Persephone: Parent

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My Body Did Not Fail…

You wouldn’t believe how much I want to say that and believe it. I guess I thought I’d gotten over my birthing failures but being surprisingly pregnant a second time, discussing and thinking about a second birth, obviously it’s brought it all back to me.

For a recap (and because the VBAC midwife confirmed what happened), I was induced at T+12 with artificial rupture of my membranes at about 7am ish. Somewhere around mid-morning or lunch, I was put on the induction drip due to nothing happening. Within 4 hours, I had still not progressed any further from 7am and the decision was made for C-section. Due to the induction, I was under constant fetal monitoring, which is restrictive in itself, but Elvis was a pickle and his heartbeat could only be picked up when I was lying on my side. I couldn’t even swap sides!

Meanwhile, the gas and air made me incredibly high. I have never taken any sort of drug before. Other than medically given anaesthetic for operations, paracetamol and alcohol! The first time I took co-codamol for a migraine, I passed out for two days! So, I think gas and air made me loopy. I can remember the room spinning. I can remember hubby and midwife maniacally laughing at me, spinning in a 60s type of vibe. It was all a bit psychedelic and flower-powery for me. I became convinced at some point that hubby was having an affair with the midwife we met that morning and he was never alone with. I don’t remember opening my eyes at all. I only realised that I was missing time when a song came on my ipod that I know off by heart and realised it was missing lines. The music from my ipod all got a dance-remix with heartbeats. I was not on this planet!

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Bumpity Bump

Is there some sort of rule when you’re pregnant? An unwritten one perhaps? One that says that everyone must name their unborn baby something? Some people choose something like Bean because it’s what their growing baby resembled on a scan. As someone who had a 7 week scan, I can attest that those 12 week babies look nothing like beans!

I completely understand that my actual naming of my bump is odd, but I do it because, personally I hate the term Bump. Am I the only one who gives the foetus an actual name? Elvis and Robin are not the true names of my toddler and foetus. Am I the odd one or are the people who call it Bump, Bean, etc?

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Pregnancy Yoga: Breathing Out the Pain

I started yoga last week and today we focussed on relaxation. During a deep relaxation technique we were told to think of pain, the worst pain you’ve ever felt, excruciating pain and then breathe it out. Then think of pleasure and breathe it in. To think of a stormy sea, thunder and lightning, dark gloomy skies and snow peaked hills, then lush green valleys, a calm ocean and bright blue skies.

It was all so relaxing,  I completely zoned out at some point. I lost track of time. I couldn’t hear the traffic or unfortunate building noise; I could hear only the instructor and CD. I left the whole session feeling so lifted and pain free.

Do you know what though? The pain I imagined, the pain I thought of that is the worst pain ever, it wasn’t the induced labour pains, the Braxton Hicks I had for nights before my induction. The pain I imagined wasn’t anything to do with the physical pain of major abdominal surgery. I briefly thought of the pain from initially breastfeeding. I had a few thoughts of the pain I felt every month when, once again, I started my period and had been failed by my body. The things that kept coming into my head on every exhalation were words.

Words that other people have said to me.

On every inhalation, I was repeating my mantra and on every exhalation I had another sentence, another remark that someone had made to me without probably any conscious thought, but never the less were words that hurt me, that stayed with me. They were words about me, words about my son, words about my parenting, words about my abilities, words about my choices, words about my weight, words about my failings. I could hear all of their voices – my mother and her insistence, my in-laws and their questioning, my friends and their criticism, my family members and a passing comment. I could list them all here, each instance that I vividly remember and they have all forgotten if they even knew that they had said those words to me.

But I don’t need to list them, because I breathed them out. I let go of them all. I will no longer keep a mental tally of how someone has upset me because I will just release it as simply as you release a breath. And I truly did feel so much better as I left yoga and headed to work. I felt so much lighter.

There’s still nothing I can do about worrying over labour, hoping for a VBAC. There’s still nothing I can do to organise my working hours and pay until I get some answers, but I can give up everything else.

The thing that is sticking in my mind though is that my pain is words. None of my pain that I hold on to is physical. I can barely remember what physical pain feels like (except for my pregnancy back pain), but I remember every single word. I become haunted by words and I doubt a lot of people know or understand that about me, but in the grand scheme of things, I can only change myself and not everyone else. So all of those people whose words I heard when told to imagine pain, maybe if they read and understand this, realise this about me, they may work to change themselves, but I have no power over that; I can simply breathe out what they say to me and refuse to let them hurt me, refuse to allow myself to become bitter. I am strong in my life. I am free.

