Saturday, 28 December 2013

Arrival





Abel Reuben Graham-Dean has arrived! As you can imagine for the past couple of months I've had my hands full with baby, poo, milk, blood, sweat and tears so it's taken a while to finally get round to posting on my blog again. A big plus is that I finally have a keyboard and mouse again so I can view and participate in the world wide web without having to do it through a rubbish old phone or ipad app.

We'll start with my experience as a new mum: the delivery. I feel there is an inconsistency between what the media and, indeed, NHS literature, various sources of information provided etc and reality. The main thread of advice repeated being "don't panic", "don't be scared", "if the pain was that bad no one would have babies". I found this to be all completely false. It was so bad I had post traumatic stress. It was all I could talk about for two weeks. Every non-parent visitor I had got the instruction to never have children and that the information out there is all lies. The bottom line is nothing can prepare you. Even me typing this and you reading it is pointless as every experience is different and so maybe that is why the antenatal care is minimal and in no way prepares you.

 Even the post natal care left much to be desired. My stitches (both internal and external) got infected even though I followed all advice and procedures to keep them clean. Not to mention swallowed all the drugs they could fill me up with as I left the hospital, asking if  I could perhaps stay one more night. My request was questioned and I explained that I couldn't really walk or stand up or sit down for too long. All I could do was lay down. Was I really in a fit state to take care of a newborn if all I could do was lie down? I was told that I was young (questionable, I'm twenty-nine and what that has to do with post natal recovery I don't know) and that I would find it easier once I was home. I was bed bound for a month. I was very ill. My mum had to stay over at the weekends to help out. When she wasn't there it was horrible being on my own and dealing with a newborn when it hurt so much to a) sit up to breastfeed and b) breastfeed. The act of breastfeeding to begin with is like someone actually biting off your nipple. This lasted for two weeks. During this time my nipples were cracked and bleeding. I cried every time I fed him. After two weeks the pain suddenly goes as if the baby has bitten through all my nerve endings so there's nothing left to feel. 

My birth plan of a home water birth with little intervention went straight out the window by the way. As for the birth plan itself that you are encouraged to write out as a guideline for the midwives to follow is not even asked for by anyone and so I can only assume is to put the mother's mind at rest whilst pregnant, giving her false hope that she will have some degree of control during the birth.

I don't know whether my experience is an uncommon one. A friend of mine who had her baby two days earlier was back to playing roller derby within a month, felt no pain breast feeding etc. My mum told me it took her six months before her body felt normal again. I'm guessing that is when she stopped breastfeeding.

Whinge whinge whinge moan moan moan! But what about the good stuff? Isn't being a mum the best job in the world? Yes it is. It is exactly that - a job but one you can never get sacked from and one you actually care about. You get so much satisfaction it really is amazing. Words really can't describe how you feel as the doctor splats your newborn on to your belly for the first time, he looked up at me and I melted. He is the only man in my life that will ever matter to me. And with that...here is a picture of him in a bear suit I got him for Christmas.




Monday, 19 August 2013

Third Trimester Woes

Over the past week my sinus problems (common in pregnancy) have gone from permanent sniffle to full blown cold complete with asthma and difficulty breathing mainly because the baby is pushing everything upwards and squashing my lungs. 

Not being able to breathe freely makes me panic, making it worse. The thought I have to continue on like this for another 9 weeks and that's if the baby's on time makes me depressed I have to live with such discomfort for so long. Everything hurts. Dressing myself hurts. Walking hurts, sitting hurts, laying down hurts, standing hurts, showering hurts, eating hurts. I am literally in discomfort 24/7. Added to that the fact I have a cold, sneezing hurts, blowing my nose hurts even breathing in hurts. I'm taking this laundry list of complaints to my new midwife (yes, new - the other one decided to transfer to bonny Scotland) in a couple days. 

As I'm only 31 weeks people don't take me seriously when I say it hurts, thinking it can't be that bad as I still have so long to go. It really is that bad. To the point where I'm welcoming labour with open arms just to get this pregnancy over and done with. 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bumps n Brusies

At 30 weeks my centre of gravity has changed meaning I've fallen over twice recently. No damage to the bump but still - this sucks especially when I'm trying to sort my house out which I've recently moved into within the last 2 months. If I lose my footing and fall down I then have to do nothing for the rest of the day and then try again to finish what I was trying to do the next day. Since the falls my family who live close by have been more forthcoming with helping me. I've also been showing signs of stress, the house needs to be sorted before this baby comes otherwise I will not be allowed to have a home birth. This presents a deadline and with this deadline steadily approaching I am getting frustrated.

