Category Archives: baby

A parents duty

I’ve been concerned for a while about the achievement level of my 5 year old daughter, I’ve watched her friends as they read and write and count in the double figures and despaired over her complete lack of interest or attention span with these academic tasks and in the last few months have attempted to help her attain the skills I thought she should already have, but over the last 2 weeks I’ve started to feel differently about this.

I’ve finally stepped back and understood that I am not her academic teacher – I’m her mother.

Academically my teaching role in her world is a supportive one, it is not my place to insist she should know her ABC’s by now; it is my place to ensure she can dress herself, attend to her toiletry needs and be aware of the correct way to act in any given social situation, to help and support in an emotional fashion and see to her needs in the home.

She is pretty observant when it comes to the social side of things already and her verbal communication skills are (in my opinion) above average so the fact that she doesn’t always recognise her own name in writing should not bother me as much as it has done, she starts school on Monday and they will pick up in this area – I need to step back and let my little girl sort her own academic level or I’ll be spending the rest of her schooling life spoon feeding her answers and nagging about homework which will do her no favours later on when she has to plan her own schedule and take ownership of her own progress.

I need to chill. But it’s bloody hard to step back and quit worrying I can tell you that for nothing! My little girl is growing up but I need to enjoy the growing without worrying so much about the ‘up’.

I’ll get there, hopefully without driving her too far up the wall in the process…

Motherhood and college

I’ve managed to complete my foundation degree with flying colours and yes I’m damned proud of myself.

But it hasn’t been easy, I’ve had sleepless nights about bonding fears, illness, coursework and thoughts of the future – but I’ve made it through mainly because of my man. He’s been a stay at home dad and while he’s mainly enjoyed it I know it’s not been easy for him either.

Ha! Who are we kidding?
If I thought this year was hard then I know next year may well kill me on the stress front; next year I’ll be undertaking a final year project that will determine whether I get a first class honours degree or something a bit ‘less’. I’m thinking of something along the lines of e-learning, I want to mix in my interest in online social media and if I could just find a way of shoehorning in karaoke and jewellery making then I’d be as happy as the proverbial pig ;0)

Whatever the project though I’ll still be involved in the CABLE group and will be even busier than last year *gulp*

With that in mind we’ve discussed our options and decided that it’s better if Stef continues to stay at home with Isabella, she’s a happy, secure child and we want her to stay that way; the reassurance of a constantly available parent can only help her feeling of security.

If I get as stressed as we think I will (going off this year it’s almost a certainty) then we need to be prepared to deal with the inevitable relapses on the ME/CFS front when I’ll need Stef at home to care for both me and Izzy for a few days until I can function again – he wouldn’t be able to drop work for that purpose very often and retain the job; besides which we both agree that it’s better to care for her ourselves than for him to work just to pay for a stranger to – which, after tax and petrol costs etc is what would happen given the current work climate and the few suitable jobs on offer.

I’m just thankful that we’re in the position to be able to do this, that we have a roof over our heads, funds for food and bills and little need for anything else – my how things will change once our little cherub discovers brands and peer pressure *sigh* I’m dreading it..

She’s adorable though, with a single giggle, clap or her current attempts to convey her adoration of all things dog (‘BOOF!’) she lightens my heart and makes the day seem less hard – no matter what. I never knew it was possible to love something like this, the fierceness of it, how I still find myself watching her sleep with a tight happy feeling in my chest and tears threatening to overspill at the wonder of her.

Corny eh? but truer than true.

That kid has completely changed my world – for the better! because of her I’m determined to do the best I possibly can, I want to be the best role model for her I can be, I want to teach her to put her all into everything and to go for whatever she wants all guns blazing.

But mostly I want to teach her that she is loved unconditionally and that just by being in the world she makes me a better person – a bit like her dad if I’m honest.

I have the best family in the world – feel free to envy me.
Go on,  won’t blame you at all *grin*

rocking around the christmas tree

This is the song that has been running around in my head for DAYS! Kill me, just kill me now.

