Persephone: Parent

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17 Weeks

I’ve seen the midwife for my most recent check, I’m just about 17 weeks (only 23 to go!) and everything’s all good. Baby Robin was really wriggly, just like at my 12 week scan. Elvis was never that wriggly in the tum. Hubby’s decided it means that Robin will be a girl. I’m not sure. This pregnancy and baby sure feel different. I’d always imagine that subsequent pregnancies can feel different though, and not necessarily just because it could be a different gender. I don’t know, maybe some women can tell the gender during their pregnancy. I don’t know. But I would always assume that a second pregnancy could feel different because, well, your body’s already done it once!

Hubby is almost 100% sure that Robin is a girl – I’m more emotional (sobbed my heart out at a comedy show), this bubba’s wriggly and the dating scan dated my due date a week later than what we thought. Elvis, whose conception was noted to the hour almost, the dating scan brought his due date a week early. Hubby’s decided that it means Elvis was big, he’s a boy, Robin is smaller so a girl. I don’t know. I am more emotional and this baby is not only more wriggly, but I’ve had the random pains that the midwife guestimates is Robin sitting on a nerve. Elvis never sat on my awkwardly, except when I was swimming and he’d settle on my bladder. I never had the odd pains, never had the immediate need to pee because he shifted. Robin moved the other night and for half an hour it pained me to lie on my side, either side, and I already don’t feel comfortable lying on my back. That wasn’t too good a night of sleep!

From the heart rate that the midwife took (when she eventually found the wriggle Robin), it’s 140. The Old Wives’ Legend says, I think, over 140 is a girl, under is a boy. Well, bang on probably doesn’t indicate a hermaphrodite! I hope. I’ve seen other people on their blogs compile a list of Old Wives’ tales and predicting each month regarding the gender and I might look into it.

As for my routine change with Elvis… Well, it isn’t necessarily going that well. But over a week later and I have come to the conclusion that we just have to be more flexible on an afternoon. If he naps early enough at nursery, he will sleep in the afternoon. If he naps too late at nursery, he might not sleep at all. As for me trying to shift his naps so he went to sleep easier at night, I don’t think it’ll work. And, as hubby says, even if he does stay awake for 2 hours in his cot after bedtime, he’s never unhappy about it. He didn’t nap at all the afternoon I saw the midwife, which does worry me regarding our impending move. How am I supposed to pack and then unpack if he won’t nap?

But then I’m also worrying about not having my Tivo all the time once we move so clearly I worry over silly things!

~ P

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Countdown to Graduating

It’s gradually creeping up on me: Graduation, the time when I graduate from my maternity leave, from The Other Side and return to work.

I want to say return to normal, but nothing will be the normal that it once was ever again. Nope, I just have to figure out a new routine, a new way of doing everything. Which is why I’m chilling out now. Elvis only wants to nap in his cot? Fine, I’m going to enjoy my time at home, relaxing before I graduate. Elvis needs to learn to nap at Nanny’s. Nope, I have even longer before he’ll be going to Nanny’s once a week and who knows what his schedule will be like at 15 months so I’m going to chill about it.

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Rolling, Rolling, Rolling…

Less than three weeks ago, I can clearly remember the beginnings of my fear, or apprehension that Elvis was never going to learn to roll over. It just never seemed on his mind. After learning to sit unaided at 4 months, lying down was a position that he just never really wanted to be in. It was also just after he turned 4 months and learnt to sit that we moved him into his cot, giving him far more freedom to move.

And of course, he would be put down on his back on his playmat for short periods, he still showed no signs of rolling!

I was starting to worry (only because everything tells you when each baby should learn to do everything).

Then he suddenly did it! I was so immensely excited.

Now, I hate that he can roll!

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Worry Lines

My son, despite being less than 5 weeks old still, has this amazingly cute forehead. When he’s just lying there, it’s just a normal forehead, but when he stretches or lazily unattaches sleepy and full, it is the cutest thing he does. It’s even cuter than his smile.

It wrinkles with these 4 lines and his eyebrows raise as his whole entire face kinda stretches. His forehead worry lines are the cutest thing ever, but I’m the only one who ever really sees it because no-one looks that closely when Elvis is feeding. Obviously.

His are cute.

However, my own worry lines must have got worse since he’s been born!

We tried the fan in the bedroom last night. Epic Fail! Obviously it was happily making noise and either Elvis wasn’t being a restless sleeper or the fan was doing its job. Except this meant that I couldn’t hear his breathing. Well, duh, isn’t that the point? But I was going to worry so off went the fan and it was back to Elvis sleeping on me.

Now it’s either his new natural rythym, being cooler or co-sharing, but he fed at 8pm, settled to sleep by 9pm and then woke up at 2am, partially because I was worried and woke him up to feed. It’s the longest he’s done and my boobs were so engorged I tried him on the 2nd, which he spat back up. Then he didn’t wake for another feed for another 4hrs.

Don’t get me wrong I feel lovely and rested today. I’ve been out leisurely shopping, washed up, put washing on (the 2nd boob spit up was all over my bedsheet and pyjamas), changed duvet cases. But I’m now worried that he might not be eating enough during the day.

