Thursday, 24 November 2011

Just another Thursday

Toddler with high temperature, baby with sneezes and sniffles.  I have a sore throat and am knackered but otherwise fine.
Watching lots of Thomas the Tank Engine and encouraging G to eat and drink.
C dozing on the floor and occasionally waking and trying to roll over.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

November already?

Still here but life too hectic for writing regularly on here.  No good writing a catalogue of moans (of which there are many - sleep/job/money/house related) so will say that I am very grateful for my 2 girls and all the support from Adriano. 

Hopefully more one day soon?! (Blogposts that is, not children!)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Hurriedly written birth story, with plenty TMI

Had a sweep at my appointment at 39+5 but told cervix v posterior, 1cm dilated, and nothing looked imminent. Didn't have bleeding afterwards or even any cramps. A couple of days later the mucus plug very gradually began to make an appearance - over the next 5 days or so.

40+5 had an appointment booked to discuss c-section/induction options and another possible sweep. Never made it to appointment because at 2.30am that morning the first contractions started. They were fairly regular at about 8mins apart.... for about the next 12 hours. By about mid-morning Adriano helped me to attach the TENS machine.

Eventually at around 2.30pm we went to the hospital to get checked out. I felt sure I was still in 'pre-labour' but the contractions were causing plenty of pain and had been going on long enough for me to want to check that the baby was coping OK. When we got there, we were seen by Carrie, who was the same midwife I initially saw with G a couple of years ago. She recognised us! She was lovely and very reassuring. The baby was monitored for about 40 mins, all was fine. I was examined and found to be still only 1 cm which was pretty disappointing after 12 hours. I was realistic but still hoping for at least 2cm.
Carrie suggested we go home again but come back if the contractions got stronger and much more regular and closer together. She also said to come back at 9am the next day if nothing had changed or if contractions had stopped altogether, as she was on shift again and would check the baby was still coping OK.
She said that the pain might get stronger for the next couple of hours because of the examination, but after that would probably go back to how they were before (or stop altogether).

By the time we got home it was about 4.30pm, and even on the way home from the hospital the contractions got stronger. They stayed strong and regular and I found I couldn't sit down at all or eat any dinner. I was struggling much more with the pain and the tiredness. I phoned Gillian (my ex-midwife auntie) and she said they sounded good but I was probably still better off at home for the time being, and just to wait and see a bit longer.

By about 8.30pm I couldn't bear it any longer and we left for the hospital again. By this time G had been taken to bed so it was good timing. We left my mum in charge and off we went.

When we arrived at the hospital we were told they were very short staffed and we would be seen as soon as possible. Eventually we moved into the triage room and were seen by a tall black midwife whose name I have forgotten. She put the baby's heartbeat on the monitor, gave me some gas and air (hooray!) and soon after I ditched the TENS as it wasn't helping as much and it had a loose connection which made an annoying buzz on my back even when it was supposed to be dormant. The midwife examined me and found me to be 6cm - I was sooooo surprised as with G I never made it past 5cm so this was VERY good news. Just like with G, my waters then broke during the examination, went everywhere, and were full of meconium. Shortly after this she disappeared and we noticed the baby's heartbeat was slowing. And slowing... and it went so far down I got really frightened and asked Adriano to find her. She was already on the phone asking for help and at this point the heartbeat actually seemed to stop. About 6 people came running up and wheeled the bed I was on down the corridor really fast (with me on my left side). I thought the baby was going to die and that they would give me a general anaesthetic and get her out by emergency c-section. But instead they wheeled me to the nearest vacant delivery room, told me to get onto the bed 'quick as you can'. And then suddenly things were OK again much to my enormous relief. The heart rate went back up and stabilised, and we were back on with the gas and air.

