a busy year was an understatement!
Having two children under two was immense without the weight of university, and personally I am amazed that I got through it! But like I said, I couldn’t have done it without Kevin because he’s really pushed me and motivated me throughout my degree.
I had regular bedtimes of 6am and when I was at lectures I had to go and express breastmilk on the breaks. My university were fantastic and gave me a lovely private room to use and booked it for the whole year for me so that I had peace to eat and express at the same time.
My third year saw me welcoming the birthdays of Leo and Mylo, turning 1 year old and 3 years old. The year was going a bit more smoothly than my second year as we were now managing Mylo’s reflux and allergies and we had settled into being a family of four. Four months later I found out I was pregnant again! My second pregnancy at university! I must be a glutton for punishment, but my degree was in early years so I must admit that I wanted my babies close in age whether at university or not.
My third year saw the start of my dissertation and endless workloads and tying up of loose ends. I’ll admit that I worked so hard that I often didn’t know what day it was because I just slept whenever I could and grabbed a couple of hours when it was feasible. I would work endlessly and was extremely exhausted. I cried, I laughed, I even nearly threw my laptop through the window a few times. But I got there.
Here it is. The finish line. The last assignment was submitted and I was awaiting the final classification result. All of my assignments and dissertation were finished. I feel that I finally proved my dedication and commitment. I was both happy and sad, the hardest three years of my life had now finished.
My graduation was a beautiful day that I shared with the people who meant the most to me! Many tears were shed that day! I couldn’t believe that I had done it and it was all over!
I’ll have to admit that I started university aiming for a first class degree and often became so angry at myself when I slipped just under the threshold in my second year! I would hate myself, but that’s a battle that I have with myself on a daily basis. Whatever I do I have to do the best and if I don’t then I punish myself quite badly!
So when I opened my classification email on my universal portal account I was genuinely shaking! Then I burst into tears and Kevin didn’t know what was wrong.. but I got my FIRST!
I finished on a first and I was ecstatic and so overwhelmed! Leo couldn’t understand why I was crying my eyes out and was happy at the same time. It was a very surreal moment and probably one that I will remember for the rest of my life. Opening that email was the scariest thing I think I have ever done in my life! I was genuinely sweating and shaking and felt like a serious wreck. I actually put off opening the email for an hour because I couldn’t face it.
But my hard work paid off and I was over the moon. I called my dad, my grandma, my brother, my best friend and burst into tears on the phone each time! It was such an emotional day!
Here’s some photos from my graduation:
I was lucky enough to be sent an absolutely beautiful graduation frame to review by Hugo’s Workshop. The frame is amazing in quality – I don’t think I own a frame that is of the same standard to be quite honest. The frame is lovingly made and is absolutely perfect. Did I mention that it is personalised too? It was the perfect gift that now sits proudly on my dressing table.
Hugo’s workshop also create personalised chopping boards, notice boards, a range of photo frames, egg and soldier boards, as well as incorporating children’s personalised handwriting into their products!
The items are easily customisable on the website and so simple to order. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with the products.
How beautiful is my new frame though?! This is made by the insanely talented @hugosworkshop and I am completely in love with it! Blog post will be coming soon! It’s the most perfect gift after graduation to showcase my graduation photo ? It is now proudly sitting on my dressing table to remind me each morning of my achievement! ?
Go and check them out because they are insanely talented and I am already looking at other things to order! They are super special to give for christmas and birthdays with them being personalised too.
Pandora graduation charm
How beautiful is this charm? This was a gift from my grandma on the completion of my degree.
It reads inside the hat – “hard work pays off”
And I got “Edge Hill 2017” engraved along the edge which looks beautiful!
I got some lovely cards for my graduation. These are my cards:
And I also got sent some lovely new cards from Hallmark from their new range! How beautiful are they?
Hallmark are always a go-to for a decent card aren’t they? And their new range doesn’t disappoint either!
You can find these card and lots of others over on Hallmark’s website.
My overall university experience has been a hard one. And it isn’t till I look back on what I have wrote in my blog post that I realise how hard it actually was. I guess what I am trying to say is that anything is possible and the lessons that I wanted to teach my boys I have done!
“If you work hard enough then you can achieve anything”
“You can accomplish anything that you put your mind to”
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something”
“Hard work really does pay off!”