Monday, 28 February 2011

Nudey crawling

So after several weeks of commando crawling, Immie has done her first proper crawl. Christopher noticed she was doing proper crawling in the bath and decided she might try it on dry land if she didn't have a nappy on.

So after some negotiation that he would clean up any accidents (as letting Immie do anything with no nappy on is like playing Russian roulette!) he closed the stair gate and all the doors upstairs and gave her free run (or free crawl) of the landing. Sure enough she did a proper crawl from one side to the other. No more commando crawling, our baby girl has finally cracked it.... until you put a nappy back on then its back to army style commando crawling. Sigh. Now I see the point of active fit nappies. Might be off to buy some later!

Mama x

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Mummies don't have time to be ill!

So I've been awake since 1.30am. My cocodamol & 8hr cold and flu tablets wore off after 3hrs. I feel cheated. 

Immie has been struggling with  a monster cold for weeks now (she caught it from nursery I think) so much so she has missed 2 swimming lessons (plus half term, means no swimming for nearly a month). Every time I think she's getting a bit better she seems to take a backwards step. 

I too had a cold a few weeks back but I seemed to shake it after a couple of days, I knew that was too quick and it would come back to bite me. And so here we are a few weeks on and it has reared it's ugly congested head. Sore throats are quite possibly the worst thing ever :(

But I can't be ill, because at 7.10am precisely the other half will swan out the door to work. I'll be left to bathe Immie, get her dressed, give her breakfast and entertain her till lunchtime. When fortunately OH should be home but only so I can go to work to eyeball the candidates for the headship of the new school. To be honest all I'll want tomorrow is to curl up in bed & sleep but it most definitely won't happen. 

Tuesday will be ok as Immie is at nursery. So once she's there I can come back to bed, except Tuesday was going to be my day to make podcasts for work & go to the gym. Oh well, can't podcast when you sound like a bloke. 

And what about Wednesday. I was going to take Immie to her swimming lesson. I've got to be better by then, she can't miss another one :(

So all in all I have no time to be ill. Too much to do. I hope I shift this soon :(

Mama x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 26 February 2011

I wonder if we can get a mortgage to buy a wooden wendy house?

Immie is cracking on towards 10 months and I've been wondering what we could buy her for her 1st birthday. The 1st birthday is a massive milestone, the one where you really want to throw a little party with cakes and cheesy wotsits. The one she probably won't remember but you can bet your life we will.

So after much thinking, I've some to the conclusion we want to buy her a little wendy house. A little wooden one to go in to the back garden. I will make little curtains for it (I can't sew but I'm sure Grandma will help!) I'm sure we have some spare carpet knocking about to carpet it, it will of course have little window boxes too for pretty little flowers to grow in (This is what all the pictures tell me anyway!) It doesn't need to be palatial but anything to cut out a bit more lawn to mow is fine by me!

So, I've been Googling to try and find a little house for my big girl. OMG some of these wooden Wendy houses (who is Wendy by the way!?) are A-MAZ-ING! Some have multiple levels, with little ladders (a health and safety nightmare surely?!) I've seen felt roofs, tiled roofs and even a THATCH roof!!! Then there is untreated, treated or even painted. Some have little chimneys and some of those chimneys even have pretend smoke!!!!

Of course all these are RIDICULOUSLY expensive, to the point that I am sure we would need to apply to the bank for a mortgage to buy them. The cheapest I have seen is £180 but some go up to £8000!!!!! Who spends £8000 on a wooden Wendy house!?

Anyway, with me going back to work just before Immie's 1st birthday I can't see us being able to afford a wooden Wendy house, even a cheap one without a thatch roof. :( Maybe that will have to be for birthday number 2. This of course leaves me with a problem, what on earth can we buy her for her birthday!?

Mama x

Friday, 25 February 2011

Skint Skint Skint

Maternity pay in this country is rubbish.

This month is the first proper month (thanks to KIT days etc) where I have received 0 pay! It is not something I like at all!

Just before I went on maternity leave I cashed in some savings, cleared my debts (overdraft, credit card, Dorothy Perkins store card etc) I also put the remainder of what I cashed in, in to my flex account. I knew this day of 0 pay would come, so I managed not to blow the cash on Fancie cupcakes and I am now paying myself a "wage" out of my savings. It is no way near what I would normally earn, but it is just enough to cover my half of the mortgage and bills etc I am really lucky to be able to do this (thanks Nannie Marker for the money you left me, it's come in useful!)

I do wonder though, if we would have the same anti-social behaviour issues in this country if women did have such financial pressure to go back to work and could raise their children. In Germany for example they get a massive amount of maternity leave by comparison and I can't remember ever hearing about anti-social behaviour problems there (but maybe I've never been too interested!) I wonder if women could stay off work until their child was school age, without any financial constraints whether we'd be in a better position socially???

