Persephone: Parent

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2014: Fourteen Things

I did this a few years ago on my original blog, I’m sure. Here’s hoping I remember this next year!

Things I’m thankful for –

  1. Celebrated my son’s first birthday
  2. Hubby got a new job after 3 months of voluntary unemployment which has much better family-based hours
  3. Went on a lovely holiday to Spain for Elvis’ first birthday
  4. Discovered I was pregnant, from an all natural, non-trying method! Apparently my body can get pregnant on it’s own
  5. After 366 days, I stopped breastfeeding my son. It was always planned that way, but knowing there was a Baby 2 it was needed!
  6. Elvis took to nursery amazingly and loves it there!
  7. Went back to work and loved having time to be me. I felt no guilt
  8. Through my job I set up a new blog (with no connections to Persephone or the Real me) and I love it and it gets quite a bit of traffic!
  9. I moved into what could become my dream house. It doesn’t tick every box. Not yet. And it will probably never tick the dream garden box. But it’s pretty close!
  10. I spent all of November and December making 101 things for Christmas to make memories. I think it worked
  11. After a year of signing, in September, Elvis finally started really signing lots. And his vocab gradually increased from November onwards, culminating on Christmas Day when he said naanaa for banana
  12. This was followed just before New Year’s when he said Muma, he called me muma. Once.
  13. I’m very thankful for my mummy friends who I may have only known about a year but they are like old friends – after months of not seeing them we just and get on as if it was days
  14. My son, my husband and my baby to be – my family
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Baby Robin Prep

I am scheduling this post for inbetween Christmas and New Years, as I reach term on Christmas Day (37 weeks) and then in the New Year I will have a schedule of posts for up to 2 months just to cover me in a labour/new-born/waiting game haze. There will also then be random other blogs that I write as I sit exhausted or frustrated!

Thank goodness, we have finally figured out what we are doing with the bedrooms in our house! Now, to actually sort them and hope that we have enough time especially with Christmas right around the corner. When we had Elvis, we lived in a small and simple 2 up and 2 down house. There was just about enough room to squeeze a Moses basket by the side of the double bed in our bedroom and certainly no space for a cot. It meant we had a tight squeeze for those first 4 months until Elvis was able to go into his cot — there wasn’t room in his room for a decent chair so I refused to do night feeds in his room. For those first 4 months, the Moses basket completely blocked my husband’s wardrobe. I cannot even begin to remember where he kept his clothes. It’s far too much of a haze. Since we’ve moved, we have 3 bedrooms, all of which have ample space for pretty much any furniture that we want, except that seemed to be causing a dilemma all of it’s own!

We have three double bedrooms. The Master bedroom is at the front of the house and currently has (it’s our store room at the moment) a six door wardrobe (filled with my nursing clothes, newborn – 6 month neutral clothes and my dresses), 2 3 door wardrobes (empty aside from baby toys), 2 large chest of drawers (empty), 3 bedside tables and a double bed. Even with all of this stuff (and the bags of clothes that I’m in the process of sorting) there is still ample room to move around, even to play in really. This bedroom used to be my mum’s and hasn’t been decorated in almost 20 years. The middle sized bedroom is what has always been mine and is now my husband’s and mine. This has a double bed, 2 3 door wardrobes, a chest of drawers, a vanity table and a bookcase. It seems quite full because of the furniture, but there is still plenty of space for the Moses basket (or co-cleeping cot I bought) by the side of the bed. It just isn’t a very practical nursery. The final bedroom has always been the middle bedroom, the spare bedroom. It was where guests stayed or mum’s foster children lived. It has the space for a double, but currently has a cot, wardrobe, changing table, bedside table and then Elvis’ toy storage furniture. Oh, yeah, and the carpet has Disney’s Cars on it so it is clearly his bedroom (Nanny did this before we house-swapped). My bedroom was decorated somewhere in the last ten years, Elvis’ room (carpet aside) I don’t actually know when. But it means that the two rooms with double beds in are due a decoration.

The dilemma is this, what if we want Robin to move out of our room at 4 or 6 months, similar to what Elvis did. What room is s/he going to move into? What if, at that age, we feel they aren’t ready to share a room with Elvis yet? What room can be Robin’s alone before they can move in with Elvis?

If the baby stays/goes in to our bedroom, the smaller of the two “empty” rooms, the one with all the furniture that is actually a bit cluttered, then it will never feel like a baby’s room, it will never seem like a nursery. There won’t be any room for toy storage. There won’t be much room for playing on the floor.

