Friday, August 28, 2009

Here is what we have been doing while staying with Nana...

Playing with Granddad's toys.

Lots of playing in the huge garden. Even in the wet. Even in my pajamas.

Choosing my very own clothes to wear.

Enjoying the rain.

Learning keyborad and mouse skills.

Turning into a beautiful big boy, right before Mummy's eyes.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Missing my baby

I miss my son terribly. Every morning, stiff from sleep, I am unable to pick him up for the cuddle we both need to start our days. I am well enough to either pour out his cereal or sit up at the table to eat breakfast with him. I am currently expected to do both. So after breakfast, I spend time lying on the sofa recovering, unable to interact with him in a normal way. I am too distracted by pain. He watches more TV than we ever would in our own home. It is something I am able to do with him, but I'd rather he play, even if it is not with me. When he has his morning sleep, I am not resting, but using the time to dress and wash with agonizing slowness. Then I take more painkillers and try to rest before he wakes, having been soothed to sleep not by me but by his grandmother. He has stopped coming to me. Mummy can't play, get food or give cuddles, so what use is she? All his affection is reserved for Nana, who is doing everything I passionately wish I could. I sobbed today when he voluntarily came to give me a goodbye kiss and wave when heading out of the door on yet another outing I cannot accompany him on.

He is eating lots of food we wouldn't normally have at home, such as tinned meals, biscuits and bread often more than twice a day. The only vegetables he eats are the ones in the individual portions of homecooked food I made from scratch months ago, to have healthy ready meals for him for after the new baby arrives. My supply continues to dwindle, and I can't even be sure that I am well enough each day to stand and defrost the meal and then heat it. And it seems others are unwilling when there are tins of ravioli to be served. He is allowed snacks very close to meal times, when I would normally just try to get the meal ready a little earlier. Instead, he has to wait, and fill up on snacks while such-and-such a job just needs to be finished. His meals are often eaten alone, something I try to avoid. After all, how will he learn to use cutlery if he has no frame of reference? He is often spoon-fed, often in front of the TV. He often eats too much as the TV distracts him enough to miss his full-up signal. He is then praised for finishing a meal. I don't mind if he doesn't eat much of his meals, as he is learning how much he needs, and only he can be the judge of his own hunger. But while we are here, he is learning that people find clean plates a cause for celebration, something which I feel founds my own over-eating. I wish I could avoid this. He is scolded for experimenting with the feel and texture of foods with his hand. He is only learning, and wants to see. Yet....

He is being allowed to get away with much more than at home, such as throwing toys. I cannot leap up to stop him, and he has a much larger audience here. Daddy had a plastic cup launched into his face this evening, hitting the bridge of his nose, after his glasses did. And any reprimands that do not come from me are shouted, loudly, something I try to avoid, along with overuse of the word “no”. Boredom whining and frustration tantrums are not met with a “how can we solve this” attitude that I really do try so hard to present at home, but with “oh, stop your moaning”, not something a 20 month old can easily understand. He is bored, he is used to one planned activity outside the home a day, he is a difficult to entertain toddler. But he is now expected to be happy in the house all day. He isn't.

The worst part of the day by far is night time. Daddy usually arrives to put him to bed. Downstairs, I listen to the delighted squealing in the bath, and try not to think about how he cuddles close for his bedtime milk, folding into your body for his last bit of contact before bed. I have not personally witnessed how he rolls away onto his tummy with his blanket and dummy and sleepily dismisses you from the room for over a month now. Later, I go to bed, and HID goes home and leaves me, to fit the new bathroom before the new baby arrives. In the night, as is usual, I hear crying that wakes a mother instantly. I cannot get upstairs to him, even if he was downstairs with me, I am unable to lift him into my arms for comfort, and sway and nurse him like I used to. I wait, listening to his cries escalate in intensity before my mother wakes and tends to him. I lay in bed, considering each night dragging my body up those stairs just to see that he is all right. I would pick him up, I think. I would give him milk. But a tack of a different generation is used. Without the parents and comfort he is used to, in a strange bed in Nana's house, he wakes even more frequently than at home. HID takes on the night shift at weekends and a few nights a week. Who knows, this change could unsettle him even more. This is the part I hate the most. Trapped in my bed, listening to my son scream out in the night for attention and affection, something a child should never be denied, even at 3am. Yes, sometimes my patience wears thin with a child that doesn't sleep through the night. But he is my son, and I'm always prepared to go to him. The sleepless nights make anyone but a mother (and sometimes her too) have a short fuse, even with a delightful and much-loved small boy who just wants to play.

