Thursday, 31 October 2013

24 hours in the life of a crazy mama


Just to show you I'm not always an irritatingly cheerful ray of sunshine, here's a rundown of my last 24 hours ;)

Wednesday, 8am: Feeling rubbish. The cold that floored everyone yesterday has caught up with me, so while everyone else is back to work/school, I'm tired and ratty. Gotta keep on keeping on though, engage positive mindset :)

Wednesday, 9am: Dropped kids off at school, and am heading back to my car which is parked in a street opposite the school (the school car park is tiny and always full). Am confronted by Angry Resident, who informs me that, despite the fact I'm not blocking anyone's drive and there are no yellow lines, he's "reported me to the police" for using his street (yes, apparently he owns the entire street) as a car park, and that maybe in future I should "get off that lazy arse and walk the kids to school instead of parking in HIS street". He ends this pleasant exchange by letting me know that if I even THINK about parking in HIS street again, he'll be "waiting" for me.
Now. In a better frame of mind, I might have informed him that, unlike 90% of the school parents, I don't live within a decent walking distance, and legally, I have every right to park where I like.
In my tired, frazzled, feeling rubbish frame of mind, however, I mumbled a lot of apologies, got into my car and burst into big snotty tears.

Wednesday, 9.15am: Get home, relay story to my mum, and continue to pour snot and tears everywhere. Never mind, at least I have a new baby group to look forward to starting at 10am, need to get myself ready for that!

Wednesday, 10am: Dammit. Realise that we're waiting for a furniture delivery, and because it hasn't arrived yet, I have to miss the baby group. I'm gutted, because I've been waiting months to start and this was the first day. More tears. Seriously, what is WRONG with me? Maybe I'm hormonal. Maybe it's a full moon? It is nearly Halloween...

Wednesday, 11.30am: Right, that's it. I'm still feeling rubbish so have decided to treat myself to a nap. Off to put Amelie down and snooze beside her, that'll make me feel better...

Wednesday, 11.35am: No such luck. The phone rings, and it's DFS, informing me that the sofa we ordered, which isn't due for 3 weeks, is there now and must be delivered tomorrow. WHAT???
I haven't got rid of my old sofa yet! My carpet is being laid on saturday and the living room needs to be empty. A living room with not one but two sofas in it does not count as empty!
Quick stressful phone conference with husband (who is at work and not really able to talk), where we decide that the only thing we can do is chuck the old sofa in the garden, get the new one delivered into the living room, and then put it into the garden on saturday while the carpet fitter is here. What's the weather forecast for saturday? Rain. Bugger.

Wednesday, 12.30pm: Suddenly realise that we need to pay the full balance of the sofa tomorrow. We don't have enough money in the bank. Luckily, we have enough between several accounts to scrape it together, so I nip onto internet banking to juggle some funds, only to discover that when I changed my password last time, it wasn't confirmed. Old password doesn't work. New password doesn't work. Get completely locked out of internet banking after repeated failed attempts to sign in, because I'm obviously some kind of masked hacker. Baby wakes up, no housework has been done, and no money has been moved. Deep breaths, we have a baby halloween party to look forward to at 2pm, that'll cheer me up!

Wednesday, 2pm: Furniture delivery STILL hasn't arrived, so we have to miss the party. Eat lots of chocolate, which is not dairy free.

Wednesday, 3pm: Furniture arrives, just as I'm on my way out to pick up the kids. Quickly get it chucked into mum's living room and race to school. I'm late of course, the tiny car park is full and I have to park miles away (not literally of course), so as not to incur the wrath of Angry Resident, who may or may not be "waiting" for me. It's raining, blowing a gale and poor Amelie screams all the way to the school. Sigh.

Wednesday, 6pm: Drop Daisy off at school disco. Luckily, Steve arrived home just as we headed out the door, so at least I didn't have to drag Amelie out again! Phew :)

Wednesday, 11pm: After settling the kids and laughing off the disastrous day with Steve, we spend the evening watching TV and cuddling, only to remember as we head upsteair that we need to get the old sofa outside before morning. Cue dragging sofa and armchair outside n the rainy darkness. Make each other laugh with juvenile jokes about what an effort is is to squeeze such a large heavy thing out of one's back door, and how we won't be able to sit down for days...

Thursday, 7am: Daisy starts the day off beautifully with an announcement that she can't go to school (she does this at least once a week). Today, her reason was that she has a sore back. Sure, that's possible, but she can miss gym and still go to school. She insists that i pick gher up during the day and take her to the doctor. She has a real fascination with going to the doctor, ad would go every day if she could. I say no, I can treat her with painkillers, and besides, I have to go to the bank and then wait in for the sofa.
Then she goes right for the jugular..."What's more inportant, your new sofa, or your child's health?"
Ooooooh. Good one. Luckily, thanks to the power of Calpol and the mobile phone, in case of real emergencies, the sofa wins this round.
Of course, I'm riddled with mother guilt - these kids know where my most sensitive guilt buttons are, and will push them at the most effective moment. This moment was perfect, because during this conversation, I'd walked into mum's living room to feed her dogs, and squelched my bare feet into a steaming pile of chihuahua poop.
Nothing adds insult to injury like having your mothering skills questioned by a 7 year old while scraping dogshit off your bare foot...