No this is not going to be one of those bah humbug type posts – i’m not allowed to bah humbug anymore – I have a child, I’ve now got to embrace the joys of Christmas and foster a belief in santa – something that may eventually lead to a schoolyard kicking as said belief disintegrates, but why borrow trouble eh? We’ve got a good 3-4 years before that happens – and anyway, I’ve found a place that teaches kung-fu to kids..

This is why, for the first time ever in a place of my own, I have a tree. As you can see, it’s covered in pink stuff – this was not my choice, Stef was seduced by the displays at cruise hill and succumbed to the lure of pink baubles. I have to admit though, it turned out better than I’d expected *grin*

Isabella's first tree

Isabella's first tree

I have completed my Christmas shopping with days to spare – even the laggards at Amazon have got it together enough to dispatch the remainder of my order just in time, fingers crossed it arrives tomorrow so that I don’t have to eat those words eh? In between pulling my hair out over college work I’ve also been busy crafting some truly lovely items of jewelery (even if I do say so myself) so it’s a fair bet that if you’re a female reading this and we’re related – you know what you’re getting this year – again lol

..reminds me, need to photograph this lot before handing ’em out – I keep forgetting to do that! This hobby is another reason I’m glad we had a girl, it’ll make birthday parties easier – just teach ’em how to craft something unique that they can keep! (well, ok, it might work once..)

Right, speaking of coursework.. I have an extension for the lit review; it now ha/s to be submitted online by Christmas eve – no rest for the wicked eh..?

Merry Christmas you lovely lot – I’ll be posting festive Izzy pics after the event so keep an eye on flickr and facebook..

Catching up

I’m now back at college full time and really playing catchup as far as my assignments go. As well as a research project to write, I have java program to create and 2 websites to build; one for my work based learning project (which is why a few twitters have been about gantt charts and project proposals and the like) and the other is to be for a childrens charity – which is why I’ve chosen to highlight AYME the Association of Young People with ME.

Long time readers of this blog will know that I have suffered with that particular nasty for several years now and only in the last 2 have built myself up enough to lead a ‘normal’ life. The first website I ever built was actually about CFS/ME but it relates more to adults than children and is in dire need of an update! This blog and my site are not very good representations of my work as I’ve learned so much more since creating them, I’ve just not found the time to get that far down my priority list to remedy the situation.

I’m enjoying the challenge, I love to code and even the research isn’t so bad (though having to use harvard referencing sucks, must find a word plugin for that soon..) it’s just a shame that it means I’m losing time with Isabella.

She had her first set of jabs the other day, she was soooooo good and only screamed for about 30 seconds – but man that gal can sulk! She refused to make eye contact with us for hours afterwards, it seems some types of body language are in effect straight from the womb! I actually held her up and rotated her around to try and make eye contact with her and at only 9 weeks of age she consciously moved her head to avoid looking at me *grin* a strong will has this daughter of mine!

..I’m dreading puberty already.

Breastfeeding is damned hard!

The person who first described breastfeeding as a marvelous bonding experience has a strange mind to my way of thinking. Through the experience I’ve had over the last 5 weeks I’d say it’s more akin to shock treatment!

For the first couple of weeks I handled it just fine, yes there was some discomfort but the midwife, 2 health visitors and the breast feeding clinic lass said she was latching on just fine and since she was gaining weight (my god is the child gaining weight!) I figured it was just over sensitiveness on my part.

..then at week 3 the growth spurt hit.

Nothing can prepare you for that, she was crying to be fed 30 minutes after her last feed, each feed was taking between 1-2 hours at  time as she alternately mutilated my tender bits and dozed –  I felt like she was literally sucking my life away it was so draining, I had no energy to speak let alone come online or think about college.

It actually got to the stage where she’d finish feeding and I’d pass her to the nearest person and run for bed, bathroom or kitchen depending on which need felt greatest at that particular moment – then I’d avoid being near her in the hope she’d give me some respite – I approached those feeds with dread as the longer it went on the more painful it was becoming.