 If I wasn't in the latter stage of pregnancy I would have got all this stuff done weeks ago. With heavy boxes and bags to lift, clothing to sort through and hang up, furniture to move etc. I'm feeling helpless. I've been told the front room is going to be changed around so I shouldn't do anything to it. When exactly this will occur is unknown. The three big boxes of CDs and DVDs which are not mine are still in the dining room needing to be sorted. The clothes which are not mine and were a huge pile in the bedroom have been sorted, hung up and put away. This is all I am doing with items that are not mine. The boxes if nothing have been done with them I will instruct my sister to move them to the "music" room which currently has a drum kit in it which hasn't been touched. The spare room which will be the nursery still has a few bags and boxes of my belongings in there also needing to be sorted through plus a bed which needs to be put up. Then after all this I need to sort through my stuff for eBay/charity which is a lot and at the moment it's all on top of a wardrobe which is too high for me to reach safely, so I'll have to ask someone to help me with that. Then I have to wash and sort through all the baby clothes, create a birthing plan and pack a hospital bag incase things don't go to plan. 

So quite a tall order to fill when you've also just got kittens (not my idea) who need a litter box changing daily. Extra house work is exactly what I need right now. With my work ending for maternity leave hopefully means I can concentrate on it all and hopefully get it done within the next 10 weeks I have left. However with an ever increasing huge weight to carry around all the time (feels like carrying a rucksack of stuff on your front) which is creating excruciating back pain and reuniting me with my childhood friend, asthma, plus wanting to sleep all the time - I am seriously beginning to have my doubts. 

Dependency on other people sucks. You know they have their own life and have better things to be doing than to be helping you out. Plus it takes planning to have them round takes time. I want to be able to do things when I want not have to wait till someone's in the house with me. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Dave

The naming process was supposed to be quite simple. After all I had been thinking about my children's names since I was a child myself. So why was I now finding it so difficult? Mainly because the father to be hates all the names I like. The father to be also wants his name to be the baby's surname but grants me the middle name of my choosing. Months have gone by where I have suggested names and he either rejects them completely or thinks they're "alright" or "not bad", not completely won over by any name. 

People have told me never to discuss names with the family but when your partner is so unwilling to talk about names, never coming up with any suggestions himself I find it hard to stick to this rule. Then, of course, I started discussing names on public forums and found the usual repusled reaction to my taste in names. Are my names really that bad? Or is it everyone else who is wrong? Is it wrong to want something a bit different for your child? 

My mum wanted something different for me. I got bullied but who wasn't? Plus i wasn't just bullied for my name, I was bullied because my hair was longer than average and for being too thick for the top set of English yet too swatty for the bottom set of French and Maths, and, of course, I got bullied for being ugly. I'm not a doctor or someone of high importance but if I had the brain power and career drive I'm sure I would be no matter what my name is. 

I've come to the point now where I'm exhausted with it and am resigning to the fact that my child will probably be named something I don't initially like. I'll carry him for 9 months (which is unpleasant) give birth to him (which - guess what - will also be unpleasent not to mention ruining my body for the rest of my life) and then, after all that shit, have to name him Dave. The pressure is too much. And please don't comment on this saying I can name my child what I want because I really can't without someone saying they hate it or smile to my face then bitch about it to someone else. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Real Big Nappy

To cloth or not to cloth? The average baby goes through an average of 4000 nappies. The amount of pressure this puts on our landfills is tremendous given that each of those nappies take a maximum of 500 years to fully decompose. A sobering thought for any environmentally concerned mum. But it's not just the green cost to landfill which makes real nappies appealing it's the green cost to your purse too. The average disposable nappy costs between 8-10p, doing the easy maths means I'll be spending £400. A lot more than 24 real nappies worth including the cleaning. Lincolnshire Real Nappy Network scheme provide help and support by supplying mums with trial buckets of real nappies to see how you get on with them and figure out which style of nappy is right for you and your baby plus giving you a £30 cash back incentive to start off your own collection of real nappies. Find their Facebook page.

Bio degrable nappies are also on the market, the leading company being Naty who are available from most supermarkets and health and beauty stores. The Swedish brand boasts a fully bio degrable nappy costing around 13-15p a nap. "Go green without giving up performance" their website displays their proud tag line. 

Many other brands are cropping up on the bio degradable bandwagon for the green mum who ain't nobody got time for that washing and drying. One other caught my eye mainly because they give out free samples (you pay for postage and packing). Beaming Baby, a British brand at the higher end of the nappy price market at 20p a nap (not including postage and packing) and tMhat's buying in bulk. Not only are these nappies bio degrable but claim to be made with 30% less chemicals which aids baby's skin conditions such as nappy rash and eczema. They even claim to help breathing conditions like asthma. Their website sell a lot of other green baby products including gift packs, clothes, wipes and bath and skin care products. They also sell real nappies not their own brand but a good range of real nappy companies. 

The feedback I've had from friends and family when I've expressed interest in real nappies has been less than positive. Apart from one friend who has just had her first baby and started actively using the Lincolnshire Real Nappy Network scheme who can't recommend them enough. My parents although green hippy types argue that the cloth nappies simply aren't practical and will take up my valuable time. I can't help but think that possibly the styles and techniques now available on the real nappy market are much more advanced now compared to when they last used one. 