My mother is almost 50, she didn't plan at this age to be getting up three or more times a night to tend to a crying baby. She didn't make the decision to be running around after an energetic toddler all day, coming up with new and exciting things to do each time boredom strikes. She did not expect that I would be so ill in my second pregnancy, no one did, or I would have put it off for much longer. No one has asked her to do all our washing, cook all our meals, change all the nappies and an endless list of other wonderfully caring things she does, completely unasked, and, it must seem, thanklessly. I am so very lucky and grateful to have her. I just wish I was doing it my way. It isn't just the parental-style issue. I miss it. I want it so badly that each time they leave the house, and I am alone, I cry bitterly with the agony of spending all day with a child, but not really being present for him. Daddy must miss him too, he isn't seeing him nearly as much as if we were living at home. But I have totally crumpled. And with each day, the pain increases, and I am doing less and less with him, for him. As a mother, it's killing me.

One thing that struck me today: he learned to walk just as I was losing the ability. So although he has been walking for some months now, and is able to walk distances in the park and so on, I have never seen this. I have never walked with him outside. I haven't had the excitement of seeing a dog in the distance with him, or having a bus drive past us.

I cannot explain how desperate I am to get better. I don't want to be a burden on my mum and husband, and all the friends that are helping us. I don't want to be in pain. I want my son's routine, discipline, eating and sleeping habits to return to normal. But so much above all of that,I want to go back to being the mother I was, and I want to stop missing out on my son's toddlerhood. I want to teach the new words and play the new games. I want to show him the world. Me. Not anyone else. I am missing that so much. I am missing being a mummy so much. I am missing him so much that I ache.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Status update

Just a quick one to keep you all informed, I'm really not well enough to sit at the computer for very long, but just to let you know.
Two hours ago, after my shower, I was convinced my waters broke! Exciting stuff as I CAN'T WAIT til my cesarean. However, after discussions with midwives and texting friends, and waiting an hour "just to see what happens", I'm now pretty convinced it was simply water from the shower. (Especially since I'm having to sit on a stool in the shower) Gutted! Good new is: at least I didn't wet myself :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Yes, I know it looks small to you. This is me at 36+2 weeks. And it is HUGE compared to what I was during labour last time. My sister who took this photo, would like me to inform you that the stone table in the background is indeed a sacrificial one, and it's where my op will take place, with me as the sacrifice, obviously. (Well my body and my sleeping habbits, at least)
Some good news: after tracking down my own actual doctor via a midwife and a mobile phone today, I have been treated like a person and had NO PROBLEM moving my cesearean forward a few days. Speaking to the right person made the world of difference. Thanks for all your comments. xx

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Policies and Procedures. What about People?

Today, I went to see the consultant regarding my cesarean (and my ever worsening SPD). On Monday, whilst at hospital for SPD treatment, I double checked the correct place to go with the “helpful” receptionist, that gave the impression she had no idea that I'd booked the appointment (through her, I remembered her seeming useless at the time) and asking if it was “essential” that I saw that doctor. Or a doctor at all. I stressed that it was, that the doctor had requested the appointment herself. You can see where this is going, and it didn't bode well for my cesarean appointment.

Of course, said doctor was miraculously unavailable on the day, and the midwives were under the impression I was there for a clinic check up (which I'd been careful to attend to on the Monday,while I was already at the hospital). A different, younger, less experienced, male doctor was sourced.

I arrived in my wheelchair, having been washed and dressed by hubby that morning, in fairly huge amounts of pain. I knew the hospital's standard procedure was to do cesareans at 39 weeks. I had researched (online, books) and discussed with midwives and my physios. I was hoping to have an adult discussion about the possibility of a slightly earlier section. Even a few days would have been a relief. I am not sleeping, due to pain. I am struggling to sit upright. I cannot stand, wash, dress. Many people comment that I should be in hospital. I often cry in pain if someone accidentally touches my legs/feet. I turn 39 weeks on the Sunday. Obviously, planned cesareans are not performed at weekends. The midwife I saw on Monday assured me that I was in such a state, that to have the section in the 38th week, especially the Friday, would not be a problem if I asked. Well, apparently, it is. They refused point blank to do it before the 39th week, so the Monday it is. 39+1. Not even two days early.

At this point hubby visibly lost it and I started to cry (partly in pain from sitting upright in a wheelchair for so long while they buggered about finding a doctor). They offered to call “my” doctor and double check. The young guy is obviously just following procedures, and is not taking into account my individuality at all. My doctor could not be contacted, but she will let me know if any changes to the decision are made.

