Monday, April 30, 2007

I feel like I can have a little bit if hope again. The amnio results are back in as normal, which is such a relief as I really did expect an chromosome problem after the gloom of the last few weeks. My beautiful strong baby does not have a life-threatening chromosome problem. I made it through the weekend by being the kids, they really are the best distraction, but by last night I was tense, stressed and very emotional and it really hit me that we might not get a baby to bring home. I've spent most of the day in tears, expecting the worse from the results but Edwards and Patau syndrome has now been ruled out.

We know just have to hope that this baby is strong enough to cope with the heart defect and pray it doesn't get any worse so it is strong enough to cope with surgery when it is born.

I feel drained and very tired. I can't help feeling that interventions such as scans just add to the stress in pregnancy and I would have been happily enjoying my pregnancy at this point had I not had any scans. As it is I feel very drained and our long journey has barely started. Me & Gary need to make sure we make time for each other to listen and support each other and just to be together, otherwise this is just going to be too hard.

I'm absolutely amazed by the support from people and I feel happy that the kids will be kept entertained and looked after should we need to be in hospital for any length of time, and hopefully they can get through this relatively unscathed!

This is the hardest thing I have had to face in my life but I am still eternally grateful to my 2 beautiful children and my amazing husband for keeping me going. I am determined to take it one step at a time and accept that there are going to be more lows on the way but, hopefully, we'll make it through the other end.

Friday, April 27, 2007

definitely for sorrow

Our baby has a serious heart defect which is life-threatening. We're devastated. Finding it hard to cling to any hope at the moment. All I wanted was another child and now I have all this pain which is so hard to cope with. Someone please knock me out and wake me up when it is all over cause this is just too hard.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Barbie orgies and Xmas songs

Over Easter I buckled under pressure to buy a selection of barbies and action men from a charity shop (a bargain at 25p each). The children, sensing they a rejects because they did not come in packaging that takes atleast an hour to undo, are playing with the new toys in the bath. This is fine and it does keep them entertained for quite some time while I (ssshhhhh) watch Home & Away in the bedroom. However the sight after the water has been drained from the bath is a sight and one that makes me giggle nightly – the long legged Barbies end up in all sorts of compromising positions with each other and their hunky action men folk. It really is an orgy to make the mind boggle – only a Barbie could get into those positions, surely?

And Lucy has discovered Alice’s tape player. And her tunes of choice are the Xmas ones – so Lucy can be found in her bedroom after playgroup dancing around to Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I love my house – plenty of dull moments, splattered with memorable and funny ones :-)

one for sorrow?

Now I'm not superstitous, although my mother is so I've been raised listening to lots of crap about black cats, cracks on the pavement, etc, etc. On Thursday and on Friday I say one magpie and not just flying about, on each occasion the bird just sat on a wall and waited for me to pass and there was no other magpie in sight. Is this bad luck, did the birds just sense my sorrow or am I just going completely mad? I fear it's the latter but then that's been happening for a long, long time!

Last week was a particularly crap week. On Wednesday we went back to see Dr Sturgiss. I had my scan and baby was in an awkward position - again - so couldn't see the stomach properly and the left side of the heart is smaller than the right. Cue loads of tears from me, thoughts that my baby is going to die, no sleep and lots of stress. We went back on Thursday to see a heart specialist. I was scanned again, this time by Dr Moran and also in the room was a Paeds consultant and a docotor from the Freeman, where they do transplants!! I did hear the Paeds duy say that he couldn't really see a problem and when we saw Dr Moran afterwards he confirmed that they couldn't really see a problem with the heart. Yes the left is slightly smaller but marginally so, and the heart was working normally. He wants me to go back this week for a final scan to check the heart in an attempt to completely rule out a problem with the heart as they couldn't see one of the valves on Thursday. I will have this scan but then no more, unless I am worried about anything. I really need to feel positive about the rest of my pregnancy and about the chance of my baby being ok and having regularly scans is making me stressed. I started having panic attacks last week - which would have been awful but I know how to control them through my breathing. I feel like I'm quite calm on the outside but on the inside of my head is The Scream and it's running up and down desperate for help.