She developed the habit of latching on then clamping down – trust me, having no teeth was not a deterrent for the little madam in causing her mama pain, there’s strength in them there jaws of hers – and when coming off the breast or if troubled by wind (constantly) she’d screw up her face, pull her head back and worry my poor abused teat from side to side like a terrier with a rat. I actually had a nightmare about her becoming a milk vampire – in this dream I’d turned my back on her for a second to ready my nursing station and she flew from the cot and attacked me from behind, burrowing through my back to get at my breast.
That was NOT a pleasant dream.

I managed to grit my teeth and bear this for 5 days then I broke. At around 1am whilst she was once more mutilating me in her desperation for food, with tears streaming down my face I begged Stef to go get some formula and bottles from the 24hr Tesco.

While he and and the devil spawn shopped I cried myself to sleep. The next day I managed my first pain free feed – it was amazing, I managed to look down at that contented little face and feel love instead of pain, resentment and guilt (over the resentment) and instead of handing her straight to Stef afterwards so I could run and hide from her I enjoyed a real cuddle – the first in weeks!

The downside to this feed skipping was that I still needed milking; so we bought a pump.
I thought I had it all figured out, the occasional breast feed to keep up my supply, express the rest and alternate formula and breast milk feeds.

..Of course it couldn’t be that simple.

After 2 uses of the pump I developed blocked ducts and engorged breasts (ow ow ow ow ow ow OWWWW!) Which is when I discovered it’s possible to cook chilled cabbage leaves using breast heat alone (but they are effective in reducing swelling and easing the discomfort for anyone who needs to know..) So instead of expressing a full feed each time I started just taking an ounce when I felt full and intermittently feeding her straight from the breast – at least the break meant I could bear the discomfort.

I’m beginning to dread hearing the phrase “it will get better” because every time someone tells me that I get something worse.

This week it’s been mastitis – poor Stef spent 3 days looking after Izzy alone as well as cleaning away my bile filled buckets and attempting to make food I could keep down so I could take my antibiotics. They finally kicked in and the fever broke so I could at least keep down water, but the pain was unbelievable – and it triggered the menieres too so I literally couldn’t get out of bed due to the dizziness and nausea and ear pain.

..oh and my caesarian scar decided to start bleeding too, it’s all fun and games!

I was lying there in my sick bed, too dizzy to get up but dying for a shower; my 3 day fever sweat stench mingling with the smell of sour milk, cooking cabbage and old blood was knocking me sick again – when to add insult to injury this delightful cocktail of smells started attracting flies through the open window –  seriously, I felt like a corpse lol all I needed was to hear a ringing bell and the monty python lot outside the window screeching “Bring out your dead”
When Stef brought her in to see me after the fever broke I wanted to cry, in the space of a day or two she’dd already changed so much, her skins clearer, she’d filled out and was even more alert – and i missed it happening, she laughs and smiles at you and it amazes me that we have such a perfect little thing in our lives.

I now know if I continue to persevere with this I’ll never make it into college and in the long term I need to have completed this course with flying colours if I expect to get a decent enough job to afford the life for our little love that I want – I just have to accept that while breast may be best, the child has had 5 weeks of my milky goodness and selfish as it may seem, I’ve suffered enough! By the time she’s weaned away from the breast and my milk supply has dried up (please let it be soon!) It’ll be over 6 weeks and I’m supposed to be back in class full time then.

Now, lets just hope these last 2 days of antibiotics do their job – I’m really sick of being ill.

Isabella Aurelia – the early days

Well, we’re now home for the second night with our beautiful little girl. She’s like a cross between ET and the baby octopus thing from Men in Black that spews all over Will Smith.

I know, not the most flattering description ever given by a mother about her newborn but this child is just that alien, she has these enormous dark blue/grey eyes that seem to be threatening to change to brown any day, when they are open and gazing about in that strangely alert way she has, she looks at me with such distrust at times that I feel compelled to tell her not to worry so much – how someone so young can also appear so old is disturbing.