37 weeks is considered full term. I have been having braxton hicks for two days now. I don't want to have a baby rushed to special care, but I am very ill. Apparently, my health, welfare and general stress levels (and that of my poor mother, husband and son who are bearing the brunt of my care and illness) is completely irrelevant as long as they cover their asses so that I don't sue. Nice. I feel like a fucking incubator, not a person. I do care, so much, about the baby's health, that's why I stopped taking my medication a week before they advised I'd need to. And the baby's health is the ONLY thing getting me through the day. The thought of holding him or her, and it all being over. Being able to recover. I just cannot see how I will get from now to then. Every day, I wake up (after a maximum of 4 hours sleep) worse than when I went to bed. And every night, I go to bed feeling worse than I did that morning. Three weeks to go. It doesn't sound like a lot to a health person. But I can't see beyond my next dose of paracetamol, for all the bloody good it does. All I can hope is that the baby spontaneously decided to be tomorrow!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No presents, please!

I am trying to tactfully ask friends and family not to buy us any more crap, I mean, useful baby gifts, for the new baby, and I've written a letter to ask them for some alternatives. I'm trying hard not to offend anyone, would you be offended? Do I need to change any wording? Have you any better ideas? I'm also enclosing a few current pictures of my toddler Boy as a gift to sweeten the blow....people love buying stuff for babies, don't they?! We just don't need a is the letter:

Hello Everyone!

The birth of baby gets ever closer, thought you'd like to know, the cesarean section is scheduled (although not guaranteed!) to happen:.......
Although I will be giving birth at Hospital, I am hoping to be transferred to the Midwifery Unit after a short stay (24 hours) in hospital, and spend the rest of my recovery time, around a week depending on how I feel, at the unit, and everyone is very welcome to visit me there, visiting times are 3.30-5pm, and 7-8pm. As it's only 3 allowed at a time, let me know when you plan to visit, so you don't have to come a long way, and then spend time waiting. Or, I will let you know when I get home, and you can come to play with Boy and see the new baby at home. I may well stick to the visiting hours above, as they are very sensible, and I might be quite poorly after major abdominal surgery.

When Boy arrived, he received lots of lovely gifts of clothes and toys (ditto for his birthday and Christmas!), and lots of wonderful friends offered lovely, gently used items that their children had outgrown. As a result, Boy, and the new baby, have all they could ever want or need in terms of clothes, toys and baby items/gadgets. (To be honest, Boy has far too many toys, and I've never needed to buy him a stitch of clothing, and by the looks of things, won't be doing until he is 3 years old or more!)

So as a result of our wonderful friends and relatives' kindness, we really, really don't need anything new for this baby at all. If the baby is a girl, it may be nice to have a few girly outfits for her (we like H&M for brightly patterned things), but even then a friend has offered to lend us all her little girl's baby clothes, so we certainly won't need anything. We are not even buying a double pram, as we can use our slings and the pram in combination! Even items that get “used up” such as nappies or baby toiletries, we don't use, as we have a full set of washable nappies, and sensitive skin runs in the family, we still only use water to wash Boy, as he has terrible reactions to even the gentlest of products on his skin. (Including the chemicals in disposable nappies). We do have a very few items that we need this time,which are listed at the end.

Instead, we would love it if you could spare your time or help during my recovery from surgery. Perhaps, if you come to visit, you could bring a home-cooked meal for us (I don't eat red meat, sorry! The boys do though :-)), or if you don't like cooking, a take away or a frozen meal from the supermarket. Another idea could be to bring us a carton of whole milk and a loaf of white bread, or some fruit, all of which we run out of on an almost daily basis. (Our favourite fruits include grapes, apples, bananas, satsumas and peaches or nectarines.) If you have a little time to spare, I'd love it if you could perhaps take Boy out for a little walk in his pram. I have been house bound with my pelvic disorder since May, and he simply loves going out, it's such a treat, as I've not been able to take him. Plus, he is a very active little boy, and staying at home and being “good” and “quiet” are not really things he likes at all :-). If you are really keen, he also loves the park, or even swimming for those very brave volunteers :-). Another idea could be to give us all a little ring for a chat to check we are all well and keep us a bit sane in those newborn days, say once a week for the first two months. Or, if you have children, just bring them round for a play with Boy, he loves the company. This applies, not just to the week I get out of hospital, but for 6-8 weeks, as patients of this surgery are advised to rest for at least this long. So if you'd like to put off your visit for a few weeks, that would be fine. It might be nice to have visitors a bit staggered and spread out, last time it was very overwhelming as I was so poorly.