Thursday, 10am: Having dropped the kids off (explaining to the Head Teacher that Daisy has a sore back and to phone me if there's any problems), successfully transferred money at the bank and gone home to a hot cup of coffee and a lovely baby cuddle, I'm laughing at the previous 24 hours and back to my old happy self.
There's always something, and really, sometimes, you just have to laugh!

Speaking of which, the baby has just woken up, so let the craziness resume....have a good day, and if you don't have a good day, try to see the funny side tomorrow!

Jodie xxxx

Thursday, 10 October 2013

It's all in the framing

Today, I woke up and it was dark. I could tell before I even moved that it was windy and raining outside, I could hear the weather battering against my window. Bloody hell, why does it have to be so cold and miserable outside?
Although Amelie had not been too unsettled overnight, I'd woken up several times and felt like I just wasn't ready to get up yet. I knew I had to, though, the kids have school and I needed to go to the gym, the dog needed walking, and as always, I have a to-do list as long as my arm. I groaned, and in that moment, I'd have loved to dive back under the covers.
Daisy came bursting in, full of noise and any chance of an extra ten minutes in bed were shattered. It was time to get up, gah.
I always have a million demands on me, pulling me in every direction, and it's hard, and exhausting.

Hold on a minute. This doesn't sound like me! Well, although all of the above is true, my account of it would go like this...

I woke up this morning to the sound of my lovely husband getting ready for work. I smiled at him and said good morning. At the sound of my voice, my baby stirred and smiled at me. My heart filled with love and pride at the sight of her, and the tired feelings I had were shelved as I pulled her close for a morning feed.
My other daughter came bursting through the door and greeted us with her usual excitement. It was time to get up, and enjoy a new day!
Once we were all up and ready, we put on our cosy coats and hats and I took the kids to school, then kick started my day with an energetic workout to set me up for another busy day looking after my family.

Doesn't that sound better?

Autumn has hit us hard here in Aberdeen, and I can already hear people moaning about how "depressing" it is that the mornings and evenings are so much darker, the weather is so much colder, and winter is creeping in. I really think that for the most part, it's up to us whether or not to find this time of year depressing.
I actually think Autumn is my favourite season, a brilliant excuse to wear tights and boots, to make soup and go to bonfires, get excited about Christmas and look at twinkly lights.
Yes, it's cold and I'm not looking forward to scraping my car windows soon, but hey, at least I have a car and don't have to freeze!
I truly think most situations in life can be helped by the right attitude. Most of the time, we have a choice - do I let this situation annoy or upset me, or do I get on with it and find something positive?
I have lots of people telling me they don't know how I cope with three kids, three dogs, three guinea pigs and a cat, when pretty much every minute of the day someone needs something, or there's a mess being made somewhere. My answerr to that is always attitude.
I get grumpy, of course I do, but most of the time I can give myself a shake and remind myself that this is my choice - how am I going to handle it?

Have I been woken up too early, or is this a perfect opportunity to enjoy the sunrise?

Is the weather freezing and depressing, or is this a great time to dress my baby in cute wooly onesies?

Is it frustrating that I'm pinned to the sofa by two demanding girls who want attention, or is this a chance to marvel at how adorable they are together?


Am I exhausted after a long day of domestic drudgery, or am I looking forward to lighting the candles and enjoying an evening of cuddles with my husband?

Attitude, people. If there's one thing that'll get us all through a long, cold winter, it's keeping our attitudes nice and sunny. Anf if that makes me sound like a big old hippy, then I'm guilty as charged...


Have a great day!

Jodie xxx

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

It's been a while!


It's been HOW LONG since I last updated???
I know, I know, it's been ages! A combination of lack of computer access and lack of time has left this poor wee blog sorely neglected. It stresses me out when I don't update often, because this blog is all about those little everyday moments I want to remember, and if I don't record them there and then, they're lost.
Never mind, I'm back on it now and Amelie is getting herself into a nice little routine, so I must dedicate some time during naps to keep myself up to date.

So! Where are we? Amelie is now 17 weeks old and growing ridiculously fast - look at this for a comparison...


I know, right!!! Can I just say for the record, I am incredibly proud of myself for the fact that I'm still breastfeeding, and when I look at these pictures and know that it's my milk that's kept her going since birth, it makes me feel really chuffed. Breastfeeding was a big demon of mine, and now I adore it, so high five for the boobs! Not literally though, that would hurt...

Anyhoo, as ever, life is still flying by at 100 miles an hour, so until I get a chance to do a lengthy catch up, here's what's been rocking my world in the past month or so...

getting the kids back to school, although they're on holidays again on friday!

getting a teething girl back to sleep by giving her a hand to cuddle

family fun at the bowling alley

taking everyone along for the weekly shopping

spending time chatting together

making time to play

adoring this face

Enjoy life, and try to remember the little moments that make it all worthwhile.

