Persephone: Parent

A fine WordPress.com site

12 week Secret

I was directed to an article on the Daily Mail a few days ago about why we keep pregnancies a secret for the first 12 weeks, written from a mum who has had a miscarriage. I will state immediately that I have never had a miscarriage so cannot comment from experiencing that directly. However, I can still discuss the act of secret keeping. Why do we not announce a pregnancy until after 12 weeks? There’s something about there being a higher rate of miscarriage before that point. This is when we have our first scans over here, so when we first hear a heartbeat. However, you can have earlier scans – out of choice or medical necessity – does this mean you can announce the pregnancy?

Meanwhile, if you don’t announce before your 12 week scan, you suffer those 12 weeks alone. With Elvis, due to the treatment, everyone knew I was pregnant. Most people knew what day I had to test. There was no 12 week secret. With Robin, it was our choice. We chose to tell our parents and closest friends before the 12 weeks. With both, my theory was, if the awful happened, the people who knew were the people I would turn to. As I mentioned, I have never suffered a miscarriage. I have suffered through trying to conceive, having unexplained fertility and then a treatment based conception. Along with a natural conception. Ignoring the miscarriage, or potential for it, aspect of a pregnancy, for a lot of people those first 12 weeks are the worst and you have to suffer in silence. Or you’re advised to. Personnlly I subscribe to the theory that I used – no matter what the guidance or advice, you can choose to tell those closest to you, those that you would expect support from if the worst happens. The two best friends that I chose to tell do not mean more to me than the two best friends that I chose not to tell. The colleague at work that I told (because she announced her pregnancy a week before I was scheduled to announce) means no more to me than the colleague I didn’t tell.

But even if you choose to tell those closeset to you, those that will be able to support you, there are still plenty of people that you have to lie to. I actually consider myself lucky with Elvis because everyone was aware that I was due for the fertility treatment, I lied to no one – they all suffered alongside me! With Robin, I lied to mummy-friends for almost two months. And they were the people that I saw all of the time. There I was at a toddler group, feeling like death, wanting to nap, desperately wanting to ignore my son and just sleep (hence why I went to the group!) and lying to everyone around me. I really did feel awful. I have no idea if any of those mummies noticed or guessed.

I know a mum-to-be who had told me she was expecting but no one else, and she was having a terrible time during early pregnancy. Well, her social comments would have had other friends thinking that she was dying without the background knowledge that she was expecting. I started to worry that people would think she was dying! Trust me, I hate the family motto the generation above me seems to have – you’re not ill, only pregnant (which is true, but some people have far harder pregnancies than others so don’t judge), but my friend’s online persona did not hide any of her pains, because it was too early, leaving friends and family thoroughly worried. On the flipside I know a mum that announced her pregnancy on social media at just 6 weeks. Very sadly she did miscarry within just a few weeks. She would have had support and love from everyone who knew her though because of her announcement, whereas the mum who was suffering and didn’t announce or share with anyone, sufferned alone for those 7 weeks.

Would or did you announce early? What do you think of mums that do? Or don’t?

~ P x

Advertisements
3 Comments »

The Failure of Those First Few Weeks

I had felt like I was over the first few weeks of Elvis’ life. The few weeks where I hated everything. where I was desperate for some sleep, where I actually kind of wanted to send my son back or have him returned to me as a toddler. I’m not even sure how long those few weeks were. Was it just 4? Was it nearer 8 or 12? I remember at about two or three weeks old, I strongly considered returning to work just for a lunch break. I remember within the first 4 weeks, desiring a toddler more than a newborn. I remember at about 8 weeks old deciding that I could no longer bedshare, by 3 months old we weren’t anymore. If I looked at my diary, if I re-read all of my blogs from that time period, I would be able to pin point all of those moments with a to-the-hour accuracy. But I don’t want to because I don’t want to dwell on the past. I don’t want to think about my failures, I don’t want to be reminded of how, why and when I was a lousy parent. And I think I had got over the failure, the lousiness, the disappointment in myself (disappointment that, after wanting something so much and trying and fighting so hard to get, it was not as amazing as I thought it should have been. Not that I ever thought parenting was going to be easy), except now I keep thinking about it.

Is it because I’m due number 2?

Is it because I see more and more people I know have babies and not fail?

Is it because I do worry and fear that it will happen again?

Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment »

#41Weeks

By the hospital dates, somewhere between 41 and 42 weeks by my dates. And I’d been quite fine. Mainly positive and upbeat.

I’ve temporarily blocked/removed/avoid social media and real life people/discussions that could lead to my own negativity. I’m trying my hardest to keep a positive state of mind, not just with the Birth Affirmations plastered around the house, but when people ask how I’m doing. Or when they say you must be fed up by now?

Well, yeah, I kinda am, but there’s no point dwelling on it. There’s no point in me telling you about my aches and pains. Yeah, I want this baby born. Yes, the longer it all takes to start naturally the more doubt sets in that it won’t. But there is nothing I can do about that so why moan at everyone?

I do feel the timetable, the scheduled C-section that I think I can still cancel/delay. I do keep having the thought that I only have X number of days left. But then I try and remind myself that there are no odds, there is no mathematical or scientific equation that means the fewer days left, the less likely for things to happen.

I have had wobbles the past few days. Mainly I think because an extreme tiredness has washed over me. Yesterday I burst into tears in a shop because I couldn’t remember what I needed. Today because my husband offered to collect Elvis from nursery. Today is the third day in the row I’ve given in to napping. Today I’ve simply eaten or slept. Elvis is either ill or teething, but he’s doing his normal in either situation and sleeping. He loves his sleep. Which is amazing when I’m desperate for mine.

And when I say I’ve given in to the sleep, usually I’d fight it to make sure the washing was done, to pick him up from nursery, to buy bread, to bounce on a ball. Nope. Dirty dishes, no bread and I haven’t touched the ball. I’d be asleep right now but I’m tired of lying down.

I’m literally tired of everything and I’m really hot. Boiling. And we’re in the middle of winter.

On the labour front, well, my body keeps on seeming like it’s making some changes one day and then doing nothing the next. All of last night I had a back pain that felt like baby had gone back-back even though I’d been sitting/lying correctly and it just wouldn’t fo away. Then I fell asleep and awoke this morning without it. Was it baby being back to back? Was it back cramps? Did it subconsciously keep me awake part of the night hence my tiredness?

A lot of people believe that human gestational periods should be closer to the 41 than 40 weeks, well, mine must be! Only tomorrow left and then Husband starts his paternity so I really can rest up and see how this baby’s arriving….. sleep…..

~ P

Leave a comment »

40 Weeks Today

An unscheduled post – today is the due date. According to the hospital and their scans. As far as my dates, which are not super accurate, I’m already at 41 weeks. Maybe I’m somewhere in the middle.

I’m starting to feel the pressure. I have a C-section already booked for if I go overdue and I can feel the countdown to that day.

Babies come when babies want to.

I’ve written a list of birth affirmations; I’m going to stick them up around the house later on. I need to keep positive. I’ve been working on removing everything negative in my life. I understand that I have labour envy, I’m not sure it’s even birth envy. I have no regrets about having had a C-section but I do regret how the “labour” went. Or didn’t go!

I will birth this baby.

Whether it’s before the deadline or spontaneously before then – I will birth this baby. Whether it is by natural holes or a repeat C-section – I will birth this baby.

The greatest opponent is the one within my head.

I understand this and have worked on removing everything that my opponent keeps reminding me of. Temporarily I have removed, blocked, deleted friends, family and groups on all social media. I get envious. I get jealous. That is me. It’s quite simple. If those things can make me feel greater jealousy then, at this point, I need them gone.

I am doing everything my body needs me to do.

I am not ball bouncing, doing daily yoga and repeating affirmations to help stimulate labour, to help bring about my baby and a VBAC. I am doing it all for me. I am doing it to help my own pains – physical and mental – not to get the right baby position or to help my waters break. It might all help during birth, whatever way I birth. Or even after birth.

Millions of women have birthed babies, it’s what they’re designed to do.

And I have birthed a baby. I did not have a labour but I still birthed a baby. I still had a recovery whilst being a new parent.

I have still been having niggles. A few tightenings on an evening which do feel more uncomfortable. Early this morning I had some cramping but I had just got out of a warm bed. I never felt these kind of tightenings, these “menstrual” cramps last time. I feel like maybe it is my body preparing and I keep worrying that it might not prepare itself quick enough, but baby comes when baby wants to.