I got off the bed and moved around to cope with the contractions. What seemed like soon afterwards (about 11pm by this point) I felt my body bearing down with the contractions, and shouted that out to the midwives (there were 2: Fiona - senior one I think, and Amanda who was from an agency). I assumed I wasn't fully dilated yet and should hold back, but when checked, Amanda said 'yes you can push' - I couldn't believe it and was relieved because holding back would have been pretty impossible. By this point the pain was unbearable and I was growling (angrily, it sounded!) with each contraction, and pulling Adriano's arms and squeezing his hands so hard. In between contractions I was just trying to get my breath back in time for the next one. I started out leaning over the bed, then squatting on the floor, then kneeling on the floor, then kneeling on the bed, then lying on my side on the bed, then finally on my back on the bed with my feet and hands resting on handles to help me push. It seemed to take me a while to get into the idea of pushing, and as it progressed it was very hard to push past the pain because boy did it hurt. I was aiming to do about 3 good pushes with each contraction but after the 1st one I was struggling to get enough air into my lungs to do any more good pushing afterwards. At one point Fiona suggested to Adriano that he count me through the pushes - an idea I've always hated - so I gasped 'don't count!' when I could find the breath to say it. Apparently she mouthed 'sorry!' to Adriano (which makes me laugh now). Somehow I got there in the end, thankfully after only about 80 mins of pushing - I had thought it was going to take much longer as I felt I wasn't doing it very effectively - the baby's head was out, I was told to pant, and then out came the rest of her. The wonder in Adriano's voice as he saw her coming out was something I hope I always remember :) I think neither of us really believed I would manage a VBAC and we would experience such a different birth with C! She had her hand up by her face as her head came out, which probably contributed to the 2nd degree tear. But I didn't feel the tear, it just generally hurt like hell :D

Adriano cut the cord and she was lifted straight onto me, skin-on-skin, and they put her hat on :) She looked so lovely and tiny and meeting her was pure bliss. After only a few minutes she started sucking so I moved her onto my breast and she happily sucked there for a good while. She barely cried and I asked if she was OK but she was fine - 'just where she needs to be'. Adriano was desperate for a cuddle but at the same time we didn't want to disturb her feeding so we waited a while. I was stitched up and I don't think the anaesthetic worked very well because it was very painful and seemed to take forever. Another midwife came in and offered me tea and toast which sounded like the best idea I had ever heard. Lottie was checked over properly and then Adriano got his cuddle at last. I phoned my mum and told her all about it; she cried with happiness :))) I felt very groggy and exhausted and dizzy and like I might pass out but I didn't. Eventually a lady came in to help me shower and it felt good to get clean and fresh again. I was helped into a wheelchair, Lottie was put in my arms and I was wheeled to a bed in the post-natal ward. It was about 3am by this time.

Adriano arranged my stuff around me, kissed me and Lottie goodbye and went home to call his family.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

She's here!

Ch@rlotte Jenn1fer (aka Lott1e) arrived at 0019 hours on 19th July 2011. She's beautiful! I managed a VBAC, wow (and ouch).

Saturday, 16 July 2011

40(+3) weeks : TMI alert

Gosh. Still here with a bump. Didn't expect to get this far without a newborn baby to look after. Very slightly crampy occasionally and a bit of a 'show' all this week, but that's it.
Went into labour with G on the due date so always imagined this one to be similar or earlier.

G is very clingy and has another cold and we've had disturbed nights galore, and and and.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

39(+3) weeks

Still 'baby on board'.

She's been a bit quiet the last couple of days but I think all is OK.

This time:
Nausea took a week longer to really kick in, and left about a week sooner
Was sick about twice a day for 6 to 7 weeks
High risk for Down's Syndrome according to NHS tests
2 hernias
Lots more stretch marks and veins on my bump
More leg cramp at night
Heavily pregnant in Summer although there's been lots of rain so not too much of the 'big and hot' feeling
Maternity leave didn't feel like a big change due to hanging out with a toddler most of the time
Had a pregnancy massage near my due date
Drinking fruit juice like there's no tomorrow

Last time:
Nausea lasted a couple of weeks longer
Was sick about every other day
Stretch marks didn't appear until 39 weeks
Had a linea negra
More hip ache at night
Heavily pregnant in Winter but felt warm almost all the time
Maternity leave felt like a huge rest
Went away for a night in a hotel with Adriano near my due date
Last week or so my bump became so stretched and uncomfortable I would sit on the sofa all evening rubbing cream in constantly and eventually in tears because it felt so horrible
Eating tins of fruit every day
Labour began on my due date
Ended in a c-section after 2 days
Gave me this gorgeous girl

Thursday, 30 June 2011

38(+1) weeks

Well here we are. One bulbous bump, freely commented on by all and sundry, even shouted comments from strangers across the road (honestly).

Baby's head no longer engaged, hey ho.

No twinges.

Really would like the baby to be early but have sneaky suspicion she may even be late. Grr, feeling impatient at times.

Now officially aiming for a VBAC but all around me are guessing that it will end in a c-section again. Hmm, thanks guys. But actually I would not be one bit surprised at that outcome either. Don't care THAT much, just want a safe and healthy baby, with me in reasonable shape. And I used to be such a hippy as well. Best outcome for me would be actually feeling my body pushing the baby out by itself. But I am trying to be zen about whatever happens.

My hospital bag is packed. Little G is primed, and says daily 'is the baby coming out yet?'.