Jodie xxx



Saturday, 17 August 2013

Catching up

Well, we're nine weeks in and doing grand! Amelie has settled beautifully into our family, and everyone just adores her.
It's nearly the end of the summer holidays here, and it's actually gone pretty well. The kids have been good at entertaining themselves when we've been busy doing housey things/baby care, and in between, we've made a good effort to spend quality time with all of them.

Last week, we went on a family holiday to Craig Tara holiday park in Ayrshire, and it was lovely to spend some chilled out time just having fun together. There were loads of things to do, but being the outdoorsy, camping types that we are, the highlights included walking along the beach and playing cards in the caravan!
Oh, and the sunsets...
Isn't that stunning? Who needs flashy entertainment and arcades when you can sit outside and look at this!

Anyway, we're back home and Steve had another week off, so the past week has been spent trying to catch up around the house. I love it when he's home, not only do we get to spend lots of family time together, he always seems to find himself a project so that when he goes back to work, the house is always better than it was.
This time, it's the garden. One half of our garden had become a bit of a dumping ground. It was full of uneven slabs, recycling boxes, storage bunkers, the wheelie bin and some big overgrown trees. Often we would fill the wheelie bin within a week, so would end up with bin bags cluttering up the area as well.
Steve has worked wonders this week, trimming and cutting down the trees, moving the bunkers, bin and boxes, and doing endless skip runs to get rid of unwanted bits and bobs. 
Here's how it looks so far...
Those trees at the back were completely overgrown, you culdn't even see that back wall! The rest of that slabbed area was rammed full of bunkers and boxes and bins, he's done a grand job!
The next step is to flatten it all, put down grass and hopefully build a little summerhouse at the back for the kids to play in, and we will also build a stone bbq and domed bread oven, I've always wanted one of those! It'll be a beautiful place to sit on a nice evening, and perfect for Amelie to toddle about in once she's bigger.
I love how Steve takes it upon himself to think of these projects and turn our house into a home.

Before I met Steve, I'd just moved back into this house, and apart from the extension being built, there had been no major renovation work done in the house for over 20 years. The past year has been spent planning (and paying for!) our wedding and the arrival of Amelie, so now we're getting stuck into making the house the way we want it.
This will mean a lot of decluttering, a lot of decorating and a lot of building work, so we will have loads of upheaval but it'll be worth it in the end.
On monday, we have a joiner coming to make some huge changes in our living room, kitchen and hallway, so I'll blog about those as they happen.

Another big change here is the fact that I'm still dairy free, so I've discovered the world of vegan cooking, using this book...
It's by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who runs the website Post Punk Kitchen, a truly inspirational vegan way of life! I'll be blogging plenty about this as well, it's bringing a much more xciting way of cooking and eating veggies into my life, and everything I've made so far is delicious!

Anyway, I think that's enough catching up for one day. I have a hungry baby shouting at me, so best go and feed her. Have a great day!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The first six weeks


Can you believe it, my little lady is almost 7 weeks old already! Well, everyone says the first six weeks are the hardest, and I'm inclined to agree.
It's not actually been very hard to be honest, but there's naturally an adjustment period in the first few weeks, while everyone gets used to the new dynamic in the house. We've all got on very well during this time, I can honestly say there have been no majorly stressful times, I think we're all of the "Keep calm and find a solution" mindset, so when things don't go according to plan, we just try a different tack until we find something that works.
The kids have been very good, it's the summer holidays and to be honest, I did have a small dread about how I would entertain them with a brand new baby to take care of, especially since I couldn't drive for the first six weeks.
We've been going for walks, meeting up with friends and they've never once complained of being bored. I'm really lucky, I think this is where having older kids is a blessing, they're old enough to understand that mum just can't be everywhere at once, and we're taking them away on holiday next week, so I don't have any guilt about not doing anything too "exciting" so far! As my health visitor says, if I can survive the summer holidays with a newborn, I can survive anything, as it's the longest and most challenging time for keeping kids of different ages busy and happy.

Baby wise, it's been brilliant, we all love having Amelie in the house, and none of us can imagine life without her!
The biggest challenge for me has been that Amelie has had reflux, which has meant that she found it almost impossible to lie down without choking, coughing and vomiting. At its worst, I couldn't even lie her down to change her nappy without her being sick everywhere and choking, it was awful.
The lack of sleep was the hardest.I was prepared for being woken up several times a night, to feed, change and settle a baby. What I wasn't prepared for was having a baby who physically couldn't lie down, which meant having to spend every single night sat bolt upright in bed holding her up on my chest. There were quite a few nights when I would spend a good hour just crying quietly to myself in the middle of the night because I was so tired. I was determined to not let it impact on the rest of the family, so rather than get grumpy ad snappy during the day, I'd save it all up and have a good bubble to myself overnight!
We tried Gaviscon, which made a little impact in terms of settling Amelie and making the reflux less distressing for her, but she was still vomiting a lot and couldn't lie down, so now we're on Ranitidine (Zantac), which has made a world of difference. Suddenly we can put her down in her crib at night and I can lie down and actually sleep, yay!
We can even put her down for naps during the day and I can do housework, blog and rest, where before, she had to be carried and held at all times.
Another issue was the Amelie had a major skin rash which fared up after feeds, and lots of explosive nappies. The doctor suggested that she might have a cow's milk protein intolerance from my breastmilk, and that it would be worth cutting out dairy from my diet to see if that made a difference. Wow, huge difference!
I'll do a specific dairy free post later, but honestly, it's been almost a week and I see a huge improvement already. Her skin is clear, her nappies are better and she's like a different baby. A combination of the ranitidine and the dairy free diet has resulted in a happy, contented and settled baby girl who is an absolute joy to be around!