Her features in the first 24 hours changed so dramatically I truly think had she not shared my bed in the hospital I’d have suspected a switch – as it is she now looks so delicate and fey-like that part of me keeps half expecting her to transform into a bundle of twigs.
Quite lucky really that her skin is so soft and as the midwife today said – she hasn’t a single blemish, if only we could get her to keep on the scratch mitts as she keeps catching herself with those wicked claws Stefs trying to attend to (I can’t bite nails, all my teeth are plastic – and I’m far too squeamish to take scissors to her delicate little paws)

The poor wee bairn had quite a traumatic entrance into the world though; quite a contrast to the nice soothing environment I had planned.

It started well, contractions kicked in at about 7:30pm on sunday 31st (so only 4 days later than the EDD) I had a ‘show’ but the contractions remained too irregular for established labour (I used the contraction master to keep a track much to my stepmums amusement – how would I cope without the net eh?!) then just as I was beginning to hold out hope of regularity they stopped altogether at about 1pm the following day – I was gutted!
On the 2nd they kicked in again at about 3pm, this time they continued to grow in intensity if not regularity, by 2am I was downing paracetamol and calling up the reserves (stepmother: midwife and 2nd birthing partner) to drive down from Manchester as they were averaging 8 minutes apart and 1 minute 20 seconds in duration – by 4am we were heading to the hospital as they jumped to every 2 minutes and I was dying!

Typically, upon reaching the hospital the pains became erratic again but it was suggested I stay in and take some tamazepam so as to get some sleep. I took the drug but sleep never happened, 6 hours later I had the entonox wheeled in – sadly on a mouthpiece as they couldn’t locate a face mask, not the best delivery system for someone who can’t breathe through her mouth (I know, I’m a freak) but there ya go.

By now I was shattered, still no signs of settling into actual labour – that’s right, they don’t count anything before 3cm dilated as actual labour, if they did you’d be counting DAYS as opposed to hours, trust me on this I now know from painful experience!
Stef came back to the hospital with all the gear and sat with me through all of this, encouraging me to drink and trying to get me to eat – sadly the latter proved impossible as I just brought straight back up anything I tried to choke down.

After several more hours of this another midwife told me they were running me a bath to try and slow things down so I could relax – 5 hours later I was crying with relief at finally reaching the seemingly impossible 3cm dilation and established labour! (all without pain relief having eschewed further use of the entonox due to the sickness it caused me)

I hobbled over to the delivery suite where they were busy filling the birthing pool for me, I was standing there chanting my breathing mantra “Red, Green, Grey, Black” whilst waiting for the soothing effect of immersion, these were the 4 colours reflected in the tap of the bath on the ward – I’d focused so hard on those to distract myself from the pain that they became my tie to controlled breathing.

..Methinks a new necklace is in order to commemorate the fact – once I can face beading again  😉

Anyhow, a further 6 hours on and I’m still only 3cm dilated despite really deep contractions, according to both Stef and Eileen I’d become a mini Hitler – at one point I’d ordered Stef out of the room because I could smell crisps on him and I do recall the coffee incident but.. meh, I was in pain okay?
So.. I’m now out of the pool and walking around and it’s suggested that I allow them to break my waters to help the process along. I was so tired and dejected by this point that I agreed.

It was the most painful and distressing part of the entire experience, the contractions double in intensity and I’m now subject to the nasty feeling of water cascading down my legs with every movement alongside the pain, at this point I was again offered entonox to help and a face mask was found which totally changed the experience – it was pure bliss sucking on that gas through those contractions then.

I love me that entonox!

2 hours later I’d progressed to only 4cm dilated and a syntocin drip was proposed to help me along as now my waters had gone the risk of infection was higher the longer I was in labour, so I agreed.

MY GOD! If I thought the previous contractions were bad.. Ouch. So out came the morphine.

Now there’s a drug combination you should be allowed at home *grin* wow. Me likee’d muchly! Seems everyone else liked me liking it to, there’s been much amusement over me explaining how the midwifery team could use twitter to good effect to help with a communication issue they were having.. Seems I was expected to start mentioning photons and blackholes in the same breath, pah! non net folks..

*ahem*

Anyhow by this point I have no idea how much time had passed but I wasn’t progressing and the babys heartrbeat had taken to dropping alarmingly with every syntocin dose, they had to take me off it, send me through for the dreaded epidural and ceasarian section.