~ P

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Photo Challenge: Routine

I have a few pins on my pinterest board “Photography”, but I decided to use the most recently pinned one. The original blog is from here: Little Bennet.

Now, I’ve decided that I’m going to do this one. I. am. going. to. do. it! It’s part of my trying to organise my blogging regime, I have sorted out and scheduled poetry posts on my original blog (Persephone’s Posts) and I am planning two blogs a week on here, not including any for this new photo challenge. Now, I know that there is no way that I can do it in 30 days. That’s just impossible, so instead I will try and do it within 30 weeks, but also with a maximum of two photos per week.

Here is the original list from Little Bennet:

  1. Self Portrait
  2. What you wore
  3. Clouds
  4. Something Green
  5. After Dark
  6. Obsession
  7. Changes to Come
  8. Routine
  9. Someone you Love
  10. Childhood Memory
  11. Something Blue
  12. Sunset
  13. Cannot Live Without
  14. Eyes
  15. Silhouette
  16. Faceless Self Portrait
  17. A Good Habit
  18. Technology
  19. Your Shoes
  20. Something You Want
  21. In My Bag
  22. Inspirational
  23. Patterns
  24. Animal
  25. Strangers
  26. Close-Up
  27. Celebration
  28. Flowers
  29. Black And White
  30. Self Portrait

I had so many ideas for Routine from a snap of my journies every day to how I run breakfast in this house (I’m massively big on routine so there really were hundreds of possibilities). Ultimately I wasn’t sure how the picture would turn out so I went for something different…

image

This may need explaining. Even my leisure time has a routine. I attended a tv and film convention, I met the guests from my list, I bought the trading cards I needed, I came home. The routine doesn’t end there. Then I carefully put all the cards into wallets, put the walletd into the correct folder, write them on my list, scan all of the autographs, put the autographs in the correct folder. There, my day of fun is done. I survive on routine.

This photo, these cards, are part of a routine that I love!

~ P x

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Can I give up Now?

For anyone’s information, this entire blog is now censored and amended to no longer be accurate to my thoughts and feelings for the sake of everyone else in the world as I am not deemed important enough to have feelings. So feel free to simply laugh at the post below.

The pains and aches are too much. It hurts to walk, not my pelvis anymore, my lower back. And my upper back aches when I try and relax my lower back. My bump has just got harder, like, overnight and it’s uncomfortable to lean forward. I’m tired all the time. 15 months ago, I was yearning for a time that Elvis would have an actual bedtime and when I would get a bit of time after he was asleep before I would go to bed. Now? Now, I would happily go to bed before him.

I can’t get a straight answer out of my bosses about my annual leave and I’m really worried that I’m going to lose a whole load of leave or be refused it. Meanwhile I’m trying to cling on until Christmas holidays. I’m beginning to doubt myself and the ability to last that long. I’ve already brought forward my help me date — I can’t deal with the 80 minutes of solid walking and hubby is happy to take his lunch ferrying Elvis and I around. I was hoping to not take advantage of his lunch hour, but now am hoping to at least the end of November before giving up.

Meanwhile, after a few pay cock-ups and a house move, money has become tight. We’re still paying the mortgage and bills at an old address, but no bills at the new house yet. We need to finish and sell the old house. I need that mortgage money to pay the nursery — especially with my impending maternity pay. I have never felt money be this tight and at least last time I had savings to help me out. Until we sell our old house, I do not have that financial security. But there’s nothing I can do to speed that up. I can’t shift the few boxes remaining. I can’t drive there and back, emptying the house. And I can’t paint the one damn wall that needs painting!

And I would really like all of these things sorted before Robin comes along (obviously the pain and feeling uncomfortable will).

I would really like to fast forward time!

~ P x

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Prep for Baby Robin

Okay because we’re currently opting to not find out if Robin is a he or she, I am planning for neutral and making everything white/cream. I figure that the second one has to be easier. We already have the Moses Basket, the toys, the pushchair, the safety gates, the weaning stuff, the steriliser, pump and bottles. I already have the maternity wear and nursing clothes.

Yet there are still things that we need to sort out.