Although with this absolutely awful stomach acid, Baby can hurry up! Haha. During 18 combined months of pregnancy, I have never had acid this bad and awful. My itchy stretched tummy feels better but I keep imagining that this kid has rapidly expanded, putting on loadsa fat and is now squishing my tummy loads!

I will succeed.

I just have to stop equating succeed with spontaneously labouring, with having a VBAC, with being natural and doing it myself/baby led. Success means to birth this baby by any means, whatever means, and to have them be healthy.

~ P

Leave a comment »

Adaptation

Just a quick, non-scheduled, blog entry. I’m 39 weeks today by hospital scans and for the past few weeks I have been telling Elvis that there’s a baby in my tummy, that certain things are the baby’s. For the past week, my Braxton Hicks have also changed. Where they were just tightenings, a hardening of all my tummy, a pause in my concentration and a rapid heat come over me, they don’t feel quite like that anymore.

Elvis has now started to point to things and say baby whilst signing it. Within a few days of me consciously introducing the concept. I’m not sure if the room manager at his nursery being pregnant has encouraged his knowledge or the staff there in general have been helping him understand or perhaps the younger children he sometimes shares a room with.

Or he has magically adapted!

(Oh, and, yes, he’s started talking! He loves saying Batman, Santa, Da and Nana. I don’t need a name!)

It amazes me that he seems to have some understanding of the baby and gives me hope that I’ll make the right decisions with regards to Elvis visiting me in the hospital.

As for my Braxtons, well, the changes could be anything. I firmly believe that Braxtons at any point are not wasted, they should not be viewed as abnoying or time wasting. They are your body preparing. I also believe that, even though I have never laboured, my muscles are still weakened, practiced so I’m likely to feel things more this time no matter what the changes to my Braxtons are.

There’s an elemeny of uncomfortableness with them now. Starting in the middle of my tummy and the actual tightening is barely realised by me anymore. I get a few back cramps at different times, but winder if that’s more Robin’s positioning. I keep getting scared that it’s actually going to happen. I keep getting scared that it won’t. My mind has no idea what it wants my body to do or not to do.

I’m still scared of having a newborn. About feeling like a parental failure again when I become a sleep deprived mess.

My bags are packed and aside from getting new cot sheets, I’m ready for Robin. Except I feel far from actually ready.

I have no idea if I want Elvis to visit me in the hospital. I fear making the wrong decision.

~ Pxx

1 Comment »

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

4 Comments »

My Planned Mummy Moments

Back in August of last year, I wrote a blog about things I desperately wanted to do — it was written in a sleep addled, desperation for some sort of normality in those first few months where suddenly you are no longer a person in your own right – you are a mum and that is all!

Here’s what I wanted to do:

1. Attend Hogwarts. Of course I mean the studio tour. As I’ve toured all the major studios in LA, I really need to do the Harry Potter ones. Not managed that one yet. I started to think about doing it this Autumn, either leaving Elvis with Nanny for a day away, or taking him with us, but I can’t survive a whole day like that, especially not with Elvis in tow. My body sometimes aches before I even get out of bed!

2. Go on the London Eye. I promised my mum a trip on the Eye when she had foster children. Well, they left as I had my IUI so we still haven’t been. Not even really considered that one, still really want to do it and maybe in another year or two. I like the idea of a weekend in London with my mum. See the Christmas lights from up high and visit all the Christmassy tourist things!

3. Have a pedicure. Or more than one. This might be doable sooner than a lot of others. Done. Just before Elvis’ first birthday in time for our first family holiday.

4. Visit a spa. This mummy needs a day of pampering! April of this year (actually around the time that I conceived), a friend invited me for a day of jogging, cycling, swimming and saunaing it up! I loved it!

5. Enjoy an afternoon tea. Some friends recently went to a local hotel for afternoon tea and it looked so yummy. It may have a spa there too. Still considering this as a pre-Christmas thing, either with a bunch of friends as a kind of second baby shower thing, or just me and hubby as one final date. I really want scones, cream and all the other fancy cakes. I’d love the spa aspect, but I can’t use half of it so there is very little point.

6. Have a lie in! Can’t remember how frequently this happens! There have been a number of occasions on the weekend that I have had to go and wake hubby up as he’s still asleep, as is Elvis – I try not to wake Elvis up on weekends as we often have to on weekdays. I think this Mummy Moment was written when I was listening to everyone’s horror stories about never sleeping ever again. My first child is a very good sleeper. My second? I hope to God s/he will be!

