Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It's oh so quiet.....

Still half asleep and watching big sis make their sandwiches for school

I walked in the house, threw my keys on the side and collapsed on the sofa in a heap of tears, snot and sobbing this morning.  The cats were staring at me with such confused expressions as if to say ‘but you’ve been waiting for this peace and quiet all summer’.  The house seems so empty right now and the cats are no doubt right.  I’ve spent the last six weeks wishing this day would come quicker and I now feel guilty having just handed over my son to his teacher.  It’s his first day at Primary School, no longer a toddler but a big Reception class boy all smart and styled in his spotless uniform.
The other eight children in his class all went into school without any commotion but my little man wanted to walk in with his big sister.  Even though they are in the same classroom she goes in through a different door into the Key Stage 1 cloakroom.  She had run off to be with her friends the moment we entered the playground (not even a kiss for mummy).  The teacher explained to little man that he would see his sister in the classroom but he needed to go in without her.  He had made his mind up at this point that he just wouldn’t go into school at all.
The teacher within me felt that the staff could have perhaps helped me a little more as I explained it would be easier for them to just take him off me, let me give him a quick kiss then go.  This is what we did for the last two years with little miss and it worked well because I wasn’t hanging around like a sobbing wreck each morning.  The teacher mentioned casually to a student member of staff that ‘perhaps that little man might need a hand’ but didn’t actually say what to do.  They all then walked into the school leaving hubby and I outside with an over emotional four year old clinging on to my shoulders for dear life.  We didn’t know what to do, the school door was locked so we couldn’t just follow on in, there were parents just staring at us and this student was just stood there.  We felt like total plums to be honest. 
The headmistress was having a chin wag with the regular PTA type mums and looked over at us several times before coming over.  Because the doors were locked she had to lead us through the kitchens and we finally encouraged him to walk and hold my hand rather than being carried.  As we approached the main door into the school, she broke our hands away from each other and shut the door on us quickly.  It took me by surprise as much as little man, he hadn’t given me a kiss and I could see and hear him screaming as he realised he was in school and that was it now.  I soon scarpered out of the kitchen but couldn’t help feel bad because I knew at this point he just wanted that kiss then he would be ok.  He has done the same thing at nursery and the childminder for the last two years.  He always clings and cries but then as soon as I hand him over, he snatches a quick kiss off me before being ok.  One day I forgot to do this at nursery and they commented how he didn’t seem to function properly all day.  He often shouts ‘start at the beginning’ until his mind is at a point where he can function again.  I hope he manages to find that point today and settle himself down easily.
At least my daughter didn’t seem phased about entering year two and we had no tantrums from her.  My eldest son was the same, he turned fifteen yesterday and started in year ten today.  He had left for school before anyone else was up in the house, obviously very keen.  I am a proud mummy today but as I look around this somewhat empty house now, I feel sad and alone.*
*As I typed this baby peanut decided to have a good old wriggle….I’m not alone really.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Only a third of the way?

Well I’ve now made it to Week 14 and the second trimester.  Is it just me or does anyone else at this stage feel like they’ve been pregnant for years?  I guess it doesn’t help that I discovered the pregnancy extremely early on but when you know your own body so well these things are unavoidable.
I’ve started to read the online weekly pregnancy updates which quite frankly bore me a little.  The descriptions of what little peanut is doing are good and informative and certainly give any expectant mother a little insight into what developments are taking place.  However, it’s the descriptions of what the mother-to-be’s body is going through which switches me off.  After numerous pregnancies now I’ve got used to the fact that everyone is different and every pregnancy is different.  Where one woman may be feeling less lethargic and sick by this time of the pregnancy, another may be feeling rough, shattered and fit for nothing.  I also hate seeing the pictures of what your bump may look like too, with my flabby tummy I’ve never had a bump like most women’s so I tend not to look now. 
I am still extremely tired which is probably why I’ve taken such a dislike to perfect bumps and energetic expectant mothers.  I only do the housework when I absolutely need to do it and as for cooking, everything makes me want to be sick still. I feel faint and dizzy and my fibromyalgia seems to be getting worse with my neck, back, wrists and ankles in constant pain.  I do have one ray of light though, the body pillow which my husband bought for me finally arrived yesterday.  I have never been so comfortable in my life.  It’s twice the length of my body so really does allow me to hug every bump, ankle or aching hip.  Roll on bedtime tonight, I can’t wait.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Say hello to the peanut