If none of this appeals, we will of course be setting up a child trust fund for the new baby, and donations would be very welcomed in the place of toys and clothes we don't really need.

A few things we need:

 Antilop IKEA high chair: (£10, a red one please! We have a blue one,and they are conveniently stackable.)
 Mothercare vouchers for another nappy storage bucket and other nappy accessories.
 Shoo shoos (leather baby shoes: the only ones that stay on, not worth bothering with ANYTHING else! all sizes useful)
 Baby nightgowns in various sizes, also known in mothercare as “baby bundelers”, like baby grows but open at the bottom for easy nappy changes. SO much easier, especially with newborns. Babygrows are a bit awkward, babies grow so fast their little feet get squashed in the toes. If any, the footless ones are best (can get from H&M) so they fit baby for ages, or the ones with ”gloves” attached (from matalan) so that baby is not covered in scratches all the time like Boy was!
 Annabel Karmel toddler meal planner: I borrowed this from the library, totally great! Lots of ideas for weaning baby & family meals too.
 Bibs: ethel austin do plain white, pull over the head bibs which are great.
 Muslin cloths: we use millions of them.
 In the early days, we'll be using “nature babycare” nappies (which are bio-degradable and don't contain chemicals. And are the same price as pampers and huggies), so a packet of those would be greatly appreciated! They seem to be available at lager Tesco's stores and Boots too. (i.e. not the local ones....typical!)

But we really would appreciate a homecooked meal.....

Thank you all in advance for welcoming our new baby to the world! We look forward to seeing you after the baby arrives.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Star Wars

Hopefully the title of this post will have lured in any Star Wars fans, as this really is unmissable. Descovering the delight of Stumbled Upon, you really must add it and check it out (a start could be to click on the thumbs up button at the side of this post), I stumbled upon these pictures. They are just so funny! The cast of Star Wars as you've never seen them before! I'm not a hardcore fan, i.e. I couldn't tell you the storyline, but I love the characters, action & the jokes. This is the same attitude I have to many films, like the Bourne films, X-Men films, Indiana Jones films....I just like to be entertained, rather than having to switch my brain on! Anyway, enjoy x

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

All Quiet on the Blogging front

Hello lovely readers. I just thought I would let you know that I may be a bit sporadic on the posting business for a while: my SPD has worsened and I've had to move in with my mum (who has a spare downstairs bathroom and bedroom, so I not longer have to crawl upstairs, which is, honestly, what I've been having to do.) Plus I need her on hand for help with the Boy, who I literally can no longer lift, and thus can't get him into his cot for naps, highchair for meals, changing table for nappy get the idea. So although the internet is readily available here (to a point, I don't want to seem anti-social & it is a family PC) I am also stuggling to sit upright withough being in pain (standing not much fun either, and walking a total joke), so much time spent lying on the sofa being an invalid, grrrr. Feel quite chuffed I've already packed my hospital bag and won't have to trust someone else to do it for me, and that my freezer is packed with nutritious home-made meals for my return from hospital and those newborn what we we have to use them now and live off take-aways later?? Bit worried about leaving the veg garden/fish/cat under the part-time supervision of HID...not much I can do! Boy is luckily very happy to be at Nanna's, and has settled in very well, even sleeping quite well too. I will try and keep on top of my google reader, but my passion for commenting may well slip...sorry in advance! It is very stange typing on a proper keyboard after so long on my tiny notebook, sorry for any errors!

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Friday feeling

Yes, I know it's Saturday! But I'm home alone (well, not counting a sleeping small boy and belly moving like an octopus in a large water balloon) and checking my emails, looking at the British Mummy Bloggers site (click the badge on the right) and on facebook, generally wasting sufficient time before bed that would suggest a bedtime of a woman in her early twenties and not a pensioner, and I got all excited! I'm having that Friday feeling all over again (would have possibly only had it once if I'd checked my emails yesterday), I had an email from Joanne Mallon, who has kindly, oh so kindly, included me in her Friday Roundup, and I'm more than a bit pleased, thank you Joanne. Do have a visit, there are some fab posts up, not least one prompting (yet another) breastfeeding debate (quite heated!!) in the comments section, well worth a read. Whatever is the world coming to? Well, I had to leave my two pence.....

