Having a baby will change your life!

how-to-be-a-parentparenting

Don’t you just love how people say having a baby will change your life!

I love that saying, and I relish in this patronising phrase even more now I have four little squidlets of my own! (She says with an evil laugh)

We all know that parenting doesn’t come with book of instructions…I mean “babies for dummies” …This certainly would be an ironically titled book and a great read for the inquisitively naive.

But when your biological clock starts ticking away it sounds like that giant crocodile from The Peter Pan movie following you everywhere, the constant tick tick and with each tick another unfertilised egg making its way down Fallopian Avenue to play a game of TAG with 1,000,000 tadpoles with the odds of winning the lottery to boot.

You become totally and utterly obsessed with sex, your husband thinks he’s some sort of Love God because you’ve gone from a casual hump in the sack once a week in the position you know works best for you both, to man-handling the poor man the minute he walks through the door because your body is at the right temperature and its precisely the right time of the month to perfect this fornication, however in your head the voice of ‘Mother Nature’ is screaming at you “screw more, screw more” so you listen to this jeering voice in your head and ignore the iPhone app and whatever other jargon you’ve been reading on Google, and embark on a daily humpathon in a vain attempt to get up the spout!

That burning desire your feel, its NOT thrush! It’s the burning desire to have  a baby, and this begins to take over your life so your no longer surveying the street looking at the latest fashions and saving for that longing pair of Louboutin’s, but its replaced with buying shares in Johnson and Johnson and stocking up on ovulations sticks.

On a positive note, you’ve mastered pissing in a shot glass whilst perched on the toilet seat without getting any pee on your fingers, and amazingly stopping mid-flow to complete this laborious task, your shot glass is full of the perfect amount of warm ‘sugar puff’ wee ready to be tested Ta Daaaaa!!….

If only you knew then, that this would become ‘a something you used to be able to do’ a bit like when you used to sit as a kid in that awkward looking bandy way without getting pins and needles and the way you used to be able to BITE ice cream…

When you are in the ‘I must have a baby’ zone you become blind, blind to the screaming toddlers in the supermarket throwing themselves on the floor because mum picked up the wrong apple, you don’t see the 8 month pregnant woman walking up the street like a beached whale, struggling to walk on her swollen feet that she’s pushed in to sandals in 4 inch snow because she’s that desperate to eat a manky kebab followed by a coffee from the man who parks his wagon outside the pub to sell junk to drunks on a Friday! ALL THIS! Is because you have suddenly developed a craving for eating polystyrene cups.

It’s like the reproduction fairy has thrown her ‘Sperm Dust’ all over you and all you can see is Husband and Wife embracing on a park bench, sharing an ice cream (licking not BITING), said wife has a perfect football sized bump and hot husband is gently caressing her beautiful swelling tummy, she is glowing, positively glowing, not like me who was sweating like a Lee Evans on Tour in the middle of winter.

Instead of screaming toddler’s, the fairies evil ‘Sperm Dust’ has replaced this image with a beautiful angelic baby being nursed by its mother, a skinny latte in one hand and a perfectly balanced bundle of porcelain skin coloured cuteness, nuzzling away from her very large, very pert breast.

So we blissfully enter upon pregnancy, you’ll glow, people will tell you! You will feel amazing! People will tell you! You will love every second, people will tell you!

LIARS…. Here is my little “Mummy thesaurus” for you …..

YOU’RE GLOWING: Means the hot sweat from your swelling body has created a glowing orb around your body like the man off the ready brek advert years ago.

YOUR SKIN AND HAIR LOOK AMAZING: They have to say that because your hormones are exploding, one wrong word from anyone and you could drown in your own tears, so to tell you that you resemble a teenager with acne, that your lips are chapped, and that your hair has developed a personality all of its own would send you in to a sobbing and blithering wreck.

YOU’RE ALL BABY: Again a positive spin on telling you that you have your own orbit…

I LIKE YOUR SANDALS!:  People are instantly drawn to your fluid retained elephant feet and stare with amazement wondering how on earth you have managed to walk, let alone drive a car with these monstrous feet, so instead of mention THE FEET, which is the elephant in the room (no pun intended) they complement your footwear, even if they are Crocs….

YOU HAVE GREAT BOOBS: This is one that is quite correct, so take this compliment and own it, as by the time your belly is a 4 month neat bump (which by the way is when you probably do look at your best) your tits are F**king amazing, they are firm, they are perfectly rounded, they are pert (again) and all of a sudden you have a nipple without have to tempt it out of hiding by flicking the end like a tortoise in its shell. So in the words of Tony the Tiger (and my husband), they are GGgrrrrrreeeeeatttt … he simply couldn’t keep his hands off them, well at least until my belly got so big he needed a passport to get anywhere close to me.