If the baby stays/goes into the front bedroom, the biggest room, well then they have a massive room that is far too big for a child let alone a baby. But, with a bit of rearrangement of the furniture (impossible in our bedroom), an alcove can be decorated for the baby. It can feel like a nursery, even if in just one corner. Even with all of the junk that we keep, ahem, sorting out in there, there is ample floor space so with tidying and preparing, it could be a really nice, over-sized room. Only for the short term really, for the interim period that they don’t need to be in with us and before they are ready to be in with Elvis (I do not want one child waking the other all of the time and Robin may not be as good a sleeper as Elvis). There would still be a play area, and there would be a lovely spare bed for any occasion that Robin is having an awful night, teething really badly or ill, that one of us can sleep close by. We could also room share if we had family to stay and put the family in our bedroom.

If Robin is anything like Elvis, we’re only talking about for 6 months and then I’d be happy to let them share. If Robin isn’t as good a sleeper as Elvis, then it might be a lot longer and I’d like the room to look and be suitable. I think we can achieve that by essentially giving the smallest member of our family the biggest room in our entire house!

Now to plan the decorating for Robin’s little alcove nursery!

~ Px

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Memories: Last Christmas…

… I gave you my heart and the very next day, you gave it away!

Okay, the second part of the song has no relevance whatsoever. This is the link to the post I made last Christmas. Yep, on Christmas Day I found time to blog. Of course I did. Not because I’m obsessed with blogging, but simply because I, in my role as Mother, was alone in a dark room, depressed and with a finally sleeping baby in my arms. This post is being scheduled for Christmas Eve, not written on Christmas Eve.

I’d like to say, and am able to say, that a year later and things are far better. Last Christmas, we spent the days around it staying at Nanny’s, the day itself at an Aunt’s. Basically Elvis was completely out of his comfort zone. That was my mistake and I learnt from it. Since then, I have been tougher on seeing people, on doing things that I know upset or cause turmoil to Elvis. Partly for his benefit and partly for mine! Haha! I did spend a huge part of his first year, and more, feeling that I was alone in my role as Mother, that there was no other role for me. And then we hit a year, then we stopped breast feeding all together, then we started “normal” life – nursery and work – and then I had moments of me, not just Mother. The clock is ticking on Robin’s arrival (Christmas Day = 37 weeks!) and I know that with that comes another period of time where I may happen to be mainly Mother all of the time, but I’d like to think that I can cope with it a second time around, that I can fight my corner this time around and that I know it will come to an end!

To those of you who always retained your freedom or never cared it had gone, Merry Christmas!

To those of you who are awaiting a new bundle of joy, Merry Christmas!

To those of you “suffering” through a stressful Christmas because your child only wants you, Merry Christmas!

To those of you with no external help, Merry Christmas!

To those of you hoping to have more on your plate than Motherhood, Merry Christmas!

And may the New Year bring you the answer/solution/time/opportunity for you to be exactly who you want. At some point!

~ P x

https://persephonetheparent.wordpress.com/2013/12/25/merry-christmas/

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Psyching Myself for the End

I’ve decided to lie to myself. I started thinking about it when I hit 30 weeks and posted on facebook “30 weeks done, 12 left to go”. It’s the curse from Elvis being two weeks late – I remember being so frustrated in those final two weeks.

I remember constantly telling my unborn son that I was on maternity leave now, he was losing his time with me after his birthday. And it was hot and I was huge and I had a rash in between all of my since gone stretch marks. And then I spent three days and nights (worse at night) with painful Braxton Hicks (or perhaps it was pre-labour) and I was just fed up.

So, to ease my mental state, I’m considering changing my EDD to the end of term due date. This time around I’m not sure of my dates, I think my EDD might be a week later than my dates, which puts the flexibility in my hands rather than medical. Although from all the reading I’ve done I feel like more of the choices and decisions are in my hands.

Here in my NHS trust, at 40+12 for a prior cesarean section mum, an induction or c-section is booked. Because the general medical thought must be that at 40 weeks your baby is ready. Except people have different gestations and you don’t have to do what they tell you until it becomes a dangerous circumstance.

I’m still undecided about what I want (because it is about what I want, no one can force me into anything unless I let them) when I reach the end of term date (roughly the end of January, 27th). I might feel like last time, so big, in pain and fed up that I say to hell with it, intervene! I still haven’t decided what intervention I’m happy with – sweeps, foley induction, elective c-section. I think I would far prefer an elective over “emergency”, but I don’t think I want to make a decision, to pick a date that my child will be born. Surely it should be up to them?

I might even change my mind when I reach the EDD and beg for interventions, scrapping the end of term date, but for now I’m counting down to 2 weeks late!

Although with Elvis, I wanted him quicker and a friend who was due around the same time wanted to enjoy a little summer holiday before her bubba arrived. Well, she got no holiday and I got about 6 weeks! By that logic, Robin will be early because I would really like some time off before he/she arrives!

~ P

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Will the Real Robin Please Stand Up?