The cot has been built and 2 drawers cleared to make way for very small babygros, vests, bibs, cardigans, and the like.

The baby has hiccups around twice a day so I'm nervous she's going to be very sicky/a reflux baby.

I wish I had the energy to hoover the house, it is filthy. Just need to sit down a lot. Did actually hoover in desperation at the weekend but only managed half a room before I admitted defeat. And we have small rooms.

Sleeping still tricky, unsurprisingly.

None of my clothes fit, even the maternity ones.

Weighed in at 10st 11lb last night.

It's going to be alright, it's going to be alright, it's going to be alright.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

36(+1) weeks

Doing OK over here, just scared of all the things that can go wrong, having got to this point! Am still pissed off about the hernias but what can I do? The baby's head was 2/5 engaged at my appointment with the obstetric doctor on Monday.

Still sleeping badly but that's not exactly newsworthy. Getting a few naps in thanks to Adriano so I'm surviving. Just hope he is! He's working so hard as usual.

G started preschool this week, 2 mornings a week. Nerve-wracking as she's only ever been left with me or Adriano or my mum. Apart from some tears at the end of the first day, she has had a great time. I'm so relieved, and proud. I'm sure there will be harder days but so far so good. I love hearing about the things she's done. Today's highlights were playing with the fairy wand, dressing up as a fairy, seeing the goldfish, singing and hearing stories. Other comments include 'I didn't like the shouting, there was a boy and girl shouting. The lady read a story about a shark. It was very sharky....and scary.' God I love that girl. What a feeling to collect her at lunchtime and see her little face recognise me and beam at me, shouting 'Hello Mummy!'. I am so lucky.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

33(+1) weeks

I finished my last day of teaching today; my first official day of maternity leave is June 8th.

I am so tired. Contributary factors are: insomnia; G waking from bad dreams; the bump kicking (reassuring and lovely but makes it hard to sleep); the baby bouncing on my bladder so I go to the loo around 3 times during the night; being a light sleeper so being woken by Adriano coming into the room/getting into bed/arranging his iPod to his liking/turning over/breathing; thinking about living by the sea; thinking about not being able to live by the sea; thinking about what it will be like to be tireder than this when the baby arrives; wondering how the birth will be; worrying that I will end up with a c-section; worrying that I will not end up with a c-section; worrying that my fandango* will be torn to pieces by forceps/ventouse/the baby's head and shoulders; worrying about going back to work; worrying about not going back to work; worrying about money.

Gosh, suddenly I can see why I can't sleep!

Got another mouth ulcer and my cough is hanging on and on and on. Pulled intercostal muscle has got worse again over last couple of days and now hurts when I breathe in fully once again.

BUT the baby seems to be fine, Adriano and I are feeling close in spite of house and money worries, and Little G continues to be adorable for pretty much all her waking moments. You can't say fairer than that.

Photo taken about 3 weeks ago.

*lady bits

Friday, 22 April 2011

28+2 weeks

We have been, and still are, ill again. I'm coming to the end of 2 weeks' holiday from work, and have been ill the entire time. G has it a bit, and yesterday Adriano started coming down with it, or something, as well.

In a nutshell it involves coughing and coughing and coughing and not really sleeping.

Arrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Don't need this. So fed up with hearing myself bark like a dog every few seconds. Also every time I do I have to have a hand free to hold in my growing hernias (that makes me gag, it is so gross) round my navel. The doctor told me to do that to avoid them strangulating and therefore requiring emergency surgery (while pregnant - hmmm). Also I keep waking up about 10 mins after falling asleep and my airways feel closed and I can't stop retching and coughing until eventually I get some control and calm down a bit.

So, looking forward to feeling well again.

My mum is also ill with continuing cough, same with my dad. Mum also has intermittent flu aches and nausea; Dad also has spells of labyrinthitis.

However, the weather is amazing here, and although it's due to sink back down to highs of 14 degrees in a few days, until then everyone's pretending it's summer and certainly forgetting it's only April.

We have almost decided which double pushchair to buy. It's going to have to be a Phil and Ted's because G is almost the maximum weight for all of the others already (she's on the 91st centile or thereabouts). Just deciding between the models. They all seem to have their pros and cons.

Had my 28 week check with the midwife on Weds. She was absolutely lovely. G came too, and watched with interest while I had blood taken, then stroked my arm. When I had my anti-D jab (which bloody hurt actually!) and then got a plaster, G asked me if it was very sore. She could relate as she had a plaster on her knee from a rather nasty fall on the way to the sandpit at the local One O'Clock Club on Monday. My bump is measuring a bit big but apparently within the realms of OK. Just hoping it's not because of gestational diabetes - had glucose test so will find out soon - otherwise I'll have to give up my sugar addiction which some very tired days is the only thing that keeps me going.