Still, least I am lucky to be going back to a job, my money should right itself soon, oh actually scrub that because then there are the nursery fees!

Mama x

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Simon Cowell ankle swinging trousers!

Today is Immie's 2nd proper long day but not quite a full day at nursery.

I have come to the conclusion I am not a very good SAHM (Stay at home mum)/housewife and it is probably for the best that I will be returning to work. I have reached this conclusion because today I have sent my daughter dressed to nursery in her new very hungry caterpillar top. No worries there. Its brightly coloured and she looks very cute.

The problem is what is on her bottom half. A pair of light weight jeans embroidered with flowers that match the colour of her new top. Again, no problem I hear you say. Except these trousers are a tad on the short side! Every time you pick her up the trouser legs are around her knees, not a good look! They are for 6 - 9 months and Immie is now well and truly in the 9-12mth bracket.

So why didn't I put some more appropriately sized trousers on her? Because I am such a poor housewife I haven't managed to keep on top of the washing. So her jeans and jeggings are currently in the 'to be washed' pile in the spare room, covered in last weeks carrot puree (possibly even the week before!). This monster pile of washing has been there so long, I'm sure a family of spiders have set up home there!

Now, sure the weather has been rubbish recently, no outdoor drying, but I could have tumble dried the items. However, this usually ends in disaster and I don't want to turn all her trousers in to ankle swingers! Or pedal pushers as my Grandma would call them!

At least when I am back at work I will have an excuse for being behind with the washing!

Mama x

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Dog poo and pram wheels

So in a bid to try and shift Immie's lurge I thought I'd take her for a walk in the fresh air.

Now don't get me wrong, I love our pram. It's light, easy to push, easy to fold, Immie seems comfortable in it etc But it has a slight downfall. On the front it has swively wheels to help you manuveoure it round Tesco and avoid ramming people's ankles (Although sometimes that is a disadvantage as a good ram wouldn't go amiss!) But it also has proper tyres on the back to make it a comfy ride (you can also buy off road tyres for the front too, ideal for walks in the forest etc.

But the tyres have a massive disadvantage. They have grooves in them, not dis-similar to car tyres, I assume this is to channel the water away when I am out running at high speed in the rain with the push chair, I'm sure it stops me aquaplaning when Im jogging!!! :S

Anyway the huge grooves are not ideal when you encounter a dog poo. Because the poo gets stuck in the grooves, not dis-similar to when you wear a pair of doc marten boots and end up stepping in something gross. You then have to make the decision, run the pram through a grass verge in the hope the poo will come off the wheels, try and find a puddle to wash said wheel in, go in to Sainsburys and run the pram over the door mat or ignore it and hope the other half notices before you do.

Today I went for the Sainsbury's option.

I really wish people would clean up after their dogs though!

Mama x

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Today I am going to be a lady that lunches

So this is it. Today little tortoise is doing her first long day at nursery. (It isn't quite a full day but near enough!)

I've packed her off with her new Rapunzel bag (She has no idea who Rapunzel is but I love it!)

In her bag is a change of clothes, dummy, hat and mittens. Oh and a cuddle cat comforter. She did take an Igglepiggle one the other day but turns out one of the other babies has that one and I predicted a disaster when they get mixed up/one gets lost, so cuddle cat it is!

She has got her new coat and hat on. She was none too pleased with her new hat this morning as it is a little mouse one and has ears and everything! But I loved it (as did the ladies at nursery!).

She started crying when I left, I think this is more because she had got up early, I wouldn't let her go back to bed and then when she fell asleep in the car I woke her up! So think she was a bit grumpy tbh.

Anyway in my usual efficient mummy mode, I smiled, waved and walked out the door. As I was leaving I hung her coat and bag on her little peg, it has her name and everything! Very cute, although I was disappointed it doesn't have a picture like in the Topsy and Tim book me and my sister used to read all those years ago.

So what to do today. Well I was going to clean the house a bit, but decided to do some podcasting for work instead. Unfortunately my Internet connection is about as slow as a 3 legged tortoise, so I am being distracted by Facebook and blogging. (Hi to all my new followers!)

Anyway, so at 12pm I am going to pick up my good friend Kenners. (Now known as Auntie Kenners!) We are going to head to town and grab some lunch. This is good because I always enjoy a catch up with Kenners. However, it will also be a little strange. Last time I had lunch with Kenners I was about 39 weeks pregnant, MASSIVE and unusually felt I couldn't fit much food in, due to Immie taking up valuable real estate in my tummy.