Anyway, this has to be a quick post because I have loads to catch up on, but will update on more stuff later. In the meantime, here are a few of my favourite photos from the first six weeks...







Thursday, 27 June 2013

Recovery

Okay, it's been two weeks (I KNOW! Already!!), and I'm feeling great - tired, of course, but otherwise fine. I have to keep reminding myself that I did have major surgery only 16 days ago, and am still very much "in recovery".
It's very tempting to try to be superwoman, but eventually, the adrenaline will wear off and I need to be gentle on myself. Good to stay active, and increase your activity every day, but listening to your body after childbirth is so important. Babies are entirely dependent on us, so we need to be as healthy as possible. Here are the top tips for childbirth recovery I've learned in the past two weeks...

1) REST! - this is number one for a very good reason, rest is so important. It's virtually impossible when you have other kids, but resting when you can will make all the difference.
I was very lucky in the first ten days because I had both Steve and my mum to help with making dinner, doing bedtime stories for Daisy, fetching things for me when I was feeding and doing the tidying and laundry. I was also able to get back to bed for an hour or so each morning and that really helped.
If you don't have help, try to make life easier in the early days by getting ready meals or easy dinners, and keep housework to a minimum. Obviously you can't ignore it completely, but dropping your standards for a couple of weeks will make life much easier. As long as your family has clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat from, it's all good! Hell, if you need to, buy plastic disposable plates and chuck them away, whatever helps!

2) WATER - I've never drunk so much water in my entire life as I have in the past couple of weeks! Breastfeeding makes you incredibly thirsty, and childbirth makes you lose a lot of water, so drink loads of the stuff.  I had a pack of 6 sports bottles of water, and whenever they're empty, I refill them and keep them in the fridge so there is always water on hand for when I'm feeding.
I used to think tea, coffee and fizzy drinks made me feel better when I was tired, but nothing refreshes you quite like ice cold water, and it's free!!!

3) PAINKILLERS - take them. Seriously, even when you feel okay, just take regular painkillers for at least a week after birth, because the pain sneaks up on you, and usually hits a sudden peak just when you're feeling really tired. I'm on day 16 and only stopped the pain relief yesterday!

4) CRY - you will feel tearful at points, even if you're perfectly happy. It's a combination of hormones, tiredness, overwhelming emotion and adjusting to the massive change in your life, so let it out! I warned my family well in advance that if they saw me crying, not to worry, that it was perfectly normal. I have had a couple of teary days, and all I really needed was a cuddle. With my older two, I repressed the tearfulness, because I didn't want people to think I wasn't happy or wasn't coping. It really doesn't mean that at all, it's just a normal process, so let those tears flow, you'll feel better for it.

5) SUPPLEMENTS - I've been taking Arnica, a homeopathic remedy which is really good for recovering from trauma and reducing swelling and bruising.
I've also been taking Fenugreek, for increasing milk flow. My milk is flowing like an ocean, so I highly recommend it!
Placenta capsules - I read about the benefits of consuming your placenta before I gave birth, so I took mine home and encapsulated it myself. I'll write a separate post on that another time! I've been taking 2-4 capsules a day, and I feel awesome! You can pay someone to do it for you, but it's easy enough to do yourself, and it makes you feel like a super clever surgeon/pharmacist ;)

6) TALK!!! - Talking is so important. Talk to your partner, no matter how happy you both are, there will be times when one or both of you is feeling frazzled and stressed. As long as you both communicate and assure each other that everything is fine, it will make life so much eaiser. When you're full of hormones and tiredness, it's so easy to take little comments or sighs personally. All it takes is "Sorry, I'm just tired. I love you", to make everything better again. Don't fall into that trap of niggling about who has had more sleep or who has changed more nappies. Building resentments is pointless, just talk about it!
I do all the waking up in the night, I'm breastfeeding so there's no point in Steve waking up. He did offer to change nappies, etc, but I really don't see the point in us both being awake! I'd rather he got a good nights sleep so he could let me back to bed in the morning. Coming to arrangements like this before your baby comes can avoid resentments and arguments afterwards.
Also, building a support network of other parents is brilliant, you can share stories, swap top tips and discoveries and if you really need to, have a good old moan to someone who has been there and understands.
As the old BT adverts said, it's good to talk.

7) FRESH AIR - so, so important. No matter how exhausted you might feel, a bit of fresh air always makes you feel better. In the first couple of days, I would just take Amelie out to the garden and sit while Steve hung out the washing, and as soon as I felt able, I'd take her in her pram around the block. Now, I'm building up to longer walks, but still trying to get outside every single day. You will have times when you feel like the walls are closing in, and just five minutes of reminding yourself that there's a world outside really, really helps.