(By the way, Joanne did make a small error, which is in the process of being fixed, that I had my new baby on Thursday....don't worry! I'm still with bump, no plans to deliver this side of four weeks from now :-) )

I've also been receiving tutorials about using Stumbled Upon into my email box too, and I've just caught up with those so far. I am a bit clueless about technology like this really, but thought I'd give it a go, it's fab! Like channel hopping, infinitely entertaining for the attention-deficit-ed among us, and great when you only really have five minutes of me time, not long enough to realistically sort emails or do anything of real worth while online. So a bit of fun! I'm slowly getting the hang of it (like I said, I'm a bit dense on these matters, I'm sure in reality it's very simple to add the toolbar) and do recommend you to try it! While you're there, why not add me as a friend? As a new user, I am a bit lonely....I've just added the thumbs up button above the British Mummy Bloggers badge, so if you like a particular post that you've read (or will read in future!), please give me a little thumbs up by clicking the button. It will be very much appreciated! I know some of my readers who are also part of the BMB are on there too, I'm slowly getting round to "thumbing up" all my favourite blogs, it's quite good fun!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Fastest pasta in the west


Pasta: enough to feed your family. Tagliatelle is nice and looks posh, for little ones, fusilli is possibly easiest to pick up.

Green pesto: one or two tablespoons, according to taste. (can use red, but green matches with the peas :-) )

Frozen peas: as above!

Philadelphia cream cheese (or supermarket alternative): as above!

Cheese: large handful grated. We use mature cheddar, try mild if you prefer or parmasan

Onion: 1/2 to one, finely chopped

Mushrooms: handful, sliced

(If really short on time,leave out these last two ingredients,as chopping takes up time)


Fry onion & mushrooms in olive oil or similar.

Cook pasta.

Add frozen peas to onions & mushrooms, cook for 5 mins.

Add cream cheese too pan, melt a little & stir in pesto.

Add pasta & stir.

Put into bowls & sprinkle on cheese.

Hey pesto! A pasta meal in under 10 mins. Great for those little ones who decide they are starving to death as soon as you open the kitchen mine. You can even get them chopping mushrooms with a safe knife while you get everything ready!



Thursday, August 06, 2009

I'm going to hospital to have a baby (by cesarean section) and I'm taking......

A bit like that memory game: I'm going shopping and I'm going to buy....Here is my hospital bag list (it's almost ALL in there too) and the reasons, as a second time mum, why I've chosen these items. Please, please leave your comment below if you have any other ideas, things you took, or wished you had, when you had your baby. Especially if you had a cesarean, this is my first time having one!

For baby:

My pouch sling. I want to carry the baby a lot anyway, but last time I was a bit confused as to whether it was ok to leave the baby in a cot on the ward while I went for a wee.....this time I will just take baby along! And I may still be on crutches anyway, I was last time, so carrying can be difficult when you need both hands for something else.

Several (blue, as my first was a boy, not point buying til we know!) vests and babygrows: some in “newborn” size, and some in “early baby” size: none in 0-3m. Even “newborn” didn't fit Boy for at least a month!

Packet of “nature babycare” bio-degradable, eco-friendly nappies. We intend to use cotton nappies when I'm feeling a little better after the op, and these are the next best thing (you can even put a few wet ones in your home compost bin: decomposing above ground does not produce harmful methane like landfills do. Just remember to not use nappy bags, (or use the nature babycare ones): they will take much longer to decompose, wherever you put them, wrapped in a plastic bag). They sell them in Boots and larger Tescos, same price a huggies & pampers, just not on offer as often.

Muslin cloths & nappy cloths (the inside bit of the nappies, which look like big dishcloths when not folded), for laying baby on to change nappies, to wipe up wees, poos, sick, milk, and to use as a shoulder-guard when winding baby upon your shoulder. An invaluable must. Still useful (essential!) at 20 months old.

Scratch mitts. Boy was a scratcher. We also may buy some babygros with mitts attached, (matalan) as they never stay on!


My usual toiletries, including a new perfumed (Bright Crystal) moisturizer my mum got me (in a set) to take to hospital to pamper myself. I wonder if I'll get time? What a lovely present, nonetheless.

Nettle & Peppermint tea: nettle for boosting milk supply, and peppermint for the painful trapped wind cesarean patients often get a few days after the birth. Don't want to be going through extra pain unnecessarily!

Brand new tommee tippee hand breast pump and little (closer to nature) bottle. We had breastfeeding difficulties last time, and I suspect a major operation will not make it easier...always be prepared! My Boy rifled through my bag the other day, picked up the breast pump (while I was on the phone) and said “toot toot!” into the boob bit, as though it was a trumpet! Almost dropped the phone.