  • Our Moses Basket is Blue. So for £2 I bought 2 cream sheets. I plan on using my neutral sleeping bags so only need the bottom sheet. If Robin messes both cream, she can spend a night on blue sheets.
  • I need to check the newborn gro-bag situation.  I have a feeling Elvis had a sailor and pirate one for under 3 months. Not very neutral! But does that matter? Do pyjamas matter if Robin’s a she, as she gets older? I’m definitely swaying more to shoving her in boys things because it’s just a colour and I have some lovely dark blue vests! As long as she has hair or looks like a girl. Obviously, all of this sorting of clothes is redundant if Robin’s a boy! Haha!
  • We need a new cot. This is a particular argument I’m having with my mum. She believes that by 18 months old Elvis should be in a bed. Robin, obviously, won’t need a cot straight away, so Elvis really should be in a bed. Yes, he might be, I argued back, he’ll be in his cot-bed — the one you (Nanny) bought as a birth present and should last until he’s 7/8. But, yeah I’ll take away Elvis’ belongings at the same time as I throw him through a complete loop and change his whole entire world, and only give Robin second hand goods. However, after making this decision, we found a second hand co-sleeper cot. But Robin won’t be in Elvis’ hand me down bed.
  • Nursing chair – hubby’s decided that he wants me to have one to help with feeds this time. So we went and bought one in our local kiddicare’s closing down sale. £70 reduced down from £180. I’m quite pleased with it and I already love sitting in it, photo editing on my Mac or watching TV. It rocks and everything. So does the footstool!
  • Although I love Elvis’ pushchair, his Gravo Travel System was rubbish for newborn. The carrycot was tiny and not suitable for overnight sleeping. He couldn’t fit by 7 weeks so was stuck in a car seat attached until he was 16 weeks, which worried me then with the 45minutes a day rule and worries me more with Robin. I have already sourced a Mamas and Papas pushchair that has a proper carrycot part to it with replaceable mattresses. Perfect for nappy or tummy explosions and sleeping whilst I run around after Elvis. It needs cleaning. But I do need to check the rain cover fits and clean it.
  • Clothes in general! A few months ago, before I got pregnant, I organised all of Elvis’ old clothes into age and divided it by boys and gender neutral. I was pleasantly surprised a few days ago when I looked at the vacuum sealed bags and have 2 filled with neutral. They need sorting and hanging so I can figure out what else I desperately need to buy.
  • Due to the opposite seasons, I already know that I’ll need some newborn snow-suits. It will be January after all and I got a nice second hand Olive and Henri one for just £5.
  • Newborn nappies! I think I should be okay for other toiletries like bum cream, wipes and bubble bath. Although this time I plan on using cotton wool and water for the first nappies. I never did with Elvis. I’d read somewhere that you shouldn’t use wipes and creams on the newborn skin (so no bath products either) which included cotton wool and boiled, cooled water. Well, I was having a hard enough time trying to function in those first few weeks without ensuring that there was some boiled water always ready. However, after a recent bout of nasty nappy rash for our little teething boy, I spent the weekend using water and cotton wool (not boiled water, just simple tap water) and I found it quite nice and easy to use. I assume that as long as I rinse out the pot each time and always use fresh tap water, it won’t matter if it’s been boiled. Theoretically it isn’t the water that’s the issue, it’s the bacteria left in the bowl, in my logic. Hopefully Robin has skin like Elvis — the only issue we have ever had was the fact that bubble bath made his cradle cap worse.
  • Find the newborn inserts for the baby carrier, car seat. Find the baby bath seat and maybe remove some of Elvis’ toys so he forgets about them. Luckily Nanny left his playgym and rocking chair which he barely used so Robin can have them with, ahem, little issue.

What am I forgetting? It wasn’t all that long ago!

Now, concerning gifts! I don’t mean this in any sort of cheeky way, like well, you bought Elvis a puschair, Nanny, spend the same on Robin! (although part of me thinks that would be fair), no I mean the personalised gifts. Elvis ended up with two name trains (where each carriage is a letter of his name) and a named truck. He has a personalised wall plaque with his birth details on. Oh, and a memory keeping journal. A small, delicate Noah’s ark, a silver plated dinosaur moneybox… That’s not including the comforter bought for him or the “Born in 2013″ bear and photo frame. Or the dressing gown with his name on. Or the keyring and magic flannel with his name on.

I have no idea of the etiquette involved here – should family and friends buy the equivalent for a second? Is it all up to me? I’m not expecting it this time, which is why I bought a second hand cot when Nanny bought the cot, mattress, and changing unit for Elvis. We’re stealing the changer for Robin, but need a mattress. Should I expect, ask, enquire with Nanny?