I was gutted. all those hours of managing the pain with nothing but water were wasted, my every effort for a natural birth out of the window I resigned myself to the slice and dice – and now wish I’d just gone down that route to start with!

The anaesthetist was briliant – epidural was administered in what seemed like seconds and took effect in the expected way, just goes to show you should never listen to the horror stories!

The actual ceasarian was a weird experience, one second I could feel the baby moving around inside me, the next I have blue, mucous and blood spatterd genitals hanging over the sheet for my perusal with someone saying ‘heres your baby’ it took several seconds for me to register the fact that these genitals were female and that I could no longer feel her moving around inside me.

I heard the surgeon ask for time of birth and 2 people piped up “5:14” “5:15” but it was the first that became my babys official time of arrival on the 3rd of September 2008.
I also found out later that there’d been no hope of a natural birth for me, poor little Isabella had been living inside me with her cord wrapped twice around her face and body, this had stopped her engaging properly and when the contractions tried forcing her down it was basically strangling her causing the distressed heartbeat.

Despite all this, our little love is remarkably chilled and I cannot even begin to describe how amazing it feels every time we look at her. She’s just.. Indescribably perfect.

We has internetz!

RAH!!!!!

Yup, talk talk finally came through yesterday evening so I’m back where I belong: in front of a computer screen.

*grin* You have no idea how much I’ve missed this! So last night was spent trawling through the 7-8 pages of spam per email account to find the 3-4 emails needing attention, a quick hop onto facebook to see what I’ve missed and  car seat research seeing as with 2 weeks to go before I drop, buying said item is now a necessity.

I’ve not dared look at my google reader though, I’m sure the account will have imploded by now..

On the college front, all my funding is sorted so I have no worries there, term doesn’t start until September 29th so I have a full month to get used to nappy changing and breast feeding before I even need to think about it let alone organise any distance learning/ childcare – which is good, those 4 weeks are likely to involve me wanting to do nothing more than sleep by all accounts. (like that’s not all I want to do now!)

These last few weeks are killing me, I’m too big and heavy to do anything physical, I can’t sit or lie comfortably in any position and I’m up to the loo every hour on the hour throughout the night – in order to type this I’m having to lean at the kitchen counter because there’s nowhere I can comfortably sit with the laptop! (hurrah for wireless *grin*)

I can’t even play guitar hero! *sniff* I succumbed to temptation and purchased the Aerosmith edition for the x-box (hey there’s only so much reading you can do before other entertainment is required!) I can maybe sneak in 2 songs before the child is kicking the guitar away from my stomach – it’s bloomin’ hard to concentrate on a hand/eye coordination activity when something inside you is trying to re-enact the ‘birth’ scene from Alien!

So, I’m forced out of bed at stupid o’clock every morning by the demonspawn (after too little sleep) to walk in a figure of eight around the living room for hours rubbing my belly and muttering pleadings to whatever god may be out there to let me get this portion over with, I’ll get maybe 10 minutes ease every now and again by falling on my knees to lean against either the ball or the beanbag for a rest and then the squirming starts and I have to get up and walk around some more..

Seriously – it’s killing me!

..and that’s before I even mention the acid! heartburn nothing! I have some really nasty strain of acid that eats its way up my throat and forces itself into my ears, I’ve had more menieres attacks in the last month than throughout the rest of the pregnancy combined because these acid attacks seem to trigger ’em. I’m relying on mint choc chip ice cream and Gaviscon at night to ensure I get at least an hours kip in before the obligatory toilet visits.

..I now understand why some mothers mentally torture their kids – must remember that I wanted this, it’s not the childs fault it’s spent the last month torturing me; revenge is not an option!

..although I’m beginning to think Mork or Mindy may well make an appearance on that birth certificate if this goes on for much longer!  👿

There may be trouble ahead..

It’s been pretty hectic since the social media conference, I’ve had furniture delivered, a plumber round to fix ‘stuff’ attended an antenatal class with Stef and been to a wedding; after which I had the biggest scare of my life..