7. Sleep 8 hours with no interruptions! Has definitely happened, but with my pregnant bladder issues, I can’t remember what it feels like. I definitely got there, and not just the occasion I got a stomach bug.

8. Have a date, or two, with my hubby. Our wedding anniversary last February was the first date since Elvis arrived. It probably won’t happen at the next anniversary, Robin will be far too little. We’ve also had a few Sunday Cinema dates and evenings away for parties.

9. Go to the cinema. With me only managing to get in Star Trek Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 before giving birth to E, there are many other geeky films that I missed. I’ll settle with most of them on DVD for Christmas though. I didn’t miss a single Geek film that I wanted to see. Thor Dark World, Captain America Winter Soldier and the X-Men film. We didn’t get to the Spiderman film or Guardians of the Galaxy, but we only watched the first Spiderman film on DVD this year! I watched them all in the cinema, and even took Elvis to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 2.

10. Go shopping for new clothes. And I mean when I know what my body’s like and normal tops that don’t need to be nursable. Ummm, yeah, did this and then discovered I was pregnant. I did not get back in to wired bras and I only wore my new wardrobe for a few weeks, including our May family holiday. Next time, eh?

11. Attend my conventions. Now, I’ll happily take E to most of them, but he probably can’t do the Milton Keynes ones due to the distance and cold location so I’ll do those alone. Hopefully! I tried in July, it was an organisational disaster, but I did get there, just never got in. But I went to one in London, October whilst 6 months pregnant and I loved it. I needed lots of breaks and seeing other mums with their toddlers made me crave a cuddle with Elvis (who coped perfectly fine not seeing me all day), but it was really nice just being me!

12. Spend a night in my bed. Maybe with my hubby, but certainly without E! When do night feeds stop???? It’s so strange that I wrote this at the beginning of August, within a few weeks, I had made the decision that I could not handle it anymore, that enough was enough, and Elvis transitioned into his Moses basket by the side of the bed with perfect ease — we had maybe a week of partial co-sleeping. As for his night feeds stopping, well, that was only two months later at the beginning of October. We’ve bought a co-sleeper cot this time to try and keep hubby in our bed!

Is there anything I would have added? No, and, yes, in retrospect, a lot of the above didn’t matter when it came to it. But they did matter at that time. I read somewhere the other day that, once you become a mum, you are never, ever the same person ever again and it is completely true, but I do think that you can start to feel like a new normal. Some mums seem to jump back into their life, have nights away within weeks of giving birth. Some mums still desperately miss their child a year later or refuse nursery places because they can’t bear to be separated. There is no right or wrong. I’m pretty happy now with the balance I have in my life (aside from the pregnancy pains) and I do worry about those first few months when Robin, like Elvis, will depend on me and I will simply, only, just be their mother. But I also know that the day will come when I can spend a night away, go out alone with hubby, socialise with work, be an adult. It might not be at 4 months when Elvis started sleeping 9 hours for Robin, but it will happen.

Hopefully that thought alone, that sentiment from this post will keep me going through those months where all I am is a milk machine. I can remember wishing for 30 minutes to do my hair, pluck my eyebrows, shave my legs and have a relaxing bath. It was so important to me to be able to do something so normal as paint my toenails. Now? I get a bit bored sometimes and really couldn’t care less about painting my nails!

I do, however, have a few pregnant mummy moments that I’d like to plan in!

1. To have a glass of cider. I don’t enjoy alcohol at all whilst pregnant, not even a sip, and I spent all summer wanting a nice icey cider. Hello, next summer!

2. The above mentioned afternoon tea and/or one final hubby date before Robin comes along, or as a first date after Robin’s here.

3. To go swimming and actually swim rather than be in pain and feel utterly inept at simple breaststroke. I may never pay for a swimming membership again, but I will go swimming again. Hopefully next summer.

4. I’m going to say a jacuzzi which obviously I can’t do whilst pregnant, but I only actually really want to do it because I don’t fit in my current bath and I can’t submerge myself in it. A jacuzzi I could. This desire will probably wane, especially if we get the bathroom redone in the next 6 months (yes, I might be crazy).

I’m going to call these 4 things my New Year’s Resolutions and that I will do them all at some point in the New Year. I know I can and will, because I did the equivalent last time!