Stretchy gauze hospital knickers: bought from the NCT website, most comfy things EVER! Apparently, can be washed up to 10 times.

Nursing bras in huge sizes. They were all too small last time....

Reusable breast pads

Lansinoh nipple cream...hoping to get it on prescription, it's quite expensive but oh-so worth it.

Maternity/breastfeeding nightwear. Don't bother with a dressing gown. Too hot on the wards.

Bottles of lucuzade & a bottle of cordial. I don't do water, and need to keep hydrated for breastfeeding!

“The Food of Love: your guide to successful breastfeeding” by Kate Evans. Checkout my review. Hospital bag essential.

For the operation:

Jane Green's new paperback (my 2nd fave chick lit author) for the possibly long wait for surgery. And, also useful for endless breastfeeding, as you have a free arm!

Blooming Birth by Lucy Atkins & Julia Guderian. It has a chapter on cesareans, and I found it invaluable last time to stop me feeling so scared of labour. It's an amazing read. Mine is excessively dog-eared, highlighted and stuffed with post-its.

Rescue Remedy pastilles & frankincense essential oil: to keep me relaxed as I have my tummy sliced open....

Travel sickness bands: for possible nausea caused by the epidural.

Camera & tripod: for taking pics minus the (inevitable) shaking hands. And possibly get one of all 3 of us, with timer, without having to ask the midwife.

Music: I've left it to HID to choose. He chose our wedding first dance and I loved it. So did the guests, although no one had ever heard of “The Bees”!

My birth plan.

Cesarean support belt (can be heated or cooled), bought for 99p from ebay!

Then I also had a genius idea of packing a second bag. Last time I stayed in for four days, and felt I came out too early, so this time, depending on how busy the ward is & how I feel, I intend to stay longer. But, HID is not great at being asked to bring extra things in (that require knowing where we keep the clothes and other apparently non-essential items), so I'm packing another bag, with “extra” everything in it, and mine and baby's going home clothes. (Just a tip, pack very baggy and comfy clothes to go home in. You will be sore and car journeys are not comfortable). So I can literally give him a bag full of washing (which he will probably get my mum to do), and ask him to bring in the other bag, knowing it will have spare nappies, maternity towels and everything, already in it. So he can't mess it up!

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Help: your cesarean experiences/ideas!

In a week, I will be seeing the consultant who is performing my cesarean. I've read as much as I can about the procedure, and I've crafted sort of a birth plan-cum-list of questions for the doctor, as I want to be prepared for what will happen to me and the baby, and hopefully have some control, and have a positive birth experience. I want it to be special, not terrifying like last time. I am a little squeamish, and I'm not much looking forward to the surgery itself. Can you think of anything I've missed out? What would you ask? What happened at your cesarean birth? I am a little nervous now, please help by leaving your comments.

How long after the operation will I be unfit to drive?

How long after the birth is my husband allowed to stay with us? (e.g. if c-section is done “after hours”)

Do you have “clip on cots” for surgery patients?

I would like to spend a few days of my recovery time at the local midwifery unit. When can I be transferred?

Can a midwife or the surgeon please narrate the operation, so I know what is going on.

Screen to be lowered at the moment of birth

Lights to be dimmed at the moment of birth, to calm baby

Can we take photographs in the theatre when the baby arrives? Is it ok to ask a midwife/other staff to take a picture of all three of us?

Can we have music on while the birth takes place?

Husband to discover the sex of the baby when it is born.

Baby to be quickly wiped, but passed to me unwrapped and naked.

I would like my hospital gown to be put on backwards so that I can have skin to skin contact with baby (if s/he is well) as soon as baby is born. And possibly some help to breastfeed in the table,if baby wants to.

If baby needs to be taken away for medical attention, husband to accompany baby.

To have the resuscitation unit & weighing scales in sight, and if possible, have the weighing delayed while we cuddle the baby for a while. Ditto washing & dressing, can this be done on the ward, after baby's first feed?

To keep baby with me in the recovery room.

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Spirited baby

This new baby is a mover. It is active. An hour will not pass without some kind of movement. And the turns and stretches it performs are by no means gentle. Months ago, before the movements even became that pronounced (at present you can easily see them from across the room, something that never happened with my first pregnancy), I had gone to bed early, and was only half aware of HID coming upstairs much later to get ready for bed. He spends ages in the bathroom, so by the time he entered the bedroom, I was fast asleep again. The baby suddenly gave an almighty kick! My entire body jumped as it tugged me out of sleep, and my eyes sprang open to find HID, leaning over the bed, face inches from mine, about to give me a tender goodnight kiss. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you jump!”. He was mortified. I explained that it hadn't been him that woke me at all, but the baby! We concluded that the baby must have been wide awake, and heard/sensed Daddy's approach, and wanted to get noticed. Oh my goodness, this baby will not be ignored!