So I'm not sure how I will feel. I have got used to eating out being a MAJOR military operation. Nappies, wipes, snacks, bibs, mussys, toys, dummys, teething rings, bottles, milk, scissors to open said milk, change of clothes. Making sure Immie has had her lunch first so she isn't grumpy, ditto nap. This usually means we don't eat till gone 2pm!

So today all I have to worry about is car keys, handbag, oh and mobile incase its all kicking off at nursery! We can go to somewhere without worrying if they have a highchair or if the staff will be bothered if Immie is chucking cucumber and rice cakes on the floor.

Will I feel different? I'm sure I will be thinking about Immie, whilst enjoying being able to eat without having to share my side salad! Or will it feel like before I was a mummy?

One thing is for sure, my tummy is still about the same size as the last time I met Kenners for lunch!

Mama x

Monday, 21 February 2011

What on earth is she learning at nursery!?

So today we have had another nursery session. Just a short one today (9 - 11.30). She cried a bit when I dropped her off, mainly I think because when I popped her on the floor about 8 little ankle biters walked/toddled over to say hello, I think she found it a little intimidating as the little boys and girls all stared at her! (Can't say I blame her!)

But in harsh mummy mode, I smiled, waved and walked out of that door. I wasn't worried. Maybe I'm a mean mummy!? But mainly because I remembered something I read on the wall at nursery last week that another mum had written. It said that "you shouldn't get upset if they cry cos they soon get over it and if you think about it they're never crying when you pick them up " good point!

Anyway, the point of today's post. Since Immie has been going to nursery, she has decided that biting various parts of people is a great game, especially if they yelp! She also likes "patting" people except that the patting is becoming increasingly forceful! Again, the more you yelp the more she thinks it is hilarious.

Now I'm sure the biting is because she has a tooth coming through, but because when she does it the poor person being bitten yelps, she thinks it is very funny. The patting, is probably my fault. I have been trying to teach her to pat Beans the cat. She is very good at patting a variety of stuffed toys, but when it comes to Beans, she doesn't know her own strength, the poor cat gets a good whack! But when she "pats" us, it usually makes a slapping sound and is followed by a yelp, again hilariously funny according to Imogen. Although I must admit to sniggering when she whacks Daddy! She also pulls his ears/nose quite a bit, but I tell him thats because they are massive and an easy target!

I'm sure she isn't really learning these things at nursery, but I am slightly concerned. What if she becomes a biter? What if she is THAT child that all the other parents moan about. I don't want her being excluded and sent to another nursery on a managed move before the age of one! Mortifying!

So for now, Daddy and I will have to refrain from yelping. Not quite sure how to explain to the cat that he can't yelp either!

Mama x

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Fish Fingers FTW

Personally I can't stand fish fingers. I never liked them when they were cod, I certainly don't like them now they are pollock, Captain Birdseye was always a bit sus if you ask me and the new younger model is even more dubious!

But all this aside I'm told that Immie should be eating fish, good for the old brain box apparently.

We tried an Ella's Kitchen Fishy pie pouch a few months back, but it stank my kitchen out, it made me gip and Immie refused to eat it (most unusual, there isn't much food she refuses!). Now I can't stand fish! So I refuse to cook it fresh, so we thought a fish finger might be a good compromise.

So tonight we cooked Immie her first fish finger. I must admit, mashing it up it made me feel slightly nauseous and the fish to breadcrumb ratio was a little unbalanced, they should really be called crispy coating fingers with a hint of fish!

Immie had the fish finger with some mashed veg (Swede, butternut squash, broccoli and some other indeterminate frozen veg cube that I pureed a month ago but forgot to write on the freezer bag so I have no idea what it was, it was a green one though!)

She took the fish finger well, she pulled it out of her mouth a few times but shoved it back in, so that is always a good sign! I'm quite relieved as we now have another 7 fish fingers in our freezer to eat and Im sure as heck not going to touch em! BLEURGH!

So maybe next week we'll try a chicken nugget, I'll make them fresh though, with a polenta and garlic coating I think! Posh innit!

Mama x

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Women have different nasal senses to men, FACT!

So yet again this morning I have been 'treated' to the "Has she done a poo? You change her, while I have a shower".

This is not an uncommon phrase in our house at weekends and is the source of much banter.

You see I change pretty much all the nappies all week long, especially the stinky ones! So as I see it, at weekends my nasal passages should get a break. But Christopher has what can only be described as an overly sensitive sense of smell. One whiff of a stinky nappy and he begins coughing and gipping. Often to the point where he has to leave the room!

Now don't get me wrong, I would rather not have to smell a stinky nappy (particularly when Immie has been eating lentils!) But needs must and I just get on with it. Sometimes they do make you take a step back, but I have never felt the need to start gipping.

