Tinto Hill... More like mountain! by Emilie

Yesterday I completed my first hill walk!! I am not going to lie... I found it really hard!
We (me + Richard) dropped the kids off with the baby sitters around 10am and headed to Tinto Hill, which is 2320 feet high. Richard was the one who suggested Tinto Hill as my first hill walk as apparently it's an 'easy one to start with'... I think for future reference I'll do more research into the next one and see for myself just how suitable it is for an overweight, super unfit mum of two!

We started off quite well with a good pace, we even over took 3 walkers - I was quite smug at this point. But then the gradient got bigger and I suddenly realised just how unfit I was! I think it's fair to say, from this point on, I moaned and complained whole way. I was pink cheeked and sweaty and probably swore more in those two hours than I have since having Fergus in 2009. I could hardly speak at first and honestly hated all the people passing us on the way down with their cheery 'good mornings'. I just wanted to cause them pain and tell them to stop being so smug! I thought to myself this is definite karma.

Once I actually caught my breath and was able to speak again, I realised how amazing the view was and what great company I had. I think in that moment I realised how lucky I was to have such a loyal, patient husband. We spoke about why I was walking this hill and why I plan to walk many more along with running and eventually walking the west highland way.

During my pregnancy with Murphy, almost exactly 12 months ago to the day I was in hospital for the second time for IV fluids. Richard was working a full time job and Fergus was (thankfully) in nursery, I was being sick up to 40 times a day and nothing was staying down, not even a sip of water. Every smell I could smell would set my stomach churning and the sight of anything bold would make me wretch. I wasn't able to read, be it emails, books, magazines, just the concentration it took to read or look at the pictures would cause the nausea to be come uncontrollable and almost certainly result in vomiting. While talking to Richard he discussed how climbing this 'mountain' with me was much like dealing with me during the worst times of HG. I couldn't look at him while grasping for breath, or have him near me while struggling to walk the steep gradient, I didn't want him touching me and everything he said just plain pissed me off. During HG it was much the same, I couldn't look him when I was bad as it would trigger the nausea, I couldn't have him near me as the smell of him (not that it is ever bad) would make me vomit, if he touched me it would only make me cry as all I longed for was a hug, but even that would make me vomit, then the crying would only ever make the vomiting worse and if he spoke to me I would only ever be able to give one worded answers - I can't even explain how it was impossible to talk while suffering so badly. I think the easiest way to put it would be to imagine you are incredibly drunk with your head over a sick bowl, with your eyes shut because the room is spinning and you know you're going to be sick. Well now think about how it feels when someone talks to you, you just don't have the energy to talk right? Well that is what its like.

Thinking about how amazing Richard is and how lucky I am to have him as my husband really spurred me on to get to the top. HG can destroy relationships, it is the woman who have to go through it and it truly is relentless but it's the husbands, partners and families that have to carry on living while caring for their loved ones and I don't feel they get enough credit for it.

Like I mentioned before, Richard was working full time, he would be up all night with me being sick, holding my hair and rubbing my back, he would then get up in the morning and empty my sick bucket, then he would get Fergus up and dressed ready for nursery, probably missing breakfast himself then go and work a full day. He would pick Fergus up on his way home from work, he would empty my sick bucket as soon as he got in then start on dinner for himself and Fergus while also caring for me, doing the housework and keeping Fergus entertained. I know people would argue that he was the one that got me pregnant and what would I expect, but there are men out there who can't handle it and as a result the relationship breaks down. I feel as though I'm one of the lucky ones.

Once we reached the top I had such a huge sense of achievement, I was grinning from ear to ear and was totally blown away by the view we had. We sat at the top, ate our lunch and phoned the babysitters to make sure the boys weren't playing up - Not that we were in a position to do anything if they were!

Standing at the top ready to head back down again I thought how it was much like an HG pregnancy in the respect that its an uphill struggle to bake the baby, then once you get to the top and the baby has arrived; then comes the easy part - heading back down again and caring for a newborn, HG free!

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