I have no evidence to say he isn’t. Wet and dirty nappies – yep. Feeding 6-8 times in 24 hours – yep, well he’s on his 5th and we’re just over half way through the day. Plus this feed has lasted an hour and he is actively feeding!

I’m probably worrying over nothing, like the breathing, but I might go get him weighed Monday just to check he’s still gaining!

It’s my job, right, to worry?

My selfish moment of the day? Wanting half an hour dozing in my bed without Elvis and with hubby. Did I get it? No. Oh well, I got over it.

~ Persephone M

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Day 283: Verbalising the Worries

Yesterday I was reading through the blogs I follow that I get emails for and one of them stood out to me. I’ll try and find the blog link before posting.

The blogger said that they had been reading about mentally preparing yourself for labour and I wondered exactly what they meant. I’ve done my fair share of reading the facts with regards to labour and then, when it became relevant, induction, choosing to ignore people’s advice from their own experiences due to individual variability. It’s my preference to have knowledge and information regarding processes, signs and symptoms without knowing everyone’s horror stories.

So was that what the blogger meant? No, the blogger had read some information about verbalising, and therefore releasing, your fears, doubts and worries, that by keeping those things in a body could stop or at least hinder labour.

I don’t want to get into discussions or pros and cons or any sort of debate any more than I want people offering up their birth stories or unsolicited advice, but surely verbalising any kind of worry is good for the soul? It’s similar to writing lists before bed to get worries off your mind, not trying to solve the problems just simply getting them off your chest.

As I happened to be reading my emails with hubby sitting next to me I decided to verbalise my issues to him and he sat there and simply listened because there was nothing he could really say. He listened as I told him how I’m concerned that I’ve put all this pressure on myself regarding the birth. He patiently sat there as I admitted that I feel like a failure, that I’ve always considered our fertility problems being my body and my failure. For three years, once a month my body failed and, yeah, fair enough I’ve suceeded in growing this baby and nourishing this baby and doing as much as I possibly can for the good of this baby, but I can still be a failure.

And I don’t even mean the hugely pessimistic failure of something going so wrong that I still don’t get my baby dream. No, I mean that I can fail yet again because of an inability to give birth without assistance. And this isn’t a perceived view of how labour must go from propaganda where some organisation states that nature is best; it’s something I’ve decided that has become a stronger and stronger notion.

I tend to view it as that I was a failure in getting pregnant (you know that thing women are built for) I don’t want my body to fail in labour. By no means do I think that women who require assistance in labour as failures, just as no one else with fertility problems, no one else still sadly in the trenches, as failures. It’s just me! And I’ve now built it up to a huge thing all on my own.

He didn’t even laugh when I told him that I was scared to give birth because then I’ll have to share Elvis, even if it’s sharing Elvis with hubby. Which is crazy, but for however many months Elvis and his kicks, punches and reactions to being tickled have made him so tangible and my child that I don’t want to lose that. I sat there and told him I was concerned that I would push him away because until Elvis is born he is all mine.

Oh, and all the stuff about how I know he’s safe all the time whilst he’s still in me and once he’s out there are far too many things that I can’t control.

And so I told hubby all this stuff, crying very slightly at the time, but if I have been holding Elvis in, maybe now I’ve let the words out I can let him out. I haven’t solved any of my concerns/worries/fears, but I have shared them. So, come on, Elvis!

~ Persephone M

Blog I read: The Solo Mama Project

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7 Day Itch… In More Ways Than One

Today is officially my 6th day of maternity (although it’s still actually annual leave) but because the hubby was at football all day Saturday, today is day 7 of alone time.

And hubby’s working late so I’m alone for even longer.

I’m not going to say that I’m bored, I think it might just be a weird day. I’m starting to worry.

A lot.

There are still 9 days until my EDD and aside from a few Braxton Hicks in the early evening there is no sign of Elvis. According to my GP earlier, his head isn’t engaged yet. Meanwhile my friend was induced last night at 37 weeks early.

Her induction truly makes me feel like I’m the last and I’m trying my hardest to not wallow in a TTC state of mind. It’s difficult.

Especially when Elvis isn’t engaged. Especially when, aside from a moses basket stand, I’ve bought everything I think we need. Including yet more clothes! Especially when it still hurts enough as to how we got here, as the days count down I seem to be more and more aware of it.

Especially when my itchy, spot covered stretch marks are still itching like hell and I now seem to have a rash on my arms and I’m itchy all over.

I’m worrying whether he’s anterior or posterior. I’m worrying because the nurse won’t give me a blood test to check my liver until Friday. I’m worrying that multiple people are purposefully arranging a visit that could be far too early for my liking and I seem to have no control. I’m worrying that I’m going to be expected to be fine and coping but that in actual fact I won’t be. I’m worrying that absolutely everyone will be able to tell me how I’m doing everything wrong because they’ve all been there and done that.

I’m worried that I’m going to end up failing at everything like I always have done.

~ Persephone M

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62 Days And Counting: What’s Peed me off Today

I didn’t intend on posting today.