This all prompts much teasing of Christopher and I inevitably end up changing the stinky nappy, whilst me and Immie giggle at daddy trying not to yack in the bathroom. So is it just Christopher with a heightened sense of smell? Well no, apparently my dad is the same. And I know my sister-in-laws husband would do anything to avoid a stinky nappy (including denial of even having smelt it so my poor sister-in-law is the 'first' to notice, something Christopher has tried too!).

So I have some to a scientific conclusion that men must have a better sense of smell than women, still doesn't explain why they miraculously never seem to notice when a nappy needs changing! Hmmmmm

Mama x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Nursery - Take 3

So, how did she get on yesterday? Fab apparently.

She had a little grizzle when they first put her down for a nap (nothing new there LOL) then she spent the rest of the time playing. When I went in to the little acorns room to fetch her, she was so busy playing she didn't even notice me!!! The nursery assistant had to point to me, but when she saw me she smiled and waved!

She came home, ate her lunch and slept for 90 mins! So nursery must be tiring her out haha.

So today we had the 3rd session. The biggy. Up until now she has only done 2 hrs at a time and I've always sat in reception (just incase!) To be honest, I've found it hard. 1)If I can hear her cry, its really hard not to react. 2) Its bloody boring just sitting and waiting!

So today's session consisted of 3 hours, Immie having her lunch there AND me being allowed to leave the building.

What would I do with 3 hours? Sleeping? Shopping? Cleaning? Washing? Ironing? No, I went to work! As much as I want to stay home with Immie, I needed something to occupy my mind and I thought going home I would just be thinking too much about missing her and shopping was out because I'm skint.

The nursery promised to phone if there were any problems and they said I could always phone if I wanted to. I refrained from calling. Not because I wasn't wondering how she was or if she was ok but more because I don't want to get in to the habit of doing it. When I left her she was happy enough. I took her coat off, popped her on the floor and she crawled off with out even a 2nd glance. I have every confidence in the nursery, so it seemed daft to phone and check.

So far I've not found it too hard to take her to nursery. I've not got upset or cried. Maybe because Im quite a pragmatic person anyway and also I figure if I get upset, she will. Also, getting upset won't change the fact I'm going back to work and she's going to nursery so might as well get used to it. Doesn't mean I don't think about her or I don't care. Also I think nursery is going to be really good for her. Learning new things, socialising with other adults and children.

So we got through the morning with no phone calls, I went to pick her up and she seemed really excited to see me. Lots of waving, smiling and "talking". But then she burst in to tears. I don't think there was anything wrong, I think she was just a bit overwhelmed!

They let me read her little red log book. She slept, didn't have a drink as she only woke just before dinner. She did some playing outside. They took a picture for her file, she was grinning like a loon, little poser! She ate all her lunch (Chicken pie and veg, followed by yoghurt!) and she only got upset when it got a bit noisy after lunch, they think it just got a bit much for her, after all she is only used to being with me most days. So all in all another good session.

Just as I was leaving, one of the little girls bumped her head. (Nothing serious, just a bump like kids all get from time to time) Quick as a flash a member of staff got a cold compress and they were sorting it out. This (although not so nice for the little girl in question) was good for me to see as I know they will deal with any little accidents very quickly and lets face it ALL children have minor bumps and scrapes.

I'm so pleased we chose this nursery. I have every confidence in them.

So Immie is now asleep, she conked out virtually straight away. I wonder what I should do with my time? Cleaning? Washing? Ironing? Naaaaahhhhhh last nights Corrie on Sky+ I reckon!

Mama x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Nursery - Take 2

Well it's 9.30am and I'm sat in reception at Immie's new Nursery. 

Immie is having her 2nd settling in session today in the little acorns room. The first 
session went really well. She did some playing & sleeping. 

But she caught the lurge. (probably from the little ginger girl with the ridiculously snotty nose!). So we've had a little break and we're trying the 2nd session today. 

Children's centres are the weirdest places. The one we go to is lovely. Fresh, clean, new. Friendly staff (one of which is an ex pupil). It's like going to primary school. Everything is hobbit sized, chairs, tables etc. The displays are like primary school, brightly coloured, interesting (I've been busy picking up ideas!) This place isn't cheap. It works out just short of £800 a month!!! Yet it is a sure start centre. So all the leaflets, reception displays etc are aimed at low income families, who get help to pay. It's weird for us, it's like we don't quite fit. I almost feel a bit uncomfortable, like we shouldn't be here. 

