Wednesday, 22 May 2013

How One Became Two

I thought I'd posted something similar to this already. I can't find it, if I did. I've just realise the benefit of useful, informative post titles though. I wrote this tonight as a response to a friend's worries about increasing her family. Names have been changed, but nothing else has been.

As you may/may not remember my start with Pix was very similar to how I think yours was with YourBaby. It was a stressful, traumatic labour which I didn't physically recover from the aftermath of for over a month. More like 6 weeks. I was in a LOT of pain from various different things which admittedly weren't all as a result of giving birth. Emotionally I was a bit of a wreck too - I'd have flashbacks and panic attacks about the labour. 
By the time I was physically healed a lot of emotional damage had been done because (and I do admit I'm not very good at being altruistic, not the best trait in a parent) it was 6 weeks of, frankly, wishing Pix wasn't around so I could feel better and not hurt. All the mess surrounding feeding him added to the - I wouldn't say bonding issues, but the feeling as though the love for him was something that had to grow rather than something that was innate and natural and there from the beginning, you know?
By the time Pix was about 9 months I started feeling calm about being a parent. Well, not calm, but calmer! I enjoyed it. I endured the first 9 months, I think. There were good bits, don't get me wrong, but I felt like I was coming out of a shell shocked daze. I put it down to him being mobile then, but who knows? He wasn't a high needs baby but he needed more than I realised (well duh, he was a baby). I definitely didn't want more babies. I genuinely didn't think I'd be able to get through the trauma of it all again, that it would definitely break me. I remember telling people that I wasn't one of 'those' parents who said never, ever again only to go on to having 3 more kids.
Inevitably - and I just checked, it was when Pix was 1 year, 8 months and 2 days old - the seed of doubt sprouted and I started to consider that there may be more babies in our future. I don't know what triggered it, really. Hormones, biological clock, seeing how awe-sam No1 had become? Who knows, But when that little voice started there wasn't really much I could do, you know? There were a hundred reasons why No2 was a Really Bad Idea but an 8lb idea was bigger than those. We talked about ways we could have a baby but not go through all that again, talked about adoption, talked about going straight to an elective section, not breaking my back the week before...
I spoke to my GP about a referral to the [hospital] birth trauma centre which was (at the time) about to open. I started preparing by coming off medication which needed to be out of my system for 6 months and very vaguely thought about how I wouldn't be in the same position during labour/post labour again. This is a massive TMI but I started getting panic attacks again when it came to the, um, conception bit of having another baby because I knew it wasn't recreational but procreational (OMG, I didn't even know that was a real word) but I went with the very mature response of absolutely, definitely not thinking about it at all thankyouverymuch. Then I put my head in the sand for 6 months until I got the BFP.
I spent the next, ooh, 10 months shitting myself. Literally, sometimes. Oh God, that was a joke. I spent a very, very long time feeling sick from anxiety about what I'd got myself in to. Before the month was out I'd written a list called 'Things To Shit Myself About' to raise at my booking in appointment, who referred me to [Head of Midwifery] to have the debriefing session you had. There was a lot more sand/head interfacing; there was a LOT of wailing at people who had BTDT. Knowing that people had come out of similar situations and stayed relatively normal was a help. But, you know, mostly the head/sand.
I know you've not asked for more and I'm sorry if I'm stepping over the line now, but having Pops healed me. I was prepared for the worst to happen but I took control of what I thought might go wrong - booking [my doula], having a home birth, refusing to go to [hospital] in an emergency, refusing anything but an epi, making sure the people who were going to be there knew what state I was likely to be in. Knowing I was likely to be unable to speak but that people who had been primed to intervene gave me the reassurance that I'd be able to let go and let myself do what I needed to do. I think you're probably there, in some ways. You know the birth that you want, you know how it'll happen and you have more support prepared to help you get it. If YourHusband is anything like MyHusband then he knew last time but was so busy crapping himself about it all that he didn't feel as though he could intervene as much as I felt necessary. Also because it was such a brand new experience that he didn't know for sure that I even wanted him to intervene. You know that what happens in labour is unpredictable and no matter how much you plan and prepare your body might do something different but that works both ways. What happened last time may not happen this time. And actually, both of my labours were very similar physiologically - both went back to back during labour, contractions never got established etc. Yet because of my environment they were handled in massively different ways! Also, from getting to know [Supervisor of Midwives] and the MSLC I truly believe that [hospital] has turned around in the care they give. They're very much about supporting women and there wasn't that vibe 4 years ago, and I'm positive if you ended up in hospital and [SoM] was there she'd get involved to help you.
As for your concerns post-labour, well, again, you can't predict what will happen. Pops was a dream baby. Was it a more AP approach I took that did it, or was that just her? I don't know, but the entire thing couldn't have been more different. You might have an easy baby, you might have a challenging baby but you WILL cope. You're strong, and capable, you have support, you know what to expect. I love having 2. They're fascinating together, they're funny, they're massively different in personality. I'm SO glad I didn't let my fear hold me back, and it so, so could have. The fear nearly broke me but Pops healed me 

Friday, 17 May 2013

Telling A Good Tale

Pix has been really funny and clever today.