Should you expect gifts for a second? Or does everyone think you have everything? And how can you have everything when the first born got personalised gifts?

Ignoring the financial aspect, if I’m already concerned about me treating them equally, how do I come to terms with my nearest and dearest not treating them equally? Although, on the other hand, if Robin doesn’t receive those gifts at least I get to pick the equivalent item myself. Right? Or, if no one buys the equivalent personalised gift second-time around, and I can’t afford to buy everything from the above mentioned gift list, can I tell Robin in a few years… what? No one thought of him/her? No one cared? Share the magic flannel, money box and “Born in 2013″ teddy bear with Elvis?

~ P

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Feeling Unloved

I don’t think it happened with Elvis, maybe because I wasn’t generally so damn uncomfortable,  but I feel kinda unloved. Because of the pelvis pain, I have to sleep in certain positions, which mean no hubby cuddles — I guess last time I could have hubby cuddles on the sofa. This time, I have to sit on a gym ball most of the evening so, again, no hubby cuddles. I’m not sure if he’s noticed. I’ve tried telling him, but I think I’ve been talking in girl code (you know, plain English that is never quite plain enough). I guess I need to spell it out clearly – cuddle me!

The other thing is, we’re both always with Elvis. Sure, we’re alone from 7pm as Elvis pretty much goes straight to sleep and doesn’t stir (except those little teething blips), but there’s no intimacy,  nothing special. We’re still trying to sort out the house after the move. We need a night out alone. Or a day out without Elvis. The only thing is, my mum’s the only babysitter local and she’s already looking after Elvis every Tuesday for over 4 hours whilst I work and then I keep roping her in to cover maternity appointments and I really don’t want to pester her with extra times. I’m sure that she wouldn’t begrudge it at all especially a daytime session.

My mum’s house still isn’t ready from her move so she has to look after Elvis at ours, which I think annoys her as when he naps she has nothing to do. Therefore she prefers watching him in the day as he, obviously, sleeps less. Saying that, she is watching him on a Saturday night soon so we can attend a wedding — although the verdict is still out as to where she is watching him and if it is over the whole night.

That’s my plan then, a daytime date. No toddler attached.

~ P

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London Film and Comic Con Winter – October 2014

Apologies for the delay in this post! Life has been super, super manic!

Two years after my last successful convention (the summer version of this event was too manic and a disaster for me, personally), I made it to another one! With the thought in my head that it will be another two years before I can attend the next one (I’m avoiding the summer one forever and wouldn’t be able to go with a 6 month old, the conventions in Milton Keynes are at the wrong time of year really — one falls on my son’s birthday weekend), I was determined to enjoy this one and gave no regards to my usual budget! I guess I should explain the primary basic element of the conventions I go to; essentially I go to signing events. They are held over a day or weekend and have a variety of guests from across different fandoms and you pay to meet individual guests. For example, if you’re into Doctor Who you meet all of the DW guests, but ignore the Harry Potter. Or vice versa. On weekend conventions where it’s all about the one show (or small linked group of), meeting and getting an autograph with all of the guests tend to be included on your ticket price, but that’s why the ticket prices for a one day entry to a signing event are £8 (or free) and for a weekend convention they can be nearer the £100 mark.

I haven’t been to a weekend event in years and I don’t think I would now. I prefer the organisation, flexibility and randomness of signing events.

After I meet the list of guests that I want to meet, that’s when I hit the dealer tables to catch up on the collectable trading cards and maybe buy some random stuff. At this convention, I had a list of about 7 guests that I wanted to meet (I met them all) and only one TV show that I knew for definite I had trading cards to catch up on (2 years of Game of Thrones, but then I started Under the Dome and Grimm, too!) Surprisingly I stuck to within budget, even including travel costs and bought a few geek pieces of clothing for Elvis and Robin (a Gryffindor t-shirt and Star Trek Onesie).