So I'm sat here and I can hear a baby screaming, proper full on hysterical screaming. I'm trying to convince myself it isn't immie. One of the nursery assistants has come out and said immie is happily crawling (well shuffling) about and playing with a little boy called Harley ( ha ha she loves little boys already!). There is no mention of screaming, so it can't be her. You'd think I'd recognise my own daughters cry?!

I guess I'll know when she comes out. You can always tell if immie has been crying. She goes all puffy & blotchy and she whimpers. She knows how to ham it up, see gets that from her dad of course, not me!. So we'll see at 11am. 

My only criticism of this place is I can't get a decent  3G signal. It's taking ages to check my emails! 

If today goes well I can leave her tomorrow! What will I do for 3 hrs?!

Mama x

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Mummy brain strikes again!

So here I am, sat in the Touran on Wombwell Lane waiting for Roy's recovery to come & rescue me. 

Why am I waiting for Roy? Because mummy brain has struck again. 

Days of broken sleep due to Immie's cold, ear infection & now teeth have finally caught up with me. I look and feel about 80 and I have just gone and filled my diesel car up with unleaded! Argh!

This is despite the OH reminding me before I left the house and the massive 'DIESEL' warning messages on my petrol, sorry diesel cap. 

I've never broken down before, not like properly in the road with cars whizzing past me and looking. 

Bless the two good smaritans who just stopped, checked I was alright then pushed me to the side of the road. 

So this is what sleep deprivation does, turns you in to an incompetent idiot. 

Roy has turned up. I suspect his name isn't Roy mind. He seems nice enough. So off I go to the depot to get the tank drained. £260 for the pleasure. An expensive set of curly wurlys that!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Up and down like a yoyo last night with Immie, not sure if it was teeth, still bunged up with cold, her ears or a combo of all three.

Been to the docs this morning to see why she is still shaking her head, apparently ear infection gone (yay) but just gotta sit it out till the cold goes (boo).

We dropped Mr Monkey in the mud outside the docs, he now needs to take a tumble in the washing machine :(

Not had breakfast or a shower yet as Immie wont nap, she is currently screaming in her cot, Im hoping she might cry herself to sleep soon.

Horrid realisation last night that some ex-pupils talk to me more than some so called mates.

Look like shit, feel like shit.

Today is not a good day. :(

Mama x

Monday, 14 February 2011

You know you need to lose weight when you only just fit through the stair gates!

Immie has learnt to crawl. Not proper crawling mind, she sort of drags herself in a commando with no legs kind of style. She's pretty fast now though!

It has got to the point where if you don't watch her, before you know it she is in the kitchen trying to eat cat biscuits and dipping her hands in the cats water bowl!

The cat, needless to say is unimpressed.

So in a bid to try and contain hurricane Immie, we decided to put the stair gates up.

Originally we bought 2, one for the top and one for the bottom of the stairs, but I quickly realised this wouldn't keep the cat's dinner safe! So we have put one on the lounge door and one at the top of the stairs. They work well and stop Immie from doing her best great escape impression. (Although it is pretty funny to watch her heft herself over the bar if you leave the gate open!)

However, I have 3 issues with the stair gates.

1) If the gate at the top of the stairs is shut, the cat cant get up there to our bedroom to sleep on our bed, great you would think, WRONG because now he sits at the step just below the gate scratching the carpet like mad!

2) I have no sense of balance, it is not my fault, it is a family trait inherited from my nannie Marker. I find it nearly impossible to hold on to Immie, open the gate (which requires 2 hands really!) and walk through the gate all without nearly falling down the stairs! I have serious concerns about this, it will require lots of concentration!

3) I only just fit through the gate! My fat arse and hips are clearly bigger than I thought. With this in mind it is probably for the best that I did not win the years supply of Fancie cupcakes today!

Mama x

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Being at home with a baby makes your brain go spongey, FACT!

Ok so this time last year I was at work. Subject Leader for ICT and Head of House in a state secondary school in the middle of a northern town.

I was teaching teenagers, dragging Y11 kids through coursework, taking assemblies, attending meetings around esafety, eLearning etc, co-writing the schools esafety policy, spending limited budgets on various ICT kit for the school, line managing teaching and support staff etc.

Now however my days consist of getting up, getting caked in porridge, trying to have an olympic speed shower before Immie wakes from her morning nap. Watching a bit of Rastamouse/Zingzillas/Waybuloo/In the night garden. Taking a walk to the shop, via Mr Horsey's field so we can have a wave at him, chasing Immie round the house whilst she tries to destroy everything and anything.

My one and only work commitment is to try and develop the Local Authority Learning Platform within school. Yet now I am lucky if I can remember how to log on, let alone arrange training, meetings, develop help videos for staff etc.

