It’s been a while…

It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog post. I got to the point where blogging had become a chore and I’d forgotten what I was even doing it for.

A lot has happened, a lot is still happening, and I think maybe if I got some of it down, it might help me process things.

I don’t even know where to start.

Mum has Alzheimer’s. She has declined so much over the last two years to the point where she can barely string a sentence together. She can’t go to the bathroom alone, she gets scared if she’s alone for more than a minute or two. The grandchildren she adored and who were her world are now nothing but a noisy irritation to her. She’s not my mum anymore, not really, and it’s horrible.

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My parents are selling their house, my childhood home, and buying a bungalow. Whilst I know this is the best thing for them, I’m sad that they have to. And quite frankly, I’m not sure how mum will cope.

The people I thought might understand and might be there for me, aren’t. I know that people have lives to get on with, I’m not so completely ignorant of that, but sometimes it might be nice for people to involve me, to include me in things where I don’t have to be “on call”. I have elderly parents who need me, I have a husband and children who need me, but I still have feelings, and it seems as though not many people care about them.

I’ve reached a point now that I’ve made a decision.

I’m going to stop trying to fit in where there clearly isn’t room for me. I’m going to stop making the effort. Because I can’t do everything. Getting through each day is struggle enough.

Life-is-too-short

The One Where I Get Excited

I am now 36+3. Almost full term!

36 week bump

Yesterday was my 36 week growth scan and consultant appointment. When I saw her for the first time, she told me that if everything was well at my 36 week appointment, I could be discharged back to midwife led care. It was when she said this I started toying with the idea of homebirth providing baby was okay.

Well, Neil, Zack and I went to the hospital yesterday and first thing was to go for the scan. At my last scan baby was plotting just below the 50th centile, and is now plotting just above the 90th. Either one of the scans was wrong or baby has had a major growth spurt. If this scan is to be believed then baby is already weighing about 7lbs. However, when I was having growth scans with Zack, they told me he was going to be 8.5-9lb. He was 7lb 4oz.

After the scan we saw the midwife who checked my blood pressure which was a lovely 104/64, and checked my urine which was fine.

Then it was in to see the consultant. She said she was happy to discharge me back to midwife led care. She asked if I was having the baby at hospital and I said I was hoping for a home birth. I was hoping she wasn’t going to bring it up because I was worried she wouldn’t agree. I was wrong.

The consultant is fully supportive of my home birth, as long as if there is a need that I will transfer to hospital, which of course I said yes to, I’m not going to risk the health of me or my baby.

I actually felt a little bit bad that I was so happy to be discharged, but I walked out of that room with the biggest cheshire cat grin on my face and a spring in my step, whilst high fiving the hubby and Zack.

Ultimately we were going to have a home birth anyway, but it would have been a visit from the Supervisor of Midwives to explain all the risks to me and try and talk me out of it. The fact that I don’t need to go through that makes me so, so happy.

So today the midwife has delivered my home birth pack with three full canisters of Entonox and, tomorrow my birth pool is being delivered. And as the clock strikes midnight on 14th July, the midwives will be on call for me to have my home birth.

Home birth kit

We still have a few things to sort out, and I need to move some things around in my living room to make space for the pool, I think I’m going to attempt that this weekend, Neil and his dad are working on getting some taps fitted so that I can connect the hose, and we are hopeful that it will be done on Monday.

Hang on baby, we aren’t ready just quite yet, but we are looking forward to meeting you!

The One Where I Talk More About Homebirth

So I’ve mentioned before that I want a homebirth this time, and unless there is a problem with baby, I am fighting for it.

Home Births aren’t for everyone, and I totally understand and respect that. And likewise, I expect my choice for a homebirth to be respected, and mostly it has. I think it helps that recently on the news, there was a big push about home births and how more people should have them.

So, why am I so determined to have a home birth this time?

Our local hospital doesn’t have a birthing centre, otherwise I would have perhaps opted for that. I am having a straightforward pregnancy with no complications. My consultant is fairly laid back and is only seeing me three times throughout the whole pregnancy.

At home I am guaranteed a pool. I’ve never had a water birth but it’s something I really want. At the hospital I *might* be able to have a water birth *if* someone else isn’t using the pool when I get there.

At home, I am in my own surroundings, I’m more comfortable, therefore more relaxed. If Neil wants a cup of tea or some toast, he’s free too to go and make it, and he doesn’t have to worry about what shoes to wear, something he wishes he’d given more thought to when we were in hospital while I was having Jake.

At home, if I go into labour in the middle of the night, I don’t have to worry about finding someone to look after the boys, they can stay asleep in bed and hopefully wake up in the morning to meet their new sibling.

At home, I’m not confined to visiting hours. If I give birth in the early hours, Neil doesn’t have to go home and leave us. The boys can meet their new sibling when I want them to, not when the hospital says they can.

At home, I can have my music on and not have to worry about whether I’ve brought enough batteries with me.

At home, I will hopefully (providing I don’t give birth before JUly 29th – as she is on holiday until then) have my community midwife with me. Someone I’ve learned to get on with, someone I know I’m comfortable with, and someone I know I can trust. Who I’ve spoken about my birth plan with, who I know is on board with my wishes.

At home, after I’ve given birth, I know that I can have a bacon sandwich if I want with *proper* coffee (or maybe even a sneaky glass of bubbly) rather than chewy hospital toast with cheap nasty coffee.

Those are some of my reasons why I’m determined to make it happen this time. This is our last baby so I won’t have this opportunity again.

If I tell you I’m planning a home birth, I’m not asking for your approval or acceptance, I’m simply telling you.

Yes, I know things can go wrong. I know I may end up in hospital anyway, and if I NEED to I absolutely will. I’m not willing to put myself or baby at risk. I’m a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.