I’ve had a good few weeks break from blogging, mainly because I’ve been away on our Summer hols but also because having the three children at home all day is definitely proving to be more time consuming than I thought.  The housework and study for the next year of my degree have also been neglected while I struggle to entertain the nippers pretending to be Skelator or He-Man throughout the long and mainly wet days. 
9 Week Scan

I went for my first scan three weeks ago and it turned out that I was 9 weeks pregnant so had to go back yesterday for another scan and to have the NT test for Downs Syndrome.  I have been put under the care of a consultant at the hospital rather than a midwife.  Initially it was a shock to see the words ‘high risk’ written on my file but now I am comfortable with it and believe I am getting the best care that they can offer.
The first scan was good, we took the two younger children with us who were fascinated seeing their baby brother or sister doing acrobatics inside my tummy.  This excitement lasted all of two minutes before they decided to tear around the radiographers room and cause havoc.  This havoc then spread into the corridors while I was talking to the consultant so my husband took them for a walk.  Sometimes it is nice to involve the younger children but sometimes it is also nice to be able to listen to what the medical staff are saying to you.
What did worry me was that for the second time I had to give the dates of birth and birth weights of my three children.  I was struggling to recall the precise weights because I was so stressed with the noise of my kiddies and from being on the spot wondering why they didn’t already have this on file.  After all, I’d gone through all the births and miscarriages at the booking-in appointment but also the fact that all three of my children were born at the same hospital made me worry slightly.  The consultant was concerned that my three previous children were low birth weight for a person of my height (6ft).  My first child was 9lb, second was 7lb 8 and the third was 8lb 7, for me these are plenty big enough, I don’t want to be churning out 10lb plus babies thank you very much.
12 Week Scan

At the second scan yesterday, baby peanut had grown quite a lot and was rather more relaxed.  It was just lying in my stomach and kicking me now and then whenever the scan equipment was pressed down quite hard.  We hadn’t taken the children with us today so it was a lot more relaxed and while she took the measurements of the baby’s neck we had a good chance to sit and look at our little peanut.  I won’t lie, I cried.
After the scan we waited for a further hour to see the consultant.  During this time we couldn’t escape the BabyTV DVD that seemed to be on a loop in the waiting room.  All was going well until they were showing Ann Diamond and her cot death warnings followed by a short clip about not leaving a child in the bath alone. 
Eventually we got seen to, apparently there had been some mix up with my files and it was showing that I only had one child (my 14 year old).  We had to go through all my previous history yet again while they blamed the computer for misplacing the information.  Whatever happened to the good old pen and paper, we never had such problems back then.  Out of the blue I burst out crying uncontrollably, the images of that child going underwater in the bath while it’s mother was on the phone really scared me and I was just sobbing my eyes out.  I felt rather stupid when I calmed down and explained that videos like that always upset me.
Eventually we filled in all the missing information and proceeded to have the blood test taken for the NT test.  It’s rather crazy to think that the size of the baby’s neck from the scan and a blood test can determine the chances of the baby having Downs Syndrome.  I have another meeting with the consultant in a few weeks and a Community Midwife appointment after I return from Norway in September followed by a scan early October.  Busy bee from now on.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Summer Boot Camp For The Impatient