Baby is very active today - which is lovely. I need to cling to the hope that he or she is going to be fine cause if I lose that I don't think I'll be able to stay positive in July when I need all my strength for the birth and for coping with a new baby, who may be poorly. And the doctors can't actually tell us whether there is anything wrong with our baby, they just can't confirm that everything is all right.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

April 7th

Today is your birthday Lucy and I wanted to write early because I won’t get the opportunity later as we’ll have a house full of chaos and children all day.
It’s 3 years since you came into my life. Your birth was a truly amazing experience. After niggling all day, my waters broke and less than 45 minutes later you arrived under water in the birthing pool at home. Placid from that moment you have been an absolute joy to spend my days with. You were a very easy baby, which made the transition to 2 children so easy. I love to have your cuddles and kisses every day and I love it when you come into the bedroom every morning to say hello and have a cuddle.
Over the last few months I have seen you develop from a baby into a little girl – you are talking much more and you love communicating with words, rather than using hand signals. You love books and playing with all your toys – you love copying your big sister and being a big girl, which is just a joy to watch. You have learnt to argue and to fight back and to make yourself heard. You are quiet and calm but I don’t think you’ll be ignored – you are strong and determined and you pick your fights well. I think you will always be independent and stand out from your big sister.
You love climbing and being active and you are super speedy on your scooter and your bike, which is always such a shock for me because I still think of you as my baby, which you clearly are not – you are becoming a big girl.
I love the way you try to keep up with your energetic sister during the day but you fall asleep on my knee at bed time when I’m still reading stories. I love the way you hide your face when you know you have done something you shouldn’t have and I love the way you smile sweetly at your daddy when you want your own way.
You are a beautiful little girl. Thank you for being so amazing and so funny and so amazing and I look forward to watching you grow over the next year.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

My children

I love my children so so very much. Like most parents there are frustrating and challenging days but the fulfilment and happiness they have brought to my life can never be replaced.
Alice is my eldest daughter. She’s 5, going on 15 – she has all the attitude and door slamming ability, I just don’t have to worry about her being our all night and what boy she is with! She is fiesty, strong-willed, independent, confident – although on a bad day she could be described as being stubborn, out of control & loud. But the positive descriptions sound so much better!
She amazes me everyday with her strength and the thoughts she has about life. She is a passionate girl with endless energy and enthusiasm and is very emotional – she gets angry and shouts and cries very easily, which I can’t help but worry about but all I can do is continue to provide her with security and love and hope she can learn to cope with her own emotions.
She is very cuddly and when she laughs, it is infectious.
I am guilty of treating her as older than she is because she has always acted older than she is and she seems so much older than Lucy but I need to remember that she is only little, and a 5 just a baby really, in the great scheme of things.
And we do have our difficult days when we argue and she winds me up because she knows she can but I can’t thank her enough for what she has given me and I feel very lucky to have her in my life – she has given me meaning to my life and a direction that was missing for many years and this has only been enhanced by Lucy.

Lucy is an absolute cutey. As a baby she was very easy and placid which made the transition to 2 children much easier to handle. I haven’t worked during the day since having Lucy and she has been really easy to look after and balance with my teaching and looking after Alice as well.
Lu is a calm child in many ways, she can play by herself for quite a long time and she is incredibly cuddle and kissy. Having said all that – my god does the girl have a temper!
She has been my baby but she is growing up fast – her language is coming on loads and she can’t wait to start at Alice’s school, which she is set to after the summer. I just can’t imagine her in a school uniform but she is very ready to go. She loves playgroup and has always been very secure in that she can be left with other people because she knows I’m coming back, she settles at playgroups really easy.
I’m sure Lu will seem like such a big girl when the baby arrives.
She’s learning to play the game now as well – she causes the trouble but then smiles sweetly and gets away with it. I’m sure she gets away with loads that Alice didn’t at the same age and she has her dad wrapped round her little finger. Because Alice is so loud and energetic, she’ll always be blamed for things whereas I think Lu might be our little troublemaker who gets away with it cause she’s the quiet one. We’ll see…but I’m on to her!!