 

 

The Mummy Tag – Meme

I was tagged by Jaime at The Oliver’s Madhouse to answer some mummy questions.

Here are my answers:

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?

A bit of both. I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave with Jake, although I wasn’t planning on going back there anyway, I hated it. I started an access to higher education course when Jake was a few months old, but unfortunately I had to pull out as I got my cancer diagnosis, so all my energy needed to go on fighting it.

Then we had Zack. When he was one, I started temping, and then got a part time job at a dental practice, which I have been at for 6 months now. It works well for us. I work mornings with Wednesdays off, so I am always around for the school pickup.

2. Would you have it any other way?
No, I don’t think so. When the kiddies are at school full time, I would probably consider full time work again, or 4 days a week or something.

3. Do you co-sleep?
No, is the short answer. When Jake was younger, he used to love snuggles in bed, in fact he still does now. On a weekend he often comes into bed with us for morning cuddles. Zack, on the other hand, hates it!

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
An isofix carseat! Makes life so much easier than having to strap them in with a seatbelt.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
Well. I planned on having two, but life had other ideas and I am now 15 weeks pregnant with number 3.

6. Date night? How many nights per month?
What’s that?

We don’t really have “Date Nights” as such. Although my inlaws have babysat for us a couple of times recently whilst we’ve been out for friends birthdays, and our friend is babysitting for us on Saturday night so we can go out for a belated Valentine’s meal. We keep saying we should see if once a month we could arrange a babysitter for date night, just haven’t got round to it.

7. Your child’s favourite show?
Currently, both boys love Octonauts.

8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?
The only thing we can think of is the pram attachment of the travel system. We’d generally clip the car seat into it.

9. Your child’s favourite food?
This is where the boys differ most. Jake is very fussy, and refuses to let a fruit or vegetable past his lips unless it’s in smoothie mode! His favourite dinner is “special pasta” (pasta & red pesto). Zack loves fruit, would quite happily sit munching grapes or strawberries.

10. How many cars does your family have?
Two. We have a VW Passat estate that hubby uses (although it used to be mine when we owned the Land Rover), and I have a Ford Fiesta. For a while we downsized to one car, when I was commuting to work on the train every day, we couldn’t justify having two. In hindsight, we wish we kept both cars as my insurance is now through the roof as we didn’t realise I would lose all my no claims bonus, so have had to start from scratch.

11. Weight gain before pregnancy, during and after and now?
My weight is something I have struggled with since Jake was born. I was lovely and slim before I fell pregnant with him, then I put on baby weight, then  before I had chance to lose it I got ill, so gained my cancer weight, and I’ve struggled ever since.

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
I think it would have to be Disneyland. Isn’t that where everyone would take their kids?

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
Well, this is difficult. I love hot sunny holidays, lying with a cocktail by the pool, reading my chick lit. Neil, not so much. I would love to go to New Zealand. I think that’s somewhere we’d both be happy going.

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born?
Life is very different. I keep thinking about the Michael McIntyre sketch where it’s so much more difficult to leave the house when you have kids. It’s so true. We can’t do the things we used to do, go out to dinner just because we fancy it, go out to visit people on a school night, or go on a nice holiday.

But would we change it if we could? No.

15. Finish the sentence: ‘It makes my heart melt to see … ‘
Jake and Zack holding hands, or hugging each other.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
Tesco, Asda, Primark, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare. Anywhere that has what I need for the right price really.

17. Favourite makeup and skincare products?
Boots no. 7 for make up, Body Shop for skincare

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Hated Huggies with Jake, they would always leak. With Zack I loved the Huggies newborn nappies. But generally we are Pampers or Tesco people.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
Yes. We always knew we’d have kids, just wanted a few years of just us first. Married in 2006, baby in 2009, so I think that worked quite well.

20. Best part about being a mum?
Seeing them develop their own personalities and sense of humour, squidgy cuddles.

 

Pregnancy FAQ

Since announcing pregnancy number 3, I find I’m being asked a lot of the same questions. Some of them I find, quite frankly, inappropriate.

I shall list some of the more frequently asked ones below, and I shall let you choose for yourself whether you class them as appropriate or not. 

  • Was it planned? No. 
  • Are you pleased? Yes
  • DId you want a third to try for a girl? No
  • Are you hoping it’s a girl? No. I’m hoping for a healthy baby.
  • But you want a girl don’t you? No. I’m hoping for a healthy baby.
  • But a girl would be nice wouldn’t it? Yes. But I’m hoping for a healthy baby. 
  • When are you due? Early August. 
  • You’re going to have your hands full, aren’t you? Yes. 
  • But what about your new job? I plan to take maternity leave and then go back. 
  • Where are you going to put it? In a cot most likely. 
  • But Neil works from home, doesn’t that mean they will have to share? Yes, probably.
  • Is it going to be your last? I don’t know. Zack was going to be our last. We might have a football team yet. 

 

Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head, but you get the general idea. We are pleased. We think it’s good news. Four years ago I got diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and didn’t know whether I’d still be here, so quite frankly, the fact that I am, and I’ve been lucky enough to have Zack, and now another baby, well, bring it on. 

Return to Blogging

I haven’t blogged for a long time. I haven’t felt in a bloggy place. I’ve had lots going on, and I haven’t felt like I could write about them all openly. So I didn’t. 

But I am back (armed with a new laptop) and I have lots to write about. I have lots of reviews to write up, I’m sorry I haven’t done them before now, but they will all be up soon. 

I will tell you the story of trying to get Jake into a school, and how damn difficult it was. I shall tell you about my visit to The Wild Garlic in Dorset. 

For now, I just wanted to dip my toe in and say that I’m back.