Yet another wet and dismal day and I fear that the next seven weeks will be a nightmare if the weather continues like this.  I am the type of mum to dress the kids up in waterproofs and wellies and send them outside in the rain but today they didn’t fancy it and to be honest, I didn’t feel up to sitting out there getting wet myself with them.  The problem that I now face is finding them things to keep them occupied inside the house for the whole day. I am living on student finance so don’t get any money through till September now, days out and holiday fun will have to be to a very strict budget indeed.
My eldest is fourteen and is rather easy compared to the younger two.  He emerged from his room first thing to eat, fart and grumble at being asked to vacuum upstairs for me then he returned to his beloved Xbox for the remainder of the morning.  I think I saw him at lunchtime, well he made a guest appearance to grab his lunch, fart and grumble at having to stack the dishwasher then he ascended the stairs back to his pit of a room to twiddle his knobs and yell ‘fire in the hole’ at his friends online.
My other two children are totally the opposite.  Yes they are younger and at the age of four and six years old it is totally understandable that as a Mother I have to occupy them, suggest things for them to do and generally watch over them most of the day.  If I don’t keep vigilant watch over them I pay the price dearly and usually spend my evening scrubbing pencil off the walls or fixing broken toys and items from around the house.  They can’t seem to play with one things for longer than two minutes and they are also incapable of tidying up before getting out more toys to play with.  Yesterday the contents of the dressing up box remained on the conservatory floor until my husband got home and we threatened no food until everything was away nicely.  Even this threat didn’t work fully as we both ended up helping them to tidy up just so we could sit down without clutter around us.
So far today the children seem to have been more thoughtful and are putting things away as they go along.  Maybe the large supply of custard creams as bribery has helped a little but it’s working so I won’t grumble.  What I do need to tackle though is their constant whinging and whining of they can’t have something or can’t find a toy that they want.  The more a child jumps up and down on the spot repeating ‘mummy mummy’ whilst flailing their arms about and emanating a type of wail and half scream, the more I want to join in myself and just scream back.  I have been known to shout ‘grow up’ to them which often results in fits of laughter from myself as the realisation dawns that I’ve just told little children to become adults rather quickly.  I have resisted such urges today but what I have found easier to do is ignore them until they speak to me in normal voices.  In theory it sounds good but these two little ‘darlings’ have developed an art of shouting at me, and I mean sergeant major type shouting at me until I give them what they want, do what they were asking or find what they were looking for.  These two will definitely be learning the art of patience by the time school starts in September if it kills me.
It does worry me how they are going to behave when the baby is born.  Splitting oneself into four so that each child can have a bit of mummy at the same time isn’t going to be easy and something which I don’t fancy trying to manage on a daily basis.  They will have to get used to waiting their turn and doing so quietly.  My eldest son must hate having to wait the longest usually because he understands patience and that he will get more quality time if he isn’t screaming ‘now now now’ at me.  I don’t give any of the children more attention or time that the others because when they do demand more from me and become needy and clingy it does tend to push me away more because they need to learn to become independent and not rely on me for absolutely everything.  In my eyes if a four year old can dress himself in a morning he can certainly put the dressing up outfits on without creating a scene and screaming at me until I do it.
The children think that the school holidays have begun, not for me; I’m calling it boot camp.  They will be begging for school by September.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Long Wait Ahead

In an earlier post All Change, I discussed how the midwife system had changed since having my youngest child.  It now seems that I was misadvised on the telephone and since having my booking-in appointment with the Midwife this week I now know what to expect over the next seven months.
The booking-in appointment did take place at the antenatal clinic at Leighton Hospital however, this was just because the midwife team rents a room there in a way so they can free up rooms at the GP’s surgery.  These appointments ‘usually’ take an hour, mine took two.  I guess every patient is different and with having three previous births and numerous pregnancies to document, I was lucky that it was only two hours and not longer. 
The midwife herself seemed nice and approachable and is also one that I will be seeing again at the 16 week appointment at the GP surgery.  She seemed thorough in collating the information on previous births and family medical history however, I did have to question the overall efficiency of the process.  I’ve now had three of these booking-in appointments over the years and have repeated the same information over the three appointments.  I was rather bemused that the hospital didn’t already have this information linked to my file considering all three of the children were born at the same hospital, as was I.
I am also rather upset that I am now limited to four cups of tea or coffee a day.  This woman really doesn’t know me yet, that’s my hourly intake.  I shall have to hunt out some decaffeinated tea bags and coffee and stop moaning about it.  I was also forced to hold back tears when she went through the list of forbidden foods, almost two thirds of my diet was on that list.  Oh how I want a runny egg now or a baked camembert with pecans and chilli.  At least I don’t have to be responsible for cat litter duty anymore, always a silver lining to everything.
The next stop for me is an official scan and screening tests which will take place on the 28th July.  The midwife was hoping to get me a quick appointment with the history of multiple births in the family and previous complications that I’ve had but I am not quite sure if this appointment is a speedy appointment or just their usual waiting times.  I won’t grumble and just wait patiently till the 28th, yes me, wait patiently.  Something that I’ll have to get used to again at Leighton Hospital, their appointments never run to schedule and I always seem to get forgotten or end up waiting two hours or more.  Next time I shall go prepared with a book, a drink, a snack and the good old iPhone for company.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Yummy in my tummy