Adriano got a job the other day but had to turn it down because they couldn't raise the salary enough to make it a viable option for us. He was really disappointed because he liked them a lot and thought he could do well there. But it was not to be.

We've given up on the Medway area for now as Adriano rightly pointed out that we want to live by the sea really so what are we doing looking there. He's hopefully about to get the go ahead to work compressed hours (5 days' work in 4 days) so that will give us other options. We still really like Eastbourne but depressingly can't afford a 3 bed house with garden there. Anywhere is a stretch to be honest, but Adriano found one in St Leonard's (near Hastings) with a huge garden which quite took his fancy so you never know. I worry about him working 4 long days with a mammoth commute either end of the day, but he reckons he's up for it. I also worry about it from my point of view. He wouldn't return until I would probably be in bed on those 4 evenings, and I will be doing bedtime as a new mum of 2 on my own for most of the week. That, to me, sounds scary. Then if I am working on his 5th day, taking advantage of the free childcare, I would really only see him at weekends. Not a lot different to now, but enough to scare me. I sometimes get lonely looking after G, even with lots of local friends. God knows how it'll be with 2.

Yesterday I got properly upset in front of G for the first time. I hated her seeing me crying. It was just because I was very very tired, and she was irrationally screaming about anything and everything. She's a bit prone to doing that, but not nearly as much as she could be, given her age. When it comes I need to be really on the ball and creative and firm or it gets the better of me. This time it got the better of me and I just sat and cried.

I'm OK now though.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Typical Day