We’d gone up to Knutsford to see Stefs mate tie the knot on Sunday, our initial plan was to drive up, stick around for a few hours and drive back; sadly the car park attendant had other ideas..
We got back to the car at 10:30pm only to find the place closed and locked up – despite no noticeable signs stating this would be the case. This then meant we had to try and find somewhere to sleep for the night and hope and pray someone would be around in the morning to open it up again. Thankfully it was, but unfortunately en route to the carpark I fell.

Actually I tried to fly – no idea how it happened, one moment I’m a step behind Stef as we walked along the main road, next thing I’m flat out on my face, full weight on bump and my bag thrown to the wind. I managed to wrench my shoulder (it still hurts) and I can still recall the odd sensation of feeling as though I’m lying on a blow up ball. I was soooooo embarrassed, rush hour traffic, busy road – police arrived out of nowhere and helped stef to pick me up enquiring if I needed an ambulance..

We probably should have done just that but I was so shocked at the speed of it and so embarrassed at being the centre of attention – not to mention worried about whether we were going to be able to get at the car and go home.. Well, I brushed it off and said it was fine, we got back to the car (thankfully unclamped and able to leave the car park) Stef worridly checking I’m all right when a few minutes down the road reaction set in and I started howling.

It was horrible, I’ve done nothing but complain about how active this child is for months, yet for at least 20 minutes after my fall there was no movement at all – I panicked, I cried and Stef made me call the hospital; they insisted I go straight in for a check up.
This was where I had to explain we were at Keele services and it’d take me a couple of hours at least to get to them. She was very calm and reassuring on the phone, I’d felt some movement my waters hadn’t broken and as far as we could tell I wasn’t bleeding.. They booked me in to see the triage nurse and as soon as we arrived I was hooked up to a machine and being poked and prodded and questioned thoroughly.

On the plus side, I’ve seen first hand just how brilliant the lasses on the delivery suite are at Watford general – it’s really reassured me about having the baby there. On the other hand I’m now paranoid about doing anything; the thought of how it could so easily have turned out differently still makes my stomach clench in fear and my eyes fill up. I NEVER want to feel that afraid again – yet this is all part and parcel of being a parent, I’m doomed to this stomach clenching terror every time something happens or my child is out of sight..

How the hell do people do this and stay sane?!

I’m so happy that I..

..Can’t stop smiling!

Today has been a GOOD day! I finally won a nursing chair and stool set on eBay – I’ve been after one of these beauties for weeks but they keep going beyond my limit, today I not only won the auction I got it for half the price all those others had gone for – under £50 in fact.

THEN, the best news EVER.
The move is on. We’ve finally been given the go ahead to sign for the flat I’ve been waiting on. I’m so happy! I can now start getting things ready for the arrival of our little newt, we’ll have space for a cot and buggy and all the other things I’ve been putting off purchasing.

Hmmm.. Perhaps I should nip around to the newsagents and play the lottery too *grin* today is definitely my day!

Kids eh?!

Stef and I have spent the last week or so trawling autotrader and the like for a decent family car to replace the fiat coupe monstrosity he currently cherishes, as part of this mammoth undertaking we also visited a car auction on Saturday. Armed with the parkers price guide we wandered the lot and argued the merits of dozens. It was a strange experience, not the least because we’re really not sure as to the type of car best suited to our needs – I had to pull the salivating lad away from the tastily priced Jag with the reminder that it wouldn’t be as pretty when covered in baby sick..

Anyhow the best part of the day was nothing to do with the cars, there we were sat in the auction room debating about making a bid on certain cars as they came through the door when Newt decided to make his/ her presence felt – every time the auctioneer started “170170170170170170170170170.. Do I hear 180? Warrented mileage, tidy car.. Yes 18180185190190190190190190190190190190190” littl’un started kicking a counter rhythm so hard and so fast you could see my belly move – I couldn’t help it, I got the giggles.

Every time the auctioneer stopped, the baby stopped, when he started again – off went my lil drummer. The poor guy in the booth must have wondered what the hell was up with us because we ended up not bidding on a single thing, instead we were sat there with the tears pouring down our cheeks in paroxysms of laughter at the antics of our unborn.