I’ve discovered that I like writing when I’m munching on nice cakes and sipping a lovely coffee, usually not at home too.  On Tuesday I popped into Waitrose for a few bits and bobs and found myself writing away in the coffee shop whilst eating a lovely little nibble.  Economically, this partnership of writing with cake and coffee could be problematic but also what will I do when the summer holidays commence?  Six weeks of no ‘me time’ may sound like I’m selfish and resent being a mother but having finished University in early June it has become rather nice to just nip and have a cuppa in my favourite surroundings.
On reflection though I think it was mainly a way for me to escape a little whilst waiting for school to finish.  I was kind of excited and nervous at the same time because my youngest had been in school all afternoon on the last of his taster sessions.  I was excited to hear how he’d enjoyed school again but I was also nervous that he would be mad at me for abandoning him there. 
My husband and I did get to enjoy lunch at the school with him and the other new starters today before leaving him.  The lunch was amazing, stereotypical school dinners are definitely a thing of the past.  I’ve always laughed in the past when the school have raved on about their award winning chef but now I can see why.  The food is sourced locally and for £2 a day the children get to enjoy the most tasty dishes ever.  I’m not just saying this to blow smoke up their backsides, I personally would make Chef Ramsey look like a pussy cat when it comes to critiquing food.  The spag bol I had was dee-licioussss and the portions were good too with offers of second helpings! No wonder I rarely get my daughter to eat much of an evening. 
After a lunch and a quick play in the school woods it was time for us to abandon our son for the afternoon.  His sister was there trying to help but I still had to resort to the classic ‘dump and run’ manoeuvre that I’m sure many parents will be familiar with.  Dump him in the arms of a teacher and run for the car park.  I could hear him shouting ‘Mummy I want a kiss’ from the car but I didn’t go back, I just left.  I can’t even begin to describe how guilty I was feeling.  Perhaps I should have gone back to give him a kiss but he’d already had five or six before I handed him over, plus lots of snuggles.  For years I’ve had to endure a ritual of many kisses, hugs, and more sloppy kisses before the nursery staff or child-minder have had to prise him off me as if stuck to me by Unibond’s finest. 
With him going to school I felt he needed to break this habit a little.  This little bump protruding from my tummy is making it so hard to carry him everywhere or lift him up to cuddle him all the time.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Sleepy Hollow

I’m being honest when I say the last few days have been tiring.  I have even found it hard to write about anything and feel that I want to blame being tired and emotional but ultimately feel that it is down to sheer bone idleness.  After having three successful pregnancies you would think that I know what to expect, what to look out for and what to avoid but forgive me because it all feels new to me.  I guess I suffer from selective memory loss along with the selective hearing that comes naturally to parents as it does to children. 
I seem to get done what I want to absolutely need to do and then just sit in a daze like a hollow shell until it’s time to pick the children up again.  Just the other day I commented how I’d never felt such tiredness during pregnancy but the more I think about it the more I remember how much I slept during all three pregnancies.  Having my eldest at the age of 16 was quite easy looking back, I was at the age where I could laze in bed of an evening without having to think of chores and other children.  Carrying the other two was different, I worked full time and travelled with work too.  The housework suffered, the homemade evening meals became ‘ding ding’ meals and my evenings became snooze time on the sofa. 
Last night I think I was asleep by 10pm which for me is extremely early.  I say ‘I think’ because I really don’t recall what time I was doing anything to have an idea of what time I may have nodded off.  I awoke at 6:30am under my fluffy pink blanket with a note saying ‘sorry but I tried to wake you’.  I felt so guilty and yet had slept amazingly well.  During breakfast I was doing the usual moaning about how tired I was when my Husband interrupted to comment that anyone would think I was nine months pregnant because of the way I was talking.  Initially I laughed at his remark but as the day has passed it has played on my mind a lot. 
It’s nothing to cause an argument over but do men actually realise just what our bodies are going through during early pregnancy?  Maybe it’s just my husband hoping to ignore the symptoms I’ve been moaning about.  Let’s face it, showing him my sore boobs over the breakfast must be a turn off for any guy.  The more I’ve thought about his comment, the more it has reminded me of similar comments with him twice before, both times when pregnant with the two younger children.  Maybe I need to sit and have a chat with him, again I don’t wish to cause an argument but I want him to realise just how wiped out I am feeling at the moment.  I really don’t want to be in that position again like six years ago where the day I gave birth to my daughter I cried to my Mum on the phone because he hadn’t offered me a cup of tea since we got home.
I also laughed about a remark he made during my last pregnancy the day after I discovered that I was with child.  He was wondering how I could be all of a sudden tired, feeling bloated and having back ache.  He had a fair point and to be honest after breeding what feels like a football team I now feel equipped with the knowledge to answer him.  It isn’t all of a sudden and he’s right.  What does happen, in my opinion at least, is that the symptoms, especially tiredness, is there all along but because we then discover that our bodies are now incubators and changes are happening our senses are more aware so we notice things more.  It is also a lot easier to admit that we are tired when pregnant and haven’t actually got of our backsides all day.  Notice how I’m saying our, I sure hope others are like this, if not I really am just a lazy person.  I just hope this feeling passes soon, my to-do list is growing daily and the summer holidays are growing nearer.