Had a better night after awful insomnia this week.
G woke mercifully late, heard her stirring around 7.15am. Could have reasonably been any time from 6am so am grateful.
Listened to her over the monitor chatting to herself while Adriano and I felt bump kicking. Adrian also looking at his work emails (!) to check for positive comments on a project he is working hard on.
Decided I would do without a shower as I know I'll definitely get one tomorrow before work. Adriano went in to get G and take her downstairs while I began to wash and get dressed.
Heard G greeting Adriano over the monitor. Very sweet chat between them made me smile.
Heard G counting the stairs as they went down.
Opted to wear oldish grey tracksuit bottoms as they are comfortable under the bump. Big stretchy purple t-shirt and bobbly green cardigan. Feel I must look like a bag lady but at least comfortable, *sigh*.
Chose G's clothes: white t-shirt, grey jersey skirt, handknitted rainbow jumper (from Grandma and Grandad for Christmas), navy tights with red heart pattern.
Put dirty washing in bag at top of stairs, loaded myself up with all that needs to come downstairs including at least 3 glasses from our night-time drinks.
Managed to get through 2 stair gates without dropping anything or falling over the clean washing in piles on the stairs (waiting to be brought up and put away at some point).
Open lounge door to find G building her Duplo bricks with Adriano. "I'm building a 'struction Mummy" (construction). I asked for a kiss but she is too busy. Adriano has saved me a cooked veggie sausage so I collect it from under the grill and eat it hungrily.
G has eaten a slice of toast and a bite of sausage. She says her milk is 'yuck' - most unusual, must be because it's been watered down on the recommendation of the health visitor yesterday.
I make her a juice instead - also very watered down but that's what she's used to. She drinks it from an open beaker and doesn't spill any.
Adriano opens up the laptop and starts sorting out our new email account. We've decided to open a joint one just for our property search emails as they're clogging up our personal accounts.
G plays with her Doctor's kit.
I busy myself in the kitchen, sorting out the post-dinner washing up from yesterday, tidying Adriano's breakfast crocks, wiping surfaces, putting last night's now dry crocks away in cupboards and on shelves. I try not to look at the very dirty floor.
G still hungry so I put 2 crumpets in the toaster and give her half of one. Adriano declines. On mine I put marmite and tzatziki. Yum. I make a juice and a cup of tea for myself and take my pre-natal vitamin.
G still playing happily and chatting away to us. I sit with Adrian and we talk about which areas to register our property searches. We change our minds almost every week but this time it's Eastbourne, Hampden Park and Hastings. Today I'm gravitating towards Hampden Park but we'll see.
Eventually Adriano goes upstairs for a shower as it's getting very late and he has to go to work.
I tidy up the bricks and the Doctor's kit (which G has now abandoned) as they pretty much cover the floor.
Now there's space again I get out the changing mat and arrange all I need for G's nappy change. I entice her over and lay her down. She is compliant as usual, mainly because by now she is watching Peppa Pig on the TV. I unzip her sleeping bag, take off her pyjamas, change her nappy and get her dressed. We talk a bit about what she is wearing today and she seems to approve. She asks who bought her the jumper, so I tell her it was Grandma.
I sort out a large bag of dirty washing into piles: whites/bright colours/darks/wool wash only. I load the machine but it's playing up so there's a bit of under the breath cursing now and for the next 2 hours until it has definitely started on its usual cycle. I pray (in an atheist kind of a way) that the machine is not about to pack up for good.
I am getting some very mild but slightly worrying cramps which are a bit too much like period pains for my liking so I sit down and try to do nothing for a while.
G's DVD finishes and she's playing at her little table and chair so I turn it off when she's not looking. She concentrates hard on shaking the pencil sharpener box hard until all the tiny little bits of coloured pencil fall out of it onto the table. I watch her silently until she picks some of them up and sprinkles them over her toddler laptop, at which point I jump up and say 'No!' and rescue the laptop, explaining that what she's doing might break it. She picks up the sharpener again and starts bashing it hard on the table. I leave her be.
Adriano comes downstairs all ready for work so we have a longish goodbye with cuddles and kisses and nose rubs between the 3 of us. G is warm and affectionate and it makes us very smiley.
I give G an apple. She gets a bit stuck between her teeth and asks me to get it out. She is surprisingly co-operative as I dig around with my finger but I still can't do it. I bring in some dental floss and explain what it's for and show her what it looks like when I use it. She won't let me anywhere near her mouth with it but wants to play with the box it's in. She wants some so I give her a bit and she repeats everything I've just said to her as though it's me who has the apple stuck in my teeth. She sticks it in my mouth and says reassuring things in a calm voice such as 'It won't hurt you Mummy, open your mouth now'.
G wants to go in the garden. It's been very rainy but seems to have stopped so I decide to let her. She gets on her wellie boots and I help her with her coat. She wants to wear her hat so we look for it and find it. She wants to put it on herself. I ask her what she would like to do in the garden; she says watering and digging.
We got outside. I ask her to try to keep her clothes clean and dry, knowing that I'm wasting my breath but I can't help myself. She immediately gets wet and dirty but I manage to remain philosphical. She's smiling a lot and keeps running over and putting her head on my lap. She seems very happy. I show her a snail on the drain cover. I name all the parts of the snail and she listens. She suddenly shouts "Hello snail! Would you like to come out and play?" which makes me giggle and she laughs too. We talk about the things we can hear: our neighbour sweeping in her garden; an aeroplane overhead; a siren in the distance.
After a while we go back inside and I do my best to clean the mud off her clothes and stop her from walking on the carpet in her muddy wellies. She asks for some TV so I suddenly say "Would you like to do some painting?". She is immediately very excited as she's been asking to do this for days and I've been putting her off. She climbs onto her booster seat at the table and chats happily as I get all the bits together and sellotape a length of paper to the vinyl tablecloth. She wants a piece of 'stippy tape' and astounds me by calling it a 'strip' - another word I didn't realise she knew.
She gets stuck in to her finger painting so I sit next to her and open up the laptop. I check our new joint account but unsurprisingly there is no new mail yet.
She gets bored of the painting faster than usual so I try to think of different things for her to dip into the paint. I give her an old toothbrush, a bit of sponge, and a baby wipe. She enjoys experimenting for a bit then gets bored again.
I clean her up as best I can with wipes, then take her into the bathroom to wash her hands.
We have a battle of wills as she wants to keep pulling the plug out and refilling the basin and using lots and lots of soap. After about 4 or 5 times I tell her it's the last time and there'll be no more water after she next pulls out the plug. She threatens a meltdown but I quickly distract her by talking about her sticker book. It works.
We're both quite hungry by this stage so we have an early lunch. Cheese sandwiches, cherry tomatoes, soup for me (she doesn't like it) and then she requests some muesli. She amazes me by eating 3 helpings then asking for even more. I think she's had enough so I distract her by talking about our plans for the afternoon while I clean her face and hands and bib.
I do the washing up while she plays with various toys. I have the radio on (classical music) so she forgets to ask for the TV on, hooray. I go to the cupboard and get out a bag of percussion instruments for G to play with. I leave her banging a drum while I hang washing up upstairs. I can hear her trying out all the instruments so I know she's OK. When it goes a bit quiet I come back down to find her closely examining an egg shaker.
Soon it's time to get ready to go to Playgroup at the local Children's Centre. I realise I have no cash but luckily it's free so we can still go. We're ready a bit early so I ask G if she'd like to walk rather than go in the pushchair and she says yes. She seems quite calm so I don't bother putting the reins on her, we just hold hands. She walks almost all the way there, touching hedges and flowers and cars as we go past people's gardens. Without 200 yards to go she asks to go in the pushchair so I put her in and we go a bit faster for the last bit. I'm glad to push it with 2 hands as my wrist was aching before.
When we arrive she rushes in the door and sits down at the activity table. Before I can get her coat off and an apron on she has already stuck her hand in a bowl of bright blue paint. I quickly wipe her hands, whip off her coat and wrestle an apron on her. She goes very quiet when one of the care workers sits next to her and chats about what she is doing, what colours she has chosen etc. The care worker asks me when I am due and her eyebrows shoot upwards when I say not for another 3 months.
After a while G has had enough painting so we go over to the sink to wash her hands. She seems interested when the water turns yellow from the paint. She moves over to the play dough and becomes totally absorbed in cutting out various shapes with cookie cutters while I chat to an outreach worker. Again I am asked when I'm due, again there is surprise that I still have so long to go. She has 2 children so we compare notes on childbirth for a while.
G moves on to playing with the farm animals. Inexplicably in the middle of the farm mat there is also a tray full of dried pasta, flour, and sawdust. There is a younger toddler sitting in the middle of the tray and I suddenly realise that G has spent a few happy minutes covering the child's back with sawdust including down her neck. She doesn't seem to mind. I go over to stop G from carrying on, and we talk about all the different model animals on the mat.
G wanders off and plays for a bit in the toy kitchen. She then spots an indoor slide and has a few goes on that. I try to keep my distance and let her be as independent as possible.
We encourage all the children to sit in a circle and they're each given a small bowl of fruit to eat. G eats some and I finish it off as I'm starving again and she has lost interest.
We sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Wheels On The Bus, and If You're Happy And You Know It Clap Your Hands. G joins in with enthusiasm.
We all help to tidy up then it's time to go.
I take G to the nearby library which she is pleased about. We read about ten stories then go back home. I would usually stay longer but I was hungry again and I have forgotten to bring the usual bag of breadsticks/oatcakes/raisins/water.
When we arrive home we chat about what nice time we had, then I make us a snack to see us through until dinner.
G asks to go in the garden again so we get her wellies and coat and hat back on and I let her out. I put another load of washing on and sort out what we're having for dinner. I'm very tired so I opt for the pizza and chips. I consider adding veg but even that seems like too much effort at this point. I tell myself it's OK because she often eats a lot of veg and today she's had plenty of fruit. In the end she eats all of it plus a yoghurt plus the rest of this morning's apple then asks for more. She again says her (watered down) milk is "yucky" and won't drink it. She downs a fair bit of water though so I am happy with that.