I was very impressed with the amount of people who had young children with them — to the point that I am seriously trying to convince my husband to agree to us all attending next year! And I also loved how much extra seating there was around the place this time. I had two fears about the event – queuing for entry and needing to sit down inside. I worried that, even though I had pre-bought tickets for entry from 11am, the queue could be massive or I could get there too early (I got there at 1030, was in by 1105) and it wasn’t brilliant on my back. I also worried that once inside, there would be few seating areas and I would end up needing to sit on the floor which is not the most comfortable or lady like place for me to currently attempt to sit. Especially doing it multiple times. However, there was loads of seating around and as soon as I ever approached an empty seat, someone always said it’s free before I could really ask (perks of the bump). There was also loads of empty space around where I saw families having picnics on blankets (perks of a quieter event) and Sundays are usually even quieter so hopefully I can use that to my advantage when getting hubby to agree to go.

The seating was a definite major advantage with the fact that, even with short autograph queues, my back could not cope and I took at least 3 half hour rests (I was still home in time for dinner!) Next time, I would pre buy an early bird entry ticket but aim to get there for 10 or 11ish and just avoid that part of the queuing. But then, would I need to because I don’t plan on being pregnant in a year or two’s time!

~ P x

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Photo Challenge: Changes To Come

I have a few pins on my pinterest board “Photography”, but I decided to use the most recently pinned one. The original blog is from here: Little Bennet.

Now, I’ve decided that I’m going to do this one. I. am. going. to. do. it! It’s part of my trying to organise my blogging regime, I have sorted out and scheduled poetry posts on my original blog (Persephone’s Posts) and I am planning two blogs a week on here, not including any for this new photo challenge. Now, I know that there is no way that I can do it in 30 days. That’s just impossible, so instead I will try and do it within 30 weeks, but also with a maximum of two photos per week.

Here is the original list from Little Bennet:

  1. Self Portrait
  2. What you wore
  3. Clouds
  4. Something Green
  5. After Dark
  6. Obsession
  7. Changes to Come
  8. Routine
  9. Someone you Love
  10. Childhood Memory
  11. Something Blue
  12. Sunset
  13. Cannot Live Without
  14. Eyes
  15. Silhouette
  16. Faceless Self Portrait
  17. A Good Habit
  18. Technology
  19. Your Shoes
  20. Something You Want
  21. In My Bag
  22. Inspirational
  23. Patterns
  24. Animal
  25. Strangers
  26. Close-Up
  27. Celebration
  28. Flowers
  29. Black And White
  30. Self Portrait

image

I took this a while ago now, one of the last nights of our extended summer and at the time my vision behind it was changes to come — day to night, but now, sitting in the dark at the same time of day, it means changes to come — summer to winter.

Gotta love them seasons, eh?

~ P x

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74 Weeks Old, 28 Weeks Pregnant

I have a photo for this pregnancy entry! (Elvis was much better behaved for these photos, and our next photo session is also going to be our Christmas ones!) Anywho, Elvis is 74 weeks old! He’s also just over 17 months old. It seems to have taken forever to get him from “a year” to “18 Months”. Not that time is dragging, far from it — there are only 7 weeks left until the Christmas holidays, which is hopefully when I finish work for another year. Haha! If I didn’t have 101 questions for my employer to answer. You’d think it would be easy having pretty much literally just returned from maternity leave; everything should be the same, right? Nope. We technically changed employer whilst I was on maternity leave for Elvis so they have decided to change all of the guidance (read: copied from another section of the UK where they have employees) so there are huge elements not even mentioned in the new guidance and new wording that throws up huge questions for me. My only real worry is that time is marching on and I have deadlines to request my maternity leave, deadlines to request annual leave. Oh, and making sure I get paid correctly and my childcare vouchers are paid promptly (I have very little faith in my pay being correct; it wasn’t last time).

On the pregnancy front, I am going through an exhausted phase. I could literally sleep all day and night. Last week, Elvis decided to take his daily 2 hour nap at nursery (I almost cried when I found out). Well, by 3pm, I gave up and put him down for a nap (he didn’t really nap) and I passed out in bed. I only got up when hubby got in. It’s the second or third time in 6 months that I’ve done it and I think it’s safer than me falling asleep on the sofa with Elvis running wild in the living room. Even now, I could just sleep. I guess that’s the benefit of Elvis still being so young (and loving his own sleep, routine and cot). My front pelvic pain has got a lot better. My lower back pain has not. I rang the physio to have a second appointment where she confirmed that my hip joint is locking with my spine as I walk (leading to me dragging my leg). She recommended to either use crutches, a hip belt that could make the pelvic pain worse, or to simply stop walking! Hubby would have killed me if I had turned up with crutches — he’s adamant he can drive me everywhere for the next 12 weeks!

 

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