Happy New Year!

~ P x

Leave a comment »

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

Leave a comment »

Sharing The Journey

How come I always seem to end up pregnant at the same time as thin people? Seriously! Maybe it’s my own fault for knowing people 2 or 3 sizes smaller than me. Before getting pregnant with Elvis, I was about a size 12, possibly 14 in trousers for comfort. Now, I do remember weighing myself for the first few months post birth and I did lose the weight. I just never lost the tummy! I never exactly tried.

But, this time around I feel like I’ve exploded. My pre-pregnancy weight this time was 5kg above my Elvis pre-pregnancy weight – the problem I have is they record this weight at my 12 week scan, after the nausea filled crisp fest! I’m not too sure where the new 5kg had come from, maybe my decreasing breastfeeding? Or simply a love of junk!

The annoying thing is probably my family who constantly make a huge deal about my pregnancy size. I was big enough to have twins last time. I was just a giant belly last time. Thankfully I have a lovely husband who never makes me feel so self conscious about my pregnant body.

I guess the worst thing for my self conscious pregnant self is being a 12-14 pregnant mumma next to size 6-8 pregnant mummas. Both times! None of them ever got as big as me, especially 42 week pregnant me! And I just look huge in comparison. At 4 months, I was bigger than a size 6-8 full term mumma! Or then the random, incredibly insensitive comments — it’s one thing when it comes from family and friends (most of whom seem to have learnt this time around!) but somehow even worse when it’s from a stranger. I can be bitchy back to family and friends, I can tell them their comments have upset me, I can be sarcastic back, even hurtful to them in a hormonal fit, but to random people? I can’t be rude back even though they’ve been rude to me. This pregnancy I’ve had “Oh, did you carry big with Elvis?” and “The PE teacher is only 6 weeks less pregnant than you, but you can’t even tell she’s pregnant. Are you sure there’s not two in there?” How rude are those people? People I don’t even know the name of! Well, people like that, let me explain a little bit of science to you – abdominal muscles are stretched during a pregnancy. Sometimes in a second + pregnancy, those muscles can separate a lot because of the first pregnancy. Especially when two pregnancies occur close together. It all depends on what your muscle tone was like before each pregnancy. Mine before Elvis would never have been as good as a freaking PE teacher’s so, yeah, I look far bigger. Or, perhaps there’s something wrong with the growth of my unborn child, thanks for bringing it up. (There isn’t as far as I’m aware and my fundal measurements are spot on so if I am too big, it is actually fat and not baby).

And that’s whilst pregnant, when I lie to myself that I need the chocolate, crisps and cake, when I feel revolted by meat but will eat pizza after pizza, when I decide to nap or relax rather than exercise. What’s probably worse is after the birth as I watch my size 6-8 mummas shrink back to that pre-pregnancy size and I don’t. I’ve never been able to lose weight. I’ve always cared but always been lazy! I can’t diet. I can’t exercise for weight loss, only fun. But how will I fit in swimming or jogging with two kiddies? And now I can barely walk around!

I have found an amazing new pregnancy hero though (through her breastfeeding photos) – Alyssa Milano. I was a huge fan of Charmed and did love all 4 sisters, although Phoebe may not have been in my top 3, and I recently saw a breastfeeding picture that she posted online – she looks fabulous! But then, after following her on facebook, I went back through a few images and found ones when she was pregnant. She wasn’t a stick-thin preggo. It feels kinda reassuring. Famous people are real, too.

Maybe I’ll just stay a blob forever. Or get the diet willpower. Or find friends who blow up and don’t snap back in days!

~ P

3 Comments »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leave a comment »

Baby in the Sunshine

British baby living in Dubai

Dallas Decoder

Between the Lines and Behind the Scenes of "Dallas"

ColleysWobbles

Riding the wave that is life...wobbles and all

Snot On My Jumper

...and other tales of parenthood

Scarlett and Me

Fashion and beauty for mums and their babes by Faye Jacobs

Dear Mummy Blog

The travellings of Baby Isabella

Can I Breastfeed In It?

Can I Breastfeed In It?

Motherhood - made up by me

My journey of motherhood of my daughter and how I make it all up as I go along

A new thing a day keeps the boredom away

My challenge for 2015: try something new every day for a whole year.