A good website I've just stumbled upon is www.GoReal.org.uk which is a complete list of brands, advice and support on real nappies. 

I guess I can only speculate on real/bio degrable/disposable nappies until I have my own nappy wearer to test them on and believe you me i'll be documenting it minus the graphic poo pics. A concern is that the small baby grows probably won't fit as the real nappies seem to be quite bulky but this also depends on how big the baby starts off at. As I peer across the screen over the big bump I'm guessing he's going to be quite heavy but we'll just have to wait and see. 


This is one of my sisters taking a selfie with the bump a few a weeks ago. I'm 28 weeks now and the kick count is at 10 every 3 minutes. I'm wondering if he's coming sooner than expected! 

If anyone has any experience or advice to offer on the nappy debate please either leave a comment or contact me. I'd like to know what you think! 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

This is Definitely Not a Joke

In all honesty I deleted my blog on my engagement and created this pregnancy blog in a desperate attempt to make sense of what's happening so quickly in my life. My adult life up to the past year was me bobbing along quite peacefully, not too happy, not too sad with as little drama as I could get away with. In hindsight maybe this is why I felt there was a problem. It didn't seem real, things were too perfect. I mean there was stuff that annoyed me and yearned for, I don't think that ever goes away no matter how happy you are. I didn't believe I was living, a case of "the grass is greener" probably...most definitely. But there's no time to look back on what I could have won only forward with what I have, a sealed fate of bump.

As I sit now rather uncomfortably on this computer chair, I'm looking for ways to make me not want to rip my own spine out. I'm 6 months pregnant. Alas why start a blog on pregnancy when you're so far gone? This came on all of a sudden, I've really had to sort my life out, some of it still isn't even sorted yet. I've lost people I never thought I could ever lose and have basically uprooted myself and planted somewhere with a life I can finally call my own, not bought for me or feel as though I owe anyone anything. I have created myself an entire new life complete with new job, friends, house and, of course, what will soon be a family.

So how about I update you with the past 6 months? Well the first trimester was terrible. I was basically vomiting every single day. Couple that with the mental life-changing choices I had to make it was one of my darkest times. When it came down to it I could never kill one of my own. I'm pro-choice and this was my choice, as usual the hardest path seemed to be the right one. A baby with someone you barely know seems crazy. Maybe I am. Along with the first scan picture came the announcement, came shock, came upset, came people's true colours. The people who show you kindness in your darkest moment are the ones you'll always remember. And the people who don't understand you no matter how much you try and explain yourself? Well - this is one of the many benefits if having a blog. If it can reach out to those people who have turned away from me for whatever reason (and there's a few) then that can only be a good thing.

I've just finished the second trimester in which I found out the sex of the baby. Yes, the blue background I've chosen for this blog indicates that it is, indeed, a boy. Much to the suprise of, well, everyone. Nearly everyone predicted a girl. This baby is full of suprises I'm wondering what's will be next! Currently the baby is having a game of football with my insides. I always wondered what this will feel like, and it is literally like being kicked from the inside. It hurts sometimes if it's a big kick. I have always had names in mind for what I want to call my children. The father to be has taken this naming duty upon himself thus rejecting every name I suggest. The baby is currently unnamed. I find myself asking who is actually giving birth to the baby? 

As you've probably read to the right by my picture I used to play roller derby. This is something else I associate with my old life. I've had mixed reactions to the pregnancy, some of my team mates have offered help and others (mainly the ones who were involved with my personal life) have been somewhat unsupportive. I plan to come back to roller derby in January. Hopefully this won't be another ball ache to add to the accumulating list of ball aches including, splitting up with my fiancĂ© of eight years, signing over the deeds to my house, not being eligible for benefits after applying for just about everything under the sun and seeing ex friends openly show their distaste for me on social networking sites. Drama? I now can't get away from it. 

I finish work in 3 weeks, not that there was much work to begin with. The work is so energetic that they reduced my hours to well under ten a week which is a blessing but also another ball ache given that I now have zero money and have to pay for rent, food, bills etc. Plus, of course, there's the big issue of affording the baby. I've barely bought anything new and have relied upon the good nature of friends and family to give me their unwanted items and point me it the direction of good second hand social networking groups, listings on eBay etc. 

Years I have waited for a summer like this to lounge around in the sun and top up my tan. The baby inside me is radiating so much heat that I feel like I might explode every time I step into the sun. When the weather is muggy my fingers and feet expand so much I have to my rings off and foot wear wise I'm living in flip flops. The heat also makes me really tired so trying to sort what will soon be the nursery of all my stuff is taking a lot longer than I imagined. We moved in only last month and trying to sort the place into a presentable home when you're pregnant is a lot of work, yet another ball ache. I can only do it at my own pace though.

And so this concludes my first big bumpino blog post. Now how much trouble have I caused for myself?