8) PATIENCE - finally, be patient. Especially if you've had stitches or surgery, recovery requires patience. Don't do too much too soon, the time will pass regardless, and paradoxically, if you rush yourself, you might actually find your recovery takes longer. Take this time to enjoy your baby, and slow down. This is your moment, accept the help and take it easy!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

.....and then there were five!


Well, here we are! Two weeks after my last post, we are now a happy family of five. On Tuesday 11th June, 2013, at 2.59pm, we welcomed our beautiful baby daughter Amelie Matilda Widden into the world.
My c-section went perfectly, albeit much later than planned due to a couple of emergency cases being taken before me, but she was more than worth the wait!
The last 12 days have been a blur of visitors, nappies, breastfeeding, baby cuddles, tiredness, euphoria and general manic family life. We had the added craziness of Charlie having a cub camp and Daisy having a cheerleading competition just a day after I came out of hospital. Thank goodness for my mum and Steve, who kept the whole ship afloat with a minimum of stress!
Recovery has been easy, I spent just under 24 hours in bed, and then it was business as usual. As long as I've kept taking regular painkillers, I've really had no issues at all. We were discharged from hospital less than 48 hours after Amelie was born, and so far, it's all been fairly plain sailing.
Amelie has slotted right into the family, she is adored by her brother and sister...


I'm so proud of how well they've adapted to stepping aside and letting Amelie's needs be a priority. I try wherever possible to carry on as normal and spend as much time with them as before, just with an added small person attatched to my boob!
Of course, it makes me extremely happy to see Steve being a daddy. He's been amazing, cooking for us all, tidying up, having more patience with the kids than me, and of course, giving me heart melting moments like this...
OMG. That is all.

He goes back to work tomorrow, and these two weeks have gone far too fast for my liking. I will miss him ridiculous amounts, but I guess we have to get back into a normal routine eventually. Only 5 weeks until he is off again though, so we have to just start looking forward to the summer holidays!

Anyhoo, lots of blogging to catch up on, but even more sleep, so I'll leave it there for now. Back soon with more stories of what we've been up to! I'll leave you with another peek at my newest little princess...

Isn't she perfect? This amazing little bundle of hope and possibility, I can't believe we made her! She is the link that bonds us all, a part of me, Steve, Charlie, Daisy and our parents and siblings, and that makes her even more special. I couldn't be more grateful for her.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Final Countdown - T-2 days and counting...


Gestation: 39 weeks

I'm feeling: Nervous! My c-section is in two days time and I can't wait, but obviously I'm a bit apprehensive. It's major surgery and I'll be wide awake and completely aware of what's going on, so I think it's pretty natural to have a teeny bit of fear.
I'll be fine though, as soon as I'm fully numb, and baby is out and crying, it's all going to be amazing! I can't wait to see our baby's little face for real, and give him/her a cuddle.
So, so looking forward to seeing Steve's face when he sees his son or daughter for the first time, it's going to be a very emotional day. 
Anyhoo, quick blog today, my brain has no words! Next time you hear from me, I'll be a mum of three, see you all when I'm out of hospital :)

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Final Countdown - a week to go!!!



Gestation: 38 weeks

I'm feeling: Right now, I'm feeling pretty good! Definitely taking it one day at a time, I've had one or two days this weeks when I've felt really ill or had a lot of pains, but I had my whooping cough vaccination on Tuesday, so a lot of that could have been side effects.
I'm tired, of course, but it's been a very busy week! Just to give an example, here's a day in the life from yesterday;

6.10am Wake up with alarm
6.40am Get up and make tea for myself and Steve
7am Drive Steve to work, head straight from there to MOT test Centre
8.50am Book car in for MOT, wait for mum to pick me up
9.30am Get picked up, head straight to supermarket for picnic food
10.30am Go straight to school for kids' sports day, stand and watch them do their sports events
12.30pm Head over to another field for family picnic
1.30pm Kids back at school, head home and take dog out
2pm Have shower and tidy up
3pm Leave to pick up kids from school (including dragging Charlie's bike into car)
4pm Head back out to pick up Steve from work
5pm Pick up Steve, head back to MOT test centre
6pm Pick up car, head to asda for quick and easy dinner
6.30pm Frantically feed Daisy some soup, get her ready for cheerleading (including very reluctant hair and make up, complete with tantrums)
6.45pm Steve takes Daisy to cheerleading, I feed Charlie his dinner and tidy up
7.30pm Steve and I eat dinner
8.30pm Leave for Daisy's cheerleading dress rehearsal, wipe away tears of pride
10pm Rehearsal finished, head home and make a cup of tea. Daisy full of adrenaline and very hyper!
11pm Daisy finally asleep, we head to bed.