Every single time HID and I hug now, he always gets kicked by the baby. I don't always register these kicks, as they are quite gentle compared to what I'm used to, but HID always tells me!

In my first pregnancy, I never really saw baby move under my skin. But I'm a little slimmer now, and the movements have been quite obvious, even under two layers of clothing, for sometime! My bump is also much bigger (but still tiny by everyone else's standards), and I think my belly button may pop out this time! And with six weeks to go, I'm already a little breathless and uncomfortable, having to sit up very straight to give the baby enough room.

I often get a persistent prod from the baby, (usually my right side, where it often gets stuck, and seems to favour) over and over again, but quite gentle. It feels almost like a pulse or heartbeat. Sometimes I can barely feel it. It happened while with my mum a few weeks ago, and she came over to feel it. She remarked on how big a kick it was! I disagreed, informing her how tiny it was in comparison to most.

Now regular readers may be aware that my first born was what some may call a “high-need” baby, and well, he's now a high-need toddler too (I'm guessing he may well be a spirited teenager as well...). This is one of the reasons (along with the general practicalities of already having any child, let alone having one that needs full damage-control to stop him ending up in casualty 24/7) that this pregnancy hasn't been dwelt on very much. Not just by me, but the whole family has been so busy enjoying Boy that we just sort of forgot to marvel at the bump, or sit around for an age discussing names, trawling round the shops for babygear, my Dad has even said he keeps forgetting I'm pregnant! But, with it's super-human kicks and somersaults, this little babe is not one that will be willingly ignored. It is constantly reminding me that it's here.

Something worrying though; I was chatting about baby's movements with my physiotherapist, who had two children, firstborn, a very active and boisterous boy, second, a contentedly quiet girl. She told a tale of how, in her second pregnancy her baby seemed to hardly move at all in comparison to her first. The midwife gave her a sort of tick chart, to monitor the movements of baby over 24hrs, which she did. When she handed it in the next day the midwife assured her that the kicks and movements she was feeling this time were entirely normal, and for interest, could she remember enough to fill out another chart for her first pregnancy, to compare? This she did, and the midwife remarked how very far from normal it was to have a baby that moved so much! The worrying thing in this story, is that my physiotherapist believes that her children's personalities were already shaped in the womb: the boy, even at nine years old, cannot sit still, and as a toddler was very hard work, just to keep up with him! The little girl, she says, is happy to sit doing jigsaws quietly, even from being very tiny, both exactly how they were in the womb.

This information does not bode well for me. In comparison to this pregnancy, my Boy hardly kicked or moved at all in utero, yet now, every moment that he is awake is spent moving (and quite a few moments in his sleep, judging my the positions he gets himself into in his cot). He does not walk, he only runs. Toys are interesting for a matter of seconds before being discarded for the next adventure. By 8.30am most mornings, he is crying at the front door to go out (anywhere) having exhausted all he can do within the confines of a house. So I am slightly worried that movements in the womb may reflect later tendencies for movement in general.....I am really not sure there even is such a child that is more active than the one I already have, and is there is, how will I cope with two, and even more action with the second??

Friends have comfortingly pointed out that there may be no link, or that this child is “getting it all out of its system” before being born. I thought, after last time, I might be due a placid, dare I think it, sleepy child. They say you usually get one of each...but they also say that the second born is usually the worst of the two....argh! (Otherwise, you'd have to be mad, like me, to have more...) I was also informed in my difficult last pregnancy, that if you have a bad pregnancy, usually you have a nice birth, or an “easy” out of three is not a good score. Then add on the terrible post-partum....ho hum. Am I in for another rough ride? Am I bothered? Ha ha, I laugh at the prospect of difficult children. You can't scare me, I already have one!

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Growth Spurt

A few days ago, I had an inkling that the Boy may be having a growth spurt. I don't usually notice any actual growth until I'm stretching his nappy tabs to get them to meet, or have finally stopped having to roll up sleeves and legs on his 9-12 month clothes (yes, folks, he's almost 20 months old. But I'm only 5ft, and HID is 5ft7, so Boy was never going to be tall was he? It is a bit annoying when all those thoughtfully bought jumpers and coats he received as Christmas gifts fit him in the height of summer. But then again, we do live in England).