Naming my first born was easy. Before hubby and I even married we had randomly decided on a boys name. It begins with E as does my real name, my mum’s and her mum’s. We all have the same middle initial, too. For security reasons, online he became known as Elvis (which is also what I called my bump as I hate it being called bump, hello, originality!). We never planned a girl’s name so it was probably fate that IUI has a slightly higher chance of boys.

Well, Robin is a whole different ball game. Again, I hate the term bump. Those cards signed X, Y and bump. Nope, it just isn’t for me. So, Robin was chosen as the sidekick for Elvis, Batman has one afterall. But Batman also has Batgirl, so Robin could be a girl or a boy.

And we don’t have a name for either.

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Possessive Boy

At first I thought that my son, who has only just developed the ability/desire to hug and kiss people, was having a spot of separation anxiety, but I think it’s actually some sort of possessive streak. Initially it was crying when I took him to nursery alone – perhaps he thought we were off out somewhere fun together before I abandoned him there! Then it was crying if I didn’t get in the car with Daddy to take him to nursery – am I not allowed a day off? I started to wonder if it was simply OCD and breaking his routine, but he seems fine when I’m genuinely not around. Oh, and then there were the tears when Daddy drove away with Nanny – how dare Daddy leave!

Then I noticed that I was allowed to play with his toys, Daddy wasn’t unless it was bedtime and then Daddy could join in. I still thought it was a separation thing and preferring mummy to daddy. When he was upset, Elvis currently prefers me to Daddy. If we’re both there that is! I am slightly worried if there is an element of Mummy-love because Robin isn’t far off!

Until I then realised it isn’t Mummy-love, it isn’t breaking a routine, it isn’t even being separated from me. Nope, it’s Elvis deciding everything is his!

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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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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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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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Congratulations! You Cease To Exist

A.K.A Grandparents think they’re far too important!

I am so going to get into trouble for this post! I got a text a while ago announcing a birth. It reads: Hi just to let you know Baby Blah Blah was born this morning. Mum is battered and bruised but my new grand daughter is worth it xxx

Oviously the baby was not named Blah Blah. No, first off, I found it very impersonal that the new babba’s Grand mother did the announcing. I don’t believe that it is a Grand parent’s prerogative to do this, although, perhaps she was tasked with this by both parents. It was my husband’s job, not my mother’s. But that’s me and my family.

Secondly, I found the message hugely disrespectful to the mum in question. Now maybe that is simply because I have had such an issue with identity since becoming a mother. From before Elvis was even born, my mother insisted every other day that no one would want to visit me, they were all coming to see Elvis. No one would care how I was coping or processing things, everyone would want to hold Elvis, know how he was doing. I would, according to her, cease to exist. What even to my husband and own mother? How can I cease to exist when I was, at that point, the person who had just had major surgery and was the most important person to that little baby?

So, perhaps due to my own issues, I find the comment that “my new grand daughter is worth it” almost revolting. Really I do. First off, what exactly did you do in getting the grand daughter? Wait outside in a waiting room, or back at home. Did you get battered and bruised? Maybe you did 30 years ago, but do you want the world to know that? Meanwhile, how does your daughter feel? Oh, you’re in pain, never mind you have a daughter now and I’ll shout it all to the world.

People have to stop only seeing the baby in a birth. People have to stop telling mums to get over the birth because all that matters is the baby that they have. People have to stop only wanting to see the new baby. People have to stop deciding that they are more important than a parent.

I think Elvis’ grandparents had an issue with me breastfeeding him. I had one grandparent ask me if I was breastfeeding purely to lose weight. I had another, after we’d started weaning him, declare as they fed him spoons of yoghurt “see, mummy’s not the only one who can feed you”. Do some grandparents think that their grandchild is a do over? Do they think they are as important, have as many rights as the parents? Why did we have some grandparents race across the country to meet their grandson and then never send a Christmas or Birthday card to him?

I can remember one hot August day last year when Elvis was still under 3 months old and we were too far from home when he got hungry/thirsty and would not stop screaming in his pushchair and I started to get really upset, walking as fast as possible to get him home and my mum, in the way she does, spoke to him as if he understood completely and said “You’re upsetting my daughter.” And I remember thinking, yes, I am still your daughter. I am not just the person who gave you a grandchild. I am still me. I will always be me and sometimes, selfishly, I want everything to be about me.

And that poor other new mum, in her battered and bruised state, was completely overlooked on the day that she did one of the hardest things a woman a can do, a day that can be one of the most amazing days in a person’s life, was ignored. Sure, that child becomes the most important person in the parents’ lives, but you still have to consider each other and others. And, as a grandparent, if you annoy the parents, you can be written out of the story.

Have you ever felt pushed out of your own family by others?

~ P

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