Phew! Thank goodness my days aren't always this full! Amazingly, we managed to get through the whole day with no major stress of grumpiness, even though I was understandably knackered and Steve had had a horrible day at work. We all work pretty well together, we just know what needs doing and get it done, which is exactly how it should be! My mantra on days like these is "Don't panic - prioritise"
If the important stuff gets done, the rest can be caught up on later. I think this attitude will help once baby is here!
Today, I'm kinda tired because I was woken up at 2.30am by my phone ringing, I still have no idea who was phoning me at that time, possibly a wrong number! Of course, when your phone rings at that time, it worries you and you struggle to get back to sleep!
Then, Daisy decided to get up at 7am, and once she's awake, there's no getting her back to bed quietly. The dog wakes up and starts barking, and if I'm not quick to get downstairs and settle things down, the whole household is awake, so I have to get up!
Ach well, I'm getting plenty of practice at dealing patiently with lack of sleep and being very busy, and I think it's important to just get on with things. No point in being grumpy once you're up and about! I'm off now to get caught up with housework I fell behind on yesterday, then take the dog out.
Tomorrow, my poor little girl has to get up at 4am for her Cheerleading competition in Inverness, the bus leaves at 5am! Thankfully, my mum is taking her, I'm far too pregnant to be three hours from home right now!
Daisy is hoping we will have the baby while she is away so she can come home to a surprise - you never know!

C-section is ten days from today, so the final countdown is now in days rather than weeks. Can't wait!!!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Final Countdown - 2 weeks to go!!!


Gestation: 37 weeks

I'm feeling: Tired! It's been a crazy week. In fact, it's been a crazy couple of weeks! Loads going on here, between school meetings, Daisy's cheerleading competitions, appointments, dog grooming...there has hardly been a single day without lots of things happening, and often we're on the go from 6.30am and don't get a chance to sit down until after 9pm. At this stage of pregnancy, it's an exhausting pace to keep up with, but we manage.
Thursday was a difficult day, because I had to take Charlie's bike to school in the car (dragging a heavy bike in and out of the car is not pleasant when you're this big and sore), and I had to take the dogs to the groomers and back, cook dinner, do the usual housework, pick the kids (and bike) up again, take Daisy to cheerleading and Charlie to cubs....all in gale force winds with freezing cold driving rain. 
Thank goodness for Steve, who just jumps right into dad mode when he comes home from work and helps out with the evening routine! To be fair, he did most of the cheerleading and cubs runs, while I stayed home and tidied up after dinner. It was just one of those days where as soon as one job was done, we had to immediately go out and do something else, so by 9pm, I was pretty tired and tearful.
Luckily, I'm pretty good at adopting the "Just do it" attitude, so I sucked it up, got on with it, and reminded myself that in a few weeks, it'll be the summer holidays and we won't have to be in a million places at once!
As I said to my mum though, this busy lifestyle is actually an advantage, because when baby comes, getting into a routine won't be a hassle. I well remember sitting in my pyjamas all day long when Charlie was tiny, wondering how on earth people managed to get out of the house! Nowadays, I have no choice but to be organised and get to several places over the course of a day, so I won't have a chance to sit around feeling tired when baby comes, it'll be the same routine, just with an extra tiny person strapped to my chest!
Having said all that, I'm looking forward to tonight, the kids are off to their dad's overnight, and although I really miss them when they go, it'll be nice for Steve and I to just flump and relax after our hectic week. He's incredibly busy and overstretched at work, so I'm looking forward to a nice evening of loveliness, we both deserve a rest!
17 days today until Baby Widders is here, and then our days and nights will be even busier! Best enjoy the peace while we still can...



Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Final Countdown - 3 weeks to go!!!


Gestation: 36 weeks

I'm feeling: Pretty good! Turns out we have slightly longer to wait, however, boo! We had originally been given a provisional delivery date of Friday 7th June, but it couldn't officially be booked until I was 36 weeks. Yesterday, at our booking in appointment, it turned out that our date was already fully booked, and so was the following Monday, so our delivery date is now Tuesday, 11th June.
I'll be honest, we were a little disappointed, because we have to wait longer, and also, the way it had been planned meant that I'd have delivered on the Friday, been home from hospital on the Sunday and Steve would have had two full weeks off work to be at home with us.
This way, I'll deliver on the Tuesday and be home on the Thursday/Friday, which means that the whole first week of his paternity leave will be used up while I'm in hospital, and he'll only have one week at home with us afterwards. Dammit!
However, I'm well aware that babies are not designed to work to schedules, and all that matters is that our little one is delivered safe and healthy, rather than on a convenient date! We'll sort something out, I'm sure.
We will have to do something extra nice on 7th June, to stop the inevitable "Baby should be here NOW!!!" hormone-apocalypse ;)
I'm very cheered by the fact that we have a date though, and that's the absolute latest that our baby will be here. I'm on a birth board on FB where lots of women are already well overdue, and I well remember how crazy it drives you when you have literally no idea when things might start. I've known people whose husbands/partners work offshore or abroad, and face the very real possibility of missing their own baby's birth due to work commitments. It must be a nightmare knowing your husband is going away on a certain date, and your due date comes and goes with no sign of baby.
So, yes, counting my blessings here, my dilemma is absolutely nothing compared to some people's!