Too tired to finish but the rest was basically a bath, stories and bed.

This on the one hand seems like a hideously boring post but actually it's the kind of thing I like reading on other people's blogs. There were so many funny little comments from G throughout the day which I wish I could remember, but by the time the day ends my brain is mush.

After I wrote this I remembered another part of the day where we sat at home and read about another 10 books. Am sure there are other bits I have forgotten too.

Friday, 1 April 2011

25+2 weeks

Hello heartburn. Ouch. I slept with 6 pillows last night.

Took G for her 2nd proper haircut today. She couldn't wait to sit in the purple car in front of the mirror, but when the hairdresser started squirting the water on, there were tears. Lots of them. The tears vanished when she was back out of the car and had been handed a really bad-for-her lollipop. Suddenly all was well with her world. She looks very cute but I haven't taken any pics yet. Her hair's basically back in a bob, even though I asked for it to be left longer. Oh well, it is lovely anway. After that I bought her some new hairclips (she only has 6 million) to help distract her from the evil lolly. It worked.

I cuddled my friend's 10 day old baby girl today. I couldn't stop gazing at her delicate little face. G didn't seem to mind and even exclaimed at how small she was. For the first time she seemed a little in awe, in a good way, and when I asked her what she thought about us having a baby soon(ish) she actually said 'Yeah' for the first time. Usually it's been a decisive 'no'. I know she's only 2 and doesn't know what she's talking about or what she's letting herself in for, but it was still nicer to hear a positive response.

G had a really nasty cold and cough last weekend. She had that coughing spasms at night thing and would just end up crying. I felt really sorry for her. Then I had a violent vomiting bug followed by flu aches and felt sorry for me too. Then G caught the bug but got over it within hours thank goodness. She was sick on herself while with Adriano in the supermarket. He had come out without any baby wipes or spare clothes but coped somehow anyway. Then one morning G woke at 3.50am and didn't go back to sleep til 6am. What a week.

