Persephone: Parent

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Welcome to the New Year

For the past few months, I have been trying to not overload this poor little blog with posts every single day, or 3 days in a row with a few weeks off, so that there could be more continuity about the site, hopefully this hasn’t been too noticeable. I’ve also tried to keep posts to every 3 days, but medical appointments and other random “I must blog now” topics might change that at times.

However, as of January 1st I will be about 38 weeks pregnant and the scheduled posts are going to change. Similar to my original blog which has a poetry post a week, this blog is going to have a few months (maybe planning for 8-12 weeks) with 2 planned posts a week. These posts are likely ones that I have already written in December or even earlier! I’m trying to keep some crafty posts, maybe a lot of my Christmas crafts and maybe some parenting ones. This is simply so that, if I go quiet (the opposite to when Elvis was born), the blog still continues.

If things are similar to when Elvis was born, along with those 2 planned blogs will also be random, middle of the night, woe-is-me, how can I parent two children at the same time, posts. I cannot predict that right now.

So, if you as a reader comment on a blog and I don’t respond for a while, it could be that I’m having a baby or am far too tired with a new baby to be present on here even though posts continue to be made. I am not ignoring you. I am not purposefully misleading you. I might be more active than normal!

Hopefully, normal blogging will resume at some point soon, but in this lovely New Year for definite.

Happy New Year and Happy New Baby Days,

~ P x

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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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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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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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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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A Collection of Thoughts

This might be a weird post, designed to be a collection of posts that I can send out to the blogosphere all in one go. One day. Eventually. Maybe. Each blog will be separated by the date and time of writing, done as a quote to separate them.

First up: May 7th 2014

My period’s late. I just don’t know how late. My diary says that I had a period 9 weeks ago. I never marked down the next one, but we’re sure that there was a next one, so we think I’m a week late.

Hubby wants me to take a test. Two weeks ago, I had hyper crazy pre-menstrual symptoms, a week before I was due. I was convinced, hormonally, that I was about to start. The next morning I woke up and nothing. Two weeks later and there’s still nothing.

I tried to tell him that I don’t feel like I did before. He argued I had three follicles, three eggs, three times the pregnant hormones.

He still wants me to take a test.

I can’t even bring myself to buy one.

I’m about to go on holiday and my body used to be amazing at being regular as clockwork and then be late or early to spoil a holiday. I want to believe that’s what it is doing, because I cannot take a pregnancy test.

If I go and buy a test, that means that there’s a chance I’m pregnant, that means that I have hope, that I want to be pregnant and that all means that when it says negative, my heart will break. And where will that leave me next month? If I buy a test it makes it real. With reality comes pain.

It didn’t happen for three whole years, why would it happen now?

May 9th. Again

I bought the test.

Might do it tomorrow.

I bought it though when I had a conversation with a friend in my mind. The friend isn’t in my head, she was on holiday so I had a conversation with her in my head. In my head I told her that I was afraid. She says what of.

And that’s where I thought.

I’m afraid of testing and making it real. I’m afraid of wanting a pregnancy. I’m afraid of it hurting if this is just a hormone imbalance – blame it on the breastfeeding.

And it dawned on me. If, and I mean if I test, if it’s negative and if it hurts then I try and convince hubby to move up our see the doctor date of January 2017.

A negative result is not the end.

11th May.

I took the test yesterday.

For the second time ever, I took a pregnancy test and got a positive.

I don’t believe it.

For the first time ever I got pregnant through sex.

I honestly thought this blog post would be a collection of a few days of me wondering. I never thought it would be the chronicles of the beginning of a pregnancy.

We’ve only told 2 people so far. Everyone knew about Elvis from before I even ovulated, or the potential of him, anyway. So this one’s going to be a secret. This one’s going to be a surprise to everyone that we love, their gender will be a surprise, their exact conception and due date is a surprise!

I never thought this would happen to me. Honestly, sex does lead to pregnancy!

12th May 2014

well, today was my original due date for Elvis and I type this as he plays in the corner with his cookie jar shape sorter. I never imagined I’d be sitting watching my almost 1 year old whilst, apparently, pregnant. I never imagined it happening with Elvis being any age really!

With regards to this pregnancy, I’m as tired as I was at this point last time. It’s daunting, I guess. I can’t just nap whenever I need. And what about the morning nausea I had last time? It made me pretty much useless at work until I’d had my cheese and onion crisps and small bottle of lemonade. How can I indulge my pregnancy moments with Elvis?

And those thoughts lead into thoughts of Elvis having a sibling, doing the newborn thing again, which I hated last time, trying to still have rime for Elvis whilst also having time for a new one.

