2020 – Pandemic, Pregnancy and Reading slumps

It’s the 4th of January. Happy New Year all!

Who am I lying? Not feeling festive at all. A bit happy that this year is finally over, tho.

However, as I said it’s 4th and I’m still doubting myself to write this post or not to write this post. Honestly, I don’t want to remember, don’t want to think about 2020.
But.. the most important thing that I’ve learned during the past 12 months is that we do have to put our mental health first. I know that there are people, who are isolated, alone and struggling. That’s why I’m writing this post so you will know that you are not alone and you can always reach out for me if you want just to have someone to talk to. My PM is always open and welcoming!

Okay, here we go.

I’ve couldn’t dream of a more perfect start of 2020. I found out that I’m pregnant just days before Christmas. I started a new job and I worked with amazing people (whom I’m missing so much). I was hitting my books goals. At the end of February, my GoodRead showed that I was 10 books ahead. Having in mind that I’ve set my goal to read 60 books by the end of 2020, I was thrilled that I was going to beat my GR challenge for 5th year in a row.

Then March came. I was sent home in the middle of the month because I was pregnant and fell into the people in the high-risk group.
By the end of the month, I had an established routine and I was fine with it. I was reading a lot and I kind of enjoyed my new everyday life.

April. I started to feel isolated. There was no point of me ‘isolating’ myself when my boyfriend is a key worker and he was (and still is) going to work every day.
My friends stopped hanging out with me because they were scared that they may spread the virus and I’m pregnant (totally understandable).
Started to fell down to the reading slump rabbit hole.

May. They shut down the office. Everybody was sent to work from home, unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them. They kept me under a furlough although I was so looking forward to starting to work again. It was literary the highlight of my week.
I had to go back to Bulgaria for my graduation. They cancelled the graduation. My Master degree of Landscape architecture diploma is still waiting for me to pick it up from uni.
I had to show my grandma my bump. They cancelled my flight.
I stopped reading and went back to my art. I invested nearly all my savings into buying a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine and Epson printer and I started selling prints and stickers.
If you are curious, here is my Instagram and Etsy shop.

June. I was heavily depressed. Spent most of my days in bed. Drawing during the night. I wasn’t sleeping properly, wasn’t feeding properly. I did realise that this was not good for the baby and forced myself to eat.
I had my first sale, which cheered me up a lot.
Also started meeting with friends outside for a walk in the park.
I was promised that I’ll be back to work at the beginning of July so I started to prepare for the baby. This is when anxiety hit me hard. I couldn’t find clothes. Everything sized ‘Newborn’ or ‘0-3 months’ was out of stock.
I spent 2 weeks of crying an accusing myself of being a bad mom because I haven’t prepared earlier. Luckily, Holy Primark was back open at the beginning of July, so I was first there to get what I needed.
My mom was supposed to come for my Birthday but her flight got cancelled.

July. I didn’t start work, because obviously, I was too far into the pregnancy. Also, I’ve been told that I can’t get a Maternity Leave Pay because I’ve lacked 2 weeks of employment. (To get SMP I should have started working for them before 16th of November, while I started on 2nd December.) They also stopped my Furlough payments. A month before my due date (18th August) I ended up with no money and no job.
Out of the stress, my little boy was born prematurely at 37th week, on 30th of July. I’ve been hospitalised on my Birthday (27th July) and end up having the best Birthday present ever! During this shitty year, this is the best thing that has ever happened to me!

August was a blur.

September. I’ve got my P45 and got sacked. Still dealing with them.
I started reading again. Even published some reviews in the blog. I stopped tracking how many books I’ve read because it depressed me. Honestly, I wanted to read more. I felt like I’m slowly coming out of the reading slump I’ve fallen into. With the baby, I was able to read only on my Kindle while I breastfed him. The thing is that the books I wanted to read were paper/hard-back.
I started listening to more audiobooks while taking the baby for a walk.

October and November were all the same – grey, grumpy and raining.

December. Finally! The year is almost over.
My mom finally came and had the chance to meet her first grandchild.
I’m slowly going back to my reading habits and even wrote a few reviews which I’ll post in the next few days (if my boy allows).

To sum up:
► The best thing that happened to me was having my son, going back to drawing, art, and crafts, and spending more time with my plants and growing my collection (here is my plant Instagram always happy to meet new planty people ♥ ).
► The worst thing is that I went through my pregnancy on my own. I had only 3 or 4 in-person appointments with my midwife. Nobody monitored my baby, checked if my bump is the right size or whatsoever they are meant to monitor.
This resulted in two main things – first, when I was sent to a scan so they can see if I have any waters left, the baby was measured less than 2kg in 35 weeks and 5 days (thankfully, the sonographer measurements were wrong and I gave birth to a healthy 3.200kg baby boy).
The second one is that they haven’t detected on time that I have slow blood clogging and I’m prone to haemorrhage.

As for my reading year:
► I’ve read 33 books
► Or 11 800 pages
8 5-stars books

I hope I haven’t put you to sleep with this long, long post. I’m hoping for a better 2021 and I hope I’ll meet new friends, bookish friends, and plant-lover friends.

To put an end to these highly emotional things that are pouring out of me, I want to ask you something. Understandably, I haven’t kept myself up to date with the new book releases. I want to catch up a bit, so my question is – which are your favourite 2020-released books? Leave your recommendations in the comments, I can’t wait to see what books you loved during 2020.

All yours, as usual

Hope x

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