At the moment we're still working on the assumption that Adriano will be in his current job for a while and that we'll be moving out in the Kent direction (Medway area in particular). The houses there are literally half the price of those around here. The commute cost would still have to be factored in, but it still works out cheaper for us. Still not the amount of income we have here because my own income would be cancelled out more or less by 2 kids' childcare costs, but still we'll be better off than if we stay around here. And we'd be on the property ladder. I wonder what will happen, and when. We've been playing around with ideas for so many years now.

I know this is a boring post but this is my life at the moment.

I just went to the chemist and the corner shop on my own and it felt like an adventure. I realised I genuinely can't remember what it feels like to 'get ready to go out for the evening'.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

23+1 weeks

Where does the time go? I am a bit too tired to write this really (hang on, that's what I said in the last post) but I can't let another week go by without a post. Actually I can because the very few people who read this blog are either my husband (hello!) or friends who contact me more via Facebook.
But there are so many memories on here I can't abandon it altogether.
OK time for a rambling post.

Adriano is putting in huge effort to get us out of London. He is back on the applying-for-jobs malarkey and his motivation is second to none. Somehow he finds moments to be an amazing dad and a tender husband too, it's impressive and I'm so grateful for him in my life.

I took Little G to Hastings where my parents live. We went on the train last weekend. It was the first time I have attempted the 3.5 hour journey since she has (mostly) given up her daytime nap. It went better than expected but I have a hunch I will never do it again which feels sad. I say I will never do it again because in the future I will be too big and heavy to cope with a toddler on the train for that length of time and after that I will have two small children and nowhere for one of them to sleep when we get there. My mum is great at jumping on the train to see me - she valiantly stays the night once a week to provide childcare while I'm at work - but the rest of the family just never visit me, so it's down to me. Well my sister visited me three times in 6 or 7 years, but does that really count? I love them dearly but the train journeys are expensive and I am still the highest earner in my family due to retirement/sickness/lack of self esteem (it's complicated, I'll leave it at that...)

The bump is growing, now 3 sonographers have said it's a girl so I'll be shocked if not. The cardiac scan went fine. There are always disclaimers - 'the baby could still have Downs' or whatever, but at least they didn't see any of the dodgy stuff they were looking out for. I am now feeling much more movement which to me is the nicest part of pregnancy. It's so reassuring, if alien-like, and I love to think of the baby getting bigger in there. It's hard to imagine but I keep trying. I am exhausted, still a raving insomniac, and very worried about getting bigger and tireder and slower. Little G takes a fair bit of entertaining and it wears me out! For example we'll have been home for 5 minutes after our 2nd trip out of the day, and she'll appear with hat/scarf/gloves/bag freshly donned, saying "Shall we go out now, Mummy?". Luckily I can normally distract her with a Peppa Pig DVD or a visit to the back garden. But she is watching hours and hours of TV most days and it is cold in the garden!

However, she is adorable (apart from a couple of real tantrums) and comes out with absolute classic comments just about every day. She is very good with her speech but occasionally she gets it slightly wrong in a very cute way, e.g. cubumber, swimming gobbles, sheepses, stippy tape.

Some things she's said recently:
'Right I'm off to work now'
'Sorry, I need to go and have my hair cut'
'Nice to see you Mummy'
'Clapham Junction, London Waterloo!'
'Silly cow' (perfectly innocently - just putting two familiar words together)
'I'm too big to go to playgroup'
'Mummy, would you like to play with my toys?'
'Shall we draw Daddy? Shall we draw him a snack?'

I did not buy her the plastic doll below nor the pink pink pink accessories but it has to be said, she is fairly keen on them.

Friday, 25 February 2011

2 years old!

Our amazing little girl turned 2 today. I am tired now but I will try to write a fuller post about it at some point. I am so so proud of her and love her more than it's possible to express. What a kid.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Thought splurge.

Forgot to say last post that I have developed an umbilical hernia. How effing unglamorous is that? Am so annoyed. Can't do less lifting than I already do, but what lifting I do is considerable. It has been fairly painless but has given me some difficulty today. I am not half way through yet - am worried as I hear tales of it getting worse and lots of pain and inability to walk later on and time off work - noooooooooooooooo. Really don't want this. Then surgery required means no lifting for 6-8 weeks. Ha ha, sure I can manage that with a toddler and a baby???! Looks like I will have to wait for about 4 years or so to have it sorted then. Am so cross.