When we go back we’ll be more prepared and hopefully come away with more than a grin, but it was definitely one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments. In the meantime.. Back to scanning the private ads and Ebay in search of furniture and transportation while I await the outcome of my lettings application.

Looking up!

Yesterday I paid up the admin charge/holding fee for a flat in Hatfield. In a weeks time the credit check and vetting process should be complete and I’ll be picking up the keys and signing a contract – assuming no problems of course..

I cannot tell you how great it feels to have finally found somewhere to live, the whole ’32, pregnant and practically homeless’ thing was really starting to get me down! I’m now looking around at furniture and furnishings and starting to get really excited at the thought of buying stuff for the baby – I just a happy bunny *grin* I love anything housey!
Seriously itching to get into the flat with a tape measure, pad and pencil so I can blow my savings on making the place ours – and all in time for the new arrival *happy dances* I will post before and after pics, never you fear, then once the place is sorted I can relax and wait for the ‘oh crap’ moment of actually bringing the baby home for the first time.

I’ve prepared myself for nappy changing, vomit and feeding disasters, but there’s bound to be something I’ve overlooked. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ve thought through the financial aspects, the emotional aspects and most of the big stuff like what kind of birth to have and breast vs bottle feeding and whether I’ll be able to see my course through to it’s conclusion with a newborn to hand..

But it’s the little things that will make the difference, it’s the little things that pile up day after day and dictate whether things will work out or not – I’m just so scared of failing at the little things right now. Up and down and all around not knowing if you’re coming or going and having to listen to the conflicting opinions of every man and his dog around you. How the hell have the human race survived the experience for so many years? It’s a feckin’ miracle I tell ya! Still, first steps and all, having somewhere to live is the main priority right now – I’ll just have to worry about the rest later.

Now.. Sofabeds, I’m thinking some kind of brown/ camel type colour will go nicely with the blue carpet – but how well will that hide baby stains..? I have a funny feeling I’m doomed to become a dab hand with the fabric cleaner.

Things to remember

Gloria Swanson is reputed to have said

My mother and I could always look out the same window without ever seeing the same thing

I think that’s a pretty realistic view of people and their relationships – not only mothers and daughters but friends, family, work colleagues and acquaintances. There may be some similarities of opinion but our views will always be different because our views are coloured by experience – and no 2 people the world over have exactly the same life experiences.

I need to remember this salient fact as I undertake the raising of the child currently kicking and squirming away in my belly. Look at technology, I recall having a personal cassette player as a kid and being chuffed to bits with it – my child will likely never hold a cassette tape or know what a walkman was originally without having to check on wikipedia. I had a black and white portable television when I was about 7 (one of those with the tuner knob) and I felt all grown up and spoiled because not many kids had a tv of their own on my estate – my child will have streaming tv on their phone (possibly even HD by the time I allow them that luxury) and will think I’m telling porkys – I didn’t get a mobile phone until I was about 23 years old! They were just too expensive.
I’ve already had the mickey taken out of me at uni for remembering the VHS/Betamax format ‘wars’ and for owning a Betamax video player..

Yup, just thinking about the differences between my childhood and theirs makes me feel old – and the poor wee bairn isn’t even born yet!

I need to remember that my children will be  smartarses. Not through any fault of their own, it’s just information is so readily available now that they won’t be able to help themselves trying to prove me wrong on any point of contention (they’ll get that from their father) I’ll have to remember that anything I’ve published online over the last few years could be found by them and held against me. I’ll also need to remember that no matter what protections I put on my system my kids will likely find a way around it.

..Another very good reason for me to foster my growing interest in programming – home grown creations just may keep me one step ahead of the little horrors lol

The most important thing I need to remember though is that any child I have is not beholden to me for a damned thing, I can’t force them to make the choices I would make and I can’t expect them to understand why I think and feel the way I do – any more than I’ll be able to understand why they think and feel as they do. I just have to hope that we can one day look out of the same window and see a different view together.

20 week anomaly scan

It’s a..

Team yellow still Cry

I thought I saw a little suggestion of manhood but she moved the scanner away before I could be sure so Stef reckons it was just wishful thinking because he didn’t see it.