The first difference was the sleep, and for once, the difference was an abundance of the stuff. For 4 or 5 days in a row, he was *sometimes* waking once during the night, begging to go to bed an hour before usual, and not getting up til 9am. 9am! I honestly didn't know what to do with myself. I was waking up at 7am, thankful for the extra half an hour I'd had in bed, and calculating I had no more than 15 minutes to shower and dress, so leaping into action. And two hours later, I'd be downstairs, looking immaculate (well, sort of), breakfasted and a few chores and my physio exercises done, twiddling my thumbs waiting to be graced with Boy's presence. All very strange (and obviously, wonderful), but I'd put it down to a very tiring and exciting weekend at Bug Jam, punctuated with broken sleep in a strange bed and late nights. This was as well as 2hr+ daytime naps (at least one).

But the main reason I suspected my Boy was growing like billy-o was his appetite. As a baby-led-weaned baby, he has always enjoyed food, especially trying new things, and I really don't think there is a food he has tried that he consistently dislikes. If I offer it to him again another day, he's suddenly in the mood for it! But he can go days without eating much at all, I've learned to trust that he knows exactly how much he needs, and if he doesn't touch breakfast, dinner and tea, and instead has a few bits of fruit or whatever one day, it's because he doesn't need it, and he'll catch up another day.

But I was eventually inclined to stop trusting his judgment of his tummy full/empty-o-meter one day recently at tea time. I'd made him quite a big bowl of pasta, I didn't expect him to eat it all, and he didn't. After most meals, I ask him if he'd like "something else". As adults, we sometimes don't always fancy what's on offer that day, or save room especially or desert, and I really don't see why it's any different for little ones, they just aren't as adept at telling us. So I ask. Sometimes he is genuinely full. Sometimes he has something sweet. Sometimes it's something savory. That day, it was a peach. He loves them, and ate literally every scrap. He looked pointedly at me and says "moaaar!" while pointing into his left hand, his version of the "more" sign.

So a plum was offered. And devoured. Ditto to the biscuit (not something usually given), the leftover pasta re-heated and re-offered, two bowls of natural yoghurt with raspberries mashed in, one bowl of vanilla ice-cream (don't judge me, I was rapidly running out of ideas!), and some of the lunch he had not eaten at lunchtime and was in the fridge for the following day. "Moaaar!" came the cry of the bottomless pit: "No," came the reply. "No more now." He was not impressed, and at bedtime drank a very full cup of milk within seconds, proof of his "empty" tum, but I
literally did not have another morsel to offer him without starting to cook (again)!

So I think he may have been using all his energy growing recently! Unfortunately, the sleeping is pretty much back to normal, i.e. a 7.30 pm bedtime, crying for, well, nothing really, at 11pm ish, waking at 4-5am for milk,then getting up around 6.30am. Great! He has also resumed a normal appetite. Which is actually quite a big one, my friends with same age children assure me. They do often wonder why he does not resemble a “michalin man” baby, he's not skinny, but there is certainly no baby-fat on him. Perhaps something to do with his “high need” -ness, i.e. unless he is asleep, and sometimes not even then, he is never still. I mean it. Never. He just doesn't stop. That's why he needs so much food and sleep! If I ran round as much as him, I would be a size 8 who dines on pizza and chocolate every night, and I'd definitely need an early night and a lie in!

Saturday, August 01, 2009


I've finally managed to sort out whatever horrible mistake I made when editing my blog template, yey! Of course, that's thanks to the British Mummy Blogger's site, ask a stupid question, and you will get a helpful answer. And nobody thinks you're stupid. (Or at least they don't say it out loud...). So I've got a new look around here! But I've lost some of the changes I made, such as my blogroll, so I will try and edit them back in as and when I can.

Now I can get back to posting! There is a little question I've been wanting to ask my readers.My cesarean section is about 6 weeks away (I get a firm date in 2 weeks), and I was wondering if anyone out there (or your partner) has had a cesarean? What can I do to make it a positive birth experience? Have you any tips,for the day itself, and the recovery? Anything you wish you'd known/asked about/done differently?

I do plan to have my gown on backwards, so we can have skin to skin contact straight away, the screen lowered at the moment of birth, a midwife take a photograph....and for the recovery, I've bought arnica tablets and cream, my fabulous mother is taking my toddler out of my hair 7am-lunchtime, 5 days a week for 8 weeks, and my mother-in-law is staying with us in some of the early days to help too. Any other suggestions?