This does not bode well for my return to work in April. If I'm honest, I'm bricking it. I'm slightly concerned I have lost my ability to plan engaging lessons and to teach them (actually not sure I ever had that one! LOL) How on earth am I going to manage to line manage staff when to be honest at the moment Im shattered and I don't even do much during the day!?

I'm worried I will have lost my ability to manage a class full of teenagers. :-/

I'm sure it will all be fine once I actually get back in to it. But I do worry that before I left to have Immie I was a very different type of person, with a totally different work ethic, If I'm honest my school got the best of me and home life often got put to one side for a variety of other school related tasks. It wasn't healthy.

But now my priorities have changed for sure. Imogen is the number one priority, followed by Beans and number 2, with Christopher probably at number 3 ;) haha But I'm not sure how this will translate to my professional life. I'm not sure what my colleagues will expect, if they are expecting the old me, they will be in for a nasty shock!

Don't get me wrong, I will be professional and complete the work I need to but the days of me working for hours on end at evenings and weekends are long gone. After all, this time will be reserved for catching up on the latest episode of Show me, Show me!

Mama x

Saturday, 12 February 2011

I'm not brave, I just like to whinge

I don't normally blog twice in one day but a fair few people have been really complementary about my blog. Thanks for the lovely comments people! Some have even gone so far as to say I'm brave. I don't feel brave, I feel like I whinge a hell of a lot. I'm just trying to find a way of dealing with the pressure of being a mummy.

One thing I am though is incredibly lucky. Lucky to have my little tortoise here with me. And whilst I might have a little moan here and there (ok a lot of moans!) I do realise how lucky I am.

If you want to see brave mummies then check out the following blogs. Heartbreaking, honest and touching. At times they are not easy to read BUT I am always in awe of these ladies and their husbands in their strength and love for each other when going through some of life's darkest moments. I have a lot of respect for these women and their partners. They didnt ask to be inspiring (not in these circumstances) but they are.

Mama x

Vaginal birthing evangelicals

Don't get me wrong, any woman who has the strength (physically and mentally) to push something the size of a rather large melon out of her fanjo has my respect. BUT there are some women (and men too!) who see those who have a CSection as a lesser being. Like you gave up in some way.

It is now over 9 months since I gave birth to Immie, some would argue that having not pushed her out and instead having to have her taken out through the sunroof I did not give birth to her. Bullshit.

For those of you who don't know, Immie's 'birth' was less than straight forward. I'll tell you the story (get comfy, it's a long one!) 

After the most rubbish birthday weekend EVER which mainly consisted of me doing nothing exciting because I was so uncomfortable and having a curry that I couldn't face eating, I finally started to have contractions on the Monday evening (whilst watching Glee!). Despite all the books, websites and midwives telling us not to get excited because it could be days, WE GOT EXCITED!

Christopher dutifully timed the contractions and wrote them down (I found the notepad the other day with the timings written down LOL). They were fairly far apart, and we sat and waited to get to the 5 - 10 min mark. We phoned the hospital only to be told actually wait till they're 3 -4 mins apart So we did, phoned again, then went in but I was only 2cm, so came home again with paracetemol (Which by the way does bugger all for a contracting uterus!).

So the contractions carried on during Tuesday, husband came home from work at lunchtime (after I thought they were getting more regular and was a bit worried he'd get stuck in traffic) and they were intense but not awful, but by the night I was in agony, so back we went to the hospital, only to be sent home again as I was only 2cm.

Wednesday I was nearly beside myself, I tried a warm bath but nearly passed out having a contraction the water made it way too painful. My day consisted of doing laps of the lounge and kitchen, watching 'Run fat boy run', maybe I wasn't in the mood but the least funniest comedy Ive watched! Went to the hospital again (again in the middle of the night!) this time they said I was still only 2cm, I started crying so they kept me in, gave me some pethadine so I could sleep (I hadn't slept since Sunday night) and Christopher went home to sleep too. Then they sent me home with more paracetemol and codiene and a TENS machine (Christopher took great delight in trying to ramp the intensity of the machine up, TENS doesn't stop the pain but it does distract you from it)

Thursday the contractions carried on, in we went again but you guessed it I was still only 2 cm. This carried on in to Friday. Both Christopher and I were nearly beside ourselves with exhaustion. At some point I even slept in the bath with a soggy pillow (Christopher kept and eye on me to make sure I didn't drown! )

Friday I spent the day mooing like a cow, thinking I was about to poo myself (lovely!) Everyone kept telling me to eat. The only thing I wanted was a bowl of sweetcorn but I only managed 1 spoonful because at about 2pm, I had a massive contraction and thought more mucous had come out but when I went to the loo my waters burst in a rather spectacular fashion everywhere all over the floor! (It was a proper movie style water break LOL) (Incidentally that bowl of sweetcorn stayed in our bedroom till Christopher came home after Immie was born haha glad my mum didn't see that!)