Also been very worried as I cannot hear (on doppler) the baby moving much at all. Like, not for days and days and then only a bit. And then not for days and days again. Cannot feel it either, perhaps because of anterior placenta (though had one last time and could feel loads), perhaps because it's not actually moving. Have been told not to worry, but guess what, I am anyway.

G is starting to have toddler meltdowns, right on cue for her 2nd birthday. The good news is that her affection is flowing freely these days and it's a beautiful 'saving grace' type of a thing. She is still wonderful of course. Most of all the meltdowns scare me because I imagine dealing with them while coping with less sleep and another baby. Yikes.

On Valentine's Day I put up some fabric hearts in our lounge which G noticed straight away and loves. That made me so happy. Adriano took us out for breakfast which was fun and delicious.

I am tired. I do not sleep well. I worry at night. I wake at the slightest movement from Adriano. I wake many many times a night. Help.

Still plotting to move out of London. Adriano has just applied for a job which may be the answer. He enjoys his current job very much, it's just that it's so expensive to live here, a second child just tips us over the edge from 'managing' to 'not managing' so we have to go.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

17+3 weeks

TMI alert: I am still retching morning and evening, and still a bit fussy about some food and drinks, but on the whole feeling loads better now. Have been back at work for 2 knackering weeks.

G has given up her nap most days - think I mentioned that before - and I'm not sleeping well (for about 2.5 years now?) so pretty tired but coping somehow. Going to be hard when I get bigger so trying to keep a bit of stamina in reserve.

Got a sizeable bump now. Some of it made from cake from my last maternity leave, some of it made from this pregnancy. Feel a bit of a fatty.

G turns 2 years old on 25th Feb, we have our NHS anomaly scan on 28th Feb, then private cardiac scan on 3rd March, so that'll be a busy week. Really hoping the scans will bring us reassurance rather than throw up further issues. Been using the doppler every night to listen to the baby's heartbeat and hearing some movements which is helping me to stay a bit more chilled. Last night the movements sounded like Rolf Harris's wobble board. Imagined a mini Rolf in there practising. Hope one of those doesn't actually come out of me; I may never recover.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

phew,..I think

Quick update: as I suspected our Down's Syndrome risk factor came back 'high' at 1:110. Not devastatingly high by any means so that was a relief. I was still leaning away from an amnio, but Adriano was starting to think it might be a good idea after all, to avoid 6 months of worry, or to get our heads around it a bit if the result was positive.

I consider us to be amazingly lucky because suddenly after that things seemed to fall into place to set our minds at ease. I had heard of the Fetal Medicine Centre in Harley Street through a fertility support group on t'internet. I contacted them and they were able to do a repeat scan/blood test that very afternoon due to a cancelled booking. I dragged myself into Central London (strange feeling as I've barely been out of the house for 6 weeks) and met Adriano there. We stumped up the £180 fee and felt so glad that we were able to produce that without too much heartache in spite of regularly feeling rather skint. Instead of waiting a week for the blood test results we waited about an hour. During that hour we had another, more detailed scan with incredible technology. Three extra things were looked at in addition to the NHS list. All came up as normal, and the bloodwork must have been pretty good too, because suddenly our risk fell to 1 in 2737. Wow.

The nuchal fold measurement had grown to 3mm, but then the baby had also grown quite a bit in the last 6 days too. However they don't like it to be above 2.5mm, so they reminded us that the elevated measurement could still point to heart problems and/or chromosomal abnormalities. So they recommended that the 20 week scan be with a cardiologist present. I don't know what we'll do about that, but we have a few weeks to decide. But at any rate we don't feel the need for an amnio any more, which I am glad about.

So we are much relieved. And even before they gave us the lower risk, I felt so much more bonded with this baby because the scan technology was so amazing and we got such a good long look at this little one. At one point he/she took a few big gulps of the amniotic fluid and then did a big hiccup, it was so sweet and lovely.

I am still very sick but hoping it can't be more than 3 more weeks.

They did tell us a 70% chance 'guess' which gender the baby will be, but I'll keep that to myself for now :):):)

By the way I am not all all knocking the NHS for not having as good technology, I think they're brilliant on the whole, and we are very lucky to have them.

When we got home we were quite excited and said to Little G 'Would you like a baby to come and live with us in the summer?' to which she immediately replied 'No I don't want a baby to come live with us in summer.' Ha ha ha. Too late now! (I hope) Not too worried as she also says she doesn't like pizza any more and then eats the lot.

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* proud new mother * last child * youngest daughter * tallest sister * favourite auntie * honest lover * furtive photographer * diary writer * compulsive dancer * tree hugger * mooncup promoter * chocolate taster * house plant murderer *

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