One big plus, I’ll essentially finish the first trimester before even returning from maternity leave!

I’ve become the clichĂ©.

May 19th 2014

Two days until Elvis’ first birthday and I’m “still” pregnant. I don’t feel it at all. I still have no symptoms, or none of the ones I had with Elvis.

I keep worrying that it means there’s something wrong. Or that something will go wrong. I’m now about 6.5 weeks pregnant, I was about to have a scan at this point with Elvis. I’d have to pay to do it with this one, but can I wait until 12 weeks?

I have an odd appetite, either going hours without food, filling up too quick or being ravenous. I keep getting leg cramps in the night. But I’m on holiday and my diet’s altered.

Saturday 24th May

it’s Elvis’ birthday party today. I stopped breastfeeding him. I feel bloated. I’m probably about 7 weeks pregnant. I don’t feel quite as tired, or I can fight it.

I’m nauseous. All the time. Evening. Morning. How can I be a parent, running to and hugging the toilet bowl all of the time? And my pelvis is already starting to hurt, far earlier than last time!

At least I feel pregnant!

26th May

For the past two weeks, since I got the BFP, hubby has been on holiday and home with me and Elvis the whole time; tomorrow he returns to work and I’m really anxious about it.

What if I get too tired?

What if I get nauseous?

I’ve made a decision regarding Elvis and based on my pregnancy – I stopped breastfeeding. I needed time off. I haven’t always enjoyed BF Elvis and I didn’t want to keep going and resent it again too soon for the next baby. I’m aware that, or at least am afraid of, this might not be real or viable (nothing to say that, just fear) so I may have made a mistake, but I made it a year and I think we were done even without this pregnancy.

Thursday 29th May

I am so tired. Honestly. I could hibernate a few months. Truly, I don’t remember being this tired first time around. I’m having to find afternoon groups so it forces me to stay awake. I wish the weather were nicer so I could take Elvis to the park.

Yesterday, after 12 hours overnight, I had a 1.5 hour nap as Elvis took his morning one. I’m feeling a bit better today. At the moment.

I also got really horrible nausea yesterday whilst out shopping. Guess it’s time to stock up on cheese and onion crisps.

I’m finding the whole secrecy thing difficult. Last time pretty much everyone knew due to the treatment, asking me moments after I took the pregnancy test. This time 5 people know. I feel guilty when I’m at a baby group now, because I’m lying to those mums and some are noticing my mood’s different. But I promised myself, when pregnant with Elvis, that a second pregnancy would be more private. I promised.

May 30th

I had energy yesterday. I wasn’t completely exhausted all day. I had a serious bout of nausea, but fought it. Then I had insomnia last night (which might just be my normal) and I feel like I shouldn’t be functioning right now. But I am.

I keep having this serious feeling or urging to run away. How am I supposed to deal with two children so close in age? Can I afford nursery for both? Will I be able to work? Will I be able to take them both to swimming lessons?

My husband’s currently nursing a hangover, taking a half day from work and lying in bed. When’s my day off? Why can’t I run away?

12th June

Okay the nausea is mainly passed, touch wood, and I don’t feel fully exhausted all of the time. I’m also feeling lots better about being a mum, being in this position and having me time.

I have discovered over the past two days that I have pregnancy skin and I don’t mean that I’m glowing. Nope, I get dry, red, flaky awful skin. Last time I ended up unable to allow water to touch my face in the morning as my face over-reacted. Time to stop washing my face!

~ P

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#ThrowbackThursday: Elvis Has Left the Womb

This is a reposting of the blog I wrote 365 days ago, on day 288 of my pregnancy. I have no recollection of writing it or even what I wrote. That makes me scared to read back the other early day blogs!

Day 288 or term plus 13 according to scans and I am well and truly utterly in love with my son.

I am alone with him on a post natal ward (there is a mother with her daughter) and I am already terrified as I have no idea how to be a parent. It brought tears to my eyes.

I also know that I love him like no other, which brought tears to my eyes.

I got rather high on gas and air earlier and was convinced of so many ludicrous things but one, quite logically if you read my blog or know me, was that we wouldn’t end up a happy family of 3. I was convinced of it (high) and demanded my husband choose our son (drugged up) when neither of us was ever at risk!

But after these two really long days I can say with pride that I’m finally a mother and have made it from the trenches, across No Man’s Land, survived the Waiting Game and am now on the other side.

Elvis has left the womb, folks, and entered my family.

Love to everyone who reads this,
~ Persephone M

Here’s to the next 365 or 288 days!

Happy first NameDay, Elvis, first of your name!

~ P

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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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