Also, looking towards the actual delivery, I'm feeling very fortunate to be having an elective c-section. I've read some very scary birth stories lately, and remembering the traumatic deliveries of Charlie and Daisy, I'm delighted that I won't have to go through that again. I know some people really feel like they're missing out by having to have a c-section, but I'm more than happy to just get my baby out quickly, safely and calmly. 24 days and counting!

Baby Prep: We have prepped all we can prep, we're absolutely ready! All essential furniture, blankets, bedding, nappy changing bits, bags, pram and anything else we need are all here and ready to go. Just need a baby now!

So yes, all in all, it's been a good week. As expected at this stage, I'm getting pretty darned uncomfortable, heavy and sore. Not sleeping due to peeing every two mins, constant heartburn, occasional unexplained hormonal meltdowns, getting out of breath when I walk, finding pretty much everything tiring and slow, etc etc.
Having said all that, I'm so incredibly lucky. I'm 36 weeks pregnant, conceived within a month of trying, have been pretty healthy throughout, and at this stage, baby is a good size and gestation, and if s/he was born today, s/he would no longer be considered premature and probably wouldn't need special care.
Every time I catch sight of my wedding ring or feel my baby wriggle, I am filled with love and gratitude for how much my life has changed for the better and how unbelievably lucky we are, so moaning and hormonal meltdowns aside, I am counting my blessings all the time, and there are MANY.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Hormones, hysterics and hilarity...



Aren't hormones fun? I think I can safely say that pretty much every woman alive has had a ridiculous hormonal outburst for absolutely no good reason at some point in her life, and pregnancy just throws that whole hot mess into a completely new level of craziness!

I'm a cheery, happy, level headed person, but when I think back to some of the hormonal outbursts I've had during pregnancy, I have to laugh! Once, when I was expecting Daisy, I was washing dishes in the kitchen and I burst into tears. My mum was there and asked what was wrong.
I said "It's not bubbly"
She replied, "What's not bubbly?"
I threw a cup into the water and shouted "The WATER!!! It's not BUBBLY ENOUGH!!!!!", then burst into big snotty sobs and sat on the floor crying uncontrollably. Because my dishwater wasn't bubbly enough.

Last night, I had an epic hormonal outburst because we were watching a programme about a really poor council estate, and Steve joked (Joked - I knew he was joking!) that it made our town look posh. Cue me in floods of tears because I didn't want him thinking I'd ruined his life by not living in a super posh town and having loads of money! I know for a fact that none of that matters to either of us, but Crazy Lady hormones made me ridiculously upset over a harmless joke. Honestly, I feel sorry for blokes sometimes....

This morning, I woke up feeling absolutely fine and decided to ask on my pregnancy FB group for other women's stories about hormonal outbursts, just to prove to myself that I'm not the only one who turns into a basket case towards the end of pregnancy! Well, mission accomplished. Here are the results....



" My oh came in from work and I'd said we needed to go shopping and I wasn't going on my own and he was like, 'what we doing then? C'mon you're not even ready!' And I was sat there ready to go with my bag right next to me, I of course took this as he didnt want to go an I was expected to do it all myself so I said as much whilst bursting into tears and slamming all the doors on my way out saying 'I'd do it myself and carry all the shopping on my own then!' "

"I  was going out for tea and OH told me I hadn't blended bronzer in, then said I had something on my tooth. Cue me shouting that he didn't need to pick up on all these imperfections and throwing my hand bag across car at him. He laughed for ages!"



I've had a few outrageously hormonal moments since being pregnant which i look back on with pure embarrassment now!
- Throwing the remote control at hubby as i screamed and cried at him that if he went to a pub quiz with his friends where "that whore" 
would be then i would divorce him... (that whore is actually a good friend of ours who is no threat to me at all, and is very happily engaged to her fiance. I had literally no reason for my tantrum, my poor husband was SO confused)

-When i sat and cried on DHs shoulder because i discovered that all my comfy pants were in the wash, the world was clearly against me and wanted me to suffer in my lesser comfy pants.

- When i didn't have the energy to brush my wet hair after a shower, so threw myself on the bed and cried into a pillow until he came upstairs and brushed it for me, while he made the similar sort of coo-ing "there there" sounds that you would usually only make to a wild animal in distress.

As i said, ridiculous! x"



 "When I was about 20 weeks pregnant I called my husband while he was working away in hysterics because the smoke alarm was beeping and needed the battery changing and I had managed to change it and it still wouldn't stop! Drove me absolutely mental! He panicked and thought I was in pain as I couldn't actually talk to him, i just cried and snivelled, haha! x"

I got a gorgeous roast dinner ready. Took me ages and was a lot of effort as I was really tired and sore. Got it into the oven and cooked for 1hr when I discovered we'd run out of gas for the cooker. Dinner couldnt be saved and I cried as I ate sandwiches instead."



I think the worst for me was when I was in the car (DH was driving) and in the middle of nowhere I decided I wanted Costa coffee. As there I was no where to get one from I started wailing 'I want my mummy!' (I'm 38)!!! DH just looked at me and said 'oh not now!'"

"I had a bit of a cry in bakers as they had no chicken bakes left  haven't been back since!"