So now I knew we were on. So in we went (again) but you guess it I was still I was only 2cm!! (Apparently it is pretty unusual for your waters to go like that at 2cm, must have been one hell of a contraction!) They were about to send us home (again!) when the MW decided just to trace the heart rate and discovered everytime I had a contraction Imogen's heart rate was dropping, so suddenly we weren't allowed home but I was transferred to a consultant and this meant, no home from home room, no birthing ball nowt.

I decided at this point to have an epidural (and let me tell you before the labour I was adamant I wouldn't have one!), if I couldn;t have my yoga ball and I knew from the other day pethadine doesnt do much I thought I'd go for it. Gas and Air saw me through till the anesthetist came (there was an emergency, there always is if you ask me) but the epidural worked a treat. It wore off dead quick though and when they tried to top it up it wouldn't work. 

They put me on syntocin to try and make me dilate but all it did was make the contractions really strong and non stop. I remember virtually screaming (Although my husband assures me I was actually quite calm really!) at the mw at one point that the baby was trying to come out or I was about to poo myself LOL So they monitored me through the night, the smug consultant bloke was convinced I would be ready to push by morning but you should have seen his face drop when he realised I was only 3cm at 6.30am! (there is nothing like having some idiot consultant stick his hand up your fanjo whilst you are in agony with a contraction! I swear he thought I was being a wuss!) Socouldnt have cared less at this point. But due to emergencies etc I didnt get in to theatre until about 10.30am! (I remember being totally angry at the midwife by this point, saying I didn't care what emergencies they had they needed to get the baby out!) They had to remove my epidural because it had failed and do a full spinal block, which took them ages to get in, but OMG once it was in, it was the best thing ever!

I was really shakey all the way through the op, not because I was scared but they had pumped me so full of drugs. So Imogen was born at 11am she gave a little cry, they showed her to us (it took me a good 30 secs to register she was a girl LOL those drugs had space me out), cleaned her up, her daddy had the first hold, she then promptly pooed all over her daddy and the anaethestist hahaha I was laughing my head off.

So you see whilst I didn't actually push Immie out through my fanjo, I think its fair to say I did go through a birth! So why does it all still play on my mind?

I think girls are conditioned from a very early age that childbirth involves pushing a baby out.  Its what you are told about at school, if you are lucky they give a passing nod to Csections but it is the pushing you are told about (maybe this is to scare teenagers in to not have sex!) Yet according to around 25% of us won't get to push (for a variety of reasons), we'll have a Csection. That is 25% of us deemed failures by the vaginal birthing evangelicals. "Oh poor you, what a shame, I'm glad I didn't have to have a CSection". 

The fact is if you have 1 Csection, you are likely to have subsequent CSections (You don't have to, but it is often recommended esp if you have csections for a specific medical reason). So I think about my own labour and 'birth'. Had I not had a Csection, I and Immie would have undoubtedly carked it, because there was no way on this earth she was gonna be able to get out, for whatever reason I just did not dilate, I probably never would have.  

So why do the vaginal birthing evangelicals think I took the soft option "oh a Csection is the easy way out" "oh too posh to push were you?" Er no, I had no choice. Believe me I wanted to push. I'd spent months preparing to push, watched every birthing program known to man, I was pumped up and ready. I done the yoga, learning all the breathing techniques, I was gonna bounce on a ball and get that baby out the way nature intended. But it wasn't to be.

Some of us go through labour and push, some have ventouse or forceps, some go through labour but have a Csection and some don't even get the labour part. The point is we all carry the baby for 9 or so months and then we for the most part end up with a beautiful baby (There is a whole other post there). The birth is just such a small part of it. It's not about how the baby comes out that defines you as a mother, but what you do with that baby once it is here.

So yes if you were one of the 3 in 4 who pushed, well done, it is painful, hardwork (I imagine!) but spare a thought for the 1 in 4 when you look down your nose and talk about us being too posh to push or being a wimp. For most it isn't a choice and even if it is a choice who cares! In the US they prefer Csections because the risk of litigation from vaginal births if something goes wrong is far higher.

CSections are nothing to be ashamed of, they are a means to an end. It has taken me a fair few months for me to feel comfortable with saying that. I have regularly beaten myself up about it. I'm still curious about vaginal births and who knows maybe my next one (If Im lucky enough to have another baby) will go that way but if it goes the way of a Csection I wont be disappointed this time.

Mama x

Friday, 11 February 2011

Oh yeah, they call me the recluse

Ok so not blogged in a fair few months!

Things have changed massively since August.