DON’T WORRY, YOU’RE EATING FOR TWO LOVE, FILL YOUR BOOTS?  Fill my boots, and your boots and any other persons boots, get passed 6 months, all you’ll want to do is EAT, and you rationalise this with the fact you are growing another human and never in your life is there any other time to acceptably eat 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 puddings, with a sneaky drive through cheeseburger and milkshake on the way home.

So next time someone says to you in the middle of the café when you’re taking a well-earned rest drinking a caffeine free latte ….

Hi Darlinggggg, my oh my I haven’t seen you in ages, I didn’t realise you were expecting, wow your all baby aren’t you? But you’re positively glowing darlingggggg, and your hair, boobs and skin look amazeballs! Do you come to this café often darlinggg? What do you order? After all you’re eating for two?? Oh and by the way your sandals are FAB, are they designer?

SIMPLY … nod, smile, and spit in their tea.

Bringing me nicely on to LABOUR. Be warned and be prepared ‘Labour’ is called this for a reason, do NOT be disillusioned, its rarely serene with lavender oils and whale music in the background (for the few that achieve this mother earth way of birthing I wholeheartedly commend you and I offer you a virtual pat on the back to rejoice in the fact your vagina is probably made from bungee elastic), in my opinion there is honestly nothing harder than birth…….. apart from giving up chocolate and wine!?

You begin this process all woman, a shaved, preened and vagazzled lady, still with the smudging of a natural hint of blush on the cheekbones, glossy lips and a hint of mascara so in all your hospital ‘labour’ selfies you can pretend your still rocking a gorgeous look.

Whilst in labour, you prudishly cover your modesty with every inch available of the poxy tea towel sized cloth you’ve been given to place over your lap, during every vaginal examination. You squeeze your eyes together and look the opposite direction because making eye contact with someone who has their four fingers shoved up your foof almost feels like your flirting, which is F**king wrong!!

With each centimetre of dilation, the pain increases so much you think you might actually die! The ‘make up’ that you had spent hours putting on to make yourself look like your not wearing any make up, is now looking at you in a face shaped indent from the pillow in front of you because your on all fours screaming and making noises that only come from farmyard animals, your husband is patting your brow and stroking your hand like your some sort of pet, whilst intermittently staring at the television in the corner of the prison-like room he’s cleverly applied the subtitles to this shite film so he could still read the plot while your panting out of your arse and screaming like a chimp on fire ….

It suddenly dawns on you that you are going to leave this process A MUM! A mum who doesn’t give a toss who has seen her foof, who has had a hand up her foof, and the tea towel sized blanket used to cover your foof is now damp with cold water and is on your head, your so hot you’ve stripped off all clothing and your now farting with each push and beginning to wonder if you actually might poo yourself before this baby decides to enter the earth screaming….

Screaming … by god there is no scream like it… piercing, menacing scream that is the sound of joy to every new parent, you could listen to it all day, looking at your bundle of gorgeousness, thinking WOW… just super WOW…

Two weeks later that scream you used to be able to listen to all day…. NOT SO CUTE! #justsaying, in fact, you walk the long way around a room to miss out all the creaky bits because IT WILL WAKE THE BABY, you put your finger to your lips and SSSHHHHHHHHHHH so loudly at your husband because the sound of his loose change in his pocket WILL WAKE THE BABY, but it was actually your loud SSSHHHHHHHHH that woke the baby in the first place and sent it into a high pitched lethal ear deafening scream that cant even be settled with milky nipple….

Sleep deprivation is truly and honestly torturous, THE BABY is relentless, and you will wonder how the hell something so small can create this amount of chaos, and you will doubt your own mind, and you will leave your car keys in the fridge and start mistakenly using your hairspray as antiperspirant, you will wash your face with hand soap, and probably won’t shower for a week and more than likely won’t leave the house for 10 days for fear of THE BABY being over exposed to THE OUTSIDE, you will not be able to wear a top without sick on the shoulder for at least 6 months, and it will take you 3x that to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans (if you are lucky!)

There will be many moments of new parenting that you will endure and enjoy, cry with tears and laughter, shout with happiness and anger, smile with love and through gritted teeth………

So having a baby will change your life, HELL YES, it most certainly will, but the bigger question is “would you change this?”