Ahh, so glad I'm not the only one! Poor, poor men having to put up with us randomly going mental over nothing. Feel free to share your stories of Crazy Lady moments, I'm off to sob into my tea because it's not sweet enough....

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Final Countdown - 4 weeks to go!!!


Gestation: 35 weeks

I'm feeling: Physically? Sore, heavy and tired.
                    Emotionally? Brilliant! I'm very happy and excited right now. I know this is a prime time for starting to get impatient and wishing for the baby to be here NOW, but I'm avoiding that kind of thinking this time around. I think it helps that I'm having an elective c-section, because what actually drives you nuts in the last few weeks is not knowing when things will happen. That anticipation, fear and the feeling that every twinge might be "it" is what makes you incredibly fed up in the later stages.
This time, I'll have an actual delivery date, and if things happen before then, fair dos, but I'm not expecting that! I do get twinges and pains, but I'm more able to write them off as normal pregnancy related aches and pains, whereas the last two times I was back and forth to the hospital every time, and that's not good for you. Lots of hanging around followed by being sent home will drive anyone crazy!
I went to breastfeeding group on friday, and that was awesome. Everyone there is so nice and similar in outlook to me. Lots of babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth nappy using and general supportiveness, it's brilliant and I always leave there full of enthusiasm and excitement. Last time I joined baby groups, most of the other mums were more interested in immaculate houses, designer clothes and training their babies to "behave". There would often be knowing smirks between them if I chatted about natural parenting or picked up my crying child, along with tuts of "You're making a rod for your own back", "You'll regret that when he's older", or my personal favourite, "Put that bloody baby down! He needs to learn that you've got cleaning to do, you can't scrub your bathroom and hold a baby at the same time. Put him down to cry, it'll be the making of him!"
Um, yeah. It's hardly surprising that I didn't exactly fit in there, and my PND meant that I took the comments as a failure and felt pretty awful as a mum. It's no refreshing to meet mums who have the same parenting philosophies as me this time round, coupled with the confidence of being a bit older, knowing what worked for me and being more comfortable with following my own instincts. Feeling extremely positive that this time round, I'll be absolutely fine, and having a social circle of like minded mums makes me even more excited!

I'm eating: Still lots of mango and ice lollies, I'm always hot and thirsty at the moment!

Baby Prep: We got our cot mattress this week, so the cot looks brilliant with bedding on it, instead of a holding pen for baby equipment! Also bought a nappy box and a Mombo feeding pillow, and inspired by the mums at breastfeeding group, I'm going to look into getting some more washable baby wipes and natural baby washes. Might also look into getting some breastfeeding tea as well.

All in all, a brilliant week, and the coming week should be good too! I'm seeing one of the mums from BF group on monday, my pram arrives on tuesday, getting the dog groomed on wednesday, having a day of rest and reading on thursday, and friday is my 36 week scan and consultant appointment, so by next week's blog, I'll have a definite section date, yay!!!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Dear Baby...

Well, yesterday was eventful!
Baby Widders, you were so still when I woke up in the morning, and my mothering instinct told me that something wasn't right, or at least wasn't as it usually is. I know I'm asleep all night, but I must be unconsciously aware of your movements, because as soon as I opened my eyes, my first thought was "Why hasn't baby moved since last night?"
I lay for twenty minutes, switching sides, to see if I could feel anything, but nope, you were perfectly still, and that made my heart feel a little bit panicky.
I phoned the hospital, and Daddy and I went in to see what was going on. After an hour of waiting, we finally got strapped to a monitor to measure your heartbeats. Everything was fine, but the midwife thought that my bump was a bit too small for dates, and told me I would need a scan to make sure you hadn't stopped growing. Unfortunately, I had no idea when the scan would be and we just had to wait.
Poor Daddy had to take the whole day off work, which was good because he wasn't feeling well anyway, but bad because he is SO busy at work and knew it would mean being twice as busy today!
Anyway, we had a long wait ahead, so we snuggled up on the hospital bed together and had a snooze until it was finally time for the scan.
Well, after five hours of waiting, we were called through, and this is what we saw...


The most beautiful little face ever! Oh my goodness baby, you are absolutely stunning. You were opening and closing your big eyes, sticking out your tongue, smacking your gorgeous rosebud lips together and waving your lovely little hands around. Your measurements are fine, you are right on time and there are no worries about your growth.You are absolutely perfect. Seriously, you're amazing.
I've always been in love with you, but I struggled to imagine exactly what you'd look like. When I saw you yesterday, I fell even more in love. I can't wait to see your face for real, to kiss your little nose and look into those amazing big eyes. You are going to look just like your daddy, which is lucky, because believe me, he is absolutely gorgeous!
It was worth the scare to see you on screen. I know that you're okay, and that's worth far more than a whole day of waiting around. I promise you baby, that I will always protect you, I'll always trust my instincts, and no matter how many false alarms you might give us, I will never take any chances or worry about wasting people's time. As daddy said, you are our priority, and if making sure you're okay means taking time off work, sitting around for hours on end waiting for doctors or being scared to bits, we will do it all for you.
We love you Baby Widders, and we'll see you for real very very soon xxxxxxx