One of the big differences between the girls is destructiveness. I can't remember Alice ripping or spoiling a book or drawing on the walls or furniture but Lucy has done this so many times I've lost count. Maybe it's a 2nd child thing, to make their mark and not to be forgotten.

Before I had Lucy I had heard other parents say how they treat their kids differently and I guess we all do because we are at a different place when we have our different children. But I can't imagine favouring one more than the other. My girls are very different in a lot of ways and they do get treated differently so that we treat them like the individuals they are, not expect them to be the same, do the same and achieve the same.

My kids are my life, everything revolves around them. Yes I have other loves and ambitions. I love my husband and I love my work but the kids come first. I have worked very hard for the life I have now. It is in no way perfect – we’re skint, we’re tired but we’re happy - but it's not far off. Now we just have to hope that our 3rd baby will be healthy and that we are strong enough to cope if he or she isn’t. It’s hard to imagine that my baby could be ill because it is so strong, I feel it’s kicks and movements throughout the day. But they make me happy and, for now, full of hope.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Windy girl

My youngest daughter has started pulling down her pants and farting on people. She certainly hasn't got this from us and I would doubt it has come from playgroup - the women there are far too nice to be farting on the children - but it has made me laugh (probably not making the situation better). Hopefully it's just a phase - please let it just be a phase. Must stop laughing, must stop laughing, must stop laughing...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Under a cloud

We went for our 20 week scan 3 weeks ago and, ever since, it has been fairly hard to keep positive about my pregnancy. The sonographer had trouble finding the baby's stomach. For my second scan the sonographer thought she saw it filling up but it wasn't there for my 3rd scan, which was last Monday. We were then informed that we were being referred to Fetal Medicine at the RVI. I think I cried for 2 days, horrible uncontrollable, hysterical crying - so scared for my baby, so scared for the effect all of this could have on my family.
After spending the afternoon at Fetal Medicine on Wednesday, I was scanned 3 times. Dr Sturgiss did find the stomach but he said it was smaller than he would expect at 23 weeks. But he did say that it could turn out to be absolutely nothing, especially as at the moment I don't have any extra amniotic fluid. He did also remind us that it could be a sign of Downs.
I felt so positive after the scans as Dr Stugiss is an amazing consultant - calm, honest and caring - he didn't tell us what to do, he is happy to be led by us. He didn't use words like should, must, will. Instead he gave us choice and information. I'm heading back there in 3 weeks to be scanned again. It looks like I'll be closely monitored until the baby is born now and I'll probably have baby at the RVI, which I'm fine about.
Thursday was a low day. I found it hard to be positive about the situation - I felt guilty for wanting a 3rd baby when it could have a huge impact on the kids, I was panicking about having a sick or disabled child and I think I decided that a termination would be the only thing I could do as I have 1 week left to have one. But when I spoke to Gary about it he reminded me that it is what I want and that I would be making a decision to end the pain I am feeling in now and that I would have to live with the pain of having a termination for the rest of my life. He also reminded me that we don't actually know if anything is wrong with our baby, the doctors just can't confirm that everything is right. So I feel more positive now, although I imagine it will be a constant rollercoaster of emotions, and I'm concentrating on thinking positively until my next scan and enjoying my baby's kicks until I have to re-evaluate. Hopefully this will never happen!

An update

Over the last few year I have felt the happiest I have ever been. My girls are amazing and I love watching them learn and grow. I really feel like I have a better balance in my life. I've been teaching a lot and I've launched my own business - Baby - which has been slow to take off but it's been a good pace which hasn't been too stressful and has allowed me to be with my girls and Gary. I feel very settled here - Alice loves school, Lucy has settled into playgroup and she can't wait to 'go to school with Alice' and they have some lovely friends and I have made some great friends and acquaintances as well.

Gary has finished the attic which has made a huge difference to us - Gary's office has moved up there and the girls moved into their room over Christmas and they love it. They love snuggling up together at night and it means that, most nights, we get an undisturbed sleep.

The biggest development over the last few months is that I am expecting baby number 3, which has made me so unbelievably happy. I was sick until 20 weeks and it has felt very different to the girls but I have felt an amazing sense of calm and contentment at being pregnant.