We had a car conversation about how "burglars are bad" so, curious, I asked him if everybody who steals is a baddie. He said no, but didn't know why some people might not be so we discussed how if someone can't feed their family and they stole food that wouldn't be a bad thing to do. Which led to...
"If they stole all the food what would happen?"
"We could buy different food"
"If they stole all of our food what would happen?"
"We could afford to buy other food"
"If they stole all the bread in the shop what would we do?"
"Buy bread from a different shop"
"If they stole all the bread in all the shops what would we do?"
"Make some more"
"If they stole all the machines to make the bread what would we do?"
"Eat something different."
Which led to...
"If they stole something from the police station what would happen?"
"They couldn't, because there's too many police officers there"
"But if they killed all the police officers?"
"Then there'd be more police officers from somewhere else"
"But if they killed all the police officers everywhere?"
"Then new ones would be made"
"But if they were on fire they'd have to be put out. Would the doctors help the baddies if they were on fire?"


[Comes running in, howling with laughter, apropos of nothing]

"Mommy! Girls would look silly with beards!"

I didn't like to mention Grandma's... ;)


"Girls can't wear boy clothes, can they?" 

Careful where you go with this one, kiddo. You've just begged for - and been given by a generous friend - a purple velvet number. When questioned about what boy clothes are he points to his (turquoise) Buzz Lightyear tshirt.

"You know, bl-" *looks at my (blue) tshirt* 

"Oh!" *mad giggles*


He also made up a story. 

"Mr Tickle was out one day and he met a nasty boy who was called Nasty Boy who killed a person. Then he killed another person and then all the people. Then he ate all the killed people and then he killed himself. And then he went home and decided to be a good boy."

Friday, 10 May 2013

Stream of Consciousness, Pre-School Style

"Sometimes when I'm naughty I think you're not my best friend anymore. Are you my best friend even when I'm naughty? The thing is, I want to be your best friend even when I'm a grown up but I'll get married... I want to marry a girl. Poppet! But when she's grown up she won't be my sister she'll be my brother. Will her hair be the same as mine when she's grown up?"

 *runs away blowing a party streamer*


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Thursday, 9 May 2013

Accidents and advertising

"Mommy, if you have an accident and it wasn't your fault and someone else was to blame then you need to call someone about that don't you?"

I think Pix might just watch too many TV channels with commercials on. Back to Cbeebies.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Let's go fly a pirate ship.

After a horrendous start to the Bank Holiday weekend (horrendous to the point I had to call all of Ed's colleagues to get them to interrupt his client meeting so he could come home RIGHT NOW because I couldn't stop fainting from a stomach bug. Which he then came down with. Yeah.) things picked up and we made the most of the glorious weather. I know, May Bank Holiday, nice weather and the north west of the UK - I don't think that's ever happened before.

On Sunday we headed up to Lyme Park to fly kites up at the Cage, cavort around the adventure playground and roll down hills.

Let's go fly a kite

Crawling up that hill, made a deal with God....

They were filthy by the end of it. So were we! They don't warn you of that when they're extolling the virtues of babywearing, do they? ;)

Today we made good on Pix's belated birthday trip to Gulliver's World which was heaving - better than our last visit when we tried to go when it was still closed for the season. Whoops. Taking the carrier on its second trip of the weekend was inspired really; it was SO much easier to have Pops tucked up on us rather than being pushed and barged by the crowds in the pram.

The park is looking a bit tired and was understaffed which is a shame as it's the perfect size for littlies. There's only 2 rides that Pix can't go on and there's a fair few that Pops is able to ride on too. Although as she seems to have grown 8 foot overnight that's not surprising. Two things they did really well were the number of toilets (hurrah, says the ridiculously tiny sized bladder person!) and the number of climbing frames where the kids can run riot. They both did really well with queueing and walking and I think it's because they got to run off steam at every second corner.

Apparently as Pix got off the Pirate Ship and his dad said thank you to the guy running it, he shouted "Shiver me timbers!" then ran off. He's a comedy genius sometimes.

Scream if you wanna go faster!
Given the amount of sugar, e-numbers and BLUE ICE LOLLIES they had, I'm surprised they're asleep. Thank god they are, I'm bushed.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

*tap tap* Is this thing on?

Oh dear. 6 months and no post. You can blame my forum and GOING BACK TO WORK for that. Eurgh.