Immie went on to formula at 12 weeks, the BEST decision I ever made, she was like a different baby. I'm sure breast feeding is fab if it goes well, but we struggled and it was beginning to become an issue, only wished Id had the guts to tell the hospital to stuff it, would have made those first precious few months a lot easier!

At 16 weeks we started weaning, earlier than the recommended 6 mths but after the breast feeding debacle I decided to go with my own gut instinct. She hasn't looked back. She by and large loves her food, except for fish! (gets that from me!) Again this seemed to change her again, definitely much more contented.

We took our first holiday to Cyprus at the end of October. The biggest concern was the flight, but she loved it. She spent a happy 5 hrs sleeping, eating or waving at people on the plane LOL Whilst away she flirted with waiters (doesnt get that from me!), and played with grandma and grandad.  When we came home, again it was like she had done a bit more growing up. She started sleeping through. She now pretty much does 6.30pm till 7.30am. We might get the odd night where she wakes about 3am, but these are less frequent since we discovered that her vests that fit perfectly when you put her to bed, do not fit so well when she has done a wee and her nappy has expanded to 10 times its size, making her vest too tight!! She now wears bigger vests.

Christmas was lovely. Busy trying to see various people but Immie liked the attention and fuss. She loved the wrapping paper and received some lovely pressies.

And so we come to now.

- She's funny, waving, smiling , clapping at anyone and everything!
- She's very loving she loves Beans the cat, or Tat as she calls him! She gets a little over excited though and often gets a bit carried away patting him. Beans is very good though, he's not gone for her. Although he did bat her with his paw (claws in) the other day when she lent over, grabbed the area of fur right where his wangdoodle is! She got off lightly I feel! She loves to chase him round the room.
- She's cuddly, she now sidles over for cuddles, and when cuddling a stuffed animal she will grab them, put her mouth to them and say Ahhhhhhh
- She's does the stinkiest poos! Lentils are not funny. :-/

And this is where the dilemma starts. Having spent the first 3 mths or so of my mat leave struggling to adjust to being at home and being a mummy. We're now starting nursery settling sessions. Don't get me wrong, nursery will be great for Immie. She is so bright (I don't think Im being biased!) that she will love the constant stimulation and the nursery we have chosen is lovely! The staff are fab, the facilities are great. But now she is my little mate and I'd rather stay at home with her than return to work.

So this brings me to the title of the post. When I started maternity leave I had all these visions, of taking Immie to classes/groups, meeting new people, having lovely coffee mornings with other mummies where we would eat cake, carrot cake to be precise and of course losing my baby weight would not have been a problem and by now I'd be a glamourous size 12 or something. In reality what has happened is

- we've been to some classes. Rhythm time got cancelled, due to lack of interest. Baby yoga and baby massage were only short courses (and the baby yoga woman wasn't the best at dealing with a fatty like me who was struggling to adapt to being a mummy). Baby swimming has been ace, the instructors have been lovely and we have a really great time, but everyone tends to dash off at the end of a lesson. The other mummies are nice enough but we haven't bonded enough to start having cake.

- losing my baby weight, because I'm a bit lonely, Ive been eating and I mean eating. Having a csection meant it has taken me ages to start exercising too. So all the visions of having long lovely walks with the Immie in the pram, went out the window. By the time I felt able to do exercise (and confident enough to deal with Immie) we were in the depths of winter, with ridiculous amounts of snow. Im on with the weight loss now, and have been upping the exercise. But just as I get a routine with Immie, something happens like lurge or Christmas. It is a never ending battle. And there is something so depressing about other mummies who had their babies as good 7/8 mths after you boasting on facebook about how they are back in their pre-pregnancy jeans after 1 week. UGH!

- Not only have I not made the new mummy friends I was expecting but I appear to have shed quite a few old friends. Suddenly I'm not invited to things, or if I am invited it is as an afterthought, great! Jokes are shared between people on facebook which I'm no longer part of. As an experiment at Christmas I texted a fair few so called friends to wish them a merry Christmas. Some replied, but many didn't. So for new year I thought I'd let them text me first. Funnily enough I didn't receive texts from the majority of my so called friends.

I have no idea if I've been unintentionally forgotten about or whether it is more calculated. What I do know is it hurts. Especially with no family around to see regularly, you would think so called friends would be a little more understanding. But maybe I expect too much of people.

I have 4 really good friends, who I know I can call on, who still include me etc Clearly its all about quality not quantity.

So I've now become a bit of a recluse. The lyrics to the Plan B song, The recluse, ring true, more so than I would like.

Don't get me wrong I wouldn't change Immie for the world, but with hindsight I might change some of my friends!

So that was a longer post than it should have been, good to get it out though!

Mama xx