ANSWER: NOT IN A MILLION LOTTERY WINS! SO WELCOME TO PARENTHOOD, WHEN CAN WE DO IT AGAIN….

mum and baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…. Happily Ever After….

happily-ever-after-chalkboard-style-the-sweet-drawer

29th April 2015, at 3.05pm weighing 7lb 3oz, a little girl with no name came into the world after 38 weeks of  pregnancy, 5 days of induction and 16 hours of labour …  Scarf Baby (you need to keep reading to get to grips with the whole scarf baby pet name) came out pink and screaming, and god only knows the relief I felt in more ways than one, now all women know that labour and birth is NOT easy or for the fainthearted, but jeeze she felt like an enormous melon, not just one of them sweet galia melons, but a great big fricking watermelon being forced through a space that no melon could fit through unless blended with vodka!

The labour was complicated and nothing seemed to go smoothly, it was problematic and extremely stressful to say the very least without revealing the very intimate parts of the entire process, like when one vaginal examination almost sent me through the brick wall behind me and it felt remarkably like he touched my tonsils not my cervix…… Too much information…. Yes I agree, so where were we…….

It was the strangest of labours combined with the surrealist of pregnancy’s there were three shadows that followed me everywhere, the three reminders were a constant in Louis, Corey and Elliot. Often I’d catch a glimpse of Elliot’s picture in Lilly-Ella’s bedroom and I’d be reminded instantly of how quick life can change…or I’d stare for a second longer at my reflection in the mirror just staring at my tattoo on my arm and I would think of all of them ‘gone but not forgotten’ one of many memorial tattoos as a way to mark their existence… I would hold my tummy and whisper “everything is going to be alright bubba, just keep on keeping on”, every day further was a day closer to the ‘happily ever after’ I had to keep believing this.

You see, I spent most of my pregnancy not speaking or talking about  ‘THE PREGNANCY’,  to speak of ‘THE PREGNANCY’ would make it real, and I know that sounds ludicrously daft now because I knew it was real, the peeing all over my fingers and seeing the words ‘Pregnant 3-4 weeks’ flash up on the very modern digital pregnancy test told me all I needed to know about it being real, but when you speak about something you make this real to everyone, everyone who loves and cares about you, you make this reality into everyone else’s reality too, but not only that but you start future building in your head, its like a little story of your life to be being built up with each word you speak out loud, each word representing and provoking an emotion linked to a hopeful impending future, creating pictures on a reel in your minds eye!

So you can imagine why I found ‘THE PREGNANCY’ so difficult to speak of, the mere thought of loosing all this for a fourth time, to loose ‘MY BABY’ for a fourth time just didn’t bare thinking about. So quite simply – I didn’t think about it…

I went about my life normally, went to work, met with friends, took the children to school, rushed around to clubs and kids parties at about 120mph, rarely stopping long enough to catch my breath. I attended midwife appointments, hiding in the corner of the waiting room, listening for my Pseudonym to be called out in case someone knew me… What would that be? ….my pseudonym, what would it be?,,,,,,,,,,Well if I had one it would definitely have to be representative of a pregnant woman behaving like a neurotic wolly! But for now, I kind of like Cinderella, Aurora or Tinkerbell – the feeling of belonging to a Disney Movie with ‘happily ever afters’ feels quite comforting at this moment…. So Cindaura Tinkersmell it is….

In the beginning I remember thinking as callous as this may sound, that if there is a god and I am meant to loose this baby, I pray this happens in the weeks rather than months, for me, myself or Cindaura Tinkersmell could not do it again, the mind, body and soul, were still fragile delicate and vulnerable.

Months passed and I was getting on with my pregnancy behind a scarf, first of all hour by hour, day by day, then week by week, the weeks turned into months quite quickly, its quite shocking how time passes by so fast when you don’t think about it,  the ‘hush hush’ of my swelling belly being disguised by various scarves was helping the time pass even quicker, my pregnant swelling belly had now became known amongst the closest of friends as ‘scarf baby’…. Time passed, and so did my anxiety, but as the weeks turned in to months my bond grew for scarf baby, and the familiar maternal feelings were beginning to tap back in to my psyche in turn my thought process began to change, I crawled past the 13wk mark and had seen my baby on the sonographers screen, I am now praying, hoping and holding on to this pregnancy with everything I have, discussing with my consultant, concerns and worries, talking of induction and antenatal care, it was indeed overwhelming but I had to do everything in my power, be verbal, be stronger and be more forth right if I am not getting the answers I need, because I NEED this to work I NEEDED this to be my “happily ever after”, 20 weeks came and went like a number 39 bus, which also mirrored my size, 21 weeks, 22 weeks, 23 weeks 24 weeks and now a small tugboat ….. Counting down to the encroaching 37 week date of induction pre-planned in an attempt to beat the biological clock to 38 weeks, which was apparently the ‘danger zone’.

