Persephone: Parent

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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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25 Weeks and 3 Days Pregnant with 73 Week Old!

I’m really struggling this week. Even though we’re in October, it’s still as hot as summer. I mean it’s dark when I get up, dark before Elvis finishes his bath, but it’s still baking hot outside. Although at least I can dry all my washing outside! Whilst a lot of my pelvic pain has gone since my physio appointment, walking is still a pain. Couple the heat and walking pain with the nursery pick up and it’s exhausting me. I finish work at 12, walk home, get puschair, walk to nursery, get Elvis, walk home possibly via some shops and it’s been over an hour of solidly walking.

I then nap all afternoon out of exhaustion and feel crap all evening.

Meanwhile, my aches and pains are making me feel so distant from my son. When he was newborn, I struggled and daddy stepped up; Elvis loved Daddy far more than me. Fast forward to 16 months old and Daddy gets him dressed, Daddy gets him ready for bed, Daddy reads him bedtime stories. All I do is cook his meals, get him from nursery, wash his clothes, clean his dishes. At the moment I still have bathtime fun with him, but I’m becoming more and more hands off. I stuggle to bend over and pick him up. I feel like I’m losing my son and I’m only going to get bigger, more achey and even less hands on.

I started this post the other day (in preparation for my 25 week check) and literally overnight (from the 4th to 5th October) it has become freezing cold, rainy and stormy. So now, I am going to have to do that hour of solid walking in the cold and rain, without a proper coat yet and with barely any sleep. Didn’t I mention? Apparently, my body is doing that thing where it prepares you for your newborn by waking you every 3 hours, just to get you ready. I don’t need to be told, I don’t need to get ready, I did it a year ago! So, please fuck off, body, and let me sleep a whole night! I have insomnia. I have random wakings. Now, I have the rain too! Only 15 weeks, right?

How about my gender predictions…

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67 Weeks Old, 19 Weeks 6 Days Pregnant

I hit 20 weeks pregnant this week! And had my 20 week scan (at 19 weeks, 6 days), and a physiotherapist appointment and my first VBAC appointment. I’d never seen it before, but have since I had Elvis, blogs were mums-to-be check out gender myths and try and figure out which apply to them. I thought I would do it this time around! I was unsure if I wanted to find out the gender. I was never sure if I wanted to learn Elvis’ gender before his 20 weeks. This time, the midwife never asked and I forgot to, so we didn’t find out. We’ll have to wait another 22 weeks (I consider, after last time, that a pregnancy is 42 weeks and not 40!).

The VBAC appointment was okay. That means Vaginal Birth After Caesarean, by the way. They didn’t have my first labour notes so could not state definitively that I could not try vaginal, but they do need to check the notes. I don’t think it should be an issue. They also explained that a C-section can have increased risks the second time around – scarring can make it harder to get in and out. I had never thought of that. The midwife did start to go on about how C-section babies have harder times breastfeeding, harder times breathing and an increased chance of being in special care. I kind of consider it almost as scare mongering. Especially when I have had a C-section. I knew the risks going into that one so what would have changed in 15 months? I appreciate being told about increased risks because of a second section, but not of having a section.

The physiotherapist was really good. She advised me on how to sleep properly. I haven’t been supporting my ankles with the body pillow. The night of the appointment, I shifted the body pillow and honestly the pain has been so much better in my pelvis. Sadly, the physiotherapist advised that I really should not be swimming breaststroke. I’ve tried swimming twice since then. Both epic failures. Before I got pregnant, I was managing 50 lengths, the last time I swam breaststroke I was on 36 lengths, this week I managed 28 and then 22. It’s depressing. And the 22 lengths was cut short because of an awful cramp in my foot that lasted over 20 minutes. I’m really quite upset about it and feel like quitting the exercise completely.

But my pelvis doesn’t hurt as much. I guess that’s the thought I need to hang on to, right? Okay, after the More, check out the gender predictions!

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My Birth Story

I probably have mentioned some of the ins and outs of my labour, I’m not sure quite how much, but there are a few things that I’m sure I haven’t put down in words.

Surprisingly there’s some facts surrounding my birth story that I actually spoke about to a real person about before putting it down electronically.

And I don’t mean all the gory details. Nope, I mean my crazy head and my son’s existence.
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Jumping on the Royal Bandwagon

I don’t really care about famous people’s pregnancies. It’s not meant as a mean thing, I just don’t really follow celebrities like that. Sure, I follow certain people on twitter – normally part of my geekness, not because I want to stalk them through nine months of a pregnancy and then in the months following. It isn’t that I’m unhappy for them, I just don’t think it’s any of my (read: the world’s) business. Which is why I’ve never blogged, tweeted, etc about any pregnancy of a famous person. Including Kate Middleton’s.

Until now.

I’m jumping, not on the bandwagon of following her pregnancy. Obviously, her son has been born. Neither is it the bandwagon of what will the prince be called. The whole world knows.

Nope, I’m on the bandwagon of #Dontbuyok.

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Druggie Paranoid Racist!

This is part of my labour story. Not the graphic detail kinda labour story. And not the ins/outs, blow by blow either. This is me on drugs.

I’ve never before taken any kind of medication stronger than what doctors prescribe for basic ailments; the first time I took co-codamol, I woke up a day later! Oddly in all my “research” and reading concerning labour – you know trying to get the basic facts of such a varied time – I never really read about drugs affects on the mother. There’s info on how it kills or numbs the pain, maybe how it works on mother and child. But I certainly don’t remember any information on the trip that was my labour!

I’m going to say that I had a difficult labour, not in that there were complications just that it was, perhaps, awkward. Because of being induced, Elvis had to be constantly monitored and he soon decided that the only position he’d allow himself to be monitored in was a position I found uncomfortable.

So due to the awkwardness, I had to make the most of my gas and air mouthpiece.

And what a trip that was.

Seriously, why did no one tell me that breathing gas and air would make me a paranoid racist?

Let’s see, on one particular go, hubby and midwife were sitting either side of me as a dance remix of a Westlife song played and they sat there laughing as the room spun. For the record the dance beat over the song was actually Elvis’ heartbeat.

On another mass inhalation, I became convinced that the midwife was conspiring with the trainee doctor about how wrong everything was going.

On another I was adamant that there was a problem because the midwife had left the room. Hubby tried to reassure me that there was nothing wrong and, now drug free, it’s obvious that if there had have been a problem the midwife wouldn’t have left the room.

I think at one point I even became convinced that hubby and midwife were keeping the horrendous truth from me – that there was something wrong with Elvis.

Of course there wasn’t (aside from his inability to be monitored), but on another trip, I was convinced that my hubby and the midwife (who neither of us had met before) were having an affair! I get where all the rest of my paranoia came from just not this one.

The best contraction based trip was when I (who solidly had her eyes closed the whole time) heard the male doctor and noticed he had an accent. Now other than to demand this man get my son out there was no other interaction between us. However, and this is the weirdest/funniest/strangest one, I then whispered to hubby : I’m going to say something racist. I’m going to say something racist and then he won’t treat me, he’ll let me die!

Firstly, I’m not racist. I have no idea what racist conment I was going to make. I think I was covering my back as I knew weird things kept happening.

Oh, and secondly, I didn’t whisper.

Sure there are worse things I could say or do whilst trying to give birth, but they’re all bodily functions not bloody psychological ones. On gas and air!

~ Persephone M

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