I didn’t intend on posting this today.

But sometimes things happen.

 

I’ve found work incredibly frustrating and annoying over the past 7 months of pregnancy for a variety of different reasons.

Due to the manual labour-ish type of work I do, my boss moved me to desk work for health and safety. But no one bothered to look into the health and safety of me sitting at a laboratory bench on a laboratory chair doing 7-8 hours of laptop work. I should be at a normal desk on a normal chair that supports me properly using a PC not a laptop (that last one isn’t pregnancy related at all).

It’s annoyed me because HR/employer can’t seem to provide me with any of the information that I need. Nor can they meet deadlines set out in the government guidelines when it comes to maternity based issues.

I’ve had to ring central HR myself for answers because my own HR department failed to respond to my repeating a question at least 3 times.

My employers have lost paperwork when I have done things the official way. So now I email them. It’s not how they want everything, but at least things don’t go missing. Or even worse get stolen!

About an hour ago I received a call from a health visitor explaining that they need to meet with me before Elvis arrives. Their first option is to meet tomorrow morning. How many people in a job can drop everything for the very next day?

I know that meeting them and any other ante-natal based appointment is important, but the next day… only those lucky enough to not work or work shifts can really drop everything for the very next day if it isn’t urgent.

So we couldn’t come up with a suitable time and she says that they can try and meet me as I start Maternity Leave and hope that Elvis doesn’t come too soon as I don’t have any annual leave between now and then.

I mention this quickly to my boss whilst still on the phone as there are two suitable days next week, but they take another phone call and can’t answer me, resulting me and the health visitor still with no appointment time.

Earlier today I was looking up something with regards to ante-natal care and vaguely remember seeing something about health visitor appointments being included as ante-natal care that is covered by paid time off. So I pop over to see HR and double check.

In no way did I mean it as get around my boss. I wanted to know if I needed to take annual leave, wait or if it was paid time off. HR said, yes, it’s paid time off. I just need to give a bit of warning, which is completely understandable and fair.

I then mention this to my boss. I meant it as a way of informing them that I would be making a medical appointment during work time (with notice) and that I was entitled to. They pretty much snap at me that “fine, make it whenever you want” in this snippy tone that they¬†so frequently use with me. I even said that I’d checked with HR with regards to paid/not paid. My boss seems to be reacting as if I decided their answer wasn’t good enough and I’ve run to HR to get the time off.

Even trying to add in a few other comments to my boss to show it wasn’t a behind their back thing was met with snippy.

They then went off to a meeting and I’m left here eating my lunch and really rather angry and peed off. It may have been an over-reaction when the health visitor said they’ll try and catch me when maternity leave starts but before Elvis is here, but I panicked a bit about not getting the chance to meet them and if it will reflect badly on me. I have no annual leave to take so I needed to know if I was covered by HR/paid time off.

And my boss is acting like I’ve done it out of spite or going behind his back to get my own way. So often they’re like this. I’ll mention something about returning after my year and I get a comment about how working this or working that is pointless and they can’t go that long or it would be stupid for the workplace, when no one knows what my plans are.

The health and safety issues, the lack of information from HR and the snaps I keep getting from my bosses are making me absolutely hate working here and not wanting to return after the year, but then what’ll I do?

Rant over,

~ Persephone M

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Two Thirds of the Way Across

I’m still waiting for my original blog to catch up before I release this blog and publish these posts so I’m trying not to write too much. I will post these few in quick succession though so that both blogs end up back in real time.

My estimated due date, EDD, is 13 weeks today! How freaking scared does that make me?

That means, although nothin’s accurate with these things, that I’m on the final third and, seeing as it’s all measured in thirds, the pregnancy journey – No Man’s Land – is on the final stretch. I sometimes worry that I’m not supposed to get worried. That after three years of trying to conceive (TTC) and being diagnosed as having unexplained infertility, that because of all that effort and stress, the fact that treatment worked should make all of this the best thing in the world.

I’m not one of those people that have enjoyed pregnancy. I spent the first 3 months petrified. The second three (which are supposed to be the nicest) flashed by without me realising that they were even there. And now at the beginning of the final three, I already feel too hugely uncomfortable. It hurts to lie on either side or my back. My pubic bone still randomly hurts, although not as bad as at week 19. And I still have 13 weeks to go!

I spent the first three months declaring that I hated the pregnancy so much (not being pregnant, just its effects on my body) that one child will be more than enough. Of course, having had medical help to conceive it’s all together possible that we would need treatment to get pregnant again anyway. But I’m distracting myself from the rest of the hugeness that will happen (although I’m being fed up with being told I’m *too* big) by getting the house in order, buying the bulkier things I need to sort out. I like shopping so it should provide a good distraction.

And although I feel crappy when trying to sleep at night, Baby Bump is more active during the morning so doesn’t keep me awake and going swimming regularly helps me feel better. My lower abdominal pain is only really present when I walk and the rest of the time I feel fine.

If only near strangers and my parents could stop saying I’m far too big and must be having twins or have my dates wrong. They’re about to give me a complex!

~ Persephone M

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