Jesus some of these doctors have such a way with words…. I mean using descriptive words like ‘danger zone’, how in the hell is this going to alleviate my anxiety and worry, when in the back of my head I feel the looming D Day getting closer and have images of entering a delivery room with yellow and black gaffer tape fixed to the door depicting an area of danger.

My other living children were still being sheltered from the truth regarding the impending arrival of scarf baby, Rob and I had collectively made the conscious decision to not tell them about the pregnancy until they asked, because in my mind the less time they were waiting to meet their sibling meant less worry, less stress, less panic and fewer questions to be bombarded with, So I was about 29 weeks when I was questioned innocently by my 6 year old son,

Toby: Mummy, I am no Doctor but I think you might have a baby in your tummy?

Mummy: How would you feel if the Doctor said that I do have a baby in my tummy?

Toby: Fine, bit worried but fine {BIG PAUSE AND A LOOK OF PANIC} …. But I don’t want another girl, I am all done with girls! ( pretty sure he then had an early premonition, an overload of female hormones spilling out of the house, splitting up hairbrush wars and tiara tantrums between his sisters, with the responsibility of having to be a brotherly shoulder to cry on for his entire lifetime suddenly dawned on him and the look of sheer panic on his face as the realisation of ANOTHER pink one entering the house filled him with utter dread)

Mummy: (stroking his hair in a assuring way) Toby sweetheart, I am having a baby but sadly, we have no control over what we are given, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a happy healthy baby, shall we? It will be the biggest bestest surprise little dude and we will all be OK!

Toby: Butttttt what if………….

STOPPING HIM MID SENTENCE

Mummy: Exactly that…. Tobes ….. What if!! Lifes full of them and that’s what makes it so exciting!

The SCARF BABY revelation was now completely out, and my ‘then’ 8 year old daughter who already in her little lifetime has seen and witnessed more than most her age, had been caught looking and starring at my belly, occasionally rubbing it and smiling with an off the  cuff comment that I should go to ‘Fat Club with Auntie Hannah’, I knew that she knew so I revealed the known secret to confirm her suspicions …..

My biggest baby with an old head on young shoulders took the news well, she smiled and then almost instantly as soon as the smile had reached the curvature of her mouth, her eyes filled with water and she smiled through her tears and said to me in a quivering voice.

Lilly-Ella: Mummy, will this baby die too? Because I reallyyyy really don’t want that to happen again…

Mummy: NO (I gasp, in an automatic defensive response, composing myself slightly I continue..) but this I cannot promise you and I wish I could, but human nature and the circle of life is very unpredictable and although I cannot make you a promise, I can say that Mummy is looking after your brother or sister the best I possibly can while he or she grows their fingers and toes and gets big enough to join our little family, but whatever happens you must always know that Mummy and  Daddy love you very much and nothing at all will ever change this and that’s MY promise to you, no matter what, always and forever, we will be your constant through the good times and the bad times.

Lilly-Ella: I love you Mummy and as long as you are ok I’ll be ok too….  (Cuddling)

The days were now beginning to drag, no secret left to hide, felling vulnerable, exposed, and fearful the final trimester was quite honestly HELL! Finally induction day came and I was terrified, every part of my body screaming RUN, and the sensible part of my head with a voice of reason, whispering, just have HOPE…..

I had some great midwives, one of which is training in her final year. I already knew her from the crazy morning school runs and sweaty school pick-ups, a brief ‘Hello’ at the school gate while running with yesterday’s random sock still poking out from the bottom of my jeans where it didn’t quite make the laundry and I hope we will be friends as opposed to acquaintances from now on because she was my reassurance, my safety blanket when panic set in, when fear was tingling my skin she gave me the hope back when I felt it slipping away and I don’t think she will realise just how much help she really was. Cassie Chapman if you are reading this – I thank you wholeheartedly!

After 38 weeks of pregnancy, 5 days of induction and 16 hours of labour…..

Scarf baby – became Esme HOPE Harris, our happy ever after!

So moral of the story – never give up HOPE!