In all honesty I don’t mind if it is a girl, i’d rather a boy because it’ll make things simpler – boys names are so much easier to agree on! He’s adamant that if it’s a girl it should be Aurelia – I just don’t know, the more I say it the less I like it, we may plump for Bronwyn in the end if only because we’re both fairly ambivalent about it, at least if it’s a boy we’ve already agreed on Alexander Ignatius – seriously, choosing a name is harder than anything else I reckon.

Anyhow, the main thing is that growth is progressing nicely, the spine, kidneys, brain, heart, bladder etc etc are all where they should be and looking as they should do so boy or girl our baby is doing just fine.

Rightio, I’m off to yoga whilst my honey fiddles around with the camera in an attempt to get a decent digital shot of the scan pics – sadly they’re not as clear as the 14 week one but at least it looks like the poor kid got his ears and not mine (though I guess there’s still time for that to change)

At least I know I’ll sleep tonight, last night was a washout on the sleep front, too busy fretting I guess – damn my fertile imagination!

Exploring the pregnancy id

I was just ‘chatting’ to a few of the lasses on the birth forum I joined about dreams and how vivid and scary they are at the moment. I tried to explain that my dreams have always been like that and turned to this blog for an example – which is when I became sidetracked.

You see this post  was written on the 19th November, which according to my estimated delivery date falls within the possible conception time span, I can’t help wondering if the reason I was so content and tranquil that day was because my body knew something I didn’t.

It doesn’t take a genius to explain my dreams at the moment though, they are all concerned with having my baby then having someone take it away from me. I know I’m worried about how I’ll cope after the birth, I’m worried about how the ME/CFS will manifest under all that stress, pain and exertion, and the people who feature most strongly in my dreams are also the ones who have been the least supportive up to now so it’s easy to work out why they’d be the ‘bad guys’.

I’ve woken up screaming, crying and just lying there turning the dreams over in my mind fretting about everything they relate to, which is why I feel confident in saying pregnancy dreams are not normal.

‘Normal’ dreams for me, while vivid and complex, are confusing with no clear meaning. My pregnancy dreams are all too clear, they are just my real fears amplified and blown up into the worst possible scenarios (well, apart from the one where I went for an ultrasound and saw creatures crawling around the baby – they looked a little like the ‘bug’ inserted inside Neo in the matrix film, the technician tried to tell me it was just worms and that I had nothing to worry about but I overheard the doctors discussing ways of keeping me in until I reached full term so they could extract the specimens.. So glad Stef woke me up from that one! no idea what fear that was amplifying but it’s a doozy!)

So, here’s hoping these yoga relaxation techniques work and I can start having pleasant dreams instead – it’d be nice to concentrate on my hopes instead of my fears for a change..

Antenatal yoga

It was an interesting evening,  not the most auspicious of starts seeing as I was lying there thinking “ugh what a waste of time, I shouldn’t have bothered” but then I’ve never been able to ‘get’ relaxation exercises where you have to close your eyes and imagine a string pulling your head straight and the breath cycling through your body.. You know, the ‘ball of light’ type of exercises – I do have a cracking imagination but for some reason all I feel is daft and cynical when I hear that kind of talk, it doesn’t relax me it just makes me feel uncomfortable and out of place.

Anyhow, after about 5 minutes of this we got into the introductions, talking and actual yoga and breathing techniques – MAN! It’s worth every penny! For the first time in what feels like weeks my back has stopped aching, I was so relaxed by the end of the class I just wanted to stay curled up on my mat and not leave – it’s the least stressed I’ve definitely been in months!

(Ok, so the de-stress thing was destined to last no longer than me leaving the womans house but it felt good while it lasted)

I’m signed up for another 5 sessions to see how I handle it with the ME/CFS, if I like and feel able to cope then I’ll be booking in for the rest of my pregnancy because it’s not only good for the exercise, I picked up quite a few tips tonight on breastfeeding and the like so over the next couple of months I’m likely to learn more – the fact that I’m finally meeting some local women similar in age doesn’t hurt none either  😉